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Author Topic: StickMiners - overview of low-power 'usb stick' type mining hardware  (Read 40756 times)
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TheRealSteve
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February 14, 2014, 04:27:06 AM
 #1


Last updated: October 01, 2015, 11:00:00 PM
(time of update inherently affects price conversions!)

This post is an overview of 'USB stick' type mining hardware (StickMiners).  It is intended as a living document and an alternative to broad mining hardware overviews that are incomplete and/or focused on money-making solutions.

If you're interested in rackmount solutions, desktop boxes, or mining rigs of cards - look elsewhere.
If you're interested in miners that give a positive Return-on-Investment (ROI) - probably look elsewhere.
For details about the nature of this post, look below the overview.



Manufacturer?Device?
Talk thread?
Pic?Chip?
Board?
comms[6]
Announced
Status
Mhash/s claimed?
found?
USD/Ghash
Price (/unit)?
USD (/unit)?
MHash/USD?J/Ghash?
bitshopper.deCompac
thread
Bitmain BM1384
GekkoScience Compac
2015/06/26
in development
5.59…1.94
8.13…1.81
€39.95
$44.72
178.89…514.31
122.99…553.44
0.34
ManufacturerDevice
Talk thread
PicChip
Board
comms
Announced
Status
Mhash/s claimed
found
USD/Ghash
Price (/unit)
USD (/unit)
MHash/USDJ/Ghash
GekkoScienceCompac
thread
Bitmain BM1384
GekkoScience Compac
2015/03/23
shipping (2015-9-4)
3.13…1.56
4.55…1.01
320…640
220…990
0.34
Canaan CreativeAvalon Nano
thread
Avalon 3233
NXP LPC11U14
2014/09/16
19.05…5.29
11.59…11.12
BTC0.08
$19.05

¥99
$15.58
52.49…188.98
86.25…89.92
0.76
goodneyunnamed prototype
thread
AsicMiner BE2002014/08/16
canceled
bitshopper.deNanoFury II (NF2) Gen.2Bitfury BF864C55
NanoFury 2 (NF2)
Microchip MCP2210
TSSOP
2014/06/11
8.94…6.78
€39.95
$44.72
111.81…147.580.83
MoonLight MinerNanoFury 6 (NF6)
thread
Bitfury BF864C55 (x6)
NF6
Microchip MCP2210
TSSOP
2014/06/17
9.9…6.83
$99
€99
$110.83
101.01…146.46~0.5
ManufacturerDevice
Talk thread
PicChip
Board
comms
Announced
Status
Mhash/s claimed
found
USD/Ghash
Price (/unit)
USD (/unit)
MHash/USDJ/Ghash
Novello Technologies
[5]
NOVA-S
thread
unnamed2014/06/03
no finished product
0.46
2169.490.3
OrilliaEdisonBitfury BF756C55 / Bitfury BF864C55
Nanofury (v0.6)
Microchip MCP2210
SOIC
2014/04/20
4.46
€9.95
$11.14
224.421
CoinPalCoinPal Nanofury
[2]
thread
Bitfury BF756C55 (x2)
Nanofury (v0.6)
Microchip MCP2210
SOIC
2014/03/30
goodneyTwin Chip Fury
thread
Bitfury BF756C55 (x2)
BFx2
FTDI FT232HL
2014/03/21
10.42
95.970.63
Drillbit SystemsDrillbit AvThumb
thread
Avalon A3255
Drillbit AvThumb
Atmel ATSAM4LS2AA-U
2014/03/11
8.82
113.33
ManufacturerDevice
Talk thread
PicChip
Board
comms
Announced
Status
Mhash/s claimed
found
USD/Ghash
Price (/unit)
USD (/unit)
MHash/USDJ/Ghash
BlackBit
(e-bay seller)
BlackBit AvThumbAvalon A3255
Drillbit AvThumb
Atmel ATSAM4LS2AA-U
2014/03/10
22.15…20.77
£21.9
$33.23
45.14…48.15
BitmainAntMiner U2
[4]
thread
Bitmain BM1380
Silicon Labs CP2102
2014/02/27
2.57
BTC10.8/500 (BTC0.0216/u)
$2572.34/500 ($5.14/u)

$12
389.110.68
(chip)
MoonLight Miner
vs3 (board)
NanoFury II (NF2)
thread
Bitfury BF756C55 (x2)
NanoFury 2 (NF2)
Microchip MCP2210
TSSOP
2014/02/10
10.54…9.51
94.87…105.131.35
iCoinTechiMiner
thread
IcoinTech QT20 / CA3755
Silicon Labs CP2102
2014/02/08
34.63
34.87
¥66
$10.39
$25
28.87
28.68
8.33
Bitgretiefter LtdYellowjacket
[2]
thread
Bitfury BF756C55
Nanofury (v0.7) derivative
Microchip MCP2210
SOIC
2014/01/20
25…20.45
18.76…19.23
40…48.89
53.31…52
1.26
ManufacturerDevice
Talk thread
PicChip
Board
comms
Announced
Status
Mhash/s claimed
found
USD/Ghash
Price (/unit)
USD (/unit)
MHash/USDJ/Ghash
UnknownUnknown
[2]
Bitfury BF756C55
Nanofury derivative
Microchip MCP2210
QFN20
2014/01/12
DualMinerDualMiner USB
(BTC and LTC,
Stats for BTC)
thread
Gridseed Gridchip GC3355
DualMiner
FTDI FT2232HL
2014/01/11
196
5.15
LordTheron
intron (board)
c-scape (firmware)
hex•fury
thread
Bitfury BF756C55 (x6)
hex•fury
2014/01/10
13.24
£96
$145.66
75.520.86
einzelnAvalon-Mono
Bitdrill I

BtcDrill USB
thread
Avalon A3256
Silicon Labs CP2102
2014/01/01
41.97
42.25…40.1
¥80
$12.59
$500/50 ($10/u)
23.83
23.67…24.94
?
CryptoRigHitch Hiker
[2]
Bitfury BF756C55
Nanofury (v0.7)
Microchip MCP2210
SOIC
2013/12/19
45.45…38.46
22…260.96
ManufacturerDevice
Talk thread
PicChip
Board
comms
Announced
Status
Mhash/s claimed
found
USD/Ghash
Price (/unit)
USD (/unit)
MHash/USDJ/Ghash
BFMG (NZ)iceFURY
[1][2]
thread
Bitfury BF756C55
Nanofury (v0.7)
Microchip MCP2210
TSSOP
2013/12/17

$40
0.89
Minecoin.netTwinfury
thread
Bitfury BF756C55 (x2)
Atmel Xmega32A4U
2013/11/24
37.32…33.59
€150
$167.93
26.8…29.770.85
aTgUltraLowCostMiner 2
thread
Bitfury BF756C55
aTgUltraLowCostMiner
thread
Bitfury BF756C552013/11/22
design only (files in thread)
BitmainAntMiner U1
thread
Bitmain BM1380
Silicon Labs CP2102
2013/11/11
1600
1547
5.36
5.54
BTC18/500 (BTC0.036/u)
$4287.24/500 ($8.57/u)

€49
$54.86
186.7
180.51
0.68
(chip)
ManufacturerDevice
Talk thread
PicChip
Board
comms
Announced
Status
Mhash/s claimed
found
USD/Ghash
Price (/unit)
USD (/unit)
MHash/USDJ/Ghash
vs3NanoFury (NF1)
[2]
thread
Bitfury BF756C55
Nanofury (v0.6)
Microchip MCP2210
SOIC
2013/10/30

$23.99
1.25
...1.4
Big Picture Mining
(1st run, others TBD)
Red Fury
(red board,
red heatsink,
red led) [1]
thread
Bitfury BF756C55
BF1
Atmel ATMega32U2
2013/10/30
0.96
BFMG (NZ)Blue Fury
(blue board,
silver heatsink,
blue or red led) [1]
thread
Bitfury BF756C55
BF1-derived
Atmel ATMega32U2
2013/09/22
0.96
Big Picture MiningBitFury (BF1)
(green board,
silver heatsink,
red led) [1]
thread
Bitfury BF756C55
Atmel ATMega32U2
2013/09/06
0.96
Bi•Fury
Felipeo (commissioned)
intron (board)
c-scape (firmware)
Bi•Fury (5GH/s)
thread
Bitfury BF756C55 (x2)
NXP LPC11U24
2013/08/20
9.8
9.75…8.76
102.04
102.57…114.1
0.85
ManufacturerDevice
Talk thread
PicChip
Board
comms
Announced
Status
Mhash/s claimed
found
USD/Ghash
Price (/unit)
USD (/unit)
MHash/USDJ/Ghash
Bi•Fury
Felipeo (commissioned)
intron (board)
c-scape (firmware)
Bi•Fury (4GH/s)
thread
Bitfury BF756C55 (x2)
NXP LPC11U24
2013/08/20
8.75
114.290.85
MineNinjaNinjaStick
thread
Bitfury BF756C552013/08/18
on hold
50
$10000/100 ($100/u)
20TBD
101btc.com101btc USB stick
thread
Bitfury BF756C552013/08/15
canceled may never have worked right
Drillbit SystemsFury Thumb
[3]
thread
Bitfury BF756C55
Atmel ATSAM4LS2AA-U
2013/08/01
57.34
62.6…52.16
BTC0.65
$154.82

$90
17.44
15.97…19.17
0.8
(chip)
sasadjakKlondike K1 clone
thread
Avalon A3256
Loosely based on Klondike K1
2013/07/26
unknown
256…300
ManufacturerDevice
Talk thread
PicChip
Board
comms
Announced
Status
Mhash/s claimed
found
USD/Ghash
Price (/unit)
USD (/unit)
MHash/USDJ/Ghash
BitCenturyLittleFury
thread
Bitfury BF756C55 (x2)2013/07/19
prototype, canceled
108.33…81.25
9.23…12.311.5
Klondike DesignK1 Nano
thread
Avalon A3256
Klondike K1
PIC16LF145X
2013/04/29
prototype, cancelled
256…300
282…450
332.03…283.33
301.42…188.89
3.01…3.53
3.32…5.29
AsicMinerBlock Erupter USB
( Satoshi Stick )

(v2 Emerald / v3 Sapphire)
thread
AsicMiner BE100
Silicon Labs CP2102
2013/05/21
1410.65
1423.36…1419.1
BTC1.99
$473.98

$5
0.71
0.7…0.7
8
needbmw'chip-on-USB'
thread
Avalon A32562013/05/19
canceled
alltenThe Quarter Stick
thread
Avalon A32562013/03/30
canceled
7.81
ManufacturerDevice
Talk thread
PicChip
Board
comms
Announced
Status
Mhash/s claimed
found
USD/Ghash
Price (/unit)
USD (/unit)
MHash/USDJ/Ghash

Additional data
All StickMiners are effectively supported by major mining software, including the two most popular: cgminer and bfgminer.  Some manufacturers, such as DualMiner, offer specific software for their miners but this is typically not a requirement, adding only minor extra functionality.  If you cannot get a StickMiner working, ask in the official thread first, but feel free to ask here as well.

[1] The history of the BitFury miners is a tangle to unravel.  At the time of this writing, the following (undated) chronology is apparent:
  • BitFury miner (BF1) designed by Andreas Auer and Manufactured by Kevin Madden with firmware tweaks by c-scape launched under the name Big Picture Mining Cooperative (BPMC), appears to have been green board, bare ('silver') heatsink, red LED.
  • Red Fury miner is created, based on the BF1 but with red silkscreen, red LED and red heatsink.  The first batch is still done under the name BPMC.
  • A second, and possible later, batch(es) is/are no longer done under the BPMC name - the cooperative has dissolved.
  • Blue Fury miner is created, identical to the Red Fury but with blue silkscreen, blue or red LED, bare ('silver') heatsink and modified Firmware (which was found to be used in later Red Fury miners as well).
  • A second, and possibly later, batch(es) of the iceFURY miner may be distinctly under different control.
  • The actual differences between the different BF1-based *Fury devices are largely cosmetic – different colors, minor adjustments to the silkscreen on the board, the odd change in microcontroller from a TQFP package to a QFN, and the way the heatsink is mounted to the board.  An animated GIF exploring the BF1, Blue Fury and two variants of Red Fury: http://i.imgur.com/i93M0PX.gif

[2] The history of the NanoFury miners is a lot simpler than that of the BitFury BF1s.  The NanoFury is essentially an open source design, mostly by vs3.  All the information required for making your own NanoFury is contained within the NanoFury github repository. ( A visual history of the NanoFury is available as well. )  Because of its open development nature, several entrepreneurs have used its design either 'as is' or as the basis for their own designs for product resale.  While the NanoFury has gone through several versions, there are two versions that are the most-used:
                              The NanoFury design is probably the most popular StickMiner aside from the Block Erupter USB, based on the many rebadged boards (TechnoBit, MinerFactory, Orillia Edison, the white iceFury and black Hitch Hiker) and reworked boards (the Yellowjacket with its larger heat spreader) that were sold to end-users, and of course went on to lay the foundation for the NanoFury 2 and the NanoFury 6.
A large part of its success can be attributed to its open source nature, with design files for the NanoFury available, and its use of the BitFury chip, edging out other source-available designs in performance.
While the NanoFury project has been retired, its developer - vs3 - has stated
I'll continue to be around and keep an eye [out] for some other chip that might present a similar opportunity.
Here's to hoping that future developments will provide an opportunity for a successor to the NanoFury project.  Regardless, the NanoFury certainly had a very successful run.

The differences between boards of the same version are largely cosmetic in nature - an animated gif comparing NanoFury boards shows their overall similarity - with only minor component changes.
Although the popularity of the basic NanoFury design may be slowly waning, an open NanoFury II design with 2 chips (similar to TwinFury and bi•fury) has been designed and saw soft release in actual for-sale form on 2014/03/17 and may spark another round of entrepreneurial resale.

[3] The pricing of Drillbit systems has not been updated at their main site in a long time.  The Fury Thumb does not appear to be actually available through them any more, further casting into doubt the high price.  A secondary site appearing to be theirs lists a much lower, USD amount, price.
[4] The AntMiner U2 is practically the same as the AntMiner U1, with some minor hardware changes (U5 and support components) and software-set overclocking and a more beefy heatsink to handle such overclocking.
[5] Novello Technologies has largely been concluded, albeit not proven, to be operating a scam.  Their indiegogo crowdfunding campaign was voluntarily halted, with an explanation for halting the campaign given and follow-up information about refunds for Novello Technologies backers.
[6] On 2014/10/22 it came to light that a USB/UART communications chip manufacturer, FTDI, had decided to use their driver to modify counterfeit chips so that they would no longer work.  Few mining products use FTDI chips, and hopefully those used are genuine.

About this post
This post is for StickMiners only, defined as follows:

Note that through the above rules, most of the powerful mining equipment naturally does not make it into this overview, but neither do - as examples - the HashBuster Nano (cable, 12V) and aauer1's single-chip Avalon board (cable), BTC-Digger single-chip miner (cable required for comms), Avalon Nano 2 (cable), nor do individual chips (ASIC or otherwise).  Power requirement is not taken into account as it will typically be below that of the host computer (raspberry pi et al aside)

The following applies to prices/conversions and hash rates (as used for $/GHash):
  • Where available, official pricing is used
  • Where not available or official pricing is only for bulk, current market prices are used
  • If pricing is in non-USD fiat, xe.com is used for conversion.
  • If pricing is in BTC, bitcoinaverage.com is used for conversion, and prices+derivations are displayed in red
  • Price conversions, as of time of post: USD/BTC: 238.18 | USD/EUR: 1.1195 | USD/CNY: 0.157358 | USD/GBP: 1.51728
  • Claimed and verified non-overclocked* hashrates are used.
* A note about overclocking:  Most of these devices can be overclocked, either through mining software settings or board modifications.  Overclocking almost always requires additional cooling, and may cause a shorter hardware life or even escalating catastrophic failure.  As the results of overclocking are heavily dependent on cooling measures taken, overclocked speeds are not used in this post.

Some 'rules' for comments.  There are no rules, it's an open forum, live by its rules, specifically 1. the ones you agreed to when you registered, 2. the rules laid out in "NEWBIE README", and 3. the rules laid out in "A point of order: Conduct in [Bitcoin > Mining > Hardware > Custom hardware]"  That said, some things that make everybody's lives easier and I'll try to enforce somewhat:
  • This thread is self-moderated.  If your post has been removed, the gist of it may have been merged into this or the second post, with attribution. If you think I removed a post unfairly, drop me a PM.
  • If you want to add a new device, post a reply, point to post with information.
  • If you want to correct some data, post a reply with the corrected data.
  • If you want to correct hash rate and pricing data, post a reply with properly sourced references.
  • If you want to note that you are a seller of a given device, post a reply, include a link to your selling post/page.  Your post/page may then be monitored for price updates.
  • If you want to say how much a miner sucks, go to its official thread and say it there.  If you want to praise it, go to its official thread and say it there.  If you want to point out that people will never positive ROI with StickMiners - get outta here, it says as much near the top of this post.

Like this thread? Donate Bitcoin: 15oME1MHKgz1WK3scxCf8eLZJDfMLTDdZz or Litecoin: LVeJP2CW9yrPygm4cvmCmwAz7dewwc1B8Q

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February 14, 2014, 04:28:17 AM
 #2


Message
Input welcomed
Thanks for reading this thread!

If you have any corrections, additional data, have found a new StickMiner, are selling StickMiners and think you've got competitive pricing, are designing a StickMiner, please do drop a line in this thread or send me a PM.



Change log
(Updates to exchange rates implied)
2015/10/01
2015/09/12
  • Added the missing CoinPal give-away version of the NanFury, added Bitshopper.de's version of the Compac (hopefully for sale soon), added an odd NanoFury-based miner that uses a QFN20 of the MCP2210 - if anybody has more information on that one, please do post – and updated some of the pictures.
  • Avalon have made further progress on the Avalon Nano 2 – however, as it attaches to the host device using a cable (it has USB port), it doesn't qualify as a StickMiner.
2015/07/01
2015/05/13
  • Thread clean-up time!  For a full copy of the thread as it appeared before I zapped posts, check out: https://archive.is/kSk6E .  Thanks to ManeBjorn, Mikestang and notlist3d for helping several users out in this thread, unrealistic for not reading Wink, vs3 for being vs3 (I have merged the post about the NanoFury project ending into the first post), Anonymailer for asking an obvious question that I did not obviously answer (“what software supports which miner?”, now answered in the first post).
  • Thanks also to people in general for partaking in the three+one Block Erupter USB contests: mod contest (now updated with my 'mods'), Three Days of Mining lottery, StickMiners Horizons and StickMiners Googly Eyes.  There'll probably be a new contest soon Smiley
  • I've updated some of the pictures in the first post with shiny new recent resolution angle shots, replaced broken links with archive.org links where available – probably plenty broken things left.
2015/04/13
2015/01/27
2015/01/22
2015/01/19
2014/12/29
2014/11/28
2014/11/03
  • Added a missing rebranded NanoFury, the Orillia Edison, using Rev1 chips, available for €9,95 ($12.45) from Belgium.
  • vs3 hasHAD a tray of 260 BitFury Rev2 (gen1) chips up for grabs that could easily be turned into either some powerful mining boards or perhaps some StickMiners. Edit: Long gone!
2014/10/29
2014/10/25
2014/10/22
2014/10/13
2014/10/06
  • The Avalon Nano is now available for BTC0.06 ($19.65) from ehash.com (was: BTC0.05/$16.40).  Update October 10, 2014, 03:00:00 PM: back down to BTC0.05
  • Earlier non-bump update: Added some navigation links to the top right of each post, and made the date/time of thread update dynamic (displays date/time according to user's forum preferences)
2014/09/22
  • Added the Avalon Nano from Canaan Creative to the list.  This is a new StickMiner based on the Avalon A3233 chip.  Like the BlockErupter USB and iMiner, it comes in several colors – but more innovative: it automatically adjusts its hashing rate based on its temperature.  Official max speed is 3.6Ghash/s (about half the chip's spec, probably to keep down power consumption), but a screenshot shows it to do up to 5.14Ghash/s.  Official pricing has it at BTC0.05/unit, but cybtc.com will sell it for 99 Yuan.  There are also some European sellers here on bitcointalk.  I'm unsure as to when this product was announced – images and listings have only popped up as of a few days ago, but the wiki entry and software downloads appear to be much older (going back to 2014/05) – perhaps those were only internal versions.  Anyway, good to see another StickMiner after all!
  • Fixed broken image links.  I know the thumbnails still show up broken here from time to time – you can thank the bitcointalk proxy for that one.
  • Replies clean-up again: bmoscato for asking how there's still a market for these, Buchi-88 for their reply to that question (my own reply has been merged into the ROI section), and primer10 for the kind words.
2014/08/21
2014/08/15
2014/08/12
2014/07/14
2014/07/05
2014/06/25
2014/06/21
2014/06/17
2014/06/13
  • The NanoFury II is now sold out at Moonlight Miner, though more may be in stock 2014/06/14
  • A notice on the Moonlight Miner site also states that a limited supply of 30 NanoFury 6 - a 6-chip miner similar to the hex•fury - will be available next week, so keep an eye on that!  As soon as a bit more information is available, these will be added to the list.
  • Lastly, another StickMiner was proposed – but the business behind it was quickly shot down as having legitimacy issues – the novello technologies Nova-S.
2014/06/11
2014/06/05
2014/06/02
2014/06/01
  • ASIC Runner is still running their special deals – the hex•fury now goes for £95 ($159.21) – how long will they keep dropping their prices?  Who knows, but if you want one, best not take the risk to wait as they could just as well run out of stock.
  • Case in point, I've been having to adjust reseller links as stores drop products or run out of stock fairly quickly.  E.g. the Twin Chip Fury is no longer for sale from Tirapon and no longer for sale from bitwhizz, the product page at Miner Source disappeared altogether, and Eyeboot no longer has the Twin Chip Fury in stock. I do try to keep track of alternate sources for the main post, but that main post doesn't have the real estate to really list other sellers.  Therefore, I have added another post to this thread that lists the resellers I'm tracking, and also offers generic search links for the usual suspects.  As always, feel free to drop a line in this thread or in a PM if you're a reseller, especially if you cater to a regional market.
  • In other news, USD/BTC is on the rise again, so if you were hoping to score some miners for 'cheap' while BTC was low, you'll have to wait for the next drop.
  • Also, another round of clean-up.  Thanks to Harlbatr for asking if StickMiners are profitable, 9feet pointing out that most miners in general aren't, ZetaOS for sharing his video of a Twin Chip Fury in action, and kfdspam for asking a timely question regarding availability of product, prompting the new post.
  • The Antminer U2 is now available for $10.99 from Minersource (was: $11.99) As of 2014/06/04 the price is back up to $11.99
2014/05/27
2014/05/23
2014/05/22
2014/05/21
2014/05/19
2014/05/14
2014/05/14
2014/05/11
  • Added the missing AvThumb devices, which use an Avalon Gen2 chip, with boards based on Drillbit Systems' design for Avalon's OpenSource competition.
2014/05/10
2014/05/09
2014/05/08
2014/05/04
2014/04/30
2014/04/26
2014/04/17
2014/04/02
2014/04/01
2014/03/30
  • I have updated the NanoFury visual history animated GIF, with thanks to vs3 for providing board images of v0.3 and v0.4, it's quite interesting to see the changes in layout and component choice as issues are identified
  • Speaking of vs3, he's been working on an NF6 – a NanoFury with 6 chips, similar to the hex•fury but with the NanoFury design as a basis – there's scant little information so far, and explicitly no production run announced (resellers will likely follow), but if you'd like to see a NanoFury 6 (or NanoFury II) be made for you and can supply your own BitFury chips (Rev1 or Rev2), check out the Assembly Service for BitFury Rev.2 Chips - Assessing Interest, USB Miners thread.
  • If you haven't noticed yet, the Bitcoin exchange rate is dropping fairly rapidly the past few days.  I'm not going to say “Buy! Buy! Buy!”, but I am going to say that this is making the miners priced in BTC, or accepting payment in BTC and you bought BTC earlier, more attractive than they were before
  • Which has since led to the NanoFury II to be re-listed for $78 (from BTC0.135).  The Twin Chip Fury can now be had for $75 $55 as well after an earlier drop to $90 (from $95) and $75 (from $90).
2014/03/25
2014/03/23
  • Renamed the NanoFury Duo to NanoFury II which now has its own thread.
  • Clean-up of this thread.  If your post was deleted, don't worry, nothing personal; they were all deleted! Smiley
    • Words of praise by: Beastlymac, Prelude, Operatr,WinterParker, bitgtr, intron, vs3, Ratters and Felipeo - thanks again, everyone!
    • Corrections and additional information by: Bicknellski, bitgtr, Swimmer63 and Felipeo - many thanks for this as well, especially those who have helped try and untangle the BitFury bits Smiley
    • Minorly off-topic posts, old change history posts, old NanoFury Duo soft launch posts (see the new thread!)
    • If you disagree with a deletion, let me know – deleted posts are available in your personal messages, and I have local copies
2014/03/22
  • Added base pricing for the hex•fury, at current exchange rates its 160GBP(+VAT where applicable) puts it between the Nanofury Duo and the Yellowjacket in terms of USD/Ghash/s – and there's bulk discounts available – check it out.
  • Updated the bi•fury information, thanks to Felipeo
2014/03/21
  • Added the BFx2, a dual BitFury Gen1 USB miner similar to the TwinFury, bi•fury and NanoFury Duo.
2014/03/20
  • There's potentially some news on the chip front; a company by the name of Spondoolies-Tech is making some bold hash rate and efficiency claims: 8mmx8mm QFN64 40nm 0.63V 7.5Ghash@0.58W/Ghash, and a later model 23mmx23mm HFCBGA 28nm 0.7V 187Ghash@0.38W/Ghash.  Yeah, that last one's more than a little bit crazy and not suitable for StickMiners.  Test units of completed mining machines using the first chip have been sent out, so if you're interested in those chips, keep an eye on that thread.
2014/03/18
  • Very minor update regarding the price drop on the NanoFury Duo,  from BTC0.2 now for BTC0.18
2014/03/17
2014/03/10
2014/03/08
2014/03/02
  • Fixed pricing(-derived) stats on Antminer U2, clarified note on differences
  • Added the missing hex•fury.  Note that this is a board design mostly, but developer entertains purchase offers by PM
  • Updated pricing on the Yellowjacket - thanks bitgtr!
  • I did a teardown of iCoinTech's iMiner - it looks like a USB flash drive, but it really is a miner indeed.
  • BitFury's Rev2 chips are now in, apparently pin-compatible, which I'd imagine would lead to: 1. re-issues of existing BitFury-based designs, 2. new designs (maybe the hex•fury will get these), 3. dropping prices on the older stock.
2014/03/01
  • Removed 'caution' marker from iMiner - seems they're legit
2014/02/28
  • Added the AntMiner U2
  • Header row interval now counting from the bottom
2014/02/18
  • Added the vaguely referenced BtcDrill USB to the Avalon Mono row.
2014/02/14
  • Slight update with regard to the BitFury/Red Fury/Blue Fury/iceFURY miners, with thanks to Bicknellski.  This affects mostly the Company column for those products, and the thread link for the iceFURY (the original link now placed on the Announced column)

Big Picture Mining was responsible for the following.
RedFury design only.
K1 Nano. Cancelled.
BPM was dissolved soon after the first production run of the RedFury USB miners. Anything after that are NOT BPM.
IceFury, 2nd round of production and those RedFury's sold by Megapower in the US, BlueFury were the responsibility of individuals or small groups of former BPM members. You should ask them to identify what name they were using as BPM was defunct well and truly before those were produced. Some of the former members are still waiting on royalties from some of these products that were sold.
2014/02/13
  • Initial post


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May 04, 2014, 02:39:51 PM
 #3

This list last updated: October 10, 2015, 03:55:01 AM [ StickMiners overview | Post History | Block Erupter USB Homage | Rant about ROI | Resellers ]

Where to buy

So you've read through the Financial ROI post and still want to buy a StickMiner – good on ye!
The main post table has price indications with links to the resellers from which the price was sourced.  But they are not necessarily the only sellers.
Below is a slightly bigger list of resellers of StickMiners, with little regard to their price.

GekkoScience Compace | x | h | a | g ][US] /u/ (0) GekkoScience[DE] /u/ (TBA) bitshopper[CA] /u/ (?) bitcoinware[US] /u/ (?) ASICPuppy
GekkoScience Compace | x | h | a | g ][US] /u/ (13) HolyBitcoin
Avalon Nanoe | x | h | a | g ][CN] /u/ (178) ehash[CN] /u/ (20) cybtc[US] /u/ (14) HolyBitcoin.com[DE] /u/ (0) manfred87
 
NanoFury II (NF2) Gen.2e | x | h | a | g ][DE] /u/ (?) bitshopper[DE] /u/ (?) bitshopper (ebay)
NanoFury 6 (NF6)e | x | h | a | g ][DE] /u/ (0) bitshopper[US] /u/ (0) Moonlight Miner[DE] /u/ bitshopper (ebay) (0)[US] /u/ (0) BTC Valet
Orillia Edisone | x | h | a | g ][BE] /u/ (?) Orillia
Twin Chip Furye | x | h | a | g ][HK] /u/ (0) Eyeboot[US] /u/ (0) Miner Source[UK] /u/ (0) cryptoware
Drillbit Avalon Thumbe | x | h | a | g ][AU] /u/ (239) Drillbit Systems
 
BlackBit Avalon Thumbe | x | h | a | g ][NO] (0) BlackBit
AntMiner U2e | x | h | a | g ][US] /u/ (0) jonesgear[CN] /u/ (0) Bitmain[DE] /u/ (0) bitshopper[DE] /u/ (0) asicminer-shop.de
NanoFury II (NF2)e | x | h | a | g ][US] /u/ (0) Swimmer63[US] /u/ (0) Moonlight Miner
iMinere | x | h | a | g ][CN] /u/ (394) iCoinTech[CN] /u/ (0) cybtc
Yellowjackete | x | h | a | g ][UK] /u/ (?) ASIC Runner[US/CA] /u/ (0) HashRateStore[AU] /u/ (0) Bitgretiefter
 
DualMiner USBe | x | h | a | g ][CN] /u/ (0) DualMiner.com[HK] /u/ (0) Eyeboot[NL] /u/ (1) USBMiners
hex•furye | x | h | a | g ][UK] /u/ (?) ASIC Runner
Avalon-Monoe | x | h | a | g ][HK] (?) Peak Hash[CN] /u/ (0) cybtc[CN] /u/ (0) einzeln
Hitch Hikere | x | h | a | g ][US] /u/ (?) Crypto Rig[US] /u/ (?) Crypto Rig (e-bay)
iceFURYe | x | h | a | g ][CA] /u/ (0) neXgen Mining
 
Twinfurye | x | h | a | g ][AT] /u/ (0) Minecoin.net
AntMiner U1e | x | h | a | g ][CN] /u/ (0) Bitmain[US] /u/ (0) arashd
NanoFury (NF1)e | x | h | a | g ][ES] /u/ (0) Miner Factory
Red Furye | x | h | a | g ][HK] /u/ (0) Eyeboot[US] /u/ (0) Bitcoinminerz.com[CA] /u/ (0) FuryMiners
Blue Furye | x | h | a | g ][US] /u/ (0) Bitcoinminerz.com
 
BitFury (BF1)e | x | h | a | g ]
Bi•Fury (5GH/s)e | x | h | a | g ][PL] /u/ (0x1 / 3x5 / 1x3+hub) Crypto Store
Bi•Fury (4GH/s)e | x | h | a | g ][PL] /u/ (16) Crypto Store
Fury Thumbe | x | h | a | g ][AU] /u/ (0) Drillbit Systems
Block Erupter USBe | x | h | a | g ][CA] /u/ (0) neXgen Mining[CN] /u/ (0) friedcat
legend
grayOut of stock at time of update
orangeTaking pre-orders
redNo longer selling this product
strike-throughCeased operations
[CC]Country code – physical presence of reseller
/u/Link to reseller's Bitcointalk.org user profile
(n)Number in stock at time of update.  (?) means the store only shows the product is 'in stock', but not how many.
[ e | x | h | a | g ]Generic searches at e-bay.com, AliExpress, dhgate, amazon.com and a generic store google search.  Please note that you may run across scam sites/sellers with these searches, so do double-check and if something seems too good to be true, give it a pass.  Specifically, if a seller found through such a search only accepts Bitcoin, and you can't find any reputable information on them at bitcointalk, just don't do it;  There are plenty of reputable stores that accept credit cards or paypal where you at least have some level of buyer protection.
* new, unvetted reseller

Do you sell StickMiners?
Would you like to be listed here, or do you know a (regional) store that sells StickMiners?  Just drop a line here or in a PM with the store URL and, preferably, country and bitcointalk username, and I'll check it out.

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May 04, 2014, 02:40:21 PM
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Some rants about Financial ROI

On April 1st, 2014, I attended a small informal Bitcoin enthusiasts meet-up in DC and somebody asked me why it is that I tell people not to bother with StickMiners if they want ROI.  I tried to explain it to them, which got a couple of people talking about mining in general, but what it generally boils down to is this: If you want ROI, you need a miner that is fast, delivered on time, and cheap.  Unfortunately in the current climate for miners - ANY miners - you're most likely going to get the "pick any two" offerings.

Then they pointed to some online calculators and how they showed that people could actually break even or even make a profit, which resulted in a discussion about these calculators (especially as I was involved in an earlier thread discussing these where I got puzzled, myself).  I pointed out that most of them are flawed - which is okay, because some of the bigger variables in these calculations are practically unpredictable anyway, so some relatively minor flaws in calculators are not that much of a problem.

Nevertheless, I whipped up my own calculator in a spreadsheet just for demonstrating to them what I'm talking about - and I thought I'd share some of the discussion here.



The first thing that we had to agree upon is those big variables that are practically unpredictable:
Difficulty and Exchange Rate.

Here's a graph of Bitcoin's Difficulty for mining, since its inception:

While it's perfectly possible to make the prediction that it will likely keep increasing (note that it did have a few decreases), I think you'd be hard-pressed to put this into a formula that actually gives you something that gives you usable values for peering into the future.
So if you're going to have to make an assumption, perhaps it's best that you do so based on just the most recent difficulty increases.

Here's the exchange rate over the past 12 months (courtesy of https://bitcoinaverage.com/ ):

If you can make reasonably accurate predictions on that one, you're probably not even really reading this thread - you're over in the Economics section, and you're only imagining that you're reading this.
Making an assumption here is as easy as "the price will stay the same", so that people can plug in their own values and see what happens.



The next thing was the flaws in calculators.  They all make some assumptions because given the above, assumptions are all you can make.
Or can you?

Consider http://www.bitcoinx.com/profit/

If you were to plug in some optimistic values for a StickMiner:
Power Consumption (W): 9.5
Hash rate (GH/s): 12G
Cost of mining hardware (USD): $250
It will report that the break-even point is in: 2 years, 109 days

But how is it actually calculating that?  These are some of the other variables it uses:
Bitcoin difficulty: 5,006,860,589
Bitcoins per Block (BTC/block): 25
Conversion rate (USD/BTC): 442.00
Electricity rate (USD/kWh): 0.15
Profitability decline per year: 0.61

Bitcoins per Block is going to stay the same for another year or two..
Conversion rate is that unpredictable USD/BTC bit.
Profitability decline per year... well that's just based on the conversion rate, difficulty increase, and then making some manner of assumptions on them that, over the course of a year, results in profitability being only 0.61x as much as in the beginning.

Let's ignore all these for now, and instead focus on the Bitcoin difficulty value.
Right now it's using 5,006,860,589 - which is the current difficulty.  Unfortunately, all of the calculations run from that number onward using a fixed decline that (as far as I could figure out) is applied per-day.  ( At e.g. https://tradeblock.com/mining/ , this is the difficulty increase/month .  That very label should tell you how wrong that can be. )

'Onward' actually means that in approximately 3 days, the difficulty will be at 6,075,877,556 ( https://bitcoinwisdom.com/bitcoin/difficulty )

Let's plug that number in, and re-calculate.  Now it will reports that the break-even point is in: 3 years, 240 days.  A whole year longer.  Just imagine what happens if a miner takes 2 weeks to get to you and difficulty is about to (likely) increase again.

So while you have to make some assumptions - and 'when will the difficulty increase' is one of those assumptions as well, but at least it's a pretty well-established one - you can certainly reduce the margin of error in those assumptions.



So let's say you did that, reduced the margin of error of assumptions, use the difficulty as it is now, the projected next difficulty, the number of days in which that will happen, the average number of days between adjustments lately (closer to 12 days than the ideal 14 - and that's still being generous), assume that the difficulty will keep increasing by about 20%, the exchange rate will stay the same, and plot it over time for that same theoretical stickminer:

So much for that.

Okay, maybe the exchange rate doubles tomorrow:

Okay, obviously that only doubles the revenue which is still much less than what you paid for it.

Hey, I know!  You get your electricity for free as well:

Electricity is cheap on these StickMiners - it's practically a non-factor.

Alright, time for some drastic measures.  A bunch of miners pop out of existence and the difficulty only rises by 5% each time:

Well at least it forced having to extend the X axis to 2 years, but there's still no break even.  Not after 3 years either, nor after 4 years, not ever.
You can't even continue the plot 'as is' because in less than 3 years the block reward will have halved from BTC25 to BTC12.5.

And this is why I tell people not to bother with StickMiners when looking for a monetary ROI.



At least, according to these calculations;  Keep in mind again that I don't have a crystal ball (I do, but it only peers into the past) - I still made assumptions, just with lower margins of error.  Situations certainly could change to where even a StickMiner could become profitable (and some calculators may suggest that it would).  The question that then pops up is: would you not have been better off simply buying Bitcoin? ( Especially now. )

That's a discussion I'll well and truly leave to the Economics section and to the random strangers who were still 'discussing' that by the time I had to leave Smiley

( Note that people have had monetary ROI from StickMiners in the early days - that ship has sailed.  Unless somebody makes a faster ship, for cheap, and delivers it on time. )



tl;dr: StickMiners are for FUN, not ROI.



One user asked a slightly different question: How is there still a market for these?
Below is my original reply:

This discussion's been had before, so let me point you to these threads Smiley

Are stick miners worth it?
Why USB miners?

Though your question is very slightly different [edit: asking from a manufacturer/reseller point of view, perhaps], so let me address it specifically: I'm not sure there is, at least for new units, unless they bring something special to the game (actually ROI, be a completely self-contained unit with a little LCD display, whatever).  The reason for that is that these products have practically never given net financial ROI (see the ROI section for more info).
This means that these would mainly be used either by people who don't know any better, enthusiasts, tinkerers and people who just want to try a little mining before deciding to drop several thousand on a serious miner.  Ignoring the first category as that's an incredibly marginal market to begin with, that leaves the enthusiasts/tinkerers/beginners who might as well pick up a second-hand BlockErupter USB / Red Fury / AntMiner U1 or U2 for cheap, and play around with those.
For those making them, the market is very unfavorable. Even with the rather nice NF6, the retail price was almost double what they would fetch at auction on e-bay.  Materials cost-wise, they're probably still good to go - but with the man hours and potential licensing, I'm not sure they profited off those auctions.

As I said in an earlier post, the NF6 may very well have been the last of the StickMiners (proven wrong by the Avalon Nano), as new chips are unfavorable to that sort of design (too power hungry / runs too hot - as evidenced by the BE200-based prototype).  Thay may change, but even if you've got somebody making a power-efficient chip, odds are they'll just make them do more calculations and aim for the big miners, once again making them ill-suited to a StickMiner design.

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May 31, 2014, 07:47:38 PM
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June 11, 2014, 10:26:14 PM
 #6


                        
An Homage to The Block Erupter USB
                        
                        

                        
An unassuming little device, the Bitfountain/ASICMiner Block Erupter USB was announced back on May 4th, 2013* - exactly 2 years ago.  This thread would probably not exist without the Block Erupter.  Nor would a whole ecosystem of peripherals and, arguably, continued adoption of mining by the masses the moment ASICs hit the market.
* As many have come to know it, in its ultimately very popular Block Erupter V3.00 form.  The earlier very limited release Block Erupter v2.00 was announced May 2nd, 2013 and a Block Erupter prototype was unveiled on April 12th, 2013, to much praise
                        

                        
The Block Erupter was put to market catering directly to the common user - besides the fact that it was a StickMiner (running straight off of a USB port - a first for Bitcoin miners – and at one point to be named “Satoshi Stick”), one need to look no further than the fact that it came in multiple colors and finishes (matte, and spun metal introduced on August 11th, 2013).
Colors were great from a marketing viewpoint, but the general body design should not be dismissed either - the form factor and the flat heat spreader-slash-heat sink proved to be so popular, that the currently popular Antminer U1 practically copied both verbatim, and both the DualMiner and the YellowJacket opted for flat heat sinks as well.

2015 Anniversary: Even the packaging was consumer-oriented, with simple plastic boxes with foam inserts (the cutouts leaving huge bags of trash) – an approach that would end up getting used by the iMiner as well, with the exact same plastic boxes and foam (with different cutout).
                        

                        
Aside from the design, the Block Erupter also put the power of fast Bitcoin mining back into people's hands. By today's standards its ASICMiner BE100-provided hashing power may be rather limited at 333Mhash/s (between 300Mhash/s and 375Mhash/s, a hashing speed you can buy in the form factor of a small USB drive these days), but back then that wasn't all that terrible as it had to be compared to power-hungry and noisy GPUs, relatively expensive FPGAs such as the Lancelot dual FPGA board or even FPGA manufacturer (mainly the big two: Xilinx /Altera) development boards, and more powerful, and more expensive up front, ASIC hardware from BFL or Asicminer themselves that may or may not be delivered on time.  Its price of BTC1.99 translated to about $220 at that time - which even then resulted in much jeering
Nevertheless, had you purchased one at that time, the ROI graph would have looked like the one depicted.
Yes, once upon a time, StickMiners did break even, and gave net financial ROI* for those willing to wager, even with the complaints about price.  That expressed itself in crazy sales of many of them and some people getting a little carried away jamming a Block Erupter into every unoccupied USB port they laid their eyes on, and probably learned to control computers entirely by keyboard just to replace the mouse with another Block Erupter.
* in fiat - buying BTC at that time and holding would have been even better
                        

                        
Exaggeration aside, the search for the perfect Block Erupter USB hub led to a whole thread of its own, practically cemented certain models of the Anker brand (along with D-Link) as the go-to for great USB hubs to fit Block Erupters and later StickMiners into, and even led to the creation of a 49-port USB hub monster specifically made for mining with Block Erupters.  All of these Block Erupters also needed cooling, and the 'virtually silent' (aside from a characteristic 200Hz hum) Arctic Cooling Breeze mobile can be seen in many Block Erupter rigs.
Some even went so far as to put their Block Erupter USB inside liquid cooling solutions, like oil.
Even with rigs with dozens of Block Erupters, some people decided to try and push the Block Erupter to its limits with overclocking, with a detailed guide titled simply How to overclock your Block Erupter And possibly destroy it in the process.
This overclocking itself led to further entrepreneurial endeavours, as sly sellers at sites like e-bay would start selling tiny heatsinks to be applied to the chips on the Block Erupter (even if those chips, aside from the actual hashing BE100 chip, generated negligible heat to begin with).
                        

                        
Even today, a Block Erupter may not be a complete waste if you're willing to gamble, and get lucky.
User ttyson reported on May 1st, 2014: "Holy crap I found a block!".  The block referred to, 298562 was mined at a pool, and the block reward was split up among many miners, but had he solo mined, he would have received BTC25 - approximately $11,375USD at the time.  Of course, the odds of this happening with his Block Erupter is very low; at the cited difficulty of 8,000,872,135.97 he could typically expect the average time between blocks to be 28 years, so he got very lucky indeed.
Observant readers will have noticed that ttyson's Block Erupter was actually the Block Erupter Cube, a 38Ghash/s miner based on the same chip as the Block Erupter USB - he essentially bought 114 lottery tickets; the average time between blocks for a Block Erupter USB? 3,270 years.  But, people win the lottery all the time, right?
Note: Many low powered miners may in fact be better off solo mining rather than pooled mining, as the low hash rate may mean your pool worker will effectively never reach the pool's payout threshold, making mining there moot, and 'playing the lottery' would be a better proposition.
                        

                        
The Block Erupter ended up being the only StickMiner based on the ASICMiner BE100 chip. The BitFury chip design proved to be a winner in terms of cost, power use, and hashing power for many of the StickMiners that would follow and they quickly replaced the Block Erupter as the most popular choice.  Nevertheless, the initial popularity of the Block Erupter USB still resonates to this day, as evidenced not just by the fact that Block Erupters are still for sale, but that for many of the StickMiners for sale now, sellers will mention Block Erupter just to get the SEO gears turning.
However, Bitfountain/ASICMiner have not been sitting still.  On January 29th, 2014, they announced a new BE200 chip design that is competitive with other current-generation chips.  Whether or not they will find their way onto a new Block Erupter or third party StickMiners remains to be seen - but if they will, it was the original Block Erupter that paved the way.
 
2015 Anniversary: A year on and it's clear that the BE200 ended up not being suitable for a StickMiner design, despite a valiant effort by goodney.  Additionally, ASICMiner itself now appears defunct after its lead designer, friedcat, has disappeared.  Wherever he is – so long, and thanks for all the sticks!
                        

                        
So here's to you, Block Erupter - Happy 2nd Anniversary, and may at least some more StickMiners try to fill your shoes!

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September 22, 2014, 11:30:02 PM
 #7

This thread is primarily for Bitcoin StickMiners - as it is, I'm only aware of a single altcoin StickMiner anyway, which is the DualMiner 2; a DualMiner, which can mine both Bitcoin and Litecoin, with the BTC portion 'disabled' (and thus not in the list).
I also have no immediate intention of adding altcoin StickMiners - if I do, it will be in the altcoin section anyway.

However, I thought this one was worth pointing out not for its mining prowess (altcoin StickMiners are practically relegated to the same target audience as Bitcoin StickMiners; FUN > ROI), but for a key feature.

Back in the end of june, vs3 (of NanoFury fame) posted in a NanoFury 6 thread:
And as for convenience - I think this is among the easiest (if not The Easiest) device to enter the hashing world - it is literally just plug-and-play ... it doesn't get any more easier than that ... Or if someone has any ideas - please share! Smiley

At that point I posted the following to his official NanoFury development thread:
The NanoFury 6 is almost plug-and-play - you still need to download the software and set it up right.  Purely as a thought:

The way big miners solve this is typically by including a Raspberry Pi that acts as both the host to the miner as well as presenting an interface to the miner to a terminal user, often over a network connection.  That's well outside feasibility for smaller miners.

What smaller miners could do is present themselves as an external drive when first plugged in, with the required files and a setup tool included (optionally with a suggested autoplay that still gets presented to most users), and switch to the actual mining device when setup has concluded; alternatively, present itself as both devices at the same time.

If done, it would truly become 'plug and play'.  The reason why it's just a thought: the storage required - it tends to exceed the available space on most microcontrollers, and external storage is relatively expensive in both price and board real estate.  So for a fairly small bit of convenience (people who use these do tend to be fairly tech-savvy), it adds quite a bit of a burden on the design and price.  Distributors would be better off providing top notch service by having a web page dedicated to setting it up and/or including the necessary files and documentation on media included with any shipment.


The lower block is indeed the 'U 盘存储芯片' or 'disk consign store-up core block' (I think I might be doing worse than Google there) - basically the Flash memory chip.
You can probably guess what that key feature is by now; created by LK Group, Ltd. some time back in July, the 'U disk Wright' or 'U-Wright' or 'USB Wright' (among 'roast cat', 'grilled cat', and 'burnt cat' - you'll have to excuse the Google Translateisms) is a Litecoin miner capable of 144Khash/s standard or 280Khash/s with overclocking (extra cooling required), using up about 5W, and has all the required software on-board on its 8GB Flash memory.
And that is the 'U disk Wright' using that Flash memory to present itself as a drive to the operating system.

So today I was proven wrong twice - first there's the new Avalon Nano meaning the NF6 was not the last of the StickMiners after all, and second somebody goes and does exactly what I would have thought cost-prohibitive - and I couldn't be happier about it.

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April 13, 2015, 06:00:22 AM
 #8

Time for a bit of haphazard ranting.

I just finished (insofar as it can ever be finished) the ASIC page at the Bitcoin wiki.  Besides being a fair bit of work unto itself, some of the things found along the way and effectively over time since the last wordy post make me want to write a few things here; it's as good a place as any.

More people and/or companies should edit the wiki.
There's a place for everything, and while the wiki is terrible for discussion, it's pretty good for basic findings that tend not to change very often.  This StickMiner thread is effectively one of those things, and I'll be moving it over to the wiki in due time.  Don't worry, I'll still be making update posts here as well and it'll be a while before the main content is moved over anyway.  But it does mean that this list will no longer be at the sole whim of yours truly.
But there are many more threads that are effectively posts of information, rather than pure topics of discussion.  Canaan Creative / Avalon project are, so far, the only manufacturer who have embraced the Bitcoin wiki as effectively the place to go for information about their own hardware - chips, miners, software, people to contact, etc.
In the course of making the ASIC page, I wound up creating pages for most of the manufacturers.  I certainly invite them to flesh out their own pages - it's not wikipedia, original research is perfectly acceptable Wink

Scams are everywhere.
Holy bejeebus are scams everywhere in Bitcoin ASICs.  Not so much any more, but certainly late 2013, early 2014, coinciding with rising Bitcoin exchange rates and people eager to throw money at everything, there was a great boom in scams.  In the wiki I largely refer to them as being 'dishonest', but if you read between the lines on the references (yes, practically everything has source references), 'scam' should be the easy conclusion for most of them.

Now I've had to deal with scammy things before.  Personally - heck, I might be in the process of being scammed right now.  That's okay, I know what amount of money I can stand to lose - but also again in terms of editing the wiki.  Specifically, two curious cases of manufacturers claiming to have certain hardware, (pre-)selling it, but offering no proof whatsoever of that hardware's existence.
In reaction to that, I ended up penning the Why was my hardware removed Talk section, which outlines a few things on how a manufacturer can better prove themselves legit.  From providing pictures to providing videos.  However, I aslo concluded that "Ultimately, you may have to have a third party review one of your miners in order to build your credibility."  Poring over pages and pages of information about ASICs really proved that point;
But here's the thing - those were badly done (even though some took a while to be caught and some people had already lost money at that point) - what if they were well done, or there's simply no good information either way?

Personally, I'd say hold off - let somebody else be the person risking the money on getting a potential product sooner than you, be happily proven wrong.

Thus is the case with, for example, HashCoins.  There's no actual product being shown other than a (render of) a case), and it's known that they have been less than forthcoming with information in the past - be it with regard to a miner that was supposedly their own board design (incidentally, an explanation of the difference was for sale for $100,000 but bears a striking resemblance to reference HashFast boards, or faking hashing details (yes, two for the price of one), or claiming custom chip and miner solutions for Scrypt miners when it's just another Alcheminer clone.

HashRa isn't in a particularly better position, emulating Butterfly Labs' early days of '2 weeks'.  Granted, Butterfly Labs eventually delivered.  Too little, too late, but delivered.

And thus I haphazardly jump back a bit and say, what good is a review if the reviewer is bound by certain conditions for the review?  In this particular case, Dogie was asked to obscure the markings on the chips used in a miner.  While the markings would be immaterial to the purposes of his guides, the fact that this was done under an NDA may lead one to wonder what else isn't entirely on the up-and-up (drag the VAT thing into this thread and see your post deleted, thanks).

NDAs suck.. mostly
Whether it's the aforementioned NDA, or the NDA that covered Dogie/Spondoolies-Tech, KnCMiner's Jupiter datasheet being behind an NDA, or just about any other NDA - they all suck.  They're overly broad in scope and more often than not introduce a very lopsided relationship where the party who drafted the NDA holds almost all of the power.

Just as with preorders, the incentive is often to be privy to information that others will not learn or only learn much later.  But unless that significantly benefits you personally, odds are it'll just haunt you further down the road.  I've rarely signed a voluntary NDA myself for this very reason, but I fully acknowledge that other times there's a good incentive - or it's just not particularly voluntary (e.g. required as part of job)

Patents
Just as a quick aside - as it fits in with the topic of NDAs - remember when HashFast released their Golden Nonce protocol specification as open source?  Well maybe you shouldn't click that, because they neglected to mention that HashFast has patent applications on parts of that thing (page 6).  Who knows what else in Bitcoin hardware is patented - which is a shame, as a lot of Bitcoin technology development came from the early days of open source everything (often by necessity) and collaboration.

'Free' reviews
Haphazard jumping back a bit again and speaking of incentives, there is of course no shortage of reviewers; as long as they get the gear for free.  A good example, SFARDS tape-out announcement thread.  There's about a dozen people in there already who will happily do a review if they're sent a sample.  You know, for free.

Now, I get it - there's something to be said for both approaches.  If you send a product for free, the reviewer may be biased to write a more positive review (not to mention that they can then go on and sell the product - decent profit to be made there on high value items even when offset against time+equipment; low value items not so much, to the point where a reviewer may opt not to perform a review, even if it's sent for free (alas, NF6, a guide was not meant to be)).  If instead the reviewer has bought the product, they might still be biased because they don't want to admit that they bought a dude.
Of course there is a middle ground - sending a product but expecting it back, for example, is becoming more common for many hardware review sites - but I certainly lean more toward buy-and-review than review-for-free-and-sell-for-profit.

Home mining - Part 1
Hey speaking of SFARDS, they already mentioned that they'd try to target various levels of mining equipment, which may mean a home miner of sort.
Now, this caught my eye because:

Which, if you look at the ASICs page in the wiki, doesn't leave a whole lot of companies that make the chips, let alone that put miners together.  Well, let me clarify - there's plenty of other companies in the past, but most of them are either no longer around or simply have no plans for new chips.

Sure BitFury do have some "portable Bitcoin processor" planned, and previously secretive 21e6-turned-secretive 21 Inc. have "a suite of consumer products that integrate with bitcoin’s core technology called the “blockchain.”" planned as well.  But there's good chances that just means Trezor clones like Black Arrow is selling or other such non-mining products.  They don't even have to be physical products, with all the "Bitcoin 2.0" sidechain action going on.

Intermission: The internet never forgets? Hah!
Speaking of companies that are no longer around - what about sites that are no longer around?
I mean, here you are, getting a bunch of good information on ASICs, sticking them in a temporary document for later perusal in detail, then later comes and *poof* the information is no longer there.

Ah, but "the internet never forgets", right?  "The internet routes around censorship".  Hogwash, I say.  Unless you saved the data yourself, odds are it will disappear at some point in the future.

There are several ways that I have found that the information is effectively lost:
These last ones are particularly egregious, as current robots.txt files can make archived pages at archive.org from years ago inaccessible.

With that in mind, almost everything in the ASICs page and every. single. link. in this rant post - and the post itself - is archived at archive.today.  archive.today 1. ignores robots.txt as it's not a spider and 2. captures everything on the page (if possible) at the moment of capture, instead of delaying resource capturing to a later date (and thus the many missing images in archive.org captures).  It's also a relatively young service with no clear funding model - so I'm under no illusion that it will stick around - thus the links are also archived locally.

Home mining - Part 2
But what of those that are still around and do have plans for new chips?  Well, there's SFARDS as mentioned.  Bitmain should have a new chip out half-way through this year, as should Canaan Creative (Avalon project).
From Bitman we've already had the Antminer U1/U2, and the Antminer U3, perhaps an Antminer U4 is in the line-up next to the Antminer S6 (presumable name).
From Canaan Creative we already know that their new Avalon chip won't be suitable for a StickMiner, but as mentioned in that link they do have a small miner planned, at least.

But Canaan Creative have also mentioned that their main business is large deals, as have Spondoolies-Tech with regard to, effectively, cloud mining.  Hey, at least they had a good April Fool's joke Smiley

Of course we can't, or at least, shouldn't blame them.  Home mining is a dwindling market, and sales to home miners often don't make sense - a lot of potential profit instead goes into shipping, support, RMA, etc.  All things that can be much better dealt with in bulk.  Not group buys, but bulk.

Bulk almost commands centralization.  We've already seen this in the huge mines in China, Iceland, northernly European countries (I know, I know... Iceland is technically part of Europe, too).

Without getting into whether that is a good or a bad thing (my opinion: a bad thing) on a deep level, let's instead tackle whether home mining was even meant to last.

The current system where every user is a network node is not the intended configuration for large scale.  That would be like every Usenet user runs their own NNTP server.  The design supports letting users just be users.  The more burden it is to run a node, the fewer nodes there will be.  Those few nodes will be big server farms.  The rest will be client nodes that only do transactions and don't generate.

Well that settles that, then.  Okay, kidding aside, ASICs probably expedited the process that was already foreseen on a level that was possibly not foreseen, but ultimately home mining was not meant to last.  In fact, it can't last, as the way Bitcoin mining works (its Proof of Work algorithm) always favors larger miners disproportionally due to economies of scale.

On the one hand that means pools.  Pools aren't bad - even though some would try to convince you otherwise and even attempt to make pools disappear by making them untrusted by default (and miners at pools just as untrusted) - if nothing else, they're the only way that home miners can still meaningfully (for some definitions of meaningful) participate in mining at all, next to playing the solo Bitcoin mining lottery.

I'm certainly not saying that the PoW algorithm should be changed - though it absolutely could be if it's deemed necesary, and there are interesting alternative proof-of-X models - but as long as it is what it is, the realities of mining are what they are.

I am saying that "1 person 1 vote" certainly doesn't apply in mining of just about any coin, least of all Bitcoin - and believing otherwise is, in my absolutely not so humble opinion, delusional.
In fact, the Bitcoin paper states this:
The proof-of-work also solves the problem of determining representation in majority decision making. If the majority were based on one-IP-address-one-vote, it could be subverted by anyone able to allocate many IPs. Proof-of-work is essentially one-CPU-one-vote
The subversion by allocating many IPs is instead a subversion to allocating many CPUs.  Thus even a CPU-only coin is still fully at the whim of people who can afford to buy faster CPUs, or simply more CPUs.  The only way to get a "1 person 1 vote" style setup is by issuing black box devices impervious to attack (down to decapping the chip yielding little more than a tangled mess that takes significant resources to untangle, at which point new devices could be issued) to registered individuals.  But that presents problems in the 'impervious to attack' part - The Trezor got hacked via power analysis, for example (by johoe, who has previously uncovered nasties in Bitcoin transactions as well - props) - and of course in anonymity.  Plus it still doesn't entirely eliminate the issue - as Alice could sell her device to Bob and now Bob has two votes.  For that matter, Bob doesn't need Alice to sell it to him, he could just take it surreptitiously / forcefully, which would require further security measures to mitigate (and I'm not a fan of biometrics - that's a rant for a different forum).

Should the algorithm ever be changed, I do believe it should incorporate a mathematical curiosity (hard to analyze, easy to duplicate).  Not including this in the beginning for simplicity (less things that could be broken) was a good idea, but it would be a missed opportunity not to do so at a later stage.

One other approach would appear to be in not giving out rewards at all, but then where's the incentive?  Would Bitcoin have grown as quickly as it did, if there wasn't the potential for 'mad profits'?  I doubt it, and PrimeCoin gives some credence to this notion, as most of the difficult submissions to the project that this mines have come from PrimeCoin miners, rather than altruistic citizen scientists.

For now there's no reason to expect a PoW change anyway, so let's haphazardly jump back again.

Home miners
This is 'ers', the other was 'ing'.  So even though a lot of companies are looking toward business-to-business type solutions, does that mean home mining is dead or dying?
Well, no.  Miners - the completed hardware - are made by effectively two companies: the chip developers themselves, and systems integrators.  So even if Bob Corp Int'l decides to only make their miners for datacenters, as long as Bob is willing to sell some chips to Alice, LLC and provide the necessary technical data, then Alice can put that chip on a board of her own design and sell that to whoever wants to buy one.

We have seen this in the past with BitFury, but also with Avalon, Spondoolies-Tech, Black Arrow, Innosilicon/Bitmine, etc.  Sometimes this requires signing NDAs, and sometimes you might have to badger people at the chip company, but as long as you can get the chips you can conceivably make miners with them.  This StickMiner thread is obvious evidence of this at generally the smaller integrators, but also consider companies like TechnoBit (Avalon, Black Arrow, Spondoolies-Tech, ASICMiner, Innosilicon/Bitmine, Bitfury chip - Say what you will of their customer support, but if they can get the chip, they will at least attempt a miner.), Pepper Mining (ButterFly Labs, HashFast chips), DrillBit System (Avalon, BitFury chips - sadly disappeared), GekkoScience (Bitmain chips).
If you build it they will come?  If you provide the chips, they will build it.

Which brings me back to GekkoScience's thread - GekkoScience BM1384 Project Development Discussion - which is, in my opinion, one of the more interesting threads on the Forum right now, certainly when compared to the threads currently seeing page after page of trolling and memes.
Not only are GekkoScience building new miners, integrating Bitmain's BM1384 chip (again, kudos to Bitmain for providing them), but you've got valkir and vs3 (nanofury) popping in, goodney (twin chip fury) getting ready to adjust his (canceled) BE200 StickMiner, The WASP project (various, unfulfilled, miners) and Philipma1957 (assembly and sales) offering resources, and a whole bunch more.  If intron and c-scape joined in as well, it would be one veritable cluster of home mining people).

So while home mining may be diminishing, it's not dead yet - and neither is some of that early collaborative spirit.

Thus ends the rant, and on to happier things, like the StickMiners thread update Smiley

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June 13, 2015, 02:25:10 PM
 #9

2015/05/13
  • Thread clean-up time!  For a full copy of the thread as it appeared before I zapped posts, check out: https://archive.is/kSk6E .  Thanks to ManeBjorn, Mikestang and notlist3d for helping several users out in this thread, unrealistic for not reading Wink, vs3 for being vs3 (I have merged the post about the NanoFury project ending into the first post), Anonymailer for asking an obvious question that I did not obviously answer (“what software supports which miner?”, now answered in the first post).
  • Thanks also to people in general for partaking in the three+one Block Erupter USB contests: mod contest (now updated with my 'mods'), Three Days of Mining lottery, StickMiners Horizons and StickMiners Googly Eyes.  There'll probably be a new contest soon Smiley
  • I've updated some of the pictures in the first post with shiny new recent resolution angle shots, replaced broken links with archive.org links where available – probably plenty broken things left.

Some peculiar bits:
Why peculiar? Because they're not actually in stock, and haven't been for a very long time Tongue

The above ranty-post will also disappear soon, but just to touch on some developments since:

And, finally, after I messed a bit with retro calculations (a la http://retrocalc.net/) for StickMiners, I have to say congratulations to the Drillbit Systems / Barntech's Fury Thumb /for actually giving positive financial ROI.  At least, in simplistic theory:
Introduced August 1st, 2013.  Price was $130.  USD/BTC at that time was ~$96.62.  Purchasing BTC would have yielded BTC1.345477
If you started mining right here and then, assuming 2.5Gh/s, you'd now be looking at about BTC1.6.  Electricity doesn't put much of a dent in that.
It was in the sweet spot of being launched just before the difficulty starting going through the roof, and having vastly more hashing power (~2.7Gh/s) than the Block Erupter USB (0.330Gh/s) for the price.

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June 14, 2015, 08:55:34 AM
 #10

2015/05/13
  • Thread clean-up time!  For a full copy of the thread as it appeared before I zapped posts, check out: https://archive.is/kSk6E .  Thanks to ManeBjorn, Mikestang and notlist3d for helping several users out in this thread, unrealistic for not reading Wink, vs3 for being vs3 (I have merged the post about the NanoFury project ending into the first post), Anonymailer for asking an obvious question that I did not obviously answer (“what software supports which miner?”, now answered in the first post).
  • Thanks also to people in general for partaking in the three+one Block Erupter USB contests: mod contest (now updated with my 'mods'), Three Days of Mining lottery, StickMiners Horizons and StickMiners Googly Eyes.  There'll probably be a new contest soon Smiley
  • I've updated some of the pictures in the first post with shiny new recent resolution angle shots, replaced broken links with archive.org links where available – probably plenty broken things left.

Some peculiar bits:
Why peculiar? Because they're not actually in stock, and haven't been for a very long time Tongue

The above ranty-post will also disappear soon, but just to touch on some developments since:

And, finally, after I messed a bit with retro calculations (a la http://retrocalc.net/) for StickMiners, I have to say congratulations to the Drillbit Systems / Barntech's Fury Thumb /for actually giving positive financial ROI.  At least, in simplistic theory:
Introduced August 1st, 2013.  Price was $130.  USD/BTC at that time was ~$96.62.  Purchasing BTC would have yielded BTC1.345477
If you started mining right here and then, assuming 2.5Gh/s, you'd now be looking at about BTC1.6.  Electricity doesn't put much of a dent in that.
It was in the sweet spot of being launched just before the difficulty starting going through the roof, and having vastly more hashing power (~2.7Gh/s) than the Block Erupter USB (0.330Gh/s) for the price.


note:

KNC's chips are for their own use ONLY and IPO $$$ for their new data hall they want to control  20% of bitcoin mining fyi... so no hope of getting that 16nm chip
their www.kncminer.com site CLAIMS deployment of such happening now

currently KNC is at 7%? according to the below article

http://bitcoinist.net/knc-miners-announces-20mw-data-center-near-the-arctic-circle-after-turning-backs-on-their-customers/


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June 14, 2015, 11:32:33 AM
 #11

Yeah, KnC claims a lot of things.  Sadly, one of those things is ~5-7% of the network hash rate.  ( organofcorti should have an updated block maker stats post later today. )

Unfortunately, that is the business model for most of the hardware makers now - while those who propose to do something else entirely, or still cater to the little guy by making a StickMiner (next to a planned bigger board), get mocked; though by a company that seems to have itchy keyboard fingers and nothing as of yet to show for it.  Hey, at least they read these forums.

That said, there's plenty to smile about.. if not SFARDS's chip or Avalon's plans or GekkoScience's progress, then you can always go watch a Block Erupter USB beep or get smashed about Cheesy

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June 14, 2015, 02:56:20 PM
 #12

...those who propose to do something else entirely, or still cater to the little guy by making a StickMiner (next to a planned bigger board), get mocked; though by a company that seems to have itchy keyboard fingers and nothing as of yet to show for it.

Link?

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June 14, 2015, 03:12:39 PM
 #13

Link?
I'd say start here Smiley
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=844727.msg11611547#msg11611547

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June 14, 2015, 03:54:20 PM
 #14

I read some mocking for 21e6 embedded stuff and Bitfury Light Bulbs, both of which ideas I openly despise. But yeah, that was a lot of words that didn't actually say anything (or instill any confidence in them). I hope they're full of hot air and can't do what they say, because it sounds to me like they want to centralize mining almost entirely, dole out subscriptions to their gear, and glut the blockchain with billions of stupid transactions for completely unrelated things. None of which is an actually good idea. Once a few more halvings occur and transaction fees dominate the mining revenues, how many miners are still going to be in business when the blockchain is dominated by your zero-fee authentication and communication microtransactions for (id)IoT everything everywhere? How many nodes are there going to be when you're trying to transfer several gigabytes of zero-fee transactions per minute? Why should anyone think this is a good idea?

I think I'll continue to work with real people instead of overwealth'd jackasses. Thanks for the link.

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July 01, 2015, 02:39:47 AM
 #15

2015/07/01

In other news:
Oh and BTC price is up, LTC price is up, block sizes up down up-XT down-with-XT 8MB something, something about replace-by-fee, what's this about blockchains, and block attribution chatter over on organofcorti's blog

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July 11, 2015, 12:21:42 PM
 #16

Small cosmetic update, just putting a few notes here:
The Avalon Nano has sold out at ehash.com.
The Avalon Mini may become available mid-august.

J4bberwock Unveiled one of his SFARDS SF3301-based designs, it's a podminer (a la Gridseed Orb, Antminer U3, R-Box) design with 2 chips.

GekkoScience are also entertaining the idea of a podminer.
The GekkoScience Compac single BM1384 miner may go on presale as early as next week with a German licensee and seller also lined up for those on that side of the pond.  You can read several impressions of the GekkoScience Compac in the official combined review thread, including my own.  Keep in mind that it's for an earlier version.

In bigger miner news, Bitmain's S7 may or may not get announced this month, the same applies to SFARDS' SF100, BitFury's 'Bitlamp' should go on sale before the end of the year, and Spondoolies-Tech teased a little:
how about some info on next gen?
Soon. We're working on public info pack.

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July 11, 2015, 05:44:48 PM
 #17

Small cosmetic update, just putting a few notes here:
The Avalon Nano has sold out at ehash.com.
The Avalon Mini may become available mid-august.

J4bberwock Unveiled one of his SFARDS SF3301-based designs, it's a podminer (a la Gridseed Orb, Antminer U3, R-Box) design with 2 chips.

GekkoScience are also entertaining the idea of a podminer.
The GekkoScience Compac single BM1384 miner may go on presale as early as next week with a German licensee and seller also lined up for those on that side of the pond.  You can read several impressions of the GekkoScience Compac in the official combined review thread, including my own.  Keep in mind that it's for an earlier version.

In bigger miner news, Bitmain's S7 may or may not get announced this month, the same applies to SFARDS' SF100, BitFury's 'Bitlamp' should go on sale before the end of the year, and Spondoolies-Tech teased a little:
how about some info on next gen?
Soon. We're working on public info pack.

I was happy they said something.  Raises my hopes they might be getting closer.  I really do like my SP20's.

Now I just need to hope they will sell to small customers.  They do make great gear.
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July 21, 2015, 10:02:14 AM
 #18

Final minor bump regarding the GekkoScience Compac (see earlier post):

Official sales started July 21st, 2015

Pricing off of GekkoScience is at $25/unit (excluding shipping), 10 unit maximum, contact them if you need bulk.

Because of the low price of these units, shipping can seem daunting.  Group buys or waiting for retail sales can be an option in that case.

RegionForum UserWhere to go
Globalsidehackhttps://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1126705
United StatesHolyScotthttp://holybitcoin.com/ - TBA
Canadavalkirhttps://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1121237
AustraliaAJRGalehttps://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1123519
Venezuelachiguireitorhttp://contimita.com/ / TBA
EuropeMacEntyrehttps://www.bitshopper.de/shop/usb-miner-bitcoin/gekkoscience-compac/
(design licensee, own manufacturing run)

Design thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=995675
Reviews thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1086011
My non-technical review/feedback: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1086011.msg11816899#msg11816899
My technical review/feedback: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1086011.msg11902625#msg11902625

TheRealSteve
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August 04, 2015, 12:08:32 PM
 #19

While still little is known about the Avalon Mini, Canaan Creative have additionally hinted at an Avalon nano2.  As with the mini, they appear to plan building a Chrome App for control.

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August 16, 2015, 03:50:29 AM
 #20

Last chance, for now, to pledge for a GekkoScience Compac: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1126705 
Either direct, or through one of the group buys (see 2 posts up in this thread).

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