Great on-off

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Great on-off
2b2o4b$bo2bo3b$bobo4b$2obo2bob$4b2obo$7bo$4b3ob$4bo! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ AUTOSTART ]] #C [[ LOOP 2 GPS 2 THUMBSIZE 2 ]]
Pattern type Oscillator
Oscillator type Babbling brook
Number of cells 18
Bounding box 8 × 8
Frequency class 22.4
Period 2
Mod 2
Heat 2
Volatility 0.10
Strict volatility 0.10
Rotor type Diagonal on-off
Discovered by Unknown
Year of discovery Unknown

The great on-off (or pincers[1]) is a period-2 oscillator. It has the same rotor as the beacon and resembles two welded loops.

The great on-off typically forms via a teardrop hitting a traffic light.

x = 12, y = 12, rule = B3/S23 9b2o$8bo2bo$8bo2bo$8b3o2$2b3o2$o5bo$o5bo$o5bo2$2b3o! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ GPS 8 THUMBSIZE 2 ]]
Teardrop + traffic light → great on-off + 2 traffic lights + 2 tubs
(click above to open LifeViewer)
RLE: here Plaintext: here


Main article: List of common oscillators

The great on-off is the ninth most common naturally-occurring oscillator in Achim Flammenkamp's census, being less common than the quadpole but more common than the figure eight.[2] It is the ninth most common oscillator on Adam P. Goucher's Catagolue.

Because of its typical formation, it is about 3300 times as common as the smaller stator variant eater plug.


  1. "Pincers". The Life Lexicon. Stephen Silver. Retrieved on May 1, 2009.
  2. Achim Flammenkamp (September 7, 2004). "Most seen natural occurring ash objects in Game of Life". Retrieved on January 15, 2009.

External links