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18Watt

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  1. Yes, it did! And thank you for reminding me!
  2. I suspect rounding errors, or a similar phenomenon is happening. I find it helpful to keep in mind that for really small values, what is displayed is not necessarily what is actually occurring. On the other hand, at that point it's worth asking, "if KSP can't display current draws that low, is it actually dinging the battery at all?" Y'all are keeping a ~1,000 kg craft housing two Kerbals aloft for a nearly indefinite period! Fuselage drag notwithstanding, it still costs energy to generate lift, and counteract parasitic drag. When you reach the point where you can't tell if the battery is being depleted or not (and I think we're there...), I imagine it becomes difficult or impossible to make methodical improvements. How do you know if you're doing better than the last run? The current draw is basically zero for both runs, so which one is doing better? I really wish I could make some competitive entries, but I'm just not proficient at reducing drag. Plus, I do like to 'set the bar low' when starting challenges to encourage participation- but in this case the entries have wildly eclipsed what I could have come up with.
  3. I'll sleep better now! Seriously. You, and especially @OJT, have (up to now) achieved increasing gains by flying much lower than what I had expected would be 'ideal'. I can't help but think that things have to get better in thinner air. That hasn't been the case yet- until your last post..
  4. Jeepers. The image of the 100 EC battery pack looks like two D-cells in a holder. I realize y'all are pushing the limits (to say the least..). However, at this point, I don't see anything I'd consider a 'cheat' or 'exploit'. Near as I can tell, you and @OJT are just optimizing how KSP calculates thrust, drag, and EC usage. I believe you mentioned that some exploits have been eliminated from the game, like the 'infiniglide' thing. Would either of you describe what you're seeing as 'cheats' or 'excessive exploits'? By that I mean creating energy from basically nothing. Again, so far I'm not really seeing anything 'cheaty', you are simply optimizing your vessels to the physics rules of KSP. I do understand why some challenges limit optimization- it doesn't always reflect what is possible in real life. This challenge is not about that- The idea is if KSP will allow you to do something, how far can you take those limitations? However, I do want to avoid getting into 'infiniglide' territory. Again, so far I'm not seeing energy created out of nothing- just optimization. Let me know if y'all are seeing things that get into 'cheaty' territory though. As an Elcano veteran, even I would have to think hard before attempting to do a Kerbin circumnavigation at 60 m/s. Biggest concern: It's almost summer here where I live, I have stuff to do outside right now! I can do KSP for an hour or so, but for a 12-hour circumnavigation session I'd need to wait till winter.. Unfortunately I can't add you to the leaderboard until the flight occurs. Best I can do is make a note of what is theoretically possible.
  5. This is one thing I haven't seen @OJT do. Not that he hasn't done it, just hasn't specified it in his (excellent) summaries. Normally, I don't consider this to be a huge benefit, but you've seen the vessels I create- clunky at best. However, I do normally 'downsize' the motors to represent the max torque (or power) I'll ever need for a given vessel. Yes it's true, the weight savings are not earth-shattering. I do it more for a 'just because' mindset, I don't need that much available power, so I scale it back. For @OJT and @camacju, I suspect every gram of optimization is beneficial. Again, I have not tried this. Not sure how KSP reacts to a single prop blade. It seems absolutely un-practical. But, if either of you is seeing better performance with less blades, it might be worth at least testing. Actually, @OJT reported that he's using more than two blades per rotor. With GREAT success, I should add. But that was a funny photo. Just a guess, but I suspect that originated when an owner discovered unrepairable damage to a blade. Instead of buying a new prop, hey why not chop off the bad blade, add some lead, and see how it works? Boy howdy, you guys have taken this challenge way beyond what I originally envisioned. My hat is off to both of you! If I could only convince you guys to make an Elcano entry! Just kidding, it's a really time-consuming endeavor...
  6. That's a good idea- it's not easy to accurately fly a straight great circle route by just 'eyeballing' it. I noticed you guys generally are using two blades. When I try to see how fast a prop will go, I sometimes use 6 - 12 blades per rotor. Not efficient, but seems to allow more speed. Just curious if anyone has tried just one blade? Wouldn't make any sense in the real world, but I'm not sure how much KSP would model the vibration. One more question about blades: I generally tie the torque to the main throttle. I tie the blade angle to two keys, usually translate forward/back (H&N). However, I get clunky results when adjusting blade angle that way- sometimes I want to change 0.5 degrees, but often I end up with 2 or 3 degree changes. Curious what method you guys use to adjust blade angle. Heh, yeah I suspect @camacju may not have the patience for a run of that length. Nice run!!
  7. That was for a boat, for an Elcano run on Kerbin. So everything was happening at sea level.. I was using the Goliath (or maybe two or three of them?). Top speed was around 90 m/s, so transonic effects should not have come into play, especially at sea level. What I expected at a constant altitude (sea level) with decreasing temperature was increased thrust, accompanied by increased fuel flow and increased drag. As most of my drag was from the water (it was a boat), I did not expect much if any penalties on speed. I only expected higher thrust and fuel flow, and higher speed. Instead, what I got was slightly higher fuel flow, combined with a significantly slower speed. Edit: For boats in KSP, trim is a huge issue. Not aerodynamic trim, but rather fore-aft weight balance, and also managing any offset thrust- especially if using props which have to be mounted well above the water, and thus almost always above the COM. Anyway, near as I can tell the boat was 'trimmed' perfectly, so I'm discounting trim issues. Although they could have been a factor too, who knows? I don't think that's what's going on either, but the fact that I was farther north made me wonder if KSP's calculation of ground speed ('Surface') was thrown off by being at a higher latitude. I was basing my performance off of what KSP displayed as my 'Surface' speed. I did not verify my speed by independent calculation (great circle distance/time), so it's possible KSP was giving me a different speed value at high latitudes. I don't actually think this was the case, but it popped into my mind. By the way, the Goliath has an incredibly high ISP (as I'm sure you know). I was able to circumnavigate Kerbin by sea stopping only once for (ISRU) refueling. Had I traveled at a slower speed, I'm sure I could have done the circumnavigation without refueling. I promise, if you make an entry I'll add you to the leaderboard! While getting the top spot is pretty cool, this challenge is also about what YOU can do. I fly planes for a living. Pretty cool ones. One thing I've found to be true: No matter how fast you are, there is always somebody faster. My point is that you don't need to avoid participating just because you're not the fastest plane in the sky. Even if you're the slowest plane in the sky, it still beats driving!
  8. I’ve seen this as well, in one circumstance it actually gave me unexpected results. During a sea circumnavigation I had expected better performance from the jet engine with cooler temperatures (evening, and I was up north a ways). Instead, performance was reduced- lower speed from the same fuel flow. Which I can only attribute to increased drag from the denser air. Crikey!!! I normally just play stock, but if y’all found an autopilot mod that functions fairly well, I’m sold. Trying to decide wether to modify the distance measurement method (again). Originally the idea was just as far from the flag as you can get, but since I adjusted to make great circle distance measurements, I think it also makes sense to use multiple points. Especially since you only really made one major course adjustment at the tip of the peninsula. For now, let’s call the multi-point method provisionally valid. If I incorporate that into the rules, I’ll probably set a limit on the number of points.
  9. Still open! Straight off the bat, I gotta ask, how did you get the green and blue flat frame? That's neat! Or the Kerbals could try to steer using a mirror? Yeah, using the docking port was probably a good call.. I couldn't tell if you went south or north- I think everyone so far has gone south. I don't think it's any smoother to the north, but who knows? Adding ya to the board! Good to hear from you @swjr-swis!!
  10. Cheaty? Not sure. The point of this challenge is to see how far KSP will allow you to stretch 100EC. I think everyone would appreciate you specifying any physics quirks you take advantage of. But if stock KSP allows you to do it, this challenge does not prohibit it. However, I'm glad you commented that the 'infiniglide' thing doesn't function anymore, that's not what I was looking for.. Hah! I thought 100EC would be a limit that would make this challenge a short one to enter. Boy was I wrong!!
  11. I run the Elcano challenge. 4 hours is a drop in the bucket.. Awesome! I don't even use mods, but it does bother me that the common autopilot mods I've seen don't really manage all the inputs we need in a satisfactory way. As @camacju commented, PID controllers take a lot of dedication to get working well. Yeah, I believe you commented that during glide, just going to 2X warp caused the plane to pitch down. I've seen that too, and there's not a perfect way to compensate for it. Yet another thing that we hope will work better in KSP2. We're putting a lot of pressure on the KSP2 team. No, I didn't. And I'm not going to discourage it now. I personally play stock. For challenges like this, I like to specify 'Stock Parts' because otherwise it's pretty easy to come up with a modded engine that produces a lot of power with no actual EC drain. So stock parts to keep everybody on the same playing field. However, as I pilot, I recognize that maximum efficiency happens when the airplane is maintaining course and attitude to a high degree of accuracy. This is easy to see in KSP when hand-flying a plane badly. Altitude and heading excursions rapidly cut into efficiency. The computer is awful at making rapid maneuvers, but it can fly a straight line better than I can. Compensating for torque is a unique problem, the torque available in KSP rotors far exceeds anything I've seen in similar motors in the real world. It's such a wide range of possible torque values that I do understand making a PID controller to compensate for all possible values is difficult if not impossible. Anyway, for the purposes of this challenge, autopilot mods are specifically allowed. (I'll update the rules..) If you use such a mod, please make a note of which mod you used. In some cases, autopilot mods may require a non-stock part. That's ok, as long as the rest of the plane uses stock parts, and no physics are changes. The basic idea is: Theoretically, if you could react as fast as a computer, you could fly the non-autopilot plane just as well and get equal performance. At 800 km I think we've gone far beyond what would be possible in 2022 on planet Earth. But that's not the point of this challenge. The point is what can you do with the stock parts in KSP. (again, autopilots are fine..) Yes, as long as it doesn't alter the functionality of stock parts or alter physics- autopilots are fine.
  12. I'm actually a professional pilot (scary, I know!). My initial take on that was what happens to a propeller when it stops receiving torque from the engine (engine quits)- which is there is still torque. But now the torque is reversed, the propeller is driving the engine. That torque requires energy, which is coming from the airflow, and is also producing a large amount of drag. Which is why we 'feather' props if we can when we lose and engine, the drag reduction is very significant. However, it looks like you have stumbled onto something different, which produces positive torque in extreme edge situations. Well, that's pretty cool! I still don't really understand it, but it's late on a Saturday night.. Can't remember if it was you or @OJT that made this comment, but I think we're all hoping a lot of the rover-wheel and aero glitches are sorted out in KSP2. Honestly, I don't think the aero glitches will ever be fully eliminated. Aero is quite complicated, and to simulate aero a lot of compromises have to be made. Wheel-ground interactions are also complicated, but a lot of commercial video games have done a fantastic job simulating those interactions very well. Not just racing games, even games like GTA do a pretty good job of it. Really hoping KSP2 gets wheel simulations right, or at least much better than KSP1. I do not consider the optimizations you and OJT have found to be glitches at all. Instead, you have found ways to optimize the aero model of KSP. Not necessarily due to aero glitches, but rather due to what KSP allows you to fabricate. Most of your gains seem to be drag reductions. In real-life, those reductions would not be impossible, but rather extremely expensive and difficult to achieve. KSP allows some pretty extreme drag reductions, it's just a matter of finding them. The ability to 'find torque' is pretty interesting though! If you need an environment to really test that, I suggest Eve. I did an Elcano at Eve (OJT is rolling his eyes..) using electric props for propulsion. Whatever happens on Kerbin you can multiply by at least 5 on Eve, so if you think you've found a possible aero exploit Eve would be a good place to validate.
  13. I hate to look like an idiot, - No wait, that's not true! I have gotten used to it! I watched your video, but wasn't able to really grasp what the glitch was. If you can dumb it down, I'm curious what you found. Speaking of glitches, there used to be a glitch that was referred to as 'the infini-glide' glitch. I'm not sure if KSP ever fixed that one or not. I did not forbid that glitch for a few reasons, the biggest being I think that one disappeared at some point. The other reason was the players most likely to respond to aero-challenges don't need or use that glitch. You and @OJT are at the top of that list in my book right now. Anyway, curious if you're familiar with that glitch, and if it's still present? Anyway, I'm not sure what glitch you've discovered. I've seen several glitches relating to the robotics parts (including the rotors), but nothing I'd consider beneficial.
  14. Well, to be honest, you (and @camacju) went a lot farther than I did! Still, it's a way less time-consuming challenge than the Elcano. Plus, I hear the guy who runs the Elcano challenge is a real doofus!
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