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Thread: Buckyball Racing Club presents: The A* Challenge

  1. #2041
    Originally Posted by Rankaze View Post (Source)
    I suppose what I should really say is - I think the Anaconda can benefit from it. I wouldn't be shocked if the DBX can, but I also wouldn't be surprised if it can't, and I haven't done the math to see what its jump range in an 8-jump build is. I'm more dubious about the Asp... I know what it's jump range in an 8-jump build is, and I don't think it's enough. I'm pretty sure the Hauler can't, because carrying enough fuel for even four jumps really cuts into its jump range, much less more.
    DBX is more affected, but not by much; it goes from 41.36 theoretical (in reality 41.29) to 37.35. By comparison, Anaconda goes from 41.12 to 37.47. That said, would it work for the DBX? Much of the strategy involved in a DBX run is mitigation - scooping as much as you can while something else necessary is going on, such as charging the FSD. Can you really mitigate while making a long scoop? With a neutron star run, you'd scoop at full speed for awhile when you scoop... but that's going to be a long wait with basically no mitigation. To put it in comparison, with an 8-jump setup, an Anaconda takes 51 seconds to completely fill up from empty. A DBX? 1:56.
    CMDR Hanekura Shizuka - Explorer, Racer
    Expert - Entrepreneur - Elite
    A* Challenge -- Sol to Sagittarius A*. Standard Class - 8:32:01. Unlimited Class - 5:49:35
    Sol to Beagle Point: 15:36:36. Sol to Oevasy SG-Y D0: 15:53:09

  2. #2042
    I'm not sure just how many ships it will work for, but there does seem to be a continual underestimation of just how OP neutron boosting can be. I did a test run in the DBX today and apart from just how crap I am at flying it fast (hats off to you Hanekura for mastering it!) the most surprising result is not that the current record can be beaten but by just how large a margin.

    My test run involved flying out to +5191 on the z-axis so a little more than a fifth of the distance, then re-flying it in a timed run. The route was far from optimal and I lost plenty of time before even getting to the neutrons through not scooping enough fuel on each jump, overheating enough to require repairing the FSD and even hitting an exclusion zone. Total time 91 minutes. This is by far the slowest 5th of the route but even that poor time multiplied by 5 would give 7 hours 35 minutes.

    For me, the real question is therefore not "would neutron boosting beat the current DBX record?" but "could sub 6 hours be possible?"...

  3. #2043
    Out of interest, which do you consider the stock ship least likely to benefit from neutron boosting? IMO, the Conda, DBX and ASP will definitely benefit. The Hauler is a "probable" but would require some finesse to pull it off so perhaps verging on "possible". The others I'm not at all sure about, but if there is a really poor option then I'm happy to attempt to prove that it can benefit or admit defeat!

  4. #2044
    Originally Posted by Allitnil View Post (Source)
    Out of interest, which do you consider the stock ship least likely to benefit from neutron boosting? IMO, the Conda, DBX and ASP will definitely benefit. The Hauler is a "probable" but would require some finesse to pull it off so perhaps verging on "possible". The others I'm not at all sure about, but if there is a really poor option then I'm happy to attempt to prove that it can benefit or admit defeat!
    I would agree with Rankaze that the Hauler is highly unlikely to benefit from neutron boosting. To make effective use of neutron boosting requires having the fuel for multiple jumps, as I understand it, and the Hauler's jump range is very sensitive to the weight of the additional fuel.

  5. #2045
    Originally Posted by drakhyr View Post (Source)
    I would agree with Rankaze that the Hauler is highly unlikely to benefit from neutron boosting. To make effective use of neutron boosting requires having the fuel for multiple jumps, as I understand it, and the Hauler's jump range is very sensitive to the weight of the additional fuel.
    Exceedingly.

    Carrying enough fuel for 2 jumps (standard A* Challenge build) jumps 35.43 ly.
    Carrying enough for 4 puts you at 32.48.
    Carrying enough fuel for 8 drops you to 27.84. Plus you lose your 2A AFMU, leaving you with only a 3A and a 1A. This is problematic when you will be repairing your FSD every 15 jumps or so (I lost at least 1% FSD on every neutron star jump I made in the Hauler when testing).

    I was testing with a 4-jump build and having a very difficult time finding a good route.

    EDIT: Decided not to be lazy and actually look up the 4-jump range.

    Plotting from Sol to Sagittarius A* with a 27.84 ly jump range at various efficiency levels, the lowest number of jumps I've found (in the 780's) is higher than the number of jumps in my record run that didn't involve neutrons. That's before adding fueling jumps.

    When I was testing previously, the best routes I was coming up with from spansh.co.uk even when breaking the routes into segments (which enabled me to use higher efficiency values and get lower jump numbers) and using a 4-jump/32.48 ly build were still 500+ jumps (after adding refueling jumps where needed)... which at a 75-second/jump average comes out to almost ten and a half hours. And even that doesn't take into account several spots I found where spansh.co.uk underestimated the number of jumps required for traversing a segment with no neutrons (sometimes by a third or more).

    It should be noted that I do intend to revisit this at some point when I have time to do so. There have been some changes to the spansh.co.uk route plotter that make experimenting with waypoints much simpler than it was when I was working on it before, so I'll have to see what I can come up with. I do think routes more efficient than the ones I was coming up with before are possible... but whether one that's efficient enough is possible... that I'm more skeptical of.
    CMDR Timothy Knight - Interstellar Swashbuckler - Buckyball Runner - Dangerous | Broker | Elite
    Cortana - Imperial Eagle - A* Challenge Unlimited/Imperial Eagle record 10:06:19 - Mischief Mile Winner (Crazies Div.)
    Joyeuse
    - Imperial Courier (Racing) - Buckyball Run X Winner (Solo/BigX) | BuckyBubble Winner (Top Fuel)
    Haulin' A* - Hauler - A* Challenge Classic/Hauler record 9:35:22
    Durandal
    - Imperial Courier (Combat) | Excalibur - Fer-de-Lance | Almace - Imperial Clipper

  6. #2046
    Spansh is a great tool but it's not really up to the task when it comes to attempting any sort of optimised speed route. Case in point, if I put in the base jump range for my Conda run it gives a route of 208 jumps to which the refuelling stops would need to be added. In reality it took only 140.

  7. #2047
    Originally Posted by Allitnil View Post (Source)
    Spansh is a great tool but it's not really up to the task when it comes to attempting any sort of optimised speed route. Case in point, if I put in the base jump range for my Conda run it gives a route of 208 jumps to which the refuelling stops would need to be added. In reality it took only 140.
    Yeah, I started out just using it to find neutron stars, because I figured out very quickly that it could not give me a good route straight up. Even with that, though, plotting for a 32.48 ly jump range via neutron stars was a very frustrating experience. I got about 3k ly and was so frustrated that I started running projections on Spansh for segmented routes to see "Am I really going to be able to do this in few enough jumps to get there faster?" And the answers were highly discouraging. So that was the point at which I said, "If I keep this up, I am going to burn myself out doing it". Plus, I'd come to the conclusion that the route I had plotted up to the point I was at was not the best route possible, so I was going to have to start over anyway.

    At that point I said, "Yeah, I'm not worried about someone going and breaking my record now, at least not quickly. I'll come back with my alt later and do this a bit at a time." Which I'm still planning to do, but time has not permitted yet.

    There's another factor, too. The more neutron star jumps you make in a run, the more chances there are to make that one fatal mistake. And the shorter your jump range is, the less selective you can be about which neutron stars you use. So the risk of a neutron star run increases dramatically as your jump range decreases.
    CMDR Timothy Knight - Interstellar Swashbuckler - Buckyball Runner - Dangerous | Broker | Elite
    Cortana - Imperial Eagle - A* Challenge Unlimited/Imperial Eagle record 10:06:19 - Mischief Mile Winner (Crazies Div.)
    Joyeuse
    - Imperial Courier (Racing) - Buckyball Run X Winner (Solo/BigX) | BuckyBubble Winner (Top Fuel)
    Haulin' A* - Hauler - A* Challenge Classic/Hauler record 9:35:22
    Durandal
    - Imperial Courier (Combat) | Excalibur - Fer-de-Lance | Almace - Imperial Clipper

  8. #2048
    I think I ought to put my money (as it were) where my mouth is so:

    Intent to race
    Ship: Hauler (name to be supplied)
    CMDR: might be Allitnil, might be my alternate since I'm currently in Colonia
    Class: Classic

    As for the time I expect, well, I do think it will reignite the debate as to whether neutron boosts should be allowed in Classic....

    I would like to do the run this week before the patch, but I've been set back a bit by the closure of the open beta which I was using it to plot the route!

  9. #2049
    Originally Posted by Allitnil View Post (Source)
    I think I ought to put my money (as it were) where my mouth is so:

    Intent to race
    Ship: Hauler (name to be supplied)
    CMDR: might be Allitnil, might be my alternate since I'm currently in Colonia
    Class: Classic

    As for the time I expect, well, I do think it will reignite the debate as to whether neutron boosts should be allowed in Classic....

    I would like to do the run this week before the patch, but I've been set back a bit by the closure of the open beta which I was using it to plot the route!
    I'd back this horse.

    Rankaze, I know you spent a lot of effort on a planning run, but here are my thoughts:

    Assume a jump cycle time of 43 seconds. Assume a Hauler with a theoretical range of 163.39 LYs on a single tank of fuel if you let yourself run almost dry. That's an average of 34.885 LYs per jump for 4 full jumps, plus two-thirds of another jump per tank. If we can assume that an average refueling requires no more than that two-thirds of a jump split between a jump from neutron to scoopable, and then scoopable to neutron, then we can safely say that a tank of fuel takes 6 jumps times 43 seconds equals 258 seconds (or 4 minutes and 18 seconds), plus the time spent supercharging times 4 jumps. My alt's experience with super-charging during a trip to Colonia tells me that I could easily and "safely" supercharge in 60 seconds (on average), giving us a total of 8 minutes and 18 seconds per tank of fuel.

    So how far did we travel in that time? Neutron supercharging is a x4 multiplier, but you obviously can't get 100% of that due to spacing of neutron stars. That being said, 4x distance make the jumps *much* straighter than regular jumps do. So let's assume we only get a 95% distance efficiency. That's an average distance of 132.563 LYs per neutron jump, times 4 equals 530.252 LYs, plus another 23.25 during the refueling jumps for a grand total of 553.5 LYs per tank.

    Without supercharging, the same Hauler with a 95% distance efficiency (to keep it simple) requires 155.22 LYs per tank * 3.57 tanks to go the same distance. 3.57 tanks = 17 jumps at 43 seconds each: or 12 minutes and 11 seconds.

    So we're looking at roughly a 4 minute savings per 0.5 KLY.

    My prediction is that Allitnil is correct and will post a time that is under 6 hours.

  10. #2050
    Originally Posted by Jhyrryl View Post (Source)
    Without supercharging, the same Hauler with a 95% distance efficiency (to keep it simple)
    While I haven't looked at the details, the point of the discussion is that you wouldn't use the same Hauler for a neutron boosted run and a non-neutron-boosted run, you'd run with a smaller fuel tank giving you a greater range (35.43 rather than 32.48 LY). That difference in jump range affects not only the middle period of the run when neutron stars are available, but also the sections at the beginning and end getting to and from the neutron layer.

  11. #2051
    Originally Posted by drakhyr View Post (Source)
    While I haven't looked at the details, the point of the discussion is that you wouldn't use the same Hauler for a neutron boosted run and a non-neutron-boosted run, you'd run with a smaller fuel tank giving you a greater range (35.43 rather than 32.48 LY). That difference in jump range affects not only the middle period of the run when neutron stars are available, but also the sections at the beginning and end getting to and from the neutron layer.
    I thought the point was that Rankaze had declared Haulers to be unlikely candidates to use neutron-boosting to beat the current record, and Allatnil plans to prove otherwise. I was arguing in favor of Allatnil by comparing apples to apples, because I don't think he's just going to beat the current record, I think he's going to demolish it.

  12. #2052
    Originally Posted by Jhyrryl View Post (Source)
    My prediction is that Allitnil is correct and will post a time that is under 6 hours.
    That's somewhat over-egging my expectations! Whilst it would be possible to do the Sag A* distance in under 6 hours if you started 13K from Sag A* and went to a point 13K the other side of it, I can't see it being possible starting from Sol. Or if it is, it would take a much better CMDR than me.

    To put it into context, I had gotten as far as 15K from Sol whilst plotting in beta. The last 4K of which took me just under an hour. That would imply a speed of about 4.5K per hour for the second half of the run (ie 5 hours 45 mins for the 25.9K total). But it is rather slower up to that point and a *lot* slower to start with. Not much, if at all, faster after.

    I had originally been looking at using a 8T fuel loadout, but the full tank range was too low to make use of neutron stars anywhere near Sol and, even if you could, the lack of AFMU capacity would mean you would run out long before getting to Sag A*. I'm now plotting with 6T tanks and even then travelling out some 4.5K before even starting to use neutron boosts. That both gets me to the point where both neutrons and stars in general are sufficiently dense at 1K below the plane (it's just the other side of the inter-arm gap) and also the remaining number of boosts can be repaired with the available AFMU capacity. From my testing, each boosted jump in the hauler takes on average about 28.5 of class A AFMU ammo to repair - hence a 3A and a 2A AFMU only allow 228 boosted jumps to be repaired. I don't expect to need quite that many (current estimate is more like 180) but the Hauler can so easily overheat that I want enough to allow for some mistakes.

    A 4T build might be better. I really don't know. That's actually one of the great things about the Hauler for this challenge. It's all about compromise and there is no single obvious loadout that beats the others. At least not until someone tries with the optimal one and shows the deficiencies of the the rest . TBH, I'm not sure about the other ships, but 8 jumps feels about right for them in a way that it clearly doesn't with the Hauler. It's been a very long time since I've piloted this ship and whilst it's not one I would opt for general use, I do think it presents a very good challenge for long distance speed.

    To help set expectations, I do expect to be able to post a time that cannot possibly be beaten in a stock Hauler without using the neutron boosts and by quite some margin. A really good run might beat Alot's Conda time. But sub 6 hours? No, sorry, not going to happen!

  13. #2053
    Originally Posted by Allitnil View Post (Source)
    That's somewhat over-egging my expectations! Whilst it would be possible to do the Sag A* distance in under 6 hours if you started 13K from Sag A* and went to a point 13K the other side of it, I can't see it being possible starting from Sol. Or if it is, it would take a much better CMDR than me.

    To put it into context, I had gotten as far as 15K from Sol whilst plotting in beta. The last 4K of which took me just under an hour. That would imply a speed of about 4.5K per hour for the second half of the run (ie 5 hours 45 mins for the 25.9K total). But it is rather slower up to that point and a *lot* slower to start with. Not much, if at all, faster after.

    I had originally been looking at using a 8T fuel loadout, but the full tank range was too low to make use of neutron stars anywhere near Sol and, even if you could, the lack of AFMU capacity would mean you would run out long before getting to Sag A*. I'm now plotting with 6T tanks and even then travelling out some 4.5K before even starting to use neutron boosts. That both gets me to the point where both neutrons and stars in general are sufficiently dense at 1K below the plane (it's just the other side of the inter-arm gap) and also the remaining number of boosts can be repaired with the available AFMU capacity. From my testing, each boosted jump in the hauler takes on average about 28.5 of class A AFMU ammo to repair - hence a 3A and a 2A AFMU only allow 228 boosted jumps to be repaired. I don't expect to need quite that many (current estimate is more like 180) but the Hauler can so easily overheat that I want enough to allow for some mistakes.

    A 4T build might be better. I really don't know. That's actually one of the great things about the Hauler for this challenge. It's all about compromise and there is no single obvious loadout that beats the others. At least not until someone tries with the optimal one and shows the deficiencies of the the rest . TBH, I'm not sure about the other ships, but 8 jumps feels about right for them in a way that it clearly doesn't with the Hauler. It's been a very long time since I've piloted this ship and whilst it's not one I would opt for general use, I do think it presents a very good challenge for long distance speed.

    To help set expectations, I do expect to be able to post a time that cannot possibly be beaten in a stock Hauler without using the neutron boosts and by quite some margin. A really good run might beat Alot's Conda time. But sub 6 hours? No, sorry, not going to happen!
    Fair enough...in my back-of-napkin math I'm not accounting for the run up to, or departure from the neutron fields. I was mostly establishing that for the vast majority of the trip, while in the fields, it should be very feasible to go much farther in significantly less time.

    On another note, you said "below the plane", but wouldn't be more optimal to go above since the upper fields start closer to Sol? At least, I thought they did?

  14. #2054
    Nope, nevermind about the upper fields. The map I was looking at was presenting me with an illusion.

  15. #2055
    Originally Posted by Jhyrryl View Post (Source)
    I'd back this horse.

    Rankaze, I know you spent a lot of effort on a planning run, but here are my thoughts:

    Assume a jump cycle time of 43 seconds. Assume a Hauler with a theoretical range of 163.39 LYs on a single tank of fuel if you let yourself run almost dry. That's an average of 34.885 LYs per jump for 4 full jumps, plus two-thirds of another jump per tank. If we can assume that an average refueling requires no more than that two-thirds of a jump split between a jump from neutron to scoopable, and then scoopable to neutron, then we can safely say that a tank of fuel takes 6 jumps times 43 seconds equals 258 seconds (or 4 minutes and 18 seconds), plus the time spent supercharging times 4 jumps. My alt's experience with super-charging during a trip to Colonia tells me that I could easily and "safely" supercharge in 60 seconds (on average), giving us a total of 8 minutes and 18 seconds per tank of fuel.

    So how far did we travel in that time? Neutron supercharging is a x4 multiplier, but you obviously can't get 100% of that due to spacing of neutron stars. That being said, 4x distance make the jumps *much* straighter than regular jumps do. So let's assume we only get a 95% distance efficiency. That's an average distance of 132.563 LYs per neutron jump, times 4 equals 530.252 LYs, plus another 23.25 during the refueling jumps for a grand total of 553.5 LYs per tank.

    Without supercharging, the same Hauler with a 95% distance efficiency (to keep it simple) requires 155.22 LYs per tank * 3.57 tanks to go the same distance. 3.57 tanks = 17 jumps at 43 seconds each: or 12 minutes and 11 seconds.

    So we're looking at roughly a 4 minute savings per 0.5 KLY.

    My prediction is that Allitnil is correct and will post a time that is under 6 hours.
    As noted, for a non-neutron run, you would not run that build. You would run a Hauler with a half-sized fuel tank (a two-jump build) that jumps 35.43 ly per jump. If you want an accurate picture, compare an optimal build to an optimal build.

    On my record run, I averaged ~45 seconds per jump over 767 jumps. I am convinced at least two or three more jumps can be trimmed from that (galaxy map filtering allows the use of a more direct route than was previously practicable, plus there was at least one flaw in my existing route that I am aware of which added a jump). I'm also convinced that on that run I had at least two or three minutes' worth of mistakes and bad hyperspace times. Assuming the 44.6s avg/jump that I have found is attainable in the FdL is also attainable in the Hauler post 2.3, sub 9:30 is possible (765 jumps * 44.6s).

    To do that with 75/s jumps (again, borrowing the commonly-thrown-around figure), you'd need a neutron route of 454 jumps or less. I was unable to find such a route. If Allitnil can find one, so be it. He has more time to look than I do, and more experience at working with neutron stars.
    CMDR Timothy Knight - Interstellar Swashbuckler - Buckyball Runner - Dangerous | Broker | Elite
    Cortana - Imperial Eagle - A* Challenge Unlimited/Imperial Eagle record 10:06:19 - Mischief Mile Winner (Crazies Div.)
    Joyeuse
    - Imperial Courier (Racing) - Buckyball Run X Winner (Solo/BigX) | BuckyBubble Winner (Top Fuel)
    Haulin' A* - Hauler - A* Challenge Classic/Hauler record 9:35:22
    Durandal
    - Imperial Courier (Combat) | Excalibur - Fer-de-Lance | Almace - Imperial Clipper

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