Project Pandora

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I wanted to take a few moments and share with you guys what I have been up to in my garage for the past month 🙂  Project Pandora, as i’m calling it (short for Pandora’s Box), is aiming at taking my previous experience in the cryptocurrency space and amplifying it to actually start generating some real $$!!


tl;dr:  

I will be posting a video soon, stay tuned, but the gist of it is, I built a bad ass mining rig in my garage that houses several moving pieces making roughly $140-$175 per day, on auto-pilot!  It’s never a bad day if you are literally making money while you sleep!


For those who haven’t yet read my previous post around my cryptocurrency experience, i’ll try and summarize:

When I first started dabbling in the mining world, it was 2013ish, and I was mining with two separate computers, each running 3 video cards.  The coin of interest back then was Litecoin, at least for would-be miners (as Bitcoin had already surpassed any real profits with GPU-based mining).  During this time, which was actually relatively short lived, perhaps 6-8 months, I was able to mine 50 Litecoins (LTC).  When I first started, each LTC was valued around $48-$50 dollars; however, soon, the market would go way down to nearly $1 per coin, so obviously the profit potential was annihilated, so I sold off my assets (eBay FTW) and moved on.  Luckily for me though, I held those Litecoins as opposed to cutting my losses and selling them for a single tank of gas 🙂

Fast forward to today, I am so incredibly thankful I made that decision to HODL (as it’s called in the space, when you buy/mine and hold for long term gains).  In early 2017, we saw a major boom in the world of crypto.  I remember Bitcoin (BTC) was hovering around $700-$800 per coin (which was already high, but considering today’s values, was mere peanuts).  I made a decision to build another mining rig (pictured and described in my other blog post) that had 6 modern graphics cards to get back into the mining world.  The coin of interest this time was Ethereum (ETH, or Ether as it’s a.k.a.).

At first, I was mining to Etheremine.org (Ethereum mining pool); however, I soon learned about Nicehash, which would change the game for me (more on that later).  Those 6 GPU’s were generating some nice profits, somewhere around $25-$30 per day; however, as difficulty started to climb some, the payout frequency started to slip from once every 24 hours, to once every 28, to once every 32, etc..  This was due to the fact I was mining a single algorithm going after Ethereum only, and mining coins for myself as part of that greater pool.  Nicehash to rescue.

Nicehash is a service where you can “sell” your cumulative hashing power to them, which they in-turn will lease to the “buyers” that come to their site who have no gear.  This allows anyone to go to Nicehash, pay for say 100 MH/s of hashing power for 24 hours for a set price.  Once that time period is up, the buyer has mined however many coins that yielded to their wallets, to their pools, etc..  The sellers are simply bringing the hashing power to the table.  The huge differentiator of Nicehash is it supports countless algorithms, and has the ability to switch to the most profitable algorithm based on current values in the market.  This prolongs the viability of your mining gear exponentially from what I have personally seen.  So instead of being tied to a single coin, such as my Ethereum example above, I can now mine several coins, on several algorithms with my graphics cards, to help offset the rising difficulty of any single coin.  This is huge for profitability shelf life of your hardware.

So, that’s a brief history of how I got to today’s post, Project Pandora..


As mentioned above, I was sitting on 50 LTC.. Once values shot way up past $200, I was able to sell off all my LTC with intentions of reinvestment into the same crypto space which had allowed me to be in such a position.  With this reinvestment, I decided to build a boxed enclosure to move all my mining gear to the garage, for a couple of reasons.. One was noise as the fans on all this gear can get quite loud, and two was the heat!  My home office would be easily 10 degrees hotter than the hall right outside, and that was with only 6 GPUs 🙂

The idea was to build a 4x4x6 boxed enclosure, air filtration and proper heat evacuation to enable the gear to run at full load even throughout the hot summer months in Georgia.  I have tons of pics of this process, so feel free to browse below.  The box itself wound up costing around $500 in materials from Home Depot, which I won’t be listing out here.



As you can see from the below pic, I build the box with a subfloor to enable the A/C from my Tripplite 12k BTU to be piped into the floor.  The A/C unit was intended to help keep some cool air going into this enclosure during the hot summer months just to help some with the heat exchange.  It runs in fan mode all other times to simply help with air circulation.



One of the biggest hurdles I knew I would have to tackle going in was heat.. Heat is the #1 enemy of all this gear, so moving from inside the house where it stays a cozy 70-72 degrees all year into the garage, where it can get really hot in the summer months took some thought & planning.  I saw a YouTUBE video of a guy down in Florida that literally had boxes just sitting on his back patio with air filters and fans sucking in filtered air and pulling it out, no A/C, so I knew I had a shot 🙂

I decided to go with 10″ ducting for the main exhaust vent coupled with a nice Vortex 1081 CFM duct fan connected to the box via a 12″ hole with a 12″-10″ reducer.  This would have a ton of sucking power to really pull that heated air inside the enclosure out, but to where?  I wanted this project to be “minimally invasive” to our house of course lol.. Not like I was trying to cut huge holes in the side.  So, I decided to duct this exhaust heat along the length of the garage, then take advantage of an unfinished attic space where there was easy access to an existing facia vent right on the front of our house.. This was relatively easy, using 10″ ducting, a couple 90 degree elbows, and some flexible tubing in the attic.  Exhaust path below:



Once the A/C intake was piped into the box and A/C exhaust port (heat) was piped into the existing primary exhaust exchange, the overall cooling system was in place & done.  This will run on auto-pilot as the A/C unit has an auto mode with a preset temp, so currently that is sitting on 75F.  If the garage ambient climbs above 75, it will kick into A/C mode and add additional cooled air into the enclosure which *should be enough supplemental cooling to avoid any high temp safety shutdowns of the gear.

*Time will tell if this system is efficient as I believe it is come July and August 🙂  Modifications might need to be made, we’ll see.


Now, for the gear!  This enclosure currently houses 12 GeForce GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition graphics cards.  This is all running from a single ASRock H110 Pro BTC+ motherboard and dual Corsair 1000W power supplies.

I have a server rack frame as well that houses a switchable Tripplite 240v PDU and a second Tripplite 110v PDU for fans & such.  I also have the ‘ole trusty Drobo B800i in there for cold storage of media files.  Then I have a nice rackmount enclosure for 3 ASICs.  Currently, I have two Bitmain Antminer S9’s 13.5TH/s and 1 Baikal Giant B.  These three ASICs fit nice & snug in the rack mount.  I also ordered 3D printed fan shrouds for the Antminers to help channel the heat directly into the back panel to keep the direct heat from the Antminers separate from the main enclosure’s ambient temps.  This helps keep the surrounding air cooler for the GPU intakes.  See pics below:



On a small side note, the nice mining case I was using during my first post has been repurposed as well.  I now have a BEAST of a home office PC!  This sucker is running the new Ryzen Threadripper 1950 (16 core) chip watercooled with a GTX 1080 TI GPU!  It mines as well, netting nearly $10 a day just by itself 🙂



In conclusion:

This has been an incredibly fun hobby and project.  Now that I have all 12 GPU’s humming along coupled with 3 ASICs (2 Antminer S9’s and 1 GiantB), it is nearly running 100% on autopilot.  Every now and then you need to check in and make sure everything is still mining, no updates have Windows hung up on the GPU rig, etc..  Very minor maintenance.  We will see how this goes moving into 2018, but if it continues to yield profits, I have room to grow inside ‘Pandora’s Box’ 🙂  Profits right now have been averaging around $140-$175 per day, real money..  Once Nicehash pays me, daily, I immediately cash that out into USD, so there are no capital gains, no huge market swings to worry about 🙂  Gotta love a box in your garage adding ~$4k per month into your checking account 😉

Happy Mining!




Parts List


DISCLAIMER:  I offer no financial advice 🙂  This market is 100% a gamble, so please don’t invest anything you don’t have the ability to lose.  Having said that, luckily, I had that nice 50 LTC balance to pull from to help build all this.  Think about it like a Casino, don’t put in what you can’t afford to lose; however, every now & then, someone does hit the jackpots 🙂

If you are looking to strictly buy into the market and want to skip the mining all together, I highly recommend looking into Ripple (XRP).. But that’s another post for another day!  Buy and HODL for a couple of years my friends!  We’ll waive at each other on our passing yachts in 2020 lol.

Thank you for reading!  Leave your questions &/or comments below!

-Matt

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