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The Elcano Challenge: Ground-Based Circumnavigation (Continued)


Claw
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Indeed, that's also been my experience. On a few worlds where I've been, it's not been so bad. But for the most part the poles are a wreck. Very jagged and steep in many ways. I think it was Ike that was rather serene at the poles. (Except that whole exploding thing when driving right over the North Pole, which has since been fixed.)

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If it's OK, I have two suggestions about the rules.

One is to specifically disallow the new Auto-Rove mod. Probably goes without saying, but I figure always better to be explicit about these things. One of the things I like about this challenge is that it's generally very open to modding, but that particular mod has the potential to be a little too useful, I think.

The other is to get rid of rule 3. I've never understood the point of it, considering the obvious way to circumnavigate Kerbin is to either use a rover and a ferry, or a boat and some sort of truck thing for a portage, rather than making a cumbersome amphibian. It's not like it's any easier to go the ferry or portage route (if anything it's more complex, since it requires coordinating two vehicles), and this always struck me as an oddly specific restriction on an otherwise very permissive challenge.

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14 hours ago, Hotaru said:

One is to specifically disallow the new Auto-Rove mod. Probably goes without saying, but I figure always better to be explicit about these things. One of the things I like about this challenge is that it's generally very open to modding, but that particular mod has the potential to be a little too useful, I think.

I'm not sure what mod you have in mind (please link it) but I don't see why. We have already used MechJeb's rover autopilot facilities, and I'll freely admit for my sea crossing on Kerbin I laid in the course, turned on the engines, and took a nap - leaving a kOS script to shut down the engines if altitude rose significantly above sea level.

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11 minutes ago, damerell said:

I'm not sure what mod you have in mind (please link it) but I don't see why. We have already used MechJeb's rover autopilot facilities, and I'll freely admit for my sea crossing on Kerbin I laid in the course, turned on the engines, and took a nap - leaving a kOS script to shut down the engines if altitude rose significantly above sea level.

I've got no problem with regular old autopilot, I used it too, and like you I frequently left the room to do other things during boring stretches over flat terrain (especially the flats on Minmus).

What I'm talking about is this mod. It's a really nifty-looking mod (assuming it works as advertised, I haven't tried it yet) which allows rovers to drive around on their own, automatically, in the background. It allows you to land a rover on a planet, set its destination to the opposite side of the planet, and let it do its thing while you time-warp or fly other missions or whatever.

Basically it lets you do a Spirit/Opportunity/Curiosity-type long-duration rover mission without either spending hundreds of hours driving around or putting your entire space program on hold. Brilliant for career mode, survey contracts, mobile bases, etc. (you can bet I'll be using it in my next career!), but I think it would take all the challenge out of making a circumnavigation--basically the whole thing could be completed at the press of a button.

Edited by Hotaru
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1 minute ago, Hotaru said:

What I'm talking about is this mod. It's a really nifty-looking mod (assuming it works as advertised, I haven't tried it yet) which allows rovers to drive around on their own, automatically, in the background. It allows you to land a rover on a planet, set its destination to the opposite side of the planet, and let it do its thing while you time-warp or fly other missions or whatever.

Ah, now this makes perfect sense. I agree with you (not that it's my decision) since manifestly the rover is not actually being driven over the terrain.

I'd be quite reluctant to use it in any game without a very well proven rover design.

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Guess who's back?

It's me!

Don't you remember me?

OF COURSE YOU DON'T!

I am Mikecraft reborn! 

I lost my old account in the Forum glitch thinga majig, so I decided to come back!

I will be attempting this challenge! (Hopefully)

Just gotta find my old design ideas...I thought they were around here somewhere...

Oh well! Gonna make some new ones! I will probably be Circumnavigating the Mun first, probably with one of my, *ahem* "Flawless" Designs.

Btw, I am already starting up my own thread this weekend!

It will be in the spacecraft exchange, and there you will find my spacecraft catalog, mission reports, and maybe some other ideas you guys can come up with for it! (I am hiring, for my new company, "Aeromax Industries Reborn")

Warning, I don't have a lot of time on my hands, so...not gonna be on too much for a while. That is why I need Thread helpers!

Yes, Yes, This was a long introduction to my new account, BUT IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT FOR THE (Sorta) MASTER OF KSP!

See you in the Thread!

:cool: 

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I've picked this up again, and as such i've developed a rover that uses a powersource that is, there's no easy way to say it, cheating. It's not infinite fuel, but it's a LOT of fuel that's suspiciously light.

Why cheat? 2 reasons.

1) My 2016 work schedule has gone into overdrive (11 hour days, 6 days a week, apparently). As KSP is pretty much the only fun thing i get to do with my tiny amount of free time, i've decided to design my rover toward DRIVING, instead of simply supporting a rolling hunk of metal.

2) I'm taking this challenge up a level. I will circumnavigate *every* solid planetary body, nonstop, in one single mission. My rover rolls on supersized tires, hovers on unfolding KF Repulsors (for water crossings), and flies with the help of modified LF+O turbine engines that fold into the back for better roving weight distribution.

I'll be linking the story once i get the time to actually write something up. So far, i'm at 29 days. I've completed an equatorial circumnavigation of Minmus, and i'm less than a day from completing a polar circumnavigation of the Mun. (It actually made it from Minmus to the Mun with the fuel converter turned off, so THAT wasn't cheating at all!) I'm trying to make the most of my trips by visiting all of the easter eggs i can, so my path is a bit erratic on both moons. Nothing *too* out of the way, though, just some jagged lines.

Being that my rover is cheaty, i don't expect to be included in the list of circumnavigators that didn't "enhance" their vehicles with this rover. Truth is, i like my truck, i drive it with a wheel and pedals, and i intend to carry out this very long mission that i simply don't have time to engineer proper support for. Hate me if you like, but i'm having a load of fun with this extended driving experience.

Here's just a little bit from the few things i have uploaded. I'll have a full piece soon.
 

 

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18 hours ago, Beeks said:

i've decided to design my rover toward DRIVING, instead of simply supporting a rolling hunk of metal.

That's what the challenge is all about, driving. Considering that the stock wheels and be powered from RTGs (essentially an infinite fuel source), I'm much less stuck on rover powering.

However, the fuel piece is a bit of a rough one from the delivery standpoint. The thing being that hyperediting around the solar system isn't allowed, so if the delivery platform has near infinite fuel in a small package, I'm not quite sure how to treat that one. Though if you're still flying it there, that's in a different category than simply using HE to move it all around. However, I'd be interested in seeing your ship. It's hard to say exactly how to look at a delivery vehicle that, for all intents and purposes, has infinite fuel and a high enough TWR to SSTO off of any planet.

I'll be honest... For me, the act of getting around the solar system pales in comparison to actually driving around many of these places. The only exception being my current mission in the Jool system, where I've built a single mothership capable of delivering a crew and rover/boat to each of the Joolian moons in a single mission. Actually landing the rover/boat intact also has some unique challenges.

And yeah, from the looks of your picture, I'd say you fall squarely into the modded category. I will add that it's a pretty darn awesome looking rover.

18 hours ago, Gojira1000 said:

but can I Hyperedit the rover to the start line?

You can use Hyperedit to test vehicles, but when you start your "record attempt," the whole thing needs to be flown. So you'll have to design a delivery vehicle that's capable of getting there and dropping off the rover/boat.

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Hmmmm, I may want to try this on Kerbin.  I was working on something else yesterday, and discovered my big Chariot rover is a slow, but fairly decent amphibian!

zPEgfg7.jpg

odpHO6p.jpg

Looking over a map of Kerbin, it looks like the longest water gap I would have to deal with is about 30km to get a more or less equatorial route around the planet. 
I need to test it some more, but if I can make it that far with a load of fuel and ore to convert, then I'm in.

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46 minutes ago, Claw said:

That's what the challenge is all about, driving. Considering that the stock wheels and be powered from RTGs (essentially an infinite fuel source), I'm much less stuck on rover powering.

However, the fuel piece is a bit of a rough one from the delivery standpoint. The thing being that hyperediting around the solar system isn't allowed, so if the delivery platform has near infinite fuel in a small package, I'm not quite sure how to treat that one. Though if you're still flying it there, that's in a different category than simply using HE to move it all around. However, I'd be interested in seeing your ship. It's hard to say exactly how to look at a delivery vehicle that, for all intents and purposes, has infinite fuel and a high enough TWR to SSTO off of any planet.

I'll be honest... For me, the act of getting around the solar system pales in comparison to actually driving around many of these places. The only exception being my current mission in the Jool system, where I've built a single mothership capable of delivering a crew and rover/boat to each of the Joolian moons in a single mission. Actually landing the rover/boat intact also has some unique challenges.

And yeah, from the looks of your picture, I'd say you fall squarely into the modded category. I will add that it's a pretty darn awesome looking rover.

Oh my, thank you very much. :) (Edit: just to be clear, the rover *is* the ship, but i think you might have gotten that.)

On the subject of fuel, i'm actually not convinced i've brought enough! I'm becoming more and more concerned about both getting around Eve/Laythe, and getting to the outer planets. If necessary, i *will* build a ship to deliver more Heavium, but i'm very much trying to avoid that. If i did have to do that, i have 2 grappling claws on the truck (front and back under the frame, not sure they're in any photos yet) that i could use to pick up a Heavium delivery probe. In the effort of being difficult, i'd likely just pick the probe up and bring it with me. In hindsight, replaceable grappled tanks would've been a great non-cheaty way to get around, and would've had the potential for both danger and hilarity. Downside of that, is repeated delivery missions, which i am trying to avoid. I've attempted to calculate how much "fuel" is on board, but it's inexact, as the Heavium Converter supplies Monoprop, LF, O, and EC, all of which get used in varying amounts based on the situation.

Being essentially a monster truck with jet engines, it doesn't "fly" so much as "intimidate the atmosphere". Taking off from Kerbin involved a high-speed dive off of the end of the runway, at about 90% of the wheels' breaking speed. From there, if you don't throttle up to full and pitch up immediately, you'll never leave. My strategy for Eve is to simply spiral out, and in my early testing, it'll take a very long time. On the other hand, i'll bet it'd also work as a submarine if necessary, but if it swims anything like it flies that might just not be the best option.

I'll let you know how it turns out, but i can tell you that these wheels are strong candidates for any non-cheaty circumnavigations i'll be doing in the future. Large wheels are *so* unbelievably helpful.

Edited by Beeks
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On 1/15/2016 at 10:40 PM, Claw said:

You can use Hyperedit to test vehicles, but when you start your "record attempt," the whole thing needs to be flown. So you'll have to design a delivery vehicle that's capable of getting there and dropping off the rover/boat.

You might want to revise the rules then, @Claw. Currently there's nothing in then that says you can't hyperedit into orbit, then land your rover and start the challenge. Which, to be honest, is actually something I agree with. The challenge is the circumnavigation, not how to get there in the first place.

And on that note... if we are saying that part of the challenge is getting there in the first place, then surely we need some rules about the mods that are used? Something like Fear-Future's nuclear engine, with decent thrust and enough ISP to SSTO to all-the-places hardly seems fair in comparison to even stock-alike mods. If you're using those kind of mods, you basically ARE just hyperediting around.

All in all, I'd honestly prefer to keep the challenge based on starting line to finish like, like it's always been. There's never been a rule about how you get there as far as I can recall.

Edited by Thalamask
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9 hours ago, Thalamask said:

like it's always been

One of the many times Fengist clarified use of HyperEdit for a user. Though I do agree with you that it ought to be clearly outlined in the rules.

Also, we are getting right back into the whole management of mods thing. I'm not really keen on maintaining a list of "approved mods." Your point is well taken though. Once again, I'm going to have to consider rule wording to help accommodate. I want people to be able to play without causing a crippling amount of work for myself or an arm's length of rules.

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18 hours ago, Thalamask said:

And on that note... if we are saying that part of the challenge is getting there in the first place, then surely we need some rules about the mods that are used? Something like Fear-Future's nuclear engine, with decent thrust and enough ISP to SSTO to all-the-places hardly seems fair in comparison to even stock-alike mods. If you're using those kind of mods, you basically ARE just hyperediting around.

Assembling such a list would be prohibitively hard, and we're largely on the honour system for this challenge anyway. I tend to feel, Elcano's a challenge you do in order to have done it. Part of it is building a launch vehicle, but it's up to you to decide what you think is acceptable there.
I intend to use RoverDude's Orion drive for my next Elcano mission (if I ever get around Kerbin hem-hem). It's pretty well a super-engine - also eminently plausible in reality. Am I cheating?
Indeed, there's plenty of modded rover parts that are implausibly good. I quadrupled the EC consumption on the Kerbal Foundries tracks because it seemed excessively easy otherwise (and out the box, all the KF parts are pretty well indestructible).

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This is why I said straight off that I'm fine if my results aren't taken as an actual participation. I went over the top for my own reasons, nothing to do with beating the challenge itself.

 

"The Spirit of the Challenge" is still a valid phrase to live by, and should cover most mods. Its vague enough to allow some interpretation, but concrete enough to build by.

 

For example, the Orion Drive. That may provide absurd thrust and DV, however it will cause other problems like structural issues, having to deal with extreme mass, and what might prove an inability to land in some places without crashing due to a lack of subtle control. This means you will also need a skycrane in addition to a durable rover. Now you have to construct a family of vehicles just because of your engine choice. I'd say that more than makes up for a rover that's a bit light on the EC use.

 

Plus, using the engine you want is fun!

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Rules are updated slightly, and the Stock / Stock Craft / Modded category definitions have been added.

MechJeb is a tricky one (it always is) because it adds a part. So technically, if you use MechJeb as-is, it falls in the Modded category. I believe there's a module patch that allows use of MJ for any command module (or cockpit) similar to KER. In which case, that type of install doesn't require a part and fits in the Stock Craft category. I know this might cause some angst for people, but the I feel like the lines in the categories are pretty clear for just about everything else.

Basically, if you can load the craft (unchanged) into a stock install without KSP wanting to delete it, then it's probably not in the "Modded" Category. But if you used any mods during the flight, then it's not "Stock." Hence the "Stock Craft" category (I can load all craft into a stock game, but the mission itself wasn't done in a stock install). Notable exceptions are the use of any physics modifications...then it's a modded install (even if the craft/rover/boat itself is stock).

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7 hours ago, Claw said:

Rules are updated slightly, and the Stock / Stock Craft / Modded category definitions have been added.

That should hit the spot between having rigid rules and a modlist to Minmus and back.

It's clear, and provides a means to compare our different attempts to complete the challenge.

Edited by Chemp
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9 hours ago, Chemp said:

That should hit the spot between having rigid rules and a modlist to Minmus and back.

Thanks my aim. :)

54 minutes ago, Thalamask said:

If @Claw would update it, I'd be grateful.

Will do. And that makes it easier for me, if people could assist in pointing anything that needs updating. Thanks!

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I've been considering a lot of things, and while my *current* mission doesn't comply with the ruleset put forth here, i'm experimenting with another, even larger vehicle that should be up to the task at hand. I'm getting very much inspired by the vehicles in Homeworld, and wouldn't mind seeing some KSP equivalents myself. Something the size of a truck can circumnavigate. But a truck the size of an aircraft carrier could do a lot more. Hmm....

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Uff, posted another bit o' trip on my mission report. I'd better finish this soon, I think I'll just play KSP once a day during this week and.. hopefully I'll complete the circumnavigation.

Also, this game fries my poor pc. Had to change the cooling fan a few weeks ago, it started malfunctioning. I think I'll take a long break after completing Minmus, then I'll resume with the challenge once I get a new, more powerful pc.

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18 hours ago, KN_Namida said:

Also, this game fries my poor pc.

Yeah, it can really work the CPU and GPU pretty hard.

Good luck, and keep it up. :) I'm sure you'll get there!

 

22 hours ago, Beeks said:

even larger vehicle

Three's no limit on size. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

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