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Everything posted by bonesbro

  1. There are a lot of "quality of life" issues fixed - much better tooltips, automatic throttling of received power to keep from incinerating little probes, a few bug fixes, etc. He's also balancing (increasing) part costs now that 0.24 is out and the costs suddenly matter.
  2. It does for the existing plasma thrusters. Which are the only way to get decent ISP on beamed power. Well, unless you use quantum vacuum thrusters, but those are actually just magic.
  3. I agree with Wave that gameplay is what matters as long as it's vaguely compatible with science. I also think that the time and expense and skill involved in setting up a microwave power network should result in some pretty decent rewards. IMO, the rocket nozzle should probably cost approximately the same as a regular engine (pretend the nontrivial cost is in generating the magnetic confinement and in materials/electronics that can tolerate the magnetic flux and stray energetic particle). You'll still benefit from cost savings on boosters and fuel. If you're not relying on beamed power, you're still going to spend massively less on fuel tanks and boosters, but you're buying the crazy expensive reactors instead. I'm looking forward to designing ships that have a modular reactor section, so I can bring my ships home and leave the drive section in orbit to be refurbished to dock with a new craft. Will be an interesting design constraint that I haven't had to tackle before
  4. You shouldn't need two receivers and engines if you're relying on beamed power. One receiver and engine can handle an infinite amount of incoming power. I've had pretty poor luck with building efficient craft that use them, though, as the receiver's temperature is low so efficiency in rocket mode is awful. Well, and by awful I guess I mean "still better than you'll get in stock KSP". Interstellar has such crazy high ISPs that anything stock feels like garbage now.
  5. Attaching two generators of the same type to a reactor is pointless. The only time it's useful is when the reactor emits both thermal power AND charged particles, and you attach one direct conversion generator (which uses charged particles) and one thermal generator (which uses thermal power). That will get you some extra electricity production at the cost of additional weight.
  6. Power transmission doesn't work if both craft are within physics range. Drive your power transmitter about 2.6km away and it should work.
  7. Yes, green means your ship will never overheat. The only other factor you need to consider is the generator efficiency number on the thermal helper. This only matters if you're using a nuclear reactor of some sort with a generator attached. If that's what you're using, then you should know that the generators are modeled after thermal generators in the real world, so their efficiency is related to the difference between the reactor's core temperature and the radiator's temperature. If your reactor's core is 1677K and your radiators are at 1600K then the difference is very small so your generator will produce very little power. You can increase their efficiency by adding more radiators... the extra radiators will dissipate more heat so they will not get as hot. In practice this only really matters for unupgraded fission reactors. As soon as you start upgrading them the reactor temperature will be way hotter than your radiators so you'll always get decent efficiency. You can ignore the generator thing if you're just using solar panels or the radiothermal generators thingy. 10 EC/s is 10 KW/s which is 0.01 MW. The tiniest "small radial radiator" will do 0.013MW each before they're upgraded. After upgrades they do something crazy like 2.1 MW.
  8. There's a Thermal Helper in the VAB. It has a toolbar button, and you can also show it with the "i" key. The short version is that electric panels generate heat in levels similar to the power they generate (I think it's power/2). 1 electric charge/sec is 1 kw/s, so it generates 0.5 kw heat. Reactors generate heat equal to their power output, so a 120MW fission reactor generates 120MW of heat.
  9. It teaches the player to start producing and handling minute quantities of antimatter. Once the player has learned how to do that they get the choice of further developing their infrastructure to allow using smaller and lighter pure antimatter reactors. That sounds like a bug. Could be the reactor throttling itself way down to avoid burning unneeded fuel, but sounds more like a bug.
  10. I agree with Aedile about radiators - they're not deeply interesting on ships with their own reactors but they're very important for balancing microwave power. And it becomes a bit more of a balancing act trying to juggle radiators vs. convectors for SSTOs. I think it's a way more interesting mechanic than, say, TAC Life Support, which is just "add this extra mass or your kerbals die". Biggest problem is how hot upgraded radiators are allowed to get, which eliminates some of the design tradeoffs you have to consider on your early fission craft. (Core temperature vs. radiator temperature vs. generator efficiency).
  11. Nice find. That would be handy to do in space, similar to the way we only carry a small amount of tritium and breed the rest from lithium. If the kerbals can breed He3 at will in their on-planet fusion reactors, they could provide a supply of He3 directly to the space program. If players have to breed it themselves, they'll just build a pile of 20 reactors on it and breed it on the runway, then dump it into a truck. Same result, just with more micro.
  12. So this weekend I tried He-3 mining. First I built a simple Fusion SSTO with a small radial scoop and dove it into Jool at 40k, then left it scooping while I took a shower and worked a bit. In one hour it mined, uh, something like 0.05 He-3. So I built a second SSTO. Two fusion thermal turbojets and six large scoops. I dove it deep to 4k and ran it. It mined one unit of He-3 in 190 seconds. To get a full reactor's worth of (1000 units) He-3 would have taken 52.78 hours. Real human hours, because you can't do atmospheric flight under time acceleration. (Even if the plane was stable at 4x physics warp, that's still 13 hours). And, having invested that time, my returns would have been very low. I could have used it to generate about 27% more power from a fusion reactor for one kerbal year. That would never, ever be worth it: very little would require that extra power, and if I did need the extra power I would be much better served by either adding another reactor (for a heavier vehicle with minimal extra time) or by setting up a microwave power network (which would benefit me for a very long time, not just for this one ship). So, with the current He-3 resource constraints, I conclude that He-3 fusion is useless. The only other thing it would allow is used of the AIM reactor. The AIM has a fantastic power/weight ratio - far better than fusion, but still worse than antimatter. However, its raw power generation is actually still lower than pure fusion reactors, and you have to manage creation and storage of antimatter. Ignoring He-3 availability, Fusion is better from a convenience standpoint and from a raw power standpoint, and antimatter is way ahead in both regards. Now it is interesting to consider the gameplay options that open up if He-3 was available in the VAB. You would have an actual choice to make with your fusion reactors: you could eliminate their utility as a thermal rocket to gain higher electrical production. That's an interesting design choice to make, and the optimal choice changes based on how you design your craft. That seems like a well-balanced gameplay option, one that requires no additional code and gives the player more options. It also opens up the AIM reactor as a viable choice for some ship designs. It requires the player to manage acquisition/production of antimatter, and produces less electricity than a fusion reactor, but it will be excellent in some designs because of its superior power/weight ratio. There's the lore question of where the He-3 is coming from, but we're talking about a society that is building antimatter reactors and preparing to build a frickin' warp drive. Maybe they figured out how to make He-3 in a particle accelerator or found a fission chain that leads to abundant He-3 byproduct. It doesn't really matter how - I think we can just abstract away that part of their industry and say they've figured out how to make it work. Should probably make it mineable somewhere in usable quantities, so here are my suggestions: He-3 can be filled and tweaked from the VAB He-3 can be mind from the Mun (in low quantities) and from, uh, how about Dres, Tylo, Moho, and Eeloo (so there's some challenge) He-3 harvesting rates increased by a factor of 1000 in Jool. Possibly just below, say, 10k, as, uh, the miner hits an He-3 layer or something.
  13. I largely agree, though I think that long duration of fission reactors is a big plus for building bases. I've sent bases and orbital labs to other planets, then did a couple of missions to Jool. Those are multi-year missions, and it was very frustrating to finish those and realize that a lot of the bases and power satellites I'd built were junk after running out of fissionables. Completely agree on He-3 and the AIM reactor. I tried building an He-3 miner this weekend. Separate post.
  14. Yep, more intakes. The thermal turbojet's thrust is greatly related to the amount of air it has to heat up and spray out the back. I've found that I don't need precoolers on my nuclear SSTOs. I rarely get more than 600-700 m/s before switching to rocket mode and the precoolers aren't needed till about twice that. Perhaps it's the ascent profile I use - I pitch to about 40 degrees and don't change till I'm in space. I wasn't getting better results when I leveled off at 11k to gain speed, though... it seemed like the extra speed wasn't helping because it was going straight instead of up.
  15. I'm not very good at SSTOs yet, but what I've found with the thermal turbojets is that I have to treat them just like high-thrust jet engines. With an upgraded 2.5m fusion they should be giving you 2000 kN on the runway and peak at about 2500 or so. I angle for about a 40 degree rise and run them on IntakeAir mode until about 15000 meters when they drop under about 600 kN, at which point I switch them to rocket mode burning LFO. Now they're doing about 720 kN. But the magic is that their ISP even in LFO mode is crazy high, ~4000 or so. So they'll do that 720 kN for a long long time. And then once you reach orbit you can switch them to pure liquid fuel for about 6800 ISP and 190 kN. I took an SSO with these parts on a dive deep into Jool to get atmospheric science: * Upgraded 2.5m fusion, with DC generator and 2.5m turbojet * One B9 S2 fuel tank (920 liquid fuel) * Four FL-T800 LFO tanks * Two ramjet intakes and 12 of the B9 small radial DSI intakes * Two medium (0.2 ton) radiators and two 1.25m inline radiators * A small inline atmospheric scoop * Wings, batteries, solar panels, science modules, a kethane detector I forgot to remove, and a 1-ton "tail" section to use as an aerodynamic looking cockpit. LFO mode gives you kick to ascend out of a gravity well, and pure liquid fuel is enough for orbital burns. I used the scoop to refuel a bit while in Jool's atmosphere, though I think I remember not needing the extra fuel.
  16. I assume you're still using Kethane for the resource detection & extraction - is your sampler part the thing that marks the resource deposit as scanned?
  17. Awesome. I was playing with the Kethane source yesterday and was working on making a KethaneExtractor detect that a drill is extended into an asteroid. I think it's at the point where I can start running it and finding out all the ways it doesn't work, but I haven't started trying to modify KethaneData yet to actually get resources from the roid. Sounds like you're way ahead on the resources side. I'll try to get the drill working tonight.
  18. Agreed that your plugin shouldn't try to bundle resources for other plugins. I'll ping taniwha to see how far along he is. Feeling kind of like coding.
  19. Hey taniwha, how much code have you written so far on asteroid mining?
  20. I've been trying to find documentation on the layer masks that KSP uses and haven't been able to find much. Does anyone know where a list of the different masks? For example, KethaneExtractor uses bit 15. KAS uses 1, 2, 15, and 19 when looking for parts (557059, 0x88003). Something else switches off layers 2, 11, and 13 (which is 0x1402) and calls them the "DestructionCollider, ScreenSafeUI and ScaledSpace layers". Derp. An actual list of these layers would be nice
  21. Yes, it's very easy. Here's an example I got from much earlier in the thread: @PART[kethane_1m_converter] { MODULE { name = KethaneConverter InputRates { Ore = 1.742 ElectricCharge = 7.5 } OutputRatios { Metal = 0.699431 } } } You change the resources and quantities to anything you want, then change the @part reference to the part you want to modify. Save that into a .cfg file somewhere under your gamedata folder (name it whatever you want, just give it a .cfg extension). Then (because you have the ModuleManager plugin installed) the ModuleManager will load it when KSP loads and add the KethaneConverter config to the part you selected.
  22. Majiir, crossposting from the CustomAsteroids thread, I was doing a little investigation into how to do kethane extraction from an asteroid. It looks like you can raycast and find out which part you intersected. A KethaneExtractor does this: Physics.Raycast(tailTransform.position - direction.normalized * TailOffset, direction, out hitInfo, direction.magnitude + HeadOffset + TailOffset, mask); Need to change the mask to something that includes vessel parts. Then if we look at the hitInfo we can see which part was hit: GameObject hit = hitInfo.collider.gameObject; Then just check to see if that part is PotatoRoid. That should let it detect that a drill is in contact with the roid. But then we have to figure out how to get KethaneData to track the kethane on the object... hmm. Starstrider42's code in the CustomAsteroids mod is able to intercept and adjust roids as they're spawned.
  23. Actually, it looks like you can raycast and find out which part you intersected. A KethaneExtractor does this: Physics.Raycast(tailTransform.position - direction.normalized * TailOffset, direction, out hitInfo, direction.magnitude + HeadOffset + TailOffset, mask); Need to change the mask to something that includes vessel parts. Then if we look at the hitInfo we can see which part was hit: GameObject hit = hitInfo.collider.gameObject; Then just check to see if that part is PotatoRoid. That should let it detect that a drill is in contact with the roid. But then we have to figure out how to get KethaneData to track the kethane on the object... hmm. Not too bad, especially with Starstrider42's code to adjust roids as they're spawned. Maybe I'll move this to the Kethane thread.
  24. Have you considered modifying the asteroids to treat them as fuel tanks for various resources? The obvious two would be Kethane and Ore. I spent some time dorking with the Kethane mining code and it wasn't straightforward to get the drills working against an asteroid (which is really just a big part) but then it occurred to me that they're docked parts and you could just add the resources directly. The spawn catcher seems like a great place to go add storage to the newly-spawned roids. Would need to lower their mass by a lot to account for the fuel weight of course. Getting fancier, you could give a chance for different resources. Water, Lithium, Metal, Oxygen, the KSPI nuclear fuels, etc. Probably He3 too - while not particularly realistic, it's damn near impossible to actually get which makes many of the reactor modes useless. This adds gameplay - finding and harvest the resources. Of course the fuels would be immediately available to pump around, but in the next iteration you could replace the fuel resources with RawOre, RawKethane, etc, and adding a drill-looking part that's actually just a KethaneConverter module to convert RawOre to Ore, etc.
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