Miscellaneous topics in Conway's Game of Life -- unfinished projects of all kinds and conditions

02 July 2020

Newer Better Faster Smaller Stable Signal Circuits

In 2020 so far there's been a major surge in interest in stable circuitry. For example, on January 26 Entity Valkyrie constructed a period-11040 spider gun, and on May 22 a 58P5H1V1 gun -- the first-ever guns to fire c/5 orthogonal spaceships and c/5 diagonal spaceships, respectively. In both cases, as is almost inevitable for new glider synthesis, cheaper recipes have since been found, making it possible to construct significantly smaller guns.

More recently, Entity Valkyrie also found the key cleanup mechanism for an incomplete color-changing glider lane shifter found by Martin Grant. The result was the Bandersnatch, so named because of its association with Snarks and Boojums in Lewis Carroll's poem The Hunting of the Snark (appropriately subtitled "an agony in eight fits".)

Code: Select all
#N Bandersnatch #O Entity Valkyrie and Martin Grant, 5 June 2020
#C Spartan 0-degree color-changing glider shifter
x = 50, y = 46, rule = B3/S23
o$b2o$2o16$45bo$44bobo$44bobo$43b2ob3o$31b2o16bo$31b2o10b2ob3o$43b2ob
o7$46b2o$37bo8b2o$36bobo$36bo2bo$37b2o$20b2o$19bobo$19bo24b2o$18b2o24b
2o5$35b2o$35b2o!
#C [[ THUMBNAIL THUMBSIZE 3 AUTOSTART WIDTH 640 HEIGHT 540 X 7 Y 10 THUMBSIZE 2 ZOOM 16 GPS 40 LOOP 200 ]]
The Bandersnatch is a significant discovery, and has already helped to solve quite a few glider adjustment problems. For example, it enabled Goldtiger997 to build a highway robber with 863-tick recovery time. (The current record is a larger staged-recovery design with 742-tick recovery time.) The Bandersnatch consists of just seven well-separated still lifes, which is Spartan by the modern definition, so it is bound to become very useful in self-constructing circuitry as well.

In April, Louis-Fran├žois Handfield constructed a much more compact universal regulator than the previous best known mechanism.

The following month Handfield also adapted Martin Grant's new HL161H conduit to make a useful color-changing edge shooter, HSW47T214. Its output lane is transparent, so it can serve as a merge circuit in a fairly compact glider adjustment toolkit.

On June 8, a collaborative effort produced a fully universal *WSS-to-glider converter that recovers in only 588 ticks. It accepts LWSSes, MWSSes, and HWSSes equally well, and works even if the input spaceship is moved by an odd number of cells along the input lane. Previous spaceship signal converters usually only worked if the spaceship was moved in two-cell increments, since the phase of these spaceships is different in odd and even positions.

Code: Select all
#C universal *WSS-to-glider converter, repeat time 588 ticks
x = 679, y = 92, rule = B3/S23
591bo$591b3o$594bo$593b2o8b2o$603bo$601bobo18bo11b2o$601b2o18bobo10b2o
$587b2o32bobo$587b2o26b2o2b3ob2o$615bo2bo$613bobo3b3ob2o$613b2o6bob2o$
587b2o$587b2o5$611b2o13b2o$611b2o13b2o16b2o4bob2o$641b2o2bo4b2obo$640b
o2b2o3b2o$641bo5bo3b2o$642b3o2bob2obo$644bo3bobobob2obo$629b2o20b2obob
2o$630bo$627b3o$627bo$634b2o$616b2o17bo$617bo17bobo$616bo19b2o16b2o$
616b2o36b2o$607b2o$2b2o334bo268bobo$o4bo330bo3bo249bo2bo14bo$6bo334bo
252bo3b2o54b2o$o5bo329bo4bo248bo3bo2bo2bo53b2o$b6o330b5o249b4o3b2o19b
2o$619b2o$603b2o$603bobo$604bo$654bo$653bobo$654bo$629b2o$630bo$627b3o
$591b2o34bo16b2o$586b2o2bo2bo17b2o30bobo$583bo2bo4bobo17bobo29bo$582bo
bobo5bo20bo28b2o25bo$583bo2bob2o23b2o52b3o$586bo2bo76bo$587bo4bo73b2o$
588b5o2$590bo83b2o$589bobo2b2o29bo49bo$590b2o3bo27b3o49bob2o$592b3o27b
o44b2o4b3o2bo$592bo29b2o43b2o3bo3b2o$672b4o$642bo15b2o15bo$640b3o10b2o
2bobo12b3o$639bo14bo2bo13bo$626b2o11b2o11bo2b3o14b5o$626b2o24b3o21bo$
655bo18bo$654b2o18b2o$669bo$667b3o$666bo$595b2o68bo2b2o$595b2o69b2o2bo
$601b2o48b2o16b2o$601b2o48b2o3$599b2o$599b2o5b2o$606b2o31b2o3bo$639bo
3bobo$640bo3bobob2o$641bo4bob2o$627b2o10bob5o$627b2o9bobo4bob2obob2o$
639bo2b2obo2bob2obo$640b2obob2o12b2o$659b2o!
#C [[ X 285 Y 0 Z 5 AUTOSTART PAUSE 2 STEP 5 LOOP 2000 ]]

As the MWSS collision shows, the mechanism even works if the next spaceship arrives before the second half of the bait constellation (the boat) has been reconstructed.

Toward the end of June the stable-circuitry construction binge continued with a number of new stable eaters and spaceship-to-X converters, including a much smaller HWSS Heisenburp -- but these will probably fit much better in a future post.

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