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Part observations


tater
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Messed around with MH tonight.

A few observations/issues.

The new tanks, and other switchable parts seem nice. I especially appreciate the decouplers changing, though the auto-shrouds are still odd (thin decoupler, huge shroud over heat shield).

Some of the default placements are odd---the thrust plate parts under, what, payload (or was it coupling)? Structure makes more sense.

The service bays (Apollo SM, etc) are nice, but the internal geometry is odd in terms of fitting tanks inside. In addition, and this is a real bug, when you stage the side panels on the SM, they work fine. But later I landed my MEM, came back, and the side panels were magically back on, and could not be staged off. Extended parts underneath the panels were gone.

The nose shroud for the Mk1-3 is the wrong size. Clearly it is explicitly for that part to store chutes. One, chutes fit very poorly in there. Two, the base of that part is too wide for the top of the Mk1-3 CM:

yjwHgPp.png

That step looks terrible. Why would it not meet flush?

I managed to make a staged lander with the MEM, which was quite cool. That said, coming up with just the ascent module and a spark engine (? whatever the little one that looks sorta like a mini 909 is called), the RCS was very unbalanced (and it has no SAS).

hAgNFtj.png

 

Edited by tater
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8 hours ago, tater said:

Some of the default placements are odd---the thrust plate parts under, what, payload (or was it coupling)? Structure makes more sense.

Except that they're listed under "Coupling", because they're decouplers.  Of course, that's not super useful if you have one on the bottom of your ship.  But when you're using a thrust plate as an interstage, then it provides decoupling with whatever's under it, so you don't need to have a separate stack decoupler under them.

8 hours ago, tater said:

The service bays (Apollo SM, etc) are nice, but the internal geometry is odd in terms of fitting tanks inside.

Yeah, I agree with you there!

Personally, I would have preferred if they could have just left out all the internal shelving and given a single empty open space with a  stack node inside, like the service bays.  Might be less "historical", but I would find them more useful in terms of gameplay.  I got frustrated enough that I ended up making a simple mod that, among other things, adds a 1.875m service bay (no new models, just rescaled the 1.25m bay).

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8 hours ago, tater said:

Clearly it is explicitly for that part to store chutes. One, chutes fit very poorly in there. Two, the base of that part is too wide for the top of the Mk1-3 CM.

 

Agreed on both points.  I'm having trouble understanding what was intended to be contained in this service module?  I suppose it could be cool to put some small science parts in there on a atmosphere probe or something, with a heatshield on the bottom.  But in terms of the top of the CM, the only chute that fits in there reasonably is the Mk12R radial drogue, which won't get the job done:

VHDUHxz.png

 

Some of those cube-shaped radial chutes RoverDude has in some of his USI mods would've been great to include.

 

That brings me to the old LES part.  Left: Putting it atop the SM-6A and leaving it obviously doesn't work. Center: Using it without the SM-6A is reasonable, but I want to use my MH parts!  Right: Translating the LES down into the SM-6A so that its nosecone is hidden looks the best, I think.  Leaves Docking Jr "exposed" visually, but its the best solution.  Ideally, the LES needs to be updated with a cone-less mesh variant (and have its texture made to match the new Mk1-3.)

qWz2xb3.png

 

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2 hours ago, Snark said:

Except that they're listed under "Coupling", because they're decouplers.  Of course, that's not super useful if you have one on the bottom of your ship.  But when you're using a thrust plate as an interstage, then it provides decoupling with whatever's under it, so you don't need to have a separate stack decoupler under them.

Except the 5 engines need to be attached to the tank above them. I'm not sure what the point is there.

I agree on the LES stuff, it plain doesn't work well with anything.

If a stock part requires clipping, it's broken, IMHO.

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With regards to the chutes inside the SM-6A, RoverDude has posted that the Mk1-3 can land safely with the drogue chutes.

 

 

After having gotten used to Ven's parachutes, even the vanilla non-drogues are awfully small.  Do do an Apollo recreation with tiny little drogues as the main landing chute seems silly.  I have been going with 3x symmetry on the blue radial chutes and placing them on top of the CM before the service module so as to tuck them away.  But then I have an empty service module!  Ooof.

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1 hour ago, tater said:

Except the 5 engines need to be attached to the tank above them. I'm not sure what the point is there.

Not sure what you mean?  The engines are attached to the thrust plate, not the tank above them. That's the point.

olJjUt9.png

Image on left, from top to bottom, consists of:

  1. A big 5m fuel tank
  2. A 5m thrust plate, configured to 4+1 connectors
  3. A set of five Wolfhound engines
  4. Another big 5m fuel tank

The thrust plate lets me put a group of engines, instead of just one.  And it's a decoupler-- note that there's no stack decoupler between 3 and 4.  And the bottom tank is attached directly to the engine plate above (with its big ol' size-4 connector node), not to the Wolfhounds, which means good aero and a nice stiff connection.  When the bottom tank runs out of fuel and needs to be staged away, staging the engine plate releases it, unleashing the Wolfhounds for the next stage.

Before the engine plates, if I have a stack of diameter X and wanted to have an upper stage, either I had to use an engine that is also diameter X, or else I'd have to play some elaborate game with upside-down interstage fairings and a stack decoupler, which 1. looks kinda clunky, and 2. has more parts in it, and 3. is kind of a hassle to set up, and 4. forces using two stage actions where I'd prefer to have just one.  The engine plates solve all that nicely, in a convenient way.

(Apologies if I'm telling you stuff you already know-- it's possible I'm simply misunderstanding your point and talking at cross-purposes here.)  :wink:

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I think I misread what you said. I understand the point, and now I get that they decouple.

Looking for a way to cluster, it never occurred to me to look under decouplers, however, my goal was to cluster engines, the decoupling is a happy addition. KNowing that they are decouplers, it makes sense to look there---but only once you know they are decouplers. Their primary function is clustering engines, so they belong under whatever heading fits that use, IMHO. Then the part description can mention the decoupling.

Honestly, from the standpoint of UI, if the thrust plates automatically decouple, and engines already automatically make shrouds, why not eliminate the decouplers altogether, and make them automatic with any engine placement? Right now they behave differently.

Oh, I looked, and they don't look like engine plates in the VAB, they look like cylinders, which is poor UI design, IMO.

 

I realize that the vostok/voshkod part were actually all the same diameter, but in RL, the 1 crew version was 2400kg, and the 2 and 3 man versions were both 2900. These all change in mass.

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Agreed that the thumbnail image of the engine thrust plates is very misleading - just a plain white cylinder, no clue as to the function, and way too similar to the plain structural cylinders in the Structural tab

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25 minutes ago, fourfa said:

Agreed that the thumbnail image of the engine thrust plates is very misleading - just a plain white cylinder, no clue as to the function, and way too similar to the plain structural cylinders in the Structural tab

 

Agreed.

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I just loaded MH up (I'm home with a sick kid, lol) and the SM side panels, long since jettisoned, were gone when I loaded the save (they had magically reappeared last night), then I switched to MEM and back, and they were back, with my high-gain now sticking through a panel.

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A small amount of offsetting can make the Mk1-3 / forward compartment fit together a lot better:

AvkfWTc.jpg

But you do have to clip the main chutes in and down a fair amount to fit under the cover (BTW that's an empty Mk0 fuel tank as a crew tunnel)

KFNlvIS.jpg

And if you put the chutes in the same staging group as the cover, it'll say 'cannot deploy while stowed.'  If you stage the cover, then the chutes, it works fine (this had been a problem in the early access streamer build)

Edited by fourfa
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5 minutes ago, StevieC said:

Has anyone else noticed that some of the engines' thrust is either off-angle or off-center?

Yes, the Wolfhound and Cheetah both have thrust centering problems, and the Wolfhouse also has an off-center texture (as do a couple of tanks)

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Jb3oI3u.png

You can see in this image the SM problem. Last night I flew this. I jettisoned the side panels after TMI burn. When I came back from landing to dock (the MEM CM is all wonky, so RCS is terrible with it) this is what I found, the side panels were back on, and the antenna was gone. This image was NOT taken then. I went to sleep at some point after undocking to play with the MEM RCS some more. Today, home with my sick son, I opened this save up. The MEM was a few km from the CSM, and the CSM had the panels OFF, and the antenna intact. Then I time warped to close the CSM, and the image is what it THEN looked like.

The MH SM is bugged.

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On 3/15/2018 at 1:21 PM, Snark said:

Not sure what you mean?  The engines are attached to the thrust plate, not the tank above them. That's the point.

olJjUt9.png

What's the trick to getting the 4-5 engines on a plate like that?

 

I swear it worked for me when I first got Making History but now I can't seem to get it to work.  Now the engines either want to attach in the center or else radially on the sides, but not in that configuration.  Do I have to hold down some keys or something?

 

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1 hour ago, fragzilla17 said:

I swear it worked for me when I first got Making History but now I can't seem to get it to work.  Now the engines either want to attach in the center or else radially on the sides, but not in that configuration.  Do I have to hold down some keys or something?

It's one of those "picture's worth a thousand words" things.  :wink:

SmpXDAo.png

An engine plate has a set of connector-node options:  you can choose to have various numbers of nodes in various predefined patterns.  The default is 1 node, centered.  By clicking the "Cluster Nodes" button shown above, you toggle the plate through the various pattern options until you get to the one you like.

Once you have the desired node configuration chosen, you can attach stuff to the nodes.  One nice thing is that for the ones that have a symmetric set of nodes, it respects symmetry options-- i.e. if you choose the "4 nodes in a square" option, it's wired for four-way symmetry, so that if you have symmetry turned on and attach an engine to one of them, you get a symmetric group of four, exactly as you'd expect.

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3 minutes ago, Snark said:

It's one of those "picture's worth a thousand words" things.  :wink:

An engine plate has a set of connector-node options:  you can choose to have various numbers of nodes in various predefined patterns.  The default is 1 node, centered.  By clicking the "Cluster Nodes" button shown above, you toggle the plate through the various pattern options until you get to the one you like.

YES!!! Thank you so much! It was driving me nuts! 

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The SM-18 is worthless.

Seriously, did anyone test these?

The addition of "shelves" on 3 of the 4 bays adds nothing at all, and indeed the 4 bays makes it less, not more functional. Indeed the shelves mean that it's literally impossible to add more than 4 mini mono tanks (as the only item). My requirement is that nothing clip. A prop tank bisected by a divider? No. It really is a terrible part, which is too bad, since it looks OK from the outside. Except the attachment node. The node is below the part. You would want a spark there, presumably (except that there is no way to put LFO in the SM without really ugly clipping), but you can't, because the attachment node makes it float in space.

There is no room for tanks inside, and the colliders don't help the situation in the least. It's suppose to be a SERVICE MODULE. A SM contains life support, power, comms, maybe some scientific gear, and propellants.

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53 minutes ago, tater said:

The SM-18 is worthless.

 

 

It's not that bad.  You can stuff a fair amount of the items you mentioned into it but I could certainly do with the option to remove the shelving, like the fairing trusses have.

Check this out, no clipping and there is plenty of room left for repeats on some items:

PcFTImT.png

 

9.9 units of LF, 12.0 of Oxidizer (you can also use 2x oscarB's for a total of 36LF and 44 Oxidizer)

1 thermometer

1 seismic

1 barometer

(missing) 1 gravioli (theres plenty of room, I forgot it)

1 surface scanner

1 0.625 reaction wheel

1 6x1 solar pannels

1 Mystery Goo

3x mini rcs tanks (22.5 units mono)

1 communotron

1 nuke generator

3x batmans (300ec)

2x fuel cell (100ec)

...and you see there's room for more.

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@klesh Did you need to use the offset tool at all? IMHO, if you need to use the offset tool, the part is broken. It;s like the MEM. It has 2 bottom attachment nodes, but one you have to address from above, or the engine sticks on the bottom one. For the SM-18, you cannot attach an engine to the bottom without it floating, so IMO, the part is broken, even if I can attach an engine, then offset it upwards.

I was trying without having to offset anything at all. It's hard to do with symmetry, as well.

Edited by tater
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32 minutes ago, tater said:

@klesh Did you need to use the offset too at all? IMHO, if you need to use the offset tool, the part is broken.

 

Nope.  I found the key is to disable surface snap (the hex icon) and place items with the circle icon. Try that?

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10 minutes ago, Bill Phil said:

The SM-18? I recommend monoprop thrusters and no LF/O engines. Not much reason to have more than one type of propellant.

True, when used as designed for Gemini. People might want to try for an Orion SM sort of look, however. It would be nice if the mono engine was capable of being mounted in a non-radial fashion. Regardless, the SM is pretty awful, IMO.

Just now, klesh said:

 

Nope.  I found the key is to disable surface snap (the hex icon) and place items with the circle icon. Try that?

I literally never have the hex icon off, which would explain my problem. That said, do the radial fuel tanks have physics on? If so, doesn't their position matter in terms of where the center of mass is?

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