As the total hashrate of the Bitcoin network continues to rise mining for Bitcoins using GPUs is quickly becoming obsolete. In order to stay involved in Bitcoin and continue mining without losing money on electricity I decided to order a few of the ASICMiner USB Block Erupters. BTC Guild recently started reselling the Block Erupters as individual units eliminating the need to participate in a larger group buy piminer bitcoin mining machine has made it much easier to purchase these tiny ASICS. This seemed like a cool use for the Pi and reason to get the soldering iron out so I decided to order the parts and put it together.
Below is a list of all of the parts I used for this project. You don’t necessarily need a model B Pi, the model A would work just fine if that’s what you happen to have on hand. You don’t need a very big SD card either but if you need to purchase one you might as well buy an 8GB card since the prices are so cheap now. The Block Erupters are one of the few ASICs that you can purchase without having to wait for a pre-order. With a power requirement of only 2. 5 watts each these are a good option for anyone looking to stop mining on their GPUs and move to a more power efficient mining rig.
I ordered these from BTC Guild and received them in about a week. The Block Erupters use a passive heatsink for cooling. After running for a few minutes the heatsink gets extremely hot, you can easily burn your hand on them if you are not careful. While using a fan isn’t required doing so keeps the error rate low and will probably extend the lifespan of the miners. The Arctic Breeze fan works good for this project since it has an adjustable gooseneck that allows it to be pointed where it is needed. This fan is almost completely silent too, I can barely even notice it when is running. This image shows how far you can bend the fan, it keeps my miners nice and cool.