FreeThinker

[1.8.1, 1.7.3/1.6.1/1.5.1/1.4.5] KSP Interstellar Extended 1.25 Continued Development Thread

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On 12/3/2018 at 7:22 PM, kmMango said:

First off, the salt water rocket is wonderful! I think the model fits the proposed design very well, and the replacement Gas Core engine looks better IMO.

 

Yes, the fact that this model has a huge shadow shield conveys the message the NSWR produces some serious radiation. The radiation shadow shield itself will catch about 1 GW of just Gamma radiation, which gets converted into wasteheat when absorbed. All that wasteheat need to be radiated into space or the shield will melt. Gas Core engine now uses a model which was original mend for a standard nuclear engine. I always found it a bit unsuitable for this purpose, but for an Open Cycle Gas Core engine, it is a reasonable fit.

Edited by FreeThinker

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The more I learn about this mod, the more impressed I am.

A few more questions. The Discovery Fusion Engine seems very weak compared to its counterparts. Similar ISP but miniscule thrust.

Also, how does plasma nozzle ISP throttling work? Doesn't seem to do anything.

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On 12/6/2018 at 9:03 PM, kmMango said:

A few more questions. The Discovery Fusion Engine seems very weak compared to its counterparts. Similar ISP but miniscule thrust.

1

Yes, the Discovery Fusion Engine is a late early tech (second generation) high isp fusion engine which is the first engine capable of interstellar travel. It is based on Magnetic Confinement Fusion Design which allows you to mix the produced charged particles from its fusion reaction with cold propellant to increase its thrust at the expense of lower isp, allowing it to operate at interplanetary distances. Although it thrust is relatively weak, this is compensated by the fact it can produce its own power, can use pure fusion mode (at full isp throttle) and can feed any type of electric power generator. An obvious disadvantage is that the reactor is bulky and expensive and produces limited thrust requiring timewarp or high time acceleration during long burns. For increased thrust, either uses a denser propellant or lithium which gives an extra boost due to its ability to absorb high energy neutrons produced by the fusion process.

On 12/6/2018 at 9:03 PM, kmMango said:

Also, how does plasma nozzle ISP throttling work? Doesn't seem to do anything.

 

It is supposed to allow you to switch thermal, mixed plasma mode and pure fusion mode with a single slider when hooked to a charged particle fusion engine. I have to look into it why it is broken.

Edit: here is how it suppose to work, notice the isp Throtle and its effect of isp and thrust

vNNBB75.jpg

pCuOUHF.jpg

OksCUqj.jpg

K1oln4O.jpg

3sl3I9j.jpg

7ejnhHz.jpg

 

Edited by FreeThinker

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Yeah that isn't showing up for me either on the discovery or regular plasma engine. Will investigate further. Also, should the singularity reactor be outputting hydrogen when set to do hydrogen fusion? Also also, is the thrust curve on the Wakefield engine supposed to be...weird? I don't know how else to describe it. Full throttle gives stupid high thrust  (TWR>1) and low isp, lower gives the opposite, but it seems to have a hard transition between the two in the top third of the throttle range.

Edited by kmMango

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23 hours ago, kmMango said:

 Also also, is the thrust curve on the Wakefield engine supposed to be...weird? I don't know how else to describe it. Full throttle gives stupid high thrust  (TWR>1) and low isp, lower gives the opposite, but it seems to have a hard transition between the two in the top third of the throttle range.

The idea of this feature is to allow you control and isp with he main throttle, want speed up fast go full throtle at the expanse of isp, want to accelerate slow or accelerate efficiently, throttle down near the bottom.

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Huh. I thought the wakefield engine would have a constant isp more or less, since it has a fixed accelerator length. Adding more power would just add more mass being accelerated and allow higher thrust at the same ISP. Since the engine is basically just a laser powered particle accelerator, this makes sense to me. What am I missing?

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4 minutes ago, kmMango said:

Huh. I thought the wakefield engine would have a constant isp more or less, since it has a fixed accelerator length. Adding more power would just add more mass being accelerated and allow higher thrust at the same ISP. Since the engine is basically just a laser powered particle accelerator, this makes sense to me. What am I missing?

Well if you increase the fuel flow, less power is available to accelerate them resulting in lower isp but higher thrust

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Version 1.20.15 is now available for KSP 1.3.1, KSP 1.4.5 and KSP 1.5.1

Released on 2018-12-09

  • Added Liquid Core Nuclear Engine
  • Added Z-Pinch Engine
  • Balance: Nuclear Salt Water Rocket Engine is limited to full thrust
  • Balance: increased thrust acceleration on NSWR
  • Balance: increased unlocking tech Airospike Z-Pinch Engine
  • Balance: limited Airospike Z-Pinch Engine to oxidizing propellants
  • Balance: limited Z-Pinch Engine now require FusionPellets for fusion
  • Balance: removed power requirement Z-Pinch Engines
  • Balance: increased isp but reduce power of Z-Pinch Engines
  • Balance: increased isp but reduce power of Nuclear Lightbulb
  • Balance: increased wasteheat production and decreased heat throttle threshold
  • Fixed hanging of KSP when oscillating thrust
  • Fixed Discovery fusion engine isp throtle not showing
  • Fixed pivoting of Nuclear Lightbulb

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Does anyone else have problems with the Arcjet RCS not working correctly? Yes, it outputs thrust in the right direction and the right amount, but the ISP is wrong for being powered. It always operates at the un-powered ISP even when the "power" button in the PAW is on. As a matter of fact, I can make the "ispowered = ?" line say "no" and the Power button in the PAW contradict each other.

While MechJeb doesn't always deal with things in KSPI correctly (mostly electric engines), It does provide a useful stat for RCS Delta-V. I can toggle the power on and off with RCS disabled, and MechJeb will calculate the Delta-V as if the RCS is operating at the high ISP it should get when powered. I check in the PAW, and the listed RCS ISP is correct for the propellant I have selected (tested with Hydrazine, Monopropellant, and Liquid Hydrogen). However, as soon as I engage RCS by hitting R, the RCS ISP in the PAW and the RCS Delta-V displayed by MechJeb both drop to their un-powered levels. This means that I have to expend much more propellant for docking and fine course corrections than I otherwise would, and sometimes that means I swap out for standard monopropellant RCS thrusters which somehow have better ISP than the unpowered mode of the Arcjet RCS, simply to get the usual 150 or so m/s I usually budget for docking (this allows for multiple docking events without refueling).

Here's a screenshot I grabbed of PAW contradicting itself:

https://imgur.com/iACnDum

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by SciMan
how do I get rid of a spoiler tag again?

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20 hours ago, SciMan said:

Does anyone else have problems with the Arcjet RCS not working correctly? Yes, it outputs thrust in the right direction and the right amount, but the ISP is wrong for being powered. It always operates at the un-powered ISP even when the "power" button in the PAW is on. As a matter of fact, I can make the "ispowered = ?" line say "no" and the Power button in the PAW contradict each other.

While MechJeb doesn't always deal with things in KSPI correctly (mostly electric engines), It does provide a useful stat for RCS Delta-V. I can toggle the power on and off with RCS disabled, and MechJeb will calculate the Delta-V as if the RCS is operating at the high ISP it should get when powered. I check in the PAW, and the listed RCS ISP is correct for the propellant I have selected (tested with Hydrazine, Monopropellant, and Liquid Hydrogen). However, as soon as I engage RCS by hitting R, the RCS ISP in the PAW and the RCS Delta-V displayed by MechJeb both drop to their un-powered levels. This means that I have to expend much more propellant for docking and fine course corrections than I otherwise would, and sometimes that means I swap out for standard monopropellant RCS thrusters which somehow have better ISP than the unpowered mode of the Arcjet RCS, simply to get the usual 150 or so m/s I usually budget for docking (this allows for multiple docking events without refueling).

Here's a screenshot I grabbed of PAW contradicting itself:

https://imgur.com/iACnDum

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

Exactly what kind of power source is available to justify it should be powered and provide improved isp? 

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Always a KSPI reactor, but in this case a Tri-Alpha Colliding Beam fusion reactor running in the proton Lithium 7 fuel mode. There should be more than enough power available for the RCS thrusters on this specific vessel (111 MW) and I have enough radiators to handle the waste heat. On this vessel, the reactor is there mostly to provide about 3.2 MW to the DC power grid in order to have a lightweight power solution to power the main engines, which use a large amount of EC as well as LFO propellant. The reactor does this without any issues.

The problem is not that the vessel runs out of Megajoules first and then the RCS turns to unpowered mode, it happens as soon as I turn on the RCS with no control inputs. Doesn't seem to matter how much power is available, or which KSPI reactor I use. Even the positron antimatter reactor at 7.5m with an MHD generator attached is not powering the RCS thrusters. I have a feeling that this is a problem in the RCS part module itself, as it is common to every craft I build using KSPI powered RCS thrusters, but I know for sure it affects all the Arcjet RCS parts.

EDIT: It doesn't change the problem I'm having, but while the reactor on that craft in the image Iinked in my previous post is outputting a maximum of 111MW, the tech nodes I have unlocked for charged particle generator efficiency (all except Extreme Electrical Systems) mean the reactor has a max theoretical electric power output of 100 MW according to the part action window in the VAB.

EDIT 2: On the subject of RCS parts, I would like to see arcjet RCS with several more configurations in order to save parts. Right now to get full 3 axis translation control using only Arcjet RCS blocks (not the arcjet RCS service tank or either of the Inline Arcjet RCS parts, I have to use either 4 Cross Arcjet RCS, or a combination of 8 Mounted Dual Arcjet RCS 45 and 4 Mounted Arcjet RCS 90 parts, the latter combination being 12 parts in total.
It would be nice if there was a 5-Way Arcjet RCS, and a Arcjet RCS that has 3 ports in 3 axes. That would give more options for using less parts dedicated to a full-featured RCS, without having to resort to the Resistojet RCS with it's inferior performance.

Edited by SciMan
had an idea related to RCS but unrelated to bugs with RCS

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7 hours ago, SciMan said:

EDIT 2: On the subject of RCS parts, I would like to see arcjet RCS with several more configurations in order to save parts. Right now to get full 3 axis translation control using only Arcjet RCS blocks (not the arcjet RCS service tank or either of the Inline Arcjet RCS parts, I have to use either 4 Cross Arcjet RCS, or a combination of 8 Mounted Dual Arcjet RCS 45 and 4 Mounted Arcjet RCS 90 parts, the latter combination being 12 parts in total.

It would be nice if there was a 5-Way Arcjet RCS, and a Arcjet RCS that has 3 ports in 3 axes. That would give more options for using less parts dedicated to a full-featured RCS, without having to resort to the Resistojet RCS with it's inferior performance.

Well if you can find a suitable model with a open license perhaps I can integrate it.

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I thought you might be able to get in touch with the person who did the models for the linear arcjet RCS, arcjet RCS 45, and arcjet RCS 90, that way you could keep a consistent graphical style. Alternatively, you could temporarily re-use the models of the 5-way Resistojet RCS and 4-way Resistojet RCS 45 while waiting for new models and textures.

Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who does 3d modeling and texturing that doesn't have their hands full with making parts for their own mod.

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I will add it to the list of things to ask my friend to make. At this rate I may have to pay him.

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@SciMan

Notice if you want to minimize on propellant and part count, you might want to consider the Mach Drive, it produces 3 axis 360 degree rcs coverage without requiring any propellant. Off course it requires a lot of power, produce little thrust and weight heavy, nothing is for free ;)

Edited by FreeThinker

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I see the Mach effect drive, unfortunately it produces too little thrust for me to be able to use it for docking a ship that weighs several thousand tons without consuming much power and not taking forever to dock. Mach effect drives are probably best suited to attitude control on ships using beamed power due to the low thrust-to-mass ratio and high power input requirements IMO. I do like that you only need 2 Mach effect drives to provide full translation control for a spacecraft, but the thrust is just too low and the power requirements are just too high to make it practical, and I'm already carrying propellant for other reasons (usually hydrazine because of it's density, acceptable ISP, and 2nd to best thrust (Liquid Methane is better, but is less dense).

That's why I want the Arcjet RCS to work right, you can scale it to fit your needs with as few thrusters as possible.

That Omni RCS part would actually be ideal for what I have in mind.

I still have the bug with always getting the unpowered ISP of the RCS thrusters and them not ever drawing any power, any news on that?

EDIT: Actually I have news on the RCS problem I was having. Apparently the proper RCS ISP only shows up when you're actually applying thrust with the RCS, for some reason. Displayed ISP seems to match actual performance too. However the ISP display behaviour is quite odd, perhaps there's a way to fix that?

Edited by SciMan

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This time I think I have an actual bug, not just a "how I thought it works isn't how it actually works" situation.

I think I found a visual bug in the exhaust effects of the Kerbstien Fusion engine, and investigating the config files for it revealed things which may or may not work, depending on how the engine model is set up.
When running, the only exhaust effect I can see is a rather small stock engine exhaust. I thought the visuals didn't look right because everything else in KSPI seems to have a custom exhaust effect.
Maybe that's because I'm running RealPlume-Stock, it seems to work fine but I don't remember if it's updated for 1.5.x or not (wouldn't be the first time I've run into something that looks like it's working fine but is actually throwing some errors).

Either way, I looked at the config for the Kerbstien engine and found evidence that the effects I'm supposed to be seeing don't match what I am seeing (actually 2 configs that are identical except for file name and part name, not sure why that is).

EFFECTS
{
	multi_plume
	{
		AUDIO
		{
			channel = Ship
			clip = sound_rocket_hard
			volume = 0.0 0.0
			volume = 3.0 3.0
			pitch = 0.0 0.2
			pitch = 1.0 0.8
			loop = true
		}

		MODEL_MULTI_PARTICLE
		{
			modelName = Squad/FX/IonPlume
			transformName = T-T
			emission = 0.0 0.0
			emission = 0.25 0.5
			emission = 1.0 2.0
			//speed = 0.0 0.0
			//speed = 1.0 1.0
		}

		MODEL_MULTI_PARTICLE
		{
			modelName = Squad/FX/fx_exhaustFlame_blue
			transformName = Smoke
			emission = 0.0 0.0
			emission = 0.25 0.5
			emission = 1.0 2.0
			//speed = 0.0 0.0
			//speed = 1.0 1.0
		}
	}
}

The engine's effects config does reference the stock IonPlume effect, but it sets it to a different transform than the thrust transform, and IDK if that transform exists in the model or not.
If the model does have that transform, then the bug is probably that RealPlume-Stock is overriding the effects, and I'm not sure how to fix that.
If the model does not have that transform, then changing it to the same transform that the other effect (and the rest of the config file) refers to should fix it.

I made a MM patch that sets the IonPlume to use the Smoke transform like the rest of the config does, and I'll report back if it works or not.

EDIT (right after posting):
The MM patch I made just removes the entire EFFECTS section, and replaces it with one that's identical except for the one change I made to it, it doesn't try to modify the EFFECTS block with any kind of fancy MM syntax. I'm pretty sure that should work, it's the simplest way I could think of to get MM to do what I want it to do.
I also had another thought, it could be possible that this is happening because the config is not using ModuleEnginesFX like every stock engine that I can think of uses (and every engine that gets modified by RealPlume-Stock as well). Either way, I'll report back with my findings.

EDIT 2 (after testing):

It doesn't seem like anything changed, maybe I can get an image of what it's supposed to look like for comparison? I'll re-name my MM patch so it doesn't get used when I start the game up again.

Edited by SciMan
reporting my findings

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While we're on the topic of visual effects that don't look right, there is absolutely no sound or particle effects coming from the powered RCS thrusters, but as I figured out a post or two ago they function fine otherwise.

Thinking about the Kerbstien drive some more, the config looks like it was saved part-way thru switching it over to use ModuleEnginesFX instead of ModuleEngines, because the engine module is ModuleEngines but it has an effects section that likely only works with ModuleEnginesFX. I don't remember if there was ever a time where that kind of effects section would have worked with ModuleEngines but support for that was likely dropped before the Kerbstien engine was added (before I returned to playing KSP, I had been playing on KSP 1.2.0, and the version of KSPI I was using then did not have the Kerbstien engine yet).

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All I see is a bunch of source code, and adding /releases to the end of the link doesn't bring up anything.
Not well versed in how to use Github, the most I know is how to submit an issue, and how to navigate to the releases, that's all I've needed to know so far.

I'll try to figure it out on my own, back when I played Gmod I figured out how to use SVN without any help, so I'm probably more rusty than anything. Some googling on my part should put me on the right path.

EDIT: Yep, figured it out on my own. Thanks for fixing the issues with the RCS thruster info, sound, and effects! I'm going to launch a test craft right after I finish this post to see if everything's as it should be, but past experience tells me that your code should be good. I'm the person who came up with the concept for the QSR way back when, you were a good coder back then and I bet experience has only made you better at it.

Edited by SciMan

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Well I found a bug, but at least it's a minor one, I think?

The RCS works as intended except for the sounds. Effects, and thrust production are fine. Display of RCS ISP works in flight and in the VAB. Display of maximum RCS Thrust does not seem be included anymore (was a useful tool to figure out what scale the RCS thrusters should be).

I tested every Arcjet and Resistojet RCS part, and I got confusing results. Each part has only one axis on which the sound works, every other axis is silent, but the axis that produces sound is different for every part.

I mounted the RCS parts all on the same side of my test craft, but for each one I had to press a different key to get it to make sound. I made sure I only enabled one RCS part at a time.

All RCS parts were set to use Hydrazine, and power was supplied by a 1.25m Positron Antimatter reactor connected to a MHD generator, with 10.13 GW max heat produced and 14.06 GW worth of radiators. The MHD generator reports a max theoretical power output of 7.6GW in the VAB, so I know I have enough power.

I can't think of what could be wrong, maybe some sort of different handling for each axis of the RCS part, and sound only works on the "first" one? That's all I have, and it's just speculation.

If the max RCS thrust was removed due to re-writing the RCS code (it looks like it was re-written), it would be nice to have it back, and it would be nice if it gave the max thrust output for the selected propellant instead of just the max base thrust output.

Edited by SciMan
New findings

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Version 1.20.16 is now available for KSP 1.3.1, KSP 1.4.5, KSP 1.5.1 and KSP 1.6.0

Released on 2018-12-22

  • Added ISRU Fabricator with option to create Nuclear Salt Water
  • Added improved power buffer for Arcjet RCS
  • Added Omni Arcjet RCS
  • Added Arcjet RCS Tank SM-500
  • Added improved cleaned up RCS context menu
  • Balance: reduced upgrade tech requirements Open/Closed Gas Core Engines
  • Balance: reduced max thrust Cross Arcjet RCS
  • Fixed prediction remaining fuel for NSWR in Reactor Details Screen
  • Fixed NSWR thrust and isp when supplied with insufficient fuel
  • Fixed storage amount in RCS Tank
  • Fixed exhaust effects on VISTA engine and Arcjet RCS

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Found another bug, this time it's with the ISRU drills. I don't think they're working correctly for non-stock planet packs. The atmosphere extractors work fine, but I know for sure the Universal Drill does not work correctly.

The planet pack I'm using is GPP, and I'm not having any problems with it despite not being updated for 1.5.1 because I'm using the 1.5.1 version of Kopernicus. Still running KSP 1.5.1 because most mods aren't updated for 1.6 yet.

I have a ship that has plenty of power, is splashed down in one of the Methane Lakes of Tarsiss, I have plenty of free space to store lqdMethane, according to the GPP files that biome's resources are set to have 100% lqdMethane 100% of the time, yet the Universal Drills I have attached to my ship won't take in any IntakeLqd and give me lqdMethane.

When I try to activate the drills intakeLqd pump via the part action window, I get the message "Vessel is not splashed down", which is obviously nonsense. KER reports the situation correctly as "body: Tarsiss, Biome: Methane Lakes, Situation: Splashed".

My guess is that it has something to do with not reading the biome and/or situation masks correctly, or something wrong with detecting ground/water contact in the drill itself. Then again, I'm just speculating, you probably have a better idea of what's going wrong than I do.

The stock drills work just fine on GPP planets and moons that have stock Ore. I tried the Universal Drill on Gael (starting planet in GPP) as well, didn't seem to work in the ocean despite being splashed down. GPP has CRP resource definitions set for every planet and moon, so I'm not sure what's going on here.

Here's a screenshot of what I'm talking about, with all the irrelevant details like my Mechjeb windows removed.

Spoiler

sSrJJsc.jpg

 

Edited by SciMan

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