2718281828 wrote:I built a copperhead 197 gun using the ... 14 glider synthesis.
The gun is not optimized in terms of bounding box, but the nice thing is that every copperhead-pX gun (X>=197) is constructable using the principle. I am not sure if this is used in other guns, but when building it I got the feeling that it can be applied in many other situations as well.
I've been meaning to reply to this for the last week. Nice construction, first of all!
Your copperhead gun has some "steampunk" elements in it -- nicely optimized mechanisms, that are doing something that can now be done in a very different way by a more recent (smaller) discovery.
The rectangular Herschel guns in particular are (I'm assuming) from Jason Summers' collection. The smallest known guns are now kept in chris_c's collection
. gmc_nxtman has been working on a copperhead gun
using the smallest known p197 gun.
The fishhook eater's glider-turning ability is well known, but the MWSS+LWSS -> eater -> glider combination is something I haven't seen before in a gun-making context. It seems surprisingly good at inserting gliders in front of an existing salvo. The MWSS and LWSS are kind of expensive, though. gmc_nxtman's gun uses edge shooters instead, so that you only need one p197 gun per insertion, instead of seven.
However, sometimes you really do need to keep the guns way off to the side and add gliders to the front of a salvo, exactly like this. I think there will be a way to generate the eater more cheaply, but maybe the eater-turn trick is worth adding to the salvo-making toolkit.
See chris_c's script
for the most universal way of doing this -- the script can build any possible unidirectional salvo of gliders. There's a clock-based insertion method also used in that script, which I believe is a little more general purpose than the eater... but clocks are unusually expensive, so it might be worth looking into this alternative to see if the script can be made a little more efficient.