Recently, the ACF developers have been active, and have instituted an entire line of ACF engines and gearboxes, in this thread, we'll show you how to properly utilize them.
What is ACF?
For those of you who don't know, ACF stands for Armored Combat Framework. It is a GMod addon that simulates ballistics and steel to form an advanced combat system. It's like GCombat, only more realistic. ACF has also been publicly available for quite some time; it's no longer exclusive. Links will be at the end of the post for serverside and clientside downloads.
Down to business:
Ok, so the thread is about engines and such, how do they work?
It's very simple. ACF engines were created initially to solve the balance equation for armored vehicles. Tanks and the like operate on 3 standards, Firepower, Mobility, and Protection. Prior to acf engines, everything was powered by means of applytorque, or thrusters, or whatever. It's all very unrealistic.
Engines however, solve that corner of the equation. ACF engines function like real engines- they have powerbands (gasoline and diesel!), rpm, power and torque outputs, the works. They even simulate flywheels! Engines in ACF are accurately rated in Kilowatts and Newton-meters (the most basic forms of energy and torque output). Engines calculate the entire weight of your contraption, and scale its performance accordingly. It's so parented stuff will be counted as actual load on the vehicle, it's all very clever. If your vehicle is underpowered, apply another engine, or a bigger engine, or lighten the vehicle!
But it's not just engines that this includes; there's gearboxes as well. As engines range from gasoline to diesel types, gearboxes range from 4 speed setups to 6 speed setups, in the form of transaxial and inline gearboxes. There are also dual clutch versions for skid-steering!
Ok, so what kind of engines does ACF sport?
ACF currently contains 18 engines, all varying from inline 4s, inline 6s, and V8s (however V12s are on the way!). There are diesel and gasoline versions of each engine type, and each engine type has a set of 3 strengths of engine, small, medium, and large. Each engine has its own unique sound and characteristics.
And the transmissions?
Of course engines need some way of conveying their fiery, oily, spinning energy, so that's why ACF contains gearboxes as well. There are a few types of gearboxes, Transaxial, Inline, and dual-clutch. Transaxial gearboxes are like differentials with an attached gearbox, very basic. Inline gearboxes are for if your engine is transverse, and you need the power to be transferred in the same direction as the camshaft of the engine. Think of a front wheel drive car, it's like that.
Dual-clutch doesn't mean they're flappy paddle F1 transmissions, it simply means they have individual brakes and clutches for each side of the transmission. Oh, did we mention that the gearboxes also contain the brakes? You can also even clutch them! Gearboxes do have automatic clutches though too, so you don't stall.
Gearboxes also have torque limits, as in the amount of engine torque they can handle. ACF displays their rating, so be careful. You wouldn't use a 20 liter inline 6 with a small transmission, now would you? Gearboxes can handle multiple engines, and vice versa. Just be mindful of the clutch limitations!
Ok, so how do I put this all together?
ACF has its own linking tool, that you use by right clicking. You can attach your engines and wheels by a means of a driveshaft. But be careful, if the angle is too great, you won't be able to link things. For instance, you won't be able to link an engine to a gearbox that is too far to the right or left of the engine's output point, as per real life.
It's very simple to link the components up- Just right click the engine, then the gearbox, and then line up the gearbox with some wheels, and link from the gearbox to the wheels. You can link as many wheels as you want as long as they don't overbear the driveshaft's angle limit. If you want to decouple anything, just hold E and right click the components in the order you linked them in.
You'll also want to remember that driveshafts can break, so try to keep your driveshafts straight. If you hit something too hard, you could snap a shaft. If you do, just relink them!
Some Dos and Don'ts:
-Don't try to change engine or transmission weight, it will make them not work.
-Due to Garry, you need to drag the sliders in the gearbox creation, don't manually type in numbers!
-Remember that gearboxes have limitations, so be mindful of this! 6 speed transmissions are slightly less resilient than 4 speeds, too.
-YOU CANNOT PARENT ENGINES OR TRANSMISSIONS; this is in place so you can't cheat and not have the actual mass of the mobility components. If you do, your vehicle won't move!
-Remember that the gas engines have significantly higher powerbands, so you need to modulate the clutch accordingly. To take off, you'll need to smooth the clutch out to get going, especially with the smaller engines. You'll think to just use a diesel, but remember, gas engines offer better horsepower for speed.
-Don't use super-low ratios, engines tend to freak out.
Tips and Tricks:
-If you want a reverse gear, just make one gear ratio a negative value!
-If your vehicle doesn't go the right way, reverse the Final Drive ratio!
-If your vehicle just groans and doesn't move, perhaps it's too heavy. Use the ACF Total Mass tool to find your vehicle's total weight. The average weight of a car is about 2 tons, or 2000kg, so be mindful!
-If your vehicle just revs and doesn't move, or the rpm fluctuates, your clutch(es) are probably overburdened. Consider a bigger gearbox.
-Diesel engines have low-end power, but poor horsepower. 6 speed transmissions often work well for heavy moving, so you can keep the power up all the time.
-If your engine doesn't run, make sure the engine is linked to a gearbox, and active is enabled. This is a beta after all, so it has some bugs. A driveshaft might also be broken.
-If you need 4 wheel drive or braking, consider powering a central drive wheel and advance ballsocketing the wheels to it, or you can adv bs the powered wheels to the non-powered wheels. Works either way!
Important for controlling mobility components:
Here are the values for various engine inputs/outputs:
Throttle = 0 - 100
Brake = 0 - 100 (brakes are often buggy, so only use variables between 0 and 20, or else they will spaz and do nasty things)
Clutch = 0 -1 (you can still use interim variables, such as 0.5)
Gear = 0 - 6 depending on 4 or 6 speed (0 is neutral, 1 is first gear, 2 is second, etc!)+
RPM = If you don't know what this is, then..
Power = Power in Kilowatts (use google to convert to horsepower if you like!)
Torque = Torque in Newton Meters
Mass = You can use this output to calculate your vehicle's total mass, but make sure active on the engine is on!
Physical Mass = Same thing as mass, except it excludes parented stuff.
Remember that the wire Debugger tool is useful- you can use it to display what the engine or transmission is doing on your hud.
It's all very easy, just make sure you follow these steps!
Make a folder in your addons, and name it ACF. From there, make sure you have Tortoise SVN, right click the folder, and select SVN checkout.
Put in this link: http://acf.googlecode.com/svn/branches/models, and hit ok.
IMPORTANT! Make SURE you take the scripts & particles folder you downloaded in the ACF addon folder, and put them in your main gmod directory! Stuff will not make sound if you don't!
For servers or playing in Singleplayer:
Create a folder somewhere, and name it ACF. SVN checkout it with the link http://acf.googlecode.com/svn/. From there, it should download the whole svn.
Now take the junk in the http://acf.googlecode.com/svn/trunk folder, and put it in a folder in your GMod addons called ACF, and put all the shit in it.
You can get useful ACF tools by TGIFallen from this svn, it includes tools for acf that allow you to easily see armor and health ratings, as well as set armor thicknesses!
http://tgifallen.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Fallen's Build tools
Be sure to put the scripts & particles folder in your main gmod directory, too.
DO NOT INSTALL THE DEV FOLDER! IT IS DECREPIT AND BROKEN! It will break a lot of shit!
Remember that this is an ongoing WIP, so stay updated! If you ever want to see what's going on with acf, just go here to see the revisions. Just click the changes link on the page!
That's all for now! If you need any help or have questions, feel free to ask.