Sunday, December 7, 2014

USB Tester Firmware and Java App Update

It's been awhile since there has been an update to the firmware or the Java app. I have been working on them on and off for a few months now and I am finally at point for a release. Both the firmware and the Java app have some significant and important changes. I hope this brings some useful changes and lays the groundwork for future updates. Now onto the details...

Arduino Yun booting and running OLED Adafruit Test Sketch - USB data not connected to PC

Java App:
  • Start of changelog 
  • Uses temp file instead of memory for better long term logging 
  • Able to resume unsaved session 
  • Remote control of USB Tester display 
  • Option to stop updating graph for long term logging 
  • Option to change graph refresh speed 
  • Option to set how long(in minutes) to keep history in graph or 0 for all
  • Display max and mins on voltage\current graphs 
  • Check github for new version 
  • Check firmware version and check github for new version
  • About dialog shows versions

USB Tester Firmware:

  • Start of changelog 
  • Switch to UG8Lib display library 
  • Clean up Energy and Peak\Mins screens 
  • Updated large font screens with bar graphs that auto scale 
  • Added firmware version with serial command

For the firmware you can download the working zip 2.1 which includes the new UG8Lib in the libraries folder. More information on how to update can be found here:

For the Java App, for Windows download the Windows folder which has the exe (launch4js wrapper) and the needed libraries. For Linux\OSX download the Jar and libraries.

Some future ideas:
  • Possible firmware updating from Java app (Have to figure out cross platform)
  • Online real-time usage map of the the Java app by country.
    • Not really needed but could be cool. It would be just by country and could be turned off in the app. 

Please submit any bugs or suggestions to Github so I can track them. 

USB Tester and the DigiSpark Pro

After supporting the DigiX on Kickstarter, I have become a fan of DigiStump. So what better way to support them than buy stuff? I supported their new Kickstarter this year for the DigiSpark Pro. I got the beta kit which they made at their office and it came with the extras along with being shipped sooner. I posted about the details earlier: I finally got around to doing some basic power testing with the USB Tester. I took this picture just before our vacation.

Running the basic blink sketch its using about 22mA. Which is less then an Arduino Uno.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Improving Cooling on Fury Miners

Over the summer, I began adding more miners. The weather had started to warm up about the same time so the Furys started to increase in temperature.  In our area most places do not have air conditioning, so we are up to the mercy of the weather. Most of the year it's a cooler climate off the central coast of California, but this year it has been much warmer. Even without the weather, the Furys ICs would get hot but not the casing, which is a giant heat sink anyway. That told me there is poor thermal transfer. I had to do something about it. Cooler ICs means less hardware errors which means more accepted shares.

Upon research I narrowed down to these two items:

  • Prolimatech PK-3 Nano Thermal Paste (comes with spatula) - Amazon
  • ArctiClean Thermal Paste Cleaner - Amazon
  • .6in Heatsinks - AliExpress (My first purchase from AliExpress)
    • Came with extra Raspberry Pi heatsink sets
Wait, err, make that three items - the cleaner was one of those things on Amazon "people also bought." The stuff works great but I ended up only using it on the first one so I could conserve paste.

Friday, October 31, 2014

On the Web: Circuit Construction Set

During my day job a call was mistakenly transferred to me. It was a teacher that needed help with a website not loading. Normally I only take calls related to the systems I manage and support. Turns out it was a Java applet that a science teacher was trying to us in the computer lab. Once he emailed me the link and I saw what it was, I got excited. It's a Java applet that you can learn basic circuits. Check it out below.

Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only)
Click to Run

Turns out downloading and updating Java fixed it. The joys of Java!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tessel Has Arrived!

Origianlly posted June 23, 2014...

Last year in 2013, I backed one of the first projects on Dragon Innovation. It's similar to Kickstarter but geared more for hardware and without the restrictions. Basically it's a cross between an online shop and crowd sourcing mixed into one, since you can buy/support multiple of rewards. One of the launch campaigns was the Tessel. Tessel isn't just another microcontroller platform, it's platform that allows you to program it with Java but more specifically NodeJS! Pretty cool, ehh? There site has all the details But here are the specs from their site:

The Nitty:

  • Programmable via JavaScript
  • 14 different hardware modules for added capabilites
  • Compatible with 10,000's of Node.js packages on NPN
  • Deploy over USB or remotely by WiFi

The Gritty

  • 180mhz ARM Cortex-M3 LPC1830
  • 32mb SDRAM
  • 32mb Flash
  • TI CC3000 WiFi radio
  • 20-pin GPIO bank for general prototyping
  • Micro USB or battery power

The plug in modules are ready to use out of the box, no soldering headers required. All it takes is some JavaScript and loading the right node for the module you are using. Pretty simple to get up and running. I just received mine a few weeks ago and have tested each module. Here are a few pictures.

Tessel Front

Friday, July 4, 2014

DIY: Miner Rack

Over the last few weeks or so,  I decided to build a rack to hold my ASIC miners. This way they are nice, tidy and not all over my desk! Commonly, GPUs miners make a wooden open air case so I decided to design something similar. Total power usage from the wall is 377-379W. Not bad for 11MH/s. One thing to note is the Gridseeds don't get very hot so in turn their fans keep the Raspberry Pis cool which are zip tied above them.

  • 5x 4ft Strips of wood
  • Pack of finishing nails
  • Wood glue
  • Zip ties
  • Gray primer spray paint
  • Black gloss spray paint
  • Small nails (keep miners in place)

Mining Hardware:

A beautiful mess!

Monday, June 30, 2014

ZenMiner: RPI Temps

The first week of the Fury's (Zeus Blizzard) Scrypt miners from GAWMiners came with a free ZenController. It's basically a Raspberry Pi, case and a memory card that is setup ready to mine using ZenMiners cloud service. Simplifies the process of setting up mining without a computer.

Monday, June 23, 2014

DigiSpark Pro

Digistump is the company behind the Digispark and DigiX and now their latest Kickstarter the Digispark Pro! They are a family owned company based in Portland, Oregon. I backed the Digispark Pro with the Beta Edition as the reward. This has to be one of the fastest Kickstarters I have backed as it was funded May 11th, 2014 and I received the Beta Edition June 22nd, 2014. Here are some pictures of the Beta Edition.

Bottom center Digispark Pro