I’ve been working alongside the BlackMiner team testing out their Odocrypt implementation and I’m thrilled to let the DigiByte community know that I have it mining, currently live, on the DigiByteTestnet!
BlackMiner will support the DigiByte Odocrypt algorithm on the BlackMiner F1 Mini, F1, and F1+ series of FPGA’s.
The BlackMiner series comes with a Windows application that will do the automatic re-flashing of the FPGA. Their suite also allows it to be used for others, but, that’s just a nice bonus of their support for 2 dozen other hashing algorithms.
Having used this on the testnet I can see this re-programs the FPGA correctly, at the change of epoch.
The BlackMiner even works with the Odocrypt solo-pool software created by Collatz, so people can still solo-mine with their own collection of these.
Wasn’t actually too bad.
- Plug the unit in to your network
- Fire up the web-interface for it on your computer
- Flash the software with an Odocrypt-specific firmware
- Reboot and point the above BlackMiner software at it so it can program it to use the seed for the current epoch
- Reboots once more to apply the settings
From there it’s currently defaulting to a test-pool that BlackMiner have setup. It’s simple enough to change-over to another.
It’s worth noting that the BlackMiner F1 Mini I’ve been testing with didn’t come with a Heatsink / Fan, and needs it’s own independent power-source.
This is apparently to save on shipping, which makes sense given the size / weight of the F1 Mini, and it also allowed me some flexibility with choosing the heatsink. It’s just something to be aware of as you cost up the total cost of ownership for the unit.
Both the F1+ and the F1 Mini need their own independent power supply. The F1 Mini can take a DC power source, or alternatively it will use a 6-PIN PCI-express power connector like you would for a smaller graphics card (such as a GTX1060).
While setting this up we obviously ran in to a few teething issues during testing etc. which was to be expected as they create the software to support Odocrypt.
I had to liaise with the team a bit during this time. They’re in GMT+8, compared to my GMT+12, which means when I message them first thing in the morning they still weren’t awake yet. However, they were always very prompt to get back to me, helped work through a few things, and knew the FPGA incredibly well.
While I don’t expect to run in to any further issues, these things are mostly just “Set and forget”, it’s nice to know the team behind it have been very responsive. It’s reassuring to know that should you need, they’re available to assist.
Differences between the Mini / F1 / F1+
The main difference is the number of chips on each
The Mini comes with 1 single chip
The F1 comes with 12
The F1+ comes with 18 chips
The Mini that I’ve tested sustains approx 195–200MH/s of Odocrypt hash power. Presumably the others will respectively sustain 12X and 18X that amount.
The Mini is looks perfect for home-miners looking to “try it out” who don’t want to use a DE10-Nano or similar to test with.
All of them require an independent / additional power-supply, and the Mini as mentioned requires you to supply a heatsink + fan for it (CPU Socket 1151 compatible).
Compared to the DE10-Nano that I’ve also been testing with, it consumes approx 5X the power on an ongoing basis (Approx 40W for the F1 Mini, compared with 8W for the DE10). For the price of the F1 Mini though, it seems like a pretty good deal if you can afford the step up in price over a DE10-Nano, or if you’re a “windows only” person.
The team at BlackMiner have also been generous enough to create a couple of voucher-codes that can be used for further discount for the DigiByte community looking to get on-board. This timing works well, given I just finished my testing yesterday, and that they have a new batch of F1 Mini’s ready to ship from tomorrow I believe they mentioned?
They’ve given me two links to share with the DigiByte community:
Blackminer F1 Mini $10 Discount Code: GnH2Kw
Blackminer F1+ $200 Discount Code: bksX4A
Anybody using either of these links for a limited time (I believe until we go live on Mainnet around mid-July?) will be able to get a nice discount.
In fact, if you use the F1+ discount code, combined with the temporary $250 discount on their website, that’ll be $450 off the retail of their F1+ Miner.
Pretty nice of them!
So, I want to thank BlackMiner.
They jumped onboard, right away when we announced Odocrypt for DigiByte 7.17.2 about 4 weeks ago now. They’ve been fantastic to deal with, and it’s great to see 3rd parties picking up support for Odocrypt.
I can’t wait to see more FPGA vendors supporting Odocrypt, but it’s exciting that BlackMiner are the first, and it’s great to see that they’re supporting DigiByte with a nice little discount on their FPGAs.