|Access: Atmospherics, Maintenance|
Additional Access: Engineering, Power Equipment, Tech Storage, External Airlocks
Supervisors: Chief Engineer
Duties: Ensure the air is breathable on the station, fill oxygen tanks, fight fires, purify the air because jerks release toxins, do the job of the always incompetent engineers.
Guides: Atmospherics items, Guide to Atmospherics, Guide to construction
Quote: I am at work. I can't leave work. Work is breathing. I am testing air quality. - Manfred Hayden, Atmospheric Technician'
What you do is rather simple, if there is any sort of environmental disaster, head off and fix it! You have your tools, your engineering headset, pipe, space heaters, and atmospheric survival equipment. When things get quiet, sit back and start building an on station super slide while people ask why you even work here. When things go wrong, people will scream at you and ask why you even work here.
Bare minimum requirements: Fight fires, restore the atmosphere in rooms that can't support life. Know how to fix sabotage to Atmospherics. Secure dat fukken axe.
Basic skills: Know what the pipe loops and air alarm settings do. Optimize the waste loop so it doesn't get clogged in case of a hull breach (cold gases) or plasma fire (hot gases). Carry an Atmos Holoprojector with you.
Advanced skills: Know about moles/volume and the properties of gases. Selectively cause plasma floods to slow down a blob/xenomorph/spider infestation. Know the basics of Toxins and Engineering.
- 1 Firebender
- 2 Atmosia
- 3 What you Can do to Pass the Time
- 4 EVA without a spacesuit?
- 5 Tips
- 6 Oxygen is Overrated
As the Atmospheric Technician, you have what should be a simple and easy job: Keep Atmospherics operational and make sure the station doesn't burn down or run out of breathable air. As long as you have a good idea of how everything works, then this shouldn't be much of an issue. Atmosia may be a daunting mess of pipes, but after a few shifts of toying around with it, it will all make sense.
Basically, being an Atmospheric Technician can be easy if you want to make it easy. You can sit around and do minor improvements and fix atmos issues around the station, or you could be an absolute madman and perform ritual magic with Trintium Fusion bullshit and make advanced gasses. Your choice.
The great city state of pipes, it is used as a jetpack recharge station for Syndicate Agents, a hideout for Wizards, a breeding ground of Xenos, and has a general alert computer that will tell if any place is messed up.
People rarely come here, but it is possible to do a lot of harm to the station if you know how.
Please keep in mind that making Atmospherics sabotage-proof (for example by removing the plasma tank from the loop) before you have decent IC evidence that someone is going to sabotage it is considered metagaming.
Atmos Techs usually have no clue what they can do, and often drift into a spiral of depression and suicide. Fret not! Here are some suggestions for you to do.
Set up the Turbine Engine
The Turbine Engine is one of the few places where atmospheric technicians can help to generate power. First, max up the pumps leading to and away from the turbine. Up in atmospherics, isolate the black pipes, and inject plasma and oxygen into it via the pumps/computers. Set a filter to create a 66% oxygen and 33% plasma mix, otherwise known as a burn mix. Then input that burn mix into the turbine, and voila, it's generating a relatively steady 110 KW. (which pales when compared to what the SM can do, but well, it's a tertiary engine after all, with solars being the secondary power source)
This can be done by using the Atmosphere Alarms mounted in most areas, along with the vents and scrubbers in the area.
The primary utility of the Atmosphere Alarm in refilling an area involves the vents. Each vent has a pressure check value on it, and is by default set to pressure check externally - this means that the vent attempts to bring the tile it's on to the listed pressure. A rapid manner of refilling an area is to remove the external pressure check, switch it over to the internal check - this attempts to regulate the pressure in the pipes of and running to the vent below, which is directly fed by the distribution loop pump in the north end of Atmosia. Setting the "pressure bound" variable to zero with internal pressure checks attempts to void all air in the pipes, effectively reducing their pressure to zero and, in the process, flooding air at an alarming rate into the area. Given the impractically slow rate at which the air alarms normally fill the area, this can be a very expeditious way to work. Pressure is dangerous, so don't simply leave the vent alone for extended periods of time, as you can, eventually, turn smaller areas into death-traps if there is enough pressure in the distribution loop.
The alarms can be set to a number of modes:
- Filtering - The default setting. Note that most scrubbers won't filter out plasma or other gases unless you set them to, so do that!
- Draught - This filters out air slowly, creating a draught. Useful if you need to drain a small amount of air due to overpressurization.
- Panic - This drains all the air quickly. Most of the time used to remove all plasma very quickly, or by a malfunctioning AI.
- Replace Air - Drains all the air, then replaces it. Try not to use it if there's nothing toxic in the air.
Normally the vents will fill the room slowly by default, though using some filled Portable Air Pumps, or Air Canisters you can refill the area much more quickly.
A fire is easily the most fun thing that can happen in a round (for you anyway); successful firefighting requires a real understanding of the atmospheric system. At all times, wear basic tools in a toolbelt and carry your firefighting gear in your backpack. When the call goes out, don your fire suit and gas mask, get yourself running on internals, put your oxygen tank on your back, and carry your fire first aid kit, extinguisher and reinforced glass in your backpack (carried in a hand slot).
Drag a water tank behind you and get to the fire. With AI cooperation, have the burning area bolted or welded off, save one access point the AI can monitor. This keeps the fire from spreading and chucklefucks from wandering into a fiery doom. Once inside, you must quickly determine the sort of fire you are dealing with. Pressure tanks of plasma can release massive amounts of fuel (or even burst!) and must be shut off or isolated immediately, while the best way to isolate broken pipes is to box them in with reinforced glass until a proper repair can be done. With fuel shut off, find the atmospheric alarm and set it to Panic Syphon.
This drains air out of the room completely. With this process started, check for survivors or bodies and either apply burn patches and epinephrine or simply remove them from the compartment via your access point. Next, seek out any ignition sources such as lit zippo lighters and disable them, reporting them to security for their forensic investigation. Then proceed with extinguishing any remaining pockets of flame. Once the fire is cleared out, focus on clearing any remaining plasma from the atmosphere by dragging in a scrubber.
Finally, set the atmosphere alarm to pump in fresh air. It may take several cycles of filling and draining the room to clear all plasma and make larger areas inhabitable again, but once you are done, head to the bar and score some babes while Engineers clean up the mess.
(Note this lengthy guide is only really useful for those big "Research done herped-a-derp" fires that engulf Med/Sci or are caused by very skillful arsonists. Smaller fires, such as the sort chemists who just learned the napalm recipe cause, really only require some fire-extinguisher blasts and setting up a room's scrubber to remove plasma and CO2. Never presume, however, that you won't need your full toolkit. This author spent well-nigh an hour in the fiery bowels of med-sci on one occasion, but not only did I never have to leave after I stepped in and sealed it off, but I had the situation so well under control that after five minutes normal shipboard life resumed and admins eventually had to spawn facehuggers to return a sense of danger to the crew.)
But wait! Theres more. Let me introduce you to a little something called...
By taking one of the Backpack Firefighter Tanks from one of your lockers in Atmospherics, you can become the ultimate firefighting machine. This stuff works like a miracle when dealing with mass Plasma floods, and may be your only chance at stopping massive fires.
The resin it spews has the following effects:
- Repairs hull breaches similarly to Metal Foam.
- Cleans the air from toxins.
- Normalises air temperature to room temperature (20°C or 293.15K).
- Removes slipperiness from floors (from water etc).
- The foam itself is not slippery.
To use the Backpack Firefighter Tank, equip it on your backpack slot and click the new hud icon to take out the nozzle. You can then cycle modes between extinguisher, resin launcher and single tile resin launcher (foamer) by activating the nozzle in your hand. It spends water when used. Examine the nozzle to see water remaining. More of these bad boys can be ordered from cargo.
The Fire Axe is your tool during emergencies (because you can use it as a crowbar to open an airlock when the power is off) and your weapon (traitors, revolutionaries, and cultists usually try to steal the axe because you can kill a person in seconds). The fire axe is protected with a Fire Axe Cabinet. To open it, just take a multitool and use it on the cabinet to reset the circuitry and unlock/lock it. Or you could just do it the classic way and give it a good whack a couple of times with a lit welder or some other hefty blunt object, that works as well too.
A good way to be proactive within your job is fixing the broken windows that occur every round. Gird your loins with a toolbelt if you can, grab some metal and glass, and patrol the outer passageways. Almost always, the task requires a low-pressure or no-pressure exposure to the great beyond. By creatively rotating and moving surviving windows you can lock in your precious atmosphere, then replace the broken glass and grill. The truly hardcore technicians do minor spacewalks with only the flame of their welding torch for heat, sipping sweet oxygen through their breath masks behind a welding helmet. Are you hardcore? No, you're not. Go back to being a hardsuited engineer who can't find a hull breach without a pair of mesons and never bothers to fix them anyway.
You can purge the air out of rooms using an emergency siphon, or change the air filter controls with the air alarm attached to walls! Just take your ID in hand, and click to un/lock it and play with the controls. Setting up the pumps in Atmos now allows you to pump any gas to any point in the station! You could also do this more manually with the use of Portable Air Pumps if you needed to.
Protip: Pure oxygen lets people survive in a breached compartment much longer.
Protip: Pure oxygen makes plasma fires much, much worse.
Protip: Since you're in charge of both breathing and firefighting, Murphy's Law says you're screwed.
You have two machines! One machine is for dispensing gas pipes, and one for dispensing disposal pipes. To install gas pipes, simply click on them in your hand until they are properly aligned, drop them on the tile they are needed, and use the wrench on them. For disposal pipes, one must drag them into position, wrench them in place on the subfloor, then weld them to seal it all together. A personal locker makes a great method to haul all the air pipes you'd ever need between job sites, but disposal pipes must be dragged one at a time. Expect Security to frequently and irrationally demand the locker be checked for bodies, usually three or four times a minute, if you use the main hallways.
- Air pumps can fill tanks beyond the ~1013.25 kPa pressure limit. Connect the pump to a port, then pop in a canister.
- Firesuits protect between 60 to 30,000 Kelvin.
- Setting air vents to 0 kPa internal check (or just turning off the check) will make them pump out air like crazy, which makes it excellent to restore air to an area quickly. But be careful with the pressure on the vent tile itself, if the pressure in the outgoing distro loop is very high it might be dangerous. ADDED: Don't max the vents. Set the vents to internal and desired pressure 0 instead. Maxed vents at 5000 KPA in a 100 KPA room will output 2450 KPA in the first tick, then 1225 KPA, 612.5 KPA, 306.25 KPA, 153.125 KPA, etc etc (assuming vents are always provided with max air). Zero'd vents will output 5000 KPA, then 5000 KPA, then 5000 KPA, etc.
- N2O knocks out in low amounts, suffocates in high amounts.
- If you're an atmos tech trying to repair a hull breach without a fire/space suit: Turn off the vents. No more air will be vented into the room, which means there won't be any space wind to fight against if you accidentally fall out the window.
- Atmos tech is actually an interesting job, disposal tubes give such wonderful opportunities for killing people, however, it takes a shitton of time to build everything you need.
- Any sort of air mix is survivable as long as it has at least 16 kPa of oxygen on the output. This means you can easily compute the release pressure you'd need for a given airmix by dividing 16 by the percentage of oxygen in the mix; i.e. for 20/80 O2/N2 air mix you'd need a release pressure of 16/0.2 = 80 to be fine.
- Steps To Set Up Atmospherics So You Never Need To Worry And It Fucking Helps You Out
- Turn off and unwrench Air to Distro and Waste In, two pumps in the northern area of Atmos where the distro loop and mixing is done and all that. They are labeled and easy to find. Keep them in place on the floor.
- Go to the atmos pipe dispenser a few meters away and vend two volumetric pumps. These are like regular pumps but almost literally better in every way whatsoever. They pump more, faster.
- Fit your volumetric pumps in place of Waste In and Air to Distro, making sure the red stripe lines up with how the pumps were fitted by default so the flow goes the right way.
- Volumetric pumps are automatically set to full fucking power so just turn on both of them.
- Set every scrubber in the loop around the room to 4500 kPa. This is full blast.:* You have now completely set up Atmospherics to be beast mode in, like, three minutes. You can also do other stuff, like fit manual valves to the bad gasses to hamper solo-AI floods, and replace other pumps in the bowels of Atmospherics with volume pumps, but really, that five-point checklist will do it. Ninety-plus percent of people don't know jack shit about Atmospherics, and it's so easy to set it up so that it actually does shit. It's so rare to see it happen that the CE actually sought me out for praise for doing it this way.:* For AIs, if no organics are around competent/willing to do this manually and your Engiborgs (if you have any) are busy, which is like a guarantee, you can do a simpler version of this; just turn Air to Distro and Waste In up to 4500 kPa and set each scrubber station to 4500 kPa too. It won't be as effective but it's so much better than nothing. Cranking up the air available in the distro loop poses no threat to safety, and in fact, makes it harder to start up harmful floods since there's so much good air in the way in there. And since you're the AI, you can now use air vents (and scrubbers) as they were fucking designed to be used; to scrub, drain, and replace air in rooms as necessary, and it fucking works. It is astonishing how little is required to turn a system so often seen as worthless into a helpful part of the station.:* Minor addendum: A maxed volume pump and a maxed normal pump pump at the same rate given ideal circumstances. The difference is the volume pump won't stop pumping once its output end is at 4500 kpa or more. This makes it excellent for waste in, where no matter how much gas the previous fire/atmos experiment clogged the filtering loop with, Waste In is still pumping waste out of the scrubbers pipes, and by extension, helping keep the scrubbers from getting clogged to the point of uselessness.:* For the record, the advice of adding manual valves to the plasma loop will result in you getting yelled at by an admin if there's no evidence that the AI is rogue. It's "Spacing objectives tier", and for good reason.:* Setting up atmos doesn't really matter that much anyway as long as you give the distro loop some pressure. The entire supply and equipment is designed for a space station that's supposed to last month. There's about two instances in which a proper setup is useful: massive hullbreaches which will drain a lot of air (most of which will then uselessly disappear in space anyway) and station-wide plasma fires which might fill the waste loop (in which case you're at fault as an atmos tech for not keeping an eye on the system in the first place).
- If you are an atmos tech and want to greatly reduce possibility of harmful atmos manipulations... or if you are an AI and you spotted a guy just turning valves to release plasma to distro:
- Open atmospherics console for a specific chamber and toggle power on output. 90% of players don't check this console. As AI I laughed many times as sabotager was running back and forth, checking every pump 3 times, and still, no plasma appeared. In this way you can also shut down harmful gases pumping when one is smart and changed pipes under grilles.:* Or put manual valves in front of every harmful gas, switch out some gas pumps for volumetric pumps, and repipe the mixing pipes to disallow the mix tank to provide into the distro. (Setting up Atmos in such a way it can't be sabotaged by the AI before there's a reason to think the AI might sabotage Atmos is not only metagaming, it is also bannable. If you see this happen, adminhelp it!)
- You can rotate a pipe in your hand by click on it.
- Fire extinguishers fit in firesuit suit storage.
- The Fire Axe Cabinet can be opened with a multitool.
- You can disable fire alarms by multitooling them.
- You can trigger fire alarms by shooting them with a projectile. ADDED: Or hitting them with anything.
Traitor atmos techs have the potential to become one of the most devastating forces on station. If you know what you're doing, you can pretty much flood the station with whatever harmful gas you want. If you do, remember to take measures against the AI messing with your work, and always keep your internals on. This means either subverting the AI or cutting its access. If you're feeling particularly daring, you can unwrench the pipes and rearrange them, ensuring the AI cannot fix it. Bolt the doors, or set the room on fire to prevent humans from fixing it too. Depending on how bad it's going to be, you might want to procure a space suit to escape the hell you've created.
- The incinerator can easily be used to create canisters of pure death.
- Plasma + N2O is extremely deadly if you can get someone to use it as internals/force them to use it. They won't even be able to scream.
- Wielded fire-axes break grilles and reinforced windows. In one shot.
- And open unpowered doors and kill people fairly reliably.
- You can change sensor settings on air alarms so it doesn't cause an alarm by setting the value to -1, which turns that sensor off. Do it for all sensors and you can get rid of pesky alarms that are pretty much already fixed, or hide atmos fuckery.