Splitter not working properly

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SPolygon
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Splitter not working properly

Post by SPolygon » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:41 pm

Ok, so I have 1 input belt and 1 output belt. I used splitter to balance input lanes. I thought that splitter works like this; 1 item left, 1 item right, 1 item left etc. But what happened; 2 items left, 2 items right, yea, the splitter splits couples, not a single items. Picture:

Image

I know, it's still pretty much 50:50, but in some cases (when fully loaded train arrives for example) it can do some unwanted stuff.

IDK, maybe this is how splitter work, anyway I never before noticed that :/

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by Klonan » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:44 pm

I think the splitter works by splitting each 'lane' 50/50 to eachside, and by looking at it, your copper and come in on opposite lanes.

So if you imagine, the1st item on the left lane goes to the left lane of the bottom belt, 2nd item on the left lane goes to the left lane of the top belt. This might not be true for all cases, but it explains why both your items wen to the same output belt initially

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by SPolygon » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:47 pm

OK, now I see that :D Anyway, how do I split 1 input to 1 output without this happening

EDIT: now I noticed the same thing happening with 1 lane only splitter, when there are 2 same items next to each other, splitter send them to same output thus not splitting them

Btw.: tnx for quic answer

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by daniel34 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:10 pm

I think Klonan's answer is only partially correct, the reason both ended up on the bottom belt is because Splitters work per item:
Image
(the same would have happened if both ores were on the same lane of the belt)

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by vanatteveldt » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:16 pm

Interesting design choice, I would have expected either a single "memory slot" or a slot per lane, not per item type.

(Note that I found the statement "Splitters work per item" confusing, I would have said "Splitters work per item type")

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by SPolygon » Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:38 pm

OH, so they work per item type, iteresting, complicated, but useful :D

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by XKnight » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:38 pm

I started to think about this wonderful splitter's ability and realised that it is possible to implement item filtering without any inserters, using only splitters and belts.
So...
Filter
And example:
Test input
Result
Perfect!

Also, this setup has several limitations:
- it works efficiently only with yellow/red belts and red/blue splitters
- only with one belt-line
- doesn't support full compression

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by ssilk » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:56 pm

It surprises me all the time, how the belts can be "missused" to make something cool. Good find.
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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by XKnight » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:47 pm

ssilk wrote:It surprises me all the time, how the belts can be "missused" to make something cool. Good find.
Could you share links to other interesting belt usages?

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by Koub » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:12 pm

Image
:mrgreen:
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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by XKnight » Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:05 am

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by rk84 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:14 am

That is cool. I was bit confused until i saw those items in closed loops.

Old bug report about splitter's "feature" and counters getting tweaked:
[Resolved 0.3.2] Splitter error - not splitting
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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by vanatteveldt » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:23 am

Pure curiosity, but is there any word on why splitters would have such a complicated memory setup (a counter of up to five per item type, with past unbalance compensated when a lane gets free)?

I would have just put a single boolean to remember if the next item should go left or right, certainly given that a splitter is not even supposed to be smart (no electricity usage -- although it does use an electric circuit, there's something magical going on there ;-))

I can imagine that it is "nice" that lanes balance out even if they were clogged up, but isn't it the player's fault if s/he lets a lane clog up? And anyway, I would have expected that a basic splitter just does a left/right alternation, with optionally a "smart splitter" doing more advanced balancing stuff (requiring electricity, possibly allowing some sort of control via circuits - maybe the ability to close either exit with a signal to allow balancing based on e.g. the amount of items downstream?)

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by ratchetfreak » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:49 am

If you have an item per lane then in the plain alternation each belt tends to only get one item. One of the output belts needs to backlog until a good split is achieved

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by vanatteveldt » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:18 pm

Right, so I guess a boolean state per lane would be needed. But that should be enough to function properly, right?

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by Zeblote » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:41 pm

The way it works now also produces nonsense like this on compressed belts:

Image

But appearantly that is how the devs want it to look. https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... 23&t=16801

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by XKnight » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:42 pm

Don't even ask "why?"
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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by RavenHexx » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:00 pm

This is just beautiful

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by vanatteveldt » Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:51 pm

Okay, I officially don't get it. Why does the second splitter produce such a neat sorted pair? How can the "symmetric" rule that keeps track of a side per type give an "assymetric" outcome?

Or does it depend on the order of the input ?

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Re: Splitter not working properly

Post by daniel34 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:41 pm

vanatteveldt wrote:Okay, I officially don't get it. Why does the second splitter produce such a neat sorted pair? How can the "symmetric" rule that keeps track of a side per type give an "assymetric" outcome?

Or does it depend on the order of the input ?
Note that at first the items are all on the top lane (what I will now call left, as seen from the belt direction).
The first splitter that then sideloads from the right onto the belt makes it so that the iron (or any other item) alternates from the left lane to the right. That is because one item stays on the belt, the next gets sideloaded, the next one stays on the belt, the next gets sideloaded, ...
Now the belt is doubled using a splitter, then you have the iron on the outside lanes and the copper on the inside lanes because the right-left altering items are distributed by the splitter so that the left items go to the top belt and the right items to the bottom belt (for iron, for copper it is the opposite).
Then you only need to get the lanes to go to the same side of the belt, this is done by using the underground belt trick (if you fill it from the side only one lane gets through, the other one is blocked).

It doesn't depend on the order of input. That's actually the whole point: to separate a belt with arbitrary input of 2 item types into a belt where the item types are ordered by lane, no matter what input is given.

I hope that explains it good enough to understand it, it seems a little long and confusing written out.

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