While many of my newer posts have involved Scrypt mining (due to taking over as the primary Scrypt maintainer of BFGMiner), I recently had a very nice new SHA2 ASIC from RockMiner come across my desk.
Along with Scrypt support, I also have the honor of being the source of ‘All Things OS X’ in BFGMiner, and there happened to be a nagging bug in the RockMiner driver shipped in BFGMiner 4.2. The guys at RockMiner were awesome enough to send across a sample ASIC and, a bug-fix later, the devices work wonderfully under BFGMiner on OS X!
In this article we’ll be taking a look specifically at the RockMiner R-Box. The R-Box is a 32 Gh/s unit powered by the the 3rd-generation, 40 nm BE200 ASIC chip from ASICMINER (the BE100 powered the original Block Erupter, Erupter Blade, and Erupter Cube) and is available for order directly from RockMiner.com.
As noted above, BFGMiner 4.4, released July 7th, contains fix for RockMiner ASICs on OS X, so you’ll need to make sure you are on at least version 4.4. Using the Homebrew instructions below should make that a snap.
The simplest way to get hashing with the RockMiner R-Box on OS X is by using BFGMiner. So, the first step is to install BFGMiner on OS X. There is a thread here on the Bitcoin Talk forums that discusses several 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 RockMiner R-Box. As with many of the previous ASICs we’ve discussed, the RockMiner R-Box uses the CP210x chipset and requires the proper driver to be installed. You can download the CP210x drivers for OS X from Silicon Labs here.
With the BFGMiner properly installed and the CP210x driver installed, you can use the -d? argument to list available devices with BFGMiner:
bfgminer -S rkm:all -d?
[2014-07-10 19:34:11] Started bfgminer 4.4.0
[2014-07-10 19:34:12] Devices detected:
[2014-07-10 19:34:12] CP2102 USB to UART Bridge Controller by Silicon Labs (driver=rockminer; procs=4; serial=0001; path=/dev/cu.SLAB_USBtoUART)
1 devices listed
Once the RockMiner R-Box is detected you can start BFGMiner using the -o, -u and -p arguments to begin mining:
bfgminer -S rkm:all -o hostname -u username -p password
You can also over-clock RockMiner ASICs using BFGMiner and the
--set argument (the default clock is 270 MHz).
bfgminer -S rkm:all --set rkm:clock=290 -o hostname -u username -p password
The R-Box is a great performer that I’ve personally tested on OS X, Windows and Linux. It also works well on a $30 703N router (firmware and build scripts here).
If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below or on this thread at the Bitcoin Talk forums.
And “Thank You” to RockMiner for providing sample hardware!