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damerell

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    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer

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  1. Oh, I know - I'm just wondering how fast I can get a boat to go with modded parts (which are no more magic than stock solar / rotors ;-)
  2. Could one of you rotor-powered types estimate the thrust to mass ratio of your craft? I'm trying to work out if my nuclear thermal jet idea is at all feasible.
  3. Out of interest I uninstalled FAR for a bit and got a heavily modified Laytheboat with an improvised hydrofoil and nuclear thermal jets up to 100 m/s. Briefly. I may leave this one to you. :-)
  4. Precise positioning is easy in a node-node world. I'm not sure "fit first then resize" in newer KSP versions is on the brink, even if it is mildly annoying.
  5. I sit corrected. My apologies. I'll try and reproduce this myself when I get home.
  6. There's no way to resize it if the bug can be reproduced with no other mods installed, which would be necessary to confirm it is in KF itself. KSP has no DRM. You can just copy installs around. The correct Player.log is the one in the directory where the minimal install is located.
  7. This doesn't work for three reasons, one annoying, one serious, and one apparently impossible to overcome. Firstly AFAIK all the ground tethers on a vehicle turn on or off together. This is normally what you wanted but is no help here. That can be worked around by using Hangar Ground Hangars, whose anchors operate individually. Furthermore the minimum DockRotate incremental rotation is 1 degree, with the port trying to turn at at least 1 deg/sec. With a 500m beam, this means the other end is moving in roughly 9m increments and - if torque can overcome gravity - getting slapped into the ground at 9 m/s. This could perhaps be worked around by a very flexible beam and the feet having landing legs to cushion the resulting impact. The fundamental problem is that even under Gilly's gravity, to lift one "foot" into the air by applying torque at the other end of a very long beam needs a very large amount of torque and what happens in practice is the port gets twisted clean off the foot. Bigger heavier ports attached to bigger heavier parts just means you have bigger heavier feet. One idea is for the foot/beam joint to rotate freely and for the rearward foot to propel itself upwards with some kind of piston fast enough that it will pass over the foot that's anchored to the ground, then use reaction wheels to control the descent speed so it doesn't just smack into the ground at the same speed. Another idea is to make the whole thing much smaller and try to operate it faster to get an acceptable ground speed. A third idea is to have the feet have wheels and to have the vehicle move by anchoring the front foot then contracting like a caterpillar, then anchor the rear foot and stretch out again.
  8. In what version of KSP, with what mods? (And yes, a logfile would be more use, but I'm still at the "can we have any facts at all" stage...)
  9. On the stream you asked what people liked in existing life support mods. I answered a bit in chat but it got a bit confused. TACLS - too much detail for detail's sake. There's no point having kerbals need Food, Water, and Oxygen when you can just pack the same duration's supply of all three - the resources might as well be called "Sn", "ac", and "ks". If they actually had some distinct functionality that might be a different matter. TACLS also just has too-low numbers; a kerbal needs roughly 0.4kg supply per Kerbin day, so (unless I have made some hilarious arithmetic error) this means a Mk I Command Pod and kerbal needs the pod's weight again in supplies for a five (kerbal) year mission. This is not a hard requirement to satisfy so TACLS becomes another annoying thing to forget but not a serious issue that needs planning. USILS I use now. I appreciate the way it's simple for short missions and complex for long ones - with other LS mods if a month's mission wants a 10kg tank of supplies, a ten-month mission wants a 100kg tank of supplies and you're just doing the same thing with bigger numbers. Partly this is because of the range of recycler and agroponics options (albeit most of them do come down to saying, well, this recycler weighs X kg and saves Y g consumption every day so it breaks even in this much time) but mostly because of the habitation mechanic which, while it can be gamed very easily, if you don't game it does really add a new mechanic to worry about. USILS does have the arguable downside that it pulls you into the orbit of the rest of the USI mod constellation, but apart from the enormous horde of WOLF parts cluttering up the VAB, I can live with that. (Yeah, I know, the Janitor's Closet...)
  10. I did it with downward facing LFO engines (in a realistic view of ElectricCharge world, which is how I try to play, ion thrusters would not amount to a gnat's fart, even on Gilly) - but this only worked with a kOS script to control them to apply a tiny amount of thrust when on the ground but increased thrust when off it to bring me back into contact with the ground in a sensible fashion. I do think if I had designed a Gilly-specific rover I could more or less have just had Minmus-ish gravity all the way around, but it would have needed more work in kOS. I fear part of the problem is that in fact the safe way around Gilly - the way I would do it if killing or stranding kerbonauts would be unacceptable but I was required to stay near the ground - is to crawl around it at about 2 m/s.
  11. Now I've sorted out my KIS/KAS issues I have an idea for a rover propelled by having a kerbal (with suit RCS) repeatedly plant ground pylons ahead of the rover which would then use a KAS winch to pull itself up to the pylon, which I think would more or less keep it on or near the surface... but it would take circa one thousand pylon-plantings given the maximum winch extension is about 80m. Oh! Or, much more feasibly, two parts with USI Ground Tethers connected by an extremely long beam they can DockRotate. One end tethers itself, the other end untethers, the whole thing majestically rotates the untethered end until it hits the ground again.
  12. Planning to do it all in one go makes kerbals not at all expendable (and two of my kerbals are survivors of my earlier missions). I started with 3 complete pilot/scientist/engineer/engineer crews; I need six kerbals on the Hangarmoth or the QA to control probes directly in a RemoteTech world (ie without waiting out the lightspeed lag from Kerbin) - if I lose one crew I can't do that if I have a crew on the surface, if I lose two crews I can't do that at all, and of course if I lose three crews that's game over. Another unwelcome discovery is that in the reset to start Moho afresh, the special vehicles for Laythe simply did not get launched. I'll have to start them up when I'm done with Duna and/or while parked up when dark. The rover delivery vehicle had quite a lot of LFO and MP left. It was the very devil of a job to get it close enough to attach to with a KAS arm (why did I not put a docking port on it?) and Hersel Kerman, the specialist EVA engineer, had used over half his suit endurance before the operation was completed - but it was worth it to pump that precious fuel out of it. (I also had to deal with an obscure mod incompatibility between KIS and USI Konstruction). The regular landing kOS script worked well enough with a few modifications to account for Duna having an atmosphere, but this was not one of my better landings. A Hangarmoth II should just have some side landing legs. However, in the low gravity no harm was done and retracting the landing gear set the Hangarmoth back down on its belly. The rover about to set off! Except I am about to discover if I run the arrays of Ore and MetallicOre drills on the Hangarmoth at the same time a single thermal control system can't even remotely keep up, so engineer Arald Kerman will recover two more from the large KIS containers on the Hangarmoth and fit them where he can find space; I don't have a shot of it yet, but the resulting configuration is, ah, less aesthetically pleasing. I landed further south than I hoped so I am driving about North-East until I hit the Equator. Duna being smaller than Eve, I plan to screenshot/flag every 15 degrees, and since I had to shutdown here, I'm declaring this close enough. The good news is that Duna is - so far - a pleasure to rove on; rolling dunes and light gravity mean the Mk VII can just be given its head.
  13. I spent a restful few hours sending some of the remaining scan satellites and rover deliveries on their way, then the Duna rover resupply came to say hello, popping its box hangar open to disgorge, well, a rover. Unsurprisingly, it is not so easy to use RCS added as an afterthought for on-ground attitude control (which is forbidden) to fly this rover into the cargo bay on the Hangarmoth in zero-G.
  14. This is not a request for modder action, just documenting an odd interaction and a fix for anyone else affected. If, in KSP 1.8-1.9, you cannot store anything in a KIS container, and you have the USI Konstruction mod installed, delete GameData/UmbraSpaceIndustries/Patches/EVAConstructionTweaks.cfg KIS used to prevent you storing any part with ModuleCargoPart in a container. This behaviour caused problems when 1.11 made a whole lot of parts have such a module. Ordinarily hence you wouldn't care in 1.9 - where the last compatible KIS version still does this - but that Konstruction patch adds a ModuleCargoPart to any part that doesn't have one, to make things work better with the stock inventory system in 1.11. Unfortunately it does it even in 1.9 and so then you can't store anything at all in a container.
  15. And I'm en route to Duna. I wonder what new difficulties it will pose? Incidentally, I got an Eve-Duna transfer window 10 days after docking up in Eve orbit. I wish I could say I planned that.
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