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Force a ship to use relay instead of connecting directly?

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I have a rover on Duna with an antenna just barely strong enough to connect directly back to Kerbin. I have a big relay satellite in a tundra orbit around Duna. If Kerbin's not visible, the rover connects through the relay with a pretty good signal (and, I'm using Kerbalism, is transmitting data back at about 200 b/s). When Kerbin comes into view, however, the rover chooses the more direct path and connects directly to a DSN station, with a much lower strength (and about 0.2 b/s throughput).

Is there a method I can use to force the rover to use the relay satellite all the time? Or choose the stronger signal over the more direct one, I guess?

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You can do this with the CommNet Constellation mod. If you're not familiar with it, it allows you to set different frequencies for your antennas to use. Two antennas can only talk to each other if they're using the same frequency (everything uses frequency 0 by default) and relay satellites only relay between different frequencies if they have an antenna for each frequency. DSNs can talk to any frequency, but you can disable specific frequencies so that the DSN won't talk to antennas on those frequencies directly, only through a relay.

  1. Create a new frequency for the rover's use.
  2. Set the rover's antenna to the frequency you created.
  3. Set the DSN to not talk to the rover's frequency. You'll have to do it for the entire DSN, not just the KSC.
  4. Set at least one antenna on the relay satellite to the rover's frequency.
  5. Set the rest of the relay satellite's antennas to frequency 0 (or any other frequency the DSN is talking to).

This way the rover won't talk to the DSN directly whatsoever, even if Kerbin is visible and in range. It will only talk to Kerbin via the relay. Keep in mind, however, that your signal strength won't be as high via the relay because multiple antennas on the same vessel only combine their power if they're on the same frequency and you'll need at least one antenna to communicate with the rover instead of the DSN.

Edited by Fraktal
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