How can I figure out what is sucking the power out of my Redstone Energy Cell?

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Nathan2055

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Jul 29, 2019
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I've been working on upgrading my base and noticed that my Redstone Energy Cell is now constantly on zero. I haven't changed any of the machines it serves and yet it's sucking all of the power out of it unless I change the output value to something really small. I can't tell what's going on. I disconnected all of my machines except the Pulverizer (the first machine on the line) and it kept sucking. I then tried disconnecting all of my TE machines from the line and it kept happening. It only stopped when I either turned off output or broke the conduit itself. On the line, there is (in this order) a Pulverizer, a TE Furnace, a Magma Crucible, a Liquid Transposer, an Induction Smelter, a Centrifuge, a Carpenter, a Squeezer, a Fermenter, an Energetic Infuser, a Still, a MultiFarm, and three BC lasers for my Assembly Table. I have four Combustion Engines running on Ethanol to power the Redstone Energy Cell. How can I figure out what's sucking all my power?
 

casilleroatr

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It is probably one of the buildcraft or forestry machines. They have an inbuilt power drain feature on most if not all of their machines now. Same with Railcraft. Large laser setups can be particularly draining.
 

KingTriaxx

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Make a multi-meter. That should help you locate the source of the problem. It'll tell you if a machine is requesting power. Then you can wrench the connection to stop the drain.
 

budge

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Lasers drain 4 mj/t even while idle. I had to set up gate triggers to manage mine, as they were a massive drain for me too.
 

danidas

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The whole buildcraft MJ based energy system is intentionally designed to be very wasteful so it is no surprise that your energy cube is draining. As mentioned above most machines that are designed to run on it will passively consume energy even when your not using them.
 

Shakie666

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0.5. 4.0. Doesn't matter. It's a pointless drain that doesn't serve any positive purpose.
I think the point of the change was because MJ was becoming too similar to EU. Apparently the intention is that you have you're MJ production running constantly. Given that we already had boilers which (almost) always run constantly, and tree farms for easy fuel, MJ production was already going this way anyway.
 
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Enigmius1

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I think the point of the change was because MJ was becoming too similar to EU. Apparently the intention is that you have you're MJ production running constantly. Given that we already had boilers which (almost) always run constantly, and tree farms for easy fuel, MJ production was already going this way anyway.
It's a poorly thought out change.

With EU, when you get to the point where machines are draining energy constantly, the perpetual drain came with a very noticeable benefit (typically, speed for tier 2 processing machines). In that case you had a choice...shut down supply of power to the machines when they were not in use in order to avoid the power drain (but requiring time/energy for the machines to return to full speed later) or accept the power drain as an added cost associated with the faster machines and make sure your power plant can handle it.

Compare that to BC machines that consume power while idle with absolutely no benefit. I decided I wanted to start setting up liquid storage in my Unleashed wolrld and literally within the last couple of hours found out about this power drain with the rolling machine I set up and connected to my power grid. It's an added layer of micro-management that does nothing at all to enhance the player experience. It's much more reminiscent of GregT's philosophy of "make it suck and call it better." Sort of how I've got the game running in the background running coke ovens and a blast furnace because I'm waiting on the steel before I put the rolling machine back to make the plates for tank blocks. Respect the player's time? Fuck no. That's for professional game devs, not modders.
 

Shakie666

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It's a poorly thought out change.

With EU, when you get to the point where machines are draining energy constantly, the perpetual drain came with a very noticeable benefit (typically, speed for tier 2 processing machines). In that case you had a choice...shut down supply of power to the machines when they were not in use in order to avoid the power drain (but requiring time/energy for the machines to return to full speed later) or accept the power drain as an added cost associated with the faster machines and make sure your power plant can handle it.

Compare that to BC machines that consume power while idle with absolutely no benefit. I decided I wanted to start setting up liquid storage in my Unleashed wolrld and literally within the last couple of hours found out about this power drain with the rolling machine I set up and connected to my power grid. It's an added layer of micro-management that does nothing at all to enhance the player experience. It's much more reminiscent of GregT's philosophy of "make it suck and call it better." Sort of how I've got the game running in the background running coke ovens and a blast furnace because I'm waiting on the steel before I put the rolling machine back to make the plates for tank blocks. Respect the player's time? Fuck no. That's for professional game devs, not modders.
I see where you're coming from, though to be honest I can't imagine it'll make a massive difference. It might require you to use more MJ early-game, but by the time you start using boilers (come on, is there anyone that doesn't use these for MJ?), you'll have constant MJ production. Since this means they're using fuel 24/7, you'll also need constant fuel production. This is exactly how things are now. The only difference is less that the constant use of the MJ leads to less of it going to waste.

I agree with you're general point though. Maybe an MJ equivalent of EU-splitter cable shoudl be introduced? Though that would render the whole change pointless.
 

Enigmius1

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I see where you're coming from, though to be honest I can't imagine it'll make a massive difference. It might require you to use more MJ early-game, but by the time you start using boilers (come on, is there anyone that doesn't use these for MJ?), you'll have constant MJ production. Since this means they're using fuel 24/7, you'll also need constant fuel production. This is exactly how things are now. The only difference is less that the constant use of the MJ leads to less of it going to waste.

I agree with you're general point though. Maybe an MJ equivalent of EU-splitter cable shoudl be introduced? Though that would render the whole change pointless.
I think this issue is indicative of what happens when mod devs who don't understand balance make unilateral changes in response to what someone else is doing in a different mod. This is a stab directly at early-game, because as you point out, by the time you're established with boilers and MJ for days you don't care about a persistent drain. In the early game it means you're chained to your machines, because you don't dare walk away from a machine that will happily keep draining energy once it's finished its assigned task. And all of this with no benefit whatsoever. The whole idea for me in using things like redstone energy cells as buffers is to reduce the micromanagement and reduce the need to closely monitor my machines. There's too much to do in these mod packs for any one mod to be assuming I've got nothing better to do than sit around and babysit that one mod's stuff. Novice devs just keep piling on penalties and consequences and costs with nothing given in return. It usually kills the project at some point if they don't come to their senses with the quickness. Why does everyone use TE engines and machines in the early game? Because there's a benefit for every cost, and because King Lemming doesn't throw down arbitrary consequences for no good reason. BC and IC devs who don't take note of this might be in for a shock.
 

MajPayne21

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Redstone energy cells can be arranged to have their output turned off by a Redstone signal, correct? That's the same function as an Eu splitter cable (splitter isn't really the right name for that function anyway - it's 'switch').

I keep my BC/Forestry machines behind a dedicated REC and simply switch the output cable off with my wrench when I'm done so they aren't a constant drain. Alternatively, I just bank them together and switch off individual conduits when I am done with the machine.

The 'power leech' mechanic is annoying, but for most machines, especially heat-based ones, it's realistic. I do wish it gave some advantage like the Advanced Machines addon for IC2.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 4
 
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danidas

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I think your unaware of what will be happening with TE in 1.6, in that it will no longer use or produce MJ as it is getting its very own power system. Which King lemming is designing due to his desire to no longer break buildcraft and to respect the direction they are taking the mod.

Basically buildcraft energy was never designed to be stored or used in a lossless manner. Instead it is designed to be either used in a on demand manner or via constant generation.

Now with on demand it is rather easy (especially in the 1.6 version) to setup gates to automatically turn on your engines when they have work and turn them off afterwards.

As for constant generation it is designed to be scaled to fit your needs to avoid waste and to encourage better engine/machine management.
 

Zenthon_127

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I think it's funny that people are trying to justify BC's constant energy drain mechanic, since BC only became great after there was a way to largely bypass that. Regardless, if TE gets some real power gen or steam integration nobody in their right mind would actually make a full BC system (TE likely will have a BC engine according to KL), just a toggle-able subnet.

Anyways, it's a stupid mechanic as it stands. BC already doesn't have storage, so you're just wasting power for about zero benefit. What I really wish would happen is the aforementioned BC version of the Splitter Cable, because that would at least sorta justify the mechanic. For example you could set a gate on a splitter pipe connected to a machine to emit a redstone signal when there aren't any items in an inventory, basically shutting off power to the machine when it isn't active.
 

casilleroatr

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I think it's funny that people are trying to justify BC's constant energy drain mechanic, since BC only became great after there was a way to largely bypass that. Regardless, if TE gets some real power gen or steam integration nobody in their right mind would actually make a full BC system (TE likely will have a BC engine according to KL), just a toggle-able subnet.

Anyways, it's a stupid mechanic as it stands. BC already doesn't have storage, so you're just wasting power for about zero benefit. What I really wish would happen is the aforementioned BC version of the Splitter Cable, because that would at least sorta justify the mechanic. For example you could set a gate on a splitter pipe connected to a machine to emit a redstone signal when there aren't any items in an inventory, basically shutting off power to the machine when it isn't active.
In one of Direwolf's recent episodes he toured CPW's base where he had set up a large railway that was managing the output of a quarry which was being powered on sight be buildcraft engines (they might have been peat ones). CPW said that it had "flavour" to it and I agree. For me, mods like Thermal Expansion and MFR as well as a few others are like a Vanilla and Chocolate Ice cream sundae, with peanuts and brownie pieces and a handsome dollop of rich whipped cream. They are just right for a ton of different things and I rarely pass up up an opportunity to spam those mods around my base (alas I can only dream of eating so many ice cream sundaes). But then, occasionally an ice cream vendor will have had the good sense to stock pistachio ice cream. An acquired taste, I admit, but it is sooo good when you want something a bit unusual.

OK, my analogy did not make sense, but it is very late where I live and I am craving ice cream. But the trio of core buildcraft mods in my opinion offers plenty to keep me interested. For example, I am planning on having a self contained digger age similar to CPWs but with a couple of personal tweaks. And I need to put my glacial bees to good use. It helps now that conductive pipes aren't so derpy and are actually pretty good.

For the remainder of 1.5 I will still be using a large conduit network with boilers and perhaps a few other producers but for smaller sub bases I will be using conductive pipe systems.
 

Enigmius1

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Redstone energy cells can be arranged to have their output turned off by a Redstone signal, correct? That's the same function as an Eu splitter cable (splitter isn't really the right name for that function anyway - it's 'switch').

I keep my BC/Forestry machines behind a dedicated REC and simply switch the output cable off with my wrench when I'm done so they aren't a constant drain. Alternatively, I just bank them together and switch off individual conduits when I am done with the machine.

The 'power leech' mechanic is annoying, but for most machines, especially heat-based ones, it's realistic. I do wish it gave some advantage like the Advanced Machines addon for IC2.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 4
A dedicated REC is a step in the direction of a solution, but it's a) an incomplete solution and b) one that we shouldn't have to find. It's great if you've got all your BC/RC/Forestry machines on one REC that you can turn off when needed, but if you just want to run your <insert machine here> real quick for a test/special project/material top-up, that whole bank of machines is nibbling power while it's on. And the question that nobody can answer is, "what benefit is afforded the player in exchange for this power drain?" That's balance the way good game devs interpret balance. You give something, but it comes at a cost. You add a cost, you give something in exchange.

I'd like to see stats on how many people who play with BC play with *only* BC. BC and IC are two of the mods you can safely say are very rarely played as standalone mods alongside an otherwise vanilla installation. And it would be nice if the devs could set aside that particular stubborn aversion to change and realize that nobody wants a mod that monopolizes their time. If I have to micro-manage machines just to get a simple result from a basic machines, it's a poorly tuned mod.
 

budge

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Yeah. This was after a few hours of idling. Found my REC completely drained despite not using the assembly table. Made sure to disconnect all conduits to other areas before confirming the lasers were in fact eating the full 4 mj/t each.

There are so many strange bugs with my current (custom) 1.5.2 modpack and server, though, that I just don't bother troubleshooting the bugs anymore. I think my pack is just cursed, and I can't wait to move on to 1.6!
 

Zenthon_127

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Laser drain does seem funny. I ended up using the tablet thing from Thaumic Tinker that could use a wrench on my energy conduit every redstone pulse, which works to great effect.
 
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