AlphaMensae

[1.3.1/1.7.x] Modular Launch Pads v2.0.0: Beyond launch clamps: Create a whole launch facility with mix-and-match parts [30 July 2019]

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You're welcome, @jahnj13

 

Switching to dev work, I made a simple test part (out of existing assets ) to see if a part can have more than one animation (with different names).  Well, they can!  Probably should have known they could, but had to confirm it:

TediousElegantHypacrosaurus-size_restric

This opens the way to making some ideas I have actually be possible. :)

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@AlphaMensae

When looking at your patch for the BD parts, I take it that the line "@bulkheadProfiles = size1p5, size5, srf" is what adds the ability to attach the rocket (engine) to the pad?

I ask as I'd like to have the KW Rocketry 5m engines attach to the Saturn (or Soyuz) bases.

Currently, the part in question simply says "bulkheadProfiles = size4".  If I understand correctly, were I to use either of your patches as a reference, I could have a line that said "@bulkheadProfiles = size4, size5"?

Would this work?  Or would I need to add some of that stuff about "node_stack_blahblahblah = x.x, xx.xxx, etc"?

 

EDIT:  It appears to work.  Testing out now.  If it works (and/or I am still awake) I'll post my patch.

Also, the Large Saturn Mobile Launcher Base appears to be missing the lower size 5 node to with which one would attach the Launcher Base Inserts.

Edited by smotheredrun

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11 hours ago, smotheredrun said:

@AlphaMensae

When looking at your patch for the BD parts, I take it that the line "@bulkheadProfiles = size1p5, size5, srf" is what adds the ability to attach the rocket (engine) to the pad?

I ask as I'd like to have the KW Rocketry 5m engines attach to the Saturn (or Soyuz) bases.

Currently, the part in question simply says "bulkheadProfiles = size4".  If I understand correctly, were I to use either of your patches as a reference, I could have a line that said "@bulkheadProfiles = size4, size5"?

Would this work?  Or would I need to add some of that stuff about "node_stack_blahblahblah = x.x, xx.xxx, etc"?

 

EDIT:  It appears to work.  Testing out now.  If it works (and/or I am still awake) I'll post my patch.

Also, the Large Saturn Mobile Launcher Base appears to be missing the lower size 5 node to with which one would attach the Launcher Base Inserts.

@smotheredrun Actually, it's the "node_stack_bottom (or _bottom02) = " line that adds the node; "bulkheadProfiles" are something different;  I simply updated the original BDB values to include my size 5 node.  All the "1p5", "4p5" and such are the original BDB values (ColbaltWolf put attach nodes in Unity for some parts).

Yeah, the large Saturn launcher base is still a WIP and not complete yet; it was more of a test to see how big it needed to be.  It actually already has an insert built-in, as I used an earlier version of the launcher base that was configured for a Saturn V and never revised it, as I concentrated on the normal-scale parts for the release.  I only included it in case someone needed a larger size base for a real-scale Saturn V or other huge rocket.  The rest of the rescaled parts for it will come in a later update.

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10 hours ago, AlphaMensae said:

@smotheredrun Actually, it's the "node_stack_bottom (or _bottom02) = " line that adds the node; "bulkheadProfiles" are something different;  I simply updated the original BDB values to include my size 5 node.  All the "1p5", "4p5" and such are the original BDB values (ColbaltWolf put attach nodes in Unity for some parts).

Yeah, the large Saturn launcher base is still a WIP and not complete yet; it was more of a test to see how big it needed to be.  It actually already has an insert built-in, as I used an earlier version of the launcher base that was configured for a Saturn V and never revised it, as I concentrated on the normal-scale parts for the release.  I only included it in case someone needed a larger size base for a real-scale Saturn V or other huge rocket.  The rest of the rescaled parts for it will come in a later update.

Hmm....  Alright, I'll see what happens when I do the "node_stack_...."  to the KW parts.  Thanks!

Also made up a small tower contraption for the KSO Super 25 using these parts.  Only hit the tower once!

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My god, I remember when this mod was in its infancy. It's like watching an adorable child grow into a successful adult, this thing has come miles. Thank you for keeping up on the work, this is amazing!

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@smotheredrun Nice work!  :)  Yeah, usually the node position declarations and the bulkhead profiles go together.

Well, started work on the alternate versions for the Tier 1 and 2 launch pads in career mode.  First is the Russian R-7-style launch stand conversion of the full Soyuz pad.  Arms retract by animation:

GiddyPeskyGoral-size_restricted.gif

I have also thought of other ways to use animations, specifically the deploy limit value.  If this works, I can make adjustable hinge positions and clamp pads to configure them for different-sized tanks, all by adjusting the "deploy" limit on an animation--and all in one part.

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Just uploaded an assembly guide video for the BDB Saturn V to my Youtube channel, and added it to the OP.

It starts with the BDB Saturn V (default scale) already made, and proceeds to adding the launcher base, tower sections and arms.

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If the editor part window is too laggy,  then the best solution is to delete the part folder(s) in ModularLaunchPads that you don't need or want; due to the way the parts were made, mesh or texture-swithing wouldn't work.

Both the red and gray Saturn tower parts are included by default, and they are in separate folders, Tower_Gray and Tower_Red.  Deleting either one would greatly reduce the number of parts loaded, and will cause no problems, as they only contain .cfg files, the models and textures are in the 3D_Assets folder.

You can also delete specific folders of tower arms based on the tank diameter they are sized for, the folder names have "1_875m", "2_500m", "3_750m" and "5_000m" in them.  So if you don't need 5m-sized arms, the Tower_Arm_5_000m folder can be deleted.

The BDB Saturn-specific arms are also in a seprate folder under Tower_Red and Tower_Gray; it can be deleted if they are not needed.

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Ok, I have found a way to make the Saturn tower swing arms adjustable without using mesh/texture switching:  using an animation and the deploy limit slider.  I just used this for the "Russian" style launch stand's arm hinges and clamp heads, which can be adjusted for tank sizes of 2.5m to 0.625m

You can adjust position, rotation and scale of an object in a Unity animation, and by using object groups in the hierarchy (think of them as KSP subassemblies) you can treat a bunch of separate objects as one.

I'll be able to greatly reduce the number of parts for the Saturn pad :)

 

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Ok, remembered the little plugin Animated Decouplers, which allows the animated arms to retract when the launch stand (which is a decoupler as well) is staged, like so:

No action group needed, which is important for early career mode (well, unless it got altered by some mod). :)

Still would like it to make it function like a launch clamp, but those are a little tricky to set up...still working on it

 

 

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Well, I finally figured out how to make a working launch clamp.  Here's my crude test clamp:

AbleVictoriousCrow-size_restricted.gif

 

Now to translate this to the "R-7" style launch stand, and there should be no need for a separate launch clamp or the animated decouplers plugin.

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I just tested the saturn pad in KSP 1.4.1 and everything seems to work nicely, except for the crane. It just doesn't move. Tested it with staging and action group.

Edited by acc

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8 hours ago, acc said:

I just tested the saturn pad in KSP 1.4.1 and everything seems to work nicely, except for the crane. It just doesn't move. Tested it with staging and action group.

The crane moves by using the Q and E (or roll control) keys after decoupling...did youu try that?

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1 hour ago, AlphaMensae said:

The crane moves by using the Q and E (or roll control) keys after decoupling...did youu try that?

Oh, I must have missed that info somehow. Thank you.

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Success!  Got the launch stand working as a node-attached launch clamp:

BitterFarAfricanwilddog-size_restricted.

 

But now the animation for the adjustable arms isn't working...not sure what is going on

 

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Still don't know why the second animation for the arm adjustment isn't working...could be that launch clamp parts with ModuleLaunchClamp can't have a second unrelated animation.

So, I made a workaround by splitting the arm assembly into a separate part, that uses Animated Decouplers for the arm retraction; there is no actual decouple node.  Likewise with the stand base, there is no animation reference in ModuleLaunchClamp.

So it's sort of a hybrid launch clamp:  the clamp part doesn't animate, and the animated decouple part doesn't decouple.  Works fine, and the arms are adjustable. :)  Downside is two parts needed for the launch stand

The alternative would have been to make different versions of the full launch clamp, each sized for a different tank diameter...but that's not as good.  Would only be one part for the stand, but more parts loaded.

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I just put a dev build of the Russian Launch Stand on my Github:

 https://github.com/AlphaMensae/Modular-Launch-Pads/raw/master/TestRussianStand.zip

It requires Animated Decouplers, so I included three versions of it as .zips, for KSP 1.2.1/2, 1.3.1 and 1.4.x, in case you don't have it.  Just install the version you need. 

It's still a bit rough, but working, and the tech tree nodes are the start one.

There are two parts, the launch stand and the arm assembly.  Both titles start with "Russian Launch Stand" for searching.

The base works like a node-attached launch clamp, attach to a bottom node of a rocket using the upper size 5 node in the ring.

The arm assembly attaches to the lower size 5 node in the stand's ring (the two nodes have different direction vectors).

Right-click on the arm assembly and move the deploy limit slider to adjust the arms from 0.625m tank size to 2.5m tank size. The arms will jump at first, still trying to get the deploy limit adjuster to match the initial positioning of the arms.

Put both the base and the arms in the same stage to activate at the same time.  The base just decouples, and the arms do the retracting.

Edited by AlphaMensae

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Working on a new addition to the "Russian" launch stand:  a crew access arm, sorta kinda like something Gagarin used to board Vostok 1.  The arm retracts separately from the clamp arms,  has an adjustable-height elevator, and will have an adjustable exit pad to to bridge the gap from the elevator to the command pod.

And to get to the crew arm, Kerbals will have to climb a ladder mounted on the launcher stand base; Gagarin only had to climb 12 steps, Kerbals will have to climb a few more.... :wink:

dQgSg7S.png

Goes with the whole more basic and primitive design of this stand. :)

The crew arm is still WIP. just have the basic frame done.

After this launch stand is done, I'll make the "American" launch stand (will be squarre-shaped) for early career mode; it will work like a launch clamp as well, but will also have a detached umbilical tower.  Proabably will have two versions of the tower, one with simple drop-pipes/cables for unmanned rockets, and one with simpler, narrower swing arms and crew arm for manned spacecraft.

Edited by AlphaMensae

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I reworked the crew arm and elevator to make it easier to adjust, now it's a vertical straight elevator with both adjustable stopping height and floor (the "pad" I call it) length via deploy limit sliders; can adjust to command pods of 1.25m to 2.5m diamter.

The arm itself is still WIP, still just a frame, but the elevator is working, as seen in this demo:

 

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The "Russian" Launch Stand clamp-style is almost done!

I added a service arm, for "fueling" purposes, that is separately retractable like the crew elevator.

It also has an umbilical that can be adjusted in height (over a short range) and in length for tank sizes of 0.625m to 2.5m

 

Demo of the launch stand in action:

 

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This is really cool, but totally fills the structural tab of the VAB/SPH with so many parts. Might I suggest that you create a custom tab? It'll make it easier to find your parts and it will clean up Structural :)

 

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Version 1.1 released!

This has the new Russian Launch Stand Clamp, plus the BDB/TantaresLV craft files and subassemblies for the big pads.

The Russian Launch Stand requires the Animated Decouplers mod plugin by Starwaster, I included three versions of it in the download.

Next will be the "American" Launnch Stand Clamp, a much smaller and simpler launch clamp version of the big Saturn mobile launcher, and like the Russion one, intended for early career mode.  It will take it's design from a mix of Mercury-Redstone, Mercury-Atlas, Gemini-Titan II, original Saturn IB (LC 34 and 37) and various unmanned rocket pads from the '60s. There will be two types of adjustable towers, one for unmanned launches and one for manned ones.

OP uodated

@Tyko I have a better solution coming:  I'm going to revamp the Saturn swing arms to have an adjustable end section, like I did with the Russian Launch Stand (which was practice, basically).  I'll also look into making a custom category.

 

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This mod is great! I've been looking for this for a long time!

Just 1 concern, there isn't a stage for it, which means I have to put on an action group, could you make a stage for it?

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3 hours ago, Jack5.exe said:

This mod is great! I've been looking for this for a long time!

Just 1 concern, there isn't a stage for it, which means I have to put on an action group, could you make a stage for it?

Do you mean the Saturn pad and tower?  The launcher base does decouple, but all the swing arms, hold down arms and tail service mast require a right-click menu button or action group.

But........Now that you mention it, and since I already crossed the "no dependency" line by using Animated Decouplers for the new Russian Launch Stand, I might as well and make all the Saturn pad .animated parts use it too, so they can work by staging.

They will still work by action group, only now you select "decouple", even though nothing will actually be decoupled.  Animated Decouplers basically allows an animation to work by staging...the decouple part is entirely optional, as I've found. :)

However, I'll first test if the the normal animation module can be used along with the Animated Decouplers module, to retain the original animation method, so as to not break craft files and saves.

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Ok, test completed, and turns out I just have to give the animation used for ModuleAnimateGeneric a different name than the one used for Animated Decouplers.  But yes, both methods can work in the same config.

Time to get to work.... :)

 

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