Category Archives: projects

Crypto radiator mk3 – bring in the asics

So once again we had quite a cold winter and in our extension had to rely on additional electric heating to stay warm. So despite the crypto bear market/nuclear-winter my mind turned back to the crypto radiator idea.

Even though we had to turn the ASICs off when profitability dropped below our power costs, the idea of using mining as a rebate on heating actually still holds some water.

Given that for heating our default option is literally burning electricity and getting only heat from it.,.well, an antminer can still do better than that even if below mining profitability.

Another factor is that the extension gets damp as well as cold, so things like oil radiators aren’t even that useful since they don’t move much air. But nothing moves air like an antminer!

The previously most successful heating method (before crypto rad experiments) was an LCD projector which moved a lot of air and produced good heat, whilst only using ~150w..and it displayed pretty pics or video at the same time..multi-win.

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Crypto-radiator 2.0

Ok so we’ve made xmr-based heating which pays for itself (and even makes a little profit), so naturally I got to thinking how we could improve this further.  Enter Crypto-radiator 2.0.

Recently price changes in the GPU market have meant that the apparent “sweet spot” for cost vs efficiency for GPUs has moved somewhat, and currently AMD Radeon RX 580s seem to be where it’s at.

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Crypto-radiator update – the quest for 100% efficiency and beyond

So a few little updates on the crypto-radiator (see previous post HERE) …I’ve had quite a few bits and bobs going on with cryptocurrencies in general recently and partially inspired by Monero’s recent run to over $100 I had some ideas for how to improve the efficiency of the system.

So far it’s been mining on the CPU only, which outputs about ~60Hashes/sec (H/s), clearly not gonna be profitable but the more I’ve thought about this, the more it’s highlighted the importants of the “primary reward” as a factor.

By that I mean – if you’re purely mining crypto to make profit then you have quite a tricky task, and you end up in quite a precarious position since if your system isn’t profitable (which can happen at any moment) you’re shit-outta-luck and potentially thousands of $$ in the hole.

However if your primary reward is *heat*, and you’re only using mining crypto as a way of recouping some of that cost, the situation looks a lot more favourable…since heating is something you’d have to pay for anyway, and if you can get it significantly cheaper then you’re winning, even if it fluctuates a bit.

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Adding a “thermostat” to the the crypto-radiator with the Microdia TEMPer USB temperature sensor

So just a little update re the crypto-radiator – I’ve since got the TEMPer USB thermal probe working on the machine and have set it to log temperatures.

There is however a slight issue in that the usb ports are on the back of the machine and that’s also where the warmed air comes out , so the heat from that does affect the reading from the TEMPer device somewhat, which means the temperature reading can’t really be relied upon to be entirely accurate.

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Crypto-Radiator – Saving money on heating by mining cryptocurrency (xmr/monero)

No really!…actually this is perhaps not quite as silly as it might sound.

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How to turn your Raspberry Pi and an old printer into a print server you can use from any device (including phones & tablets)

How handy would it be to have a shared network folder where you can drop a PDF to print and it just magically pops out of the printer a couple of mins later? Especially since you can print to PDF from pretty much any platform or device..including mobile phones and tablets. Pretty handy I think! Especially if you can do so with pretty much any old (or even ancient) printer rather than having to buy a funky new bluetooth/wireless one.

Here’s how to do just that…

[EDIT: btw I keep coming back to this howto every time the microSD in the pi which runs our CCTV dies, so it should actually be relatively up to date (~2ys} xD]

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CCTV GUIDE PART 4 – Archiving and cleanup, and setting up the Live monitor

If you’ve followed this far and got it working you’ve probably seen this system is going to produce a LOT of JPEG files. Ours spits out around 17,000 per day.  That amount of files is gonna quickly get unmanageable.

Also linux disks tend to have a limited number of “i-nodes”, which work like name tags for files. When your disk runs out of name tags it’s “full” whether it’s actually full to data capacity or not. Storing gazillions of tiny JPEGs is a surefire way to run out of i-nodes quickly.

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CCTV guide part 3 – Putting it all together –

Ok so you’ve got the scripts from part 1 and you’ve found your special url from part 2. Now it’s time to bring it all together and actually make it work!

You’ll need some sort of linux pc like a raspberry pi or similar, perhaps even a pi zero, or even just a regular linux pc. I’ve got the live monitoring part running on a Raspberry pi 2 and the logging part running on another random linux pc. It doesn’t really make much difference. The stuff we’re doing here is pretty basic and universal so you should be pretty much good to go regardless of the platform.

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CCTV guide part 2 – Getting the image off your IP cam

In this part of the guide we’re going to try and figure out that special url you need in order to pull the images directly off the CCD of your IP cam, which is what you need in order to make the scripts from the previous part of the guide work properly.

I’m going to assume zero prior knowledge so am going to try and explain everything as we go along.

For this exercise this is the camera I’ll be using. It’s just a standard cheapo Wanscam one off ebay. It’s not the IP camera I actually use for our CCTV system but it works the same so will illustrate just how similarly they all work:

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