NavyFish

[1.6.x] Docking Port Alignment Indicator (Version 6.8.3 - Updated 03/03/19)

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Okay I tried this out and it's really cool, finally a solution to my space station module docking woes!

2 suggestions:

Can you make the alignment 'clock' indicator bigger so it's a little more accurate to see the alignment.

Also this would be the perfect tool if you added the translational cross-hairs to it like Romfarer's docking camera has.

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Any improvement that would occur to me would be small arrow triangle on edge showing translation error or X mark when both parallel axis are very close (if X and circle is on center You are perfectly aligned and on course) ... this would made an ultimate docking tool.

Something like this? Where the yellow triangles+lines slide up/down and left/right as you translate laterally, crossing in the center when you are positioned in-line with the docking port?

HLA4aSU.png

This would be sort-of redundant, since the purple/pink NavBall Target Marker does give you this already, but I think it would still be a nice improvement.

Perhaps numerical distance and closure-rate indicators, as well. The closure-rate would differ from the relative-velocity indicator, since it would only show the component of your velocity toward/away from your target. Lateral velocity would be inferred from the motion of the position needles.

Adding these features would make this instrument a truly comprehensive docking guidance tool. Right now, you have to glace back and forth between the main display for distance/orientation and the NavBall for everything else. This gauge helps you manage the orientation much more easily, but combining all those indications into a single instrument would make it easier to keep track of everything.

Edited by RoboRay

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HLA4aSU.png

This is even better... translation needles !

But... Two lines without arrows would look much cleaner, I think :).

Translation_needles.png

Using needles for translation is an nice idea, because You won't need additional arrow if Translation error is out of scale.

Edited by karolus10

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I wanted to suggest one more thing that would be quite useful. The closing speed and distance numbers would be wonderful as you approach. But if you're docking manually, as you reach the final few meters, having to glance away from the needle and compass may be enough to make you fail the attempt, especially if your craft is rather tricky.

I suggest two possible alterations intended to give you a visual indication of distance along with orientation and translation position:

  • A second circle centered around the orientation compass that shrinks as you approach, ultimately merging with the outside edge of the compass when you make contact. Make the difference in radii the log of docking port separation.

OR

  • Split the translation needles for each axis into two, placed symmetrically to either side of where the translation needles sit now, and make the distance between them the log of the separation between docking ports.

In my opinion, the second is a better, cleaner option. Having the separation between needles be related to the distance between ports allows the user to only worry about staying between the two needles. Additionally, the needles being separated by the log of the distance allows the display to remain useful on either extreme of distances by incrementing in large steps when far away, yet reserving a large amount of detail for when the distances are almost nothing (think of the radar altimeter in the IVA view). In fact, if you take nothing else from this suggestion, I hope you consider using a logarithmic representation on your instrument because of the flexibility of range it provides.

PS: in case you don't understand what I'm talking about, here's the difference between a linear and log scale:

img7.png

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This is even better... translation needles !

But... Two lines without arrows would look much cleaner, I think :).

Translation_needles.png

Using needles for translation is an nice idea, because You won't need additional arrow if Translation error is out of scale.

I do like the way that looks. It provides a lot of information without becoming cluttered (translational offset AND translational/tangential closure rate, since the needles will be moving).

The goal of this indicator was to supplement the nav ball, but it looks like more and more people want to use it as a one-stop-shop docking solution, which obviously requires adding more information. I'm fine exploring this, so long as the gauge design sticks to its roots of being approachable, clean, and obvious.

I'm currently playing around to make the display more accurate using either logarithmic scaling or piecewise sectors (i.e. an inner 'precision zone'). I don't want to have to display yaw/pitch error numbers. As for roll, I don't want to enlarge the icon much (which could improve roll readout accuracy), so I'm looking at making a tick on the outside of the gauge (see Andersenman's image), or might just cave in and display a number - if you have visual suggestions for a better way to improve the accuracy of the roll indicator, let's hear them.

Edited by NavyFish

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I like the thin orange needles, indeed. I tried the plugin for the first time today and was very pleased. I had hoped to use it in conjunction with Docking Cam, but the two plugins together did something weird to my astronaut portraits. So I got rid of Docking Cam and will rely on this and the old MkI Eyeball.

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... it looks like more and more people want to use it as a one-stop-shop docking solution ...

This for the win! :) I've never used the navball for docking. I just eyeball the approach, but that suggested picture above would be fantastic. :)

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I do like the way that looks. It provides a lot of information without becoming cluttered (translational offset AND translational/tangential closure rate, since the needles will be moving).

Agreed!

I don't want to have to display yaw/pitch error numbers.

Would you consider a keyboard short cut to turn on the display of numerical rate and distance information? In a default off state, it would be unlikely to bother anyone, but having the option to have it sure would be nice.

-e

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I will also place a vote for alignment needles. They would make this tool incredibly powerful.

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The goal of this indicator was to supplement the nav ball, but it looks like more and more people want to use it as a one-stop-shop docking solution, which obviously requires adding more information. I'm fine exploring this, so long as the gauge design sticks to its roots of being approachable, clean, and obvious.

For most people, just the navball is good enough for orientation. What I believe most of us are excited for is the ability to have all the important information visually represented in one place so that you can do the whole docking maneuver without looking anywhere else or reading numbers.

I'm currently playing around to make the display more accurate using either logarithmic scaling or piecewise sectors (i.e. an inner 'precision zone'). I don't want to have to display yaw/pitch error numbers.

I agree, no numbers. There are mods out there that'll spit numbers at you, this looks like a much more intuitive interface.

As for roll, I don't want to enlarge the icon much (which could improve roll readout accuracy), so I'm looking at making a tick on the outside of the gauge (see Andersenman's image), or might just cave in and display a number - if you have visual suggestions for a better way to improve the accuracy of the roll indicator, let's hear them.

I suggest extending the "needle" out of the "compass" to two or three times the radius. The longer line will be easier to compare to the crosshairs to see if you're dead on with the roll angle.

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I like it because,it do one single thing in the most simple way, adding more thing will ruin it and make it redundant , IMHO just make the graphics more kerbish :D

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The goal of this indicator was to supplement the nav ball, but it looks like more and more people want to use it as a one-stop-shop docking solution, which obviously requires adding more information. I'm fine exploring this, so long as the gauge design sticks to its roots of being approachable, clean, and obvious.

Absolutely. Even the Lazor Docking Cam is a little excessive in the amount of data it provides. I believe the required position and orientation data can and should be presented graphically instead of numerically.

As for roll, I don't want to enlarge the icon much (which could improve roll readout accuracy), so I'm looking at making a tick on the outside of the gauge (see Andersenman's image), or might just cave in and display a number - if you have visual suggestions for a better way to improve the accuracy of the roll indicator, let's hear them.

Simply lengthening the stroke would help. The angle of a longer line can be oriented more precisely to the crosshairs, since you have more linear area to compare.

s5OlC1J.png

Edit: And I see that suggestion is already being looked into. :)

Edited by RoboRay

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A lovely mod! I am so going to be using this a lot!

The only improvement I can suggest is that you tidy up the .zip file folder format to conform to the new standard. It ought to look like this:

  • DockingPortAlignment_1.02.zip
    • GameData
      • NavyFish
        • ReadMe.txt
        • PluginData
        • Plugin
          • DockingPortAlignment.dll

          [*]Parts (If you had any!)

      [*]Source

That way the player can drag just GameData to his KSP folder and Windows and Linux will merge the new GameData with the old without fuss. (OSX users have to tell OSX to merge, ratehr than the default overwrite.)

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How do I install properly the mod ? I've put the files in the Plugins folder, but ingame, when I set the docking port as target, the glass pops-up, but there is no image in it (just colored parasites)

thanks

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How do I install properly the mod ? I've put the files in the Plugins folder, but ingame, when I set the docking port as target, the glass pops-up, but there is no image in it (just colored parasites)

thanks

You need to put the files in the GameData folder instead. It should look like:

  • GameData

  • DockingPortAlignment

  • PluginData

  • Source

  • DockingPortAlignment.dll

  • Readme.txt

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Just popping in to say this is an amzing mod. I love that it is entirely unobstrusive by only popping up when needed. The minimal functional design of the UI also is lovely, giving you all the info you need, but no useless additional clutter.

Lovely design idea and good implementation makes for a must-have mod with no downsides :) .

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The SpacePort Installation tab states:

Simply Extract the top-level folder ("DockingPortAlignment") from the zip file, and place it in your "Kerbal Space Program\Plugins\" directory.

The ReadMe file in the ZIP file states:

Simply Extract the top-level folder ("DockingPortAlignment") from the zip file, and place it in your "Kerbal Space Program\GameData\" directory.

I'm obviously going to try both locations (GameData and Plugins), but you may wish to make the installation instructions consistent.

Edited by Apollo13

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Huh? I just copied this from the SpacePort site:

"Simply Extract the top-level folder ("DockingPortAlignment") from the zip file, and place it in your "Kerbal Space Program\GameData\" directory."

Either way, the GameData directory is correct.

EDIT: I've contacted the SpacePort tech support. When I first created the SpacePort site, the text DID read "Plugins", but a day later I changed it to "GameData". My browser shows "GameData", but apparently you're not the only one who is still seeing the old text. Hopefully they can fix the disparity! Thanks for posting your comment, Apollo.

Edited by NavyFish

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Hello

Is there any device to install on the ship from the utility tab or the control tab in the VAB or does it comes automatically with any ship ?

Does it work on 0.20 ? Because i put the folder in my Game data Folder and the result is that I loose all these function on my ships: TAC fuel Balancer, ORDA, Crew manifest, and no possibility to get the menu "space center, ned of flight, etc..." and certainly a lot of other function.

So I removed your folder and I'll try other way, the plugins in the Plugins directory, The source in the source directory....

Edited by gilflo

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