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I don't understand Assembler-to-Refinery conveyor systems on Bases

Discussion in 'Survival' started by SoUlFaThEr, Sep 30, 2014.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. SoUlFaThEr Trainee Engineer

    Hi all of you highly intelligent Engineers.

    I have been offline for 5 months and a lot has changed.
    I require some assistance with the following transport wish for my main base in Survival (Asteroids).

    1. I am dropping off raw materials into a collector that is piped to my 2 refineries. (works)

    2. I would like to have refined goods autmatically get moved evenly to both assemblers. (not working)
    2a. Both assemblers were set up door-to-door under the refineries as well as other conveyor variants and nothing was making that happen at all.

    3. I am using 2 assemblers and spreading the refined goods to both by hand right now :(
    3a. Whatever assembler I choose I always have to select the other assembler to make stuff (gay) (is that a feature I am thinking is a bug?)
    3b. Both assemblers are named differently but act as one???

    4. I would like the created construction parts to be delivered to my cargo box between the 2 assemblers
    4a. I tried with conveyors and pipes (not working)
    4b. I tried using a connector into collector (not good, it cycles everything in the assembler in a loop)
    4c. I only did that because no matter what I did I couldnt get any parts out of the assembler other than doing it by hand.

    5. The whole point of this is to deliver stuff in one area of the base, drop off the ship, walk to the assemblers spread out the work between the 2 and have all that stuff sent to another area of the base so i can work from there in my "Lab". Presently I have to walk back and forth and this whole this was a huge amount of work to make in the first place.

    Any help would be appreciated. Maybe theres a video showing how these things work? My you tube searches come up empty on this particular topic.

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2014
  2. Ortikon Apprentice Engineer

    It is a little bit convoluted. I get frustrated with some of the automation behavior as well as some of the manual labor.
    Some tricks I learned:
    -Assemblers will take what they need to build the task. They will not, however, remove excess materials.
    The result is usually that your iron fills up the assembler and wont leave room for say, gold and platinum.
    -For complex components such as thruster parts, don't build in batches larger than 400. If the amount of iron required exceeds the capacity, the iron will just fill it up an the parts wont build.
    -Have devoted assemblers for iron-oriented work such as Steel plates, construction components, interior plates etc.
    -Turn the assemblers off, empty them, pick your production job, turn them on. This will automatically pull in the required materials. Pick a small batch, like 100 parts. Then top it off a bit after you turn it on and it has fulfilled all its requirements to its best ability.

    Currently you cant pick where stuff goes, the universal inventory has its benefits but designating paths sounds like a hassle not only to script but to maintain. With the conveyor blocks you can at least see where you have a broken chain. If you are assigning what goes where and filters etc, you could find yourself unable to move an item immediately when you are in a rush. This is a presumption of course.
    Last update added a g-menu optimization, inventory management has a long way to go. I think adding a filter system to cargo boxes or even a splitter/filter in conveyor blocks like in Minecrafts "buildcraft" mod, the way the pipes worked was fantastic.

    As far as your issue with walking goes, you should always be able to drag anything in the conveyor network to another inventory without having to do any walking. Connectors are good for ships.
  3. SoUlFaThEr Trainee Engineer

    BUILDCRAFT :) I polayed FTB Unleashed for a year and never got bored.

    Anyway. Thanks to Ortikon, first of all, for replying so quickly :D

    Do I understand right? An assembler will only take out stuff from a refinery on top of it, if you ask it to build something first? For me, everything is RED in the assembler with no materials in it,and can't be built.

    So what I am gathering is:
    -I have to manually move everything from my refinery into my assemblers (holy crap that sucks) unless I use the empty/turn-off/empty/select production/turn-on trick. Does that trick use the pipe system or does it require refiner on top set-up?

    -I have to manually seperate what assembler does what by filtering the stuff by hand...wow What you say makes sense but boy, this one seriously needs addressing to the devs I think. A Filter system is just....the way to go with space technologies......with minecraft it was sort of rediculously out of place (loved it anyway!).

    My problem is getting those created materials out of the assemblers without have to open the darn assembler and pull it all out by hand :/ I swear I remember being able to make a production "list" in the assembler...go do something for a bit....and come back and grab it all from my cargo box.

    This "Collector" blocks pupose confuses me actually. What is the point of this thing when the Ejector does what a drilling ship needs (collects from cargo box inside the ship and ejects into the collector on a base).
  4. Ortikon Apprentice Engineer

    Ok, you just have some confusion on the mechanics. Don't worry, it sucks muuuuuch less than you think.
    First off, those doors that you grab inventory from. Connect them via conveyor pipes. This is your in-out hatch, everything that is connected in this system counts as one inventory. You can grab a metal plate from a cargo container on the other side of your ship. You can place fuel into your reactor from an assembler door.
    Assemblers will pull resources from ANY place they are connected to.
    There does not have to be a direct connection between anything, they just need to be chained together like Christmas lights.
    as a text example:
    ( = is a conveyor pipe)
    As long as the reactor has fuel initially (conveyor wont work unpowered, so the first fuel must be added manually)
    -Can put ore in the cargo-box. Refinery will pull from it.
    -Refined bars sit in refinery finished goods pile.
    -If assembler is told to make something, it will steal from the refinery, or cargo box.
    -Reactor will take fuel bars from any source that is not another reactor.
    -Assembler will take fuel bars to make warheads from any source that is not a reactor.
    A Collector block is a block that, when powered, will take any inventory capable items and suck it inside of it when close.
    So for example, you make 6 of them in a rectangle, use a bunch of conveyor blocks to link them, run a pipe into a cargo.
    Then you put a sphere gravity under it and turn that on. Mine on a rock above it and the ore will get sucked towards it, into the collectors, and into your cargo. Then the refinery will get to work!!!! This is great for getting 100% efficiency out of mining.
    Conveyor pipes and blocks are the same. except that the block is a single space with slots on all sides. Cargo bays work the same, but are just more expensive. You can link stuff together by making sure the doors are facing each other and touching, so you can pile 4 refineries together with a cargo and reactor and assembler without any pipes at all!
    Use connectors to dock a mining ship to a station to automatically suck all the resources out of the ship into the system.
  5. Ortikon Apprentice Engineer

    Ejector just seems to eject now and is the fastest way to...lose all your ore.
    Mining ship with a connector on the back for docking to the base is the way to go. If you have a spot you are always mining, like if you built your base inside an asteroid, then build a "catchers mitt". Essentially make a few collectors and some ramps with gravity near it to catch ore. You can make some real tricky stuff using gravity and collectors.

    The assemblers ARE still a bit annoying, I try to make stuff in batches of the same item, otherwise there is just too much un-needed ore per component. I make steel plates in their own assembler in batches of 10k and leave it running all day though. Just keep in mind, at no point should you have to pick it up and walk with it. You can drag items to another inventory in the menu, which should take no time at all if need be. Just make sure if you do that, to turn off the assembler, or it will keep sucking resources back into it haha. Im finding I get my jobs done more balanced if I empty it out into a container via dragging them, selecting the components I want made, and turning the assemblers on.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2014
  6. SoUlFaThEr Trainee Engineer

    whats actually missing now is

    whats the real difference between connector and ejector.....for me they both do the same thing
  7. Ortikon Apprentice Engineer

    connectors magnetize when close to eachother. to dock ships. use the landing gear lock button to hold it in place.
    Ejector just shoots stuff into space. Which is good for gravity weapons etc. And perhaps if ejectors lock, one-way connector so stuff doesn't mix around the wrong way. I never use them though.
  8. Crewman87 Apprentice Engineer

    Just a small tid bit of info. When the programming block is released it will allow scripted behavior of conveyors and how they route. That may be slightly complicated if you have no basic knowledge of C#. However it's simple once you have figured out the basics of it.

    <SubtypeId>LargeSphereBlock</SubtypeId> <!-- Unique block subtypeId -->
    <DisplayName>Large Sphere</DisplayName> <!-- Name visible in game -->
    <Icon>Textures\GUI\Icons\Cubes\window</Icon> <!-- Lets use window icon for our sphere -->
    <CubeSize>Large</CubeSize> <!-- We're making large block -->
    <BlockTopology>TriangleMesh</BlockTopology> <!-- Use TriangleMesh (unless you want to make new deformable armor) -->
    <Size x="1" y="1" z="1" /> <!-- Size in blocks is 1x1x1 (just one block) -->
    <ModelOffset x="0" y="0" z="0" />
    <Model>Models\Sphere</Model> <!-- Model path -->
    <Component Subtype="InteriorPlate" Count="12" />
    <Component Subtype="Construction" Count="8" />
    <Component Subtype="SmallTube" Count="4" />
    <CriticalComponent Subtype="Construction" Index="0" />

    That seems rather basic if you can understand it. So I am sure in regards to conveyor systems it will be a bit more simplified.
  9. SoUlFaThEr Trainee Engineer

    Yeah thats easily understandable. I have worked a GREAT deal with programmers over the years from AI to games (my own included) to things at the work place.
    I was just never able to turn sentences of things i wanted into any type of code like they can. I can read it and get what they are doing with most of it.

    back to Ortikon.

    Connectors are worthless imo. They are redundant to the more properly named Ejector and are redundant to a Merge block (but with an ejecting function). I honestly see no point in using it after all these explanations :D

    Still I thank you for spending time to help me understand these things. Meanwhile i have a nice little set up.

    Only thing upsetting is this "blast furnace" i just tied up to my assembler im soloing out for only iron stuff. i hooked it all up figuring it would eat up the incoming raw iron to start refining it and my refineries got it instead....so i had to seperate it from the rest....and actually dont even feel like using it either for the same reason as the connector :/
  10. Lt_Duckweed Apprentice Engineer

    You misunderstand, ejectors can only throw out a little ore at a time, so it can take up to ten minutes or more to unload it all. The connector connects your ship inventory to your station inventory and the refineries will suck up all the ore almost instantaneously. They also allow you to manage your station inventory from your small ship, as well as get parts for a welder ship, etc.
  11. Ortikon Apprentice Engineer

    Ya its the ejector that is pretty pointless. nothing like letting it dribble ore into the collector for 10 minutes. Welder ship would have 0 use for an ejector unless you are a sadist who also happens to enjoy throwing your diamonds into lava in minecraft.
  12. Blako Apprentice Engineer

    I would point you toward these lovely posts not written by me.

    Explanation of pull & push principles in conveyor system
    Customizing your conveyor system


    What if an arc furnace was closer to your collector/docked ship than the refinery? Or what if it went docked ship > arc furnace > refinery? I want to test it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2014
  13. Koder Apprentice Engineer

    Yeah I just encountered a situation where my arc furnace got completely bypassed in favor of the refinery for my iron, even though the arc furnace is the first stop on the pathway.

    Conveyor behavior really bothers me sometimes.

    Back to the testing board I need to troubleshoot this.

    EDIT: Ok so I got the arc furnace to pull iron, only when i manually load it into a cargo container in a different place in the system, AND the refinery has to already be processing a different ore as well. I'm thinking I might end up making a docking port for just iron, and then connect that to the opposite side of the network, so that there are things the refineries can't pull through. Those arc furnaces are awesome when they work, its too bad I can't use my nice open expandable conveyor network I just got done designing.

    EDIT 2: From the wiki: "In limited experimentation it has been found that a conveyor block follows a pattern when checking where to dump inventory. If you orient a conveyor where the sides are all right side up, as shown by the label on each face, and the top has the writing on the far side, the conveyor will first try and dump right, then left, then to the back. This information can help with routing assembler inventory dumps to prevent pile up." I missed that little tidbit, I will have to mess with it more.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2014
  14. kristakis Junior Engineer

    There's a conveyor mod around somewhere on the forums where the sides are numbered to help show which order is preferred - very handy.

    I hope they add a proper routing system later and make it all easier to work with.
  15. AlanEsh Apprentice Engineer

    Keen needs to have a look at how the (Minecraft) Applied Energistics mod handles prioritization.
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