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Author Topic: GekkoScience BM1384 Project Development Discussion  (Read 143076 times)
Xian01
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June 11, 2015, 03:00:52 PM

Opinions?
Use the experience you have gained working with the BM1384, and hope most of it transfers over for their next chip.

It's probably too late to release this product and have it make any financial sense for buyers Sad
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June 11, 2015, 03:02:28 PM

sounds like a plan there hack getting close eh

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June 11, 2015, 03:03:13 PM

My stick is in. I will open the review thread.

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June 11, 2015, 03:16:21 PM

Opinions?
Use the experience you have gained working with the BM1384, and hope most of it transfers over for their next chip.

It's probably too late to release this product and have it make any financial sense for buyers Sad

I think the Compac and Amita would still be viable with the BM1384, but certainly not the TypeZero boards. They could be run at an efficiency-competitive point but probably not price-competitively. But if people are willing to pay $20 for a 3GH stickminer with fixed voltage, would people still pay $25 for an 8GH stickminer that can be adjusted to 15GH and still come in at more power-efficient than any miner you can actually buy anytime in at least the next month? The point is a learning tool that's also potentially financially viable, and if I can make some with the 1384 right now and sell 'em instead of waiting a couple months to redesign with another chip, that revenue will help keep things rolling for redesigns later.

Stick is in? Groovy! I think everyone's should arrive today except MrTeal's, given that his shipped yesterday and is going to Canada. I'll check with Novak on when we expect the V0.4 PCBs to get here.

Selling seconds 2Pacs for a friend's med bills - PM for details
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June 11, 2015, 03:27:27 PM

Opinions?
Use the experience you have gained working with the BM1384, and hope most of it transfers over for their next chip.

It's probably too late to release this product and have it make any financial sense for buyers Sad

I think the Compac and Amita would still be viable with the BM1384, but certainly not the TypeZero boards. They could be run at an efficiency-competitive point but probably not price-competitively. But if people are willing to pay $20 for a 3GH stickminer with fixed voltage, would people still pay $25 for an 8GH stickminer that can be adjusted to 15GH and still come in at more power-efficient than any miner you can actually buy anytime in at least the next month? The point is a learning tool that's also potentially financially viable, and if I can make some with the 1384 right now and sell 'em instead of waiting a couple months to redesign with another chip, that revenue will help keep things rolling for redesigns later.

Stick is in? Groovy! I think everyone's should arrive today except MrTeal's, given that his shipped yesterday and is going to Canada. I'll check with Novak on when we expect the V0.4 PCBs to get here.

photos posted.  and I am trying to remember how to setup cgminer 4.9.1 for a usb  stick Huh

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1086011.msg11592485#msg11592485


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June 11, 2015, 07:19:54 PM

Well, no, because if I didn't have to take time to do everything else ever I'd have probably finalized the Compac in May. I had a full two weeks where I didn't touch the thing, and then the first day I came back to it I had it up and working within about four hours. There have been a lot of wait times for PCBs and such, but considering other losses (and especially that first failed regulator, which honestly would probably have been good enough if we had the right driver software) we're pretty far behind schedule.

I think we already have pretty good people, and a pretty good plan, but the resources part has always been the limiting factor for us. But we're solving that problem.

Speaking of resources, I just got word from Bitmain that the chips I'll be wanting are in stock and they can sell them to me. I'm wondering if I shouldn't buy more than 1000 (I also asked about 2000), partly so I have more to test with for bigger boards, and partly because I could probably sell more than 1000 chips worth of Compac and Amita sticks. I've been talking a bit with a guy in Europe that wants to license the design (once I know it's good enough) for manufacture and sales over there, which would be pretty good for Eurocustomers that don't want to pay more for international shipping and import taxes than the thing actually costs, but that means he'll also need some chips so I could probably pick up a larger pile and share them out. It's been suggested that I make up my mind in the next couple days, which if that means they want me to pay down on chips in the next couple days we're gonna be in a tight spot because 1000 chips shipped would be about 14.5BTC and I sorta don't have that available. I'm hoping I can reserve stock, because as has been stated since the beginning, I'm not willing to take in money on these until they're tested and verified, and I won't have the final PCBs until next week so the final version product won't be in the hands of testers for a week after that. I could base things off the reports from the four guys getting modified pre-final prototypes (three of which sticks should be delivered today), but that's not really the same thing.

Opinions?

"Opinions are like butts, everybody's got one and they all stink." -- Unknown
So here's my stinky.

USB Stickminers are, by definition, not a commercial product. They're a novelty item. As such their price needn't be tied to an economic equation.
IMHO, can one sell 1,000 Stickminers, probably, given enough time. And there's the rub, it's called the time/value of money.
Example: When I obligated for 2-3 stickminers (as I consider posting the same here a contract to purchase) I am and remain unconcerned with unit cost.
Obviously, one could do like other manufacturers of H/W do and mine with them till sold to the end consumer ("burn in testing") to defray the cost of ownership/inventory.

Assuming one had a viable 18 chip board designed and all of the 1K of chips were dedicated to that manufacturing endeavor. That's enough chips for 55 boards. If those boards hash @ ~270GH/s @ .3W/GH/s they're more than competitive with the Bitmain S5 offering and could be priced @ $85-$100 each. Given that the chip cost is $60.03 that doesn't leave a lot of room for board and tertiary component cost and a margin to make it worthwhile to sell. Seems like a slim margin to me, given I'm unaware of the rest of the cost structure . . .

Thinking about the 1K chip order. Many manufacturers will obligate for a total quantity of parts in a phased delivery schedule. Say 250 chips per week and pay for them on that periodic basis. This splits up the total cost of the order and makes it manageable and creates some cash flow for the next week's order. Given that these are last generation chips and they're sitting in inventory (doing nothing and targeted to do nothing) Bitmain may be open to this kind of arrangement. You'd actually be doing them a favor by cleaning out their old, soon to be useless, virtually un-saleable stock.

I think if it were me, I'd obligate for 1K chips total, size the "down payment" for the 1st weeks shipment (250 chips), and agree to purchase 250/week for the next 3 weeks. I would also ask them to disclose their inventory size so that I could estimate the "legs" of this endeavor. I'd also see if they're willing to shave the $3.335 cost per chip given the chip's antiquated design and a willingness to maybe purchase more than 1K total. i.e. the first 1K @ $3.335, the next 1K @ a lesser cost, etc. . . . . . Or maybe cost breaks at the 5K, 10K total order size, assuming their inventory is that large.

Hope that stench wasn't too bad.

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June 11, 2015, 07:28:07 PM

I've been talking a bit with a guy in Europe that wants to license the design (once I know it's good enough) for manufacture and sales over there, which would be pretty good for Eurocustomers that don't want to pay more for international shipping and import taxes than the thing actually costs,...
Very good news :-).

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sidehack
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June 11, 2015, 07:31:21 PM

Unless we intend on selling several thousand stickminers, I probably won't be buying several thousand chips. The way time is lining up, I'll likely design and get to fully functional an 18-chip board about the time someone releases a new chip. At that point it would make more sense to spend an extra couple weeks negotiating samples and design info for the new chip (most of which will probably carry over from the previous generation), modify the design and run out a fresh prototype. I highly doubt I'd be in the market for 5K chips this late in the generation unless they cost about half what we're quoted right now.
Additionally, from Bitmain I was told "make the decision these two days, I think our guy will produce PCB with them soon" so if I assume they're not lying to me, they're probably not cleaning out old virtually-unsaleable stock. The existence of the S4+ hints that they aren't in a hurry to do that anyway.

A contracted arrangement for periodic chips might be nice for stretching out payments, but it would also increase shipping costs which would make the per-unit price even worse. If I could get a lower price for a larger total order could offset that, which would be nice. As it is, I'm looking at a single batch of about 2K chips and unless Compacs sell out stupid fast that's probably gonna be the whole run.

Selling seconds 2Pacs for a friend's med bills - PM for details
Currently in development - 20-120GH USB stick; 700GH 75W pod; 4TH volt-adjustable S1/3/5 upgrade kit
Server PSU interface boards and cables. USB and small-scale miners. Hardware hosting, advice and odd-jobs. Supporting the home miner community since 2013 - http://www.gekkoscience.com
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June 11, 2015, 07:35:10 PM

"But if people are willing to pay $20 for a 3GH stickminer with fixed voltage, would people still pay $25 for an 8GH stickminer that can be adjusted to 15GH and still come in at more power-efficient than any miner you can actually buy anytime in at least the next month?"

I say HELL YES!!

A fixed V 3GH stickminer @ $20 = $6.67/GH/s
An variable V 8GH/s stickminer @ $25 = $3.13/GH/s
A tweaked variable V stickminer tweaked to 15GH/s @ $25 = $1.67/GH/s

Remembering that a stickminer is not a commercial product (one is not going to build a 1-2 PH/s mining farm with them) that is, IMHO, a very competitive price.

I'll send ya' .2173 BTC for 2 right now if that's you're price point.
Ship'em whenever you get them built.

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June 11, 2015, 07:39:07 PM

I'll send ya' .2173 BTC for 2 right now if that's you're price point.

Thanks, but I'm still holding off on taking in funds. We've only seen one tester report that he's received the stick, and hasn't actually run it yet. I won't make any decisions until we've at least seen a couple of the proto sticks up and going outside my bench. If I have to raise money in the short term (before the final design is tested) for a batch of chips, I will, but only if I have to.

And yes, the sticks should not cost more than $25. I think that'll be the unit price if folks are okay with it.

Selling seconds 2Pacs for a friend's med bills - PM for details
Currently in development - 20-120GH USB stick; 700GH 75W pod; 4TH volt-adjustable S1/3/5 upgrade kit
Server PSU interface boards and cables. USB and small-scale miners. Hardware hosting, advice and odd-jobs. Supporting the home miner community since 2013 - http://www.gekkoscience.com
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June 11, 2015, 08:06:32 PM

sidehack you said you had these working on minera with raspberry pi ? if so i would be more then happy to drive there and pick one or 2 up and test them out for you and give a novice review

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June 12, 2015, 01:19:24 PM

Yes the T-Shirts are on the way!  Grin

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June 14, 2015, 12:22:07 AM

"But if people are willing to pay $20 for a 3GH stickminer with fixed voltage, would people still pay $25 for an 8GH stickminer that can be adjusted to 15GH and still come in at more power-efficient than any miner you can actually buy anytime in at least the next month?"

I say HELL YES!!

I totally agree.  Kudos to you again for what you are doing and how you are doing it.  I look forward to buying your products and supporting your endeavors.  Thanks!

Left positive feedback for Dogie & now don't feel the same? Remove it here
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June 14, 2015, 04:50:58 PM

Just as an update, I probably won't have any news this entire week. I've got four proto Compacs in the wild and folks are starting to talk about them in Phil's review thread, but that's going to be it for a while. I got word on Friday that my cousin died, so between the funeral, other family stuff and other business runs I'll be out of town for all but two of the next seven days and those two days will probably be spent on power supply tasks. So I probably won't even look at miners again until the Compac and 18-board PCBs get here.

Selling seconds 2Pacs for a friend's med bills - PM for details
Currently in development - 20-120GH USB stick; 700GH 75W pod; 4TH volt-adjustable S1/3/5 upgrade kit
Server PSU interface boards and cables. USB and small-scale miners. Hardware hosting, advice and odd-jobs. Supporting the home miner community since 2013 - http://www.gekkoscience.com
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June 14, 2015, 05:00:00 PM

Just as an update, I probably won't have any news this entire week. I've got four proto Compacs in the wild and folks are starting to talk about them in Phil's review thread, but that's going to be it for a while. I got word on Friday that my cousin died, so between the funeral, other family stuff and other business runs I'll be out of town for all but two of the next seven days and those two days will probably be spent on power supply tasks. So I probably won't even look at miners again until the Compac and 18-board PCBs get here.

Family First man.  I am sorry for your loss.  I will continue to post in the review thread.


https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1086011.0

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June 14, 2015, 07:17:12 PM

@sidehack: Best wishes on your funeral trip. While funerals can be rather sobering, you will tend to re-connect with folks, and that can mitigate the sense of loss a bit.

We'll see you when you get back. I am sure your "babies" (i.e. the prototypes in the wild) are in good hands!
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June 14, 2015, 07:23:22 PM

My immediate family is somewhat fragmented (the four members live in four different cities in two different states) but that cousin's immediate family all grew up on the same farm and are all still very local (4 generations of them). She just got married last December too, which doesn't make things any better. The annual family reunion next weekend will probably be a more somber affair than usual.

Also, I've never thought of stuff I build as "babies". My stick miners would be terrible on a sandwich.

Selling seconds 2Pacs for a friend's med bills - PM for details
Currently in development - 20-120GH USB stick; 700GH 75W pod; 4TH volt-adjustable S1/3/5 upgrade kit
Server PSU interface boards and cables. USB and small-scale miners. Hardware hosting, advice and odd-jobs. Supporting the home miner community since 2013 - http://www.gekkoscience.com
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June 14, 2015, 08:04:51 PM

Take as much time as needed. It dont HAVE to be done asap, you have done a great job so far. You haven't taken payments or promised any official date.

Also will the 18 chip boards meant to replace old s1 hash boards connect to the old s1 controller? If so that's awesome because I have a few laying around.
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June 14, 2015, 08:17:59 PM

The short answer is "no". The longer answer involves quoting the first post of this thread (I'll leave finding the other times this question has been answered thoroughly as an exercise for the reader):

Quote
The primary goal is to build a simple board which would be USB-connected to a controller, and capable of adjusting both core voltages and clock speeds using cgminer flags... and be a decen Jalapeno-formfactor home desk miner ... with a 4-port USB hub and a Pi or something as the controller, and you have an "S1 Upgrade Kit"

Since the goal has always been to create boards which will run as quiet desk miners, a secondary purpose being four of them will mount on an S1 chassis, no we will not be making it compatible with the S1 controller because that either makes it unnecessarily complex (having two completely separate means of interface) or makes it useless for its primary purpose (specifically, being a simple and flexible miner on its own merits) by tethering it to very special-purpose hardware not everyone has.

Selling seconds 2Pacs for a friend's med bills - PM for details
Currently in development - 20-120GH USB stick; 700GH 75W pod; 4TH volt-adjustable S1/3/5 upgrade kit
Server PSU interface boards and cables. USB and small-scale miners. Hardware hosting, advice and odd-jobs. Supporting the home miner community since 2013 - http://www.gekkoscience.com
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