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I built a small homage to the booster while revisiting an old world, given that its place now lies in our hearts... and behind a glass case, museum style.

An homage to the booster.

This is placed alongside an existing piece of railways I'm upgrading to powered rail. I'd like to slow down the cart enough to let people see this for a few moments, only to regain momentum as they reach the powered rail further ahead.

I'm having trouble doing that, however. I tried placing exactly one piece of unpowered rail, and it caused the minecart to stop to a halt immediately.

I tried putting two powered rail right before the powered off rail, but the cart still came to a complete stop.

I tried replacing the track piece altogether, and I got stuck in the hole.

I tried using a stone pressure plate, and while sometimes it works, other times it derails my minecart.

How can I safely slow down the cart without having it come to a complete stop?

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This is a great idea. –  The Communist Duck Jun 25 '11 at 17:10
    
@TheCommunistDuck It's a pity I can't make it work without powered minecarts :) –  badp Jun 25 '11 at 17:24
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6 Answers 6

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Unless your minecart has a lot of momentum (not speed), powered off minetracks will stop your minecart. This wasn't the case.

The solution was placing powered minetracks right before, but I got the quantity wrong. Even with generous amounts of powered minetracks at launch, I needed four or five powered minetracks to barely offset a single powered off. That's perhaps because, since you stay on a powered off track for longer (you're slowing down after all), they cause more of an impact on your speed and momentum.

In my case five powered minetracks did the trick. Now the minecart walks those four pieces of track very slowly, giving passengers a chance to get their shot of nostalgia, and then picks back up the pace with more powered rail.

This approach isn't cheap, obviously, if you're not using /give or /i.

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I'm putting a youtube video online of this, I'm pretty pleased with the result :D –  badp Jun 25 '11 at 17:21
    
I'm confused -- perhaps this is different in Minecraft physics, but momentum is directly proportional to speed. A given mass always has the same momentum at a particular speed, so differentiating doesn't make sense. –  Matthew Read Jun 25 '11 at 19:30
    
@Matthew yes, it's different. The word "momentum" is really an abuse of the term. It's basically the difference between "going at full speed and slowing down" and "going at full speed and maintaining it for 200 more meters" –  badp Jun 25 '11 at 21:07
    
Ah, weird times. –  Matthew Read Jun 26 '11 at 17:17
    
@Matthew: I had the same confusion at first, too. It's a misuse of the term - see the comments to this post for an explanation. –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft May 31 '12 at 16:51
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Another solution that's very simple is this:

Have a one block gap in the track, where the initial track is one block higher than the second

Having a one block drop with a gap like this will slow your cart right down to a crawl, but it will still continue quite a ways, provided there's a passenger in it.

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There is one technique that you can use that is a little glitchy, but it works. If you hook up a segment of powered rail to a very fast clock (made with repeaters so it doesn't burn out), the powered rail will quickly alternate from powered to unpowered, and minecarts passing over it will travel slowly.

Here is what the setup looks like (both repeaters are on the lowest setting):

enter image description here

To start the repeater clock, you can put a Redstone Torch down like so, and then destroy it.

enter image description here

Edit: Notch broke fixed this kind of clock, but there is an alternative.

enter image description here

The block in this image is powered by the Redstone Torch & wire behind it. When the Redstone Torch (highlighted by my cursor) is placed, it will turn off almost instantly (because the block it is placed on is powered), sending a quick pulse to the clock.

enter image description here

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Also, the need to manually reset this clock is pretty annoying, so I'm currently doing testing to make it automatic (will edit in later). –  Kevin Y Jun 25 '11 at 18:18
    
+1, great I was going to suggest this. Maybe you can use a minetrack detector instead of the redstone torch to start the repeater clock? –  Zommuter Jun 25 '11 at 19:58
    
Yep, that's what I've been testing. Unfortunately, the issue with that is if the clock is already going and a cart passes over the detector, the clock stays on and doesn't pulse anymore. I'm in the process of working that out. –  Kevin Y Jun 25 '11 at 20:02
    
Logic-circuit-speaking, you could feed both "sides" of the clock into a NOR gate and then feed its output ("is clock off") + the detector output into an AND gate, the output of which starts the clock. Whether that works as it ought to in redstone circuits, I haven't tested… –  SevenSidedDie Jun 27 '11 at 2:01
    
@SevenSidedDie Unfortunately, the rapidly changing clock will output a flashing signal to a torch, burn out for a few seconds, and then repeat, making the output of the clock a poor indicator of whether or not the clock is functioning or not. –  Kevin Y Jun 27 '11 at 4:24
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A cart will slow down as it goes uphill.

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While this is true (no downvote), it doesn't help me as I'd have to vary the rail way an awful lot for that (no accept). –  badp Jun 25 '11 at 17:04
3  
Hmm... It should be possible to have an unpowered downward track that would stop the cart. Then, after stopping, power it again. This should be a good way to reset the cart 'momentum'. (I'm suggesting this even though you won't use this idea, because it might help other people) –  Denilson Sá Jun 25 '11 at 18:03
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You have a couple of options:

  1. Put a powered track, and right after that one a detector rail. That way, when your minecart will reach the powered (now unpowered) track, it will be slowed down as usual. But that doesn't happen instantly, and it will travel a little bit onto the powered rail, at which point it will trigger the detector rail, which will power the powered rail and you will continue.

    This solution only works if you have exact control on the momentum and if you are coming fast enough.

    Basically, this solution does slow down your minecart, IF your initial speed is higher than a certain limit. But the final speed will also depend on your initial speed, it does not always slow you down to a certain level, it rather slows you down a little bit.

  2. Put a powered rail on a downslope, and before that (but not directly adjacent) put a detector rail. Then you'll have to setup a redstone delay circuit which will be activated by your detector rail, wait a second or so and then activate the powered rail, and since it is on a slope, you will start travelling in the direction of the slope.

    You will have to experiment with the exact delay time (the powered rail must be activated after your cart has come to a complete stop, otherwise there will not be much slowing down), and also this solution does require the place and resources for the redstone circuit (not much though).

3. Make something I call a stopper track. It works this way: First if this was your initial track

 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

you first make an extra track like this:

     ^ B
     ^
     ^
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
A                  C

And wire the tracks on the intersection in such way that when you come from A, you go into B, but when you come from B you go into C. (This is easily done by some expreimenting, and if needed, single slopes, comment if u need more info on this).

Then all you have to do is that you put an upslope (with a powered track and a redstone torch if you wish) at the end of B.

This way, when you come from A, you go into B, and go to the upslope, but when you hit the end, you will loose all the momentum and speed. Directly after that you will start moving back into the intersection (cz you are in a slope), but this time with known speed (and not very high speed either)

Then it's just matter of putting the the powered rails at exact points to keep you cart moving forward at the lowest possible speed.

This solution requires the extra track, but it gives you what no other solution does: when you will travel out of the intersection you will ALWAYS have the same speed, no matter of what speed you had when you came in.

Just to clarify: The slope must end in a wall, like this:

        WALL
       /WALL
 -----/ WALL

otherwise your cart will not travel back and just stop there.

Screenshot of this: Screen shot of Stopper Track

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Going around corners seems to slow carts more than straight line track. Perhaps a tight serpentine track section could help you get just the velocity you want.

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It's considered a bug (notch has done some bugfixes aimed at reducing this effect) and unfortunately that solution might not last. –  SevenSidedDie Jun 27 '11 at 2:03
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