When I first got into mining LiteCoins, I (like most people…) had to search through a few dozen different sites to figure everything out. One for setting up a wallet, several for troubleshooting issues along the way and probably dozens before figuring out how to optimize my mining software. My intention with this post is to document the entire process – start to finish, in order to make the transition into mining as easy as possible for newcomers. As always with my work, if you feel that something is missing – Leave me a comment below and I will work to add it to the guide.
In an effort to keep this post as ‘tidy’ as possible, I’ve separated it into several different sections below. Simply click on the tabs that you are interested in to get started![learn_more caption=”Before We Begin”]
There are a few things we will want to check off our list before we start mining.
1.) Browse to: Control panel > System & Security > Power Options
2.) By default, windows will have “Balanced” selected. Next to it you want to click “Change plan settings”
3.) In the drop down box, under “Put the computer to sleep” – Select Never.
1.) Run Command Prompt as Administrator
2.) Then enter:
powercfg -h off
3.) Reboot your PC to free up some hard drive space used by the hiberfil.sys.
What Kind of ROI Can I Expect?
It’s important to have realistic expectations before you get into mining, something made difficult by a flood of ROI calculators available – most of which don’t consider rising difficulty in their calculations. While some people are extremely optimistic about the future of crypto-currency – It is, kind of like the stock market – a bit of an unknown. To help illustrate my point – I’ll compare 2 different calculators. One that factors in difficulty, and one that does not.
I will be using the following stats for my comparison:
- 740 kh/s
- 1% pool fee
- Power Cost = .13
- 30 days
CoinWarz profitability calculator places my 30 day return @ $144.99 after paying for power costs. Now if I put those same numbers in a calculator that takes difficulty into account , my profits end up being $97.10 after those same 30 days. That is a huge difference! Especially when some people are using a calculator that doesn’t factor in difficulty to project yearly returns…
One last thing to consider is that LTC value, just like most other crypto-currencies – is extremely volatile. My profit may be $97.10 today, but 30 days… 6 months from now? Who knows. It’s been said before and I’ll say it again – Don’t invest anything into mining you can’t afford to lose 😀[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Choosing A Pool”]
There is an ever growing list of pools to choose from since BitCoins/LiteCoins are more popular than they have ever been. If you are having trouble deciding on one, I highly recommending taking a look at this awesome Mining Pool Comparison Chart.
For what it’s worth, I personally use HyperNova and I absolutely love it.
For AltCoin mining, LTCRabbit.com also looks promising. It is a profit switching pool that automatically exchanges your alt-coins to LTC! Keep an eye out for a future post detailing my experience with LTCRabbit![/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Setting Up Your LTC Wallet”]
1.) You can download and install the Official LTC Wallet @ https://litecoin.org/
Note: There has been an increasing trend of storing your LTC balance @ online wallets & exchanges. While you can do this, It is recommended that you store your wallet locally and create encrypted backups of your wallet.
2.) When you first open your LiteCoin wallet, it will need to sync with the online blockchain. (This process can take several hours)
3.) Since the sync process can take awhile – Now is a good time to familiarize yourself with some of the key elements of your LiteCoin wallet…
4.) Once your wallet is synced, the first thing you will want to do is encrypt your wallet. You can do this by going to: Settings > Encrypt Wallet.
- Create a strong encryption password! (length > complexity)
- Don’t store your password in the same place as your wallet
- Don’t lose your password. There is no way to recover it!
- Without encrypting your wallet, anyone can easily withdraw funds from your account.
5.) Finally, You will want to make a backup of your wallet to a safe location.
( NAS, Flash drive, external HD, etc )
- File > Backup Wallet
That’s it, You now have a fully functional LiteCoin wallet at your disposal![/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Catalyst GPU Drivers & SDK”]
This section is going to cover Radeon cards only, If you are mining with an Nvidia card you will find that they consistently get a much lower hash rate. However if you have an Nvidia card and wish to mine, you will want to be using CudaMiner.
For us Radeon users, We will need both our Catalyst GPU driver and the AMD SDK. There are numerous combinations of which Catalyst driver & SDK version you should pair together depending on your particular hardware. atp1916 does a great job of sharing some of the most successful combinations depending on your hardware in his short guide on the netcodepool.org forums. The LTC Hardware Mining Comparison also has a great deal of good information for different type card. Below I’ve compiled a list of common catalyst & SDK combinations as described in the above links.
Catalyst 12.4 2.7 SDK
Catalyst 13.1 2.8 SDK
Catalyst 13.11(beta) No SDK
Catalyst 13.4 No SDK
Cat. 13.6(beta) 2.8 SDK
Catalyst 13.9 2.7 SDK
The most recent version of CGminer that supports scrypt based mining is 3.7.2. I recommend using this version of CGMiner to start, however if you are having problems with it you can checkout the LTC Hardware Mining Comparison to see what other users are having success with.
1.) Download CG Miner 3.7.2.zip @ ck.kolivas.org
2.) Extract the the contents of the .zip folder to someplace like C:\Mining
3.) Then you want to create a batch file for CGMiner to connect to your Pool. Once you are logged in to your pools web page, you should be able to find a link to their stratum pool. Something Like:
4.) You will then also want to setup a worker (or several depending on how many devices/cards you have mining). Then input the Worker info. Your stratum pool call within your batch file should look something like:
stratum+tcp://mining.usa.hypernova.pw:3333 -u Rionoskae.worker1 -p myworkerpass
5.) You will then want to configure your batch file to further maximize your kh/s, while balancing power usage, temperature, fan speed, etc. Below is the batch file that I use currently to mine LTC.
setx GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT 60
setx GPU_USE_SYNC_OBJECTS 0
cgminer.exe --scrypt -o stratum+tcp://mining.usa.hypernova.pw:3333 -u Rionoskae.worker -p xxxx -I 13
-g 2 --thread-concurrency 8192 --gpu-engine 1070 --gpu-memclock 1500 --temp-target 76 --auto-fan
--gpu-fan 40-80 --temp-cutoff 90 --temp-overheat 85
- Configuring The r9 280x in CGMiner – EveryDay-Tech.Com
- CGMiner – General Readme
- CGMiner – Scrypt Readme
- CGMiner – GPU Readme
- CGMiner Guide – by atp1916
While CGwatcher isn’t necessary to start mining, It is a powerful piece of free software that will provide your mining rig with a welcome bit of stability, a nice GUI & a plethora of tools and utilities to make your mining operations as efficient as possible.
1.) You can download CGwatcher Here.
(please consider donating to the developer!)
2.) Once you’ve installed CGwatcher, there are a few key features you will want to become familiar with and configure….
3.) First we need to setup a Profile: Settings > Profile > Manage Profiles
I highly recommend enabling the following settings:
- Restart miner when sick or dead devices are detected
- Ensure miner stays running….
5.) Lastly, Browse the options available via the scheduled task tab….
Since time is literally money with mining, anything that interrupts CGminer is going to be costly in the long run. I’ve spent a good deal of time trying to figure out ways to minimize this down time by using awesome software like CGwatcher above and crafting some clever scripts as described below. Hopefully you have a rock solid internet connection and hardware to match, but if you don’t – this section should be able to help 🙂
There are 4 main points of failure when mining:
- Modem loses connection to internet
- Router needs to be reset
- CGminer crashes ( Thank you CGwatcher! )
- Pool goes down
1.) With a fair bit of determination and some basic scripting skills I was able to create a batch file that sends a reboot command to my modem when my PC cannot reach the world wide web.
C:\mining\Plink\plink.exe -v -ssh -batch firstname.lastname@example.org -pw MyPasswordhere "reboot"
**If your router doesn’t support dd-wrt or Tomato, there may still be hope! Check out this awesome post @ h3xresearch.wordpress.com
3.) CGwatcher has been a great ally in the battle of mining stability. See the CGwatcher section above for more details!
4.) If after all of your valiant efforts to maintain a connection to your chosen pool – it goes down… you can easily configure CGminer (or CGwatcher) to move to a different pool!
**Any more tips and tricks are very much appreciated. Please leave yours in the comments section below![/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Anomalies”]
Over the course of mining with CGMiner, I’ve noticed a few odd things that I didn’t see mentioned anywhere else… I thought I would share them here in case you encounter them 😀
- No matter what I seemed to do, Firefox would become pixelated during mining. I could not fix the issue without throttling kh/s down. That is until I found that Chrome doesn’t seem to have this problem. 😀 Which is kind of odd…because Netflix would play just fine, but Firefox would constantly struggle…..
- While the Asus GPU Tweak utility seems be operating properly, CGWatcher doesn’t display the adjusted voltage.
- That’s all I got for now – If you got one you would like to share, help your fellow miners out and leave it in the comments!
Below is an ongoing list of other helpful LTC mining sites: