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What to do with Timer Blocks?

Discussion in 'General' started by russo_bolado, Nov 9, 2017.

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

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    613
    Hello, folks!

    Now that Timer Blocks will no longer be needed for script running, what should we do with them? I always designed my ships with Timers in order to be able to run scripts, but it'll be no longer an issue. Are there any other practical uses for them (other than those weird contraptions with rotors and such)?

    EDIT: minor typos
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  2. Carrion Senior Engineer

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    1,409
    i have uses for them. my pak38 field gun uses 3 of them to simulate a recoil using a piston. also remember not everyone can program so they need to be able to do it in an analogue manner
     
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  3. Dax23333 Junior Engineer

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    646
    How about using them to activate a thing after a delay? I hear they're pretty good for that. Also binding multiple things to one button press, so when you want a weld up a missile it'll turn on the merge block, turn on the welders and activate another timer for a delay until the release. Or with an ore cannon, where you want to turn gravity feilds on and off, along with connectors and all in a fairly precice time frame.

    They're still useful, just constantly running scripts won't need them any more.
     
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  4. Sinbad Senior Engineer

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    2,788
    ill still be adding one on a ten second self trigger cycle just to make sure the script starts itself on world load.
     
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  5. russo_bolado Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    613
    I can't program, this is why I use scripts from other people. But some servers do not allow scripts, so... Fair enough.

    Assuming that the PB's won't automatically run themselves, it's the best idea I've seen so far. Other than that, they'll be mostly for appliances that require multiple activations, such as PMW's, Ore Cannons and missiles' firing cycles. In my main cargo ship, I used 4 Timer Blocks, one for each PB. Now I'll use only one to activate all PB's without having to manually activate them everytime.

    Once again, back to the drawing board. :D
     
  6. Renfield37 Trainee Engineer

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    97
    You can still program with them in a limited spaghetti code type of way. You just have to place a bunch of them to serve as individual pauses and to grease the rails so to speak. Another hurdle is you cant set timers in the millisecond range.
     
  7. Sinbad Senior Engineer

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    2,788
    you can set a timer to trigger another timer. you can use that for any increment of 1/60th a second by chaining them.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  8. Carrion Senior Engineer

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    1,409
    whilst that is interestng it also becomes hugly complex and time consuming to set up AND physically massive even using small ones on a rotor.

    i did it with a mining system ages ago for a competition and it took me longer to set the timers than it did to build the rest of it.
     
  9. Sinbad Senior Engineer

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    2,788
    I learned to program because I was making a 3d printer build (that works like the 3 axis filament printers irl) using only timers. I got to two hundred or so and got lost. did you know you can make (very slow) logic gates with them?
     
  10. Malware Master Engineer

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    9,507
    Don't need that. Script constructor does that.
    --- Automerge ---
    They do. When he says "don't need timers" he means it

    But timers weren't created to run scripts in the first place. Timers were released before PB's were, for simple automation for those who can't or won't script.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  11. Lander1 Trainee Engineer

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    44
    I use about 5 or so timers to make a button perform an on/off function for readying 12 ICBM's for firing from a single button press. The system will airlock the missile room, open the doors and raise the missiles into the tubes ready for firing, and then power on the launch control PB. Once the same button is pressed a second time the process reverses.

    The trick is that the button activates the first timer which triggers both open and close timer blocks simultaneously, however only one will be powered and therefore activated depending on the current state of the system. As the system changes state one of it's functions is to switch the power state of both open and close timers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
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  12. Calaban Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    888
    I use timers on my rover for the h2 thrusters.

    They arent for flying, exactly, but for for those times you need a little "ooph"- hopping over rough ground, emergency stopping, off a cliff deceleration, even the occasional epic canyon jump.

    Basically 4 downward thrusters (one Fwd one rear), and 2 rev. Set to max override (fed by 2 o2 generators), with timers turning them on or off (normally off)

    With timers its a simple hotkey to trigger the block for "oh, CRAP!" braking, and the reverse h2s kick on for 2 seconds... or so- tuned to bring me to a full stop dependent on cargo mass (adjustable in the field by just changing the on time)

    Another triggers the "fly" thrusters for 1 second, and I can spam tap that key to slowly lift off the ground, or slow a fall.

    So in the end, timer block should not be seen as just repeated timers, but but as buttons- that can be set to do things to multiple items, from the toolbar
     
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  13. Forcedminer Senior Engineer

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    2,215
    it can be useful for basic level programming.
    such as when you need a sensor to do a couple of things but you can't program or compile a script for you life.
    .
    I usually rig up an ugly personal grid defense system.
    it goes something like...when a sensor detects a character that isn't the owner...be it wolf,spider or other player..
    timer_block_on turn on turrets,red lights,red spot lights connected to a rotor, turn on that rotor to spin and play a sound. red alert which enables turrets.
    timer_block_off turns it all off when a character is no longer detected.
    .
    its useful so you don't get surprised by a sudden appearance of wolfs or spiders. for players....ehhhh...you'd normally be shot dead by them from a range.
     
  14. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    4,695
    You can use a timer to trigger an argument to a programmable block. This sounds a bit redundant. However, when you trigger an argument from a hotkey, there's no way of knowing what that argument actually is in game. You can label a timer block name anything you like and that's how it will show in the toolbar. So basically you have to build an entire timer block to give users a hint about what toolbar buttons work.
     
  15. dispair Apprentice Engineer

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    250
    I use timers hooked to a sensor to run airlocks. It is a quick easy way to conserve oxygen. And I used them a few times on blast doors covering turrets on pistons.
     
  16. ViroMan Senior Engineer

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    1,123
    hmm... wonder if we can set up a sort of "red stone computer" with timers, rotors, and sensors.
     
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  17. ShadedMJ Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    210
    <joke> oh... and use large blocks... to make the biggest half-adder possible</joke>

    Yeah, you possibly could. Sensors/buttons for inputs, lights for outputs, timers for a system clock and logic.

    Edit: Maybe not. Making a the XOR function might not be possible.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  18. Captain Broadstairs Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    469
    Non script mechanisms mostly. I'll still be using timers to automate missile launch and reload sequences as multiple actions will need to be triggered after appropriate delay.

    Oh and fixed weapon sequencing, if you want to fire you're rocket's in a steady controlled stream.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  19. ViroMan Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,123
    xor could be done with a rotor and sensor I think.

    Place 3 blocks on the rotor. Have the sensor detect a block at minimum range. Have the inputs spin the rotor x degrees towards the sensor (or toggle the reverse). The sensor stays off until a timer turns it on for detecting the input. Sensor activates a 1 or 0 timer block. In either case the rotor is reset and the sensor turned off.
     
  20. Me 10 Jin Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    463
    Timers have emissive textures that make them excellent greebles. You can even set them up to alternate colors.

    Storing "run PB w/ args" in a named timer shouldn't be understated as a usability consideration.
     
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  21. halipatsui Senior Engineer

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    1,253
    Xor?
     
  22. Sinbad Senior Engineer

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    2,788
    XOR, or Exclusive OR is a gate with two inputs and one output. the output goes high when only one of the inputs is high.

    its handy if you want to know if the inputs do not match, as it will output false if they match.
     
  23. Pounce Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    2
    I use timerblocks to hardcode sequences scripts are not reliable enough for like docking and starting sequences, they do not as often mess up as scripts do (and ships are costly if things go wrong with an heavy ship and an heavy space station) plus it is kinda easyer to squenze in an timerblock than in an script in my opinion, so i think they are usefull (and timer block do not rely on special nametags and such something SE likes to mess with a lot like reseting all your building blocks to default name)
     
  24. odizzido Junior Engineer

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    669
    I use them to turn on air vents every once in a while as leaving them on is just a waste of power.
     
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  25. May Rears Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    400
    Timer blocks can also be used to necro a thread from 2017 :)

    That and vanilla airlocks, triggering multiple different modules at once, vanilla retractable landing gear with doors etc etc
     
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  26. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    4,695
    I also heard that planets are coming... soon.
     
  27. May Rears Apprentice Engineer

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    400
    Planets...in space...what sort of space game do they think this is?
     
  28. FoolishOwl Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    507
    We should be able to use a timer block in conjunction with the new galley block to produce pizza.
     
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  29. Calaban Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    888
    I use timer blocks all the time, but I think the confusion on it's use is because most people don't realize the alternate uses of it. Every block in space engineers had 2 to 11 alternate uses, by the way.

    For instance, I rarely have them time anything, or cycle a repeating action. Nope!

    I use a timer for when I want " This, this, that, that and that other thing waaaay over there OFF, and also this that and the other other thing to 'use conveyors on', and those other other things to turn ON"... all with the press of a single button (hotkey toolbar to' trigger now')

    The little aspect that I think most players do not realize it's that when a timer is triggered or counts down, it then runs through all of its toolbar buttons in sequence. All 9 toolbars. So 81 individual actions possible. One button.

    A specific example is in my jump buggy designs. When I want my rover to fly or jump a canyon, the wheels tend to mess things up by turning and braking- messing up my flight model and controls. So, I have a timer, set up on cockpit toolbar to 'trigger now'. When triggered, it performs:
    - cockpit- control wheels on/off
    - cockpit control thrusters off/on
    - thrusters group off/on
    (So the normal drive mode had control thrusters off, and thrusters off)

    Then, while driving around, if a sudden cliff appears beneath me, I just hit toolbar #1, and presto! I'm now flying, and the wheels are inactive, and spacebar is purely thrust up! As I get closer to the ground, tapping 1 again turns off the thrusters, I plop to the ground, and continue driving.

    That's what I use timer blocks for:munch:
    [oops- realized this is basically a more wordy repeat of an earlier post- Alzheimer check!]
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
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  30. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,918
    Yep. Only differences between a TB and a PB is that you have to trigger it, and once it's triggered it'll run till it's done so everything better be ready.

    Problem is they take up an entire block in order to do what may require just a couple keystrokes. It's worth it if you've got a function that requires many keystrokes (as you described), but I probably have more of the two or three action variety.

    There's a mod that let's you place small grid block on a large grid that people have used to make a wall of timer blocks. I don't know if that mod still works, but it's the sort of solution I'm looking for. Interior space is usually limited, no matter what your're building.
     
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