TaxiService

[1.7.1] CommNet Constellation v1.4 [5 June 2019]

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Well it has roleplay capabilities. You can seperate your different networks. Your survey scanners don't need to communicate with your munbase and maybe a ship passing duna doesn't need to communicate with the local duna network. As I understand it the current state is to declutter you "spaghetti" network (wich is also a roleplay aspect) and in future you can/could/will(?) be able to give missions a seperate channel so the relays handle all the communication and then direct it to the various frequencies your different missions are on.

MY dream is to have a base on planet x communicating with mission control on channel 1, a rover approaching it talking to his mission control on channel 2 and bopth of them can chat on channel 3 with each other. This is what I imagine this mod will go, and that is a real good opportunity to roleplay and declutter.

 

edit:

It also encourages diversity in antenna usage. The base in the above example coul use a small dish to establish connection to mission control while the rover (keeping an eye on weight) would use a foldable solution. And to communicate with each other a simple antenna would be enough. If you add some mod for antenna ranges there would be even more challenge behind the whole thing.

Edited by maculator

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28 minutes ago, TaxiService said:

Ok, thanks for testing. I will go and ask in TextureReplacer thread on this.

I think it worked, I think something else is throwing a wrench in the works now.  Before your patch, there were two exceptions being thrown, now there's only one.  I'm looking at my logs trying to figure out what might be doing it, but it's like trying to read Greek.

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12 minutes ago, garwel said:

I know this, and I'm eagerly waiting for RT 2.0. I also don't mind extra challenges as long as they have a clear logic (such as realism, roleplaying, etc.). In this case, at least in the present state of the mod, you have no incentives to actually use its features (apart from having less "spaghetti", but it's purely an aesthetic one). In fact, you are punished for it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing your mod. I see a lot of people here who are happy with it. I just suggest that you go beyond the bare concept of dividing vessels by channels and give some gameplay or roleplay incentives for using this mod's features.

No worries. This is why I decide to go ahead and release to public instead of archiving it after prototyping, to get feedback and gameplay ideas to improve this mod from the initial concept of network segmentation. Like this option two of building frequency list from vessel antennas.

 

13 minutes ago, maculator said:

Have you any intel on wich way you'll take this whole thing and when we can get our hands on it? I'm really exited for it. I don't want to rush you, I'm just excited :)@TaxiService

It is pretty clear from public opinion that the option two offers a better incentive over the current design of one frequency per probe core plus solving one or two potential issues of docking and dominant frequency per vessel. Right now, I am writing up the interface and backend for ground stations' frequencies before moving to the larger change of implementing the option two. 

For now, the development of RT takes a higher priority over this.

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So I finally started to setup my network and had a deeper look into this mod.

It's really awsome and closer to my expectations as I thought it would.

The description didn't tell me that the stock frequency 0 is the only one wich can communicate with others. You ( @TaxiService ) might want to state that in the description somewhere.

Because first thing I did for example was to rename it and use it elsewhere until I noticed my misstake.

So the default frequency 0 communicates with all others. I setup a dish on the northern icecap of kerbin wich is the only dish at frequency 0, it is connected to ksc thanks to atmospheric occlusion and provides the link to my keoSat (frequency 1) on the backside of KSC (those two together cover kerbin 100%) and it connects to mun (frequency 2) and minmus (frequency 3) relaynetworks.

And boy does this mod do its job!!!!

Just to amaze myself and eventually others (the pic in the description stil looks awfully messy and I only downloaded it because I thought "meh lets see where this is going") I turned the mod off again and made some screenshots. They shwo pretty good what this mod can do for you:

 

BEFORE:

jTMySVY.png

 

AFTER:

1wzvaYc.png

I think those pics show the potential of this mod pretty good :)

I LOVE THIS MOD!

Thank you

 

 

Edit:

Ideas and stuff:

It would be cool if only the closest vessel establishes a connection to 0, but I see that this would take more work to do.

Maybe instead of the "allow communication with others" -option you could implement a whitelist instead?

And the (in my noobish-non-programmer-head) easiest thing would be to simply allow to select more frequences per vessel.

Edited by maculator
reasons

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My concern so far is somewhat related to the above - when you put new networks together, they do not connect to Kerbin. IE, I am putting all contract satellites in thier own network, as I don't want them to be talking to, say, a GPS network I'll be putting up soon... so they will and do talk to each other, but not to any station on Kerbin. I know this will be addressed by allowing us to set frequencies for the ground stations (eventually), but for the now, it looks and feels decidedly odd to not have the networks talk to Kerbin as well.

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10 minutes ago, Shadriss said:

My concern so far is somewhat related to the above - when you put new networks together, they do not connect to Kerbin. IE, I am putting all contract satellites in thier own network, as I don't want them to be talking to, say, a GPS network I'll be putting up soon... so they will and do talk to each other, but not to any station on Kerbin. I know this will be addressed by allowing us to set frequencies for the ground stations (eventually), but for the now, it looks and feels decidedly odd to not have the networks talk to Kerbin as well.

Tey will connect to the "public channel" so your first network arround kerbin should be set to public channel like in my screenshot and they connect to it. And if you set a new vessel to public channel it will communicate with all networks aswell.

If they all would communicate with kerbin it would almost look like before and kerbin isn't visible 100% of the time so you need satelites arround kerbin to communicate with all your networks.

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A solution would also be to make the antenna tunable instead of the command pods, so that you could have multiple potential channels per vessel, and to designate an "air-to-ground" channel... that way you could decide which satellite in your constellation will talk to the ground stations, while the ground stations themselves would only have to listen on the air-to-ground freq. With this setup, you could also expand the capabilities of your relay stations by adding antenna or retuning them instead of having to have a separate relay for each channel. 

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Quote

oriented towards more difficult network management

But as long as you can choose your frequency, it doesn't create more difficult network management. It only allows you to make decisions that actively screw you over for no benefit, but even if installed, why choose them during gameplay? It seems similar to if somebody made a mod where you could click a button and a random antenna would explode somewhere in the solar system. Would definitely make it difficult, but only in an unnecessary and opt-in way. Which would make it an odd mod, since the mod itself would encourage you not to use itself (just don't push the button and you're better off, even if installed)

Quote

It also encourages diversity in antenna usage.

This is a good example to use to demonstrate the point: it does not actually encourage this. If you put both rovers and motherships on channel 1 together, you get 100% of the same benefits of putting mothership on channel 1 and rovers on channel 2, but also lose the small risk that for some reason, the intended antenna might at some point be blocked while the unintended one isn't.

No additional benefits + extra risks = discouraged (by the mechanics) feature, not encouraged. That's why it's a bit confusing. I could suggest various different features that would change it INTO encouraging this, if anyone is interested! But as is, there seem to be none.
 

Quote

The mod is essentially a proof-of-concept on a a future RemoteTech feature request.

Okay, is there a link anywhere (or just summary) to the discussion of what sort(s) of thing(s) RemoteTech folks wanted this for / how it would be eventually applied practically? That might definitely clear it up.

Edited by Crimeo

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If you're that offended by the concept of it, the simple answer - from my perspective - would be to not install it.

I like the idea of de-spaghettifiying the tracking/ flight map display.  I'm envisioning a lot of local networks with low-power transmitters and a few gatekeeper relay satellites, with maybe one or two links from each planet back to the homeworld, instead of the massive superhighways of green lines I have now.  I'd even like to see the concept taken a bit further and have the ability to assign each channel to a band, so that you could have VHF/UHF transmitters on the surface for local comms and higher bandwidth radios beaming stuff to orbit or between planets.  I'd love to set up a HF net across a planet and have designated uplinks to a geosynched comm relay, that would be awesome, and really satisfying to work out.

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3 hours ago, maculator said:

Tey will connect to the "public channel" so your first network arround kerbin should be set to public channel like in my screenshot and they connect to it. And if you set a new vessel to public channel it will communicate with all networks aswell.

If they all would communicate with kerbin it would almost look like before and kerbin isn't visible 100% of the time so you need satelites arround kerbin to communicate with all your networks.

I think you misunderstand what I was saying, but since Max nailed what I was really wanting, I'll just quote him instead of trying again myself...

2 hours ago, MaxPeck said:

...that way you could decide which satellite in your constellation will talk to the ground stations, while the ground stations themselves would only have to listen on the air-to-ground (satellite).

In messing around, I may have found another solution as well - have all members of a channel minus one using the "Talk Only to Members" option, with the last one having that option off. From what I can tell, that last one will then act as the "air-to-ground" Max was speaking of, while the rest of the constellation will only talk to themselves and that relay. Until I have time to get a full constellation into the air (so to speak) I can't test it, but the initial results looked promising.

I should have mentioned, but I'm still in early career, and multiple cores for my probes aren't feasible, so I need a single frequency solution.

On a separate matter, does this mod limit transmission distances or anything? I'm noticing that, even with LOS some of the satts aren't talking to each other on their networks.

Edited by Shadriss

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@Shadriss @MaxPeck Yup, the air-to-ground frequency idea is quite good and goes well with the ground-station interface I am coding. It looks like you could dedicate one frequency to this air-to-ground purpose completely. 

I think the "Talk Only to Members" option is going to be obsoleted by the multiple antenna-frequencies and ground-station interface, isn't it?

@Shadriss I didn't touch anything related to the transmission distances.

@Crimeo I agree with your assessment on the initial mod version because I didn't get motivated much when play-testing it on my own personal save. These features of multiple antenna-frequencies and ground-station edit have good value addition to this mod.

On your request for the RT discussion related to the proof-of-concept, I actually generalise these multiple RT topics to the concept of satellite constellations:

Besides these, I researched into breaking into and hooking up KSP's CommNet mechanisms so that I can port my CommNet codes and bug fixes to RT 2.0 project.

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@TaxiService I've been thinking about the issues some of have us been having with the frequency manager UI not wanting to load.  The problem, as I understand it, is that some other mods are placing the target.png file off-limits for some bizarre reason.  Thinking about this, it seems to me that the word "target" is probably fairly ubiquitous in the code for KSP and also for many mods.  I'm wondering, and yes I fully understand that this implies work on your part, but I'm wondering if changing target.png to cnc_target.png would fix the issue?  I know this is a little more complicated than just renaming the file, you'd have to jump through your code and re-compile, but seems like it could preempt future conflicts, if in fact that's the issue.  Just a thought.

Edited by MaxPeck

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7 minutes ago, MaxPeck said:

@TaxiService I've been thinking about the issues some of have us been having with the frequency manager UI not wanting to load.  The problem, as I understand it, is that some other mods are placing the target.png file off-limits for some bizarre reason.  Thinking about this, it seems to me that the word "target" is probably fairly ubiquitous in the code for KSP and also for many mods.  I'm wondering, and yes I fully understand that this implies work on your part, but I'm wondering if changing target.png to cnc_target.png would fix the issue?  I know this is a little more complicated than just renaming the file, you'd have to jump through your code and re-compile, but seems like it could preempt future conflicts, if in fact that's the issue.  Just a thought.

You are possibly right on this name since this texture is only the one getting blocked while all other unique named textures are not. I go ahead and preemptively rename the texture now. Hopefully, it won't get blocked on next release!

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2 hours ago, TaxiService said:

@Shadriss @MaxPeck Yup, the air-to-ground frequency idea is quite good and goes well with the ground-station interface I am coding. It looks like you could dedicate one frequency to this air-to-ground purpose completely. 

I think the "Talk Only to Members" option is going to be obsoleted by the multiple antenna-frequencies and ground-station interface, isn't it?

@Shadriss I didn't touch anything related to the transmission distances.

 

For the first, I point out my previous post where I am limiting myself to a single frequency per vessel. It seems wasteful (from the design standpoint) to have two antennae on a Kerbin Local Space satellite... especially in a career game where funds (and part counts! Also weight!) may preclude it anyways. Having the option is a good thing - it may need to be tweaked in some fashion, or have a second option to designate it as the "Prime" link in the Commnet, allowing it to talk to both it's members AND the ground station. I don't think it will be obsolete - it just needs a tweak. If you want it to talk to multiple Commnets, sure, but I don't consider the ground stations part of any net... they are the reason ALL the nets exist in the first place. *shrug* My two cents.

For the second, thanks - perhaps I'm missing an obstruction somewhere. I'll keep looking. Thanks for the confirmation.

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5 hours ago, TaxiService said:

@Shadriss @MaxPeck Yup, the air-to-ground frequency idea is quite good and goes well with the ground-station interface I am coding. It looks like you could dedicate one frequency to this air-to-ground purpose completely. 

I think the "Talk Only to Members" option is going to be obsoleted by the multiple antenna-frequencies and ground-station interface, isn't it?

@Shadriss I didn't touch anything related to the transmission distances.

@Crimeo I agree with your assessment on the initial mod version because I didn't get motivated much when play-testing it on my own personal save. These features of multiple antenna-frequencies and ground-station edit have good value addition to this mod.

On your request for the RT discussion related to the proof-of-concept, I actually generalise these multiple RT topics to the concept of satellite constellations:

Besides these, I researched into breaking into and hooking up KSP's CommNet mechanisms so that I can port my CommNet codes and bug fixes to RT 2.0 project.

Hm, yeah still none of the four of those suggestions give reasons why you'd make multiple groups. Which is odd. It really does seem like people's sole interest seems to be roleplaying? For example, in the versions where they're suggesting that within your group, your antenna would cycle through group members automatically in case of failure, it would be objectively most strategically advantageous to have one "group" with all antennas such that all antennas cycled through all options, effectively making all antennas into omnis. So again the mod is encouraging you not to use its own features.

I can think of various ways you COULD make it matter (and think it's pretty cool if those are included), but was just confused why people are interested in it if not for such ways. For example:

  • If you add in (invisible/storyline) civilian radio presence on certain frequencies, and certain contracts require you to maintain satellites in XYZ orbits on those specific frequencies (if you take it off the frequency or move out of orbit, you lose the contract money again). This would give an actual reason to use more than one frequency.
  • If you made different frequencies have different physical characteristics. For example, IIRC visible and radio waves are the only ones that penetrate our atmosphere very well, so those might be best for KSC contact, with radio being the least affected, but also radio suffers from lower location accuracy (you cannot optically resolve details smaller than a wavelength of the light used, so radios with 100 meter wavelengths are bad for something like GPS I believe). Some might spread out more over distance, or have higher bandwidths for data, or blah blah, giving an actual reason to strategically use a mixture of frequencies for different tasks.
  • If you add more mods or features for things satellites would be doing passively, then it can actually matter. SCANSat mod is a good example. I don'tremember if it scans while the vessel is not focused, but if it does/did, and if it took a lot longer than it does now to scan, then for example, that frequency would be "filled up" with constant streaming data, and thus would interfere with any other satellite trying to operate on that frequency (normally in vanilla or with most mods this is NOT the case, because you tend to only communicate with one vessel at a time due to how all comms happen in short bursts and since you only pilot one vessel at a time). Giving a real reason to use more than one frequency.
  • If you had a mod where you could do more than one thing at once (like a mod that turns back the clock to let you pilot stage recoveries or satellite clustered releases), then frequency might actually matter, because KSC would need to communicate with more than one vessel at once. I'm not aware of any mod that does this though and it sounds very difficult.
  • ??? Sure there are other reasons out there. But whatever it is, it seems like you'd reallllly want at least something like one of these.
     
Edited by Crimeo

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Personally, I like both the idea behind this mod and the direction it's going in. And no, I'm not "role playing", I just like the idea of being able to create designated comm nets and add another layer of organization to my game.  I'm not a big fan of the giant radio net of chaos that is CommNet so I think this mod potentially adds a great dynamic to the game.  The tracking station and flight map views have been becoming more and more a green blob of probe signals, so I like that I can impose some order upon it.

Like I said before, if you don't get it, then don't get it. It is what it is, according to the author's vision. 

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Its A decluttering the green mist and B "roleplaying" but its also C realism since real missions would't talk to everyone within the whole galaxy.

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7 hours ago, Crimeo said:
  • If you add more mods or features for things satellites would be doing passively, then it can actually matter. SCANSat mod is a good example. I don'tremember if it scans while the vessel is not focused, but if it does/did, and if it took a lot longer than it does now to scan, then for example, that frequency would be "filled up" with constant streaming data, and thus would interfere with any other satellite trying to operate on that frequency (normally in vanilla or with most mods this is NOT the case, because you tend to only communicate with one vessel at a time due to how all comms happen in short bursts and since you only pilot one vessel at a time). Giving a real reason to use more than one frequency.
  • If you had a mod where you could do more than one thing at once (like a mod that turns back the clock to let you pilot stage recoveries or satellite clustered releases), then frequency might actually matter, because KSC would need to communicate with more than one vessel at once. I'm not aware of any mod that does this though and it sounds very difficult.

For informational purposes only here:

SCANSat does, indeed, scan when not the focused vessel. Which is great, cause it means I don't have to timewarp-babysit it while it's scanning. Your reasoning there would be a valid one.

Your second point also has a few existing mods, though I can't recall their name at the moment... FRMS (?) I think, though possibly way off.

Not really adding to the discussion, only providing a little info on your points to help you extrapolate your suggestions a bit deeper - I see where you are going, and I'm curious where it will end.

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Maybe I'm way off base with this, but there are TONS of different modded antenna parts out there... I would like to see a way to limit (or expand, depending on the way you look at it), the way those antenna parts are used. For example, aircraft comms antennas (short range, LoS); science transmission antennas (ONLY for transmitting science, NOT for comms as well); a GPS antenna; as well as being able to setup specific antennas for specific comm channels...

Yes, maybe role-playing, but I like the idea of having reason to use the many different antennas available... Currently, other than range, theres no real reason to use different antennas other than aesthetics... And this is also why I would like to see the "freqs/bands" dependant on the antenna parts themselves, rather than on a craft basis...

This mod seems to be going in that direction...

And I agree with the points of, even if ALL this mod does is declutter the mapview mess, THAT alone is reason enough for me to use it...

 

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Since we're spitballing...

You know, I don't know about @Stone Blue's idea of requiring antenna to do different functions, but this definitely opens up the idea of creating modulators or modems that could give transmission bonuses... or require certain radio gear to accomplish specific tasks. I think it would be cool if it was assumed that base communications were analog and then introduce digital modulators that give a transmission bonus - the more complex and expensive (in terms of funding and technology) the modulator or modem, the less power/bandwidth would be required to transmit data, but at the expense of added weight and cost to your mission.  You could also have to create relays that can digitize a signal for long-distance transmission in order for it to be feasible - think landers and old craft would broadcast an analog low-power signal to an orbiting satellite, and if that satellite had the appropriate modulator, it could beam that info back to Kerbin (or wherever) faster and at a cheaper EC cost.  Would make creating constellations of satellites even more attractive, and allow for legacy probes and bases to benefit from newer technology.  

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What I want is a visual-only version of this mod. In other words:

  • All vessels can still talk to each other (as in stock).
  • Only lines between vessels on the same network are shown (to de-clutter the view).
  • Each network has its own color for the displayed lines.
  • The active vessel (or selected vessel in the tracking station) is the one exception: the whole path to the KSC is shown for that one vessel regardless of networks.

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Random question @TaxiService: since we're having the discussion of how to handle antennae vs cores - is it possible to allow a core to have two frequencies as opposed to having to manage (possibly) large numbers of antennae? I don't think *I* will ever need more than two on a given craft (though others will...), and that would take care of a lot of the (minor) issues I have in usability.

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Sorry for my bad english...

When this mod is installed i encounter the following problem. The movement of the camera and the kerbal are slow when i'm in eva.

If i remove this mod everything works fine !

 

Thx

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On 4/22/2017 at 6:07 AM, Shadriss said:

Random question @TaxiService: since we're having the discussion of how to handle antennae vs cores - is it possible to allow a core to have two frequencies as opposed to having to manage (possibly) large numbers of antennae? I don't think *I* will ever need more than two on a given craft (though others will...), and that would take care of a lot of the (minor) issues I have in usability.

For now, I am retaining the probe core functionality while adding the frequency function to antenna parts. I am thinking over possible functions of probe cores while the antennas handle the frequency assignment. I will write major view on the design of both probe core and antenna later.

Could a probe core contain a list of pre-determined frequencies (up to the max no of antennas attached) to be used for certain scenarios? Like a mothership probe with a landable rover with single antenna-frequency?

On 4/23/2017 at 6:17 AM, Atmoz said:

Sorry for my bad english...

When this mod is installed i encounter the following problem. The movement of the camera and the kerbal are slow when i'm in eva.

If i remove this mod everything works fine !

Thx

Whoops, you found NullReferenceException spam on EVA!

Spoiler

NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object
  at CommNetConstellation.CommNetLayer.CNCCommNetScenario.findCorrespondingVessel (CommNet.CommNode commNode) [0x00013] in E:\GitHub\CommNetConstellation\src\CommNetConstellation\CommNetLayer\CNCCommNetScenario.cs:240 
  at CommNetConstellation.CommNetLayer.CNCCommNetScenario.getFrequencies (CommNet.CommNode a) [0x00031] in E:\GitHub\CommNetConstellation\src\CommNetConstellation\CommNetLayer\CNCCommNetScenario.cs:307 
  at CommNetConstellation.CommNetLayer.CNCCommNetwork.SetNodeConnection (CommNet.CommNode a, CommNet.CommNode b) [0x0000c] in E:\GitHub\CommNetConstellation\src\CommNetConstellation\CommNetLayer\CNCCommNetwork.cs:30 
  at CommNet.Network.Net`4[_Net,_Data,_Link,_Path].UpdateNetwork () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0 
  at CommNet.Network.Net`4[_Net,_Data,_Link,_Path].Rebuild () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0 
  at CommNet.CommNetwork.Rebuild () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0 
  at CommNet.CommNetNetwork.Update () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0 

I will push couple of fixes to this EVA NullReferenceException and another UI NullReferenceException soon.

Edited by TaxiService

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