The following page contains content that is not normally seen in FTL13.
Located at the southern (aft) end of engineering in space is the Singularity Engine; a radiation-pulsing, self-contained, miniature black hole - and if you're an engineer, it's your job to activate and maintain it. If you're a traitor, it's a handy body disposal point!
How To Set Up The Singularity
It's really not that hard to set up the singularity properly unless you've had a bad run in with retardation. This guide will assume that you're doing it alone, whether because you're the only engineer that signed up, or because everyone else buggered off like they always do.
The engine is housed inside the station, just south of where you begin off at round start. You'll need some tools to set it up, all of which you can conveniently acquire right in Engineering. You will need:
- Some wires.
- 6 Plasma Tanks, these are located in the Power Storage Room. You can obtain them from the dispenser next to the power monitoring terminal or from Atmospherics.
- Optical Meson Scanner, this is to protect you from stunning if you look at the active singularity.
- Set of internals.
Now that you have your supplies, it's time to get to work! Note that the steps below can be done in any order as you like, as long as you turn the Particle Accelerator on last.
WHAT TO DO:
Late on schedule and the station is out of power? See here. If it's a normal day on the job, continue downwards.
1. Load the Radiation Collectors (Vital!)
The Radiation Collectors are located next to the Particle Accelerator, three on each side. Plasma Tanks may be found in the Tank Storage Unit in the Power Storage Room or in Atmospherics' Office. Place one Plasma Tank in each collector array and then TURN THE ARRAYS ON BY CLICKING ON THEM with an empty hand. Do this for all six collectors, and you should be ready to continue.
The plasma tanks you get from the dispenser aren't full. Luckily, a canister of plasma is located in Engineering Secure Storage, behind the shutters in the Power Storage Room. You could ask the Chief Engineer to open the Engineering Secure Storage shutters from his office, or the AI to do so if the CE isn't present. You could also go bug Atmospherics for one of their canisters if neither is responding.
No matter how you've gotten hold of a canister, load each of your Plasma Tanks into the canister and fill them each with the maximum amount of Plasma they can hold. This will cause the engines to generate a massive energy surplus, allowing you to set the SMES to maximum input, charging them very quickly. In fact, loading these boosted Plasma Tanks into the Radiation Collectors generates enough power to charge ALL of the station's SMES at the maximum input (although additional wiring is required, more on this later). You may also lock each Radiation Collector with your ID so that the AI cannot deactivate them remotely (which you won't notice with the radiation shutters down).
NOTE: While filling your plasma tanks, it is VITAL that you DO NOT open the valve when there isn't a tank attached and that you MAKE SURE TO CLOSE the valve before removing the tank. If you fail to do either of these, you will flood the room with plasma almost immediately and become the laughingstock of the crew.
2. Set up the Particle Accelerator (Vital!)
Now it's time to set up the Particle Accelerator itself. First, wrench each piece in place. Second, wire all the pieces with a cable coil. Finally, use a screwdriver to close all the panels. Click on the console and hit "Scan for parts" to link the console with the actual PA. This is your Particle Accelerator set up!
DO NOT turn the Particle Accelerator on yet or you will release the singularity, tearing up the entire station if you're unlucky.
Outside Engineering (Spaceproof Equipment Required):
3. Start the Emitters (Vital!)
Now that you've gotten everything ready, it's time to start the engine! Run around the singularity area, and turn on the emitters by clicking on them. It's a good idea to start on the port side, as there's a Fire Extinguisher handily floating in space there, and should you slip or hit the emitters, having it in your pack gives you a ghetto jetpack to navigate with. Grab it before you activate the first emitter. Once they're all on, carefully make your way to the inner circle of the area, being sure not to cross in front of any of the Emitters, because you'll get hit by the laser and burned pretty bad.
It is highly recommended to lock each of the emitters by swiping your ID on them, after activating them. This will stop an AI, or anyone without Power-management access from deactivating the emitters.
4. Start the Field Generators (Vital!)
Now that the emitters are on, it's time to fire up the field generators.
Make sure to stay on the outside of the field generators and activate them as you move in a circle through the area. Coming into contact with any of the field generator beams will pop your head like a midget in a microwave and hurl your corpse through the Engineering windows at terminal velocity. It's a good idea to start on one of the inner corners, and do the field generators closest to the windows first, so you don't have to worry about accidentally straying too close while the corner field generators are on. Gens often have a field of effect 1 tile on either side of the beams, so make sure you leave a clear zone around any active field generators, and don't linger too long when you turn them on.
STARTING THE ENGINE (back inside)
5. Fire it up! (Vital!)
Once the field generator beams form a box around the Gravitational Singularity Generator (the round thing in the middle) get back inside the station and head to the Particle Accelerator again.
The Particle Accelerator is used to feed the singularity and make it grow. The larger a singularity is, the more radiation it emits and consequently, the more power the collectors generate. Radiation, however, is very bad for humans, and will cause anything from mutations to fainting if you are not wearing protective clothing and eyewear nearby. As such, make sure to don a Radiation Suit (although a Hardsuit works too) and some Optical Meson Scanners. An engineering hardsuit works in a pinch.
Move over to the Particle Accelerator Control Box and set the output to 2. Leave it this way until the singularity fills a 3x3 area (Stage 3, turning a pink color) -- though if you want to play it safe you can and let it fill a 2x2 area (Stage 2, turning a red color). This should be more than enough to fill the station's power needs. When the singularity reaches this stage, set the Particle Accelerator output to 0 but DO NOT TURN IT OFF. This will sustain the singularity's current size without causing it to turn into a supermassive black hole.
Last of all, hit the button to close all the radiation shutters! It stops radiation from leaking out into the room and chucklefucks from messing with the PA console.
6. Activate the SMES Cells (Vital!)
There are three SMESes located in the room at the far west end of Engineering. Do not ignore this room, or else the singularity will escape early and everyone will hate you, yes, YOU.
Make sure each of the SMESes are set to auto charge, and have the input charge slightly higher than the output. A input/output charge of 200,000/140,000 each will charge the SMES extremely quickly, and ensure the station will always have enough power fed to it. Note that to sustain this level of output, you'll need to have fully filled the plasma tanks from the cylinder in engineering secure storage, and will need to make sure the singularity stays at stage 3. If you can't do one of those two things, setting the SMESes to charge at 160,000 is a safer bet. Watch them for a few minutes to make sure they continue charging. If one or all stops (the light will turn red instead of blinking yellow) adjust one or all a bit to make sure they're not trying to charge faster than the power input to them allows.
After setting them SMESes up, check that they're charging. If it says charging, you didn't fuck up and the station will now receive plenty of power! If you're still the only engineer, you may want to consider setting up the solars to ensure a source of backup power if the engine becomes unusable. This part requires a little patience -- if it seems like nothing is happening, give it a minute and check again. After at least a minute, all SMES's should be going slowly from flashing yellow (loading) to red (not loading), but it's just because the singularity is a little unstable as a power source in the early stages.
Also, make sure the APC of the engine is charging, if it isn't, turn down the SMES charge settings AND make sure all the radiation collectors are online.
8. Babysitting the Singularity (Optional)
Make sure you check back AT LEAST every 30 minutes to make sure that no one's been tampering with the singularity, preferably every 15 minutes and go through this quick checklist:
- Emitters are on.
- Field Generators are on.
- Particle Accelerator's power is on and it's output is 0.
- Radiation Collectors are on.
- Radiation shutters are closed.
- Engineering APC has power and is being recharged.
The singularity is the second most probable reason for a shuttle call, so you have a BIG responsibility of keeping the whole crew safe! Without any interference though, the singularity will behave nicely and be contained for at least two hours without any babysitting. But being the infamous supermassive blackhole, he's a huge star among the enemies of NanoTrasen who wish to completely obliterate the station.
Note: Sometimes the singularity will cause EMP pulses if something is close to it and exposed to its radiation. These pulses can cause weapons to misfire, radios go haywire, thermal goggles to blind people and even disable containment's emitters. Which is pretty bad. So keep an eye on it.
Additional Modifications (Optional & Risky)
It is possible to wire the engines directly to the main power ring. A good spot to do this is to the west side of engineering, near the bolted airlock. Lift the floor tiles and run a wire from there out into the maintenance tunnel and link it to the wire running through there. This allows you to charge APCs directly if somebody disables the SMES in Engineering and keeps the station running in case of a powersink.
The downside to this is that when anyone accidentally gets shocked by an electric grille or an electrified door, they will receive severe damage. Only do this on rare occasions, or never!
Another interesting point is that the APC in engineering will not charge from its own SMES unless this modification is made. Meaning that when the collectors are turned off, containment fails pretty quickly. With this quick modification, this gives you time to notice and fix the problem.
If you added the maximum amount of plasma to the collectors, this modification can generate ~6,000 kW of power for the station. Enough to charge the 3 Engineering SMES and the 4 Solar SMES at 200 kW input. Therefore, run a tiny bit of wire from the maintenance tunnels to each solar SMES, and set them each of them to an input/output of 90,000/30,000. This will ensure massive amounts of power reserves (enough to last hours with the engine off).
It's also possible to hack the PA controller computer. To access the wiring:
- When the PA is setup use a screwdriver on the console
- Click on the console with an empty hand to access the wiring
- Different wires have different effects but the most useful wires can do the following:
- Lock the PA power to 0
- A pulse on the correct wire will toggle the power (useful for a remote signaller to shut down the PA if its going critical)
- Other wires will disconnect the console from the PA (meaning controls do nothing) or increase the PA power on pulsing (useful if you're a traitor)
- Once you've done your hacking close the panel using a screwdriver and then DON'T FORGET TO USE THE CONSOLE AND RE-SCAN FOR THE PARTS. Otherwise it'll remain inactive and will be simply off like during setup.
Video Guide (Oct 2012)
This video will show you how to quickly set up the engine without assistance from other players.
In Case of No Power
No engineers or only lazy bastard engineers and none of them set up the engine? Fear not, follow these steps and you'll see how easy it is to jump-start the singularity even with 0 W power in the network.
- Set up the PA and load the radiation collectors.
- Find the P.A.C.M.A.N.-Type Portable Generator inside Engineering.
- Find a red power wire anywhere inside Engineering and make a knotted wire on top of it.
- Install the PACMAN on the knotted wire, load it with plasma sheets (found in the Engineering Secure Storage) and switch it on.
- Switch the emitters on and they should now start firing! Switch the field generators on while you're out there, too.
- Load a new full power cell to the Engineering APC so the PA gets power (set equipment on and everything else off to preserve power for now).
- Switch the PA on and you're winner!
Turning off the Engine
Occasionally, bad stuff happens. In fact, most of the time, bad stuff happens. Sometimes it is necessary to deactivate the engine as safely as possible because nobody can maintain it. Other times meteor showers and bombs endanger your containment machinery. Whatever the crisis, if you have followed the steps above it should be safe to simply turn the accelerator off. The engine will continue to generate power as the singularity starves and shrinks, so containment SHOULDN'T fail until the singularity is sufficiently small enough that it cannot move and pull stuff into it. However, the 1x1 baby singularity will take a long time to die completely, leaving it exposed to potential suicidals jumping into it, giving the singularity energy to expand again. (Cool fact: Engineers provide a singularity with a lot more energy than you'd expect).
Sometimes it's a good idea to charge the SMES quickly (using the optional techniques above) and then turn off the engine safely until you need power again.
If things have absolutely gone tits up, there's a rumor that the singularity will reduce in size by a few stages if it swallows a Bag of Holding. A full sized rampaging singularity would have to swallow two or more to be completely defeated.
Lord Singuloth Craves Freedom
The singularity is -- along with massive plasma infernos and large scale bombings -- one of the most brutal forces on the station. Dangerous enough when set free, it becomes a lag-inducing, shuttle-calling, indiscriminately murdering monstrosity when given a directed path by a Singularity Beacon, leaving nothing but debris, body parts and cold hard vacuum in its path. Perhaps the most dramatic way to end a round as a traitor, it can even eat the emergency shuttle itself, restricting escape to those few smart or lucky enough to grab EVA gear. It's a very effective weapon to use against assassination targets who commonly spend a lot of time in one area, such as scientists or even the AI.
Setting the singularity free is not the easiest task to complete as a regular crew traitor, and you will get robusted in short order if you are caught. Generally speaking, all you need to do is disable the singularity containment field. This can be accomplished by deactivating the emitters, which is hazardous due to the gravitational pull of the singularity, its radiation, and the hazards of the containment system itself. Alternatively, you can disable the engineering APC. If you are not an engineer and get identified doing this, you can expect to not make it onto the emergency shuttle alive. Another option is deactivating the collectors, as the Engineering APC cannot charge from the SMES -- this form of sabotage probably won't be noticed and will likely be blamed on engineer incompetence.
The easiest way to release the singularity is accessing the engine control console and turning power up to level 2 or hacking it to 3. Keep in mind that the containment field is designed to tolerate short term power outages, so if anyone notices the power failure before the containment field fails, then your attempt will be thwarted. A way to free the singularity without the AI being able to stop you is to go outside and unwrench and unweld the emitters. Doing so will result in them promptly getting sucked into the singularity themselves, and the containment field falling shortly afterword, this method is very dangerous however. A more expedient way of doing so is cutting the power wires leading to the emitters. Protip: Try turning the PA up to 2 for a while until the Singularity gets huge, then turn off the collectors after a few minutes. If the Engineering staff hasn't wired the Singularity straight into the system, it should fail extremely fast and you'll have a 5x5 singularity eating the station faster then Gabe Newell pounces on a Big Mac. Be careful to not get caught in the pull, though.
Directing the singularity to a target area - be it the emergency shuttle bay or the bridge - requires a singularity beacon and a screwdriver. Don't hang around after you plant it, unless you are in the mood to change classes. Putting the beacon somewhere outside the station is usually your best bet to ensuring the singularity reaches its destination, though considered bad sportsmanship, as they are intended to be placed on wires.