|Posted - 2010.01.25 11:21:00 -
Moon mining and reactions is both simple and complex!
I'm a comedian. I'll be here all night.
Most mining scenarios are like yours, and require multiple towers. Simpler reaction chains can be done with as few as three control towers with appropriate modules, depending on the towers themselves.
Before you even anchor your first reactor, right click on the control tower and select the Manage panel, and get familiar with it. This screen will offer you vital details, including a scan of the available materials on the moon. Once you've anchored the silo(s), harvester(s), and reactor, the management panel will show details for each step of the process. Without a reaction installed, the reactor won't offer any available input or output link. Also, unlike the silo, the reactor doesn't actually store product.
Think of it less like a reactor that fuses one or more input materials into output products and more like programming an object in a space video game, except instead of code, you install a piece of the programming puzzle in the "reactor" with instructions (in the form of hot Reaction "blueprints").
Using the processes tab in the control tower management panel, you can choose to drop the reaction blueprint into the reactor's reaction slot, or you may drop it into the reactor's 1m3 cargobay directly. Either way, the processes tab will change to reveal the reactor's input and output slots, enabling you to configure them - which you do by dragging. Your inputs may be a moon harvesting array or a silo, and the output can be either a coupling array, a silo, a reactor, or whatever sick, twisted solution you end up with. Whatever you do, make sure that you've selected a compatible material for the outputs, chosen by selecting the "Choose Type" on an Anchored harvester/silo/coupling array. Oh, and it's perfectly normal to have unconnected links - if you've configured an silo and a moon harvester that connect to the reactor's inputs, you don't need an input to the silo.
Simple reactions will always output the same total product mass that you input. In other words, if you output to a complex reactor, you will lose half of your theoretical complex output. This is why you'll want to set up a small network of control towers.
As for coupling arrays, they offer very limited utility except as smaller silos. Consider other solutions before you rely on them. 155 CPU can be better used for piling a heap of ECM mods to protect your investment.
A final word of advice
Make double sure you've slammed the apply button a few dozen times, or you'll come back a few days later with nothing but a fuel bill for your efforts. Doublecheck that everything is online and connected, and consider chilling out for a few hours near your tower to ensure that it's working.
My apologies if you've gotten through all these things, but I wanted to provide a complete overview of the process incase there were any questions about what needed doing.