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New cistern project, need help with pressure plates and wells.

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Author Topic: New cistern project, need help with pressure plates and wells.  (Read 2764 times)
Chaoticjosh
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« on: October 24, 2008, 12:04:39 pm »

i'm a real new player to DF, so sorry if i sound incredibly newbish.

i've finally made a fort that is successful (successful in not dying horribly), but the map that i'm on doesn't have an infinite source of water, like a river, i only have many different lakes. I noticed after a while that my map doesn't freeze or have any harsh weather, except for rain. it rains for whole seasons at a time. i'm looking at this rain, and then it hit me! "what if i collect all this rain water into something i can use?" and thats where i got my idea for the superhuge cistern.

a cistern (for those that don't know) is an artificial body of water made underground.

it'd work like this, i have my dwarves construct a large cavern underneath my already underground fort. then through creating massively long hallways and stairwells, connect a number of nearby lakes to the cistern where their water will then drain into it. the frequent rain will collect in the many different lakes, ensuring that the superhuge cistern is always full no matter what, effectively creating an artificially made infinite water source.

my inexperience with the game is a hindrance though, as some key elements that are necessary in its construction are things i've read about, but never tried.

that said. the biggest problem for the superhuge cistern is it's low elevation. if all that water were allowed to flow in their without limit, it would rise up through the well and stairway connected to the cistern and flood the lower floors of my fort which are lower in elevation than the lakes.

the solution to this problem is the "automated pressure plate water regulation system", which uses a water sensitive pressure plate to control a floodgate. the system i plan on using has already been documented actually, here:

http://www.dwarffortresswiki.net/index.php/Pressure_plate

would the system at the bottom of that page work for my purposes? i want confirmation so i don't accidentally ruin my cistern, and by extension, my whole fort.

another thing i'm inexperienced with are wells, this is the first time i'll be using one, and i read the df wiki article here:

http://www.dwarffortresswiki.net/index.php/Well

everything in that article seems all well and good, all i need to do when i finish building the superhuge cistern is channel a series of holes to it, and place the well on the topmost hole, and my dwarves will have access to the superhuge cistern's water supply. what worries me though is that at the bottom of the article, it makes mention of dwarves being able to fall into wells, as stupid as it sounds. is this as bad a problem as the wiki makes it out to be? and will my dwarves, if they fall in, be able to scramble up the nearby stairs that i've already preprepared for them should they fall down?

sorry if all that is something of a long read, but i want to be as detailed as possible.
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GreyMario
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 12:50:29 pm »

You can't collect rainwater.

And it doesn't collect in the murky pools either.
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Soadreqm
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008, 12:53:11 pm »

Yes you can collect rainwater. Rain fills murky pools, and putting a hole to the bottom of a murky pool lets you collect the water.

I've never used pressure plates, so I can't say how they work. I'd probably do the water containment with manually operated levers, but I guess that does require a certain amount of constant attention. If you want to use pressure plates, you could first build a miniature prototype of the system you're planning and see if that floods the contained testing area.

On wells, I've never seen a dwarf fall into one. It could be something that used to happen, but isn't present in the current version. If you want to make sure you don't lose dwarves this way, putting a stairwell in the cistern, with the access point above ground so water can't escape that way, should let them climb up if they do manage to fall in.
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GreyMario
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2008, 01:02:28 pm »

Yes you can collect rainwater. Rain fills murky pools, and putting a hole to the bottom of a murky pool lets you collect the water.

Okay, prove it by recording an in-game video and posting it on the DFMA. Because I'm pretty damn sure rain doesn't create water.

EDIT: Okay, it says it in one place and one place only on the Wiki: the weather page. But what good is 1/7 water going to do you? It's certainly not going to do much other than evaporate.
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Eruonen
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2008, 01:08:53 pm »

I've seen rain refill ponds.

If you've got a vast amount of ponds, you could try diverting them all to a not-so-large reservoir, I guess.
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GreyMario
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2008, 01:11:25 pm »

But 1/7 water doesn't flow. You'd have to pump it every inch of the way.
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jaybud4
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2008, 01:16:04 pm »

But 1/7 water doesn't flow. You'd have to pump it every inch of the way.

Keep in mind that pumps create 7/7 no matter what comes in...
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Soadreqm
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2008, 01:21:27 pm »

I'd link the dev notes, but alas, the site is down. Grin Roll Eyes

1/7 water won't do any good, but the ponds keep filling all the way to 7/7. Once it has filled to 1/7, the water starts flowing into the hole in the ground, leading to the cistern. If you have a lot of rain, and the tunnel connecting the pool to the cistern is reasonably short or mostly vertical, it should work.
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GreyMario
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2008, 01:27:02 pm »

1/7 water doesn't flow

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Chaoticjosh
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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2008, 01:31:29 pm »

alright guys, i'm pretty positive it'll work. when i'm done i'll take pictures, (or that weird video recording if i figure it out) and show everyone if your curious.

now stop getting off topic guys, will the pressure plates work?
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jaybud4
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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2008, 01:33:16 pm »

1/7 water doesn't flow

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No, but rain refills ponds.
Are you that far in the banhole that you haven't even been able to check the devlog?
No, 1/7 doesn't flow.  But yes, there are ways for it to become NOT 1/7 and thus FLOW.
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GreyMario
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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2008, 01:34:35 pm »

I never got banned from bay12games (just the forums), I just never bothered to play the game again until recently. So therefore I never checked the devlog.
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slink
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2008, 05:58:30 pm »

Dwarves still fall into wells and drown, or at least children do.  I just redid my well/waterfall system completely because three children fell into the well and drowned.  The well was fed by the lowermost cistern in my waterfall system, and I had to shut it all down so I could carve stairways into an enlarged well shaft coming up.  I had not yet created my drain-off cisterns and so it was an awful mess down below when I just opened the lower floodgate so we could get the bodies out for burial.

When setting up a pressure plate, read carefully the wiki entry on levers in order to get the "direction" correct.  I had set mine up backwards the first time.  Luckily (?) DF crashed and I lost that work so I was able to do it over correctly.  It's very odd, because DF has not crashed ever for me since I downloaded the official version.  I guess I was being granted a chance to do that pressure plate correctly.

My pressure plate is set to close the upper floodgate when the water level exceeds 5 in the lower cistern (setting of 0 - 5 in the construction).  I set it that way to ensure that the well was kept supplied, since wells need 4 or more in order to work.  The pressure plate reacts slowly, so that the water sometimes reaches 7 before the floodgate closes, but it does eventually close.  I also have a manual floodgate to use in case the automatic one fails to shut (mine is fed from a brook).  It did fail when it was jammed by three bodies.
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Chaoticjosh
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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2008, 07:41:10 pm »

waterfall system? that sounds really interesting, could you explain how it works in detail?

i've completed the superhuge cistern btw, and it works marvelously. i don't have to worry about rainwater failing to fill up empty lakes, because i've connected over 10+ lakes to the cistern and the sheer amount of water keeps them all partially full.
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slink
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« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2008, 11:38:37 pm »

Yours will need to be different because your source is all from the bottom and you won't have a waterwheel to power it, but I will post all the layers of mine.

This is the ground level.  The southern waterwheel is powering the screwpumps that create the waterfall.  The northern one powers two millstones.


This is level -1.  The outer floodgate is manually operated by the leftmost lever across the corridor.  It lets water in from the brook, and more importantly, cuts off water when a child falling onto the pressure plate jams the inner floodgate in the open position.  The inner floodgate is operated by the pressure plate, and optionally by the second lever from the left.  I haven't touched the manual control since I got the pressure plate operating.  It always recovers after the child is removed, dead or alive.



This is level -2.  It is the first actual level of the waterfall.  It pumps water up through the column on the dining room floor, from the lower cistern, and delivers it through 6 channelled holes into the dining room.  I used to have eight holes, but with the changes I made in the well setup that was too many.  There was not enough drainage below and the dining room flooded.  There is a screwpump on this level, pumping from south to north.



Level -3 is the actual waterfall.  There is an almost complete set of channelled holes around the column which delivers the water to the ceiling.  They are covered by floor grates, both to stop people from falling in and to filter out any debris from above.  You can see the well here, with a staircase down on both sides so that silly children can climb back out after they jump in.  Inside the column is a screwpump, pumping from north to south.



Level -4 is the first catchbasin for the waterfall.  Don't ask me why I felt that I needed two levels, but it has come in handy when I had to shut down the pumps and let the water settle out of the dining room.  The screwpump here pumps from south to north.  You can also see all four sets of stairs involved in well escapes.  The well is walled off from the system here so that the water level sensed is the one in the lower cistern rather than the one on this level.  Wells only sense the water level on the first level they encounter which has water.  That means that if you have 10 level of 7 water each, and an 11th one with water level of 1, the well thinks you have only 1 water and won't work.  This chamber has 8 channelled holes to below.



This is Level -5, the main lower cistern.  As you can see, the overflow is also in use at this time.  My pressure plate is centered between the two staircases, directly under the well.  I wanted it there because of the odd way water behaves in DF.  It piles up like jelly, as one person described it.  In that room, which is 11 x 11, water can be at 7 under the well and 0 under the intake for the pump.  Very odd water.  *grins*  However, if I could design it over again, the pressure plate would not be directly under the well where every foolish child can flood the fortress while I am busy supervising craftsmen.



And here is Level -6, my emergency overflow which is completely full because of the above-mentioned catastrophe.  The water level on Level -5 will slowly decrease through evaporation of mist in the waterfall.  There is a floodgate on level -5 which is manually controlled from Level -1.  That is open now.  When the Level -5 dries out enough for me to work in the overflow area, I plan to install another pair of pumps that will pump the water from Level -6 to Level -4, through another column.  I will try to power this one with Dwarf muscles, in that room which has been excavated next to the waterfall room.  If this part sounds vague, that's because I have not yet worked it out.



Now, what you need is just pumps to carry the water up through a column the room above the waterfall area, which drains back into the cistern.  Your pump column can be powered by Dwarves, or by a windmill if you have wind.

I hope this helped, or at least was intelligable.

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