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:
  • 8x Fury's: GAWMiners
  • 2x GridSeeds: GAWMiners
  • 1 RM750 Corsair ATX PSU (62A 12V Rail, Zero Fan, Gold)
  • 1 pack of PCIE-X to DC power cables: eBay

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

Sunday, June 22, 2014

DP Free PCB: Bus Pirate v3.8

A few times a week Dangerous Prototypes hosts a free PCB giveaway on various social networks. They also give away coupon codes to those who submit completed PCBs (from the giveaway) to use on another free PCB. It's really an awesome way to practice soldering. I was able to do this with the XT IDE Disk Controller. Some time ago (days, weeks, months?), I finally redeemed my coupon for a Bus Pirate v3.8 PCB. I already have an older version from Sparkfun but I thought this would be a fun project and a way to get a newer DP version with microUSB. Plus, it follows their SOB standard PCB sizes. Also, I haven't had any experience with a PIC.

Unlike my previous free PCB builds, I decided to get a stencil so to have the cleanest possible build. I was already ordering stencils for some other items, so it didn't really add much to the cost. I had a lot of parts already but the ones I didn't have I included in my last Digi-Key order. Here are the pictures of the build and the final outcome.

Bus pirate stencil

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Live Raspberry Pi Power Usage!

Since the release of the Raspberry Pi, I have had one on my desk powered up. It's my go to Pi that is always available on the network. It's mostly running Python stuff and eXtplorer. After all this time, I have always wondered what it really costs to keep a Pi powered up 24/7/365. Then one evening, it dawned on me, I have the USB Tester why not use that? Doh! One thing lead to another and I realized why not log the serial output to the Pi itself.

Using my existing Python code for logging motion to Cosm\Xiviely, in one night, I could easily set it up to log the RPi power usage to the cloud. Pretty freaking sweet, right!? (My wife popped into our home office to check if I was okay as I was using a lot of !!!.)

Below you'll see the embedded live graphs of the RPi running. Currently it is updated every 20 secs but this image is rendered only on page load.

Here is the link to the live data on xiviely


Just remember to enter your API and Feed ID. Also chmod +x Makes it easier to run.

Not sure why I didn't think of this sooner!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bay Area Maker Faire 2014

Join us at this year's Bay Area Maker Faire! This year, we have the opportunity to demo some of our products at the official Tindie booth! Look for us in the Maker Pro tent, one of the new outdoor tents. We will be giving away discount coupons!
We hope to see many of you there!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Adventure in Bitcoin: GridSeeds

Part  1

Potato chips. You can't just eat one, am I right? That's how mining has become for me. It's always just a little more mining power. Like reaching in and grabbing a couple of extra chips and before you know it, the entire bag is empty. But in the case of mining, there will always be something left in the bag. You can trade various coins, set up more rigs or upgrade your current hardware.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Adventures in Bitcoin

Part 2
Over the last few months, I decided to try my hand at mining Bitcoins\Cryptocurrency. Recently, I found the best way to get started is to mine what are called Altcoins. Bitcoins and a few others are based on SHA256 hashes which are easier to verify transactions and therefore there are ASIC or Application Specific Integrated Circuits that can mine very fast. Because of this, the network difficulty becomes very high and therefore takes more power for the same reward. Basically you get a reward for mining which is providing processing power to verify transactions. Once the network agrees that a transaction is valid, it then confirms the transaction. Altcoins are based on Scrypt mining which is more memory intensive, so using your GPU to mine is still profitable. Profitability meaning you receive enough to cover your cost of hardware, power usage and a little extra for the wallet. Covering your cost of hardware can take a few weeks to a few months depending on how much you invest and your hash rate. One thing to keep in mind is even if you are not receiving very much, you are also mining for future profits. The idea being that the few Bitcoins/Altcoins you acquire now, will be worth much more in the future. (Some people have become wealthy due to mining Bitcoins a year ago.)  In most cases I wouldn't have any expectations of getting rich or anything but it is a fun learning experience.