Ilmango's slime minecart elevator may work for you.
Otherwise the simple minecart click elevator allows control where you stop on the way up.
There is a locational hopper bug that sometimes skips or delays when items go through hoppers. If you watch a hopper as you stream a stack through, it should be showing an item constantly in it. not flashing an item. This is a bug that was fixed in 1.11 but can show up in servers especially if Spigot is installed. If you want reliability in how the items distribute, use minecarts.
Ilmango did a video on a this and a furnace array that you should see.
Mojang java developers and C++ developers are two separate development teams, with very different code structures and methodologies. To have them work together either the C++ or Java editions would need to be rewritten, most likely the java version as it has the more dirty code. They actually did this with producing the Windows 10 version.
With Microsoft introducing paid microtransactions in the new "Together" scheme, they are looking to monetize the game as much as possible. The Java version has mods, and is still under development. Eventually, Microsoft will stop supporting Mojang in updating the Java edition, but we have a very active modding community that will continue to support MC into the future. Other game with mod authors supporting them for ages do exist and the same will happen with the Java edition of Minecraft.
Some farms will not work with out a player in range, like crop growing or chickens laying eggs. Iron golem farms will work if you use some sort of chunk loader, either vanilla with hopper chaining or through a mod.
If you want all farms to be active, best route is to use a second account to keep a player in the area.
Can someone point me to a Fast SMP reliable elevator design that works in 1.11 with players or minecarts? I have a large vertical distance to cover and would prefer not to have a slow or slime block bounce type elevator.
Infinite loop is because the observer is detecting the growing ot the melon/pumpkin, the breaking of the block, the extension and retraction of the piston pushed block. When it is not happening the pulse generated by the observer is slightly longer and the pulses overlap.
If you can, install Journey Map, it is a client side mod that works on ssp and smp, if the admins do not have the server version set up to prevent it from working. It can show you nearby mobs, which indicates areas you need to light up to improve efficiency rates for the farm.
RS-NOR Latch. Safest lock circuit that can be reset. Several different designs available, all do the same thing. Lock the input until a different input resets the circuit. Run the RS-NOR Latch output through an AND gate with the button output that will give you the first pulse non action you desire.
Place the minecart on the detector rail, bump it on to the hopper. then carefully bump it back towards the detector rail until the light on the rail turns on. The minecart may not align with the rail but if the light is on, the comparator will read it's contents.
Sometimes placing a single iron bar on the hopper will help with alignment when you first bump the minecart off the detector rail.