kncminerlogo300x100Some time ago (the 11th of August to be exact) I decided to take a bit of a gamble and order one of KnCMiners lesser offering the Mercury 100 GH/s bitcoin miner.

Mercury's are no longer available but all up with shipping I spent \$2,148.00 USD (I actually paid just over 20 bitcoin at the time).  I had my doubts that it would ever return a profit (even more so now) but it was a bit of mining gear, and I had to have it.

After a few months waiting and a week and a half's delay in New Zealand customs (they really have no idea what bitcoin is and I think they were looking inside the box for the slot bitcoins come out) ,  I am glad to say it is finally here!


As you may or may not know, KnCMiners don't come with a power supply so armed with the "manual recommended" paper-clip I installed an old 450 Watt power supply that I had lying around but I could not stop there, so with great glee I popped the case off to expose the inner workings.


Not much in there is there?  That is because this is the Mercury and only has one ASIC unit, the bigger units come with more.  The Saturn comes with two and the Jupiter comes with four.

You can still see the basics though, on the left is the controller board with a BeagleBone Black on top of it and to the left of that is the actual KnC ASIC unit.


After plugging in and finding the IP address of the unit the status page above showed up in my browser with very little real information and once filling the pool information on the "Mining" page below and doing a quick restart it is up and running.


Using the magic of Highcharts you can see it hashing away here;-

(I will leave this up if you want to come back and check on its progress)

Browsing the official KnCMiner forum I found out there were several "firmware" updates.  I tried a few of them, including the latest 0.98.1 but in the end it seemed that my unit worked best with the 0.95 version that it came with.

CONCLUSION: At an average of 97 GH/s and the difficulty climbing all the time it will probably never pay for the 20 BTC that I invested in it but apart from that it seems a relativity well-engineered ASIC Bitcoin miner.

The user interface and firmware system has a lot to be desired though.  My next mission it to task MinePeon to run these things.


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