After many months of prototyping and unsatisfactory results, We at Meerkat Manufacturing are finally ready to unveil our newest addition to our vehicle line up. Introducing the GOPHER Mining Vehicle SG-687! our very first mining vehicle!
Vehicle info: The Gopher Mining Vehicle or GMV for short Is a small and compact wheeled ground miner and tunneling machine. Its capable of tunneling through mountains and building roads or tunneling to under-ground ore and excavating it for smelting and distribution. The GMV has enough cargo capacity to haul 7,902 liters of ore... or anything else for that matter. Its factory settings give the vehicle low ground clearance due to soft suspension settings. This was done to make bumps less impactful when tunneling. But as a result, the GMV does catch a little when transitioning from an incline to a flat surface. Gyros can be used to help this issue. During testing of ramps, we experienced only catastrophic detonation of the vehicle which resulted in complete vehicle destruction. We have not been able to duplicate it with over twenty tests. The GMV has two medium batteries and six small batteries giving it four days of idle power with all non-important sub-systems turned off and idle. But drops to a few hours during normal operation. The GMV is also equipped with our own Meerkat Manufacturing DT137-SG hydrogen Engine and one fuel tank. (Manufacturer Note: The engine may not be powerful enough to operate the Gopher with all systems running or with 100% power to the wheels. It can get you home as long as power draw is not excessively high. It can also be a generator if needed, but Hydrogen will not last long.)
Mining/Tunneling: The GMV uses a hinge and turret control i mean Drill Arm Controller to operate and fine tune where to drill. The hinges factory settings are +36 and -12. At +36 you will tunnel upwards and continue to climb unless you level off, and at - 12 you will dig a hole with no escape. But i can be used to start a decline towards under-ground ore. Internal tests found that starting a slope of around 26.656° at 50 meters away yielded the best results. The GMV is equipped with a controller for the drill arm for precise mining and tunneling operations, As such a system to allow the GMV to continuously move forward was added as well as a variable speed transmission. It still might need to be set manually however to achieve best results.
Inventory: The GMV has two medium cargo containers and one rear connector for storing ore or cargo. It also has two small cargo containers that are not a part of the vehicle's cargo network. Allowing you to store extra supplies, tools or weapons if you so choose. The GMV does not come with a airtight cab or a H2/O2 generator. It is recommended to carry a spare O2 tank in one of the small containers. The GMV comes with a experimental feature. The ability to dump its inventory out through the connector (And into a collector) at the press of a single button. To prevent accidental activations of this feature, we moved the button from the control station to the outside and rear of the vehicle. It will activate for 60 seconds and the deactivate, rendering the connector safe for storage once again. It is recommended to not fill the drills with ore. As vehicle performance may suffer.
Issues: Due to the GMV's low ground clearance, it does tend to scrap on he under side when going from a station ramp to a station flat, as it's a sharp change in angle. Gyro control helps deal with this, so it's considered a non-issue by MMI. (Disclaimer: Meerkat Manufactauring Incorporated is not responsible for any spontaneous and catastrophic detonations of the vehicle when traversing ramps) (this happened once when testing different ramps to fix the issue. And i tired aleas twenty times to get it to happen again and was not successful.)
Sub-grids: Sadly, Meerkat Manfacturing has not found a way around the Projector Co's no sub-grid projection policy. If you "print" the GMV you will need to manually add the drill arm and head to the Gopher Mining Vehicle. This is easy however as all you need is two pistons, four conveyor blocks, 4 conveyor pipes, three small-grid drills, a few spotlights, and some light armor or beam blocks.
Drill Arm Construction: Add one piston to the elevation hinge. Rename it to Drill Arm 1. Add one conveyor block o the head of P1. Add second piston. Rename it to Drill Arm 2. Add second conveyor block to head of P2. Add two conveyor pipes to each side of conveyor block 2, making a "T" add conveyor blocks three and four to the end of each pipe segment. Add drill 1 to the middle of the "T" and attached to conveyor block 2. Connect drills 2 and 3 to each side of drill 1 and connected to conveyor block 3 and 4. Add beams or armor block slopes with the angle side down and the thickest part facing the pipes to each and of the "T" and fill the last block of the drills. Add a spotlight on top of each slope, facing towards the drills. Add offset spotlight on top of the base of P1 using a half block and a small triangle piece. Extend Drill Arm 1 by .2 meters and set that as it's minimum distance. Add text panel with artificial horizon onto conveyor block 3, facing he control seat of the vehicle. Go into the control menu of the turret controller renamed the Drill Control Arm and add drills to its weapon/tool section. Add Drill arm 1 to control group with missing action. Add on/off to the next one in the same group. Rinse and repeat with Drill Arm 2. Remake group for sub-grid lights, add to where you want them.
Other Features: Reverse/rear view camera. Gyro flip setting, Area Lights, Caution/Construction/Hazard lights, Low visibility lights, High visibility lights, Drills on/off. Manual drilling, extendable drill arms, vehicle jacks, parking brake on hot bar.
Adding weapons: Because of the way the GMV works, it is possible to go all "red faction" and turn this once humble mining vehicle into a tool of war by replacing the drills with a railgun or assault cannon and making a makeshift tank or assault gun. thought it won't stand up against any kind of retaliatory fire, it has enough energy to recharge a rail gun for quite some time or carry quite a bit of assault cannon ammo. Though the lack of a turret makes this more difficult. (Disclaimer: Meerkat Manufacturing is not responsible for any Mine worker uprisings where are vehicles are not used for their intended purpose.)
DLC used: most of the DLC used is cosmetic armor skins. Such as construction and Very Rusty. However, I did use the Wasteland DLC for its offset lights, Buggy seat and barred windows, The Heavy Industries DLC for its beam blocks as well as the rotating light from Decorative Pack #2