Scrypt ASICs are on the digital currency mining scene in a big way. The 1-and-5 chip ASIC designs from GridSeed have been on the market for a couple of months now, and newer designs such as the G-Blade and Zeusminer series are on the horizon.
In my previous article on Litecoin mining with ASICs I discussed the 1-chip DualMiner USB stick. In this article we’ll be taking a look at DualMiner’s big brother: the 5-chip GridSeed Orb.
Unfortunately, the majority of GridSeed devices came to market with their own custom software, meaning you could not mine with either the DualMiner or Orb miners with stock CGMiner or BFGMiner. You had to use either the reseller’s binaries or compile their custom software yourself, if the source was available.
However, I have been actively working with several vendors of GridSeed hardware for the past few months on support for both the 1-chip and 5-chip GridSeed ASICs in BFGMiner. CGMiner no longer supports any algorithm or coin other than SHA-2 and Bitcoin, so BFGMiner was the natural choice.
As of this week the GridSeed driver has been merged into BFGMiner, and so I present to you this walkthrough on OS X!
As with many of the previous ASICs, the GridSeed Orb is currently only supported on OS X by BFGMiner. So, the first step is to install BFGMiner. There is a thread here on the Bitcoin Talk forums which discusses various ways to install BFGMiner on Mac OS X. The most full-proof method is to use Homebrew:
- Launch Terminal.app from Spotlight or your Applications folder
- Install Homebrew by entering the following in the command prompt:
ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go/install)"
- Run the following command and then fix any reported issues:
- Tap the following Homebrew repository so that you can install packages from it:
brew tap nwoolls/xgminer
- Finally, install BFGMiner:
brew install bfgminer
BFGMiner requires the correct kernel extension to be loaded in order to detect the GridSeed 5-chip Orb. When using BFGMiner the Apple Communication Device Class (CDC) driver will be used and should be automatically loaded by Mac OS X.
To load the required Apple drivers manually, execute the following commands:
sudo kextload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDC
sudo kextload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDCACMData
With the BFGMiner properly installed and the CDC driver installed, you can use the -d? argument to list available devices with BFGMiner:
bfgminer -d? -S noauto -S gridseed:all --scrypt
[2014-05-07 21:03:56] Started bfgminer 3.99.0
[2014-05-07 21:03:59] Devices detected:
[2014-05-07 21:03:59] Device (driver=gridseed; procs=5; path=/dev/cu.usbmodem5d11)
1 devices listed
Note the additional
--scrypt argument since we will be Scrypt mining. I’ve also included the
-S noauto argument to prevent GPU detection (for simplicity).
Once the GridSeed Orb is detected you can start BFGMiner using the -o, -u and -p arguments to begin mining:
bfgminer -S noauto -S gridseed:all --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password
You can also over-clock the GridSeed Orb using BFGMiner and the
bfgminer -S noauto -S gridseed:all --set-device gridseed:clock=850 --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password
If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below or on this thread at the Bitcoin Talk forums. And now, happy Scrypt ASIC mining!