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HoY

[Tutorial] Easy mode docking with MechJeb 2.0

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We all know that Mechjeb 2 comes with docking autopilot, but that's not what I want to share today. With the method I'm going to share you can easily and repeatedly dock your ships together without using RCS at all!

First, you need two ships with Mechjeb 2 installed on them, as well as matching docking ports. Once you have rendezvoused with your target ship in orbit and are within docking range (either done by hand or done with Mechjeb) simply select your target docking port.

Now here's the magic. Switch over to the ship you just met in orbit, select 'control from here' on the docking port that you plan to connect with. target the docking port of the new ship that you want docked and open SASS, TGT and press +target

Now switch back to the second ship using ] or [, don't go to the tracking station and don't time accelerate. Both of which will end dual control cia mechjeb. Press control from here on your local docking port, now in SASS select TGT and +target again. The two ships now being controlled by Mechjeb 2 will automatically point their docking ports at each other using magic torque, you simply need to use your main engine for a tiny puff of thrust to close the distance at between 0.1-0.3 m/s.

I Will be making this into a video for my tutorial series, I just wanted people who don't watch that sort of thing to know as well :)

edit: video uploading, here she is!

Edited by HoY

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Adding this to the Drawing Board :)

My cunning plan is working!

NO! You will NEVER take over the entire forum! NOT ON MY WATCH!

Newbie Man! AWAAY!

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Sounds great, might have to try this, although I can see one little problem, what if your target is LARGE and you cannot easily target the docking port that you want to dock to (like a space station) - Normally I use ORDA to choose my docking ports cause it lists all of them whereas Mechjeb doesn't.

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it Will work for stations, but i wouldnt recommend it :) they turn too slow

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I think you missed the point. You missed it completely!

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I've noticed that effect, but any more I just turn it off on the station entirely after the initial +TGT. The problem is that it keeps trying to point your target ship at you with every wiggle you make while docking, creating a lot of needless extra work when trying to dock.

My method is generally:

1) Get within 100m and zero out relative velocity with REV-

2) Switch to target vessel, "control from here" on your selected port, target original vessel (docking port not necessary) and Target+ it. Let it rotate toward your vessel.

3) TURN OFF EVERYTHIN - SAS and Mechjeb. Fast-forward a click to freeze.

4) Switch back to your original vessel, select your port to control from here, select the target vessel's port, Target+, boost yourself to .5 m/s, and then turn off everything.

5) Adjust with RCS if necessary, but usually it isn't

6) Watch the magic happen.

With Mechjeb and SAS turned off, even near misses will become hits when the magnetism isn't fighting against your auto-pilot devices. I only do trickier stuff than this if I really need a perfect alignment for a station assembly or aircraft carrier landing.

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I think you missed the point. You missed it completely!

The point is to dock easily. I didn't miss the point at all.

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The point is to dock easily. I didn't miss the point at all.

You might consider having to translate easy, but its 100% unnecessary with this method.

Once you actually understand what I'm talking about rather than just assuming your way is best (I didn't say this way is best, just that it is easy) you might like it.

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Video is rendering, I'll post it as soon as I get back from getting some groceries:)

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I haven't tried this with two small crafts, but it worked great when docking a small craft to a much bigger, and slower one. I tried it both ways, it works better when you are controlling the bigger craft (which probably isn't the most common way of doing it), but it worked pretty well the other way around, too. I'm sure at some point the larger craft will be too slow to really make this useful. Until you get to that point it works great, you just have to go slow, but you have to do that anyway.

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Video is uploading now, here it is

Edited by HoY

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So, how do you get them close enough to use that method? Any idea on how well it will work for multi port docking systems? (I.E. where you're docking multiple ports to multiple ports.)

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The answer to the first question: Basically the same way you'd get close using any other method. New ships are loaded into the physics engine at a range of about 2km from your currently active one.

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for multi port docking just make sure you have the proper ports selected, then as you drift together just turn your ship the right direction.

Alternatively you may have to have one ship set to -PAR and the other set to +Target to make sure they actually stick properly, but I havent tested it (just a hunch)

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Appreciate the effort, but the music is horrible. Why do people so often make a nice video, but ruin everything with their need to show off their music taste :(

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It's the same composer that made All of KSP's in game music. I use it because its free, and most of it somewhat sounds like KSP. It's not my personal taste I assure you lol, but I'm not going to deal with music licensing for videos like this

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Updated with replaced music, same video.

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Thank you, that was so easy to follow, and so easy to do, although I failed first time round. Thank you :-D

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Use this sometimes when ship's config allows to freely rotate both ships and I'm too lazy to do normal docking.

But it feels somewhat cheaty and totally not as funny as to dock ascent vehicle w/o RCS (no questions why it didn't have RCS) to powerless orbital module (big fuel tank with docking port, doing this sometimes to reduce mass and get more dV), which is rotating due to accidental collision with ascent vehicle. And yeah, that ascent module has power for sas for ~1 minute of maneuvers, about 20 dV and sun is almost set, so forget about solar panels. 

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Can you lock in a specific heading when auto docking to align with the other ship when docking side to side?

Thanks!

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21 hours ago, Kilo60 said:

Can you lock in a specific heading when auto docking to align with the other ship when docking side to side?

Thanks!

The idea is that the heading for both craft is fluid, and always pointing at each other, so matter how much lateral drift you have, the target craft will adjust to compensate.  

And I don't understand what you mean side to side?    If you are referring to having a docking port on the side/back of your craft, it probably won't work, as you need your thrust vector inline with the controlling docking port. 

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