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Author Topic: USB ASIC Miner Controller? For Antminer U1/U2?  (Read 723 times)
NoahWL1
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June 01, 2015, 08:52:36 PM
 #1

Hi!  I'm working on setting up a cheap little project that involves powering my three dust-collecting Antminer U2s with solar panels for clean and free energy.  Of course, I will never make the money back, but I love the idea of getting Bitcoins without having to worry about paying for power.  So, I'm planning to purchase one of those 2400mAh phone charger solar panel fold-up things on eBay and couple that with my solar powered battery bank to power the Antminer U2.  The problem is, I need a controller for it!  Obviously a laptop is going to use a ton of power, so that isn't going to be possible to power with 2400mAh.  I was thinking of a Raspberry Pi B or B+ since they don't use a lot of power, but they're kind of expensive once I add in the price of the solar panels.  What I need is a controller for the Antminer U2s that's cheap, power efficient, and reliable.  If a WiFi chip can be added onto it, that would make it even better.  Does anyone know of something like this?  Thanks!
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alh
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June 01, 2015, 09:23:36 PM
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You might be able to re-purpose a low-end TPLink router for this, but I don't know that it will really be any lower power than a Raspberry Pi Model B (or B+). There a few other single board Linux machines (e.g. Beagle Bone, Banana Pi, etc), , but they usually cost even more than a Pi and/or draw more power.

Try using Google for "TP Link router Bitcoin miner" and then look at some of the results. I have had good success with a Raspberry PI, but I never tried to do it with solar power. I kept it supplied with continuous power and it literally ran for months. If your solar setup will power down at night, you may not want a Pi, since I think the biggest risk to the SD card is abrupt/frequent shutdown.
NoahWL1
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June 01, 2015, 09:38:23 PM
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You might be able to re-purpose a low-end TPLink router for this, but I don't know that it will really be any lower power than a Raspberry Pi Model B (or B+). There a few other single board Linux machines (e.g. Beagle Bone, Banana Pi, etc), , but they usually cost even more than a Pi and/or draw more power.

Try using Google for "TP Link router Bitcoin miner" and then look at some of the results. I have had good success with a Raspberry PI, but I never tried to do it with solar power. I kept it supplied with continuous power and it literally ran for months. If your solar setup will power down at night, you may not want a Pi, since I think the biggest risk to the SD card is abrupt/frequent shutdown.
Hmmm... Well a corrupted SD card wouldn't be a big problem since I won't be storing any important data on it, but it would definitely be a problem and nevertheless a pain.  Either way, I was planning to use a 4000mAh battery pack I have (which also charges through solar) to keep the Pi running at night or when there is no solar, so hopefully that won't be a problem.  I will definitely have to look into the TP Link router solution.  From what I can tell, the power draw is much less and so is the price.  Thank you for the suggestion and information!  I'll just have to look more into the setup side of it and see if it can run a U2.
NoahWL1
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June 01, 2015, 09:59:39 PM
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You might be able to re-purpose a low-end TPLink router for this, but I don't know that it will really be any lower power than a Raspberry Pi Model B (or B+). There a few other single board Linux machines (e.g. Beagle Bone, Banana Pi, etc), , but they usually cost even more than a Pi and/or draw more power.

Try using Google for "TP Link router Bitcoin miner" and then look at some of the results. I have had good success with a Raspberry PI, but I never tried to do it with solar power. I kept it supplied with continuous power and it literally ran for months. If your solar setup will power down at night, you may not want a Pi, since I think the biggest risk to the SD card is abrupt/frequent shutdown.
Hmmm... Well a corrupted SD card wouldn't be a big problem since I won't be storing any important data on it, but it would definitely be a problem and nevertheless a pain.  Either way, I was planning to use a 4000mAh battery pack I have (which also charges through solar) to keep the Pi running at night or when there is no solar, so hopefully that won't be a problem.  I will definitely have to look into the TP Link router solution.  From what I can tell, the power draw is much less and so is the price.  Thank you for the suggestion and information!  I'll just have to look more into the setup side of it and see if it can run a U2.
I can't find anything saying that the TL-MR3020 (model that seems to work with Bitcoin mining, unless I'm wrong) can work with the Antminer U1 or U2.  Do you know if this is possible, or could you direct me towards an article with more information on this?  Thanks!
alh
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June 02, 2015, 04:45:31 AM
 #5

The reason I mention the SD card corruption is that if it's corrupted, then it likely won't restart correctly when you get the power back. You'll want a good backup in case it does get corrupted. I was looking for "hands off" operation, and while I wasn't concerned about the information on the SD card per se, I didn't want to have to fiddle with it because of SD card corruption.

At what voltage is this battery pack of 4Ah (i.e. 4000 mAh)? I think you can expect the Pi + a hub + a single U2, to draw at least of 2-3A at 5 volts. My recollection might be wrong, but you'll want to check the actual draw to see how big you need to make the battery pack to "last all night".

Best of luck.
notlist3d
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June 02, 2015, 07:03:25 AM
 #6

You might be able to re-purpose a low-end TPLink router for this, but I don't know that it will really be any lower power than a Raspberry Pi Model B (or B+). There a few other single board Linux machines (e.g. Beagle Bone, Banana Pi, etc), , but they usually cost even more than a Pi and/or draw more power.

Try using Google for "TP Link router Bitcoin miner" and then look at some of the results. I have had good success with a Raspberry PI, but I never tried to do it with solar power. I kept it supplied with continuous power and it literally ran for months. If your solar setup will power down at night, you may not want a Pi, since I think the biggest risk to the SD card is abrupt/frequent shutdown.
Hmmm... Well a corrupted SD card wouldn't be a big problem since I won't be storing any important data on it, but it would definitely be a problem and nevertheless a pain.  Either way, I was planning to use a 4000mAh battery pack I have (which also charges through solar) to keep the Pi running at night or when there is no solar, so hopefully that won't be a problem.  I will definitely have to look into the TP Link router solution.  From what I can tell, the power draw is much less and so is the price.  Thank you for the suggestion and information!  I'll just have to look more into the setup side of it and see if it can run a U2.
I can't find anything saying that the TL-MR3020 (model that seems to work with Bitcoin mining, unless I'm wrong) can work with the Antminer U1 or U2.  Do you know if this is possible, or could you direct me towards an article with more information on this?  Thanks!

If you go TPLINK route make sure to double check it's the one with usb ports. There are two very close models one has usb other does not.   I got the one without.  The ones with are a little harder to find or at least were they might have changed models to it since I got mine. 

Also there is also raspberry pi's.  They can run a machine on pretty small power as well and depending on model bring a lot to the table.
NoahWL1
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June 02, 2015, 12:39:41 PM
 #7

I've decided to go with the Raspberry Pi 1 B+ since it has a low power consumption, good price, and can be used got future projects.  Thanks for all your help guys!
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