Make My Home Data Center Great Again!

When I first began collecting SHA256 (and later Scrypt) ASICs in 2013 these cute little chunks of silicon fit in the palm of your hand and you could run fifty of ’em on about as much electricity as a 100 watt light bulb.

The good ol' days
via Andrew von York (left), BitcoinTalk (right)

As time has gone by hashrates and mining difficulty have skyrocketed while we’ve watched heatsinks sprout; surrounding our smaller and more efficient chips in protective aluminum cocoons. My desk quickly became crowded with USB hubs, cables, fans; and before I knew it I was in serious need of a dedicated spot for my fledgling datacenter to call home as it lay scattered in pieces around the house.

The Rise of HeatSink!
Now with 300% more heatsink! – via Andrew von York

So the other night I was finally fed up with the constant battle to keep my bedroom at a comfortable temperature. Fully tweaking on a Kona fueled caffeine overdose and shaking off the occasional hallucinations brought about by sleep deprivation I started plugging things into other things and running nmap -sP on the subnet.

Cursing. Scrypta hasn’t been developed in 3 years and doesn’t boot on the latest Pi hardware. Re-formatting microSD cards and cursing some more as this beautiful mess of cables and expensive space heaters begins taking shape in my new office:

basementmine161022

While less visible than the monster AntMiner S5 in the foreground, Raspberry Pi‘s are multiplying at an alarming rate in that jungle of wires; threatening to overrun the place.

Need a network appliance? There’s a Pi for that:

  • A Pi to run the Minera controller software for a growing cluster of Gridseed Blades
  • A Pi to host various test wallets and other experiments in an isolated, easily reset environment
  • A Pi to assist in the search for extraterrestrial life and get paid for it
  • A Pi to act as a WLAN controller and serve double-duty as a lightweight sFlow monitoring appliance a la sFLow-RT
Like Rabbits!
Like Rabbits!

Even the S5’s onboard controller runs on some kind of BeagleBone board!

BEAGLEBONE!
Such Wow! Much Bone!

After much internal debate I conclude that I will welcome our new Pi overlords with open arms and order two more.

Now you may be asking yourself as I often do, “Is all of this even worth it?”

At the moment I can say that the fun I have piecing this all together is definitely worth it. Turning a profit however is a post for another day.

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