Help needed regarding bus lanes

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Eram
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Help needed regarding bus lanes

Post by Eram »

Hi there, somewhat new player that has well over 40 hours but has never quite reached late game, and I have a few questions. I am trying to set up a bus for my base, but since I've never quite gotten this far, I'm unsure how much or how little of each resource I should be putting on my bus. And since I plan on branching off both sides, I'd rather not have to redesign the whole bus system should I have too little of a resource later on. I'm going by lanes of 4, with gaps of 4 in between. 2 lanes of iron and 2 lanes of copper are what I plan on. I'm indecisive on steel and gears though, I initially planned on having 1 lane split with 2 steel and 2 gear but I've started to doubt myself. A similar situation with electronics as well. Should I give each color a dedicated lane, or should I group all the colors into a single 'electronics' lane. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

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Re: Help needed regarding bus lanes

Post by Pi-C »

Eram wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:54 pm
I'm going by lanes of 4, with gaps of 4 in between.
Why not 6 belts/4 spaces? It's a bit impractical in the beginning, as yellow undergrounds can only bridge gaps of 4 tiles, but you can improvise until you've got red undergrounds.
2 lanes of iron and 2 lanes of copper are what I plan on.
That will run dry quite fast! 4 lanes each for iron and copper should be the minimum, I'd even go as far as using 6 lanes.
I'm indecisive on steel and gears though, I initially planned on having 1 lane split with 2 steel and 2 gear but I've started to doubt myself.
I'd go for 2 lanes gears + 2 lanes steel.
A similar situation with electronics as well. Should I give each color a dedicated lane, or should I group all the colors into a single 'electronics' lane. Any advice would be greatly appreciated
You'll need lots of green circuits once you start producing red circuits, and even more when you start with blue circuits and higher tiers of modules. I'd reserve at least 4 lanes for green circuits, probably even 6 to be on the safe side. 2 or 3 lanes for red and 1 lane for blue circuits should be enough.

Don't forget to reserve space for other stuff -- coal, plastic, stone, bricks etc., and pipes for fluids. If you play with mods, there may be other things you want to put on the bus as well. Do yourself a favor and plan generously! Leave enough room for at least two rows of 6 belts + 4 space. You'll probably find out at some point that you've forgotten to bus at least one resource, so the extra space will come in handy. If that's still not enough you can always squeeze in a lane or two into the 4-tile gaps.
A good mod deserves a good changelog. Here's a tutorial (WIP) about Factorio's way too strict changelog syntax!

Eram
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Re: Help needed regarding bus lanes

Post by Eram »

Ah, just to clarify, when I mean lanes I mean the line of belts as a whole. 1 lane of iron would be 4 rows of belts. Unless there wasn't a misunderstanding- in which case I underestimated just how much I'd need, haha. And the reason I've been using 4 rows of belts is because my trains have been 4 compartments long, which feeds into 4 furnace setups with 1 lane outputs. While it wouldn't be too hard to expand the trains and add 2 more furnace setups to make 6 row lanes, it would eat into time and resources. And from the looks of it I'm going to need a lot. But thank you so much for the advice! I'll definitely take all that into consideration!

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Re: Help needed regarding bus lanes

Post by astroshak »

It might make the bus a bit longer, but … only build on one side of it. Building on both sides is both a newbie mistake and a deliberate move by someone very familiar with how much material they need to send down the bus.

You’ll want 4 (or more) belts of Iron Plate, 4 (or more) belts of Copper Plate, a belt or two of Steel, a belt each of Stone, Stone Brick, Coal, as well as 4 belts of Green Circuits. You’ll want plenty of belt space for other things you may decide to put on the bus such as Sulfur, Red Circuits, Blue Circuits, Low Density Structures, Plastic, among others.

It also helps to have a “liquid bus” of at least Sulfuric Acid and Lube. Water, Petroleum Gas, or other fluids if desired.

Unless you know exactly what you mean to have on the bus (and how you mean to deliver items not on the bus) it is best to only build on one side of the bus so that you can add additional belts for other materials as needed, or even whole smelting columns if you find that you need more iron/copper/steel plate.

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Re: Help needed regarding bus lanes

Post by mrvn »

Eram wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:38 am
Ah, just to clarify, when I mean lanes I mean the line of belts as a whole. 1 lane of iron would be 4 rows of belts. Unless there wasn't a misunderstanding- in which case I underestimated just how much I'd need, haha. And the reason I've been using 4 rows of belts is because my trains have been 4 compartments long, which feeds into 4 furnace setups with 1 lane outputs. While it wouldn't be too hard to expand the trains and add 2 more furnace setups to make 6 row lanes, it would eat into time and resources. And from the looks of it I'm going to need a lot. But thank you so much for the advice! I'll definitely take all that into consideration!
That makes a lot more sense then. So 8 belts of iron plates. 2 belts of iron gear wheels equals another 4 lanes of iron plates. That's 12 out of 16 iron plate belts I would plan for minimum.

But a lot of iron plates go into green circuit boards. It really helps if you build them separately. Even have dedicated iron and copper smelters just for green circuits. One lane of green circuit boards equals 1 lane of iron plates and 1.5 lanes of copper plates. So that really saves space on the bus. And you need them for the red circuit boards and blue circuit boards.

I wouldn't put blue circuit boards on the bus or rocket parts. Or at least not for any length. Try to produce them as close to consumption as possible. They are too expensive to fill up a bus full of them. At least if you only want to launch one rocket.

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Re: Help needed regarding bus lanes

Post by Tertius »

You might be able to shrink your bus design and thus make it more flexible by treating the earlier refined materials differently. Instead of starting the bus with an ore input and vast amount of factories with ore furnaces and creating everything down the bus, consider creating extra ore smelting factories and green and red circuit factories that act like mines and connect them with train stations to your main factory.

Design a blueprint for a ore smelting factory that has 4 input belts and 4 output belts. As input it gets a train unloading station for ore, as output it feeds into its train loading station for plates. Now your main factory doesn't need an ore train station with a furnace field, it only needs a plate unloading station.
The same with steel: an iron plate unloading train station leads into a smelting factory for smelting steel, and outputs into a steel loading train station.
The green circuit factory gets 2 unloading train stations as input, a copper and an iron plate one. Output is a green circuit loading station.
The red circuit factory gets 3 unloading stations as input - copper plate, iron plate and plastic bar (for creating its green circuits internally) or 2 unloading stations - green circuit and plastic bar (for importing the green circuits).

This way you can uncouple the supply from the demand better, and you can better manage the space required for your furnace fields. The bus shrinks, because you directly feed green and red circuits into it with corresponding unloading stations and don't need to feed vast amounts of plates into creating them on the field. If you need more plates or steel or circuits, just drop the corresponding blueprint and add another factory+loading station (and extend your mines, of course), then an unloading station where the demand is.

I consider a good standard belt size for a bus 4 belts, partly because it's the maximum length of the yellow underground belt, and partly because it becomes increasingly difficult to balance larger belt collections. The wider the bus is, the more splitters and belt space you need just for balancing. And 4 is what usually comes out of a train unloading station if you use 4 wagons.
If you need 8 belts of something, organize it by using 2x4. Divide et impera.

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Re: Help needed regarding bus lanes

Post by mmmPI »

Eram wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:54 pm
And since I plan on branching off both sides, I'd rather not have to redesign the whole bus system should I have too little of a resource later on. I'm going by lanes of 4, with gaps of 4 in between. 2 lanes of iron and 2 lanes of copper are what I plan on. I'm indecisive on steel and gears though, I initially planned on having 1 lane split with 2 steel and 2 gear but I've started to doubt myself.
So that would mean 8 belts of iron, 8 belts of copper, 2 belts of steel, 2 belts of gears. I think that's plenty already. In your game you will probably upgrade the belts from yellow to red to blue, it will already give you a hint if the ratio are correct, if you need blue belt on iron plate but yellow is still enough for steel, or the opposite, for example. Also you can always re-fill the bus midway with a train station if you realize you are short on a certain good, or even design the latter part larger, adding some lane to the exterior for battery or plastic, and offsetting the other assembly.

I would consider a belt for stone brick in the purple science and a belt for coal for the grenade in the military science, could be more coal depending on where you plan to make plastic.

For green circuit, you could spare some long lane if you make the other red and blue just next to it because those consume a lot. for ratios i would go 4 belts for green circuit, 2 belts for red circuit , 1 belt for blue circuit ( this left for the bus after the green circuit were eaten by red and blue circuit ).
I don't think that doing so would ever require to upgrade the yellow belt for blue circuit, while the green circuit may require red or even blue belts. Most of the copper required is used for electronic circuit, until the low density structures, so you may need more iron than copper but it look better 8 and 8 rather than 9 and 7 haha.

the ratios you can hardly know for sure if they are going to be perfect anyway, if you build more rail, you will need more steel, the less compact the bus the more belts you need and thus iron plate and gear, if you use modules you will need more copper, and solar pannel and accumulator requires more copper steel and plastic than iron plate, all those shifts the ratios. oh and also how you defend your base :). If you build very fast and have few labs, most of the ressource consumption could be belts and ammunition. If you spend hours making things look nice symetric and pretty, the consumption ratio will more closely match what science requires.

Eram
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Re: Help needed regarding bus lanes

Post by Eram »

But a lot of iron plates go into green circuit boards. It really helps if you build them separately. Even have dedicated iron and copper smelters just for green circuits. One lane of green circuit boards equals 1 lane of iron plates and 1.5 lanes of copper plates. So that really saves space on the bus. And you need them for the red circuit boards and blue circuit boards.
I had planned on having dedicated smelters for gears, but hadn't considered the same for circuits. I'll definitely be doing that though, surprised I didn't think to do it sooner! Fortunately when it comes to furnaces I can expand pretty easy by just adding more to the back of the bus. Although the suggestion from Tertius definitely sounds helpful as well.

Thank you all for your help! I'm feeling a lot better about beginning to move into late(ish) game! I'll see about posting screenshots once I get most the furnaces and belt planning in place!

astroshak
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Re: Help needed regarding bus lanes

Post by astroshak »

IMO, Gears are not really worth putting on the bus, as their main use is in the Mall (and Combat Minimall, if that stuff is not rolled into your main Mall), and to a minor degree in several Sciences (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow).

For a decent 10:12:10:24:14:14 (Red, Green, Grey, Blue, Yellow, Purple science) setup you need :
1 for Red. (0.1 yellow belts)
1.5 for Green. (0.2 yellow belts)
0 for Grey. (0 yellow belts)
1 for Blue. (0.1 yellow belts)
0.4 for Yellow (0.1 yellow belts)
0 for Purple (0 belts)

That’s half a belt of Gears, or 1 belt of Iron Plate, for science. Its actually somewhat less; its only 5.75 Iron Gears per second, or 0.4 yellow belts. All figures from the kirkmcdonald calculator.

Make them and bus them, or make them locally. IMO local is generally easier.

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Re: Help needed regarding bus lanes

Post by foamy »

astroshak wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 4:36 am
IMO, Gears are not really worth putting on the bus, as their main use is in the Mall (and Combat Minimall, if that stuff is not rolled into your main Mall), and to a minor degree in several Sciences (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow).

For a decent 10:12:10:24:14:14 (Red, Green, Grey, Blue, Yellow, Purple science) setup you need :
1 for Red. (0.1 yellow belts)
1.5 for Green. (0.2 yellow belts)
0 for Grey. (0 yellow belts)
1 for Blue. (0.1 yellow belts)
0.4 for Yellow (0.1 yellow belts)
0 for Purple (0 belts)

That’s half a belt of Gears, or 1 belt of Iron Plate, for science. Its actually somewhat less; its only 5.75 Iron Gears per second, or 0.4 yellow belts. All figures from the kirkmcdonald calculator.

Make them and bus them, or make them locally. IMO local is generally easier.
I favour local, though I do build a dedicated full-scale gear plant to serve the belt plant (and incidentally, other stuff in the mall area).

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Re: Help needed regarding bus lanes

Post by mrvn »

I think it's useful not to put the mall on the bus at all. One should probably start with building the mall before the bus so you have automated production of belts, underground belts, splitters, inserters, assembler. Hand crafting them is a pain.

astroshak
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Re: Help needed regarding bus lanes

Post by astroshak »

That’s generally why the mall is one of the first things on my bus (after the smelters, and the GC, though GC could be put after the mall). Ore comes in, gets smelted, and then the plate goes to the mall first (GC has dedicated smelters, though the plate gets put on the bus its only for a short distance). The mall is used to both flesh out the mines and smelting columns and to build everything else.

There’s a reason I made BP’s of the smelting column headers, its for spacing so I can have all the Iron Plate next to one another, all the Copper Plate next to one another, even if I don’t intend to build the entire column initially.

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Re: Help needed regarding bus lanes

Post by Serenity »

It really depends on your overall goals and also the design of the base. You can go with 8 belts iron and copper each if you want to go big, but 4 or 6 of each can be fine too.
Personally I don't put the copper and iron for the green circuits on the main bus anymore. Those eventually get their own dedicated smelters. That drastically cuts down on the size of the copper belts and makes circuits more easily scalable as needed. You can also take that further and not route the green circuits for the red and blue circuits over the main bus, as those can easily consume whole belts by themselves.

There used to be an argument for putting gears on the bus. But that was when science needed tons of gears for gun turrets and mining drills. That's not the case anymore. Most gears are consumed by belt production and other mall products. So the gear production can be integrated into the mall and also receive dedicated iron belts eventually. The gears for science can now be produced locally without putting too much of a strain on the iron plate belts.

Almost as important is giving some thought to less obvious items like stone, coal, bricks, batteries, low density structures, or maybe uranium. Those can easily consume up to 8 belts. Some of them can share a belt though.

You'll also need a fluid bus with things like water, sulfuric acid and lubricant.

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