When I was running the mining warehouse farm, there was a major problem: the facility was 4 hours away from my college campus. I could only travel there once a week. However, the mining servers sometimes went offline. This is because using many GPUs on one motherboard is very new and software/drivers aren’t designed well for that. Also, getting maximum performance and ROI from the hardware means overclocking it. That leads to instability.
One solution is switched PDUs, but the only problem is they cost $400-600 for just 10 outlets. Mining farms are built more cheaply than real server rooms, and spending that much on power infrastucture doesn’t make sense.
So I had to develop a cheaper, in-house solution. I modified a Raspberry Pi linux computer, attached a radio antenna to it, and made it send radio waves to 433 MHz power outlets.
The result? A functioning remote reboot system which cost $40 plus $10 per computer. Much cheaper than $40/machine, which is what switched PDUs cost.
I then saw commercial demand for such a product. Cryptocurrency miners, especially medium and large-scale GPU rig miners, need this product. They had only one option: an expensive, outdated device that was messy to set up.
So I decided to built the first prototype:
This is how the switched RF outlets are connected: they sit inline between the power supply cord (C13) and the surge protector (or PDU C14 connector):
The outlets work with 240 volts, although they officially only support 120 volts. These outlets were tested over a 6-month span to function safely with 250 volts, even at high current loads.
All the components inside on the PCB are rated for both voltages.
The software application
5-10% of the work of this business was manufacturing the hardware. 90% of the work to be done was software, programming and building a full-stack web application.
The challenge was incorporating distributed data from different sources all over the world into one engine that made decisions. The other issue was serving the information to a user live, if they were logged in.
This is what our current stack looks like:
As you can see, this is a very complex application with multiple languages, data stores and potentially thousands of Resetter RF devices connected simultaneously.
The product should be released in Q3 2019!