Youtube video since I can't figure out how to embed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_HBHJJ8k5c
Brief explanation- It will no longer be a guessing game whether your ore outpost is depleted or not, this does the work for you!
Wire up all the chests at your train loading station in the outpost with green wire, and feed it into the large power pole, included in the bp. It constantly monitors that SOMETHING is in the chest. Even if your trains are loading faster than the mine and the chests are "empty" as it loads, that won't affect the system. The items will still be in the chest for one tick.
Once the last mine depletes, no more ore will be loaded into the chests. The system will begin counting to ten, to give a more than reasonable window of opportunity for a SINGLE ore to reach a chest. If an item 'interrupts' the countdown, the timer gets reset back to 0. If it doesn't, the system sends out a signal via a red wire on the bottom large pole. The default signal is T, but it can easily changed with 2 clicks of the mouse. Simply click the output signal on the very bottom greater than combinator!
That signal can do 2 very useful functions-
- It can be wired to a train station to send the train on its way to its next destination.
- A wire can lead back to your base, where the signal can trigger some lights/alarms, including speakers for .15 coming out. New to combinators? Simply wire up a light back at base leading all the way back to the outpost with the red wire, and have the light turn on when T greater than 0!
No guesswork, no time wasted visiting outposts. Set and forget, and spend time on what you enjoy doing!
Green= Chests have inventory
Yellow= 10 second countdown
Red= Chests are empty
When you see red light, that is when signal T is sent, or whatever you changed it to.
IMPORTANT- This setup does a few tricks to successfully generate a pulse, needed for the internal calculations for resetting the timer. When the status light is green when you set it up for the first time, place a single item in the chest by the inserters in the setup, do this after you wire the chests up. It doesn't matter what item, it can be anything. Just make sure it's one item. Just so you know the system is working fine, when the light is flashing yellow or red, there should be a single item sitting on the belt, waiting for the inserter to put it back in the chest!
For more advanced customization, you can change the duration of the waiting period to anything you like. The combinator near the bottom left that generates signal red if C greater than 600 is what you'd need to change.
Potential issue- If power to the outpost gets lost and then restored after some time, you MIGHT have a false alarm go off if the ore takes long enough to reach the chests. Don't worry though, the system auto-resets to normal if anything is detected!
I intended this to be sitting at the outpost. However, this could easily be situation in your base, with the signal wire for the chest running back. NOTICE- if you're monitoring multiple stations using the same wire, you will need to encode the sum of the items in the chest with a variable (like everything + 0 = C), and have each outpost have its unique variable. You'll need to do a few very tiny tweaks to the machine I made, but if you know how circuits work, you will change it very quickly. The top two combinators immediately above the substation are what you're looking for.H4sIAAAAAAAA/9WZ32+bOhTH/5WKxwk6MEnaauM+LP9Bdd+qCTlw0lhybGRMb6Mo//tMaDIgYOwEut28RebY5nN+fW1Sfkd5guldHO2BSSIJ5NF+z/AWIieF