In a recent post I was talking about some of the stuff I was trying to do with Redstone logic circuits in Minecraft.

One of those things was to address a problem with the new powered rails.  You have one or more powered rails at the end of a track and the way you launch the minecart is to put it on the last rail against a stop block, get in it, then flip a lever to activate the powered rails to send you and your minecart on the way.  That part works.

The problem is on the return trip if you cannot hit that lever fast enough to turn the powered rail off before you hit the stop block, the minecart will bounce off of it and send you sailing back to where you just came from.

I spent a few days working out how to use the detector rail, which works sort of like metal detectors, to stop that problem from happening.

I finally found the solution in an RS NOR latch.  I turned out to be elegantly simple.  The circuit has two inputs and uses one of two available outputs.  The first input comes from a pushbutton (used because it’s a momentary contact switch instead of the lever) which causes the RS NOR latch to send power to the rails to launch the minecart.

The second input comes from the detector rail (which is also a momentary contact switch) when it detects the outgoing minecart it causes the RS NOR latch to flip to it’s other state, turning the powered rails off, thus preventing that really annoying bounce that was happening with the lever controlled circuit.

Now I know that simply reading about this isn’t going to cut it for a lot of people so I made a video that shows the whole setup in detail. “Redstone For The Everyday Guy – Pushbutton Minecart Launcher

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