nli2work

[1.1.2] Orbital Utility Vehicle v1.2.4

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I'll have to run another install with mechjeb for some testing. I don't think I ever used MechJeb's SAS functions, just the autodocking and landing indicator.

Far as Ox afterburner, that's part of KSPI-E I think. If you run that mod, you should see a different version of the engine in game that works with all the fuel options from KSPI-E

For RCS drones, I don't know if mixing docking and grabber is a great idea any more after the adaptor. The small the overall size, the more they will interfere with each other's operation... Docking and Grabber nodes are technically never OFF, Docking nodes only attach to matching nodes and nothing else, while Grabber nodes will stick to anything in range, thats why the stock grabber is so big because Squad has to retract the grabber node inside far enough so the node is out of acquire range from anything else.

right now what I have in mind is something about the size of the smallest stack Mono tank; about 0.5m diameter, 5 direction RCS thrusters (Maybe I could have 2 sets, one for maneuver by itself, stronger one for maneuvering large parts in concert), light SAS, enough RTG to keep it alive EC wise, ~30Mono capacity and Small low profile Grabber. Grabber would have large pivot range and relaxed capture tolerance, attach it quickly and use the pivot to adjust thrust direction. Then you have a carrier piece, that can fit up to 8 of the RCS drones, looks like a cluster bomb when all assembled, all of that in a 1.25m x 1.25~1.5m cylinder volume. Colliders would section out spaces for the drones to fit through, maybe allow quicker docking back with the carrier after use. The carrier could be part of the adaptor part, since the utility of the service bay seems to be limited, too small for most stock parts. Save the whole affair as subassembly, altogether around 10 parts for a fair bit of utility.  Biggest problem is there's no automated process to return the drones to the carrier since you can't target with mechjeb and autodock.

All in all my goal is to have a craft around a dozen parts where I used to need 40 or 50, that will have enough endurance to stay in orbit for pretty long duration without refueling, and can move large pieces for orbital assembly.

Of course another option is just to turn every large piece into a remote controlled part... that has it's own draw backs though.

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5 hours ago, Buster Charlie said:

I Don't have a mod that lets me tweak the torque value, I used to have one but felt it was a bit cheaty to be able to double the torque with no weight costs (I know no cheat in a SP game but to me it seemed too easy) I'll try disably some of the reaction wheels and RCS and see if it works..

Ah, sorry, I do use the TweakableEverything mod, it does come in pretty handy at times.  However, I know Squad did add in some tweakability to certain things, and I thought that SAS torque was one of them, but apparently that's not the case.

Anyway, good luck getting things tuned in, sometimes it takes a little while to figure out all the nuances of how to get things working right in the game.  Hopefully it will be a fun process in this case.

Later.  :D 

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without TweakableEverything you can only tweak RCS thrust in the Editor. not during flight.

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I'll try tweak everything again, I had over 100 mods and pruned it down to under 70 ish, hoping i wont need to once we get 64 bit

Once again, I love this mod, I agree 100% with your goals, that's why I'm so excited by this. Once you start building a station, docking ships, a tug that only has a few parts vs 50 is amazingly awesome!

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Okay so after reloading my save game today, it appears to NOT be freaking out, maybe there is some bug in my KSP install unrelated to this mod, but i hadn't this issue before. But it looks like it's stopped so I'll cross my fingers and let you know if it pops up on you're parts specifically, or in general on my end. I hate to be sending you on a wild goose chase. 

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I use MechJeb SAS to point in the right direction while docking, but I don't use it's docking automation. If you select Target+, your ship will point at the docking port, but when you get almost docked, MechJeb will torque away from docking. Instead use Par- (parallel minus) and all will be fine. This works, because the docking port is pointing toward you, so parallel is the correct alignment, and minus to point toward it.

I also use NavyFish's Docking Port Alignment Indicator to so I can see which direction to thrust for correction. The combination is far more efficient than MechJeb auto dock.

For example, docking two ships. On ship A, point Target+. Switch to ship B, point Target+. Now both docking ports are roughly aligned. (Repeat if you have rather long ships.) RCS toward the other ship. If you leave the MechJeb SAS set this way, when you get close, the portals (and ships) will be shoved sideways in rotation when you are almost docked. To prevent this, I either turn off MechJeb SAS and turn on regular SAS, or MechJeb SAS Kill Rot on the target (B) ship. Then on ship A set MechJeb SAS Par-. Then all I have to do is manage some side thrust to stay on target until docking.

I don't know why Target+ doesn't work. I'm not sure that it's consistent behavior for all versions of MechJeb.

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Great mod, THANKS!

I have a few doubts, though:

  1. What is that automatic switch mode option on the engines menu?
  2. Do the engines indicate if they are reversed prior to activating them?
  3. I'm trying to use the front winch and it doesn't work as I expect it to - it either goes THROUGH the target (an Mk1 pod) or ricochets on it! :(

This last question should be asked here or on the KAS thread? I have the latest version (0.5.5)...

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1. The engine should switch to either LF/Mono depending which is available on the craft. If you set it to Manual switch, then the engine will shut down when fuel is depleted instead of switching. The mode should be indicated either as LF or Mono in the right click menu. IIRC default is LF.

2. There's no indicator at the moment, but thanks for the reminder for me to add a visual indicator. Default direction is the down end. Space bar with the part selected to reset it's orientation.

3. If you didn't attach a grappling hook or harpoon to the winch, the pipe end will probably fly though things. With a grappling hook or harpoon it might bounce off as the ejection force is a bit low. I'll have to test it some more when I get some time.

Edited by nli2work

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I didn't realize the engine could switch on the fly between monopropellant and LG. This certainly adds a great backup fuel supply.  I was not aware and now I am!

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31 minutes ago, Leadcatcher said:

just installed the tug. engines are not in the game. suggestions..?

 

is the Drone core command part missing as well?

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Hi guys, I am having some weird texture issues with this mod. On the manned command pod the winch is pure black,  the engines have some pure black parts along the edges, and the drone core has a weird black shading all over it. Any ideas?

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Yeah I've had this happen occasionally, KSP doesn't link the texture files properly and for me it prevents the game from loading the part. I dont' know why it happens. 

What you can do is duplicate the full texture files for each part. When you look in each part folder you'll see 1kb textures in some of them, those are place holders, you need to find the full texture of the same name, and copy that to the each part that has place holder textures. for example the drone core borrows fwdAdaptor_DIF.dds from adaptor part. in the drone folder you'll see a fwdAdaptor_DIF.dds that is 1kb in size, copy the same file from adaptor folder which should be about 1meg, and place it into the drone folder.

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On 19.03.2016 at 2:03 AM, nli2work said:

without TweakableEverything you can only tweak RCS thrust in the Editor. not during flight.

RCS Thrust slider in flight became stock in 1.0.5

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16 minutes ago, Enceos said:

RCS Thrust slider in flight became stock in 1.0.5

I just noticed few days ago. It's great!

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Updates and Pics in OP

New Helper Drone part, basically remote controlled high power RCS block with grabber unit. roughly same size as small stack RCS tank. Indicator lights to help with orientation, red-left, green-right, yellow up.
Adaptor part refitted as drone carrier with space for up to 4 helper drones. Will replace Adaptor w/ Service bay in the future.

Edited by nli2work

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4 hours ago, nli2work said:

Updates and Pics in OP

New Helper Drone part, basically remote controlled high power RCS block with grabber unit. roughly same size as small stack RCS tank. Indicator lights to help with orientation, red-left, green-right, yellow up.
Adaptor part refitted as drone carrier with space for up to 4 helper drones. Will replace Adaptor w/ Service bay in the future.

Hi nli2work, to start with, I want to say how much I LOVE this mod. I know it will probably just be me and my noobish abilities, but I can't seem to get the drones to re-dock to the tug after using them. Do I need to leave them with their grabber enabled or should they reattach? Thanks again for all your awesome work on this Mod, love the addition of the Drones.

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1 hour ago, PhantomC3PO said:

Hi nli2work, to start with, I want to say how much I LOVE this mod. I know it will probably just be me and my noobish abilities, but I can't seem to get the drones to re-dock to the tug after using them. Do I need to leave them with their grabber enabled or should they reattach? Thanks again for all your awesome work on this Mod, love the addition of the Drones.

use grabber to dock after initial separation.

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Here i thought this was a one and done mod but you keep growing and evolving it. Very nice!

Edited by Deimos Rast

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