All right we are back with another do-it-yourself project! This time we will take a look at how to build a Bitcoin miner.
In this article, we will break down all the Bitcoin mining hardware that is needed to mine your precious Bitcoins.
- Raspberry Pi (Model B)
- Case for Raspberry Pi
- SD Card (Class 10)
- Powered USB Hub
- ASIC Miners (eBay)
- Arctic Breeze USB Fan
- Micro USB to USB Cable
- Ethernet Cable
Mining with the Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer that is a completely separate unit from your own personal computer. The great thing about mining with a Raspberry Pi is that you can mine for Bitcoins 24/7 without getting in the way of your daily computer usage.
The Raspberry Pi is also very efficient in its power consumption. This entire computer can be powered by a Micro USB to USB Cable. If profitability is a concern of yours, using the Raspberry Pi will help you cut costs to your energy bill when compared to running a full-fledged mining computer.
Simply place your Raspberry Pi in its case and plug in the Micro USB cable. Don’t power it up just yet though, there is still a few steps to go.
Mining Software on the SD Card
The SD card will act as the hard drive for your Raspberry Pi. There are a few things to consider when choosing your SD card for your Bitcoin miner.
You need at least a 4 GB capacity to ensure that you can fit the operating system and mining software that you choose. However most importantly, you must pick an SD card that has a Class 10 speed. This will reduce any chances of bottlenecks that will prevent the Raspberry Pi from reading the software data on your card.
There are many mining software to choose from but I am currently using the MinePeon Linux operating system which is preloaded with BFGminer mining software. MinePeon cannot be easier to use!
All you need to do is download the MinePeon disk image and burn it to your SD card using any image writer. I did this on Windows operating system using Win32DiskImager. You can also use the built in software of OSX if that is what you are running.
Once you have your mining software imaged burned to your SD card, insert that card into the SD slot of your Raspberry Pi.
Performing the steps above will basically just create a stand-alone computer to run your mining software. Next we will dive into setting up the actual Bitcoin mining hardware that does the job of mining Bitcoins.
ASIC Miner Block Erupters
The Block Erupters used in our mining rig are known as ASIC hardware. ASIC stands for Application Specific Integrated Circuit. These USB powered Block Erupters (ebay) have one job and one job only, that’s to mine for Bitcoins.
Each one of these Block Erupters mine at a rate of 335 MH/s, I will be using 6 of these units which will yield a little over 2 GH/s of mining power.
Since these ASIC miners are USB powered, all it takes is a powered USB hub to get these miners up and running. Speaking of USB hubs…
Choosing the Right USB Hub
Although they don’t mine themselves, choosing the right USB hub is critical aspect to your Bitcoin mining hardware. The USB hub is a part where you do not want to cheap out on.
You need to purchase a high quality POWERED USB hub to run your miners. Do not get a $3 USB hub found on eBay. The reason you need a quality hub is because you need to ensure that each individual USB port on the hub is providing consistent and constant power to the Block Erupters.
Cheap USB hubs are known to fluctuate their amperage depending on how much load is on each port. This will hinder the performance of your mining hardware thus costing you the amount of Bitcoins you could have mined. The USB hub I listed in the parts list can efficiently power up to 6 or 7 Block Erupters without a problem.
Having more USB ports than the number of Block Erupters on your hub comes in handy. You have the option to power your Raspberry Pi and even an Arctic USB fan all on the same powered USB hub.
This not only saves space but it also saves you money from purchasing additional power adapters.
Hooking it All Up
Hooking up all the parts is pretty self-explanatory. If you need a visual guide, the video above will go over every step of installing your Bitcoin mining hardware.
Once everything thing is plugged in, you are ready to run your mining software and set up your mining pools. I will create another video and article detailing step by step instructions on how to set up your mining software if you need additional assistance.
Stay Tuned and Happy Mining!
Feel free to donate 🙂