Automatic control

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A smart bus is used to transfer information to control your devices automatically.


This shows a cut through a green wire. Indeed it is not a wire. It is a bus, because it contains several "wires". Each inner wire builds its own "signal", the green wire is the "channel" for these signals.

This page is not "official knowledge", because there is not something like a "Smart bus" in the game! This term has been invented by the wiki-authors to distinguish between the very unclear definitions of "Circuits", "Network", "Circuit network" and more. We hope, that the introduced term will become part of the game. :)

Technical definition

Smart Bus is a standardized bus system, running the Smart bus-protocol, that enables the

  • transfer,
  • change,
  • and use

of any information in the bus to any point in the bus.

The main usage is distribution of information.

Where is it used?

The smart bus is used in circuit and in logistic networks. Even if the circuit network looks quite different to the logistic network, they are both based on the same technique.

Example condition: "Work only if the count of Iron plates is lower than the amount of Steel plates." Instead of the steel plate you can use a constant value.

You can see that, if you open the smart inserter: the interface for all three types of network (red wires, green wires and logistic network) is the same.

The basic difference between them is, that in a logistic network every chest-content, which is covered by a Roboport is added to the content of the network, but for the circuit network only the connected chests pop up!

How is it connected?

This differs. In a Circuit network you connect senders, receivers and Combinators via wires and electric poles, the Logistic network uses a robotic network area.

Connect two channels together

If you connect two channels (wires (unicolored or both colors) or roboports), the information in both is just joined, not duplicated.

Multiple Networks - How many bus systems can I create?

Endless. Every Logistic network contains a (wireless) bus, every red or green wire spawns its own bus (as long as you don't connect it to other busses).

It is possible to establish multiple distinct wired networks of the same color (red or green). Just make sure that there is no wire connection between them and they will be treated as separate networks.

How does it work

The smart bus is dependent on the smart bus-protocol. The protocol has some layers - as every protocol. Physically it is based on the wires (red and green) or some wlan-like radio-signals. From the layer 2 and 3 this bus can be compared a bit with the MIDI-standard, which tries to distribute information to all devices on a bus.


A signal is a item name and its value.

Every wire transports one value of information. For the wireless transmit it can be assumed, that every frequency transports one value of information. The smart bus protocol can of course also be transmitted over single-cable or single frequency networks, compare that with ethernet or wlan. The transfer of information can be compared a bit with the MIDI-standard.

Each wire (or frequency) of the physical layer builds its own "signal". That means:

  • It has a name (for example "Iron ore") and
  • it has a value (for example "19349").

Channel or Network

The channel is the bundled information of all signals of a network.

So what we really have here is not just one signal, but many.

The signals are transfered inside:

The sender and receiver devices have only to be plugged into this bus and their interfaces connect and work automatically.

More theory

Mathematically this also called a Tuple.