JWS

Deployed antennas should consume EC even when it's idle.

Recommended Posts

Recently starting new career saves using CommNet, and found out that no antenna is consuming any EC when i'ts idle.

It was a bit strange because I could still control probes and activate various parts at no cost at all. 

As this is the case for both relay and direct antennas, relay antennas which can handle signals from various sources has no disadvantage of the feature, making direct antenna somewhat less attractive.

How about add a module that forces base EC consumption whenever an antenna is deployed? And set those values differently for their target range, actual communication range, type?

Then You'll have to spend a lot more time in VAB editor wondering whether the EC generation on current vessel can handle these antennas or not, and direct antennas will be attractive option for more situations.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Hupf said:

You may want to have a look at the RemoteTech mod.

Thank you for the suggestion. :-)

I'm aware of the mod, and I did install it every new save except for recent new one.

 

Stock and RT2 comm systems are quiet differ, and I'm not talking about integrating some features of RT2 into stock system. It's more like making clear functional distinction between direct and relay antennas. Current relay antennas can function also as direct ones. Except for their design(This is huge, I know) and some subtle cost differences, they can be replaced with relay antennas which not only act like direct ones but also have relay functionality.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, JWS said:

Then You'll have to spend a lot more time in VAB editor wondering whether the EC generation on current vessel can handle these antennas or not, and direct antennas will be attractive option for more situations.

IMHO more like spending an extra second to attach the +1 part that gives the few more EC I need to ignore the consumption. It didn't even change the ways I can already screw up myself (forgetting to deploy antennas/solar panels;  losing LoS, ripping out  something during docking/EVA...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Spricigo said:

IMHO more like spending an extra second to attach the +1 part that gives the few more EC I need to ignore the consumption.

Thanks for your response.

 

That's what makes difference when choosing relay antenna over direct ones. When it comes to Sandbox or satellite orbiting near Kerbol you don't really have much to care. But when designing a ship under part number constraint or probe for Jool system those things do matter. If stock game supports Background EC consumption, You will need to considerate battery reserves for night time operations(Although it's not the point we are talking about in this thread.)

 

Edited by JWS
spell check

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, JWS said:

That's what makes difference when choosing relay antenna over direct ones. When it comes to Sandbox or satellite orbiting near Kerbol you don't really have much to care. But when designing a ship under part number constration or probe for Jool system those things do matter.

My point is, if that EC consumption is small (and I think it should be at most 1-2EC/s for the most demanding circumstances) the players just need an extra generator/battery to deal with this. In some edge cases it may be that extra part that put me  above the limit or that extra mass that cut my deltaV short of reaching my destination but in most cases no meaningful adjustment is required.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i always found it odd too antennas dont drain battery when left deployed, also found it odd science equipment  doesnt drain battery power either.

Edited by invision
hooked on phonics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Spricigo said:

My point is, if that EC consumption is small (and I think it should be at most 1-2EC/s for the most demanding circumstances) the players just need an extra generator/battery to deal with this. In some edge cases it may be that extra part that put me  above the limit or that extra mass that cut my deltaV short of reaching my destination but in most cases no meaningful adjustment is required.

 

I see your point. It might be meaningless as subtle change of EC won't change game play much. And I don't think it should be neither.

But what I cannot agree is that although the scale of impact might be small, it can affect much larger part of gameplay.

For example, probe lander have to wait until sunrise if it doesn't have enough battery to operate antenna in night time. Or newly attached fuelcells can distort center of mass so that tiny probes have to use reaction wheel, which also require EC to operate, to maintain attitude. It might be negligible difference, but the effect can cover whole gameplay not only for the edge cases.

Also I'm all good for any other suggestions to make difference between direct and relay antennas, as that's what I really want to say. EC consumption rate has been the best method I can come up with by far. 

  

 

55 minutes ago, invision said:

i always found it odd too antennas dont drain battery when left deployed, also found it odd science equipment  doesnt drain battery power either.

That's also a good point. Like DMagic's instrument, they should require EC when they collect data. 

Thank you for your reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole electricity system has it backwards: IRL things constantly need substantial power with only a (comparatively) slight increase when actually doing stuff. Changing it such wouldn't go over well with the generators and batteries we currently have. A full-scale overhaul would be in order but won't happen -- the game has been released and people expect their ships to work from one upgrade to the next.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Laie said:

The whole electricity system has it backwards: IRL things constantly need substantial power with only a (comparatively) slight increase when actually doing stuff.

Tell that to my oven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Daveroski said:

Tell that to my oven.

A crew module needs a lot of power just to keep everything in working order. Whether it's maneuvering doesn't matter all that much.

Likewise, the Voyagers needed about 350W to stay powered on during interplanetary travel. During the flybys, when all instruments were running and a lot of data had to be stored, retrieved, and transmitted, the peak demand was still under 400W.

There's certainly missions where it wasn't such -- the Magellan probe doing radar cartography of Venus comes to mind. But even here there was a non-negligible baseline requirement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, a deployed antenna using EC, can someone explain why? 

Lets consider the process, when retracted it consumes no EC,  during deployment it consumes a small quantity of EC to run the servo, stepper motor or whatever process deploys it. Fully deployed but not transmitting it consumes no EC, I'm taking a guess that like most deployable equip I'm familiar with, even ISS antenna are locked in pos once deployed and therefore need no outside inputs to stay deployed . 

How does it work? quite simple, antenna extends using servo motor control and rotates or telescopes out, until fully extended, at full extension there is a register, a cut out(notch).      Opposite the register is a single action solenoid connected to a plunger,   at full antenna extension the plunger drops into the register, locking the antenna in place,     and at the same time opens a relay that shuts off power to drive motor.  Oh look extended and using no power.

To retract a small charge is applied to the solenoid, the plunger retracts fully, activating the reverse circuit and the antenna retracts, done.  As for knowing when the antenna is retracted, a simple micro switch takes care of the problem via a relay or two. 

I cant see which part you'd expect to consume resources when not transmitting.  Constantly feeding EC to something that can't move would certainly lead to heating of components and reduced lifespan.         If Aerospace antenna follow similar design rules as marine antenna then they'll be simple stupid in design and rugged, not something requiring the constant monitoring and maintenance of something constantly powered up

Edited by SpannerMonkey(smce)
clarity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, SpannerMonkey(smce) said:

Snip

So, why does my radio at work eventually die even if there are no incoming or outgoing communications?  Almost as though there is a constant use of EC even if the antenna is on not currently sending or receiving. 

Edited by klgraham1013

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, klgraham1013 said:

So, why does my radio at work eventually die even if there are no incoming or outgoing communications?  Almost as though there is a constant use of EC even if the antenna is on not currently sending or receiving. 

because you didnt  attach solar panels 

Edited by invision

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, invision said:

because you didnt  attach solar panels 

Opps.  Temporarily went insane.  The antennas already do use EC.  For some reason the OP confused my brain and I thought they didn't momentarily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see the point of this besides having to add on one more battery or one more solar panel. Overall I feel like it'd be more annoying than an enjoyable feature. For probes we already have a running EC cost, and manned modules don't need the comms deployed anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Idle antennas take no power" was a useful abstraction when an arbitrary "50 somethings" had to last an entire moon mission without recharge.  But KSP is now a strange world where a space capsule can only power a 20 watt audio transmitter for a handful of seconds -- or a 100 kilowatt ion drive for roughly the same time.

And a few square meters of solar panels handily supplies both.

Electricity in KSP is due for a terrible reckoning.  Little fine-tuning adjustments aren't going to cut it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now