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Controls are activated by clicking on the console using the hand cursor. Controls also have corresponding keyboard equivalents. Help about using the hand cursor and a table showing the key commands for this station can be found on the Controls#Engineering_Console page.
Without an engineer console, a spacecraft has a much higher chance of burning up when attempting atmospheric reentry.
The engineer console is most of all used to fine tune the spacecraft's power plant and maneuver drive. If no engineer station is present on a spacecraft or it isn't manned by crew or an avatar, the power plant will have decreased fuel conversation efficiency meaning an increase in fuel consumption, and the maneuver drive will also have worse thrust and turning control meaning that accidents such as burning upon atmospheric reentry are much more likely.
An NPC crewman will manage the engineer console fairly well. As the crewman increase in rank, they will become better at keeping the systems finely tuned.
An avatar will be able to keep the engineer station at optimal efficiency with minimal work.
A spacecraft does not require an engineer console to tune their systems if the volume of its power plant and maneuver drive combined is less than 100m³.
The engineer station is divided into three sections by red lines. The bottom left section contains power plant controls. The top left section contains maneuver drive controls. The right section contains FTL drive controls.
Power Plant Section
The power plant of a spacecraft converts hydrogen fuel into electrical power. Electricity accumulates in the capacitor for ready use by the systems of the spacecraft. The amount of electricity that can be stored in the capacitor is determined by the number of power plant units in the spacecraft's design. The various systems of a spacecraft use electrical power from the capacitor to operate.
The hydrogen fuel level is shown at the upper left of the power plant section as a bright blue bar. The color of the bar changes to yellow or red at low fuel levels.
The electricity level in the capacitor is shown as a horizontal bar at the upper right of the power plant section. The bar is colored bright green when the capacitor is charging. The bar is colored red when the capacitor is discharging. The bar is colored amber when the capacitor is neither charging nor discharging.
A spacecraft equipped with a FTL drive shows a purple bar under the capacitor level bar. The purple bar shows the amount of capacitor power consumed when the FTL drive is activated.
The power switch to turn the power plant on and off is at the right of the power plant section. An indicator light above the switch shows green when the power plant is turned on. While the power plant is on, hydrogen fuel is converted to electricity as needed to keep the capacitor full. Fuel is burned as needed; fuel is only burned to restore power that is used from the capacitor.
A large graph fills the lower left of the power plant section. This graph indicates fuel burn efficiency. Fuel produces the most electricity per unit when the red line is closer to the blue center line. The position of the red line wanders when left unattended. The blue up and down arrows control the position of the graph line. A character's engineering skill level determines the amount of time before the setting begins to wander. When adjusted by a highly skilled engineer, the adjustment holds its setting for a longer period of time.
Fuel burn efficiency is also affected by fuel quality. Higher quality fuel produces more electricity per unit of fuel burned.
Maneuver Drive Section
The maneuver drive can be turned on and off using the power switch at the right of the maneuver drive section. The gravity drive enables a spacecraft to negate the effects of gravity, while the rocket drive does not. When off, the spacecraft will be drawn toward large gravitation bodies, like planets and stars.
A circular gauge at the left of the maneuver drive section indicates maneuver pitch and yaw performance. The spacecraft controls become more sluggish as the yellow dot moves farther from the center. At the center, the spacecraft provides the best response to pitch and yaw controls. The diagonal blue arrows control the position of the maneuver performance indicator. A character's engineering skill level determines the amount of time before the setting begins to wander. When adjusted by a highly skilled engineer, the adjustment holds its setting for a longer period of time.
At the center of the maneuver drive section is a graph indicating acceleration performance. The vertical green trace shows the acceleration performance of the maneuver drive. When the green line is closer to the vertical center line, the gravity drive produces its best acceleration and deceleration. When the green line wanders close to the edges, acceleration and deceleration performance are severely degraded. The blue left and right arrows control the position of the green trace. A character's engineering skill level determines the amount of time before the setting begins to wander. When adjusted by a highly skilled engineer, the adjustment holds its setting for a longer period of time.
FTL Drive Section
The FTL drive can be turned on and off using the power switch at the top right of the FTL drive section. The FTL drive power light glows yellow while the FTL drive is warming up. The FTL drive power light glows green when the FTL drive is ready. The FTL drive settings cannot be changed when the FTL drive is off or warming up.
At the bottom left of the FTL drive section is a button that lights when the FTL drive is ready to be activated and the capacitor has adequate power. Press this button when it is lit to activate the FTL drive. The FTL drive will charge up for 6 seconds before being active. When active, an indicator lights on the helm notifying the pilot of the active FTL drive and its settings.
The FTL drive remains active for 50 seconds. Then the drive cycles through a 6 seconds discharge sequence.
A wormhole drive enables a spacecraft to travel between stars nearly instantaneously. A spacecraft activates its wormhole drive, enters a wormhole, and emerges from a corresponding wormhole in another solar system.
Wormholes always exist in pairs, a positive wormhole and a negative wormhole. A positive wormhole is recognized by its blue and purple colors. A negative wormhole is slightly smaller than a positive wormhole and appears in red and yellow colors.
The button at the top left of the FTL drive section depicts an image of a wormhole. The switch cycles through the available polarities of the wormhole drive; a wormhole P FTL drive only has positive polarity, a PN has positive and negative polarities, and a PNN additionally has neutral polarity. The wormhole drive polarity must match that of the wormhole entered.
The spacecraft will disintegrate upon entry into a wormhole if the drive polarity is set incorrectly.
When the wormhole drive is activated it will be ready for entry into a wormhole. When ready, an indicator lights on the helm notifying the pilot of the ready state of the wormhole drive and its polarity.
The spacecraft must be maneuvered into the wormhole while the wormhole drive is active. The wormhole drive's active end upon entering a wormhole, beginning the discharge sequence after exiting the other end.
The button at the top left of the FTL drive section indicate the selected warp factor. The possible warp factors depends on the installed warp FTL drive module and the available capacitor of the spacecraft.