Karak Soon on using secure cans with a Hulk (01 August 2009)
Welcome fellow capsuleers, young and old. I have been asked to make a presentation from the perspective of an unaffiliated mining operative who has been reasonably successful with low volume operations in this region. As I operate most often alone you will not learn anything about large corporation mass-mining operations here, but you might learn how to increase the flexibility of your solo operations and be able to fill time profitably while waiting for that next big corporate Op.
If you do not have a Hulk, and intend to continue mining on a regular basis, you should refocus your training regimen to achieve the goal of getting one as it is currently the most efficient, highest capacity, mining vessel available.
I see among you some raw recruits, so we will begin with the definition of some terms. I will begin simply and quickly ramp up to more complex topics.
Secure Can: A cargo container which can be password protected against pirates and can be anchored in-place in an asteroid belt or other mining location. The most commonly seen in asteroid belts is the Giant Secure Containrs (GSC) which has a capacity of 3900 cubic meters (m3), but only takes up 3000 m3 as cargo. Thus the GSC can be transported in any vessel with 3000 m3 or more capacity and deployed at will. They can be anchored to the sky in any system, but due to traffic considerations, most areas limit their use to systems with a security rating of 0.7 or below. Due to the minute gravimetric fields emitted by all matter, deployed cargo containers must he at least 5000 meters from any other object to be anchored.
If you limit your use of secure cans to 0.5, 0.6 and 0.7 security level systems you can rest assured that anything in them is safe from pirates. Because they’re anchored, they cannot be picked up and stolen and because they’re password protected, only you can access their contents.
The illustration shows an Iteron cargo vessel deploying an old-style GSC.
This style of GSC fell out of favor recently in favor of the newer more structurally sound type in use today. The following illustration shows a new GSC anchored in an asteroid belt.
Due to the harsh environment found in most asteroid belts, even the newly reinforced GSCs can only be expected to survive for a month unattended. You will, however, not have to replace them if attended to regularly. When a can is opened its capacitor is recharged by your ship, thus reinforcing its structural integrity field for another month.
The GSC will show up in your HUD as a diamond with a chevron below it as shown it the following illustration.
Here we see four secure cans belonging to me along with a can which does not belong to me (diamond without a chevron) and a pirate ship wreck (triangle with a line over it).
Hulk: Currently the largest mining vessel seen regularly in New Eden. This ship can mount three strip mining lasers and has a base cargo capacity of 8000 m3.
These vessels can be seen in most areas of New Eden either singly or in groups. They are sometimes accompanied by the Orca mining support vessel. Due to the large capacity of the Hulk, it is often used without any storage support from cargo vessels or GSCs.
Secure Can mining: A mining operation where a secure cargo container is anchored to the sky in an asteroid belt to act as a safe storage place for ore mined from the asteroids. Usually done with a GSC due to its large capacity when compared to other deployable secure cans.
Operations: Okay. You’ve bought a Hulk and some GSCs, now what? Select a system and asteroid belt containing a mineral you are interested in. Remember that it has to be a system of security level 0.7 or below. Many criteria are used in this selection and everyone’s motives are a little different. I’ll leave you to puzzle out what to mine and when. Next, use a hauler or the Hulk itself to approach an area where you would like to place a GSC. When you’ve reached your deployment point, select the GSC in your cargo hold and launch it for yourself or for your corporation. Once the GSC is in space you need to select it in your HUD and choose the Anchor option. Anchoring the can requires the anchoring skill and takes approximately 60 seconds. I like to hang around and wait for the anchoring to finish. You can tell it is done by selecting it in the HUD and confirming there is now an “unanchor” option.
Deploying one can by itself is almost useless when you’re flying a ship with at least twice the capacity, so, keep deploying cans at 5000+ meter intervals. I usually deploy four to eight cans in a typical belt. If you’ve kept the cans close to the belt, you can start mining and move between cans without turning off your mining lasers, and change targets as needed. That means that you can spend more time mining and less time flying back to base to unload ore.
Okay, now you’ve deployed cans and filled them all, go back to base and get the largest industrial cargo ship you can fly and start picking up the ore and transporting it to a base with a friendly refinery.
Okay, that was obvious, how about some hints and tips: Well, here are some advantages to operating in this manner.
- Time management: Because the cans are secure, you can fill and empty them whenever you get around to it. You can fill as many cans as you have time for, leave and come back later.
- Combat opportunities: What? You’ll be spending a lot of time in the belt, mostly with the Hulk. Equip it with as many combat drones as you can control and protect it from rats. When you’re flying your hauler out to pick up ore, choose one that can carry both a gun for defense against the rats, and a salvager. You can take out those pesky rats with the gun and salvage the wrecks from your drones and any you happen to take out with the gun. A good shield or armor tank buys you the time to make the right decisions. Salvage is profitable in its own right and feeds into tech II production. Remember: Rats got loot!
Okay which hauler? Iteron V is great, but it takes over a month of training. My favorite hauler is the Bestower.
(Karak has trained for the Iteron V since the time of this writing.)