Posts by Gus_Smedstad

    I checked platinum sources, and sure enough, washing crushed nickel ore with mercury is the only meaningful source of platinum as a by product, and far more productive than platinum sludge. I had around 1500 crushed nickel in storage from ore rigs, so I dumped a bunch of it into my ore processing system to get some more platinum.

    I’ve got 11 Osmium and 31 Iridium at this point. 20 of the iridium is loot from treasure chests.

    I’m setting up the ore rig for bauxite. Man, compared to just going out and mining, the prep time is huge. Much of the day, really.

    Part of the issue was this was my first surface mine, the previous three were all underground. Of course that meant I had to build a shelter from the rain, and I ended up building a substantial little castle rather than just leave a big ugly stone cube on the site. It’s still rectangular in shape, but it has proper walls with anti-spider defenses and a few decorative touches like crenellations. Kind of silly for something that’s essentially throw away, something I’ll abandon once the site is exhausted.

    The actual surface site turned out to be in the plains, not the nearby desert as I thought, so I threw in a wooden water collector tank and a minimum-size (3x3x4) Railcraft tank to store water. My plan is to have lubricant and drilling fluid cars in the train, and send the train back early if drilling fluid runs out locally. Which should only happen if there’s not enough water on site.

    Even though it’s substantial work, it feels like the time investment is worth it, since drilling one site is like mining 3 sites by hand, and I don’t have to hand-carry anything back and forth or go through the tedium of branch mining.

    I also think the process of setting up drills will go faster as I get more practiced. Throwing up the drill itself goes very quickly. It’s setting up the support stuff that still takes a little time, like the on-site drilling fluid production and the redstone control logic.

    Plus there’s laying down track, though each new segment of track I lay is something I’ll probably be able to use to reach later sites.

    I don’t use a lot of nickel, so I’m not really on top of what it produces when washed with mercury. I do have nickel deposits, but I haven’t really mined them beyond getting some cobalt early on.

    I do, of course, have a mercury bath setup. In fact, just recently I set up a separate centrifuge for bulk-centrifuging redstone, and a big tank to hold the mecury. Prior to this I only had a very small (48 bucket) tank for mercury, but I was very short of chrome, and I had large reserves (2000+) of redstone, so I wanted the redstone -> ruby dust -> chrome process, but I didn’t want to just throw away the extra mercury.

    Near as I can tell, mercury has little value beyond ore washing. You can “burn” it for power in one-shot batteries, but that seems like a waste. It’s also a fuel for Magic power converters, again a bit of a waste. The extra copper, gold, and silver you get from mercury washing seems a lot more valuable.

    Up until recently, the only use I had for platinum was carbon fiber. Which it produces at very low cost (1 platinum = about 70 carbon fiber). When I looked into wireless redstone transmission to control the turbines, I discovered that those covers require EV emitters / receivers, which in turn require platinum rods. You can run through a lot of platinum in a hurry in you go into wireless redstone logic in a big way.

    I ended up going wired for the turbines, which you can do now that multi-block casings transmit redstone signals. Still, I’ve got the wireless stuff in mind. Wireless redstone is potentially very convenient, and I tested that it works in / out of Compact Machines. I could, for example, broadcast the state of the steam buffer wirelessly, and every control circuit that cares about that could listen to that signal.

    I also see that platinum is the only -1 EU/meter cable for 8kV. Clearly it’s way too rare and expensive for that. Unfortunately there’s no cheap alternative like aluminum. I guess that most people use tungsten steel cable, which is -2 EU/meter, but much easier to obtain once you’ve got a tungsten deposit.

    Iridium and osmium don’t spawn as ore veins. Yes, Gregtech has entries for ore blocks for both of them, and NEI shows ore processing for them, but they don’t spawn unless you add an entry to the config. It appears that platinum sludge is intended to be the only way to obtain them from ore.

    In practice, treasure chests in villages, temples, abandoned mine shafts, and the like are a far more plentiful source of iridium.

    I should check how much I’ve got of each. I know I’ve only got about 20 platinum, all obtained from processing chalcopyrite for sludge.

    EDIT: I looked at the vein table again, and while there’s no entry from osmium, iridium does generate as a rare block in a platinum vein. Which is a very rare vein, about 0.25% of 3x3s should have it.

    I’ve left the vanilla water respawn mechanics alone, I’m just playing with some self-imposed rules. Mostly that I can’t draw huge amounts of water out of a puddle or a magic block, which is how most mods do water sources.

    This means, again according to my personal rules, I can only collect rainwater or tap a truly large water source like the ocean. It didn’t occur to me to use a drain cover in my under-ocean tap. I’m sure that would have worked, though I’m fine with the wooden Agricraft tanks acting as collectors. They’re open on top and look like they should be able to collect water from the bottom of the ocean.

    Unfortunately, the Gregtech 5U pump will empty out the ocean if used there, and gets a trivial amount of water for doing it. I have one, but it’s only for collecting lava. Which I rationalize as a more limited resource. Particularly since lava can be centrifuged for resources, including tungstate.

    Very, very small amounts of tungstate. I drained one local lava deposit and got about 4 tungstate dust out of the whole thing, which isn’t enough to electrolyze. I have toyed with the idea of emptying large portions of the Nether lava lakes for this, but I haven’t given up on finding a vein near me. I’ve only prospected about 30 3x3 chunks.

    The snowman thing is too far afield for me. If I’m going to do something that wonky, I’d just as soon use a block that creates infinite water. Both feel equally unrealistic / cheaty.

    When I set up a drill over a magnesium site, I enabled an option in Agricraft which allows the water tanks to fill if there’s a water source block above them. Because the magnesium site happened to be under the ocean, and it felt reasonable that tapping the bottom of the ocean should yield infinite water.

    I do have a desert bauxite site I want to drill. Not so much for aluminum, which I have far too much of right now, as for the rutile dust, since I’m running short on titanium. I just need to decide whether I’m happier shipping drilling fluid in, setting up a cactus farm to extract water, or maybe collecting water in a nearby plains biome and piping it in.

    The turbines don’t explode, as far as I know, so they don’t need redstone logic for safety.

    The boilers have had automatic logic to shut down if they get below 80% water since I built them. I think I said that earlier.

    There’s a MV distillery in the loop that adds distilled water if the distilled water buffer gets below a certain amount. Right now it’s set to 50%, which means a reserve of 64,000 L of water. Even though it’s supposed to be a closed loop, I added that in case there are losses in practice or I screw up somehow. Worst case is that the boilers shut down, rather than explode.

    Pipes are completely unreliable as a method of fluid regulation. Each steam turbine has a fluid regulator on the input hatch.

    I have a large hydrogen reserve tank. So far, hydrogen production from ore processing has far outstripped demand, so I have logic to burn off excess hydrogen in a MV gas turbine.

    I’m not sure, as yet, what I’ll do if I need additional hydrogen production beyond electrolysis of things like bauxite. I’ve got a water electrolysis setup, but it’s really too slow to do much good. I put it together early on because I thought it would help with oxygen, but it didn’t, really. For a while I was doing a lot of cobblestone -> sand -> glass -> silicon dioxide -> silicon + oxygen, but not so much recently because I’m using aluminum a lot more often than steel.

    The steam turbines were mostly about reducing my water consumption and getting some practical experience with large turbines, which I’d never done before. That it boosted my steam power production by 500 EU/tick was a nice bonus, but I’m aware that I’ll shortly be venturing into territory where 500 EU/tick is a trivial amount of energy.

    The efficiency of the steam turbines hardly seems worth it at this stage, given that they’re 4x3x3 structures that only produce as much power as a single-block HV turbine. They should be a lot more attractive when they can produce 900+ EU/tick with better rotors.

    I’m pretty fuzzy about the transition from this stuff to plasma turbines fed by fusion reactors. I know those produce an absurd amount of energy (27,000 EU/tick or more), but I don’t know that there’s a lot in between.

    I’ve converted my steam power production to use 3 large turbines running Ultimet rotors for some 1,500 EU/tick (the displayed output keeps fluctuating between 1200 and 1800, presumably because the EV dynamos don’t emit a packet until they hit 2,048 EU).

    Setting up the first turbine and figuring out how I’d re-configure power distribution took considerable time, but building turbines 2 and 3 went pretty quickly. Compared to most multiblocks, the large turbines are somewhat simple, with only 5 special blocks (controller, maintenance, dynamo, input and output hatches).

    It helped considerably that I only had to build one set of redstone logic for control, and turn them all on or off together. The logic is as I laid out earlier - one set of comparators and a RS latch to check available energy storage, and one for available steam. The turbines turn on if the battery is nearly empty and there’s steam available, and turn off if the battery is full or steam runs out.

    Running out of steam should never happen, but there could be some reason why the boilers shut down.

    In practice both the turbines and the boilers run fairly steadily since the output energy buffer and steam buffer are large. If the turbines are running continuously due to load, the boilers run 13 minutes on / 2.4 minutes off since they produce 20% more steam than the turbines consume.

    Peak demand so far has been about 2,400 EU/tick, but I expect that will go up dramatically once I build some actual EV machinery. So far my only actual EV consumer is my disassembler. I know the Tungstate electrolysis requires 2k EU/tick, and all of the Resin Board electronics also require circuit assemblers demanding 2k EU/tick each.

    The Large Heat Exchanger explodes if it ever runs out of water while operating. Just like Large Boilers. My boiler explosion last year is what prompted me to stop playing for a while. Now I won’t operate one without red stone logic to turn it off if the water drops below about 80%.

    I don’t think Gregtech turbines explode when the rotor gives out. There are turbines from other mods that do that, though.

    The first thing I did when I reached EV was build a disassembler, to make it possible to repair electric tools (which are otherwise pretty expensive, despite the reduced wear). I held off until EV because 10% loss rate is twice as good as 20% loss at HV. I can’t build an IV one yet.

    I don’t know exactly what my water collection rate is. I’ve got 9 3x3 Agricraft collectors and 4 Railcraft collectors. The issue is that the Agricraft collectors only collect water during rain, and I don’t have an estimate for how often it rains, or for how long. They’re much, much more efficient at collecting water overall than Railcraft collectors or Gregtech drains.

    I’ve got an automated cactus farm for the dye, but it uses vanilla cactus. I tinker now and then with the IC2 crops, but generally don’t put a lot of energy into them because it’s so random, time consuming, and tedious.

    Extracting water from cactus is still something worth keeping in mind if I ever build an ore rig in a desert biome. That will give me local water collection for making drilling fluid even without rain.

    Bees are from Forestry. I’ve got Forestry, but I haven’t put any effort into bees this time because, like IC2 crops, making progress is slow and somewhat labor intensive. I’ve also got the problem that I’m playing with Vivecraft, and the 1.7.10 version of Vivecraft has a bug that makes bees fail to render in inventory. I can select them and move them around, but there are no icons. I brought it up with the Vivecraft devs and they said they didn’t care because 1.7.10 is old and it doesn’t happen in later versions.

    On an unrelated note, I finally got around to making a mining laser. Primarily as a weapon, since I’m not really all that interested in mining with it. I wanted a ranged weapon with a flat trajectory that did fair damage.

    It’s a little dopey, because the shots travel quite slowly. Much slower than an arrow, which is silly. I guess it’s not really a laser, or the speed of light is absurdly low in Industrialcraft.

    It’s not really all that damaging, even in long-range high-damage mode. The slow speed of the shots mean that targets frequently move before the shots arrive.

    That said, it was quite effective when I took on the local bandit camp (placed by Ancient Warfare). The fire rate is quite rapid, with a dozen bandits attacking me, I was almost certain to hit some target with each shot. It also had the amusing effect of destroying a fair bit of the camp, with from direct hits and setting the tents on fire.

    The flat trajectory is really helpful, even if the shots are slow. This is particularly true because I’m playing with Vivecraft, which has the “feature” that your aim with the bow depends on the relative position of your right and left hands. This means that fairly often I end up shooting to the left of where I think I’m aiming, because when I draw the bow, my right hand is usually a bit to the right rather than perfectly aligned.

    Still, I‘d like a mod with a more reasonable high tech weapon. One where the shots travel at a reasonable speed, if not instantly (which is how a laser should work).

    I’m doing my first real forays into large steam turbines. The steam source is still my large titanium boilers, rather than the nuclear reactors that have been the subject of our discussion.

    My motivation is primarily water recycling. My water collection tanks really can’t keep up with the boilers if they’re running full blast. Since large turbines return distilled water, I can run the boilers on a closed loop and greatly reduce my water consumption. I’ve got lots of molybdenum for ultimet rotors (though chrome is still a persistent problem).

    Secondary benefits are a 50% increase in efficiency, boosting my steam output to 1500 EU/tick, and some real experience with large turbines in case I do build a fluid reactor later.

    In passing, I discovered that my existing power setup wasn’t working correctly. I was underneath the steam tank and noticed the existing HV turbines were only running sporadically, and were starved of steam, despite a full tank.

    The turbines were directly connected to the tank. It turns out that Railcraft tanks will only output 1000 L/tick of fluid per valve, which is 20,000 L/sec. HV turbines consume 31,000 L/sec. Pumps can’t affect this (I tried), it’s a strict limit of the valve. Once I added an additional valve and pipe for each turbine, they started running at full output.

    The large turbines I’m adding will consume only 18,000 L/sec and produce a tad more power (518 EU/tick) with a ultimet rotor. I’d go with large ultimet rotors for 945 EU/tick, but I still haven’t found tungsten. I figure I can always make large rotors later and drop them in as replacements.

    I’m still pretty short of titanium, so I probably won’t be making any throwaway thorium reactors soon. Though obviously if you’re running the reactor solely to get depleted thorium, you can just make a regular EU reactor and forget about turbines and the other complications of fluid cooled reactors.

    I’ll bear in mind the need to collect depleted thorium in the future. Assuming I don’t burn out before then.

    The steam buffer still makes sense, since you’re not throwing away steam (case #2) or running at reduced efficiency (case #1). Of course, in actual practice this may not be that important, but a buffer and a little additional control logic isn’t that hard or expensive.

    I’m not so cavalier as you are about simply letting the reactor and turbines run when there’s no demand. My experience is that demand fluctuates greatly. Sometimes you’re asking for everything the power plant can provide and then some, sometimes there’s significant down time when you’re only running a few hundred EU/tick. I’d just as soon not burn more uranium or rotor durability than I need to.

    Not that I’m planning a reactor right now. Though what you said about Thorium reactors echoes something that Asp said a while back, that you need thorium byproducts in the long run whether you care about the power output or not. I’ve got thousands of thorium crushed ore stored as a byproduct of drilling for other things.

    One thing that isn’t clear to me is what happens if you cut off steam to a running turbine, and then restart it at the optimal flow. The turbine is still “enabled,” so it will re-start if you give if steam again, but does it spin down and require spin up when you feed it steam again? You’d think it would, but I’m not sure how it’s coded.

    Um, if I'm reading this post correctly, you seem to be crediting me with writing either Gravisuite or Modular Powersuits (it's not entirely clear which you mean). I did not write (or even contribute to) either mod.

    I thought you wrote Gravisuite - I must be confusing that with something else you did. I looked it up and apparently it was Sentimel. Who vanished about 3 years ago. If Gravisuite has GT5U support, it's clearly long out of sync with the current version of GT5U. Which may or may not be important.

    And there is no need to store steam anywhere, because steam-dist.water is close cycle system without any loss (almost).

    I'm talking theoretically here, since I've yet to build an actual reactor. My direct experience so far is with large boilers and single-block turbines, where a steam buffer is highly useful.

    That said, I see a steam buffer as important for rate matching. The reactor / heat exchanger is never going to generate exactly as much steam as the turbines consume. If the reactor steam production is higher than consumption, it's a bit simpler since the reactor can cycle on and off, but the startup penalty for the heat exchanger seems like a good enough reason to have a system where the reactor can make long runs without cycling on and off rapidly.

    If reactor steam production is a bit less than turbine consumption, there's the issue that the turbines will sputter while out of steam. They'll definitely be getting less than the optimal flow of steam, even if there's no spin up / spin down penalty, and efficiency will suffer. A steam buffer eliminates that problem.


    Rail depot for petroleum on B4. It's a bit ambitious; at present, it's got bays for 4 different kinds of petroleum products (heavy, crude, and light oils, and natural gas), of which only crude oil is presently working.


    Rail depot for ore from Advanced Miners on level B3. Liquid loaders are for fuel, drilling fluid, and lubricant (for sites making drilling fluid locally).


    Farmers from Ancient Warfare 2 working various plots. My excess food (and I've got a lot of excess food) feeds the farmers and lumberjacks, or makes ethanol.


    Water wheels as an alternate power source for the Ancient Warfare 2 tree farms. Unfortunately, the NPC workers like the lumberjack are flakey, and wood production is too critical to assume they'll show up for work.


    Ethanol production plant on B3. Foreground is a Forestry setup; background is Gregtech. The Gregtech ethanol production is more efficient, but I can't bring myself to tear down the Forestry stuff. The Forestry stuff was a headache because it requires mulch from juicing apples in addition to saplings and vegetable matter, and it stalls if the mix isn't handled correctly.


    Automated food processing for Harvestcraft foods on level B2. I broke down and used Project Red pipes for much of this, because Magneticraft's inserters have no way of stocking only a limited amount of material in each machine. Most processing is done with Thermal Expansion Cyclic Assemblers. So far as I know the auto-crafting of the GT5U packager never got implemented beyond things like dust consolidation.

    Some products include cream, butter, cheese, salt from boiled water (since almost every Harvestcraft recipe wants salt), dough, snowballs, bread, pasta, and toast.


    Kitchen from Cooking for Blockheads on level B1. Food from the farms get automatically placed in one of the refrigerators by conveyor belt. The automated food system in the prior image takes raw materials from that and deposits results in a different refrigerator.

    Most of these screenshots I took with a Vive using Vivecraft, so they're renders from the right eye, and sometimes have some odd masking stuff going on at the borders.

    This is GT5U stuff, with almost all automation done with Magneticraft conveyor belts and inserters. I tweaked the Magneticraft recipes a bit to bring them in line with GT5U. So, for example, the inserters use GT5U low voltage electric motors rather than Magneticraft's electric motors.


    Surface, which is almost entirely agriculture. The water collection system and water tanks are a highly visible exception. Stairs to B1 are visible in front of the rubber tree multifarm.


    Workshop on level B1. All machines that I will likely interact with directly are on B1. Automated things that don't require direct access are on lower levels.


    Ore processing. This is version 3 of the ore processing line. Unlike prior versions, it allows for any amount of re-processing, since all products get put on an output belt that cycles back to the start of the input belt. There's a chest buffer / inserter pair at the start designed to make sure stuff hits the input belt at regular intervals. This ensures that inserters grabbing things from the belt won't miss items because they're spaced too closely together.

    All common operations work off this belt. Maceration, washing, centrifuges (thermal and simple), sifting, magnetic separation, electrolysis, and smelting.


    Another view of the ore processing lines.


    Dust / nugget consolidation on level B2. A ton of regulators feeding dusts and nuggets to packagers in groups of 4 or 9. Resulting items go back on to the input belt for possible electrolysis or centrifuging.


    Blast furnaces 1 and 2. Furnace 1 has an oxygen feed. Furnace 2 is dedicated to titanium production, and takes a titanium chloride input. Both feed to the general processing belt.

    Some products just as banded iron dust get automatically re-processed into furnace 1.


    Vacuum freezer, partially embedded in the floor of level B2. The belt comes from the blast furnaces on level B1, and then returns to one of the output belts.


    Steam boilers and steam buffer on level B3. The chest in the foreground is the input to the pyrolyse oven making charcoal. In the background is some gas storage for oxygen, chlorine, and carbon dioxide.


    Pyrolyse oven making charcoal on level B4. In the background is the processing facility for excess sulfuric acid. Output is sulfur (conveyor belt) oxygen (green pipe) and hydrogen (red pipe).

    There's a mod GraviSuite, it has a Advanced NanoChestPlate that is NCP with electric jetpack storing 3m EU.

    Btw made a QCP recently and it has no fly option (maybe because of GraviSuite? dunno, just too lazy to check:))

    I'm aware of that one, it was a possible alternative to going whole-hog for Modular Powersuits. I wasn't sure how current the mod was, since it's something Mauve Cloud made several years ago, and he's not currently playing.

    The flight option for quantum armor is GT5U only, not Industrialcraft. It's also apparently turned off by default, you have to hit a mode switch key or something to turn it on. I haven't looked into it too carefully.

    Actually, anything involving turbines requires a fair amount of logic to control it. The nuclear reactor's main logic control is about turning it off if your steam buffer is full, but the turbines need on / off logic based on the current energy buffer and steam buffer states. The reactor can be a simple comparison, but the turbines need a couple of RS latches so they start when steam is plentiful and the energy reserve is low, and stop if steam is running out or the energy buffer is full.

    The logic's needed because the large turbines aren't "smart" the way the single block turbines are, they'll continue to run when there's no demand, or there's no steam. Plus, since they have a spin-up time, you really want to configure them so they'll have long run times before they have to turn off. The reactor logic is mainly because the reactor will merrily continue even if you can't store the steam, which means you're destroying steam in the output hatch of the large heat exchanger. Which will mean running through your distilled water reserve and an explosion.

    The logic doesn't concern me too much, since the control logic for large steam boilers is similar. A RS latch to allow for long run times from steam empty to steam full, and some safety logic to turn it off if there's any shortfall in the water input hatch. I've taken to putting the control logic for those into Compact Machines, and I expect to do the same for any turbines I make.

    The MV NAND chip is a pretty big deal. Oil's rather impractical until you can prospect for it, and the seismic prospector is fairly low tech EXCEPT that it requires data sticks to use. Those require a cleanroom and HV, which are much steeper requirements. A non-cleanroom MV alternate makes it possible to prospect for oil and ore much earlier.