• Bitcoin Mining


    You can earn money from Bitcoin mining, but how much, is it worth it?

    Well I guess it depends on many factors. The value of a bitcoin is always changing day to day. It will cost electricity to do it. Is it worth buying custom hardware? Really you want to processes as much data as possible with as little energy as possible.

    You can run bitcoin mining software on the PC, this returns very little. you can also run USB hardware, although it returns more than software on a PC it is still very very little, not worth the effort in my opinion.

    Really to do the job you need a piece of hardware that tuned to processing the bitcoin algorithm. These are called ASIC miners. ASIC's are basically chips with a set purpose. The box has multiple ASIC's in them, they usually have heat sinks on all the chips. It can all get very warm, and has some powerful fans to push the heat away.

    What do you need to mine Bitcoins?
    • You need hardware.
    • You need to join a mining pool.
    • You need a wallet to claim your rewards.


    Which hardware to go for?
    Bitman make some of the best throughput devices.
    Hash rate are important and so is the power consumption.

    The Antminer S5 crunches 1.1Th/s and uses 650watts.
    This makes around 0.00182177 BTC in 5 days.
    This may seem very little but at time of writing this 1 bit coin is worth £2900. This changes daily, so at 21st Sept 2017, this makes around £1.05 per day.
    Energy usage:- 650watts @ 15p per kWh = £2.34 a day in electric. So not cost effective to run the S5 is you are paying for electric.

    The Antminer S7 crunches 4.8Th/s and uses 1200watts.
    So going by the S5 performance this should make £4.50 a day.
    Energy usage:- 1200watts @ 15p per kWh = £4.32 a day in electric. So not cost effective to run the S7 is you are paying for electric.

    The Antminer S9 crunches 14Th/s and uses 1200watts.
    So going by the S5 performance this should make £13.36 a day.
    Energy usage:- 1200watts @ 15p per kWh = £4.32 a day in electric. So you can make £9.04 per day with this beast.

    The Antminer S9 is priced around $1300, so around £1000 you will need a hefty power supply so about £200 on top. This will take 132 days to pay for itself (earning £9.04 per day). Not a bad ROI.

    Well I got the S5 as a test to see how well it performed before I invested in serious money. The S9 would be very tempting after seeing the results. for now i have the S5, and run some tests on it. The power is 4 x PCI 6 way connectors, that most power supplies supply these days(perhaps not as many). I brought this with a power supply that is rated at 700W.

    This has one fan at one end. Dam this thing spins up fast, like the Portsmouth/Southsea hovercraft powering up.

    I purchased some quieter fans that spin up to 2400 RPM, perhaps not as much flow, but wont keep me awake at night when its running in the lounge. I got a pair of fans, the controller support a 4 pin connector, so 12V power, speed out, and speed sensor coming back.

    The fan is partly fan noise and air rushing through the case, measuring 60dbA @ 0.5meters.


    Put a fan on each end, and greatly reduced the sound to under 50dbA @ 0.5meters.


    This runs at around 62 - 65 degrees C on the circuit board. The software had a pair of temperature monitors.


    There is a fan at each end, but air can escape, i think having a tunnel of air to be forced from one end off the box to the other would be more efficient.

    So used some A4 clear sheets and cut holes for the power connectors. The cooling is a little more efficient now everytihng is boxed in.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. AmericanThunder's Avatar
      AmericanThunder -
      So is this meant to be mounted in a PC?
      Do they do a freestanding version?
    1. TransAmDan's Avatar
      TransAmDan -
      Its a completely separate item.
      In the early days it was software that could run on the PC, but the Miners reward for generating bitcoins became less and less over the years. so special hardware had to be made to run a lot faster at doing that task. Now it is a box full of chips and heat-sinks and a fan.
      You get places like server rooms with racks and racks of these devices. They must be making a tidy sum.