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Author Topic: [BitCentury] Metabank 120Gh 65nm Pre-Order Proxy [CLOSED]  (Read 78718 times)
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trinsic
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September 15, 2013, 01:58:27 AM
 #201

Thanks for the pictures Luis!

May I ask what the PCBs are powered by? Looks like Type A motherboard by the ATX and P4 4-pin and Type B by a 6-pin PCI-e? What about the Pi?

Also do you an an idea on the packaging yet? To protect the motherboards and modules you should probably put each into anti-static bags and carefully bubble wrapped possibly spaced with airbags or more bubble wrap and all fit into the case. Any remaining space in the case filled with more bubble wrap to prevent anything moving about.
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digitalmagus
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September 15, 2013, 03:21:19 AM
 #202

Thanks for the pictures Luis!

May I ask what the PCBs are powered by? Looks like Type A motherboard by the ATX and P4 4-pin and Type B by a 6-pin PCI-e? What about the Pi?

Good questions. Like I said, we only got a couple of quick minutes to look at the box, so after Monday/early Tuesday, once we have one in hand, I can confirm these and other details.

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Also do you an an idea on the packaging yet? To protect the motherboards and modules you should probably put each into anti-static bags and carefully bubble wrapped possibly spaced with airbags or more bubble wrap and all fit into the case. Any remaining space in the case filled with more bubble wrap to prevent anything moving about.

We have sourced some types of packing material such as bubble wrap, certain sizes of boxes and we are going to confirm on airbags as soon as possible. Nearly all the packing companies are closed on weekends. We still have some details to finalize which are specific to the size of the various components we are packing. Thus we can only provide more information late next week after we get the sample box in hand and can take precise measurements and then confirm packing material with packing companies. I will provide details and pictures as soon as I am able.

Cheers.
Luis
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September 17, 2013, 07:39:20 AM
 #203

Hi guys,

Here's the latest update:

- We went to Metabank late yesterday evening to pick up our sample unit (a single).
- After 1 hour wait in the reception, legkodymov came down with our unit.
- We opened it up, 1 motherboard type A , 5 hashing cards, 1 raspberry pi, 1 power cable, and (first) surprise... a 230V-only power supply (no 110V/120V switch on it).
- Over the course of an hour we waited there, another 7 or 8 people showed up, and we saw at least 4 or 5 other units go out the door. So they are definitely starting to ship.
- I asked legkodymov how many units worth of components I could pick up tomorrow (Tuesday) and he said, we can't pick anything up until the 20th (surprise #2) and they can only ship triple units to us (surprise#3), and that any spare parts would only be available after the next weekend or probably october (surprise#4) - some of these are obviously a deal breakers.
- Obviously this is not what we had agreed to on Friday, and so I immediately asked to speak to Timur. He wandered off, and never came back.
- After waiting a long while, we tried to call Timur directly (we have his cell), and nothing, no response.
- Another Metabank employee was also there helping to deliver units and get signatures of confirmation from customers that they received units. When I asked him where was Timur, he said he did not come in today and that at this hour (around 9Pm or so) he is sleeping as he was supposedly programming all day and working long hours. I also learned that he only comes into the office maybe twice a week, which they neglected to tell us before, but that he expected him to be at the office tomorrow (Tues).
- Once we got to our place, I immediately tried to power up the box and (surprise #5), the box was DOA. The power supply would not even power on.
- Thinking it was a short with one of the cards, I disconnected one at a time from the motherboard, then after that still didnt work, the fans, then tried different wall outlets, power cables etc. Needless to say after 1 hour of troubleshooting, I gave up and called Metabank.
- Surprisingly, I got a call back from legkodymov. I asked him why he wandered off and didn't tell me TImur was not even in the office that day, he appologised and that he misunderstood what I had said. In regards to the DOA unit, he was surprised it didn't work as he explained they had just finished testing it. He requested I take a picture of the unit, which I've done, and am now waiting for his reply (after 11AM Moscow time).
- We have also in the mean time found a store with anti-static bags, and are going to buy a few this morning to confirm they fit properly.

All in all not a great experience (understatement), most troubling was the change of direction in what they said from Friday; however, I am going to talk to them again ASAP, specifically Timur if I can to sort this out, as obviously this is not a good situation for any of us.

Some other things we learned:
- Weight of a single unit is 4.61 Kg (without packing material).
- Width = 45cm by 44.5 cm length and 10 cm height - this is the same as was posted a couple weeks back in the PDF file provided by Metabank in this thread.
- How the raspberry Pi is powered isn't confirmed since the box was DOA, but only the IDE cable was provided, so I am assuming it is through that.
- All the hashing cards are very loose in the box, any tilting of the box and you can hear things drag around, especially the raspberry Pi.
- The hashing cards don't have to be installed in sequence. There can be gaps in between. Below in pics you can see how metabank delivered it to us. They set it up so each card was in front of a fan.
- Another miner at Metabank reception mentioned to us that the triple units come with more powerful fans. Not sure on the power supply. They said ours was 500W, which is way overkill for a single, but there was no easy way to verify this as there was no sticker indicating this. We didn't remove the power supply out to see if there were stickers on the bottom side.
- Here's 3 additional pictures we took of our DOA sample box:

1. Top View: http://i.imgur.com/7tJTo6J.jpg

2. Raspberry Pi & power view: http://i.imgur.com/AXuyuBF.jpg
- Note the carrugated cardboard under the motherboard. The motherboard is not screwed down either, but doesn't move too much due to the weight of the hashing cards unless you tilt the box.
-  Legkodymov at one point explained that if anyone unplugs the raspberry Pi IDE cable and puts it back backwards (observe the red line on one side of the cable), it *will* kill the Raspberry Pi and possibly kill the motherboard. So users beware!

3. Top view of hash cards: http://i.imgur.com/GLCfWr1.jpg
- Note that on the flip side of the PCB, just under each capacitor, the heat sink for that card has been drilled or sanded down forming 3 concave grooves. In this picture it is very evident on the left most card, but this has been done to every heat sink on each card. I imagine this has been manually done to prevent some kind of a short with a connector on the PCB. Stuff like (drilling/sanding holes, not to mention cutting out pieces of cardboard to put under the motherboard) is probably adding to the labour required to prepare each unit. Also note that the cards sitting right beside each other have the heat sinks touch the capacitors. This happens at the top (seen in the picture), but also to the capacitors below the heatsink (not visible in picture). I dont imagine this is a problem unless the heatsink gets excessively hot.

Overall, this definitely looks like something that came out of a workshop, rather than any kind of professional fabrication.

Regards,
Luis
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September 17, 2013, 09:26:19 AM
 #204

Have I mentioned that these frequent updates are great?

By the way, have you seen http://bitfury.metabank.ru/?p=37?  Shows a couple of points to check for shorts, assuming you have a multimeter handy.

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Overall, this definitely looks like something that came out of a workshop, rather than any kind of professional fabrication.
I don't care if it looks like a purple dinosaur, as long as it hashes when it gets here Tongue

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September 17, 2013, 09:43:58 AM
 #205

Have I mentioned that these frequent updates are great?

By the way, have you seen http://bitfury.metabank.ru/?p=37?  Shows a couple of points to check for shorts, assuming you have a multimeter handy.

Quote
Overall, this definitely looks like something that came out of a workshop, rather than any kind of professional fabrication.
I don't care if it looks like a purple dinosaur, as long as it hashes when it gets here Tongue

Units will have to be disassembled before shipping or we risk getting them destroyed and in small pieces Sad

spiccioli

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September 17, 2013, 10:50:53 AM
 #206

So yeah the Pi is powered by the IDE cable and as you pointed out plugging that IDE cable in incorrectly will kill the Pi. The Pi is powered by 5v and GRND wires on the IDE cable.

Bad news all around really isn't it Lips sealed Some of us wont have problems with the PSU but others may have to buy a PSU if you're sending to anyone in the US or other 120v countries. Delays on triple units and more delays for double and single units.

Hopefully there is some good news from Timur. Sounds like they're extremely busy.
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September 17, 2013, 12:14:01 PM
 #207

Ok, I just called Timur to see if he was in the office. He is out in meetings with his suppliers, but he has acknowledged the unit that is not working and requested I bring it in. Very likely it is a short somewhere. More importantly, he stated that he is able to get enough single units for us from his supplier(s) and will try to deliver as many as possible tomorrow and Thursday.

Given this is a complete 180 from what I got from their lead engineer just a few hours ago, at this point I'll believe them when I see them delivering all the units. Until then, just need to stay on top of the situation. Hopefully, I will manage to see Timur later tonight and confirm things when I drop off the unit that is not working. We now have several of their cell phones and they haven't ignored calls, so that's something.

Thanks everyone for your patience and sorry for the ongoing drama.
Luis

@fpgaminer, I don't have a multimeter with me unfortunately. What I did learn from the lead engineer is that one of the things that causes the power supply not to start is if there is no hashing unit seated in the very first slot - that is the slot closest to the power supply on Motherboard Type A. If this happens, you have to wait at least 15 minutes or so for the power supply to clear the short (excuse the non-technical terms), and then try again with a card seated in the first slot. I've tried this and just heard a little "poof" sound from the power supply, whereas before just turning it on and off with different slot configurations didn't make any sound, but having said that I haven't been able to replicate the "poof" either. LOL@Purple dinasaur. The case actually looks nice from a distance.

@trinsic - You are correct, units shipped to North America would require a power supply swap out for 120V; however, please don't rush to buy one just yet, I will try to remember to double check this detail, that it is indeed only 230V power supply, with metabank tonight. I can confirm that I don't see any voltage button switch on the power supply and it only says 230V on a sticker, so it is highly likely it does not support 120V. I'm hesitant to remove the power supply and look under it or even inside. The entire system appears quite finiky (sp?) so I'd rather not touch it too much. And yes, we will definitely be individually wrapping each card, likely with bubble wrap after they are inside anti-static bags.
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September 17, 2013, 09:17:23 PM
 #208

Good news folks,

I met with Timur and Legkodymov face to face today at Metabank. Long story short, Metabank will start delivering large portions of our batches starting late tomorrow, and hopefully by Saturday or Sunday we will have received all units. This also means that shipping is likely to start by Friday at the latest. The first few units will take a lot more time, until we get the packing process assembly line well established.  I will be sure to provide updates on which order #'s have shipped, and will be emailing tracking numbers etc. The other good news is that Timur confirmed that they will provide sufficient single units to cover all individuals that ordered only 1 unit, as well as 1 or 2 individuals that did group buys through us that also required some single units. For others, we will be shipping double or triple units depending on how many were ordered.  Timur said he would be there tomorrow for the start of the deliveries, but also I made sure that we were all on the same page as far as what would be delivered to us tomorrow so that no more flip/flops (pardon the FPGA pun) of information occurred.

Further to this Legkodymov  also started talking about that they are working on a way to do away with the motherboards and just interconnect the hashing units with IDE-like cables via various board pin-outs, and that a design should eventually be published. The goal of this is to increase the physical space between hashing cards such that double fans can be mounted on every heat sink to better cool the chips and overclock them closer to 3GH/s. Your units won't ship like this, this is just a work in progress that you may choose to implement yourself down the road once the design is published, so keep an eye out for that.

As to failure rates of equipment. The explained that they test all gear for a few hours before handing it over to their customers such as ourselves. In their experience they have aprox a 10% failure rate which we, the customers, should never see.  From all the units they have shipped out so far (not sure the number, but easily several dozen by now), only 3 hardware problems have occurred (including mine, which perhaps I triggered myself). I asked what most of the 10% of the failure rates were, and they said it was PCBs or something gone wrong in the assembly process. The bitfury ASICs themselves appear to be quite reliable, and no problems with power supplies, fans or raspberry pi's (which BTW have a 4GB SD card). If we do encounter any faulty parts during our testing process, Timur has confirmed that we will be given priority to have hardware either fixed or swapped out such that everything is dealt with before I have to leave Moscow.

In regards to the power supply voltage, even they weren't 100% sure if they were dual voltage or not as nearly all their customers are from Russia and they have no need for 110V, but they believe highly likely they are not dual voltage and only 230V. So customers in the USA, unless you have specifically modified your power panels to support 230V outlets (not something that is ever done by default), do NOT plug in and use the shipped power supplies as it may cause major problems or even be dangerous, you will have to source your own 110V power supplies that should be readily available at most computer retail or online stores. Estimated power wattage use at the current un-overclocked chips for a single unit is believed to be around 130 Watts, with spikes up to 165W. This is second hand information, and unfortunately I don't have my KillaWatt here to inform you ahead of time, but I hope as a community we can share some info with each other.

The sample box will be swapped out tomorrow, I decided not to bring it in today for a few reasons.

That's it for now folks, look for another update after we collect a bunch of units less than 24 hours from this post.

Cheers Smiley
Luis

Oh and PS., we also did a stop over at DHL to confirm a few details, and guess what... "In Soviet Russia..."  - http://tinyurl.com/insovietrussiahaha - ... The customs people work for DHL ;-)  No conflict of interest there huh?! But hey, this should really work to our advantage and hopeful minimize any outbound issues. We actually showed the DHL lady the box and the insides, and she said "hand made computers" should be no problem to ship.
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September 17, 2013, 10:30:56 PM
 #209

Great work, Luis.

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September 17, 2013, 10:41:35 PM
 #210

That is correct Luis. Customs has an office within DHL offices too here in my country (EU) and each clearance agent from DHL has his own customs official were they work very close.
Sorry to intrude, I do not belong in this GB but you are doing excellant job, awesome!
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September 18, 2013, 07:53:41 AM
 #211

I like this Timur guy.  Give him a high five for me!

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So customers in the USA, unless you have specifically modified your power panels to support 230V outlets (not something that is ever done by default), do NOT plug in and use the shipped power supplies as it may cause major problems or even be dangerous, you will have to source your own 110V power supplies that should be readily available at most computer retail or online stores.
Feel free to leave the PSU out of my order, to save on shipping and customs issues.

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but I hope as a community we can share some info with each other.
Heck, I'll record a short documentary.  Some nice footage of the miner in its natural habitat, hunting wild Bitcoins amongst the trees.

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September 18, 2013, 08:08:37 AM
 #212

Thanks fpgaminer,
Yes, the shipping costs are like 30% more than we anticipated. Moscow ain't cheap. If anybody else doesn't need the power supplies, we'd really appreciate it if you could let us know that you don't need them, as they are at least 1/4th to 1/3rd the weight of each box and significantly impact our cost.

Speaking of power supplies, here's some pics from the sample box we got that may help people make decisions. Keep in mind this is for the single (120GH potential) box. Again, I'm told power usage peaks at 165W (probably during power on), so 500W power supply seems like overkill to me. I will try to ask metabank tonight why they are shipping with 500W.  Note that if you intend on overclocking the hashboards eventually, then 500W may not in fact be overkill, as power draw goes up substantially with even minor GH/s gains.

Note the "230V only" to the left of "Attention" section.




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September 18, 2013, 11:46:35 PM
 #213

Hi guys,
Awesome news! We picked up ALL units late this evening, or should I say morning. It's 3:30 AM Thu Moscow time,

Tomorrow we expect delivery of all our packing gear by mid afternoon. So after that we can start packing the first few units and start testing the next set. If all goes according to plan we might be able to ship the first units Friday morning Moscow time. If not, then Saturday morning. So the last piece of the puzzle for us to start shipping is all the packing gear. We've ordered cardboard boxes, anti-static bags, foam support bags for the corner of the units and massive rolls of bubble wrap.

More details to come as I have time, but the priority right now is acquiring that packing material.

Also, I've gotten emails and PM's from various customers which I'm sorry I havent been able to reply to yet, but will do so very soon. Thank you to all who email/pm'ed about the power supplies.

That's it for now, I need to get some sleep.

Luis
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September 19, 2013, 12:36:48 AM
 #214

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Awesome news! We picked up ALL units late this evening, or should I say morning. It's 3:30 AM Thu Moscow time,
Woohoo!

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September 19, 2013, 01:30:42 AM
 #215

You got all 57?? Did you updated the list?

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0AmyZBD2EHCEEdG9SdENBV0l4YnNuNklrdDItMTJwdlE
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September 19, 2013, 04:11:01 AM
 #216

No we did not update the list, that is somebody else's list and it's not 57 physical units due to a few doubles and twice as many triples. But logically, yes, 57.

We are starting to setup some units for testing. The first 4 units are now testing for the first 3 orders. They are each mining on Eligius pointing to the customer's respective bitcoin address. If you are in the first 3 orders, this is how you'd check your shares, hash speed etc.

http://eligius.st/~wizkid057/newstats/userstats.php/1PCP6C9KuGgHzT9tF1UXYgHXXAmzFxkimA <--- put in YOUR wallet address from the contract you signed.

I think we will test each unit a minimum of 2 hours, but the total time for each unit after that will be pretty random. It will depend on how fast we work after we get packing gear, when we go to sleep, get breaks, etc. In some cases they will test for many hours overnight.

Our goal is to get through all units tested as fast as possible, because if anything is obviously wrong, we need to deal with it ASAP. We already found one unit that is 50/50 about powering on, so we are not shipping that single unit.

Luis
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September 19, 2013, 08:28:55 AM
 #217

Man this is moving fast!  Great work, BitCentury!

Any estimates on when units will start shipping out?

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September 19, 2013, 09:34:47 AM
 #218

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There you go:
Oh, thank you.  Guess I got too excited and didn't read the whole thing.   Tongue

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September 19, 2013, 11:14:48 AM
 #219

Great news for all, cool to see Timur pull through and to get all the ordered units at once!

I'm batch 3 so I'm probably a few days away from seeing any testing. Won't stop me from checking at every available wifi hotspot through Japan Cheesy
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September 19, 2013, 02:24:42 PM
 #220

I have a Bitcentury order (Batch 1 order 6) can you give any info on when it will ship? Will you email out tracking nr? (US shipping. Need NO power supply)
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