Use of active provider chests

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JimBarracus
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Use of active provider chests

Post by JimBarracus »

Are active provider chests even used in their intended way?

I cant really think of a scenario, where you want to dump the items in a random storage chest.
Can anyone provide good examples?

I use passive provider chests.

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picklock
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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by picklock »

I use them in my reactor setup to collect the used up uranium fuel cells. From there my robots take the used up uranium fuel cells to my nuclear fuel reprocessing setup.

I also use them in my cargo waggon content detection logic at my train stations.

In both use cases I want the content removed from the chests as soon as possible by robots and this is fulfilled with active provider chests.

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jodokus31
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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by jodokus31 »

- Unload trash from a train
- Empty barrels
- Get rid of big amounts of unwanted item from inventory, without trashslots
- In conjunction with bufferchests or storage chest with filters to sort items or just buffer them
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Serenity
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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by Serenity »

JimBarracus wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:08 pm
dump the items in a random storage chest.
That's not exactly what they do. They make sure that the provider chest is always emptied. Rather than staying in the chest. Where the material ends depends on the other chests. If you have requester chests dealing with it then it's not going to storage

They are rare but they have uses. Emptying a trash train for example. A train can bring back things like wood or deconstructed buildings and they get recycled into the system

JimBarracus
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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by JimBarracus »

As far as I understood requester chests are used if you want an item to be in a specific place.
The extra function of active provider chests is that you want the items to be somewhere else.
You cant really control where items end up when they are in a storage chest.

When you take the used up uranium cell as an example you can solve it with an infinte request at the centrifuge.

The only valid use I see is the trash train dump.

The only other scenario I can think of is fullfilling your personal logistic requests at the mall.
The assemblers at the mall put their output in active provider chests.
A cluster of storage chests is in a central place, like by the players train station, where the logistic bots have a shorter path to all the items.

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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by Kyralessa »

I use them in a few rare scenarios:
  • If I'm unbarrelling a fluid, I dump the empty barrels in an active provider chest. I want those barrels out of there as fast as possible. Otherwise the unbarreling gets blocked by empty barrels.
  • Sometimes I'll make a universal train dropoff and let bots sort out what goes where. In that case I use active provider chests to make sure the stop doesn't get clogged with stuff. (This ties up a lot of bots, though.)
  • If I want to remove one or more full chests of any type, and I mark them for deconstruction, my personal bots chip in and I end up with my inventory clogged with everything that was in the chests. Instead, I replace them with active provider chests, and the roboport bots empty them for me, after which I can easily remove the empty active provider chests later.
It's definitely a thing you want to be careful with and not use everywhere.

The other day I accidentally put down an assembly machine using an unbarrelling blueprint (outputting to an active provider chest) instead of a regular "make a thing" blueprint.

I only noticed much later after walking by a storage chest and wondering why it was completely full of storage tanks. Suddenly I understood why I never had enough steel in that game: My logistics network contained around 9000 storage tanks. facepalm

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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by Serenity »

JimBarracus wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:25 pm
The only other scenario I can think of is fullfilling your personal logistic requests at the mall.
The assemblers at the mall put their output in active provider chests.
A cluster of storage chests is in a central place, like by the players train station, where the logistic bots have a shorter path to all the items.
That's what buffer chests are for. Buffer chests can request items and provide them at the same time. So they make perfect forward depots. If you use active providers for this, the mall will just produce endlessly. That's not what you want

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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by JimBarracus »

Serenity wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:57 pm
That's what buffer chests are for. Buffer chests can request items and provide them at the same time. So they make perfect forward depots. If you use active providers for this, the mall will just produce endlessly. That's not what you want
Well, of course you need to limit the produced amount with wireless inserter logic.
I once ended up with 10k of steel chests. That was expensive.

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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by Serenity »

JimBarracus wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:01 pm
Well, of course you need to limit the produced amount with wireless inserter logic.
Ok, that would work. It's still not really an intended use of them as that was explicitly one reason buffer chests were introduced for

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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by astroshak »

Active Providers are there for when you need to make sure that the chest stays clear.

Decanting fluids from barrels is one good example - you want the fluid to keep coming, not get backed up because the barrel output passive provider got full. The use case I often have is the junk train that picks stuff up from outposts and returns it to the main factory, such as stone, wood, coal from clearing operations, and machinery (miners and maybe passive providers) from depleting resource patches.

99 times out of 100 you do not want to use an active provider. But when you want to make sure the output chest is not a backup point, it’s a good thing to use.

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AmericanPatriot
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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by AmericanPatriot »

JimBarracus wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:25 pm
When you take the used up uranium cell as an example you can solve it with an infinte request at the centrifuge.
Except that active providers have a higher priority than any other chest.
Sarcasm and insults are generally neither helpful nor appreciated. :D

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AmericanPatriot
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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by AmericanPatriot »

Something I have seen no one mention as a use for active providers is mining: if the active providers are used on the output of a mine and you have storage chests at the train, then each chest will be taken from evenly rather than the nearest ones first.
Sarcasm and insults are generally neither helpful nor appreciated. :D

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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by astroshak »

AmericanPatriot wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:36 pm
Something I have seen no one mention as a use for active providers is mining: if the active providers are used on the output of a mine and you have storage chests at the train, then each chest will be taken from evenly rather than the nearest ones first.
In my experience using bots in mining, you either have to have roboports in the middle of large patches, OR you mine from one side and add more roboports as needed to maintain logistical coverage, working from one side of the path to the other.

I’m not sure which is the better choice, to be honest. Either way you have to places new roboports down when some miners deplete.

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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by MassiveDynamic »

Serenity wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:06 pm
JimBarracus wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:08 pm
dump the items in a random storage chest.
That's not exactly what they do. They make sure that the provider chest is always emptied. Rather than staying in the chest. Where the material ends depends on the other chests. If you have requester chests dealing with it then it's not going to storage
If Serenity means “to replace a random chest with an active provider chest in order to remove said chest from cluttering up the factory floor” then I agree. I do that often.

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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by AmericanPatriot »

astroshak wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:03 pm
In my experience using bots in mining, you either have to have roboports in the middle of large patches, OR you mine from one side and add more roboports as needed to maintain logistical coverage, working from one side of the path to the other.

I’m not sure which is the better choice, to be honest. Either way you have to places new roboports down when some miners deplete.
The mining part doesn’t matter. You could also belt in ore for a smelter and have bots bring the ore out: the same principle applies
Sarcasm and insults are generally neither helpful nor appreciated. :D

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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by astroshak »

AmericanPatriot wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:36 pm
Something I have seen no one mention as a use for active providers is mining: if the active providers are used on the output of a mine and you have storage chests at the train, then each chest will be taken from evenly rather than the nearest ones first.
AmericanPatriot wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:23 pm
astroshak wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:03 pm
In my experience using bots in mining, you either have to have roboports in the middle of large patches, OR you mine from one side and add more roboports as needed to maintain logistical coverage, working from one side of the path to the other.

I’m not sure which is the better choice, to be honest. Either way you have to places new roboports down when some miners deplete.
The mining part doesn’t matter. You could also belt in ore for a smelter and have bots bring the ore out: the same principle applies
You brought mining up though :)

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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by AmericanPatriot »

astroshak wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 11:20 pm
You brought mining up though :)
My point was about balance: mining was a usecase/demonstration of a situation where balancing is useful.
Sarcasm and insults are generally neither helpful nor appreciated. :D

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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by Guenni7 »

AmericanPatriot wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:36 pm
Something I have seen no one mention as a use for active providers is mining: if the active providers are used on the output of a mine and you have storage chests at the train, then each chest will be taken from evenly rather than the nearest ones first.
I just tried it, and it's very useful. Thanks!

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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by Hannu »

I did not notice than anyone has mentioned mods. Many mods add waste or side products to recipes. You do not want that passive provider is ever filled.

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Re: Use of active provider chests

Post by Billdroponics »

I started using them at the end of my bus where the logistic robots take over production. That way they take the materials to a central storage right away since I don't need them at the bus.

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