Mobile Mining quick setup

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deca.death
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Mobile Mining quick setup

Post by deca.death » Tue, 7. Jun 11, 23:17


MOBILE MINING HOWTO by deca.death

If you want to learn about mobile mining - you've come to the right place. Whole thread begun by my simple request for some quick and effective, possibly even automated mobile mining setup for my HUB plot line huge mineral requests. It ended up in vivid and informative discussion of which most important parts I have extracted up here in a place of my first post, for easier future reference. This is not all. There are many more interesting facts and info about various aspects of mobile mining, especially large scale, insanely large scale of mining and various related problems, settings, advantages and other, so if you need more info, I'm afraid you'll have to read everything : )

Special thanks to:

Infekted
MarvinTheMartian
glenmcd

Whose sentences and paragraphs I butchered, modified, pasted together and mixed up in most abusive ways possible. They are full rank co-authors of this article. If I forgot to mention someone, my sincerest apologies.


Mine Minerals /Collect Rocks ??

First a small explanation: There are two ways of doing this. One is mine minerals, other is collect rocks. With MM command you won’t have to break rocks in collectable chunks, miners will do that for themselves (will need guns and few additional sw. upgrades, it will be mentioned soon). Miners will go out and collect exact type of mineral required, which is good thing (if there are many chunks present on the spot, CR command can end up collecting "wrong” ones, there are ways to avoid this). Bad thing is that you cannot select ice or nividium for this command - as there is no option for it under the mine minerals command. They can only be picked by other CR method. And yes, if you go for MM, don’t homebase your miners, or they will stop command when full, which can be pain if you have plenty of them.


About Miner Ships And Pilots

First, you’ll need some miner TS ships, for example you could buy Caiman Miners from Patriarchs Conclusion. The L sized come with 4xFBL. which imo is way overkill for mining, so you can sell them back and equip smaller /cheaper gun, if you want. Any will do so cheapest is best, IREs work fine. They will have all other stuff pre-installed, just upgrade speed, steer (don't upgrade cargo, it's expensive and unnecessary) and go. If you want to "collect rocks" only you need no guns. BTW any ship capable of carrying XL cargo can "collect rocks" if it has the Special Command s/w and an Ore Collector, "Mine Minerals" command also requires a mineral scanner - the miner variants have these already installed making it easier to set up a large fleet.

BTW You will need trained CLS pilots for your Haulers and Delivery vessels. Here is how to get them: Kor'ah CAG/CLS pilots training guide - Or just hire/fire pilots from trading station in Herron’s Nebula until you've get Cargo Messenger ranked pilot . All my CLS ships start at a minimum of Cargo messenger. They all have ten drones and 20 mossies as standard. To do otherwise is basically making a rod for your own back. A cargo messenger can use at least 15 waypoints. I know for a fact that one CLS ship can service ten miners, then fly 60km to drop off then fly back to the miners with no filling problems whatsoever. One CLS ship can service at least 15 miners provided it doesn't have to move. I.E. The TL is sat on top of the miners.


Choosing Sector

You want to mine somewhere you don't visit often, safe sector away from transit lines and problematic sectors /routes. "Dead end" sectors are best for this. I like the unknown sector south of Menelaus Oasis. Never go there normally. Very very safe. I have mobile mined in that unknown sector in many games, for a loooong time in each. Provided you make sure no Pirate base spawn there, you will never see a pirate there. Or xenon. Khaak can occur before completion of OFF but its vanishingly rare occurrence... Nothing an few defense crafts cant sort out with ease (I would recommend pair of Skirons because they are tough and fast). About the only ship you are likely to see is the occasional recon craft. That’s it. This sector has every mineral.


Ground Preparation

Fly in, blow up the silicone asteroid closest to gate (Hornet or MDS will do), then mince all bigger rocks to collectable size (if they disappear when you hit them, you are overdoing it : ). Drop a sat just above the cloud of debris. Order them move to the satellite, and then to collect rocks. If you only blow that one roid, they will all stay there on the spot. If you blow multiple they can end up in odd places. For me, the key has been to break down as much debris in to collectible rocks as possible, this allows for much faster collection - freighters spend less time trying to collect the same rock, the rocks will also re-spawn more frequently so again the operation collects faster. Choose solitary roid with no collectable chunks around if possible. High yield is not been confirmed as necessary although some people mentioned that it’s possible miners will loose time on rocks with yield=0 so keep that in mind and don’t overdo it, with poor yield roids. Anything with yield 25+ should be enough. You can break several roids, maybe of various type and put one miner group to each.


How Much? (About Quantities And Effectiveness)

Each rock collecting ship, regardless of the type of ship, official speed, hull integrity, turning speed etc collects 1,2 or 3 rocks every 20 seconds. Looks like the average is around 1.3 to 1.4 (a guess). With all silicon mines used (L size) in Ore Belt, they will produce 4954.3 silicon pieces per hour. For rock collecting ships to match that, you require 21 ships. Assuming you use Mercuries fitted with special command software, rock collectors, youre up for around 220K per ship. Multiply that out and the total cost is 4.62M. The cost of the 29 silicon mines (Teladi is cheapest I think) is 26.2M plus 7.27M if you connect them with CCKs. So if you forget about silicon mines and collect rocks instead your up front costs are cut by 87% for the mineral component. You also need to take into account static costs such as TLs used to move the minerals to your complex.

As microchip complexes are limited only by the number of factories present and the silicon available, with a fleet of 230 miners, you're looking at a chip production capacity around 11 times compared to using silicon mines. You can easily get 70 chips into a balanced complex in Ore Belt, thus with your fleet you could feed 770 chip fabs. Another way of looking at this is that you can build whatever size complex you want in any sector you want rather than only in sectors with sufficient minerals present in the form of asteroids.

When you've completed the hub you can get most of your credits back by flying the Mercuries back to the shipyard and selling them. Whatever upgrades you got in regards to software, engine tuning etc you get back 100%. With mines you get additional lag both IS and OOS, increased sector loading and unloading times, nearly ten times the up front cost, and no way of selling them when the hub is complete. If you don't feed them they flash yellow. If you destroy them they continue to lag until they go away, perhaps in a few game weeks. One disadvantage of collecting rocks is that you need to manage them, unless you can get it happening unattended. Others have using CLS but I haven't as yet.

I know for a fact that, my 230 miners is slightly over supplying 50 crystal Ls and 250 microchip factories. I think 200 would do the job. As that’s what I have set up now. So basically the equivalent of 500 chip factories. I used the hub plot count-down to guesstimate the rate of collection over an hour (SETA 10x for 6 mins) and my mining operation next door to Unholy Descent delivers almost 5,000 units per hour from 16 miners. So basically 2 miners supplies 5 S sized factories or one L sized factory. 50-60 should pull in enough to supply roughly 25 crystal fab Ls, or 125 microchip factories.


Basic Setup

Easy set up would be 20-50 miners. Some people are using TL to as collector but I like Hauler versions of same miner TS type. You don't have to use Haulers, however, investment is minimal (1 hauler per 10-15 miners) and it's more neat that way, especially if you are using multiple miner groups, you could have 2-3 broken stone areas (for each different mineral respectively) and TL(s) in the middle of those mining fields, which is how my example looks like. I don't like idea of my TL flying around and collecting, he should stay put and store things. You might use TL collectors if you like, but bear in mind that picture examples and numbers on this thread are given for TS haulers, you need to use much lesser "collect on" values (like 1%) if you want to use TLs.

In brief:
1. Find some mineral debris or blow up a (somewhat lone) asteroid, use hornets or bigger (or MDS).
2. Shoot the debris with your own ship, regular lasers (nothing too powerful) to break it into collectable rocks. If they disappear when shot - you're overdoing it.
3. Drop satellite just on top of the debris.
4. Leave the sector (preferably forever ; )
5. Order TS Miners to the position of the Satellite (or if they're all in a shipyard command all docked TS to follow Satellite)
6. Order Your TL storage to go very near same position (all miners should be in 5km transporter range)
7. Once there, order each miner to collect rocks.
8. For every 10 Miners (if they are very close as advised, you can pull off 15 miners to one CLS2 pilot). Set a CLS2 Hauler to collect silicon from them and deliver to the TL storage.


CAG Settings

Allright, I promised some settings, so here they come. My mobile mining ship setup you can find earlier in this post, I have two groups of 10 miners, Caiman Miners, each group mining one rock, each tended by one Caiman Hauler collector and one Orca as delivery point in between. One Mistral SF towing silicone away, now in my pair (low yield) mines complex which serve as CAG sell point (on some calculations this setup should produce approx 5k silicone per hour, never checked though). This selling point is tended by 7 Mistrals SF trained CAGs with 50 jump settings and low silicone price and this seems to work.

This is how it looks (sector is south of Menelau's Oasis)

Image

I use groups because they are more tidy to check and supervise, but if you cram everything to one point you could probably pass for 1 collector on 15 miners rather then 10. I like it this way even less effective.


Image

Image

This is collector setup. Note load condition up to and unload for fixed amount. In theory ships should empty in Orca when nearly full but in practice they go even half full. Unload condition is hardest to figure out of all. I tried experimenting with it just now but results are utterly inconclusive. But never mind that, this setup works just fine.


Image

This is Mistral SF setup used to tow silicon to Hub or wherever. Load condition could be 90%, same for delivery.
Last edited by deca.death on Tue, 9. Aug 11, 11:59, edited 2 times in total.

Infekted
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Post by Infekted » Tue, 7. Jun 11, 23:48

You want to mine somewhere you don't visit often. I like the unknown sector south of Menelaus Oasis. Never go there normally. Very very safe. Has every mineral. Fly in, blow up the sil asteroid just inside the gate, just blow the big rock, no need to break it once thats gone up. Drop a sat in the cloud of debris.
Buy Caimen Miners from patriarchs conclusion. The L sized come with 4xFBL. Which imo is way overkill for mining. So I get the M sized (2xPAC), sell back the 5MJ shields and give them all 25s by supplying local EQ dock.
Will have all other stuff pre-installed, just upgrade speed etc and go.

Order them to the sat, and then to mine minerals -> silicon. If you only blow that one roid, they will all stay there by the gate. If you blow multiple they can end up in odd places.

Easy set up =
20-50 miners
TL set to empty miners using CLS2.
Add another random CLS emptying ship to empty the miners and drop off into the TL. Use a random TS, preferably SF. One per extra 20, beyond first.


You'll want more than 10. But much beyond 50 and you'll have to put more effort into logistics. 50-60 should pull in enough to supply roughly 25 crystal fab Ls, or 125 microchip factories.

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MarvinTheMartian
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Post by MarvinTheMartian » Wed, 8. Jun 11, 00:20

I've never tried the "mine minerals" command in TC, apparently you need to re-issue the command after they've delivered to the (homebase?) station, unless you can collect the silicon from them with CLS2 before they fill their cargo bay.

Personally I use the collect rocks command on a TS Miner variant and send a CLS2 ship to collect from them and deliver back to the hub.

Location can depend on where the hub is, if there's a sector with silicon debris 1 jump away you won't even need trained CLS2 pilots, as said though it should not be a sector you intend to go into.

In brief:
1. Find some silicon debris or blow up a silicon asteroid
2. Drop a Nav Sat at the position of the debris
3. with your own ship, shoot the debris with regular lasers (nothing too powerful) to break it into collectable rocks
4. Leave the sector
5. Order TS Miners to the position of the Nav Sat (or if they're all in a shipyard command all docked TS to follow Nav Sat)
6. Once there, order each miner to collect rocks
7. For every 3 Miners (more if CLS trained) set a CLS2 super freighter to collect silicon from them and deliver to the Hub.

I've found that the more debris you break down the more efficient (faster) they collect. Don't break any Ore debris or they'll collect that too and fill up.

I used the hub plot count-down to guesstimate the rate of collection over an hour (SETA 10x for 6 mins) and my mining operation next door to Unholy Descent delivers almost 5,000 units per hour from 16 miners, 4 collectors a TL buffer and a convoy of 10 TS delivering to the hub
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Infekted
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Post by Infekted » Wed, 8. Jun 11, 13:29

There is no difference between mine minerals and collect rocks in regards to stopping when full/dropped off.

If you choose mine minerals they will only collect the mineral you are interested in even if there are others near by. The only reason infact to use collect rocks is to collect nividium as there is no option for it under the mine minerals command.

Breaking up the smaller rocks makes no difference whatsoever provided you make sure your miners have a laser installed.

A CLS per three miners is WAY overkill. You will never need more than one per ten, and if they aren't moving (to drop off say) then one CLS ship per 20 miners is enough.

Olyphant
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Post by Olyphant » Wed, 8. Jun 11, 13:48

I've just completed the silicon phase this is what I used

10x Caiman Miner
3x Caiman Hauler CLS2
1x Elephant

x4

Basically for each group 1 Hauler is CLS2 from Miners to Elephant (the most painful step), 2 of the haulers are CLS2 Homebase'd to Xenon Hub which do load 300 silunload max sil. If you put the 2nd gate alignment to the system where the mining is occuring you don't even have to set the CLS2 to jump. The systems I used where Hollow Infinity and Unknown sector below Menalus Oasis. 2 groups in each.

I found a pirate base sending pirates straight through my mining op so I had to send in a ship to nuke and protect them in the unknown sector.

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MarvinTheMartian
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Post by MarvinTheMartian » Wed, 8. Jun 11, 23:30

Infekted wrote:There is no difference between mine minerals and collect rocks in regards to stopping when full/dropped off.

If you choose mine minerals they will only collect the mineral you are interested in even if there are others near by. The only reason infact to use collect rocks is to collect nividium as there is no option for it under the mine minerals command.
I think you have been lucky with them not filling up before the CLS pilot collects. When full they will stop the command and you must re-issue it for them to continue, it was different in Reunion though. I also prefer not to have to equip a laser on the ship, you can buy a stock miner variant and they're all on their merry way without further delay.
Infekted wrote:A CLS per three miners is WAY overkill. You will never need more than one per ten, and if they aren't moving (to drop off say) then one CLS ship per 20 miners is enough.
Perhaps. For a "quick setup" it's not necessary to have a trained CLS pilot for each collector (Apprentice is limited to 4 waypoints) which saves both time in training them first and the hassle when the pilot decides he can't continue without going off to buy fighter drones. I've gone to a 1:4 ratio now by having a separate collector (the TL) to collect from the SFs.

Two equally valid way of approaching the same challenge, I just prefer mine ;)
I found a pirate base sending pirates straight through my mining op so I had to send in a ship to nuke and protect them in the unknown sector.
Same issue here, there's a PB in the sector south of my operation, they only attack them when I'm IS though so I just let them be but I do have a wing of eclipses protecting them.
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Infekted
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Post by Infekted » Thu, 9. Jun 11, 10:40

MarvinTheMartian wrote:
Infekted wrote:There is no difference between mine minerals and collect rocks in regards to stopping when full/dropped off.

If you choose mine minerals they will only collect the mineral you are interested in even if there are others near by. The only reason infact to use collect rocks is to collect nividium as there is no option for it under the mine minerals command.
I think you have been lucky with them not filling up before the CLS pilot collects. When full they will stop the command and you must re-issue it for them to continue, it was different in Reunion though. I also prefer not to have to equip a laser on the ship, you can buy a stock miner variant and they're all on their merry way without further delay.
Lucky? Are you joking? How many miners have you got going total? In my current game I have 350 in one spot, 250 in another, and 130 in another. In my last game I had one fleet of one thousand ships. So no my arguement comes from experience not luck. My results come from lots of success and failure. I am fully aware of the stopping. When its starts to happen with a fleet of several hundred its a real pain.
I know for a fact that one CLS ship can service ten miners, then fly 60km to drop off then fly back to the miners with no filling problems whatsoever. I know this because mine do that fine. Infact they so well that my miners do not even approach 50% capacity ever.
I know for a fact that one CLS ship can service at least 15 miners provided it doesn't have to move. I.E. The TL is sat on top of the miners.
Again I know this because thats what happens with my massive sil mining fleet. It took a lot of work to get the numbers right.
MarvinTheMartian wrote:
Infekted wrote:A CLS per three miners is WAY overkill. You will never need more than one per ten, and if they aren't moving (to drop off say) then one CLS ship per 20 miners is enough.
Perhaps. For a "quick setup" it's not necessary to have a trained CLS pilot for each collector (Apprentice is limited to 4 waypoints) which saves both time in training them first and the hassle when the pilot decides he can't continue without going off to buy fighter drones. I've gone to a 1:4 ratio now by having a separate collector (the TL) to collect from the SFs.

Two equally valid way of approaching the same challenge, I just prefer mine ;)
Thats basically fail on being able to set up CLS ships quite frankly. ALL my CLS ships start at a minimum of Cargo messenger. They all have ten drones and 20 mossies as standard. To do otherwise is basically making a rod for your own back. A cargo messenger can use at least 15 waypoints. I would say it was a lot quicker/more efficient to properly set up your CLS ships than make loads of them.
I buy stock miners ofc. I then buy the L or M sized ones so they come with lasers installed. Its not difficult. In my post I specifically said buy Caiman Miners M sized then fit 25MJ shields from the local EQ dock. As they come with PACs preinstalled.
It is worth the effort as they will ALWAYS mine at maximum speed provided there is any debris. This is important.
For one of my fleets I decided to try to see what the absolute minimum amount of collectors I could get away with was. I am not recommending this method as an easy/efficient set up. It was an experiment. Although it worked out pretty well in the end, setting up was a pain.
I basically put Logisticians in TLs, then made a waypoint list that included all 130 miners that were in that fleet. I then basically just added TLs on the same waypoint list till the miners stopped filling up. For 130 miners I was using 5 TLs and 2 SFs without any problems whatsoever. Which is basically one CLS per 20 miners.
MarvinTheMartian wrote:
I found a pirate base sending pirates straight through my mining op so I had to send in a ship to nuke and protect them in the unknown sector.
Same issue here, there's a PB in the sector south of my operation, they only attack them when I'm IS though so I just let them be but I do have a wing of eclipses protecting them.
Personally I always "trim" pirate bases away from places of concern. If you take out the pirate base in that sector, that entire corner of the map becomes one of the safest places in the universe.
Use missile/jump thing if you are concerned about pirate rep.

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Post by MarvinTheMartian » Thu, 9. Jun 11, 10:57

Infekted wrote:There is no difference between mine minerals and collect rocks in regards to stopping when full/dropped off.
Infekted wrote:I am fully aware of the stopping.
So, there is a difference then.
Infekted wrote:setting up was a pain
And the title of this topic is ... Mobile Mining quick setup

I honestly don't know why you're taking this so personally, you have your way - I have mine, I haven't said mine is better than yours just that I haven't tried it.
Given your description above though I'm sticking with my way of getting 5,000 units of silicon per hour from 16 miners.

deca.death has two detailed explanations to choose from.
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Infekted
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Post by Infekted » Thu, 9. Jun 11, 11:10

What? There is no difference. With either command they will stop collecting when full.

Did you read my post? The method I said was a pain to set up, the sentence before that I said "I do not recommend this, it was an experiment". It was to illustrate a point. About how few collectors you actually need.

I got annoyed because you are implying I do not know what I am talking about. When you are the one that has basically just gotten into mobile mining and I have been doing it on a massive scale for ages. How can you recommend a method when you have not tried any others? Just because it works doesn't mean its the best or good.
I have done the apprentice, collect from three miners route. It was infact my first foray into the subject. And I found from experience that it was a massive pain the arse to scale up to decent numbers.
5000 per hour? Kinda small time then really.

At the end of the day deca is gonna do what he wants. I am actually suprised he even asked about this as he seems the kind of player to just go out and do it, then report his findings back here.

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Post by deca.death » Thu, 9. Jun 11, 11:10

.

Let me see if i got this. Here is what i plan.

Connect hub with unknown sector south of Meneleus Oasis.
Buy 20 Caiman miners, fully shielded, weapons (If i understood well they will use it to break the rock themselves..?) some basic EqD equipment (what DO miners need? special comm. software? fight software? transporter device?)
Buy 2 caiman haulers, put high level CLS pilots in them, order to collect when nearly full, to empty in HUB when nearly full
Go to sector, break needed asteroid (two pcs, closest to gate, most yield) untill pcs change color to reddish, dump a satellite, go out and never return.
Order ships in, order "collect rocks", fire CLS ships, that should be it. Stedy income of minerals forever. Later i could only divert silicone to some crystal fabs and do whatever I like with it.


Have I got this right? Anything to add?

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Post by MarvinTheMartian » Thu, 9. Jun 11, 11:18

Infekted wrote:What? There is no difference. With either command they will stop collecting when full.
That is the difference, collect rocks does not stop the "command" when full, it stops collecting of course but once you empty the hold they continue collecting without the need to re-issue the command.

5000/hr is plenty thanks and is equivalent to a large number of mines so I'm happy with that for now and see no trouble in scaling up.

@deca.death we might have confused you there, sorry.

A miner variant TS will come with the Ore Collector and required software built in, you just need to give a laser (IRE will do) and with the mine minerals command it will find, break-up and collect minerals. No need to break up an asteroid if there's silicon debris already there and no need to drop a satellite as it will find the correct debris itself.

EDIT: to add the alternative...
The alternative, using the collect rocks command, you don't need a laser but you will need to break the rocks down to a collectable size first and the satellite is to position the miners first otherwise they'll wonder all over the sector looking for rocks ;)

For either method it's safer for your miners of you don't go in while they're operating on account of lots of ships in close proximity to lots of rocks.
Last edited by MarvinTheMartian on Thu, 9. Jun 11, 11:28, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by deca.death » Thu, 9. Jun 11, 11:21

Infekted wrote: At the end of the day deca is gonna do what he wants. I am actually suprised he even asked about this as he seems the kind of player to just go out and do it, then report his findings back here.

What..? Well thanks but it seemed unnecessary "reinventing the wheel" when I know that there are tons of you maniac miners who know whole business better. I did everything once for nvidium phase of hub (it was one miner :oops:) but I know basics. Besides, mining is boring ;)

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Post by Infekted » Thu, 9. Jun 11, 11:22

Basically yes. You wont need to add any extra gear if you buy miner varients. Thats the point they have everything they need preinstalled.
If they have lasers installed, you only need to bust up the big map rock. Just blow it, drop sat and leave.

I would actually recommend. 2 Cargo messengers set to unload the miners, when they reach 10-20% capacity. Unload into a TL parked locally. Then however many apprentice CLS ships set to take it from the TL to the Hub.
Its always good to have a little.. Storage resevoir built into the system. Silicon in bulky stuff.

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Post by deca.death » Thu, 9. Jun 11, 11:46

Infekted wrote: I would actually recommend. 2 Cargo messengers set to unload the miners, when they reach 10-20% capacity. Unload into a TL parked locally. Then however many apprentice CLS ships set to take it from the TL to the Hub.
Its always good to have a little.. Storage resevoir built into the system. Silicon in bulky stuff.
Only 10-20% of capacity? They would make many runs, but in sector it's irrelevant I guess. I think putting margin on 50% would be enough, wouldn't it? So using TL as a buffer. That seems reasonable. You could even issue order to CLS collectors to "dock only with ship in same sector" and have TL dump the silicone himself, but I guess small storage capacity of hub could be a problem then. That thing (hub) should have storage space of at least one TL. Its enormous for God's sake.

Alternative method would be to order them mining themselves you say but I already mined nvidium in other way and it's really not a problem krushing down two asteroids in tiny pieces : ) I'll bring dozen of hornets. Oh I know it's overkill : ). I have mining laser but that thing's slow as hell.

So there is no need to upgrade cargohold of miners? Funny, that will be first ships in my fleet without full upgrades (and over-excessive software) : )

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Post by Infekted » Thu, 9. Jun 11, 11:54

Marvin - If rock collectors stay full long enough they will stop, and you will have to re-issue the command.
Mineral collectors do exactly the same, unless they have a homebase, in which case they will drop off then stop. Without a homebase they behave exactly the same as rock collectors.
I.E. Will spazz out for 10-20mins then stop.
Really the command you use doesn't really matter, and the only reason I said use mine minerals, was that sometimes, depending on location, they can accidentally collect the wrong mineral on collect rocks. Its not a massive risk, but can happen as it has happened to me.

It's cool, really do what you like. I'm just saying that when you get up to 100's of miners, organizing that many CLS ships becomes harder. You have a lot more to keep track of. The CLS part is the most time consuming bit of the task, and I personally try to minimize the amount of ships for that very reason.

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