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Prior to the launch of the Jaegers, the Conn-Pods are detached and situated at the top of the Shatterdome nearest to the Drivesuit Room. During the launch of a Jaeger, the Rangers board the detached head and are connected to the operating System. The Pod is then dropped down a shaft onto the body of the Jaeger, where it reconnects to the base of the body. Conn-Pods are traditionally mounted on the shoulders of the Jaeger, furthering their loosely humanoid appearance. This carries over with most Jaegers, such as Gipsy Danger, Crimson Typhoon or Striker Eureka.
However, there are exceptions: the Russian Jaeger, Cherno Alpha's Conn-Pod is located in the chest area, as the space on the shoulders is taken up by the machine's massive power plant. Its Conn-Pod has no escape hatch or pods, the Russians operating on the belief of a win or lose scenario. Each Jaeger's Conn-Pod is built with escape pods in the event that its pilots need to escape the Jaeger during an emergency.
Conn-Pods are typically outfitted with escape hatches that Pilots can enter or exit through once the cockpit is attached to the Jaeger; in other cases, escape hatches are located on the shoulder or elsewhere. Conn-Pods are the most vulnerable part of the Jaeger. As the Kaiju adapted to the nature of the Jaegers, they began to specifically target the Conn-Pods. Some Jaegers, such as Striker Eureka and Coyote Tango, are equipped with entry and exit hatches on the roof of the Conn-Pod.
FunctionDigital HUD’s allow the pilots an immediate layout of their environment. While physical control panels affixed to the top of the Conn-Pod and between the pilots allow them access to weapons and the basic functions of the Jaeger. Coolant and hull panels are examples of control panel-accessed functions.
The interior of a Conn-Pod often reflects the primary design aesthetic of the Jaeger and its pilots' armor. This is particularly exemplified in the Conn-Pod for Crimson Typhoon. Dr. Caitlin Lightcap is said to have modified the function and design of the Conn-Pod to accommodate a triple Neural Handshake and three-pilot control.
In line with Drivesuit's ability to interface with the Conn-Pod itself, at the feet of the pilots is the command platform, a platform with geared locks for the Rangers’ boots. The motion rig keeps the pilot locked into the Conn-Pod; below the rig is a hydraulic system which corresponds with the Jaeger's ability to walk or run.
At the back of the Conn-Pod, the arm controllers contain wired extensions that are attached to each Drivesuit's gauntlet, and a Jaeger pilot's hand controls, called the "feedback cradle". The feedback cradle interfaces with the back of the Drivesuit around the Spinal Clamp, but must be fastened into each Ranger’s Drivesuit by a technician.
- The Conn-Pod attachment process was first shown with Gipsy Danger in the 2013 WonderCon Trailer.
- Not all Conn-Pods are detachable. Nuclear powered Jaegers are more likely to have their Conn-Pods detachable as it's stored adjacent to the power core for long periods of time. The sensitive cockpit can accumulate damage from prolonged radiation exposure. Therefore Nuclear powered Jaeger cockpits are often kept separate until deployment.
Behind the Scenes