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Steam Propellers

#71
I haven't tested as extensively, but my own thoughts and experiences generally match Pastor of Muppets' posts. I really only have 2 things to add off the top of my head:

1) I'd like to see the 3m propellor moved to the small gearbox, replacing the 1m propellor. Largely this is a purely selfish aesthetic request on my part - I don't like the look of 1m props, but I can't fit a large engine. But it also satisfies my OCD by having things line up nice and neatly: small / medium / large gearbox for 3m / 5m / 7m propellors. Last, this might alleviate concerns that the 3m propellor doesn't match up to the 5m propellor while needing roughly the same engine to power it.

Edit: Something else that came to mind regarding this point is the question of how often will someone wanting to use 1m propellors - as opposed to larger options, presumably for space reasons - have the room for all the engine bits to drive these propellors?

2) Sort of a tangent, but I'd like to see some adjustments to the wheel/generator combo. This seems to me like a perfect place to use them, since you're building steam pistons anyway. I don't know what the exact mechanics of these wheel/generators are, but anecdotally they seem to provide less battery power, take up more space, yet slow down the shaft as much or more compared to just branching off the steam piping and slapping on a turbine generator.
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#72
I want a clutch component, as well as a way to sense shaft speed. This way I can use ACB/Lua/complexpilotseat to spool up a clutch drop, as a way of partially compensating for unresponsive engines.
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#73
(2018-11-08, 05:47 PM)angdrambor Wrote: I want a clutch component, as well as a way to sense shaft speed. This way I can use ACB/Lua/complexpilotseat  to spool up a clutch drop, as a way of partially compensating for unresponsive engines.

It's sort of there, propeller's responsiveness is separate from engine's. Only needs number adjusting
Makes things.
The fastest thing in the universe is sluggish... Years, decades, centuries from star to star.
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#74
Agreed on adding a 3m propeller to the small steam piston engine. The 1m is just terrible for the cost, size, complexity, and material consumption of that entire setup. If this is done, small engines would have 1m and 3m, medium 3m and 5m, and huge 7m. This seems a reasonable spread.

Currently, the only really compelling reason to use a 3m medium-engine propeller is because you can't fit the 5m under your stern or waterline. The 5m requires roughly the same steam engine. I guess the 3m can get away with one reduction gear, where the 5m needs at least two. That's 4m of length, so I guess it's not nothing.

I did a little messing around with using these for yaw. It's as I expected: they generate a lot of yaw force, but the width requirement is way too much if you expect responsiveness. For yaw, you need fast spin-up times and also need to fit in a fairly narrow width. You can't really pull this off with it as it is now. Remember, you have less than half the width of your ship available because both sides need a prop.

I think the best way to address this would be a differential that takes prop and engine shafts for input and prop shafts at the outputs, because you could then mount a bunch of reducer gears in a line perpendicular to the yaw thrust axis, thereby saving width at the cost of length. The net result would look something like the drivetrain of a front-engine rear-wheel drive car, but the wheels would be propellers and the driveshaft and transmission would be reduction gears. Picture one in the bow and another one, reversed, in the stern. It would be super-effective but expensive yaw control.
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#75
I think steam props shouldn't be used for yaw, nor they should have too good responsibility in any setup. This enables super-spinny-dodgy giant battleboxes, which is worst thing possible.
Makes things.
The fastest thing in the universe is sluggish... Years, decades, centuries from star to star.
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#76
If you're willing to put up with a single block of asymmetry, you can use the whole width of the ship for your yaw drivetrain. This of course has even less responsiveness than spinblock based antijitter devices and large rudders, so you'll have a bit of PID tuning to do, and I don't think the AI will handle it at all. I don't think it's game wrecking, but I do think that second order target prediction is badly needed, for this and other reasons.

Really, when I think of steam steering, I think of putting my whole propulstion on a spinblock, which I think devolves into wacky folding battleships, which are hilarious.
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#77
Yeah, you could do one drivetrain on top of or next to the other, but that's less than ideal. You end up lopsided, potentially throwing the ship out of balance a bit--remember, steam props generate very large forces--and you still can't fit it in a really narrow bow. The proposed differential block would solve all of this.

You can trick the AI into handling it through complex controller stuff and ACBs, something like:

Left stern prop/right bow prop: forward thrust on G, reverse J
Right stern prop/left bow prop: forward thrust on J, reverse G

ACB1: On order to yaw left, send complex control G
ACB2: On order to yaw right, send complex control J

Well-balanced spin-up times would largely prevent super twitchy ninja dodger battleships. Remember steam props are not instant like standard props are.
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#78
Oh, and what about 5m propeller for huge set? For consistency and aesthetics.
Of course it needs different model than large variant, same as 3m small needs different model than 3m large, and ideally each size should have it's own model. (I think I can even make the models... )
In terms of thrust, large and small 3m's should not be exact same, i think thrust should rise gradually through all row of sizes. So small 3m is about as more powerful than 1m, as it's less powerful than large 3m.

And still, balance between different variables in steam propulsion needs revisiting. Like, why thrust depends solely on rpm, and power needed to reach the rpm is so much higher than power actually used by propeller so you can ignore latter, and why rpm's are inverted, and why huge boilers build up steam so incredibly slowly, and so on.
Makes things.
The fastest thing in the universe is sluggish... Years, decades, centuries from star to star.
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