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Lost in Z - help with docking needed

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:41 pm
by Beta Ray
I've had some success docking after reading FAQs and the manual. But there are instances when I can't seem to get my ship properly aligned between the beacon and the station and I think it has to do with my position on the z-axis. If I'm centered aft on the beacon, when I look forward the station is off. I try all kinds of adjustments to place myself in the correct position between the beacon and the station dots on the scanner. Can't do it.

Re: Lost in Z - help with docking needed

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:53 pm
by Tricky
Get as close to the beacon as you dare. Kill all speed and flip 180 and line up your crosshairs with the station docking bay. Attack that station with SPEED. Adjust your approach vector if needed and only start rotating once the docking bay fills the screen.

Watch out for traders exiting as you are docking!

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

Re: Lost in Z - help with docking needed

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:08 pm
by Cody
Tricky wrote:Attack that station with SPEED.
Yep... a fast approach is preferable.

Re: Lost in Z - help with docking needed

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:12 pm
by Neo
Hi

Hmmm, that sound a bit strange - I personally find the final few meters to docking gate to be pretty tough to do at times as the rotation of my ship seems to be screwed up - even the docking computer have problems !

I seem you have a problem with your alignment, well may I suggest that you approach the final few meters to the beacon tilted in such a way that you are able to view it from one of your left side viewport (then stop your ship), because if you can see the beacon in that viewport then the spacestation should be visible in your right viewport and then it's just a matter of turning the front of your toward the spacestation and you're able to make your final approach.

On a personal level then I can say that I actually find the beacon to be a bit annoying as it gets in my way when I try to align my ship for the final approach as I'm used, from the old days, to align my ship with the spacestation to my rear and then flew toward the surface of the planet for a while and then when I found the distance suitable I would turn my ship and then adjust as I got nearer and nearer to the spacestation.

Re: Lost in Z - help with docking needed

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:22 pm
by Cody
There are several ways of doing it - when you become good enough, you should be able to dock from almost any approach angle (even on injectors, if aligned correctly).

Re: Lost in Z - help with docking needed

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:50 pm
by DruidDave
I'm curious whether you're using keyboard controls or a joystick?
I just switched to a joystick after a few years using keyboard control and found that much easier than using a keyboard because you can get finer manipulation of the pitch and yaw control while still maintaining a nice smooth roll. It's easier than driving a car IMHO.

I also find that dependant on the orientation of the beacon and the station on approach (station ahead of beacon on nav array) you can align your approach by looking out the 'side window' (port or starboard view) and once you see the docking aperture come into view slow down (stop if it helps), switch to forward view, turn and head in just under half speed. Saves a little time because you aren't getting so close to the beacon (no risk of impact either) and it's a good way to get a little practice ahead of time for using port and starboard lasers.

The docking computers always seemed a little over cautious to me, I'd use [shift C] most of the time before I switched to joystick control because computer docking was so painfully slow. (But then again I never request docking permission either.....)
I'd bet there are as many different docking styles as there are people docking.

Don't panic too much, the odd crash is inevitable but the docking is fairly forgiving when you get a bit of a feel for it.
Just my few cents worth. :wink:
Cody wrote:There are several ways of doing it - when you become good enough, you should be able to dock from almost any approach angle (even on injectors, if aligned correctly).

Re: Lost in Z - help with docking needed

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:01 am
by Cody
DruidDave wrote:I'm curious whether you're using keyboard controls or a joystick?
I use a 'stick (pitch/roll only), but I do keep my hand in with the keyboard (which got me into trouble recently), as my flight control systems may get damaged one day.

Re: Lost in Z - help with docking needed

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:28 am
by Ranthe
Here's my method (flying as a keyboard jockey):
* Fly to the beacon
* Bring your ship alongside between the beacon and the station and stop so that you align the beacon with the cross-hairs in the applicable side viewer - I recommend slowing down for the last kilometre or so so you don't overshoot
* While stationary, first roll to bring the station in lie with your position on the scanner, then use yaw to bring your ship around to face the station.
* Use pitch and yaw to align with the centre of the station, then proceed to docking.

Tip: If you have SniperLock, locking onto the station (WITH YOUR WEAPONS OFF, OF COURSE) will enable you to align with the centre of the docking port. Only minor adjustments may be required as you approach the station.

Re: Lost in Z - help with docking needed

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:06 am
by Disembodied
You might find Thargoid's Neo-Docklights OXP useful - it places a row of lights from the docking bay to the buoy, which you can line yourself up with.

Re: Lost in Z - help with docking needed

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:12 pm
by Thargoid
Both that and more generally Traffic Control OXP will also give you some guidance for docking. But Docklights is the more appropriate one for final approach.

Both available via the links below.

Re: Lost in Z - help with docking needed

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:52 pm
by Norby
I designed a ship to my little son which can dock without rolling:
Rocket Miner OXP.
Simply fly to the Buoy, stop, turn to the Station and realign to the center of the dock during fly into.
After some practice you can do it at injector speed. :)

Re: Lost in Z - help with docking needed

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:41 pm
by Commander McLane
Beta Ray wrote:I've had some success docking after reading FAQs and the manual. But there are instances when I can't seem to get my ship properly aligned between the beacon and the station and I think it has to do with my position on the z-axis.
It's actually your position on the y-axis, and the issue is the same as with correctly aiming your laser: it's [wp]parallax[/wp].

Your viewpoint is above the centre of your ship (at least that's true for the vast majority of all ships; the exceptions can probably be counted on one hand). Thus you have to "aim" for a point slightly above the centre of the dock. Only then does your ship really roll symmetrically to the station.

How far off your viewpoint is—and therefore how far above the centre of the dock (and also how far above the nav buoy in your rear view) you have to aim—is different for each ship, and is therefore a matter of trial and error, until you have found a satisfying alignment. Note also that front and rear view will usually have a different parallax.

However, most ships (and again that's true with only a couple of exceptions) are "flat" enough that you should be able to dock successfully even when you align your viewpoint with the centre of the dock, and therefore your ship is actually off-centre.

Disembodied wrote:You might find Thargoid's Neo-Docklights OXP useful - it places a row of lights from the docking bay to the buoy, which you can line yourself up with.
Alternatively, the [EliteWiki] Dock Assist System will do the same for you. :wink:

Re: Lost in Z - help with docking needed

Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:59 pm
by Mad Dan Eccles
Cor.

My strategy is simple:
1. Approach nav buoy as fast as possible, with station at 12 o'clock.
2. At the precise distance (to be determined empirically) pull 'up' to find self pointing directly at the dock.
3. Approach as fast as you like.
4. As dock fills screen match rotation, and slow down if nervous.
5. Enjoy a cool beer in the station bar.

Yes, all keyboard.