If you are intending to build your own Supermatter Engine from the ground up, see Supermatter Engine/Construction.
Setting up an engine is a daunting process, so work with your engineering team to make sure the powering up process goes smoothly. If you don't feel comfortable setting up this engine and there is nobody to help you, consider setting up Solars first so that the station has power and you can take the learning process at your own pace.
Atmospherics seems like magic to most people, but just taking a peruse through the Guide to Atmospherics will help a lot.
The Supermatter Crystal
It isn't quite clear where the Supermatter Crystal comes from, or how Nanotrasen managed to acquire a stable one. First and foremost, a supermatter crystal is dangerous and can be extraordinarily radioactive once activated. It is one of the most dangerous things aboard the station, if handled improperly. Although it is very pretty, anyone who decided to touch it (willingly or not) turns into ash instantly.
When properly contained and left on its own in a stable environment, it will not do much except occasionally let out small bursts of radiation. However, when its EER level begins to rise it will begin shooting out much more radiation and start producing a highly flammable Oxygen/Plasma mix. Both of these effects become more violent as the integrity of the crystal begins to falter.
In order to avoid getting irradiated by the glowing rock we call an SM crystal, you will need to don a radiation suit and hood, as well as a pair of Meson Goggles.
If you fail to do this, you will get irradiated. The radiation will inflict toxin damage and will make your beautiful hair (washed with NT brand 32 in 1 hair conditioner and shampoo) fall out. If you neglect to wear mesons, vivid hallucinations will occur and once they start, there is no stopping them. You can only ride it out. These get more powerful as you get closer to the SM and the SM grows in power.
Note: The SM crystal only produces radiation when activated, so radiation suits are not required around docile engines. Mesons, on the other hand are always required.
- Set each pump outlined in green, as well as the filters also in green, to 4500kPa output. Alternatively, replace the pumps (Not the filters) in green with pipes, for optimization.
- After that, you will want to turn the gas pumps circled in red off (forgetting this is how you speedrun blowing up the engine)
- The Green outlined gas filters in the bottom should be set to filter back in whatever gas you are using as a coolant inside the engine.
WARNING: While this is the easiest setup, the pumps can easily end up clogging if anything goes wrong. It is very sensitive and requires high maintenance and supervision to prevent it from fully delaminating. The optimized setup is preferred, as it is more stable and easier to maintain.
- Replace all the pipe sections (where the pumps used to be in the default setup) outlined in red with regular pipes.
- In the area outlined in blue, add regular pipes that circumvent the gas filter.
- Activate/Deactivate remaining pumps and air alarms as dictated by the default setup.
While the default setup works, the optimized setup will prevent most gas setups (CO2 and N2 especially) from going into a difficult-to-reverse delamination when John Greytider touches the Supermatter Crystal. This is the preferred and most commonly used setup and your Chief Engineer will likely direct Engineering to use it. It is often self-correcting and light monitoring will be more than enough to keep it stable.
Take plasma tanks and place them in the radiation collectors directly outside the SM chamber and then turn them on so you can produce power. It is generally advised to fill these tanks up full by using the plasma canister in Secure Storage. 1012kpa is the max pressure for a small tank. The tanks can suffice for a full 2 hour shift if not filled up, but they should be payed attention to for extended rounds.
Starting the Engine
- Now go over to the air alarm inside the SM Airlock .
- Click vent controls and set each of the vents to 2000 (The scrubbers max out at approximately 1,100 kPa, but this is an easy way to max them), as well as ensure they are set to BLOWING. (This is true at shift start, but checking never hurts.) Alternatively, set the vents to 0 and INTERNAL. While setting the vents to 2000 kPa is functional, the latter setting is preferred and will move A LOT more gas in a short period of time. A busted air alarm is usually a one way ticket to a delam, so it's best to triple check.
- Go over to scrubber controls and set each scrubber to extended and to scrub all gases. (Leaving some gases out on the scrubber setting will cause build up of gas in the chamber, which can rapidly heat up and lead to a delam.) It is not advised to set the scrubbers to siphon. Siphoning will work just as fast as scrubbing, but will stop working if the pressure in the pipe reaches 5066.25kPa or above. This can easily happen in the event of a delamination, and can impede your efforts to stop it.
- Start the engine with quite a lot of the primary coolant, make sure that the monitoring computer says it is over 70%. If there's a low amount of primary coolant, a gas unbalance in the chamber could be created (Oxygen+Plasma mix will take over) and a crystal delamination will start.
- Set the SMES input to max and the output to just below that. NOTE: The emitters are powered by the SMESs, so if they do not provide enough power to the station and emitters, the emitters will, of course, not fire. If the engine output isn't enough for max input for all 4 SMES, try messing with the input settings to find a proper balance, but always keep the output less than the input.
- At this point you can connect more emitters to the emitter area if you wish. This can be done at any point, even long into the shift.
- Turn on the emitters in the room below and watch the magic happen. It is advised to activate one emitter at a time and monitor the effects before turning more on.
- If using CO2, ignore the emitters and slowly pump CO2 from atmos into the engine. Make sure the CO2 in the engine does not pass 16000 moles on the WEST side of the engine. NOTE: Measurements for the eastern and western pipe loops will yield different values.
SOP states that if the emitters are firing the engine must be monitored constantly. It is also advisable that you periodically verify the filters, pumps, and air alarm are all correctly configured. Consult with other engineering staff if there is a nonstandard configuration.
Note: Do NOT attempt to change a stable engine if it looks iffy. If the numbers on this page do not match with the readings from the engine, contact your Chief Engineer, or call another engineer immediately. These numbers are rough generalizations meant for newer players.
- Verify the pressure is under 250 kPa.
- Verify the temperature is under 310 kelvin.
- Verify the relative EER is under 5000 MeV/cm3.
- Verify the primary coolant (usually either N2 or CO2) is over 70%.
What to do if energy (EER) is too high
- Turn all emitters off.
- If the primary coolant is CO2, flush some gas away. Since CO2 excites the crystal, removing some is like taking wood out of a fire. Do this by making the filters on the bottom filter nothing back in while having no external input, or use the filter on the north end of the engine to send some to the yellow cans. Do not do this for too long, or there will not be enough coolant for the SM to, well, cool. This is generally not the best course of action for N2, but if the pressure is high, it's worth a shot.
- When in doubt, flush with N2. This is most easily done by turning on the pumps on the northeast side of the engine that are connected to the red cans. You will usually not need to remove the other coolant from the SM, but doing so is not an incorrect course of action. A little N2 goes a long way. Do keep in mind that too much of any gas, including N2, is dangerous for the crystal so keep the volume down as well.
What to do if the pressure is too high
- Turn off the emitters.
- Verify all pumps and filters are on max flow rate.
- Verify all supermatter engine scrubbers are either set to siphoning on extended, or scrubbing all gas.
- Verify all supermatter engine vents are at max output (approximately 1101 kPa), or set to INTERNAL 0.
- Use an analyzer to check the coolant loop pressure and gas composition.
- If there is too much coolant in the line, system adjust all the filters to bleed some off or use the canisters.
- If there is anything other than the choice coolant in the cyan pipes, check the filter settings.
What to do if the temperature is too high
- Turn off the emitters.
- Verify all pumps and filters are on max flow rate.
- Verify all supermatter engine scrubbers are siphoning on extended, or scrubbing all gasses.
- Verify all supermatter engine vents are at max output (approximately 1101 kPa), or set to INTERNAL 0.
- Verify the space cooling loop is not compromised in any way.
- Using the freezer loop, inject N2 or N2O (preferably cold, but room temperature can do in a pinch) into the coolant loop to bring the temperature down. NOTE: By default, this will be scrubbed out after cycling through the chamber unless the filters are set to filter it back into the engine. It is highly advised that this action is taken.
Now you have set up the Supermatter Engine, it's fine to leave it by itself, right? Wrong. Throughout the shift, an event can occur to the engine; this can be either a minor hiccup or cause a delamination that destroys engineering! There are five categories of events that can occur, Class D to S.
Events that only affect certain types of non-standard setups, minimial operator intervention required. These events occur instantly and engineering will be alerted on telecomms.
D-1: About 200 moles of nitrous oxide are released by the crystal.
D-2: About 200 moles of nitrogen are released by the crystal.
D-3: About 250 moles of carbon dioxide are released by the crystal.
Events with mild effects to standard setups. Operator intervention may be required, such as checking coolant or disabling emitters. Engineering will be alerted on telecomms.
C-1: About 250 moles of oxygen are released by the crystal.
C-2: About 250 moles of plasma are released by the crystal.
C-3: The temperature threshold at which the engine starts to lose integrity is lowered for a few minutes.
Events with significant effects to standard setups. Action may need to be taken to prevent a delamination event. Engineering will be alerted on telecomms.
B-1: The amount of plasma and O2 released by the engine is doubled for a few minutes.
B-2: The amount of heat released by the engine is increased for a few minutes.
B-3: The engine's EER is raised slightly above critically for several minutes, regardless of outside factors.
Events with SEVERE effects to standard setups. Action will need to be taken to prevent a delamination event. Engineering will be alerted on telecomms.
A-1: The engine's APC is shorted due to a power spike, requiring its wires to be mended.
A-2: The engine's air alarm resets its self as an effect of radiological interference.
A-3: The amount of plasma and O2 released by the engine is quadrupled for a few minutes.
Events that require immediate intervention and a specialized response to prevent a delamination event, such as a specialized coolant or grounding rods. Coordination with other departments is HIGHLY recommended. A warning will be broadcasted on engineering and general communications before these events.
Arc Type: The engine's EER is raised massively several minutes, resulting it a supercritical state. Grounding rods from Science is highly recommended for this type.
Heat Type: The amount of heat released by the engine is massively increased for several minutes. Specialized coolants from Atmos is highly recommended for this type.
Oh shit oh fuck it's on fire
While it may be panic-inducing, the SM Delamination usually gives a long enough time for it to be fixed, or at the very least limit the damage. It is recommended to take all steps listed under Upkeep first in the event of a delam before attempting the extreme emergency steps in this section.
If there is too much power, temperature, or pressure the crystal starts losing integrity. If this hits zero, it will go through a total delamination.
The Steps towards a Delamination
- As the temperature reaches a critical value or too much gas is in the chamber, the delamination will start.
- If there is above 5000MeV/cm3, the SM will begin arcing, as well as spitting out anomalies (See below). This is a very visible sign of a possible delamination. Note: Just because the EER of the engine is above 5000MeV/cm3, this does NOT mean it is in a state of delamination.
- With more energy, the crystal will also create more gas, which may, in turn, ignite and increase the heat in the chamber, damaging the crystal. This is why all the three values run off when it starts. They are all correlated and affect each other. It's a chain reaction of sorts.
- As it grows nearer the actual delamination event, the SM will give out periodic warnings, informing the crew of its integrity and if it is still in a state of delamination. This means it will often be possible to be warned in time, and will often to be able to stop it if you can figure out the issue.
- When the time is up, and the crystal finally delaminates, one of three things will happen. If there was over 1800 moles of gas absorbed by the supermatter when it delaminated, it will become an SM Singulo. If there were over 5000MeV/cm3 in power, it would become a Tesla, and if none of those were true, it will "simply" explode.
If, as said above, the MeV/cm3 value is above 5000, the SM will spawn certain anomalies. NOTE: These anomalies will appear above 5000 MeV/cm3, even if the engine is not in a state of delamination.
- Gravitational: Sucks nearby loose entities and objects in and throws them around. These anomalies can propel projectiles fast enough to penetrate hardsuits and lodge debris in places like your pelvis. (Ouch.)
- Flux: Electrocutes everything that it touches. A shock from this WILL stun you for approximately 10 seconds and cause heat damage to all body parts.
- Cryogenic: Fills the room with freezing N2O and CO2 while freezing the ground below and releasing nanofrost bursts. Be warned, these bursts of nanofrost have the potential to freeze over your vents and scrubbers, blocking your gas from cycling in the supermatter.
If all else fails
If the normal upkeep steps have failed and the supermatter is past the point of no return, there are some final steps towards limiting the impact of the delamination. First of all, an explosion is a single event. While big, this does not continue on as the Tesla or Singulo does. The first thing you should do is as such to make sure these cannot happen. Second, you will want to limit the explosion of the SM, assuming you managed to hinder a Singulo or Tesla. The Tesla is spawned if EER is above 5000 MeV/cm3, which will go down fast if the SM has no gas to cause the energy. On the other hand, the Singulo needs a certain gas density, which will not be there if there is no gas. The explosion is based on the type, as well as amount of gas around the crystal. All these make for one goal: suck the gas out. The best course of action is to RCD the floor in the chamber underneath the crystal. If an RCD is not available, take the steps to disassemble a floor tile.
- Put on something with fire resistance and magboots. This will not necessarily let you survive the blast, but may help you survive long enough to be the hero only the ghosts remember.
- Make sure the magboots are on. If you don't you will be sucked into the crystal and vaporized.
- MAKE SURE THE MAGBOOTS ARE ON. No seriously, you will be vaporized.
- Use an RCD to deconstruct the floor under the SM or do your best to deconstruct it if an RCD is not available or you're simply out of time.
- RUN (If you can.)
The notes on gases below do not tell you what to do but what you can expect of different setups. Which setup is ideal and which setup turns engineering into a crater is up to you to find out.
Pure Gas Setups
Pure setups are the easiest, as they require no mixing. They are also usually the most efficient. Additionally, the Default Setup likely cannot handle anything other than pure N2 or pure CO2.
The beginner's engine coolant. N2 is a very stable gas and the engine tech's best friend for calming down an angry engine. An N2 engine will never delaminate by itself unless very specific actions are taken. Delaming an N2 on accident is something for the record books. N2 works best as emergency coolant in alternative gas setups, as it severely hinders the crystal's ability to make power. To get sufficient power by N2, multiple emitters are needed. If it delaminates, it will most often result in an explosion or, in very rare and specific cases, a singularity.
In some ways similar to N2, O2 will not cause high EER or high temp by itself, and does require emitters to create sufficient power. O2 as a gas will increase the power output. The danger with a pure O2 engine is the way that O2 reacts with a crystal. If the crystal becomes unstable, a snowball effect will trigger, producing more O2 and plasma. With no other gasses in the mix, a pure O2 engine has a high likelihood of catching fire. If it starts to delaminate and is on fire, expect pressure and temperature to rise very quickly.
A considerably stable setup that produces marginally more heat than N2. This is often seen as one of the safest and most effective setups, right alongside N2. CO2 itself activates the crystal and the amount of CO2 will determine the EER. Very useful for powering the engine without the use of emitters. NOTE: Plasma fires will create CO2 as a byproduct and can potentially lead to a snowball effect if unchecked.
While plasma has excellent temperature retaining properties, it fails to be effective as a pure coolant. Surprisingly enough, plasma will not produce much power and will result a very ANGRY SM. Plasma heats the SM up A LOT and can be extremely dangerous in inexperienced hands. It is recommended do test out setups involving plasma on a test server before trying a plasma setup. Plasma is best used in a gas mix rather than by itself.
Nitrous Oxide is like the brother of N2. It makes for an excellent engine retardant by reducing the activity of the crystal. If you want a very inactive engine, use this.
If you're not a hijacker antag then you should definitely ahelp before messing with the engine.
Whatever this guide tells you to do in the case of preventing delamination, doing the exact opposite is usually a good place to start. The most efficient saboteurs will likely be those most familiar with the engine.
A textbook method of delaminating the SM on purpose is to pump plasma and oxygen into it. A delamination of lots of oxygen and plasma will be fast and violent. It would be helpful to either turn off the scrubbers, preventing them from taking gas out of the chamber.
Slamming two supermatter crystals together will yield fun results.