Logistics Pipes (1.12.2) For Newbies


Too Much Free Time
Dec 8, 2012
Lost as always
Logistics Pipes in 1.12.2 For Newbies
(A Reference for the Rest Of Us!)

Some history

Back in the day, before most mod launchers existed, in the era of Minecraft 1.2.5, there existed a mod called Logistics Pipes. It was an addon to Buildcraft and turned the Buildcraft pipes from an unholy mess to something truly amazing. It could automatically sort chest inventories, it could manage your storage for you, it could do autocrafting and subcombines. It was amazing. RP2's Tubes had better basic functionality than BC's pipes (similar in concept to the modern implementation of Thermal Dynamics Itemducts), and had a Router that could sort things by how you painted the tubes, but it was not as robust as LP was.

Then came the 1.3 overhaul, which was the end of an era for many mods. Some, such as RP2, continued on. Of course, the giants, IC2 and BC, continued on and still continue on to this day in at least some form. But Logistics Pipes never really made the leap very well.

Between 1.3 and 1.7 was something of a rennisance for modded minecraft. Concepts evolved and were expanded upon. Many new mods popped up, and several mods disappeared. Some forever left their mark on the Modded minecraft scene, such as the mod Factorization which brought us the Barrel as well as an ore tripling system. Others simply vanished into the twilight. But there was a niche to be filled... a mod that handles storage organization and crafting-on-demand. Then in 1.4 era, Applied Energistics came onto the scene.

The first iteration was... primitive compared to what we have today, but it was an amazing thing for those hungry for a replacement for Logistics Pipes that never updated or when it did, was still dependent upon the rapidly falling star that was Buildcraft, no longer the cornerstone of every pack.

In the 1.7.10 era, some would call it the 'second golden age of minecraft modding', Applied Energistics 2 came along, which brought complexity but also increased functionality. There were proponents and opponents of the changes. But by and large, it was a 'must have' mod, for sorting everything out.

In 1.10, AE2 went through a change in ownership, or rather a change in who was handling the code, so it took longer to update. In that time, a new mod Refined Storage made its debut. It went back to classic AE for many of its concepts and principles, and is generally seen as the 'less complex' version of AE2.

But Logistics Pipes did not die. Development continued, largely unseen and unheard of in the community. After BC fell from grace and prominence, it shifted away from that dependency, although it took much time. And finally, late in the 1.12.2 development cycle, we were blessed with this wonderful mod once again.

One of these things is not like the other

So, LP is like AE2, right? Well... yes, but actually no. There's some pretty fundamental differences between the two mods, they both come at the problem in different ways, different schools of thought. Each have their uses, each have their strengths and their weaknesses.

LP is better at supply-side economics. If you want to keep x in stock, LP can do that trivially. It is *possible* to do so with AE2, at least in some quantity, but LP can let you do so in bulk, and without unnecessary hoops to jump through.

AE2 is better at bulk storage. LP doesn't have a storage solution at all, but rather integrates with existing storage solutions. So for example, LP doesn't have an equivalent to a Disk Drive or the various sized data disks.

Logistics Pipes handles item routing probably better than AE2, though. LP was originally built to basically be what you'd consider to be the Storage Bus's job, and it has a lot of functionality that the Storage Bus doesn't have.

Where LP really shines over AE is its machine interfacing. With Satellite Pipes, it can innately and relatively trivially handle multiblocks that have output on a different block than input, it can also handle multiple different types of inputs, or inputs to different areas to generate a single result, which usually has to be handled with an intermediary buffer chest with AE2.

Where AE2 shines over LP is the speed. LP still runs on pipes, and you can see items running through them. AE2 is instantaneous transportation over the entire network. However, speed should not be conflated with throughput, LP theoretically has a higher throughput capacity per blockface than AE2, simply because it can process in parallel on the same face of the same block with Chassis pipes.

So while people may compare them... it's safe to say that they fill slightly different niches, each being able to be used in the other's place (albeit with some difficulty), but really shine under conditions that permits that mod to truly flex on its rival.

Without further ado

As a note, I'm assuming you have JEI installed, because this mod has significant JEI integration built in.

LP goes back to an era before Ore Dictionary. Hell, before Forge was what it is today, back when we had ML/MLMP and then Forge. As a result, LP worked with what it had, and didn't add any new worldgen whatsoever, since back then you had to deal with BlockID's, and having personally worked with that before... let's just say I'm glad I never have to bother with it again.

As a result, there's no meteors you have to chase down, no new ores to mine, it runs off of vanilla components. Iron, Gold, Redstone, and Diamonds will all be necessary in quantity to get yourself going with this mod, with the caveat that some modpacks will substantially tweak crafting recipes. As always, speak with your modpack developer to see if LP is right for YOU!

The first thing you will need will be an Unrouted Transport Pipe. This is basically the replacment for BC pipes, and are not particularly intelligent. They *CANNOT* be used as a junction, as they do not have any 'smart' functionality whatsoever. They just connect Point A to Point B. Fortunately, they aren't generally too pricey, and you get a bunch of them per craft.

The Basic Logistics Pipe is the workhorse of the mod. It is a fairly intelligent pipe, and by default requires an unrouted pipe plus an FPGA, which is basically a smelted circuit you make with various resources depending on your pack, so it isn't *too* difficult to make these, but they're definitely more expensive than the Unrouted pipes. They can also be used as a destination to connect a storage to your network, but with limited functionality.

But before we can use them for anything other than a junction, we're going to need a couple of tools. Specifically, we're going to need a Pipe Manager to access the Basic Logistic Pipe's interface. Fortunately, it's not a particularly challenging craft. But before we can begin our Logistics network, we're going to need a Power Junction and a Logistics Crafting Table. And we're also going to need a Logistics Program Compiler.

In 1.12.2, LP requires energy, some form of Forge Energy compatible energy, to be specific. So you need to connect a Power Junction to some power. So long as all the pipes are connected, they automatically transfer power to other pipes within the network, so you should only need one of these per LP network.

The Logistics Crafting Table is the heart of the network. If you wish for an AE comparison, think of it like a Crafting Terminal. It has its own internal storage, and can be used to request items from or store items in your Logistical Network. It can also be used to request crafting and the result sent to the Logistics Crafting Table, including any subcombines that are hooked up to the network.

'We're Compiling' is programmer-speak for 'we need a break'

The Logistics Program Compiler is going to be needed to make any pipes more complicated than the Basic Logistics Pipe, and this is where we get into this mod's grind. In this case, it's not an exploration grind like AE2, but a pure timesink, one of the words which no programmer enjoys... Compiling. To craft any more complicated pipe requires a Logistics Programmer, which needs to have the pipe program flashed onto it from the Programmer, so think of it like a USB stick for installing an operating system. However, you need to have first compiled the program before you can flash it, which is a pure timesink. You just click the button, and hit compile, and go do something else while it compiles. If I had a complaint about the mod, it would be this system, which is new to Logistics Pipes. But at least it's nothing more than a timesink, it doesn't actually require anything else of you.

You can only flash one pipe program onto the Logistics Programmer, but you can overwrite it at any time by putting it back in the Program Compiler and flashing a new program.

This is probably the least attractive part of the mod, but once you get past this hurdle, everything starts opening up for you.

Storage Solutions for Strangely Simplistic Situations

Before you can actually do much with Logistics Pipes, you need to tell it where the stuff is. For this, you CAN use a Basic Logistics Pipe. You can click on it with a Pipe Manager, and it brings up an interface. You can tell it nine items that you'd like to make sure go to this particular chest whenever they are put into the network. You also see a checkbox for 'default route' which means 'if I can't figure out where else to put this thing, I'll just put it here'. You only want ONE default route in your network, but by that same token, if you don't have one, then if the network doesn't know what to do with something, it will spit it out into the world somewhere.

To pull things from a chest, you'll want a Provider Pipe, which (as the name implies) provides items to the network for either requesting or for crafting. Whack that with a Pipe Manager and you'll see an interface. You can filter which items you want to provide, 'include' is the default and is whitelist functionality, but click on the include button and it turns to 'exclude' which is blacklist functionality. The other interesting thing is the 'switch' button. By default, you'll see 'Mode: Normal Inventory' underneath it. Click switch and it'll change to 'Leave 1st stack'. There's several more modes you can cycle through, but the interesting one for most people will be 'Leave 1 item per stack in Inventory'.

To make sure you always have something in stock, you can use a Supplier Pipe. For example, let's say you had a stone furnace hooked up to your LP network that would smelt iron on demand, and you always wanted *at least* a stack of iron in your chest at all times. Place the Supplier Pipe against the chest, and whack it with the Pipe Manager to bring up the interface. Now, pull up iron ingots in the JEI interface. Notice how as you mouse over it the nine boxes light up green? That means that item can go there. Left click the iron ingot, and you'll see that you now have a 'phantom' ingot, along with a green line going back to the iron ingot in the JEI interface. Place it in one of the nine squares, and you can use mousewheel to increase or decrease the number. Keep in mind you can increase this number well beyond a single stack if you want.

Now it will attempt to pull from the Logistics Network to keep at least a stack of iron in this chest at all times. Any time it has less than a stack, it'll look around for some, and pull it in. If it can't find any in a Provided inventory, it will then check to see if there's a way for the system to Craft it and then submit that crafting request to be processed automatically.

This has many uses. To use a vanilla example, let's say you craft a full suit of iron armor, which brings the supply of your iron ingots below one stack. Without needing to tell the system anything, the system immediately kicks into action and starts requesting more iron, including requesting it to be smelted if the furnace is set up properly. In this way, you can avoid the primary problem of 'craft on demand' systems like AE... waiting for the craft to finish, as you've already kept items in stock to pull from at need.

You can put both a Provider and Supplier pipe on the same inventory, and the system will be smart enough to not infinitely pull from the same inventory it is trying to fill.

Being Crafty

So, we've mentioned crafting a few times now while explaining how the Supply pipe worked. Now let's talk about crafting, and how amazing it can be in LP!

First, we're going to need a Crafting Pipe and a Logistics Crafting Table. Place the Table down, and the Crafting Pipe adjacent to it, connected to the rest of your LP network. So, let's say you wish to be able to autocraft Basic Logistic Pipes. Right-click the Logistics Crafting Table, and it pulls up a crafting grid as well as a small storage area underneath. Find Basic Logistics Pipes in JEI, mouse-over it, and hit the hotkey to bring up its recipe (R by default, but virtually everyone changes that since it's so commonly used). You'll see a plus sign next to the recipe which should be familiar to most AE2 or RS users. As expected, it automatically populates the recipe into the crafting table. Escape out of the crafting table's inventory and hit the connected Crafting Pipe with your Pipe Manager tool.

This is an extremely interesting interface, one which we will be going over in more detail in a bit. For now, however, we're going to simplify things by hitting the 'import' button. That should automatically populate the items needed for the crafting recipe as well as the expected output into the pipe's UI. Neat! Sadly, each crafting recipe will need a separate crafting table and crafting pipe, so you will see a larger footprint for autocrafting than you would for AE2.

But wait, there's more!

You remember in the Crafting Pipe's interface, it had some slots for a 'satellite'? This is where the power of LP's crafting system really starts to flex. So let's see if we can set up the entire crafting chain from raw components to finished product, shall we?

For a Basic Logistics Pipe, you need an FPGA. Which is a Raw FPGA smelted. So you'll need to smelt it up. Now, let's assume you're just running vanilla, and don't have a handy-dandy single-block furnace and you're using vanilla stone furnace. Which accepts inputs from the top, but accepts fuel from underneath. Now, you *could* use a Supplier pipe to keep, say, 16 coal in the furnace fuelbox at all times. But just for grins and giggles, let's do something a little more complex. Grab yourself a crafting pipe, a satellite pipe, and some either unrouted or basic pipes for connecting them up. On the top is going to be your Crafting Pipe, on the bottom will be the satellite pipe. Smack the satellite pipe with your Pipe Manager and name it something. For purposes of this exercise, let's name it 'Furnace01'. Now let's use your pipe manager on the crafting pipe. We know that each coal can smelt eight items in a furnace, and we also know that we don't want to be wasteful with our resources. So, using JEI, or just stuff in your inventory if you wish, you can tell it that the 'input' is eight Raw FPGA. Then over on the left, in the Satellite portion, click 'Select' and select 'Furnace01' for the satellite pipe, and place one Coal in a Satellite slot.

Repeat the crafting process for the Raw FPGA's and the Unrouted pipes, using the Logistics Crafting Table and Crafting Pipes.

Now go to your Logistics Request Table. You should see Basic Logistics Pipes under 'Request Items' list (may be on a different page depending on how many items you've provided to your system), and if you don't currently have any, it'll have a number of zero. Click on Basic Logistics Pipe and click Request. You should see 'request successful' (if not, it will tell you what it is missing to craft them), and items will start moving around the pipes! Soon, you should get one Basic Logistics Pipe in the inventory of the Request Table.

This can be used when you have multiple machines with different inputs required for a particular job. For example, Thermal Dynamics' Redstone Fluxduct requires an empty fluxduct in a Fluid Transposer, plus liquid redstone that comes from an adjacent Crucible. You can use a Satellite Pipe on the crucible to request the redstone go there, without needing a buffer chest and filtered ducts or conduits.

But what happens when your crafting recipe requires something, but doesn't consume it? What then?

Well, this is actually fairly simple with LP, let's go over it, shall we? So, let's say that we desire Supplier Pipes as crafting on demand. We've already got LP and Basic Chips on demand, so that's already handled. But it requires that Logistics Programmer, one that specifically has the Supplier Pipe program flashed to it. It isn't consumed in the process of making it, and it's kind of a pain to automate. So instead, what we're going to do is take a Programmer that has the Supplier Pipe program flashed to it, and put it in the Logistics Crafting Table inventory. Go to the attached Crafting Pipe, and click Import, then left-click to REMOVE the Logistics Programmer. So basically, it'll request a Basic Logistic Pipe, the Basic Circuit, the Redstone, and the Iron. And since the Programmer is already in the Crafting Table's inventory, it'll just go ahead and craft it.

Functionality is identical for any crafting recipe which requires an item that is not consumed, such as Pam's Harvestcraft recipe for Fresh Water to Salt requiring a Pot but not consuming it.

Chassis pipes and Modules!

If this was everything about the mod, it would be pretty okay in its own right. But there's another feature of this mod that expands further and makes things even more amazing. What if there was a way to get the functionality of multiple pipes in a single block? Well, that's what Chassis pipes are for. And they've got a suite of modules you can stick in them. Higher tier chassis pipes can have more modules installed in them, thus more things you can do in a single block.

Let's go over the highlights, then we can dive deeper, shall we?

First off, there's several modules that can let your system know where stuff is to be stored, known as ItemSink modules, and there's several types. There's mod-based itemsink modules, for those who want to store by mod (such as Thermal Expansion, EnderIO, or even that really crazy one Vanilla). If you're using a drawer system and attaching it to a Drawer Controller, you may wish to consider a Polymorphic ItemSink Module, which basically says 'anything already in this inventory is what should be put in this inventory'. This lets you add more drawers with more stuff and the LP network will automatically route those items to the drawer without needing to update your ItemSink module.

Then there's Active Supplier modules. Functions like a Supplier Pipe, keep x in stock.

There's a Terminus Module as well. That's basically 'if you don't know what else to do with the item, send it here'. So the same functionality as a Basic Logistic Pipe with the Default Route checked. It's handy to have one in your network somewhere.

ItemSink modules are passive, meaning they won't actively request items from the network, they're just available to have them put there. So if you want, say, a chest used to put stuff in bulk into your network, say from your farms, your quarry, and other places that generate resources, you're going to want an Extractor Module, which pulls from the inventory, and puts it wherever the LP network deems best, either in an inventory attached to a Provider module, a Chassis pipe with some sort of ItemSink module, or finally, either a Basic Logistic Pipe with Default Route set or a Terminus Module. If the Terminus Module is in the same chassis pipe as the Export module, it knows better than to pull it out.

There are faster upgrades for the export module.

There's also the Provider Module. Generally for most of your bulk storage, you'll want a Provider Module and some sort of ItemSink module in a chassis pipe. This lets the LP network send stuff to the storage inventory, and be able to pull from it to craft things.

But perhaps the most exciting part is the ability to put multiple Crafting cards in one chassis for a given machine. So, for example, you want to automate making various metal plates with the same machine. Hook up a Chassis pipe, insert multiple cards that say 'x ingots make y plate(s)', and bob's your uncle. At least until you run out of module slots. Fortunately, most machines are pretty cool about having a second pipe attached with more crafting modules.

You can also have multiple Export cards in the same chasiss pipe to multiply the pulling of items. This can help keep your 'default input' chest from getting backstuffed if even an Advanced Export Card is insufficient to keep up. Parallel processing at its finest!

LP has innate handling of fluids as well. most of the Logistic Pipes having a Fluid counterpart. Usage is fairly obvious. However, should you need to craft with both items and fluids, there's a specific way to handle that, the Fluid Crafting Upgrade, which brings us to our next point...

Upgrading your performance

To use Modules, we need a Pipe Controller (the red one) not the Pipe Manager we've been using up to now. It tends to be a bit more expensive, since upgrades are rather powerful.

To apply upgrades to modules within a chassis pipe, you must first get the Module Upgrade and slot it into the chassis pipe. Now any modules in that pipe can receive upgrades.

So let's say you're playing with GTCE and need to make something in a machine that requires both items and fluids. Well, for that you'll need a Fluid Crafting upgrade as well as a Fluid Satellite Pipe attached to the machine that has been named. If it's a crafting card in a chassis pipe with a module upgrade, using the Pipe Manager (yellow) should show two slots next to the crafting card into which you should slot the Fluid Crafting Upgrade. Now when you hit the plus icon to bring up the crafting module's interface, you'll notice an icon with a suspicious resemblance to the fluid crafting upgrade on the far left. Click on that icon and it will open up the fluid crafting window. You'll need to indicate the attached Fluid Satellite Pipe, then which fluid you wish to craft with, and how much of the fluid you need per craft in mb. So for example, you could request 144 mb of liquid polyethylene to craft a circuit with.

Other important modules include: Action Speed Upgrade (specifically for Extractor and Advanced Extractor to make them extract faster) and Item Speed upgrades to speed up your network.

In Conclusion

LP is an amazing mod. One which has been around for quite some time, although it went on hiatus and still is largely unknown to the current crowd. It does autocrafting in a different way from AE2 and RS, one which works well with other complex mods such as GTCE. It handles outputs coming from different faces or different blocks from inputs very well, however it doesn't come with its own storage solutions in-house, you'll have to pair it with something like Storage drawers or Iron Chests or other mods that provide the storage volume.

Should a pack dev decide to change the recipes of pipes and modules to no longer require the Programmer, it would obviate the blatant and pointless timesink that is compiling and flashing, something to keep in mind when developing a pack with this mod.