NavyFish

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

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I think I would actually prefer keeping the gauge more minimalistic than including the approach cone markings. You can infer that information from the CDI needles and either the distance/closure readouts or the velocity vector, anyway. The cone markings make the information more accessible, but also add non-essential clutter.

Even the velocity vector (prograde/retrograde marker) is non-essential (but very useful), since this information can be inferred from the movement of the needles and distance/closure readings.

Edited by RoboRay

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I don't intend to implement an approach cone at this time, I just thought the idea was neat.

I am making the various indicators toggleable, so people who prefer a more minimalistic gauge can select it. For those who want it, version 2.0 can look almost exactly like version 1.0

Edited by NavyFish

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That's great news! I definitely intend to use the needles but I don't think I'll use the velocity vector - I am still in the habit of using the navball for that part of the task, as I've already relied on it to get that far in the first place.

Looking forward to 2.0, and thanks again for a useful and visually appealing plugin!

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v2.0 looks very promising, glad you keep fiddling with this!

Following your explanations, it seems like a very solid addition to 1.0 to make things easier. I understand the concerns about it getting too cluttered, but I have faith that it'll work just nicely. Though I'm with karolus on the idea of trying to work with as little colors as possible. v1.0 was stylish because it relied on this simple two-color mix. Very easy on the eyes and fit perfectly with the KSP look. I think one or two colors (and grey, obviously ;) ) should suffice to clearly be able to identify each marker, as they all have unique shapes anyway.

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My 2 cents: I like the different colors, and I like more information on the display. You have to line up 5 separate parameters while docking (tangential offset, tangential velocity, rotational direction, roll, and closing velocity.) If they're all the same color, I think it's going to be difficult to distinguish them in the thick of it.

Another future feature suggestion: It would be nice to have the sensitivity of the indications adjustable. For instance, when I'm 5 meters away, closing at 0.1 m/s, I'd want my indications to be pretty sensitive so that I can fine tune my approach, but when I'm 100 meters away, I just want to be able to get myself generally pointed in the correct direction. You could accomplish this to a certain degree simply by making the axis scales logarithmic, but a button toggle would work just fine as well.

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As it stands, the 'sensitivity' of CDI indicator inherently increases the closer you get. This is because they're actually measuring course deviation as an angle. Thus, a 1 meter deviation at 30 meters of distance yields a much smaller angular deviation on the gauge than the same deviation would at 5 meters.

By a similar logic, the tangential velocity vector becomes more sensitive as your closure velocity approaches zero.

I've also managed to increase the sensitivity of the alignment indicator (for pitch and yaw), using exponential scaling. The angle deviation, normalized to a range of -1 to +1, is raised to a fractional exponent prior to being displayed. The result is an increased angular sensitivity towards the center of the gauge, without any sacrifice of angular range that the gauge can display.

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As it stands, the 'sensitivity' of CDI indicator inherently increases the closer you get. <snip>

Very nice and elegant. Thanks for the explanation. I'm waiting anxiously for 2.0.

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Suggestion for version 3.0: docking auto-pilot. Allow player to activate once the vehicle and target are within 100 meters.

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But thats what MechJeb is for. :)

I see that the whole gui, every element, is a separate png.

So I guess anyone could make his own "theme".

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But thats what MechJeb is for.

Guess you haven't tried actually using their docking autopilot recently - because it's not that much more reliable than manual docking now. Often, it just flakes out and wastes mono, without making any progress.

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True I haven't used it at all, but I think it will work eventually.

This just doesn't need an auto pilot, even though he suggest it as a last 100 meters auto pilot.

DPAI is more of a guide than an automation.

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I am making the various indicators toggleable, so people who prefer a more minimalistic gauge can select it. For those who want it, version 2.0 can look almost exactly like version 1.0

Thank you very much for that. Options are always appreciated.

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Indeed - docking within 100 meters isn't usually that hard, providing you can control both crafts (I tried an Apollo-style docking with an unmanned lander today, and that was significantly harder because I couldn't align it).

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This mod is just wonderful. Auto docking will be amazing

Hold on there, I never said anything about making an auto docker. That is well outside the scope of this mod!

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But thats what MechJeb is for. :)

As HeadHunter said above, MJ autopilot docking is defective. It worked well in it's prior incarnation with KSP 0.20. For 0.21, MJ autopilot is a PoS. It would waste over 800 monoprop and still not dock. MJ's other functions are great. Thanks to NavyFish's mod, I can dock manually.

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Auto-docking is for MJ. If it has issues with it - direct them in MJ's thread.

Why would u have the whole addon if 100m before the actual dock you say "**** this, autocheatpilotehactivateh".

So you spent 10 minutes getting an encounter and decreasing rvel to target...then u want autopilot?!?!?..Actually scratch that, you probably use MJ to get you an encounter too.

People's laziness amazes me sometimes.

The mod looks fine as it is, even if it can with a bit more vel indicators, like text ones(the same as the ones on the lazor docking cam), and is designed to help us people who like to do MANUAL docking.

If you want autopilot you can look at mechjeb.

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Auto-docking is for MJ. If it has issues with it - direct them in MJ's thread.
Already done.
Why would u have the whole addon if 100m before the actual dock you say "**** this, autocheatpilotehactivateh".

So you spent 10 minutes getting an encounter and decreasing rvel to target...then u want autopilot?!?!?..

Give players choices to allow them to play the way they want to. Some people want autopilot, some don't.

Actually scratch that, you probably use MJ to get you an encounter too.

People's laziness amazes me sometimes.

My, aren't you the smug, self-righteous, pathetic vermin. You cower in the anonymity of the internet to vomit your self-satisfied vitriol upon others, because you won't be called on it. You remind me of a cockroach, skittering about. Then, when the lights come on, you quickly run to the shadows. Please leave...adults are talking here.

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Already done.

Give players choices to allow them to play the way they want to. Some people want autopilot, some don't.

Absolutely, however most of the opinions in this thread are related to the autodocking routine of MJ, which is absolutely off-topic

My, aren't you the smug, self-righteous, pathetic vermin. You cower in the anonymity of the internet to vomit your self-satisfied vitriol upon others, because you won't be called on it. You remind me of a cockroach, skittering about. Then, when the lights come on, you quickly run to the shadows. Please leave...adults are talking here.

I can't stop chuckling here, funny little dude, aren't ya :) IF you have anything else to say you can use the PM system.

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Yeah, I have to agree that this mod doesn't need to become yet another docking autopilot. Docking is incredibly trivial once you figure it out, and having a good source of information (like this instrument) makes figuring it out a lot easier if you haven't mastered it yet. If you really do want a docking autopilot, there are several other mods to choose from.

I know NavyFish (What's the origin of that name, anyway? As a Navy retiree, you've got me curious!) said previously he would rather not present information numerically, so I've been trying to come up with a way to show the range and closure-rate with a horizontal moving arrow on a secondary scale below the crosshairs, but I just don't know if it would work as well as the numbers do.

39oYuD0i

The idea was that the vertical stroke of the triangle would indicate the range, with the point lengthening to reflect the closure rate. If the closure rate is zero, you would see only a vertical stroke instead of a triangle. As you got closer to the target, the scale would "reset" so that each tic represented a shorter distance (down to, say, 1m per tic instead of 10m). You could indicate which scale the range was in by showing a contrasting-color "close-approach zone" on the 10m scale, like this:

tkfmtcOZ

When your range marker moves into the contrasting-color zone, the scale would reset to 1m per tic (the tic marks would need to be closer together than the example shown, since I just copy-pasted the existing graphics for a concept visualization), with the range marker moving back to the far-right and the contrasting color zone disappearing, to look like the first example I showed.

However, since you move so slowly when docking (fraction of a m/sec), the arrow would be so short that you often couldn't really see it if the tip represented where you would be in one second (so that the length of the arrow directly corresponded to meters per second). And if the tip of the arrow marks where you would be in a longer period of time, say, in 10 seconds at the current velocity, that might confuse people.

I dunno... does anyone see a way to improve this idea?

Edited by RoboRay

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I think the system, as it is now, is pretty perfect. Aside from maybe having a small bit of text to tell you the velocity required to reduce in order to match the targets for both X, Y and Z

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I believe, that with proper instrumentation You won't need autopilot.

I like Navy fish solution with CDI "auto-range" depending from distance, very elegant :).

About "analog" distance gauge... concept is nice, but adds more clutter and not show velocity, "original" CVEL value let You see velocities bellow 0.1 m/s what could be useful.

Edited by karolus10

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