Today, I got some more heavy work done on Starlight Compressor - a redstone machine that will act as a modifier for the MISC (a generator recently built that lets you link two components of the base together such that they can control each other). I wanted some options for 'compressing' links that I make throughout the base. For example, I might want to make two separate links and then combine them. I'll give you an example:
Say we want to link the furnace room to all the base's farms and the transport pods, such that it will automate both when activated. Currently, with just the MISC, we can only choose one link and compose it. The editor does not yet allow saving of current links; it will reset them once a new link is started. This is a feature I have yet to add.
Here is the new furnace room:
The furnace room is part of the Compressor, and it does a lot of automated stuff on its own. A minecart rides straight here and automatically sorts out all items that can be smelted, smelts them, and then moves the rest to a storage unit.
^ Plug the Starlight Compressor into the MISC with the modular mixer, and a whole host of new things becomes possible:
The Compressor is two machines built into one: (1) an item sorter/automatic smelter, and (2) a powerful modifier that compresses generator outputs based on item input. Today, I completed the first machine; there is still a lot of work to do on the second.
Those six switches? Well, I've wired up several options for this one, only three of which have been fully completed. Here is a brief description of the options (yes, it's brief; there is a lot more going on under-the-hood):
CLOCKWISE from top left lever:
- Threshold – Sets the quantity of items necessary to begin link compression. If the lever is off, then you need at least a full stack of items. If the lever is on, then you need at least ten stacks of items. Otherwise, if you input fewer items, there will be no compression input to the modular system. Note that this option refers to items detected on immediate input – so, you have to input the required amount of items right away, not over several trips, because the threshold is determined by a timer set to the amount of time necessary for a stack (or ten) to funnel through the hoppers. This is useful if you want to use the Compressor as an item sorter/smelter and not as a modifier; you would set the threshold to ten and input fewer than that. Likewise, if you have a full inventory of items, but don’t want compression to start immediately (giving yourself time to get to the MISC and decide which links you want to make), you will equally find this useful.
- Amplitude (not done) – turns the Compressor output wire into an analog wire which will decide how much the Compressor will modify its target generator. For our purposes, this effectively means that a comparator will be used to determine how full the minecart at the bottom is (dependent on how many items we throw in to be sorted), and that output signal strength will impart different effects on the generator.
- Target destination – the hoppers will funnel items into a minecart, which will transport them to one of two locations. Keep the lever off to send them straight to a storage collection unit. Turn the lever on to send them to the automatic furnace room - this is about 100 blocks away. Items that don’t need to be smelted will be automatically left out and sent to storage.
- Balancer – built-in system balancer which performs the same function as the Starlight Balancer. While the Compressor works, other modules in the base can be turned off temporarily until compression concludes (i.e. sugar cane farm, Night Lights, tree farm) to reduce lag.
- Automate generator input (not done) – the Compressor will have the ability to automatically create specific links that relate to the items being sorted. This way, the Compressor is able to automate several base operations at once by modifying the MISC - you won't even have to compose the links yourself. As we build more generators, we can give the Compressor more functions with this feature, as it is generator-dependent.
- Type (not done) – type of compression performed. If you leave this off, it will compress normally (hard). Turning this option on will allow soft compression – that is, items will be processed in batches rather than sorting. Useful if you have several types of items to smelt, such as ores, clay, and netherrack, and you don’t want to separate them. You would use hard compression to keep the clay and netherrack from smelting (because they won’t sort out on soft). This will also affect the other features, since everything is based on item input.
Yes... lots of references to music compressors in there. There is plenty of work to do yet, but I'm having much fun with this project so far. It's a key player in automating the modular base!