53 Comments

  1. Video - Data Networking for Medium Size Bitcoin Mining Operation - Block Operations
    February 18, 2017 @ 6:08 pm

    […] For an introduction to on planning your Bitcoin mining operation, see Planning Your Bitcoin Mining Operation  […]

    Reply

  2. John
    February 18, 2017 @ 11:04 pm

    You mention to avoid air conditioning. What if it’s in a hot area like Phoenix? I’m in the beginning stages of planning a 20-40 Antminer S9 setup depending on logistics. I’m looking at a warehouse (similar to your 20 Antminer setup) or possibly building a work shop. AC would have to be ran at least 4 months of the year I imagine. I’m not positive on how to calculate costs for AC but I am estimating it to be an addition 10% in electricity. At those margins I should still be profitable durning summer months. Thoughts?

    Reply

    • Rolf
      February 19, 2017 @ 5:03 pm

      There are a couple things you want to think about for cooling the Bitcoin mining facility in Phoenix. You can definitely calculate how much air conditioning would be required and that would be a good starting point. The second thing that you need to calculate is how much throughput on the airflow you’re going to need.

      Since you don’t want any back circulation of air into the antminer you can take 20 miners and calculated at 220 cubic feet per minute per Miner and get a number of about 4500 cubic feet per minute. That’s the minimum airflow you need to prevent the air from recirculating. You’ll also need to put up barriers to prevent the recirculation from happening.

      The second thing you’re going to need is to calculate how many tons of air conditioning you’ll need. This website provides a good basic explanation of that.

      https://www.dataclean.com/secret-to-watts-btus-and-tons.html

      So you can see if you have 20 miners they’ll use about 30 kilowatts of electricity. Leave yourself a little wiggle room and use a number of 40 kilowatts and you’ll see that you need about 12 tons of air conditioning to remove the heat produced from the miners.

      A really rough calculation is that 12 tons of air conditioning would use 12 kilowatt hour of electricity.

      If my calculations are correct that means you would use about 35% more electricity when you put it in an air-conditioned room. And I don’t know what the acquisition cost of a 12 ton 5000 cubic feet per minute system is.

      You may want to consider doing something different and mining something with a much lower power usage and putting it in an air-conditioned environment.

      I’m still writing the article but the most power-efficient mining equipment out there is the Baikal giant a900 mining X11 for dash. One Miner uses 250 Watts, not the 1500 watts that an antminer S9 does.

      Reply

    • Ken
      July 9, 2017 @ 1:54 pm

      The S9 is designed to up up around 100 degrees if you give it enough airflow. Even in Phoenix, this is possible most of the year with evap cooling that you can get much much cheaper than AC. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’ll be too humid and ruin the miners. In phoenix you won’t be exceeding 50% RH in most cases which is well within the operating limits of pretty much any computer equipment I’ve ever seen.

      I’m considering the same thing here in Phoenix and plan on compensating with a huge amount of airflow to make sure the miners stay ‘cool enough’. August is really my only worry when the humidity level will leave the evap units less effective. Even if you had to shut down miners for 10 hours a day in August, it would still be more economical than installing and running AC.

      Reply

      • Aaron
        July 10, 2017 @ 12:56 pm

        First off wanna say thanks for the post.
        Im in Phoenix area as well. Been small time mining for quite some time(2014). In the process now of getting space for Antminers. I have had the same idea as @Ken here. The AC comment is going kill costs in even one month or a few hours.

        Reply

        • Rolf
          July 13, 2017 @ 8:22 am

          I’m running my Antminers and GPU miners in the Georgia heat right right now. It is hitting over 90 degrees during the day. A few of the miners are not happy, but most of them are running fine. I think I have about 300 CFM per miner of natural circulation air right now.

          You could probably even just shut everything down in August to not stress it. I know that over 80% of my costs are electricity. No profit, and much less expenses.

          I think it is better to have the miners close by than to have to fly to a datacenter to access them. Travel eats up costs in a hurry.

          You could also move…but that’s not an option for me with 4 kids in the house.

          Reply

  3. Nicolas
    May 24, 2017 @ 10:17 am

    Hi Rolf, thanks for you blogs and videos. They are very informative. I thought I had missed the boat and was too late in starting mining bitcoins or some other cryptocurrency . Watching your video “Tips for Small Bitcoin Miners to Maximize Their Advantages” gave me faith again. But then this article brought back to reality and confirm what I had read on the subject. You need very low electricity price to be able to have a profitable small mining operation. You mention in your article $0.10 per KiloWatt Hour or less to maintain profitability. Here in the UK the cost is £0.12 ($0.16 ) per KiloWatt Hour, well above your recommended price. Do you still think is worth it? Are the alternative cryptocurrencies to bitcoin the answer to be profitable? you mentioned $11000 / year in one of your other post. That would be a nice target. Cheers.

    Reply

    • Rolf
      June 24, 2017 @ 6:45 pm

      I think at the current cryptocurrency prices it is worth it even at higher electric prices.

      Reply

  4. Matthew
    July 16, 2017 @ 3:44 pm

    thanks so so much for this I’m planning to buy 80 s9’s and saw on some other guides people have a hot and cold side to direct air flow is that necessary the mine will be located around central Indiana

    Reply

    • Rolf
      July 17, 2017 @ 12:27 pm

      I like to bring in cold air in the middle then send it out. Here is a video I did of my cooling setup in Georgia. You are welcome to come visit to see if you are going to be in the area.
      https://youtu.be/3mbnQPcU34I

      Reply

  5. Chris
    August 11, 2017 @ 10:43 pm

    Hello I’m new in mining, yesterday I buy 4 Antminer D3 and want to ask if this parts that I’m going to buy are correct to plan all my mining. Thank you so much for your help. The miners are going to be inside home here in California.

    Firewall and router:
    Cisco Small Business RV110W 5 Port Fast Ethernet Wireless-N VPN Firewall Router Model RV110W-A-NA-K9

    Network Switches
    Refurbished: TP-LINK TL-SG1016D 10/100/1000Mbps 16-Port Gigabit 13-inch Rackmountable Switch, 32Gbps Capacity – 16 Ports – 16 x RJ-45

    Power Distribution Unit
    Tripp Lite Basic PDU, 16A, 14 Outlets (12 C13 & 2 C19), 100 – 240 V, C20 Input, 1U Rack-Mount Power (PDU12IEC)

    Power Cords
    Tripp Lite Model P005-003-AGN 3 ft. Heavy-Duty Power Extension Cord, 15A, 14 AWG (IEC-320-C14 to IEC-320-C13) Male to Female

    Reply

  6. Andy
    August 18, 2017 @ 5:13 am

    Hello. I’m absolutely blown away at the great info I’ve read here. I’m not the most experienced but I been mining BTC since s2 to s9 .
    I’m looking to help some miners in return for good referrals. I’m in GA in the se us as well. We have eliminated 38% of Kw/hr costs though own own PFC and smart voltage regulators.
    I’m not sure how to make the game better for the decentralization other than just launch . Anyone got experience with the Energy or Amp reduction and POwer Factor capable PSU add on ?
    I’m available Andrew@nullKillaWattCoin.com

    Reply

    • Rolf
      August 28, 2017 @ 12:59 pm

      yeah, you probably need to just launch. But if you want to me to give your power factor correction and voltage regulator system a try, let me know.

      Reply

  7. Javier
    August 18, 2017 @ 10:39 am

    What’s wrong with smart pdus? For example, apc ones. I’m planning to build my farm with a bunch of these.

    Reply

    • Rolf
      August 18, 2017 @ 11:04 am

      There’s nothing at all wrong with smart PDU’s. At my small Mining facility I have six of them. I like that they show the exact number of amps and that they can be remotely accessed and reset the ports.

      The problem is they cost almost $700 each and dumb pdus cost about $170 each. At my big Mining facility I have 48 30 amp receptacles right now and I’m expanding to 96.

      I discovered that I don’t ever remote access the pdus and I don’t remotely reset them and that once I figured out how many miners I can hang off 1 PDU it was easier to go with the dumb ones.

      I save $5,000 by going with the dumb ones instead of the Smart Ones. I like to keep my costs as low as possible. They also only take 1 rack space instead of 2.

      Reply

    • Rolf
      August 28, 2017 @ 12:57 pm

      Nothing is wrong with Smart PDU’s. I have 6 of them. You probably don’t need or use any of their features, and you can buy 1 or 2 GPU’s with the money you save buying a less expensive PDU.

      Reply

  8. JD Parry
    August 18, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

    Hey Rolf,

    Great work and very informative. We have spoken via Slack a couple times about ZENCASH and I appreciate your time and advice.
    I am currently working on a small mining farm in Gadsden Alabama. We are starting out with 15 Antminer D3’s, 2 Innosilicon A5’s and 4 Antminer L3’s. We are currently waiting for delivery and trying to have everything setup before they arrive. I am about 3 hours from you and have some family I visit often in the Canton area. I saw above your invitation to visit if in the area. Is the invitation still open? If so, can we plan a visit sometime that would convenient for you.
    I look forward to your reply and again, great job on the post and your whole website in general.

    JD

    Reply

    • Rolf
      August 28, 2017 @ 12:54 pm

      Sure, come on by! I am happy to show people around both my mining facilities for a quick tour.

      Reply

  9. ROCO PERUGIA
    August 23, 2017 @ 8:55 pm

    I read your Post and immediately bought an used Meraki mx64W without a license because I have a remote farm. But I realized that I have no idea of how to use it, it will be great if you make a post about it.

    Do I need a MX64w Enterprise License and Support 1 Year License? Or can I buy just a MR enterprise License?
    Besides the MX64W in the farm. Do I need an other meraki product for my house to make a VPN?
    Is it possible to go into the antminers IP addresses to see their current status?

    Any help I will appreciate it a lot.

    Reply

    • Rolf
      August 28, 2017 @ 12:53 pm

      Operating an enterprise grade firewall like the Meraki is complex…start with something cheap and simple you can learn how to use, and go from there.

      Reply

  10. Lance
    August 31, 2017 @ 4:32 pm

    Hey Rolf- Thanks for all of the info. I’ve been mining for a year now (S9 then L3 also with D3 on order). I have been colocating some of them in Iowa however they are now at capacity and I am in need of a home for more asic hardware. Have you given any thought to providing colocation?

    Also I’m in Southeast Louisiana where we have decent electricity rates (sub $.09) and talked to my power company to provide another 200 amp line/meter and although that is feasible my biggest concern is providing enough air to keep them cool. I know you are in the Atlanta area however just wondering if it’s really worth it with the heat?

    Reply

    • Kelvin
      September 5, 2017 @ 4:46 pm

      I am in the process of starting up an industrial scale data center for shared crypto mining. It would be organized as a co-operative based in Wyoming, which has some of the lowest electricity costs in the country and the most stable power grid in the US as well as 90+% free cooling. Currently commercial power runs about $0.06/kWh but it varies from year to year with the base rate under $0.01/kWh and with a huge wind project currently on hold I expect it to drop in the future either through direct development or some partnership with a utility co-op (another potential project on the table).

      Under the co-operative format users could host their equipment by buying tokens similar to the Gigawatt ICO except this would be entirely a member-owned and governed entity. I believe the tokens can be issued at $0.50/w, significantly less than the Gigawatt token which ran between $1.00-$1.50/w for $0.03/kWh electricity (which is not really guaranteed since the power situation in eastern Washington is extremely fragile due to the subsidized cost structure). The entity would also function like REI as a consumer co-op so that we make money through hardware sales to the general public with members receiving dividends based on their purchases. The mining entity would not generate profit and would exist based on token purchases that function as member capital investment.

      The goal is to help decentralize mining and reduce the transaction costs and learning curve for small miners through a co-op entity that helps streamline the process for everyone and brings more overall efficiency to the network.

      So instead of 1000 people going on the internet and researching PDUs and engineering a novel cooling solution for a 5 S9 farm or whatever, we’d all put our resources into a large facility with industrial grade equipment designed and maintained by professionals so that we can share in the efficiencies of such an operation.

      So it’s better than colo because it’s designed specifically for mining and located in a place that could easily be the next best thing to Iceland (which would be the next next phase of this project).

      What do you think?

      Reply

      • Rolf
        September 8, 2017 @ 4:37 pm

        When I lived in Colorado I would drive all over Wyoming for business. I remember the drive from Cheyenne to Casper, and seeing the huge power plant just southeast of Casper, and thinking it would be a great place for mining. I still have friends there, and would love to visit.

        I think what you are doing sounds great. Go for it!

        I am a fan of starting small and growing over time, though, and am too busy for anything else, so this is not something I am interested in.

        Reply

  11. Terry
    September 3, 2017 @ 2:42 pm

    Hello,

    My question is about the PDU. To Operate 40 miners which are the L3+ I am using a 2400watt PSU that can power 3 L3+ at a time. 13.6 Amp Max each on these PSUs.

    The plugs have the C13 type to go into the PDU but what Amp rating PDU do I need to plug in all these miners? Do i get a bunch of 6-8 socket PDUs?? or a couple super long 36 socket PDUs?

    Will all the miners plug into just 2, 36 socket PDUs? Room for growth also.

    Trying to minimize any mistakes.

    Hope you can give a little direction.

    Thank you

    Reply

    • Ken
      September 3, 2017 @ 7:36 pm

      Your pdu will normally have a current limit per outlet. You won’t be able to plug in more than probably 3 psu per pdu depending on the ratings, so I would recommend getting smaller pdus if you have the option and make sure they handle the amps you need to pull per outlet, not just overall.

      Remember that pdus are derated for 24×7 operation, so a 30a outlet can only drive 24a of load.

      Reply

  12. Nick
    September 8, 2017 @ 11:54 am

    Great Article Rolf!

    I am looking to start up a 60 x Avalon 741 Farm.

    I am curious on what you would recommend for a power supply?
    I am trying to run large power supplies so I dont need to run as many.
    What PSU’s have the most 6 pin PCIe outputs?

    Thanks

    Nick

    Reply

    • Rolf
      September 8, 2017 @ 4:27 pm

      Reply

      • Nick
        September 9, 2017 @ 10:36 am

        Very handy Website!

        Do you think its a bad time to invest in a setup? When are we to expect new bitcoin mining hardware? From what I read on Canaans website 2018 will have new hardware. Does anyone know a more accurate release time?

        Reply

        • Kelvin
          September 10, 2017 @ 8:01 am

          It’s unclear to me why you would choose to mine with 60 Avalon units when they are about 75% of the cost of an S9 and double the power usage per unit hashspeed. If Bitcoin prices were to decline significantly you would have effectively a total loss and if a new unit arrives with a higher hash rate then you would effectively have a sunk cost in depreciation that is unrecoverable and possibly will never be recovered from the diminishing positive return from your mining. It doesn’t sound to me like you know what you’re doing, and I would avoid Avalons unless you really want to throw all that money away or you have some clear business model that you want to share.

          In general, you want to mine with the fastest available hardware that gives you the fastest ROI (break even) on your hardware costs. The size of your initial investment should not be your main concern rather the speed in which you can ROI (break even) should be. From the sound of it you are purchasing new Avalons and again, comparatively speaking, that is a terrible investment unless you have a source of free or extremely cheap electricity. And even then I think it would be a colossal waste to be consuming electricity (even if it is renewable) like that to generate a return that is comparatively lower than most of your other options.

          Currently, that would be mining with an Antminer D3+, but given that the network rate is expected to quadruple in a matter of months it remains to be seen how long this will hold up. Second to the D3+ is the L3+ and then the S9. Currently GPU mining for Ethereum or Monero are nowhere near the ROI rate that you can get with ASICs but my feeling is that Monero has the highest potential price increase in the near term and is probably a good coin to mine in general due to their very stable developer community and positioning as a high utility crypto (i.e. less marketing and more function). And you can build a reasonably priced XMR miner with a variety of different hardware.

          Reply

          • Kelvin
            September 10, 2017 @ 8:04 am

            I should also mention that two other (faster, lower energy) ASIC Dash miners are on the market, but they have priced themselves in such a way that it is uneconomical to use them compared to the D3+. Pinidea offers no warranty and the Inno will not produce better returns than an equivalent investment in D3+s over the near term (~6 mo).

          • Todd
            September 10, 2017 @ 8:33 am

            Great feedback Kelvin including your feedback on my posts as well. Points my nose in a direction to dig deeper and learn much more. Much appreciated!

  13. Todd
    September 9, 2017 @ 11:54 am

    Great article and website Rolf. You’re a saint for putting in all this extra work just to help others.

    My question is about acquiring S9s. Approximately what price should I expect to pay? I’m actually living over in Malaysia at the moment. Maybe it’s cheapest to get on a flight to Bejing and purchase direct? It seems they are also though to come by. What sort of lead time did you face before receiving your rigs?

    A

    Reply

    • Nick
      September 9, 2017 @ 12:34 pm

      Great question I am also looking to source antminers.

      Reply

    • Kelvin
      September 10, 2017 @ 7:44 am

      Bitmain sells them directly to consumer/wholesaler on their website. You will not find them cheaper by flying to Beijing because they are sold on a release schedule that is published on twitter/facebook. No S9s have been announced since late July or early August and those had a ship date of mid to late October. They probably have made production of D3+ and L3+ a higher priority since those are likely higher margin units.

      They have increased the price on their site a bit to $1288, which after customs and shipping will be around $1400 depending on how many units you buy.

      Reply

  14. Todd
    September 10, 2017 @ 1:21 am

    Hi again Rolf. You mentioned that with an Ant-miner S9 one should be able to generate about 0.5 Bitcoin per month. I’ve just ran a calculation through an online calculator with the result telling me it would take about 262 days to generate 1 BTC.

    Please correct my understanding. What am I missing? Possibly you’ve take pool mining into consideration for your number?

    Thanks,

    Todd

    Reply

    • Kelvin
      September 10, 2017 @ 7:48 am

      You need to understand that there is no guaranteed return from “mining” cryptocurrencies. It is all dependent on the network difficulty rate which is basically to say the more miners there are online the more the price has to increase to keep the return up. So over time if the price doesn’t change and more miners come online the return will decrease as the difficulty increases. Then you need to take into account the reward halving that occurs every 4 years. Look these things up as they are readily discoverable on the internet since they are intrinsic to what is Bitcoin. Wikipedia may give you all of these insights.

      If the price crashes, you may find miners going off line, which actually causes a kind of negative feedback loop as transaction times increase as panic selling (i.e. more transactions) may cause the price to decline. Those were the early days and now it’s less likely to happen but there is a relationship between declining prices and slow transaction times due to high transaction volume as a low liquidity environment may lead people to panic sell.

      Reply

      • Nick
        September 11, 2017 @ 3:05 pm

        Kelvin

        Thank you for you knowledge and insight. I am just now in the planning atages of my company and i ran the numbers and it is very clear to me how unefficiant the avalon 741’s would be.

        However this is my situation.
        I am planning to mine in my basement in canada with effective electricity costs about $0.06/kwh after distribution fees.
        My basement is relativly cold all year about 10 degrees celcius. I am looking into getting 300 amps of 208volt service installed.

        I would like to diversify in my crytos that I mine and am considering
        15 antminer S9s @ 1375 watts
        15 Antminer D3s @ 1200 watts
        15 Antminer L3s @ 800 watts

        15×1375 = 20625 watts
        15×1200 = 18000 watts
        15×800 = 12000 watts
        50625 watts total for miners/ 208 volt
        = about 244 amps of draw which should be sustainable with my power installation.

        What do you think of this model?
        Is this bitcoin/dash/litecoin model diverse enough to be a solid starting point?

        Nick

        Reply

        • Ken T
          September 11, 2017 @ 3:12 pm

          Just a comment on your power calculations. If you have 50600 watts of power at 208 3 phase, you need to divide by 1.73 to get the actual Amps of service needed. Youre actually pulling 140A of draw not 244.

          Dont forget to plan for HVAc. youre basement wont just soak up all of that heat. it will eventually get overheated with that much equipment in there. You need cooling fans / ventilation in your power calcs.

          Also, probably want to plan for at least 20% overhead on the service since it’ll be 100% duty cycle.

          Reply

        • Rolf
          September 11, 2017 @ 3:18 pm

          I think it is diverse enough. I also think you are going to overheat your basement in a hurry.
          You will be putting 50KW of heat into a small space. I would not do this without less than 15,000 Cubic Feet per minute of ventilation

          Reply

          • Nick
            September 11, 2017 @ 11:59 pm

            Thanks guys and yes ventilation was in the plan I just hadn’t mentioned it as I was at the bank typing on my phone and they had called me in. But it looks like the power install will be 40000$ and that is not in the budget right now. However I did find a nice warehouse with plenty of space and 400 amp 3 phase 200v.

            My next question is I am not having any luck with bit main its been almost a week since I sent them a ticket about a purchase order.

            Does anyone know what kinda timeline bitmain is taking for responces?
            I could Imagine it is insanely busy around there with all the craze of mining cryptos.

            Any other suggestions on sourcing alt coin or bitcoin miners?

          • Ken
            September 12, 2017 @ 1:02 am

            If you asked them about a new PO for purchasing miners, forget it they will ignore you. The orders for new miners happen every few weeks and the website gets slammed with traffic. You need to have a lot of dry powder ready to jump on their site once the miners are listed or your’e not going to get to buy anything.

            Oh, and once you do, you’ll be waiting a couple months for the miners to arrive.

  15. Craig
    September 10, 2017 @ 5:19 pm

    Holy wow. I love everything you have published!

    Some questions:

    1. what site can you loan people dash to sell short and make the .1% profit per day and how do you set it up?

    2. What pool did you say you were using?I heard like apc.pool.com or something but couldn’t make it out. How did you choose that one? DO you ever change or that’s your go to bitcoin pool. How often does it get a coin on that network?

    3. What site are you buying your asic miners from? Any good places? Everyone so overpriced. And a lot want pay bitcoin; how do you protect yourself if they never ship? Where are you buying/building your GPU miners components?

    Reply

  16. Chad
    September 13, 2017 @ 10:11 pm

    Rolf, can you explain what the PDU’s accomplish? why not run the miner power supplies directly into the 220v outlet? Thanks for all the information, it’s excellent.

    Reply

    • Rolf
      September 13, 2017 @ 11:55 pm

      It’s like a power strip. The outlet provides 30 amps, but one miner needs about 7.5 amps. If you plug the miner directly into the outlet you are not maximizing the use of your electrical infrastructure.

      Reply

  17. Lucas
    September 16, 2017 @ 8:24 am

    Hi Rolf,

    Really thanks for the wonderful write-up.

    I have a question regarding the wiring work.

    Currently I’m living in a small home with a single phase 240V, 100 amps. (I’m not certain with the maximum amperage of my house is able to provide) Please look at the photos attached below.

    https://ibb.co/b8Gx8k
    https://ibb.co/d3E615

    How many rigs will i be able to run smoothly in the house assuming that no other electric appliances are running at the same time? I’m a GPU miner for your information.

    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Rolf
      September 17, 2017 @ 11:08 am

      If your GPU miner uses 1000 Watts, then 240VAC and 100A provides you a limit of 24,000 Watts.

      Theoretically you could have 24. Practically, your breaker will probably pop at a sustained amperage of 80Amps, your electric wiring will be inefficient, and you probably have other demands on the electricity at your place.

      So I’m guessing you will be able to run at most 12-16 GPU miners at your house.

      Reply

  18. xpalax
    September 17, 2017 @ 12:29 am

    Hi Rolf,

    Great write-up.

    Really appreciate if you can clear a few confusion of mine regarding the wiring part.

    I’m living in a small house now, where is has only 100 amps, my electrician is advising me to use a 32 amps circuit to come out with 4 receptacles.

    Since it only has maximum 100 amps output, considering 1 GPU rig of mine will take up approximate 5-6 amps maximum, i can have 15-16 GPU rigs to be at the safe time, considering leaving about 20% room for the main breaker.

    What do you think?
    Do you think i should look for a warehouse with greater power supply instead ?
    Or this is viable for a small size miner like me ?

    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Rolf
      September 17, 2017 @ 11:04 am

      I think you should get started as quickly as you can, however you can.

      If you prefer to use 4 outlets instead of 1 outlet and a PDU, go for it. When you fill up your house with rigs and your main breaker pops a few times a day then it is probably time to find some other space.

      Reply

  19. John
    September 21, 2017 @ 8:06 pm

    Hello Rolf, I’ve seen your Data Networking video and well looked for the Meraki MX64 but its suggest maximum 50 clients connected. For mining facilities over 50 miners that doesnt work or thats for PC kind of devices? Also, I dont see you recommending any Routers, do you connect the switch directly to the firewall? You use a layer 3 switch? Or meraki provides routing capabilities? With a partner we are building a mining facility and could use your help on it.

    Reply

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