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Early WIP Hi Kerbonauts around the world In my space program career I'm at a point where I'd like to send unmaned probes to distant planet, before doing so I need a relay constellation in Sun orbit. Far from the end of the tech tree, no big antennas are available. No problem, they can be combine Going to take a look at the formula on the wiki... mmh... There is a little more here than addition... Where is my TI-89 ? ... Haven't seen it in years... Well, how hard can it be to do the math in a KSP plugin ? Here is what it does, for now : Number of antennas : Show you the number of antennas on the craft. Either "Direct" (all antennas) or "Relay" (only antennas with relay capability). The number between parenthesis show you the number of stackable antennas. Pick another target : Let you choose which level of DSN you want to use for the calculation Max range from the target : maximum distance between your vessel and the DSN (in meters) Max power : maximum antenna power of your vessel. Planets Range (window) : Show you what signal strength to expect for each planet, at their max and min distance from Kerbin. Hover the percentage will display what was the distance used for calculation. (should work with planet pack too) Everything you see on the screenshot that are not mentioned in the list above are just placeholder for the time. So this is what I like to implement/change or need input about : I'm new to this communication thingy, I'd really like input from experienced player of the CommNet system on what value should also be displayed For now the target list only has DSN, I'd also like to have all the vessel with relay capacity there. Those already in flight and those under construction. I've tried to access "HighLogic.CurrentGame.flightState.protovessels" but it doesn't seem to exist when in the editor or the space center. And I have no idea on how to get those that only exist as .craft files. Any input on this will be really appreciated. Having the maximum range with a signal strength of 100% seems useful but I haven't got the formula right yet. Here is what I've started with. Better UI. The one I use now is ugly to say the best. I may give a try to the "new" UI system, I've some idea for useless pretty way of displaying the max range and level of signal strength. But if someone with skill to draw good, intuitive UI want to give it a try I'll welcome the help. Applauncher Icon : as ugly as the window. The one I use is from flaticon.com by Freepik Code optimization : for now the code is... like the window and the applauncher icon... It will probably stay that way until I know which info is valuable for building satellites/probes, hence the first bullet point. The idea for an in-game calculator is from this thread by @Tyko Thanks to @Poodmund for his google docs's calculator. I hope he will share his thought about this project. And a big thanks to the anonym who wrote the KSP wiki, specially the CommNet section. If you feel adventurous you can download it from Github. Source are on Github. License is MIT. Please share your thought, suggestion, 2 (or more) cents, etc... And remember that's an early WIP
PocketBrotector posted a question in Gameplay Questions and TutorialsInternal antennas aren't combinable and can't be used for transmitting science (or relaying signals) - their only purpose is to provide short-range control to unmanned craft. It makes sense that probe cores would include an internal antenna, but why command pods? If you have a command pod with a kerbal inside, then the kerbal provides control and the pod's antenna provides no benefit. If you have a command pod without a kerbal inside, then you're not going to have control even though you have an internal antenna - unless you have a probe core as well, in which case you can just use the probe core's internal antenna. Either way, the pod's antenna still provides no benefit. So why include the antenna module in command pods at all? Is there any circumstance in which it would have any meaningful functionality?
This in-depth post describes an intuitive and easy to use system in which range to target affects communications. This gives a use for the larger antennas as well as giving the player the capability of setting up communications stations without requiring them to do so. First, each antenna is given a range. At any distance up to this range, data will be sent at the maximum speed for that antenna. Outside that range, data transfer speed will be reduced as a factor of the multiple of its distance vs the range. If you are at twice the range of the antenna or dish, it will send data at half the rate while still expending energy at the same rate. The small starter antenna has a range of 10,000km. This means it works well for transferring data across low to medium Kerbin orbit and even works okay out to the Mün, but struggles to send data all the way from Minmus to KSC. Its base rate of transfer is 2 mits and 10 electric charge per cycle, but when transmitting from the Mün to KSC, it will send about 1.67 mits per cycle. From Minmus it will send about 0.43 mits per cycle. The large antenna has a range of 1,000,000km and a base transfer of 3 mits and 30 electric charge per cycle. It can easily reach all the way across the Kerbin system and even to nearby objects, but struggles with interplanetary distances. When transmitting between Eve and Kerbin at closest approach, it will send about 0.79 mits per cycle. When transmitting between Duna and Kerbin at closest approach, it will send about 0.42 mits per cycle. The dish antenna has a range of 50,000,000km and a base transfer of 5 mits and 125 electric charge per cycle. It can reach across small interplanetary distances with no signal loss, and even at the greatest extremities it still gets good reception. If it were transmitting from Jool to Kerbin, at closest approach it would be transmitting nearly full, and at the most distant points it would transmit at about 3.0 mits per cycle. From Jool to Eeloo at most distant points it would transmit about 1.6 mits per cycle. You can increase your transfer rate by putting multiple antennae on your spacecraft. They will all automatically be used by default, or you can turn them off to prevent them from being used. To set up a communications station, you simply right-click one of the antennas on the craft and choose the option to turn the craft into a comm station. Once you do that, all of its antennas which are on will automatically deploy. If you label the craft as a space station, it will automatically become a communications post provided it has any working antennas, but you can disable this by right-clicking the antenna. There is no drawback to having it set up as a comm station except to clutter up your list of comm stations. Next to the transmit science button is a button to transmit to a comm station. Clicking this brings up a window which lists all of your active comm stations with two buttons next to each, one to transmit to that station and hold, and the other to transmit to that station and then immediately from there to KSC. There is also a column listing the distance to the comm station, and they will all be listed in order of distance with the nearest comm stations at the top of the list. Another column lists their status, for example "in orbit around the Mün". At the top of the comm station window is a button to select multiple comm stations. If you click this, it removes the two buttons by each station selection and changes it to a depressed square slot. When you click a station, it puts a "1" in the box next to it. The next station you click, it puts a "2" in the box, and so on. When you hit the transmit button, it will send the data to each station in the order you listed. If you try to send data to and hold it at a station that contains a duplicate of the data, you will have to overwrite the duplicate in order to hold it there, but no conflict will occur as long as the data is being immediately transmitted out again as soon as it arrives. A station does not expend electric charge from receiving data. When data is being transferred from a station that is not rendered and loaded in physics, the craft will have its parts loaded but will not render the meshes nor load physics. The electrical parts will all be activated and its electrical intake, storage, and output will all be managed by the game to determine if the craft is able to send data at the full rate or even at all. This includes reading its position around planets as well as position of parts for occlusion to check the electrical intake of any photovoltaic panels. To prevent excessive memory usage, there will be a limit of 5 transmit waypoints in a single transmission. By right-clicking an antenna or dish, you can scale the transmit rate as you like, to reduce both the transfer rate and the electricity cost per cycle. This is useful to adjust it a bit downward on a craft that can't quite sustain it, or way down if you're using the power-hungry dish on a small probe that doesn't generate nor store very much electricity.