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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Incremental Bolt

    I told some people about this in my entry to the LBPC Invention challenge.

    So I decided to share my news to the rest of the littlebigworld, with a more official post in the objects showcase.

    1. Background/Problem
    I started to play around with logic switches/gates (or whatever you wanna call them) since the beginning of the beta. Starting out with simple permanent switches working my way up to delays, and, or, xor (or stairswithces (trappomkopplare in Swedish) since we use them in stairs ).

    Anyhow I saw the awesome calculator like every other LBP-player around the world, and wanted to build a simple led-display counter, since I didn’t like the way he implemented the stickers with emitters, looked tacky imho. And the way that it didn’t recognise the buttons as one-shot (which I think is far superior when it comes to input of logic devices).
    So I built one using a super complicated logic device with the help of some googeling. This was very thermo heavy and hard to grasp without spending hours to try to figure out how it all was connected again.

    So I did some research to find an easier counter mechanism. But I didn’t find one. So I started experimenting with motorbolts because of their constant speed, and the ability to have the same speed on different sized motorbolts.

    2.1 Solution #1
    So when I started using motorbolts I quickly understood that I had to control the time it is able to turn. And therefore control the number of degrees it will turn every time you activate it.

    I was able to control this very very very accurately with a simple buffer. Which was constructed using a flipper-piston that when activated set a magnetic key switch to ON for a very short period of time. This then turned the motorbolt (that it was connected to) to its next state. After this discovery I started playing around with the speed option of the motorbolt to control how many degrees it would turn every time it was activated. This was very easy to understand because the speed variable is in a 1:1 ratio to the number of degrees it turns when you activate it using this simple flipper-buffer. So if you put the speed at 30 it will turn 30degrees every time you activate it.
    Success! I have created a bolt that you could turn in increments.

    This made a lot of things possible that I haven’t seen anywhere before. (please correct me if I’m wrong)

    Though another problem occurred. What if I want to turn the motorbolt backwards in increments too?

    2.2 Solution #2
    This was an easy fix now that I knew how to control the bolt. I just took a 3-way-switch and hooked up winches to it. This was very unstable and often failed, because of the lever rocking back and forth after activating one of the winches. I solved this using strong spring’s to put the (floppy) lever back to its “pause”-state. This worked to my surprise just as well as when I used the flipper-buffer. And hasn’t failed since I built it the first time (around 3-4 months ago)

    Success again! I have created a bolt that you could turn in increments, both cw and ccw.

    3. Things to know about the Incremental Bolt

    3.1 Restrictions:
    The maximum degree/activation is 60 (set by the maximum speed of the motorbolt)
    The minimum degree/activation is 0.1 (set by the minimum speed of the motorbolt)

    3.2 Degrees/states formula
    360/x = y (calculating the number of degrees it needs to turn to go through x number of states)
    360/y = x (calculating the number of states it goes through if it turns by y degrees every time)
    x = number of states before the bolt loops back to its original state.
    y = degrees per turn. (0.1 =< y >= 60)

    This means that if you want the bolt to go through 10 states before it loops back to its original state you use this formula: 360/10 = 36. This says that the speed of the motorbolt needs to be 36 if you want it to turn 10 times before it returns back to its original state.

    Check out the level:

    PSN-ID: Tamland
    Level Name: LBPC Inventions: Incremental Bolt

    Give me some feedback of what you think.
    I’ll post back later on how to build it yourself, though you should be able to build it yourself by just reading this post.

    From Sweden with love!
    //Mattias
    Last edited by Tamland; 12-15-2009 at 09:02 PM.


  2. #2

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    Oh...Hi there, you've got a minute?

    RTM, COMPHER...YOU GOTTA COME SEE THIS, FRESH MEAT!!

    Okay, they will be here shortly to start discussing and analyzing your concept (and you).
    Sounds great, I'll be checking this out for sure!!
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  3. Thanks!


  4. #3

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    Cool that you can control the angle so precisely! I wanted to try this at some point, so thanks for the legwork.

  5. #4
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    Ah, nice. If I understand it correctly that pretty much what I was looking for the other day.

  6. #5
    fun and frivolous rtm223's Avatar
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    I've always wondered what the motor bolt speed was actually measured in, I just never had the patience to test it lol.

    NinjaMicWz used something similar for his LED counter, but that was unidirectional and used an emitted key for the timer. Getting the three way to switch accurately at 0.1s is a nice touch.


    A few notes / ideas / questions:
    1. 0.1 - 60 degrees is not the maximum angle range you can use. Set a wobble bolt to 360 degrees and it behaves like a motor bolt when operated by a directional signal. Your granularity outside of this range will be a pain, but it will be possible to go beyond the ranges that you describe. The upper limit will be determined by the maximum speed the wobble can turn before it kerplodes.
    2. If you pulse the input at 0.1s, what is the behaviour? does it cycle smoothly until you stop pulsing?
    3. If you check out my LED counter, it has a mechanism to prevent the visible rollover / ripple of digits (i.e all digits update at the same time, on the second). This could be extended for an incrementer / decrementer and adds a little "professional" touch to it.
    4. I may have an alternative solution, which has about a 50:50 chance of success - I'll get back to you on that one



    Oh and on a side note:
    One shot (which I think is far superior when it comes to input of logic devices)
    I can't get on board with this statement It totaly depends on the application. There are plenty of applications where one-shots are unable to carry out the desired task, or do so in a very inefficient way. Combinatorial systems for example.
    Last edited by rtm223; 12-15-2009 at 04:50 PM.

  7. Thanks!


  8. #6

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    Nice that so many have got back to me!

    @Zwollie:
    Fresh meat?? HAHA, not everyone can be a forum-junkie

    @rtm223:
    The 3-way-switch took some tweaking i must say. Though a soon you get a hang of it works perfect!

    1. If you use 0.1 you get 3600 states.. dont know if its necessary to push that limit
    but the 60 could be improved!
    I've tried to do it a couple of times using a wobblebolts (which i assume you mean) but cant get consistent results.. and its to much of a hassle to convert the time into speed/degree. Though i'm sure its possible. If you get the conversion of time/speed calculated correctly.
    And to add to this, I've of course tried it with pistons and winches, but they "fade" (don't know the right word for it), so if MM doesn't come with a solution on that part that's just a waste of time.. Unless some of you find an awesome way of doing it.

    2. No it ain't smooth. but it looks "kinda" smooth. Made a car before, it was rolling along ok,but you just stood their shaking on top.
    I have an example up thats named "Simple Animation" that switches state by a pulse 0.1s. Just a quick demo i did i while ago.

    3. Yeah i saw that. Nice feature! My counter, there is one in the LBPC Inventions level, there is a 2 digit counter and I haven't seen any ripple effect that i got with my old experiments. I tried it with 4 digits and couldn't see any ripple, though i'm sure there is one :/

    4. Can't wait!

    The One-shot thingy:
    Of course it depends on the application, but I have to stick with the statement. As long as I wanna make something that moves to predefined places or switch states accurately.
    But if you make a car i wouldn't use one-shot (but that ain't a logic device in my book)
    Last edited by Tamland; 12-15-2009 at 04:16 PM.

  9. #7
    fun and frivolous rtm223's Avatar
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    I think I have tried that with the 3 way before and just didn't need the behaviour enough to spend the time tweaking

    Wobble Bolts would be good for 90 degree / 180 degree increments for example, but yes the conversions for most numbers would be a hassle. Although you could just set the angle on the bolt to be some multiple of the angle you are after and do a division on that using the time - it should work as anythgin >=360 degrees acts like a motor bolt when controlled from directional.

    As for the pistons, they will lose the fade behaviour if controlled by a directional signal, so you should be fine with your 3-way control - where you just trying with the initial on/off signal type? I have an example of bi-directional linear incremental movement in the beta, using dark matter blockers - the same technique I use for my ordered inputs tool, in a more refined form.

  10. #8
    Tarsier Level Designer comphermc's Avatar
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    Small typo, there, rtm. You meant to say that a wobble bolt set to 360 degrees receiving a directional input will have the same effect.

    Very interesting about the motor bolt timing, though. I must do some testing.

    Thanks.

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  11. #9
    fun and frivolous rtm223's Avatar
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    Is that all the input you've got?????

  12. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamland View Post
    @Zwollie:
    Fresh meat?? HAHA, not everyone can be a forum-junkie
    Hehe, Rtm & Comphermc are our main Logic junkies around here so in their eyes you could be considered fresh meat.

    Quote Originally Posted by rtm223 View Post
    Is that all the input you've got?????
    I know, right? I'm disappointed, very disappointed...

    (J/k, I know you have exams comph )
    Last edited by Zwollie; 12-15-2009 at 05:21 PM. Reason: fixed typo
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  13. Thanks!


  14. #11
    Tarsier Level Designer comphermc's Avatar
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    Hey, guys, it's finals week. I have a paper due in 3 hours. My life is busy! Cut me some slack...?

    Edit: Thanks, Zwol.
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  15. #12

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    I just republished the level with 4-digit counter, and realised (how do I spell that comphermc? ) that it has a slight ripple.
    removed the frickin pass-thingy.
    Added a car example where I pulse 10 degree every 0.1s.
    And a scoreboard..

    Will get back to rtm223 later, can't answer that long of a message with an iPhone, :/

    feeadback or if you have any problems please respond

    From Sweden with love!
    Mattias

  16. #13
    Tarsier Level Designer comphermc's Avatar
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    You can either say realised or realized, depending on where you are. In Europe, it's with an "s".

    Anywho, I checked it out. Very awesome! As for your little conversion, it was off by a factor of two. If I wanted my bolt to stop at 10 locations, it would take the motor bolt to have a speed of 18. It appears that you need to use 180 degrees, not 360. 4 stops? A speed of 45 is necessary. Now, I agree that there is a maximum degree rotation in 60 degrees, but only if you are emitting a key for .1 second. If you emit a key for .2 seconds, then you can cause a rotation of 120 degrees, and so on.

    Actually, I'm not even sure you were emitting a key, but that's what I did, to splendid results. Check out these pictures:




    Here is a wheel which stops at exactly 10 places along the wheel, or completes 36 degrees of rotation per each activation. The emitter emits a key for .1 seconds, which turns the wheel on for long enough to rotate 36 degrees. The wheel has a speed of 18.

    Incidentally, this allows me to solve a problem I was having a few weeks ago, with an led clock that has no rollover lag. Now, I've run out of time, but here is the idea...



    When the key spins around, and it is just about to complete it's first rotation, the last switch moves an emitter into a location where it will activate the next wheel. All of the emitters are triggered by the same input (the upper wheel), so there is no lag at all.

    Sorry if that seems confusing. I will be "fixing" my led clock tonight to reflect these new findings.

    I can't thank you enough for this!! I removed my thanks! so I could give you reputation for this.

    Last edited by comphermc; 12-15-2009 at 08:04 PM.
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  17. Thanks!


  18. #14

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    Logic geeks... Can't live with them, can't live without them...IM JOKING, RELAX!

  19. #15

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    @rtm223
    I tried with the pistons again but its extremely hard to get the time and length right.. Need some type of calculations so i don't just keep reaching for something in the dark.
    But the fade behavior is gone so its doable atleast! I must have still been on the one-way-bolt when i experimented with that. It was quite a while ago

    @comphmerc:
    Nice building!
    No i dont use the emitter to control the bolt. I use a piston based buffer, that's set to flipper-motion so that it only activates one time.. Regular one shot buffer in short
    Maybe thats why you get the double degree/activation.. The flipper-motion is so fast that the bolt is actually only activated 0,05s?? just a theory but seems plausible in my book..

    Check out my level to see exactly how I've done it. My 3-way incremental bolt is also there so you know how to build that too! I will post some pics on my contraption so you all can see how i built it.

    Oh yeah, I put the magnetic key switches on the wheel instead of around the wheel as you did.. much easier! Though harder to control the wires when you have reversed, since the wires go to an upright postition..

    You are welcome!

    Thanks for the feedback once again!

  20. #16
    Tarsier Level Designer comphermc's Avatar
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    Well, I did some more experimentation, and ran into some troubles.

    It seems emitter don't always behave as they are supposed to (shocking!). Sometimes when I copied over one of the wheels to make modifications, the timing of emitters would go all funny. Even though they were set for .1 seconds, the lifetime of the emitted object would be .15 seconds. I could tell since it would spin 1.5 times what it was supposed to when I made absolutely no changes to anything. I just copied it and placed it. Sometimes it would work, other times it would not.

    I have no idea what the issue there was. I essentially had to just build it over and hope it would work...



    I tried making that 12 hour led clock, but I was having the above problems and got sick of wiring stuff up. I may finish it yet, but definitely not for a little while. On the plus side, the rollover worked how I expected...

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  21. #17

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    Ahh okey..

    Emitters always give me trouble...
    well not always, but they are hard to debug imo :/ harder than the winch AND/OR switches, that i think rtm223 pioneered. (if it wasn't him forgive me..)

    Try my piston controller instead. haven't had any problem with it so far.

    BTW: A LBPC-noob question: why do i have 2 crowns under my name?
    Last edited by Tamland; 12-16-2009 at 07:30 AM. Reason: BTW

  22. #18
    Tarsier Level Designer comphermc's Avatar
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    You have received a bunch of reputation, and the crowns are an indicator of that.
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  23. #19

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    Ahh okey.. Well then i must say thanks to the ones that have given me such a good reputation!

  24. #20
    fun and frivolous rtm223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by comphermc View Post
    Even though they were set for .1 seconds, the lifetime of the emitted object would be .15 seconds. I could tell since it would spin 1.5 times what it was supposed to when I made absolutely no changes to anything. I just copied it and placed it. Sometimes it would work, other times it would not.

    Ahhhhh, this sucks.

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