From: Earth, Sol
I had the same situation. Playing as pirate faction, finding Loros early.
Remembering the income effect of the 3 ultra rares from previous games, it was clear that this was the new center of attention. Well above the 4 heavily contested independent colonies in the vicinity.
So I designed a new spaceport, to be my 2nd center. SSP based, no Labs, but 1 mining engine, 4 luxury extractors, 1000 Shields, 100 armor, no weapons, no fighters, only enough solar collectors to power static usage, refit only manually.
Then I send the constructor to build that above Loros, protected by nearly my whole fleet.
Why such a limited design? To speed up the initial contstruction! I want the Spaceport online asap and start producing. My fleet can handle the rest, it has enough defense to survive with my fleet around.
Then once it is build, I sent the constructor to build a gas mining station at the nearest caslon source and manually upgraded the design of this Spaceport. 3 mining engines, 4 luxury extractors, 40 cargo bays, 5000 shields, 1200 armor, 50 concussion missiles (long range!), 10 fighter bays, 10 short range weapons, 10 assault pods (boarding defense!) and most important: Enough solar collectors to power the static energy consumption and full weapon energy consumption by solar power alone!!! You dont produce fuel here, you dont want to run out of fuel in the middle of an attack! You can concentrate your labs on this spaceport, it is defended anyway and easily upgradeable.
I also put enough reactors to cover the static energy use and enough fuel cells for at least 800 fuel just in case...
Once the refit is done, you can use your fleet for something else again. By that time the cash should flow (you started producing with the "mini" version).
After I dealt with my most urgent needs (fleet building to control indep colonies), I once again upgraded the Loros Spaceport. Everything offensive and defensive doubled. So 10000 shields, 2400 armor, 100 concussion, 20 fighter bays, 20 short range, 20 pods and more energy collectors. But only a few more fuel cells, they are just a reserve...
The spaceport should now be a few times the size of Loros...
And you know what, if you have enough freighters built and enough exploration done by now, the maintenance of that monstrosity should be a tiny fraction of your Loros induced income by now...
Oh, and you dont need a single ship to protect Loros (but maybe the Caslon mining station nearby), if you are not convinced, just start the fighters and bombers and let them patrol in space...
edit: Make sure that the AI does not update your other Spaceports to those designs. I make my Spaceports early on to be manually upgradeable, you can only pause the game, design the special spaceport, give the build order and obsolete it before unpausing the game. Or just designate it eg as a "Large Space Port" if you dont have any large spaceports yet, since it does not upgrade SSPs into LSPs automatically.
< Message edited by Locarnus -- 9/28/2013 1:58:00 AM >