By request, here is my guide to quickly determine if any offline POSes exist in a system, and at which planet and moon they are anchored.
As a general tip for finding offline POS towers, remember that POS towers can only exist in systems with 0.7 security and below, so don’t even bother with (for example), New Caldari or Dodixie. I also suggest systems that do not have a station. This forces players to haul in goods and fuel, which makes upkeep slightly more difficult. It also means the POS is far more likely to have a Corporate Hangar Array with valuables inside, and a Ship Maintenance Array.
We hope that you will use this to find offline towers and report them to us – and by doing so enable yourself to get 20% of the value if we decide to take it down. The two previous reporters collected 150M and 310M respectively.
In order for a POS to be valuable to us, it needs to be:
* Have 500M or more in modules (Faction items, Labs/Advanced labs, and assembly arrays are best for high-value. Weapons and defenses are not.)
* Be owned by a small (less than 20 member) corporation. No alliances.
Setting Up Your Overview Filters
Our method will rely upon using the overview filters and the directional scanner. You need to create two overview filter settings and save them.
The first one I call “POS SCAN”. Create this by deselecting EVERYTHING from the filter. Right-click on every category and select “deselect all”. Once you’ve removed everything, we need to re-add two things: Control Towers and Force Fields.
Find and select Force Field under ‘Celestials’, and then Control Tower under ‘Structure’.
Save this filter as “POS SCAN”. Your second filter will be called “POS MOONS”. This will be just like POS SCAN, except add Moons under ‘Celestial’. Since you’ve just created the POS SCAN filter, the selections are still active. All you need to do is add Moons and save the filter as “POS MOONS”.
Finally, create two new tabs on your overview. This can be done by right-clicking on an existing tab and selecting ‘Add Tab’. Name them POS SCAN and POS MOONS respectively. Select each, and load the appropriate overview filter that you created.
Now we’re ready to find some offline POSes!
Using The Filters
In your target system, warp to the sun. This will give you best coverage of all the planets in the system. Open your directional scanner and set the distance to maximum, by filling the field with 9s entirely and hitting enter; the max value is 2147483647. Set Angle to 360. Check the ‘Use Active Overview Settings’ box – this is key to this method working!
Now select your ‘POS SCAN’ overview tab. It should be empty. Run a directional scan, and there you go: A list of all POS Towers and Force Fields in the system.
Why do we care about Force Fields? An online POS has a Force Field; an offline POS does NOT. So now it’s easy to see if we have any offline POSes. Count the number of towers and the number of force fields, and if there are less force fields than POS – one of these towers must be offline!
In the above graphic (which was a very populated system), there are 21 POSes, and 16 Force Fields. There are 5 offline towers in this system. This is not unusual, by the way – today I found a system with 20 POSes and 11 offline!
So Where Are They?
If you’ve found a system with an offline POS, your next step is to locate them. We will do this by warping to each planet and running another directional scan of limited distance. Go down the list of planets. If the planet has no moons, obviously skip it. If it only has one or two moons, it will likely be faster just to warp to each and check them out.
If the planet has a lot of moons, here’s the technique. Once at the planet, set your directional scanner to 30,000,000 (30 million) km. This should cover every moon. I previously used 15 million KM but discovered that some moons were beyond this range.
Run another d-scan with your ‘POS SCAN’ tab active and you should see all the local POS and Force Fields.
The example graphic is very simple, showing one tower and force field; we know this tower is online and can move onto the next planet. If you’ve got several towers, and less force fields than towers, you know an offline tower is at this planet. At this stage we switch the overview to the ‘POS MOONS’ tab and scan again.
Sort the results by distance and you’ll see what we have in the graphic above. Two towers, one force field, and moons listed by distance. We can now find the offline tower by progressively reducing the scan range to hide each moon and then scanning. If a tower is at that moon, it will also drop off the scan, and you will know where it is located.
For example, the first step for the above graphic would be to set the scan range to somewhere between the distance of Moon 10 and Moon 11, so we exclude Moon 11. A range of 5,000,000 km would be a good value.
In the next graphic I’ve reduced scan range down to 1,000,000 km (between Moon 5 and Moon 6) and the small Amarr tower (and force field) dropped off the scan. This leaves us with the Dread Guristas Control Tower Medium – which we know is the offline one because there is no force field on scan.
Continue to reduce scan range between moons until the tower drops off. In my case I continued until the only one left was Moon 1; so that’s where it had to be. Warp there and see what you’ve found.
We have a medium tower with defense batteries and shield hardeners. Unfortunately for us, the value of these modules is low, from 1M to 5M each, making the total value around 75-100M ISK. This is not enough to justify the time to take the tower down – keep looking!
That’s all you need. Go forth and find us some towers, and make some ISK! Also please feel free to comment with questions, suggestions, etc.