Allow me to introduce one of my latest and proudest creations, Calculatron 9,999 - my attempt at making a StarMade logic calculator.
Fun-fact about the name: it's "CalculaTRON" because I feel like the commonly used "-tron" ending denotes machines with personalities, and the "9,999" part is a reference with a twist to the famous HAL-9000.
PLEASE NOTE AT LEAST THIS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ THE REST:
- This is a calculator of a rudimentary design that can only perform addition with max 5-digit numbers (it was still hard enough to make, and this design can be easily expanded for more digits).
- This system might malfunction in laggy conditions (please consider your environment before concluding that it "doesn't work").
- Professionally or education-wise I have nothing to do with electronics or any other field relevant to this kind of engineering (so don't blame me too much if it falls short of standards)
- Even if you aren't very interested in StarMade logic, please give it a try if you have the time, and leave a comment in the reviews so that we can know that your calculations worked out correctly. - Thanks!
- If you are interested in StarMade logic and/or like to make YouTube reviews of impressive projects, I would really appreciate some help in popularizing this little machine by showcasing it.
- I built this rudimentary calculator with near-zero formal education or private study in the field of I.T., electronics, cybernetics, or the likes.
- Any example of sub-optimal efficiency, wasteful component economy or lack of functional elegance should be viewed in the light of the above fact.
- I had to come up with all these solutions to the many sub-problems of making a calculator by myself, except for the seven-segment digits of the display, the number pad layout, and maybe a few other things.
- I gave it some thought and am aware that mechanized addition is a much simpler problem to solve than mechanized subtraction, division or multiplication (it's very unlikely that I will ever try to build those into the future versions of this machine).
- As any logic system with delayed signals, this calculator might malfunction in laggy conditions (please make sure to rule this out if it seems that the system has an error).
I never was exactly the typical nerd, never was especially inclined to the kind of thinking required in this kind of engineering, but one day, 4 years ago, I sat in an office, I think I had some daydreaming imagery flashing in at the time about possible ways in which the light sensors of digital cameras might work, than I took a glimpse at a desktop calculator, and some connection was recognized there between the two. I felt humbled after realizing that that cheap thingy made of some plastic and copper could do all that fancy arithmetics, and that there must have been a metric ton of clever thinking going on sometime in the past that made all this "tech magic" possible.
Naturally, I couldn't go any further than a few superficial qualitative insights about what it might be doing in order to give quick, correct and comprehensible outputs as a reaction to intelligible inputs. Not knowing that much about logic gates and stuff, I messed around on paper for a few days, settling only the most trivial basics on an abstract level. Some time later I started thinking of concrete solutions, in terms of ancient electro-mechanical designs, with relay devices and such.
Only then did I read a bit into the history of mechanized computation, which was inspiring, but humbling again. Of course it wasn't for me to re-invent this wheel. But then I got familiar with StarMade and its Logic system. From there it took around 2 years to give it a try and see how far I can get with the tools provided by this game. At first I just wanted to experiment with a 6-digit array of seven-segment displays to make a simple digital clock, but then I managed to figure out in a week's time how to make addition work.
With the final logic refinements and completion of the casing it took a total of 2 weeks from spawning the core. And as one of the results I have much more respect for the good folks in electronics and I.T. than before.
THE BASICS OF ITS OPERATION:
To be continued.
19/09/17: The forums are currently undergoing maintenance, during this time, the site may become unavailable.
CALCULATRON 9,999 - Deepspace Mechanic's adding machine v1.2
A limited but working and very nicely built StarMade logic calculator.