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Posts posted by automcdonough

  1. I have a request, can we get a 2.5m version of the mainframe computer? it can be thicker or just not hold as much science. Or it can be the same part with tapered end adapters slapped on... I just want it to look better going in-line with the science lab and other 2.5m stuff.

    thanks :)

    also z not sure if you caught me earlier. I think the antimatter tanks need updated since you've raised the bar so much recently! ;)

  2. yes the plutonium is a difficult fuel to get.

    From the wiki:

    238Pu, 90Sr

    Plutonium-238 has the lowest shielding requirements and longest half-life; its power output is 0.54 kilowatts per kilogram. Only three candidate isotopes meet the last criterion (not all are listed above) and need less than 25 mm of lead shielding to block the radiation. 238Pu (the best of these three) needs less than 2.5 mm, and in many cases no shielding is needed in a 238Pu RTG, as the casing itself is adequate. 238Pu has become the most widely used fuel for RTGs, in the form of plutonium(IV) oxide (PuO2). 238Pu has a half-life of 87.7 years, reasonable power density, and exceptionally low gamma and neutron radiation levels.

    Strontium-90 also requires little shielding, as it decays by β emission, with negligible γ emission. While its half life of 28.8 years is much shorter than that of 238Pu, it also has a much lower decay energy. Thus its power density is only 0.46 kilowatts per kilogram. Because the energy output is lower it reaches lower temperatures than 238Pu, which results in lower RTG efficiency. 90Sr is a high yield waste product of nuclear fission and is available in large quantities at a low price.[11]

    So the 2nd place fuel, Strontium has a shorter half life (which is still very useful to us, not being stuck in space), and it's a cheap common waste byproduct.

    RTG's powered by Strontium COULD be really common and there are probably a lot of applications where it would be handy. HOWEVER.. and RTG is terribly inefficient from a size, weight, and cost perspective. It's only selling points are that it produces usable pwer for a few decades and that it's extremely reliable with no moving parts.

    For things like remote communications, warning lights, etc.. it's great. laptop? forget it.

    One that produces 40W of juice weighs 20kg (44lbs) and 525W of waste heat.

    The one on Voyager makes 300W could swing running a computer. You'll have 4,400W of heat cooking off. That's like 4 space heaters. And it weighs 58kg (127lbs).

    While it's entirely possible that since dissipating heat in an atmosphere is much easier than space should equate to a cheaper and smaller unit, don't expect anything drastic.

    Much like in the game, solar and batteries make more sense for most situations.

  3. I see. I can to make it. I like moving things and it can to used as model for small\tiny sized version instead just rescale. Something simple. But I need to finish with engines(thermal\plasma\jet) at first before to take something else.

    I like this idea. The smaller ones can tuck away or fold flat for convenience.. the supersized one likely won't be doing any landings so better to keep it solid and more functional. :)

  4. Cool. :)

    The diverting engines are fun.. for a good time turn them 90º to the side when mounting.


    I'm sure the inside of that pod has a nice coating of green now!

    The normal rockomax doesn't quit fit without turning off clipping. I do feel that it's balanced better.

    for kicks i tried putting a jet on the bottom and an intake on top of the pod. it was air deprived. I'm not sure which module/point isn't transferring all the resources. If I put an aerospike on the bottom it worked fine.. and deploying the legs didn't bump it off! bonus.

    So how about that ladder? ;)

  5. I like the thought of being able to slap any stock engine I want on there, but they are not powerful enough to replace what you have.

    If you are interested in balancing this well with the stock parts, then in my opinion this thing is a little bit too powerful (1.8TWR). It's like there's a LVT engine hiding in there.. it's like having 6 or 8 of the rockomax radials. And it does look like 8 jets soo I guess so. But none of the comparative engines are getting 390 ISP. 320 or 300 would be a more appropriate ISP considering how compact and powerful they are. The weight doesn't seem too far off but I would expect it to weigh another ton or so as well.

    just my $0.02. :)


    actually it looks like the fuel tank i was comparing it to is practically the same size. volume wise this does not computer with all the extra bits you have in there and RCS fuel. It should carry less fuel, something more realistic. Maybe 70% as much? this will reduce weight, and thrust requirements.

    I realize anyone can tweak the cfg with notepad. I just would like to see this jive with the other parts well and not be "cheaty". what do you think?

  6. Just tried this last night, very cool mod. I didn't get anything into orbit yet, ended up making a "science truck" to cook up some science and AM.. and yes it's very slow! need to get off the surface. Still just feeling out the mechanics of how all these new parts work. My plan is to use KAS to fuel up the ship on on the pad from the truck before launch. Hopefully that works, I should test it. But yes I also could not figure out the data transfer thing. Do you need to select a target ship or something? Looks promising though, can't wait to try the warp drive.

    The science module looks amazing. More glowy light-up bits please. :)

    Cool mod, keep up the good work. :)

  7. I posted some numbers on my fuel usage if you look back to the first few pages. It really varies quite a bit and your craft design will be a huge influence on it. so, hard to say! My particular craft could have done with less fuel on board though. I never used the last 15% or so and it was almost too heavy to get off the ground when full.

  8. why use the wheels and lights? they don't benefit the craft at all for bumping you out of the stock+kethane class for the challenge.

    Also teh aviation lights are a bit heavier than they should be. considering the parameters for this challenge you should consider streamlining anything that causes extra weight or drag. and RTG has a decent amount of weight to it compared to solar, why use it?

  9. You inspired me to see what CMGs were capable of in aircraft. This thing was ridiculous. I could do a 360 spin about any axis, including yaw, in less than 2 seconds, and recover instantly. You can do anything with it over about 150m AGL and have room to recover. You can do most manoeuvres within 50m, but it can get a bit sketchy. The gyros tend to cushion the impact well too, so only a small few of the crashes have been fatal.


    funny thing, i had just considered something like this for SSTO because my craft tends to lose control when atmosphere thins out and control surfaces don't do enough anymore.

  10. Oh yeah that last pic next to the flag, that's the start flag. All in one piece!

    Funny thing though, when reloading trying the SSTO thing, the wheels kept starting stuck in the ground. had to re-load a few extra times.. but once it was free from the ground and moving all is good.

    It was a challenge, good flight practice. Fun in some ways but also time consuming.. I ended up watching coilgun vids on youtube for the second half of it. :P

    I do have a traditional lifter with 12k d/v, built with the purpose of doing a manned Eve mission. Now I have 4 flags instead of one and it turned into a rescue mission....

  11. DL3hnwo.png

    Update on my trip:

    My 4th stop ended up being on what I named "Gregmund Island". Because I'll be damned if one more thing gets named after Jeb. And my pilot for this trip is Gregmund.


    It's not so bad when you get close..





    some time later....





    Now as for the SSTO idea.. I've tried twice so far. both times I get to about 32k and it just starts tumbling. I have to learn to kick the rockets on before the kethane jets stall. I don't have high hopes for it though. I'll try it again tomorrow.. but this might have been a one way trip for Gregmund! D:

    I think he figured that out too. Naming the island after him didn't seem to cheer him up much at all.

    Land maps available here:

    I just added the points in photoshop.