The ramblings of Minecraft addict VladTubaka

Category Archives: Item sorting and storage

How quickly can Minecraft move items from one chest to another? Faster than I realized.

Prior to Minecraft 1.5, item transfer was difficult and incomplete without using mods like BuildCraft, RedPower, or Thermal Expansion. You could use minecarts to get items from point A to point B, but you had no way to transfer items from one inventory to another, meaning items had to remain in the minecart until you moved them manually into a nearby chest (unless, again, you used a mod – specifically RailCraft). The same was true of water canals: you could move items from, say, a mob grinder to a place inside your base, but you couldn’t deposit said items within a chest. Continue reading


You know, I’ve never really spent a whole lot of time on Minecraft’s minecarts until pretty recently. It always seemed more effort than it was worth, particularly when I started using mods (which happened within a couple of months of my introduction to Minecraft). Classic Technic/Tekkit included Railcraft, but … I dunno … I just never really got the vision of the mod as a whole, even though I tended (early on) to include it in my own personal modpacks.

But recently (as you may have noticed), I’ve returned to the joy of just plain old vanilla Minecraft (albeit, the newest versions of it). And as I’ve explored the way the base game is constructed more thoroughly, particularly in the realm of automation and Redstone mechanics, what I’ve seen is that minecarts are actually a tremendously fun feature of the game with tremendous potential for automating processes other than “take-stuff-from-here-to-there-repeatedly”. Continue reading


The bottom light means there are less than 14 items in the lower chest, the middle light means there are exactly 14 items in the chest, and the top light means there is something in an overflow hopper.

Several months ago, I came across a thread on minecraftforum.net where a player was trying to design a system that would detect if there were 14 and exactly 14 items in an inventory. In other words, he wanted one output or signal if the inventory had less than 14, a different signal if it had exactly 14, and yet another signal if it had more than 14. It is this three signal aspect that made the problem a tricky one to solve. Continue reading


Today we look at a more advanced, versatile, and intelligent minecart loading system.

Last post I talked about two simple Redstone devices that you can use to automatically load and unload minecarts if you want to use minecarts as an item transferral system. I briefly mentioned some of the limitations of the falling edge circuit as a loading system. In short, a simple falling edge circuit just isn’t smart enough to provide the versatility you might need if, say, you want to just dump a whole bunch of stuff into a chest and let the minecart system figure out how to get all those items from point A to point B. Today, I want to show you a more advanced loading and transferral system that works really well, never gets clogged, and actually gets a little faster and more efficient the more items you load into it. Continue reading


This is a minecart-based furnace array. It uses Redstone powered automatic loading and unloading systems that I’ll show you in this post.

While many mods add item transfer mechanics into the game (pipes, tubes, conduits, conveyor belts, etc.), vanilla Minecraft actually has had item transfer systems built in for a long time in the form of minecarts. Back in the day (classic Tekkit and some time afterwards), if people used minecarts to transfer items it was pretty much only via additions provided with the Railcraft mod. With the MC 1.5 Redstone update, all of a sudden it became possible to load items into and out of minecarts automatically using hoppers and comparators. Today, I want to cover two simple Redstone devices that you can use to unload and load minecarts automatically. Continue reading


In the last post, we looked at the basic principles behind building a secret door into a staircase. This kind of secret door uses what is called a piston extender. In the interest of brevity and clarity, we left the project with a working button triggering mechanism inspired by MrCubey’s secret door design. Today, however, we are going to replace that button triggering mechanism (the first part, at least) with a triggering mechanism that detects the presence of a key item. But first, I want to talk about pulse generators. Continue reading


Like many people, I hate to waste coal on torches or powering a vanilla furnace when I can use renewable charcoal instead. But because I have to make charcoal (rather than just mine it incidentally as I’m looking for iron, gold, and diamonds), I never have charcoal when I need it. The obvious solution is an automatic charcoal factory. Using hoppers and droppers it’s easy enough to set up a furnace that cooks logs and feeds itself charcoal. But providing a steady and automatic supply of logs is something not easily done using strictly vanilla resources. Fortunately, many mods, Rotarycraft included, provide a machine for just that purpose. Today’s project is a charcoal factory that uses Rotarycraft’s Woodcutter to harvest and replant trees, vanilla Minecraft resources to apply bonemeal to the sapling, process the logs, and sort by-products, and JABBA to store those by-products.

An overview of my Rotarycraft-powered charcoal factory with roof and walls unfinished. It ended up being bigger than I had originally envisioned, primarily because I needed to deal with the Woodcutter’s by-products. This factory is fully automatic with a manual shut-off. The only thing that needs to be resupplied from time to time is bonemeal (and it isn’t absolutely necessary).

Continue reading


I’ve been doing some experimenting with horizontal dropper chains recently. Vertical dropper chains used as an item elevator are commonplace. The idea behind the vertical dropper chain is to use a comparator clock to send repeated redstone signals to a column of redstone torches adjacent to the dropper chain so long as there are items in the bottom dropper.

This is one way to set up a comparator clock to power a vertical dropper chain.

A second example of a comparator clock powering a vertical dropper chain.

However, so far I haven’t seen that horizontal dropper chains are as commonly used as vertical ones, which seems to me to be a shame, since droppers are super cheap to make and a chain of droppers can transport items very quickly. Furthermore, they can be combined with well-known vanilla sorting mechanics (using hoppers) to make sophisticated item sorting systems without the need for mods. In this post, I’m going to showcase some different styles of horizontal dropper chains and a couple of examples of sorting systems built on horizontal dropper chains. Continue reading


***If you like this Simple Redstone Device, check my new fully automatic chicken farm. For a more complicated Redstone device, check out my two posts (here and here) about constructing a secret door in a staircase using a key item.***

As I’ve said before, many of my readers may be experts in redstone, but in my experience even the simplest redstone designs can appear mystifying to many Minecraft players. Minecraft appeals to a wide variety of players with different aptitudes, interests, and age-levels. Some players focus their creative intelligence on building amazing structures. For some of these right-brained Frank Lloyd Wright types, understanding redstone logic is akin to interpreting a papyrus written in hieratic Egyptian. Moreover, new people are coming to the game of Minecraft everyday with little to no understanding of the wonders of redstone.

With this in mind and as a service to the many redstone-challenged out there, I present an unoriginal design (at least, I assume its unoriginal – I didn’t borrow it from anyone, but it’s so simple that someone has to have created this before me): the garbage disposal.

Put all your excess cobblestone and zombie flesh in this chest and forget about it.

Simply drop unwanted items in the chest, like the stacks of excess cobblestone, zombie flesh, or wheat seeds that you inevitably accumulate in Minecraft, and they will be slowly disposed of. A number of mods add some device that does this. Buildcraft has its void pipe, Thermal Expansion has its Nullifier, Extra Utilities has a Trash Can, and Jammy’s Furniture mod has a Rubbish Bin. But if you don’t have one of these mods installed, or if you’re simply wanting to do things using vanilla redstone mechanics because, like me, you’re a nerd who finds an inordinate amount of satisfaction in doing things the hard way, this design is for you. Here’s how to make one. Continue reading


***Inasmuch as I am moving my family and me to a different State next week, and inasmuch as I am finishing up revisions for a book of mine that is being published, in light of my resulting lack of Minecraft playing time this week, I hereby offer up to the Minecraft-blog-reading community this post, originally begun several months ago, rather than a further spotlight of the v25 update to Rotarycraft, GeoStrata, and Electricraft. Therefore, be aware that some of this information may be slightly out of date. Nevertheless, enjoy!***

Underground Biomes by Grom PE (originally by Exterminator Jeff) is an outstanding mod based on a very simple idea that adds tremendous aesthetic versatility to the rather bland gray stone of vanilla Minecraft. I’ve actually switched over to Underground Biomes Constructs by Zeno410 because of its addition of slabs, stairs, and walls for all of the stone types. These two versions, I expect, will find their way into a single mod before too long, but either way UB is now one of those mods that I cannot imagine playing without (or, as one sees stated so often on the forums, this really ought to be in vanilla Minecraft).

One of the side effects, though, of playing with UB , is the complication of your stone storage. You can’t simply have one double chest worth of cobblestone anymore. There are 16 new kinds of cobblestone (vanilla stone still shows up where lava and water mingle, so you have a total of 17 kinds of cobblestone), and 8 kinds of sedimentary rock (which doesn’t turn into cobblestone when you mine it). While you’re likely to only encounter 1-3 kinds of rock in a small area around your initial base, it doesn’t take too much exploration to gather generous amounts of all (or at least most) kinds of UB stone. Not that this is really that big of a complication. It just takes space.

Yup. A whole building dedicated to sorting and storing rocks. I'm such an interesting person.

Yup. A whole building dedicated to sorting and storing rocks. I’m such an interesting person.

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