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  1. #1
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    Hornet - Flying Mining Rig



    Ok, so is it just me, or is this one of the stupidest, hardest things to not only build but to get airborne?
    This one works. It flies like looks, which is to say, not that grand, but it does fly and it does land, and it doesn't fall over when I turn the blades off, but... forget flying in 1st person view, unless you want your lunch to fly too. Even in 3rd person it rocks more than a retiree at a home.

    I'm open to suggestions to make it less stomach-churning in flight. I've tried large air blades too, and there's a reason there are small ones on here! Needless to say I got very tired very fast of stripping it down and rebuilding it every time it fell over, flipped over, or would only fly upside down.

    Also it seems attaching a blade to the rear, rotated 90 degrees provides neither lift nor steering, so I let that idea go too. Speed and turning is not a problem for this this, so I can live with that, but balance... it does eventually settle into something resembling level flight though, after about 3 minutes.

    Master Builders, what say ye?

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    Senior Member Vrmithrax's Avatar
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    It's a good start, similar to some of my first flyers actually. I found that spreading the fans out and up a bit really helps with stability - it can seriously reduce the "vomit comet" dipping when you are flying in first person.

    You can also get a little crazy with some fan arrangements and pivoting too - Like my experimental Scorpion flyer that I made, which has 3 sets of fans on hinges, with the balance set to bias forward to make it run faster than it would normally go with static fan mounts. It also feels like stability is improved.




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    The wider you set your fans, the more stable the craft will be. This goes for front-to-back as well as side-to-side. It doesn't have to be extreme, but putting those blades out three to five blocks away from the main body of your flying craft, will make it handle MUCH better in the air.

    So, I went and built a flying mining rig (and I dunno why I never thought of that before, myself!). It's solar-powered, with three panels (750W of charge in full sunlight), and thirteen batteries (20 minutes of 1300W storage capacity). There are eight Small Air Blades - three held four blocks out to each side, and one held diagonally out on each corner, all centered on the structure. Cargo is in two "blocks"; attached (with three T-conveyors) to the Mining Rig are ten Compact Containers, giving plenty of room for ore collection ... and there are three compact containers attached to the front of the cockpit, to act as a sort of "trunk" for carrying supplies - food, water, etc. (And also to balance the craft out better, it was a tiny bit ass-heavy). There are two lights forward, one let, one right, one aft, and two down (important for landing at night!!).

    Power is routed with three switchboards, all at the back - and everything is color-coded. BROWN requires no power, and has no switch. GREEN is the power supply - solar panels and battery. This connects to each of YELLOW (the air blades) and RED (the mining rig). You can fly somewhere (draining batteries even in daylight, though not fast), land, turn the fans off, switch the mining rig on, and voila, your batteries will charge while the rig collects precious ores. Almost 130 stacks of ores, even. (and 36 spares, if you want to manually move some to the forward compartment).

    ...

    Most importantly, this thing is absolutely rock-solid stable. It can manage just over 50kph (as the screenshot below shows), almost perfectly level. Sharp turns, decelerations, gaining or losing altitude .... nary a wobble nor a bobble in any of it.

    flying mine rig.jpg

  4. #4
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    Interesting. Never tried hinges on air blades. Hinges tend to be difficult enough to work with due to their tendency to flop around when you're trying to attach things, and I get a bit fatigued building scaffolds and riggings to hold things in place while I try to build. Then let's not forget about the curious way PN splits things up, and I've lost count of how many things have fallen apart because of a hinge, rotator or other active block.

    But spreading the blades out seems like a pretty reasonable approach I can certainly look into to make this less of a hurl-inducing ride. I will say though, it's DARNED handy, especially at the base I built it at, as resources are fairly scarce (Prarie Biome near the equator, carbon is gold, gold is iron, and iron is platinum around here!)

    -

    Pax: I dunno why you never thought of it either - as I said, it's incredibly handy! I also have a flying deuterium vacuum (medium-sized flier with a large deuterium reactor, water pump, refinery and med bay). It is stable, but fitting a large deuterium reactor on anything is somewhat of a feat! Whoever put the connectors on the far ends was a sadist ;-)
    Last edited by Indigo; 25-04-2018 at 03:01 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Vrmithrax's Avatar
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    Yes, the flying mining rig is an awesome tool when resources are spread out.

    I had a large container based mining rig system that I built using the large fans, with a smaller scout that rode on its back, and it was glorious. Not fast at all, but being able to fly to a location, set that bad boy down and start churning materials, and then zip around in the scout to do other things in the area was very handy. Keeping that little flyer stable on the back of the big beast during flight was quite the challenge, though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrmithrax View Post
    Yes, the flying mining rig is an awesome tool when resources are spread out.

    I had a large container based mining rig system that I built using the large fans, with a smaller scout that rode on its back, and it was glorious. Not fast at all, but being able to fly to a location, set that bad boy down and start churning materials, and then zip around in the scout to do other things in the area was very handy. Keeping that little flyer stable on the back of the big beast during flight was quite the challenge, though!
    My Prowler mobile base has a little flyer that rides with it - the Kite.



    To keep the Kite in place, I have a little back retaining wall, and a pair of railing in front of it. Fits perfectly, stays where I put it (mostly - sometimes it jiggles a bit and ends up with part of the nose on the rail, but not much of an issue), has 3 medium boxes for storage chained together, and clips along around 40-some kmh. Batteries and solar panels to keep it charged.

    Like most of my designs, it also uses multiple switchboards - one to connect the batteries and solar panels, the other to run the air blades. Turn off the blades when not in use and let the batteries recharge. I also have it tied into the Equipment switchboard on the Prowler, to allow the nuclear reactor under the Prowler to charge the batteries at night. It's actually pretty cool the way electric connections will re-establish themselves when leaving and re-entering the range of a switchboard.

    There's also a wireless connector under the front of the Prowler so I can pull up to a remote mining site, park in front of it, hook up and load up on materials. I'll have to get an underbody shot of the Prowler to show off some of the rigging - it's quite clever really.
    Last edited by Indigo; 25-04-2018 at 03:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrmithrax View Post
    Yes, the flying mining rig is an awesome tool when resources are spread out.
    BCP Labs has a system where they build mining stations,a nd have containers they can _pick up_, and move about, with a flying vehicle.

    So, now ... I'm going to combine the two - build a movable platform with a mining rig built right in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by _Pax_ View Post
    BCP Labs has a system where they build mining stations,a nd have containers they can _pick up_, and move about, with a flying vehicle.

    So, now ... I'm going to combine the two - build a movable platform with a mining rig built right in.
    Yep, I've seen that. Been tinkering with a method to create a roof-mounted crane that can pick up a large storage container, turn and set it down to connect to wireless conveyor connectors for a while now. The release of motorized rotators and hinges will make this infinitely more possible. My current method of using "captive" blocks, hinges, rotators, and wheels is just terribly clunky and prone to glitching apart at random. Winches, while more suited, lack anything resembling gentleness, and are prone to "fling" large cargo containers considerable distances. The "claw-machine" method is only slightly less reliable than an actual claw-machine, and tends to drop containers at least as often as it picks them up, and the occasional game stutter can cause them to fling containers just as wildly, though the "claw-machine" style lifter IS a little more feasible - Just use a couple sloping blocks at the ends of the "claw" and some sloping blocks on the edge of the cargo box, and when in position the sloping blocks do open the claw and gravity does close it, causing it to "catch" on the edges. It's just the lifting that's really a problem. Turning is easy enough - a pair of wheels set to opposite directions work wonders.

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    Senior Member Vrmithrax's Avatar
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    I've built a few "modular" big container units with some weird pickup mechanics as well. I may have to try out making them a self-contained mining system now!

    Whenever I mess with them, I always seem to go back to wishing my magnetic coupler suggestion would come true. A simple quick dock system for pickup and delivery of modules would be extremely useful.

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    I just quick-tested a module (in Creative) with two large containers, hanging a pair of solar panels and two dozen batteries off one end, and the mining rig (via conveyors) off the other. Gave it some soft-suspension legs just to make it more amenable to gently-variable ground, slapped some slights on it to make it easier to find, and used my existing 6-large-blade Lift Flier (just lengthening the pickup-fork to fit the new module), and it lifted and flew just fine. Set it down, and the legs compressed to exactly the right height to hold the mining rig's feet on the ground, without the whole module tipping (and adjusting tension to "fit" to specific terrain wouldn't be too big a deal IMO).

    So, if you can get the resources together to build these, they can certainly work. 200 stacks of cargo, on a completely autonomous "pod" carried by a flier of reasonable speed .... yeah, definitely doable.

    The concept has the advantage of being flexible, in terms of what you need to mine at any given time. Also, since it's self-powering, you don't ever need to get out of your Mover when arriving at a new mining site. After the initial survey work, to FIND the site, anyway. Which means even if you need to park it right next to a Godillo nest ... ... perfect safety!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Vrmithrax View Post
    Whenever I mess with them, I always seem to go back to wishing my magnetic coupler suggestion would come true. A simple quick dock system for pickup and delivery of modules would be extremely useful.
    BCP uses the Conveyor Connector, but those're expensive in terms of Resources. The pod would still need one, so your base can draw from it when it's brought back "home" - but you wouldn't need to build additional Connectors at each mining substation, in order to connect the mining rigs to your cargo space - the rigs would be built in to that cargo space.

    It'll need some thought as to which is easier to build lots of - Connectors, or Mining Rigs.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Vrmithrax's Avatar
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    Yah, I love those conveyor connectors, been using them like crazy since they introduced them. The magnetic coupler idea is more of a "docking" mechanism, to allow you to latch onto a container for moving it, then disconnect when it's in place. Useful for this type of modular "drop ship" type of system, easily hooking up trailers for towing, etc. It would eliminate a lot of excess structure (and weight) that you sometimes have to build to make a system for carrying modules around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrmithrax View Post
    Yah, I love those conveyor connectors, been using them like crazy since they introduced them. The magnetic coupler idea is more of a "docking" mechanism, to allow you to latch onto a container for moving it, then disconnect when it's in place. Useful for this type of modular "drop ship" type of system, easily hooking up trailers for towing, etc. It would eliminate a lot of excess structure (and weight) that you sometimes have to build to make a system for carrying modules around.
    I suggested a simple "Electro-magnet" block. Turn it on, it "sticks" to another block. Turn it off, it's no longer stuck.

    Also a fan of the Conveyor Connector, and the only real "expense" there is in the Quantum Parts - 2 per connector, and those are made from Xaenite.. which fortunately for me, my current location is rich in Xaenite, Gold, Silver, and Uranium. Iron and Carbon on the other hand are a bit of an adventure, I am starting to wonder though if it might not be more workable to use hinge blocks to build a sort of lever-actuated "spring-trap" to secure a large cargo container, where the mass of the container is sufficient to press down onto a hinge-attached block and close the trap around it for transport... just one more reason why we need motorize rotators and hinges lol and one more reason I love this game.

    It's LEGO you'll never step on in the dark, and an endless supply of self-created puzzles to solve.

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    Using winches for a crane won't work. I tried that - well, for a "forklift" rather than a crane, but still.

    Turns out, the vehicle itself gets hauled around - Winch physics are ALL kinds of LSD-trip wierd.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Vrmithrax's Avatar
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    A little love on winches could make them very effective and useful for motion and mechanisms. Having modes on the winch (forward/reverse and braking/neutral) would at least let you have some control over the forces being exerted on the machinery at any particular moment.

    But that weird physics thing is a real pain to work with, as _Pax_ indicated. The forces are calculated in a very odd way that I sometimes can't understand - it is obvious that they were built for a single function (pulling a car out of a hole or flipping it over), and the real interactions of physical bodies beyond that wasn't too much of a consideration up front. They were a means to an end, helping keep our wheeled vehicles moving around the environment. But they could be soooooo much more!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrmithrax View Post
    [...] it is obvious that [winches] were built for a single function (pulling a car out of a hole or flipping it over), [...]
    A function that will become obsolete, once we have Motorized Hinges and Rotors. We'll be able to build our vehicles with self-righting mechanisms.

    OTOH, I just had a silly idea for an "any-which-way-is-up" vehicle that I'm tempted to try out ... lemme get some dinner, and I'll be back here with some photos.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Vrmithrax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Pax_ View Post
    A function that will become obsolete, once we have Motorized Hinges and Rotors. We'll be able to build our vehicles with self-righting mechanisms.
    Exactly right. Even more reason to add a little additional functionality to the winch, so it becomes a relevant and useful component beyond the limited capabilities now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by _Pax_ View Post
    Using winches for a crane won't work. I tried that - well, for a "forklift" rather than a crane, but still.

    Turns out, the vehicle itself gets hauled around - Winch physics are ALL kinds of LSD-trip wierd.
    Believe you me, I totally get it. Tried using a winch when I built a trailer because I needed to lift it to move the axles, and wound up launching the truck, trailer and all into multiple flips into the air for several hundred meters before it finally landed on the ground - let triggering an upside down mouse-trap. Amusing in hindsight, not so when it happened.

    However, with a winch attached to a building, attached to the ground, it hasn't launched any vehicles for me when they have detached cargo containers (Build a large container on a single square armor block, just above the bed of a vehicle, then delete the single block so the container falls onto the bed, and you're good).

    But the force of the winch does yank the container really hard, and has caused it to fling off, breaking the winch cable and land a good distance away - not the intention.

    For real fun, make a second save file, build a small, square platform, unattached to anything, put a switchboard on it, build four tall columns around it, at least 1-2 blocks away, put winches on the inside top of each column, attach the winches to the shackles on the four corners of the platform, connect the switchboard to each winch and turn off the switchboard. Turn on each winch so they're ready to activate, connect the switchboard to a battery, stand on the platform and turn on the switchboard.

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    Ladies, Gentlemen, and other Sophonts .... I happily give you ... THE CRAZY IVAN.

    Which way is up? Which way is down? Why, ALL of them, at the same time!!

    ... seriously, first-person view makes this the worst vomit-comet I've ever seen. But in third-person, eh, so you're rolling down a hill .... just keep drivin', man, there's ALWAYs four wheels on the ground.

    (Disclaimer: not responsible for the consequences of nose- and ass-dives down deep potholes. Do not eat before driving.)

    Crazy Ivan.jpg

  19. #19
    Senior Member Vrmithrax's Avatar
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    Haha wow that is deja vu, I built something a bit like that to try to make an "untippable" vehicle when I first started playing (and promptly flipped my rig multiple times, back when the winch was worse than it is now).

    Just a little note: If you put a rotor on the front center of the chassis, and mount the back of the cockpit to that, then make sure to weight down the bottom of the cockpit, you will always be facing the correct orientation when the vehicle rolls.

  20. #20
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    I give you The Hercules Mobile Mining Craft:



    After several iterations, re-positioning air blades, I retired the Hornet design, and remodeled it into a quad-mining, large air bladed quad that is not only vastly more stable, produces much higher loads, and features a conveyor coupler for easy transfer of materials, it also does not rock, shutter or shimmy in flight.

    Seen here, it fits nicely on the roof of Outlook Station - the nighttime views are spectacular here, and there's an interesting alien wreck in the back yard.

  21. #21
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    My version of a mobile mining rig.
    Each corner has two blocks then an upside down solar beacon on it. That gives a bit of light and stops wobbles when landing.
    20180427092600_1.jpg

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