On my list of possible things to build with Frames was an escalator. I'm pleased to show that RedPower 2 Frames indeed make it possible to construct an escalator in Minecraft.
|Escalator using Frames from RedPower 2 (click to enlarge)|
A still picture really doesn't do it justice, one needs to see it in action:
One fly in the ointment: Frames don't move the player horizontally, so you have to hold the Forward key during the horizontal movements.
This escalator somewhat misuses Frames and Frame Motors. In normal projects where Frames are used to construct mobile gantries or booms, the ratio of Frames to Frame Motors might be on the order of 30 to 1. Here it's roughly two Frame Motors for every Frame.
The design turns out to be quite simple. Because the Frame Motors for each direction of escalator travel are in the same plane and are adjacent both horizontally and vertically, no additional wiring is needed for power beyond the the single Blue Alloy Wire providing it at the base. Like all blulectric devices, Frame Motors conduct blutricity to their neighbors.
A Red Alloy Wire on the back of each set of Frame Motors supplies the timing signal to synchronize all the motors. The signal is from a Timer set to an interval of one second. I'm not sure how inefficient it is in terms of blulectric power consumption to activate all the Frame Motors for each move when only half are needed, but it's much simpler to wire.
This escalator just represents the tip of the iceberg. Frames are an incredibly flexible building block that can be used in a countless number of ways in building things that move.
And Frames are just one of the new things that arrived with prerelease 5. When you combine Frames with Control's emulated 6502 CPU, the liquid handling provided by pumps, and the parts added to Logic, the result is a set of components that will keep RedPower 2 players busy for a long time.
Edit: Thanks to Eloraam and others on the Minecraft Forums who answered questions, and to direwolf20 for his YouTube tutorial showing the basics of frames.