It turns out the lava lake I ran into was sitting right on the bedrock, so now I know how far down I am, and where the best place to start mining is. As it turns out, there's a cavern passage right at the correct height, so that gives me a natural starting place. I'm thinking I'll build myself a sorting storage area up top, and an item elevator to take the stuff all the way up from the bottom. I should also make a drop chute so I can toss supplies I'll need down and not have to worry about carrying a bunch of stuff.
Things To Do:
needs per level: Dropper, Comparator, Repeater, 4 Redstone (note: this is to make a 'silent' elevator)
put in obsidian notch for Fortune block breaking, with hopper collector.
Oak farm (dirt, light, cobble slabs. needed to speed wood gathering. oak is easier to farm)
anvil for repairing diamond tools
Replace spiral staircase with ladder/drop chute/elevator. Cleaner looks, less space, less chance of falling off. Less nauseating too.
Build mob farm that feeds into item elevator.
mob proof caverns with torches and/or slabs
Okay, phew! That item elevator is going to be *expensive* to build!
I'll have to figure out what depth would be the best to place that mob farm. Ideally it'd be at a Y level so that they'd spawn properly if I were up top or down below. I'm not going to bother trying to set it up to gather XP. I'll only do that if I find a natural mob spawner somewhere.
If anyone has any suggestions for something to include or a better design for something, feel free to let me know!
Slight change in plans for the item elevator. Rather than the expensive completely silent elevator, I'll only put a comparator on the bottom dropper. That will mean that it won't completely empty out the elevator. It will stop when the bottom is empty, leaving items stuck in the rest of the dropper chain. But the next time I send items up it, they'll get pushed out. And, in order to not get anything valuable stuck in there, I'm going to put a quick sorter system in it that pulls out the cobblestone into a separate feeder hopper that doesn't flow *until* the main hopper chain is completely empty. That way, all that should be stuck in my item elevator is the last bits of cobblestone from the latest mining expedition. I don't have the design completely built yet, I'll post photos of it once it's done.
It took me a while, but I finally got a sorter elevator concept working the way I want in Creative. The main problem I had was I tried to feed the Cobblestone path through the same hopper that fed into the Dropper as the rest of the items. That hopper is where I had the comparator that locked the Cobblestone path, to make sure the cobblestone fed last. So once the Cobblestone did start feeding, it kept locking and unlocking itself. The solution was to create a different hopper chain that fed into the bottom dropper. That bottom dropper is now rather busy. It has a comparator leading out, a redstone dust trail leading in, and 2 hoppers pointing at it. All 4 sides are occupied.
Next to build it in Realms. I've built the Dropper pillar, and will be doing the redstone lamp power chain next. Then the main hopper system, followed by the Cobblestone sorter. The last bit will be the lock on the Cobblestone path, and it may be the hardest, because I need a sticky piston, and I haven't found any slimes out here. I do have a couple left back at the main base though, so I might have to go raid it for a few.
This is *purely* a first experiment. It is utter junk, so don't click on the link and be surprised.
Win10 came with the Xbox app, which includes a Game DVR component that can record game clips. I used it last night to record a bit under 20 minutes of MCPE in my expansion base. There's no editing, and, because I didn't check the 'record microphone' box, none of my rambling discussion was recorded. But it does give you a tour of the expansion base, and shows a bit of the work I'm doing on the item elevator. Also, I say it in the video description, but don't judge me too harshly for my clumsiness with the Win10 controls. I'm a lot more practiced with playing on a tablet, and I'm still learning a lot of the keyboard controls.
There is even a bit of action drama at one point! Totally unplanned and stupid on my part, but thrilling nonetheless!
Only one of the tasks above has been completed: the cobble smelter. Practically none of proposed automation, of course. Just the furnace being fed by a chest and feeding the output into another chest. I actually ran out of redstone, so couldn't make some of the circuits necessary for the item elevator or the sorter storage. Actually, the item elevator had been done, but I scavenged the redstone to make an item dropper to drop cobblestone down to the smelter. I think I have mined just enough redstone to rebuild the item elevator, I just haven't done so yet.
I've been working on excavating the inside of the spire, which is a slow, horrible job, of course. I use stone pickaxes because they're easily replaceable for large jobs like this. I could use iron or diamond, but I'd burn through them much faster than I'd be able to replace them. I really wish MCPE had the Mending enchantment. *sigh*
I went off on a road trip this afternoon to get some podzol to give me a dirt alternative for terraforming the spire. Unfortunately I got my materials mixed up. It's Mycelium that's available in the Mushroom Island biome, not Podzol, and it takes a Silk Touch to pick up, which I didn't have with me. I dug up some shrooms, and will go back to get some mycelium later. I'll add some mega-mushroom growing platforms to my spire at some point using them. On my way back I hit several of the Taiga biomes, hoping one of them was a Mega Taiga biome with podzol, but no luck. *sigh again*
Also, MCPE doesn't have coarse dirt yet either. I did find some clay though. I've never really done much with clay yet. If anyone has any suggestions on how to best use it, I'd love to hear them.
Here are some pics of the excavation/terraforming so far. From the outside it doesn't look like a lot. I've only been terraforming when I break an outside block during my digging. I'm going to go back along the outside at some point and pretty it up that way too.
And an interesting random floater I found while searching for mega taiga:
How do you know if you're in a slime chunk? I was tooling around doing some mining when I noticed slime particles dropping from the ceiling. I dug my way up until I found the medium slime that was making them, probably around 20-25 up from bedrock. Does that mean that area is a slime chunk? Or can they spawn naturally? If I'm in a slime chunk, I really want to make a slime farm. But this is the first slime I've seen in this area, and it turned out to be in a cavern I'd already explored.
Nothing really exciting to report. I've taken a break from excavating the large core of the spire to move up to the top bit and excavating there, so I can install a mob farm. I also ran back to the main base to create a lot of enchanted iron tools. Yeah, they wear out faster, but they're a lot easier to repair. I haven't found a single diamond yet in my mining here. I read up, and it doesn't appear that Diamonds are more rare in an Extreme Hills biome, just that Emeralds can be more common. I've found several Emerald Ores along the way.
And in my reading I discovered that Redstone really does only spawn in the lower levels. When I was complaining above about not finding any higher up in my mines, I hadn't realized that was in fact the way it was supposed to work. So now I know, and knowing is half of the battle. Go Joe!
I have discovered ... A Trick. A Neat Trick. I doubt I'm the first to discover this Trick, but I have not seen it mentioned anywhere that I can recall.
Locator Maps work in the Nether.
I created a Maximum Zoomed map of the Nether and made 3 copies of it. I placed two of the copies in frames buried underneath the existing Nether Portals. The third one I carry with me. It doesn't show any of the details of the Nether, of course, but it shows me where I am in relation to the Nether Portals, so I'll always know which direction to go. I need to make a spare copy to keep around the base, in case of disaster striking during an outing.
I've been on a bit of a Minecraft kick the last few days. Being sick and bored will do that for you, I guess. Nothing major, just a head cold, but it's meant I don't have a lot of energy for anything else.
I've done a bit more digging and development in the main Spire chamber. I finished surrounding the water pocket in fence posts, and added a mushroom platform. I'll have to figure out a walkway to the mushroom platform, for when I'm done digging all the chamber out. I've also found another water pocket, and this time I'm going to try doing the fence post surround *before* I excavate around the edges rather than after.
Again a bit productive the last couple of days. I built a wool farm and started my sorting storage. I can't expand it much further at the moment, as I'm short on iron. I'm also seeing a weird bit - items are sneaking past the sorting hopper and continuing onward. Very odd.
The sheep are also being stubborn. The water is supposed to push them so they mill around, and I can just sit in one area and shear them. But they keep trying to go against the water flow and stall everyone out.
Just a quick note- I think I know why the sorter storage isn't working quite right. As you can see in the picture above, the item elevator is feeding directly into the hoppers, and I think it's feeding in too fast. I'll try slowing down the repeaters in the trigger redstone at the base, or I can feed the elevator into a chest and then use a slowed down dropper as a choke point.
I'm also envisioning letting the overflow from cobblestone feed into a furnace to output smooth stone, and overflow from smooth stone to be in a chest to make stone brick blocks, and overflow from the stone bricks to go into a furnace to make cracked stone. Ideally, iron and gold ore would also get fed into this furnace line. I'll have to figure out the right logistics for this feed line though. I've got the autosmelter rig down in the basement I can use. I've got a single chest I can dump stuff into that feeds into it. If I rig it so the autosmelter feeds directly into the item elevator, I'll also have to figure out what to do with the empty buckets that hold the lava fuel. At the moment, I'm thinking drop them back down to the basement for filling. Getting all this to work right will be a bit intricate, but doable, I think.
It's long, a bit over 18 minutes, but at least this time it has sound.
I plan on building this in my Realms as soon as I collect enough iron for the hoppers. Although I can scavenge some of them from elsewhere. And, it's not like iron is hard to find.
It will take me a couple of tries to figure out the best settings and environment for recording these things. No, I don't plan on becoming a professional MCPE YouTube poster, so you don't need to be concerned that I'll be starving on a sidewalk somewhere within a couple of months. I do think I will do a small video series of original content eventually, but not Minecraft related. This is just practice and a learning experience.
Made a lot of progress on my storage center, but discovered a problem. I'd thought that when a chest filled up, the overflow would just keep going down the line and I'd catch it there, but what happens is that when the sorter hopper fills up it generates enough of a redstone power that it actually triggers the sorter hoppers next to it also, and they start draining out. So I'm working on a circuit to watch certain chests and if they get too full to drain them into an output line. I've got a design now, but it's pretty redstone intensive, 1 comparator, 2 repeaters, and 29 redstone. That's rather a lot. I'll see if I can reduce that down a bit.
Well, that didn't take too long. Dropped it from 29 to 3 redstone. But it takes up a sideways space instead of all being in a straight line with the chest. Which means I'll have to rearrange my storage chamber a little bit. I've got the space for it, so it will just take a bit of time to take care of.
Glasrggh!!! I have the worst luck with cow farms. I didn't get the lava button pressed again quick enough (worked every time I tested it beforehand), and everything burned up. Le sigh. I will have to drag more cows in here.. again. I've actually scored more steak and leather from the cows I killed while leading one back than I have from the ones that have died inside my base.
Drat. I thought I had a nice sorter cell design tweak going, but it turns out to have problems once you stack them side by side. Back to the drawing board....
Update: Okay, looks like I've got a new design now, that appears to work. I'll have to build multiple ranks of it and test it out to see for sure. The goal is to have a 1-wide sorter cell that lights up when it's full, and can be racked next to each other. This one lights up when it starts filling the top chest, not necessarily when it's 100% full. So maybe we'll call it a "semi-smart sorter cell".
It could probably be modified to hold more ranks of chests, but I don't know that I'll need more than this. Each cell holds 2 double chests and 3 hoppers worth of supplies. One way to use up excess is to convert the raw materials into the finished goods as the cell fills up. IE - when Cobblestone starts to get full, start converting it into slabs, stairs and walls, rather than waiting to build those until I need them.
While building the ranks I figured out how to get the 'full' intelligence working. So the light now flashes as blocks are loaded into the chests, and turns on solid when the sorter cell is completely full. I've built one wall of 6 sorter cells, and have made it 2 ranks of Cobblestone, 1 Smooth Stone, 1 Sand, 1 Stone Brick, and 1 Netherrack. I chose those items because after that will be 6 hidden basic sorter cells that take excess Cobble, Sand, Stone Brick, Netherrack, Iron Ore, and Gold Ore and sends them down to the smelter. The smelter has a smart trigger on it, when enough items build up it will cycle 2 lava buckets into the furnace to smelt the items, which are then fed into the item elevator and from there back into the sorter system.
It's an interesting system, new to me, and I hope it works as intended. I also have chests for manually putting goods into the sorter system and sending down to the smelter.
The sorter cells for the smelter aren't built yet because I'm don't yet have enough iron to make all the hoppers. Almost, but not quite enough. Shouldn't take me too long to get it though.
There's been some progress since the last post. The store room continues to expand. I now have almost 2 dozen sorter cells assembled, including the cells that send material down to the auto-smelter. That never has actually kicked off automatically, because I keep forcing it manually because I need the iron too badly to wait for it.
While on the never-ending search for iron, I found a spider spawner in a level I'd bypassed to work down in the diamond levels. It took me a little bit, but it's been converted into an xp and string farm. Unfortunately, there's not much i can do with string. I'd been thinking to make cobwebs and use those to mark trails in the caverns, but you can't actually *make* cobwebs, only find them. As an xp farm it's not great - spiders don't like to be herded, and keep jumping up the walls to avoid it. So it's slow, but it does work eventually. I'm pretty sure there's another spawner in there somewhere - I remember seeing the mossy cobblestone, but I didn't have the resources to take advantage of it at the time, and now I no longer know where it is.
I have enough diamonds now that I can probably keep my tools alive for a while, so maybe I'll start hacking with a pickaxe at the caverns and remove some of those walls obstructing my visioin