Antminer S9 Set Up Guide 2018
Antminers have become very popular in late 2017, with the Antminer S9 & L3+ being very profitable due to Bitcoin's price increases. Many people in the mining community have come up with innovative ways to manage power, noise and cooling of these mining monstrosities.
One of the main issues a home-based miner will introduce is noise, as the high speed fans needed to keep Antminers cool are very loud. Users are reporting noise in the range of 75-80dB! There are other issues like power supply compatibility too.
In this article we'll go through some common ways to solve these issues, focusing on the Antminer S9 in particular - but a lot of the information is applicable to all Antminers. If you're new to the mining space, we posted a separate guide here explaining the Antminer S9 specs (e.g. things like what rated voltage is, power consumption, etc.).
We haven't tested the below ideas/suggestions ourselves, we go through popular solutions found on forums & YouTube. Any links to hardware may use affiliate links, so we'll earn some money if you use them. If you do find our content useful and plan to try any of these ideas, please do consider doing it via the links provided - as it helps us continue posting these guides!
Power supply units (PSU)
Let's start with the most important part, the power supply. Currently there are two popular options, preference seems to be divided due to location. Bitmain (the producer of the Antminer) produces their own PSU for the device, which is rated to 1600W - but this only works with a 220V-240V mains supply. In areas that run at 110V-120V, like parts of North America, the Bitmain PSU puts out only 1200W. The Antminer S9 is estimated to use 1127-1372W depending on the batch, so might not work with the Bitmain PSU on a 110V-120V supply. Instead a lot of North American YouTubers are going for 1600W PC PSUs instead.
Antminer APW3++ Power Supply
Since the APW3++ is an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) part, if you do have a 220V-240V mains supply, it's generally a good idea to go with this option. An OEM part is designed to meet the specific needs of certain hardware, in this case an Antminer S9/L3+/D3 (it's also a pretty good price).
- Cheap compared to alternatives.
- Designed for this purpose.
- Only works with a 220-240V supply.
- You have to buy a kettle cable separately (to connect it to the mains), this doesn't come with one.
Click here to buy a kettle cable (make sure you buy one that has the correct plug used in your country)
EVGA SuperNOVA 1600 Power Supply
If you're limited to 110V-120V, a popular 1600W power supply (which would be needed to generate enough power for an Antminer) is the EVGA SuperNOVA. Interestingly, the technical specs for the EVGA SuperNOVA P2 Platinum say that it supports 115-240V, which technically does not include 110V; although based on feedback, most of North America uses 120V or 240V, so this shouldn't be an issue.
- Should supply enough power at 110V-120V
- Readily available on Amazon
- Doesn't officially support 110V
- Not OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
Click here to buy the EVGA SuperNOVA 1600 G2 (this is out of stock as of writing this)
The typical noise level for an Antminer s9 is 75-80dB, which is around the same as your average vacuum cleaner. If you're storing your Antminer in a warehouse this is fine; but if you're storing this in a house this can cause problems. An easy option would be to store the Antminer in a garage. If you don't have a garage, buying noise cancelling headphones could be an option. But both of these don't solve the problem of noise completely.
The DIY Solution
There are "Cooler" solutions available!
Many Antminer users are going DIY-style; sometimes putting their miners in a large food/drinks cooler connected via ducting to a window/air cooler (the kind that you might have on your tumble drier). Often these setups can reduce the noise level to around 50-55dB, which is more similar to the fan noise you might get when booting up your PC/laptop. This isn't the prettiest option, but we love the ingenuity of this solution (and how many people are really going to see this anyway).
A video by JMS Vlogs gives a good example of this.
- Can keep the miner in a convenient place
- Still needs some DIY
- If anything blocks airflow then the miner is going to overheat quickly
The 'put it far away' Solution
This option depends a lot on where you live. If you have a garage, utility room or even garden shed that has some free space then you can just put the miner in one of these places, reducing the noise issue with minimal DIY overhead. You just need to connect it to the internet; perhaps by connecting to your router via Ethernet, or maybe connecting via your mains using a powerline adapter. But keep in mind that often garages and sheds in particular may be on a different power circuit (so a powerline adapter might not work).
Also make sure that you take into account moisture. Moisture and humidity can cause your miner to fail, and in the worst case scenario possibly cause a fire.
- Minimal extra set up
- Reduces noise to nothing unless you frequent that room
- Need an existing suitable location
- Might need to run long cables
- Access may be a nuisance if anything goes wrong
Designing your own enclosure is always an option, where you can buy raw materials and design the perfect noise-reducing container. We've seen some great solutions online, but remember, the more money you are sinking into your Antminer set up, the longer it will take you to make a profit. Often the 2 options above are more cost effective.
For any DIY noise busting solution, something you should always keep in mind is cooling. Make sure whatever you're doing to keep the noise level down is still allowing enough air to and away from your miner. The general consensus is that an Antminer S9 outputs around 250 cubic feet of air every minute. The easiest cooling solution would be to suck this air away from the miner rather than blow air over it. In short, don't just put your miner in a box/cupboard to keep it quiet; it will heat up very fast in this scenario as the generated heat can't escape quickly enough/at all.
Also keep in mind that a bit of heat is not always a bad thing. If you live in a country that's hot all year round, then sure - you'll want to keep it as cool as possible 24/7. But if you live somewhere colder, you'll need to heat your home anyway, so why not use that waste energy from the miner as a bit of extra heating? Just make sure the miner itself is staying cool, that you're not feeding it too much warm air. Maybe stick an air cooler next to it and point the hot air towards your living room!
Regardless of what approach you use for cooling - once your miner is up and running, make sure you keep an eye on it. Perhaps put a sensor next to your Antminer and configure it to send you a notification if it gets too hot.
Once your miner is set up quietly and well cooled, also keep in mind dust. Dust, dirt, or other particles in the air are the enemy of any air cooling set up! If you are allowing dust to get into your Antminer, over time the cooling will become less efficient and the temperature around the miner will start to get hotter. Having a faster air flow over your miner may help, allowing it to be kept on for longer - and so earning you more money.
Add Dust Filters
Having a filter for dust is good for any computer system. Dust tends to build up on heat-syncs, reducing the air flow over the heat-sync and creating a barrier between the metal and the air - all reducing heat transfer away from the device.
The stock cooling system of the Antminer is simple; air goes in one end and comes out the other. To add a dust filter, it must go over wherever air is going in. If you have a custom solution, for example keeping the miner in a cooler with ducting, add the filter to the outside of the inlet so that you can see when dust is building up (and clean easily).
When you install a filter it will reduce airflow itself (a balance is needed between air flow and dust filtering). A few hours after installation, double check the device temperature is as expected. Remember that you'll need to clean dust filters regularly to keep airflow up - but that by having the dust filter there, the miner itself stays dust free (and can remain up while you clean the filter).
If you have an air purifier/filter, clean, vacuum or dust regularly, the ambient air around your miner may be pure enough that you don't need a dust filter. If you think this is the case - try running your miner without one (you can always add one later on).
- Reduced downtime for the Antminer
- Better long-term temperature stability
- Reduced air flow
Well we hope this guide helps you get started setting up your Antminer! If you have a unique solution that we've not covered then get in touch!
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