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Powah: Automating the Energizing Orb
The Energizing Orb from Powah represents an automation challenge that is used in a few mods: Insert a precise number of items and provide power. The trick being the precision, since the machine can hold more than most recipes want.
The question comes up regularly on how to automate this simply. Let's go over a few options.
There's no reason to wait on getting into Powah. It's available early on and even the basic Reactors represent an enormous amount of power. But one may not have all the infrastructure in place to automate this with something like Refined Storage, do let's just do some 'manual' batch crafting instead. The idea here is to be able to dump a lot of ingredients into a chest and walk away while things process. Pretty Pipes has a few features that will make this.
What we need:
- The Energizing Orb itself
- At least one Energizing Rod (feel free to make more, they will not go to waste!)
- Two chests or other inventories to act as input and output
- At least four sections of Pipe from Pretty Pipes
- Two Extraction Modules of any quality
- One Stack Limiter Module
This does require a piece of Quartz for that last item... but if you're clever you can find ways to obtain that without even needing to go to the Nether.
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Above is the full system built, but there's a bit more that we can't see there. What do we do with those Pretty Pipes modules?
Choose a barrel to act as the input. For this, I've chosen the right hand side. Right click the section of pipe coming out of it with one of the Extraction Modules. This installs it in the pipe. To take a look at what's installed, right click that section of pipe again with an empty hand.
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Now, right click the Stack Limiter Module onto the pipe leading into the Energizing Orb. Right click again with an empty had as this one will need to be configured.
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We want to set this to a Maximum Item Amount of 1. This limit is per item type meaning for each type of item we put into the input barrel, it will attempt to put one of each into the Energizing Orb. Handy, considering our very first tier of material requires 1x Iron Ingot and 1x Gold Ingot.
Now, to configure the output side. Again, simply right click the section of pipe coming out of the Energizing Orb with an Extraction Module. The Energizing Orb is a little 'smart' with the output, and only allows automation to extract a finished craft. So we don't need to filter this extraction at all. Great!
That's it! Batch crafting can now commence. As noted above, however, this can only handle one recipe type at a time. If we were to dump Iron, Gold, and Blaze Rods into the chest to batch craft both Energizing Steel and Blazing Crystals, Pretty Pipes would attempt to stick one of each in the Orb and the crafting would cease.
Batch Crafting is pretty decent, but we can do better. Requesting these items on demand with Refined Storage will make crafting a breeze. Pretty Pipes is still going to be integral to our automation, however, due to one of it's more interesting properties: Comparators can read the contents of the pipe.
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That's the entire system, but as before, there's a bit more going on under the hood. Let's have a look.
What we need:
- One Refined Storage Crafter
- One Refined Storage Interface
- Some Pretty Pipes
- One High Extraction Module
- One High Speed Increase Module (optional)
- One Comparator
First, the Refined Storage Crafter itself has it's Crafting Mode set to "Redstone pulse inserts next set". This allows Refined Storage to insert a single set to begin, but only insert the next if the crafter receives a Redstone signal. So if we queue up more than one, it doesn't try to insert all of the items at once. Just one craft, then another with each pulse.
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Next, the Pretty Pipe next to the Energizing Orb has both a High Extraction Module and a High Speed Increase Module installed in it. The Speed is optional, but the High Extraction Module is required. Why? We need to ensure that the Comparator only triggers once per craft. When crafting Nitro Crystals and Energized Steel, however, we get more than one output per operation. If we triggered the comparator for each item, it would break the system. The High Extraction Module ensures the entire stack is moved as a single unit, only triggering the Comparator once.
These are obviously not your only options, but they are among the simplest. You could, for instance, decide to go a little crazy and do all of this with PNC Drones or some wild Botania contraption. Those are beyond the scope of this article, but another early game option can be found in Industrial Foregoing.
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Here we replace the entire Pretty Pipes portion of the previous automation with Industrial Foregoing Conveyor belts.
What we need:
- Three Conveyor Belts
- One Extraction Conveyor Upgrade
- One Insertion Conveyor Upgrade
- One Detection Conveyor Upgrade
This should need little explanation at this point. The Upgrades themselves are installed on the Conveyor Belts by right clicking with the upgrade item. The extraction and insertion pull from the Orb and insert into the Interface, respectively. And the Detection Upgrade causes the belt it's installed in to emit Redstone when items pass over it. This triggers the pulse needed to send the next set from RS.
The downside to a setup like this is that the conveyor can only extract 4 items at a time, meaning for something like Nitro Crystals which give 16, it'll trigger the Redstone pulse 4 times. While this isn't ideal, it still manages to craft most other recipes without issue. Finding a way to extend the pulse, or indeed finding other methods with the mods at hand, is an exercise left to the reader.
If you're not a huge fan of pretty pipes/comparators, or you want a slightly^Wmuch more compact setup, Modular Routers has you covered.
Here we replace all of the previous automations with a single modular router.
What we need:
- Refined Storage Crafter/Interface
- Energizing Orb + Rod + Power
- Modular Router, along with Puller Mk2, Sender Mk2, and Detector modules
Configure the crafter as before with "Redstone inserts next set" facing into the Energizing Orb
Configure the Puller Mk2 module to pull from the Energizing orb.
Configure the Sender Mk2 to push into the Refined Storage Interface
Place the Router in contact with the Crafter. I have placed mine on top, as per the screenshot.
Put the Puller, Detector, and Sender modules in the router, in that order.
Configure the Detector module to send a redstone pulse in the direction of the crafter, in my case "Down"
Now when you request any recipe from the RS to use the orb, the crafter inserts the items, the rods do their thing, and the router pulls the product out and inserts it into the interface. If you'd like the router to go a little faster, speed upgrades (and maybe stack upgrades) are helpful.