These terms are sometimes used interchangeably to describe structureswhich incorporate redstone components, but a useful distinction can be madebetween the two: A
performs operations on signals (generating, modifying,combining, etc.). A
manipulates the environment (moving blocks, openingdoors, changing the light level, producing sound, etc.). All mechanisms will necessarily incorporate redstone components or circuits,but a circuit by itself doesn't have to have an effect on the environment(except possibly incidentally, such as a redstone repeater changing its lightlevel when changing its power state, or a piston moving a block to fulfill a rolewithin the circuit). Making this distinction allows us to talk about circuitswithout having to define a specific in-game purpose for them, allowing playersto find their own reasons to use them.This article, and the other articles on redstone circuits, discuss only circuitswhich operate on signals. For articles about mechanisms, see thelist of tutorialsat the end of the article.
The wiki describes circuit size (the volume of the rectangular solid itoccupies) with the notation of
, includingsupport/floor blocks, but not including inputs/outputs. Another method used for describing circuit size in the
community isto ignore non-redstone blocks simply used for support. However, this methodis unable to distinguish between "flat" and "1-high" circuits, as well as someother circuit differences.Sometimes it is convenient to compare circuits simply by the area of their footprint (
, 3×4 for a circuit three block wide by four blocks long), or by asingle dimension important in a particular context (e.g., length in a sequenceof sub-circuits, height in a confined space, etc.).
A number of features may be considered desirable design goals:
A structure is 1-tall (aka "1-high") if its vertical dimension is oneblock high (meaning it cannot have any redstone components whichrequire support blocks below them -- seesize). Also seeflat.
A structure is 1-wide if at least one of its horizontal dimensions isonly one block wide.
A structure is flat if it generally can be laid out on the ground with nocomponents above another (support blocks under redstone componentsare okay). Flat structures are often easier for beginners to understand andbuild, and fit nicely under floors or on top of roofs. Also see1-tall.
A structure is flush if it doesn't extend beyond a flat wall, floor, or ceiling and can still provide utility to the other side. Flush is a desirabledesign goal for piston-extenders, piston doors, etc. Also seeseamless.
A structure is instant if its output responds immediately to itsinput (a circuit delay of 0 ticks).
A structure is seamless if it is
behind a flat wall, floor,or ceiling and can still provide utility to the other side. Seamless is adesirable design goal for piston-extenders, piston doors, etc. Also seeflush.
A structure is silent if it makes no noise (such as from pistonmovement, dispenser/dropper triggering, etc.). Silent structures aredesirable for traps, peaceful homes, and for reducing lag produced bysound.
To tile a structure means to repeat the structure in one or moredimensions (like the way tiles on a floor repeat in multiple directions). Allstructures are repeatable, given enough space, so a useful definition of "tileable" is that a structure can be placed
next to another copy of itself without interference. Structures might be described as "2-widetileable" (tileable every two spaces in one dimension), or "2×4 tileable"(tileable in two directions), etc. Some structures might be described as"alternating tileable", meaning they can be placed next to each other if every other one is flipped or a slightly different design.Other design goals may include reducing the delay a sub-circuit adds to alarger circuit, reducing the use of resource-expensive components (redstone,nether quartz, etc.), and re-arranging or redesigning a circuit to make it assmall as possible.
Although the number of ways to construct circuits is endless, certain patterns of
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