Meadville Space Center

Project Apollo - NASSP => Programming => Topic started by: Tschachim on April 11, 2008, 07:52:33 AM



Title: RCS progress/status report
Post by: Tschachim on April 11, 2008, 07:52:33 AM
After a looooooooong delay, I finally finished the CM and SM RCS stuff and committed it together with that a couple of additional changes. At first I hope all modules are compiling and working fine with VC6 and VS2005. Since I don't have VS2008, it would be great if someone could re-convert or fix the VS2008 project files, both Saturns need to link the new csmrcs.cpp file.

The RCS is too complicated to describe it in this post properly, I'll do wiki articles for that like for the SPS. In Quickstart Mode there should be no difference anyway, the new checklists and the SECS should do the work for you. In Standard Mode you shouldn't forget to turn on the SM RCS heaters in space and if your propellant pressure drops (or the thrusters aren't working) despite the fact you have about 50% fuel left, you need to pressurize the secondary tanks (switches below the propellant valve switches). Main difference is that you can use almost all RCS-related switches properly, see attached screenshots for some fancy stuff. Please note that neither the SM nor the CM RCS thrusters are working before CSM/LV separation.

I'll post about the other changes in the appropriate threads the next days, in short the following things have been improved, cleaned up or fixed:

  • New CSM default checklists, cleaned up Saturn events, VC6 support
  • Improved IMFD interface
  • Moon's gravity and rotation
  • Basic SECS implementation, pyro power and battery buses fixed
  • Improved abort handling
  • ... and a lot of smaller fixes and enhancements

... and there's a new feature I'm particularly happy about: There are two ways to control the RCS thrusters, by using the RHC or THC controlling the PGNCS or SCS, or by using Orbiter's unrealistic "magic" thruster control with throttable thrusters and these navmodes (killrot etc.). Before these changes you needed a real joystick in order to use the RHC/THC or to use a joystick emulator like PPJoy, which is rather complicated from a user's point of view. Now you can disable Orbiter's attitude control and use the Orbiter controls (keyboard, joystick etc. as you have configured it) as input for the RHC/THC, or in short, you just need to enable one checkbox in the configuration options (see attached screenshot) in order to control the RCS thrusters realistically.  :)

Again, this is just an overview, please keep this thread on topic, i.e. about the SM and CM RCS including the RHC/THC/PGNCS/SCS, I'll post more details about the other changes in the appropriate threads soon, at first I'd be happy if the new stuff is running at all...  :wink:

Cheers
Tschachim


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: movieman on April 11, 2008, 08:41:14 AM
Looks good!


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: Tschachim on April 11, 2008, 08:48:32 AM
Thanks!  :)


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: NoName on April 11, 2008, 09:38:07 AM
Oh oh oh :shock: I can't tell how much news this news is to me :D

This is definitely great stuff! I'll try compiling the latest updates later this afternoon...

Thanks a lot for all your great work Tschachim (as usual...):ThumbsUp432: :ThumbsUp432: :ThumbsUp432:


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: lassombra on April 11, 2008, 11:40:14 AM
AWESOME!

I especially like the orbiter control inputting to RHC/THC :)


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: Tschachim on April 11, 2008, 11:53:02 AM
I especially like the orbiter control inputting to RHC/THC :)

Me, too! But I still wonder if people actually are aware of the differences between using the RHC/THC and Orbiter's RCS control, for example I cannot remember reading a post where someone complains about how unrealistic killrot is...

Cheers
Tschachim


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: bluespace88 on April 11, 2008, 03:28:19 PM
awesome work.  Just had to reactivate the rcs helium and propellant switches, but looking good so far for Apollo 7.


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: lassombra on April 11, 2008, 06:36:39 PM
well, kilrot isn't that unrealistic if you're flying say the space shuttle...  It definitely has it's place.  I'd like to see you do a killrot on a csm though... (of course, we have easy to read rate indications).  Anyways,  looking good, the changes to the saturn events makes sense.

I'll do some testing on the rest of the stuff soon


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: bluespace88 on April 11, 2008, 07:57:12 PM
Just have a small problem getting translation to work.  On my old save, it doesn't work at all, even with Translation control on and both scs and cmc don't have it working.

When I restarted the launch, got up to SIVB sep, and when it did, the CSM would yaw right. I even disconnected my joystick and it'd still did the same thing.  If I was in cmc mode, it would yaw right uncontrollably like a stuck thruster.  Translation control worked, but not left or right.  Rotation worked as well, but didn't require direct power to be on.


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: ryan on April 11, 2008, 08:00:17 PM
Does the command module really vent like that during parachute sequence?


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: bluespace88 on April 11, 2008, 08:04:28 PM
yes it does.  It purges all of it's rcs fuel before splashdown to get rid of the rcs fuel.  Previous versions just activated the thrusters, but looks like it ain't thrusters anymore.  This was because the fuels were very toxic to recovery personal and it is a safety precaution in case there was a leak upon splashdown.


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: movieman on April 11, 2008, 09:14:46 PM
VC2008 is fixed; I presume the checklist MFD project has completely disappeared?


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: lassombra on April 11, 2008, 09:25:45 PM
Yes, it's now part of the PAMFD project


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: bluespace88 on April 12, 2008, 12:01:12 AM
Redid the Apollo 7 launch, deactivated all joysticks (orbiter and ProjectApollo both), and got up to SIVB Sep again.  Hit the button, and then it would start yawing right.  If the CSM was in CMC mode, it would keep on continuing like two stuck thrusters and there's no way to stop it unless you switch to SCS where the rate would take over and override the thruster commands, and then you'd be back to a normal ship.


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: lassombra on April 12, 2008, 12:59:16 AM
was that in vagc or agc++ mode?

if vAGC, it is probably some bad rate signal to the agc that simply wasn't noticed before due to less than complete rcs implementation.

If it's Simple AGC, then I don't know what it is, unless the simple AGC just doesn't know what to do with the new rcs system.


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: bluespace88 on April 12, 2008, 01:04:38 AM
that would be the vAGC version.  I do remember that right yaw on the joystick while in THC mode would mean thrust forward, and that is the only thing I can think of thats causing it.  Not sure which section the commands for the rcs are in the code though.

EDIT: AGC++ has no problems with the thrusters, as it doesn't pulse them upon SIVB sep.


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: bluespace88 on April 12, 2008, 07:25:12 AM
Just to add.  This only affects Apollo 7.  Apollo 8 does not have a problem with yawing right.


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: Tschachim on April 12, 2008, 07:59:37 AM
Thanks movieman for fixing the VS2008 project files!  :)

Hi BlueDragon8144,

thanks for testing, I'll investigate. Could you post/attach a scenario demonstrating the problem, either before or after CSM/LV separation?

Cheers
Tschachim


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: bluespace88 on April 12, 2008, 08:13:22 AM
Let me just run through the checklist again because I just cleared my quicksaves earlier  :oops:

EDIT: Hmm, looks like that was a one time thing.  It's working fine now.


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: Tschachim on April 12, 2008, 10:15:03 AM
I'm not sure if this was a one time bug, there were a couple of bugs like this and they don't happen every time necessarily. But I'm not sure if I understand the problem correctly, you had a stuck thruster at CSM/LV separation without using the THC/RHC and without any joystick enabled? Did you disable Orbiter's attitude control (like in the screenshot in my first post)? You said it only happend with S/C CONT - CMC, did you switch to CMC (AUTO?) before separation? Did you activate the DAP (V48/46) before separation? Sorry for all these questions, but otherwise I have little chances to find anything.

Cheers
Tschachim


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: bluespace88 on April 12, 2008, 10:23:14 AM
I followed the mission checklist, so yes, I did enable the DAP and set up P30 before hand, and I did switch to CMC as it said.  With the joysticks, and disabled all joysticks including removing them from my computer and double checking to make sure all checkboxes were off  I ran tests without them, and, in the project apollo configuration, with the bottom checkbox on, and with the top checkbox on.  Basically, any combination possible with one joystick, and using the same savefile.  I did do another launch, but I used an earlier savefile saved after the prelaunch stuff.

It did not only happen in CMC mode, but it also occurred in SCS mode during sep.  I would try again in each mode.  CMC would have the thruster stuck indefinitely.  The only way to get out of it was to shut the valves, which isn't the ideal solution, or the best way was to switch to SCS mode where the rate limit would take over.

I also did sep under SCS mode, which had the rate limit that somehow stopped the thruster from firing.  Rate was high, but I did test on low and it still occurred.

EDIT: Might want to add if it makes a difference that this was compiled using VC++ 6.0


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: Tschachim on April 12, 2008, 10:45:13 AM
Thanks! One last question: When that happend, did you use a savefile that was saved with a NASSP version prior to my changes yesterday, it doesn't matter if you saved it during prelaunch and continued with it or saved it already in orbit? Or to put it that way, did you use any other scenario unlike the "Project Apollo - NASSP\Virtual AGC\Apollo  7 - Launch" scenario and scenarios you saved AFTER my changes yesterday, beginning from the "Project Apollo - NASSP\Virtual AGC\Apollo  7 - Launch" scenario? I ask because I can imagine very well that older scenarios are broken.

Cheers
Tschachim


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: bluespace88 on April 12, 2008, 10:53:15 AM
I did an entirely new launch after the update.  Did a CVS update, compiled the dll's, and ran the "Project Apollo - NASSP\Virtual AGC\Apollo  7 - Launch" scenario.  Mainly because I had another savefile before the update, but the DAP wasn't working at all and translation only worked using the magic thrusters.


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: Tschachim on April 13, 2008, 08:12:10 AM
Looks like I found it, see attached scenario for an example. If you start this scenario (BEFORE you do a CVS update, it's fixed already) and separate from the LV, you'll have stuck pitch thrusters.

It's not directly related to the separation event, but to the fact that the RJEC (the device responsible for auto RCS firing) in my original update stored the current thruster demand in the scenario. That should be fine, the problem is that a couple of devices, which are demanding these thruster firings, don't save their state properly, in this case the CMC, so the thruster doesn't get deactivated properly. The ECA, which does the job in case of the SCS, doesn't even have save/load functions. Given that I'm not sure if the VAGC would reset it's output channels properly in any case, that there would be a lot devices to fix, that a stuck thruster is really a bad thing and even Orbiter itself doesn't store thruster levels, I decided to disable this feature in the RJEC. I don't thing that this causes any severe bugs, only things like if you store a scenario with the RHC deflected and reload it with the RHC still deflected, you probably need to re-center your joystick and deflect again, but that's hardly a bug, more a feature like Orbiter's "Ignore throttle setting on launch".

Anyway, I hope the problem is solved for now.  :)

Cheers
Tschachim


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: bluespace88 on April 13, 2008, 08:19:31 AM
I wonder if that was my problem, as I'm using a hotas setup where the z-axis is the throttle.  Well, lets hope it's gone for now.  The stuck thruster scenario is almost exactly the same as what I had, except switching to SCS would solve the problem.

The only problem I have left, and I'm sure it's related to my joystick, is that I'm missing sideways translation.

EDIT: Nevermind on that.  I think that was with the old save from before the update.


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: lassombra on April 13, 2008, 08:44:37 AM
yay, that's fixed :)

Ok, I have a few things I'd like to finish before the next beta release concerning the checklist (namely finishing dsky support as I'm REALLY close, and I was thinking also of putting in support to "push" the master alarm button from the checklist as that was done by the old quickstart system) but other than that, we're good to go I think.


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: Tschachim on April 13, 2008, 08:51:11 AM
I wonder if that was my problem, as I'm using a hotas setup where the z-axis is the throttle.  Well, lets hope it's gone for now.

Well, since your original scenario is gone, we cannot really be sure, but basically it happend when a thruster was firing (or demanded to fire before CSM/LV separation) while the scenario was saved, independant of why it was fired (RHC, THC, AGC DAP, SCS etc.), so I'm relatively sure.

The only problem I have left, and I'm sure it's related to my joystick, is that I'm missing sideways translation.

Did you enable the AUTO RCS SELECT A/C ROLL switches?

... and I was thinking also of putting in support to "push" the master alarm button from the checklist as that was done by the old quickstart system...

Ah, I forgot to mention that I did that already, there's a "dummy" MasterAlarmSwitch in toggleswitch handling that, the current CSM default checklist is using that already.  :)

Cheers
Tschachim

EDIT: Typos


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: bluespace88 on April 13, 2008, 09:05:51 AM
yeah I did, but that was an old save made before the update.  I just never checked with the launches made with the current version till now.


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: lassombra on April 13, 2008, 09:22:22 AM
Well fine then, Tschachim, you're just on top of everything aren't you? :P

Anyways, glad to see it's all fixed with the RCS... (goes and plays with project apollo....  Coding?  WHAT? :P)


Title: Re: RCS progress/status report
Post by: Tschachim on April 13, 2008, 09:27:43 AM
Well fine then, Tschachim, you're just on top of everything aren't you? :P

 :D Not really, I just stumbled upon...  :wink: