Stickyhammy

Probes, awesome!

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Just wanted to say the way the probes work is cool.  I was trying to make a polar orbit satellite halfway between the mun and minmus as per my contract so I could send a kerbal to flyby the mun for profit. Everything was fine until three probes in a row the controls locked up. I had power and fuel, and a google search of an old thread said it was a bug and explained what to do to try to fix it. Nothing worked.  It didn't work because probes are working as intended.

For my third and last probe I sat in space with it trying to get it to respond. Was running my mouse over the displays trying to click anything to fix it.  Got to signal strength. No signal.  The probe wasn't broken, it was just so far away from kerbin that there was no way to get the move commands to the probe. No one in the thread I looked at mentioned that little fact.  

My two options are to place relay satellites all over the place to boost the signal, too expensive, or get a higher tech antenna, no science for that. Will require thought on how to proceed in the career. 

TLDR: Probes need a signal! Duh!

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42 minutes ago, Stickyhammy said:

My two options are to place relay satellites all over the place to boost the signal, too expensive, or get a higher tech antenna, no science for that. Will require thought on how to proceed in the career. 

You have a third option. Upgrade your tracking station (although if relays are expensive, that might be too) higher level tracking stations have more power

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The fourth (and cheapest) option is to combine multiple antenna on the same craft!

Having 4x communotron-16 should let you operate anywhere in Kerbin's SOI with the tier 1 tracking station.

My rough rule-of-thumb is: 4x antenna = 2x range; 8x antenna = 3x range; however the thread below might be more helpful :)

 

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1 hour ago, Stickyhammy said:

For my third and last probe I sat in space with it trying to get it to respond. Was running my mouse over the displays trying to click anything to fix it.  Got to signal strength. No signal.  The probe wasn't broken, it was just so far away from kerbin that there was no way to get the move commands to the probe. No one in the thread I looked at mentioned that little fact.

It’s likely that the feature didn’t exist when the thread was made. In the grand scale of the game, ComNet is still relatively new.

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3 hours ago, Blasty McBlastblast said:

The fourth (and cheapest) option is to combine multiple antenna on the same craft!

Having 4x communotron-16 should let you operate anywhere in Kerbin's SOI with the tier 1 tracking station.

My rough rule-of-thumb is: 4x antenna = 2x range; 8x antenna = 3x range; however the thread below might be more helpful :)

Communotron-16s and their radial derivative are non-combinable- their range doesn’t stack, and their angle doesn’t matter on the craft, so just use one. Or use a different antenna.

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59 minutes ago, KingDominoIII said:

Communotron-16s and their radial derivative are non-combinable


Yes, they are combinable.

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2 hours ago, KingDominoIII said:

Communotron-16s and their radial derivative are non-combinable- their range doesn’t stack, and their angle doesn’t matter on the craft, so just use one. Or use a different antenna.

 

1 hour ago, DerekL1963 said:


Yes, they are combinable.

Yeah, iirc they're actually the only antenna that combine properly i.e. 2 antennas are twice as good as 1... all others have diminishing returns.

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31 minutes ago, MR L A said:

Yeah, iirc they're actually the only antenna that combine properly i.e. 2 antennas are twice as good as 1... all others have diminishing returns.

They have diminishing returns too, but the slope is much less steep.

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6 hours ago, Blasty McBlastblast said:

My rough rule-of-thumb is: 4x antenna = 2x range; 8x antenna = 3x range; however the thread below might be more helpful :)

It depends on the antenna.  Different antennas combine differently.  Essentially they fall into three groups:

  • Communotron-16:  Combines linearly.  4x antennas = 4x power.
  • Communotron-16S:  Does not combine at all.  You could have a thousand of 'em, won't have any more power than just one.
  • Everything else:  Combines with an exponent of 0.75, i.e. N antennas have N0.75 times the power.  So 4x antennas = 2.83x the power.
3 hours ago, KingDominoIII said:

Communotron-16s and their radial derivative are non-combinable

2 hours ago, DerekL1963 said:

Yes, they are combinable.

You're both partly right.  :wink: The Communotron-16S is, indeed, not combinable.  Everything else, however, is.

34 minutes ago, MR L A said:

Yeah, iirc they're actually the only antenna that combine properly i.e. 2 antennas are twice as good as 1... all others have diminishing returns.

You're correct for the Communotron-16, which is linearly combinable.

The Communotron-16S is not combinable at all.

3 minutes ago, DerekL1963 said:

They have diminishing returns too, but the slope is much less steep.

Actually, the Communotron-16 doesn't have diminishing returns, at all-- it's the only stock antenna for which that's true.  It's linear, as you can see in its config (note that antennaCombinableExponent is set to 1).

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12 minutes ago, Snark said:

It depends on the antenna.  Different antennas combine differently.  Essentially they fall into three groups:

  • Communotron-16:  Combines linearly.  4x antennas = 4x power.
  • Communotron-16S:  Does not combine at all.  You could have a thousand of 'em, won't have any more power than just one.
  • Everything else:  Combines with an exponent of 0.75, i.e. N antennas have N0.75 times the power.  So 4x antennas = 2.83x the power.

You're both partly right.  :wink: The Communotron-16S is, indeed, not combinable.  Everything else, however, is.

You're correct for the Communotron-16, which is linearly combinable.

The Communotron-16S is not combinable at all.

Actually, the Communotron-16 doesn't have diminishing returns, at all-- it's the only stock antenna for which that's true.  It's linear, as you can see in its config (note that antennaCombinableExponent is set to 1).

Knew it was something along those lines! Which one is the 16S? The non-retractable one or the retractable one? Also, why did they make the differentiation between the two? Any ideas?

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4 minutes ago, MR L A said:

Knew it was something along those lines! Which one is the 16S? The non-retractable one or the retractable one?

The -16S is the flat surface mounted one.  The -16 is the whip (extendable) one.

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4 minutes ago, MR L A said:

Knew it was something along those lines! Which one is the 16S? The non-retractable one or the retractable one? Also, why did they make the differentiation between the two? Any ideas?

The red-and-white extendable one is the Communotron-16.  The silver surface-parallel dipole antenna (the non-retractable one) is the Communotron-16S.

The reason for the distinction between the two is that the Communotron-16S isn't ripped off by aerodynamic forces.  It can function even when the craft is plowing through atmosphere at high speed.

That's an important function, since it's the only lightweight, low-tech antenna that can do that.  Even later on, when player unlocks the large fixed-dish relay antennas... those are big, heavy, and very un-aerodynamic, which makes them kind of unwieldy to use as atmospheric-flight antennas.

So, that's what the 16S is for.  I assume they decided to make it non-combinable so that it would have a bit of an Achilles heel-- otherwise players wouldn't have much reason to use the 16.

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1 minute ago, Snark said:

The red-and-white extendable one is the Communotron-16.  The silver surface-parallel dipole antenna (the non-retractable one) is the Communotron-16S.

The reason for the distinction between the two is that the Communotron-16S isn't ripped off by aerodynamic forces.  It can function even when the craft is plowing through atmosphere at high speed.

That's an important function, since it's the only lightweight, low-tech antenna that can do that.  Even later on, when player unlocks the large fixed-dish relay antennas... those are big, heavy, and very un-aerodynamic, which makes them kind of unwieldy to use as atmospheric-flight antennas.

So, that's what the 16S is for.  I assume they decided to make it non-combinable so that it would have a bit of an Achilles heel-- otherwise players wouldn't have much reason to use the 16.

Sorry, I wasn't overly clear with what distinction I meant. Reading my own comment back, I would have given the same answer as you. But what I actually meant was why is one combinable and one not? Seems like a bizarre thing for squad to have done IMO :)

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5 minutes ago, MR L A said:

But what I actually meant was why is one combinable and one not?

 

8 minutes ago, Snark said:

I assume they decided to make it non-combinable so that it would have a bit of an Achilles heel-- otherwise players wouldn't have much reason to use the 16.

^ :wink:

In short, game balance.  Give it the superpower "works when flying through atmosphere", therefore give it the offsetting disadvantage of "not combinable".

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1 minute ago, Snark said:

 

^ :wink:

In short, game balance.  Give it the superpower "works when flying through atmosphere", therefore give it the offsetting disadvantage of "not combinable".

Shoot now I feel silly.

I'm really tired atm so I'm not reading things properly... that's my excuse anyway lol

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