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Rcs thusters direction control doesnt make sense


Biggen
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Im trying to dock one half of my station with the other.  Im 30m away at 0 velocity looking at the docking ring I need to get to, but I cant figure how to translate. I turn on RCS, hit "L" thinking that will move me laterally right, and it ends up moving me laterally up. If I hit hit "J", that moves me back laterally down.

The only RCS controls that work properly are "H" for forward and "N" for backwards.

What gives? How does Kerbal know the orientation of my craft to differentiate left/right/up/down? Wouldnt it need to know a specific point on the craft in order to base directions off of that?

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KSP's camera is confusing. It is set up in a way so that the North is always up (at least in orbital view), and that's great, but if you craft is rolled 90°, what you see facing up is the left side, the up is facing right, the right down and the down left. Which means that when you press I to go up, the craft goes up from its own point of view, not from yours.

There are several ways to "fix" this:

  • Place a part on the up side of your craft (a battery for example) so that you can easily orient the craft to tell the same thing as the camera
  • Use the navball for docking: the navball rotates with your craft, so pressing L will always move you towards your right when looking at the navball
  • Press V to change camera view until you hit "Locked" view. The camera will adjust to put your craft upside up, and will rotate along your craft to keep the up side always up.
Edited by Gaarst
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Hit 'V' while in the flight scene until it goes to "Locked" mode, then rotate to match the field of view of the active docking port.  Now your IKJL controls will be consistent.

Note that the ship picks one part as its "Control From Here" point at a time - this can be a command pod, a probe core, or a docking port.  By default, it controls from the root part (the first part you place in the VAB or SPH). These can end up rotated relative to each other when building - if the direction of thrust still isn't making sense in Locked mode, try right clicking and switching Control From Here to a different part.

Edited by fourfa
typo
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if you fly by your navball, you wont have issues.  no fiddling with cameras, you can even dock while in map view.

next time you get to that point for docking. look at your navball and ignore looking at your actual craft.  you will see how the translation controls will move your prograde around.  each button will always correspond to the same direction on the navball.

with your target being the docking port, once you aim at it in the navball (pink target marker)  all you gotta do is put your prograde directly ontop of it.   

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2 hours ago, DD_bwest said:

if you fly by your navball, you wont have issues.  no fiddling with cameras, you can even dock while in map view.

next time you get to that point for docking. look at your navball and ignore looking at your actual craft.  you will see how the translation controls will move your prograde around.  each button will always correspond to the same direction on the navball.

with your target being the docking port, once you aim at it in the navball (pink target marker)  all you gotta do is put your prograde directly ontop of it.   

...and then you'll slam into the side of your target or knock some solar panels off. I get what you're trying to say, but it's easy to mess up, especially if your RCS thrusters are not perfectly balanced with the CoM, if you didn't previously line up the docking ports and if you only target the vessel and not the port.

Locking the camera and looking around is probably better for someone new than *only* relying on the markers. It's good advice to line up the attitude, prograde and target markers, but it's not exactly a foolproof technique either.

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1 hour ago, Ohm is Futile said:

...and then you'll slam into the side of your target or knock some solar panels off. I get what you're trying to say, but it's easy to mess up, especially if your RCS thrusters are not perfectly balanced with the CoM, if you didn't previously line up the docking ports and if you only target the vessel and not the port.

Locking the camera and looking around is probably better for someone new than *only* relying on the markers. It's good advice to line up the attitude, prograde and target markers, but it's not exactly a foolproof technique either.

  if you do things right(this means targeting things properly and lining things up), you dont really need visuals of what is actually happening unless you have built your space station in a way that it needs to "dodge" part of the station on its way to the port, or if it doesnt have attitude control.

 He asked " How does Kerbal know the orientation of my craft to differentiate left/right/up/down? Wouldnt it need to know a specific point on the craft in order to base directions off of that? "

with the answer being the Navball.   Learning how to fly using the navball is perhaps one of the more important things to learn.

 

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On 1/22/2017 at 1:10 PM, Biggen said:

Ugh. I feel like an idiot.

Man the learning curve is steep with this game. Ive got 80 hours in and I still have so much to learn.

Actually with a couple thousands of hours on it, I'm really glad that I'm still learning things.

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On 22.01.2017 at 11:06 PM, DD_bwest said:

if you fly by your navball, you wont have issues.  no fiddling with cameras, you can even dock while in map view.

next time you get to that point for docking. look at your navball and ignore looking at your actual craft.  you will see how the translation controls will move your prograde around.  each button will always correspond to the same direction on the navball.

with your target being the docking port, once you aim at it in the navball (pink target marker)  all you gotta do is put your prograde directly ontop of it.   

This. Fly "eyeballing it" roughly ahead of the docking port. Burn retrograde in target mode to stop. Control from: your port, Target: target port. SAS: Target.

Getting a hunch of how the translation keys move your prograde marker takes 20 seconds. Move the marker right into the middle and make sure you're not going too fast (N if needed), and you'll be docking in no time.

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