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[1.9.x] Antenna Helper Adopted: Math your Antenna Range and Signal Strength


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user @Li0n has left the scene and asked that I take this mod over.  Original thread here:  https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/171900-dro

 

Antenna-Helper

New Dependencies

Ever wonder what all the antennas you put on your craft, because they look so cool, actually do ? How far can you go with them ? How many science you'll be able to send back when you get there ?

It's easy ! Just multiply the power of your strongest antenna with the result of the division of the sum of all your antenna's power by the power of the strongest antenna raised by their average weighted combinability exponent. This will give you the antenna power of your spacecraft, now calculate the root square of this number multiplied by the DSN power, it will give you your maximum range. So simple.

OR

You could use Antenna Helper to do all that, and more, for you.

 

Ok, but what does it do ?

It will show you the antenna capability of your active vessel in flight, in the editor and of all vessels in the tracking station.


In flight ?

Click the Antenna Helper icon on the toolbar : icon_off.png?raw=true
And you should see something close to that :

flight_main_window.png?raw=true

The top line, in bold, show the signal strength of the whole CommNet path between your vessel and the DSN. Each button beneath it is a link in this path.

Clicking on the Potential Relays button will expand the window to show all the in-flight relays :

flight_potential_relays_window.png?raw=t

You can click on every link to display some info about both vessel (or DSN) and about the link it-self :

flight_link_info_window.png?raw=true

Now take a look at :


The Map-View

map_view_active.png?raw=true

A big circle has appeared ! Centered on the vessel or DSN your directly connected to (the first link of the main window), it helps visualize the range and signal decay of your active connection.
While your ship is in the green circle its signal strength will be clamped between 100 and 75%, in the yellow circle between 75 and 50%, in the orange circle between 50 and 25%, in the red circle between 25 and 0%. And if you're outside the red circle you don't have any connection.

With this new window (show it-self only in the map-view) :

map_view_window.png?raw=true

You can choose between different sources to show your potential range and signal strength :

map_view_patchwork.png?raw=true


You mentioned the editor ?

Yep. That's nice to see "on live" where you can go with your space probe but it's even better to know before launch how far you can travel.

In the VAB (or SPH) click the Antenna Helper icon on the app launcher : icon_off.png?raw=true
It brings this window :

editor_main_window_direct.png?raw=true


Lots of info here, let's go through them from top to bottom :

  • Selected type : which antennas are taking into account to compute the vessel antenna power. Direct (by default) will use all antennas, Relay will use only the antenna with relay capability.
  • Current target : the range of your ship's antenna is determined by the antenna power of its target, which can be the DSN or a relay. By default the selected target is the DSN. You can change the target by clicking on Pick A Target. (more about it below)
  • Status : a quick explanation about which antenna on your craft will actually be used in flight.
  • Power : the antenna power of your vessel.
  • Max Range : the maximum distance between your vessel and the target after which you'll lose the connection. Depend on the power of your vessel and the power of the target.
  • Max Distance At 100% : the distance between your vessel and the target after which your signal strength will start to decay.
  • Color bar : it works with the Max Distance At 100% and the Max Range distance. The number aligned with the black bars separating the colors indicate the distance at which the signal decay. Example from the pic above : between 2 050 205 945m and 51 662 800 363m, your signal strength will vary from 100% to 75%.


So the target is important ?

Of course, one antenna on its own don't do anything. It must be connected to another antenna, can't compute maximum range or signal strength with only one antenna.
Two type of target :

  • the DSN (Deep Space Network) : it's the (very) big antenna on Kerbin. It has three levels with different power, you upgrade from one to another by upgrading the Tracking Station.
  • relay(s) : those are vessels you build yourself, two condition need to be meet : having at least one antenna with relay capability and setting the vessel type to "Relay".

You can simulate all those connection directly from the editor : Click the Pick A Target button :

editor_target_dsn_window.png?raw=true


From here you can select a different DSN level, your current level is in bold and is selected by default. For simulating against in-flight relay hit the In-Flight Ships button :

editor_target_flight_window.png?raw=true


In this window you should see one button per flying vessel with its name and its antenna relay power, important distinction, when your connection is going through a relay only the relay antenna of this relay will be used. Sound obvious but... So if your building a relay make sure your selected type, in the main window, is set to RELAY.

Speaking of building relays, you may want to simulate the antenna range of a relay before you launch it. To do so you need to add your ship/relay to the Antenna Helper Editor Ship List. Just open your vessel in the editor and click on Add Ship to the Target List in the main window. After which you can click on Editor Ships in the Pick A Target window :

editor_target_editor_window.png?raw=true


It works the same way as the in-flight relay list, the number between parenthesis is still the antenna relay power.

 

But what all those numbers really mean ?

They are, mostly, just distance. At a solar system scale. So big distance, like space-travel distance (we're playing a space program game, are we not ?).
Anyway, to help figuring out what does numbers represent you'll find this window, by clicking on Signal Strength / Distance in the main window :

editor_signal_distance_window.png?raw=tr


In it you'll see what signal strength to expect for a distance equal to the minimum and maximum distance between the home body (Kerbin), its moon(s) and all the others planet on the solar system. Keep in mind that those distance are approximate, specially for celestial body with an highly inclined orbit.
You can check the distance used by hovering your mouse on the celestial body name.
In the same window you can check the signal strength to expect at any given distance, write it in the input box at the bottom of the window and click the Math ! button.


Still don't get a clear representation of what those space-travel distance mean ?
Save your ship in the Antenna Helper Editor Ship List, click the Add Ship to the Target List button in the main window. Quit the editor and open up the Tracking Station.

 

Tracking Station ? Yummy !

Yes it's good. Fire Antenna Helper : icon_off.png?raw=true

From there if you select a vessel in the Tracking Station list you'll see its range circles just like in flight. You can check the range for the active connection, the DSN connection and for all relay in flight by selecting it in the GUI.
To check the range of a vessel saved in the Editor click the Editor Ship List button.

tracking_station_editor_ship_list_window


Now you can see the range and the signal strength of your future vessel for the different connection type.
The number between parenthesis is the total antenna power of your vessel, as opposed to the Ship List in the Editor that show the relay power.

tracking_station_editor_ship.png?raw=tru

 

Sounds awesome but I don't want/need X feature ?

In the Advanced Settings menu you'll find a tab for Antenna Helper. Here you can disable the mod per scene, choose to use Blizzy/LinuxGuruGamer toolbar instead of stock, and, set the refreshing speed for the flight UI, in case it slow your game.

settings_screen.png?raw=true

 

About the mod

Previous KSP version :

 

It is localized in Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Spanish, German and French.

It should be compatible with every mods, except RemoteTech and Kerbalism

Credits

The idea for an in-game calculator is from this thread by @Tyko.

Thanks to @Poodmund for his google doc's calculator, and for the help he provide to this mod, and to the KSP wiki;

Thanks to @Skalou for his help with the math :wink:

Thanks to @wile1411 for his bugs reports and suggestions.

Thanks to @Wyzard for his several bug fixes :)

Thanks to the translators :

Antenna Helper icon/logo made by myself with assets from FlatIcon by Freepik.

Edited by linuxgurugamer
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Minor update, 1.0.6.2

  • Fixed nullref when going into editor with no vessels around

I was testing another mod under development and started getting nullrefs in the editor.  Turned out this was an edge case, and could be ignored, but always better to have these things fixed

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10 hours ago, john1978 said:

This mod makes kerbal construction time build planer in game not show up on screen.  And thank you for keeping all the mods going top bloke.

No, it doesn't. Or at least it doesn't in my game. If it is doing it in yours, you might want to provide links to your logs. But I literally just exited after 8 hours of KSP goodness and my KCT build planner was fine.

And yes, LGG is amazing for maintaining and developing so many mods. :)

Edited by eightiesboi
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It should be compatible with every mods, except RemoteTech and Kerbalism

Actually I can't think of a reason why this should be incompatible with Kerbalism. This might be old info: Kerbalism once had a signal implementation similar to the stock CommNet, I guess that didn't work with AntennaHelper. However, signal has been dropped for a couple of releases now.

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23 hours ago, Sir Mortimer said:

It should be compatible with every mods, except RemoteTech and Kerbalism

Actually I can't think of a reason why this should be incompatible with Kerbalism. This might be old info: Kerbalism once had a signal implementation similar to the stock CommNet, I guess that didn't work with AntennaHelper. However, signal has been dropped for a couple of releases now.

Not really my concern anymore but for clarification : I personally never used Kerbalism, the incompatibility was reported to me on the forum. Best thing to do is you give it a try and report here how it goes.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've noted that this does not properly detect some antennae. Usually modded ones. In particular, I've got Restock and Plus and the formerly stock antennae are not detected by this mod. Going to be looking through the config files of antennae it does detect and compare them to the configs of ones it doesn't to see if I can spot an obvious issue. I do have far more than just Restock (and Plus) in my modset, but none of them should interfere...in theory...

 

Edit: Should have noted that I was noting the issue in the VAB and further testing showed that it was not detecting any antenna I added to a craft until after leaving the VAB and returning...odd...might just be a setting somewhere I need to tweak...

 

Edit 2: Although...some of these parts still aren't showing up in the Antenna Parts list when selecting a target...

Edited by Einarr
Should have done more testing first... <facedesk>
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  • 2 weeks later...

I got my CKAN compatibility set way down to 1.4.1

But I can only see the original (1.0.6) from Li0n, for this lovely mod in CKAN.

The only antenna related things showing up from linuxgurugamer are the range patchers.

I try to import downloaded mod from https://github.com/linuxgurugamer/Antenna-Helper/releases  version 1.0.6.2 into CKAN but it installs the original one...

Is this ok or should I just install manually?

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2 hours ago, Problemless Mods Wanter said:

I got my CKAN compatibility set way down to 1.4.1

For running KSP 1.8.x, that's probably too generous.  The Unity change is making .dll recoding and recompiling mandatory for most mods.  You will have to vet each pre-1.8 mod and the combination and there's a high likelihood it'll break some way.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Hello @linuxgurugamer congratulation for another very useful mod I have been using it :)

But I think that there is a problem with the scale of the antennas because after scale this antenna to 400% the results are the same of the original size.

gMlMMHg.png

What do you think?

Thanks in advance for your time looking at this.

Edited by pmborg
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2 hours ago, pmborg said:

Hello @linuxgurugamer congratulation for another very useful mod I have been using it :)

But I think that there is a problem with the scale of the antennas because after scale this antenna to 400% the results are the same of the original size.

What do you think?

Thanks in advance for your time looking at this.

How did you scale it?  You need to change the config for the antenna stats, not just the size

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9 hours ago, linuxgurugamer said:

How did you scale it?  You need to change the config for the antenna stats, not just the size

By hand normally I like use this site: http://www.satsig.net/seticalc.htm

We can scale the antennas here, once was done using java script is easy to check the calculations/extrapolations.

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@linuxgurugamer

"How did you scale it?  You need to change the config for the antenna stats, not just the size"

I thought that tweakscale from @Lisias was doing that "automatically" to all antennas by default, actually in pass there are several issues about the re-scaled antennas are a bit overpower... maybe I am missing some important detail about this re-scale issue.

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4 hours ago, pmborg said:

@linuxgurugamer

"How did you scale it?  You need to change the config for the antenna stats, not just the size"

I thought that tweakscale from @Lisias was doing that "automatically" to all antennas by default, actually in pass there are several issues about the re-scaled antennas are a bit overpower... maybe I am missing some important detail about this re-scale issue.

You would have to ask @Lisias how it scales the antenna power, or if it even does

Edited by linuxgurugamer
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46 minutes ago, zer0Kerbal said:

I don't think TweakScale does. It was something I was looking at in game...

There are some threads talking about antenna scaling like this for example:

I am collecting info about this, but yes @linuxgurugamer now I understand that is nothing wrong with your mod :)

The problem seams to be in dish.cfg files in general.

Thx!

Edited by pmborg
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