Let’s keep this rolling. Today we spotlight a hacky farm of Hickelpickle. I think you will really like his DIY approach.
This post is part of an article series about your farming setups.
If you have an interesting setup and want to have some internet fame please ping @speedmann#6896 on discord or let me know in one of the official channels that you are interested. (Editor’s note: You can also contact the site or by email [email protected] and Speedmann will get it) We also now have a form which you can fill in.
Who are you? Some background about yourself please
Just an average person. Like to game. Got into mining eth some time after waiting for a GPU earlier this year and figured “if you cant beat em join em”.
Why farm Chia?
I Found out about Chia in the Flexpool discord mid march (Praise Swar). Almost didn’t get involved due to the premine and just general effort involved. But the consensus really sold me as it seems way more logical to use an existing resource like hard drive space than to have industrial scale ASIC/GPU farms as the backbone of a network.
What hardware are you using?
My farm is 650 TiB in total.
31 14Tb drives
85 3/4tb drives.
5900x, 10850k and 9900k. Sold the 9900k and the other 2 pcs are now used for other things. Nodes are 3770k, 2600x, and a 4570 harvester.
Do you have a special networking/distributed farming setup?
I run two nodes for personal reasons and one large harvester. My other household PCs harvest like 5-6tb on their NVMEs (ended up with a lot of nvmes lol)
Given the chance to start over in march again, what would you do different?
Not much really. I’d like to say get more space and plot quicker, but that would’ve been a bigger risk.
I kind of pushed my liquid funds to their max getting 120ishTiB before may.
Are you pooling or solo farming?
Solo at the moment but I did use hpool for like a month in June when netspace was exploding.
Even plotting on 3 pcs I could hardly keep up and was on a long bad luck streak. Now that netspace has slowed I solo. I have had a few really good luck streaks that make me want to stay solo, but I have also had my fair share of 250-400% luck and near 2 months without any wins once. Being too lazy to replot my 480TiB of og plots might have something to do with it.
How much did you invest in your setup?
Around 12-13k. Though all of this was from gains selling 20 xch for $800ish on tx launch.
I made back my original 2k investment and then reinvested most of my gains back into a large farm and some plotting machines. In total it was around 15k invested but I sold some of my gear off that was no longer needed (extra rig, lots of memory).
There was a lot of corner cutting keeping my total farm cost around $20 a TB.
My 14TB disks are all externaly ran off usb hubs. I have shimmed and taped down the low density drives with fans pushing air between them to avoid having to buy jbods for the other 85 drives. These are the drives on the top shelf in the picture.
They just sit on a shelve in bricks of 4 drives with a 140mm box fan pulling air out. My whole farm is stuffed in a closet without doors, so the fan can move out the hot air.
My goal was to keep my costs as low as possible and stretch what I could invest into the most tb.
How time consuming is running your farm?
Not much at this point. Had a lot of headaches over time though, mainly with running all the low density drives the way I did. Lots of connections means lots of possible disconnects, the adapters to run them bare like that and just the general mess of cabling caused some headaches.
I Found out quickly that cheap molex connectors seem to loosen over time from cycling causing drive drop outs. And repasts your HBA’s when you get them, saves a lot of time in the long run if they end up giving you trouble.
At this point it need no intervention for weeks at a time. Only reason I even check my nodes is for fork balances.
Do you have monitoring?
I use farmr for remote monitoring. I also have some scripts to do my own monitoring/interactions from my main rig and peer trimming if needed.
How profitable is your farming setup?
Around 5 XCH a month expected, I don’t really view it in dollars amounts. Though between selling forks and luck I have made a little over 8xch a month averaged out since June. I do spend about $80 in power a month running my farm.
I can’t really recommend to get into it at this point though unless you plan to go big and have a low cost basis, like really low at this point. Or else your better off buying Chia.
Even with what I spent I could have bought 120-150 XCH. Of course I had no clue how low the price would really go so its all hindsight, and I did get some upgraded PCs and re-sellable drives out of it.
But if I was coming in with that much to invest now I’d just buy it. Though that’s not as fun as being involved and farming.
What are your plans for the future?
Goal was 1PiB, but due to the price stagnation I cant really justify getting more space. If I were to get more it would have to be from farming proceeds as I want to stay in the green and not spend any personal money on it at this point.
Will you keep farming?
Yeah, easily for the next year or so. At the end of next year I may reapproach it but my goal was tunnel vision for 1 1/2 – 2 years even with a price dip as I expected that to happen. The only thing I would reconsider then is mainly my power draw from low density drives. I would possibly sell off the gear if I needed or could find a better use for the proceeds. But selling the used gear and the drives I have would likely get around 40% back. If after 2 years the price stays so stagnant I may get out partially or fully because of power draw if I don’t lower it. At least might try to swap out for all high density drives
I definitely will stay holding my Chia unless something really convinces me that the project is going to fail and there is no hope. Which is not something I have seen yet. People look too much at the short term, projects take time. With some more adoption and a halving we could easily see the price go back to may prices. Chia’s tokenomics and emissions mean in 10 years its supply will be pretty comparable to BTC, take from that what you will. Well as long as the premine doesn’t enter the market.