Brandon Kerbin

Help me Obi-Wan Kerbin, you're my only hope...KSPI-E

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Hello everyone, my name is Brandon and I am a pathetic loser that can't make any of the reactor-powered nuclear engines work. Vista, Tokamak, VASMIR, Plasma, Warp Drive. I have the latest versions of KSP and KSPI-E.

The problem I am having is that both the Pebble Bed and Dusty Plasma both show outputs of several MW not GW, and I can't get a fusion reactor to actually start even after experimenting for several hours. I won't even mention antimatter...

Look, I fully expect to be torn a new one for my ineptitude. My experience with internet forums is not a good one. But with any luck there will be enough kind souls that will help me figure this out.

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I forgot to mention is that if someone could describe a fully functional warp/Vista engine capable ship, at least the important bits, I'd be grateful. 

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Welcome to the forums! Unfortunately I can't help with your problem, as I don't use many mods. I have, however, taken the liberty of moving your thread to the Welcome Aboard section, where there are users just waiting to help out newcomers with problems.

Happy forumgoing!

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9 hours ago, Brandon Kerbin said:

Look, I fully expect to be torn a new one for my ineptitude. My experience with internet forums is not a good one. But with any luck there will be enough kind souls that will help me figure this out.

Torn a new one? I don't think that anyone here would do that. We pride ourselves on being friendly and welcoming to all. (Except Regex. He's a Grumpy Spacehippy).

 

I'mma ping @FreeThinker you ya. If I understand correctly, KSPI-E means "KSP Interstellar Extended," and that's his mod, so maybe he can help.

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Most reactors need heat dissipaters... you can find them in the utility section of your VAB or SPH hanger.

See... I forget to put the radiators on reactors some times... so, I start the reactor and it gets hot... then.. meltdown... and it stops working.

 

Hope that helps.

 

BTW..... these are not the mods you are looking for.... move on....

The force is strong in this one, Live long and prosper. :):)

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I know how it feels, trust me!  Only last weekend (and in sandbox, never mind career, so everything was upgraded as I'd max tech tree) did I get a fully functional Vista/ warp ship running.

I'm posting from a phone now, I can give you specifics and screenshots later.

I first went looking for the reactor with the single biggest power output - it turned out to be one of the fusion ones, I think.  Now, fusion takes some power to maintain that fusion reaction, so if it ever dies, it needs another power source to 'reboot' it.  So, I added the best fission reactor I could find, as well. My total power output was something like 25gw.  That's what it takes to run this crazy stuff.

Vista was pretty straightforward but it does use up a little of the same types of fuels as the fusion reactors (at least when they're both left on default settings, D-T fusion).  If I'd done a lot of galavanting around the galaxy, I wood have needed extra fusion fuel - but it worked fine with just the Deuterium and Tritium stores in the fusion reactor itself.

Note that this all needed quite a lot of cooling.  Pay heed to the Interstellar Thermal Helper widget in the VAB and it will tell you when you have enough effective radiators.

The final piece was of course the warp drive.  You have to start it charging and wait while it greedily sucks up all your power for a little while.  This triggered a warning message from the fusion reactor (remember, it draws some of that power to keep fusion going) but it never died on me because I still had the backup fission reactor.

Now learning to use the warp drive effectively and not end up in a spot that demands tons of dV to achieve a sane orbit....  that's what I'm trying to do now.  

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On 9-8-2016 at 5:42 PM, Brandon Kerbin said:

The problem I am having is that both the Pebble Bed and Dusty Plasma both show outputs of several MW not GW, and I can't get a fusion reactor to actually start even after experimenting for several hours. I won't even mention antimatter..

if you see MW output whe\re you expect GW, then Most likely you have installed Near Future Electrics. KSPI-E was originally made to make KSPI compatible with Near Future Electrics. It effectively lowers all power output and consumption by a factor of 500. It effectively allows you combines Reactor/Engines from Near Future Engine/Propulsion with Reactor/Engines of KSPI.

Edited by FreeThinker

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I do have NF Electrics installed. Should I uninstall it? All of the descriptive text still describes output in GW and the best I can get from nuclear generators is 10%-15%.

Right now I the best I can manage from the Vista engine is 3-4 percent.

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@Brandon Kerbin, if what @FreeThinker said is correct and you do have Near Future electrical installed, I do as well. :)  What FreeThinker meant was that KSPI-E modifies itself if Near Future is present so they DO work together.

Working warp drive example incoming!

 

Disclaimer:  In all seriousness this ship probably actually sucks - there's probably something easier, more efficient, etc, etc.  Remember I'm still learning this too.  This is the first thing I've found that works, hey.  Also, warp travel and potentially stranding 1 kerbal is all this thing is capable of.  This is the first thing I've seen Jeb reluctant to get in the cockpit of.

 

IirThGQ.jpg

I pinned the rclick menus for the critical parts here.  I'm using the ISX fusion reactor/hull (the four attachment nodes that come with that, I slotted with interstellar tanks for LqdHydrogen for use with the Vista).  The Vista is on the bottom, and the warp drive* (heavy version) is on top of it.  Above that I stuck a dusty plasma fission reactor, then a thermal generator*, and finally a command pod.  The only other parts in play here are a pair of radiators.  They seem kinda OP, they're tiny yet they satisfy more cooling requirements than many of the huge ones.  I'm guessing the small ones get upgraded with high tier tech nodes...  Ooor maybe FreeThinker has a bug to squash. :) Either way, the VAB Thermal Helper text turns green when you have enough cooling for your stuff.

Other than that, I removed all the resources from the reactor except for He3 and Deuterium, and I think the Vista had room for more Tritium and Deuterium too.  That's why I pinned this stuff and took a screenshot - you can see what I did.

*marked parts I tweakscaled.  Tweakscale is recommended for KSPI-E, otherwise you're stuck with parts in only one size.

fPmctGU.jpg

 

I put this in orbit.  I was lazy, so I used a SpaceY engine and infinite propellant cheat to get it there, but this thing isn't all THAT heavy as "huge launches" go.  Another option is Extraplanetary Launchpads for orbital construction.

Ett5Tjs.jpg

 

Okay, now...  We have a lot going on and not a lot of screen real estate.  Once in orbit, you can rclick on your warp drive and 'Start Charging'.  But don't even bother in low orbit. It will charge, and your fusion reactor will give you a warning about running out of juice (shown above) but don't worry - it'll keep running fine.  It takes a while to charge, but you can timewarp until it's full.  The problem now is, even when fully charged, your warp drive will short out if it doesn't have enough MW's of power.

2 very important things I finally learned that had been holding me back:

- The speed of light (1.000c on the warp drive menu) is the most energy efficient speed.  The further off target from 1.0c, the more power needed.  

- When you are deep in a gravity well (i.e. in low orbit) your maximum warp speed is capped.  And since lower speeds take more power...   In short, around heavy planets it's very likely there is a threshhold below which you simply can't generate enough power with a given craft to go to warp at all.

Notice on my last screenshot, on the warp drive menu, I was getting a MaxAllowedThrottle of 0.010c in LKO.  I didn't have enough power to run that extreme low.  (P.s. the Reduce Warp Power button steps your current warp throttle speed toward 1.0c.)

CdRFatC.jpg

 

The solution?  Higher orbit.  Periapsis doesn't matter, only your current altitude (and the Vista on high-ISP mode does nicely).  Notice now at almost 7000km**, I have a throttle limit of 0.063c, matched my throttle to that speed, and the current power for warp is 20MW - which is just within my reach.  I can now go to warp!

(( ** You might not actually need this altitude.  I'm using KScale64, soooo that threshold MIGHT be about 6.4x higher than you'd need in the stock system.  Wild guess. ))

SNCYefF.jpg

 

Now, finally, activating the Warp Drive does something other than complain about not having enough MW (and wasting all the time we spend charging the warp drive...).

v9ZUsvq.jpg

 

YRDCZeQ.jpg

"Is that Kerbin?"  "Yup."  "It's so small..."  "C'mon Jeb, you've been interplanetary before.  Just admit you're impressed this thing is fast."

FQRfil4.jpg

Select a target (actually a good thing to do before you activate the warp drive) and just point at it.  You can in fact turn at warp speed too, in a kinda jerky way.  When your rotation comes to a stop, the warp drive will register your new heading and bang, you're going that way.  I happen to be experimenting with Outer Planets Mod so we're headed to Tekto here.

QXzbIHV.jpg

 

You can timewarp at warp speed (warpception?) but watch out, don't overshoot.  This thing is fast and the only throttle controls that work are on the warp drive rclick menu, which you can't access from map mode.  Not that's the end of the world if you do overshoot by a few light-seconds, it's just a bore to charge the drive again.

U1ioD0g.jpg

So this little ball is Tekto apparently.

 

Pi5iEBz.jpg

 

Here's the catch with warp drives: maintaining your direction and velocity from your point of origin, which can lead to ridiculous things like this - to even get close to an orbit, I'd need about 30,000 dV.  Even Interstellar tech won't get you that kind of dV.  The reason for this is, like a moron, I warped across the solar system.  In other words, my velocity is that of kerbin's orbit, and my direction is the same as kerbin's on the other side of the sun.  So my solar orbit overall is now retrograde.  It would have been smarter to stay at Kerbin until the Kerbin and Sarnus systems are aligned and roughly heading in the right direction (or pick a different target...)  I'm finding with warp drives, it really behooves one to consider the starting variables, and given a goal (i.e. "orbit Tekto"), and devise the best place to warp to such that you end up with a sensible orbit.  It's helpful to know things like, what is a low, circular orbital speed for this planet?  Then I know if I'm in a really odd eliptical orbit, I wait until a point in my orbit that my velocity is about that speed, then warp close to the planet and boom - I'm much closer to that circular orbit, without spending ANY dV (fusion reactor fuels aside).  I don't always know how to make it work efficiently, but it's making me think, and I love it.

At least switching prograde and retrograde orbits only requires warping over to the other side of the planet (or star...).  That's efficient, when it's what you WANT to do.

Hope some of this helps. :)  I'm wordy, I know.  I tried to do KSP Interstellar for Dummies Non-Nerds, but I think it became a nerd rant.  It's also way past my bedtime.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kyrt Malthorn
Typo. Also I meant He3.

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31 minutes ago, Kyrt Malthorn said:

- The speed of light (1.000c on the warp drive menu) is the most energy efficient speed.  The further off target from 1.0c, the more power needed

Actualy is is the least energy efficient speed when it comes to travel distance per second, but it has the lowest possible power cost, going faster will increase efficiency but increase power. Therefore Traveleing at the maximum speed possible, it the most energy efficient method, however it is also the hardes, You can easaly overshoot your target.

Edit , correciont, it's not the least efficinet mode, it's just the method with lowest power cost, going slower than speed of light will be less efficient, however, you might have to due to gravity wells. Simply but the faster, the more energy efficient, the slower the less energy efficinet. Should be easy enough to grasp.

Edited by FreeThinker

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7 minutes ago, FreeThinker said:

Actualy is is the least energy efficient speed when it comes to travel distance per second, but is has the lowest possible power cost, doing faster will increase efficiency but increase power. Therefore Traveleing at the maximum speed possible, it the most energy efficient method, however it is also the hardes, You can easaly overshoot your target

 

Oh good, I learned something today. :)  Handy to know for that far-off day when I reach warp capability in a career mode game when I might want to conserve my supplies of D-T  D-He3 fusion fuel for a long mission.

 

Edit:  Also realized my fusion reactor was running on Deuterium and He3, not Tritium.

Edited by Kyrt Malthorn

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4 minutes ago, Kyrt Malthorn said:

 

Oh good, I learned something today. :)  Handy to know for that far-off day when I reach warp capability in a career mode game when I might want to conserve my supplies of D-T fusion fuel for a long mission.

Yes, this is a great tutorial by the way, only thing that would make it better if it was a video which I could put on the main page.

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1 minute ago, FreeThinker said:

Yes, this is a great tutorial by the way, only thing that would make it better if it was a video which I could put on the main page.

Hmmm...  I could possibly...  maybe this weekend.  

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41 minutes ago, Kyrt Malthorn said:

Here's the catch with warp drives: maintaining your direction and velocity from your point of origin, which can lead to ridiculous things like this - to even get close to an orbit, I'd need about 30,000 dV.  Even Interstellar tech won't get you that kind of dV

Actualy, there are several ways to generate enough deltaV, the either use a Magnetic nozzle, Vasimr, Quantuum Vacuum thruster or Daedalus Fusion engine which can speed 36% the speed of light.

Edited by FreeThinker

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I am very close to the thermal nossle in carreer mode, and your little tutorial will definitely save me some time when the time comes for warp 6, scotty!

Just to be safe, using near future mod AND KSPI-E is the way to go? I currently play with KSPI-E only, because I had the feeling, near future mod plays in another scale (like the GW and MW thingy)

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18 hours ago, Kyrt Malthorn said:

 

fPmctGU.jpg

LOL , that radiator panel is realy small, it appears you are accidently using an exploit. Going to have to fix that.

Normally you need at least 50 times as much radiators to ensure it doesn't overheat. The reason why you didn't is probably because the Heat storage wasn't proprly scaled down.

Edited by FreeThinker

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5 hours ago, FreeThinker said:

LOL , that radiator panel is realy small, it appears you are accidently using an exploit. Going to have to fix that.

Normally you need at least 50 times as much radiator to ensure it doesn't overheat. The reason why you didn't is probably because the Heat storage wasn't proprly scaled down.

I sorted by mass intending to find the lightest cooling solution and was amazed when just one of the smallest radiators was overkill.  Didn't look right to me either, but the really really big radiators were apparently scaled down correctly and I would have needed tons of them.  For the purposes of this demonstration, they were very ugly on such a small ship.

 

16 minutes ago, Brandon Kerbin said:

Three things:

#1 @FreeThinker KSPI-E kicks ass. Thank you. 

#2 I finally got something wworking due to your help.

#3 How do I attach a screenshot to show it off?

 

Hit F1 to take a screenshot at any time in-game (F2 disables the HUD if you don't want to show it).  You can then upload these images to any free image hosting service - http://imgur.com/ is popular because it can embed slideshows, no account required or anything.  Just copy direct links from the image service (the URLs end with .jpg or .png) into your post and they'll appear, else use the "Insert other media" (lower right of the window when you are posting) -> insert image from URL, this popup window will recognize the URL link to an entire imgur album and embed the whole thing.

 

 

6 hours ago, Blackline said:

I am very close to the thermal nossle in carreer mode, and your little tutorial will definitely save me some time when the time comes for warp 6, scotty!

Just to be safe, using near future mod AND KSPI-E is the way to go? I currently play with KSPI-E only, because I had the feeling, near future mod plays in another scale (like the GW and MW thingy)

Nah, I think you'll be fine without any Near Future stuff.  If I understand it correctly, all the power output and power requirements are scaled by the same factor, so this exact setup should get you the same results.

 

....Except for radiators.  Currently the small ones appear to be not scaled down with the rest of stuff, so they're OP in my build here. :)  

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6 hours ago, FreeThinker said:

Actualy, there are several ways to generate enough deltaV, the either use a Magnetic nozzle, Vasimr, Quantuum Vacuum thruster or Daedalus Fusion engine which can speed 36% the speed of light.

And I still have more to learn about this mod!  Maybe figure more of this stuff out, I'll do a more extensive tutorial on KSPI-E. 

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15 hours ago, Kyrt Malthorn said:

I sorted by mass intending to find the lightest cooling solution and was amazed when just one of the smallest radiators was overkill.  Didn't look right to me either, but the really really big radiators were apparently scaled down correctly and I would have needed tons of them.  For the purposes of this demonstration, they were very ugly on such a small ship.

Well you are still right in the fact that radial graphite pannels panels have the best mass to head radiation ratio, as they reley on the underlying structure for stuctural strength. Allthough great, the obvious disadvantage is that surface space is limited

Edited by FreeThinker

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14 hours ago, Brandon Kerbin said:

Success! Thanks for everything, guys. So far its just named Prototype FTL, so I'm certainly accepting name submissions. Best I've managed so far is 4c, but I'll take it.

http://imgur.com/a/1dkCp

To reach higher speeds you can do the following things:

1 Add additional Warp Coils, all KSPI-E warp coils stack, for artistic reasons I like to add 2 to get the classic NASA warpship look

2 Use higher density reactors. The highest is the Antimatter reactor

3 Use lighter and more efficient propulsion engines like Magnetic nozzle, which use use less/no propellant, allowing you to reduce amount of propellant tanks, making the warp vessel light and therefore faster

14305613177_3c42ed0e74_z.jpg

Edited by FreeThinker

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