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Thread: Action Groups

  1. #1
    Capsule Communicator
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    Action Groups

    Hey all.

    The topic's action groups: what can you do with them and how do you go about assigning them in the VAB? I already know you can assign their activation to the number keys. What all do you guys use them for? Mainly just fishing for ideas here.
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  2. #2
    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer SDIR's Avatar
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    You can basically control a lot of parts. I mostly use them for deploying antennas, solar panels, toggling engines and stuff where using the menu is too cumbersome or slow. To assign them, just go to the action groups tab (Top centre, a gear I think) and click on the part you want to assign, and the group you want to assign it to. Hope that helped.

  3. #3
    Spacecraft Engineer pebble_garden's Avatar
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    They're also useful for grouping several actions when switching between modes, like going from orbital ops to docking, where you might want to 1. open the docking adapter, 2. switch on the floodlamps, 3. shut down the main engine and lock the gimbal, 4. activate the RCS system.
    They should have sent a poet.

  4. #4
    I use them a lot. I always assign:

    3 to the solar panels
    4 to the communication devices
    5 to toggle the docking port
    6 to shutdown the main engine
    9 to the escape tower procedure
    0 to cut of the escape tower once I'm in orbit

  5. #5
    E unum pluribus. Vanamonde's Avatar
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    It's also the only way to control more than one engine type separately, such as shutting off jets while leaving the rocket engines running on a spaceplane.

  6. #6
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    Alright - so how do you set them up?
    My first account was splashed in the Great Coffee Spill of 2013.

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  7. #7
    E unum pluribus. Vanamonde's Avatar
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    In the VAB, you are by default working under the blue button at the top of the screen labeled "parts." Click on the other one labeled "action groups," then select one of the numerical tabs on panel that appears on the left. Click on some parts you want to control with that number key, and up will come some part-specific options such as toggle on/off or deploy.

  8. #8
    For big vessels built in space, intended to hold LOTS of fuel and with a drive stage, I use action groups to undock multiple ports at once. Just like staging, but unfortunately with no kick to get the detached part off. I should throw in some sepratrons I guess. When I'm playing with Kethane, I keep a group for deploying drills, toggling the converter, and unleashing my massive, throbbing solar panels.

    I guess it's nice for toggling stuff like ladders when you have a bunch (tough to click the little bays) but lights and landing gear already come with hotkeys.

    I would love action groups to enable/disable fuel tanks themselves. Sometimes I want to carry a big fuel tank into orbit but only need a really small amount of fuel left in it for orbital adjustments/docking. So I let it drain into the lower stages to make my payload lighter. But since I have to disable Oxidizer and LiquidFuel with a mouse click each, I'll end up with some unusable fuel (which I also can't dump). I'm sure I could also think of ways to quickly redirect fuel flow through external fuel lines using action groups.

  9. #9
    Professional Lithobraker CalculusWarrior's Avatar
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    Action groups are handy for deploying solar panels IMO, though that might just be because I'm too lazy to click on each panel separately. Though I do find them very useful for launch escape systems, et cetera...

  10. #10
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    Thanks, y'all; you've definitely answered all my questions here. My big issue was figuring out if I could use action groups to activate/deactivate docking ports; sounds like that's a big "yes".
    My first account was splashed in the Great Coffee Spill of 2013.

    (0.23) Kosmokerbal Commendation (Mün), Advanced Pilot Precision Award 1stClass

    In space, no one can hear you pass gas...

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