Jump stations to charge Zuchai crystals

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BigDogsRunning
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Jump stations to charge Zuchai crystals

Postby BigDogsRunning » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:14 pm

If hydrogen filled "jump bubbles" isn't canon, could you have stations at the 100d point to charge ships zuchai crystals with enough power at the correct power signature for jump, and have ships so powered jump without requiring a bunch of internal tankage for Jump Fuel?

Follow-on issues:

Seems like the inflatable bladders would be the way to go in that environment, given that if a suitable station is in system, you won't need giant fractions of your internal space as fuel, changing the economics significantly.

What would the military implications be. Giant Battery ships pre-positioned to charge fleets on the move?

Jump Stations with giant Solar arrays to harvest free energy. Would construction of these be done by the system itself as part of their local economy? Would this fall under the purview of the 3I, and be granted one of the Megacorps through the appropriate bureau? Would freight lines set up their own charging stations to facilitate their own trade, or would the investment be made solely by for-profit concerns who would charge whatever the market could bear?
phavoc
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Re: Jump stations to charge Zuchai crystals

Postby phavoc » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:18 am

BigDogsRunning wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:14 pm
If hydrogen filled "jump bubbles" isn't canon, could you have stations at the 100d point to charge ships zuchai crystals with enough power at the correct power signature for jump, and have ships so powered jump without requiring a bunch of internal tankage for Jump Fuel?
MGT v1 changed the jump tech to using bubbles, ergo it's canon for MGT flavored adventures using the MGT books. Unless and/or until MGT loses it's license and the material reverts back to MM, it will remain official. Granted the current set of two parallel Traveller gaming universes makes the discussion more convoluted, you need not worry about jump bubbles being un-official. The beauty of gaming is that you are free to swap whatever you choose in and out of your gaming sessions - so long as the rest of your group follows suit. It can be a wee bit difficult to be the ref and say 'we're using warp drives!' and the rest of the group going 'we like jump drives!'.

Under the zuchai drive crystals, your jump fuel was quickly burned (within minutes) to generate a great deal of energy that charged the jump capacitors. The crystals were inherent in the operation of the drive (as was the lanthanum jump grid), however the crystals did not hold the charge. That was where the jump capacitors came in. Which, when coupled with a black globe generator, could be used to absorb energy so that your enemy powered your jump drive for you.

A better option might be using super-conductor cabling from a relatively nearby power source that provided the power and also didn't interfere with the 100D rule.
BigDogsRunning wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:14 pm
Follow-on issues:

Seems like the inflatable bladders would be the way to go in that environment, given that if a suitable station is in system, you won't need giant fractions of your internal space as fuel, changing the economics significantly.

What would the military implications be. Giant Battery ships pre-positioned to charge fleets on the move?

Jump Stations with giant Solar arrays to harvest free energy. Would construction of these be done by the system itself as part of their local economy? Would this fall under the purview of the 3I, and be granted one of the Megacorps through the appropriate bureau? Would freight lines set up their own charging stations to facilitate their own trade, or would the investment be made solely by for-profit concerns who would charge whatever the market could bear?
The bladder issue is kind of addressed with the creation of the drop tank from CT. Though the drop tanks are more sturdy than inflatable bladders, Space is pretty unforgiving, hence the need to protect a bladder inside of a ship.

The first few tournaments were won by ships using drop tanks (and designed by a computer program). Drop tanks can be a bit divisive for players because they can radically change the idea and design of a ship. There have been many a discussion on the board regarding the efficacy of drop tanks vs. internalized fuel.

MGT v2 has added in the tech of accumulators, first introduced in an adventure many years ago. The problem with the alien accumulator tech is that it radically changes the original Traveller concept of ships. You might as well add in warp drives or some other different tech. While there is nothing wrong with it, the universe of Traveller is modeled (somewhat) after the older days of transportation. The first iterations of Traveller made it so frontier refueling was pretty much the purview of the Scouts, and merchant ships picked up their fuel at starports. That's changed a lot, but really most ships just buy fuel at the planet/station since the time delay to fly and get 'free' fuel would offset your cost savings.

Hope that helps some!
BigDogsRunning
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Re: Jump stations to charge Zuchai crystals

Postby BigDogsRunning » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:55 am

phavoc wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:18 am
BigDogsRunning wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:14 pm
If hydrogen filled "jump bubbles" isn't canon, could you have stations at the 100d point to charge ships zuchai crystals with enough power at the correct power signature for jump, and have ships so powered jump without requiring a bunch of internal tankage for Jump Fuel?
MGT v1 changed the jump tech to using bubbles, ergo it's canon for MGT flavored adventures using the MGT books. Unless and/or until MGT loses it's license and the material reverts back to MM, it will remain official. Granted the current set of two parallel Traveller gaming universes makes the discussion more convoluted, you need not worry about jump bubbles being un-official. The beauty of gaming is that you are free to swap whatever you choose in and out of your gaming sessions - so long as the rest of your group follows suit. It can be a wee bit difficult to be the ref and say 'we're using warp drives!' and the rest of the group going 'we like jump drives!'.

Under the zuchai drive crystals, your jump fuel was quickly burned (within minutes) to generate a great deal of energy that charged the jump capacitors. The crystals were inherent in the operation of the drive (as was the lanthanum jump grid), however the crystals did not hold the charge. That was where the jump capacitors came in. Which, when coupled with a black globe generator, could be used to absorb energy so that your enemy powered your jump drive for you.

A better option might be using super-conductor cabling from a relatively nearby power source that provided the power and also didn't interfere with the 100D rule.
BigDogsRunning wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:14 pm
Follow-on issues:

Seems like the inflatable bladders would be the way to go in that environment, given that if a suitable station is in system, you won't need giant fractions of your internal space as fuel, changing the economics significantly.

What would the military implications be. Giant Battery ships pre-positioned to charge fleets on the move?

Jump Stations with giant Solar arrays to harvest free energy. Would construction of these be done by the system itself as part of their local economy? Would this fall under the purview of the 3I, and be granted one of the Megacorps through the appropriate bureau? Would freight lines set up their own charging stations to facilitate their own trade, or would the investment be made solely by for-profit concerns who would charge whatever the market could bear?
The bladder issue is kind of addressed with the creation of the drop tank from CT. Though the drop tanks are more sturdy than inflatable bladders, Space is pretty unforgiving, hence the need to protect a bladder inside of a ship.

The first few tournaments were won by ships using drop tanks (and designed by a computer program). Drop tanks can be a bit divisive for players because they can radically change the idea and design of a ship. There have been many a discussion on the board regarding the efficacy of drop tanks vs. internalized fuel.

MGT v2 has added in the tech of accumulators, first introduced in an adventure many years ago. The problem with the alien accumulator tech is that it radically changes the original Traveller concept of ships. You might as well add in warp drives or some other different tech. While there is nothing wrong with it, the universe of Traveller is modeled (somewhat) after the older days of transportation. The first iterations of Traveller made it so frontier refueling was pretty much the purview of the Scouts, and merchant ships picked up their fuel at starports. That's changed a lot, but really most ships just buy fuel at the planet/station since the time delay to fly and get 'free' fuel would offset your cost savings.

Hope that helps some!
The cable connector from a station was the idea. My recollection is that you need to use the power from the capacitors within 10 min, although given the way that capacitors work, that doesn't really make any sense. I was just thinking a charging station, where ships charge, then they move to a safe distance and Jump. the station doesn't have to be huge, and it wouldn't take long for a ship to reach safe distance.
phavoc
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Re: Jump stations to charge Zuchai crystals

Postby phavoc » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:26 pm

I don't how long the capacitors can hold a jump charge. It was inferred that it was a very short time once it full capacity. And a ship without a 100% charge couldn't initiate a jump.

The issue with a charging station is that the ship making the jump would have to get 100D away from the station and other craft before it's charge failed. The idea doesn't violate any written rule that I'm aware of, but, much like the idea of ships only using drop tanks, it does violate the intent and underlying game mechanics of ship tech and jump travel.
paltrysum
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Re: Jump stations to charge Zuchai crystals

Postby paltrysum » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:27 pm

phavoc wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:26 pm
I don't how long the capacitors can hold a jump charge. It was inferred that it was a very short time once it full capacity. And a ship without a 100% charge couldn't initiate a jump.

The issue with a charging station is that the ship making the jump would have to get 100D away from the station and other craft before it's charge failed. The idea doesn't violate any written rule that I'm aware of, but, much like the idea of ships only using drop tanks, it does violate the intent and underlying game mechanics of ship tech and jump travel.
There's the possibility that the ship's zuchai crystals could be charged by the station remotely (e.g., 100 diameters from the station) using laser arrays, extrapolating from Yuri Milner's laser-powered interstellar spacecraft idea:

https://www.wired.com/2016/04/rich-dude ... -much-ask/
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
Sigtrygg
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Re: Jump stations to charge Zuchai crystals

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:30 pm

Zuchai crystals are not mentioned in MWM jump space article or T5.

They first make an appearance in the CT A:4 Leviathan:
Zuchai Crystal: These crystals form the raw material for a vital focussing element
in jump drives. They are both naturally occurring and manufactured, but
the natural type appear to have longer operating lives. Natural crystals in a raw
state are worth about Cr1,OOO per kilogram.
I would take this adventure with a mountain of salt - after all it includes totally unexplored subsectors adjacent to the Spinward Marches and jump torpedoes.
DGP included them in their jump drive paradigm for MT.
BigDogsRunning
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Re: Jump stations to charge Zuchai crystals

Postby BigDogsRunning » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:35 am

phavoc wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:26 pm
I don't how long the capacitors can hold a jump charge. It was inferred that it was a very short time once it full capacity. And a ship without a 100% charge couldn't initiate a jump.

The issue with a charging station is that the ship making the jump would have to get 100D away from the station and other craft before it's charge failed. The idea doesn't violate any written rule that I'm aware of, but, much like the idea of ships only using drop tanks, it does violate the intent and underlying game mechanics of ship tech and jump travel.
Well, here's the thing about intent. Unintended consequences. Happens with laws and rules all the time. You make a rule, and you define the shape of a thing. I'm not trying to violate the rules, I'm looking for ways to do different things, within the rules. This even stays within the spirit of the rules. I imagine the Vilani wouldn't do something like this. It hasn't been done before. It isn't the way they do things. The Solomani, or the Hivers, for instance. This seems like something they might do.

Back in CT, you could charge your accumulators, zuchai crystals, jump capacitors, or whatever it was called, and had to jump within something like 10 minutes. It takes 633 seconds to reach 1000km distance at Man/1. That would call for a 100km diameter station. (that's no space station...)

You could use a 10km superconducting tether, and start heading out as you near full charge. As soon as you get close to the end of the sprung tether, a signal gets sent to cut current, a second later, the magnetic connection breaks, the tether gets wound back into the station, and off you go to 100d from the station. You could even put a small thruster unit at the end of the tether to keep it from getting tangled as it's drawn back in.

The indicated problem with Drop Tanks just seems like a lot of hand-waving to introduce problems where none should exist. They would have engineered around these issues long ago without requiring super tech to do it. Small thrusters on the drop tanks to send them scudding away from the ship. Why would you need explosive bolts? couldn't you just de-couple them and they navigate themselves back to a fueling station? At TL10? TL12? How much automated stuff do we have now that is engineered to allow a lander to execute a precise sequence to put a lander on Mars?

A Charging Station shouldn't even change any of the economics that much, Jump still requires a week, you still have to get to the jump station to charge and go.

It seems that, based on Canon, this should be quite doable. I'm aware that I can just use it IMTU. What I'm looking for is actual reasons it wouldn't work, or barring that, ideas to improve the concept.
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Re: Jump stations to charge Zuchai crystals

Postby NOLATrav » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:26 pm

BigDogsRunning wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:35 am
The indicated problem with Drop Tanks just seems like a lot of hand-waving to introduce problems where none should exist. They would have engineered around these issues long ago without requiring super tech to do it. Small thrusters on the drop tanks to send them scudding away from the ship. Why would you need explosive bolts? couldn't you just de-couple them and they navigate themselves back to a fueling station?
Still turning the Jump Station/charging idea around in my head but this is definitely going IMTU right now. Can't believe I didn't think of it before!
phavoc
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Re: Jump stations to charge Zuchai crystals

Postby phavoc » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:00 am

BigDogsRunning wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:35 am
A Charging Station shouldn't even change any of the economics that much, Jump still requires a week, you still have to get to the jump station to charge and go.

It seems that, based on Canon, this should be quite doable. I'm aware that I can just use it IMTU. What I'm looking for is actual reasons it wouldn't work, or barring that, ideas to improve the concept.
Charging stations would make a HUGE change to the game. Why? Because ships would no longer need to carry 10% of their Dtonnsage x jump range in fuel. It would drastically change the nature of travel in game setting.

Is that a BAD thing? No, not at all. But the underlying game mechanics are now changing.

I don't disagree with you that there aren't any underlying rules that would fundamentally make it so that it would not work. However, rather than shoe-horn the issue into the game it would probably just be better to replace jump tech altogether and make it more along the lines of say the Star Wars universe, where even small one man snub fighters have the ability to travel in between the stars.

And, as far as putting a lander on Mars, are we talking standard measurements or metric ones? Last time I checked we managed to put a lander under the surface of Mars due to a math foul-up. No tech in the world can prevent humans from muffing something. :)

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