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[1.4+] BETA: Kerbal Attachment System (KAS) v1.0 Release Candidate 1


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With the articulation like in the mk48, there isn't any need to steer the rear wheels. You just steer the front and the rear assembly tracks along. Tweak the traction beteeen the front and rear wheels and you should have reasonable performance. 

 

In my own truck. The models with the sprag based front axle engagement, they even have a slight gear ratio indifference which works to engage the front axle automatically when the rear wheels slip and over run the front. This all works on a sprag clutch mechanism. My particular example has an air shift front axle which is manual engagement. I would not be surprised if there was a bit of power division between the front and rear sets of the Mk48 LVS. I'll have to ask the guys on steel soldiers. 

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9 hours ago, Warro said:

But what about this:

i?id=76ec150a3d499105d9ce332a7bc31735&n=

or this:
upload_f36f8403bbe70d047b6403c4d259a631.farkop-f651428.jpg
which allows to build this:
image-krd-050-122-png.png or  zvuuchp7cmrxkbcajyhcqcxyncwcfmk4.jpg

which are "unstable_when_disconnected" types. I guess there is needed some mechanism, other than "click-establish connection" that is in KAS now, cause the trailer can't stand still, waiting for connection.

 

Trailer is a subset of "pivoted front axle" class. The only difference is that trailer's front axle is the towing vehicle rear axle. That's why this type of connection is stable on high speeds. I was thinking about implementing it in KAS but so far I don't see easy ways to do it (there are many caveats design and coding wise). So for now TB60 will be the only towing part in KAS.

Btw, trailers can be constructed using IR + TJ-1.

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5 hours ago, IgorZ said:

... That's why this type of connection is stable on high speeds...

I drew a bit ugly picture in Paint® which, i think, better explain the situation:

lyQYRwi.png

And yes, "pivoted front axle" class looks just like 2 trailers connected serial.

5 hours ago, IgorZ said:

... I was thinking about implementing it in KAS but so far I don't see easy ways to do it (there are many caveats design and coding wise)...

What is the problem with single flexible joint? I think problems are only in connection mechanism, it should lock like docking port - withot EVA-ing kerbal at all, and that's the problem of craft designer to keep trailer levelled to dock (more or less simple) or apply unknown force to pull trailer to towing vessel if it's unlevelled (hard and not for saddle type). And it will be better if this connection can be done in editor too.
 

UPD. Tested all 3 tipes of connections:

TJ-2 - inacceptable, 2 flex joints are no good

TJ-1 - better, but lack of steering at all, trailer is just 3rd axle with flexibility in length between rover and trailer.
QRqb6ON.png

TB-60 - bit better:

SPVkOQJ.jpg

it turns, more or less looks like real trailer, but unneeded flexibility on the rear joint (TB-60 mounted on trailer) ruins the expression, probably will get even worse under load.

UPD2: tested trailer with "saddle" from two free wheeling rotatrons (due to the bug with IR and autostrooted wheels you need two rotatrons for one to work :) ) and two doking ports - near ideal:

XqrlCpl.png

exept this:

7UYAl26.png

no vertical flexibility results in front axle in the air. But connecting and disconnecting in both editor and in the field - priceless :)

Edited by Warro
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14 hours ago, IgorZ said:

Btw, trailers can be constructed using IR + TJ-1.

 

10 hours ago, Warro said:

 

7UYAl26.png

 

no vertical flexibility results in front axle in the air. But connecting and disconnecting in both editor and in the field - priceless :)

Stock parts trailers can be made very well using the structural fuselage (using only tweakscale) :wink:

http://imgur.com/gallery/pyHct

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10 hours ago, Warro said:

What is the problem with single flexible joint?

There are no problems with single flexible joint. There is a problem in making a joint between trailer and the towing vessel in the game. At the very least the following points have to be addressed (not a full list):

  1. UX: attaching pivot to the trailer in EVA. This pivot by design is attached at the bottom of the towed vessel, and it's usually a challenge when you're EVA.
  2. UX: trailer pivot is rigidly attached to the vessel and has no X/Y freedom (in spite of TJ/TB parts). It implies difficulties with aligning the towed and the towing vessels.
  3. Code: pivot and hook need to connect by aligning instead of "point-and-click" UI action. It requires a totally different coding approach, more like docking.

None of these 3 bullets are impossible. Though, none of them are trivial. If I were a team lead of 3-4 people it could be done in just 2 weeks but I'm only "leading" myself :) That said, low priority features go to the "maybe" queue.

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6 minutes ago, IgorZ said:

There are no problems with single flexible joint. There is a problem in making a joint between trailer and the towing vessel in the game. At the very least the following points have to be addressed (not a full list):

  1. UX: attaching pivot to the trailer in EVA. This pivot by design is attached at the bottom of the towed vessel, and it's usually a challenge when you're EVA.
  2. UX: trailer pivot is rigidly attached to the vessel and has no X/Y freedom (in spite of TJ/TB parts). It implies difficulties with aligning the towed and the towing vessels.
  3. Code: pivot and hook need to connect by aligning instead of "point-and-click" UI action. It requires a totally different coding approach, more like docking.

None of these 3 bullets are impossible. Though, none of them are trivial. If I were a team lead of 3-4 people it could be done in just 2 weeks but I'm only "leading" myself :) That said, low priority features go to the "maybe" queue.

OK, another "maybe" idea for you:

5.png
is it possible to make this kind of utility for KAS winches?

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New version 0.7.2 is available here (you may also find this link in the starter post):

Changes:

  • [Fix] #186: Loaded position of TJ-2 & TB-60 is incorrect.
  • [Fix] #187: Vessel can auto save during interactive mode.
  • [Fix] #188: Incorrect unlinking when vessel root changes.
  • [Enhancement] TB-60 supports locking and active steering to increase stability.

In this release TB-60 is final. Towing at high speeds (above 15m/s) is unstable but with this type of joint you'd face the same issue in the real world as well (just recall there is a speed limit for towing vehicles). I'd love to see your videos with your experiments with the new TB-60. Links to the interesting ones will be added to the main post.

For now I stop working on KAS beta and switch to KIS. There are important issues to be fixed there: EVA canister, parts with science, FAR compatibility, etc.

Edited by IgorZ
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8 hours ago, Warro said:

When you need to lift something with unknown CoM, for example, to keep it levelled, you need more then one point of lift.

ff5d17b6569.pngbd9f7d7030e6bf8c3843cfcf69c4a536.jpg

Well, it will be hard to implement as a single part. Multiple connection points imply you need to complete multiple connections before lifting anything which complicates UX/coding a lot. I'll keep in mind this config for the future features.

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On 11/19/2016 at 4:42 PM, Warro said:

OK, another "maybe" idea for you:

5.png
is it possible to make this kind of utility for KAS winches?

It is doable with the current parts, 5 winches do the work. The positive side is you can adjust the length of each cable separately and account for the CoM.

rL0bgUD.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, Enceos said:

It is doable with the current parts, 5 winches do the work. The positive side is you can adjust the length of each cable separately and account for the CoM.

rL0bgUD.jpg

 

I don't want to suggest something "will it work in KSP at all?", so kerbal-proofed concepts are better :) I think, the ability to have multiple cords in one part will be good addition to Kerbal Attach System. I don't think that we need exact copy of the mentioned tool, I generally don't like the idea "you can build only that from given parts". I like Lego-style: take helicopter, rip some parts, add other - wow, nice boat, car, whatever :)

In the case with 5 winches there is extra weight and part count, don't you think?
 

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3 minutes ago, Warro said:

I don't want to suggest something "will it work in KSP at all?", so kerbal-proofed concepts are better :) I think, the ability to have multiple cords in one part will be good addition to Kerbal Attach System. I don't think that we need exact copy of the mentioned tool, I generally don't like the idea "you can build only that from given parts". I like Lego-style: take helicopter, rip some parts, add other - wow, nice boat, car, whatever :)

In the case with 5 winches there is extra weight and part count, don't you think?
 

The winches use a docking mechanism, KSP won't allow you to dock one part to 4 different parts which are interconnected themselves. So one parts with 4 hinges is not possible with the current vessel part hierarchy.

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1 minute ago, Enceos said:

The winches use a docking mechanism, KSP won't allow you to dock one part to 4 different parts which are interconnected themselves. So one parts with 4 hinges is not possible with the current vessel part hierarchy.

They use some different mechanism, not docking, docking mode is togglable now, you can connect in undocked mode from the beginning, which can't be done with stock docking mechanics. I guess there is no need to dock or transfer resources to the thing you are lifting this way? I'd vote to separate transfer from pulling mechanism (in the older version tubes were separate), but that's all to the mod maintainer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The videos and everything here are very exciting.

How close are we to getting out of beta?  I noticed the OP still says "Since it's a beta for now avoid using these parts in your main game."  Is it safe to use the parts marked "Done" in my main game yet?  I'm working on some weldments and would prefer to use the new parts in them, rather than ones that will be depricated.  Specifically, I'm talking about the fuel transfer connectors (i.e. cPort1 in old).

If the meshes, weights, colliders etc. of the new parts are finalized and the only thing that will change is the parameters in the MODULE's, then that's good enough for me.

Also, will the deprecated cPort1 still work (within the limits of KSP 1.2) in my existing craft that are out in space if I uninstall KAS 0.6.<whatever> and install 1.<whatever>? (Realized answer to that is "yes", the old/new mods can coexist side-by-side)

Edited by Fwiffo
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I finally got a change to play with this in 1.2. 

Trailer brakes don't work remotely. That's a challenge. 

In trying to make them work remotely I tried the pivoting connection atop the TB-60. This worked great. :) Brakes work. you can control the trailing vehicle's systems as if you ran a control cable. Controlled steering or not if the trailer was a conventional tag trailer. 

But...it only worked for a moment. :blush: On my first test I got from the runway start point all the way to the path from the VAB to the pad. 
Then, the Kraken appeared and caused a 60G disaster. More tests and it happens going over less substantial bumps AND at speed down the runway. So, that's a no go.

Overall it's a pretty neat system. But the Tow bar REALLY seems like a way to get one vehicle moved by another vehicle short distances. With no brakes any movement at speed is liable to cause the towing vehicle to be jack-knifed.  

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After experiencing some problems with the KAS winch system in connecting some rovers on Eve, and IgorZ determining that an auto-strut problem was to blame, I got the beta and modified the designs for the first two rovers, using the TJ-2 as suggested.  Prototypes of these two modified rovers were sent to Duna, and they have been successfully connected at my Duna base, allowing me to manufacture fuel on the surface of Duna (one of the rovers has drills, the other has an ISRU).  In the process, I discovered that a stock part I had previously overlooked was superior to the system I had originally designed for holding the equipment on top of the chassis.  At some point in the future, further rovers with Extraplanetary Launchpads resource extraction/conversion systems may be sent to allow for launches from Duna.  As for the original set of rovers on Eve, if I can complete the set (I would need 2 more), they would then be able to "self-replace" with upgraded versions (I'll have to fashion an adapter to allow resource transfer between the two sets).

This is definitely working better than the old system, aside from having to get everything closer together (which also means I must be careful with solar/radiator array placement, so as not to have a conflict there: not a problem on Eve since they would fail under the high pressure anyway, but I'll have to be careful on Duna and, should I eventually get there, Laythe).

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I tried to make a video for you, guys. But Windows 10 failed me in this effort :( So here is just a final screenshot.

vNOQOWW.jpg

It's a prototype of wire rope part. It will replace "strut" in old KAS.

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Will there be anything new in KAS 1.0 that can make connections across similar distances to the current winch system?  Based on my experiences, and a post you made related to KAS 0.6.2, it sounds like auto-struts and winches are not working well with each other.  My experiment with the new connectors on Duna looks to have succeeded, but most of my other bases utilize landers (went to rovers for Eve and Duna due to anticipated precision loss caused by drag), and the new connectors would require serious landing precision (and an increased risk of a collision with the target of the connection), as well as the possibility of retractable solar/radiator panel conflicts between the landers to be connected.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The renovation of my Eve base is underway: 2 of the 6 rovers that comprise my base have been recreated with the TJ-2/JS-1 connection system in place of winches.  I have noticed a couple issues.  First, sometimes after connections are made and then later released, one of the parts will be listed in the tracking station as something weird (e.g., "Eve Launch Facility Lander Base" when Eve Launch Facility was the name of one of the rovers (multiple connections were released in this example)).  It would make more sense for them to revert to their original names.  While this is usually only a nuisance issue, on one occasion, it appears to have confused the steering system on the rover being disconnected, so that commands to turn left and right instead cause the wheels to all turn inward or outward.  Second, the physics easer is still causing some problems on Eve.  It will sometimes cause the rovers to jump a couple meters into the air and then come back down.  When this happens, the TJ-2/JS-1 connection will sometimes break (accompanied by a red message indicating an illegal angle and/or distance).  Usually, this simply decouples the two affected rovers, but there have been times where either the JS-1 will come loose from the part it was attached to and end up in an inappropriate location, or the TJ-2 will break off.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The renovation of my Eve base is getting closer to completion: 4 of the 6 rovers have been recreated using the TJ-2/JS-1 connection system, and the new version of the 5th is ready on the launchpad (which itself will be the 6th and final rover to be replaced).  I have noticed that my two adapter rovers (designed to allow rovers from the old and new systems to connect with each other) appear to be contributing significantly to the problems I am having with new connections breaking.  The physics easing keeps throwing my rovers into the air, but the adapters tend to jump the highest.  While they are the lightest rovers present, I do not think that is the entire issue.  They are also the "ends" of the ever-diminishing system of winch connections (as well as the "ends" of the ever-increasing system of TJ-2/JS-1 connections).  I was intending to keep them in the system due to the metal tanks I added to each, but now I am thinking they are more trouble than they are worth, and I will likely feed them to my "JunkEater" rover once I have replaced the Workshop and Launchpad rovers.

Note: the slow going is not just due to connections breaking or going slow to reduce the chance of that occurring.  Some events not related to KSP are occurring that I have been following (and had planned to do so).

Edit: Renovation complete.  Still having a couple issues with connections breaking, but I think the main culprit is the "physics easer", which caused the pad itself to "jump" higher than the other rovers.  Being on Eve is probably contributing to the problems as well.  I may have to run some further tests on Duna (and possibly Laythe) in the future, but for now, back to what I had been doing before the renovation. 

Edited by cgwhite4
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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been a while since I released a version. And today is the day - a new version!

usqOO4s.jpg

KAS 1.0 Beta4 (v0.7.3)

@ihsoft ihsoft released this 14 minutes ago

0.7.3 (pre-release):

  • [Enhancement] Add cable joint parts PCB-1 and CH-1.
  • [Change] Rename module: KASModuleInteractiveJointSource to KASModuleInteractiveLinkSource.
  • [Change] Rename module: KASModuleTelescopicPipeStrut to KASModuleTelescopicPipeModel.
  • [Fix #190] KAS 1.0: Bring back collider for the clutches.

Bad news for those who ignored my warning about beta version and used the previous build in a career game: there are incompatible changes in this version. If you have savegames or ships with parts from Beta3 you will not be able to load them in Beta4. Don't even try, I know it for sure. Though, there are steps that may let you loading them (no guarantee!):

  1. Load savegame with Beta3 installed and disconnect all connected parts, then save the game.
  2. Open new savegame in a text editor and replace module names as mentioned in the changes (above).
  3. Install Beta4.
  4. Load modified savegame and connect the parts back.
  5. For the ship templates do the text replace but be creative since sometimes module name is a part of a bigger string.

While this release may look not too significant by the features it really is by the implementation. The rope link is fully implemented now, including links with the other vessels which was impossible in Beta3. It allows going forward with winch and fueling station implementations.

Another nice addition is own CCK filter which holds all KAS 1.0 parts. Now you don't need to guess what is KAS 1.0 :)

riXTvVh.png

P.S. Models for the new parts are under active development. They will change in the final version. Special thanks to @Enceos for his help in creating new models.

Edited by IgorZ
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