I've tried to figure this one out on my own, but every configuration I can think of has the piston re-triggering the observer, which re-triggers the piston, etc. Very noisy.

I've tried googling, but 95% of the relevant links are videos, and the videos inevitably either talk about Pocket Edition exclusively (not sure the same mechanics apply), are months old from when the feature was beta testing, or are aggrandizing where the machine is as large as possible.

Since the observer block and the piston will either be at right angles to each other, or facing one another, redstone dust wires seem inevitable (correct me if I'm wrong on that). Wires just delay the signal even more, making the problem worse, not better. Repeaters would seem to have the same issue.

I know I'm using these wrong (made the first one last night... scary run into the nether just to get the quartz with little armor/iron). What's the trick?

  • … What do you want the contraption to do? The whole point of the observer is to trigger when the piston changes, so what you want it to do differently is not clear. Could you edit to describe the exact beginning and end states of the contraption desired? Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 19:18
  • Push the piston into the space that the observer is monitoring, without it going nuts. Past that, it needs do nothing else.
    – John O
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 22:04

5 Answers 5


I'm assuming you are doing something like checking whether a melon has grown, and pushing it out of the way if it has. When I was playing around with using an observer for this I used a pulse limiter with an input pulse longer than the time it takes for the piston to extend and retract so that the second trigger of the observer is effectively discarded.

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It very much depends on what you're trying to observe.

If it's to watch arrival/appearance of a full block, this is the simplest:

enter image description here

Any full block will make the wall to connect to it. The observer will notice it and push. Piston head, as a non-full block won't impact the wall.

If you're farming melons/pumpkins, it's best to observe the stem instead.

enter image description here

If you want to observe anything happening in front of the piston, it's easiest to use a trivial pulse divider / T flip-flop, that will simply drop every other pulse from the observer - the signal from the piston head discarded. These two provide this observing from a side or from above (the version 'from below' will be just mirrored vertically).

enter image description here

Finally, if you're strapped for space in the observed area, you can do away with the observer entirely, and use block update detection to make the piston double as observer of any changes around it. This example contraption will make the bottom piston trigger and push if you place any block in front of it.

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What you need is a reset delay. This can be done quite simply by building your favorite type of latch.

INPUT 1: Observer
OUTPUT 1: Piston [branch] Repeater string
INPUT 2: Repeater string This resets the latch
OUTPUT 2: nothing

If all works out, the latch should reset only after the piston has done its thing, so the observer's second signal will not get through. Depending on your exact purposes, you may also need to build a pulse former between the latch and the piston.


block contraption row

Try pressing an observer into a piston. The advantage is it acts as a non-repeater, but in a one-block-wide formfactor.

  • This works by utilizing the observer pressed to a sticky piston, which will only fire a signal to the downward piston when touching, preventing a feedback loop.
  • The block under the sticky piston can be any conductive block (dirt or stone is OK, not glass, etc)
  • The repeater can be set to any delay. Its function is to prevent redstone powder from bridging adjacent blocks.

The breakdown:

block contraption


Test Here is a version of this that works.

  • 6
    Images are useful in a post, but make sure the post is still clear without them. If you post images of Minecraft setups/schematics, you should describe how it works and why it works.
    – One 2 Many
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 0:01

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