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Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:23 pm
by zOldBulldog
I used to rely on circuits to load my cargo wagons with exactly the number of desired items. Then watching a video I noticed someone setting up a cargo wagon filter and I realized there is a much easier way to do it!

But, it became painfully obvious that I am not understanding some nuance of the filter.

This is what I'm seeing:

1) My requester chest is working fine. For this chest I requested: 50 signals, 50 chain signals, 10 stops, 5 locomotives, 5 cargo wagons, 5 fluid wagons. They all were received fine, plus a few extras because of researched bonuses.
reqChest.jpg
reqChest.jpg (774.48 KiB) Viewed 1811 times
2) But the inserters are not loading the wagon correctly.
- For the items in the above chest the wagon is set to accept: 100 signals, 100 chain signals, 10 stops, 5 locomotives, 5 cargo wagons, 5 fluid wagons. (I do realize that for load speed I should increase the chest's requested numbers so that they are all in the chest before the train arrives, this is just my early setup/testing)
- The inserter for this chest only loaded 35 signals, 15 chain signals, 10 stops, 0 locomotives, 0 cargo wagons, 0 fluid wagons... even though they are in the chest.
wagon.jpg
wagon.jpg (869.88 KiB) Viewed 1811 times
So... what nuance am I missing? What is stopping my inserters from continuing to do their jobs? Is this an obscure undocumented feature (the wiki says nothing about it) or even a bug? Or simple user error?

In case it is of any use, this is the blueprint for that station:

Code: Select all

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Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:38 pm
by Zavian
Most likely the inserters have something in their hands that doesn't fit into the wagon, and until they get rid of that they won't pick up anything else. The way I normally load cargo wagon is to only have a single item item per chest. Using red inserters you can still fit 24 items per wagon.

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:45 pm
by zOldBulldog
Zavian wrote:Most likely the inserters have something in their hands that doesn't fit into the wagon, and until they get rid of that they won't pick up anything else. The way I normally load cargo wagon is to only have a single item item per chest. Using red inserters you can still fit 24 items per wagon.
So the inserter grabs from the chest as much as it can handle and all is fine until the last attempt, then if it has items in hand... it just hangs there with the items instead of switching to the next item. :lol: , somebody missed that little detail during design. Hopefully it will get addressed before 1.0... the behavior is quite counter-intuitive.

But thank you, now that I know what is happening it should be easy to avoid.

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:53 pm
by Zavian
Well I consider that the lack of smart behaviour is entirely consistent with the rest of the game. None of Factorio's components are smart. They all have simple and predictable behaviour. It's up to the Factory designer to use those simple behaviours to build their factory, adding smarts through circuits if and when desired.

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:08 pm
by zOldBulldog
Zavian wrote:Well I consider that the lack of smart behaviour is entirely consistent with the rest of the game. None of Factorio's components are smart. They all have simple and predictable behaviour. It's up to the Factory designer to use those simple behaviours to build their factory, adding smarts through circuits if and when desired.
It is fine to be simplistic, if well documented. Personally I enjoy coming up with contraptions to deal with what some consider features and others design flaws.

But as far as I know the wiki does not mention anywhere that inserters will hold items in their hands (although I've seen it happen over belts). It most definitely gives no indication that such behavior would happen when the inserter has a task assigned, did half the job (like in this case) and then it could get stuck because it has its hands full and doesn't know to empty them before continuing.

Somebody said it very well in a different thread. An experienced player might stumble and figure it out or post a question in the forum, quickly coming to a good solution. But a beginner will get surprised, frustrated and possibly abandon the game. This is such a great game that we don't really want them to get such reactions.

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:06 pm
by Frightning
zOldBulldog wrote:
Zavian wrote:Well I consider that the lack of smart behaviour is entirely consistent with the rest of the game. None of Factorio's components are smart. They all have simple and predictable behaviour. It's up to the Factory designer to use those simple behaviours to build their factory, adding smarts through circuits if and when desired.
It is fine to be simplistic, if well documented. Personally I enjoy coming up with contraptions to deal with what some consider features and others design flaws.

But as far as I know the wiki does not mention anywhere that inserters will hold items in their hands (although I've seen it happen over belts). It most definitely gives no indication that such behavior would happen when the inserter has a task assigned, did half the job (like in this case) and then it could get stuck because it has its hands full and doesn't know to empty them before continuing.

Somebody said it very well in a different thread. An experienced player might stumble and figure it out or post a question in the forum, quickly coming to a good solution. But a beginner will get surprised, frustrated and possibly abandon the game. This is such a great game that we don't really want them to get such reactions.
I think it's a good thing that this game allows players to become victim to the Law of Unintended Consequences. It's part of what makes the game challenging in a fun way. You might expect a given slick-looking design to just work naively, but discover that it does not and for reasons you didn't anticipate. In the end, once you identify what's going wrong, you learn something about the consequences of how things work in the game (still remember designing my first oil-barrel train back in 0.12, got ambushed by the possibility of my inserters removing filled barrels from the wagon at the outpost, and vice versa at my base, but then came up with the solution of using smart inserters with filters set up appropriately to deal with the problem, and thus, along the way, found worthwhile use case for Smart Inserters).

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:58 am
by Lav
I have run into a similar problem at my base once. Didn't have the space to rebuild the station either. So I created a cleanup system:

1. A cargo train can also depart if there hasn't been any activity for some time (ensuring it can leave even though not fully loaded).
2. Another "cleanup" train immediately visits the station after the cargo train leaves. Cleanup train arrival is tracked by circuits which immediately disable all inserters. Inserters that are already in a moving cycle will finish their cycle first though. This allows all currently active inserters to dump their contents into the cleanup train.
3. Cleanup train leaves the station after ~1 second and moves to an unloading station, where it's entire contents are dumped onto a belt which goes back to loading station and empties into loading station's chests.

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:36 pm
by Serenity
You really need one item per requester chest only for this to work correctly.

Or you set the stack size to one, but then you have very slow loading

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:35 pm
by zOldBulldog
I just saw in a video a neat trick to go past the 12 types of items per wagon limit:. On items that are not consumed much and thus the slow loading won't matter use red inserters, that way you can put two of them and two chests where you would have had a single green inserter and chest.

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:29 pm
by Mr. Tact
You can always double the number of chests you are using by doing something like this:
double inserter loading.jpg
double inserter loading.jpg (75.36 KiB) Viewed 1643 times

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:06 am
by zOldBulldog
Mr. Tact wrote:You can always double the number of chests you are using by doing something like this:
double inserter loading.jpg
Exactly what I saw. Thanks for the screenshot

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:51 am
by fur_and_whiskers
Lav wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:58 am
So I created a cleanup system:
1. A cargo train can also depart if there hasn't been any activity for some time (ensuring it can leave even though not fully loaded).
2. Another "cleanup" train immediately visits the station after the cargo train leaves. Cleanup train arrival is tracked by circuits which immediately disable all inserters. Inserters that are already in a moving cycle will finish their cycle first though. This allows all currently active inserters to dump their contents into the cleanup train.
3. Cleanup train leaves the station after ~1 second and moves to an unloading station, where it's entire contents are dumped onto a belt which goes back to loading station and empties into loading station's chests.
Nice solution! Didn't think of this.
I have one requester chest assigned to one item and limited to 12 different types of items per carriage and avoided problems that way.

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:07 am
by ColonelSandersLite
Serenity wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:36 pm
You really need one item per requester chest only for this to work correctly.

Or you set the stack size to one, but then you have very slow loading
The thing is that *both* are the right answer, depending on what it is.


A half wagon of rails? You probably want a stack inserter. Maybe even 4 stack inserters, each linked to a requester that requests 500 rails.

Single stacks of miscellaneous doohickeys that don't see a whole lot of use? Stack size 1 inserters should work just fine.

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:20 pm
by nosports
Sorry for hijacking this thread....

But i have a question and don't seem to find the anser :oops:

I know of seting the filter in the wagon, even with the items at hand & middle MC

But how do i set a entire (full or half full) wagon to filtered slots ?
(like limiting with the red X, so i miss (search) a button for this ....

can hint me something ?

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:24 pm
by Zavian
nosports wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:20 pm
ut how do i set a entire (full or half full) wagon to filtered slots ?
Unfortunately you need to set one slot at a time. :(

There has been at least one suggestion to fix that. I believe the old UI toolkit wasn't able to support the proposed fix. Hopefully with the new UI, the devs can add something to make this easier.

Re: Understanding the Cargo Wagon Filter

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:32 pm
by Serenity
You can copy/paste individual slots. That makes it a bit quicker. But unfortunately you can't drag them like you can with the limiting function

You can also copy/paste an entire cargo wagon once you have done one

In 0.17 you will be able to blueprint trains