Space Engineers – Guide to Tunnel Mining Rig Alpha

Controlling the rig, and giving an overview to how it works.

Tunnel Mining Rig Alpha

The Overview of the Control

So basically, thank you for your interest in the Tunnel Mining Rig Alpha.

The basic Concept behind the rig to function like the Real-World tunnelling machines. However instead of it crawling along, this one is suspended from the guide at the top of the tunnel. This rig moves slowly, and at this point I have calculated the cycle to 36 minutes for it to move the length of a piston (10 meters) In my survival game where I built this rig, I have now tunnelled into a mountain with two rigs, alongside each other, up to 500 meters, and well it has taken a long, long time.

Please bear in mind, this is purely the rig, and it will be a requirement for you to build refineries, and assemblers however you want, just do not place it on the rig! The aim is to transport the ore/stone of the rig as quickly as possible, as weight to the rig will cause it to not merge properly when doing its cycle.

However, in instances where the merge blocks aren’t merging there is a Maintenance Piston with Merge block located in the centre of the rig, to assist with the correction of any merge problems which occur.

Now something important to keep in mind, is that this concept which I have created, does use Sub grids, these are as follows:

  • Sub grid for the “server” this is timer blocks, programmable blocks, sensors, and well basically small grid items.
  • Sub grid for the welding.
  • Sub grids for the front suspensions.
  • Sub grid for the mining drill head.

So now a bit of how the rig works. on the server (small block grid) there are buttons. The buttons are mirrored and should do the same things. I have colour coded the buttons, and there are light panels to indicate if these processes are active or not.

Let’s start with the Yellow button.

This button is purely there to activate the drills, and unlock, and start rotating the drill head. Various activity lights will start flashing, so provide feedback that the drill is “live”.

Next would be the Purple button.

This button controls a delay, which is either ON or OFF. the delay is there to enable the cycles to auto repeat, or to disable the auto repeat. I personally have this off, as I wish to keep an eye on the progress, and as I have two drills running side by side, the amount of stone/ore mined is way to much for the refineries to process, so the stone/ore isn’t removed from the rig fast enough.

Next if the Green button.

This button initially starts the cycle, which disengages the rear (Front) and front (Front) merge blocks, and connectors, and start extending the pistons. in other words. the rig starts moving forward. During the moving time, the green indicator light will flash, and the projector will turn off. One the 18min times frame is completed, the front a rear (front) merge blocks & connectors) will reengage.

Once the green cycle completes, the red light will start flashing, this indicates that the now the rear (rear) and front (rear) merge blocks and connectors are disengaged, and the pistons are now contracting. and after 18 minutes, will re-engage.

However, this can be triggered with the Red button (Personally, you won’t need to trigger it, as it is part of the cycle).

Next is the blue button.

This button doesn’t need to be triggered, unless a merging issue occurred, and you were forced to use the maintenance piston to re-merge the rig to the top guide. In this case the blue button i used to start the welding process. – This also part of the cycle, so in theory you won’t need to press this button unless something went wrong.

How the in the screenshot I have labelled the buttons for convenience.

We also have a connector cycle button – Warning! Do not cycle the connectors if the merge blocks aren’t merged! This will end up dropping the rig and that will require some heavy intervention to get it all connected again (the magnetic plates ensure that should the rig fall. it will fall straight down, and lock, this does allow for a somewhat easier fixing of the problem, though isn’t guaranteed).

The Literal RED button on the far side, is the EMERGENCY STOP button. This button basically stops all timers.

Jan Bonkoski
About Jan Bonkoski 823 Articles
A lifelong gamer Jan Bakowski, also known as Lazy Dice, was always interested in gaming and writing. He lives in Poland (Wrocław). His passion for games began with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64 back in 1998. Proud owner of Steam Deck, which has become his primary gaming platform. He’s been making guides since 2012. Sharing his gaming experience with other players has become not only his hobby but also his job.

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