ZootinZack

Is MechJeb hate still a thing?

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6 hours ago, Pecan said:

Now I have to use the docking autopilot to see what it does!  Haven't used that in years but it always used to drink monopropellant like mad.  I'd dock with about 3, MJ would use 100, that sort of thing.

A good way to minimize monoprop consumption is to strip maneuvering thrusters from pitch, yaw and depending on the craft's mass, roll authority too, leaving these to the reaction wheels -which in my opinion, is what everyone should do, whether he's docking auto or manual. Apart from that, docking autopilot will stop in order to approach and will stop again in order to align, none of which I do anymore -unless the docking port is facing in the opposite direction of the approach vector, (in other words, it's on the other side of the target you're docking with) where you translate above/below the target, slide back in, stop, thrust forward, align and dock.

Edited by Atkara

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Yes. I hate it...

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5 hours ago, Atkara said:

A good way to minimize monoprop consumption is to strip maneuvering thrusters from pitch, yaw and depending on the craft's mass, roll authority too, leaving these to the reaction wheels -which in my opinion, is what everyone should do, whether he's docking auto or manual. Apart from that, docking autopilot will stop in order to approach and will stop again in order to align, none of which I do anymore -unless the docking port is facing in the opposite direction of the approach vector, (in other words, it's on the other side of the target you're docking with) where you translate above/below the target, slide back in, stop, thrust forward, align and dock.

Oooh yeah :-)  RCS for translation, SAS for rotation.  Get rendezvous & right side with main engines then just bring it in.  Everything you need to know is on the navball except the separation and that only matters for final fine alignment anyway.
By the way, I've never got on with docking instrument mods much either, although I did like the minimalist NavballDockingAlignment tool.  Docking cameras, on the other hand, are cool, even the ones that don't add anything useful *grin*.

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5 hours ago, Pecan said:

By the way, I've never got on with docking instrument mods much either, although I did like the minimalist NavballDockingAlignment tool.  Docking cameras, on the other hand, are cool, even the ones that don't add anything useful *grin*.

I use Docking Port Alignment Indicator myself. I used to rely a lot on it. Nowadays, I'll do a rough alignment myself, open up DPAI to see how close I've gotten (which is quite close usually) then minimize the gains on the way in.

Doesn't help with claws, but it's no biggie really -you do a rough line up, handoff rotation to the kerbonaut/probecore with target tracking mode (standard thing when docking/grabbing) and the rest is you, playing with translation till you get a proper alignment.

Edited by Atkara

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Can I suggest the mods put a 12 month moratorium on any posts containing the words MechJeb, cheating, love or hate.

Happy flying to all.

MM

Edited by Mike Mars
One small addition

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The reason MJ auto dock wastes Mono, and seems to be inefficient, is that it is following an algorythm.   It has to be successful in the vast vast majority of situations it is used in.   To keep the programming 'simple', it follows a worst case scenario setup.   If it does this every time, the rate of successful dockings will be much higher than if it didn't.   When you are flying by hand, you can take in more of the situation than MJ can, and adjust accordingly. 

From what I can tell, MJ turns each vessel into a large box, with the most extreme point on the vessel in each axis determining the dimensions.  It makes sure it does not have these two boxes intersect until after the vessels' dock axes are lined up.   It assumes you are smart enough to build a docking port with enough room to let a ship dock without crashing into anything, flying straight in.    It doesn't see that the solar panels are way on the other side of the ship, and you could fly in real close before moving into dock.    It takes the worst case scenario, and makes the safest approach possible, to ensure the highest rate of success. 

It's not the most efficient route, but the safest.  Of course you can fly a better docking by hand.   But for me and my potato of a computer (at least for gaming),  when docking to stations and such, it can be a long process given the part counts.  So I just enable the AP, and tab over to do something else.   When I hear the KaChunk! sounds from the docking sounds mod, then I know I can tab back.  That can be 10-15 minutes of time that I spend doing something else.

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4 hours ago, Gargamel said:

When I hear the KaChunk! sounds from the docking sounds mod, then I know I can tab back. 

You forgot the *Dung-Dung-Dung-Dung-Dung* part

 

@docking I've never found the alignment indicator useful, some weird numbers, weird markers, nah. All I need to know is if I'm parallel to target docking port, and that's what navball indicator does.

Worse scenario (that actually happens a lot to me) is when I set the other vessel to follow :prograde::retrograde::antinormal::normal::antiradial::radial: markers, in most cases it's on orbital stations, so that it constantly slowly rotates away from me.

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On 10/27/2018 at 10:59 AM, Atkara said:

A good way to minimize monoprop consumption is to strip maneuvering thrusters from pitch, yaw and depending on the craft's mass, roll authority too, leaving these to the reaction wheels -which in my opinion, is what everyone should do, whether he's docking auto or manual. Apart from that, docking autopilot will stop in order to approach and will stop again in order to align, none of which I do anymore -unless the docking port is facing in the opposite direction of the approach vector, (in other words, it's on the other side of the target you're docking with) where you translate above/below the target, slide back in, stop, thrust forward, align and dock.

Mechjeb smartass function is also pretty nice then docking as it keep target pointed in your direction, it should be turned off for the last meters however as it will try to rotate target to compensate for you being some cm off and small changes can move the port significant distance  on large ships and stations, this is also most useful on huge ships who take time to rotate. 

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2 hours ago, magnemoe said:

Mechjeb smartass function is also pretty nice then docking as it keep target pointed in your direction, it should be turned off for the last meters however as it will try to rotate target to compensate for you being some cm off and small changes can move the port significant distance  on large ships and stations, this is also most useful on huge ships who take time to rotate.

You can do pretty much the same thing in the stock game, although I've rarely done it and never on stations.

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8 hours ago, Atkara said:

You can do pretty much the same thing in the stock game, although I've rarely done it and never on stations.

Yes however SAS point to target require vessel to be active, with  mechjeb you can have target point against source who is docking, while an kerbal doing eva repairs. 
No you don't want to need this :)
Still then working with stations and tankers over 1000 tons its useful

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43 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

Yes however SAS point to target require vessel to be active.

I know it does. Never needed anything more tbh.

Now, I don't use large tankers. I'd rather bring in asteroids instead and mine them, which I do from time to time. But that's my way of doing things.

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1 hour ago, magnemoe said:

Yes however SAS point to target require vessel to be active, with  mechjeb you can have target point against source who is docking, while an kerbal doing eva repairs. 
No you don't want to need this :)
Still then working with stations and tankers over 1000 tons its useful

You reminded me; I wanted a picture of landers (plural) docking with a spacestation.  MJ on both while I controlled a fourth vehicle to compose the shot.  Very repeatable, thankfully, because it took a few goes.

Defintely not the sort of thing that comes up in normal gameplay but has its uses.

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On 10/27/2018 at 12:35 PM, Atkara said:

I use Docking Port Alignment Indicator myself. I used to rely a lot on it. Nowadays, I'll do a rough alignment myself, open up DPAI to see how close I've gotten (which is quite close usually) then minimize the gains on the way in.

Doesn't help with claws, but it's no biggie really -you do a rough line up, handoff rotation to the kerbonaut/probecore with target tracking mode (standard thing when docking/grabbing) and the rest is you, playing with translation till you get a proper alignment.

I definitely use DPAI. I'm doing a bit of RP and try to have my docking aligned set up quite far away when possible and avoid firing my engines at my target vessel to slow down. This means lining up at least 500m away, coming in slow and just trying to just kiss the target vessel at close to perfect alignment.

I totally admire those who do main engine only docking, it's really fun to see that set up on videos. 

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For the first five or six months playing the game, starting with version 0.23.5, I refused to use MechJeb.

Then version 0.25 brought a change to the docking clamps that utterly wrecked my massive space station that took a week of sustained and careful manual flights to build. And I found myself unable to bear going through that week again.

So I swallowed my pride, installed MechJeb, and never looked back.

That said, I really appreciate how MechJeb locks functions in Career until you unlock them, bit by bit, through the tech tree. Typically, by the time MechJeb lets you autopilot some scenario or other, you've been doing it manually for a while anyhow. Oddly, this feels realistic, at least in terms of how spaceflight has evolved. Manual flights came first, then automated ones. And throughout, the pilot still needs to know what they're doing if they intend to survive the mission, MechJeb or no.

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1 hour ago, LitaAlto said:

Oddly, this feels realistic, at least in terms of how spaceflight has evolved. Manual flights came first, then automated ones.


0.o  Quite the contrary - spaceflight has been automatic with the odd bit of manual intervention right from the start.  Both Vostok and Mercury flew unmanned and automatically before they flew manned.  Both of them flew largely automatically on their first manned flights.  (And of course it goes without saying that both nations had already launched multiple fully automatic or ground controlled unmanned missions prior to those programs.)

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57 minutes ago, DerekL1963 said:


0.o  Quite the contrary - spaceflight has been automatic with the odd bit of manual intervention right from the start.  Both Vostok and Mercury flew unmanned and automatically before they flew manned.  Both of them flew largely automatically on their first manned flights.  (And of course it goes without saying that both nations had already launched multiple fully automatic or ground controlled unmanned missions prior to those programs.)

Point taken. I'm obviously not in my right mind today. Thank you.

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3 hours ago, Tyko said:

I'm doing a bit of RP and try to have my docking aligned set up quite far away when possible and avoid firing my engines at my target vessel to slow down. This means lining up at least 500m away, coming in slow and just trying to just kiss the target vessel at close to perfect alignment.

It's not just roleplay, as thruster exhaust can push objects away in the game. I used to do the same, until I started doing 6+ docking ops per session. Nowadays I keep a 10-15m/s closure rate from 500 to 250m, where I bring it down to 2.5m/s for the final line up. Closure rate at the moment of contact, is 0.05m/s (5cm per second).

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MechJeb is for people who don't enjoy wasting their own time. There are so many useful tools and utilities, that it saves me a MASSIVE amount of time and effort to get the things done that I want to get done.

Most of my gameplay is about engineering and tinkering in the editor. For me, the single greatest thing about MJ is being able to repeat the same tests under a consistent testing regime. If I want to know if a design change is better in one direction or another, I can find out without having to account for variable piloting. Good testing is about isolating variables.

One of the complaints we've heard a lot is that "MechJeb is terrible at doing X". What I've found is one of three things: A) The craft they're trying to do X with is very poorly designed for the task at hand. B) The person has a poor understanding of the rules of thumb of orbital (or other) mechanics, C) They're using the wrong utility or settings.

Several years ago I set myself the challenge of pushing MJ as far as I could, finding out when it works and when it doesn't, and WHY. What I've found has made me a better engineer, and increased my understanding of physics.

If we want to get into dissing mods, Kerbal Joint Reinforcement is DEFINITELY cheating, and I laugh at anyone who uses it.

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1 hour ago, FleshJeb said:

One of the complaints we've heard a lot is that "MechJeb is terrible at doing X". What I've found is one of three things: A) The craft they're trying to do X with is very poorly designed for the task at hand. B) The person has a poor understanding of the rules of thumb of orbital (or other) mechanics, C) They're using the wrong utility or settings.


You forgot two things....  D) they haven't used MJ in eons and have no idea how it works now (docking has been fixed for years now for example), E) they haven't actually ever used MJ and know it only by the routine exaggerations made by the haters.

That being said, 'A' very much.  MJ won't save you from a bad design, or lack of control authority, etc...

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MechJeb is good for doing the boring things. That being said, I would NOT encourage people to use it as a crutch. If you can't orbit or dock, using an autopilot will result in dependency.

I have encountered people who cannot land, cannot dock, cannot orbit, cannot transfer, etc because they just make the autopilot do it.

Edited by Pds314

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11 hours ago, Pds314 said:

If you can't orbit or dock, using an autopilot will result in dependency.


What does this even mean?  And what's the problem with people not being able to do those things?

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I love MJ because I get tired of; tap,tap,tap.tap...tap..taptap.....tap...taptaptap....tap...hooooooooold...tap.

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On 10/26/2018 at 1:21 AM, The Dunatian said:

In fact I do play without KER. I have looked up transfer windows on the internet though. I'm not picking a bone with the information part of the mod, I'm only saying that actually using the auto-pilot, the main component of the mod, detracts from the overall game experience.

That depends on what experience one wants from the game.  The way you worded your statement is imposing your ideas on everyone.  Using the autopilot does not detract from the game experience, though it may detract from yours.  If someone enjoys the game more with the autopilot, it does not detract from their experience.  KSP is a great game because everyone can play it differently based on what they like to do. 

 

Reading through other people's responses, I see this same thing over and over from both sides of the debate.  People all over this thread are making generalizations about how people should play the game.  The end goal is to have fun.  No one should criticize the way someone else plays KSP.

Edited by Hydrothermalventclam

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Heh, I have a career story in mind around using MechJeb for most everything (You actually trust flesh Jeb TO FLY A SPACESHIP?!) if I ever find time to write it.  But it is also less about flying skills and more about the design of the space program.

I flew a non lander to the Jool system without MechJeb or maneuver nodes, so I know I can fly it.  But while I like flying, I seem to be more engineer than pilot so once I prove to myself I can do something, I tend move onto proving I can build something bigger and better, knowing I could fly it if I wanted to.  That and I usually have MechJeb flying the next node in the background while I'm working on my next PHD paper and don't have time to fly manually.

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