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WIP: Buffalo 2 Modular Space Exploration Vehicle


Angel-125
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Today I experimented with ways to create a trailer hitch that could pivot. I had some initial success and was able to make the attachment node pivot like the stock Claw does:

NZbyZ0B.png

Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out how to restore the orientation so that you could dock another craft to the trailer hitch. So, back to the drawing board.

I experimented with robotics and as loose as they are, they actually do make good pivots:

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Based on my research, all I really need to do is make a small docking port sized for the chassis that you'd attach to the ends of the robotics parts, and possibly something that lets you make a Fifth Wheel for mac trucks:

FW351A748XL00.jpg

Perhaps one part is the pivot for the fifth wheel, and another is a servo that lets the trailer rotate. Like so:

1Rw6CNe.png

 

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6 minutes ago, Rutabaga22 said:

I made an all environment rover! Even tried to make a mission patch.

 

Nice work there.  Your work there has given me ideas for a rover on worlds with atmosphere - though Eve continues to be problematic.
A gravatic engine mated to that rover will let you deorbit and land it safely.

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44 minutes ago, Rutabaga22 said:

I made an all environment rover! Even tried to make a mission patch.

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Land
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air
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Sea

I was bored so I landed on the every helipad at the ksc and on the R&D bridge and under it.
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Small update today, I've been working a bit too hard and it's catching up. This is the new Buffalo Chassis Decoupler. It is a micro docking port designed to dock chassis components together:

Mj9SM11.png

Here it is with the stock G-00 Hinge. I'm going to make a B2 Hinge to complement the new coupler...

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17 hours ago, Ooglak Kerman said:

Have you had a look at what KAS does with hitching up vehicles?  Gotta say though.  The 5th wheel thing is just inspired!  These parts could have great implications for stations also.

Yeah, I've seen the KAS parts and used them. I tend to get gimbal lock with the towbar, which makes it hard to drive around. Using hinges does the trick because I can control the pivot axis.

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2 hours ago, Rutabaga22 said:

I'm making spacelab with buffalo 2 station parts!
 

Very nice. :)

Today I built the B2 Hinge. It only has 35-degrees of pivoting freedom, but that's plenty to handle trailers. Here's a look:

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I've also worked out a design for the Fifth Wheel servo. It's a work in progress, but I have the basic layout. It is a chassis part with a turntable that you attach the B2 Hinge to. Here's a look:

Z9nMdI2.png

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Today was the final push for the Making Connections release. I finished up the Buffalo Chassis (5th Wheel)...

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... I added a new alternate form for the Medium-Short length Buffalo Chassis...

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... Then I added a Chassis and Body variant to the Buffalo Chassis Coupler...

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... And on top of that, I created a new B2 Trailer Frame part. It has a few variants...

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Here is the Buffalo Big Rig, which showcases these new parts. Now you can build intermodal shipping containers and truck them around!

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Finally, with these remaining parts completed, I'm proud to announce that Buffalo 2 v1.2: Making Connections is ready for release! Here's the complete change list:

Changes

- Fixed B9PS configs- thanks Rodger! :)

New Parts

- B2 Chassis Tank: This small tank holds Liquid Fuel and Oxidizer. It has two length variants: Short and Medium-Short.
- B2 Hinge (Requires Breaking Ground DLC): This hinge has a limited pivoting range but it's sized to fit the Buffalo Chassis.
- B2 Side Hatch (Short): This short-length inline body module comes equipped with deployable ladders and doors that open and close. It also doubles as a small cargo bay.
- B2 Endcap: This simple endcap covers up the ends of the B2 body parts. It has Rover, Station, Superstructure, and Sub variants, and comes in white or blue.
- B2 Sloped Endcap: This sloped endcap covers up the ends of the B2 body parts. It has Rover, Superstructure (long & short), and Superstructure corridor (long & short).
- B2 Trailer Frame: This modular frame serves as a mounting point for components like the Buffalo rover's body parts. It has short and medium length variants as well as variants designed to attach the Buffalo Chassis Decoupler (Body variant). The frame make intermodal shipping containers possible.
- BC-S1 Adapter: This adapter connects the Buffalo Chassis to Size 1 (1.25m) parts. It is offset to account for rover body parts.
- RB-S1 Adapter: This adapter connects the rover body to Size 1 (1.25m diameter) parts. It has various lengths.
- SB-S1 Adapter: This adapter connects the submarine body to Size 1 (1.25m diameter) parts. It has various lengths.
- ST-S1 Adapter: This adapter is specifically designed to connect Station form factor parts to Size 1 (1.25m) parts.
- Buffalo Chassis (Mini): Designed as a "filler" chassis, this mini chassis adds a little bit of chassis structure to rovers.
- Buffalo Chassis (Sloped): By popular demand, this sloped chassis provides a fashionable chiseled edge for Buffalo chassis.
- Buffalo Chassis (5th Wheel): This specialized chassis part has an integrated servo motor that's specially designe to support trailers.
- Buffalo Chassis Coupler: This docking port is specially designed to fit the Buffalo Chassis. It has several variants to handle a variety of docking situations.
- Buffalo Chassis Decoupler: Separate unwanted chassis parts with this decoupler.
- Buffalo Power Chassis: At the expense of some batteries, this chassis has an integrated fuel cell and a solar panel on top.
- Auxiliary Electronic Navigator: This chassis component is a probe core. It has two length variants: Short and Medium-Short.

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