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king of nowhere

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Posts posted by king of nowhere

  1. i am about to launch a satellite to moho, and i suppose it will need some cooling, but i have no idea how much. I'd rely on my tried-and-true strategy of using debug console to transfer the whole craft in moho orbit, see if it works properly, before reloading the game and launching it for real. well, i did just that, and i accelerated time, but i got no heating problems. without any radiators. which i have a hard time believing.

    so, is it true that i can send a satellite around moho without any need for radiators? or is there some reason why the test did not work properly? how can i estimate how many radiators i may need without testing by random?

  2. i don't like to go too big, i try to stay reasonably efficient (600 tons of payload? what for? i never needed to launch more than 30). on a big fuel tank, i attach an engine to the fuel tank with a decoupler. i reach orbit, attach to the station, decouple the engine. of course i need a first stage too. and if the fuel in the tank is too much, i remove some of it. i leave just enough to reach orbit. i refuel from my refineries on the moons. i launched a 60-ton tank (well, a ship made of multiple tanks) with perhaps 30k :funds:of funds

  3. 1 hour ago, Streetwind said:

    As for your issues with filtering out old craft - don't use "relay". The game will automatically use that for probes that have a relay-type antenna on them. Instead, if you don't want to use "debris" for whatever reason, use something that pretty much never comes up. Like "base" or "rover" or "plane" or "lander" - there will typically be at least one of those you really don't ever need for anything else. Even surface bases can be tagged "station" in a pinch.

    but i did use something that pretty much never comes up. and that something is "relay" :D

    debris, i generally explode whenever i have the opportunity. i used lander for the sky crane, and anyway the game will call some stuff a lander authomatically too. i don't use planes, but i may.

    relays? even if i were to actually make a dedicated relay satellite, it would just have to park in its orbit doing nothing. hence it would not create conflict.

    they should add the "inactive" category. or better yet, give you the option of creating your own categories. maybe it will be possible when they release ksp 2

  4. the good old times when i would launch one mission at a time, and do nothing else until it was done. i wouldn't even use the tracking station back then. but as missions gre longer, i started to launch more of them at the same time. and things escalated pretty fast...

    now i have 14 active missions that are being pursued by some dedicated craft. 12 unmanned probes, 5 manned ships, 3 manned space stations, 2 moon bases with a third along the way, and a handful or rovers and service ships that i'm not counting because they are currently docked to something else. a total of 11 ships are scheduled to have a manuever at some point in the future, and more are simply waiting for something more long term.

    and it's becoming increasingly difficult to deal with all this.

    to deal with the crowding, i started by renaming every probe that finished its missions as a relay. this way, i can deactivate the relays and only see active missions. still plenty of those, though. and there's the added complication that sometimes, upon undocking, the game authomatically classifies some ship as a relay. I almost missed one, which i only found back because it was on a short-term mission that i remembered about.

    I started an excel spreadsheet where i detail stuff. for every mission that i'm not going to make in one session, i write down the important details. deactivated probes are written down, along with fuel left and science equipment: i packed enough extra fuel that i may be able to recycle them some day (i already discovered one that i could squeeze some more science out of).

    I make sure to have every active mission with a planned manuever. even if the manuever is 0 meters, simply a planned node to remind me that i should go check on that mission later.

    and then i have to sort the manuevers, see which craft is the next one where i have to perform something. this would be rather trivial if i could sort my missions in order of planned next manuever, but if such an option exhist, i did not find it. so i have to look the big list on the tracking station to see which one is scheduled first. Hoping i don't have two critical manuevers planned at the same time. when i do, hoping that one of the two can be delayed or anticipated a bit.

    and in all this, a single distraction, a single forgetting to set up a node before moving to another ship, or not noticing that the game has automatically renamed one of my ships as a relay, could cause me to miss a mission. lost. forgotten. buried in red tape.

    I don't expect there to be some holy grail to fix this mess, but i'd like to hear your strategies to cope with too many missions to track

  5. 22 hours ago, coop2168 said:

    If you want, do Sandbox so you can get your feet wet and get used to the mechanics of KSP, do career once you are used to the game. 

    i actually suggest the opposite, starting with career before going sandbox.

    the reason is that too much choice is daunting when you don't know already what you want. to a master painter, a blank slate is ready to be filled with whatever masterwork he can conceive. to a novice, a blank slate is just that: blank, empty, meaningless. he'd much rather have some shapes already drawn that he has to color or add detail, because that gives him a clear objective.

    i started with career because i wanted to start with few, simple pieces and gradually expand as i mastered the game.

  6. 1 hour ago, Spricigo said:


    I know I will sound condencendenting but:

    I understand that is how you perceive the whole situation, but it is not, by any means, a problem with the navball. It is just a matter of technique that you didn't developed yet


    not only you sound condescending,  you sound like one of those old geezers that are all like "we didn't have all those fancy stuff in our days, and we managed just fine". (no offence intended)

    sure. of course you can dock a ship with just the navball, and perhaps some eyeballing. just like you can light a fire with just a flint. and you can even do it quickly and reliably enough, once you're practiced. it doesn't mean that there aren't better ways.

    I can do a docking just fine with the tools i have. i get most of them on the first try, if at least one of the crafts involved has decent manueverability (btw, you also sound like you've seriously underestimated me). that does not mean that i can't look for better ways to do it. i would never want a mod to do it, but wishing for a first person camera to better gauge the alignment and distance in the final few meters is not cheating.

  7. 6 hours ago, Spricigo said:

    No, it wouldn't. The navball is always oriented the same way your controls are, no matter what odd viewpoint you need to look at the docking port alignment/separation. It's just that you are a new player  not used to the navball yet, you still look at the movement of your ship when you should be looking to the navball, you see the target "above" and you when you try to move "up" it goes "sideways" because the camera lies to you.


    i do use the navsphere and i routinely perform complex docking. i don't use the rcs system, so when i have my prograde indicator straight on target, i know i am on the right track. i may need to stop a few meters earlier to realign, but that's all. the navsphere is good for that kind of movements. accelerating when pointing prograde moves me towards the target. accelerating retrograde slows me down. and i can fix directions with the attitude.

    but when i try to use the rcs and the thrusters are moving me sideways, the navsphere does not help. i accelerate at a 90 degrees angle, now my attitude remains the same and my speed moves somewhat to the side. how much? how fast am i moving to the side, and how fast am i moving forward? i don't know! oh, i could still get those information out of the navsphere with some trigonometry, but as far as deciding which way to go, it's worthless.

    say i am docking at a large space station, so i don't want to turn the whole station, and i am off center to the docking port. or perhaps i got a mission to grab a floating piece of junk with the claw, and i need to align it perfectly. i would want to move a couple meters to the right, then realign to the port, and then complete the docking. that's the kind of manuever i would hope the rcs could help me with. but it fails, because i can't judge the whole "push a couple meters to the right, then push back to stop". not in a useful time to actually act on it. by the time i figured out how to stop, i am more off-center than before. with an astronaut's jetpack instead i can do it easily, because i can see where they are going. when manuevering a ship, the ship itself blocks my view.

    getting to within 5 meters of the target is easy, once you get the hang of the navsphere. but those last 5 meters would be judged more easily by eye. and you don't need to be buzz aldrin to be able to point to something that is literally at arm's lenght by eyeballing it

  8. driving rovers on a low gravity world always has a risk of capsizing. so all my rovers are built with a mechanism to put them straight again.

    my first rover was a small one for exploration and it had two mechanical hinges that could push it off the ground (it still ended up running around 800 kilometers on mun to chase objectives, though).

    my second rover was made to transfer fuel between a fuel production facility and various shuttles that could land nearby. it needed to carry lots of fuel, so it was much bigger, so the small hinges would not work anymore. the largest hinges are very heavy, so i figured, since this is a fuel tank anyway, it would be easier to just strap a terrier engine on one side, to provide enough angolar momentum to turn it over. Nice! however, being big, landing it was a serious problem. it got stuck in the landing gear of the sky crane, lots of problems involved.

    i was studying an updated version for minmus. for start i transferred all the science equipment on top of it, so i don't have to use two rovers. science equipment is light anyway. then i was studying ways to land. i simulated a landing with the sky crane, it was doable but hard. the normal coupling point did not work, and the alternative coupling point caused it to wobble too much.

    then i realized: i already have a rocket on one side, powerful enough to lift the thing in mun's gravity. I may as well strap a rocket on the other side to balance the push, and just land the rover on its own power.

    now, since i have a rover that is a big fuel tank with small rockets, i can also use it for the cruise; i only need a rocket to boost it into orbit.


    And so it was, that i accidentally designed a rocket car :cool:

    earlier today, if somebody had suggested i built a spaceship capable of interplanetary travel that can then land and move around with wheels, and even take off again if the world is low gravity, i would have laughed and told them it was a ridiculous idea.

    i put in a command module because, while the rover can work remotely, i wanted it to be able to carry around a scientist, since it also works as science rover. i decided to pick a cupola module to give the astronaut a good view outside. then i angled it down a bit to have a better view of the ground. now the rover can also be piloted nicely with in-cockpit view. it feels good to be able to drive a rover with a first-person perspective

  9. even with the error for gravity, though, the difference between the calculated 5600 m/s and the VAB nominal 666 is way too big. using the correct value the answer should be around 3000 m/s. which, by rule of thumb, is what i would expect from such a setup anyway. two thirds of this rocket is fuel, it ought to be much more than 5600 m/s.

    so, there is still some problem here. probably with the rocket, maybe there is no fuel transfer somewhere or something like that.


    by the way, here i see another mention of delta-V maps. So far I just started to dabble in outer planets exploration, and i don't really know how much fuel i need to get to the other planets (my solution is just to pack a lot of deltaV in the transfer stage). it would be useful. where do i find such maps?

  10. On 6/13/2020 at 8:58 AM, Fraston said:

    Have you tried docking mode with regular RCS? It works like a charm, since you aren’t doing much orienting, just moving on a 3D plane.

    i just tried the docking mode, but can't seem to get the trick.

    the problem is that i still need to do some orienting to fix the proper orientation, especially when grabbing something with the claw. and docking mode does not, that i can find out, let me fix my orientation. and it seems to create problems there if i try to switch back to normal mode to change orientation and back again.

    also, it's exceedingly difficult to estimate the orientation of your craft and the subsequent direction of your push. the navsphere only helps so much. a first person perspective would actually be more helpful, but it would force me to send pilots when a simple automated probe can do the job for a fraction of the cost.

    in the end i did a lot of swinging around fruitlessly, until i decided to get back to the old way i know, and i docked more easily

  11. sometimes an automated probe stops working properly. i assumed it was for some sort of signal loss, as it generally happens in mun orbit in places where signal loss would make sense, but this time i cannot explain it in any way


    i am in low kerbal orbit, i have level 3 tracking station, i have plenty fo electricity, a HECS probodobodyne. not to mention a couple dozens satellite around the kerbin system, each one carrying a good antenna. i checked the antenna and commnet entries on the wiki, and according to everything written there i should have perfect communication. i do have perfect communication according to all indicators in game.

    and yet i cannot control. i cannot control my attitude on the navsphere, and i cannot throttle my engine. both things happen when i have partial communication with the probe, but this is clearly not the case here. (and, as you can see, it's happening at the very worst time).

    so, why am i losing control, and what can be done to avoid it?

  12. one option is that the core may be reading upside down. when you are on the launchpad, look at the navsphere. does it show you pointed towards the sky? or does it show the ground or the horizon? in the latter case it's the core being upside down, so the rocket tries to orient itself backwards. if you right click on the core you have an option to change orientation

  13. it's easy to get a rendez-vous with an astronaut wearing a jetpack, it's much harder to do it with a ship. the jetpack has superior manueverability because i can immediately push in every direction. i don't need to turn the whole ship if i want to decelerate.

    which got me thinking; actually, there's no reason i shouldn't have rockets on my front and sides too. so i experimented making a craft with small propulsors all around, for manuevering.

    it didn't work. it has great potential, the problem is that i can't command it just like a jetpack. the game won't make a distinction for all the various engines, won't recognize a key as an order to move right or back. it will just keep trying to change attitude. so i have to manually start and stop each engine individually by right-clicking on the stage section. this makes the process so slow and unwieldy that everything that could be gained is lost on difficulty. the several seconds needed to manually shut down an engine and start another lose all the accuracy that could be gained. in the end i found it easier to just turn around the whole ship

    however, this method would work if i could command it properly.

    is there any way to make it work?

  14. well, i feel i have to give an update on this.

    i sent the transfer rover on Mun. i made it as big as i could while still fitting on the sky crane, so big, in fact, that it could not get away from it until the crane took flight again, and even then it got stuck between the landing struts. but with careful take off and a few tries i was able to get the thing unstuck while still at a low enough height that it would survive crashing on the ground.

    then i went to orbit and grabbed the mining complex. it was a lot of weight and it strained the sky crane, but the anti-wobbling mechanism i devised (four hinges closing in on the cargo to block it) worked perfectly. the sky crane brought down with ease a cargo much heavier than itself, and i'm proud of it. not so proud to not realize that 90% of the people here are veterans who have done much more complex things and will not be impressed, though.

    anyway, space offers so many ways to unexpectedly screw you up: when i activated the freshly landed mining complex, it capsized: https://imgur.com/a/60gvOQB

    (and since i forgot to save before it, i was also forced to land again. landing the sky crane would be easy even with heavy load, but landing it close to the previously-deployed rover, in an heavily cratered area, with minimal fuel, was not)

    after several minutes of pure desperation, i tried to stabilize the mining complex by coupling the rover to it. i wasn't expecting it to work, because the rover is much lighter than the complex, but apparently it was enough of a difference. or maybe it was the lever https://imgur.com/a/zt4p5Ke

    anyway, the drilling complex now works. it has no problems with energy even though it's barely twilight; not sure if battery power will last all the night, but not important.

    only downside, i will need to remember to turn off the thing every time i want to use the rover



  15. yay! i find a way to fix it!


    turns out the rover i was planning to use to transfer fuel from the facility to landed crafts is also good as counterweight. when i made the middle wheels very large to prevent capsizing, i'd never have imagined that it would also avoid capsizing a whole factory.

    i didn't have much faith in this attempt because the rover is much lighter than the factory, but in desperation i tried it, and it looks like the lever and wide base make the difference.

    1 hour ago, Spricigo said:

    I wouldn't bother to try to try to keep it upright. I'd just design mk2 to be way more wider, it makes everything so much simpler.

    yes, everything would be much simpler if the thing was wider. everything, except launching it on a rocket. also landing, the sky crane that i use to lower cargo on mun is a docking bay with four rockets at the sides, it has a limit to how large it can take stuff. as it is, the complex was already at the limit, if i made a brusque manuever during the landing the thing would wobble a bit and some part of the factory would end up on the path of a rocket exhaust, getting destroied.

    still, my original plan called for decoupling the upper and lower part of the factory (you may notice the decoupling ring) and connecting them through one horizontal strut. I already sent the land crane on a previous trip that would move the pieces, but it turned out it's not powerful enough to lift that module. also, the clamp-o-trons need to be at the same exact height to couple properly, and I can clearly see they aren't lined up well enough. also, half of them are mounted in the wrong direction and are therefore nonfunctional.

    yes, i realized i needed to test everything on a mission on a separate save after i had to scrap an expensive mission because on an inverted clamp-o-tron. back when i launched that isru complex my testing procedure was less rigorous; i had the thing already flying and i had to find a way to make it work or scrap yet another expensive piece of machinery (not to mention send a rescue mission for the engineer)

  16. After long trials, i finally managed to bring my mining complex on the ground, and i was ready to start operation.

    I didn0t expect any trouble, i even posted a screenshot of the complex here asking if it was of sound desing.

    too bad when i activagted the drill, instead of sinking into the ground it capsized the whole thing


    what the hell?

    assuming I cannot mine with the actual thing, is there a way, reloading a save from before activating it, to add something to salvage the mission?


  17. 10 minutes ago, micha said:

    Struts should auto-break on decoupling.  Use the little solid-rocket engines to push your boosters away.

    they do? i always attach struts to decouplers. the first and only time i did not insert the decouplers, the rocket exploded, so i figured it was necessary...

    then again, it's far from the only time my rocket exploded, so in retrospect it did not prove anything....

    well, great! more savings.

  18. 38 minutes ago, Linkageless said:

    As far as I know, there is still no stock way of having decouplers or these manifolds providing two connections to the rest of the vessel, we are limited to one.  I believe this is a architectural limitation.



    all this time i tried to fix the wobble problem by adding more and more decouplers. and i noticed that occasionally it didn't work, but i assumed it to be an occasional failure.

    now i learn that i've been throwing money down the drain all this time??? i just removed all the extra decouplers and saved 10% of the cost on the rocket i was trying to launch

    i use struts to reinforce, but i'd rather not rely on them too much because they increase the chances of the various boosters not separating correctly and exploding/hitting the mothership after detachment.

  19. i have made a rocket, and i used the hydraulic detachment manifold to fix the boosters, because i needed more strenght. and since i didn't want them to wobble, i put two of them per booster instead of one.

    but the boosters still wobble. i investigated the problem, and i discovered that the lower hdf was not connected to the booster.


    here is a detail of the rocket, in green the hdf properly coupled, in red the one who is not. tested on the launchpad, detaching the lower hdf has no effect, while detaching the higher one alone causes the booster to separate.

    i noticed this now, but i'm sure it happened other times, with other decouplers.

    no amount of fiddling solved the problem. i could not figure a way to properly attach the hdf and the booster.

    any advice?

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