Self-Made Belt Balancers (2024)

<X> wrote:

Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:48 pm

I don't think you should put output priority on a balancer. That just unbalances everything. Of course you get less throughput without output priority. But only for a few seconds until the looping belt is full. And then it works as it should. A balancer is for balancing in the first place. Throughput shouldn't be minimized in the long run, but may take a few seconds. Output priorities are a good thing when it comes to putting material into the production like here:

output priority.jpg

The balancers are important that, in case we don't have perfect prodction, still every belt gets some material and all production lines have at least something to work on. And not that there is enough iron for the circuits, but nothing left for the science packs.

The unbalanced input might be an issue. But I think that happens with all balancers, that have less output than input, and where not all inputs are being used.

Try the 3 to 1 balancer with a full belt of input only on the left most belt, and no backup on the output belt. Since the output splitter sends half back to the input, because that splitter can only ouptut 1 belt, it stalls the leftmost input belt to draw fairly from the loopback causing a loss of throughput. The loopback never backs up, and you only get half a belt of output. As long as the priorities are applied in a balanced manner, they will not unbalance your balancer.

AmericanPatriot wrote:

Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:42 pm

Zanthra wrote:

Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:05 pm

Under full load, after stabilizing, the output splitter would output 2 full belts, and take in 2 full belts, the input splitter on the left would pull all from the loopback and none from the input belt. The input splittter on the right would take 1/2 from each belt.

With the output priority under full load after stabilizing the output splitter will draw 4/3. 3/3 going to the output belt, 1/3 going to the loopback. Each input splitter provides 2/3 of a belt, with each input belt providing 1/3 of a belt including the loopback.

I guess if you want to only input one belt into your 3x1 balancer that would be an issue. The output priority option also fails with two fully compressed inputs: the one on the no-loop side gets twice the utilization


The good thing about output priority on the 3 to 1 balancer is that it will operate no worse in any case than the one without priority.

AmericanPatriot wrote:

Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:45 pm

Zanthra wrote:

Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:05 pm

If you want a balancer that works in every combination of input and output, no questions asked, for example a 4 to 4 that can be used as anything up to 4 to 4 and balance correctly, you basically need to build an 8 by 8 balancer, and have each output splitter have 1 standard output and 1 loopback, and each input splitter takes one standard input and one loopback. Balancing the loopbacks can help it stabilize faster, for example this balancer.

With that no matter how many inputs or outputs stall or are backed up, the loopbacks will provide the feedback nescessary to have it pull fairly from all inputs, and output fairly to all outputs. It can scale to any power of 2 by building it out of a balancer that's twice as large, everything up to 8 to 8 from a 16 to 16 for example (the balancers it's built with don't need to be throughput unlimited). It's just a lot of extra space and complexity that's usually not nescessary.

You actually only need two splitters per loop, and don't need to balance them


That makes sense yeah. The 8 to 8 balancer can be a 4 to 4 balancer internally, and you only need 50% capacity on the loopback, so each loopback line can be shared by 2 output splitters and 2 input splitters. If you do that the input priorities also become critical (along with the output priorities which are critical in any case) for full throughput since each input splitter can only ouput 1 full belt into the 4 to 4 internal splitter, and must be set to accept from the normal input belts first.

Nevermind what I wrote below about reducing the length without a throughput unlimited balancer. Without fully balancing the loopback belts when distributing to the 4 input splitters, it will be throughput limited.

PS: You don't need the throughput unlimited 4 to 4 splitter internally either since the loopback will feed the missing 50% output back to the empty input lines, you can shorten by 2 tiles if you remove the second stage of output splitters from the inner 4 to 4:

Self-Made Belt Balancers (2024)
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