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davidpsummers

Efficiency of ISRU has dropped?

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I get my fuel from Minmus using a large ISRU lander.  (photo below).  I seems to take a lot longer than it did on some previous missions.

In my latest fuel mission, I have 8 drills taking up 0.00525 units of ore/second.  But after 30 days, I only get 1103 units of liquid fuel.  (Using Lf only on the ISRU converter.)  By my math, this is 1/5 of what I should have gotten?

 

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  • I don't see any command pod.  Putting an engineer on board will speed things up a lot.
  • I don't see any radiators.  What's the core temperature of those drills as they're running?
  • Were you babysitting it the whole time it was running those 30 days, or did you go away and then come back?

The last point is a relevant one, because although drills can keep harvesting while you're away, and ISRU can keep converting while you're away, there appears to be a code limitation about how they work together.  If you have a ship not running ISRU, and set drills running, and go away a long time, then the ore tanks will be full when you get back.  That makes sense, right?  And if you have a ship with full ore tanks (but no drill harvesting), and ISRU is running, then when you come back it will have depleted all the ore and turned it into fuel.  Also makes sense.  But if you're running both of them together, then logically it ought to run forever until the fuel tanks are full, but unfortunately you only get one oreload's worth, and when you come back you just have full ore tanks and nowhere near as much fuel as you ought to.

Edited by Snark

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15 hours ago, davidpsummers said:

I get my fuel from Minmus using a large ISRU lander.  (photo below).  I seems to take a lot longer than it did on some previous missions.

In my latest fuel mission, I have 8 drills taking up 0.00525 units of ore/second.  But after 30 days, I only get 1103 units of liquid fuel.  (Using Lf only on the ISRU converter.)  By my math, this is 1/5 of what I should have gotten?

What's the % of ore in the ground?  That also makes a big difference.  The higher the % of ore at that spot, the faster the drills bring it in.

So let's clear up a few points.  You do know that ore locations and concentrations are randomized every game, right?  IOW, just because you had good ore there last game doesn't mean that spot's any good this game.  And you did use the NBS and/or surface scanner to determine the real amount of ore, right?  The M700 survey scanner is intentionally useless for actually finding high ore concentrations in specific locations.  Finding good ore is a multi-step process.  I did a tutorial on it (link in my sig).

 

7 hours ago, Alshain said:

If you absolutely want unmanned mining operations, you have to use Kethane, it's way better than the stock system anyway.  The design ideal behind the stock ore system was "How do we make it as awful and annoying a system as possible?"  Once they determined that, they did it.

Oh no, 1000 times no :D  Kethane had absolutely no redeeming features at all.  Folks only used it back in the day because it was all there was.  Once Karbonite came along, Kethane was consigned to the dustbin of history.  I see somebody recently brought it back from the dead but I figure that's just for folks who also want to play with depricated Squad parts :D

So that new members who've never used Kethane aren't misled, I shall now ennumerate the multiple failings of Kethane:

1.  Kethane Locations:  Kethane draws a hex grid over the planet, then randomly fills in these hexes with some amount of Kethane or none at all.  The Kethane locations pay no attention whatsoever to the terrain features of the planet so it is highly, highly likely that most of it will be in inaccessible locations, especially on Laythe.  I've had games where there wasn't a drop of Kethane anywhere above sea level. 

Compare to Karbonite which has at least a trace amount everywhere and the concentrations are based on the planet's biomes and terrain features.

2.  Scanning:  First off, Kethane won't scan in the background, you have to be focused on the scanning ship the entire time.  And the scanners only work reliably up to about 100x warp at most planets.  At 1000x warp, you only scan about 10% of the hexes you pass over.  Furthermore, the scanner unrealistically only scans a path 1 hex wide regardless of altitude.  Thus, to scan the most hexes in a given amount of gametime, you need the highest orbital velocity, which means being as low as possible, where you can't warp very much anyway.  So you had a choice.  You could put 1 scanner on the ship, fly just above the terrain or atmosphere, go at 50-100x warp at most, and keep your focus on that 1 ship for like 4-6 real hours to scan the planet, but this would only consume a week or 2 of gametime.  Or you could make this huge, expensive probe with a dozen scanners (and their required power) on it, and put it high enough to warp 1000x or even 10000x, and get the job done in a few REAL minutes but it might take a year or even a decade of game time.  This is because each individual scanner only be working at 10% (1000x warp) or 1% (10Kx warp) so you'd miss a lot on each orbit.

Compare this to Karbonite (or Ore when using SCANsat), which scans with 100% efficiency at any warp level IN THE BACKGROUND and the width of the scanned strip realistically varies with altitude.

3.  LImited Resources:  There's only so much Kethane in any deposit and it's not very much.  Once you mine it all, it's gone forever.  Basically, you can only use the average Kethane deposit a few times before it's used up.  IOW, you can't base large-scale, long-term colonies on it.  It's only really good to extend the range of exploration ships.  Now, while in real life, there's only so much oil in the ground, it's still enough to fuel a global industrialized economy for a long time and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  At the scale of even massive KSP consumption, resource depletion is unrealistic.

Compare this to Karbonite and Ore that last forever (at least on planets---asteroirds are consumable).

4.  Violation of Conservation of Mass:  When you refine Kethane, you create mass as Kethane weighs less than the amount of LFO it converts into.

The only thing Kethane has going for it that Ore doesn't have is engines and electrical generators that burn it directly without needing to refine it.  Karbonite, however, has such things, too, and more of them, and they work better.

So bottom line:  dont use Kethane unless you're old enough to have used it back when it was a thing, and only then if you just want to remember why you hated it so much.  Geez, I'd rather gouge my eyes out with a fork than scan for Kethane.

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22 minutes ago, Snark said:
  • I don't see any command pod.  Putting an engineer on board will speed things up a lot.
  • I don't see any radiators.  What's the core temperature of those drills as they're running?
  • Were you babysitting it the whole time it was running those 30 days, or did you go away and then come back?

The last point is a relevant one, because although drills can keep harvesting while you're away, and ISRU can keep converting while you're away, there appears to be a code limitation about how they work together.  If you have a ship not running ISRU, and set drills running, and go away a long time, then the ore tanks will be full when you get back.  That makes sense, right?  And if you have a ship with full ore tanks (but no drill harvesting), and ISRU is running, then when you come back it will have depleted all the ore and turned it into fuel.  Also makes sense.  But if you're running both of them together, then logically it ought to run forever until the fuel tanks are full, but unfortunately you only get one oreload's worth, and when you come back you just have full ore tanks and nowhere near as much fuel as you ought to.

Well, I tried baby sitting it (I did do a time warp) and I still only made 459 units of Lf over 13 hrs.  

As to you other questions, I don't have an engineer, but I still should get the fuel for the ore I'm taking in.  (As I have before.)  The core temp is 740 which is over 500K, but that has never been problem in the past.  

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1 minute ago, davidpsummers said:

Well, I tried baby sitting it (I did do a time warp) and I still only made 459 units of Lf over 13 hrs.  

As to you other questions, I don't have an engineer, but I still should get the fuel for the ore I'm taking in.  (As I have before.)  The core temp is 740 which is over 500K, but that has never been problem in the past.  

They'll mine considerably faster if you give them a few radiators to keep the core temperature down to 500. 

If you're getting 0.00525 ore per second, then you'd expect to get 0.00525 * 3600 * 13 * 1.8 = 442 units of liquid fuel over exactly 13 hours.  Since you got 459 units, I'll assume you were a few minutes over 13 hours.  ;)  But in any case, that's the correct amount of liquid fuel to get in 13 hours, given your ore rate.

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4 hours ago, Snark said:

They'll mine considerably faster if you give them a few radiators to keep the core temperature down to 500. 

If you're getting 0.00525 ore per second, then you'd expect to get 0.00525 * 3600 * 13 * 1.8 = 442 units of liquid fuel over exactly 13 hours.  Since you got 459 units, I'll assume you were a few minutes over 13 hours.  ;)  But in any case, that's the correct amount of liquid fuel to get in 13 hours, given your ore rate.

I have 8 drills running.  But overheating may be my problem.

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You simply can't do unmanned Ore mining.  It's so incredibly slow, it's ultimately pointless.  I tried doing that on Ike and it would have taken me years of time warp to fill the tank and that was at the highest concentration I could find.

If you absolutely want unmanned mining operations, you have to use Kethane, it's way better than the stock system anyway.  The design ideal behind the stock ore system was "How do we make it as awful and annoying a system as possible?"  Once they determined that, they did it.

Edited by Alshain

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stumbled on this thread, but it begs me ask thanks to alshain saying that unmanned ore mining is ultimately pointless: why would squad make it like that? would they not want you to be able to make such a device and leave it unchecked to run other missions? 

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37 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

Oh no, 1000 times no :D  Kethane had absolutely no redeeming features at all.  Folks only used it back in the day because it was all there was.  Once Karbonite came along, Kethane was consigned to the dustbin of history.  I see somebody recently brought it back from the dead but I figure that's just for folks who also want to play with depricated Squad parts :D

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Have you even used Kethane?  Karbonite is drastically inferior and always has been, and it's now tied to the same crappy stock system which makes it just that much worse.

1. That must be a very rare occurance, I've never seen that happen.

2. Yes, background scanning is probably it's biggest missing feature, but one bad thing doesn't make up for the entire crap that is stock and karbonite.

3. Limited Resources, yes, but it very rarely runs out.

4. You mean, it's a game mechanic, as opposed to mundane and awful piece of crap that is the stock/Karbonite system.

Many many people still use Kethane because it is the best option out there and it has nothing to do with legacy parts.  Kethane is clearly the best option available.

8 hours ago, AlamoVampire said:

stumbled on this thread, but it begs me ask thanks to alshain saying that unmanned ore mining is ultimately pointless: why would squad make it like that? would they not want you to be able to make such a device and leave it unchecked to run other missions? 

That is a good question.  You see, they created a half baked Kerbal class and leveling system that to this day doesn't work and is completely unbalanced.  They wanted to add something to justify the existence of Engineers because they didn't have one.  They chose very poorly.

Edited by Alshain

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13 minutes ago, Alshain said:

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Have you even used Kethane? 

I used Kethane a LOT starting in 0.20 and right on up until Karbonite appeared.   I have built entire Duna, Jool, and Moho missions around it.  I know Kethane intimately and kicked it to the curb as soon as something better came along.  i stand by my assertion---Kethane today is the worst option for resources in all possible ways, and you should only use it if you're a masochist.

13 minutes ago, Alshain said:

Karbonite is drastically inferior and always has been, and it's now tied to the same crappy stock system which makes it just that much worse.

How is Karbonite inferior?  It was specifically designed to correct all the problems that made Kethane maddening, frustrating, and ridiculous, as I ennumerated in my post above.  It succeeds in all these areas.  I defy you to name 1 redeeming property of Kethane, in any area of its scanning, extraction, consumption, or conversion.

If you think the stock scanning system is crap, you likely don't understand it.  There is no "instant" scanning in stock.  It requires a multi-step approach using at least 2 or even 3 different instruments in very different flight regimes to pin down where the good stuff is.  But if you don't like the stock system, use SCANsat and set up the stock sensors to work with that.  This is, actually, my personal favorite of the options currently available.

13 minutes ago, Alshain said:

1. That must be a very rare occurance, I've never seen that happen.

It happened all the time.  I've got screenshots to prove it.  Especially at Laythe.  There, you frequently find only 1 spot of accessible Kethane and it's usually on some tiny, steeply sloped island up at like 60^ latitude and the deposit only has like 60,000 units in it anyway.  Kethane is totally unworkable for a Laythe mission.  Sure, you MIGHT occasionally have better luck with it, but it's a huge gamble against long odds.

13 minutes ago, Alshain said:

2. Yes, background scanning is probably it's biggest missing feature, but one bad thing doesn't make up for the entire crap that is stock and karbonite.

The scanning was certainly the worst part about Kethane but it was bad in many other ways as I listed.  I'm still waiting to hear you say 1 objectively bad thing about stock or Karbonite.

13 minutes ago, Alshain said:

3. Limited Resources, yes, but it very rarely runs out.

It doesn't run out if you only use it a couple of times.  But if you place any sort of heavy demand on it, such as multiple trips up and down with a large crew-rotation lander, you're going to run out after only a few trips.  I've sucked Ike completely dry before, and have had to abandon Duna bases because they ran out of Kethane under them.

13 minutes ago, Alshain said:

4. You mean, it's a game mechanic, as opposed to mundane and awful piece of crap that is the stock/Karbonite system.

I mean it's an exploit in defiance of physics.  And I'm still waiting for some objective criticism of the other options.  Just calling them "crap" without explaining why you think so isn't doing anything.

13 minutes ago, Alshain said:

Many many people still use Kethane because it is the best option out there and it has nothing to do with legacy parts.  Kethane is clearly the best option available.

So far, you haven't provided any support for your positions that Kethane OT1H is great and stock/Karbonite OTOH suck.

13 minutes ago, Alshain said:

That is a good question.  You see, they created a half baked Kerbal class and leveling system that to this day doesn't work and is completely unbalanced.  They wanted to add something to justify the existence of Engineers because they didn't have one.  They chose very poorly.

I agree that the Kerbal class system is thoroughly unworkable and should be either completely scrapped or replaced with something a lot better (for which there have been many good suggestions).  But I disagree that mining was the reason for the engineer class because the class system happened before mining.  And originally, the engineers were the only ones with any real use because they could fix flat tires and repack chutes.  Having them influence mining and refining came later IIRC.

But in any case, uncrewed mining is totally possible, it just takes longer.  So the question to ask yourself is, how fast do you need it to happen?  In KSP, elapsed gametime is hardly ever a concern.  Elapsed gametime only starts to matter when a task takes so long that it won't be complete before the next transfer window, which is usually months or years in the future.  Even if you play with life support, you still need enough to wait on the transfer window anway, so having to mine most of that time doesn't hurt you.  And if you're doing this uncrewed, then you don't need life support.

The time required for mining and refining in KSP is dependent on the following factors:

  • Ore concentration at the site (drilling only)
  • Number of drills in operation (drilling only)
  • Size of parts (big or small)
  • Temperature of parts
  • Engineer skill level

The 1st 4 variables give you the base rate of stuff happening.  And of these, the ore concentration in the ground is by far the most important.  If you're on low-grade ore, then you'll never get much speed out of the system.  Having an engineer just speeds things up more or less depending on skill level, but the engineer can't greatly improve on the rate provided by a low-value ore deposit.  As long as you've got even 1 drill on a good ore concentration and it's running at the correct temperature, you'll still get the job done without an engineer before the next transfer window, often considerably faster than that.

I find a high correlation between people who complain about stock ore scanning and who complain about slow ore speeds.  I believe these factors are strongly related.  Those who dismiss stock ore scanning as gamey (aka "instant") nearly always think that just doing the M700 orbital survey and then landing based solely on the resulting overlay to be all there is to it.  But the M700 tells you NOTHING immediately useful, it just tells you were (in an area the size of Texas) you might find, if you bother to look, clues that will lead to good ore in good locations.  If you land based solely on the overlay, you will most likely land in an ore-poor location.  And then you will get very low production rates, no matter what you do with the rest of the variables.

In this thread, the OP didn't state how much ore he had in the ground, and nobody except me asked for that value.  This indicates a lack of proper scanning by the OP, and a lack of understanding of the stock scanning process by those who tried to help.  The amount of ore in the ground is the single most important thing about ISRU.  If you don't know what it is, then you can't make any judgments regarding the efficiency of the process.

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9 hours ago, Alshain said:

[paraphrased] "Stock & Karbonite sucks.  Kethane is great!"

 

56 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

[paraphrased] "Kethane sucks.  Stock is great and Karbonite is even better!"

...So, um, yeah.  :)

One thing I think we can all agree on is that they're definitely very different from each other-- not just trivialities of implementation, but difference of philosophy.  Also, different players have different play styles (and like doing different things), and that can also play a big role in whether any given player likes or hates one or the other.  Clearly there are plenty of people who like one, and plenty of people who prefer the other, and I don't think that I can just dismiss "everybody who likes <the one I don't like> is stupid because that one is bad."  :)  So I don't think it's a slam-dunk either way.

Both systems have their strengths and shortcomings.  My own position is somewhat in the middle between Alshain & Geschosskopf.  I've had fun (and full career play-throughs) with Kethane, and with Karbonite, and with stock, and have enjoyed all of them.  Overall, I prefer Kethane's scanning model and eye candy, but I prefer stock/Karbonite for just about everything else.

Feature:  Orbital scanning

I greatly prefer Kethane's model for this.  I love the orbital scanning.  That hex grid is beautiful and I just like it a lot.  And it's easy to toggle on/off, regardless of whether the map focus is on the planet, or a ship, or whatever.  I also like that you have to do a bunch of orbiting to map out a planet.  Planets are big, finding stuff should be hard (for my preference, anyway).  It feels like a natural consequence of gameplay, too.  I hate stock & Karbonite scanning-- go into a polar orbit and instantly scan the whole planet for free?  For me, that totally breaks immersion, it's like waving a magic wand.  Plus, it means there's less room for player decision.  Suppose I'm approaching a planet, and I don't have the dV to go to a polar orbit... but that's okay because I'll just choose to scan only the region around the equator, I can scan it rapidly in a few passes.

Would it be better if it could scan at high warp, or scan in the background while my attention is elsewhere?  Absolutely yes.  It's a bummer that I have to stay focused on the ship and can't warp at high speed.  But I like the other features enough that I'm willing to pay that price.  I view it as a bugfix more than anything else-- "figure out how to make it work at warp & in background, then fix that."

Note that I'm just saying "I strongly prefer Kethane."  I'm not saying "Kethane is better."  Because from reading a lot of forum posts arguing about this, it's clear that what I love about this is precisely what lots of other players hate.  I'm a micromanaging OCD type, and Kethane-style scanning fits me like a glove.  It rubs other folks the wrong way.  Not sure if there's any way to fix that, and I don't think it's possible to satisfy everyone.  Since I don't know the statistics for how many players prefer one way over the other, I'm not in any position to say which choice is the better one for the stock game.

Feature:  Variety of scanning hardware, and unlocking biomes

This one's a mixed bag for me, but I lean towards the stock model.

I think the high-rez scanner is useless and confusing.  But I kinda like the mechanic of "you need to physically sample a biome before you get really accurate results."

What I'd like to see is:  Just get rid of the high-rez scanner.  Make the orbital scanner work like Kethane's.  The concentration reported (and displayed) for a hex in any given biome is just the average concentration for that biome, and something about the visual display makes it obvious that this is low-reliability data (maybe draw it in a duller color, or something).  Keep the surface sampler, and keep its function for unlocking a biome, and when you do that, all the scanned hexes of that biome immediately become fully-accurate and visible.

Feature:  Ore abundance (depletable or not)

Stock & Karbonite are a clear win here, at least for me.  Geschosskopf's point about this is spot on.  Kethane does deplete patches, and you can completely mine out even a very rich patch if you've got a colony going.  Alshain says "this is rare," but I've done this all the time and it's one of the few things about Kethane that really irritates me.  Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if Kethane only mined out the hex that you're in, so that all you need to do is pick up and move a little once in a while... but it mines out the whole patch.  I think just allowing infinite mining is the clear winner here for playability.

Feature:  Ore distribution

I think stock + Karbonite is the clear winner here, too.  The distribution is interesting, it's tied to biomes, it's not just a few arbitrary all-or-nothing patches.  I would be as happy as a clam if we could have a hex grid & scanning like Kethane, but every individual hex has a particular ore concentration, which is variable and somewhat tied to biomes.

Feature:  Eye candy

Clear winner Kethane.  :)  The hex map is friggin' gorgeous, and I just love those clouds of evil green mist that billow up from a ship when it's mining.

Feature:  Programmability / moddability

I haven't done a lot of resources modding, but my impression from what I've read is that stock/Karbonite is the clear winner here-- Kethane's a thing unto itself and isn't useful as a basis for other mods to add their own resources.  (That's just my impression, I could be wrong-- would love to hear input from someone who actually knows what they're talking about.)

Feature:  Additional complications deliberately added

Like core temperature, and thermal efficiency, and engineer skill, and so forth.  I tend to come down on Kethane's side, here.  These added complications don't involve the actual flying of rocket ships, and therefore (at least for me) are more of a distraction than anything else, I'd just as soon do without them.  I like the idea of "drills generate heat and you should have a radiator around," because it adds a design element to ships, but that's about it and I'd prefer a simpler model.

And DO NOT DO NOT EVER auto-shutoff anything.  That's one feature of stock mining that drives me absolutely nuts.  I park a mining ship, set it to mining, make sure that everything's good (plenty of electricity, enough cooling, good steady state production), go do something else for a couple of days, come back and discover that the damn thing turned itself off for no readily apparent reason and the tanks are 10% full when they ought to be full by now.  That's just infuriating and it's an incredible buzz-kill.  Any game feature that involves doing something gradually in the background over time should have the feature that it keeps doing what you left it doing, for as long as you left it, and when you come back nothing should have changed except the thing you expect (i.e. filled-up tanks, inthe case of mining.)  This really grinds my gears.  But I don't view that as a basic failure of game design in the stock system, I think of it more as just a bug that needs fixing.

Richness of parts/features

Such as jet engines that work without oxygen, or generators that run off <mined resource> to make lots of electricity, or what-have-you.  Lots of good parts in both Kethane and Karbonite (many of which serve similar purposes).  I'm the least concerned with these because they're the easiest to add to with mods.

Anyway, my two cents.  :)

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14 minutes ago, Snark said:

Feature:  Orbital scanning

I greatly prefer Kethane's model for this.  I love the orbital scanning.  That hex grid is beautiful and I just like it a lot.  And it's easy to toggle on/off, regardless of whether the map focus is on the planet, or a ship, or whatever.  I also like that you have to do a bunch of orbiting to map out a planet.  Planets are big, finding stuff should be hard (for my preference, anyway).  It feels like a natural consequence of gameplay, too.  I hate stock & Karbonite scanning-- go into a polar orbit and instantly scan the whole planet for free?  For me, that totally breaks immersion, it's like waving a magic wand.  Plus, it means there's less room for player decision.  Suppose I'm approaching a planet, and I don't have the dV to go to a polar orbit... but that's okay because I'll just choose to scan only the region around the equator, I can scan it rapidly in a few passes.

I think the Kethane hex layout looks pretty cool (as an old boardgamer) but the whole thing about only being able to scan a path 1-hex wide regardless of altitude is just unrealistic and seriously detracts from your ability to park your ship in an ideal mapping orbit.  The game is all about putting ships in the proper orbits, so this is a big negative for me (besides the HOURS of real time required to scan a planet thanks to the lack of background scanning and the huge losses caused by high warp speeds).

There is certainly no "magic wand" with the stock system.  The "instant" orbital survey is of exactly zero value for deciding on your mine's location.  It tells you were to send the surface scanner and NBS.  It's actually a 4-step process:

  1. "Instant" orbital survey to produce the overlay and to allow NBS display to work later.  The overlay is WAY too vague and inaccurate to use by itself, it merely points to the location of the next clue.
  2. Initial surface sampling and (if available) NBS mapping of probably several different sites within a large general area that looked promising on the overlay.  This tells you the vital info of how much ore on average is in different biomes and how that average varies within the biomes.
  3. Developing a list of potential mine sites that are a) in the biomes with some of the best average values, b), are reasonably flat, and c) are conveniently located for what you want to do with the mine.  These potential sites might be on the opposite side of the planet from where you did your initial sampling, all because of the biome average.
  4. Recon/sampling of the potential mine sites to determine the best one.

My favorite scanning option, however, is to use SCANsat.  Which you probably have anyway to create your own biome map (needed for helping to find site candidates) instead of using the Alt-F12 cheat, and to determine detail topography (as in flatness).  SCANsat has a page of options that allow you to disable stock scanning and just use SCANsat mechanics.  With this, you can map ore's location and concentration from orbit over time, same way you build up any other map over many orbits.  This isn't in extreme detail, however, so you still need to get on the ground to find the best spots in a generally good area.  But anyway, fully mapping the planet from oribt requires 3 stages:  ore (or other resources) at about 150km, biomes (and low-res radar if you want to) at about 260km, and high-res radar (if available) at about 750km.  Each stage will take a few weeks of gametime, but happens in the background and at any warp level.  And you get to figure out the best non-synchronous mapping orbits at all 3 levels.  Yay.  And if you use Karbonite, you can use the same SCANsat mehtod with it.

 

14 minutes ago, Snark said:

Feature:  Variety of scanning hardware, and unlocking biomes

This one's a mixed bag for me, but I lean towards the stock model.

I think the high-rez scanner is useless and confusing.  But I kinda like the mechanic of "you need to physically sample a biome before you get really accurate results."

In stock, the NBS display is a snapshot that doesn't change as your ship moves.  If you're ship is moving, you have to update it periodically.  And it's not saved so you don't build up a graphical map you can look at, you just get a serious of snapshots.  The best way to use the NBS in stock is to combine it with the surface scanner on a rover or NoE flier that lands frequently.  You use the NBS display to tell you where biome boundaries are and (once the surface scanner has sniffed that biome), how the ore concentration varies across stretches of the biome (usually it gets better or worse going uphill or downhill).  This lets you find localized ore hotspots within biomes and where they are relative to your ship.  Then you drive there and the surface scanner will tell you when you've arrived because it always reports the exact concentration under you.

If you're using SCANsat with stock scanning disabled, the NBS gives you the standard SCANsat zoom window from the "Big Map".  This has the advantages of updating itself constantly as the ship moves, and also you already have a map of the whole planet thanks to SCANsat anwyay.  You can also drop markers on the NBS map that are visible in the map view from other ships, so you can use them as landing targets.  Karbonite works the same way.

14 minutes ago, Snark said:

Feature:  Programmability / moddability

I haven't done a lot of resources modding, but my impression from what I've read is that stock/Karbonite is the clear winner here-- Kethane's a thing unto itself and isn't useful as a basis for other mods to add their own resources.  (That's just my impression, I could be wrong-- would love to hear input from someone who actually knows what they're talking about.)

Back when Kethane was all there was, KSPI and Extraplanetary Launchpads both used it for their own resources.  But this was also before SCANsat.  Then SCANsat came out, Karbonite came out to work with SCANsat, Kethane died, and EL and KSPI converted to SCANsat/Karbonite.  Then stock ore happened so now SCANsat works with it and also on the original Karbonite model, with both Ore and Karbonite.

14 minutes ago, Snark said:

Feature:  Additional complications deliberately added

Like core temperature, and thermal efficiency, and engineer skill, and so forth.  I tend to come down on Kethane's side, here.  These added complications don't involve the actual flying of rocket ships, and therefore (at least for me) are more of a distraction than anything else, I'd just as soon do without them.  I like the idea of "drills generate heat and you should have a radiator around," because it adds a design element to ships, but that's about it and I'd prefer a simpler model.

With ModuleManager, you can tweak this sort of thing to some extent.

14 minutes ago, Snark said:

And DO NOT DO NOT EVER auto-shutoff anything.  That's one feature of stock mining that drives me absolutely nuts.  I park a mining ship, set it to mining, make sure that everything's good (plenty of electricity, enough cooling, good steady state production), go do something else for a couple of days, come back and discover that the damn thing turned itself off for no readily apparent reason and the tanks are 10% full when they ought to be full by now.  That's just infuriating and it's an incredible buzz-kill.  Any game feature that involves doing something gradually in the background over time should have the feature that it keeps doing what you left it doing, for as long as you left it, and when you come back nothing should have changed except the thing you expect (i.e. filled-up tanks, inthe case of mining.)  This really grinds my gears.  But I don't view that as a basic failure of game design in the stock system, I think of it more as just a bug that needs fixing.

Amen to that.

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2 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

So far, you haven't provided any support for your positions that Kethane OT1H is great and stock/Karbonite OTOH suck.

I've provided several and you are not acknowledging them.

1. The scan system is terrible in stock and Karbonite.  Instant scanning is just stupid.  Kethane is not without problems (lack of background scanning) but still better than the alternative.

2. Stock has a ridiculous Kerbal Engineer level requirement.  Talk about unrealistic, why do you need an engineer present to make more ore come out of the ground?  I worked the last 10 years in the U.S. Natural Gas sector, trust me, having someone present doesn't make the well flow more.  People are only needed to read the meter (these days even that isn't necessary) and make repairs and replacements, except there is no concept of general wear and tear in KSP so that makes no sense here.

3. Neither produce enough fuel to be viable.  What you call a detriment to Kethane I say makes it better than the alternatives.  I don't want to make 20 trips to fill one ship with fuel, that's just excessive and mundane and has absolutely no gameplay value.  The balance is just off, I should be able to make one trip for a average sized ship.  That is gameplay, more than that and you are grinding.  Kethane may be less realistic but it's fun, where stock and Karbonite are grind.  I don't want to sit around and timewarp for 100 years to fill one tank of ore either, that is equally mundane and has no gameplay value.

Pretty sure I mentioned all of these  already, but you probably won't read this reply either before claiming again I haven't provided any support.

Other things have been mentioned by others.  Auto Shutoff is annoying for example

Less Important, but still... Ore is pretty much the worst name you could possible have given it.  Call it Oil, call it Gas... both are unspecific names just like Ore, but Ore is just stupid.  Your telling me that this on-the-go converter can convert solid ore to liquid fuel and oxidizer?  Using only solar power?  Do you know how much energy it takes to convert a natural solid to liquid?  I can suspend disbelief on the conservation of energy for the sake of gameplay, but I can't honestly suspend disbelief that inert Ore can be liquefied efficiently to produce fuel.

 

Edited by Alshain

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2 hours ago, Snark said:

And DO NOT DO NOT EVER auto-shutoff anything.  That's one feature of stock mining that drives me absolutely nuts.  I park a mining ship, set it to mining, make sure that everything's good (plenty of electricity, enough cooling, good steady state production), go do something else for a couple of days, come back and discover that the damn thing turned itself off for no readily apparent reason and the tanks are 10% full when they ought to be full by now.  That's just infuriating and it's an incredible buzz-kill.  Any game feature that involves doing something gradually in the background over time should have the feature that it keeps doing what you left it doing, for as long as you left it, and when you come back nothing should have changed except the thing you expect (i.e. filled-up tanks, inthe case of mining.)  This really grinds my gears.  But I don't view that as a basic failure of game design in the stock system, I think of it more as just a bug that needs fixing.

There is a reason it shuts off, it's losing power during the night or just over-consuming it's electric production and rather than waiting for power and restarting, it just shuts off. (Note: I am not saying it's a good reason, but that is why it is happening)

Edited by Alshain

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Looking at the OP - you're pretty much doing every single thing to cripple the stock resource system and guarantee failure.

You are not prospecting (tools are provided for this, ignore at your own risk).  The prospecting game is a mini-game unto itself.

You are not cooling your drills (this has a significant impact, take a peek at what your thermal efficiency is - I bet it's below 20%)

You are on an unmanned mission.  By the way, if you correct the first two, the latter is still a barrier but likely only about 50% of your problem.  It makes unmanned mining ops possible, but more in line with unmanned missions where you don't have the advantage of someone clearing jams, monitoring the hardware, etc. 

If your drill is shutting off between runs, there's likely a good reason - provide an example craft, and I can likely tell you why.  Hint:  If you're dropping half a dozen large drills and an ISRU on a vessel and trying to power it with a couple of solar panels and a 100-EC battery, you are going to have issues.

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1 hour ago, Alshain said:

I've provided several and you are not acknowledging them.

1. The scan system is terrible in stock and Karbonite.  Instant scanning is just stupid.  Kethane is not without problems (lack of background scanning) but still better than the alternative.

Stock doesn't have "instant" scanning.  As I described above,the stock scanning process is 4 steps.  Except at tiny things like Gilly, actually prospecting for ore requires multipler ships actively searching multiple areas of the planet under your direct control and active decision-making.  It is by FAR the most detailed, expensive, and player-involved method of the various options available.  The others just have you put 1 probe in polar orbit and warp until it's done.  With stock ore, you yourself actually have to go prospecting for it.

If you think stock ore has "instant scanning", then you have no understanding at all of how the system works and, as a result, will only get on half-way decent by sheer chance---usually, you won't.  And thus you won't get any sort of good production rates, and mistakenly blame it on things like a requirement for engineers.  So seriously, LEARN how the stock scanning system works.  Once you understand how it works and can use it to advantage, you'll have a lot better success at mining/refining.

1 hour ago, Alshain said:

2. Stock has a ridiculous Kerbal Engineer level requirement.  Talk about unrealistic, why do you need an engineer present to make more ore come out of the ground?  I worked the last 10 years in the U.S. Natural Gas sector, trust me, having someone present doesn't make the well flow more.  People are only needed to read the meter (these days even that isn't necessary) and make repairs and replacements, except there is no concept of general wear and tear in KSP so that makes no sense here.

As RoverDude himself said, there is NO requirement for an engineer.  Uncrewed mining works just fine---I do it all the time and preferrentially.  All an engineer does is speed the process up, but the time required is hardly ever a factor in the game, so I find this (and using multiple drills, too) completely unnecessary, PROVIDED I find good ore first.  An uncrewed miner on good ore works quite fast enough.  But you have to have good ore.  And you won't have good ore unless you know how to look for it, and you obviously don't because you erroneously think stock has "instant" scanning.

Now granted, when mining 1st came out, engineers WERE pretty much required because back then they controlled how hot the parts got and we didn't yet have radiators (great decision by Squad to introduce heat but give no control for it).  But that hasn't been the case for a long time now.  These days, engineers are just an optional turbocharger which 99% of the time you don't need.

1 hour ago, Alshain said:

3. Neither produce enough fuel to be viable.  What you call a detriment to Kethane I say makes it better than the alternatives.  I don't want to make 20 trips to fill one ship with fuel, that's just excessive and mundane and has absolutely no gameplay value.  The balance is just off, I should be able to make one trip for a average sized ship.  That is gameplay, more than that and you are grinding.  Kethane may be less realistic but it's fun, where stock and Karbonite are grind.  I don't want to sit around and timewarp for 100 years to fill one tank of ore either, that is equally mundane and has no gameplay value.

You completely misunderstand.  I'm talking about 1-trip loads.  I'm just doing a lot of loads, and they're big.

Ore and Karbonite produce however much fuel you want because they do not deplete.  Kethane runs out in just a few big loads.  Now suppose you have a big lander carrying a dozen Kerbals and life support supplies that needs to make round trips between your colony and orbit indefinitely for the colony to survive.  Every trip it needs to be refueled.  But with Kethane, you can only refuel it 3-6 times on average before all the kethane at the spaceport is gone, and that's the end of the colony.

1 hour ago, Alshain said:

Pretty sure I mentioned all of these  already, but you probably won't read this reply either before claiming again I haven't provided any support.

Um, no, you still haven't mentioned anything, actually.  2 of your supposed reasons were actually you having an incomplete and inaccurate understanding of the stock system, so really don't exist.  And if you think Kethane has anywhere near the amount of fuel required to run a large-scale colony, you've obviously never tried to do that yourself.

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14 hours ago, AlamoVampire said:

stumbled on this thread, but it begs me ask thanks to alshain saying that unmanned ore mining is ultimately pointless: why would squad make it like that? would they not want you to be able to make such a device and leave it unchecked to run other missions? 

Actually, unmanned ore miners are completely viable, but as noted, the OP is doing pretty much everything to cripple their operation (no radiators, no prospecting, power starved).

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58 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

Stock doesn't have "instant" scanning.  As I described above,the stock scanning process is 4 steps.  Except at tiny things like Gilly, actually prospecting for ore requires multipler ships actively searching multiple areas of the planet under your direct control and active decision-making.  It is by FAR the most detailed, expensive, and player-involved method of the various options available.  The others just have you put 1 probe in polar orbit and warp until it's done.  With stock ore, you yourself actually have to go prospecting for it.

If you think stock ore has "instant scanning", then you have no understanding at all of how the system works and, as a result, will only get on half-way decent by sheer chance---usually, you won't.  And thus you won't get any sort of good production rates, and mistakenly blame it on things like a requirement for engineers.  So seriously, LEARN how the stock scanning system works.  Once you understand how it works and can use it to advantage, you'll have a lot better success at mining/refining.

As RoverDude himself said, there is NO requirement for an engineer.  Uncrewed mining works just fine---I do it all the time and preferrentially.  All an engineer does is speed the process up, but the time required is hardly ever a factor in the game, so I find this (and using multiple drills, too) completely unnecessary, PROVIDED I find good ore first.  An uncrewed miner on good ore works quite fast enough.  But you have to have good ore.  And you won't have good ore unless you know how to look for it, and you obviously don't because you erroneously think stock has "instant" scanning.

Now granted, when mining 1st came out, engineers WERE pretty much required because back then they controlled how hot the parts got and we didn't yet have radiators (great decision by Squad to introduce heat but give no control for it).  But that hasn't been the case for a long time now.  These days, engineers are just an optional turbocharger which 99% of the time you don't need.

You completely misunderstand.  I'm talking about 1-trip loads.  I'm just doing a lot of loads, and they're big.

Ore and Karbonite produce however much fuel you want because they do not deplete.  Kethane runs out in just a few big loads.  Now suppose you have a big lander carrying a dozen Kerbals and life support supplies that needs to make round trips between your colony and orbit indefinitely for the colony to survive.  Every trip it needs to be refueled.  But with Kethane, you can only refuel it 3-6 times on average before all the kethane at the spaceport is gone, and that's the end of the colony.

Um, no, you still haven't mentioned anything, actually.  2 of your supposed reasons were actually you having an incomplete and inaccurate understanding of the stock system, so really don't exist.  And if you think Kethane has anywhere near the amount of fuel required to run a large-scale colony, you've obviously never tried to do that yourself.

It is "instant scanning".  I don't know how else to describe it.  You get to orbit, click a button and then it is done.  That is pretty instant, or perhaps you prefer the term "magic".   That was in fact your term.  Go back and read your own response.  I'm not talking about the searching bit, your last 3 steps aren't scanning at all, they are searching for a good spot.  That's not scanning, the scanning part is instant.

Sure, no requirement for an engineer if you enjoy watching paint dry.  I do mean 'watching' because you can't go away and come back or the system shuts down.   To get one tank of ore I had to timewarp about 2 years at the highest concentrations I could find on Ike.  That is insane. (This was in 1.0.5, on Ike, with no Engineer, 2 Drills, 2 of the large radiators/Solar panels, at the highest concentration I could possibly find after quite a bit of searching).

I've never depleted Kethane, I can't imagine doing so at all.  There is just way to much of it and by the time I'm done with that moon or planet, I'm no where close to depleting it.

Yes I have mentioned several things.  Just because you don't agree with them, doesn't mean they aren't good reasons.  If that's the way it is then, by that same token you haven't given any reasons why Kethane is "dead" and Karbonite or Stock is better.  How was it you put it?  So far, you haven't provided any support for your positions that Stock/Karbonite OT1H is great and Kethane OTOH suck.

Edited by Alshain

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2 hours ago, Alshain said:

There is a reason it shuts off, it's losing power during the night or just over-consuming it's electric production and rather than waiting for power and restarting, it just shuts off. (Note: I am not saying it's a good reason, but that is why it is happening)

Except that this is a miner that's way, way, way past Jool (I'm running OPM), where solar panels are useless, so it's entirely powered lots-and-lots-of-RTGs, with a few fuel cells thrown in to boost production (it's mining at well above the break-even point for fuel cells).

There is absolutely nothing happening on this miner that isn't long-term sustainable.  I'm doing everything right.  It has a steady, dependable power supply; plenty of radiators; a level-4 engineer running it; sitting on a reasonable ore concentration; it's at thermal equilibrium with everything running at its optimal temperature and 100% thermal efficiency.  In short, it is (or, at least, ought to be) the poster child of How To Run A Mining Vessel.  The only thing that should ever run out is empty space in the fuel tanks.

And besides, that's beside the point.  Even if the whole thing ran on solar power and was gonna run out of juice at nighttime... don't change the ship state and shut things down.  Leave them in the "on" state and reduce power consumption and ore production (to zero, if necessary) for as long as the shortage lasts.  If I left the ship in the state "on", it should stay in the state "on", not shut itself down automatically and silently with no notification to me and I don't find out about it until I come back to the ship long, long after it ran into whatever problem it had and then have no clue why it was unhappy.

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3 minutes ago, Snark said:

Except that this is a miner that's way, way, way past Jool (I'm running OPM), where solar panels are useless, so it's entirely powered lots-and-lots-of-RTGs, with a few fuel cells thrown in to boost production (it's mining at well above the break-even point for fuel cells).

There is absolutely nothing happening on this miner that isn't long-term sustainable.  I'm doing everything right.  It has a steady, dependable power supply; plenty of radiators; a level-4 engineer running it; sitting on a reasonable ore concentration; it's at thermal equilibrium with everything running at its optimal temperature and 100% thermal efficiency.  In short, it is (or, at least, ought to be) the poster child of How To Run A Mining Vessel.  The only thing that should ever run out is empty space in the fuel tanks.

And besides, that's beside the point.  Even if the whole thing ran on solar power and was gonna run out of juice at nighttime... don't change the ship state and shut things down.  Leave them in the "on" state and reduce power consumption and ore production (to zero, if necessary) for as long as the shortage lasts.  If I left the ship in the state "on", it should stay in the state "on", not shut itself down automatically and silently with no notification to me and I don't find out about it until I come back to the ship long, long after it ran into whatever problem it had and then have no clue why it was unhappy.

Hmm, well.  I have no idea then.  But I'm not disagreeing with you, just trying to offer a possible cause.  It certainly shouldn't shut down on it's own, that's just what I saw when I was working with that system.

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9 minutes ago, Snark said:

Except that this is a miner that's way, way, way past Jool (I'm running OPM), where solar panels are useless, so it's entirely powered lots-and-lots-of-RTGs, with a few fuel cells thrown in to boost production (it's mining at well above the break-even point for fuel cells).

There is absolutely nothing happening on this miner that isn't long-term sustainable.  I'm doing everything right.  It has a steady, dependable power supply; plenty of radiators; a level-4 engineer running it; sitting on a reasonable ore concentration; it's at thermal equilibrium with everything running at its optimal temperature and 100% thermal efficiency.  In short, it is (or, at least, ought to be) the poster child of How To Run A Mining Vessel.  The only thing that should ever run out is empty space in the fuel tanks.

And besides, that's beside the point.  Even if the whole thing ran on solar power and was gonna run out of juice at nighttime... don't change the ship state and shut things down.  Leave them in the "on" state and reduce power consumption and ore production (to zero, if necessary) for as long as the shortage lasts.  If I left the ship in the state "on", it should stay in the state "on", not shut itself down automatically and silently with no notification to me and I don't find out about it until I come back to the ship long, long after it ran into whatever problem it had and then have no clue why it was unhappy.

Show your vessel and I'll be happy to help troubleshoot it.

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1 hour ago, RoverDude said:

Show your vessel and I'll be happy to help troubleshoot it.

Woot!  Thanks, now that's service.  :)

Here's the ship:

X6OZooP.png

  • Mining equipment:  8 drills, one ISRU
  • Power supply:
    • 72 EC/second of of continuous electricity generation.  (To save part count, I MM'ed a "jumbo RTG" that's twice the linear dimensions, and eight times all the physical parameters, of a standard RTG.  There are 12 of these, each one producing 6 EC/second.  They work exactly as expected, I'm confident they're not the problem here.)
    • Eight fuel cell arrays, to be activated as needed.
    • Four of the 4000 EC batteries
  • Thermal:  Eight medium-size radiators.
  • Storage:  300 units' worth of ore tank, bunch of LFO storage as shown.
  • Crew:  level-4 engineer
  • I'm running Extraplanetary Launchpads, that's the EL smelter under the lander can, and a metal tank running down the core of the ship.
  • Not running any mods that affect game physics, thermal, etc.

Operating parameters:  Sitting on a 2.5% ore deposit (not great, but comfortably better than break-even on the fuel cells; drills yield .034 ore/second each).  When running continuously, all drills are at 500K, 100% thermal efficiency, 100% load.  ISRU is running at 1000K, 100% efficiency, load is well under 100% (has no trouble keeping up with the drills).  Radiators aren't even slightly strained to keep up with thermal load.  Plenty of EC stored up, it stays pegged right up at the just-under-100% level that causes fuel cells to activate.

The RTGs alone supply enough electricity to run four drills with a comfortable surplus left over.  I have a few of the fuel cells turned on so I can run all eight drills.

If I babysit it-- that is, if I'm controlling the ship, and just boost timewarp-- then it happily runs forever until all fuel tanks are full.  Never any problems.  However, if I switch to another ship somewhere and come back later, sometimes the drills are still going, but very often they're all stopped.  I have no idea why they're stopping, and I haven't been able to figure out what the correlation is (i.e. what's different about it that sometimes they're stopped and sometimes not).

Edited by Snark

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2 hours ago, Alshain said:

It is "instant scanning".  I don't know how else to describe it.  You get to orbit, click a button and then it is done.  That is pretty instant, or perhaps you prefer the term "magic".   That was in fact your term.  Go back and read your own response.  I'm not talking about the searching bit, your last 3 steps aren't scanning at all, they are searching for a good spot.  That's not scanning, the scanning part is instant.

You are just so fundamentally wrong, and so adamant that you're not DESPITE EVEN THE GUY WHO WROTE THE SYSTEM telling you how it works, that I can't help but laugh.  Which is good because otherwise I'd probably say something personally nasty to you :D

As has been explained many times, by the author RoverDude, the M700 provides a SURVEY, not a scan.  It even says so on the label.  It is best thought of a just a way to import into the game what your space program should have known before it left the ground based on centuries of telescope observations.  The real SCANNING actually IS the other 3 steps (as the surface SCANNER and narrow band SCANNER say on their labels).  Using these requires you to land and drive probably multiple rovers for considerable distances under live control in real time.

Now, if all you have the patience, skill, or budget for is putting a single probe in polar orbit and warping until it's done, that's your business.  But just admit it.  Don't be casting false aspersions on a system you don't understand to cover up your own shortcomings.

Truth be told, it probably takes about as much real time to do the stock ore scanning (the real SCANNING, which is the prospecting) as it does to scan for Kethane at low warp levels.  But at least you're actively DOING something, seeing the sights, orchestrating multiple ships doing different things, not just sitting there listening to the Kethane scanner beep for hours and hours, unable to intervene, unable to fly any other ship.

2 hours ago, Alshain said:

Sure, no requirement for an engineer if you enjoy watching paint dry.  I do mean 'watching' because you can't go away and come back or the system shuts down.   To get one tank of ore I had to timewarp about 2 years at the highest concentrations I could find on Ike.  That is insane. (This was in 1.0.5, on Ike, with no Engineer, 2 Drills, 2 of the large radiators/Solar panels, at the highest concentration I could possibly find after quite a bit of searching).

Really?  Weren't you just saying uncrewed mining was impossible?  Hmmm.  Well, no matter.

I never have a problem with my stuff working off-camera, with or without an engineer.  But maybe that's because I actually know what I'm doing in terms of selecting the best location, providing the right amount of power and cooling, etc.  And even if I keep it on-camera, I can warp to the max because it's all on the ground and it only takes a few seconds, done.  It might take a few days of gametime so the screen might flash a few times, but I don't have epilepsy so this doesn't bother me.  And the transfer window is still months away.  Easy.

2 hours ago, Alshain said:

I've never depleted Kethane, I can't imagine doing so at all. 

Then you must just do flags-andp-footprints.  If that's your thing, that's fine.  Just understand that flags-and-footprints is the limit of what Kethane can support and that it's totally inadequate for anything more ambitious.  Which alone makes it a non-starter for a lot of people, before even considering its other shortcomings.

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59 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

You are just so fundamentally wrong, and so adamant that you're not DESPITE EVEN THE GUY WHO WROTE THE SYSTEM telling you how it works, that I can't help but laugh.  Which is good because otherwise I'd probably say something personally nasty to you :D

As has been explained many times, by the author RoverDude, the M700 provides a SURVEY, not a scan.  It even says so on the label.  It is best thought of a just a way to import into the game what your space program should have known before it left the ground based on centuries of telescope observations.  The real SCANNING actually IS the other 3 steps (as the surface SCANNER and narrow band SCANNER say on their labels).  Using these requires you to land and drive probably multiple rovers for considerable distances under live control in real time.

Now, if all you have the patience, skill, or budget for is putting a single probe in polar orbit and warping until it's done, that's your business.  But just admit it.  Don't be casting false aspersions on a system you don't understand to cover up your own shortcomings.

Truth be told, it probably takes about as much real time to do the stock ore scanning (the real SCANNING, which is the prospecting) as it does to scan for Kethane at low warp levels.  But at least you're actively DOING something, seeing the sights, orchestrating multiple ships doing different things, not just sitting there listening to the Kethane scanner beep for hours and hours, unable to intervene, unable to fly any other ship.

Really?  Weren't you just saying uncrewed mining was impossible?  Hmmm.  Well, no matter.

I never have a problem with my stuff working off-camera, with or without an engineer.  But maybe that's because I actually know what I'm doing in terms of selecting the best location, providing the right amount of power and cooling, etc.  And even if I keep it on-camera, I can warp to the max because it's all on the ground and it only takes a few seconds, done.  It might take a few days of gametime so the screen might flash a few times, but I don't have epilepsy so this doesn't bother me.  And the transfer window is still months away.  Easy.

Then you must just do flags-andp-footprints.  If that's your thing, that's fine.  Just understand that flags-and-footprints is the limit of what Kethane can support and that it's totally inadequate for anything more ambitious.  Which alone makes it a non-starter for a lot of people, before even considering its other shortcomings.

Your getting hung up on words then.  Fine, Survey.  The Survey is instant, and that is what I am saying is not good.  It's my same point, just using the word 'survey' instead of 'scan'.  Better?  I've never seen someone so hung up on semantics.  I just don't see the difference, you clearly know what I'm talking about.

The other 3 steps, the "scanner" steps, should just be removed entirely.  I shouldn't have to land rovers and hunt for hours for a good spot to land a miner, rovers kinda suck in this game (though I don't know how they could fix them tbh) and the resource system shouldn't be dependent on them, any more than it should be dependent on Engineers.  I fully understand the system and how it works, just because I find the system poorly implemented doesn't mean I don't understand how it works.  You clearly think that there are only 2 outcomes 1. You love the system or 2. You don't understand it... let me tell you there is a 3rd option there and to keep claiming someone doesn't understand something because they don't like it makes you sound a bit foolish.

I believe I said uncrewed was incredibly slow and pointless, which it is, not completely impossible.  But you really can't do it if you want it done in a reasonable amount of time without sitting on timewarp forever.  If only there was some way you could go back and look at what I said... like maybe a scroll up feature.. hmm.  If you are just going to keep putting words in my mouth I'm not going to continue this any further with this.  By the way, you still haven't provided any evidence that Kethane is dead :P

Look, the simple truth is unmanned mining is incredibly mundane with stock.  This is what I originally said and I provided an alternative option, and it's still true, a whole page later.  That is all.

 

Edited by Alshain

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2 hours ago, Snark said:

Woot!  Thanks, now that's service.  :)

Here's the ship:

X6OZooP.png

  • Mining equipment:  8 drills, one ISRU
  • Power supply:
    • 72 EC/second of of continuous electricity generation.  (To save part count, I MM'ed a "jumbo RTG" that's twice the linear dimensions, and eight times all the physical parameters, of a standard RTG.  There are 12 of these, each one producing 6 EC/second.  They work exactly as expected, I'm confident they're not the problem here.)
    • Eight fuel cell arrays, to be activated as needed.
    • Four of the 4000 EC batteries
  • Thermal:  Eight medium-size radiators.
  • Storage:  300 units' worth of ore tank, bunch of LFO storage as shown.
  • Crew:  level-4 engineer
  • I'm running Extraplanetary Launchpads, that's the EL smelter under the lander can, and a metal tank running down the core of the ship.
  • Not running any mods that affect game physics, thermal, etc.

Operating parameters:  Sitting on a 2.5% ore deposit (not great, but comfortably better than break-even on the fuel cells; drills yield .034 ore/second each).  When running continuously, all drills are at 500K, 100% thermal efficiency, 100% load.  ISRU is running at 1000K, 100% efficiency, load is well under 100% (has no trouble keeping up with the drills).  Radiators aren't even slightly strained to keep up with thermal load.  Plenty of EC stored up, it stays pegged right up at the just-under-100% level that causes fuel cells to activate.

The RTGs alone supply enough electricity to run four drills with a comfortable surplus left over.  I have a few of the fuel cells turned on so I can run all eight drills.

If I babysit it-- that is, if I'm controlling the ship, and just boost timewarp-- then it happily runs forever until all fuel tanks are full.  Never any problems.  However, if I switch to another ship somewhere and come back later, sometimes the drills are still going, but very often they're all stopped.  I have no idea why they're stopping, and I haven't been able to figure out what the correlation is (i.e. what's different about it that sometimes they're stopped and sometimes not).

Ok - let's start.  Does the drill remain operational upon your return or is it shut down?  If shut down, what does it say in the status message?  Do all drills shut down, or just some?

If you warp manually, will it work happily at max warp?  I have two thoughts., answers to questions above should narrow it down nicely.

(edit for clarity - what I mean by status message is if you right click on a shut down drill, there will be a message).

 

Edited by RoverDude

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Do the drills shut off when the ore tank fills?  Is it possible the ore tank is filling faster than the converter removes it? (I'm just shooting in the dark here, doesn't look like he has much room for ore)

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