Sign in to follow this  
BlueCanary

Do you feel cheaty using reaction wheels?

How do you use reaction wheels?  

225 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you use reaction wheels?

    • Anywhere they work- I don't find it cheaty
      154
    • Whenever there's not a better solution
      44
    • Only in things that might actually use a reaction wheel in real life
      19
    • Never - they're overpowered and overly unrealistic
      9


Recommended Posts

Do real life reaction wheels use the torque from spin up or the torque from stopping the wheel to maneuver? Both?

Both methods can be used. Basically you're using the momentum change of the reaction wheel to impart an equal momentum to the spacecraft. You can have a wheel that's nominally stationary, and just start/stop it to rotate the spacecraft, or you can have a wheel that's spinning and just change its speed. A static wheel driven by a stepper motor is good for a very precise aiming of e.g. a telescope, whereas a running wheel is simpler. In practice the speed of the wheel will gradually increase to compensate for things like gravity gradient torque, and this built-up rotation eventually has to be cancelled out using RCS or similar.

In KSP, I'll happily use them where they're sensible- spamming reaction wheels instead of building a more stable craft feels cheaty to me. But for basic control, or 'gyro stabilisation' on a rover they're fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate when I use the thing they added in the game intentionally!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the explanation FlyingPete that was always confusing to me.

- - - Updated - - -

I hate when I use the thing they added in the game intentionally!

So if MechJeb was added in as a stock feature, would you use it then if you don't already? Imo the reaction wheels should be nerfed big time to encourage better and more frequent use of rcs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the explanation FlyingPete that was always confusing to me.

- - - Updated - - -

So if MechJeb was added in as a stock feature, would you use it then if you don't already? Imo the reaction wheels should be nerfed big time to encourage better and more frequent use of rcs.

Yes. Absolutely. This game needs a delta-v helper and autopilot to help new and old players play the game. Reaction wheels are not OP, in fact they are balanced in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes. Absolutely. This game needs a delta-v helper and autopilot to help new and old players play the game. Reaction wheels are not OP, in fact they are balanced in my opinion.

No way with the amount of torque they put out they should be draining batteries like crazy. I would much rather see the current wheels go the way of the dodo.

Rcs jets and monoprop are nearly useless in the stock game because of these op reaction wheels. I'd like to see that no longer be the case like in RSS/RO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, I've been making a lot of rovers recently and I've found the best solution to the problems with KSP's rover wheels and the best way to right flip vehicles and keep them stable over jumps is to stick a few reaction wheels on.

Rovers are not supposed to be Formula 1 cars, you know. Imagine if Sojourner tried to an Evil Knievel over Olympus Mons; it's utterly ridiculous. Clearly many aspects of KSP do not imitate real life because that would make a lame game.

The only person who should care or influence how you play a single player sandbox game is yourself. If you think using patched conics is cheating, have at it! It is all a matter of opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where is the option for `yes but I also use RWsaturatable and persistentrotation to offset the unrealism`?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rovers are not supposed to be Formula 1 cars, you know. Imagine if Sojourner tried to an Evil Knievel over Olympus Mons; it's utterly ridiculous. Clearly many aspects of KSP do not imitate real life because that would make a lame game.

The only person who should care or influence how you play a single player sandbox game is yourself. If you think using patched conics is cheating, have at it! It is all a matter of opinion.

Yea, but with rovers you kinda HAVE to make sacrafices and cheat to make them practical. Why should it take me eight hours to go from a to b when I can slap on hacked wheels and these op reaction wheels and do it in an hour?

I'm actually in the midst of a major rover mission traveling to the poles of Eeloo. I regularly cruise at 125m/s across the surface and I can cover half the planet in a single sit down. It's nice just because of that.

That being said.. traveling at those speeds with a rover brings about completely new challenges to build a rover stable enough to withstand those speeds. And it takes really, REALLY good driving.

So that's the one case where if the current reaction wheels were to be nerfed ( and they should )id cfg hack them back the way they were.

Rovers again are my only exception where op/cheaty methods are warranted to make them REALLY fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Every autopilot feature uses rcs haphazardly. They burn jets 100% until the halfway point of a maneuver then burn 100% to stop at the target point. That's terrible.

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry at how deep your misconception is. And that you consider *that* terrible.

If that was how the autopilot uses RCS I'd be ecstatic.

Let me record a short video of how the KSP autopilot uses RCS, so that you might understand how far away from the ballpark you are. Really, at that point I'd like the autopilot to be able to only use reaction wheels and never ever touch RCS at all.

edit: Here we go.

Edit 2: Preemptively before someone suggests precise mode.

Edited by Sharpy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I didn't use it as an excuse. I used it as a reason. "It's a video game" is also my reasoning for liking time warp and patched conics. This is exactly the same thing: Something that makes the game better but less realistic.

I meant no offense. I've just seen it used as an excuse before, and it just rings hollow to me. :)

Per my first reply to this thread, I'm not completely against the gameplay concession.

Edited by klgraham1013

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the reaction wheels are a bit overpowered, and use 1 % MM patches also to make them suit me better. Even this could be considered cheating compared to RL ones, but it's a game. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use reaction wheels because I don't feel like sending yet another mission to rescue the Kerbal and my Science because I flipped the rover. I fly by Keyboard and so they help maintain stable flight, even though I try to build to the standard of hands-free, no SAS. And I use reaction wheels for things that would certainly be considered 'cheaty' because I don't mind a little unrealistic fun once in a while. If I wanted a hard-core space sim, I'd play Orbiter. I play KSP because I have fun launching little green men on piles of solid rocket boosters into space.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Sharpy - Wow, then the stock system is even worse then I imagined. Never really used it before, so.. But if I recall correctly the way I described is how MechJeb does it with SmartAss.

Either way all I know is my fingers can make a little monoprop go along way where as any means of autopilot cannot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not cheaty at all, using them to control attitude is exactly what they are intended for. They're a bit unrealistic (powerful and unsaturable), but that's different from cheaty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to defend the use of reaction wheels. They help me keep part count down (no RCS thrusters), though I usually use only what the command pods already give and bear with the long turning times (thank goodness for physics warp).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I put them on everything, including airplanes. They're awesome! We need more of em! Bigger ones too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know they are OP and try not to use them when flying planes. Helps conserving EC when you got RAPIERS only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The capsule comes with RCS fuel I wonder why RCS jets are not stock. Then the reaction wheels would be cheat, once they had reached full spin you can simply use the stock jets to bring them back to zero.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

since we got no advanced thrust vectoring, we can use reaction wheels for super-maneuverability

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that sas should have an option for finer control and can be cheaty at times, however for everyone saying we should get rid or severly nerf it I bite my thumb at you. If you don't like the use of a feature in ksp, don't use it. It's great that you want to play more realistic but there are people that are just starting out and without it they would rage quit after a few minutes and flame anything about ksp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the Kerbal Universe, with it's souposphere, OP ions and (formerly) hypercharged turbojet engines. So no, reaction wheels aren't cheaty to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I meant no offense. I've just seen it used as an excuse before, and it just rings hollow to me. :)

None taken! I can be a bit blunt (and snarky) at times. I see from your warning you can be too :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do real life reaction wheels use the torque from spin up or the torque from stopping the wheel to maneuver? Both?

Good video demonstration:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, looks like the vast majority of people do use reaction wheels. With regards to my original problem of rover flipping and stability over bumps, I found fitting a Vagani-style suspension made it work so much better, although I have left reaction wheels in the design for righting it when flipped. So it looks like there are other options, at least for rover problems, but they do mean sacrificing part count, weight and complexity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't feel like I'm cheating. Although I like to be real... Ish

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Sign in to follow this