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[1.8.1] Docking Port Alignment Indicator (Version 6.8.5 - Updated 12/14/19)


NavyFish
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"WS.Reputation.1 is a detection for files that have a low reputation score based on analyzing data from Symantec’s community of users " ... which is amusing, because symantec's user community has a pretty low reputation. :D

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I get no antivirus warning with Microsoft Security Essentials.

So I love the mod, but I have a question about spacecraft orientation. I generally try to use the Q/E keys to roll my spacecraft so that it faces "up" on the DPAI "roll" indicator. But doing so often means the green lines traverse opposite the direction I expect, or that my RCS thrusters point (for example) left rather than right, or left rather than up. What's the best way to orient my craft so that when I hit the "translate right" button, I'll translate right? I keep reading that I should use chase cam, but I'm not sure this ensures that my RCS are pointing the right way.

Apologies if this question belongs in some other forum, but I thought I'd start here, since I'm wondering whether I should abandon my efforts to "roll" so that the DPAI roll indicator is on top.

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I have a question about spacecraft orientation....

The only time the roll indication on the docking port alignment indicator is relevant is if you need to dock the two vessels in a specific rotational alignment, for example if you're assembling a large station out of many ships, or if there's a need to align parts so extended solar arrays (for example) don't collide with other parts. If there's no physical need to orient the vessels in a particular way once docked, the only other reason would be aesthetic :)

Also, the direction of translate controls will always depend on the part selected as 'control from here' so it will change when you select a docking port rather than the main control module/pod. It's almost always best to control from the docking port during docking, then all the controls act in an intuitive way. Which camera angle is selected is less critical, it depends on the vessel size and complexity as to whether it's only necessary to see the area of the docking port or to be able to check there are no unwanted collisions happening to the rest of it :)

Edited by Roxette
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Well, if you don't roll to the proper orientation, then your yaw and pitch commands will have to be adjusted to account for your orientation. The "A" key is not going to yaw you to the left if you are rolled 90 degrees - you'll need to work out the difference in your mind. During a docking maneuver, it's far easier just to roll to 0 degrees so the on-screen input matches what you will need to do.

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Thanks for your replies. I always do click "control from here" on my vessel's docking port, and usually that's a port attached inline just on top of the command module (or probe core). And if rolling the proper way means "A" always means "yaw left," then I'm certainly willing to roll so that my ship's roll indicator points "north" on the DPAI indicator.

Really my main concern is why my RCS thrusters often are out of alignment, so that right is down or right is left. (I don't mean that I'm getting unwanted torque. On my current docking vessel, the RCS works great -- I'm not getting any unwanted pitch/yaw/roll when I hit the translate buttons. I somehow achieved this feat without using RCS Build Aid, which hasn't yet been recompiled for 1.0.2.) It's just that once I get DPAI all lined up, with roll facing north, and I hit that first RCS key, it's a crap shoot which direction it will fire in!

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this is simply because your camera is not aligned to your craft's up direction. If you use chase cam mode, the camera's roll orientation will be slaved to your crafts orientation, and the translation direction on screen will appear as you expect them to be. But this is not necessary because the indicator always displays craft-relative orientation. In other words, when you press the key to translate left, the velocity vector on the gauge (yellow prograde marker) will always move directly left, and so on. Likewise, regardless of craft orientation, pitching your craft up will always move the white crosshairs up relative to the orange alignment circle, or in other words will move to orange alignment circle downward on the gauge. Pardon the hasty explanation, I am voice dictating this response from my phone at the airport! Hope that made sense, I would be happy to provide a more in-depth explanation if it doesn't.

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DPAI supports both: if you have blizzy's toolbar installed, DPAI will use it (and not the stock toolbar) (although it can be 'forced' to use the stock toolbar instead of blizzy's). If you don't have blizzy's toolbar, it will use the stock toolbar.

Edited by NavyFish
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DPAI supports both: if you have blizzy's toolbar installed, DPAI will use it (and not the stock toolbar) (although it can be 'forced' to use the stock toolbar instead of blizzy's). If you don't have blizzy's toolbar, it will use the stock toolbar.

Ah, ok. I do not use blizzy if I can help it. I recall having that extra icon always floating around the game screen in previous versions.

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Just tried it, both links are working fine for me. Since you are having some sort of connection trouble with them, and the license permits redistribution, I've put it up temporarily for you in my dropbox here: [Removed]

Edited by Red Iron Crown
Removed link.
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I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed making it.

Thanks to

Alexustas for making ALCOR

MOARdV for keeping Raster Prop Monitor updated and integrating new features.

and NavyFish for Docking Port Alignment Indicator

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I'm experiencing 2 oddities.

1, (May be MechJeb) it used to be that if I used MJ Autodocking Pilot and set it to roll to 0 degrees, it would roll and DPAI would agree it was 0 degrees - this no longer seems to be the case. In two separate flights I had to set it to 90 and 180 to get DPAI to show 0.

2, A little more "serious" tho not all that - the Left/Right arrows at the bottom where it shows the name of the port your targeted to (or "No Vessel Targeted") don't seem to do anything. I *thought* they used to highlight on mouseover (like settings does) but they neither do that, nor cycle through available targets if none is set.

;.;

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I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed making it.

Thanks to

Alexustas for making ALCOR

MOARdV for keeping Raster Prop Monitor updated and integrating new features.

and NavyFish for Docking Port Alignment Indicator

Fantastic job! I'm quite impressed.

I noticed it was a bit difficult to deduce which port was which (without resorting to using external cameras) - I believe moardV is planning to have RPM read the custom names of docking ports provided by DPAI. I've nudged him in the right direction in terms of creating a temporary holdover for RPM, but 'official' support for this will have to wait for the next DPAI patch, which won't be for a month or so. But that feature should make navigating the RPM target selection interface a lot smoother (for those of you who've taken the time to custom name your ports! Remember, you can do this from the SPH/VAB, not just in flight...)

I'm experiencing 2 oddities.

1, (May be MechJeb) it used to be that if I used MJ Autodocking Pilot and set it to roll to 0 degrees, it would roll and DPAI would agree it was 0 degrees - this no longer seems to be the case. In two separate flights I had to set it to 90 and 180 to get DPAI to show 0.

2, A little more "serious" tho not all that - the Left/Right arrows at the bottom where it shows the name of the port your targeted to (or "No Vessel Targeted") don't seem to do anything. I *thought* they used to highlight on mouseover (like settings does) but they neither do that, nor cycle through available targets if none is set.

;.;

#1 is definitely an MJ oddity. DPAI roll alignment matches the two associated parts. Check this by docking two of the same ports, and then decouple them - you'll see that the parts are oriented the same way, just facing each other (i.e. the yellow handle is "up" for both clamp-o-trons).

#2 I think you're mis-remembering. The buttons never highlighted on mouse-over. And they'll only cycle through available docking ports when you have a target vessel selected - so if it says "no target selected", you need to target another vessel. Once you've done that, the buttons will cycle between available docking ports on that target vessel.

Be great if there was an option to have a switch to docking camera on this mod, with a digital version of alignment crosshairs overlaying it. It would be complete :)

This is an increasingly requested feature! I'm not in favor of it, though, because it's a hell of a lot of work to implement, will incur a performance penalty even for those who don't want to use the feature, and will clutter the display quite a bit (or require a lot more work to provide a good-looking solution such as text-glow, black-boxing, or color inversion). Also, I don't see how it would be particularly helpful: if your camera is outside of the vessel, then you can orient it enough to get a good view of the target port. If you're IVA using RPM, you can use another MFD to pull up an external camera. I suppose it can provide 'peace of mind' that the docking is proceeding according to plan, but if so, then that's from lack of confidence in your gauges. Like they taught us in flight school - when in doubt, scan it out. In other words, cross-check your instruments - constantly. They won't lie to you. You just need to understand what they're telling you, without having to think about it, and then take the time to read them carefully and consistently.

I'm not trying to berate you, W1ntermute, or any one else for that matter. But I figured I'd just make my position on the subject clear since more and more folks have been requesting it lately. Unless this mod starts miraculously paying for itself in terms of the 20-30 hours I spend on it each update cycle (hah), the time I devote to its development is finite, thus necessitating the prioritization of new features (which are always going to be secondary to bug fixes and UI/UX improvements anyway).

Anyhow, end rant here. I think I'm sounding like a d*ck and that is certainly not my intent.

Navy

Edited by NavyFish
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This is an increasingly requested feature! I'm not in favor of it, though, because it's a hell of a lot of work to implement, will incur a performance penalty even for those who don't want to use the feature, and will clutter the display quite a bit (or require a lot more work to provide a good-looking solution such as text-glow, black-boxing, or color inversion). Also, I don't see how it would be particularly helpful: if your camera is outside of the vessel, then you can orient it enough to get a good view of the target port. If you're IVA using RPM, you can use another MFD to pull up an external camera. I suppose it can provide 'peace of mind' that the docking is proceeding according to plan, but if so, then that's from lack of confidence in your gauges. Like they taught us in flight school - when in doubt, scan it out. In other words, cross-check your instruments - constantly. They won't lie to you. You just need to understand what they're telling you, without having to think about it, and then take the time to read them carefully and consistently.

I'm not trying to berate you, W1ntermute, or any one else for that matter. But I figured I'd just make my position on the subject clear since more and more folks have been requesting it lately. Unless this mod starts miraculously paying for itself in terms of the 20-30 hours I spend on it each update cycle (hah), the time I devote to its development is finite, thus necessitating the prioritization of new features (which are always going to be secondary to bug fixes and UI/UX improvements anyway).

Anyhow, end rant here. I think I'm sounding like a d*ck and that is certainly not my intent.

Navy

Not a problem, it's just that there's alot of folk wanting the fix to Romfarers Lazor Docking Cam for 1.0.2 and it doesn't look like that's going to happen anytime soon, even despite the fact that the source code for it is included with the mod...

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Fair enough. I guess I won't say 'No, never' but it's low on the list of nice-to-haves. I look forward to the day when I can spend more time on DPAI development (470 days from now and counting down), although I'm sure I'll have a few more projects on my hand by that point! :-)

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