Bitaxe

Hex in Hash! Best Practices for Bitaxe Hex

Hex in Hash! Best Practices for Bitaxe Hex
Bitaxe Hex is the first powerful multicores Bitcoin solo miner among Bitaxe product series.
As like its product code: Hex, short form of hexadecimal, there are 6 cutting-edge BM1366 ASIC chips installed which unleashes at least 3TH/s hashpower with an unnoticeable amount of noise and heat generated. This is the most ideal product for household use Bitcoin solo mining.
And today, we are going to unbox the world's first retail grade Bitaxe Hex v303, produced by TinyChipHub (TCH), and dig into it to find out the best practices for Bitaxe Hex.

Packaging and Appearance

 

Bitaxe Hex packaging

This is the deluxe version by TinyChipHub. The package includes a Bitaxe Hex with transparent acrylic enclosure, a 12V 8A AC/DC adapter, and an external antenna. All parts are covered by EVA(Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) shockproof material in a carton.
And not to brag, this level of packaging can be regarded as the top standard in the DIY hardware market after millions of hours of careful tests and practices, just to make sure that the precious Hex reaches you in perfect condition.
Bitaxe Hex close look
When you take a close look at it for the first time, the deep red anodized aluminum bars combined with gold plated screws are very impressive.
There are two PMW fans mounted on the roof that provide continuous air flow for cooling.
But some may wonder "Would this semi-open design affect the cooling effect?" We will discuss it in the later section with clear statistics.

Bitaxe Hex Configuration

It is Bitaxe's tradition, the configuration process starts from connecting to its private WiFi access point. When powered on for the first time, the Bitaxe Hex will setup a private WiFi access point. Usually with SSID called "Bitaxe-XXXX" or "espressif".
Once connected, a configuration website will pop up automatically from your default web browser like this:
Bitaxe Hex Configuration
The setup is quite straightforward. In the first two fields, type in your WiFi's SSID and password. Notice that only 2.4GHz WiFi is supported at this moment.
The following four fields are pool setup. This information should be found easily in your selected pool website.
The last two fields are for advanced users only for overclocking. Therefore, we recommend just leave those as default. The firmware provided by TinyChipHub supports automatic fan control and this feature is enabled by default.
If you don't like it, simply uncheck the very last checkbox and then an adjustable slidebar will appear. You can adjust the percentage of the fan's RPM from it. Once all configurations are settled, press the "Save" button AND then click "Restart".
After that, the Bitaxe Hex will restart and its private access point will turn off. So, how to connect to Bitaxe again? When the restart is complete, the installed OLED will start rolling information and there is a line showing its IP address on local network. Enter this IP address to your web browser and then a dashboard page will show up:
Bitaxe Hex Dashboard
There is a bunch of information showing Bitaxe Hex's current status, such as, Bitaxe hashrate, efficiency, best share and chips' temperature etc.
And from the screenshot above showing it has run for over 2 hours and the temperature is stable at 67 degree Celsius. This implies the semi-open Bitaxe enclosure design is effective and appropriate.

Special features of the TCH Bitaxe Hex

As a customer, the price of a Bitaxe Hex is definitely a feature I care about. Therefore, affordability is the one feature we take into consideration while developing and delivering the quality. TinyChipHub launched the Bitaxe Hex standard version for $399.99, and deluxe version(Enclosure + fans included) for $439.99. The prices are fair enough in terms of the fine materials used. You can get 6 times more hashrate for only about 3 times the price of a Bitaxe Ultra.
Another special feature is that the firmware TinyChipHub provided enables PWM fan control logic. This is a critical feature for noise controlling, since the fan's rpm is adjusted based on the measured temperature.
By the time this review releases, TinyChipHub is thrilled to say that a new firmware will be released early in June. The new firmware will be based on ESPMienr v2.1.6 and it includes separate control for each fan based on ASIC chips' temperature and TPS546's temperature.
You can find that new firmware and Bitaxe Hex code later on TCH's website under the "Bitaxe Hex Download" section.

TCH Bitaxe Hex vs competitors

There are several multicores solo Bitcoin miners on the market, such as Qaxe and 0xAxe.
Let's talk about Qaxe first. The first letter 'Q' stands for quadruple. It means there are only 4 chips installed. This "4-chips" limitation, we believe, is due to the heatsink design, so as a result, Qaxe's hashrate is lower than Bitaxe Hex by nature.
The other one is 0xAxe. Although it installed more than 6 ASIC chips and hence can provide more than 7Th/s hashrate, it is not a standalone solo Bitcoin miner. That means, you need extra cost such as buying a Raspberry MCU as its control board and hence increase the complexity of using it.
Bitaxe Hex, on the other hand, is as simple as snapping your fingers. Once the configuration is settled as described in the previous section, you are good to go.
The chance of you coming across many questions about how to use Bitaxe Hex is low. Find out more about mining in this post.
But if you do have questions, you are more than welcome to comment and discuss with us.

FAQs

  • Should I buy one or assemble one?
Although there is a so-called "Bitaxe DIY kit" on the market, it is not recommended to buy it without electronic skills since the soldering difficulties are exponentially increased comparing to Bitaxe Ultra.
  • What voltage is the Bitaxe Hex?
The voltage of the TCH Bitaxe Hex is 12V 8A.
  • How to reset Bitaxe Hex? 
There is a reset button on the board. Simply press the button to restart the Hex in seconds. To fully reset, including all user data, you need to download the firmware and flash it via UART protocol.
  • What is the max temperature for Bitaxe Hex?
Based on our test for 24 hours non-stop, the temperature is stable at around 65 degree Celsius without an air conditioner.
  • Can Bitaxe be trusted?
Definitely yes! Bitaxe serials are open sourced, you can check out their code at any time.
  • Is Bitaxe profitable?
Well, it depends what you desire. If you are looking for a mining farm setup, this may not be a good choice. However, if you think of it as a 10-min lottery ticket, it may surprise you any time in the future.
  • Is Bitaxe Hex decentralized?
Yes. Bitaxe Hex is the ideal home solo miner (as described in the last question). It is designed for decentralized mining and aimed to improve the mining network.

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