Minecraft: Keeping an iron door open longer

I haven’t spent much time working with redstone circuits in Minecraft, largely because I didn’t know what on earth I needed them for, but I finally found a use.  I have an iron door going through a wall into a local village.  I didn’t want the villagers leaving the safety of the town (I’m a control freak like that), so I was using a button, mounted on the wall next to the door, to open the door.

The problem was that the button only keeps the door open for maybe a second. If I got the angle wrong and got caught up on the door, or if I just didn’t move fast enough, the door would slam in my face and I’d have to try again. I could often get through on one try, but I failed just often enough to go searching for a solution.

I found this neat video on YouTube, explaining how to use redstone relays to extend the duration of a button’s action:

But, unlike in the video, I want all of this to be hidden away underground, invisible, so that the button just “magically” lasts longer.

Here’s what I came up with. (Note that this is a mock-up I built in my back yard, so it’s a wooden door in an incomplete wall. I later installed this same configuration in my village using an iron door, and it works a treat.)

The circuit starts on the block under the button (the gray box to the right of the door), goes through the repeaters, and then goes back up under the wall. The last segment of the circuit, on the left, points at the block the door is standing on (it makes a right-hand turn in the open space under the wall).

This setup keeps the door open for approximately 4 seconds. To keep the door open longer, keep adding rows of repeaters.

Once it’s built and working, just roof it over with dirt, and it’s practically invisible.

A few notes and gotchas:

  • Full blocks set on point with the redstone circuit will break it; that’s why I covered the row closest to the door with wood slabs.  The other side of the wall is all solid blocks.
  • Redstone repeaters are directional. When you are placing them, face the direction you want the current to run.
  • The circuits have several positions, which control the speed that the current flows through them. Right-click on the circuit to move the setting. The further apart the two posts are, the longer it takes current to flow through.
  • To power the door, the circuit needs to end with the last section “pointing” at the door.