Now that the structural parts of my datacenter are in place, it is time to solve the problem of electricity and internet because you can’t mine crypto without either.
The First thing I notice in the rooms is the temperature difference from the other side of the basement to the rooms. The rooms are far cooler as they don’t have the water boilers, furnaces, and other heat-producing house equipment in them. Prior to painting I wouldn’t go near the walls as they were so disgusting looking, but now with a clean coat of paint I feel the walls. Cool is permeating through them – damn, this might just work!
Next on my task list is to get power and internet, then move everything in. Simple, right? Unfortunately the weather changes drastically from spring to mid-summer as a proper heat wave moves in. It’s clear that I can NOT have miners in my office as I can barely be in my office. So the choice is move them or turn them off. Crypto miners never like idle equipment.
OK, a little about my house. As I’ve said, it’s a 2 family house and we live on the bottom floor. When we moved in almost 20 years ago I had one of the bedrooms as my office. I had an electrician run 2 x 20 amp circuits to the bedroom office so I could run my equipment in there – not mining equipment back then, but backup servers and such. At that time, the electricity and internet quality and quantity was important for different reasons, but still super important. So important I actually had 2 internet connections to my house so I could segregate the traffic for things.
The rest of the house’s electrical setup is all 15 amp circuits and there are various rules we live by, like blow dry your hair by plugging into this plug and make sure this air conditioner isn’t on… probably similar to others in older houses.
To mine, I need stable power and a lot of it, so dedicated circuits are needed to ensure my equipment will always be running efficiently and effectively. When I moved my office to the second floor to give my kids their own room a problem presented itself. As I looked around upstairs all the plugs were 2 pronged and the runs weren’t rated for my equipment. I wasn’t going to rewire the place so I got several 100 foot extension cords and ran them out the windows on the first floor and into the windows on the second floor.
I also needed to extend the network as all my equipment in the office needs internet and I DO NOT trust wifi… but that’s a story for another day…. I had to get a couple 100 foot ethernet cables and do the same as with the electricity, so that’s why our house looks like a 3rd-world telephone pole with wires going every which way.
It’s just temporary I tell myself (and my family.) Though by this point nearly 2 years later we don’t even notice them. Can I just say that outdoor extension cords are amazing – buried below several feet of snow those puppies kept supplying clean energy. Throughout the winter of 2020 mining upstairs was a very nice change to being in a cramped office. I actually used the miner as a heating source and didn’t need to turn on the heat at all during the whole winter lol.
I noticed the power consumption was higher than when I mined elsewhere but the components were far cooler to the touch, so to me, the wear and tear on the equipment was lower. As the heat wave was hitting the power consumption went through the roof as all the fans were spinning at near 80% compared to about 40% – that’s double the electricity… I needed to do something upstairs as the miners were crashing several times a day and running way too hot and not efficiently at all. They were wasting electricity and not netting enough crypto to make their running worthwhile. So I decided to move the equipment downstairs and build a mega miner. I was going to use ALL the graphics cards I could find at a reasonable price or that I had in stock and put together a proper 12 GPU miner to go after ETC.
ETC is Ethereum Classic and is a crypto currency that was created when Ethereum had a divergence of opinions. One of the groups ended up forking Ethereum and creating Ethereum Classic, which really didn’t take off until lately. I think one of the reasons it has taken off lately is that retail investors who are looking to buy Ethereum look at the price and think they could buy a fraction of a single ETH or several full ETC and it has “Ethereum” in the name…. Which would you buy?
That being said, there still is general use for ETC as ETH is going through a massive upgrade to ETH 2.0 and some projects won’t make that upgrade. ETC is a valid side migration for projects that don’t have the budget or the need to upgrade from ETH to ETH 2.0 – hence I believe that ETC still has a place in the market long term.
Mining upstairs during the winter generated about .1 ETC per day and used more than 1200 watts. At prices today .1 ETC = about $4.80 and 1200 watts running all day long costing me about $2.40 per day in electricity. Not a great return, but I haven’t yet sold the ETC I mined then, so I haven’t realized a gain yet – only spent the cost. My plan is to sell the ETC once the price rises by the USD inflating or ETC becoming more of a wanted asset. I also have the ETC now to use for my BOTS 😉
Anyhow, back to the datacenter – I need internet and power but I more urgently need a place for my existing miner – so I side-step my task list and break down the miner. After many trips up and down all the stairs, I set it up quickly and temporally in the basement datacenter and let it run.
Internet and Electricians typically take awhile to get booked, but I was pleased to be able to setup a FIOS 1GB dedicated internet connection with 29 public IP addresses within a week and get it up and running… Another check mark off the ever expanding list of tasks.
I’m able to turn up more GPUS and as a result I am now able to make .12 ETC per day using the same amount of electricity. My costs don’t change, but production is improved – so there is something to this basement datacenter thing afterall. 0.12 ETC is about $5.67 for the SAME electricity cost – although this required me to do some extension cord moving lol.
So, I now have a proper datacenter internet drop and enough public IP addresses for my nodes. But only enough power to run a single miner. But at least I’m still mining and doing it slightly more efficiently. This is a great start!