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Everything posted by Snark

  1. Your mission: Build a glider that flies as stably, uniformly, and efficiently as possible with no control input. (Note: Requires installing a small utility mod to calculate "score" in flight, see below. But it's a "safe" mod with no footprint on your craft or save files, so you can uninstall as soon as you don't need it.) The rules: Your craft must include a Mk1 Cockpit. This rule is mainly to encourage a uniform payload so that the designs have a similar "starting place". If you come up with something amazing that doesn't have a Mk1 Cockpit, feel free to post it for our entertainment! It can still be eligible for the "most interesting" category, see below. Stock parts only. No mods that affect gameplay (e.g. physics). Mods that don't affect gameplay (e.g. informational, or visual F/X) are fine. No, I haven't set up a separate category for FAR. If there's a lot of demand for it, I could do so, I suppose. Put your craft into atmospheric flight on Kerbin at "reasonably low" altitude (under 2000 meters). If you come up with something awesome that only works at high altitudes, feel free to submit. Could be a candidate for the "most interesting" category. It must have no engine power at all-- a purely passive glider. I don't care at all how your glider gets aloft, or whether it stages away equipment before gliding, or anything like that. For example, it's fine if you build an airplane whose "nonessential for gliding" equipment (such as landing gear, engines, etc.) get staged away before you begin your glide. It's fine if it has engines on it, as long as they're not operating during the glide. (The scoring mod will yell at you if you have nonzero throttle, though, so that should help to keep you honest.) It must be capable of landing safely without damage after gliding. Water landing is fine, though, as long as you can do it without breaking up. So this is pretty easy even if you've jettisoned your landing gear or something. By "can land safely" I mean after you take control. But if your glider will actually land safely while uncontrolled during its glide (especially on land), please mention that! Nice bragging rights. Score will be measured when your craft is in uniform, stable flight without any control input (either from you, or from an autopilot like MechJeb). There are separate scoring categories for SAS on or off, detailed below. No "exploits", please. The purpose of this challenge is to be an exercise in engineering optimization, not "find a clever loophole in the rules." (For example, the scoring mod, GliderStats, is pretty basic and I wouldn't be surprised if you could outsmart it by finding some edge case it doesn't account for. Please don't do that.) How it's scored I've written a very simple little mod, GliderStats. It's low-footprint and has no effect on either your save game or your craft files, so it's safe to install for this challenge and then uninstall when you're done with it. What the mod does is to display some stats about your glider flight in a little display next to the navball: Those two numbers (ratio and descent) are what you get scored on. There are separate scoring categories for "highest glide ratio" and "lowest rate of descent". Note: the mod works by evaluating flight parameters over a 10-second sliding window of time. The goal here is for you to report numbers after you have achieved a stable uniform glide. This is important, because a glider can easily "porpoise" (a.k.a. phugoid oscillations), i.e. dive and accelerate, then pitch up while slowing down. Obviously, if you have a glider that's moving artificially fast-- either because it just dived, or because you used engines to boost it up to high speed before shutting down-- then you could have a "glide ratio" that approaches infinity. This contest is not about that, so don't do it. The scoring mod tracks how "stable" you are, by looking at the percentage variation in your speed over the last 10 seconds. If it's over 1% variation, it includes a warning to that effect in the displayed message. So get that "stabilization percentage" down under 1% if possible before reporting your score. Note: the mod is designed to "reward" stability. When it reports the glide ratio and the rate of descent, it deliberately reports the worst value from the last 10 seconds (i.e. lowest glide ratio, highest rate of descent). So it's to your advantage to be as stable and uniform as possible, because if you're oscillating, your score will be from the wrong end of the oscillation. Submission guidelines Please include a screenshot of your glider in flight, with the navball display so we can see what the mod's reporting. Also, please share your .craft file somewhere public (e.g. dropbox, Google Drive, KerbalX, whatever) so people can download and try it out. Scoring categories I'll maintain separate leaderboards for the following: Separate categories for "highest glide ratio" and "lowest rate of descent". Separate categories for "free" versus "controlled" glide. "Free" means absolutely no control input whatsoever, meaning hands-off the keyboard and SAS is turned off. "Controlled" allows that, e.g. if you've got SAS turned on. "Free" is more challenging than "controlled", which is why it's a separate category. The mod's status display indicates which mode you're in. Plus one completely subjective "most interesting" category that's based on my arbitrary judgment of what's cool. Feel free to submit a glider that breaks any or all of the above rules; if it's especially fun or interesting IMO, it's eligible for this category. Leader boards Highest glide ratio, controlled glide: (awaiting first entry) Lowest rate of descent, controlled glide: (awaiting first entry) Highest glide ratio, free glide: @AeroGav, 17.230 Lowest rate of descent, free glide: @AeroGav, 2.123 m/s Fun/interesting designs: (This category's not "ranked", it's just in chronological order of submission): (awaiting first entry)
  2. Ask the Mods questions about the Forums!

    The fact that you can't see me is intentional, yes. But that has nothing do with special moderator powers; anyone can do that. When you log on to the forum, there's a little "Log on anonymously" checkbox. It's unchecked, by default. If you check it, then nobody can see that you're online: your "last logged on" time won't update, nobody can see what you're currently doing, etc. I like to leave it checked because as far as I'm concerned, it's nobody's business but mine whether I'm online or not, or what I'm doing. (Well, okay, it's the other moderators' business, to a certain extent; but we have a separate chat channel for that.)
  3. Ask the Mods questions about the Forums!

    No, in technical terms we can do anything a regular user can. (I'm fairly well known as a modder, for example. If they had said to me "you'll have to stop modding" when they asked me if I'd like to be a moderator, I would have said "no thank you." Not gonna give that up!) Becoming a moderator just gives us extra powers: we can ban users, hand out infraction points, move / edit / remove other people's posts, approve posts from the queue, etc. That said: although there's no technical limit preventing us from doing whatever a regular user does, we do feel morally constrained. "With great power comes great responsibility," and all that. We're very mindful that our "superpowers" put us in a perceived position of privilege, and we really don't want to create the impression that we're throwing our weight around. So we have to be careful. For example, one cannot both moderate a thread and participate in it, because that creates a conflict of interest. It would be really unfair for me to be arguing with you, if I'm also editing what you say. So we're careful not to do that. For example, I can (and do!) argue in threads here all the time, since I have been known (ahem) to have opinons. But I'm scrupulously careful to make it clear, in such cases, that I'm just speaking as a forum user rather than as a moderator. And if there's a thread where I've been active as a participant, and then something pops up there that does need moderating... I recuse myself from taking moderator action there, and let another team member handle it.
  4. Ask the Mods questions about the Forums!

    Nope. Nor do most of us have any affiliation with Squad, other than having been given special powers in the forums. We're basically just regular forum users like you. (Exceptions: Our fearless leader @Badie works for Squad, which is why she has an orange "SQUAD staff" under her name. Also @technicalfool is staff. But the rest of us, who just have the plain green "Moderator" under their names, are mere mortals like yourself.) We only do this because we're masochists volunteers who enjoy helping people.
  5. Yeah, I'm not gonna put that up on the leaderboard. This goes back to, This would be one of those edge cases. It's pretty easy to get an insanely high "glide ratio" if you're just skimming the top edge of the atmosphere, where there's practically no drag and you're getting all your "lift" from the fact that you're going at orbital speeds and therefore effectively don't weigh anything. Thanks for sharing, though! Yep. There are really two challenges, here: building something efficient, and building something stable. The "SAS on" category is to open the door to people who want to focus on the former without having to worry too much about the latter.
  6. Hm. Could be, thanks for the bug report. It's not an area I test a lot, because I very rarely take tourist contracts-- and when I do, it's generally in a special-purpose-built craft for that one tourist mission, which means I'm manually assigning them anyway. Also, I haven't really touched the code here in a very long time, and KSP has been through a few updates since then. I should probably go back and give this some love, when I have some time to do it. For example, the way I handle targeted professions is just wrong, now. When I first wrote BCA, everything was done by class ("are you a scientist?" "are you an engineer?"), whereas since then, KSP skills have been refactored to be mostly about abilities ("what can you do?") rather than identity ("what class are you?") For example, for the science instruments that need special skill to reset, such as the goo pod, I shouldn't be asking "are you a scientist?"-- instead, I should be asking "do you have the ability to reset science instruments?" Plus I believe there have been some enhancements / tweaks to the editor events available in the stock game, which could probably also improve my handling there. So, yeah, I believe you that there very well may be a bug there, and I should revisit BCA anyway. I'll put it on my to-do list. Not sure how long it'll take me to get to it, though, since it's a pretty big job (BCA has a lot of complexity under the hood) and I'm fairly busy IRL so it'll have to wait until I have a decent chunk of time available that's not already earmarked for other things. Anyway, thank you for letting me know!
  7. What it does It makes better automatic default choices for crew assignments (e.g. "labs need scientists" or "drills need engineers"). It remembers your assignments, so that the next time you launch that ship, it will try to do the same thing. (No more discovering, *after* you're in orbit, that your gosh-darn rescue ship filled up all the slots and you've got nowhere to put the stranded kerbal!) You can customize the default behavior with ModuleManager config. NOTE: This mod is not compatible with Kerbal Construction Time. Download from SpaceDock License: CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 Source code How to install Unzip into your GameData folder, same as any mod. How to use Just play KSP! The mod is deliberately minimalistic. It adds no UI, it doesn't require any special actions to use. It just silently makes the crew-assignment experience better. The only thing that affects you at all is: if you go into the "crew" tab of the editor and change crew assignments, then your choices won't be persisted unless you hit the "save" button before launching the ship. That's it, that's all there is to know. Cool things it does by default Makes sure there's a pilot on board, if you don't have any SAS-capable probe cores. Staffs science labs with scientists. If you have any non-rerunnable science experiments on board, makes sure there's at least one scientist. If you have any parts that need an engineer (ISRU, drills), makes sure there's at least one engineer. Repairable parts (parachutes, landing legs, wheels) also have an engineer requirement (if there's an available engineer of sufficient level). Tries to pick the highest-level crewmembers available. (Except for pilots; if you have an SAS-capable probe core and your pilots are all lower-level than the core, it picks the *lowest* pilot available.) Tries to fill all command pods; doesn't try to fill passenger cabins. If you do manual assignments in the crew tab and then save the ship, it remembers your choices the next time you load the ship. Empty slots will be left empty. It will try to assign specific kerbals by name (e.g. "Jeb goes in slot 0 of this command pod"), and if that crewmember is unavailable, will try to assign another kerbal of the same profession (e.g. "I want Jeb, but he's on a mission already, so I'll use this pilot here.") How it decides The mod works with two types of assignments: default choices, and player choices. Default choices Default choices are controlled by ModuleManager config in a file that comes with the mod (see "How to customize", below). There are two flavors of default choices, *assignments* and *requirements*. Assignments are default choices for crew slots in specific crewable modules. The default config that comes with the mod assigns scientists to science labs, and all crewmembers to command pods. The default config deliberately leaves passenger cabins empty, though you can tweak this by adding your own config if you like. Requirements are added to parts that are not themselves crewable, but which need a particular type of kerbal to operate them. If your vessel has any parts that specify requirements, then the mod will try to ensure that at least one of the specified kerbal type is present in the crew. The default config that comes with the mod adds a "scientist" requirement to all non-rerunnable science experiments (Mystery Goo, Science Jr.), and an "engineer" requirement to ISRU units and ore drills. Player choices When you load a new ship, or add a new part, then everything is controlled by the default behavior and assignments will be updated dynamically as you switch stuff around on your ship. It can do this because you haven't *observed* the assignments and it's therefore free to shuffle assignments around without invalidating any of your choices. However, the moment you switch to the "crew" tab in the editor and see what the assignments are, it then nails all the assignments in place. (It's a Heisenbergian sort of thing.) Basically, what it's doing is assuming that the moment you *see* the assignments, they become your conscious choices rather than something the program assigned. Once you see the assignments (and make any changes of your own), those get persisted to the ship, and will be saved when you hit the "save" button. Such specific choices are assumed to be for a specific kerbal, or for a kerbal of that profession if the kerbal isn't available. How to customize Since all crew assignments/requirements are controlled by ModuleManager config, you can add your own .cfg file to change the behavior to whatever you like. If you'd like to customize the behavior, the following references may be helpful: BetterCrewAssignment.cfg: This is the ModuleManager config that is installed with the mod. It includes detailed comments explaining how it works, so that you can write your own config. ModuleManager documentation: You can find helpful information here and here. A word of thanks Many thanks to @sarbian for a small but vital bit of advice that unblocked the completion of this mod. Thanks to @HebaruSan for the feature suggestion of adding engineer requirements to repairable parts.
  8. Avoiding the technobabble, what it boils down to is that when the numbers get big enough, the software basically runs out of decimal places to stay sufficiently precise, and then Weird Stuff happens. But that's only when the numbers get *really* big. I haven't tried it myself, but I bet you could have a KSP orbit that's many, many thousands of years.
  9. How to Fly Shuttle

    Also, the design really matters. KSP hands you some very convenient space-shuttle-lookalike parts (the Mk3 components, the BigS delta and tail fin, the Vector engines) which makes it very simple to quickly slap together a vehicle that looks just like the space shuttle. Except that if you use those parts in the most obvious-seeming way, there's an excellent chance you'll end up building a thing whose CoM is way in the back, which means as soon as it's empty of fuel, it will be completely aerodynamically unstable and will be virtually unflyable on reentry. So attention to ship design is important, too. Basically, it boils down to this: There are a lot of different ways you could have trouble flying a shuttle. Some of those could be design problems, others could be piloting problems. We can't really give good advice unless we know just what problem you're having. So... could you describe that for us? When you try to fly a shuttle, what is going wrong? For example "It keeps flipping when it's climbing to space", or "I run out of fuel before I can get to orbit", or "it keeps flipping around when I'm reentering", or "I keep crashing and exploding when I try to land", or some other thing. A screenshot of the problem would also be helpful.
  10. A few things. One is, tinker with the settings on the legs. In the VAB, you can adjust two settings: the spring strength and the damper strength. If you just slide the damper strength so that it's significantly higher than the spring strength, you won't bounce as much, because it absorbs energy on impact. For a really low-gravity world like Minmus, you can probably make do with a pretty low spring strength, because there's not much weight to hold up after it settles down. Also, Minmus gravity is so low that I find it's easy to just use reaction wheels to right myself if I do end up tipping over. If you have a really tall / skinny / top-heavy craft, either add some reaction wheels or redesign so that it's squatter (wider-spaced legs on the ground, CoM not so high). And finally... if you do tip over, a lot of the time you can recover with help from the engine, particularly if it's a gimbaled one. Let's say you've fallen and you can't get up. You're lying on a slope of some sort. Even if you can't actually stand your vehicle up, you can probably use reaction wheels to muscle it around so that its nose is pointing straight uphill. Do that, then hit the throttle while holding down the "pitch up" button. You'll loft off the ground pretty quick, and the engine gimbal will rotate you pretty fast even if you have weak reaction wheels. Once you get a few meters of clearance, then you can go through the landing process again and hopefully have some better luck this time.
  11. Absolutely possible to get well over 500 years. Orbital period goes up with the 1.5 power of the semimajor axis, so it blows up in a hurry as you start getting far from Kerbin. For example, a circular orbit of period 500 Kerbin years would have about 63 times the orbital radius of Kerbin, i.e. about 850G meters. That's not all that much; heck, there are mods with solar systems that have planets farther out than that. For example, IIRC, I believe Galileo's Planet Pack has a dwarf start that orbits the sun out at a distance of 1200G meters or so. So yeah, it's possible to have periods much, much longer than that. As for "what's the actual limit": that's a tricky one. There's no actual "edge" to the kerbal universe-- the sun's gravity (and SoI) go on forever. There's no hard boundary. However, if you add enough zeroes onto the distance from the sun, eventually the program starts getting flaky / buggy because of floating-point errors.
  12. I expect there probably is. Pretty sure I've seen mods in the past that added wind, so this seems like it ought to be doable. Heck, some attention to detail could actually make it somewhat realistic (e.g. thermals happen only at the right time of day, have an intensity tied to solar radiation, are more likely to happen in certain spots such as the sunward slopes of mountains, etc.). Like any mod, though, it would be a chunk of work. Sounds like a great mod idea ... but the mod author of that would not be me, since I wouldn't really use it myself. (My modding is very selfishly motivated: I write mods because I want them for my own gameplay and nobody else appears to have written them already.) Given my limited free time, therefore, I don't see it likely that I'd get around to modding something like that any time soon. It really does sound like a neat idea, though. Perhaps post it over in Add-on Discussions, as a "hey, does anyone know of a mod that does this, or is anyone interested in making" kind of thing?
  13. What it does When the current craft is in unpowered atmospheric flight during descent, tracks certain statistics and displays them next to the navball. Tracked statistics are: glide ratio, descent speed Download from github License: MIT Source code Status messages The status messages are displayed as follows: No message: The craft isn't in atmospheric flight. "Throttle > 0": The engine throttle is on (so you're not "gliding"). "Not descending": The craft is ascending, therefore it's not in a stable glider mode. "Gliding (nn%)...": The craft has only recently started gliding, so the mod is still gathering statistics and can't show values yet. The percentage climbs to 100% and then this message is replaced by one of the ones below. The statistics interval defaults to 10 seconds, but is configurable, see below. "Gliding (controlled): <stats>": SAS is turned on, and/or the player is providing control input. "Gliding (free): <stats>": The craft is in completely free, uncontrolled mode, with no control inputs. See below for how the stats are displayed. Displayed statistics: Typical statistics messages look like one of the following: stabilizing (±n.nn%), ratio n.nnn, descent n.nnn m/s ratio n.nnn, descent n.nnn m/s What this means: "ratio": This is the craft's glide ratio, defined as forward speed divided by downward speed. "descent speed": How fast the craft is losing altitude, measured in m/s. The statistics are tracked over a sliding time window of 10 seconds (you can change that via configuration, see below). The reported numbers are the worst value found during the last 10 seconds (i.e. the lowest glide ratio, and the highest descent speed). If the craft has been gliding for less than 10 seconds, then the status message doesn't show the stats yet. "What's with this 'stabilizing' thing?" Ideally, the craft would be in completely stable, uniform flight in order to get accurate measurements. That can be tricky-- a lot of the time when gliding, the craft will "porpoise" for a while, oscillating between diving steeply and accelerating, then pitching up and slowing down. This is known as a phugoid oscillation. It can take a while for those oscillations to die down. Until they do, it's hard to get accurate measurements. The "stabilizing" display shows you how close you are to a stable glide. It's a percentage, representing the difference between max and min speed over the last 10 seconds. When this number approaches zero, it means you're in perfectly uniform flight and the displayed stats will be accurate. By default, when your speed has varied by more than 1% over the last 10 seconds, it shows the "stabilizing" display. When the delta drops below 1%, it drops the display. Note that 1% is just the default-- it's configurable, see below. How to install Unzip the contents of "GameData" to your GameData folder, same as with most mods. Configuration options After running KSP with this mod installed for the first time, there will be a file PluginData/GliderStats/config.xml located in the mod's installation folder, like this: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <config> <double name="SamplingWindowSeconds">10</double> <double name="StabilizationThreshold">0.01</double> <bool name="AllowTrim">1</bool> <bool name="AllowControlInput">1</bool> </config> You can edit the file to change GliderStats' behavior. Changes will take effect the next time KSP starts. The following options are available: SamplingWindowSeconds: The length of the "window" over which the mod gathers statistics. Making this longer will give more accurate results, but you'll have to wait longer to get them. StabilizationThreshold: The percentage difference between max/min speed during the window, above which the "stabilization" warning is displayed (see above). Defaults to 0.01, meaning 1%. AllowTrim: Boolean, 1 or 0. Defaults to 1 (on). When set to 0, the mod treats having any trim at all as disqualifying the craft from being in a "gliding" state. AllowControlInput: Boolean, 1 or 0. Defaults to 1 (on). When set to 0, the mod treats having any control input (either SAS, or manual player input) as disqualifying the craft from being in a "gliding" state. Take the challenge My motivation for writing this mod was that I had an idea for a challenge, and needed a good way to report scores. So, if you like building gliders, check it out!
  14. Hmmm, was thinking about how badges might work with this challenge. One idea would be to have certain "achievements" (quite aside from the leaderboard), which you get a badge for if you pull them off. Some ideas for such an achievement: Make a stable glider. "Stable" is defined as "uncontrolled, can glide until the scoring mod shows it as stable", i.e. less than 1% variation in speed over 10 seconds. Must have a glide ratio of better than, say, 4. (Need to specify a minimum glide ratio; otherwise a capsule on a parachute would qualify.) Level 1: with SAS on. Level 2: with SAS off. Make a glider that safely lands itself on land, while uncontrolled during its glide. Level 1: with SAS on. Level 2: no SAS. (This one sounds hard, though I haven't tried it yet. Perhaps best to wait until someone's actually done it before taking the trouble to make a badge.) Any other ideas? What do folks think?
  15. Well, all I can say is that I just started playing with some gliders this week (I'm generally not an airplane guy), and my first three attempts all are fine on roll stability when in completely free mode, so apparently it is possible. Not that I'm calling you a noob or anything, maybe I just have beginner's luck! The planes I speak of are the one pictured in the screenshot in the OP, and also a couple of biplanes I experimented with. And in any case, even if you struggle with roll stability, there's always the "controlled" scoring category, where you can just leave SAS turned on. Okay, I admit, I hadda go look that one up. (The term sounded to me like some sort of medical condition. "I'm sorry, ma'am, I'm afraid your husband has phugoid oscillations.") New vocabulary word for me, thanks! I've added it to the OP. Gliders do that too, but a stable one (such as the ones pictured above) will damp out the oscillations in a little while. That's why it's a challenge.
  16. Hadn't planned on it, mainly because I've never had anything to do with badges. (And am generally totally unaware of them anyway, since I leave everyone's sigs hidden to conserve screen real estate.) Plus I have no artistic talent. If someone else wants to design a badge, though, I have no problem with the idea. Mainly would be a matter of deciding what the badge criteria are, I suppose. How do people usually do the badge thing? You get one just for participating? Or for doing better than some arbitrary score level? Or what? I'm open to suggestions.
  17. 90° Eastern orbit?

    Yes, but one really has to know what one's doing to pull off something like that; it takes some experience. To someone who's brand-new to KSP and hasn't learned all the ropes yet, like the OP here, it's probably best left for later.
  18. [1.3.0] Andromeda Visuals: Daydream [0.3.5]

    Hello @Matchlight, Unfortunately, we've had to remove your download links again. Not only did you restore your links without fixing all the violations listed in my earlier note to you, but you've bundled additional mods since, adding new violations in the process. Specifically: You still don't identify your license in the OP of this thread. You still don't include a license file in your download. You are bundling multiple mods, with a licensing violation on most of them. Here are examples of licensing violations on the bundled mods: Distant Object Enhancement: You're not allowed to bundle this mod. It's licensed CC-BY, which is not compatible with your LGPL license. (That's because CC-BY prohibits you from adding additional legal restrictions, which LGPL does since it's copyleft.) KerbalVisualEnhancements: You're not including its license file. Also, you need to indicate its version and provide a link to the original. Scatterer: You're not allowed to bundle this mod. It's licensed GPLv3, which is not compatible with your LGPL license. TextureReplacer: You're not including its license file. Also, you need to indicate its version and provide a link to the original. Please do not restore your download links until and unless you have addressed all licensing violations. Until then, this thread is locked. @Matchlight, please let us know when you have fixed all licensing problems. The easiest way to do that is to report this post of mine, with an explanatory note. After you've fixed the problems, we can unlock your thread and you can restore your links. Thank you for your understanding.
  19. 90° Eastern orbit?

    Remember that the target orbit isn't attached to the planet. When the planet rotates, the orbit doesn't. So, the Kerbal "base" (i.e. KSC) isn't under the orbit now... but it will be in another hour or two. Thus the instructions above: all you have to do is wait a little while until the planet rotates to the point where you are directly under the orbit. Then you're all set. Yes, it would be. Massive overkill, when all you have to do is sit on the launchpad for a little while until the planet rotates you to where you want to me.
  20. 90° Eastern orbit?

    Hello, and welcome to the forums! Can you specify what you mean by "90 degree Eastern orbit"? I have no idea what you mean by that. In general, it's not too hard to get to a polar orbit, it just takes a bit more dV than equatorial because you don't pick up that free ~170 m/s from Kerbin's rotation. The main thing is, if you're aiming for a particular polar orbit, it matters when you launch (unlike an equatorial orbit, where you can launch any old time you like). Here's how to do it: Launch your rocket to the pad, but don't take off yet. Timewarp until KSC (and therefore your rocket) is directly under the target orbit. You'll have to wait 3 hours at most (half a Kerbin rotation). Easy way to do this: Switch to map view. Double-click on Kerbin, so that the map view is centered on Kerbin itself rather than your ship. Zoom out until you can see the target orbit. Now rotate the camera until you're looking at the orbit directly "edge-on" so that it appears on your screen as a straight line passing through Kerbin's center, rather than as an ellipse. Once you've done that, leave the camera in that position and time-warp until your ship is sitting right smack-dab on that line. There, it's time to launch. When that happens, take off, but instead of making your initial gravity turn to the east as you usually do, you do it to the north or the south (which one will depend on which direction the orbit is traveling over your head as you launch). Ideally you want to aim just a smidgeon westwards of due north or due south, like five degrees or so, in order to cancel out Kerbin's rotation. But you don't have to nail it exactly-- the worst case scenario if you don't quite get it correct is that you'll end up in an orbit that's not quite perfectly polar, and then just have to spend a little bit of dV to correct it once you're in orbit. After that it's pretty much the same as matching an equatorial orbit.
  21. Can't get rover to work

    Oh, it's CoM? Interesting. I made a unicycle, way back when, and it worked just fine with no problems at all, and I was making no attempts to try to keep the wheel off the CoM. (In fact, I was trying to get it as close to directly under the CoM as possible, so that the reaction wheel wouldn't have to work overtime: Admittedly, it wasn't using the wheel to steer, just to provide motive power (all steering was via the reaction wheel). (more pictures here) Also, that was quite a few KSP versions ago, dunno if the functionality may have changed since then.
  22. Can't get rover to work

    Out of curiosity, what happens if you mount a small probe core (or a small docking port) on the front of it, and do "control from here"-- i.e. so it's looking forward instead of up-- and then try?
  23. Yep. I suppose in a tutorial section that talks about wing incidence, it should probably include a little disclaimer that "this can make your planes look a little odd sometimes, but basically you have to choose which is more important to you: looking pretty or flying well". I think it's important to call that out specifically, because it does a service to the reader. Not everyone has the same priorities. Some people really care about looking clean and beautiful, and would be willing to pay a performance hit to achieve that-- others don't give a wet slap about looks and just want to get the biggest payload fraction or highest speed possible. By explicitly calling out "here's what the tradeoff is", it lets the reader choose for themselves what's important to them.