Noob intro + baffled by Kovarex

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Laie
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Re: Noob intro + baffled by Kovarex

Post by Laie »

Pat Healy wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:39 pm
I have the process up and running (I'm awash in U235 and fuel cells) but I can't figure out the magic of skimming off that 1 unit of U235 automatically
The simple method is to use a standing train as a big box. It has to include a locomotive and needs to be parked at a station, though, just so you can read the train contents. Up to six kovarex machines can work on the contents a wagon, and you still have to spots at the rear where you can place inserters to refill / skimm off. As usual with simple setups, you won't get anything out of it until all Kovarex machines have filled their buffer.

Another variant to the sushi belts above:
Image
U235 is fed back into the machine just as it comes out. With hand_size = 2, that takes exactly ten swings until it has enough to start the next batch, at which point it demands U238 -- this takes another three swings, while the excess item of U-235 happily slides past. So even without any circuit magic, I can rake off some U-235 right from the start.

However, without circuit magic I cannot ever be 100% perfectly positively sure that it will always work like that; so I'm careful to only take what I really need while the remainder goes into the machine's buffer. And anyway, that scheme will no longer work as soon as I add a second centrifuge. A this point, i install a throughput limiter for U-235. One item/tile is allowed back into the loop, anything that piles up at that chokepoint is siphoned off.

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Re: Noob intro + baffled by Kovarex

Post by Backstop5 »

NZ2020_002.jpg
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(Disclaimer: I did not come up with this one, but I can't find on the forum who did. Whoever you are, thank you for this simple solution!)

This is what I use. It only uses one wire.

It works because of a quirk in the way the uranium is extracted after the process is done.
The (bad) U-238 always gets extracted first, in this set-up by the left green inserter. This inserter is wired to the yellow inserter at the bottom, and is set to read contents and wait.
The yellow inserter is set to activate once it gets the signal a U-238 piece is picked up by the green inserter. Because all the U-238 is already removed from the centrifuge once this inserter gets activated, it will pick up ONE piece of U-235. This inserter MUST be set to stack size one. (it can be any inserter, as long as it is set to stack size 1)

All the uranium (2 U-238 and 40 U-235) is put on a short belt by the left inserter, and is picked up and put back into the centrifuge by the right green inserter. The U-238 is complemented by the long arm red inserter from a belt with U-238, and the process starts again.

Few notes:
- you cannot use productivity modules in this set up. Because th bottom inserter only picks up one U-235, the extra produced U-235 from the productivity modules will just accumulate over time and clog the centrifuge eventually.
-as with all kovarex, you need 40 U-235 to start it up. Put it in manually to start it up.
-the top belt in this picture is not important for this set-up

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Re: Noob intro + baffled by Kovarex

Post by Serenity »

Backstop5 wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 7:34 pm
you cannot use productivity modules in this set up.
I used that for quite some time. Worked great. Then when they re-enabled productivity modules for Kovarex I was very sad when it broke :(

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Re: Noob intro + baffled by Kovarex

Post by SoShootMe »

Backstop5 wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 7:34 pm
(Disclaimer: I did not come up with this one, but I can't find on the forum who did. Whoever you are, thank you for this simple solution!)

This is what I use. It only uses one wire.
It's the same idea as the second one I posted earlier in this topic. But I also did not come up with it, and can't find who did either.
Backstop5 wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 7:34 pm
- you cannot use productivity modules in this set up
-as with all kovarex, you need 40 U-235 to start it up. Put it in manually to start it up.
Like most things, it is a matter of opinion, but I decided speed modules are overall more useful than productivity modules for enrichment, due to the long crafting time, limited bonus (two module slots) and relatively low raw resource consumption.

With a source of U-235 in reach, an inserter (to add the U-235) and an arithmetic combinator (to count how many have been added, used to signal the inserter to turn off forever) are sufficient to make it self-starting.

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Re: Noob intro + baffled by Kovarex

Post by eradicator »

Regarding simplicity I've always thought that well ordered inserters should be sufficient, but I've never actually made a design out of the idea before. So on the occasion of this thread I tried and it works:
  • No circuits.
  • No inserter filters.
  • No stack size override.
  • Works with automatic (buffer size 80) or manual priming (buffer size 13!).
  • Works with productivity.
The filter splitters are mostly there to push the U238 down to the lower belt. I'll leave trying to squish it into a 12 beacon square to someone else.

Auto-/manual priming:

Manual: Upper belt lower lane = no input.
Auto: Upper belt lower lane = U235 input.

The upper belts upper lane must always be empty to prevent inserters from missing U235 due to lane-switching delay.


About U235 buffering:

When U235 is supplied via the upper belts lower lane the centrifuges automatially prime themselfs but each centrifuge permanently buffers 80 additional items of U235.

When the centrifuges are instead manually primed and nothing is supplied on the upper belt, then each centrifuge will buffer up to 40 items and then on the next cycle 27 of them will be released so that only 13 additional items are permanently buffered per centrifuge. (Measured with max research. The exact numbers here will vary with inserter type, stack size research and belt speed).


2021-03-22_SimplestKovarex_v1.1.png
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[Edit1:] Added explanation about priming.
Last edited by eradicator on Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Noob intro + baffled by Kovarex

Post by SoShootMe »

eradicator wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:11 pm
Regarding simplicity I've always thought that well ordered inserters should be sufficient, but I've never actually made a design out of the idea before. So on the occasion of this thread I tried and it works:
Mostly... But U-238 jams the splitter unless the right lane of the far belt is moving enough. And if you have occasional U-235 on the near belt (eg from uranium processing) and are unlucky, U-235 from the output can be missed, causing a stall (like mentioned before), which I don't think can be solved while maintaining all the properties you listed :(.

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Re: Noob intro + baffled by Kovarex

Post by eradicator »

SoShootMe wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:44 pm
And if you have occasional U-235 on the near belt
That is invalid usage. The upper ("near") lane must be empty at all times as stated in the original post. I've edited the post to be more explicit about that.
eradicator wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:11 pm
When U235 is supplied via the upper belts lower lane
___
SoShootMe wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:44 pm
Mostly... But U-238 jams the splitter unless the right lane of the far belt is moving enough.
Hm...true, my test setup had a full moving belt. I have an idea how to fix it but i can't play for a few days.
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Re: Noob intro + baffled by Kovarex

Post by SoShootMe »

eradicator wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:54 pm
SoShootMe wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:44 pm
And if you have occasional U-235 on the near belt
That is invalid usage. The upper ("near") lane must be empty at all times as stated in the original post. I've edited the post to be more explicit about that.
I didn't specify but I meant the right (far) lane of the near belt. Assuming stack size 12 and express transport belt, put some U-238 and 40 U-235 in a centrifuge. A few ticks after the inserter picks up the output U-238, place a single U-235 where the output will be dropped. The inserter that should reload the U-235 will pick up that U-235, start waiting for more, let the U-238 pass under it, and time out just before the first batch of U-235 output arrives. By the time it returns to pick up more, some is missed, so it ends up with less than 40.

The underlying issue is the reloading being "disturbed" by other U-235, which is also the root of the problem you mention with inserter lane switching. Belt speed and stack size will change the timing and exactly what happens, but I don't think you can guarantee to avoid it causing the stall I described without compromising at least some of your design properties. Always ready to be proved wrong though!

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Re: Noob intro + baffled by Kovarex

Post by eradicator »

Like I said can't test right now :|... But I don't think that even if what you describe would happen that it would be a problem. The presence of any U235 at all on the upper lane means that the user wants automatic mode and thus there should be more U235 incoming which will eventually fix the problem automatically. Further more in automatic mode each fully buffered centrifuge contains 121 items of U235 (80 in input and 41 being currently processed), so it would have to happen a dozen times in a row for even a single centrifuge to run completely dry. So the chance that even a single centrifuge in the row temporarily stops is imho minuscule. And as it's stackable the user will have more than one centrifuge. After all the design does not aim for perfect ratio or 100% machine utilization, it's meant to be "fire and forgot".
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Re: Noob intro + baffled by Kovarex

Post by SoShootMe »

It will recover without intervention, but consider: you've got most of your first 40 U-235 and set up a few enrichment centrifuges to build up some U-235 (or to use it to make uranium fuel cells or whatever), and leave it to it while you do something else. When you finally get round to checking on it, an hour or three later, instead of a nice stash of U-235, you find the first centrifuge stalled 10 minutes after you built it and you've produced little or no U-235 since.

Fed with "occasional U-235" I found the buffer for the first centrifuge basically followed what you described for "manually primed". So it takes just one badly timed U-235 when it's near the lower end of the 13, 14, ..., 40, 13, ... pattern to cause the stall. Definitely very unlikely (or unlucky) but that just means it's guaranteed to happen when it's most annoying ;).

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Re: Noob intro + baffled by Kovarex

Post by steve7100 »

Here is my nuclear setup, I'm sure it's not optimized but it works for me.
After watching Yama Kara's video on youtube it kinda inspired me to come up with
my Kovarex Go-Round setup. the outer loop had 238 and the inner loop is for 235 & 238 put out
by the Kovarex centrifuge. I put the splitter on the inner belt to force the 238 to the inside leaving the
outside clear for the 235 coming out. The filter inserter picks up the excess 235 after the second blue
inserter puts the 235 back into the centrifuge.
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Re: Noob intro + baffled by Kovarex

Post by ptx0 »

wonder if you all scared the OP off :lol:

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