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2 hours ago, Tyko said:

Ask yourself this first - if Kerbals can function forever without food, water or air why should be we be surprised that an RTG can function forever?

Because every other electric generating part has some downside- solar panels need to be near the sun, fuel cells need fuel, etc. Life support is different because it's a whole new game mechanic that wouldn't necessarily balance out some other feature already in the game.

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4 minutes ago, EchoLima said:

Because every other electric generating part has some downside- solar panels need to be near the sun, fuel cells need fuel, etc. Life support is different because it's a whole new game mechanic that wouldn't necessarily balance out some other feature already in the game.

I agree. Life support has to do with kerbals, not electric charge.

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I always thought they were ridiculously innefecient in mass to EC generation Ratio, so its quite fair. No need for deterioration, we have a good trade off!

Only my opinion, feel free to shoot me down with all the flak cannons in the world. Feel free. 

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21 minutes ago, Fraston said:

I always thought they were ridiculously innefecient in mass to EC generation Ratio, so its quite fair. No need for deterioration, we have a good trade off  

I happen to agree. They’re kinda heavy, kinda expensive, and even two of them (for balance) don’t provide a lot of power. I use them to keep the batteries charged and/or backup for when I forget to deploy solar. 

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This [snip] reminds me of Deadly Reentry thread years ago. Always the same story.

And now we have a stock feature that doesn't let you land on Eve just by throwing crap at it. Boo hoo.

Edited by Gargamel
Portions Redacted By Moderator.

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On 1/30/2019 at 2:55 PM, lajoswinkler said:

It would be an extremely simple change to make it drop in output. One radioisotope is enough. I think it should be a stock behaviour.

Not convinced.

Assuming that one half-life is at least one decade, I for one have had very few missions that lasted long enough for decay to be felt at all. So I don't see any urgent need, for one thing.

The other: if you actually do go on a centuries-long mission, no other part will decay or break down. Solar panels will still run at full power, landing gear doesn't get stuck, nor do reaction wheels. I see no benefit in making the RTG the one part that will cease functioning.

 

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Nothing lasts forever.  Once you start having one part which loses efficiency over time, where do you stop?

Drills get dull.  Motors wear out. Generators (of all types) lose efficiency. 

Might be nice to expand the Dimishing RTG mod to cover other parts as well (well, technically part modules).  And, Squad might very well decide to add the functionality.

I speak from experience, having had a mod that I wrote totally replaced by stock, and another mod which I was maintain8ng has also been superceded by stock functionality.

Also, bear in mind that every time you add something else for the game to keep track of, the game gets just a bit slower.  Sure, it might only be  a hundredth of a second , but keep adding new stuff and you will end up with a dog

Edited by linuxgurugamer

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The stock KSP system is so small there would be no point in implementing RTG decay. It takes less than 4 years to transfer to Eeloo, and the half-life on Pu-238 is 88 years. I'm not even sure what kinds of missions in the stock game would be impacted by decaying RTGs.

In an RSS or OPM game it's a different story; the transfer time to Plock is more than 45 years. But then there are the other issues that transmitting science costs way too much electrical charge, the Dawn uses way too little electrical charge, science measurements happen instantaneously for very little electrical charge, etc etc that would also need to be rebalanced in the name of realism. The only missions I have where the rate of electricity generation even comes into play is for SCANSat surveys; in all other missions you can just wait a bit longer for the batteries to charge.

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On 2/1/2019 at 1:16 PM, Laie said:

The other: if you actually do go on a centuries-long mission, no other part will decay or break down. Solar panels will still run at full power, landing gear doesn't get stuck, nor do reaction wheels. I see no benefit in making the RTG the one part that will cease functioning.

It's not about RTGs breaking down over time. RTGs get their power from decaying atoms, and seeing as decay is inherent to the process (like how sunlight is inherent to the function of solar panels), it only makes sense for RTGs to run out of fuel over time, in my opinion. 

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19 hours ago, EchoLima said:

It's not about RTGs breaking down over time. RTGs get their power from decaying atoms, and seeing as decay is inherent to the process (like how sunlight is inherent to the function of solar panels), it only makes sense for RTGs to run out of fuel over time, in my opinion. 

Here are some real-life missions that used RTGs, and their status:

Pioneer 10: Lost contact after RTG decayed, 39 years after end of mission
Pioneer 11: Science instruments shut down after RTG decayed, 16 years after end of mission
Viking 1: Lost contact after faulty command sent from mission control, 6 years beyond design life
Viking 2: Lost contact after batteries failed, 4 years beyond design life
Voyager 1: RTGs still providing adequate power 41 years after launch
Voyager 2: RTGs still providing adequate power 41 years after launch
Ulysses: RTG couldn't provide adequate power to keep monopropellant thawed, 14 years after end of mission
Galileo: RTGs still provided adequate power at mission termination 14 years after launch
Cassini: RTGs still provided adequate power at mission termination 20 years after launch
New Horizons: RTG still providing adequate power 13 years after launch
Curiosity: RTG still providing adequate power 7 years after launch

So we see RTGs aren't the limiting parameter in real-life deep-space missions, which was precisely the point Laie made.

NASA's Juno mission is solar-powered. The panels are predicted to lose 14% of their power, due to radiation damage, in the 10 year mission life, equivalent to a half-life of 45 years. That is to say, in real-life deep space missions solar panels decay *twice as fast* as Pu-238-powered RTGs.

A more realistic system would involve:

  • a certain minimum power output to keep the probe working
  • power (not energy) requirements for parts such as science instruments, probe cores, and antennae
  • the ability to / necessity to turn instruments on and off to stay under the power generation capability
  • experiments that recorded data over time instead of instantaneously

Probes that conduct SCANSat surveys more-or-less follow these parameters, but nothing in stock KSP does. If the electrical system in KSP were changed to incorporate the above four things I could get behind adding RTG decay, but otherwise it would not add realism in a useful fashion. The most energy-hungry probe core, the RC-001S, only requires 0.05 EC/sec. It would take 160 half-lives of Pu-238, or 14,000 years, for a stock PB-NUK to decay enough to cease to power it.

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On 2/1/2019 at 12:54 PM, lajoswinkler said:

This [snip] reminds me of Deadly Reentry thread years ago. Always the same story.

And now we have a stock feature that doesn't let you land on Eve just by throwing crap at it. Boo hoo.

It's funny you mention this, because reentry heating is a difficulty option.

I think they're fine the way they are. They already have downsides: they're heavier than solar panels, they produce less EC/s than fuel cells, they're incredibly expensive, and they're unlocked in one of the final nodes on the tech tree. Making them decay takes away one of the only upsides they have.

Edited by Gargamel
Portions Redacted By Moderator.

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On 2/1/2019 at 1:50 PM, linuxgurugamer said:

Nothing lasts forever.  Once you start having one part which loses efficiency over time, where do you stop?

Drills get dull.  Motors wear out. Generators (of all types) lose efficiency. 

Might be nice to expand the Dimishing RTG mod to cover other parts as well (well, technically part modules).  And, Squad might very well decide to add the functionality.

I speak from experience, having had a mod that I wrote totally replaced by stock, and another mod which I was maintain8ng has also been superceded by stock functionality.

Also, bear in mind that every time you add something else for the game to keep track of, the game gets just a bit slower.  Sure, it might only be  a hundredth of a second , but keep adding new stuff and you will end up with a dog

They should, this requires a resupply mission and stock KIS like system to work. Of course it should be turned on an off in difficulty

On 2/3/2019 at 5:11 PM, MrSystems said:

Here are some real-life missions that used RTGs, and their status:

Pioneer 10: Lost contact after RTG decayed, 39 years after end of mission
Pioneer 11: Science instruments shut down after RTG decayed, 16 years after end of mission
Viking 1: Lost contact after faulty command sent from mission control, 6 years beyond design life
Viking 2: Lost contact after batteries failed, 4 years beyond design life
Voyager 1: RTGs still providing adequate power 41 years after launch
Voyager 2: RTGs still providing adequate power 41 years after launch
Ulysses: RTG couldn't provide adequate power to keep monopropellant thawed, 14 years after end of mission
Galileo: RTGs still provided adequate power at mission termination 14 years after launch
Cassini: RTGs still provided adequate power at mission termination 20 years after launch
New Horizons: RTG still providing adequate power 13 years after launch
Curiosity: RTG still providing adequate power 7 years after launch

So we see RTGs aren't the limiting parameter in real-life deep-space missions, which was precisely the point Laie made.

NASA's Juno mission is solar-powered. The panels are predicted to lose 14% of their power, due to radiation damage, in the 10 year mission life, equivalent to a half-life of 45 years. That is to say, in real-life deep space missions solar panels decay *twice as fast* as Pu-238-powered RTGs.

A more realistic system would involve:

  • a certain minimum power output to keep the probe working
  • power (not energy) requirements for parts such as science instruments, probe cores, and antennae
  • the ability to / necessity to turn instruments on and off to stay under the power generation capability
  • experiments that recorded data over time instead of instantaneously

Probes that conduct SCANSat surveys more-or-less follow these parameters, but nothing in stock KSP does. If the electrical system in KSP were changed to incorporate the above four things I could get behind adding RTG decay, but otherwise it would not add realism in a useful fashion. The most energy-hungry probe core, the RC-001S, only requires 0.05 EC/sec. It would take 160 half-lives of Pu-238, or 14,000 years, for a stock PB-NUK to decay enough to cease to power it.

Good point

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[Removed by @Fraston]

Edited by Fraston
Post lost its meaning when the “Portions were redacted by moderator”

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Hey folks, we all enjoy a good conversation and can appreciate the various view points being discussed. But please be careful to not let personal attacks develop...

 

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I notice that people only seem to ask for realism which will make the game more difficult or to some of us just more of a grind.

I rarely see these same people asking for the realism that would make the game easier.
Such as automated docking. It's real but that might make the game less grindy (or more playable for people who can't dock) so they never ask for that.
Automated landing. It's real and has been done several times. But again, that would make the game easier (or even possible for those people who have difficulty landing) so they would never ask for that.

Automated engine burns. Oh come on! it's been with us since the 60's. Any chance this real thing will get into the game? Not a snowball's.

Closed loop life support. Possible on Mars or anywhere that water is available in reasonable quantities. If we get life support added to the game, do you think it will have any possibility of being closed loop? Not a chance. Has to be a grind or it's no fun.

By all means ask for things that will make the game harder or provide more challenge.
At least add a sprinkle of the other pet conversation in here.. Balance.

 

D.

 

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I agree with this but it needs to be Kerbalised.

 

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Just popping in to say that when they decide to give the RTGs a lifetime, three things should be considered; firstly adjust how much nuclear isotope is used. More of it means it powers for longer, less means the half life is smaller but also cheaper and maybe lighter; secondly their lifetimes should only be like 2-3 ingame years. Though this is short for real isotopes, this is KSP. I think it would solve the problem of them being cheaty by actually decaying at a noticable, albiet not punishinly fast rate. Noting that a single KSP year is 426 days, 2, or even 3 is 1,278 days! Even a trip out to Eeloo and back would only take a 100 days or so, leaving the player with an additional ~1,100 days of operation left, not even reaching the RTG's half life; thirdly, if added, an inclusion to say how much power is generated/sec would be great along with a "predicted time until EC generated is <1EC/s".

Just my thoughts.

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3 hours ago, ZooNamedGames said:

Even a trip out to Eeloo and back would only take a 100 days or so

100 days?! More like 3+ years, one way, depending on where in that highly elliptical orbit Eeloo is. I would think a half-life of at least 10 years would be more appropriate.

I sort of like the idea of being able to vary the amount illudium-Q36 in the RTG, but realistically that would only increase the starting power output, with a corresponding increase in usable lifetime (not half-life). So if you want more power, you may as well just add more RTGs. I can't really see a use for a mini-RTG, but someone will probably find a use.

The only real way of changing the half-life is to use a different radioisotope.

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On 1/31/2019 at 12:19 AM, Fraston said:

I always thought they were ridiculously innefecient in mass to EC generation Ratio, so its quite fair. No need for deterioration, we have a good trade off!

Only my opinion, feel free to shoot me down with all the flak cannons in the world. Feel free. 

Resultado de imagen de flak cannon

The weight of them is still just miniscule.I agree that they dont produce much energy....Actually two of them is enought to power a simple vessel(A 4 weel rover i made had only 2 of these and didnt had any diference on power consuption)They are just OP.

If they add a life span for these it should be 20 years.That way theres enought for going to Eeloo and back.

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This suggestion would add needless complexity and only really affect super-long-duration missions like maximum-efficiency Grand Tour missions and communication relays. There is already a strong balancing element in that they are expensive and very heavy compared to their EC output.

While not totally realistic, many of these long-term efforts produce some of the most spectacular KSP missions.

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Posted (edited)
On 2/1/2019 at 1:50 PM, linuxgurugamer said:

Nothing lasts forever.  Once you start having one part which loses efficiency over time, where do you stop?

Drills get dull.  Motors wear out. Generators (of all types) lose efficiency. 

Might be nice to expand the Dimishing RTG mod to cover other parts as well (well, technically part modules).  And, Squad might very well decide to add the functionality.

I speak from experience, having had a mod that I wrote totally replaced by stock, and another mod which I was maintain8ng has also been superceded by stock functionality.

Also, bear in mind that every time you add something else for the game to keep track of, the game gets just a bit slower.  Sure, it might only be  a hundredth of a second , but keep adding new stuff and you will end up with a dog

And of course, once having said this, I am adopting the JDiminishingRTG mod :-)

 

Edited by linuxgurugamer

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On 2/1/2019 at 1:50 PM, linuxgurugamer said:

Nothing lasts forever.  Once you start having one part which loses efficiency over time, where do you stop?

Drills get dull.  Motors wear out. Generators (of all types) lose efficiency. 

Might be nice to expand the Dimishing RTG mod to cover other parts as well (well, technically part modules).  And, Squad might very well decide to add the functionality.

I speak from experience, having had a mod that I wrote totally replaced by stock, and another mod which I was maintain8ng has also been superceded by stock functionality.

Also, bear in mind that every time you add something else for the game to keep track of, the game gets just a bit slower.  Sure, it might only be  a hundredth of a second , but keep adding new stuff and you will end up with a dog

 

4 hours ago, linuxgurugamer said:

And of course, once having said this, I am adopting the JDiminishingRTG mod :-)

 

My vote would be for more modules to get included with their own wear out curves. Batteries could have different types, like Li-Ion batteries that take longer to wear out than Lead acid. This mod also doesn't really need any way of dealing with it, as there are plenty of mods already dedicated to that sort of thing (ground construction and EPL).

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26 minutes ago, Errol said:

My vote would be for more modules to get included with their own wear out curves. Batteries could have different types, like Li-Ion batteries that take longer to wear out than Lead acid. This mod also doesn't really need any way of dealing with it, as there are plenty of mods already dedicated to that sort of thing (ground construction and EPL).

That's actually an interesting idea.  But for now, not going to touch it.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, linuxgurugamer said:

That's actually an interesting idea.  But for now, not going to touch it.

 

Yeah, I could see how this might not be exactly straight forward, you'd need some sort of resource to track the current state of wear for each module that you want to add wear to. I don't even know if it is possible to have "hidden" resources to prevent cluttering up the user experience. 

Also occurs to me the game already has efficiency calculations for resource converters, I wonder if it would be easier to impliment as a version of that. 

At the end of the day though, we already have plenty of choices for failure mods, some that only apply at launch, some that follow bathtub failure rate curves, etc....

Honestly, I'd rather see working ullage of some sort for engine ignitor (ping) than something added to this that is already covered by other mods. 

Edited by Errol

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3 minutes ago, Errol said:

I don't even know if it is possible to have "hidden" resources to prevent cluttering up the user experience. 

It is.

 

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