As it goes, safety comes first. The optical mesons, three varieties of hardsuits, three varieties of magboots, radiation gear, and radiation treatment will be covered.
Optical mesons are REQUIRED for any and all personnel who are working on the engine at any given time, excluding IPCs and robotic organisms, even if the crystal is dormant. If optical mesons are NOT worn at any point in time during exposure to the supermatter crystal, even within the external chamber, the individual risks experiencing vivid hallucinations. These hallucinations include, becoming a dog, seeing monsters such as Bubblegum or slaughter demons, attacks from non existent monkeys (they still hurt), visions of lose singularities and visions of false plasma leaks. There is no way to stop these once they occur and can last up to several minutes.
There are four different kinds of protective clothing available to engineers. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages, but the chief engineer’s advanced hardsuit is objectively the best by every metric.
Radiation suits come in two parts: The suit and the hood. Both are required for full protection. The rad suit offers full radiation protection, but is weak to sensitive atmospheric conditions and cannot mount internals. Best used when operating on a stable engine that is not currently in a state of delamination.
Engineering hardsuits, despite popular belief, do not grant full radiation protection. For the engineering hardsuit, radiation exposure is only reduced by about 75%. This option offers the ability to survive high and low pressure environments, as well as the ability to mount internals. The engineering hardsuit also provides a limited amount of protection from projectiles and other brute weapons, as well as limited heat damage.
Atmospheric hardsuits are probably the worst protective gear to have, as their strengths are rather situational. The atmospheric hardsuit offers high and low pressure resistances, the ability to mount internals, total protection from heat, and limited brute protection. However, its radiation protection only is rated to about 25%. Use these hardsuits in the event that no other hardsuits are available and the exterior engine chamber is undergoing severe atmospheric conditions.
The Advanced Hardsuit
The advanced hardsuit offers full protection from radiation and atmospheric conditions, as well as the ability to mount internals. (And also looks snazzy.) The advanced hardsuit incorporates all of the strengths of the other options in to one package. The only downside to the advanced hardsuit is that there is only one aboard the station. It is advisable to request usage of the suit in the event that a delamination occurs if a less experienced chief engineer is present.
Magboots are actually a critical part of the supermatter engine, if you enjoy not being a pile of dust. There are three kinds of magboots available to engineering. The regular magboots, the atmospheric magboots, and the advanced magboots. The only difference between the three is that the advanced magboots allow the user to have them on at all times without experiencing a movement penalty. ACTIVATED magboots are to be worn at all times when in close proximity to the crystal. The crystal tends to suck in lose objects when active, including unsuspecting personnel. Scrubbers set to siphon are also a threat to crew safety if magboots are not activated.
Placing an atmospheric holofan in front of the interior supermatter airlock and bolting the internal airlock go a long way. It is advisable to do these two things before operating on an engine.
Showers are among the best ways to shake minor radiation. Simply stand under a shower that is on for long enough and the rads should go away.
Pentic acid, potassium iodide, and charcoal are all good chemicals to help greatly reduce rads in a short period of time. These are listed in most to least effective.
Mutadone is sometimes used to reverse mutations caused as a result of prolonged exposure to radiation.
Transmission of Radiation
Radiation can and will spread to other personnel, objects, and surfaces. Remember this before exposing your now green, mutated body to the entirety of medbay. Always try to do as much medical treatment as possible in engineering, or completely clean individuals before taking to medical. Also note that just because an individual is not green, this does not mean that they are free of deadly levels of radiation.
Process of Decontamination
The first thing to do when dealing with an irradiated patient is to perform basic first aid and ensure that they can remain in at least a semi stable state. Next, take them to a shower. After that, empty all contents of their bags into the shower. Leave whatever radiation gear they have on, on. Whenever these steps are done, call for medical assistance and request anti radiation medication. Using a Geiger counter, ensure that their radiation levels are at most 250 rads in a severe medical emergency before sending them to medical, 100 in a minor medical emergency, and if there is no medical emergency, then completely sanitize in engineering.
Engine setup is, in actuality, super easy to do, as long as you can remember what to swap around and what settings are needed where. The two primary types of engines, that being N2 and CO2, will be covered. Note that some of these actions are not imperative to engine functionality, but have become a preference over time.
The First Steps
Despite what some believe, N2 and CO2 are almost identical in functionality with only minor tweaks. Here’s the first steps to take when setting up the engine.
1. Take the Supermatter Monitor Console from the far port (west) corner of engineering and bring it closer. The process for doing this is: Screwdriver, Crowbar, Wirecutter, Screwdriver, Wrench. After wrenching it, it can be moved to wherever you please.
2. Turn off the center pump outside the chamber.
3. Remove all pumps from both the hot and cold loop of the SM and replace them with straight pipes, excluding those connecting the engine to atmospherics and those connected to the red N2 canisters located directly starboard (east) of the engine.
4. Create a bypass for the filter port (west) of the engine by placing a t manifold on the left and right side and connect them with bent pipes and a straight pipe in a u shape.
5. Go to the aft (south) section of the engine and set all filters to on, 4500 kPa, and have at least one set to N2 at all times. If doing a CO2 setup, also set one filter to CO2. NOTE: Whatever these filters are set to will go back into the engine.
6. Fill the collector arrays on the left and right sides of the engine with plasma tanks and activate them, then close the radiation shutters.
7. (Optional, but highly advisable) Bolt the inner SM door and place a holofan in the doorway.
8. Set the vents to On, Blowing, internal, and 0 kPa. Then, set the scrubbers to On, Siphon (scrubber also works), Extended, and then set all gases to green.
Now the engine is ready to go. All you need now is to kick it into gear.
For a Standard N2 Engine
9. Turn on all emitters.
For an Improved N2 Engine
9. Obtain two additional emitters from secure storage.
10. Wire them and set them up in the emitter room.
11. Turn on all emitters.
For a CO2 Engine
There are many, MANY ways to get CO2 to the engine, some easier and some safer than others. Some chief engineers like it one way, some atmospheric technicians like it their way. Either way, the CO2 MUST come from atmospherics. For the sake of time and simplicity, we’ll simply skip to the part where you do have CO2 in the atmos to engine line.
9. Use an analyzer on the atmos to engine pipe and carefully examine the moles of CO2, the pressure in the pipe, and the temperature of the gas. NOTE: Twenty (20) degrees Celsius is room temperature. Gas tends to lose pressure when going from a hot to a cold setting, so unless the atmos to engine’s temperature is -251 degrees Celsius, the moles in the atmos to engine will not be 1:1 in ratio.
10. Set the pump from atmos to engine to full blow (4500 kPa) and open for two seconds.
Some engine techs scan to port (west), some scan to starboard (east). For the sake of this guide, we will be scanning to port (west).
11. Analyze the pipes on the port (west) side of the engine. The CO2 will come in gradually, so continue to scan until the moles of CO2 stop rising.
12. Done! (Sorta.)
With a CO2 engine, it’s much easier to control how well your engine performs. The moles of CO2 in the engine and the engine’s EER are directly correlated. The amount of CO2 you put into the engine will determine the EER’s maximum value. Anything between 7k moles of CO2 and 15k moles of CO2 is great. Going past 15k will bring the EER dangerously close to 5k EER, which is a big mess, to be covered in the advanced guide.
This concludes Korval Kellar’s complete guide to the basics of the SM. I truly hope this helps in your endeavors to being a certified engine technician. Go get em, tiger.