Ships The Dolphin buyer's quest

I am a returning player, having preordered E>D back in the day, played it a bit at the time and found it really, REALLY empty of content.
Obviously, times have changed, so I am playing it again and enjoying it.

My preference in space games was always exploration, and here I intend to do the same. After researching and getting up to speed to the many changes since I played the game last, I decided on getting a Dolphin and outfitting it as per this Coriolis entry. I looked up EDSM and found a long list of stations selling it, so I proceeded towards the closest one... which didn't have it. Then the next one... and the next one...
20 stations later, I am feeling a bit frustrated. EDSM says they all should have it, as recently as tody... but it's nowhere to be found. Am I chasing a ghost? Am I missing something? Should I do it differently? If so, how?

In the meantine I am religiously updating EDSM through EDDiscovery as well as journal files, hoping it would help others not experience the same waste of time and effort as I do.
While we're at it... I have the game installed directly, but the only apparent way i could get Horizons is through Steam. i do have a Steam account, and I do have the key for the base game added to Steam, however my question is: should I install the base game through Steam, then buy Horizons, then install Horizons, or can I keep the base game installed independently and then install Horizons and it would work?
Clearly this is not a good day for me :)
Oh well, it's still a good opportunity to consolidate everything under Steam, so I'll just gather both the game and the expansion under that umbrella.
Whew, the chase is over. I got Horizons, I got the Dolphin, I partially outfitted it, now hunting for modules and making more credits to get the most expensive ones... because I am relatively poor :)
You should(n't) open a thread about how to find the Cobra MkIV (which you can't if you didn't preorder horizons which you didn't) and it will quickly evolve into something else.
Something else hilarious. And salt. Lots of salt.
Oh, and you can't get the Cobra Mk IV. Ever.
That's fine with me.
Now, about the Dolphin, I have fitted it with almost everything, Except from the following:

  • 4A Fuel Scoop (I have 4B instead)
  • 5B Luxury Passenger Cabin (empty instead)
  • 2A Auto-Field Maintenance Unit (which I will buy shortly)
I take it it's okay to venture a couple K LY away and farm some exploratory data, come back and have enough credits to get everything else?
The only things I would change are upgrading the distributor to a 2D (-0.3 tons, -0.07 MW) or 3D (+0.7 tons, -0.03 MW) and adding a heat sink launcher (+1.3 tons, +0.20 MW).
Upgrading the distributor to a 2D will reduce weight, power draw, and cost without affecting your boost time, but upgrading to a 3D will take 6 seconds off of your boost time.
Adding a heat sink will save you quite a bit of trouble if you accidentally run into a star, as you can use a heat sink to keep yourself from overheating.

On a temporary note, consider moving the fuel scoop to the size 5 slot until you have the credits to buy the passenger cabin. A 5C scoop is cheaper than a 4A, uses less power and scoops faster.
Thanks for the tip, I fitted a 5C scoop and went out to see the world, erm, the galaxy. I enjoy the FSS (never had that back in the primitive era). Is it worth surface-scanning all planets, or should I focus on scanning only certain types?
That depends on your style.
What I do is that I do a planetary scan of the planets that I visit or are orbited by a station I visit. And then I am out exploring I to a scan of every planet in the system I find interesting (that have more than gas giants and ice blocks).
After a short 1500 LY round trip to California Nebula, then Pleiades (to scan for aliens), I am getting my last targeted module (2A Auto Field-Maintenance Unit) and heading out to see Eta Carinae, at least that's the plan.
Now, I have decided against outfitting a passenger module, and thinking about getting an SRV Hangar, a small one allowing for just one vehicle. Is it worth getting and using? Can you make credits through using an SRV?
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