A new ASIC mini-cluster to mine with Raspberry PI

asic mining raspberry

An interesting, powerful and complete kit to start experimenting on ASIC, mining and cryptocurrencies also through our Raspberry PI 3B.

Mining is dead, they said. Nowadays, super-fast multicore processors, or very powerful graphics cards, are no longer enough to be able to earn something with mining. The unjustified increase in hardware and electricity prices, coupled with the growing complexity of the Proof of Work algorithms, have made mining unprofitable for the common user. The only ones that are likely to find any profit from this activity are the large datacenters where hundreds of Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) are lined up like so many toy soldiers, chewing billions of hashes per day.

Small is beautiful

This is all very sad. But in computer science (and often also in other sciences) there is an adage that goes: “Everyone says that something cannot be done, then someone who doesn’t know it comes along and does it”.

In our case it is the classic Columbus egg: since ASICs have a much higher performance than GPU cards, less powerful ones are enough to have an even budget. Add to this the possibility of miniaturizing everything and placing it on a USB token, and we will have a win-win condition of high performance with low consumption.


Bitcoin Merch is a small startup born in 2017 thanks to the visionary passion of the owner, a fan of cryptocurrencies since 2015.

The kit we will talk about today is composed of the following components:

  • Raspberry PI 3B with preloaded software
  • 7-Port High Power USB HUB
  • 3 plug and play ASIC tokens
  • 3 cooling fans with specific 3D attachment on the radiator
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • 3.5 “or 7” display for the single draft of the miner
  • HDMI cable

ASIC mining Raspberry PI

CompacF is the most powerful USB miner made by the company, and in most cases it generates a profit. This rig is designed for research with SHA-256 mining algorithm, for Bitcoin (BTC), BitcoinCash (BCH), Acoin (ACOIN), Curecoin (CURE), Joulecoin (XJO), Unbreakable (UNB), Peercoin (PPC) , Mark (DEM), Terracoin (TRC), BitcoinSV (BSV), and includes active air cooling on each miner. These USB tokens can achieve much greater power (and therefore computational efficiency) than the previous versions, the NewPac miner, and the 2PAC miner. Each token is unlocked for overclocking (which however voids the warranty). It features a single BM1397 chip in 7nm technology.

The kit includes all the elements you need to start “mining”: just connect the elements and launch the software. The kit provides instructions for configuring the program, and the overclocking system is managed through parameters placed on the command line.

While a token can safely work on a Raspberry PI, if you want to use multiple sticks, a substantial overclock or cooling fans, it is advisable to connect the sticks on a power hub capable of delivering 2A on each port. A TH/s just a click away.

Is there anything cheaper?

This plug and play kit is ideal for those who don’t want to worry: just connect the cables and run the program. But if you are a bit geek (like us …) you might be tempted by the minor kit: without Raspberry, display, keyboard and cables, it contains everything you need to start (except the software) at 70% of the cost of the previous combo . In this case, the company provides the software (and drivers!) For operation under Windows, MacOS and Linux, and it will only take a minimum of expertise to configure and optimize our rig with tokens.


ASIC mining rig raspberry

Price around 700 US$.

Is it not enough? Well, indeed, better. It is possible to buy the USB sticks individually with the ASICs, and the fans separately, and maybe buy the hub at a later time: 250 dollars + 30 for the fan are enough to reach 350 GH / s. Or starting with the younger brothers for the experiments respectively at 80 us$ (90Gh / s) or 30 US$ (35GH / s).

asic mining cluster
Left to right: CompacF (350 GH/s), Newpac (90 GH/s) and 2Pac (30 GH/s)

Time to do some math

“Yes, sure, really interesting, but … is it worth it?”

The answer, as often happens, is: it depends!

If you plan on using these ASICs to get rich by mining, you have gone the wrong way. If you intend to approach the world of mining without spending colossal amounts on graphics cards, setups and (above all) electricity, however, these systems can give you more than some satisfaction: with CompacF Combo it is possible to collect several tens of cents a day (excluding the consumption of current), and with a (nice) bit of patience, in a few years you will get to exceed 100 euros in earnings. This is more or less the same amount that would be obtained by mining Ethereum 24/7 with a GTX1650 card (which alone costs 400-450 euros). Or undermining Monero with an Intel 9800X workstation with 8 cores. But with an initial expense and a decidedly lower power consumption, and a much more manageable investment modularity.

It is precisely for this reason that almost all the kits we talked about today are out of order, and it is necessary to book in time at Bitcoin Merch.The estimated time for the next batch is 2-3 months, enough to save a few euros in more and amortize the initial expense.

So, if the idea intrigues you, if (like my friend Marco) you have an old Raspberry PI thrown into a corner (or maybe more than one) to gather dust, this is a fun, affordable project that doesn’t require any latest model with the latest version, and which in the end will repay you in its own right (i.e. in a small way) for the efforts made in optimizing it.



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Definire ciò che si è non risulta mai semplice o intuitivo, in specie quando nella vita si cerca costantemente di migliorarsi, di crescere tanto professionalmente quanto emotivamente. Lavoro per contribuire al mutamento dei settori cardine della computer science e per offrire sintesi ragionate e consulenza ad aziende e pubblicazioni ICT, ma anche perche’ ciò che riesco a portare a termine mi dà soddisfazione, piacere. Così come mi piace suonare (sax, tastiere, chitarra), cantare, scrivere (ho pubblicato 350 articoli scientfici e 3 libri sinora, ma non ho concluso ciò che ho da dire), leggere, Adoro la matematica, la logica, la filosofia, la scienza e la tecnologia, ed inseguo quel concetto di homo novus rinascimentale, cercando di completare quelle sezioni della mia vita che ancora appaiono poco ricche.


  1. George Grair | | Reply

    Hello – do you have instructions for setting this up? I have it and need some direction. Thanks!!

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