Technology question

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 2, 2016 - 11:33pm
This has probably been brought up at least once, but why, if SF technology can manipulate mass and inertia to slow down bullets can't it generate AG fields for spaceflight?

Seems to me the only answer so far is "then it wouldn't be Star Frontiers", which I think is a bit silly.

I mean, that's the game as it exists.  I get that.  And  yes, the feel radically changes if AG gets into it, but whey then did they have inertia screens to begin with?  Or albedo screens for that matter (bending light through fields).

Curious to see what you all think.
Comments:

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 3, 2016 - 1:41am
And on that same token, how come the game doesn't have Inertia or Albedo screens for ships? You know, in lieu of the exteremely limited supply of ICMs and the -10% chance to hit Reflective Hulls/can only coast in a straight line Masking Screens?

Personally, I feel that the Traveller concept of gravitics/inertial compensators requires a lot more than their hand-wave exlanation, especially for a game that gets overly technical with ship movement a la vectors. The SF system is simple: acceleration yields gravity, lots of acceleration yields lots of gravity, no acceleration yields no gravity (due to perpendicular to axis deck arrangements). Decks parallel to main axis requires a bit more, since acceleration yields a pulling force toward the aft while at the same time the gravitics keeps you pulled "down" to the deck, yet this somehow isn't a factor in such settings...somehow the gravitics negates that, and without an explanation. Now if this were D&D, we could get away with claiming "magic"...but that's not the case, we need something that at least seems physically possible and for that there is no answer.




DISCLOSURE - in my younger days of SF the bulk of my ships were decks parallel w/gravitics. As I matured I reverted back to traditional KH/decks perpendicular.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 3, 2016 - 1:54am
Of course it must be pointed out when both Traveller and SF were written, our understanding of physics was much less than it is now.  With the confirmation of the "Higgs' boson", it becomes easier to justify AG at least as a concept.

Tollon's picture
Tollon
April 3, 2016 - 2:24am

We grew up watching Star Trek and watching them being tossed about when something hit or stopped the ship.  And inertia dampers, are a must for any ship traveling at the speed of light and beyond.  Those sudden stops at the end of each jump, they're killers.

Gravtronics, allow for gravity to exsist on a ship.  They lessen the impact aceleration on the body and allow for normal movement.  But you do want to be strapped in during combat and high G manuvers.  The effects are still going to be there.  One thing they never explain about shield tech in any Sci-fi setting: For every action there is n oposite and equal reaction part of physics.  The energy from the blast, explosion and or weapon's fire is going to be transmitted some where?  Therefore, your ship has to be bounced off course. (went off course there myself)

Classic arguement between my brother and I.  He wanted ships to travel at Light Seconds, and I told him no because of the G forces would kill you if the interia dampers when off line.  Talk about the arguements we had, that was one of them.

I figure traveller got it about right, 6 G maxium so if the gravitronics went off, you still have a chance at with standing the g-force.  I think the threshold is 12 g and everyone is pasted out.

AG is a bit Handwavium, a bit science.  It just depends on what model you use.

 

Me, Trek hybred on the lower end with a bit more realism thrown in.


Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 3, 2016 - 2:51am
Tollon wrote:
 And inertia dampers, are a must for any ship traveling at the speed of light and beyond.  Those sudden stops at the end of each jump, they're killers.

Which is not an issue in SF, where jumps occur at 1% of light speed and last a few seconds in the void prior to gently decelerating to drop back into "real" space.

Also complete hand waving, but then again so is the concept of hyperspace in Star Wars and warp drives in Trek. ;)

Quote:
I figure traveller got it about right, 6 G maxium so if the gravitronics went off, you still have a chance at with standing the g-force.  I think the threshold is 12 g and everyone is pasted out.

Someone here did the math once and IIRC it came out to about 3G per ADF, meaning constantly accelerating at ADF:1 was pretty harsh for most beings and combat maneuvers at ADF:5 would be lethal. I also recall that this is where the model of a 3500km per hex map came to be a more realistic rendition.

SF also mentions strapping in for combat maneuvers or risking damage per turn from being tossed about.

 

Honestly, I never had an issue with decks parallel to main axis, AD adventures were published as such and decks perpendicular didn't occur until the KH rules were published (re: Serena Dawn/Omicron, the crashed Hepplewhite Inc ship, etc)...and even with KH rules there were ships rendered as such (the Sathar scout ship comes to mind). Simply put, as I matured I just wanted to read an explanation as to how they worked. Not vital for me, but for some players it could be more of an issue...such as Chris' players who wanted more realistic firearms (not to pick on Chris, just citing an example of a player that might want something more realistic/detailed/explicable). Simply put, for an atmospheric capable ship I probably wouldn't mind reverting to gravitics, but for a space-only ship decks perpendicular would be invoked over gravitics every time.

I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Tollon's picture
Tollon
April 3, 2016 - 6:30am

A strange thought occurred to me?  I don't like competing field working at the same time, that why my universe is tame compared to Star Trek.   I know, Star Trek  say they got gravitic floor plates. on each deck, so gravity is constant.  So now you got 100's if not 1000's of these little generators purring along.  Syncing the puppys would be a nightmare in itself.  Maybe, just maybe, Spelljammer got it right? 

Maybe there is only one grid and it is on the lowest part of the hull?  Just a crazy thought, to explain why you can walk around the outside of space ship without falling off.

Antigrav and gravtronics are a part of science fiction.  I use it my stories and I like the idea in princple.  I know it has it problems and pit falls. but hey if you got one of those "want more detail types/don't play well with other" types in your group.   Just tell him to do the math,/research and when we reach that velocity he dies of a heart attack, because we just beat the laws of physics.  Your character is now death.

Here is his options.

 You have two choices: you can either roll a new character or wake up in a cold sweat.  Your choice?

Now play nice... :)


JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 4, 2016 - 5:13am
May I ask a few more technology questions?

What is the rate to recharge a parabattery or a power clip or beltpack? I know the cost is 1 Credit per SEU, but I don't think there are any rules covering it.

Should there be a quick charger? Maybe 100 SEUs/minute?
A slow charger? 10 SEU per minute? That would take 100 minutes to recharge a 1,000 SEU parabattery, but the cost of the charger would cost a lot less.

How much down time does a robot need and how often?

Would most robots have a range of 1,000 kilometers? Would that equate to 100 hours of operation?
Joe Cabadas

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 4, 2016 - 5:22am
^There are some minimal rules available, basically in terms of SEU generated/hour.

http://starfrontiers.wikia.com/wiki/Power_Generator

Take the SEU/Hour figure and divide by 60.  take the number of SEU you want recharged and divide by that.

That's if you're doing it yourself with a stand alone generator.  I would assume if you walked into a power supply center that used city/station power you could have it done in minutes regardless of size.  In fact, many power stores would probably just take your drained/partial drained one and give you a new, fully charged one.  The costs are the same either way so I can see the actual power pack being considered a "freebie".  They're making the money off of charging.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 4, 2016 - 9:05am
ChrisDonovan wrote:
^There are some minimal rules available, basically in terms of SEU generated/hour.

http://starfrontiers.wikia.com/wiki/Power_Generator

Take the SEU/Hour figure and divide by 60.  take the number of SEU you want recharged and divide by that.

That's if you're doing it yourself with a stand alone generator.  I would assume if you walked into a power supply center that used city/station power you could have it done in minutes regardless of size.  In fact, many power stores would probably just take your drained/partial drained one and give you a new, fully charged one.  The costs are the same either way so I can see the actual power pack being considered a "freebie".  They're making the money off of charging.


True, but I was thinking of what characters might have to do "in the field" or if they have their own shop or they need to recharge thier robot or vehicle and the power store doesn't have their size in stock at the moment.

Yar Freerider drove his Explorer into Mo's Easy. It was a small settlement on Laco, basically in the middle of nowhere on the route between Pointe Glass and Davo Bay. The parabattery's indicator was in the red zone thanks in part to the extra cooling he needed for his precious cargo in the back -- 60 kilograms of bacca nut ice cream.

That Yazarian camp leader, Yan-Too-Soon Shea-whatever, really liked the stuff, Freerider thought, but he wanted it kept cold, not soupy. That's really hard to do when the outdoor temps are flirting with 62 degrees Centigrade.

He pulled under the overhang for Mo's Easy Power-Up Store, which provided minute relief from the brilliant rays of Dixon's Star. Getting out of the Explorer, he cranked up the power on his desert survival suit. The suit's miniature chilling fans were working overtime, some whining from dust contamination in their bearings. It's almost time to buy a new suit too, he thought, shaking his head.

Passing through an airlock door, a miniature dust cloud followed him in. The interior seemed nearly pitch black, but it was cool. Oh, so cool.

Freerider stumbled forward, nearly crashing into a table of Vimh. The rodent-like creatures did their little snickering talk to one another and the largest one said to him, "Watch it."

"Sorry," Freerider said, his eyes finally adjusting to the light.

At the counter, a worn-looking service bot waited. He went up to it and explained that his vehicle was nearly out of juice. "So, I need a quick swap," he added.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we are out of the K-975-M parabatteries right now. We've had a run on them from General Shea-Dow."

"Well, how about a charge?"

"Our quick charger is down, sir. But you're welcome to plug in to the meter out back."

"That could take more than an hour," Freerider protested.

"Sorry, sir, but that's the best we can do."
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 4, 2016 - 9:19am
I allow any ship to have a recharging center as part of the energy relay staton located on their maintenance/engineering deck.

Dramune Run sort of etablishes this via the parabattery pack on the Gullwind which "recharges instantly when the atomic drives are fired up". If recahrging a group of ten or twenty parabatteries (I forget exactly how many it was) is instantaneous, then it goes without saying that other power sources can be easily recharged on the ship via a charging station.

Although I think "instantaneous" is a bit much...maybe 1 SEU per turn is more realistic for such a station.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 4, 2016 - 9:23am
Shadow Shack wrote:
I allow any ship to have a recharging center as part of the energy relay staton located on their maintenance/engineering deck.

Dramune Run sort of etablishes this via the parabattery pack on the Gullwind which "recharges instantly when the atomic drives are fired up". If recahrging a group of ten or twenty parabatteries (I forget exactly how many it was) is instantaneous, then it goes without saying that other power sources can be easily recharged on the ship via a charging station.

Although I think "instantaneous" is a bit much...maybe 1 SEU per turn is more realistic for such a station.


Ah, thank you. I thought I had read about recharging somewhere. I have the PDF version of Dramune Run -- unfortunately I gave away all of my original SF materials years ago -- so I'll have to check that. I just wanted to come up with a house rule on how to handle that situation.
Joe Cabadas

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
April 4, 2016 - 8:34pm
It really depends a little on what you think of as the design of the batteries.  If they are capacitive, then they will recharge almost instantaneously once you put a current on them.  If they are some chemical type battery like our current technology it will take longer.  Of course the problem with capacative batteries is that while they can charge instantaneously, a little damage and they discharge just as fast...  Are you sure you're carrying 30 powerclips into combat?  You better hope one doesn't get hit by a stray bullet.

Like Shadow Shack, I too have a recharge station on all ships.  I typically assume that the powerpacks and parabatteries can recharge at the rate of 50 SEU per minute.  So a belt pack in a minute, a backpack in two and a standard robot in 20 minutes.
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ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 5, 2016 - 10:30am
It doesn't take much with the right power sources to generate some impressive SEUs.

A current-day NASA RTG, for example, is rated for 125W per hour.  That's 450 SEU after the math is done and that's with a generator less than 2'x2' that is ~10% efficient.  That's just shy of a Type 1 generator.

The next generation of MMRTG is looking at at least a 25% increase in total output power.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 5, 2016 - 9:38pm
I'd be careful about ruling a 20 SEU clip to be a capacitor vs a chemical battery. It wouldn't take long for a player to pack 30 power clips and  kilo of TD-19 into one big bomb. 

I'm not saying don't do it but rather pointing out there are ramifications.

Of course the danger 30 clips would pose could also be seen as game balance to the high damage output potential of lasers. Suddenly, the continued popularity of slug throwers in a setting with Star Frontiers lasers is understandable. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 6, 2016 - 12:43am
jedion357 wrote:
Of course the danger 30 clips would pose could also be seen as game balance to the high damage output potential of lasers. 

No imbalance there, in order to acheive that "high damage output potentail" one needs to set the laser to utilize one or two discharges per clip. In other words, you'll be spending more time reloading than shooting. If anything, the imbalance stems from canon rules not assigning any mass to powerclips. Unlike 4kg beltpacks or 10kg backpacks, a player can feasibly carry as many powerclips as they want. Still, until you hook that laser to the belt/backpack, you're reloading more than shooting.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 6, 2016 - 12:48am
Speaking of weight.  "Beltpacks" are a misnomer.  Want to know how big of one?  Try hanging 4 large jars of peanut butter from your belt.  That's a bout the same weight as a beltpack.  Those things are HEAVY.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 6, 2016 - 3:33am
ChrisDonovan wrote:
Speaking of weight.  "Beltpacks" are a misnomer.  Want to know how big of one?  Try hanging 4 large jars of peanut butter from your belt.  That's a bout the same weight as a beltpack.  Those things are HEAVY.

Yet 40% of that (20SEU vs 50SEU) weighs nothing while doubling it (backpack vs beltpack) is 2½ times heavier.

Apparently energy storage devices are extremely heavy unless in their lowest form. The canon definitions of equipment mass do leave room for improvement in many ways.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 6, 2016 - 4:57am
Shadow Shack wrote:
ChrisDonovan wrote:
Speaking of weight.  "Beltpacks" are a misnomer.  Want to know how big of one?  Try hanging 4 large jars of peanut butter from your belt.  That's a bout the same weight as a beltpack.  Those things are HEAVY.

Yet 40% of that (20SEU vs 50SEU) weighs nothing while doubling it (backpack vs beltpack) is 2½ times heavier.

Apparently energy storage devices are extremely heavy unless in their lowest form. The canon definitions of equipment mass do leave room for improvement in many ways.


High tech at its best.

Grenades also have a neglible weight so a character should be able to carry a hundred... No?

As a house rule, maybe SEU clips and grenades should be assigned a 0.25 kg weight?

Joe Cabadas

Tollon's picture
Tollon
April 6, 2016 - 6:20am

Background:  The 80's, long time ago, when I was a young puppy, I was soldier and got paid for it.

Observation: A grenade was something like 1 pound, I was allowed six if we went to war.  That's at least what my two brain cells. so that was half a kilo. or .5.

Real life:  Everybody remembers how small cell phones got.  And now they are nearly as big or bigger then when they first came out.  What I'm pointed out is, there is a thing called usablity.  The size and shape of an object and how it feels to the user.  If you find that comfort zone, then your product sells.  If it to big or small, awkward handle, blah, blah, blah-doesn't sell.

Gameplay:  They point out what I just by staying in printed copy "Powerclip: a sturdy plastic box about the side of a ciggarette pack."  100's or short? (sorry, I inserted a joke).  So it's all about usability. ergonomics, whatever you want to call it.  Micronazation is not the concern here.  Because if it was, all your characters would look like Poncho Via wearing two belts that look like cartridge belts for rifle shell, load with small cyclinders which would be your powerclips (there is a wepon here somewhere).  No, your characters look more like Rambo, Black Ops or DOOM. (I hope)

 

 


ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 6, 2016 - 6:44am
1 lb = .453 kg

A full load pack for modern soldiers is ~60-100 lbs.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/call/call_01-15_ch11.htm

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 7, 2016 - 12:35am
JCab747 wrote:


As a house rule, maybe SEU clips and grenades should be assigned a 0.25 kg weight?


I've done that, 5 to a kg for powerclip and grenades. I never really researched what actual weight may be in the way of accuracy, I simply felt the need to assign mass ratings to both for that very reason.


Tollon wrote:
A grenade was something like 1 pound, I was allowed six if we went to war.  That's at least what my two brain cells. so that was half a kilo. or .5.

^^^ {EDIT} multi-quote bug again

Well there it is for the grenades, I had no idea. Based on Hollywood depictions one might think they were akin to baseballs. 
Wink
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Tollon's picture
Tollon
April 7, 2016 - 1:39am

http://www.armystudyguide.com/content/army_board_study_guide_topics/hand_grenades/hand-grenades-study-guide.shtml

hand grenade: 14 ounces  or .4 kilos (rounded up of course.)

Shadow Shack:  And why not made them look and act like a baseball? That would roughly make them .15 kilos. 

I was under the impression that most of the wieght of the weapon was shrapnel.  I could be wrong, but then again, who can say what superdense, light wieght scrap alloy they use for grenades in the future?


ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 7, 2016 - 8:28am
A full Glock 17 normal (ie non-extended) magazine is about .2 KG  You had it right, Shadow. 

A fully loaded Glock is in the 1 kg range. 

A fully-loaded DE .50 is in the 2-2.5 kg range.

An M67 hand grenade (modern US Army issue) is about .4 kg.

The old "pineapple" hand grenade is about .6 kg.

The XM-8 assault rifle is about 3.5 kg.  (Not sure if that is loaded or unloaded).

Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
April 18, 2016 - 7:05pm
ChrisDonovan wrote:
Speaking of weight.  "Beltpacks" are a misnomer.  Want to know how big of one?  Try hanging 4 large jars of peanut butter from your belt.  That's a bout the same weight as a beltpack.  Those things are HEAVY.


You know, that's why when I've drawn depictions of characters with those "Beltpacks" I more or less had them strapped to the leg like in a holster more than on the belt. Of course that character was the team's heavy weapon guy and used a heavy laser, toteing a beltpack on each leg and a backpack. Eventually I had him switched to carrying a gyrojet rifle, which aside from the weight of an actual box magazine there was the space to store the ammo you're then dragging around with you.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.