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
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
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
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
Are you the kind of Minecraft player who won’t cook anything in a furnace until you have eight items (because that’s how many items a piece of coal or charcoal can cook – of course you would already know this if you are such a Minecraft player)? I am. I know it’s silly, because there’s more than enough coal in any Minecraft world, especially in a single player world. And IF I should ever run short, I can always cook up some charcoal. There’s no real reason to be the kind of player who demands 100% efficiency from my coal supply.
BUT such a player I am, nevertheless. I am also the kind of Minecraft player who isn’t satisfied with a process being easy and manual if I can make it complicated and automatic. So I have come up with a way to have a furnace cook items in batches of eight automatically using a (relatively) simple Redstone device that I call the 100% Efficient Furnace. First, I’ll explain how it works in detail, then I’ll show you how to build one from the ground up. Continue reading
Last post I showed how you could use the new Observer block to create a wheat/potato/carrot farm that automates everything but the planting. I use a Dispenser with a water bucket to break all the wheat plants, but that still leaves the gathering of the wheat and seeds that are left on the ground by the water. This I do via a Hopper Cart system directly under the farmland. Here’s how you make one. Continue reading
Quite a lot of Minecraft farm automation depends on different mechanisms or exploits to detect changes in conditions or status. For example, automatic sugar cane farms rely on a block update detector to trigger a line of pistons once one of the sugar cane plants has reached a particular height. Auto pumpkin and melon farms often use the fact that pumpkin and melon blocks transmit a redstone signal to connect a broken line of redstone once the plant produces the pumpkin or melon on a specified block.
Up until Minecraft 1.11, however, it was impossible to automatically detect when a wheat plant had matured, because changes in the wheat plant’s development for some reason did not constitute a full block update. Instead, one had to rely on a long term timer to approximate when a field of wheat would likely be mostly mature. This method worked, but I never really felt it was ideal.
All of that has changed with the introduction of the Observer block in Minecraft 1.11. Continue reading
When the busy-ness of life calls, I must answer. And when I get three new video games for Christmas, I must play them. So all in all, there hasn’t been the usual Minecraft time on my schedule. But I did lay out the start of a build that, I think, is pretty cool. And it involves a gigantic petrified dragon skull. 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