NavyFish

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

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Jees... I've been using the previous version until now, but as far as I can see, I can only say WOW to your work... really simple but AMAZING mod... exactly what we needed to have... and now with this prograde vector and linear positioning cross, it's gonna be simply a needed feature...

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Thanks guys! It's awesome to see this actually assist people!

Please feel free to leave your feedback and suggestions as I'm always looking for ways to improve the next version!

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Just want to say thank you for thos mod :) - I was using laser docking camera, but something has made it slow my game to a crawl, so your mod is a life saver, as I can now see what I am doing again...

Ways to improve the next version? - ummm - hows about like the dockng camera has where you click on the bottom right and it makes the window larger :)

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**anyone tell me why I cant inbed images? Im sure Ive posted enough!

Now that you have 10 posts, you may be able to. Less than 10?...not yours!

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Ok, now that I've used it:

It doesn't seem as cluttered as I first thought. It's dense, but it's all useful, so I'm not unhappy. Well done!

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Just saw the two tutorial videos for this, and I have to say I love how simple it looks to use. I'll definitely be trying it out!

Thanks! Let us know how you like it. Always open to constructive feedback on existing or potential features!

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Hi NavyFish,

I have been following development of your plugin since initial release but only had a chance to try it yesterday.

What can I say: BRILLIANT!!!

It makes docking a pleasure:)

And it's perfect right now, all info in one window and not cluttered with too much information.

I don't know how can you improve it!

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I've also been trying to think of ways this mod could be even better... and I got nothing. It's excellent. :)

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Bug?:

I was trying to dock Buran to the ISS last night and having a devil of a time with the DPAI, which hasn't happened before. The tangential velocity indicator just didn't seem to be working correctly; I'd translate one way and the TVI would go the other way, or it would push rather than pull the CDI, or it would go off the screen to the left, then return from the left, but with opposite y-axis velocity. I'll try to take a look later and see if I can provide more specifics.

Question:

Regarding the CDI turning red: does this happen when I'm "above" the plane of the target docking port?

Suggestions for next revision:

- Have the DPAI automatically appear when crossing the 200 meter threshhold rather than having to re-select the target docking port. Or at least give the user the option to enable this behaviour.

- Have the range be user configurable.

- And it would be nice to be able to switch the CVEL and DST readouts from what they show now to the component of distance and closing velocity that is normal to the target docking port's plane, i.e. the z-axis component. The TVI and CDI give this information for the other two directions.

Thanks:

Just wanted to say thanks again. If I were recommending mods to a new player, this one be one of the top 5 I'd recommend.

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Finally had a chance to try this out with my new station, and I have to say, I'm impressed. This plugin gave me the smoothest docking experience I've ever had. It's definitely going on my own recommendations list.

My only real recommendation for the mod itself at this point would be to include an option to display distance and velocity along the axes of movement as well as the "flat" CVEL and DST measurements (which I think might be similar to one of the points made by Mr Shifty above).

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Bug?:

I was trying to dock Buran to the ISS last night and having a devil of a time with the DPAI, which hasn't happened before. The tangential velocity indicator just didn't seem to be working correctly; I'd translate one way and the TVI would go the other way, or it would push rather than pull the CDI, or it would go off the screen to the left, then return from the left, but with opposite y-axis velocity. I'll try to take a look later and see if I can provide more specifics.

That very well may be a bug. I will try to reproduce it this weekend. Thanks!

Regarding the CDI turning red: does this happen when I'm "above" the plane of the target docking port?

The CDI turns red when you are on the 'back' side of the targeted docking port. So, if you picture a docking port facing the "north" pole of a sphere that is surrounding it, the CDI will turn red whenever you are below the equator.

Suggestions for next revision:

- Have the DPAI automatically appear when crossing the 200 meter threshhold rather than having to re-select the target docking port. Or at least give the user the option to enable this behaviour.

- Have the range be user configurable.

- And it would be nice to be able to switch the CVEL and DST readouts from what they show now to the component of distance and closing velocity that is normal to the target docking port's plane, i.e. the z-axis component. The TVI and CDI give this information for the other two directions.

Several people have mentioned automatically selecting a docking port once the target vehicle is selected - I think this is a good idea and am looking into how it can be done. In addition to this, I think it may be useful if the gauge had a couple of little buttons on it which would let you 'cycle' through each of the targeted ship's docking ports.

Unfortunately, it seems that KSP only allows individual docking ports to be targeted if they are within 200m. I have not placed this limitation in my own code. That having been said, I'll see what can be done to get around said limitation.

Currently CVEL does show just the component of relative velocity that is normal to the docking port, although DST shows true distance to the port (all components). As you (and Specialist290) mention, it might indeed make more sense if DST displayed only the component of distance that's normal to the targeted port.

I'll have to play around with that change for a bit to get a sense of what's better, but I'm open to hearing a discussion on the options if anyone else has an opinion on the subject.

Again, thanks to everyone for your continued input!

Edited by NavyFish

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Several people have mentioned automatically selecting a docking port once the target vehicle is selected - I think this is a good idea and am looking into how it can be done. In addition to this, I think it may be useful if the gauge had a couple of little buttons on it which would let you 'cycle' through each of the targeted ship's docking ports.

Now this would be great, (adding my vote to it as well) :) - it is one of the things I miss most since I stopped using ORDA, when you got a space station with 6 or more ports on it it tends to make it very difficult to get the right one LOL

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Currently CVEL does show just the component of relative velocity that is normal to the docking port, although DST shows true distance to the port (all components). As you (and Specialist290) mention, it might indeed make more sense if DST displayed only the component of distance that's normal to the targeted port.

I don't think it would. If you are laterally out of position far enough for there to be a significant difference in the distance values, you are not in a position conducive to docking at that time and total slant distance to the target is of greater value than the axial component of the distance. While, if you are laterally aligned with the docking axis, the distance values are not going to deviate by any significant margin anyway.

Meanwhile, the actual exact closure rate along the docking axis is always of interest. The total relative velocity matters, too, but the precise value of the lateral component isn't critical and can be approximated from the rate of CDI needle deflection.

I think you got it right. :)

On the other hand, I can see some situations where a distance from the plane of the port could be helpful. Or, at least, an indication that you are close to the plane.

Since the needles already change to red if you pass the plane, maybe turn them yellow if you get within 20m (or something) of the plane?

Edited by RoboRay

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Might I make a suggestion?

The velocity indicator is useful, but I feel it could be improved if it were replaced with a lateral/vertical drift indicator. At present, movement forwards/backwards "scales" the velocity indicator (because, of course, it is a form of direction indicator), so the slower you are moving towards or away from the target, the more sensitive the velocity indicator is, and it is hard to judge how much correction you need to make to kill drift. If you scaled it so 1m/s laterally/vertically moved the indicator to the edge of the display then that would be about right for most docking manoeuvres.

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When I first saw this I simply discarded it as I was using Docking Cam. However I must say with the features you've incorporated to version 2, I think that this is now the superior docking aid.

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Like BFGfreak up to now I have used Docking Cam which has served me well with no problems. However, I've seen this mod mentioned a few times, and also seen a couple of reviews, so thought I'd give it a go. I like that it comes up automatically as soon as you select your target port, and I like the clean, uncluttered display. I used it with my ships in planet shadow, and as neither is fitted with lights, the docking was completed with no visual clues from the ships themselves, but purely based on the info given by the docking indicator. It went really smoothly and without any problems at all, which I think is sufficient endorsement that this tool is more than up to the job it was designed for. Good job.

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I agree with the 2 above posts. I had also been using Lazor Docking Cam until I found this one - not anymore! This is much simpler as all the information needed is presented with moving shapes instead of numbers as in LDC. This makes it ridiculously easy to dock even in cockpit view! :)

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Great mod. I'm still learning to use it - how to interpret the data it shows, and what a good docking is supposed to look like - but I like what I see so far.

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I just wish the reticules weren't quite so twitchy near the center. They're giving me an inferiority complex, as I can never seem to get them centered and perfectly stable! :D

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