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A NOT Gate inverts a Redstone input signal. It will output power as long as it is not receiving power from its input side. It works like the vanilla block with a torch on the side.
Same as Piston, the input side is always facing the player when placed.
Same as other logic gates, the NOT Gate can be placed on all six sides of a block.
A NOT Gate allows for redstone circuits to be made for things that should be powered most of the time. For example, they can be used with a pressure plate and a door to create a door that remains open until the pressure plate is stepped on, or pistons that briefly retract when a button is pressed.
The main uses for not gates are not usually for simple contraptions. The not gate isn't designed to replace an inverted redstone torch. It is designed to be tiled with other redpower components. Because it follows the redpower component structure It can be used on walls and ceilings which redstone torches cannot. Also the minimum amount of blocks needed for a redstone torch inverter to work is 3. The not gate needs only 1 so in situations where space is a problem the not gate is useful.