Thermal Expansion for Newbies(A reference guide for the rest of us) So, first off, what does this mod do? It brings your production to the industrial age, with machines which more efficiently smelt, and even get a higher rate of return on your ores! It also revolutionizes your MJ Power System. More on this later. It also has machines which provide utility. This can either be ease of use, or it can be lag-reducing techniques. Why might you want to use this mod? You can't find a rubber tree among all the extra biomes around your immediate spawn, and you want to get your industrial setup going anyways You are wanting to get started with another mod, and there's a machine which requires a lot of water supplied to it You are wanting a reliable source of lava without all the lag that pumping lava pools out of the nether can provide You are wanting to set up an extensive power network with mods other than IC2 (and addons to IC2) You are wanting to set up a fully automated refinery which you can deposit any kind of ore into and have it automatically produce ingots, particularly if you have space constraints or are wanting a very compact design. What mods does this mod work well with? Forestry and Buildcraft are both synergistic with this mod. Several Forestry machines require a steady water supply, which this mod can provide. The machines in this mod can also be configured to automatically output to an attached pipe or inventory. Both also have alternate methods of producing the same type of power. Railcraft also plays well with this mod, as it uses the same type of power, and also has additional means of producing it. To begin with this mod, you will need to have already accomplished the following: Established a 'home' or 'base' that will at least keep the creepers off of you Done a bit of mining, down to gold/redstone level. No diamonds are necessary to get started Have about a half stack of iron, and at least a dozen copper and tin, as well as some gold and a half stack of redstone. You might also need a little bit of silver. You will also need a good bit of glass to get started, so sand is something you'll actually want to snap up as you come across it. About a half a stack will get you started. One of your first machines will also need a couple of brick blocks, so if you see any clay, grab it. That's really about it. Once you get some iron, gold, silver, tin, copper, and redstone... you're ready to get started! The Basics: MOAR POWER! Many, but not all, of these machines require power to run. This power is measured in MJ, or Minecraft Joules and produced by Engines. Output of engines which produce MJ is generally measured in MJ/t or Minecraft Joules per tick. There are generally twenty ticks per second, although those on servers might experience varying numbers due to lag. Power draw for these machines is also generally measured in MJ/t. So, let's get to generating power! The first step is deciding which engine to use. There's lots of different engines which have differing outputs, differing fuel sources, and differing mechanics. If you haven't checked it out yet, go look up the NEI Tutorial and then search for the word 'engine'. Yea, there's a lot of them, aren't there? Well, don't let that confuse you. Right now, our requirements are: Easy to make, can be made with the materials we have on hand, can produce enough MJ to keep our initial machines powered, and runs on a fuel you have easy access to. For this reason, I would suggest the Steam Engine, which is also a part of this mod. Note: This is not the <something> Steam Engine, nor is it the Sterling Engine. The complete name for this is the Steam Engine. It's the one that requires something called a 'redstone transmission coil' in the recipe. Now then, this engine runs on coal or charcoal, and also requires water to convert into steam to run itself. Coal is easily found, and charcoal is simply logs which have been cooked in an oven, but a supply of water? Fortunately, there's a solution to that as well. This machine is called the Aqueous Accumulator. Don't worry, it doesn't require any power to run at all. Look up the recipe in NEI. Get used to that Machine Frame, it's needed in virtually all of the machines in this mod. However, this isn't particularly painful to make... a piece of gold, some iron and some glass. Next, you'll need the servo, which requires some redstone, iron, and more glass. Then you'll need a bucket, still more glass, and some tin. I hope you found some sand nearby. Right. So, what does this thing do? Well, if you put a water sourceblock on two sides of this machine, it will function as an infinite water source which automatically pumps water out. Nifty, huh? Also, take some time to check out the interface, there's some new things here that I want to point out to you now. Redstone and Configuration panels Notice on the right hand side, there's two little tabs? Let's go over them briefly. They are unique to this mod, so far, and are one of the revolutionary concepts which makes this mod so interesting. The first one is a redstone dust picture on the tab. Clicking on it opens up a cute little panel that looks a little confusing at first. Basically, this panel determines how redstone alters the function of the machine. Clicking on the redstone dust button will disable reacting to a redstone signal or lack thereof. It will just work when it has work, and not work when it doesn't. It'll also tell you under Control Status if redstone signals are enabled or disabled. The other button determines if it needs a redstone signal to function (the picture of the lit redstone torch, with Signal Required: High) or if applying a redstone signal will disable the machine (picture of the unlit redstone torch, with Signal Required: Low). This helps you better automate your machines, and make more compact designs with redstone running near machines that won't affect them if you don't want it to. The second is the config panel, which is where a lot of the magic of this mod happens. You might have noticed the orange squares on all of the sides other than the front face. You might also notice in this panel how there are also orange panels on all of the icons other than the front face. Yes, the two are directly connected, and it also has to do with why the liquid bar has an orange outline. You see, when making very compact machine layouts, you can often have situations in which you really want to automatically pass the output of one machine to another, always. However, there are also situations where you don't want the output of one machine to go to another machine. This helps you customize that. Unlike any other mod that I am aware of, Thermal Engineering machines will automatically output to an adjacent valid inventory or machine. In the case of the Aqueous Accumulator, it will automatically output water to anything that can accept water as a liquid directly adjacent to any side other than the front face. However, you can also click on the sides in this panel, and you notice that you can make the orange disappear, and you can make the face appear 'flush'. The colorless face is useful for inputting energy and is used primarily for Redpower2 Tube compatibility. The 'flush' face is a side of the machine that will not input OR output ANYTHING from that side. So if you are wanting to run a pipe right behind your Aqueous Accumulator which is handling some other kind of liquid, and you don't want to get water in that pipeline, you can click that side to flush and it won't. Go ahead, play around with it a bit so you can get a feel for which sides corrolate to which of the buttons on the panel. It orients itself according to the direction the front face is pointing, rather than any arbitrary cardinal direction, so placement facing has a large part in this. Also the front face will never connect to anything.