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The Absolute Basics & Material Requirements
So, your chests have been overfilling, and you heard of this thing called a "ME System”, from the AE2 mod that might be able to help. What does that mean?
ME (pronounced Emm-Eee) Stands for Matter <=> Energy. It is a very useful advanced storage and automation mod that is very useful in handling your resources, and also helping you start basic to advanced automation.
First things first, that sounds cool! What do I need?
AE2 requires a lot of glass, sand, gold, iron, and nether quartz. It also adds Certus Quartz, a special quartz that you need for a lot of the technology. All you need to do now is go for a big mining trip and gather materials. Lots. For a basic ME System, you want at least a stack of iron, two stacks of redstone, two stacks of Certus Quartz, a stack of glass, half a stack of sand, a few diamonds, and 15 gold ingots, and a couple nether quartz.
Your First ME System
Alright, you got your materials. You really want to make a ME System now, so lets get started!
When you were mining all the certus quartz, you should’ve came by something else as well, Charged Certus Quartz. If you haven’t, try mining some more! They generate naturally together with some clumps of Certus Quartz. However, they emit sparks of electricity.
Charger, Charged Crystals & Cable
Your first charged quartz should go toward making a charger. It requires 5 iron and 2 fluix crystals. Hold on, what? Fluix Crystal? See, this is where the charged certus quartz comes in. All you need to do is to throw a charged certus quartz, a nether quartz, and a redstone in a water source block as part of AE2’s in world crafting. The charger is so you always have more charged certus quartz, as it is a decently rare item. In the future, you will need more fluix crystals to make cables to connect your technology and to craft a lot of components as well.
Now that you have a steady supply of charged quartz from the charger (simply right click the charger with a certus quartz), you can make some glass cable, which connects all your AE2 components. Glass cable requires 2 fluix crystals and a quartz fiber, which requires 6 glass and 3 quartz dust. How does one get quartz dust? You place a Certus Quartz or a Nether Quartz into a Quartz Grindstone. Next, place a wood crank (5 sticks) to turn the grindstone. The quartz will be ground into dust upon right clicking the hand crank for a while. Using the quartz dust, craft it into some ME Glass Cable.
AE2 has its own energy system measured in AE Units. AE can be converted from other mod’s energy systems, such as Redstone Flux from Thermal Expansion, or EU from IC2 (Conversion rate: 2RF = 1AE, 1EU = 2AE). This conversion requires an Energy Acceptor, an easy craft if you have fluix crystals. Quartz Glass is required, not regular glass. Quartz glass is a form of glass used in some crafting recipes in the mod.
Hook the energy acceptor, your first machine, up to a steady power source. The next thing you’ll want is a ME Drive, which requires some ME Cable, iron and two Engineering Processors. Say what? Engineering Processors?
Inscribers, Presses and Meteorites
To make processors you need another machine, the Inscriber. Place this next to your energy acceptor to power it. Next you want an Inscriber engineering press. How do you craft that? Well, you don’t. What you need is a Meteorite Compass to find meteors. In the middle of meteors is a sky stone chest, which contains at least 2 inscriber presses. There are four inscriber presses in total, so you should keep opening meteors.
Meteorite hunters should keep in mind that the compass points to the chunk the meteorite is in, not the exact location. Some meteors can be underground, so keep looking! Also, you will need a diamond pickaxe to break through the hard sky stone. Be careful, the sky stone chest blends right in to the sky stone, so don’t miss it! Also, the Meteorite Compass points to the nearest piece of sky stone, so the compass will not show the next meteor until each sky stone is removed.
So now you have the four presses, the Inscriber Silicon, Engineering, Calculation, and Logic Presses. Now, back to the ME Drive. Take the Engineering press and place it in the top slot of the Inscriber. Next, take a diamond in the middle slot. If you did it right, it will “inscribe” into a printed engineering circuit. Good news: the presses do not break! Make another printed engineering circuit.
Next, you need silicon, which you can get from using a Pulverizer from Thermal Expansion with sand. With other mods and modpacks, you can use different methods, be sure to check NEI or the FTB Wiki for details.
Place the silicon in the middle slot in an inscriber, and place a Silicon Press in the other slot. It will inscribe into a Printed Silicon. Make 2. Now, take the printed silicon and place it in the bottom slot, take the printed engineering circuit and place it in the top slot, and put a redstone in the middle to make the Engineering Processor. Again, make another one.
Now, we can finally craft the ME Drive, which you should place next to the Acceptor.
Now, we have a way to place our storage cells into the system. Each ME Drive can store 10 storage cells. Right! To make your system actually store items, you need some storage cells. In the early game, when you don’t need too much storage, you can stick with the basic 1k ME Storage Cells. You need logic processors to make the 1k storage components. Don’t worry, just repeat the process for the Engineering processor with a gold ingot instead.
Each storage cell is considerably bigger than a large chest, and it can store 64 different items. However, as you might have noticed, you can’t “open” a cell to insert items in. To place or access items into your system, you need another item, the ME Terminal.
The ME Terminal is relatively easy to craft. You need Fluix Dust to make the Formation Core and Annihilation Core. You can use your quartz grindstone or a Pulverizer from Thermal Expansion with fluix crystals to make fluix dust. You also need two logic processors, but that should be quite simple now.
You should have the ME Terminal now. Now, use some glass cable (or make more) to connect the ME Drive to the Energy Acceptor, and connect another glass cable upward so it sticks out in a good spot to be your ME Access point. Now, place the terminal on the Glass Cable. It should join up with the cable. Now, right click it and start dumping your items in! Remember that your storage cells have a limited capacity, and if something doesn’t go in, your cells are probably full.
Seed Growing & A Better Terminal
You’ve been getting stuff into your terminal, but you want a way to craft things inside the terminal. It’s time to upgrade to a crafting terminal!
Now, you need a ME Terminal, a Crafting Table, and a Calculation Processor. For the calculation processor, you need Pure Certus Quartz Crystal, which you get from growing Certus Quartz Seed in water. However, this process is extremely slow, taking several hours. Its time for a new machine, a Crystal Growth Accelerator. It takes AE power in from the top face. Simply place it next to your water puddle, and the accelerator will speed up crystal seed growth inside the puddle of water. More accelerators will further increase the speed. With 1 accelerator, it takes 12 minutes to grow a seed. With 2, time gets reduced to less than 10 minutes (confirmation needed).
When the seed finishes growing, you can use the pure certus quartz to make the processor, which you should be pretty good at by now. Once you craft the Crafting Terminal and place it again, you will notice a new crafting interface inside the terminal, making your crafting work easier.
Now you mastered the art of seed growing, you should know that you can also grow fluix crystals into its pure form.