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Hagen von Tronje

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Posts posted by Hagen von Tronje

  1. Kerbin part 7 is up, taking us to the pinnacle of one of Kerbin's most beautiful mountains! But what goes up must come down, will my rover be able to handle a sharp descent, or am I driving into a trap?

    PS - Any thoughts on the changes I've suggested? Specifically, would you rather see me do everything in one rover or change things up for different planets?

  2. Any penalties for driving more than needed?

    The rules state that you should follow an equatorial or pole-to-pole route, without diverging too much. But what if I want to.. zig zag a bit? And see some landmarks. And still travel through the antipode, more or less. Can I do that?

    I frankly assumed the opposite, that there's more glory in the longer, harder route, and that seeing the sights was the whole point. :)

  3. Newcomer! I mean, me. I want to try this challenge.

    Before starting.. would any of you have any recommendations? Should I, uhm, place some markers beforehand so I have a better idea of where to go during my trip.. like checkpoints. What errors should I avoid when planning and building my rover? etc.

    I think I'll start with Minmus.. after that I'll try on the Mun. And finally, Kerbin. Then who knows, I might try to circumnavigate other planets and moons as well, we'll see :rolleyes:

    I personally would recommend using either KER (if you're open to mods) or surface scanning module (stock part) to detect your coordinates on the surface. This way, you can define any starting point you wish, plant a flag there if you like, then all you have to do is flag the antipode and come back the other way around. Another simple way would be start point - pole - other pole - start point (or any two antipodes for that matter).

    Doing this method ensures that no matter what route you take between your target points, you will by definition have travelled at least the full circumference of the body you're on, so you're free to drive around obstacles, or drive right up to obstacles if you want to take them on, as you choose.

    Of course there are other methods to prove circumnavigation but taking this method should make the distance travelled indisputable.

  4. Nibiru?

    *googles that*

    ...umm. Wow :D You are correct, that is worse than the Nemesis hypothesis.

    Yeah. Nemesis is "plausible" in the sense that it doesn't resort to mystical mumbo jumbo (mostly). It's still a fringe "theory" (again, using this in the colloquial sense to avoid a ruder terminology for what I think of that).

    Much like a counter-earth, it's one of those things that from a certain perspective is fascinating as a concept of something that might have at one time been not entirely unreasonable to speculate on. I would never take that seriously, though.

  5. I think we never will receive such a signal, not because there's not life out there but because heavy hitters like cosmic distances, the speed of light, and the vast well of time, will prevent our paths from ever crossing.

    If we did though, I have to think it would be a directed signal carrying a message that is intended to be recognizable, like primes, though whether or not we would recognize it anyway is another matter, as from what I've read we (humans) weren't even that good at figuring out how to read our own messages intended for such contact. I think this because incidental dispersion of signal becomes so weak over interstellar distances that I doubt it would reach anyone else out there in a condition fit to read at all, which leaves only the outside chance of picking up a signal that was meant to be picked up, possibly without knowing we were here but just as one of millions of such signals an exploratory race not unlike ourselves sent out in the hopes one would find a listener.

    From our perspective though it may look like an unintelligible block of nonsense. Even aside from the question of our ability to decode the signal, it's entirely possible that cosmically speaking, we are morons. The aliens in question could very well have a bar for intelligence set somewhere above "grasps prime numbers" and send a message directed at the kind of life they'd like to encounter.

  6. To be a theory, it requires at least a small bit of supporting evidence. Currently the only supporting evidence is: Erm, zero. Therefore this is a hypothesis, not a theory.

    The hypothesis is based on the fact that nobody can explain the strange periodic nature of extinction events, which caused a team of scientists more than 30 years ago to propose that one possible explanation could be that such a body existed. At that point in time, our knowledge about our solar system and the nature of planetary systems as a whole, as well as the available data to work with, was just a tiny fraction of what we have today.

    Even the purely hypothetical link to mass extinctions has already been disproven since then:

    "In 2010, Melott & Bambach re-examined the fossil data, including the now-improved dating, and using a second independent database in addition to that Raup & Sepkoski had used. They found evidence for a signal showing an excess extinction rate with a 27-million-year periodicity, now going back 500 million years, and at a much higher statistical significance than in the older work. They also determined that this periodicity is inconsistent with the Nemesis hypothesis." - quoting Wikipedia, referencing this source.

    Also, because the existence of such a body has already been systematically disproven by astronomers with very high confidence, this is not "one of the less implausible" hypotheses, but rather one of the most implausible ones. It would require extraordinary circumstances, ones approaching physics-defying by our current understanding of physics, to have a realistic chance to turn out correct.

    To be sure, when I said "less implausible theory" I meant less implausible than, say, Nibiru, and 'theory' in the sense that ideas like that are typically called "theories."

    Maybe in my desire to be polite I wasn't clear enough about that. I don't think it's any more likely than Atlantis.

  7. Typically the "ultra high end" computing parts will do literally nothing for game type applications. Your dreams would be better served wishing for KSP x64 with multithreading enabled running on a 5960X on full immersion cooling.

    Actually, just having multithreading with any efficiency would likely do wonders, most people with gaming PCs have eight effective cores.

  8. In most cases I would agree with you, but too me at least KPBS is better than some released mods.

    Agreed, I'm impressed by how complete the parts set is and the neat categorization makes it a snap to install this and start building a base and rocket to mail it. Hate it when I have to hunt through every tab to find all the parts on a new mod, most likely to custom categorize them anyway.

  9. Crazy as this sounds, I think a small assembly building would be great. Without using camera mods, trying to make very small probes and rovers with precise part placement can be tricky, nevermind small subassemblies. A really small workshop with much closer camera angles could be great for building such things. Big rovers can still get built in SPH.

    Indifferent on launch point. My "proving grounds" are the launch pad itself, that thing has some of the roughest terrain you could ask for in such a dense area, no joke. Anything that would simulate bad driving conditions better than what you can do there would have to be a full fledged simulator with low g and nonatmospheric settings available, which I also support but that has much broader applications than a rover proving ground.

    A pickup point for missions that require loading kerbals up on the runway would be nice though.

  10. The endless releases about water on Mars, extrasolar Earth twins, etc. get annoying after a while though. And they distract from the cool weird things we find.

    I'm with you there. It's that way with a lot of sciences unfortunately, things get a ridiculous dressing of buzzwords and misleading headlines (is a planet with double earth's mass and surface temps comparable to Mercury or even Venus really earth's identical twin?) so that even things that really are interesting get obfuscated and you suspect every headline is 75% BS. Remember when the Higgs Boson was detected and nobody could shut up with the "god particle" nonsense, to the point that people thought this actually had something to do with religious concepts?

    But that's sadly what brings the money, is it not?

  11. I suspect it's far more because it wasn't obvious until very recently that birds should be included in that clade: no other living reptile has feathers or an endothermic metabolism or can fly.

    Archaeopteryx has been known for a century and a half. Even without detailed cladistics, it's been obvious that birds evolved from dinosaurs for basically as long as we've known about evolution.

    I was only half kidding, by the way. The real reason almost certainly is due to very mundane human interests, or so I've heard from good authority.

  12. What I find particularly odd is the very next decision made AFTER downgrading Pluto, was to say that Dwarf Planets aren't any kind of Planet.

    Why a name like "Dwarf Planet" when it isn't even recognized as a sub-class of a Planet?

    Because astronomers rely in large part on public funding and issuing a press release laden with very precise jargon almost certainly does not bring in the funding dollars.

    If you want a real travesty of terminology, try figuring out why we still use herpetology to cover reptiles and amphibians, but not birds (hint: it's actually because bird lovers hate us dirty herpers :) ).

  13. ah thanks guys, it was my fault, i was right clicking them, so they were acting individually, must check the key bindings doh!!

    Custom action groups are very easy - 1 through 0 exactly as labelled in the action group tab.

    A quick rundown on how it works:

    - Open action group tab in VAB/SPH

    - Click the group you want to add actions to on the menu that opens on the left. You can edit all custom groups plus the default groups like gears and lights if you want to change how those work, or you can use abort as a "free" group as well even on career.

    - Click the part you want to add to the group, and a list of actions it can take will show up. Pick whichever you want. For most parts like landing gear/struts, lights, retractable solar panels, etc, you can choose to "Toggle" rather than adding on/off, which will let you use one key to flip the switch rather than use two keys to turn on and off. There are a few parts with no toggle, and in general people hate that, so hopefully it's fixed in the future.

    - You can add multiple actions or parts to the same group, no problem. Parts added using symmetry mode will normally be grouped and whatever one is assigned, all will do. To make them work individually in the field you can still right click and choose the action manually, they will allow desynching this way if you want that for any reason. Note that typically when you place a part, assign it to an action group, then pick it back up in the VAB and move it (or even place it right back where it was), the action groups will almost always be messed up and need to be reassigned even if they still show up in the action group menu. This is why you should assign your action groups last, after the vehicle is finished, so further design modifications don't bork your whole keyset over and over.

    - The default groups of lights, gear, and brakes will always have all parts on the vehicle that fit into those groups added to them, even if you pick them up and move them around, they are actually hard to bug out, so that's reliable and nice. However, you can also remove some parts from this list if you like - say you want your lander legs to operate with the gears key, but don't want a probe you attached to it deploying its own legs at the same time since that could be a nuisance. Remove the probe's gear from the group, and add them to another group of your choosing if you like.

    - Note that action groups are merged and inherited. If you build a rover, give it action groups, save it as a subassembly, then build a lander and attach the rover to it via docking port, the rover and lander's action groups will merge. The rover's lights and lander's lights will all come on with the lights key, for example. You can avoid this by using non-conflicting keys for each component (ex. 1-5 are lander, 6-0 rover), but if you say, deduct the rover lights from the "lights" group so they don't come on at the same time as the lander's, when you undock the rover and drive it separately its lights action group will be empty. Either assign them to an empty group, or maybe use Action Group Manager mod to let you reassign things in the field so all your vehicles can set their keys as needed.

    - The above applies in reverse too, if you dock a shuttle to a station, the action groups of the two will be merged for as long as they are docked, so make sure the "deploy panels" key on your refueling station doesn't activate "eject cockpit" on your shuttle! :)

    I hope all of this makes sense, I ramble and it's a lot to take in but it's worth knowing it all I think!

  14. What would slower scanner change? You'd time warp for few minutes. It doesn't take a lot of electricity or any other resource, only time. Forcing user to wait isn't fun. Sure, it would be more realistic to wait for few days to complete the scan... but what would it change?

    I find I enjoy ScanSat. Because it has multiple levels of resolution and layers for maps with different angles of view, I think the maps are interesting to build, and seeing them flesh out in anticipation of your prospective landing is satisfying. The rich map and overlay options that fill out in layers also gives some impetus to study the maps and get good understanding of a planet or moon's terrain.

    You get new toys, have somewhat more stringent satellite placement requirements and a time frame for map completion using (relatively) realistic mechanics, and are rewarded with a superior (and again, more realistic) map product that becomes a valuable mission aid rather than an afterthought or something you use exactly once as a prerequisite to scouting an ideal refinery placement.

    Then again I am the kind of guy to think maps are awesome, so there is that. :)

  15. I've never understood why this debate even exists. A rose by any other name, folks. The sun did not become less bright when it was declared a G-type main sequence star rather than THE sun. Science marches on and new terms and classifications have to accomodate that.

    Especially baffling because there's no evidence that astronomers or anyone else has lost interest in it due to the change in terminology.

    We didn't "lose" a planet. We "gained" a whole new class of celestial bodies orbiting our sun, and astronomers saw fit to give expression to their secret love of Lovecraft and GWAR by naming them after death gods. How do you call any of that a loss?

  16. Yeah I've done quite a bit of experimenting with the seaplane skis. I actually think they're an amazing part in general, though I would certainly recommend KJR in general and for...adventurous builds especially. I'm thinking the main source of stress on them in this design is the lateral pushing into the water, the central strut piece is always slightly misaligned when you push in that way, plus I'm riding them at a pretty sharp camber. However they are surprisingly versatile, I've got an extraplanetary seaplane design waiting to be tested off Kerbin and I've got a great design working on a much, much faster amphibious rover that lacks the utility and mountaineering ability of this one but is maybe the most fun thing I've ever driven in cockpit view (using the Mk2 xpac bubble cockpit, just an amazing IVA part, cannot recommend it enough).

    I have a concept in mind for a "Spider" rover that is very lightweight and uses harpoons as you describe and deployable landing gear for use when pulling up rough terrain.

    I must also admit I am planning some changes in how I do Elcano challenges in the future, partly in how I plan and execute them and also, maybe, just maybe, toying with the idea of tossing the idea that it needs to be one rover that does them all, mostly because I am increasingly convinced that while there very well may be challenges even greater than the ice wall in the future (recent scans of Moho have even Jeb kinda worried about that one...of course I must do a polar route there, but have you SEEN that north pole terrain?), what exactly is harder to drive over than a straight wall?

    It also seems like a waste of several hundred hours of quality torture testing for my products to keep putting the same vehicle through the same things. I wanted to become the master of rovers, I'm not sure you get there by doing the same thing ad infinitum.

    Plus I think the albums are much more interesting when they're something like the ice wall than "yay more grassland." Which is also why I'm considering some changes to planning phases - I think I can stop pretending kerbals can't fly and use some scouting. ScanSat views of Kerbin have already shown me I pointlessly drove right past two anomalies already that would have been a great thing to pick up on the way. I'd like doing that, and I have to imagine anyone reading likes the highlights and fun moments more than the "and then I drove there" bits. Actually mapping out a world using semi-realistic methods of satellite technology (the angle of view is really a wonderful mechanic to have included!) feels far more reasonable to me than just consulting a wiki, which I have avoided doing (which is why I've missed some interesting sights, sorry guys!).

    Naturally long hours driving around give me plenty of time to consider how I'd like to do the next one better, and this is what I've been chewing on. Anyone think differently? For example, I am 95% certain that I will do Duna next, not to get too far ahead of myself. I still have not been there despite going much further afield due to long launch windows but one is coming up soon. I'm thinking I will send the rover of course, maybe the same and maybe a different model, an atmospheric surveyor plane that I HOPE will work on Duna (PS Geschosskopf - I read your stuff and love it but often wait until after I try it myself and either succeed or fail, so I'm holding off on reading that Duna flight tutorial until I find out if what I got works, just to see if I have what it takes to design a plane for an atmosphere sight unseen based only on what I predict from the basic information in the info tab, i.e. thin atmosphere, low g), and of course satellite mapping. I feel like that would make for a much richer exploration experience with the Elcano ground drive at the core of it, the impetus if you will for an entire mission setup with multiple components.

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