What are the ideal operating conditions for an antminer? What should you regularly check?
What to look out for when owning an antminer?
Maintaining your antminers well offers stable performance as well as an extension of their lifespan. An antminer should be regularly checked to verify that:
- The hashrate does not show a deviation of more than 5 or 10% compared to what is expected. Otherwise, it means there is a problem somewhere.
- The temperature of the ASICs should preferably be between 70°C and 80°C. The lower the temperature of an ASIC, the less electricity it consumes.
[Les tests du mineur cathedra montrent toutefois que la température des ASIC ne devrait pas descendre en dessous de 40 °C. « En dessous de 40 °C, la vitesse de hachage devient instable/erratique », écrivent-ils. Ne manquez pas notre article sur les recherches de cathedra : Régler son antminer aux petits oignons]
- The ambient temperature is as low as possible. Between 10°C and 30°C for optimal conditions.
- The temperature of the control board is below 90°C.
- The pool connection speed.
- Antminers fans and room ventilation filters.
A simple reboot (stopping for two minutes) may be enough to fix some problems. Improving air circulation can fix others. In other cases, it is necessary to carry out its small investigation.
The best practices described here are largely inspired by this article from minerdaily.com.
Ventilation and humidity
Antminer cooling fans often fail. They must be replaced by original fans. Or make sure that the fan moves a sufficient volume of air.
That said, some amateur miners adopt special high-performance fans that also make very little noise. However, this type of fan is much more expensive. The game can be worth the effort if you recover heat to heat your home.
If you have several antminers, then it will be necessary to improve heat dissipation by installing ventilation between your room and the outside. Most importantly, a dust/bug filter will need to be installed to keep dust buildup in the antminers to a minimum.
Also make sure that the air inlet is not right next to the air outlet, otherwise the hot air will be sucked back in.
Finally, pay attention to humidity. Humid air will cause miners to corrode. Their lifespan will be severely reduced. Installing machines near the sea is also not recommended. The salty air would quickly ruin your equipment.
The optimum humidity is less than 65%. Building a closed air circuit or using dehumidifiers can solve a possible problem on this side.
Antminer and immersion cooling
Soaking antminers in immersion liquid helps suppress fan noise (need to dust regularly!). The big advantage is the remarkable temperature stabilization of the ASICs.
The increased temperature stability of ASICs allows for overclocking. That is to unclamp the antminer beyond factory settings to hash faster.
Without revealing the exact figure, the CEO of Marathon revealed that immersion made it possible to chop much faster without risking damage to the ASICs (+ 50%?…).
[Notre article sur le refroidissement par immersion : Le Futur du Mining]
Immersion systems dissipate heat in a heat exchanger which consumes water. Which can be a problem if the latter is expensive in your area. Not to mention the costs of the coolant, the pump, the heat exchanger or even the air cooler.
Only to be installed if your installation is in a hot region and your miners are last generation.
Miner manufacturer Canaan is the only manufacturer of immersion cooling units and systems. Bitmain and MicroBT make water-cooled units instead, like the Antminer S9 Hydro, S19 Pro+ Hydro, and WhatsMiner M53.
Electricity and internet connection
If you decide to connect several antminers, make sure that you can actually supply the required electrical power. The antminers boast over 3,000 watts of power each. It shouldn’t be all over the place.
The current needed in the outlets will depend on your miner models. Knowing that it must be about 20% higher than the specified power consumption, just in case. Do not hesitate to pay the advice of an electrician.
Regularly check that there are no juice leaks in your miner. If you receive a chestnut by touching your miner or its power supply, some parts are touching when they shouldn’t. Bitmain offers a guide on this subject.
Regarding the internet connection, it is preferable to use a single IP address, without going through Tor or a VPN. The reason being that the connection is less stable, which will cause fluctuations in your “shares” and therefore a decrease in your income.
[Notre article pour comprendre ce que sont les shares envoyées à votre pool]
You can check your pool connection speed from your miner network diagnostic interface. It should be less than 100 milliseconds.
If not, ask your pool for other addresses, or try to find a pool whose servers are better located in relation to you.
The Starlink network is THE internet solution if your installations are far from fiber:
Over/underclocking and Autotuning
The antminers automatically adapt the speed of their fans according to the temperature of the ASICs. If the ASICs get too hot, the fans spin faster. The miner will stop if the temperature is too high (or too low) to prevent components from burning out.
These security settings are the main reason why manufacturers advise against modifying one’s miner using a third-party program like Braiins OS.
Some antminers come with multiple modes. They can be set to chop faster or slower than factory settings. Here is for example a description Bitmain’s low power modes for their S9.
[Notre article sur l’overclocking : Comment débrider son Antminer]
However, Braiins’ software has the advantage of being able to manually adjust the voltage and frequency of each ASIC. This helps to gain efficiency. Higher performing ASICs may be preferred while slightly failing ASICs may be less powered.
Autotuning is particularly useful for older machines to deal with unstable ASICs (nothing lasts forever). This can be interesting while waiting to change the faulty chip.
It is also valuable for those who absolutely need to be profitable. Chopping less quickly makes it possible to increase efficiency (fewer watts spent for the same hashrate).
By the way, manufacturer’s warranties (usually six months) will be void after installing a program like Braiins OS. Indeed, your ASICs may burn out if overclocked and improperly cooled.
Overclocking requires immersion cooling or a very cold ambient temperature, close to 10°C.
We will talk in a future article about how to wash your miner. If this article interested you, you will probably want this one: When is it better to unplug your Antminer?
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