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Need help with Auto Farming "Stained Sapling Trees"


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I've created an "auto farm" to harvest Stained Saplings from ProjectRed: Exploration.  (I've shamelessly copied the design from an image on these boards posted by SirLappy - cudos to him for such a beautiful layout!) So I'm running into a problem I've run into several times before with regards to auto farming via the Planter and Harvester from MineFactory Reloaded.  How does one control the number of saplings in the Planter after the Stained Tree has been harvested.  When the tree is chopped down or Harvested in this case the number of Stained Saplings is random.  Thus, at present, I have no fixed way to apportion the Stained Saplings between the Planter and long term storage.  FREX - I would like to keep 1 Stained Sapling in the planter at all times.  It could be more, but a fixed percentage system won't work long term.  As the inventory of the Planter fills up the extra Saplings would either get ejected or stuff the ItemDuct.


So how do arrange it so that a fixed number of Saplings is maintained in the Planter and the rest are forwarded?  Any one have any ideas?


I have included some photos of my layout.  This is just a rough out so nothing is really set - call it an Alpha.


Below is general layout pic.  The block on top is a Harvester with an ItemDuct set to pull out.  Each tree has one and at the present they all funnel into a central ItemDuct seen running down the center of the trees.  This set up is not set in stone.  Below the Harvester is the power run which powers both the Harvester and the Planter which is sitting beneath the Dirt Block.





This is view from beneath.  The ItemDuct in the foreground would be the means, at present, for the Stained Saplings to be piped to the various Planters.




This last image shows the setting on the ItemDuct shown above.  It does have a Pneumatic Servo installed.  Currently it is set to white list the properly colored Stained Sapling and the Redstone Control is set to low.  Just to see, I set the stack size to 1.  Other than this I don't have anything hooked up or in.  I have not connected power nor have I set up my collection or Stained Sapling distribution system.  Just to get the Stained Saplings into deep storage I was thinking about connecting an ender chest to the "collection" pipe in the middle which will get everything into my ME Network.  That however does not really reflect any thought on how to make sure the Planters get only a fixed number of Stained Sapling delivered on the return system.  One thought occured to me was to consider Logistics Pipes, but I really don't under have an handle on them.





Any help would be deeply appreciated!  Thanks all!




edit - added an important dropped word that changed the meaning of a key sentence and thus this whole post. GAH!

Edited by Silmenume
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you could also use AE to manage the items...

it's faster and doesn't have pipes that can get stuffed...

I would use a standard export bus to fill the planters. (this will fill the planters completely, but will stop when they are filled)


does the redstone comparator work on the planter? (in that case you could try to trigger your itemduct by redstone)

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So how do arrange it so that a fixed number of Saplings is maintained in the Planter and the rest are forwarded?  Any one have any ideas?

Set the planter to not use the entire stack - pre-fill in a few slots for each sapling type, and bam thats it. It'll always make sure itll have stack slots available for the saplings in the plnater.

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So I figured out how to accomplish my design goals wrt my Stained Sapling Auto Farm.


There are two vital pieces and a third useful piece.  The two vital pieces are Logistics Pipes and Ender Chests.  The third useful piece was the Storage Bus from AE.  To restate I wanted an auto farm system that automatically kept the inventory of the planters at a functional level without the loss of excess saplings when the inventory filled to capacity while at the same time allowing me access at my home base ME Network to the harvested Stained Saplings.


HeatHunter offered an elegant solution via ME export busses.  The problem in the solution, for me, was the distance between the auto farm and my home base.  I would have had to keep a bunch of chunks loaded for no other purpose than to keep the ME Cable in memory at all times.  Unfortunately I’m running into problems with memory usage so that wasn’t going to work for me.

I did some research as was turned onto Logistics Pipes for two reasons.  The first is the ability to fill an inventory to a player specified quantity via the Supplier Pipe.  In this case I used the Supplier Pipe to keep 2 Stained Saplings in the inventory of the Planter at all times.  One and a spare incase the system got glitchy if the inventory of the Planter went to zero.  This solution required me to dump my ItemDuct transport system for BuildCraft (gold) Pipes as the Logistics Pipes – the Supplier and Provider pipes – don’t function with ItemDucts.

So under each planter I attached a Supplier Pipe with an inventory set to two Stained Saplings and selected Partial fill.  Then I attached all the Supplier Pipes with Gold BuildCraft Pipes to a Provider Pipe that was in turn attached to one of a pair of dedicated Ender Chests.   The Provider Pipe receiving the request of the Supplier Pipe for a specific type (color) of a Stained Sapling via the BuildCraft Pipe network withdrew said sapling from the Ender Chest.


The key here is the Ender Chest.  This allowed me to bridge the distance between my home base AE Network and the Auto Farm without having to keep zillions of otherwise useless chunks loaded.  Yay for Ender Chests!


At my home base I set up the second of the paired Ender Chests and connected it to ME Network via a Storage Bus.  I filled the Ender Chest by hand with no more than one stack of each color of Stained Sapling.  Then I clicked on the Storage Bus GUI and set it up to match the contest of the Ender Chest.  That saved me the trouble of having to do each color by hand.  Once I had all 16 colors represented in the Ender Chest I packed the rest of the slots with stacks of dirt (any equivalent near valueless filler would do).

Why the Storage Bus and not some variety of Export Bus?  I didn’t want all my Stained Saplings to be stored in the chest and of course I wanted access to them via my Access Terminal!   Thus when one was pulled out by the Provider Pipe at the other end another Sapling would be replaced into the Ender Chest by the ME Network.  Technically this replacement would happen when a Stained Sapling tree was harvested but the idea is essentially the same.


The Storage Bus would attempt to place the Stained Sapling into an existing stack.  Normally the Storage Bus would then attempt to use an empty stack if the established Stained Color stack was already full which is why I filled all the other spaces with stacks of dirt.  If the Storage Bus cannot find anywhere to store the Stained Sapling in the Ender Chest THEN the ME Network would store it on a Storage Drive elsewhere in the ME Network.  This arrangement minimizes the number of saplings in the Chest while making sure there are always Stained Saplings available for planting yet allowing me full access to all but 2 of the Stained Saplings!


I could have used an export bus but I would have lost access to the Stained Saplings in the Ender Chest.   After one has more than a stack of a given color the point becomes trivial but that is a matter of taste.


This was the difficult part of the set up. 


The easy part was harvesting and for the sake of completeness I will include a short description, as this aspect of the project is pretty straightforward.  Each tree, when grown, would be harvested by a Harvester.  The output would be collected and transported via ItemDucts to an Ender Chest color coded to match my main input Ender Chest for the ME Network.  That’s it.  Harvested, transported, input into the Ender Chest and then input in ME Network.


I'll post pics later.



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Why would you just want one when you could fill the entire inventory with it? Use the red dense option on the emptying/depositing storage and have a white list on the planter for that specific sapling. So because the pipe is on dense config it will be the last option for the item after checking all the inventories or black/whitelists.

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Ok.  No one's been beating down my door to see how I figured out how to make this work so unfortunately this particular post will probably be nothing more than a vanity effort.  In my OP I had a couple of design requirements in mind when I asked for help.  It turns out what I wanted basically boiled down to wanting to numerically fix the number of Stained Saplings that would be fed back into the Planters.  Prior to this effort self supporting Planting/Harvesting systems always worked on a percentage system.  FREX a pipe might be set to allow 1 in 4 seedlings back into the Planter.  But the ration system always failed because it never perfectly matched the game's numbers of seed/saplings harvested from a single mature plant.  In time either the Planter would run out or seed/saplings would overflow and be lost.


This is my Rube Goldberg-ian solution.


Below is the general layout of the planting operation.  I have one Sapling of each color present leading to 16 set ups. This layout design was stolen shamelessly from SirLappy!  Some of the power and piping structure and can be seen beneath.  I opted for Hardened Glass because it is both resistant to accidental breakage but also comes right out with a wrench and a right click!  The Glowstone Blocks are present to provide light at night to maximize the growth cycle speed of the trees.




This is a pic of the basic unit of this auto-farm.  The Harvester is the block abutted to the Blue Stained Sapling with an ItemDuct pipe attached to collect the harvested wood and Stained Saplings. There is no Pneumatic Servo in this ItemDuct or in any of the other ItemDucts.  Beneath the dirt block is a Planter and to the lower left of the image can be seen some of the supporting hardware that makes all this work.




Here is an image from below the same blue Stained Sapling.  Here we begin to see some of the specific important pieces that I needed to fulfill my design parameters.  Just beneath and attached to the Planter is a Supplier Pipe from Logistics Pipes.  This particular piece was vital in that it allowed to specify the exact number of Stained Saplings I wanted to keep in the Planter's Inventory.  To make this work the Supplier Pipe needs to be able to communicate with a Provider Pipe and this can only happen over other Logistics Pipes or the mod it was built on top of BuildCraft Pipes.  That is why you see the (Gold) BuildCraft pipes here instead of ItemDucts.




Herein is a general "underview" of the infrastructure that is the heart of this endeavor.  In the top foreground is the collecting Ender Chest where all the ItemDucts come together to deposit the Harvested wood and Stained Saplings.  This Ender Chest is color coded to match the Ender Chest at my home base which is the main large scale feed input into my ME Network.  (I also use the same color pattern on the Ender Chest with my Quarries - FREX).  Next background Ender Chest is also connected to my ME Network and is used to provide the Stained Saplings used by the Planters.  How the other paired Ender Chest is filled and connected to my ME Network was important in helping me solve my design requirements.  Just past said Ender Chest is the Provider Pipe from Logistics Pipes that pulls the requested Stained Saplings from the Ender Chest and sends it toward the requesting Supplier Pipe.  Beyond is a Logistics Power Junction that powers that Network and finally a Tesseract that provides the power to everything here.





This is the GUI to the Planter.  As can be seen there are no special settings.  We do see 2 Saplings in inventory.  I chose to have the Supplier Pipe to keep 2 saplings in the Planter's Inventory to prevent any possible glitches that might show up if the inventory went to zero.  When considering this project I did not want 16 stacks of Stained Saplings sitting relatively inaccessible in the Planter's inventory.  I wanted to be able to access to the Stained Saplings as soon as they were available, which meant from within my ME Network.




This is the GUI for the Supplier Pipe.  That the saplings were set side by side as opposed to a 2 stack was an accident.  I truth I don't know if it matters as one can see above I do have my desired 2 Stained Saplings waiting in the Planter inventory.  The only setting of note was to set the "Request Mode" to Partial.  This allows incremental amounts of the desired item to be requested and thus shipped by the Provider Pipe.  So when my inventory dips to 1 in the Planter the Supplier Pipe won't wait until the inventory is empty before requesting a refill - it will request the proper fractional (read: Partial) amount to fill the inventory back up to set amount.




Below is the Ender Chest that provides the refill Stained Saplings.  Directly connected to the Ender Chest is the earlier mentioned Provider Pipe.  This pipe receives the requests from the Supplier Pipes, pulls them from the chest and starts the Stained Saplings on their way to the correct destination.   Which brings me to the next pipe to the right that has the 2 Gold Transport pipes connected to it.  In order for Logistics Pipes to function properly every junction must be some sort of Logistics Pipe.  It doesn't have to be a fancy schmancy pipe and in case I used the most basic and cheapest pipe in the mod - the Basic Logistics Pipe.  Routing cannot happen in the absence of Logistics pipes hence the need for them at junctions.


Way down at the bottom of the screen is a chunk loader.




In this angle we can see another Basic Logistics Pipe at the junction near the mid Glowstone Block at the bottom of the image.  One thing I didn't mention earlier is that Logistics Pipes requires power to run.  MJ power to be exact.  This necessitated the need for the Logistics Power Junction and also the Redstone Energy Conduit situated between itself and the Tesseract. The REC converts the RF to the MJ's that the Logistics Power Junction needs.  As it turns out only the Basic Logistics Pipe can draw power from the Logistics Power Junction which explains this particular arrangement of devices and pipes and conduits oh my!




That cover things on the wilderness side of things.  Next I'll cover the ME Network side back at base.


Outside the building of an ME Network itself this image below is everything I had to do at base to make the Stained Sapling delivery system work.  Its hard to see here but this Ender Chest's colors are red, green and blue to match the one 2 pics earlier.  The ME bus is Storage Bus.  I chose to use a Storage Bus as opposed to an Export Bus for the same basic reason I used the Logistics system outside - I didn't want to leave a bunch of the Stained Saplings sitting (relatively) inaccessible in an inventory.




Here are the contents of the Ender Chest.  I started by grabbing all the Stained Saplings I had in the ME Network and placed no more than one stack of each inside.  As I wanted only the most minimal number of Stained Saplings sitting in this chest I filled all the remaining empty stacks with dirt so that once a given color's stack was full the ME Storage Bus would not start creating new stacks of saplings within the chest.  I suppose in the end it doesn't really make a difference if more than one stack of a color is in the Ender Chest as everything is completely accessible via the Storage Bus.  It offended my parsimonious nature, I suppose!




Below is an image of the GUI on the ME Storage Bus.  Not much to say about this particular image other than one can see all 16 varieties of the Stained Saplings that the Storage Bus has be set up to recognize and act upon.




Below are screen shots of the various settings I used in setting the Storage Bus.


This choice of setting (accessed by clicking on the floppy disk icon) allows the ME Network to both place and remove items from this inventory.  Gimmie access to those Saplings!!




This setting (accessed by the "list" icon - bottom left) is the same as white listing the Stained Saplings.  IOW the Storage Bus will only add or remove the indicated items to or from the inventory.




This part of the GUI is reached by clicking on the wrench on the right.  By setting the Storage Priority higher the ME network will seek to store items here first. If there is no room then the ME Network will then move to a lower priority storage device and store the items there.  In my case my ME Drives have a priority of 1 while this Storage Bus Ender Chest combo is higher at 64.  This means any white listed items on this Storage Bus coming into the ME Network from the collection Ender Chest will be routed here 1st (I don't have any storage devices with a Storage Priority that is higher than 64).  If there is room the Stained Saplings will be stored in this Ender Chest 1st and any remaining will be stored on my ME Drives.  This makes sure that this Ender Chest will always have Stained Saplings ready to plant when the Logistics Network makes a request.  So in the early run of the Auto Farm the Harvested Stained Saplings were stored here first so that the Auto Farm could climb to a one stack buffer as quickly as possible yet still allow me access to same said saplings. (I had no idea how fast I would accumulate Stained Saplings as the tree do not respond to either Bone Meal or Industrial Fertilizer)




I believe this arrangement will prevent the loss of inventory on the planting side of the equation which was something I've wanted to figure out for a while.


I hope this helps someone somehow.



Edited by Silmenume
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I still think the easiest (but not the cheapest) solution is to extend your ME-Network with a quantum field to your planting site and do it all in AE :)


You're right that it would certainly be "easier" to use an ME setup as you described, but it wouldn't do what I wanted it to do!  Isn't that more important than "easy"? ;)

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if you used heathunters idea, you could use storage buses to apportion 2 of the certain sapling to reach of the planters. Although quantum bridges are annoying, considering the large amount of resources necessary, and the singularities needed. Your solution seems to be working fine though, so I wouldn't change it.

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