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Author Topic: Specs on BFL Single power adapter?  (Read 12064 times)
jamesg
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March 19, 2012, 09:32:17 PM
 #81

Well, I think we can count me out for the moment. Saving 10w on 11 singles 80Kwh for me over the course of a month which amounts to $5.68 or ~1.1 BTC. A month. I was thinking it would be fun to do this, but the cost seems a bit too high with the extra PSU ($220) and adapters ($250).

My money is best utilized elsewhere atm.
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DeathAndTaxes
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Gerald Davis


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March 19, 2012, 09:32:36 PM
 #82

Yeah that was my original thought.  Still a lot of work sweatshop work which is why I looked for an OEM.  However if you are interested go for it.  I am sure there is demand for a product.  I would be interested but not @ 4 BTC each.  
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Gerald Davis


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March 19, 2012, 09:34:20 PM
 #83

Well, I think we can count me out for the moment. Saving 10w on 11 singles 80Kwh for me over the course of a month which amounts to $5.68 or ~1.1 BTC. A month. I was thinking it would be fun to do this, but the cost seems a bit too high with the extra PSU ($220) and adapters ($250).

My money is best utilized elsewhere atm.

The quote was $25 for a 3x1 adapters.  I won't be ordering them as I was hoping they could supply them for $10 and I mark them up to $15. Smiley.  At $25 for cost there is no market and no profit for yours truly.  Still it wouldn't require 11 adapters to power 11 singles just 4.
jamesg
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March 19, 2012, 09:37:28 PM
 #84

Well, I think we can count me out for the moment. Saving 10w on 11 singles 80Kwh for me over the course of a month which amounts to $5.68 or ~1.1 BTC. A month. I was thinking it would be fun to do this, but the cost seems a bit too high with the extra PSU ($220) and adapters ($250).

My money is best utilized elsewhere atm.

The quote was $25 for 3x1 adapters.  I won't be ordering them I was hoping they could supply them for $10 and I mark them up to $15. Smiley.  Still it wouldn't require 11 adapters to power 11 singles just 4.

I stand corrected.
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March 19, 2012, 09:45:07 PM
 #85

I made a few for myself. Will have a few more to sell when I get round to soldering them.

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Gerald Davis


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March 19, 2012, 09:49:00 PM
 #86

Looks nice P_shep but how is that 4x1 adapter wired?
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1ngldh


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March 19, 2012, 09:49:13 PM
 #87

I made a few for myself. Will have a few more to sell when I get round to soldering them.

http://i.imgur.com/j2pjE.jpg
Very nice. I never considered using the EPS12V connector, because you could use it for a host system such as a cheap atom or VIA based mini-ITX board. And, if you are powering FPGAs other than BFL, you could even use one of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812198016 for a total of 12 6 FPGA per 6-pin connector. (edit, brain dead, said 12 meant 6)

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
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March 19, 2012, 09:52:55 PM
 #88

Looks nice P_shep but how is that 4x1 adapter wired?

Just wired to each of the 4 pairs as you would expect.

The 6-pin PCI-E has just 2 wired to the outer pairs.
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March 19, 2012, 09:57:10 PM
 #89

Can see them here (as posted in the rigs thread!):


Using the 12v and 5v from the 4-pin peripheral connector to power the router and hub respectively.

All I need now is for my singles to arrive.


*twiddles thumbs*

*whistles*

*Scratches butt*


When they do, I'll have a nice ~5Gh/s 'rig' which can be plugged into any socket, pretty much anywhere - just need a wifi connection Smiley
catfish
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March 19, 2012, 10:08:27 PM
 #90

I was going to consider soldering up a bunch of barrel plugs as per the Ztex webpage (note, I am going the 'lots of Ztex warrantied reprogrammable FPGAs' route rather than the BFL route, so could run over one hundred of my FPGA units from a top-end PC power supply) but I'm *incredibly* wary of having *one* PC power supply feeding my entire investment in FPGAs.

I've got one FPGA at the moment on test, using a typical router-type PSU, and it is performing brilliantly given the harsh environment (it's well out of spec, to put it mildly). However, these units are not cheap. An investment in 25 units, which I have ordered, is too much to lose if a single component failed (i.e. the ATX PSU).

Given each unit draws around 8W, my 25-unit cluster won't draw enough power to worry the top-end PSUs that I've had to use in my GPU rigs. But I've had a PSU failure before, and the idea of one £150 component trashing £5,000 worth of downstream hardware is too much.

I think I'll be trying to limit the number of downstream units that can be destroyed by a PSU failure, especially when the units have a high capital cost and a limited resale market (though properly reprogrammable FPGAs have a larger market than single-bitstream devices).

The question is whether to run a few low-power but top-brand ATX PSUs, or to use the router-type (much more likely to fail) cheapo Chinese switching supplies and run fewer FPGAs from each PSU brick.

Alternatively, if anyone knows of a sensible approach to the 'UPS' but *between the PSU and the load* - then it'd be safe to run my goal of a 100-unit FPGA cluster off a single top-end 1200W ATX PSU. The important thing here is that if the PSU fails internally, then it doesn't fry anything downstream, and if any individual power cable (to an FPGA board) shorts out or blows up (or any other failure) then it doesn't affect any other units (or shuts the entire PSU down immediately).

Up till now, I've been fairly reckless but the entire rig design has been based off logic boards with 4 PCIe slots, hence each 'unit' has a maximum of 4 GPU cards, and I'm not buying the most expensive ones. A catastrophic PSU failure could, at worst case, cost me a 4-GPU 'unit' in my farm. Losing the entire farm from a single PSU failure would be harsh.

What are the rest of the FPGA crew doing to secure their power supplies? I know the BFL singles eat as much power as a low-end GPU so it's not quite the same as a cluster of 8W boards, but at 85W (Inaba's numbers) you can run 10 off a top-quality kilowatt ATX PSU comfortably. If it blows, that's possibly $6k lost, which is still bad news.

Any thoughts?

...so I give in to the rhythm, the click click clack
I'm too wasted to fight back...


BTC: 1A7HvdGGDie3P5nDpiskG8JxXT33Yu6Gct
P_Shep
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March 19, 2012, 10:16:12 PM
 #91

ATX PSU's *should* fail safely... you've had one take out components too?  Shocked
DeathAndTaxes
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Gerald Davis


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March 19, 2012, 10:19:24 PM
 #92

I have never seen a high quality PSU kill downstream components unless abused or pushed beyond specs.  Honestly I haven't ever heard of any ATX PSU damaging components that wasn't related to user error or abuse.

In our datacenter we have $80,000 servers running 24/7/365 off power supplies (n+1 redundant).  Power supplies are designed to safely power a lot more than a couple thousand in FPGAs.  Your UPS idea is dubious.  What if it is the UPS not the PSU which fails?  Plus UPS don't really exist for DC loads at the price point you are looking at.  So you are talking about some kind of modding increasing the risk of failure.


Anything can happen but internal PSU failure that also protected downstream components is very remote.  If you really feel the need for supplemental protection get:
a) whole house surge arrestor (a real one)  <- still won't help in a direct strike hopefully your mains are underground
b) a dedicated circuit and outlet preferably with a locking connector to prevent accidental disconnection
c) line interactive UPS

the goal being to ensure the power into the PSU is perfectly clean.  Transients from upstream of the PSU are far more likely to cause damage than a failure of a PSU which results in internal unsafe voltage.
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March 19, 2012, 10:48:36 PM
 #93

I have trouble finding high enough capacity UPS units that don't cost more than it's worth to protect, though...

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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Gerald Davis


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March 19, 2012, 10:52:24 PM
 #94

I have trouble finding high enough capacity UPS units that don't cost more than it's worth to protect, though...

For GPUs I agree but he is talking about ztex FPGAs.  At $250 per board (even in bulk) and 8W it is roughly $31 per watt.  One can get a UPS for 1% of total system cost. Sounds like a good investment to me.

Now GPUs  I wouldn't consider a UPS.  

rjk
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1ngldh


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March 20, 2012, 12:00:48 AM
 #95

I have never seen a high quality PSU kill downstream components unless abused or pushed beyond specs.  Honestly I haven't ever heard of any ATX PSU damaging components that wasn't related to user error or abuse.
+1, also insurance.

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catfish
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March 20, 2012, 12:02:51 AM
 #96

I have never seen a high quality PSU kill downstream components unless abused or pushed beyond specs.  Honestly I haven't ever heard of any ATX PSU damaging components that wasn't related to user error or abuse.
Not all of my ATX PSUs were top-end £1,500 units, certainly not in the early days when I was a complete newbie. My single failure wasn't user error or abuse, unless you consider using a cheap brand 'user error', like some do (I don't want to start any hostility here, BTW, we're more or less along the same lines). The unit was rated at 850W, and a logic board, underclocked CPU, 1G of RAM, and three Sapphire 5770 cards burned it out. It took, interestingly, two of the GPUs but not the logic board or CPU. I suppose the big power draw was the 12V rail to the GPU connectors. No, it wasn't ideal, and no, it wasn't best practices by ANY means. I was learning and this was one of the early 'more than 2 GPU' tests.

However the consumption was below the *rated* spec - even at the wall (so even less after inefficiency losses). Poor quality PSUs bite you in the arse, it's been made clear MANY times here on the forums. I haven't (touch wood) had a PSU fail since.

But it's still a single point of failure, surely you appreciate my concern there?

In our datacenter we have $80,000 servers running 24/7/365 off power supplies (n+1 redundant).  Power supplies are designed to safely power a lot more than a couple thousand in FPGAs.  Your UPS idea is dubious.  What if it is the UPS not the PSU which fails?  Plus UPS don't really exist for DC loads at the price point you are looking at.  So you are talking about some kind of modding increasing the risk of failure.


Anything can happen but internal PSU failure that also protected downstream components is very remote.  If you really feel the need for supplemental protection get:
a) whole house surge arrestor (a real one)  <- still won't help in a direct strike hopefully your mains are underground
b) a dedicated circuit and outlet preferably with a locking connector to prevent accidental disconnection
c) line interactive UPS

the goal being to ensure the power into the PSU is perfectly clean.  Transients from upstream of the PSU are far more likely to cause damage than a failure of a PSU which results in internal unsafe voltage.

My 'UPS idea' is not 'dubious' - please don't be rude - it's not an 'idea' at all. It's a polite question to people like yourself who know whether there's established technology to 'filter' out upstream 12V DC failures (as per a catastrophic PSU failure), or whether an ATX PSU 'catastrophic failure' couldn't possibly burn out hundreds of FPGAs due to the internal build of ATX PSUs.

I don't know enough about how these PSUs work to know whether a low-probability (but still real) failure could end up putting more than 19V on the 12V rail before shutting down. My FPGAs tolerate a range of voltages, and hence a high-spec ATX power supply would give the FPGA boards the least work to do (with a constant, regular voltage, the VRMs aren't constantly working away). But if a failure resulted in the PSU dumping excess voltage across the 12V rail and ground... that'd burn out the FPGAs.

So you're saying that the chances of a high quality ATX PSU, given clean AC power, will fail safe - if they fail at all? As in any internal PSU failure resulting in a blown fuse, or brown-out before shutdown? If so, then that's very reassuring. The FPGA units can accept a wide range of voltage, so if the 12V rail on the PSU browns out from 12 down to 8 V, the FPGAs will still work. If the power then shuts off, then no damage should be done to the hardware (any more than pulling the power cable out).

My office runs off a single ring main I installed myself using slightly over-spec cable, it is 'protected' by a decent surge arrestor, and the main server and critical networking parts sit behind an APC Smart-UPS 1500VA (the server doesn't eat much power - it's a Mac Mini Server with dual SSDs for speed). And every power socket (240V, this is England) runs through a 'Gold' class surge arrestor (yes, paranoia, and whilst I don't expect the £100,000 payout due to lightning strikes claimed by the products, with two layers of surge protection I *hope* I'm safe) - I'm not running an enterprise-level datacentre here. To be frank, I've not seen inside a modern datacentre for well over a decade... So I've had a bit of 'back to my early days' fun designing, building and optimising these new BTC miner rigs. No doubt it's child's play to you and other professionals, but that's why I'm asking you the questions...


The difference this time is that I'm making a substantial, serious investment in FPGA Bitcoin mining. I believe the risk / reward ratio is favourable, so long as I can pay off the hardware costs *before* the increase in volatility due to the block reward reduction (yes, it could result in higher BTC prices, but the expected volatility and the time before the event is too high to realistically factor into business plans - yes, there's an argument that prices would rise, but I can't make capital allocations based on bets that far out).

My business plan makes sense - but hardware failures would endanger my profitability comfort zone. If I ran an entire 25 unit cluster from one PSU and that failed, destroying all 25 units, I'd be fucked. Is there any such thing as an economical 'fuse' that blows on voltage, not current? I'm sure this applies to the BFL units as well as my Ztex FPGAs, but there's a maximum input voltage that the on-board VRMs will handle before blowing up. I'd rather have a fuse blow up than an FPGA board. Whilst I can assume the current drawn by the board at maximum mining rate from the power consumption, it's not the case that the board will be able to draw more current than that - i.e. pulling more power due to input voltage being higher and the VRMs have to dissipate more heat providing the required voltages. Besides, if the PSU browns a bit and starts supplying 10V instead of 12V, the FPGA will still work just fine. I don't want fuses blowing right left and centre just because our voltage has sagged a bit (very common in England, I'm afraid)...

So I'm basically asking politely, to those who are proper qualified EEs (which I am not), whether I'm at risk using my best PSU for all my FPGAs... or using two lower-rated PSUs (e.g. Cooler Master GX600s)... or sticking to one switching-PSU brick per FPGA board and a load of custom wiring. I'm happy making custom wiring and have the facilities to test before use.

...so I give in to the rhythm, the click click clack
I'm too wasted to fight back...


BTC: 1A7HvdGGDie3P5nDpiskG8JxXT33Yu6Gct
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March 20, 2012, 12:06:44 AM
 #97

The internal protection in a PSU will not allow the output voltage to go out of spec, I.E., it will never be above or below its rated output. Therefore a "brownout" cannot happen on the 12v side, but such an event on the input will simply cause a shutdown.

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March 20, 2012, 01:22:22 AM
 #98

I have trouble finding high enough capacity UPS units that don't cost more than it's worth to protect, though...

For GPUs I agree but he is talking about ztex FPGAs.  At $250 per board (even in bulk) and 8W it is roughly $31 per watt.  One can get a UPS for 1% of total system cost. Sounds like a good investment to me.

Now GPUs  I wouldn't consider a UPS. 



I'm not sure I see how that matters, if he's loading down a 1200w PSU with 125 Zetex or 14 BFL units, the load is the same to the UPS.  Am I missing something?

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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1ngldh


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March 20, 2012, 01:24:26 AM
 #99

I have trouble finding high enough capacity UPS units that don't cost more than it's worth to protect, though...

For GPUs I agree but he is talking about ztex FPGAs.  At $250 per board (even in bulk) and 8W it is roughly $31 per watt.  One can get a UPS for 1% of total system cost. Sounds like a good investment to me.

Now GPUs  I wouldn't consider a UPS. 



I'm not sure I see how that matters, if he's loading down a 1200w PSU with 125 Zetex or 14 BFL units, the load is the same to the UPS.  Am I missing something?
Probably that the loss in efficiency isn't much to worry about when the farm makes so much money during power outage. FWIW, I wouldn't bother with a UPS though, power is never out very long around here.

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
DeathAndTaxes
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Gerald Davis


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March 20, 2012, 01:31:33 AM
 #100

I'm not sure I see how that matters, if he's loading down a 1200w PSU with 125 Zetex or 14 BFL units, the load is the same to the UPS.  Am I missing something?

The cost of the equipment being protected.  GPU are cheaper and use more power which means a UPS will be more expensive and a higher % of total system cost.  An FPGA is more expensive and uses less power which means a UPS will be less expensive and a lower % of total system cost.
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