Caveman: The Making of Another Nanocrystalline Diamond

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I promised myself I wouldn't do it. But, after @IncongruousGoat successfully completed NCD Caveman I thought I could just try it a little bit... Now, the first steps have been taken and the grinding is about to begin.

Of course, the first attempt ended at the third mission when I tried to find some additional KSC mini biomes. There are some very pretty stairs next to one of the R&D building and I figured there might be another biome up there. But, beware! IT'S A TRAP! Jeb tried to jump up the stairs but fell down and could not get up again. The recovery team thought he was flying and refused to go near him. By using RCS he could roll around a bit but when the propellant ran out he could no longer move. Now, he's gone. Consumed by the evil stairs.



After that ominous first attemp, the second attempt went better. I seem to be a bit more relaxed this time and not as concerned about cash as in my Diamond attempt. A bit too relaxed perhaps so the first part has a few failed attempts and cash problems:

https://imgur.com/a/nF1lp6s [EDIT: Imgur hates me and screwed up the post. I hope it is fine now]

Some highlights are jumping on the Tracking Station Hub micro biome (which is not the Tracking Station biome).


Failing to accomplish anything and almost burning up. Jeb seem to like that kind of thing... Maybe he needs a vacation...




Edited by dvader
Imgur hates me
  • Like 5

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So you did decide to do this!


I wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing how you proceed from here. As far as the survey contracts go, you're right in that Kerbin spins too fast for comfort. I just kind of stuck my survey craft in an orbit and waited around for it to fly right over the survey site. Often took ~7 in-game days per flight. Not a fast method at all, but a heck of a lot easier than doing anything else.

Also, 0.65 range modifier on antennae? That's... probably still going to be okay, although you're probably going to have to be a bit less sloppy with the comms network than I was (I more or less eyeballed all the altitudes). Interplanetary comms are still off the table, of course, but Minmus should still be in range of the DSN.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mental XD. I hope you'll make it. It's going to be tough. Really looking forward to read the serie.

I will try it at some point, but I need a recovery period from the Jool thing. Chilling in "easy" career GPP for now.

Dumb question : In my caveman I never had any temp survey contracts. Is there something one has to do to trigger them ?

TBH, one of the reason to put Jeb around Duna with a thermometer in a polar orbit was solving the cashflow problem*. But the missions never came (for any body).


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@IncongruousGoat I think 0.65 is the default for Hard so I just didn't change it. It didn't make any difference in Diamond so I doubt it will make a difference here.

@Muetdhiver Hmmm.... that is weird. I think they appear once you unlock the thermometer and just visit the relevant body. I've never done anything to unlock.

Here's  a short intermission. It's just a mun flyby (and one failed attempt) but I figured I'd post it anyway since I've spent way too much time trying to figure out the best way to continue.


What to do next is tricky. I've been testing all kinds of Kerbal on a Ladder / Kerbal in a Box etc but with no reliable results. I've managed to go into a polar orbit many times but I've also crashed or burnt many many times. The main issues are:

  • Temperature: If I do a proper gravity run, I spend too much time in atmo and Bob overheats at 800K despite a thermometer next to him showing 350K.
  • Unreliable flight properties. The rocket either falls over shortly after start or goes smoothly and controllably all the way to space. I can't figure out why (yet).
  • Unreliable launchpad properties. Sometimes the rocket falls over right on the launchpad despite working properly on the previous launch. After such a failure, it will never be able to launch again but will fall over every time. I have a cargo cult understanding of the phenomenon but don't think I dare risking it.


Currently, my best guess on how to continue is this:


<THIRD EDIT: Found more mistakes in the calculations>

A detailed survey of every single accessible biome, mini biome and micro biome on Kerbin. It "should" be enough if I do everything. But, that means landing on a couple of KSC buildings which is something I have to practice a lot more before attempting for real. Hard landings or touching the buildings often have less than ideal side effects.




Edited by dvader
Had included the VAB South Complex in the calculations. Also removed anything "flying" over micro biomes
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm. Riding a ladder to orbit did take some testing when I went and did it, but I didn't have too hard a time getting my design to work. The trickiest part was figuring out an ascent profile that would leave Bob un-cooked. Keeping the ladder-naut behind some part (I used a capsule) and applying judicious and careful throttling seemed to work pretty well. You can make some compromises on aerodynamics, efficiency, and delta-V, since you only need to make it to a polar orbit (you can use the EVA's Kerbal's jetpack to de-orbit if you run out of fuel on insertion).

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@IncongruousGoat I've tried many different versions. I prefer Kerbal in a Box to Kerbal on a Ladder since he doesn't risk falling off due to speed. One less thing to keep track of. My main problem is the lack of predictable stability. Both on ground and in the air. The ground instabilities are the worst since I can't test fire the rocket for real in NCD since it may actually cause it to fall over the next time I launch it. I have a superstitious hunch that it works a few times after creation and then starts failing...

I haven't given up on trying yet but I have to find a much more stable design somehow. I tried your version with two command pods once or twice but not enough to find the right ascent parameters that left both fuel and a non-cooked Bob. I also dropped Bob too many times due to butterfingers...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Try using the small radiator to contain kerbals. 

Part image

The aero dynamics are much easier to predict and less weight than the girder.  You may need two or three of them so it adds to part count.

If you attach them flipped over.  This prevents the attachment legs from colliding with the kerbal.


Another fantastic alternative is using a service bay that is attached 90 degree. Tricky part is getting the kerbal inside and closing the doors with out summing the kraken. 

Spaghetti-kerbal death is just a terrible way to go.



Try adjusting the position of your test rocket in the VAB.  You can move it so it no longer is on the buggy launch pad . The rocket should sit on the dirt.

Edited by MoeslyArmlis

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried both the radiator cage and the 125 service bay death trap approach to riding along to space, but in the end the 2xMk1 while holding on the ladder proved "easier" (*For me, YMMV)

Issues I faced : radiators if angled have horrible aerodynamics and I got crazy instabilities and flip overs. Not good. 125 service bay : didn't find a way to put the poor sucker in. (IMO, the service bay, if there is a practical way of making it work is the superior option on paper : heat shielding, don't need an extra mk1, no off center stuff)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Muetdhiver, @MoeslyArmlis I didn't have radiators so I couldn't try them. Now I do, but that's because I have unlocked both the Terrier and the Materials Bay :) Still, I might go for an EVA in space but now with the Terrier it should be much easier.

I only had Bob go up in smoke once (out of 20 tries) when using the service bay. But, now that I open the bay doors horizontal and just climb in, he seems to actually enjoy it in there. No hysterical shaking or anything. I think it is a fairly safe approach. The 2xMk1 approach is much easier though since it requires no loading or other shenanigans which reduces risk of launchpad failures.


I had high hopes for a central service bay design (below) but I it seems to not have any better flight characteristics than the side mounted and it may also be more draggy.


While trying to get a screenshot of this, I went through about 7-10 launchpad tipping failures before I recreated the rocket and got a stable enough launch. Note that I got tipping issues despite the very large separators acting as "feet". Moving it around on the launchpad as suggested didn't really help unfortunately, but strangely enough, rebuilding from scratch did. Maybe one day I might compare craft files to figure this out... but not today.



Also, I "may" have solved the mysterious forces by unplygging my joystick :) Haven't gone back to test it with service bays but my Reliant only InterKerbin craft no longer pulls slightly to north.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here we go again. Some adventure and a lot of grinding.

I could not find a reliable way to send a Kerbal on EVA to space and calculations showed going to all Kerbin biomes was not enough. So, I figured I had to max out both the mini biomes (VAB, SPH etc) and the micro biomes (VAB Main building etc). The most risky part was the micro biomes since the buildings are mostly built from left over rocket fuel and easily ignites:

First part, landing on top of buildings is here:



Second part, Kerbin biomes. All but Tundra and Southern Ice Shelf which wasn't needed in the end:


Fortunately, this is not representative for the missions but it is a pretty picture. Valentinas facial expression fits the occassion for once.


Third part is going for Minmus Surface and unlocking the Material Bay. I did some contract hunting to get good "World First" contracts before doing the missions.


The only scary thing was this menacing red text that suddenly appeared:


I really thought I was finished since I expected it to be perhaps millions in fines but 18k was quite manageable at this point in the game. Still, it was scary and I might pay attention to fines before accepting contracts in the future.

Next, there's a lot of grinding. I should start farming Minmus, I should go over all previously visited biomes and do Material measurements etc... yay...


  • Like 2

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