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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Progress on the "Great Split"!

The Small Launch Stand round and rectangular versions are now separate parts, and I'm going to add a square version of the same size as well, one with a round exhaust hole like the round stand, and a taller conical extension.

Starting the split of the General Launch Plate, but first I made something I've been wanting to add to both the general plates and bases: ladders! There is four of them, switchable between short or tall variants (short one is default so the part icon won't become too small) and in either the base/plate color or yellow.

Mini Plate (former small) shown with ladders:

O4bHCIs.png

DrvJuRN.png

 

One big note: I have removed all of the integrated hold-downs and support beams from the launch plates. One reason was to simplify them, for both operation and splitting purposes, but also, as they are in the General Bases group, they should be like their bigger brothers and not have anything integrated, instead using the same general hold-downs. The launch plates are intended as a bridge between the early-career launch stands (which are integrated to save on part count) and later-career general launch bases, being smaller-framed so they will fit on smaller launch pad statics.

Also with the splitting of the general launch plates, I'm able to add more exhaust hole sizes to each frame size, as I'm no longer restricted to having a fixed number of them so the B9PS switcher would work equally for all frame sizes. I already extra hole sizes made, but had to remove some to give each plate size the same number of square and rectangular shapes.

The smallest current plate size is now the "Mini", with the other sizes going down one step as well, so I can larger plate frame sizes to the lineup.

5xD9kII.png

Edited by AlphaMensae

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12 minutes ago, spacefreak said:

How about realism overhaul?

Well, they are not real-scale size and not exact replicas, but I've seen the Saturn and Shuttle pads used with RO.

The General Bases are my own designs and not replicas of anything, aside from the Delta-II and Atlas-V towers, which again are not exact replicas.

I don't have RO or Tweakscale configs, so either ask around or make them yourself.

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The newly split small launch stands and general launch plate, plus 5 revised general hold-downs with the toggleable extended base, are now on the AlphaDev branch of the Github.  Also added a fuel generator to the small test stand, this is for when I add a specific engine mount variant to the test stand. :)

Only 5 of the hold downs got the extended base, as the flat vert bolts already have a large base for moving into an exhaust hole, and the large clamp arms are, well, too large to need an extended base.

I'm going to split the existing things first before adding any new things. ;) 

Example of a revised hold down on one of the split launch plates:

U8dV6bq.png

Those are not integrated support beams, but the extended base on the hold-down itself. :) 

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Starting the split of the General Launch Base into separate sizes now.

Separate Small General Launch Base with ladders:

SfMmmnP.png

 

With the General Launch Bases, the ladders can be either all on, a single one on in one of four positions, or 2 on in two different positions.  Also still with the short/tall heights and default/yellow colors.

I was going to a remake of the decks, and maybe the base frame as well, but that may have to wait a while.

Edited by AlphaMensae
Forgot this was the Small base now

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I'm a bit confused by the double versions of mostly everything... Did you forget to remove old versions from the release? Which ones can I delete?

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13 minutes ago, infinite_monkey said:

I'm a bit confused by the double versions of mostly everything... Did you forget to remove old versions from the release? Which ones can I delete?

What double versions? Do you still have the old AlphaDev folder in GameData?

 

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2 hours ago, AlphaMensae said:

What double versions? Do you still have the old AlphaDev folder in GameData?

Doh, indeed I have! Thx, I'm stupid :confused:

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What was to be a simple split of the General Launch Base has turned into a partial remake of them. :D 

Aside from adding the ladders, it's mainly the decks for the medium and large bases that are being remade. Extra exhaust hole sizes also will be (or have been) added: the small base got a couple extra, the medium base got a lot more, and likewise the large base will get a buch more too, plus the deck extension will again be made a toggleable option.

Extra details (some tiny) have been added to the medium base, and the large base decks will get an I-beam rim around the outer edge, among other things. The small base will get some extra details too. Also, an extra set of attach nodes have been added to each base.

The newly split launch bases are now on the AlphaDev branch on the GitHub. The medium base is done, but the others are still a WIP.  The large base retains the original part name and node names of the General Launch Base, so that's what will show up when you load a craft file with the original merged base.

I also added a small MM patch to the Category folder that hides the MLP parts from the stock Structural tab. Since I include and support Community Category Kit and have a stock custom category as well (accessed from the Advanced Mode in the VAB/SPH), having all that part bloat in the stock tab was no longer necessary. A side affect of this is that a search will no longer turn up the MLP parts, but the CCK and custom categories are unaffected. So if you don't want the parts hidden, just remove the patch or rename it with a .txt extension.

I also have an idea to make the crew arms work with a manned spacecraft inside a fairing:  add a toggleable "white room" extension (which will actually be the color of the arm) with a hatch and give the arm crew capacity. That way a Kerbal can use the elevator and arm, and still board the spacecraft by entering the access room and using the crew transfer function.

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There is also another issue that I have to fix, and that deals with the newest versions of B9PartSwitch. The UI was changed, and now all the switchers are grouped together at the end of the PAW, separating them from the deploy limit slider animations associated with many of them, and removing the context which described what the sliders adjusted.

So I'm going to remove more integrated things from various MLP parts that were adjusted with the slider, leaving only one.  Prime examples are the Soyuz launch base will only have the clamp arms integrated into it, all the other ones will be removed, and the separate ones (glad I made those!) used instead. Also, the small launch stands will have the service pole removed (again, a separate version already exists), and the hold-down bolts will be non-animated and fixed for each ring size; the side clamps will stay as is. Other things here and there will be revised as well.

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The revised General Crew Arm with the toggleable "transfer airlock" is done and now on the AlphaDev branch of the GitHub. This can be turned on and boarded by Kerbals, who then can be transferred to a spacecraft inside a payload fairing. In effect, the arm itself has a crew capacity of 3, but the hatch and room thing have to be switched on first.  I even added the stock generic 3 IVA. :) 

I also added a milder version of the older arm's angled pod interface to all three styles of the arm.

jIMhFW2.png

ffUQcxn.png

wW5GT38.png

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This is a question, that the swing arm doesn't make good contact with the rocket, so either leave a space in the middle or get into the rocket. So, I have a suggestion: it's better to customize the length of the swing arm and other parts by slider.

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3 hours ago, ShaneCao said:

This is a question, that the swing arm doesn't make good contact with the rocket, so either leave a space in the middle or get into the rocket. So, I have a suggestion: it's better to customize the length of the swing arm and other parts by slider.

The General Swing Arm, Crew Arm, Umbilical and Small Umbilical can already be adjusted like this.

The Saturn swing arms are have fixed preset sizes for the Saturn tower. The general version will eventually be changed to a slider adjustement style, but the Saturn V variant will still have fixed sizes, as I want to preserve the one-piece look for thst arm.

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Ok, I apparently didn't test out the new General Crew Arm in KSP itself that well, as there was some position issues with the arm-end segment using the alternate swing direction, and a smaller one with the large mount type.  They were due to wrong position values in Unity, and not updating the arm-end segment deploy animation when I changed how the arms were set up.

All issues have been fixed, and the revised arm is on the AlphaDev branch of the GitHub.

I also revised the current Large General Launch Base, adding all the original tower attach node names of the former merged sizes. I had onlly included the former large size ones, and so if a craft file had the general launch base in the small or medium sizes, those nodes weren't present, and so the craft would be broken. 

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Ok, a report on what I'm doing now:

Currently remaking the exhaust holes and decks of the large general launch base. Added an I-beam to the outer edge of the deck, which will be added to the extended deck as well. The interior max exhaust hole size is now 21m square, which required moving the support columns and footings outward a little bit, enough so that the footings are no longer completely on the top of the stock pad static--they slice into part of the sloped sectiom. I already had footing base extensions installed, so nothing is floating in air.  And on the LC-39 pad in KSC Extended, the footings will still be grounded on the top of the pad. :)

There's going to be a lot more exhaust hole sizes in both the square and rectangular shapes, max sizes are now a 20m square and 10m short rectangle (10x20).

WIP pics, still have to add the ladders and a lot more decks:

2xTMdz7.png

E5JIpun.png

 

The longer-range plan is to remake all the general launch bases, changing the dimensions of them. The large base will have a 24m square max exhaust hole, and the whole thing will grow in size. The medium base will have an 18m exhaust hole, the small base will have a 12m exhaust hole, and the new mini base (which will I'll make for v2.1) will have a 6m exhaust hole. And after that there will be an extra-large base, which may or may not be the Gojira base I talked about a while ago. :) 

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And in one of those sleep-on-it moments, I'm revising the planned remake sizes to add an additional base, an in-between size of 9m exhaust hole. This will e the new Mini base (ironically what I first called the Small base), and the 6m one will be the Micro base.

The Micro base will be styled after (i.e not an exact replica but taking cues from) the PSLV launch platform, so small but rather tall and blocky.

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3 hours ago, infinite_monkey said:

Would it be possible to add some crew capacity to the larger bases, so that we don't need external command seats?

You could do it yourself if desired, but I don't see the point, as I use command chairs for testing purposes all the time.

The idea for the crew elevators is to drive a crew up to the base. :) 

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Ah, you DRIVE them there :D So where do you spawn them? Runway or is there a way to have a spawn point at the astronaut complex or something like that?

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42 minutes ago, infinite_monkey said:

Ah, you DRIVE them there :D So where do you spawn them? Runway or is there a way to have a spawn point at the astronaut complex or something like that?

Yep, the runway, or there is the Walkabout mod which allows a Kerbal to be spawned outside any door in the KSC

https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/130575-13-walkabout-v171-17-07-2017/

There's an unofficial fork for it which works in KSP 1.7.x

You could also use Kerbal Konstructs to place additional spawn points where you want.

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3 hours ago, Nigel J. Cardozo said:

As I wanted. Thanks!

Well, styled after it, or I guess "inspired by" is a better way to say it.  It's not going to look exactly the same, going to add I-beams and stringers and such to break it up. :) 

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