0.13 Smart supply-train loader + other solutions

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.
MindChanger
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0.13 Smart supply-train loader + other solutions

Post by MindChanger » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:13 am

Fastest not full inserter v1: (the fastest avaible speed)
+ fastest solution
+ can load a lot different item types (up to 44 per one system)
+ simple to build and setup
- average size
- doesn't load to full stack (sometimes there can be items missing to up to max-1 stack inserter's capacity)
- needs enough items to get full desired amount
Image
How to setup
Blueprints
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Smart loader v3: 00:09.49 (on empty wagon, on full item stacks it is slower) (test results below)
+ super fast solution if items are not full in wagon (time result shown is for empty container)
+ can load a lot of different item types
+ comfortable setting up if someone reads my instruction below
- slower with full item stacks in wagon (few secs more, depends on setup it can still be fastest way, other solutions don't care about full stack, so if stacks are full then other solutions will work faster)
- big size
- filtering stack inserters required
- doesn't load to full stack (sometimes there can be items missing to up to 3 to be fully loaded)
- not comfortable without reading instruction
Image
Instruction to setup
How it works
Blueprints
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XKnight's solution v2:
+really fast
+loads items to fullstuck
- requires stack inserters, blue belts
Image
Blueprint
How it works
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XKnight's solution: 0:17.36
+ really fast
+ loads items to fullstack
- works only on last tech (to make it work on lower techs setup needs to be some adjusted for every tech)
- requires stack inserters, blue belts
Image
Look at the end of the first page of topic to get blueprint string.

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Smart loader V2: 0:22.91
+ fast solution (slower than XKnight's)
+ loads items to fullstack
+ works on every tech (didn't test yet, but it should do so)
- requires stack inserters, blue belts
Image
Blueprint
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Smart loader v1: 1:06.15
+ loads items to fullstack
+ works with every tech
+ uses stack inserter, but can be changed on another inserter if player doesn't have
- really slow loading times
- really big building area
Image
Blueprint
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Test speed of solutions
Image of testing items
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Other solutions.

Magazine Delivery v1
Magazines for storing goods that are needed localy, but their production is far away,
Image
How it works
Blueprint
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Parts for the systems.
I will put here parts that can be used to create bigger systems.

Cloning constants to loop *3

Copies constants and makes them 3x bigger (but they will stay x3 set constants without increasing number)
For what purpose
Image
How to use
Blueprint
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Dynamic filter changer

It is big and you have to tweak some numbers in it to work for more items, but here it is:
Blueprint
Last edited by MindChanger on Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:28 pm, edited 56 times in total.

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by Miravlix » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:44 pm

Nice.

My current "work" wagon, is fed by 24 requester chests/long inserters, but if I ever need more than 24 different items pr. wagon, this looks like the way to go.

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by MindChanger » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:26 pm

I didn't think about long inserters that way ;)

Tho my set up allows for more chests for example for reloading wagon. I use my train station for everything (iron ore only for now, but will pick up every "raw" material).
I also created system which tells train to go off based on if inserters (loaders) works or not. I will probably post it later here.

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by XKnight » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:01 pm

Unfortunately, I did not managed to run your blueprint, because it seems you forgot to include inserters in it, and I don't know their conditions.
But I like this idea, and tried to make my own version.

This is my assumptions based on your printscreen, so they might be wrong:
- you can load wagon with exact amount of material (not full stack for example)
- you are feeding cargo wagon by 1 item (I suppose those splitters are designed for this)
- wagon is emptied before loading

In my build I use full stack inserter capacity for loading, but it supports only full stacks (as in regular build). Also, wagon is not emptied in the beginning.


P.S. This build is designed for "Inserter capacity 7 tech", so some adjustments are need to make it work on lower techs.

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by BillH » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:47 am

XKnight, do you mind explaining your setup? I'd love to implement that in my system.

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by MindChanger » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:19 am

XKnight, thx for reply. I edited and added inserters. Your setup seems nice, maybe it will be even better due to lower size if fixed!
If you want to check it, go on.

"This is my assumptions based on your printscreen, so they might be wrong:
1. you can load wagon with exact amount of material (not full stack for example)
2. you are feeding cargo wagon by 1 item (I suppose those splitters are designed for this)
3. wagon is emptied before loading"

1. No, full stack always (or if no items left i chest).
2. I feed it several items at the time, this 1 item is only when inserter gets stuck.
3. Wagon is not emptied before loading

BTW I might have and Idea based on your setup, will check it later :)

I tired doing almost like you, but it sometimes getting stuck (belt part) :(

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by siggboy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:45 am

BillH wrote:XKnight, do you mind explaining your setup? I'd love to implement that in my system.
Me, too, or post a blueprint so we can reverse the design.

My guess is that he uses inverted flummoxing through bit-reversion in combination with real-multiplexing of virtual signals. Like in the Tetris implementation.
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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by ratchetfreak » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:11 am

Looks like the stack inserter sends what it is holding and is attached to a count down.

If that countdown triggers then it activates the filter inserter to pull out whatever item the stack inserter is holding to make room for that partial stack.

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by MindChanger » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:04 pm

Guys, just created some better system I think. It works so far good with full tech, don't know how about on lower ones, can't test it (don't have items for it in game).
I think it can work with lower techs as well. (Tried to do same system as XKnight, but tried to add some things from me aswell)

Image

Edit: fixed bug:
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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by XKnight » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:50 pm

Sorry guys, I really had to provide blueprint string together with built, but I didn't expect that you will be so engaged.
And it is funny to see how you are reverse-engineering this build :D
siggboy wrote: My guess is that he uses inverted flummoxing through bit-reversion in combination with real-multiplexing of virtual signals. Like in the Tetris implementation.
The simplest solution is often the most optimal, but this solution is not necessarily to be obvious.
ratchetfreak wrote:Looks like the stack inserter sends what it is holding and is attached to a count down.
If that countdown triggers then it activates the filter inserter to pull out whatever item the stack inserter is holding to make room for that partial stack.
Almost correct. Except one thing.
On "Inserter capacity 7 tech" stack inserter can transfer up to 12 items, while filter inserter can transfer up to 3 items.
So next situation is the core problem:
1) Output storage: 90/100 iron plates
2) Stack inserter grabs 12 iron plates from input, and puts them into the output.
3) Stuck is detected (2 iron plates in inserter's hand). Filter inserter takes out 3 iron plates from output (97/100).
4) Stack inserter puts 2 items into the storage (99/100) and takes new 12 items.
5) Stuck is detected (11 iron plates in inserter's hand).
On the next iteration there will be 8 iron plates in hand, 5 iron plates in hand, 2, and 11 again, 8, 5, 2, 11...
The whole process will never end.

To solve this issue I am using next principle:
if item count in stack inserter's hand is less than 3, then we should wait until item count in "stack inserter's hand + fast inserter's hand + on the upper belt" is equal to 3 (this is always possible because filter inserter is still taking items out from the wagon). When this state is reached, stack inserter and the fast inserter almost simultanesouly put these items to the wagon, and it becomes full. Actually stack inserter will do this task slightly faster (because it is already on the half way) so it should wait for the fast inserter (condition "Everything > 2" will prevent grabbing new items).

How state "stack inserter's hand + fast inserter's hand + on the upper belt = 3" is reached?
Lower belt is responsible for feeding exact amount of materials to the upper belt, once this state is reached extra items will be taken out by the fast inserter (the rightmost inserter). Thats why the lower belt and the output inserter has opposite conditions: not (Everything < 4) = Anything > 3, so only belt or output inserter will work in a single moment of time.

Also, I am using 20 ticks for stucking detection: upper combinator is counting while the stack inserter holds items (condition Anything < 20), and lower combinator is used to detect 20 ticks.

The trickest thing in this build is 2147483647 constant...
Once the stack inserter puts the last item to the wagon "stack inserter's hand + fast inserter's hand + on the upper belt" will be less than 3, this means the lower belt will start working and this will break everything.
To prevent this I am using integer overflow trick "2147483647+1 = -2147483648":
stack inserter is holding an item: lower belt recieve -2147483648 value and it is able to work.
stack inserter is empty: lower belt recieve 2147483647 and it cannot feed new items to the upper belt.

That's all.
Blueprint string
Last edited by XKnight on Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by MindChanger » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:08 pm

Pretty smart :P But as you said it works only on full tech?

I am curious how much my new system is worse than your and if my system will work with lower tech

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by XKnight » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:13 pm

MindChanger wrote:Pretty smart :P But as you said it works only on full tech?
Actually you can make some constants adjustments (for stack inserter condition, lower belt condition, and output inserter condition) to make everything work on the lower tech.

Like: if filter inserter capacity is N, then
stack inserter condition: Everything > N-1
lower belt condition: Everything < N+1
output inserter condition: Anything > N
So, if N == 1 than you don't need this complex stuff :D

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by MindChanger » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:20 pm

Yeah, but I think N has to be put manually, it is hard to easly detect N number without much effort.

I need to create some items and test both systems, Your is faster I think, my is probably more adjustable and easier to implement

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by siggboy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:53 pm

Inverted flummoxing. I've said it first.

But seriously, it's very clever, but I'd like a simpler solution. Is there any?
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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by XKnight » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:11 pm

siggboy wrote:Inverted flummoxing. I've said it first.

But seriously, it's very clever, but I'd like a simpler solution. Is there any?
What do you mean "simpler"?
- it should not depend on the tech level?
- it should have less than 2 combinators?
- it should control more than one stack inserter at the same time?
- it should be possible to build it within 5 seconds?
- it should use less CPU time?
- it should not use robots?
- it should not take items out of the wagon?
- it should be possible to use it without wagon's filters?
...

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by MindChanger » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:29 pm

The simplest solution is using few splitters (so in the end there will be always 1 item to be put to train), but it is really unefficient way I think (have to wait long time to insert everything)

I will try to build and test that tho, my system and your system too.

PS: How to build power switch? It doesn't connect itself :/

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by siggboy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:36 pm

First, let me point out that I like perfect solutions. And you're really, really good at coming up with clever things. So it was not meant as criticism.

What do I mean by "simpler"?

It should have a good balance of being understandable and useful, and it's acceptable if it's not 100% accurate. For example, it could leave a 47 stack when 50 items would be possible, because that's still good enough for taking the train to the outpost for resupply. It's very unlikely that you need exactly 50 items.
XKnight wrote:- it should not depend on the tech level?
That would be top priority, even if it means it won't be perfect anymore (see above)
- it should have less than 2 combinators?
That's a balance question, it doesn't really matter if it's 2, 3 or 5 combinators if the payoff is good. I really don't like it if the solution requires arrays of constants in combinators, because that's tedious to setup without BP, and sometimes impossible to remember.
- it should control more than one stack inserter at the same time?
Not important because loading time does not matter at all for this use case.
- it should be possible to build it within 5 seconds?
It should be at least feasible to build manually. If you have to consult diagrams or notes it's too complex.
- it should use less CPU time?
Doesn't matter I have quad core CPU :lol:
- it should not use robots?
Robots are fine, they're in the game for a reason.
- it should not take items out of the wagon?
Does not matter.
- it should be possible to use it without wagon's filters?
Well, of course it's awesome if it works without filters, and usually you have a dedicated supply train so setting filters is not a huge deal. But of course if you don't have to set filters that a huge advantage.

So this is how I think about it, but I have put zero work into solving this problem so I'm afraid I have nothing really constructive to contribute at this point.
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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by siggboy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:44 pm

MindChanger wrote:PS: How to build power switch? It doesn't connect itself :/
The power switch is connected like a power pole with two ends. Very simple. What is the problem you're having, I don't quite understand.
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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by MindChanger » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:57 pm

I placed power switch and it is not connected to power network.

http://i.imgur.com/09xV2XY.jpg?1

Sry if I am being stupid here :)


About supply system, all updated in first post:
My first idea works on one of earliest and last tech, so it should work on every, but it is pretty big one setup.
2nd idea worked fine on last tech, didn't test on other, but should work as it doesn't require any info about size of items picked up by inserters. Quite small, little slower than XKnight's solution (will test it)

PS: I tested idea about splitters, 2 splitters taking items from requester chests, picking up single items to wagon, rest being picked up by other inserters to active provider chests. It is really slow, but works and it is simple.

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Re: Smart supply-train loader

Post by XKnight » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:24 pm

MindChanger wrote:The simplest solution is using few splitters (so in the end there will be always 1 item to be put to train), but it is really unefficient way I think (have to wait long time to insert everything)
And again, how can simplicity be measured?
What is simple and what is not?
Is placing down blueprint from the book simple or not?

For example, before designing any circuit I have a set of requirements to the future system: like be fast (specific amount of ticks), be compact (tile count), be extendable, also I have some kind of liberties to the new system: like it may unstable if (...), result may be in the (...) range, and so on. All these things can be measured and I understand them, having these properties allows me to select the most suitable solution for current task from tens different answers. The most important thing that I don't need to design every gear in every new system again and again, the only thing I need to know is how to combine small gears in a big system. Sometimes I even don't remember how my own gear works, but this didn't stop me from using it, because I know its contract and I can combine it with other contracts.

But simplicity... I don't understand.

By the way, creating splitters/inserters chain in such way to always make only one item in output, analyzing wagon storage (which is not readable right now), requesting necessary items (and types) - this sounds not very simple... at least for me, but if you want to design it - you are welcome. Factorio is a game, and if you think something is funny and you enjoy it - what are you waiting for? do it!
And if you want you can share your results with the community.

This sounds more like deterministic requirements and they even can be used for designing.
Quote
I am 1000% sure that every @siggboy's requirement can be done without breaking the others, but for me it is just a question of joy or necessity. To be honestly, I've listed all things which is not important for me in my own build... I feel like I've tricked you, I apologize.
Last edited by XKnight on Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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