Friday 27 June 2014

Bit Coin Mining - Zeusminer Blizzard power consumption

The extra four Zeus Blizzard miners I mentioned in my previous post have now arrived bringing the grand total up to six. Together they are giving about 8.5MH/s and consuming around 292w as you can see in the picture.

To save you doing the maths (we are not American none of math crap here) that works out at 1.42MH/s each with a power consumption of 48.67w.  I for one am very happy with these figures.

My eye has however been draw to an offer they have on the 28MH/s  Thunder X3 for only $1199, I think I am going to sleep on that one.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Collecting - Cable

I have done it again and purchased yet another piece of cable, the only difference is this time I know nothing about it.  Does anybody have any ideas of how I could go about identifying it?  It looks from the size of armour strands its from a coastal section but other than that I don't have a clue.

Monday 23 June 2014

Bit Coin Mining - Zeusminer Blizzard first impressions

First impressions?  Well when I unpacked them I can't say I was super happy with the build quality. It is "ok" it will get the job done but its not the nicest.  The packaging was excellent by the way.  First I tried just the one with the custom build of cgminer and it just worked right out of the box, once I had set the correct comm port.  To find this you just need to look it up in device manager.

Getting the second one to work took a little more effort.  This was largely due to a lack of documentation but after a little searching on the web I found it was as simple as duplicating the comm port entry in the bat file.

Below is copy of my bat file, password etc removed:

cgminer.exe -o stratum+tcp:// -u Username_1234 -p xxxx --chips-count 6 --ltc-clk 328 -S //./COM4 -S //./COM5

I am surprised how good these work and I am getting about 2.7mh off a pair of them.  That's around the same rate as my three r9 290x rig for about an 8th of the cost.  Power consumption is also a fraction of what my old rig used which is good and along with the drop in power consumption there is a corresponding drop in heat output and thus noise as there are a lot less fans which are not having to work nearly as hard.

So when all is said and done I'm pleased, well I have ordered another four.

Saturday 21 June 2014

Makita 18v LXT Battery - Repair

So as I mentioned in my previous post I have purchased a replacement control board from Ebay for my Makita 18v Li-Ion LXT batteries.  This weekend I finally had enough time to have go at fitting it and whilst it is not just a plug in affair I would say anyone with a multi meter and a half decent soldering iron should be able to do this.

I was lucky and had a battery that had ok cells but a faulty control board so I decided to try repairing this one first. The control board came with ok instructions on how to fit but they don't explain everything, this may be because it can be used with all of the models of 18v LXT battery Makita have made.  Providing you have a bit of common sense you should be ok.

So apart from the soldering you might expect you also have to cut away a lot plastic and that's assuming you are lucky like me and don't need to replace any cells.  If you do spot welding to the cells is the best way to go, as if you solder you risk overheating.

As I had previously got the battery pack out of the case the first thing to do was remove the existing pcb and cut away the plastic pcb support etc as per the instruction.  I opted to cut the nickel contacts instead of desoldering. Fitting the pcb and soldering the wires to the contacts was simple although I had to break out my larger soldering iron.  By far the hardest part was getting the covers back on this took a little fettling of the plastic to get it to fit.

Next came the moment of truth, I put the battery on a charger and it charged ok.  I then discharged the battery using my circular saw and once again recharged the battery and that also worked ok.  Needless to say I will need to let it go through a few more cycles before I am confident enough to call it a success but all in all things are looking good!

Wednesday 11 June 2014

GoPro - Canal trip timelapse

Well I purchased myself a new toy a couple of weeks ago a GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition. Naturally for an action camera like this I needed
to find a suitably hi octane activity to test it with. So I decided to take it on a narrow boat trip, now I do admit that at first glance this might not seem like a natural fit but I had a feeling that I could get some quite good time-lapses.

The way the GoPro does time lapses is by taking a series of stills images in jpeg format one after another at a user defined interval of between every 0.5 and 60 seconds.  These are then stitched together using software to create an avi file. This can take sometime, I would suggest its a leave it going whist you do something else kind of task.

The images that make up the clip below were shot with the camera clamped to the bow tee-stud at one frame per second. I then stitched them together using GoPro Studio although there are other options.  Hopefully I will get time soon to edit together some of the other shots I took on the trip.

A couple of things I have realised since doing this are that battery life seems to be the same regardless of if you are shooting a time lapse or live footage and secondly at HD a 32Gb Micro SD card does not last very long!

Friday 6 June 2014

Bit coin Mining

For a bit of fun I have been mining various Crypto coins for some time. I never expected to make
much in the way of money, just cover my expenses.  I started mining Bitcoin using Butterfly Labs ASIC's based miners but I got into it a bit too late for it to be profitable. Moved over to pool mining alternative SHA coins but once again I was a bit too late. 

So I decided to have a go at mining some of the Scrypt based coins such as Dogecoin. Initially just using my graphics card but later with a dedicated mining rig.  Whilst this has been moderately successful it has kicked out enough heat to make working in the same room uncomfortable to say the least.  At the time ASIC miners capable of mining Scrypt coins were not available but of recent times a couple of manufacturers have started to offer them at a very reasonable price.

Having looked at all the options I have decided to opt for the blizzard miners from Zeusminer and have a couple on order.  I should get around twice the hashing power for the same price as when using GPU's. Along with a greatly reduced power consumption hopefully there will be a significant drop in heat output. They will to arriving in the next few days, I will keep you posted.