Jump to content

Docking Port "Hard Dock" Mode mod


almagnus1
 Share

Recommended Posts

One of the bigger problems I've had in the past with .90 deals with docking ports on really large ships, as the masses involve rip docking ports off of large ships faster than a fairing turns into confetti in 1.0.x.

So I had a thought with the docking ports on the larger ship system:

Why not have two docking ports that have a mode called "hard dock" that change the node type from "docking port" to structural nodes?

The idea is to give docked ships more stability by having the docking ports link together so we don't have space ships that are floppy, uncontrollable messes, preferably through either an action or by having an engineer EVA and enable the hard dock.

Soo... anyone have any pointers on how to get started with this type of mod?

Or is anyone up for a challenge and want to implement this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm somewhat interested in this proposal as well - the hypothetical approach would be for a plugin that allows a Kerbal on EVA to approach a pair of docking ports, and after selecting the appropriate right-click GUI menu option, strip the ModuleDockingNode entry from both dock port in the savegame's vessel definition, thereby resulting in a "permanent" connection.

I should, however, point out that "Hard Dock" isn't the appropriate term here. "Soft Dock" is when both docking ports make first make physical contact with each other, while "Hard Dock" is when both docking ports are properly secured and air seals closed (in both cases the associated vessel can still undock).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm somewhat interested in this proposal as well - the hypothetical approach would be for a plugin that allows a Kerbal on EVA to approach a pair of docking ports, and after selecting the appropriate right-click GUI menu option, strip the ModuleDockingNode entry from both dock port in the savegame's vessel definition, thereby resulting in a "permanent" connection.

I should, however, point out that "Hard Dock" isn't the appropriate term here. "Soft Dock" is when both docking ports make first make physical contact with each other, while "Hard Dock" is when both docking ports are properly secured and air seals closed (in both cases the associated vessel can still undock).

Permanent dock perhaps?

The better question is if this should be a one way change, or should there be a way to undo this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Permanent dock perhaps?

Fusing docking ports might be a better way to describe the idea

The better question is if this should be a one way change, or should there be a way to undo this?

If the fusing is meant to be permanent (e.g. assembling a truss or an interplanetary transfer vehicle), then it would be a simple matter of identifying the correct of docking ports to strip ModuleDockingNode from.

If, however, the fusing has to be reversible, then this begs the question as to why fusing is required in the first place:

- If one simply wants "less wobble" for their space station, strategies for better station design should be employed instead (e.g. parallel docking station segments, keeping branches as short and lightweight as possible)

- If one wants a means of preventing accidental undockings, then I'll note that unless one has mapped all docking port functions to action groups, it's actually not trivial to "accidentally" undock something, especially given that the process involves right-clicking and selecting Undock (which is much more involved compared to, say, accidentally hitting the spacebar for staging)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the bigger problems I've had in the past with .90 deals with docking ports on really large ships, as the masses involve rip docking ports off of large ships faster than a fairing turns into confetti in 1.0.x.

So I had a thought with the docking ports on the larger ship system:

Why not have two docking ports that have a mode called "hard dock" that change the node type from "docking port" to structural nodes?

The idea is to give docked ships more stability by having the docking ports link together so we don't have space ships that are floppy, uncontrollable messes, preferably through either an action or by having an engineer EVA and enable the hard dock.

Soo... anyone have any pointers on how to get started with this type of mod?

Or is anyone up for a challenge and want to implement this?

I disagree with this being a mod idea! this (idea) should be in the stock game! (imo at least)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fusing docking ports might be a better way to describe the idea

I like that.

If the fusing is meant to be permanent (e.g. assembling a truss or an interplanetary transfer vehicle), then it would be a simple matter of identifying the correct of docking ports to strip ModuleDockingNode from.

If, however, the fusing has to be reversible, then this begs the question as to why fusing is required in the first place:

- If one simply wants "less wobble" for their space station, strategies for better station design should be employed instead (e.g. parallel docking station segments, keeping branches as short and lightweight as possible)

- If one wants a means of preventing accidental undockings, then I'll note that unless one has mapped all docking port functions to action groups, it's actually not trivial to "accidentally" undock something, especially given that the process involves right-clicking and selecting Undock (which is much more involved compared to, say, accidentally hitting the spacebar for staging)

I'm thinking more along the lines of either fixing a bad design without scrapping the entire project, or building craft modularly and upgrading/adding pieces as you get more tech from the tree. It would be about the same as a retrofit that craft get from time to time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I'm thinking about this....

I'm somewhat interested in this proposal as well - the hypothetical approach would be for a plugin that allows a Kerbal on EVA to approach a pair of docking ports, and after selecting the appropriate right-click GUI menu option, strip the ModuleDockingNode entry from both dock port in the savegame's vessel definition, thereby resulting in a "permanent" connection.

Is there a code sample (preferably one I can debug against) that I can look at to start poking at this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or cal it a locking system, if it is reversible. Upon actual "hard dock" perhaps they lock together automatically. I just want the joint stronger. For a "fusing" option, perhaps 3 new parts, 1.25, 2.5, and 3.75 meter "construction linkage" parts. They can be VERY thin/unobtrusive, and ideally would snap precisely angle wise (rotate them within X degrees upon "docking" them, and they turn to align exactly with whatever the reference is on the 2d part (functionally you might dock, then q/e the smaller craft until within 1-2 degrees and they lock).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or cal it a locking system, if it is reversible. Upon actual "hard dock" perhaps they lock together automatically. I just want the joint stronger. For a "fusing" option, perhaps 3 new parts, 1.25, 2.5, and 3.75 meter "construction linkage" parts. They can be VERY thin/unobtrusive, and ideally would snap precisely angle wise (rotate them within X degrees upon "docking" them, and they turn to align exactly with whatever the reference is on the 2d part (functionally you might dock, then q/e the smaller craft until within 1-2 degrees and they lock).

I can get you the next best thing. Near Future Construction has something called a Grip-O-Tron. Its a docking port thinner than the standard COT Sr. but made of the superdense matter that exists in planetary cores. Evidently it must be minable in trace quantities somewhere near the surface. It weighs 5 times more and takes up half the length. The other drawback is it cannot crossfeed (no idea if it is passable in CLS). You have to manually transfer fuel across it, so don't try and dock fuel tanks where you need auto-feeding (or use KAS fuel pipes to move fuel across them).

EDIT: The reason this works is because mass is a factor in determining the strength or part connections. Significantly increasing the mass brings the connection strength more in line with the heavy fuel tanks that are usually being joined.

Edited by Captain Sierra
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can get you the next best thing. Near Future Construction has something called a Grip-O-Tron. Its a docking port thinner than the standard COT Sr. but made of the superdense matter that exists in planetary cores. Evidently it must be minable in trace quantities somewhere near the surface. It weighs 5 times more and takes up half the length. The other drawback is it cannot crossfeed (no idea if it is passable in CLS). You have to manually transfer fuel across it, so don't try and dock fuel tanks where you need auto-feeding (or use KAS fuel pipes to move fuel across them).

EDIT: The reason this works is because mass is a factor in determining the strength or part connections. Significantly increasing the mass brings the connection strength more in line with the heavy fuel tanks that are usually being joined.

How well does this work on docking ports greater than 3m in diameter?

Going off of that reasoning, it may be better to have something that pulls part of the structure towards the other side, and after it completely pulls it through one of the docking ports, it removes it. Repeat until a "weld" has occurred, and the docking ports have been deleted.

That completely bypasses the handwaving needed for the superdense docking ports, which IMO, is kinda lame.

So the psuedo code would look something like:


if((docking port node has other docking port) && (both docking ports are connecting to things))
{
foreach docking port:
{
pull one end of the stack through the docking port
adjust stack so that the docking port is no longer there
remove docking port once it's no longer
}
}

Edited by almagnus1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The way I currently solve this is by applying KAS struts via EVA to strut-attachment points.

Kerbal Attachment System is a great way of making "wobbly" docking ports into solid connections. KAS includes loads of parts, and on one of my installs I simply removed everything except for the fuel transfer hose and the modular struct connectors. Those two sets of parts make lots of things possible, including doing exactly what the OP wants. Include a couple of strut connectors near your docking ports so you can EVA and strut them up after docking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going off of that reasoning, it may be better to have something that pulls part of the structure towards the other side, and after it completely pulls it through one of the docking ports, it removes it. Repeat until a "weld" has occurred, and the docking ports have been deleted.

That completely bypasses the handwaving needed for the superdense docking ports, which IMO, is kinda lame.

This was something I discussed with Sumghai in his blog:

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/entries/3451-Truss-segments-and-parts-for-FusTek-Ideas-and-Musings#comments

I do wish that something like this could be implemented.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kerbal Attachment System is a great way of making "wobbly" docking ports into solid connections. KAS includes loads of parts, and on one of my installs I simply removed everything except for the fuel transfer hose and the modular struct connectors. Those two sets of parts make lots of things possible, including doing exactly what the OP wants. Include a couple of strut connectors near your docking ports so you can EVA and strut them up after docking.
Don't quantum struts exist for this purpose? I don't regularly build anything huge but they seem to work pretty damn well for everything I've done so far.

The problem doesn't lie with 1m or 2m parts, it's when you start going 3m and beyond.

For example, go build a USI FTT Phase 2 ship, then go find docking ports for that ship. These are the giant strut vehicles, btw, not the EVA/VTOL ships. Go find another mod which can give you docking ports for that size of a ship. The problem comes with the masses involved, as the docking ports are so fragile that you can rip the ship apart by SAS torque alone. I can look into KAS again, but AFAIK, it didn't help solve the problem. I imagine QuantumStruts (which is a great mod IMO) also falls into this category, as I really like quantum struts for keeping things stationary inside of an SSTO cargo bay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...