What is this?
This is part one of my most long-awaited and most time-consuming blog posts ever. Basically, these are going to be explaining how my father and I turned a shed in our backyard into a cryptocurrency mining farm. This is part one, which is about the planning and preparation for the project.
A couple of months ago, my dad and I started to get enough miners to where it would be a problem to have them all running in the garage if we had anymore so we started thinking about what we could do for a more long-term miner storage. We thought about buying an old house or trailer home and transforming it into a farm, buying some property and building a metal building, and even running them in a building that people rent out for small companies. We have a shed (Mini barn) in the backyard which was used for storage, so we decided to turn it into a farm. In order to do this, however, we had to do a few things.
- Have a large amount of electricity running to the shed to power the miners
- Have Ethernet (internet) running to the shed
- Clean out the shed so that there is room to out the miners in
- Build walls to keep the hot air and cold air separate
Most of the planning was done by my dad, but I did help out. We had seen a few other large-scale farms on bitcointalk.org, and almost all of them had a “cold room” and a “hot room” The cold room is the room that the miners pull cooler air from, which is separated by a wall from the hot room. The hot room is where the miners push their hot air out. In the hot room, there is usually a large fan to push the hot air from the miners outside. The goal of these two rooms is to make sure that the miners are not sucking in hot air from themselves, therefore keeping the miners cooler. This was the principle that we built our design around. We planned to put metal shelves in the cold room, which the miners would sit on, and then have holes behind the miner’s fans so that they could blow directly into the hot room.
If we wanted any of this to work, however, we needed to first figure out how to get electricity into the shed. We couldn’t just run an extension cord to the shed because we needed 200 amps of power, and extension cords run 20 amps at absolute most. We were going to have to run a brand new wire under the ground to the shed, but more on that later. In order to get the electricity to the miners, we were going to wire up a breaker box and put plugs for 7 PDUs (Power Distribution Units), which we would plug the miners into.
We also needed to have a way for plenty of air to go into the shed, so we planned on replacing the side wall of the hot room and the wood in the doors with a plastic screen (to keep out bugs) and put metal bars on the other side of the screen to keep people from breaking in. Later, we changed this idea and instead decided to have the screen walls in the back of the hot room and on the wall next to the door.
Another big factor was airflow. We needed to have a fair amount of air going through the room to keep the miners cool. We did the calculations and it came out to about 300 cubic feet of air per minute per miner. With the 35 miners we planned to have, that would end up with about 10,000 cubic feet of air per minute. Not wanting under do it, we got a giant fan with 2 speeds, 10,000 cubic feet per minute and 20,000 cubic feet per minute, because where we live, it gets really hot in the summer (often upwards of 100°F). We got this fan, which has a 1 horsepower engine. We got it this way because there will probably be a fair amount of back pressure in there, and weaker engines would slow down and break with the increased load, while a 1HP motor would just keep going. Although it cost a lot more, in the long run, it is worth it. Knowing this, we left room in the hot room for more fans if we ever need them.
This shed is in the middle of a neighborhood so we had to be careful about the sound coming out of it. We wanted to use pink fiberglass insulation both for keeping the heat in and keeping the sound levels down, as it was going to be loud in there. We originally only planned to have it in the hot room, but ended up coating basically all of the walls with it, which dramatically reduced the sound.
We were very careful to make sure that the shed was secure, and we also put two locks on the doors, both of which have to be unlocked for the shed to open (learn more about this in an upcoming blog post).
My dad created a spreadsheet diagram to plan out the floor plan, which looked like this:
This is not the final design, and we ended up tweaking it later so that we would have more space in the front for storage (Specifically a riding lawn mower that we need room for).
The very first thing after planning was to get the electricity wired up to the shed. We accomplished this by digging a massive 150-foot long 20-inch deep trench through our backyard into our neighbor’s in order to connect it up to the official electrical system. We hired a worker to help us, and it ended up taking probably around 50 man-hours to dig it and get the wire hooked up completely. We had to get our electricity company to come in and wire in a new electrical meter.
After that, I cleared out the shed and took out all of the miscellaneous things and broke down some shelves. After I finished, this is what it looked like. (The metal thing is an electrical panel [This picture was taken a few days after I cleared it out, but it looks almost the same] and the lines on the ground are planning so that we could visualize where the walls were going to be and what it would be like)
As well as all of this, though, we had to get miners to fill it up. My dad ordered 20 Antminer D3s right as they came out 15ish S9s.
Have any thoughts about this? If so, you can message me on Twitter @BitcoinboyBlog or comment on this post.
Part Two is out, and you can find it here
Part Three is out, and you can find it here