Snark

[1.3] JX2Antenna v2.0.2: Giant 1000G antenna for big solar systems

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I did, it seems to be working alright.

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2 hours ago, Nicias said:

Has anyone tried this with 1.3?

2 hours ago, canisin said:

I did, it seems to be working alright.

Thanks, folks.  :)

AFAIK, this mod ought to work just fine in KSP 1.3-- part mods tend to fare better than "code" mods when KSP updates.  When there's no code at all involved, and it's just a model and some config, it's less likely that a KSP update could make changes that would get in the way.  I think KSP 1.3 is probably fine.

Apologies for not having marked the mod as 1.3-compatible yet; a few factors behind that:

  • I've been busy IRL for the last couple of weeks, so I didn't want to "officially" mark it as 1.3-compatible until I have time to verify it myself.
  • Likely to be releasing an update "soonish" (no promises) with some nicer retexturing, as @steedcrugeon hints above.  So, two birds with one stone, and all that.

Anyway, thanks for your patience, everyone.

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11 hours ago, Snark said:

Thanks, folks.  :)

AFAIK, this mod ought to work just fine in KSP 1.3-- part mods tend to fare better than "code" mods when KSP updates.  When there's no code at all involved, and it's just a model and some config, it's less likely that a KSP update could make changes that would get in the way.  I think KSP 1.3 is probably fine.

Apologies for not having marked the mod as 1.3-compatible yet; a few factors behind that:

  • I've been busy IRL for the last couple of weeks, so I didn't want to "officially" mark it as 1.3-compatible until I have time to verify it myself.
  • Likely to be releasing an update "soonish" (no promises) with some nicer retexturing, as @steedcrugeon hints above.  So, two birds with one stone, and all that.

Anyway, thanks for your patience, everyone.

Yay! Thanks!

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Hi everyone,

I'm proud to announce the release of JX2Antenna 2.0!

The JX2 gets a new paint job.  But even better:  thanks to phenomenal modeling work by @steedcrugeon, the JX2 has now picked up two little sisters:

 

JU1 Medium Deployable Antenna

This 300G relay antenna, suitable for deep-space probes, fits snugly into a 1.25m stack.

JU1MDA.png

 

JW1 Medium Deployable Antenna

Even more compact than the JU1 when retracted, this 300G direct antenna's lateral-opening design makes it a great choice for rovers and small planes.  Caution:  Do not open in flight.

JW1MDA.png

 

As always, @steedcrugeon bears all the credit for anything here that makes you go "whoa, cool".  All I do is nit-pick and then brag about his work here.

Enjoy!  :)

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Posted (edited)

Looks cool! Are they balanced (mass, size and cost-wise) against JX2 and the stock antennas?

Edited by garwel

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I think making antennas has been really rather fun (also a good way of distracting me from the actual work of bringing my mods up to 1.3).

Also paging @Tyko and @TheJewelOfJool as I believe these cater to their comments/requests as well?

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Ooh, shiny! Me likey the new antennae. Will definitely spam Kerbin orbit with a couple of these. :)

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14 hours ago, garwel said:

Looks cool! Are they balanced (mass, size and cost-wise) against JX2 and the stock antennas?

That is rather the idea, yes.  :wink:

JU1 relay antenna:

  • 300G, relay-capable, 1.25m, 1.2 tons, costs 18K funds, is unlocked on the same "large unmanned" tech node as the JX2.
  • If you compare it to the JX2, it's approximately 1/3 the weight and the transmission power, so it's approximately "equivalent but smaller".  It's more than 1/3 the price, though, so it's not quite as cost-effective.
  • If you compare it to the stock RA-100, it's 3x the power but only 2x the mass, plus it has the benefit of being a much more convenient form factor for launching.  So it's definitely "better" than the RA-100, not just scaled up.  But it's not ridiculously better, and it unlocks at a higher tech level.  So this is a case of "higher tech = shinier toys".

 

JW1 direct antenna:

  • 300G, not relay-capable, 1.25m, 0.35 tons, costs 10K funds, is unlocked on the same "large unmanned" tech node as the JX2.
  • If you compare it to the JU1, it's the same power, more compact when retracted, weighs only about 30% as much, but isn't relay-capable.  So it's reasonably balanced there.
  • If you compare it to the Communotron 88-88, it's 3x the power and 3.5x the mass.  But it's still a better deal than the Communotron, since to get 300G power you'd have to spam at least 4 of the 88-88s, so the JW1 is still somewhat more mass-efficient.  Again, "higher tech = shinier toys".

 

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Oh nah gawd, that looks incredible!! I can't wait for the rest of my mods to be updated!!

Also, the 1.25 antenna looks like wings, which I love :D

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3 hours ago, Spaceception said:

Also, the 1.25 antenna looks like wings, which I love :D

That it does.  Please note, however, that attempting to use it as actual wings will void the warranty.  Immediately.  And fairly dramatically.

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By the way Snark, I've noticed that your RT patch just lumps the two new antenna in with the original JX2; should those two maybe be separated out and given reduced range (300 Gm, like the stock config) and increased angle?

For my own use, I've also set the power usage down to 3 EC/sec. I continue to prefer RemoteTech to CommNet mostly because it forces me to think about how I'm going to power my distant probes, and maybe a little bit for having directional antennae, though I do like some things about CommNet (like having effects that scale with connection strength).

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20 hours ago, Starman4308 said:

By the way Snark, I've noticed that your RT patch just lumps the two new antenna in with the original JX2; should those two maybe be separated out and given reduced range (300 Gm, like the stock config) and increased angle?

Ah, nuts.  Missed a spot.  Yeah, those should definitely be handled differently, I forgot that the RT patch needs to explicitly specify the RT power.  I'll fix it.

Thank you for catching this!

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1 minute ago, Snark said:

Ah, nuts.  Missed a spot.  Yeah, those should definitely be handled differently, I forgot that the RT patch needs to explicitly specify the RT power.  I'll fix it.

Thank you for catching this!

Not a problem; I haven't even researched the JX antennae in my career yet, I was just wondering why your RT config specified 1 Tm for the new antennae as well.

I think there might be a way with complicated MM-foo (since the RT power should == the CommNet power, and then you might make a mathematical function to specify dish angle and power consumption based on that range), but to be completely honest, it's probably simpler just to manually specify the appropriate parameters for all three.

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1 minute ago, Starman4308 said:

I think there might be a way with complicated MM-foo (since the RT power should == the CommNet power, and then you might make a mathematical function to specify dish angle and power consumption based on that range), but to be completely honest, it's probably simpler just to manually specify the appropriate parameters for all three.

...Yeah, that occurred to me, too.  But there are other considerations of balance around range, dish angle, EC cost for data transmission, etc.  Seems simpler to just manually specify them.

Here's my proposed fix (i.e. a replacement for the contents of jx2_RemoteTech.cfg).  Can you (or anyone) do me a favor and test it out to make sure it works as expected?

Spoiler

// Compatibility with the RemoteTech mod.

@PART[jx2LDA]:AFTER[RemoteTech] {
	// RemoteTech antennas use ModuleAnimateGeneric, so need
	// to use that instead of ModuleDeployableAntenna.
	-MODULE[ModuleDeployableAntenna] {}

	MODULE
	{
		name = ModuleAnimateGeneric
		animationName = deployHexes
		allowManualControl = false
		isOneShot = false

		startEventGUIName = Extend
		endEventGUIName = Retract
		actionGUIName = Toggle Antenna
	}
	
	// This is what makes it work with RemoteTech.
	%MODULE[ModuleRTAntenna] {
		%Mode0DishRange = 0
		%Mode1DishRange = 1000000000000
		%EnergyCost = 5
		%MaxQ = 6000
		%DishAngle = 0.002

		%DeployFxModules = 0

		%TRANSMITTER {
			%PacketInterval = 0.3
			%PacketSize = 2
			%PacketResourceCost = 15.0
		}
	}

	%MODULE[ModuleSPUPassive] {}
}


@PART[jw1MDA|ju1MDA]:AFTER[RemoteTech] {
	// RemoteTech antennas use ModuleAnimateGeneric, so need
	// to use that instead of ModuleDeployableAntenna.
	-MODULE[ModuleDeployableAntenna] {}

	MODULE
	{
		name = ModuleAnimateGeneric
		animationName = deployHexes
		allowManualControl = false
		isOneShot = false

		startEventGUIName = Extend
		endEventGUIName = Retract
		actionGUIName = Toggle Antenna
	}
	
	// This is what makes it work with RemoteTech.
	%MODULE[ModuleRTAntenna] {
		%Mode0DishRange = 0
		%Mode1DishRange = 300000000000
		%EnergyCost = 3
		%MaxQ = 6000
		%DishAngle = 0.006

		%DeployFxModules = 0

		%TRANSMITTER {
			%PacketInterval = 0.3
			%PacketSize = 2
			%PacketResourceCost = 18.0
		}
	}

	%MODULE[ModuleSPUPassive] {}
}


// AntennaSleep adds a ModuleDeployableSleep to every part that has
// a ModuleDeployableAntenna on it. Since we've just removed the
// ModuleDeployableAntenna, the ModuleDeployableSleep won't work right,
// so we need to remove that if it's there.
@PART[jx2LDA|jw1MDA|ju1MDA]:AFTER[AntennaSleep]:NEEDS[RemoteTech] {
	-MODULE[ModuleDeployableSleep] {}
}

 

 

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It seems to work.

I wasn't able to give it a full workout (testing that connection is lost when the antenna moves out of range) because of weirdnesses, but at least when sitting on the pad and playing with the RT menu (where the antenna is pointing), it seems to work as anticipated, with the correct cone widths, ranges, energy consumption, etc.

It's also now the contents of my jx2_RemoteTech.cfg unless you guys come out with another update I like*.

*I tend to be slightly paranoid updating stuff that isn't broke when my installation has dozens of mods. Those new antenna, though, were just too amazing to pass up.

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Hi everyone,

I've released JX2Antenna 2.0.1.  This fixes a bug in the RemoteTech compatibility patch that was making the JU1 and JW1 overpowered (i.e. equal to the JX2) in RemoteTech.

Many thanks to @Starman4308 for catching & reporting the problem, and for verifying the fix!

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7 hours ago, Snark said:

Hi everyone,

I've released JX2Antenna 2.0.1.  This fixes a bug in the RemoteTech compatibility patch that was making the JU1 and JW1 overpowered (i.e. equal to the JX2) in RemoteTech.

Many thanks to @Starman4308 for catching & reporting the problem, and for verifying the fix!

So, if I get this right, Remote Tech is the mod that dictates the rules to JX about power and range and all, when the two are mingled together, correct? And then something like OPM will boost RT which dictates the rules to JX. 

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4 hours ago, Calvin_Maclure said:

So, if I get this right, Remote Tech is the mod that dictates the rules to JX about power and range and all, when the two are mingled together, correct?

Not quite-- it's the other way around.  It would be more accurate to say, JX2Antenna has some RemoteTech config in it to tell RemoteTech what the "RemoteTech antenna range" is for each of the new antennas.  Then RemoteTech has the code in it that uses that config to implement the in-game behavior.

Technobabble, for the curious, in spoiler section.

Spoiler

RemoteTech is like a "different CommNet".  (For anyone reading this who may not be familiar with it, RemoteTech was the go-to mod for people who wanted CommNet-type functionality in the days before KSP 1.2, when it wasn't in the stock game.  And there's still a role for it in the post-1.2 world, because it's more "hard-core" than stock CommNet.  Kind of how people still use FAR even after KSP introduced a better aerodynamic model with 1.0.)

The important thing to understand about RemoteTech is that it completely replaces stock CommNet.  It's a replacement, not an enhancement.  It gets rid of the stock KSP communications modules on everything (e.g. ModuleDataTransmitter) and replaces it with its own custom module that has its own way of dealing with things.

So, for example, consider antenna transmission power.  RemoteTech defines its own concept of antenna range (it's a different model from what stock CommNet uses), so it has to specify the "RemoteTech power" of each antenna.

So, if a mod like JX2Antenna introduces new antennas, they won't work with RemoteTech at all unless they supply the RemoteTech config, "from scratch," to make them work.

 

4 hours ago, Calvin_Maclure said:

And then something like OPM will boost RT which dictates the rules to JX.

That, I don't actually know.  It would depend on whether OPM actually has a RemoteTech patch in it to boost the power of RemoteTech antennas.  It certainly does that for stock CommNet, but that would have zero effect on RemoteTech unless OPM specifically went out of its way to add RemoteTech config.

I've been assuming that it doesn't do that, but that's just an assumption-- I haven't looked, I don't actually know.

Certainly, my RemoteTech patch for JX2Antenna does not have anything in it to "undo" any such boost, if it exists.  So, if you're playing with OPM + RemoteTech, then either it's the case that OPM already boosts RT ranges (in which case the stock antennas will reach, and you don't need JX2Antenna); or else it's the case that OPM leaves RemoteTech alone, in which case JX2Antenna ought to be right up your alley.  :)

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Cool!! I used one of the new antennas for my interplanetary cruise ship, with parts from your mod, DSEV, Orion, and Near future :)

And I don't mean to toot my own horn, but for the first gen of it, it works quite well!

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4 hours ago, Spaceception said:

Cool!! I used one of the new antennas for my interplanetary cruise ship, with parts from your mod, DSEV, Orion, and Near future :)

And I don't mean to toot my own horn, but for the first gen of it, it works quite well!

care to share some picture of said vessel?

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4 hours ago, steedcrugeon said:

care to share some picture of said vessel?

I'll get on it soon!

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Voila :)

 

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Hello! Very cool mod! Excellent models and textures, and provides exactly what I'm looking for! Unfortunately I need to post a bug-report.

KSPx64 1.3 on Win7x64 / System Specs: CPU i7 6700k / 32gb DDR4 / EVGA GTX1080.

I'm running many (many) mods, so I installed a new fresh copy of KSP with only this mod directly from CKAN, and am getting some exceptionally long load-times using multiples of your JX2 part. 

Steps to Reproduce:

1. Enter VAB/SPH, doesn't matter

2. New craft

3. Any probe/capsule as root (or a JX2 as root and skip step 4)

4. Place a JX2 on any node

5. Place a second JX2 on any node

6. Press Launch 

 At this point, the black screen with "Loading" in the corner will hang until Windows suggests I force exit.  If I choose to Wait, eventually (5 minutes?) the craft will load. This is on a fresh install with only your mod - with other mods installed, the wait time wasn't able to be measured because I gave up after waiting for 25 minutes.  Are you able to reproduce any of this? This also occurs for me if you make two crafts using the JX2 and dock them together (or Grabberclaw) either in-flight or on the ground, although I never stuck around to see if it eventually loaded.

Hopefully it's something easily identifiable and fixable! You're both doing a great job!

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Chimichanga said:

I'm running many (many) mods, so I installed a new fresh copy of KSP with only this mod directly from CKAN, and am getting some exceptionally long load-times using multiples of your JX2 part.

Hmm, that's odd.  I haven't observed it myself, but then, I haven't done a lot of playing around in KSP 1.3 yet.  It arrived when I was in the middle of a KSP 1.2.2 career that couldn't be easily ported.  Just recently finished the KSP 1.2.2 career, so I'll be switching to KSP 1.3 soon.  But in the 1.2.2 career, when I had JX2Antenna 2.0.1 installed, I loaded and launched a ship with three JX2's on it, and had no problems at all.  Other people in this thread have posted pics of ships with multiple JX2's and didn't report any problems, though admittedly that was an earlier version of JX2Antenna on an earlier version of KSP.

I'll take a look when I have a chance (am not at my KSP computer right now).

.
.
.
.

[EDIT]  Huh.  Well, I'll be darned.  You're absolutely right!  What the heck?

Here's a very simple test craft made of 4 parts that demonstrates the problem quite nicely:

Spoiler

yiqWmy3.png

Here's what I observe:

  1. Launching this craft in KSP 1.3 using JX2Antenna 2.0.1 causes exactly the problem you describe:  it just hangs and hangs without going to the launchpad.
  2. If I do the exact same thing, but there's only one JX2 on the craft, then it launches just fine with no problem.
  3. If I launch this craft in KSP 1.3, using JX2Antenna 1.1 (i.e. the old version from before a few weeks ago)... then the problem does not happen.

Other observations:

  • It's very reproducible.  If I try to launch the above ship on KSP 1.3 with JX2Antenna 2.0.1 installed, it hangs.  Every time, reliably.
  • There's nothing in the log file.  The game writes some ordinary, usual, uninteresting log entry on its way out of the VAB, and then never writes any more log entries while the game is hanging.  It's not like it's blasting the same message to the log file over and over, or anything like that.
  • If I take a look at Task Manager, just to see whether something weird is happening (e.g. runaway memory usage, or pegging the CPU)-- nothing.  Seems calm, no unusual patterns there.

So.  It only appears to happen with the newest version of JX2Antenna.  I have not the faintest clue what could be causing the issue, nor am I equipped to diagnose it, since all I supply are the config files, which haven't really changed significantly.  It's a new model, and that comes from my good comrade and modeler extraordinaire, @steedcrugeon.

@steedcrugeon, got any idea what the problem might be?  Anything you can figure out with the model?

And thank you, @Chimichanga, for the bug report!  (And I'm happy I had the opportunity to give you your first "like" on the forums.)  :)

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Posted (edited)

Well this is a new one on me and a peculiar one too. Do either of the two smaller antennas exhibit this issue? 

I'll need some time to investigate. 

Interim update:

I suspect i have found a partial cause to the problem. the 2.0.1 and 2.0 release versions have models built using an outdated set of PartTools (my fault, I'm very sorry to all affected by this).

I have re-exported the JX2 model with the latest set of PartTools. The model load time is exceptionally long (it appears to hang and go not responding but it is actually still loading) the example below took about 3 minutes to load on the Pad.

ONuoY0B.png

I have conducted some rudimentary testing. Now i'm not sure why this is a problem for 1.3 when it worked in 1.2 but I suspect that due to the size of the original model for the JX2 (the .mu is a bit of a fatty). I didn't suspect that there would be such a disparity in size but both the JU1 and JW1 (with similar deployment mechanisms) are less than 1mb in size whereas the JX2 is almost 12mb.

Recovery Plan:

1) I will be sending @Snark the updated .mu files as a 'quick fix'. With this he can push out an updated version.

2) All players with vessels using more than one JX2 antenna should try, where possible, to not fly/load them. if unavoidable wait for the 2.0.2 version of JX2 and prepare for a long load time, ignore the 'Not responding' that is to be expected.

3) The JX2 model will have its deployment model/animation built from scratch (now that I have more experience with Blender).

Edited by steedcrugeon
done some digging...
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