Want to get started mining defcoin with an ASIC and a Raspberry Pi? Does 360 KH/s of mining power sound appealing? Here’s how to do it. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Blpj8IvCcAEIStY.jpg
1) Hardware List
-Raspberry Pi Model B
--Micro USB power supply
--12V power supply (5.5mm/2.5mm barrel connector)
--USB to Mini USB data cable
The main component is the Gridseed ASIC, which will be doing the Scrypt calculations. The Raspberry Pi will be used as the controller for the ASIC, and will be doing the communication with the mining pool. If you’re not familiar with the term, an ASIC
is an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit - basically a chip with a single purpose, like mining crypto currency. Using an ASIC will allow us to mine more efficiently than we would be able to with general purpose hardware.
The ASIC that I’m using is a “300+ KH/s Single Gridseed ASIC Miner”. It looks like a CPU heatsink with a fan attached. There is actually a circuit board with 5 ASIC chips sandwiched between two halves of this heatsink, and has a mini USB connector and a power connector sticking out the side. There are a few places where you can buy these. I bought mine at GAWMiners.com
for $130. That was the lowest price that I could find, and I had a good experience buying from them. Use this link, and you can get $20 off of a $200 order (and give me some referral points :-)) GAWMiners
. You can also find other vendors by searching for “Gridseed ASIC”. You’ll need a 12V power supply to power the ASIC, and a USB A to USB Mini B cable to connect the ASIC to the Raspberry Pi. I’m using a 60W power supply, which seems to be working fine for defcoin (Scrypt) mining. These ASICs can also mine Bitcoin at the same time, but you may need a beefier power supply if you want to do that.
The Raspberry Pi can be purchased at any number of places- Amazon, SparkFun, AdaFruit, etc. I’m using the Model B because I had one already, and also because it has a built in ethernet port that will make connecting to the internet easy. Make sure to get an SD Card and a micro USB power adapter to get the Pi up and running too.
If you haven’t already, download the defcoin wallet from defcoin.org
. If you want to do pooled mining, create an account for one of the defcoin pools, such as redbaron.us
or whichever other pool you want to mine. Once you’ve created a pool account, make sure to create a worker too (for MPOS pools, that will be under My Account > My Workers). The password for your worker does not have to be the same as the password for your pool account (and it probably shouldn’t be).
Next, download the latest Raspbian image from raspberrypi.org/downloads/
and install the image to your SD card. Instructions for installing the image can be found here
. If you are using the dd method on a Mac, make sure to use /dev/rdiskX instead of /dev/diskX - both will work, but rdiskX is much faster. Once you have the image installed, put the SD card in the Raspberry Pi, connect the Pi to your network, and connect the Pi to your micro USB power adapter to power it on. Next, SSH in to your Raspberry Pi with the default username and password pi/raspberry. I use nMap to find the IP address that has been assigned to my Pi. You can also use an HDMI display and a USB keyboard to log in instead of using SSH. After logging in for the first time, run through the wizard that comes up to configure your Raspberry Pi. The defaults are fine for most things, just make sure that you don’t skip the step to expand the filesystem to use the rest of your SD card. If you don’t expand the filesystem, there won’t be enough space for other software.
Once you have Raspbian installed, and have gotten through all of the first login setup stuff (which will likely end with a reboot), log back in to the Raspberry Pi with the pi user. From the command line, run sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
There are some stability issues with USB communication between the Raspberry Pi and the Gridseed ASIC. Enabling SLUB debugging seems to resolve this
, at least well enough to prevent the Raspberry Pi from freezing every so often. Open the /boot/cmdline.txt file, and add the following text to the end of the line. Don’t add a new line, just add this to the end. You can use vi, nano, or whatever your favorite text editor is to do this.
Reboot the Raspberry Pi once you’ve added that flag to your /boot/cmdline.txt file.
sudo shutdown -r now
Log back in with the pi user once the Raspberry Pi is finished rebooting.
The mining software that we’re going to use is a customized version of cgminer that has support for the Gridseed GC3355 chips that are used in our ASIC. There are a number of different mining programs out there, this is just what has been working the best for me so far. First, install git and dependencies needed to compile cgminer.
sudo apt-get install git build-essential libtool libcurl4-openssl-dev libncurses5-dev libudev-dev autoconf automake
Next, clone the git repository for cgminer-gc3355
git clone https://github.com/dtbartle/cgminer-gc3355.git
Next, we’ll build cgminer.
cd cgminer-gc3355 autoreconf -i ./configure --enable-scrypt --enable-gridseed make
Once the make command finishes, we’re ready to run the mining software. You can also run make install if you want to install the software, but running it out of the build directory works just fine. Plug in the power supply for your ASIC, and connect the ASIC to it. Connect the USB cable to the ASIC and to your Raspberry Pi. Run the mining software by running the following command. The -o option specifies your pool URL, the -u option specifies your username and the workername that you set up for the pool, and the -p option is the password for your worker. There are a couple of options available that are specific to the gridseed ASICs, and those will be placed after --gridseed-options. The freq=850 option sets the clock frequency of the ASIC to 850 MHz. There are other clock options available, but 850 seems to be working best for me. I was getting hardware errors at 900, and a lower average hash rate. I am getting about 360 KH/s with the clock frequency set to 850.
sudo ./cgminer -o stratum+tcp://www.redbaron.us:3333 -u Username.Workername -p yourworkerpassword --gridseed-options freq=850
This command needs to be run with sudo in order to access the USB hardware. You can also create another user specifically for mining, or grant the pi user the appropriate permissions if you don’t want to run cgminer as root. When you run this command, you should see output from cgminer showing that it is communicating with the mining pool, and something showing your hash rate. If you’ve gotten this far, and you’re seeing output from cgminer showing a hash rate, congratulations, you’re mining defcoins with your ASIC! There are just a couple more steps to do if you want to let your Raspberry Pi and ASIC continue mining without needing you to be logged in.
To keep cgminer running after I log out, I am using nohup. You could also use screen instead of nohup. Create a script (startMiner.sh) by running the following commands.
echo “nohup /home/pi/cgminer-gc3355/cgminer --real-quiet -o stratum+tcp://www.redbaron.us:3333 -u Username.Workername -p yourworkerpassword --gridseed-options freq=850 &” > /home/pi/startMiner.sh chmod a+x /home/pi/startMiner.sh
If you run this command with sudo startMiner.sh, cgminer will run in the background, and will continue running after you log out. If you want to have this run when your Raspberry Pi boots, modify your /etc/rc.local script so that it executes this startMiner.sh script. Your /etc/rc.local file will end up looking like this:
# Print the IP address _IP=$(hostname -I) || true if [ "$_IP" ]; then printf "My IP address is %s\n" "$_IP" fi /home/pi/startMiner.sh exit 0
That’s it! You should now have a Raspberry Pi controlling a defcoin mining ASIC, that starts mining as soon as it boots up. For more reading, check out some of the links below. Gridseed GC3355 5 Chip Setup writeup on bitcointalk cgminer-gc3355 Crypto Mining Blog GAWMiners raspberrypi.org
There are also some pre-built images for using a Raspberry Pi as an ASIC mining controller. I haven’t tried any of these myself, but they could be worth checking out. Raspberry Pi Controller Images with Gridseed ASIC Support
I've noticed with BitCoin mining there is a lot of assumptions on background knowledge. The user needs to understand the bitcoin hardware and ecosystem, setup with a pool, in some cases there are software assumptions (understanding Linux, installing dependencies for miners, etc.). I happen to have the background and enjoy all of these pieces but some people may want a gentler introduction. submitted by
My current thought is a plug and play bitcoin miner. It would be some preconfigured machine that is guaranteed to have some non-trivial hashrate at date of purchase that the user can plug in and type "run" and be mining. It would also include plenty of instructions and how tos for the user to dive deeper and configure to their hearts content. For an illustrative example, image a raspberry pi running a butterfly labs ASIC miner preconfigured with an on device wallet, preconfigured mining pool, and a wizard or directions to walk them through changing necessary passwords.
With all of that said: is there anyone out there who would want such a product?
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