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I want a button that, when pressed five times, outputs a signal. What redstone device should I use?

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a set of latches and some gates are sufficient – ratchet freak Mar 15 '13 at 22:01

What you're describing is called a unidirectional ring counter. It's a circuit with (in your case) five outputs, with only one ever on at the same time. Each time the circuit receives a pulse, the output that is on moves over by one. When it gets to the end, it starts over at the beginning again. You'll only be using the fifth output, but you need the rest anyway just so that it can count your button presses.

The design in this video tutorial is fairly compact, easy to understand, and easily extensible (up to the limit that pistons can push). It uses a pair of pistons on either end to cycle blocks between them; most of the blocks are glass, with two being a block type that will pass a signal from a redstone torch below to a repeater beside them. Some people don't like using pistons since they're noisy, though, so that's a possible drawback of this design.

The pure-redstone alternative is chaining five T Flip-Flops, and connecting the output of the last one to both your final output and the input of the first T Flip-Flop (so that it will start over once you get past 5 presses). Any of the designs at that page will work, so you can choose whichever will fit the space you have to work with.

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Another, maybe simpler, way to accomplish this is this simple piston line.

It is just the same loop repeated

caption caption

Things to note about this method:

  1. All pistons here are normal, non-sticky pistons
  2. The redstone line moving towards the output must be repeated as shown. Otherwise, the redstone power will not be conducted through the block.
  3. The redstone line going back must be delayed a total of at least 9 redstone ticks more than the repeater going towards the output.
  4. The redstone lines going back must not interfere with one another. This is why they are staggered like so.
  5. The redstone lamp on the far right is the output and can be replaced with anything. If the redstone current must be kept, a simple redstone loop or RS NOr latch may be implemented.
  6. The stone block at the beginning just has a stone button on the end. If you are using a wooden button, just increase the minimum delays for the redstone lines going back to 14 ticks more than the repeater going towards the output. ( I think. Just experiment.)
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