The mechanics lab already allows mass production of fancy toys such as energy guns, vending machines, and even more dangerous things if you are in possession of a particularly traitorous piece of gear. What more could there possibly be to share wondrous and/or terrifying contraptions with the crew? Well, as it ends up, the ruckingeur kit is only the beginning of a mechanic's arsenal of gadgets, and diving deeper into its depths unveils a new dimension of supermachines. Want to set up automatic defense systems that can blast intruders to bits? How about making custom pipe systems to deliver items with more efficiency and flexibility than the mail system? Making your own intercom systems? Death traps activated with a secret spoken password? This, ladies and gentlemen, is the power of MechComp.
Where To Start
All the parts you need to begin your journey into the world of signals and Graviton traps can be found inside of the humble MechComp vending machine located inside of the mechanics lab. You have an effectively infinite number of supplies, (technically there's a finite number, but you'd need to be making something impossibly huge to use them all) so the only limit to the size of your machines is defined by your workspace and your patience.
There are a few terms that are frequently used both in-game and in this guide that are essential to understanding the MechComp system, so before we dive into all the fun toys you have available, it is important to review them.
Inputs are the various functions that a machine can perform, such as the printing of a paper or the changing of the color of a light. Machines that send inputs to other machines are called triggers.
Outputs are the signals that a machine sends and are consequentially accepted by other machines. Machines that receive outputs are called receivers. Note that it is possible for a machine to be both a trigger AND a receiver if there are multiple machines in a process.
To connect two or more mechanic components, do the following:
- Place parts in the desired locations.
- Use the wrench on them to bolt them to the floor, activating them and allowing them to be interacted with and connected to other components. You can use the wrench again to unbolt them.
- Begin linking the components together by clicking and dragging one part the desired part (which can be anywhere within view) with your mouse while holding a multitool.
- From the prompt, choose whether the first item (the one you clicked on and dragged to the other one) is to be the trigger or the receiver. Whichever one you choose, the second machine will be given the opposite role. The trigger machine is set to activate the receiver machine when an input is given to the trigger.
- If applicable, choose what input the receiving component will receive, i.e. what the receiver does/outputs when it gets the input. What specific options are available depends on the component, but for most receivers, this will usually be "activate".
If you want to alter the options or send-signals (more on this later) of a machine, just walk over to it and right-click it with a multitool in hand to bring up a list of options. For basic contraptions, this usually isn't needed, but more complex,flexible machines, some of which use the station's computer network, you do need to concerned about signals.
More on Signals
There are two types of signals, referred to as fixed signals and send signals for the purposes of this guide. Fixed signals either aren't editable by any means or only have a predetermined selection of signal values. Notable examples include the microphone, which can only send whatever is spoken into it as a signal. Fixed signals can be altered through use of other machines, but not on their own.
Send signals, on the other hand, can be edited. When you right-click something like a button or a pressure plate, you will notice under their menus an option saying "[Set Send-Signal]". Send Signals are signals that can be customized, and are important for various machines. For example, buttons have a default send-signal of 1; a synthesizer connected to this button would say "1" every time the button is pressed. However, altering the button's send-signal would consequentially change the message of the synthesizer. Changing the button's send-signal to "Hello!" would make the sound synthesizer say "Hello!", for instance.
Your (Metaphorical) Toolbox
MechComp devices can be separated into three categories: Triggers, wiring, and machinery.
Machines meant to send a signal to other machines, namely machinery, through user input. All triggers with the exception of doors cannot function as receivers and consequentially cannot be activated by other signals.
Wiring used to make more complicated machines.
These are the devices that have physical outputs when they receive a signal from wiring or triggers. In other words, these are the machines that actually do things as opposed to merely sending signals to other components.
||The Holy Grail of MechComp. Has one input, and when received, the Gravitron will activate, flinging anything on its tile in the chosen direction at high velocities.|
||Used to produce sound. Has one input, input; any send-signal sent to this by another machine will be spoken. Oddly, it behaves as if it has an output, but this is never used.|
||Sends or receives messages on a radio channel of your choice. By default it recieves only PDA messages and filters the routing information out of them, but this can be modified. Note that, as with real wifi, you need to be in mutual range of the target you want to communicate with (in other words, even if you only want to send, you must be in receiving range. It's the underlying protocol or something)|
|Wifi Signal Splitter Component||
||Decomposes machine signals sent in key1=value1&key2=value2&key3=value3&.. format. Set the trigger field to the part you want to extract, and the text of that value (only) will be sent on the output connection.|
|Thermal Printer Component||
||Has one input, print. Whenever a message is sent to this input the content of the message is printed out on a sheet of paper. The name of the paper object can be set as an option. This seems to behave as if it has an output and a send-signal, but neither appear to be used.|
||Accepts an amount of money, configurable as the "price". Only cash is accepted, not ID card payments. If the required money is given then the send-signal is sent on the output and the thanks-string is spoken as sound. If more than the specified amount of money is given, then the extra is returned, and "Here is your change!" is spoken instead of the thanks-string (no matter what the thanks-string is). Right clicking on the component and choosing "eject money" will ask for a code, and if this is correctly entered then all money taken by the unit is ejected. The code can be set as an option. There is an eject money input but it seems to be ignored; sending the code or anything else as a message does nothing.|
||Used to produce a variety of wonderful colors. Has four inputs, toggle, activate, deactivate, and set rgb. Toggle, Activate, and Deactivate will have the appropriate effect on the LED when any message is sent. Set RGB allows the color of the light to be configured, when a hex color code (eg. #99ffbb) is sent. Behaves as if it has an output, but never sends any.|
||Upon receiving an input, these components fire a projectile in the given direction. These machines are not guns in and of themselves; you must insert the firearm of your choosing into the component in order for the machine to function. There are two varieties: The default gun component only accepts ballistic guns, whereas chargeable gun components accept energy-based firearms.|
||When activated, moves anything standing on it to the teleporter with the same ID.|
||Can be programmed in a simple assembly language to transform inputs to outputs. Unfortunately, it only works with one-digit binary numbers. This is also the only mechanic component which can't be picked up - it must be pulled around.|
||When connected to the wired DWAINE network, this component can take incoming MechComp signals from machines and output wired packets onto the network. For a guide on how to work the operating system, refer to the wiki article on the subject.|
||When placed on top of a disposal pipe trunk segment and activated, anything on top of this component is sent through the connecting pipe system. Build your own disposal system!|
|Controlled Pipe Junction||
||When an input is received, the direction that incoming objects will be sent in switches between the two paths.|
||Has one input, play, which when received will play the instrument inserted inside this component.|
||Has one input, toggle, which when received will toggle the laser on and off. When the laser's beam is obstructed, the send-signal is sent on the output.|
||Used to do arithmetic. Has three inputs, Set A, Set B, and Evaluate. Set A and Set B take only numbers, and along with Evaluate, will have the appropriate effect on the component when a message is sent. The values of A and B, and also the math mode can be set as options.|
Machines and Gizmos
So what can you do with all of this stuff? Well, the possible applications of MechComp are limited only by what you have available and what you can think of, but here are some basic mechanisms to get you started:
You'll need a Microphone Component, a Signal Checker Component, and the output of your choice. Choose a specific codeword that you'll use to activate the machine, such as "Alakazam!" Then, configure the Signal Checker Component so it only accepts that precise signal. Connect the Microphone Component to your Signal Checker, then connect the Signal Checker to your device, and whenever the word is spoken, whatever machine you have connected will activate.
A popular installation by station mechanics, this involves placing multiple teleport pads in the same area, such as the Market, and placing other teleport pads in various spots around the station, such as the Bar, Medbay, and so on. Match the IDs of the pads at your hub to the IDs of the pads at the target destination, give each teleport pad a simple activation device such as a button or a pressure plate, and voila! Fast and easy transportation.
The simple combination of a pressure plate and a Graviton Accelerator on the same tile is almost ubiquitous in the world of MechComp, and can be added onto or chained from one another to provide all sorts of zany shenanigans.
Putting the "Rude" in Rude Goldberg
If you're fortunate enough to be a traitor with access to MechComp, you have access to one of the most wide-reaching methods of instigating mass murder, rivaling the likes of Chemistry and Toxins in potential. Gun components can be used in conjunction with a wide assortment of firearms, including your own special gear, to remotely blast crew members, Graviton Accelerators can catch people unawares and launch them into deathtraps, teleport pads can teleport people away as well as teleporting things like bombs and dangerous critters, the list goes on and on. If you are a traitor working in mechanics, it is also extremely worthwhile to consider buying the cloaking field generator when using MechComp for traitorous purposes, as it renders all of your nearby machinery completely invisible to most crew members. Get creative, the possibilities are just about endless!