juvilado

How do you dock?

How do you dock?    112 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you dock?

    • I use RCS thrusters
    • RCS Thrusters? Real Kerbal don't need it!
    • Depends of situation
    • Sorry, docking is just too difficult for me at this time

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61 posts in this topic

1 minute ago, juvilado said:

Hi, am i the only who never uses RCS

I wouldn't know. I never look at the screen while docking, because it's too easy otherwise, so I can't tell if I'm using RCS or not.

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9 minutes ago, juvilado said:

Hi, am i the only who never uses RCS

No you are not.

 

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Old habits from before 64-bit. RCS increases part count so learnt to do without.

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Depends on the situation.  If I'm docking two ships together, I turn their ports toward each other and fire an engine.

That however isn't practical with a large space station.

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I'm a big noob and use RCS whenever I can, because I'm not very good at engines like Puff, etc.

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Small craft don't need RCS and the weight can be a huge hindrance ,  big craft can afford 0,3-0,5t and RCS is useful(even if not docking) .

 

 

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RCS all the time, even when I have the opportunity to just point two vessels together and go.

It's probably influenced by a few factors:

#1, with Real Fuels, you need RCS anyways for ullage. If ullage is all I need, I'll use linear RCS thrusters, but a set of docking thrusters works perfectly well for ullage as ell.

#2, I am a wee bit of a perfectionist; straight on to the destination docking port, with the final closing velocity (before the magnets kick in) of 0.1-0.25 m/sec.

#3, on approach, I like to go very slow to conserve RCS propellant*, usually a top speed of 1 m/sec total. A small lateral drift can become a large miss if not corrected.

*As to which propellant: if the craft has a hypergolic bipropellant, I just use that, else I use hydrazine.

EDIT: #4, Real Fuels makes RCS ports lighter anyways, 29 kg for the stock 4-way blocks, and 14.6 kg for the extra lightweight blocks added by KW Rocketry. With four of the latter, I can get full 6-DoF control for barely more mass than a single stock RCS quad.

Edited by Starman4308
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Not sure why this is in the Q&A forum, that's for actual help questions. But to answer the opinion question, I use RCS when I need to, which isn't often. Generally it depends on the size of the ships. If they're both large (say, larger than an orange tank) then yes. If one is small though (like a tug, or a puddle jumper type ship) then no, I just line 'em up and stick 'em together.

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If RCS was good enough for NASA, it's good enough for me in KSP.

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In RSS/RO is it almost the only option to se RCS. The only time when I use the engines is when I forget to configure the RCS trhuster prober haha. Also, RCS is much more precise

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I've never been exactly clear on this.

How does one dock without the RSC?

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9 minutes ago, razark said:

I've never been exactly clear on this.

How does one dock without the RSC?

Target mode on the navball. Burn retrograde when the ships are very close to come to a stop next to each other. Aim each ship at the other. Burn very little with one ship to head at the other.

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3 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

Aim each ship at the other.

That part right there seems like a pain in the ass if one is docking a small ship to a large station.

Seems easier to learn to dock with RCS and do it that way, rather than to learn two different ways of doing it and figuring out which one you're going to use this time.

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Just now, razark said:

That part right there seems like a pain in the ass if one is docking a small ship to a large station.

Seems easier to learn to dock with RCS and do it that way, rather than to learn two different ways of doing it and figuring out which one you're going to use this time.

Yeah I went with the easy way to learn the process. Once you got it though getting the small ship in the right place is merely adding a step.

And if you want to carry RCS everywhere when you don't strictly need it I've no problem with it. I'm just explaining how I avoid it.

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1 minute ago, 5thHorseman said:

I'm just explaining how I avoid it.

Well, honestly, you're answering what I asked.  I was genuinely curious, since I've never really considered how to do it a different way.  I may have to try some experiments just to see.

 

I do like the RCS, though, because I have the option to immediately reverse (or lateral) thrust.  I'd think that the time put in to turning the ship around to thrust retrograde could become problematic in a crisis.  (And from a game mechanics perspective, I was under the impression that RCS wouldn't affect the other ship, but an LFO engine pointing at it would.)

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I used RCS when first trying to dock ships together. It always ended up in disaster, until one day when I forgot to add RCS.

Simply used the main thrusters. Ever since then, main thrusters have always been my go-to, as Monopropellant and RCS adds weight, and its just easier to use the main thrusters anyway. You don't need RCS for klaws anyway, and the docking ports have a strong enough magnetic attraction that its easy enough to just use the main thrusters to maneuver.

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Wait what? How do you dock without RCS?

 

I'm confused now. The only other source of thrust is either main engines or Kerbal EVA packs, main engines are impossible because they're too powerful, and you'd need to turn around, slow down, then turn back around, and make corrections, and you have to turn and make corrections, and it just seems like not fun. Also, what are you sending up there that you need to worry about weight? I have a lifter that can lift basically anything. Secret: it's called asparagus staging. Why don't you learn that instead...

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20 minutes ago, memes in space said:

Wait what? How do you dock without RCS?

 

I'm confused now. The only other source of thrust is either main engines or Kerbal EVA packs, main engines are impossible because they're too powerful, and you'd need to turn around, slow down, then turn back around, and make corrections, and you have to turn and make corrections, and it just seems like not fun. Also, what are you sending up there that you need to worry about weight? I have a lifter that can lift basically anything. Secret: it's called asparagus staging. Why don't you learn that instead...

When i first learnt to dock i followed the instructions of a tutorial, thats is more or less (after a rendez-vous):

[0.- Reduce engines power output (right click at engines: change output)]

1.- Navball switch to target, aim retrograde until relative speed is almost 0.

2.- Aim to target (not too powerful)

3.- When very near the other vessel, control from docking port, set target docking port as target, then repeat 1 and 2 very carefully. I switch vessels to correct the alignement of the docking ports.

There is also a mod called "Docking port alignement" but i don't take the point to understand how to take advantage of it. It helps in the orientation process.

And i never used RCS in the tutorial, so i got used to dock without RCSs

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39 minutes ago, memes in space said:

Wait what? How do you dock without RCS?

Ahem...

6 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

Target mode on the navball. Burn retrograde when the ships are very close to come to a stop next to each other. Aim each ship at the other. Burn very little with one ship to head at the other.

 

39 minutes ago, memes in space said:

I'm confused now. The only other source of thrust is either main engines or Kerbal EVA packs, main engines are impossible because they're too powerful

You don't have to use full throttle. If necessary, you can even cap the max throttle in the engine's right click menu in flight. But really, just tapping shift and ctrl works fine. I personally like the tactic of holding down ctrl and tapping shift, to give yourself a tiny bit of thrust in a short time.

39 minutes ago, memes in space said:

, and you'd need to turn around, slow down, then turn back around, and make corrections,

To quote the Matrix: When you're good enough, you won't have to.

39 minutes ago, memes in space said:

Also, what are you sending up there that you need to worry about weight? I have a lifter that can lift basically anything. Secret: it's called asparagus staging. Why don't you learn that instead...

Not A Secret: I've been usng Asparagus staging since Alpha. I still refuse to bring junk into orbit that I don't need.

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8 hours ago, razark said:

I've never been exactly clear on this.

How does one dock without the RSC?

Much harder than acceptable in real life (the magnets are also critical in saving your bacon).  But if you forget your RSC thrusters, you get to do it without them.  After a recent docking I became convinced that having reaction wheels on both the target and docking craft are more important than RSC thrusters.

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I do not use nose ports enough to rely on the just the engines. That's not to say I haven't, but its quite the ordeal trying to snipe dock with an off-center belly port from 300 meters away.

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Well, in RSS/RO you can't really trust on the magnetic force if the docking ports, so the only way to do everthing realistic, is to do it with RCS, ofcourse it's possible with only the main engine. But in RSS/RO, it's a lot more effort than in Stock. 

Also, in reallife, a docking/rendavouz program will last hours with a docking speed of 0.1 m/s while in Stock you can do it in 10minutes.

 

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