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


NavyFish
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17 hours ago, fragtzack said:

Been a long time since docked in KSP. One the things noticed when docking on the dark side of the planet, would be a useful to have a new  mod to have spotlights on Clamp ports.

Not spotlights, but they may help:

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/19/2020 at 5:05 AM, VoidSquid said:

Well, you could add lamps to your vessel in the VAB before launching. Or use a mod that allows you to increase the ambient light, e.g.:

 

If you are going to mention an old mod like this, would be better to point them to the current version here:

@fragtzack

 

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On 2/18/2020 at 10:42 PM, fragtzack said:

Used this for the first time with 1.9.0. Even though had this installed with 1.8.1, i never docked. Got to say, wow. This mod is so useful, easy to use. Right up there with Alarm Clock. Thanks much for mod.

Been a long time since docked in KSP. One the things noticed when docking on the dark side of the planet, would be a useful to have a new  mod to have spotlights on Clamp ports.

This mod works with 1.9.0 just fine and CKAP shows 1.9.9 compatible, should the forum thread title be updated to show [1.9.9] ?

 

I have adopted this and will be releasing new version soon

there will be patches to put the lights on existing docking ports.

https://github.com/zer0Kerbal/StackInlineLights (beta) if you can't wait for the release. :D

Edited by zer0Kerbal
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13 hours ago, zer0Kerbal said:

I have adopted this and will be releasing new version soon

there will be patches to put the lights on existing docking ports.

https://github.com/zer0Kerbal/StackInlineLights (beta) if you can't wait for the release. :D

I had no idea that even existed. Am looking forward to your release!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Great mod which adds the profesional Kind of Docking to a space Station.  I Need help. Pls help. So on my old Laptop the mod worked perfectly with the Icon and screen and so on. Now i have the latest version on my new pc andit works partly: i can rename Docking ports and set them as target and so on but the Icon to open the Docking screen (the one on the Right Hand side u know what i mean) is not there anymore. idk Maybe something with the Version or smt idk. Pls help. Or Maybe a new update or smt. i just cant open the indicator screen because the Icon disappeared.

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7 hours ago, Lelleck said:

Great mod which adds the profesional Kind of Docking to a space Station.

Thanks for the kind words :-)  Afraid I can't claim the credit though, it's all down to @NavyFish for creating the mod. I just occasionally oil the squeaky wheels.

7 hours ago, Lelleck said:

because the Icon disappeared.

Do you have any other mods installed? Log files? How did you install it (CKAN?)  Sorry, not much to go on..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey ya'll - I'm working on refining my KSP 1.8.1 build since I'm not planning to update to KSP 1.9 until the next Kopernicus is done & dusted...

Anyway, I noticed in the Spacedock versioning notes that v6.8.5 is listed for KSP 1.9 and says it was "re-compiled for 1.8.1" on the changelog.

But v6.8.4 is specifically listed for KSP 1.8.1 in the title for that version. Are there any benefits using 6.8.5 on a 1.8.1 install rather than using the 6.8.4 version of this mod? 

(Sorry if this has been addressed, I don't think I saw it discussed in previous posts)

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11 hours ago, scottadges said:

Hey ya'll - I'm working on refining my KSP 1.8.1 build since I'm not planning to update to KSP 1.9 until the next Kopernicus is done & dusted...

Mods for 1.9 should be compatible with KSP1.8, so you're best off using the latest version of DAPI (6.8.6).  Apart from that have a look at the Changelog to see if any of the fixes are worth it or not for you..

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  • 1 month later...
13 hours ago, dlrk said:

Got a quick question, what determines the direction that DPAI considers 0 roll?

Each docking port in KSP is defined in a ModuleDockingNode section of the part's config. This includes a referenceAttachNode field that names which node (also defined in the part config) should be used to dock to. The orientation of that node defines the roll axis and I believe that DPAI uses the Z+ direction as the zero point. 

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On 4/24/2020 at 9:11 AM, micha said:

Thanks for the kind words :-)  Afraid I can't claim the credit though, it's all down to @NavyFish for creating the mod. I just occasionally oil the squeaky wheels.

Do you have any other mods installed? Log files? How did you install it (CKAN?)  Sorry, not much to go on..

sooooo. no ckan, just downloaded it. i have many mods like 20 or 30 idk. Maybe toolbar Icon mod or clickthrough blocker make something since they make something with those Icons isk. and how do i make log files? or where do i find them? thank you

 

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13 minutes ago, Lelleck said:

sooooo. no ckan, just downloaded it. i have many mods like 20 or 30 idk. Maybe toolbar Icon mod or clickthrough blocker make something since they make something with those Icons isk. and how do i make log files? or where do i find them? thank you

Here is a Guide on good trouble-shooting/bug reporting steps.

If you're using a Toolbar mod, maybe you switched DPAI from the stock toolbar.  In that case you might need to add the DPAI icon to the toolbar mod. Or in the DPAI settings dialog you can switch the icon between toolbars.

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5 minutes ago, micha said:

Here is a Guide on good trouble-shooting/bug reporting steps.

If you're using a Toolbar mod, maybe you switched DPAI from the stock toolbar.  In that case you might need to add the DPAI icon to the toolbar mod. Or in the DPAI settings dialog you can switch the icon between toolbars.

oh yeah thanks 

 

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On 6/10/2020 at 7:37 AM, Aelfhe1m said:

Each docking port in KSP is defined in a ModuleDockingNode section of the part's config. This includes a referenceAttachNode field that names which node (also defined in the part config) should be used to dock to. The orientation of that node defines the roll axis and I believe that DPAI uses the Z+ direction as the zero point. 

How do I tell which direction is Z+?

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2 hours ago, dlrk said:

How do I tell which direction is Z+?

For the stock docking ports, their graphical design is actually not symmetrical in the vertical/z axis. For example, when looking at the "front (SPH)/top (VAB)" or the "working end" of the docking ports in question, the Docking Port Jr. has the '__' look on its face (the classic "Docking Port Jr. Is Not Amused" :mellow: face :D) with the "eyes" being Z+. For the other two docking ports, there is this black bar on the center that is above the (imaginary) horizontal/lateral/X-axis bisecting diameter of the disc face, and the side this bar is on is generally treated as the Z+. All these are based on how these parts are deployed into the SPH as a root part, or how its pre-placement "ghost" graphic is oriented when you bring it into the build scene without rotating the part using WASD, meaning that the working end is pointing "forwards" towards the SPH doors.

If you want your two craft to be docked in a specific orientation, you have to get these "up" directions pointing the same way on both the docking and dockee craft when you build them both. How you can test it is to build the craft separately, load one into the VAB or SPH (SPH is better because of the camera freedom), MERGE the other craft into the scene--but don't worry if there is no exposed node to snap the new craft into place because the root part is buried between parts, this is where the next step comes in), place it into the scene as a "ghost" (no attaching to the main build craft), REROOT (keyboard #4) THE GHOST CRAFT TO ITS DOCKING PORT, which will expose the port's node on the working end, then snap it into place on the docking port of the main build where you plan it to dock, in the orientation you want it to be docked (WASD, or use the rotation gizmo (#3) after placing). You'll know it's zero-zero aligned when the faces of the two docking ports "reflect" each other; e.g., the faces of the Jr. ports are "kissing each other" literally :mellow:--> <-- :mellow:. If they're not, you will need to adjust the placement of either docking port in its parent craft to the right orientation.

Alternatively, when you build the crafts involved, build them as one craft, making sure that where they dock they are properly oriented and the ports are mirroring each other, then break the build craft apart and save the parts separately by using the reroot function. (Reroot to Craft 1's planned Root, delete Craft 2 from its docking port down, Save; reload the main build, reroot to Craft 2's planned Root, delete Craft 1 from its docking port down, Save).

Alternatively alternatively, if you're okay with it you can download DockRotate which allows post-dock rotation of docked ports (and their attached crafts) and do it by eye post-docking. 

For non-stock ports, you'll have to inspect the part to see if they're non-symmetrical. One nice tip is to use the rotation gizmo in relative (I think) mode: the ring's orientation is fixed to the XYZ axis definitions of the part and you can use this as a guide for aligning the axis of the port relative to their parent craft.

End of the day though, zero-zero port alignment really is just that the ports "mirror" each other graphics or design-wise when docked. 

Edited by B-STRK
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Thanks for the info, let me be a bit more specific on the issue I'm trying to solve. I'm using the Restock docking ports, which do appear symmetrical. I have a station I'm servicing with spaceplanes, and due to the size and shape of the plane and that of the station, I need to dock in a certain direction so the empennage of my spaceplane doesn't hit the station. What's the based way to rotate the ports ( I have dock rotate) so that the 0 roll direction is the one where my plane clears the station structure?

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5 hours ago, dlrk said:

Thanks for the info, let me be a bit more specific on the issue I'm trying to solve. I'm using the Restock docking ports, which do appear symmetrical. I have a station I'm servicing with spaceplanes, and due to the size and shape of the plane and that of the station, I need to dock in a certain direction so the empennage of my spaceplane doesn't hit the station. What's the based way to rotate the ports ( I have dock rotate) so that the 0 roll direction is the one where my plane clears the station structure?

I know what you mean. I don't use Restock myself, but what I can show you is what I hope can help you as a workaround:

eiFSFrc.png

What you're aiming to do is to make a subassembly of your docking ports with some sort of removable "guide" to indicate which way is up. In the picture above, that would be the 1.25m battery with a Communotron 88-88 surface attached to where the "up" point would be (A). For the basic docking port, it's stacked to the "working"/front end so the back is free to be connected to your craft, like in (C). When you're done attaching, you take out the battery and you're done.

(Remember: this works because when you first pick a part from the menu to place, it is (I hope this is the case for all parts stock and mod) always oriented Z+-up and facing forwards as it is programmed to in its configuration. In making the thing above there, the only thing I ever maneuvered/rotated was the flat silver platform thing out of the Buffalo mod so I could make some sort of multicoupler to show everything simultaneously (in reality, you'd just be using a simple tank as your root part in creating the subassemblies). In mounting the docking ports above, no part rotation was applied before placement--hit spacebar multiple times if you have to to ensure it is in the default position.)

For the shielded docking port, where there is no "front" node to attach to (B), the guide is attached to the back and saved as a complete subassembly (port, battery, and antenna). The battery is what attaches to the craft, but after doing so, pull off the docking port--and hope to God it does not reorient itself when you do so; this usually happens I think when you mount a part to a parent, rotate the parent with the gizmo, then pull the first part off, so avoid using the gizmo to position the subassembly until after completing the following steps--pull out the battery, and reattach the docking port (which we hope has retained its pre-pull-off orientation) back to its mount. 

In placing the ports on station and spaceplane, orient the antenna (rotate the port in case of (A), the battery in case of (B))in the favored direction, so that when the ports are docked, the antennas are facing the same direction. For example, you want the antenna on the station docking port facing away from other structures and out into open space; you want the antenna on the spaceplane pointed downwards (if mounted on the nose, for example) or the direction away from the empennage (if mounted as a dorsal docking port). In the case of the shielded port where using the rotation gizmo on a parent part will cause the child part to reset its orientation when pulled off, you may have to use WASD to rotate the part before placement so as to prevent the dock from resetting its orientation when pulled off.

This does not help in surface-mounting the docking port, I know. I am not sure if surface-mounted parts may be saved as a subassembly. If they can be, try to set up your root part so that things can be surface attached while pointing "forwards", but I am not sure if parts rotate themselves as you surface-mount them. This one will be more experimentation than anything, sorry. One tip however I can repeat from my last post is that the gizmo tool in Local mode orients itself to the part's XYZ axis locations. See picture below; your Z axis passes through the intersection of the red and green rings. It doesn't help you identify which of the two is "up", but it does reduce your DPAI (and Mechjeb docking autopilot) alignment solutions in flight to 0o and 180o

Amomf5U.png

Finally, and I really do mean this, we can ask the Restock designers to add some sort of indicator or guide in the design of the docking ports to ID which direction is Z+/up. I really do mean it. I know Nertea contributes to Restock--his design for the docking port there is the remesh of the standard docking port made when one installs Stockalike Station Parts Extended to a stock KSP install, and yes it has that symmetrical "problem". But the extendible docking port provided by SSPx has a design asymmetry I could use, and Nertea designed that one as well (albeit the asymmetry was a consequence of the design of the extension animation). 

 

ADDENDUM: whoops, my original instructions for how to point the antennas on the station and plane are mixed up, this would cause collisions. Actual instruction is to imagine the final placement of the ports relative to each craft so that when they are docked and aligned, the plane empennage/tail is pointed towards open space from the station's perspective.

Edited by B-STRK
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