SpannerMonkey(smce)

SM_Utility 1.2 Rockolight and Rockopanel adaptors NOW available

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Here we go as promised a POC 4 link floating rear axle, if you think the model is a bit complicated you should see the unity hierarchy for it, that would blow a unity noobs mind, Ignore the hubs and discs, they-re just ref parts and don't feature in my plans.

dLARJ4G.png

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Hi again, after a short break caused by excessive crapness I've finally made the Turbo Diesel powerplant I've been promising myself forever, I like many others am not a fan of silent plug and play rover wheels, I've recently created a Turbine APU ( auxiliary power unit) for KerbalFoundries of repulsors and tracks fame, and it lead me to thoughts of other power plants, and being a lover of the infernal combustion engine and terminal petrol head this is what I've come up with.

It'll work quite happily without the plugin created by lo_fi to control his APU that it currently uses and in the demo video below it is in manual mode, which means engine speed and therefore power output is controlled by the throttle only, while in auto mode the throttle is controlled via the plugin to maintain a certain battery level ( cool eh)

In this demo I've applied another twist however, attached to the small fuel tank are two small fuel generators, these require both fuel and electric charge for activation, the only electric charge available is that small amount stored in the generator before engine start and any generated current once the engine is started and driving the alternator. The only fuel available for the engine is what is in the small tank, and if powered that which is produced by the fuel generators, the fuel generators require a fair amount of both resources to start however once started they will continue to produce a small amount of fuel even when the main tank is empty, providing of course the power needs are met.

So in this instance its simply, no engine = no power(EC) = no fuel(LFO) = no go , simples.

Once again forgive the appalling video quality , video super noob here!

I have yet to decide on the final exhaust arrangement and color scheme and of course sound, I'll be trying a nice petrol v8 sound later, but for now I personally find what's existing satisfactory, feel free to disagree .

I've been told by every notable modder and their auntie that ksp doesn't care too much about poly counts its colliders and textures that matter, having spent a very long time low poly modelling it's taking some getting used to, but in the case of this engine I've gone a bit madder than I would normally as I really wanted a semi realistic pipe layout, and tubes don't come cheap poly wise, it's not excessive being under 10k but it's a poop load more than the 1k poly restriction I used to mod to.

Things I've included as eye candy are exhaust and turbo heating effects and rotating crank, output and generator shafts, and of course a poop load of pipe work.

( and as a note to those uninitiated exhaust and turbos do glow red to deep orange in RL, it's just that most people are never in a position to witness it, I'm sure most bikers with large unfaired bikes have seen that pleasing red glow from the downpipes after pulling up from a night time thrash)

Model in unity prior to export

4ugY0Wb.png

Edited by SpannerMonkey(smce)
typo's

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Hi there, as with practically every other mod I've got my hands on, I've been trying to implement more flexibility by adding more TweakScale definitions (idk what it is with you guys, always making everything so damned huge so that I have to scale it down to fit on my vehicles and craft! ... anyway, I cannot find a definition anywhere for

name = TweakScale

type = Mk2HydraulicForks1

Where is the data for Mk2HydraulicForks1? You have no TweakScale.cfg in your folder so I don't see where to make additions. I appreciate you must be busy, but 2 mins of your time would be much appreciated if you can spare them. Thank you :D

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There may be an element of "go big or go home" ;)

Anyway, silliness aside, if you just want to scale a part with tweakscale, call it in the part.cfg with an appropriate generic method. I normally use 'surface' IIRC, which just gives percentages. A quick look at the TS thread should give you the exact string or give you pointers for others. I doubt the definition has been written to modify the other parameters for that specific part, so it won't be there to find.

Or there is always the trusty old stock rescaleFactor config line.

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HI, I'm presently sorting the latest update , should be up tomorrow with all that stuff dealt with, the present tweakscale arrangement relies an the stock tweakscale sizes, these can be found in the actual tweakscale folder but that's not really suitable for the forks and I appreciate that they are all on the large size, in fact all the hydraulic stuff tends to be , I have had issues with setting the appropriate travel when scaled but have it nailed now and have a custom set of configs for all the hydraulic type parts, as I say latest update should be up tomorrow and it should be good.

Thanks for taking an interest and bringing this back to my attention however.

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21lsm0l.jpg

What did I do wrong? Both axles are facing forward with red side.

Can't figure it out, no matter how many axles I put there, they all are turning in one direction... And they're turning left when I press right...

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Hi, common issue that one , you did nothing wrong , the stock wheel module seems to get a little confused with that particular layout of wheels, just click the front axle usually and invert the steering the New version of the beam axle does away with the IR in favour of standard suspension and does not have theses problems.

Also in multi wheel applications it can be a pain inverting the steering on half the fitted axles I know.

Thanks for trying them out.

Here's a pic of the working version of the model I posted previously, unfortunately I could not convince any combination of FX modules and constraints required to make that previously shown axle work.

nT85zkK.jpg

For the uninitiated beam axles by their very nature as well as going up and down , achieve most of the actual range of movement by rolling around the suspension center , which in the the case the previous pictured axle would have been the differential case , the round bit in the middle:P .

After spending far too much time trying to make it work , I eventually bit the bullet and split the axle into two halves, and although it's not exactly what I wanted it does provide a very close approximation of multi link floating axles, I'm just working on a little bug that keeps rotating the dampers 90degrees and It'll be up for test along with the Diesel turbo generator but without the APU plugin feature so for now it's manual only.

Once it's all debugged I'll post a little preview vid of the RedNeck rover .

Thanks for looking

Y3FD9S8.png

Edited by SpannerMonkey(smce)
answer and update

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I never took issue with the beam axle steering being as it was - lock the rear, invert the front and you're done. I can't recall if it was possible to set this in the SPH, to save doing it every time on launch.

The new axle should compliment it nicely, I hope the wheels match to allow mix and match axles :-)

I'm not done with the beam axle yet, especially if you can make dampers out of IR pistons. We could attach the axle via a decoupler or removable KAS part, surface attach the pistons to the chassis, strut them to the axle, then decouple the axle or remove the KAS part and jack the pistons up to the correct ride height.

The only problem would be the stiffness of the surface attachment and struts, when they should be free moving. A scaled down hinge on the axle and rotatron on the chassis (for dampers and links - Procedural parts would suffice for those) would do this. Collosal part count and hugely impractical... But that's not the point, is it?

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HI, exactly right, thats not the point at all, and I'm not getting rid of the old version of the beam axle because I really like using it.

The mix and match wheels has been interesting but I may be able to push out a little private test soon.

The new axle has non of the body roll and is a much better simulation of rock crawler style suspension, especially as, it is set at present in semi droop mode, which basically means a massively reduced spring rate, just enough to act as a bump stop.

Whats the benefit I hear you ask? , well unlike a stock ksp suspension where if you cross very uneven terrain the spring will actually force one or two wheels off the ground, this suspension attempts to keep a wheel on the ground, for a s long as the suspension travel lets it of course.

This is a test version , as such it is possible that suspension travel could be increased be a fair bit before design limits are exceeded

What i'll do is make a couple of test shocks we can mess around with, if I do a basic setup on the IR I gather you have the required experience to tweak and abuse as you see fit , if that is the case I'll bung you a link and you can have a play.

I've decided that for now I'm going to remove the smoothSteer from the wheels and push the next update, the problem is that it's not my plugin and I'm not inclined to harass lofi into making my bit, thereby stopping him from being awesome elsewhere :). I should really just learn how to make plugins, and I could fork it for this project.

Well winters almost here, so plenty of long dark nights to fill.

Cheers for your continued interest and input colmo, it's much appreciated.

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I think maybe you're running to issues even with the stock plugin by having centrally mounted parts. It's a tricky issue to deal with, having just been through the 'which way was the root part mounted, which way are the wheels mounted in relation to that' debacle recently myself. I'm hoping I can code for all eventualities with my stock replacement plugin, though. Try taking the smoothsteer off, but you may well find the confusion is coming from the stock module itself. Either way, it gives me another thing I know my code will have to deal with. You and your crazy toys ;)

A shame about the 4 link, though I was wondering how you were going to rig that. Beam axles on links like that are actually quite a challenge to model, it wouldn't be easy at all.

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There may be an element of "go big or go home"

Anyway, silliness aside, if you just want to scale a part with tweakscale, call it in the part.cfg with an appropriate generic method. I normally use 'surface' IIRC, which just gives percentages. A quick look at the TS thread should give you the exact string or give you pointers for others. I doubt the definition has been written to modify the other parameters for that specific part, so it won't be there to find.

Or there is always the trusty old stock rescaleFactor config line.

hah, well yes there is that, but I have scaled most things so that they can be packaged away into compartments and extended by using IR so that they fit my favoured specifications, that way I always end up with a highly engineered and sleek machine in which everything is neatly folded away. It can be an enormous challenge to make everything function that way and is part of the fun for me. I don't tend to have a problem with the translation extents, they are simply a ratio the same as the mass and scale definitions except edited in the part.cfg and not the TweakScale.cfg (thanks Sirkut ;-) ) For most things I haven't had a problem, but I was looking everywhere for where the type 'hydraulic forks' was being defined and couldn't see it, even in the modern IR versions so I thought I'd ask. If it's as simple as a direct link to the original surface scale factors it won't be a problem any longer. It's not necessarily that they're big, in fact you can scale them down to 62.5cm as it is, but I have a habit of making one-kerbal utility vehicles and I often need a 30cm variant too.

Edited by Stephanie the Viking

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I can bash out an especially small set for the smaller rover, that should scale to tiny quite happily , the downside of course is that you'll only be able to pick up tiny stuff, not that the strength of the forks will be compromised, just that a tiny rovers mass isn't enough to act as a counterweight to much more than a battery pack. . The updates as mentioned will have them defined as SM_RoboticForks.

Thanks again.

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I don't actually use the rover body *sorry*, it's too 'neat' and I prefer to build my bodies from parts that serve other functions. I tend to put the forks on IR arms and the fork-end wheels on adjustable rails so they can slide out under the load anyway, so the pivot is adjustable to the point where the payload actually increases stability. I only use them for moving containers around for the most part anyway - syphoning fuel, collecting waste products and so on which is all small-scale stuff. It's all part of the sandbox experience to me.

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Hiya, wasn't referring to any particular parts when I said smaller rover, was meant to infer ANY small rover constructed from any parts, as most of my rovers go from med large to huge.

I've done the forks anyway, although the tiny scale may only be any use for micro rovers, the scale is at a more sensible size for general use, still not quite sure how the originals ended up so large.

@lofi yes i was somewhat saddened by not being able to make it work, I have a feeling that it is doable if ksp would recognize the unity physics joints. Ultimately it was a lack of skills I reckon, That said I'm quite happy with the compromise and I will always have the original and versions, should some super cool dude work out a way for the constraints system to include joint roll as well as pivot. It's also an avenue that has loads of exploration potential left to investigate.

PS I'm also looking for suggestions as to what other parts could be more versatile or dual purpose, what about a RockoGoo rockomax adapter with the mystery goo experiment contained internally ?

Edited by SpannerMonkey(smce)
edit

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I have a feeling the joints don't get exported to KSP. I was somewhat surprised by the way IR does things, then I had a play about myself and came to that conclusion. Either way, it will be a devil of a job to get working.

Saying that, I've just thought of a way you can very easily model beam axle suspension that uses a panhard rod like the front of a Defender. A clever rig and a couple of lookat controllers, jobs done. The 4-link will either require some insanely clever IR configs, or a custom plugin with some really trick maths.

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Cheers for that input, lofi, as my eyes scanned and brain processed the panhard rod suggestion , the brain has already thrown together the model, just got to make it real.

As it appears that with IR you can have only one active joint per part it rules it out of advanced suspension use, sadly, other experiments are still ongoing.

I have however fixed the shock rotation issues, resolved by setting the lookat transforms in a very non stock position. with left and right having Y pointing left /right instead of the usual fwd or backwards

Sorry all for the delay with the update my brain has been filled with non sentient custard this week and while experimenting with the tweaksclale settings and SCALETYPE also mounting the forks I've somehow broken them, damn it. and can't work out why or how. If anyone has any idea whats causing this error

 InvalidOperationException: Operation is not valid due to the current state of the object

I'd be very grateful for any input, it is produced when attempting to attach the forks to any object, although all my other IR stuff is working and attaching fine.

Question, would it be preferable to users if the wheels came a a separate download from the adapters?

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Hey yes I saw those, very cool after all this time. I've pm'd you with a link to the newest suspension part featured above, I doubt I'll be doing much more with this lot letting it get buried as it should, as I prefer a subcontracting type roll, but let me know what you think all the same

The adapters are available now on KerbalStuff for those interested

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Don't give up entirely! Sure, TT has covered a lot of bases, but there's plenty of room for your USPs (solid axles and complex suspensions). I'm still intrigued by the pistons-into-dampers idea. You could even develop on TT's framework.

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The suspension is rather cool, and something different. It's a bit too powerful, as it can flip pretty much any test vehicle I build, and the axles glitch when you attempt to steer while upside down. I wonder if it could be adapted for the TT plugin, or if it would be worth it? I think the beam axle and this make an interesting set in their own right. There's nothing else like them.

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hi, I know what is causing the glitchy had a similar problem on several things at the same time, I agree they are very torquey, i dont know if tweak scale can drop wheel torque along with size as it does other tweakables, I'll look into it.

As for adaption they are really designed to run with lofi's smoothSteer and repulsors plugin , that in itself will transform them once it reaches the masses, with anti roll, ackerman control and controlled suspension movement, to adapt one would simply take the dismantling of one of TT's wheels to check format and hierarchy etc, once you have your model setup right it's fairly easy to change transform names and add dummies etc, .

Glad you like them though , kerbtowned myself a little rockery to play in too. ( nice looking scalers btw)

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It'll be interesting to see lo-fi, new wheelman on the block, v TT, the old hand making a comeback. All to the good for us :)

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I've been meaning to take a look at the new TT wheels.

The models are a bit contemporary for my taste, but they have some really nice features.

The steering stuff has all changed now, spanner. No hierarchy changes needed - the new plugin will even drive the stock wheels if you replace modulewheel in the config. As long as you know the transform names, its easy to set-up existing stuff without re-rigging in Unity :)

Looking forward to demonstrating!

Edited by lo-fi

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