Unload 2 solid blue belts /wagon, balanced, compact, simple

Smart setups of railway stations, intelligent routing, solutions to complex train-routing problems.
Please provide - only if it makes sense of course - a blueprint of your creation.
wzzl
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Re: Unload 2 solid blue belts /wagon, balanced, compact, simple

Post by wzzl » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:53 pm

So what exactly does the combinator do? Balance the two sides of an output belt? Or balance the two output belts?

Can we have the blueprint?

teenkertoy
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Re: Unload 2 solid blue belts /wagon, balanced, compact, simple

Post by teenkertoy » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:26 am

Oh, right, the blueprint. I forgot to put that back but it's in the first post again now.

So think of the left and right sides of the two output blue belts as four different zones, each fed by three inserters. Each set of three inserters has one combinator. Each inserter along with the associated chest it is pulling from and the single piece of belt it is depositing onto I will call a "lane".

Now the super popular method is taking the contents of all the chests and dividing by the number of chests to get an average amount of ore per chest, then enabling each inserter only if the chest it is pulling from has more in it than the average value. But because the way upstream inserters get priority when depositing ore onto a belt, some inserters empty slower than others and one will always empty the slowest, making the other 11 inserters halt for a bit while the slow inserter catches up, but it never really does.

In my setup, I use the same concept but I chopped it into four zones as mentioned earlier (left and right sides of two blue belts). Also, now I'm comparing the average value of ore in the 3-chest zone with the entire "lane" of each inserter, I mean amount of ore not just remaining in the chest that the inserter is pulling from, but the amount of ore remaining in the chest, *and* in the inserter's hand, *and* on the piece of belt it is depositing onto. This means the other inserters will trigger on as the slowest "lane" starts to deplete when the slowest inserter starts to drop items onto the belt and move out into the rest of the system, and not *only* when the slowest inserter picks up a load from the chest which is the problem with the popular method.

My first version of this, which is no longer posted here, worked great but did not unload evenly when there was any back pressure in the belts. This newer method works assuming one small thing: the two belts are balanced well so that the left and right sides of both belts are used equally. If that is not the case, then the four zones in my unloading solution will get out of balance with eachother over time.

I'm not sure how to keep the elegance and reliability while also keeping my four zones from running ahead of one another.

tag
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Re: Unload 2 solid blue belts /wagon, balanced, compact, simple

Post by tag » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:06 pm

It occured to me that yellow belts could be used to balance the output since the throughput of yellow belts is exactly one third of the throughput of blue belts:
belts.jpg
belts.jpg (78.85 KiB) Viewed 2017 times
The first two blue belts serve as a small buffer. They keep the yellow belts saturated while the inserters grab more items from the chests.

I built a train station using this concept. Note that I use combinators to control the inserters unloading the train. If a chest contains less than (or slightly more than) the average, its inserter will be enabled. The inserters unloading the chests are always enabled.
Note: The unloading process stops as soon as any cargo wagon is empty. This can happen sometimes if the chests or the cargo wagons are not balanced. Anyway, I recommend that you add "OR inactive for 5 seconds" to your train conditions.
station.jpg
station.jpg (198.38 KiB) Viewed 2017 times
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OBXandos
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Re: Unload 2 solid blue belts /wagon, balanced, compact, simple

Post by OBXandos » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:39 pm

I am having trouble understanding the point of all of this. Why do you need something so complicated to unload a train? Also by using yellow belts in your design don't you just limit the throughput of this station to yellow belt speeds? That seems counter to what most people want in their factories.

I'm sure there is some reason that I am just not seeing, please help me figure out what that is.

Jap2.0
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Re: Unload 2 solid blue belts /wagon, balanced, compact, simple

Post by Jap2.0 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:21 pm

Yellow belt speed is 1/3 of blue belt, red is 2/3, so they limit each 2 chests to a yellow belt, or 1/3 of a blue belt, so when they merge 3 sections (1 train car), it will pull evenly.
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disentius
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Re: Unload 2 solid blue belts /wagon, balanced, compact, simple

Post by disentius » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:07 pm

Try this.
Put a belt-balancer anywhere between between this and your consumer, and your are good to go.

unload  6 blue belts 2 wagons.PNG
unload 6 blue belts 2 wagons.PNG (1.16 MiB) Viewed 1635 times
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Aeternus
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Re: Unload 2 solid blue belts /wagon, balanced, compact, simple

Post by Aeternus » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:15 am

Neat design for unloading each/a single car. It's a piece for a puzzle I've been working on:
- Compressed belt output
- Compensation for backpressure
- Balanced unloading to ensure wagons will all be emptied before storage is tapped, even if an unequal load enters the station

I had the latter two requirements down. This belt setup should handle the first :)

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