How to Mine Bitcoins using ASICMiner Block Eruptor USB sticks

By Nate Daiger, posted on Saturday, November 23, 2013

Guess who doesn't pay for electricty in their office?

We love Bitcoin, and while we haven't done much mining since GPUs got involved, last week Josh saw some little ASICMiner Block Eruptor USB sticks available for $30 each and figured they would be fun to mess around with.

With 16 of the cute little guys, a powered USB hub, and a slow afternoon, we got to fiddlin'.

An eruption of Eruptors

We weren't surprised to find that a lot of the information about how to set up the mining software to talk to the USB sticks was out of date, so here's how things stand in November 2013 if you're mining with ASICMiner Block Eruptor Sapphire USB sticks on Windows.

  1. Download the latest release of CGMiner (we used 3.8.2)
  2. Download the "zadig" USB Driver installer
  3. Plug in all your USB sticks
  4. Use zadig to install drivers for your USB sticks
  5. Run the miner!

cgminer.exe -o "" -u YOUR_BITCOIN_ADDRESS -p anything

It takes a while for cgminer to detect and utilize all the Eruptors, so be patient if it takes a while for them all to show up.

Once we were successfully mining (the Eligius mining pool has great stats) it was a long afternoon of getting as many of those Eruptors successfully working as we could.

At first it seemed like they were all chugging along, but we noticed our hashrate was way lower than expected, and lots of rejections and hardware errors were piling up on some of the Eruptors. Plus while some of them were extremely hot, some were cool to the touch.

You can use weird toy finger gloves you happen to have lying around as safety equipment for hot miners

A million combinations of ports, spacing, and timing later, we discovered that our powered USB hub wasn't quite so powered after all...If we tried to use every port, some of them wouldn't receive enough power. By using only some of the ports, we were able to mine at just about 4Gh/s consistently. We'll get that up even higher by getting a second USB hub to use our remaining sticks, and if we do it non-stop, the Eruptors will be profitable in seven months or so.

It's not going to compare to the revenue from ChunkHost, but it was a fun experiment! If you find an Eruptor for a good price, it can be a neat way to get into mining for the fun of it!

If you don't have enough USB ports, try other ports just in case!