Long exploration advice please

When you do return to the bubble, either hitch a ride on a carrier or switch to solo.
Ya dont want to loose all the data due to some 13yo kid with a cap pistol
 
This is my exploration Phantom, the Minokawa. It has served me well so far on my most recent expedition. Runs cool, scoops fast, repairs quick (haven't had to use the repair limpets yet, but the AFMU has been used to repair my FSD up from 88% about 4 or 5 times now and still hasn't needed a replenish). She's fast out of supercruise, jumps decently and will take a solid hit if I ever mess up a high G landing. She can even mine me jumponium and can dump fuel for longer jumps (used this once, when I was just barely within range and couldn't be bothered making 2 jumps).

Love this ship.
 
Don't use shields. Just a waste of space. Besides, not using shields can give some extra spice to your journey after rough landings on high g planets or accidental collisions with space crystals. :D
 
If you have spare module slots, fill them with AFMU. There's no weight penalty and any damage you take is shared out over more modules. Turning them all on for repair speeds it up and shares the risk of getting a full one damaged.

I do take shields but never guns and I keep just 2t of cargo space in case some new probe appears in the black. I'd suggest not allowing WD on your route planning, they're much harder to get right (for me at least) than Neutrons. I've also been saved about 30kly out by being able to synthesise jump boost.
 
And one last thing, from personal experiences : don't go through repairs mindlessly when supercruisng, you don't want to see what happens if you try to repair the thrusters or FSD in that situation :LOL:
Spoilsport!

Even after being warned it's something that will probably still happen and is a good lesson to learn.
It still catches me out every now and then.
 
Before you leave: catch Vithigar's Elite Observatory, and get much more info more easily as you fly. Check the Orrery view as well as the flat system map, you get some good surprises. Phantom is great, just don't forget the teabags for long trips.
 
Thanks all for the replies, plenty of food for thought. I should say that I did test out some of the engineering possibilities while making the build (wasting a lot of materials in the process) so although I may tweak it I'm not sure I'll change anything major. I also considered adding a 2nd smaller AFMU and after some of the replies I think I will, as well as a backup SRV. Also, I didn't intend to use NS jumps as to me exploration is about searching for interesting stuff but after watching a video of how to do it I may use it just to help my journey to Colonia.

Some replies below but another quick question first: when encountering a planet with bio or geo locations can they have multiple types spread across them? In my experience each site contains the same thing so it's only worth visiting one to get the codex discovery.

First, I'm not sure you want to Double Brace your powerplant.
The only way to take damage to the PP as far as I know is A) being shot at and B) emergency drops from supercruise, whatever the reason.

Now, you most likely won't get shot at while travelling outside of the Bubble, and the damage from emergency SC exits is a fixed percentage. So more integrity just means you're going to take more damage but the percentage will be the same.
I will look into this, I assumed increasing the integrity would give it a longer life span.

Also what alexzk said, you can save some power by using priorities and simply turning some modules on and off manually.

ie you can power down the AFMUs when you don't need them (and you only need 1 to be powered at a time when you have to repair), and you can turn off the cargo hatch too.
Even better, you can put your SRV bay at the lowest priority. When you land on a planet, the thrusters get turned off automatically, which frees up power for the bay, which will turn on on it's own too (and the other way when taking off, again automatically). So there's no need to ever have to manually power the bay on and off.
As it stands, power doesn't seem to be an issue although I have prioritised some modules: fuel scoop & heat sink at 2, SRV at 3 and cargo hatch at 4. Does reducing power consumption by switching modules off increase the life span of the PP?

PS : Lightweight Life Support
According to Inara I can't engineer my life support until I get to Colonia.

She is going to run hot with an efficiency of .50
You only give up 1 Ly of range to go with a 4A armored/stripped down, and get efficiency down to .35, and leaves enough extra power to go to a 5A AFM without messing with power priorities.
Lightweight the life support gets that Ly back, and then if you feel like it, add a second planetary vehicle hanger for redundancy. If you blow up your scarab, and it does happen, you have a second one. That still has you in the over 65Ly range.
I've not had any heat issues while out and about between engineers. I can happily scoop fuel without overheating and I thought this may be the only time heat will be an issue, or am I mistaken?

And @Safester : the interactive galaxy map on EDAstro is a good place to look. Have fun!

By the way, about the double AFMU stuff: if you have only one AFMU, and somehow manage to break it down to 0% integrity, all is not yet lost. You can do an Emergency Reboot and Repair (see your ship menu) which will bring it up to a couple percents. Sure, it still won't repair itself, but at least it'll repair the other modules then.
Urgh, I've never understood how to use that map but sure the site has some interesting stuff that is sure to help.

Thanks for the AFMU tip, can this be done multiple times?

The PP is G5 overcharged, the Phantom is slightly below average when it comes to heat tolerance in my experience. I actually went above and beyond on mine to reduce the heat (it wasn’t worth it FWIW).
That said, I’d recommend increasing the size of the PP and going for G1 low emissions/thermal spread.

The power distributor is only allowing you to boost every 11 seconds. Not only is this 0 fun it’s also potentially very dangerous if you’re down on planets. Not having the energy to boost at the right moment can lead to an untimely death...
Boosting is almost an inherent part of flying a Krait, there’s a reason why they can boost so frequently, they use it for directional correction...

Your shield strength is also low for a ship as big as the Phantom. You can comfortably push that up with some small shield boosters.

Here’s what I’d change

Ship is 60m/s quicker, can boost twice as frequently and has more than double the shield strength. It’s also much much cooler... Loses just 2ly jump range.
Boosting was an area of concern for me and was one of the things I tested with different class distributors (not PP's) and this is one area where my lack of technical awareness let's me down. I opted for a 2A because I thought I wouldn't need boost much flying in open space. Yes, I will land on some planets but I'm quite comfortable with this as I do take a very slow and steady approach and I don't intend on landing on anything higher than a 4G planet should I encounter any. However, after some crashes and near misses while teaching myself planetary landings you've made me think more about increasing my boost potential.

Shields are another area where I struggle with the technical aspects, I just don't know what numbers are good or bad. I just thought that if my ship's hull mass was below the optimal mass strength of the shield then that was good. Again, I didn't think shields were majorly important in deep space but adding some shield boosters may give some reassurance.

Neutron Stars and White Dwarves will degrade PP. You might also consider fitting a Hull Repair Limpet Controller, although you will need to add storage for the limpets. This might reduce your jump range somewhat, but since the idea is (presumably) to get back in one piece, it's a worthwhile trade-off, imo. The longer you stay out, the more the chance of accidents occurring. Watch out for those high G landings. :giggle:. Good luck and safe travels.
I didn't even consider a hull repair controller, I will look into this and see if it's something I feel required to take.

This is my exploration Phantom, the Minokawa. It has served me well so far on my most recent expedition. Runs cool, scoops fast, repairs quick (haven't had to use the repair limpets yet, but the AFMU has been used to repair my FSD up from 88% about 4 or 5 times now and still hasn't needed a replenish). She's fast out of supercruise, jumps decently and will take a solid hit if I ever mess up a high G landing. She can even mine me jumponium and can dump fuel for longer jumps (used this once, when I was just barely within range and couldn't be bothered making 2 jumps).
Thanks, will take a look at your build later.

Once again, thanks all for taking the time to reply and give advice. I was planning on setting off today but think I'll have to delay that a bit now!
 
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Before you leave: catch Vithigar's Elite Observatory, and get much more info more easily as you fly. Check the Orrery view as well as the flat system map, you get some good surprises.
What's Vithigar's Elite Observatory? Yeah, I always check the Orrery view when navigating a system, mainly for time management reasons.
 
I forgot to say yesterday, but what's the "best" exploration build is quite subjective, though you could probably notice looking at the various answers :whistle:

Personally, I tend to go for the middle ground.
Ergo why I wouldn't put a Class 5 shield + 0A or heavy boosters for example, because a smaller shield and eventually 0E Res Aug + Super Cap (those things are marvelous for non-combat ships imho, cheap, light, low power usage and still give you a decent boost) has been enough to absorb some rough landing on mid-Gs planets in my experience.
Or why I don't follow the PP large enough to power the vital minimum at 40% power "rule" since I don't take a lot of damage to it.

But that doesn't mean those things are wrong, it's just a matter of finding what you're comfortable with between maxing your jump range as much as possible and building the absolute safest exploration ship you can.

I will look into this, I assumed increasing the integrity would give it a longer life span.
Yup, and feel free to tell me what you found out, you sometimes get contradictory answers. Also check about Neutron/White Dwarves, I thought it only damaged the FSD but I'm not 100% sure.

According to Inara I can't engineer my life support until I get to Colonia.
Well, you only looked who could engineer it to grade 5 and yeah, that's Dorn :p
Lori Jameson can engineer it to grade 4 and Bill Turner to grade 3.
It doesn't make a HUGE difference though, but there's basically no downside.

I'm still hesitating about working with Dorn, guy is a creep and his unlock requirements are suspicious.

as it stands, power doesn't seem to be an issue although I have prioritised some modules: fuel scoop & heat sink at 2, SRV at 3 and cargo hatch at 4. Does reducing power consumption by switching modules off increase the life span of the PP?
I mean using priorities and turning some modules off until you actually need them can let you downsize the PP, ofc that's if you don't follow the "40% rule".
And no, PP actually are pretty simple things, basically they take damage from getting shot and emergency supercruise drops and that's it (afaik).
For example they don't take damage when overheating unless other modules (thanks for that, it's the only module you can't repair outside of a station and a dead PP tend to go
boom)

Shields are another area where I struggle with the technical aspects, I just don't know what numbers are good or bad.
Basically, for exploration you're looking at shields that can protect you from a hard landing, which afaik is absolute damage and not kinetic (though that's something else you should double-check). All I can say is that so far an unengineered 3D shield + 3 OE Res Aug was enough to save me from any landing, then again I never smacked a 2g+ planet hard.
Also I need to engineer that shield and a couple of other things, I was in a hurry to leave the Bubble after buying the Phantom :D

I can happily scoop fuel without overheating and I thought this may be the only time heat will be an issue, or am I mistaken?
Again I'm only speaking from my own experience but a Phantom with an unengineered 4A (heat 0.4) never had any issue and it felt like I had a decent margin, it was cool enough imho. That said I'm not sure if neutron boosting affect it more than scooping, the way I went I relied completely on normal jumps.
 
Huh, I thought only the FSD was degraded by those. Are you sure ?
You were right. Last time I checked, being inside a neutron star jet (didn't try white dwarfs, so I just assume they are the same) only damaged your FSD.
Well, unless you drop down from supercruise while in the jet :)

Thanks for the AFMU tip, can this be done multiple times?
Sure. Emergency repair does take off some module integrity from your other modules, but you could then repair those with the now-functional AFMU.
That said, this is pretty theoretical: I doubt you'll ever sustain that much internal damage while exploring that this could become an issue.

Shields are another area where I struggle with the technical aspects, I just don't know what numbers are good or bad. I just thought that if my ship's hull mass was below the optimal mass strength of the shield then that was good. Again, I didn't think shields were majorly important in deep space but adding some shield boosters may give some reassurance.
The higher the better :) Something unexpected will happen to you eventually, and having stronger shields (versus the lightest you can carry) could well be the difference between looking at the rebuy screen or not. It's always a trade-off, of course, but with some engineering, you can usually get quite a lot more shield strength out of your build while not sacrificing much jump range.


Oh, one more thing. Instead of a repair limpet controller, you might want to take a decontamination limpet controller instead. Why? Because some lifeforms in NSPs deal caustic damage if you get too close to them. Sure, you can burn that away by deliberately overheating your ship, but that'll cost you a lot of module and hull damage. (Still better than a destroyed ship, though!) Also, decon. limpets double as repair limpets as well, although not as effective.
Of course, you can always just stay a good distance away from NSPs. Besides, unless you go deliberately looking for them, then in the majority of the galaxy, you're highly unlikely to come across some.
 
I forgot to say yesterday, but what's the "best" exploration build is quite subjective, though you could probably notice looking at the various answers :whistle:
Yes, I understand this. As I said in my first post, I'm quite happy with my build, I just wanted to know if I had missed anything 'obvious' for a long exploration trip.

Well, you only looked who could engineer it to grade 5 and yeah, that's Dorn :p
Lori Jameson can engineer it to grade 4 and Bill Turner to grade 3.
You're correct, I didn't even think about engineering to lower grades. Thanks!

Sure. Emergency repair does take off some module integrity from your other modules, but you could then repair those with the now-functional AFMU.
That said, this is pretty theoretical: I doubt you'll ever sustain that much internal damage while exploring that this could become an issue.
In that case I'll probably stick with the single AMFU.

The higher the better :) Something unexpected will happen to you eventually, and having stronger shields (versus the lightest you can carry) could well be the difference between looking at the rebuy screen or not. It's always a trade-off, of course, but with some engineering, you can usually get quite a lot more shield strength out of your build while not sacrificing much jump range.
'The higher the better' is about the extent of my technical knowledge. The issue I have is to upgrade my shields I'll have to swap out my 6A fuel scoop. I think the scoop will get more 'use' so I'll likely just fit some shield boosters instead.

Oh, one more thing. Instead of a repair limpet controller, you might want to take a decontamination limpet controller instead. Why? Because some lifeforms in NSPs deal caustic damage if you get too close to them. Sure, you can burn that away by deliberately overheating your ship, but that'll cost you a lot of module and hull damage. (Still better than a destroyed ship, though!) Also, decon. limpets double as repair limpets as well, although not as effective.
Of course, you can always just stay a good distance away from NSPs. Besides, unless you go deliberately looking for them, then in the majority of the galaxy, you're highly unlikely to come across some.
I'd never really heard much about these before yesterday, I think I'm going to have to research them a bit. The whole purpose of my trip is to try and see stuff that I won't / don't see in the bubble so I may well go and look for some of these intriguing features of ED and I best be prepared for that.
 
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