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by Rupert Bolyen
How about adding an explosive power cartridge to the back of an ETC round and doing away with the heavy and expensive batteries in the magazine? This could also be applied to gauss weapons, thus allowing them to also make that lovely tinkling noise (so beloved by Hollywood) of cases bouncing around after the shooting stops.
I did a quick study of the RCES 7mm ACR using this idea. I made some assumptions:
That the 0.300 kg base weight of an ETC receiver is all homopolar generator, and that the rounds needs all the energy that this generator can store.
That using the price/mass multipliers for high speed EPG systems would reflect the complexity of this system.
That an EPG cartridge could be added to the back of and ETc round with no added cost or weight (as ETC rounds cost no more than conventional rounds, I think this is a not unreasonable simplification).
I got the following results:
The weapon would weigh 0.285kg more and cost Cr229 more, regardless of TL.
The cost and weight of the rounds will vary by TL:
The magazines also vary by TL:
The result is that at TL9 there are minimal weight savings and the system will cost more (quite a lot more over the weapons whole life). At TL10-11 the same applies, and at TL12 there are some weight savings over the whle system (including loaded magazines), but again the system would cost more over its whole life. However that doesn't include the cost of any battery recharging systems, etc, though I doubt that this will make a difference (unless one is cut off from one's vehicles, starships, etc).
I haven't checked out gauss weapons yet, so I don't know if they will be more attractive, and nor have I checked TL14 or TL16 power systems.