• 0
qoonpooka

Fore-and-aft Clamp-O-Tron placement.

Question

So, I'm building my first orbital tug for space station operations as I plan a rather robust local tourism infrastructure consisting of modular components so that passenger modules can be docked to vehicles appropriate to their itineraries. (This same infrastructure will include scientific and other payloads as well, but tourists seem to have enough variety in their needs that designing for that use-case will be a goodly ways towards what I need.)

The problem is thus: I can't seem to make the clampotron Jr. lock to directly above the center of mass. Given that this tug will be attaching to things much larger than it, an offset CoM from my CoT will be problematic in an environment where high degrees of precision are called for.

Am I missing something obvious? Other parts, like parachutes, snap just fine.  I'm having similar issues with the command module's roof.

Edit: If I turn the clamp-o-tron upside down (such that it generates the 'uselessness' error) it will snap just fine.  Of course, then it's upside down and can't be used.

Edited by qoonpooka
Added clarification and additional behavior.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

17 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 1

Okay, got to my KSP computer.  I'm seriously puzzled by the difficulty you're having.  Works just fine for me.

Here's my sequence of operations:

  1. Start a new ship in the VAB.
  2. Place a big orange tank.
  3. Pick a docking port off the parts tab.
  4. Hit "A" a couple of times to flip it upside-down.
  5. Hold down the ALT key.
  6. Move the mouse until the upside-down docking port snaps to the bottom node on the fuel tank.
  7. Click the left mouse button, placing the port.
  8. Release the ALT key.

Below are some screenshots of the operation, depicting steps 3, 4, 6, and 7 from the above.

5LSixLq.png

Z91vNaw.png

79xBjjS.png

qGPBxpE.png

 

That's it.  Works exactly as I'd expect.  So, @qoonpooka, you're saying it doesn't work that way for you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3

Hold down the ALT key while placing the docking port. That will force it to snap to the node on the thing you're mounting it to, thus perfectly centering it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

When in the VAB (or SPH) turn the camera so that you look at the spot where you want to put the docking port from the side. Then put it on. It will snap to the center by itself.

Alternatively, use the ALT key (Windows users) or right shift key (Linux) to force-snap onto the node. It will also change the rotation of the docking port, so DO doublecheck it is not put on wrong (which is a typical newbie mistake, and is really annoying).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

A bug - sometimes parts lose their nodes for no reason. Delete the port, maybe detach and delete the part you're trying to attach it to, and pull new ones from the menu. Possibly if that doesn't help at once, save, quit, restart the game and try again.

If it still doesn't help, install Editor Extensions Redux and just switch surface attachment on. Switching symmetry and wiggling the parts until the original and the "mirror" overlaps perfectly (then switching symmetry off before the final click that attaches the part) will let you surface-attach parts perfectly in the center, without use of nodes.

 

(...at other times, nodes don't get used up. Yesterday, I got a Dawn engine, to which I managed to node-attach a dozen parts (clipping them into each other) before I realized the bug. Reloading the game returned everything to the norm.)

Edited by Sharpy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
14 hours ago, Snark said:

Hold down the ALT key while placing the docking port. That will force it to snap to the node on the thing you're mounting it to, thus perfectly centering it.

When I tried that, while flailing about, it also flipped it over to make that snap.  In that orientation the thing won't be usable to dock. I'll poke at it some more though.

Quote

If it still doesn't help, install Editor Extensions Redux and just switch surface attachment on. Switching symmetry and wiggling the parts until the original and the "mirror" overlaps perfectly (then switching symmetry off before the final click that attaches the part) will let you surface-attach parts perfectly in the center, without use of nodes.

The problem with the 'overlaps perfectly' is that I can't get a good visual angle on the bottom of a fuel tank to instal an aft docking port.

Edited by qoonpooka
adding reply without adding a post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
42 minutes ago, qoonpooka said:

When I tried that, while flailing about, it also flipped it over to make that snap.  In that orientation the thing won't be usable to dock. I'll poke at it some more though.

Okay, now I'm hopelessly confused-- I simply can't picture what it is that you're building.  The image I had in my head was that you were doing something along the lines of "I'm putting a small-diameter docking port on top of a larger-diameter fuel tank or whatever, and I'm having getting it to snap to the connector node so that it will be perfectly centered on the tank's axis."

But from the comment of yours that I've quoted here, it sounds as though that's not what you're doing.  It's likely there's a perfectly simple answer for what you're trying to do, but without having any idea what that is, it's hard to give advice.  I simply can't picture what you're doing-- when I place docking ports on top of my ships, the docking port is always right-side up and therefore easily usable; I don't have to do any special operations.

Could you post a screenshot of the problem?  I expect that would clear things right up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 minute ago, Snark said:

Okay, now I'm hopelessly confused-- I simply can't picture what it is that you're building.  The image I had in my head was that you were doing something along the lines of "I'm putting a small-diameter docking port on top of a larger-diameter fuel tank or whatever, and I'm having getting it to snap to the connector node so that it will be perfectly centered on the tank's axis."

But from the comment of yours that I've quoted here, it sounds as though that's not what you're doing.  It's likely there's a perfectly simple answer for what you're trying to do, but without having any idea what that is, it's hard to give advice.

Could you post a screenshot of the problem?  I expect that would clear things right up.

You have it correctly, except that I am also trying to place a normally sized one on the bottom of the same tank. Basically, I have an orange tank with some RCS thrusters on it. It is intended to be moved from place to place, so the tug docks at one end, and the tank lets go of it's mooring on the other, then the tug moves it into place, and it re-clamps onto something, then the tug lets go. The tank has no on-board control, so it needs to be able to dock to two things at once, and I want it to do so along it's axis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
4 minutes ago, qoonpooka said:

You have it correctly, except that I am also trying to place a normally sized one on the bottom of the same tank.

Okay, so you get a brand-new docking port off the parts tab, hit A or D a couple of times to flip it 180 degrees so it's upside down, hold down ALT to force node snapping, and then you put it on the bottom of the tank.  You're saying that it doesn't work?  That it flips right-side up again when attaching it?

In that case, that sounds like a bug.  I occasionally attach docking ports to the bottoms of my crafts, I always use the ALT for snapping (it's muscle memory for me at this point, I do it without being consciously aware I'm doing it), and it just works.  No idea what could be causing the behavior.

Or am I missing something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Just now, Snark said:

Okay, so you get a brand-new docking port off the parts tab, hit A or D a couple of times to flip it 180 degrees so it's upside down, hold down ALT to force node snapping, and then you put it on the bottom of the tank.  You're saying that it doesn't work?  That it flips right-side up again when attaching it?

In that case, that sounds like a bug.  I occasionally attach docking ports to the bottoms of my crafts, I always use the ALT for snapping (it's muscle memory for me at this point, I do it without being consciously aware I'm doing it), and it just works.  No idea what could be causing the behavior.

Or am I missing something?

You got it. The alt-key thing will make it snap, but to do so, it flips over so that the 'business-end' is what's snapping to the bottom of the tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
5 minutes ago, qoonpooka said:

You got it. The alt-key thing will make it snap, but to do so, it flips over so that the 'business-end' is what's snapping to the bottom of the tank.

Huh.  That sounds weird to me.  I've never once had trouble placing an upside-down docking port on the bottom of a ship in the VAB, ever; it "just works".  That said, I've been playing KSP for so long that about 90% of what I do in the VAB is muscle memory that I don't pay conscious attention to, so perhaps there's a step in there somewhere that I'm missing because I don't realize that I'm doing it.

Can't check at the moment, since I'm not where I have access to my KSP computer.  Will have to take a look at this later on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Just now, ForScience6686 said:

What are you attaching the docking port to?  Could it be, like for a cargo bay, that it's trying to attach to the inner node?

The top of an OKTO and the bottom of a 2.5m RCS tank, for the tug.

The fore and aft ends of an orange tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

A docking port has two nodes. One on the "bottom" for attaching to the craft, one at the "business end" where you can attach other stuff, e.g. another docking port, so that you can build things already docked together in VAB. His docking port lost the "bottom" node somehow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 hour ago, Snark said:

Okay, got to my KSP computer.  I'm seriously puzzled by the difficulty you're having.  Works just fine for me.

Here's my sequence of operations:

  1. Start a new ship in the VAB.
  2. Place a big orange tank.
  3. Pick a docking port off the parts tab.
  4. Hit "A" a couple of times to flip it upside-down.
  5. Hold down the ALT key.
  6. Move the mouse until the upside-down docking port snaps to the bottom node on the fuel tank.
  7. Click the left mouse button, placing the port.
  8. Release the ALT key.

Below are some screenshots of the operation, depicting steps 3, 4, 6, and 7 from the above.

5LSixLq.png

Z91vNaw.png

79xBjjS.png

qGPBxpE.png

 

That's it.  Works exactly as I'd expect.  So, @qoonpooka, you're saying it doesn't work that way for you?

That is exactly what I'm saying. I'll give it another go the next time I'm at my machine, but my experience has been that when I hit the alt key, it DOES snap, but it does so in the reverse orientation to what you show.  I haven't tried, as someone suggested, holding alt while I rotate it, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 hour ago, qoonpooka said:

I haven't tried, as someone suggested, holding alt while I rotate it, though.

No, that's not necessary.  In the above, I didn't hold ALT while rotating.  I rotated first, entirely without ALT.  Then hold down ALT, place, snap, left-mouse-click, release ALT, in that order.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
21 minutes ago, Snark said:

No, that's not necessary.  In the above, I didn't hold ALT while rotating.  I rotated first, entirely without ALT.  Then hold down ALT, place, snap, left-mouse-click, release ALT, in that order.

Aaaand it works suddenly! Yay!

Either closing KSP and restarting it, or rebooting the machine may have contributed here.  I was able to reproduce your results and can now go forth building my modular network!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.