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When you mine cryptocoins, SHA-256 or Scrypt, you might use a miningpool. Most of the miners choose to join one the large miningpools. Nothing wrong with that but one the essential things of cryptomining is that it is decentralized. When everybody joins just the large pools, 2 or 3 organisations/pools have some sort of monopoly or you can see it as a single point of failure. When a large pool is offline it has great impact on the network. Most large pools have fees from 1%, 2% to 5%. Of course the need to pay for servers and stuff but they also want to make big bucks with their pool. I believe that is not the essence of the cryptocoin protocol. Making some (small) profit is no problem, but millions…..

So I advise miners to join a smal(ler) miningpool. I mine Litecoins (LTC) at http://www.mining-foreman.org , they also have a Feathercoin (FTC) pool. This pool needs some more miners (but not too many 🙂 ) to get the hashrate a bit higher so blocks are found a little faster than we do now. They now have a small award for block finders:  1LTC reward for the next 5 valid block finders!. So join us!

Peercoin (PPC) I mine at d7.lt

Bitcoins are mined at Eligius . Yes I know, this is a rather large miningpool but it’s owned by the maker of BFGminer. One the best (free/opensource) miningsoftware for mining crypto coins there is, so I want to support him. It’s  a 0% fee miningpool, but you can always donate what you want.

This is just how I think about miningpools, feel free to choose any pool you like. More info about miningpools you will find at several forums.

Some usefull links:

10 Hashbuster Nano in a PSU case

Another little experiment… how to fit 10 Hashbuster Nano in a ATX PSU case 🙂 Just for fun I took an old broken ATX PSU, removed the components, cut some holes in it and fitted 10 Hashbuster Nanos in the (hollow) case. Two 12x12cm Fans for cooling is psuh/pull setting. Used the powerswitch for easy on/off option. PCI-e 6-pin powerconnector. Now I have a compact 26+ GHash miner, about same speed as 1 Hashbuster Micro but in a funny case. lol.

Update 2014/01/15: Wow, the Hashbuster Nanos are not overclocked, just stock voltage but since they are build in the old PSU case and two fans (push/pull or blow/suck setup) cooling is pretty good and they hash @ 3GH/s a piece with BFGminer 3.8.0 !

Hashbuster Nano @ 3 Gh/s no overclocking

Hashbuster Nano @ 3 Gh/s no overclocking

Litecoin miningrig is running

Yes! Today in the late afternoon I received the hardware. I took a frame from an old PC-case which is perfect for the setup. Installed all parts without any problems. Then installed xubuntu 12.10, upgraded to 13.04 and installed the AMD drivers and stuff. AMD sees the R9-280X as 7900 series 🙂

First I tried to mine with cgminer 2.11, that worked but not optimal only 500KH/s. So I installed cgminer 3.7.2, that worked better. Then I tuned cgminer and my first try results are 720 to 730 kH/s for each card. Not bad I guess. It’s very late now so I go to sleep. Next week or so I will write a detailed review/how-to.

Complete system now uses ±726W. CGminer GPU setting are:
Volt: 1.200V
Engine Clock: 1050 MHz
Memory Clock: 1500 MHz
Fanspeed: 75%

Temperature of the R9-280X is around 60 degrees celcius. When I set Fanspeed to Auto and Max Temp to 76 degrees, less noise from the fans but performance drops to 640 KH/s when temperature reaches 70+ degrees. So I set fanspeed 75%, f*ck the noise!

Click here for info about the hardware I use.

Litecoin miningrig

litecoin miningrig
I decided to start mining some Litecoins (LTC). After thinking about it some months now I gathered some parts together of which I think they should suitable to mine some litecoins. I checked this page about hardware comparison for litecoin mining: https://litecoin.info/Mining_hardware_comparison and choose for the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB GDDR5 OC VAPOR-X and what the hell, bought 2 of them. Still in doubt about the OS… Linux or Windows. Windows maybe easier to set up. Linux is more stable. Maybe I try both 🙂
Here is the list of hardware I ordered today:

CPU: AMD FX-4300 Boxed
Mainboard: ASRock 970 Extreme4
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP CML8GX3M2A1600C9
GPU : 2x Sapphire R9 280X 3GB GDDR5 OC VAPOR-X

A PSU I already have: Corsair CX750M, should be enough to power 2x 250W max for the GPUs and 1x 95W (max) for the CPU. If not.. I will have to buy a more powerful PSU but we will see first how this one will perform. The CPU will be undervolted so it uses less power, CPU power is not important for Litecoin mining, the GPUs do all the work.

Each GPU will hash at ± 750 kH/s so total hashpower should be around 1500 kH/s. That’s ± 14 LTC a month with current difficulty of 3231.183.

I hope to receive the hardware just before Christmas. How I will setup this rig and what my struggles and experience will be with the litecoin rig you can read here laterrrr…

Hashbuster Micro Heatsink + Thermal Paste

Update December 11th:
Today I tried to tune the Hashbuster Micro a little more without overclocking it, just a “hardware” tweak. I put some non-conductive Thermal Paste between the heatsink and PCB.

  • Disconnect the power- and usbcable
  • Unscrew the 4 screws on each corner where the fan is attached to the pcbspacers (the fan holds the heatsink in place)
  • Simply remove the heatsink
  • Put nine dots of paste on the “golden” squares (that’s where the chips are)
  • Place back the heatsink, press it lightly and move it around/side to side a little so the paste gets spread
  • Put back the fan and tighten the 4 screws
  • There is a change that some thermal paste leaks through some very little holes in the PCB. You will see some “worms” on top of the PCB (where the components are). Clean it with a dry cloth.
  • Reconnect the power- and usbcable and start mining again

Now you should see some temperature drop. I my case temperature dropped from about 45 degrees celcius to a 30 to 33 degrees. Maybe I used a little bit too much thermal paste, I think if you half the dots you see on the photo it should be enough 🙂

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Short manual BFGminer for Hashbuster Micro

230Ghash/s 10x Hashbuster Micro

230Ghash/s 10x Hashbuster Micro

This is a short manual how to install BFGminer version 3.8.0 on Linux for the Hashbuster Micro 20+ Ghash/s (bitcoin)miner. Tested on Debian Linux 7.2

Update Dec 20: newer version of BFGminer is out: 3.8.1 . Manual is still the same but you can leave out: Now we do a little tweak to prevent reinitializing errors,….

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