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How do you dock?

How do you dock?   

185 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you dock?

    • I use RCS thrusters
    • RCS Thrusters? Real Kerbal don't need it!
    • Depends of situation
    • Sorry, docking is just too difficult for me at this time


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1 hour ago, regex said:

I think they were more referring to the mod rather than actual IRL fuels but you are correct in that their understanding of Real Fuels is wrong. Real Fuels is a spin-off of Modular Fuel Tanks which means that each fuel tank has a volume that you can fill with whatever fuel is needed for whatever engine, and customize each tank as needed. Of course, you might need a Service Bay type tank to handle monopropellants like hydrazine for RCS which rules out it's use for Kerolox storage, but that's beside the point.

hm. well ok

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I found myself doing almost the same with and without RCS. The small crafts can rotate almost instantly and I started to orient various designs up to the docking place correctly from a distance (usually 1.2 km to 0.2 km). When I rotate the docking place port as well to receive the docking craft, it is 80-99% precise alignment and speed already from experience of what works.

At a certain weight this becomes slow and difficult to do, so I plan out what needs to dock to what in my designs and hold back on placing RCS thrusters on everything.

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RCS. I like to keep things somewhat realistic.

But it really depends on what I am doing and how much time I have. If I don't have much time, like maybe I only have time to do that one mission, I am more likely to speed things up by using the engines. But if I have plenty of time I will get within 200 meters and then RCS only.

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I mostly use vernors instead of monoprop RCS, with vernors for x/y translation and backwards, and a very low throttled engine for forwards. I am a big fan of magic and use it whenever I can. Docking Port Alignment Indicator is one of my must-have mods. I dock quite a lot with heavy equipment, as my larger ships always refuel in Minmus orbit.

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I use RCS because I find it easy to dock with RCS. If I don't have a full set of RCS, I bring the docking ports to touching, and hope that the magnets are strong enough. They barely are. I do the same thing when I have a full set of RCS though.

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I docked once to prove to myself I could do it, and ever since then I decided it was less of a headache to build impossibly large and complex machines that will never need to dock.

No, I haven't landed on Duna yet with a life support mod, why do you ask?...

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Just now, GarrisonChisholm said:

I docked once to prove to myself I could do it, and ever since then I decided it was less of a headache to build impossibly large and complex machines that will never need to dock.

No, I haven't landed on Duna yet with a life support mod, why do you ask?...

 

I didn't asked that. My question is: How you build impossibly large and complex machines? No, I don't need to know the why you do, that's obvious. :sticktongue:

 

BTW, have you considered that maybe this time you docked was just a strike of good luck? Maybe you shouldn't consider it. >8]   ...But actually, you don't need to be capable to dock either, ...or be rigorously in your proof.

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It's complicated - My most of my docking-capable craft don't have RCS thrusters, and the ones that do have them in odd places where my escort drones can't reach. These drones have a set of RCS ports and use them to escort a craft to a station for docking. I guess this falls under the first two?

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I find that after flying a rocket around for a while, I generally need to re-acclimate to the translation controls before I can use them without smashing things together or flinging them apart.  As I never use them long enough for that to happen, I have found that it takes less effort for me to dock without RCS translation, and if I don't need that, why bother with RCS at all?

These days I generally have a nose mounted klaw on anything I may want to dock to another vessel, so generally docking for me is to rendezvous within about 200m, come to a relative stop, make minor adjustments as needed to ensure I am at roughly a 90 degree angle from a nice open space for grabbing my target vessel, then pulse the engines and coast in at about 0.5m/s(time accelerated until within about 20m), and dock.

I generally only use docking ports for delivery vessels.  I'll land, release the cargo from the lower half, use the skycrane in the top half to deliver to the desired location, decouple top half, use skycrane to return top half to bottom half(refuel and load commodities as needed), then return my delivery drone to the airstrip.

Even large tugs can get a good position by facing the back of a vessel that is pointing away from the tug. 

 

 

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I rarely use rcs for anything other than building a space station. Even then, I use the main engine of the second stage to put the largest pieces together. The RCS typically comes in later during any reconfiguration. 

But it gets real fun there. I use kerbal space packs to maneuver any segments. I don't like my stations having RCS everywhere  so I throw a jr docking port on and connect to that. Those are also functional later for other purposes if needed. 

I feel like if you can learn to dock ships with just the main engines, you can dock absolutely anything with RCS

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Posted (edited)

Well.... I can't dock, so.......

 

 

 

 

MECHJEB!!!!!!!!

Edited by Lo Var Lachland

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18 minutes ago, Lo Var Lachland said:

MECHJEB!!!!!!!!

Please,  ask him to comment if he uses RCS to dock. 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Spricigo said:

Please,  ask him to comment if he uses RCS to dock. 

 

 

 

MechJeb: (In HAL9000 accent)

Yes, Spricigo. I do. 

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heh, docking without rcs is easier for me than...landing on the runway...

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I use kOS with RCS thrusters. Docking manually is for plebs!

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The only reason I ever use RCS thrusters is to dock. I suppose it is because it is what I am use to using.

But as others have pointed out, RCS is more realistic - as are autopilots. The idea that you can instantaneously ignite liquid fuel rockets over and over seems a bit of a stretch. I am not a rocket scientist, but it seems to me once you ignite the combustion chamber, you are going to have to keep supplying it fuel to keep it burning,  And if it is burning, I assume, it will produce at least a bit of thrust. If you turn it off, it is not going to re-ignite in a fraction of a second and give you a micro burst of thrust. That is what I need for docking and RCS can realistically do that.

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Many people deemed multiple ignitions of rocket engines unrealistic.  I'd say it's just unreasonable (IRL) given the added complexity (thus weight,  thus fuel required,  thus cost).  Most of the "RCSless" docking only happens because KSP don't simulate that complexity (Also magical reaction wheels,  of course) 

Either way how realistic/reasonable the game need to be is a matter of taste. 

 

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"Despite the training given to Jeb on how to dock to another craft using RCS thrusters, and approaching the target slowly, It seems that Jeb not only forgot what RCS thrusters are, and didn't remember (or didn't care), that they told him to do it slowly. What happened was him breaking the Hilltop Mist Station, by ramming the docking port. Either Jeb did it, or a mysterious creature known as a 'Cat' chose to sit on the keyboard, and consequently split the station in half"

 

 

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