Whenever the story brings us to a lab, science outpost, or somesuch, I immediately start looking for these:

Double Red Beam Rotator

I'm wondering:

  • In which episodes are these bad boys used? I've noticed them in VOY:Pathfinder, in one of the early TNG episodes and everywhere in between. I'm not sure if they're used in other series.
  • Are these the most-used props? (barring hand-equipment and ship-bound materiel)
  • 2
    They were also used in the movie "Airplane 2" for comic effect @ 1:43: youtube.com/watch?v=kG-0V-85H_0
    – Kazz42
    Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 17:00
  • They also recycled ships and cityscapes annoyingly often.
    – Kyle Jones
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 7:48
  • 3
    How about self-sealing stem bolts?
    – Chahk
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


I'd have to say yes. The tubes (described in the script notes as...

... Dual generators with rotating neon lights inside an acrylic tube; light-controlled panel with knobs and buttons ...

...appear in at least 10 TV episodes as well as in the ST movies including Star Trek II, Star Trek V, TNG, Voyager and Enterprise (but not DS9, for some reason).

Second place would seem to go to the "Oscillation Overthruster" seen in TNG, DS9 and Voyager masquerading as various scanners and machine parts.



ex-astris-scientia.org states:

"Blinking tubes"

The prop was not custom-made in the Star Trek Art Department, but it is available from a company called Modern Props. It was originally built for the original Incredible Hulk TV series, according to Modern Props founder John Zabrucky. The prop is described as "dual generators with rotating neon lights inside an acrylic tube; light-controlled panel with knobs and buttons." The tubes appear in other science fiction series and movies as well, such as "Airplane II" (with William Shatner), "V" (the 1983 miniseries), "The Last Starfighter" (1984) or "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me".

Though the website for Modern Props is apparently defunct, Ex-Astris-Scientia did share the rental company's image of the prop from their catalog (above), along with numerous screen shots of it's appearance in TV and movies.

  • 1
    As this post is, it doesn’t really answer the question. If the information in the link does, please copy it into the answer - links can break.
    – Obsidia
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 6:25
  • I can't see anything in the link that answers this question. It's interesting, but not an answer.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 6:53

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