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Author Topic: Mining Carts are daunting  (Read 557 times)

Mathalor

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Mining Carts are daunting
« on: April 19, 2017, 01:26:37 pm »

I'm trying to use mine carts drag some magma from the magma sea up to a basin near the surface, at first for crafting, then for.. other purposes.

I'm having a hard time finding any guides or explanations as to what will work and what won't, and the mine cart page on the wiki looks like someone's college thesis.

Is there any help out there for someone in my position?
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gchristopher

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 03:51:03 pm »

Let's start with the easiest to understand (though very high micromanagement) way to just get some magma for forges/furnaces. This is something that can be done in year 1 for most embarks so you can start any fortress off with magma forges anywhere on the map that you'd like.

1. Fill up a couple carts with magma
2. Get them up to your fort
3. Dump them into a 1x1 hole to later build a forge over.

This can all be done with only dwarf power and no rollers or even carving a minecart track up from the magma sea.

Step 1: Fill Carts with Magma

You need a way to put magma into the carts. I think the lowest-tech way to do this is to (d)ump the carts onto a horizontal grate, then pump magma over the carts, filling them. Then use a raising bridge to atom-smash the magma under the grate, draining it so the now-full-of magma carts can be retrieved.

Here's a text representation of the side view of how this setup might look. It takes two levels and you need somewhere you have dug down to magma from above. Obviously all materials need to be magma-safe. There's lots of easy variations on this idea.

Code: [Select]
   [      ] [  door] [ carts] [  pump] [  pump] [      ] [  WALL]
                     [ grate]                   [ grate]
   [  WALL] [BRIDGE] [bridge] [  WALL] [  WALL] [magma sea...                   ]

The procedure is:
1. Dump a couple carts on the tile labelled [carts].
2. Lock the door.
3. Have a dwarf work the pump. The carts and small space below them will fill very quickly.
4. Wave the bridge below (which raises to the tile marked [BRIDGE]) to destroy enough magma to clear the tile with the carts.
5. Now you have some Forbidden carts full of 2/7 magma each.


Step 2: Move the Carts

There is some debate about whether carrying hot carts full of magma will injure your dwarves. It's hard to tell because all you might see is random blood and maybe suddenly dead dwarves. (Who bled out through melted hands, maybe?) If you really care you can do your own mini-college-thesis on using dfhack to investigate injuries. Let's assume that's a risk and use a trick to get around it.

1. Create a stockpile very near the magma-filled carts and make sure that those carts are the ONLY ones eligible to be hauled to it.
2. Unlock the door and unforbid the carts. The dwarves can safely carry them very short distances and will bring them to the stockpile.
3. Set up a hauling route stop next to the stockpile so the dwarves place the magma filled carts into another cart at that route stop.
4. The hot carts are now inside another minecart which doesn't get hot and kill dwarves. Now you can move the whole hot mess safely by hauling the outer cart around.
4a. Hauling a minecart full of minecarts full of magma is extremely slow. Watch out for thirst/starvation of the dwarf doing it.


Step 3: Dump the magma into a hole.

1. Dig a 1x1 hole. Don't leave anything in it. Don't stand there when magma is dumped into it.
2. Construct a track stop adjacent to the hole, set to dump into the hole.
3. Construct a second track stop adjacent to the first, set to dump onto the first track stop that is next to the hole.
4. Somehow direct a dwarf to carry the cart full of carts full of magma to the second track stop. (I prefer (d)ump, but a hauling route stop can do that too.)
5. The outer cart will dump the magma-filled carts onto the first track stop, where they will immediately dump the magma into the hole.

If you just did two minecarts, now you have 4/7 magma in a 1x1 hole, perfect for a furnace or forge! Repeat as needed until you're ready to start exploring faster, more powerful, and more dangerous ways of bringing up lots of magma and flooding the world, starting with your fortress, usually.
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Fearless Son

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 04:25:46 pm »

You need a way to put magma into the carts. I think the lowest-tech way to do this is to (d)ump the carts onto a horizontal grate, then pump magma over the carts, filling them.

Thank you for this!  I have been long considering using minecarts to bring up magma, but labored over the best way to fill them.  I thought maybe sending them powering down through a magma channel might be it, but sending them under a magma waterfall sounds like a much better option.  Maybe it could still be sufficiently automated by getting a cart to speed and sending it skipping over the grates to another track on the other side?  Anyway, brilliant. 

I have wanted to do some further things with minecart automation and magma (so we have a replenishing magma supply for *ahem* "trading" with goblins) for some time, but what worries me is power transmission.  This applies both to pumpstack and minecart methods.  I avoid overly-wonky exploits of liquid physics like water reactors, so I tend to limit myself to what can be generated on the surface.  Unfortunately every gear and axle I place takes up a little power, and I fear the vertical distances involved would sap the needed power before it can be utilized to draw up magma. 
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 04:44:08 pm »

I use a variation of gchristopher's description, and so far no dorfs have had their hands burned (another data point in the discussion...)

I build my magma facilities down by the magma sea (or magma pile/volcano, if available), and use mine carts to haul magma for obsidianization purposes, so there's a little bit extra if you just want the magma into carts:

- Locate the magma sea.
- Find a good spot where you can dig a horizontal tunnel up to the top level of the magma sea without cancellation spam, but don't breach the wall. I make this tunnel long enough to feed a magma pump stack (should I want one later), a magma loading station (what we're after here), and 2 of each magma facility. This means 3 tiles in between each facility, except the forge, which aligns differently. The remote end of the tunnel is accessed via a ramp from above.
- At the magma sea end of the tunnel I build a magma safe raising drawbridge hooked to a lever, leave one space for a magma safe wall grate (don't install that until the lever has been hooked up!). One space for the pump stack to draw magma from, 2 spaces for a second raising drawbridge (again, magma safe and hooked up to a lever). I make my drawbridges two tiles long because that allows me to see visually if they're raised or not: one is enough technically). This drawbridge is closed when the future pump stack is operated.
- Inside of the second drawbridge I have one space for the magma loading station (our goal), and then a third drawbridge. This third drawbridge is open only when filling the tunnel to give power to the facilities, and is then closed permanently so operation of the pump stack or magma filling station doesn't cause power outages due to ripples in the magma. If the future pump stack is to be oriented northwards, the magma loading station should be southwards, so dig a 3 tile long tunnel southwards from the tile the loading station should draw power from.
- Once all the drawbridges are hooked up to levers (and tested), and the wall grate has been installed, you can then let the magma in by channeling out the tile separating the tunnel from the magma sea from above (I do that after building most of the magma workstation facilities). Once opened, I immediately order the building of a floor to block access from the sea to the workshops (and I check the units screen to see there aren't a lot of hostiles around in the sea at the time of breach).
- At the level above the tunnel I dig out an open area for the facilities and space to pass by them, plus future stockpiles. There are a few twists to this area though:
  - The potential pump stack area retains walls around a T shaped area, with the base being 3 tiles and the top 3 tiles at 90 degrees on top of that. In order to actually make it T shaped, an access is needed from the side of the T, and not at the base (which should be over the tile providing magma, and that tile should be channeled out, but you need to be able to build a screw pump at the tiles above that, so you need to reach those tiles).
  - The Magma loading station consists of 4 tiles oriented in the opposite direction from the pump stack T (as mentioned above). You should leave walls around the 4 tile long area, with an opening beside the south end and another one second from the north (i.e. south of the tile from which magma is to be drawn). Channel down at both the top and the bottom tiles of this line and install magma safe floor grates over them (and I install a grate over the future pump stack intake as well, just for good measure). When these grates are installed, you can install a magma safe screw pump oriented to pump from the north to the south in the two tiles between the grates. I install magma safe doors in both of the openings in the wall around the pump, although you only need the southern one.
- I leave the rest of the magma workshop facility construction to the reader, as they're not really the point here.
- Once your magma loading station pump has been built, define a route (e.g. called Magma Loading Station), designate a route stop on top of the southern grate, and assign a magma safe mine cart to the route. A dorf should haul the cart and place in on the route stop location (i.e. the grate).
- Once the cart is in place, the plumbing below has been built, and magma let in to power the facilities, and the innermost drawbridge been closed (but the two outer ones are open), order a dorf to operate the pump briefly. That should be enough to fill the cart.
- Once the cart is filled, designate another route and place the route stop where you want it (typically on top of a Track Stop set to dump in a specified direction). I name this one Magma Dump. Designate the filled mine cart to that route instead. A dorf will haul the cart to the track stop (or give up due to hunger/thirst, in which case the cart will be dropped and there's a 50% chance another dorf will haul it to the destination, and a 50% chance a dorf will haul it to a random stockpile taking mine carts. If you're lucky the stockpile is in the right direction...).
- Once the mine cart has dumped its contents, you can move it back to the Magma Filling Station route, and a dorf will carry it back down.
- When you want to dump the next magma load in a different location, you can just remove the route stop from the Magma Dump route and make a new one in the next location.

Response typed while I wrote the short story...
It's possible to use power to get mine carts to go down into a trench to pick up magma. I've never done so myself, as I use the method above for small amounts of magma and a pump stack for large ones.

It's perfectly possible to build the amount of power generation facilities you need. Shaft losses aren't too bad, but gear ones make a dent in the budget. If using wind mills with the low yield power you're losing a lot to transmission, but you'll get there eventually. If you have zero wind power you'll have to use water wheels, with provide more power. A need for 1000 or so power units isn't unrealistic. Note that power transmission from the surface will leave a hole into your fortress for fliers unless you go through hoops to block the access.
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gchristopher

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2017, 07:04:17 pm »

I make my drawbridges two tiles long because that allows me to see visually if they're raised or not
This is almost always a really good idea.

It's possible to use power to get mine carts to go down into a trench to pick up magma.

Using a cart spiral, even a naive one that isn't tuned for checkpoint mechanics, and a magma trench at the bottom with rollers to push full carts out, you still move absurd amounts of magma. Definitely enough for large-scale obsidian casting, keeping the reservoir of a magma weapon full, or covering small areas of the surface in magma. Here's one example. The only time I feel I absolutely NEED a full pump stack is when I'm going to cover an entire map in magma.

sending them under a magma waterfall sounds like a much better option.
Sadly, that won't work. The carts have to be fully submerged to fill. Falling liquid doesn't count.

I avoid overly-wonky exploits of liquid physics like water reactors
How about putting a single pump in a water loop next to a water wheel, such that the wheel doesn't power the pump, and having a dwarf operate the pump to turn the wheel? That could be built right next to a magma-cart loading trench and provide enough power to rollers to keep a cart loop going.
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Mathalor

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 07:51:53 pm »

THANK YOU

You guys are the best

One more question.  I built a temple.  Is there any way to prevent visitors from showing up?  I don't want to have to deal with praying were beasts or vampires, or insanity if I have to close my gates for an invasion.
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 03:08:26 am »

Temples, taverns, and libraries can be set to accept only citizens, citizens and residents, or everyone, where the last is the default. There is no option for visitor only facilities, though. If I recall correctly, these settings are on the facility entities rather than the zones (an entity can be associated with several zones). If none of your facilities allow visitors no visitors will come.
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Fearless Son

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2017, 07:26:13 pm »

It's possible to use power to get mine carts to go down into a trench to pick up magma. I've never done so myself, as I use the method above for small amounts of magma and a pump stack for large ones.

It's perfectly possible to build the amount of power generation facilities you need. Shaft losses aren't too bad, but gear ones make a dent in the budget. If using wind mills with the low yield power you're losing a lot to transmission, but you'll get there eventually. If you have zero wind power you'll have to use water wheels, with provide more power. A need for 1000 or so power units isn't unrealistic. Note that power transmission from the surface will leave a hole into your fortress for fliers unless you go through hoops to block the access.

The shaft/gear loss was my concern, because I figured the easiest way to get carts to go up long vertical distances was with a 3x3 wide vertical shaft, with a channeled center and a spiral of tracks and ramps around it.  An axle would run down the center of the shaft, with periodic gears that would power rollers to keep the carts fighting gravity.  A similar shaft, sans axle and rollers, could be used to send carts back down unpowered.  But I assumed that magma was heavy, magma-safe carts were generally heavy, going up hill with a cart is difficult, and that the rollers and gears would be so frequent I would run out of power on the way. 

My typical power generator is to make a "hydro-dam", constructing a building over a river and filling it with adjacent water wheels (the construction around them keeps them safe from building destroyers.)  Sounds like I would need at least ten water wheels in there, which either requires a really wide river or a really long building.  Pity DF water physics is not better.  I would love to have reason to engineer an elaborate reservoir and take the water's flux into account.

sending them under a magma waterfall sounds like a much better option.
Sadly, that won't work. The carts have to be fully submerged to fill. Falling liquid doesn't count.
Aww, darn.  The thought of carts stopping under a funnel that opens and pours magma into them before starting up again has a nice "industrial" feel to it that seems appropriately dwarfy.

I avoid overly-wonky exploits of liquid physics like water reactors
How about putting a single pump in a water loop next to a water wheel, such that the wheel doesn't power the pump, and having a dwarf operate the pump to turn the wheel? That could be built right next to a magma-cart loading trench and provide enough power to rollers to keep a cart loop going.
Maybe, but that still feels a bit too wonky for me.  I mean, I know how much power a pump takes, and a wheel produces much more than that. 

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Salmeuk

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2017, 07:41:15 pm »

So, after a quick look at the wiki, a screw pump requires 10 power and a water wheel produces 100.

I am sympathetic to your insistence on somewhat realistic power creation, so you might try setting up 10 pumps to simulate 10 dwarfs pumping enough water flow to generate the 100 power. Or even more to simulate loss of energy through friction etc.

It might seem a bit ridiculous, but imo anything is acceptable if it brings an interesting challenge.
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2017, 02:33:19 am »

For mine cart tracks I use a central shaft for downwards traffic and a spiral around it for the upwards track, powered by impulse ramps. The one time I made a roller powered track I modified the blueprint to have a 3*4 footprint (with walls outside of that, of course), with one shaft in the middle for downward traffic and the other for the gears (I placed a roller on every level, without trying to figure out how many you'd actually need).
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Mathalor

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2017, 02:47:52 am »

I got it to work.

I didn't nestle my mine carts, but wound up with no injuries.  I disabled hauling and similar jobs and everyone I cared about first, to be sure.

Dumping on a track stop next to the channeled pit didn't dump the magma, until I built floor grates over the pits.

Thanks again
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Fearless Son

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2017, 12:12:37 pm »

I am sympathetic to your insistence on somewhat realistic power creation, so you might try setting up 10 pumps to simulate 10 dwarfs pumping enough water flow to generate the 100 power. Or even more to simulate loss of energy through friction etc.
It makes me think it would be cool to have a wheel that could be attached to mechanisms.  Have a dwarf go and turn the wheel and generate dwarf-power to drive machinery, similarly to how screw pumps currently work.  It might not get as much power as a water wheel or windmill, and would be subject to interruption as the dwarf gets tired, goes for a drink, etc. but it would be a nice option for mechanisms that only need modest power and intermittent use.  If we could yoke animals to it and have them drive it instead that might even create good incentive to acquire and breed draft animals for more than just butchery or shearing.

For mine cart tracks I use a central shaft for downwards traffic and a spiral around it for the upwards track, powered by impulse ramps. The one time I made a roller powered track I modified the blueprint to have a 3*4 footprint (with walls outside of that, of course), with one shaft in the middle for downward traffic and the other for the gears (I placed a roller on every level, without trying to figure out how many you'd actually need).
Huh, I would have thought it would be easier to have the up-track on the inside of the spiral (so you can minimize the distance from the central axle to the things which are propelling the cart) while the down track spirals around that (with appropriate walls at the corners between them to prevent derailing carts) and let gravity do the work (with breaks near the bottom to catch it.)

I got it to work.
Grats!
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2017, 01:58:26 pm »

:
For mine cart tracks I use a central shaft for downwards traffic and a spiral around it for the upwards track, powered by impulse ramps. The one time I made a roller powered track I modified the blueprint to have a 3*4 footprint (with walls outside of that, of course), with one shaft in the middle for downward traffic and the other for the gears (I placed a roller on every level, without trying to figure out how many you'd actually need).
Huh, I would have thought it would be easier to have the up-track on the inside of the spiral (so you can minimize the distance from the central axle to the things which are propelling the cart) while the down track spirals around that (with appropriate walls at the corners between them to prevent derailing carts) and let gravity do the work (with breaks near the bottom to catch it.)
:
I don't have a spiral for the down part of the journey: push the cart, and it falls down a chute (with careful placement of the spiral so the cart won't land on it and return back up), lands on a ramp, and rolls to a track stop (it may require some power to go from the ramp to the track stop, depending on distance). You need at least 3*3 for a spiral anyway so the downwards chute is "free" from a space requirement point.
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Fearless Son

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2017, 01:27:14 am »

I don't have a spiral for the down part of the journey: push the cart, and it falls down a chute (with careful placement of the spiral so the cart won't land on it and return back up), lands on a ramp, and rolls to a track stop (it may require some power to go from the ramp to the track stop, depending on distance). You need at least 3*3 for a spiral anyway so the downwards chute is "free" from a space requirement point.

Huh.  I know carts can jump tracks and fall Z-levels and land on more tracks and keep going, but I assumed that there was some physics calculations going on there that would smash a cart if it fell too far and was too heavy and delicate to survive that fall. 
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Mining Carts are daunting
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2017, 03:27:12 am »

Nope. Smashing applies to "living" things only (quotes because undead are included). Corpses will not explode into parts, nor will glass goblets shatter. There's a special case for missiles getting destroyed when hitting the ground, but if they hit an obstacle and then fall to the ground they remain undamaged.
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