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As the total hashrate of the Bitcoin network continues to rise mining for Bitcoins using GPUs is quickly becoming obsolete. BTC Guild recently started reselling the Block Erupters as individual units eliminating the need to participate in a larger group buy which has made it much easier to purchase these tiny ASICS. You can also purchase them directly on Amazon , or you can buy some Bitcoins and buy them directly from BTC Guild , or on the Bitcoin auction site Bitmet as well.
This seemed like a cool use for the Pi and reason to get the soldering iron out so I decided to order the parts and put it together. Below is a list of all of the parts I used for this project. With a power requirement of only 2. I ordered these from BTC Guild and received them in about a week. The Block Erupters use a passive heatsink for cooling. After running for a few minutes the heatsink gets extremely hot, you can easily burn your hand on them if you are not careful.
The Arctic Breeze fan works good for this project since it has an adjustable gooseneck that allows it to be pointed where it is needed.
This fan is almost completely silent too, I can barely even notice it when is running. As I started researching this hub I found that many users reported issues with using the Raspberry Pi with the Anker hub. More specifically it seems that the Pi has issues enumerating USB 1. I decided to purchase this hub to avoid any potential compatibility issues and I can confirm that it does work well with the Pi. There are quite a few different enclosure available for the Pi but the Adafruit Pi Box is a good fit for this project since the top portion of the case can be removed providing easy access to the GPIO pins on the Pi.
Adding the LCD to this project is optional but besides being very cool it gives you an easy way to check on the status of the ASIC miners. Adafruit provides some python code that displays several screens of information on the LCD such as hash rate, errors, current Bitcoin prices, and network difficulty. So if you plan to run these miners without a monitor connected to the Pi then the LCD makes perfect sense. I also enjoy soldering electronics so the fact that the LCD comes as a kit adds to the general fun level of the project for me.
I ordered the RGP Positive kit which has a muli-colored backlight 7 different colors. The picture below shows what the entire board looks like after assembly.
The soldering difficulty level was pretty easy, the entire board took less than 30 minutes to build. Listing the number of devices and the hardware error rate. The cgminer monitoring script seems to occasionally crash which results in the LCD locking up.
The monitoring script runs as a separate process so it does not stop cgminer from running when it dies. Aside from debugging the python script a simple solution would be to setup a cron job to periodically restart the script.
Are you using the Pi to control your Bitcoin mining system? If so do you have any tips to share? Leave a comment below to assist other miners. So Far my rig has been working well, no issues to report yet. I have a question: You mention a maximum of 48 ASICs. I seem to be able to run a maximum of 18 ASICs using three hubs. I should also mention that the hubs are not daisy chained although I have tried that — they are plugged into separate ports on a 7 port Manhattan USB 2. I would be interested in your thoughts, if you have any on the subject.
Thank you for your time and keep up the good work. The difficulty has been rapidly increasing over the last several months http: Overall this rig has been very stable and is still generating some small ammounts of BTC. Luckily I was able to get some of these USB Block Erupters early enough to earn some return before the difficulty rose too high. As it stands today I would not recommend buying these Block Erupters since you will not be able to recover your investment. In fact they are being discontinued in anticipation of a newer model being released.
This Raspberry Pi setup will work with any USB miner supported by cgminer so if a newer model comes out that looks profitable you can still apply the same concept. I recommend running the numbers through the Gensis Block Mining calculator http: I love your design and i plan to try it out for my self. But i was wondering, is the lcd display and the extra components needed? The LCD display is completely optional, you can still do everything with out it.
You can monitor the miner using a connected monitor, or run it headless once you have everything configured. This stuff is really interesting, but most miners wont disclose whether or not their rig is profitable, how much does this rig make or lose?
My wireless network has a password, how can I make the Edimax Nano Wireless Adapter can access the network with the same password? Adafruit has a pretty good tutorial on the Raspbian wifi setup with some screenshots.
I have just ordered some more Erupters. Also what if i am not using a BTC pool , then should i be using their mining devices. I would just like to know is this all hooked up to a computer if so dose the computer have to be a powerful computer or could it just be a basic Mac mini. Now are you able to use this setup for other e-currency like Dogecoins or anything? Or is it strictly Bitcoin? Unfortunately it will not work for Litecoins since they use a different algorithm scrypt.
How do you get data from the miner client to display it on the LCD? Could you please post the script? Hello, can I mine btc now with this setup in And how much you make per day with this setup?? These have been retired since they would only earn micro pennies in todays extremely competitive mining environment.
Bitmain makes some interesting hardware for those looking to mine with modern hardware www. Run the numbers through some of the online mining profitability calculators before making any decisions. Cool setup though I have a question. Now bitcoin core is around Gb how did you over come that space issue? When mining via a Pool you do not need to download a local copy of the blockchain, simply point your miner at the pool and start mining.
Thank you, I figured that out after I posted my question. Very cool setup for learning the process for beginners. Raspberry Pi Model B. Edimax Nano Wireless Adapter.