JDP

[0.20] RemoteTech: Relay Network – V 0.5.0.1

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It may be a silly question, but is there a way of marking where the Mission Control Centre is on the orbit map? It'd make it easier to time launches so that they get proper satellite coverage.

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Simon, just put a relay rover or plane on the runway at KSC and you'll be able to see it in the map view. :)

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AWESOME *epicvoice*

Really i thank you so much.

But one little addition would be if you could add an alternate version that works like the old one (without ranges and stuff)

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You can still use the old one, probably even at the same time.

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Thanks CrashnBurn, that seems to work.

Now, does anyone know why my satellite dishes aren't working? Do they need to be in the active stage to work or should they work so long as they're attached to the orbiter? I have dishes pointing at the planet on a long range satellite, and the dishes on lower-orbit satellites are pointing back, but there seems to be no connection happening. Do I have to turn them on somehow?

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Oh, I figured it out. I didn't realise you had to tell the satellite where to point the dishes, I believed merely rotating the satellite until the dish was pointing the right way was sufficient. Apologies for not editing the previous post, I can't see an edit button anywhere.

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Edit, nevermind, Simon already figured it out and I was barking up the wrong tree anyway.

Simon, are you within the range of the antennae? I can't quite reach Kerbin from a satellite orbiting at the same distance as Minmus, although I can reach a geosynchronous satellite and relay from there.

I put relays at the north poles of Mun and Minmus to extend the range of my two geosynchronous relay satellites, then launched a satellite into orbit opposite Minmus for better coverage.

Often I have to relay from KSC to my comms Van at KSC to a geosync sat, then to where ever I need to go. The range on the dishes is extremely short. Real life dishes like the ones on Voyager can communicate at distances beyond the range of our solar system. We're still in contact with Voyager 1 at 18,000,000,000 kilometers distance. ;)

The radios in this mod barely make it to Minmus but that does make it more challenging. If you feel too confined by the range, it is easily editable in parts config, if you'd like to make the ranges more realistic. Just modify "dishRange = 50000" to whatever you feel is appropriate (in kilometers).

Edited by CrashnBurn
too slow...

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Here it is; version 0.33. By far not the final version, but a milestone in the development of the plugin. By this stage, I consider the core features "done". Of course barring any surprise bugs :).

Changelog:

  • Added a config file.
    The first time you run RemoteTech, it will be created in PluginData/remotetech. In it, you can edit the speed of light, how many crew are needed for RemoteCommand to work and toggle detailed satellite tracking.
  • Nerfed RemoteCommand.
    As prewarned, I’ve nerfed RemoteCommand to only work if the vessel has at least 5 crew members to man the controls of the command station. This number can however be changed in the config file to as low as 1. So you don't have to go and download the crewtank if you don't want to.
  • Added detailed satellite tracking in the "list Comsats" submenu.
    The new tracking method checks if your vessel has a signal connection with each satellite in the network. Only if there is a connection can you edit the satellite. The buttons are now colored, White: editable (in contact), Red: not editable (not in contact), Green: editable (in contact and in current relay path). This new method is a bit CPU intensive, so if you have an older computer and find the game slowing down while you have "List Comsats" open, you can turn detailed tracking off in the config. It will then work almost as it used to in 0.32, but with a few improvements.
  • Added the ability to point a satellite dish at an antenna.
    By popular demand, ive added the possibility to point your dishes at omnidirectional antennae. This will also give you a boost of x2 range to the antenna. Meaning that a Dish-Antenna pairing with the standard antenna will give you a range of 10.000 km.
  • Added an interface for use by other modders.
    This is not visible in-game, but purely meant for other modders, if they wish to interface with RemoteTech. I've also added a bit more comments to Parts.cs, especially in onFlightStateLoad and onFlightStateSave to explain how to make existing comsats fully compatible with RemoteTech.

The next step in development will be to add in some more much requested features. Getting the config file in place has been a hugely important requirement in adding these. Here are the ones that are currently planned:

  • Optional energy consumption.
    I will be adding the option to have RemoteTech parts require and consume electrical power. This will be optional. And probably turned off by default.
  • Optional "rkman"- and easy mode.
    rkman has been a lot of help in supplying a more realistic way of calculating antenna ranges. The next update will include a hard mode, implementing his formula. It will make it a lot more complicated and difficult to actually play the game (I've found myself having to use a calculator and a notepad a couple of times while working with the formula :)) but could add a lot of realistic(y) challenge for those so inclined.
    I've also been thinking about adding an easy mode, where range doesn't matter. But nothing has been decided yet as to whether to add it or not.
    In any case, the default difficulty setting will be "normal", handling range exactly as it is now.
  • Vessel toggling.
    I'll be experimenting with ways to toggle activated debris between vessel and debris. That way you can keep your Tracking Station less cluttered. Doing this will probably also necessitate the addition of a "goto" button in either the "List Comsats" submenu or the settings menu, so you can easily sort through all RemoteTech satellites and travel to them through the menus.

It's safe to say that i will have a lot less time to develop this plugin in the course of the next 6 months. But it's also safe to say that work will continue. This is simply too fun :)

-JDP

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]31295[/ATTACH]Looks like some bugs crept into .33.

I have Mun base with an omni antenna and 5 crew (3 in the pod and two in the crewtank), about 50 meters away I have a second base with an omni antenna and one crew. There are also 3 rovers with a short range and a long range omni antenna all within 181 meters. The second base shows "out of radio contact" and all of the rovers show "out of radio contact" All of the rovers and the one-man base are red in the Comms status of the 5-man base.

Image is of 5 man relay in foreground with 1-man relay and three rovers in background.

I'm a bit confused by this update. Why would it take 5 men to remotely control a rover? It's a single-player game....anything that happens is controllable by a single person.

The distances are already bizarrely short by several orders of magnitude based on reality, why would they be made even shorter?

Let me know if I can provide any troubleshooting info/files. Would be glad to help.

Edited by CrashnBurn
Checked distances for accuracy

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...The second base shows "out of radio contact" and all of the rovers show "out of radio contact" All of the rovers and the one-man base are red in the Comms status of the 5-man base...

That's odd... I've just tried to recreate the bug, but without luck. If you would pm me with your persistence file and a list of which mod packs you use, i might be able to look it over and see if I can't identify the problem.

antenna ranges have not been changed at all, so that shouldn't be the problem. And regarding the 5 man rule. I did that to make sure that making a command station is a challenge. But don't let it get in the way of having fun. If the old RemoteCommand rules where more fun for you, just edit the config to only require 1. That's how it was in 0.32.

Edited by JDP

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I'm having a problem where my components launched with this are all immediately activated, including engines. What's even more weird is when I rejoin the "RC" modules the engine sound is going but the engine/fuel components are grayed out. However the whole thing is activated. What's causing this "activate everything else" behavior on decoupling components containing a RemoteControl from the main craft?

Testing shows that if I decouple a RemoteControl set of components they lose ALL of their staging information.

What is the way to deploy a craft such that once controlled it has intact staging of parts and unactivated parts?

Edited by Frederf

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That's odd... I've just tried to recreate the bug, but without luck. If you would pm me with your persistence file and a list of which mod packs you use, i might be able to look it over and see if I can't identify the problem.

antenna ranges have not been changed at all, so that shouldn't be the problem. And regarding the 5 man rule. I did that to make sure that making a command station is a challenge. But don't let it get in the way of having fun. If the old RemoteCommand rules where more fun for you, just edit the config to only require 1. That's how it was in 0.32.

JDP, this appears to have been a false alarm, here's what happened:

I already had those ships and rovers on the Mun. I quit KSP, deleted the old .32 .dll and parts folders, then installed the new .33 .dll and parts folders. The first startup of KSP showed the errors. I cycled through all of the vessels and disconnected/reconnected all of the comms links from the 5-man relay. After about ten minutes of attempting to get a comms connection by moving the manned ships, switching focus, etc., I posted the bug report.

However, what I didn't do was try to restart KSP a second time. Once I shut down the game again and restarted it, all of the connections came up properly. I don't have any clue why it wouldn't connect on the first start up, but maybe you will know/understand what would cause that.

Thanks for a fun Mod, I really enjoy the challenge it presents. As far as the 5-man requirement, I just think it's unrealistic, but then the ranges of the antennae are also very much shorter than reality. Both add challenge which is fun, but honestly, they will have to be changed or the mod becomes unusable (without editing the config) for the planned upcoming interplanetary travel where millions or billions of kilometers will have to be crossed.

I know the config file can be adjusted, but remember that not everyone is comfortable editing files. That's why people download parts.cfg files rather than do the edits themselves. I'll keep the five kerbal requirement for a while just for the fun of it, and will edit a new long-range antenna and command module for my solar missions and future planetary missions.

My thoughts are to make a heavier command part for long-range comms, and/or a upscaled antenna with more weight/drag. I don't have the skills to do a reskin, but the functional changes can obviously be done with .cfg edits.

I'd love to see power requirements, but with the current mess caused by so many competing power mods, I can understand why you wouldn't add that yet.

Sorry for the false bug report and again, thanks for a very fun mod.

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Don't know if it's been posted before, but the 1m parts tend to make my rockets more wobbly, and they "compress" and clip in on those parts with a weird skip effect on the whole game.

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I'm having a problem where my components launched with this are all immediately activated, including engines. What's even more weird is when I rejoin the "RC" modules the engine sound is going but the engine/fuel components are grayed out. However the whole thing is activated. What's causing this "activate everything else" behavior on decoupling components containing a RemoteControl from the main craft?

Sadly, staging has to be lost on Debris. As it is today, you have to activate every part on the Debris or no parts at all. I might one day look into a workaround, but the only tentative idea I have involves an override in stage activation that might not even work, and will only work assuming that some staging setup can survive in the Debris. Something which I am not at all sure of. I've heard the devs are talking about maybe adding in full stage editing in-flight in later versions of KSP, maybe by then it will be possible.

Regarding engines breaking, that is a known bug (see the list of known bugs in the OP). The only permanent fix is to not attach the engine of your debris directly to the decoupler. In stead you can either have your debris decouple upside-down (with the engine facing upward), use radial engines on your Debris, or decouple from a radial decoupler.

As far as I've theorized, the problem is due to engines not being able to handle having no parent (if they're attached on the top of the vessel on a cecoupler, the decoupler would be their parent, and it gets destroyed). I've found a way of fixing this issue, but it's not permanent, once you switch focus from and to your RC vessel, the engine will break and act exactly as you've described.

Don't know if it's been posted before, but the 1m parts tend to make my rockets more wobbly, and they "compress" and clip in on those parts with a weird skip effect on the whole game.

For the 1m parts, I used the RCS tank and SAS module parts, reskinned them a bit and edited their config files to fit RemoteTech needs. Apparently they simply do wobble. Since I'm no way a part modeler, I don't know how to fix that. You can however follow rule #2 of Kerbal Space Program: "if it wobbles, add more Struts" :).

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JDP, this appears to have been a false alarm...

That's very good to hear. I'f a bug like that had snuck in, it would make me very busy indeed, since it's in the "Fix emediately!" category.

But I'll thank you anyways :). If nothing else, then because I actually caught a different bug while trying to recreate your's. It seems that the new way of coloring buttons in "list comsats" can under certain conditions create a lot of lag. It's not serious, the lag is only there in very rare situations and goes away the moment you close the submenu. But it is annoying enough for me to want to fix it as soon as possible, in stead of waiting for a larger update.

So it seems that there will be a V0.34 coming out as soon as I've found a complete fix. And while i'm at it with another minor release, I'll probably go ahead and add one small addition to the plugin, which i think you of all people would be very pleased about :).

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JDP to give your 1m parts less wobble you can add:

breakingForce =

breakingTorque =

To the part.cfg file. Default seems to be 22, I use 176 for 2m parts, I'd bet that 45-50 would work for these.

:D

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JDP to give your 1m parts less wobble you can add:

breakingForce =

breakingTorque =

To the part.cfg file. Default seems to be 22, I use 176 for 2m parts, I'd bet that 45-50 would work for these.

:D

Thank's for the tip m8. Your input has really been invaluable this release!:D I'll make sure to test this (I'll probably balance the wobble to be somewhat equal to what you'd expect from the link between 1m fuel tanks) and add the config modifications to 0.34.

And regarding the laggy bug; I've just found a fix for it. The scary part is that it still seems to me that the fix shouldn't be neccesary. Basically the problem has to do with the code somehow looking through a nonexistant relay path if you are on a command station that is not itself in contact with the rest of the network. this would indicate that the code somehow generates a relay path while at the same time not generating a relay path... hmm... either i've created a spacetime threatening paradox or there's something i don't understand here. I'll be looking through the entire RelayNetwork + RelayPath code to see if i can't find the root of the problem.

I've found a complete fix for the bug, but I don't like to have parts of my own code that i don't understand. This, combined with the config changes and the small surprise addition, will probably mean that 0.34 will be released in about a day or so.

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I might be missing something but I can't seem to get MechJeb to work at all with remote controlled satellites. I have the remote capsule, an antenna, RemoteSAS and have tried various MechJeb modules. I have the MJ interface, but it seems to be unable to perform any attitude control where I can manually perform attitude control just fine. It can, however, perform thrust control if I manually adjust my attitude to where it wants to be. I've also tried adding an ASAS in case MechJeb won't use RemoteSAS but that yielded nothing.

Is this expected currently, or am I doing something wrong perhaps? Searching around seems to indicate it should work as long as the pre-requisites for vehicle control exist (LOS or bounced path to KSP), but perhaps I've misinterpreted.

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I might be missing something but I can't seem to get MechJeb to work at all with remote controlled satellites. I have the remote capsule, an antenna, RemoteSAS and have tried various MechJeb modules. I have the MJ interface, but it seems to be unable to perform any attitude control where I can manually perform attitude control just fine. It can, however, perform thrust control if I manually adjust my attitude to where it wants to be. I've also tried adding an ASAS in case MechJeb won't use RemoteSAS but that yielded nothing.

I actually haven't tested MechJeb with RemoteSAS myself, but from what i hear it should work. You don't need any other RemoteTech parts on your vessel for RemoteSAS to work either, it should be accesible even to MechJeb activated debris. RemoteSAS is actually ASAS, so you don't need to add that either.

Maybe MechJeb doesn't even try to send any attitude controls to debris if it doesn't detect RCS, since that AFAIK was the only way of getting attitude control in Debris before RemoteSAS came along.

I'll have to do some MechJeb-RemoteSAS testing once I'm free from work and 0.34 development tomorrow night.

Ahh i might have an idea what your problem is. I still have had no luck in finding a way of activating ASAS completely right from decouple, only attitude control. To activate ASAS you have to exit to the tracking station and then return to your vessel again, and then ASAS works. Maybe the same is true for MechJeb. At least, the same is definitely true for MechJeb using ASAS.

hope this helps.

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Hey there, enjoying the mod so far but I seem to have a strange effect where my detached 2nd command pod with all the necessary parts and a link to the command center seems to have it's center at the very bottom of the stack of parts instead of at the command pod level. Is this normal or not-so-normal? I ask since even with everything I need, it's really difficult to control.

And just to add, I had the same problem as akirhol and I'll try the suggestion there too

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Sadly, staging has to be lost on Debris. As it is today, you have to activate every part on the Debris or no parts at all. I might one day look into a workaround, but the only tentative idea I have involves an override in stage activation that might not even work, and will only work assuming that some staging setup can survive in the Debris. Something which I am not at all sure of. I've heard the devs are talking about maybe adding in full stage editing in-flight in later versions of KSP, maybe by then it will be possible.

Regarding engines breaking, that is a known bug (see the list of known bugs in the OP). The only permanent fix is to not attach the engine of your debris directly to the decoupler. In stead you can either have your debris decouple upside-down (with the engine facing upward), use radial engines on your Debris, or decouple from a radial decoupler.

As far as I've theorized, the problem is due to engines not being able to handle having no parent (if they're attached on the top of the vessel on a cecoupler, the decoupler would be their parent, and it gets destroyed). I've found a way of fixing this issue, but it's not permanent, once you switch focus from and to your RC vessel, the engine will break and act exactly as you've described.

For the 1m parts, I used the RCS tank and SAS module parts, reskinned them a bit and edited their config files to fit RemoteTech needs. Apparently they simply do wobble. Since I'm no way a part modeler, I don't know how to fix that. You can however follow rule #2 of Kerbal Space Program: "if it wobbles, add more Struts" :).

Is it possible to simply "double decoupler" so that the debris engine has a decoupler parent that came with the rest of the debris?

Really I'm stuck trying to make a semi-sophisticated remote probe. All I can think of is to have the probe be the main craft and the launch vehicle the debris. In which case I don't really need to remote the launch vehicle since it's disposable.

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My solution has been to simply attach the probes nose-first to a decoupler or radially.

I also have a similar bug where engines (wherever they might be positioned) simply drop off the probe after it is decoupled. In one arrangement, I had three probes attached radially by their fuel tanks. When they decoupled, the MMI ion engines (two on each probe) just fall off the body of the ship, but the regular liquid engine (one on each probe) stayed on and worked fine when I loaded up the probe.

Is it relevant that I was actually using the probes' ion engines when they were attached to the main body of the ship but not the probes' liquid engines?

Here is the vessel in question with probes attached:

screenshot63%20%282%29.png

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Ahh i might have an idea what your problem is. I still have had no luck in finding a way of activating ASAS completely right from decouple, only attitude control. To activate ASAS you have to exit to the tracking station and then return to your vessel again, and then ASAS works. Maybe the same is true for MechJeb. At least, the same is definitely true for MechJeb using ASAS.

hope this helps.

Tried this out, but it didn't help at all. I have experienced the ASAS from decouple issue before, but that prevented me from moving the satellite entirely until I did as you mentioned, went to the tracking station and back. Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be the same issue with MechJeb. I'll give it a try tonight with some RCS on the satellite and see what happens.

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Is it possible to simply "double decoupler" so that the debris engine has a decoupler parent that came with the rest of the debris?

A very good idea, I actually tried something like that in the early days of writing the activation code. Sadly it didn't work. The vessel would cease to exist the moment i tried to fiddle with parent/child settings. Which i guess I should also have expected. Parent/child assigning is AFAIK only ever meant to be done in the VAB.

parent/child is assigned outward from the Command Pod (in a normal vessel the Command Pod would always be the topmost parent). So as long as you dont put your engine directly on a decoupler it should always work. the topmost parent in the Debris would be whatever part was attached to the decoupler.

...I also have a similar bug where engines (wherever they might be positioned) simply drop off the probe after it is decoupled. In one arrangement, I had three probes attached radially by their fuel tanks. When they decoupled, the MMI ion engines (two on each probe) just fall off the body of the ship, but the regular liquid engine (one on each probe) stayed on and worked fine when I loaded up the probe...

That's a somewhat more complex one, since it involves more plugins than just mine. The bug might be with my plugin, but it could also be with one of the other ones that the ion engine relies on.

It might also be caused by the engines being decoupled while they are powered though. As a safety measure, I always throttle completely down before i decouple RemoteTech debris.

Try that a couple of times, and if you still get the bug, there might be somewhat of a compatability issue between RT and MechJeb Engines and/or whatever power plugin runs the rest of the ion engine.

Tried this out, but it didn't help at all. I have experienced the ASAS from decouple issue before, but that prevented me from moving the satellite entirely until I did as you mentioned, went to the tracking station and back. Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be the same issue with MechJeb. I'll give it a try tonight with some RCS on the satellite and see what happens.

Curious. I've never had that happen in testing before (attitude control completely not working after decouple). The way I implement attitude control in debris is so simple that the only reason for it failing AFAIK is if the debris somehow thinks it's still attached to the main vessel.

If you would like to troubleshoot, you could try launching the same vessel that has the problem now, with just MechJeb modules and RemoteSAS, no antennae or signal processors at all.

If the problem stops showing itself it would indicate that there somehow is an interaction between MechJeb debris activation and RemoteTech activation.

Edited by JDP

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