Supermatter Engine

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Introduction

In comparison to the other three power options, (solars|tesla|singulo), the Supermatter Engine is by far the most complex power method. It is recommended that the engine be checked regularly to upkeep and maintain its top performance. However this engine will provide a surplus of power if done right and offers plenty of tweaking to be done for even the most experienced crewmember.

It's not as complex as it looks.

Aboard the ship, the Supermatter Crystal will be the primary power source. In addition a Supermatter shard can be bought from a station using Cargo when docked to a station, the only difference - The shard can be moved around without ending in a horrible death. Both Crystals produce radiation when inert and will cause hallucinations if stared at. When the engine is inert, the shard will produce oxygen and plasma and heat the atmosphere around it. Without any filter the shard will either explode or turn into a Tesla that will destroy the entire ship and kill all crew subject to it. In addition to the thermoelectric loop, the shard will fuel radiation collectors.

Words of Warning

  1. The Supermatter is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. In any case you should NEVER activate the Supermatter before you're 100% sure that every single step is finished any you are happy with the pipe layout. If you bought a Supermatter Shard from Cargo leave it locked inside of the crate till everything is prepared!
  2. You require safety gear. You'll find a full radiation suit and mesons in the engine room's airlocks - If the engine is on, these are required to protect yourself from both radiation and hallucination. You'll also find hardsuits in engineering that block radiation in the equipment room.
  3. Most of "Setting up the Supermatter" involves a gas loop that is designed to cool down the Supermatter chamber. While not required, please have at least basic knowledge of engineering and atmospherics.
  4. Anything which comes in contact with the Supermatter is fundamentally annihilated. Don't touch it. You should never open the doors to the Supermatter unless there is a DIRE threat to the engine and it cannot be ejected via the mass driver.
  5. The Chief Engineer should know how to set up the Supermatter. Failure to set up the Supermatter by the Chief engineer will result in a note which can lead to a job ban.
  6. If you are the only engineer on the ship and you need help setting up the Supermatter, you can make an adminhelp asking for assistance. Since the round hinges on power, you can expect a quick response from any online staff. If any of them tell you to use hydrogen don't trust them.

Mechanics

The Supermatter is an EXTREMELY unstable crystal with particular properties. Here's how it behaves:

Power

The crystal's power determines how much energy is produced each tick, and also the range and amount of radiation and hallucinations generated. (a 'tick' usually takes around 1-5 seconds depending on server delay)

  • Power decays over time.
  • Hitting the crystal with a non-physical bullet (usually emitters) will increase its power.
  • Power is increased every tick depending on the gas mix. This scales with the gas' temperature.
  • Consuming an object or mob will increase the power by a significant amount, independently from the object's size.
  • Power decay can be lowered or even completely prevented with CO2.
  • Too much power will result in dangerous sideeffects, like arcs of lightning or anomalies.

Instability

The crystal must be kept stable if you don't want it to explode.

  • Stability does not change by itself.
  • The crystal grows unstable if the gas mix is hotter than 310K. It will instead stabilize when it is cooler than 310K.
  • Physical bullets will destabilize the crystal, depending on the damage they do.
  • Large amounts of power will destabilize the crystal.
  • Large amounts of moles will not only destabilize the crystal but also prevent the stabilizing effect of cold gases.

Gas Interactions

Each gas has a different effect when it surrounds the supermatter crystal. The strenght of each effect depends on the percentage of it in the gasmix in the supermatter chamber.


Cold.pngFreon Safety: Extremely Safe

BZ is an extremely cold gas that instantly freezes anything it touches into solid ice. This is perfect for stabilizing an unstable supermatter crystal.

N2.pngN2 Safety: Very Safe

N2 is a good safety gas. It actively lowers the temperature and the amount of waste gases that the supermatter crystal produces.

N20.pngN2O Safety: Safe

N2O reinforces the heat resistance of the supermatter crystal, allowing for much hotter setups than usual.

H2.pngH2 Safety: Normal

H2 Is the only stable gas that has zero effect in reaction to the engine chamber, Its usually a good gas to inject into the cooling line or heating line as it holds heat well without the danger of side-effects.

O2.pngO2 Safety: Dangerous

Oxygen is the gas with the best power/danger ratio. It provides a boost to power transmission without actively increasing the waste gas amount or temperature. It does however count against the safety bonus provided by N2.

Plasma.pngPlasma Safety: Very dangerous

Plasma is very similar to Oxygen but provides a much higher power boost and waste and heat penalty. The extreme pressures and volumes of gas produced by this gas are very likely to clog pipes. WARNING: The roundstart setup can not handle pure plasma setups.

Co2.pngCO2 Safety: Very dangerous

CO2 is a very dangerous gas. In low concentrations, it doesn't do much but after a certain threshold is passed, it will slowly stabilize the internal crystal charge reactions and reduce the amount of power that the crystal loses every second. In high enough concentrations this can raise the internal power to infinitely high levels. Be careful however, since increased power not only increases the amount of heat and waste, but also causes catastrophic sideeffects long before the crystal delaminates.

Gas Production

The crystal produces plasma and oxygen while it's active.

  • Plasma and Oxygen burn if they're hot enough. This will heavily increase the temperature and reduce the oxygen percentage; if not kept under control this can end up destabilizing the crystal.
  • The amount and temperature of the produced gas is determined by the current crystal power.
  • The amount of oxygen is proportional to the temperature of the absorbed gases. Very cold gas input will result in very little oxygen.

Irradiation

The crystal will affect nearby mobs while it's active.

  • The range and power is determined by the current power. Being further away from the crystal also mitigates the effect.
  • The crystal will cause hallucinations to nearby mobs if they're not wearing meson scanners or equivalents.
  • The crystal will irradiate nearby mobs. A radsuit or other protective clothing can negate this effect.

Consuming

Anything that touches the crystal will be consumed and turned into dust. No exceptions. The only way to "safely" transport a shard is to pull it, being careful to not be pushed back into it by someone else.

Collapsing

If the crystal reaches 0% stability, it will delaminate. There are several different events that may happen when the crystal delaminates and they all depend on the state of the crystal during delamination.

  • A crystal in a heavily pressurized gas environment with large amounts of moles will always collapse into a singularity.
  • A crystal that has excessive amounts of power stored inside it will cause an explosion and release several tesla energy balls.
  • A crystal that is neither heavily overpressurized or overcharged will simply explode.

Guides

Basic Theory

A TEG based supermatter engine produces power from heat. TEG Stands for Thermo-Electric Generator. One side will be the "Hot loop" and the other side will be the "Cold loop". Some of these setup have a designated burn chamber where plasma and oxygen can safely burn away from the supermatter. Others will require more creativity though you can just use the heat generated from the Supermatter itself to heat the hot loop.

The Aetherwhisp is the most common map in rotation due to it being the one that is most maintained and loved. This guide will focus on that engine which wont be much of an issue as other maps have that exact engine copy and pasted.

Keep in mind while it may be tempting to add a heater to the hot loop to produce infinite, minimal effort power, admins and moderators are given FULL ABILITY to disrupt your engine. Even if it ends the round. You have been warned.

Gases to look out for

To be honest, all of them are useful in their own right except hydrogen you casual!, you'll mainly be dealing with PlasmaPlasma.png and OxygenO2.png as these are to key to fire.
N2.png Nitrogen will kill your engine output if you have enough of it in the core. This is both a good thing and a bad thing as N2 can help stop an engine from delaminating. As such, don't put this in unless you want less power.
N20.png Nitrous-Oxide is a very useful gas and in some cases better than Nitrogen for stopping a delamination. It increases the temperature tolerance of the crystal. Any core burn engine needs N2O
I use N2O in all of my engines simply because I don't trust you yahoos to be able to keep my engine cool. Also, it's just very helpful. -Altangy
Co2.png Co2 will be created from the flames of your engine. This is both good and bad. Good engineers know that Co2 can improve an engine's output. Bad engineers let it build up and power delaminate. It's a balance.
I find that 50% Co2 is where the engine starts to power delamniate. -Altangy
H2.png It's fine in the cold loop. Bad in the hot loop. We want gas reactions and hydrogen does not have one which limits total power output. Any engine that claims to run on pure hydrogen isn't using the supermatter it's using a room temperature gas.

Scrub or siphon?

Much like the age old debate of space the clown or space the Bridge Officer assistant, to scrub or siphon your core is a question we engineers ask ourselves daily.

What or what? I don't know atmospherics and I'm trying to use an atmospherics based engine!
Siphon pulls every gas.
Scrub pulls selected gases.
Both are settings on your scrubbers. If you don't know what a scrubber is, god help you.

For some it's a question of personal preference. Others have no idea what they are doing. And others use drought setting because they are lazy. If you need a gas in the core then use scrub and filter your gasses as needed. If you don't need a gas in the core then feel free to siphon. In either case you need to make sure your pipe network can handle the load. Scrubbing and siphoning both work at the same speed.

Basic Setup

You skipped everything above just to get the answers here right? If not, there is hope for you. If so, when your engine delaminates everyone is going to blame you.
As of right now I'm too lazy to write this. Will come back later. You should have the information to set up a TEG engine. -Altangy.

Are you from another department and feel like you don't need to know all this stuff? Just want to get back to growing plants and killing monkeys? Look no further.
This guide references the numbered image of the engine room above.

Setting up the pipes

Supermatterftlwhisp setup.png
  1. Set up the vents and scrubbers
    1. Unlock the air alarm (number 8) and click on it to bring up the menu. You need an ID with engineering access to do this.
      • Do not skip this. You already broke into engineering, just go get the captain's spare.
    2. Under vent controls, set all three to "internal" with a target pressure of 0 kPa
      • This will make the vents keep pushing any gas they receive into the engine chamber.
      • Make sure you un-select "external"
    3. Under scrubber controls, for all three scrubbers, check every box except N2O, and set the range to "Expanded"
      • This will let the N2O sit in the chamber and get nice and toasty, while everything else gets moved into the pipes
      • The gas that is scrubbed out is what ends up in your hot loop, providing power when it goes through the TEG
    4. Lock the air alarm when you're done. This will keep anyone else from fiddling with it.
  2. (Optional but highly recommended) Lay down some volume pumps
    1. Find yourself a Rapid Piping Device (RPD)
      • There is one in each atmospherics locker
      • Hacked autolathes can construct them
      • To use, hold the RPD in your active hand and click on it. Find the "volume pump" option and select that.
    2. Replace the straight orange pipe below the SM chamber airlock with a south-facing volume pump
      1. Un-wrench the orange pipe
      2. Use the RPD to make a volume pump there
      3. Wrench in the volume pump
      4. Make sure the red stripe is on the lower end (south). If not, unwrench it and turn it around.
      • From this point on this guide will assume you can wrench pipes and check the directions of pumps without explicit instruction
    3. Replace the gas pumps on the connectors (blue boxes at number 5) with volume pumps, facing the same direction as the pumps you replace
    4. Add two north-facing volume pumps directly beneath the TEG (2), one replacing the straight orange pipe, one replacing the straight cyan pipe.
    5. Optional: Change the RPD to "eat pipes" mode and clean up the spare pipe bits that are lying around now
  3. Remove the digital coolant valves
    • These are the little box-shaped valves that connect the orange and cyan pipes together
    • I will be telling you to fill the cold loop with plasma. Using these to "cool" a delaminating engine will only make the fire bigger.
    • Also cleaning out other gases contaminating the cold loop is terrible and should be avoided.
    • It is not necessary to replace them with anything, but if the unconnected pipes bother you, the RPD can be used to make L-shaped corners to replace the T-shape pipes.
  4. Turn on the filters (number 3, in the green boxes)
    • The one on the purple pipe is set to filter plasma by default. The one on the gray is set to filter O2.
    • Max out the pressure on these to the full 4500 kPa
  5. Go to the top of the engine room, and set the pressure on the gas pump (7, in a blue box) to the maximum 4500 kPa

All your shiny new pumps should be turned on. If you have not turned them on, do so now.

Adding gas

  1. Shove the two gas cans at number 5 in a corner somewhere. We won't be using them.
  2. You will need two cans of plasma (red with a letter P) and two cans of N2O (red with a white stripe)
    • Atmos gas storage is three airlocks south of the engine room.
  3. Add the plasma to the cold loop by wrenching the cans onto the connector attached to the cyan pipes (at number 5).
    • Do not use the can menu to "open" the valve. This will flood the room with plasma unless you've got a smaller can in it to fill up.
  4. Add the N2O to the hot loop by wrenching it to the connector attached to the orange pipes.
    • You should see the white N2O animation fill the engine chamber. If this doesn't happen, something is wrong with your pipe setup.
  5. Verify that the gas meters (small grey-and-green squares) have lit up with a bright green bar and some yellow squares. This tells you there is gas in your pipes.

Start the engine!

  1. Make sure you're wearing meson goggles (found in any radiation locker) if you don't want to hallucinate to hell and back
  2. Open up the emitter port by clicking the top right control button on the SM chamber. The barrier in front of the emitter (4) should open, revealing a window, some neat-looking floor, and the supermatter crystal.
  3. Turn on the emitter by clicking on it. It will light up and start shooting lasers at the deadly radioactive crystal.

Next steps

  1. Set the SMESes.
    • These are the giant batteries that distribute power through the ship.
    • They are located in the upper north corner of engineering - through the equipment room, and up. They're large white things, that look like number 7.
    • As soon as you have 400,000 W of power available to you, you'll want both of these maxed out. If the ship's power demands are not being met, increase the output on these.
      • Do not make the output larger than the input, this will drain the SMES and eventually cause more problems than it solves.
  2. Consider adding more gas to the hot loop
    • I recommend CO2. You can fill some of your empty canisters with it in atmospherics.
    • Two cans of N2O and two cans of CO2 with this setup will average a little above 580 kW. This is a really safe energy level and will not max out the meter on the TEG, but it is enough to run a ship on.
  • The engine room will start to get hot. Bring internals, and maybe a fire suit, as this can be a health hazard if you stand around too long.


Set up the gas loop

  1. Get a spare can of N2
  2. Wrench that can and the one that's already there onto the connectors at the top of the engine room
    • Save the N2O for if there's trouble
  3. Turn on and max out the gas pump to the right, which will start putting the N2 into the rest of the loop
  4. Go in a clockwise circle around the room turning on and maxing out anything that is in the way of the gas flow
    1. Filters that lead to connector ports can be set to filter Nothing. If you need the oxygen and plasma that badly, you should be calling the escape pods, not collecting from the engine.
    2. Make sure to max out the gas pumps leading to and from the heat exchange pipes in space.
      • Do not turn on the bypass pump in between the two space pumps unless the space cooling loop is broken. See the troubleshooting section for this eventuality.
    3. Unlike on /tg/, the filters at the back of the supermatter chamber are for getting rid of waste, not filtering good stuff back in.
      • Set these to filter out plasma, O2, and CO2.
      • You can also filter things like BZ and hydrogen if you like, but these shouldn't ever be in this pipe anyways.
      • Do not filter out N2 or N2O. You want to keep those.
      • Any left-over filters can be set to filter Nothing.
    4. Turn on the digital valve at the northeast corner.
  5. Set the air alarm
    1. For the vents, leave them on External, but raise the target pressure to 5066 (the maximum).
    2. For the scrubbers, set them to filter every gas, with expanded range, and siphon.

Load the radiation collectors

  1. Identify and use the button near the supermatter chamber airlock that raises the blast doors around the sides. You need to be able to walk to the radiation collectors.
  2. Obtain six plasma tanks (the orange rectangle ones, that come out of tank dispensers.)
  3. The tanks as they come are not full. The engine can be run with partially full tanks, but it will not be as efficient. It is recommended that you fill these tanks to maximum capacity first.
    1. Click on a large can of plasma with the small plasma tank
    2. Click on the large can to open its menu
    3. Set the release pressure to max (1013 kPa)
    4. Open the valve
    5. When the loaded tank is full, close the valve
    6. Eject the loaded tank
    7. Repeat for the other five (5) tanks
  4. Take your six (6) full plasma tanks, and load them into the six radiation collectors flanking the supermatter chamber
    • After inserting a tank, click the radiation collector again to turn it on. A purple panel will rise from it and some lights will come on.
  5. You can now close the blast doors again.

Turn it on

  1. If you aren't already wearing a radiation suit, you'll want to put that on now
  2. Verify that gas is circulating through your cooling loop. The gas meters around the whole circle should show that gas is present.
  3. Open the emitter port at the back of the chamber with the button on the front of it.
  4. Turn on the emitters in the back of the room. Two emitters is typically enough to power the ship. Be careful not to get hit by one while going to turn the other on.
  5. Set the SMES.
    • See the TEG walkthrough for more detail on SMESes.
    • On the Ineese, they are located south of the main engineering room, in the Telecomms room.

Troubleshooting AKA Oh god it's on fire what do I do!?

Supermatter Sabotage
The supermatter's in trouble! You should be able to locate where the issue is from the screenshot alone. Here's the answer.

First and foremost

Turn off the emitter(s)! You don't want any more energy in your supermatter until you've solved the problem.
Inspect the gas loop to confirm it is intact and operational.
Check the Meter.pngmeters to quickly ascertain where a problem may lie.
If any of the meters report an unusually high or low amount of gas, then you're close to finding the issue!


Common gas loop failures include:

  • Gas pumps offline.
  • Gas pumps left on default pressure. (Crank them up to 4500kpa!)
  • Gas filters offline. Remember! Filters do not allow ANY gas to pass through if they're turned off! If you don't wish to filter anything, leave them online but set to filter nothing
  • Gas filters left on default pressure.
  • Supermatter chamber vents improperly configured.
  • Supermatter chamber scrubbers not configured.
  • Heat exchange pipes broken. Space dust can slip through the defenses on occasion. Or a traitor may detach a section.
  • Too much gas! If a section has too high of pressure, the gas pumps cannot push anything more into it!

If the space loop is broken:

  • The Aetherwisp has no bypass and freezers are forbidden in the engine room, so your best bet is to put on a spacesuit, remove the window, and go fix the cooling loop.
  • On the Ineese:
  1. Turn off the pump that goes out to the space loop.
  2. Turn on the bypass pump between the two space cooling loop pumps.
  3. Turn off the digital valve at the north-east corner of the loop.
  4. Turn on the gas pump at the north-east corner of the loop.
  5. Turn on both freezers at the north of the engine room, and set them to minimum (73.15 K)
  6. Ensure the gas pump at the northwest is on to allow the now-cooled gas back out towards the vents.

Second

If the gas temperature is too high to stabilize with the cooling loop alone. Unleash the freon Supercooled N2

Third

If the supermatter is delaminating and the gas loop is operational, use an Analyzer.pnganalyzer to check for problem gases in the loop. Someone may have slipped in some carbon dioxide. Double-check the filters to see if they're getting rid of unwanted gases.

And lastly

If all else failed, pray that an Atmosian elder investigates and finds the problem before it's too late.

Sabotaging the supermatter

Want to sabotage the crystal but can't figure out how to pull it off? Here are some pointers and hints:

Please note that since FTL13 is a cooperative server, breaking the engine and thus ruining the power supply is greifing.

General hints

  • You can break the APC of the room to stop all pipes and scrubbers from working.
  • Disable the telecomms APC with the CE console to prevent the supermatter from anouncing its status.
  • Cut cameras near the engine.
  • Instead of turning off pumps and filters, you can just set them to extremely low values instead. They'll still appear to be working.
  • Taking out all the engineers before attempting a delamination helps a lot.
  • Opening a canister of plasma in engineering and igniting it will make it a lot harder for people to fix your sabotage. Even more effective if the radiation levels are high.
  • Keep a flash or EMP on hand. The AI and its borgs are pretty much guaranteed to try and intervene to prevent harm.
  • Stay around and pretend to be helping so you can undo all the repair attempts by other people.

Regular delamination

These are the easiest to pull off and require no special conditions. You'll want to keep the supermatter chamber very hot and full of plasma or CO2.

  • Use the filters near the emitter room to filter out N2 and N2O while keeping Plasma, Oxygen and CO2 in the loop.
  • Pump in pure plasma or burn mix from atmos.
  • Disable or break the cooling array. Deconstructing a single piece of the heat exchanger can be enough.
  • Get rid of engineering's freon supply.
  • Shooting guns at the crystal is extremely effective, but it's likely that you'll end up in the blast.
  • Disable the scrubbers once the chamber is hot enough.

Overcharged delamination

This kind of delamination requires careful gas management but is faster, far more destructive and there's a good chance it will irridiate, burn and shock the engineers who are trying to fix it.

  • Ensure that only CO2 is in the supermatter chamber at all times. Filter all other gases and keep the scrubbers running.
  • Keep the emitters online and firing if you can.
  • Get as much CO2 into the chamber as possible. Larger amounts of CO2 can even compensate for the oxygen and plasma waste.
  • Wear as much radiation protection as you can. Consider bringing some charcoal aswell.
  • Try to keep radiation suits away from engineers, they won't be able to get near the overcharged engine without one.
  • Make sure you are wearing insulated gloves to protect yourself from the lightning arcs.
  • Disabling the cooling is not required. In fact, keeping the chamber cool might help you get more power.
  • The anomalies, gravity pulses and lightning arcs will quickly turn the engine room into a deathtrap. Make sure you have everything set up correctly before this starts happening.

Critical mass delamination

This is by far the most difficult but also the simplest one.

  • Pump in as much gas as possible into the chamber. The easiest way to do this is to disable the pressure checks on the vent air alarms.
  • Reverse the scrubber pump. It's a subtle alteration that might get overlooked in the heat of the moment and will prevent the excess gas from being pumped out.
  • Make sure no gas leaves the chamber. Put up walls, deconstruct scrubber pipes, do whatever possible to keep the gas inside.