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Minecraft: Fully automatic self-reloading rapid fire TNT cannon array

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Published on Jul 11, 2011

Made with op commands at my disposal. As the title suggests, this is a cannon setup capable of fully automatic fire. That is, you push a lever and it will continue firing and reloading itself automatically until you push the lever again. Or until it runs out of ammo. As you can likely guess, it was made with item commands and general "non-legit" op commands and powers (and fly mod). It is designed to be capable of being operated and replenished without any such abilities though, so long as you have the TNT needed to fill its magazines. I demonstrate reloading of a magazine at the end with flight mod, but you could use the ladder to climb up and reload via falling sand from the stone platform as well (which is set to the height needed for enough sand to fire all TNT in the magazine, without loading sand into the cannon afterward).

I haven't actually timed it, but I think it fires at about 20ish RPM or so.




All four cannons fire from the same signal, and are merely staggered by a different number of delay repeaters (0ish, 5, 10, and 15). The cannons themselves are not terribly unusual, other then the fact that one side of their barrels is composed of the next shot, and that both the propellant and ammo activation signals come from the same side of the cannon. The reloading mechanism is timed to reload after the cannon has fired with 14 or so repeaters, and works via pistons pushing sand out of a tower, which replaces itself as needed. Nothing particularly original about that part at least.

The timing mechanism is one of the parts I am more proud of, to be honest. It is basically an elongated piston pulser, with an AND gate attached to it. The problem I foresaw with a piston pulser alone is that the on signal is just as long as the off signal, which could end up with TNT activation signals still being on when the reload hits. To resolve this I needed a way to make the on signal last a very short time compared to the off signal.

As it happens, the areas on either side of the pulser loop near the piston are BOTH on at the same time for only a short period each cycle. So, connect these two points to an AND gate and you get a short on signal followed by a long off signal. Perfect if you wanted to make a blinking radio antennae, flashing runway lights, or in my case a cannon that reloads itself and fires completely automatically.

If I get enough questions, I may make a video on how to make that sort of timer if the explanation isn't suitable enough.




You need not set it up to 4 cannons at once. You could set it up to a single cannon, or an even more impressive and more compactly built array for a real machine-gun rate of fire. By all means, an even more impressive array ought to be possible. The obsidian even is not needed, I just did it to be consistent, and because there were a few mishaps with the prototypes of the system I didn't want to completely rebuild from (this was made in SMP, where activted falling TNT blocks can sometimes "catch" on things, and the original design idea had the ammo and propellant at the same level...).

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