sumghai

[1.7.x] SDHI Service Module System (V4.0.2 / 15 April 2019)

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OK, for some reason I am only now getting notified by the forum software regarding this. I can take a look at the SDHI LES again over the holiday weekend and see what would be required to have it work with the PEBKAC plugin. I need to get educated on Orion anyways.

 

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The main problem is the BPC and the LES escape rocket are two separate parts in the SDHI SMS. Unfortunately, neither of the PEBKAC plugin versions support this scenario.

The other relatively minor problem is that the SDHI LES uses ModuleEngine instead of ModuleEnginesFX.

I could probably throw together a new version of the PEBKAC code to solve both these issues by sometime next week. @sumghai would still have some work to do to his part configs to support it. Basically that would entail adding reference to PEBKAC module and inserting the correct engineID in his ModuleEngine entries so the plugin can fire the correct engines at the right time.

What the user gets for all this is the Abort is automatically wired up in the VAB and then, after an abort, the LES and BPC would automatically jettison after a time delay. The RCS would continue to function as normal, as far as I can tell.

I won't proceed unless/until sumghai is on board with taking on the extra work on his end. Arguably, it's not much, but it's up to him to decide if it has any priority or adds value.

(And) Happy Thanksgiving! to any of my fellow Americans. Among many other things, I am thankful for this game and the very interesting things that people have done to extend and modify it. I have learned a lot and developed some new skills from hanging around here these past few years. Thanks!

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2 hours ago, Kurld said:

The main problem is the BPC and the LES escape rocket are two separate parts in the SDHI SMS. Unfortunately, neither of the PEBKAC plugin versions support this scenario.

The other relatively minor problem is that the SDHI LES uses ModuleEngine instead of ModuleEnginesFX.

I could probably throw together a new version of the PEBKAC code to solve both these issues by sometime next week. @sumghai would still have some work to do to his part configs to support it. Basically that would entail adding reference to PEBKAC module and inserting the correct engineID in his ModuleEngine entries so the plugin can fire the correct engines at the right time.

The SDHI LES and BPC/Aeroshroud are separate parts because some users may prefer using other LES systems.

I can definitely update the LES to use ModuleEnginesFX, I just wasn't able to get it done in time for the latest release.

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2 hours ago, sumghai said:

The SDHI LES and BPC/Aeroshroud are separate parts because some users may prefer using other LES systems.

I can definitely update the LES to use ModuleEnginesFX, I just wasn't able to get it done in time for the latest release.

I only meant "problem" in the sense of making it work with the existing PEBKAC plugin code :-)  If only I had thought ahead like you did.

I'll see what I can come up with over the next few days. I don't think it will take long. I'll make it work with either flavor of Engine modules so no worries there. And hopefully now the PEBKAC plugin will be flexible enough to use with any future LES parts anybody else cares to make.

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20 hours ago, sumghai said:

The SDHI LES and BPC/Aeroshroud are separate parts because some users may prefer using other LES systems.

I can definitely update the LES to use ModuleEnginesFX, I just wasn't able to get it done in time for the latest release.

And I, as a user of another LES system, appreciate that!

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@Kurld @Bomoo

I've pushed a couple of commits to the SDHI SMS repo on GitHub - not only has ModuleEngines been replaced with ModuleEnginesFX, I've also cobbled together a custom FX for the LES solid rocket motors.

The latter isn't 100% perfect, as particle spacing is a little iffy when zoomed up close and I haven't been able to put in a nice thick smoke trail*, but it should do for now.

*I also tried PREFAB_PARTICLE, but apparently that doesn't work with multiple thrustTransforms or smokePoints.

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How compatible is this with other command pods? I'd really like a nice service module for my ALCOR pod. I can't imagine using anything else, considering how amazing it is. It's a bit smaller than the Mk1-2. Also, I've been trying to think up a way to have a Kerbal Inventory System container integrated into a service/command module combo. I've resorted to either putting it on the very bottom, between engines, or symmetrically on the sides. What I would really love is a service module that has KIS/KAS space integrated into it. Anyone know if what I'm looking for exists?

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15 minutes ago, Zapo147 said:

How compatible is this with other command pods?

This is only compatible with the stock Mk1-2 Pod, as it is intended to be a stockalike replica of the Orion MPCV.

I also don't think this Service Module is appropriate as a lander descent stage.

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6 minutes ago, sumghai said:

This is only compatible with the stock Mk1-2 Pod, as it is intended to be a stockalike replica of the Orion MPCV.

I also don't think this Service Module is appropriate as a lander descent stage.

Might go with the Command Module/Lunar Module set up then, do it just like Apollo 11.

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it's worth noting that the only thing keeping you from using it with any other command pod is the umbilical connector, which is modeled to fit the contours of the Mk 1-2 pod.

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4 hours ago, sumghai said:

This is only compatible with the stock Mk1-2 Pod, as it is intended to be a stockalike replica of the Orion MPCV.

I also don't think this Service Module is appropriate as a lander descent stage.

Well, I've been using it like an ATV service module on a 2.5m tank in addition to that, so it's not incompatible with a regular 2.5m fuselage even if you may not have intended it for that purpose. The service module also fits fairly well onto the Near Future Spacecraft pod, though the pod cover does not.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=807428120

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=807428073

Maybe the SM would be appropriate as a lander on something with low gravity like Minmus, and only on a stock system scale. Anything more and you'll likely be running out of fuel very quickly. Even then, the Mk1-2 is probably a bit too heavy to be using as a lander descent stage. You really don't want to be landing it/raising it up into orbit more times than you have to; what it's best at is surviving atmospheric reentry to Kerbin (i.e. returning crew home), so using it as a lander cabin seems to me to be wasteful.

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On 11/25/2016 at 6:48 PM, sumghai said:

 

*I also tried PREFAB_PARTICLE, but apparently that doesn't work with multiple thrustTransforms or smokePoints.

I seem to remember something about each transform has to be named something unique, and you have to have a separate entry in the config for each one. I won't swear to it though.

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I've made some tweaks to the PEBKAC plugin code to accommodate using it with SHDI SMS.

To use this beta plugin, you will also need to make some minor changes to the config files for SDHI's LES rocket and BPC parts. How to do that is explained in the readme file in the download.

You can download the beta release from dropbox. This download only includes the modified plugin and its source code. Eventually I will make another official release for the PEBKAC LES and include these changes. Mainly I want to give @sumghai or anybody else a chance to verify it's working well with the SDHI parts before I do all that.

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@Kurld

I've pushed a commit to the SDHI SMS Github Repo to include my (early) modifications to support PEBKAC LES, consisting of:

  • A ModuleManager patch
  • Changing engineID names for the LES and BPC to meet PEBKAC's requirements

Observations:

  • Some minor manual configuring is needed in the VAB/SPH, but that was for adding the PEBKAC jettison trigger for the BPC to an Action Group
  • After an abort is triggered, the LES pulls the pod away from the rest of the rocket
  • The LES/BPC is automatically jettisoned at a certain altitude / when the bottom of the pod is pointing downwards
  • PEBKAC doesn't seem to be operating the pitch control RCS thrusters on the LES
  • Normal staged jettison of the LES/BPC is unaffected

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21 hours ago, Bomoo said:

Well, I've been using it like an ATV service module on a 2.5m tank in addition to that, so it's not incompatible with a regular 2.5m fuselage even if you may not have intended it for that purpose. The service module also fits fairly well onto the Near Future Spacecraft pod, though the pod cover does not.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=807428120

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=807428073

Maybe the SM would be appropriate as a lander on something with low gravity like Minmus, and only on a stock system scale. Anything more and you'll likely be running out of fuel very quickly. Even then, the Mk1-2 is probably a bit too heavy to be using as a lander descent stage. You really don't want to be landing it/raising it up into orbit more times than you have to; what it's best at is surviving atmospheric reentry to Kerbin (i.e. returning crew home), so using it as a lander cabin seems to me to be wasteful.

I've used it as a Minmusian lander by attaching small lander legs to the lower part of the SM, and I've also used it as a Duna Descent Vehicle (although I had to mod the parachute to allow RC config editing).  It's pretty versatile, but I agree it's best for Kerbin orbit and reentry.

Edited by Capt. Hunt

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On 11/27/2016 at 2:57 PM, sumghai said:

@Kurld

I've pushed a commit to the SDHI SMS Github Repo to include my (early) modifications to support PEBKAC LES, consisting of:

  • A ModuleManager patch
  • Changing engineID names for the LES and BPC to meet PEBKAC's requirements

Observations:

  • Some minor manual configuring is needed in the VAB/SPH, but that was for adding the PEBKAC jettison trigger for the BPC to an Action Group
  • After an abort is triggered, the LES pulls the pod away from the rest of the rocket
  • The LES/BPC is automatically jettisoned at a certain altitude / when the bottom of the pod is pointing downwards
  • PEBKAC doesn't seem to be operating the pitch control RCS thrusters on the LES
  • Normal staged jettison of the LES/BPC is unaffected

@sumghai

Thanks for doing that.

The jettison is actually at a specific time interval after abort. IIRC, this is 10 seconds. I should probably expose this variable so that folks can set it to what they want. Also in this case, the angle of the CM is very much accidental. If it strictly needs to be within a certain approximation of retrograde (as with the Apollo system), I have a little more work to do there as well.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do (if anything) with the RCS. I still haven't looked into the specifics of the Orion system. I assumed that any sort of control input here would be in the hands of the user/pilot. I'm happy to look into it further if this is not the case.

Edited by Kurld
more info

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5 hours ago, Kurld said:

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do (if anything) with the RCS. I still haven't looked into the specifics of the Orion system. I assumed that any sort of control input here would be in the hands of the user/pilot. I'm happy to look into it further if this is not the case.

The Orion LAS has a pitch control motor, consisting of eight proportional nozzles powered by a slug of solid rocket propellant. It is used to automatically flip the jettisoned command pod approximately retrograde prior to LAS/BPC jettison.

The SDHI LES emulates this using a built-in RCS thruster block.

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So this is a little bizarre, I don't think I've seen any mention of this: I've updated SDHI and am necessarily rebuilding all my service module-using vehicles, and I found that there's no option labeled 'decouple' under action groups in the full service module (not sure about the avionics ring separately). Running through some tests, I don't seem to get the option to do it either in-game--going through all the stages for just the module, the heatshield decouples (because I've modded it to do such), but that's how the service module detaches (which is obviously a bad thing in use). I'm not sure what would be causing this, since in the service module CFG there's clearly the module to decouple...anyone have any ideas? 

Also, the interior of my Mk 1-2 command module is ridiculously bright, but I think that's an issue unrelated to SDHI. 

EDIT: Or not. Just spawning the command module unadorned on the launch pad has it normally lit. So it may be some related part, yikes. 

Edited by Synthesis

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@Synthesis

My first thought would be that you haven't installed the latest Animated Decouplers, but if you do have that, I think the only thing for it is the labourious task of troubleshooting a clean version and adding back one mod at a time to see who the culprit is.

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3 hours ago, Bomoo said:

@Synthesis

My first thought would be that you haven't installed the latest Animated Decouplers, but if you do have that, I think the only thing for it is the labourious task of troubleshooting a clean version and adding back one mod at a time to see who the culprit is.

Thank you for your answer--I wasn't sure if I had updated it (it's status is a little unclear at time). In any case, updating it didn't help--service module still shows up as having no decoupler in game, despite having the code in a CFG.

On a separate note, the extremely bright level of lighting in the cockpit seems to be consequence of the "nosecone" over the command module--removing it doesn't change the level of light after launch. That may be due to Kopernicus or another lighting mod I have.

For the moment, I guess I'll need to troubleshoot it--if 1.0.5's version works, I may go back to that too (I wasn't really looking forward to rebuilding all my SDHI-using designs, as you might guess). 

 

EDIT: Oh boy, looks like the old version has problems too. Well, that'll light a fire under me. 

EDIT EDIT: Haha, apparently both problems were due to alterations I made to the CFG on the heatshield--added decoupler ability. Well, at least it was easy to solve. Thanks anyway. 

Edited by Synthesis

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18 hours ago, sumghai said:

The Orion LAS has a pitch control motor, consisting of eight proportional nozzles powered by a slug of solid rocket propellant. It is used to automatically flip the jettisoned command pod approximately retrograde prior to LAS/BPC jettison.

The SDHI LES emulates this using a built-in RCS thruster block.

OK I see. There are a couple of ways we could go on this.  One is super easy, which, given that (in my experience anyway) the escaping pod tends to flip itself anyways, is to just leave things alone. My experience might not be the next persons and I suspect the behavior of the escaping pod could vary quite a bit depending on all kinds of things. A ten second delay may or may not be enough for the pod to turn itself about properly in all cases.  So the other way we could go would be to only jettison after the delay AND also when it's surely pointed approximately retrograde. This is probably something I could commit to making happen within the next week or so.

Really simulating the Orion system would involve 1) solving the inherent instability of the escaping pod and 2) figuring out how to automatically control the RCS engines so that they perform the pitch correction. Step #1 is probably a hour or so of fiddly config tweaking until the escaping craft flies straight and true. I'd guess the CoM of the assembly of parts is too far aft. Step #2 is something I'd be interesting in learning how to do, but I can't commit to it in the short-term unless somebody can point me at an already-working example.

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@Kurld - I'll leave it up to you whether to make use of the LES RCS for pitch correction or not.

Regardless, I'm pleased that I was able to make (the next version of) SDHI SMS compatible with PEBKAC.

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just downloaded this mod...love the way it looks! For some crazy reason the Service Module is producing 3788.4EC. I'm looking at the cfg file and it clearly says 200. I even tried disabling the fuel cell thinking that was doing something whacky. The Avionics Ring doesn't have this problem even though it also offers EC. 

I know it's a long shot, but does that (strange) number sound familiar at all?

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On 11/30/2016 at 4:03 PM, sumghai said:

@Kurld - I'll leave it up to you whether to make use of the LES RCS for pitch correction or not.

Regardless, I'm pleased that I was able to make (the next version of) SDHI SMS compatible with PEBKAC.

Me too!

I probably won't do anything soon on my end with the RCS, due to free-time constraints. I get some vacation around New Years so maybe then.

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