Mining for Bitcoins With the Rockminer R-Box ASIC Miner

In this post I’ll be sharing my recent experience mining Bitcoins with the Rockminer R-box Bitcoin miner.  The R-Box is a 32Gh/s Bitcoin miner based on ASICMiner’s 40nm BE200 ASIC chip.  This mining board utilizes 4 of the BE200 ASIC chips which are the 3rd generation of ASICs developed by ASICMiner and manufactured by TSMC.

R-Box Hardware Specs

 

ASIC Technology:  Four ASICMiner Generation 3 40nm BE200 chips

Hash Rate:  32Gh/s+ (overclockable)

Power Draw: 40 Watts (50+  watts if overclocked)

Power Connector: 2.5mm DC barrel jack

Cooling: Air cooled with built in Fan

Size: 3.54″ wide x 3.54″ long x 2.75″ high

Hardware Costs

ItemQuantityCost
Rockminer R-Box 32Gh/s Bitcoin Miner1$67.99
12 Volt 6 Amp Power Supply with 2.5mm Connector1$7.86
 Total$75.85

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Unboxing the R-Box

The R-Box comes packed in a simple white box with the Bitcoin logo on top.  The ASIC is well protected inside with foam padding on the top and bottom.

Rockminer R-Box

The R-Box miner itself is quite small measuring at only 3.5″w x 3.5″l x 2.75″h.  The board which holds the ASICs is sandwiched in between two heatsinks with a large fan on top.  Modular 3d printed mounts are available for users looking for a cool way to mount several of these miners in a small space.

On the back is a 2.5mm DC power connector and a mini USB port.  No documentation is included but Rockminer does provide a manual on their website.

Rockminer R-Box - Unboxed

Included with the R-Box is a short micro USB cable for connecting the miner to a computer, and a 2.5mm barrel power connector pigtail.  The R-Box doesn’t include an AC adapter which casual miners might find somewhat annoying.

Options for Powering the R-Box Miner

If you happen to have a 12 volt power supply lying around that can supply at least 6 amps you can cut the end of and solder on the pigtail included with the miner.

It’s perfectly fine to use a power adapter that supplies more than 6 amps since the miner will only draw the power it needs but it must supply exactly 12 volts DC.

Alternatively you could purchase an ATX breakout board which allows several pigtails to be connected to a standard ATX power supply.  If you intend to run multiple R-Box miners then a breakout board , or other custom solution might be the best option.

Another method for connecting the miners to an ATX power supply is to use a PCI-E 8-Pin to 2.5mm DC Barrel Plug adapter.  If you do use this method you will still need to wire up a switch , or short the power on pins of the ATX PSU connector.

Rockminer R-Box - 2.5mm barrel power pigtail

Initially I attempted to use a 12V 3 amp power supply but it simply didn’t provide enough current to power the miner.  When using the lower amperage supply the unit would power on and spin the fan but it would lose USB connectivity as soon as I launched CGminer.

Since I only have one R-Box I opted to simply purchase a 12 volt 6 amp AC adapter from Amazon.  This adapter already has a 2.5mm connector on the end and has the correct polarity (center pin positive) for the R-Box.  I haven’t had any issues using this power supply but it does have a tendency to get quite hot.

R-Box Power Supply

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Setting Up the R-Box Miner

The R-Box miner is quite simple to set up.  I had mine unboxed and mining in about 5 minutes.

Step 1 – Connect the power adapter to the R-Box

Step 2 – Use the included mini USB cable to connect the miner to a computer.

Step 3 –  Install the latest version of CGMiner and Zagdig

Step 4 – Create a batch file to launch CGminer

Step 5 – Run the batch file and start mining

The fan on the R-Box starts running as soon as the power supply is connected to the miner.  The red LED on the board also lights up to indicate that the board is receiving power.  There is also a blue LED that lights up when the miner is hashing.

Rockminer R-Box - Mining

 

Performance and Overclocking

By default the R-Box runs with a clock speed of 270MHz which produces a hash rate of 32Gh/s.  At this speed the miner runs at a very reasonable temperature of 37 degrees celsius.  I also found the hardware error rate to be very low at less than 1%.

R-Box CGMiner

The R-Box can safely be clocked up to 290MHz by adding the –rock-freq 290 parameter to your CGMiner batch file.  In order for this parameter to be recognized you must be running a current version of CGMiner.

Rockminer CGMiner Settings

With a clock rate of 290MHz I was able to achieve an average hash rate of 34Gh/s from the R-Box.  In additional to a higher power draw I also found that running the miner at 290MHz caused the hardware error rate to jump from <1% to 2%

R-Box Overclocked

The R-Box seems to run a couple degrees cooler if you rotate it so the fan blows horizontally instead of vertically.

R-Box Horizontal

 

Overall Impressions of the Rockminer R-Box

I’ve been quite impressed with the design and performance of the R-Box miner.  The R-Box is a very well built miner that is ideal for a hobbyist Bitcoin miner.  The R-Box runs very cool compared to many ASICs and yet is also nearly silent.  The large fan on top is able to provide a high amount of air flow without producing much noise at all.

It’s a minor annoyance that the miner doesn’t include an AC adapter but I suspect this is mostly a cost cutting measure.  I like the fact that they at least include a 2.5mm pigtail connector.

Based on the quality and ease of use of the R-Box I would definitely consider purchasing hardware from Rockminer in the future.

Sam Kear

Sam graduated from the University of Missouri - Kansas City with a bachelors degree in Information Technology. Currently he works as a network analyst for an algorithmic trading firm. Sam enjoys the challenge of troubleshooting complex problems and is constantly experimenting with new technologies.

2 thoughts on “Mining for Bitcoins With the Rockminer R-Box ASIC Miner

  1. I am confused how one would make money with this. According to https://tradeblock.com/mining/ calculator I would be loosing $4 a day to use this. Or $115 in one year. This is based on your has count. Watt use and cost of device.
    Care to elaborate why one would use one of these or pretty much any other miner out there unless you has free electricity.
    Cute unit. Neat concept but I can’t see it making any profit.

    1. You’re right, casual mining hasn’t been profitable for a while due to the huge increases in mining difficulty and the drop in the price of Bitcoin.

      Mining has become a game played by professional miners with deep pockets and many of them are hurting financially right now too.

      If difficulty drops (or levels off) and BTC prices start going up again then mining might become a thing again but right now its pretty much a losing game.

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