Setting up the Tesla is similar to setting up the Singularity. This guide assumes that you are doing it solo because you're just that robust and you're either alone, your co-workers are missing and possibly dead already, or they're about as competent as the monkeys from genetics.
The Station's power is stored in the SMESs and redistribute electricity at a "Safe level" by way of the electricity absorbing Tesla Coils. The electricity they absorb naturally comes from the Tesla Ball sitting right smack dab in the middle of the containment room which is produced by way of a Particle Accelerator firing high-energy particles to kick-start a chain reaction within the Energy Ball Generator. The ball of pure electricity is very volatile and the only thing standing in between it and the destruction of the station are a few Field Generators which are powered by laser Emitters. Unlike the Singularity, the Tesla Ball doesn't spit out EMPs so the only potential hazard that comes from it is if you're wearing a space suit that isn't properly insulated therefore risking being electrocuted as if you've somehow gotten on the bad side of a Sith Lord.
Before you can acquire unlimited power, you need to properly set up all the equipment first. Emphasis on properly, as if you mess up at all there is a good chance of the Tesla being released onto the station and turning you into tonight's big loser for unintentional genocide. Take your time, the SMES cells can last 30-some minutes after shift start and if another engineer decides to do their duty and sets up the Solars you'll have all the time in the world.
Is this engine probably a mountain of risk with little to no tangible reward? Definitely. Should that stop you? Not at all. The one thing the Tesla can get you is mad street cred among the Engineering community as you reach levels of power that risk turning doors into corpse-gathering spots as you generate enough energy to power a small nation for generations to come.
Before You Start
If you're setting up the Tesla mid-round make sure the engineering APC is fully powered before turning on the particle accelerator, if not refer to "In case of no power."
The engine is housed inside the station, just south of where you begin at round start. You'll need some tools to set it up, all of which you can conveniently acquire right in Engineering. You will need:
Now that you have your supplies, it's time to get to work! Note that the steps below can be done in any order as you like, as long as you turn the Particle Accelerator on last.
How To Set Up The Tesla
If you know the basics and need a refresher this is a quick guide that goes over the main points in the recommended order.
- Put on Insulated Gloves and a hardsuit.
- Go outside move the coils to the knots and wrench them into place.
- Remove or wrench down the Radiation collectors somewhere out of the way.
- Remove the Singularity generator and wrench Tesla generator.
- Turn on the emitters and lock them.
- Turn on the field generators.
- Go back inside and Wrench, wire and screw the PA.
- Turn PA on and set power to 2 (or 3 if you hacked it).
- Let Tesla Engine start up.
- Set SMES input/output to 200,000/140,000.
- Keep an Eye on the Tesla so that no Red Spy or Meteors loose the Tesla.
In case of no power. (Optional)
- Set up the PA, Tesla Coils, and Grounding Rods as directed.
- Find the P.A.C.M.A.N.-Type Portable Generator inside Engineering.
- Find a red power wire anywhere inside Engineering and make a knotted wire on top of it.
- Install the PACMAN on the knotted wire, load it with plasma sheets (found in the Engineering Secure Storage) and switch it on.
- Switch the emitters on and they should now start firing! Switch the field generators on while you're out there, too.
- Load a new full power cell to the Engineering APC so the PA gets power (set equipment on and everything else off to preserve power for now).
- Activate the PA and make Nikola Tesla proud!
Extra time to setup. (Optional)
- Unlock the APC located in the room with the hardsuits. (Use ID/PDA on the APC)
- Open the APC interface.
- Set the Equipment from Auto to On.
- Lock the APC.
Advanced Modifications. (Optional)
- ONLY IF you have permission from command or you know what you are doing, it is possible to wire the engines directly to the main power net. A good spot to do this is to the west side of engineering, near the bolted airlock. Lift the floor tiles and run a wire from there out into the maintenance tunnel and link it to the wire running through there. This allows you to charge APCs directly if somebody disables the SMES in Engineering and keeps the station running in case of a powersink.
- The downside to this is that when anyone accidentally gets shocked by an electric grille or an electrified door, they will receive severe damage. Only do this on rare occasions, or never!
- It's also possible to hack the PA controller computer, doing so can allow you to start the Tesla up and grow it faster by setting the power level to three. See Here
1. Set up the Particle Accelerator
You can set up the Particle Accelerator now or wait until just before you need to turn it on.
- Wrench each piece in place.
- Wire all the pieces with a cable coil.
- Use a screwdriver to close all the panels.
- Click on the console and hit "Scan for parts" to link the console with the actual PA. This is your Particle Accelerator set up!
DO NOT turn the Particle Accelerator on yet or you will unleash Tesla's wrath, guaranteeing that everyone and their mother dies in a machine explosion.
Outside Engineering (Spaceproof Equipment Required):
2. Wrench down Tesla Coils and Grounding Rods
There are Tesla Coils and Grounding Rods on both sides of the containment field, setting them up is easy but make sure you do it right
- Move the Tesla Coils to the knots and wrench them down.
- Grab the Grounding Rods to the tiles without knots next to the Tesla coils.
- Most importantly: Double and Triple check that everything is wrenched down
(Optional): If you plan on being friends with the scientists on the station, one thing you can do is convert a Tesla Coil or two into a Corona Analyzer, the Corona Analyzer will produce a small amount of research points with each shock from the Tesla Ball, converting the Tesla coils is a simple process.
- Unscrew the Tesla Coil.
- Pry the Tesla Coil Board out.
- Use your screwdriver on the Tesla Coil Board to convert it to a Corona Analyzer.
- Reassemble the machine with a capacitor and you're done.
You can repeat this to most of the Tesla coils as just a few should produce enough power to keep the station running.
3. Secure the Radiation Collectors
The Radiation collectors are unwrenched, meaning they could be zapped and explode under the right circumstances. You can either wrench them down or disassemble them altogether. Doing this ensures that nothing will accidentally push the collectors into zapping range.
4. Remove the singularity generator
Take out the Singularity generator and take it back inside. If you don't remove the singularity generator the Singularity will end up spawning and will eat the Tesla ball. If you take it out of the containment field but leave it out in space, you are likely going to end up spawning the singularity which will eat the containment field, therefore loosing the tesla in the process. If you somehow fail to remove the Singularity Generator and it eats the Tesla, bust out the Singularity Guide and get moving. If you somehow manage to move it but still put it in the line of fire of the particle accelerator, bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.
5. Start the Emitters
Now that you've gotten everything ready, it's time to start the engine!
- Run around the Tesla area, and turn on the emitters by clicking on them.
- Once they're all on, carefully make your way to the inner circle of the area, being sure not to cross in front of any of the Emitters, because you'll get hit by the laser and burned pretty bad.
It is highly recommended to lock each of the emitters by swiping your ID on them, after activating them. This will stop an AI, or anyone without Power-management access from deactivating the emitters.
6. Start the Field Generators
Now that the emitters are on, it's time to fire up the field generators.
- Staying on the inside of the field activate the field generators in a circle.
- Move out of the inner circle before turning on the last generator.
- Wait a few seconds to ensure all the generators activate and the field is fully enclosed
NOTE: Coming into contact with any of the field generator beams will pop your head like a midget in a microwave and hurl your corpse through the Engineering windows at terminal velocity. It's a good idea to start on one of the inner corners, and do the field generators closest to the windows first, so you don't have to worry about accidentally straying too close while the corner field generators are on. Generators often have a field of effect 1 tile on either side of the beams, so make sure you leave a clear zone around any active field generators, and don't linger too long when you turn them on.
Starting The Engine (back inside)
7. Fire it up!
Once the field generator beams form a box around the Energy Ball Generator get back inside the station and head to the Particle Accelerator again.
The Particle Accelerator is used to feed the Tesla and make it grow mini balls. The more mini balls a Tesla has, the more power it outputs. More balls means more destructive force, although the 6 Tesla Coils and 4 Grounding Rods is enough to contain the Tesla at maximum Mini Ball count (10 mini balls), consider adding more Coils and Grounding Rods if you feel like ordering more Tesla Ball Generators from Cargo.
- Set the Particle Accelerator output to 2 (Or Three if you hacked the PA).
- Turn the power on.
- Leave the room and close the radiation shutters behind you if you find that the Tesla Ball looks ugly.
8. Activate the SMES Cells
There are four SMESes located in the room at the far west end of Engineering. Do not ignore this room, or else the singularity will escape early and Tesla's wrath will be brought down upon the station.
- Make sure each of the SMESes are set to auto charge.
- Set the input charge slightly higher than the output.
- An input/output charge of 200,000/140,000 each will charge the SMES extremely quickly, and ensure the station will always have enough power fed to it.
- Note: The Tesla Engine will generate considerable amounts of power, much more than the SMES cells can take and store at round start, you might want to consider upgrading them.
- Further detail can be found on the Guide to power
- An input/output charge of 200,000/140,000 each will charge the SMES extremely quickly, and ensure the station will always have enough power fed to it.
- Watch them for a few minutes to make sure they continue charging.
- If one or all stops (the light will turn red instead of blinking yellow) adjust one or all a bit to make sure they're not trying to charge faster than the power input to them allows.
If you're still the only engineer, you may want to consider setting up the Solars to ensure a source of backup power if the engine becomes unusable.
Also, make sure the APC of the engine is charging, if it isn't, turn down the SMES charge settings AND make sure all the radiation collectors are online.
Maintaining the Tesla
Make sure you check back AT LEAST every 30 minutes to make sure that no one's been tampering with the singularity, preferably every 15 minutes and go through this quick checklist:
- Emitters are on.
- Field Generators are on.
- Particle Accelerator's power is on.
- Engineering APC has power and is being recharged.
The Tesla Engine carries with it an extreme destructive power, chances are if the Tesla gets loosed nobody will live to tell the tale, so it is very important that you make sure it's in tip top shape. Without any interference though, the Tesla will behave nicely and be contained for at least two hours without any babysitting. But being a destructive force of nature, the Tesla is a likely target for some no good enemies of NanoTrasen looking to turn their fancy research station into a pile of scrap.
Note: If you hear an explosion near engineering, chances are someone let a loose machine get close to the Tesla and it has exploded. Chances are the Tesla's probably loose at this point but you may want to make your way to the Tesla engine just in case.
Maintaining the SMESs
In general, the SMESs don't need maintenance. However, there are a few times when they do need to be handled specially, namely during the following instances.
- The SMESs are fully charged. They might as well be ramped up to full output. But it doesn't hurt to keep them at lower levels.
- The Backup SMESs are charging. In this case, the SMESs will need to be ramped up to full output so that the Backups can charge faster.
- The tesla has escaped. Chances are, the Tesla's turned the SMES cells into scrap heaps, but if it's loose power is the least of your worries.
This usually resolves itself when the command team calls the escape shuttle and the rest of the station prays to survive long enough to see it.
- The AI is rogue. Cut all power except Engineering. The AI's greatest ally is electricity. Take it away. Note that the APCs' batteries will still power the station for a bit.
- There is a power sink on the ship. This isn't an issue that should warrant too much attention. Wire the engine to the net and the Power sink will explode from the sheer amount of power the Tesla outputs.
There is a very low chance that a competent RnD Scientist will want to upgrade the SMESs. If they do, make sure they don't upgrade all of the SMESs at once as they lose their charge if they do get upgraded all at once.
Maintaining the Containment Field
Maintaining the containment field is as easy as looking through the Tesla Engine Window on the outer wall of the PA Room. There are very few things that can go wrong:
- The Field is up but the Tesla is missing. Some saboteur or incompetent crew member has probably turned the PA all the way off and let the Tesla Ball disappear. Not a big deal, just make sure the Tesla is gone, turn off the emitters, and place a new Tesla Ball Generator ordered from cargo with the Engineering Budget, assuming the CE hasn't lost or embezzled it of course.
- The Field Generators are losing power. Chances are, someone's cut some cables or turned off the emitters. Inform the station what's happened, then act quickly and repair the cables and/or turn the emitters back on.
- There's a gaping hole in the containment room! Either meteors have struck the station or some fool let a loose machine float in the containment room. Either way, make sure that the field is staying up and the emitters are firing then repair the hole with reinforced walls and be on your way.
- There's someone in the containment room! There are a few possibilities: 1, it's an engineer admiring your work. 2, Some poor sucker got teleported in there and is probably dead or dying. 3, there's a red spy in your base. If it's number 1, be on your merry way. If it's number 2, tell everyone what happened and recover them. If it's number 3, call security immediately and try to fight them off if you're feeling robust enough.
Maintaining the Particle Accelerator
Maintaining the particle accelerator of a Tesla Engine is easy as pie, all you need to do is make sure it's on and running at max power and the Tesla will work just fine.
Turning off the Engine
Occasionally, bad stuff happens. In fact, most of the time, bad stuff happens. Sometimes it is necessary to deactivate the engine as safely as possible because nobody can maintain it. Other times meteor showers and bombs endanger your containment machinery. Whatever the crisis, if you have followed the steps above it should be safe to simply turn the particle accelerator off. The engine will continue to generate power as the Tesla starves and lose it's extra miniballs before disappearing entirely.
Sometimes it's a good idea to charge the SMES quickly and then turn off the engine safely until you need power again.
If the Tesla's loose, grab the nearest Chaplain and pray to the God (or lack thereof if that's more your style) of your choosing and hope it doesn't come for you while you wait for the emergency shuttle to arrive because unlike the Singularity, if it's loose there's nothing you can do to stop it.
- Experienced Engineers pick jobs based on their starting location in Engineering. If they're right next to the PA, they're assemble it first. If they're close to storage, they'll grab a hardsuit and set up containment.
- Engineers announce when they've completed any of the setup tasks so that other Engineers know that the singlo is not still waiting for it. In particular, it's good to announce when the containment field is ready since that task is only one requiring EVA.
- Announce before starting up the PA. There might still be an Engineer performing EVA on the back side of the containment field that you can't see from the PA Room.
- A good Engineer knows when they don't know something. Asking a team member or the CE how to do something is the best way to learn if they have time. If they don't, they'll usually take on the responsibility themselves. Even asking the HoP or Captain for help when there are few personnel on the ship isn't uncommon.
- Most experienced Engineers don't touch the APC because they've developed a fast response time to anything involving power. The whole Tesla engine can be set up in just a few minutes with a little practice. Also, it's entirely possible to forget to lock the APC after unlocking it. By not touching it in the first place, the APC is still secure.
- The large-capacity emergency oxygen tank is a part of an Engineer's starting equipment, but not for other roles. And it's probably the best oxygen anyone can get. Take advantage of it by filling it up even if you don't plan to EVA.
- There is a way to wind around the Emitters and Field Generators in a circular path without crossing any fields or active Emitters. Remember that Generators take a few seconds to prime and that Emitters can be activated by standing diagonally adjacent to them. Try turning on the Emitter after you've passed it rather than before passing it.
- There's an unused fire extinguisher in the singularity area. Anyone who's wearing a hardsuit in space knows how helpful these are, and no one is going to miss this one since the Tesla's gonna blow it to kingdom come.
- If there's another team member working on the PA and you're doing the containment field, it might be a good idea to stay out of the way and go start solars. Make sure to ask first though. The other Engineer might not be setting up the Tesla, or might wonder where you're going with one of Engineering's precious hardsuits.
- Cable coils are useful when things go to hell and power lines get blown up as collateral damage. If you're putting together the PA, there's a pile of cable coils sitting nearby so that you don't have to use the ones in your toolbelt.
- The SMESs technically don't have to be set before you start the PA. If you're alone and need that engine online immediately, you can turn it on first then go over the the SMESs to turn it up.
- The input level on a charging SMES should always, always, always be higher than its output level. If the charging isn't higher than the output, eventually the SMES won't be able to output at all. See the Guide to power for a better understanding.
When should I re-configure the SMESs next?
Answer: If the Tesla is running, and the SMESs are full or backups are charging, feel free to turn them up to maximum (200 kW) output. If the SMESs are not full and there are no backups, it's best to distribute the load evenly between the SMESs so that they can all charge at the same rate. If the Tesla is not and will not be running soon, turn output to minimal levels to conserve power. It's also okay to reduce output when a power sink is active aboard the station.
Why is the Tesla blowing up the station?
Answer: If the Tesla is loose then it is highly likely that either a certain someone flubbed the setup or some no good hooligan sabotaged it and condemned the entire station to death.
Action: Get to escape and if you hear the explosions slowly (or quickly) getting louder, bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.
Why won't the Emitters turn on?
Answer: There's no power in the station SMESs; or they're not wired correctly.
Action: Check the singlo's SMESs in Engineering. If they still have charge, then check the wiring for the Emitters. Also, check that your hands are empty.
I checked everything and the emitters still won't turn start firing!
Answer: Some fatal flaw has happened to the Emitter that caused it to fail to fire.
Action: Deconstruct the Emitter and rebuild it. Seriously, that should get it to work again.
Why are the SMESs empty?
Answer: The station used up all the power because either the engine wasn't set up fast enough or the wiring is bad.
Action: Check that the engine is actually on in the first place and that the wires properly feed to the SMESs.
Why won't the PA turn on?
Answer: The PA isn't set up properly and it knows better than to let incompetent Engineers turn it on when it's not set up properly.
Action: Check that the covers to all seven PA sections are closed with your screwdriver. If they aren't, check that all seven sections are wired with a coil of wires. There is a habit for the Focusing Lens to be flipped around as it's sprite isn't as clear on direction as the others, try spinning it 180 degrees in this case and trying again. If the PA isn't wired then refer to step 1 and consult your local school for a literacy test.
Help! I just got hit by an Emitter! What do I do?
Answer: Don't stand in front of active Emitters.
Action: Get some mesh or a burn patch and ask medbay to check for brain damage if you really need to ask what to do.
Help! I went outside to check the Tesla and now I'm bouncing off the fields! How could I have prevented this?
Answer: That's not how you check the Tesla.
Action: Refer to the note in step 6 and maybe try not to walk into the pretty blue containment field.
Why are there no lights in Engineering?
Answer: For rookie Engineers, the most common reason is that the APC doesn't have enough power to turn them on because you took too long setting up the singularity engine and you're being rightfully punished. For experienced Engineers, the most common reason is that an electrical storm busted all the lights and you're being unfairly punished by the spess gods.
Action: Sit in the dark and think about why you deserve this.
Sabotaging The Tesla
Keep in mind the following rule when regarding this section.
Rule 3.1.1: Do not murderbone. Do not kill random people for no reason. For individual antagonists (traitors, changelings, Nanotrasen ninjas) murder is allowed if you can justify your actions with a connection to your objectives, which you must explain in detail if questioned. Nuclear teams, wizards, blobs, traitors with hijack, ascended heretics, and ascended darkspawn are exempt from most of the rule; however, do not spawnkill/convert at Arrivals or render it uninhabitable. For antagonists with the Die a Glorious Death objective, they may do whatever they wish so long as their actions kill them. They should not just murder in the hopes of getting killed by others. Traitor and IAA AIs are subject to this rule unless they actually have hijack or have been caught by the crew and have no other choice.
The Tesla Engine is the most destructive engine short of a genius atmosian letting their Fusion Canister get broken or released into the SM. This is for the sole reason that unlike the Singularity, you can't stop the Tesla and the Tesla just blows up every machine around without remorse. The Tesla is an excellent way to ensure that no loyalist leaves the station alive because nobody is leaving the station alive, save for a lucky engineer or two that somehow manage to evade the path of destruction the Tesla wreaks and navigate to the remains of a space pod.
Everyone knows how dangerous the Tesla is, making the crew on even higher alert for any non-engineer trying to weasel their way to it for suspicious reasons at best. All you have to do is find a way to deactivate the emitters or break the field generators. The former can be done just by turning the emitters off or cutting a few wires if the controls are locked, disabling the APC is a possible alternative but it is much more high profile move and much easier to spot and fix than the other two. The latter, breaking the field generators, is relatively easy due to the nature of the Tesla. If you can make your way to the Tesla containment and unwrench a grounding rod, the explosion of the grounding rod and Tesla coil next to it should be enough to dislodge a field generator and set the Tesla loose. This will probably also kill you.
Attempting to Emag the particle accelerator to set it to power level 4 is a waste of your time as the Tesla can't loose on it's own. Don't bother wasting your time and risking revealing your identity.