Chicken{1...4} are not running away - iPollo G1 mini - review and disassembly


Let’s use this thread as a possibility to help users and not rant about iChicken to much, someone can open a rant post later please.


It started all on a cloudy evening when the doorbell rang…

tl;dr

  • 4 x iChicken arrived
  • no DOA (dead on arrival) all where working
  • 2 out of the 4 working only with 50% hash rate compared to the other 2 working ones.
  • one power supply did die after 48h

Hardware

Some pictures are taken from the arrival day and some unboxing pictures.

For a full unboxing experience :sweat_smile: please check our the video by Tromp - Grin ASIC unboxed: iPollo G1 Mini - YouTube seen now over 10k times by GRIN community?


(I liked the golden engraved letters)


(instructions well written in English and Chinese)


(iChicken vs box)


(Network port, possible SD card slot, some buttons and led’s)


(test setup for the first 24h burn-in phase)

Closeups of naked iChicken

Disclaimer:

No animals where harmed during the disassembly and all iChicken are kept in
species-appropriate husbandry 

A few closeup photos of iChicken internal designs


(closeup of Network port, possible SD card slot, some buttons and led’s)

ipollo63528079
(trying to get rid of the hard shell)


(first glance of the internal workings of an iChicken)


(just pull a bit harder)


(top view … a lot of fans …)


(closeup top view )


(some harmless damage on the iChicken (disclaimer still applies :innocent:) )


(top view closeup)


(bottom view)


_( iChicken back in his natural habitat ) _


_( iChicken back in his natural habitat ) _


_( iChicken back in his natural habitat ) _

Mining with iChicken

Based on our obervations within the last few days , we can clearly see two of the 4 iChicken are not working at full speed.


(Big thank you to https://www.grinmint.com/ for the statistics.)

UI from #4 iChicken which is not working correctly and is mining with aprox 1/2 of the speed.

in comparison with #2 which is mining normally

All iChicken are configured the same, except for their hostnames and internal IP addresses.
We did reset all iChicken multiple times and did try different configurations, but with no success.

Software

The iPollo miners are based on OpenWRT software OpenWrt SNAPSHOT, r6467-8165c02 which is great as they are supporting an open-source software stack.

SSH login is available and active and you can login with the default credentials admin/admin:

BusyBox v1.27.2 () built-in shell (ash)

  _______                     ________        __
 |       |.-----.-----.-----.|  |  |  |.----.|  |_
 |   -   ||  _  |  -__|     ||  |  |  ||   _||   _|
 |_______||   __|_____|__|__||________||__|  |____|
          |__| W I R E L E S S   F R E E D O M
 -----------------------------------------------------
 OpenWrt SNAPSHOT, r6467-8165c02
 -----------------------------------------------------

You are welcomed in a normal BusyBox system with the available tools.
At the moment the system is mounted as read only which means you can not push changes to it if they are running.

partitioning

admin@iHaehnchen01:~# df -h
Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root                 6.0M      6.0M         0 100% /rom
tmpfs                   122.4M    440.0K    122.0M   0% /tmp
/dev/mtdblock5            6.1M      3.4M      2.6M  57% /overlay
overlayfs:/overlay        6.1M      3.4M      2.6M  57% /
tmpfs                   512.0K         0    512.0K   0% /dev

The root partition is mounted in /rom

/dev/root on /rom type squashfs (ro,relatime)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,noatime)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,noatime)
tmpfs on /tmp type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev,noatime)
/dev/mtdblock5 on /overlay type jffs2 (rw,noatime)
overlayfs:/overlay on / type overlay (rw,noatime,lowerdir=/,upperdir=/overlay/upper,workdir=/overlay/work)
tmpfs on /dev type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,relatime,size=512k,mode=755)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,nosuid,noexec,relatime,mode=600,ptmxmode=000)
debugfs on /sys/kernel/debug type debugfs (rw,noatime)

tbd

  • disassemble further, the not working or poorly working iChicken and check for Chip defects or missing chips , which could cause the low cycle rate.
  • send some closeup shots of the disassembly
  • make use of the SD card slot if possible
  • dump whole file system to make possible changes
    • to UI (overlay)

All pictures will be uploaded with high resolution on the Grinnode.live Github page.

19 Likes

The sweetest mining device I have ever seen.
I believe all of the problems with the first devices will be resolved.
Thanks for the detailed review.

2 Likes

very nice photo :slight_smile:

1 Like

You don’t plan to make work the warranty on the 2 low cycles g1-mini?

3 Likes

Nice tear down, I was already wondering how my Chicken looked from the inside. Suprisingly simple considering how effective it mines. Still, knowing some do not hash/graph properly makes me reluctant to order more units for now.

2 Likes

Thank you for presenting these iChicken. What are you going to do with the two that go wrong?

2 Likes

I also have similar results to report:

I order 6, iChickens and received, 6 iChickens.

1 of the 6 is only hashing at half of what it should be hashing at.

2 of the 6 power adapters were DOA, and another one failed within 24 hours.

I ordered 2 replacements from Amazon (different brands because I wanted to test a hunch I had) and they both failed within 24 hours.

It looks like these units require more power than the provided power adapters are able to provide or at least near equal to what they provide, but they overheat and die.

My solution was similar in that I ordered a power supply converters (12V, 480 watt) and harvested the 5.5/2.5mm jacks off of the dead adapters and power 3 miners off of the 480 watt PSU converter. This has now been running for 5 days without issue.

I’m not sure what I am going to do with the half hashing unit, warranty or not.

2 Likes

Thank you all for your feedback.
Lets try to keep it public here as I am getting a lot of DM and can not answer them all.

One of the most questions asked where which replacement power supply did I use?

The replacement power supply is not getting as hot as the original power supplies and this was also an important improvement. I can not give you any long-term data, as this power supply is running a few days without any problems.

Heat is a problem in all mining rig’s , but this is nothing new.
But I wanted to emphasisze one important security feature you should install if you run a mining rig:

  • fire detector (alarm) should be bare minimum for all long-term or 24/7 mining.
4 Likes

Current power consumption of all #1 #2 #3 #4 iChicken’s combined currently as of now.
Including one 1 network-switch aprox (20W) based on specs.

image

Your results regarding your power adapter may vary slightly from mine due to being in Germany (unless for some reason you would order off of *.de in a neighboring European nation) and the outlets being different.

Here in the US our standard wall outlet is 110/120V and although I am not an electrician, I believe 220/240V systems are slightly more efficient in regards to what they pull from the wall and what is delivered to the unit.

For any US based iPollo users, here is what I ordered:

For the plug, I just grabbed some unused PSU plugs and cut one end off.

Again, I am not an electrician, so don’t take any of this as safety approved advice.

Thank you for making the distinctions. Sometimes I do forget we not all running on 220V AC :slight_smile:
My power supply is only for EU-based or 220V AC countries or house-installations.

See if you can get the half hashrate unit replaced. Hopefully, return shipping is reasonable.

If you would considering selling it, I would be willing to purchase your iChicken. Iam looking into supporting the Grin network.

1 Like

As I did get a lot of questions, I am trying to answer them here:

    1. Did you replace all your power supplies?
    1. Did you get in contact with iPollo to start the return procedure ?

Answers.

  1. We are in the process of changing all power supplies for all iChicken we are using and also bought one spare one in case the new power-supplies are breaking again.

  2. Yes I did contact iPollo via e-mail and asked for a new Firmware if possible. At the same time I forwarded them the buyer contract I had to sign prior to buying anything from them.
    Within this contract is was specified when DoA we should notify them, but as it was not DoA (dead on arrival) within a few days. But the warranty is still within contact limits and therefore I did write them.
    But as I did open one iChicken already I could claim only additional broken iChicken , which I will once they reply.

Support contacted on: 05.03.2021 (dd-mm-yyyy)

3 Likes

thank you. U ordered G1 PİNE also? am i wrong?

I did only order iPollo G1 mini’s aka. iChicken's .

@mcn-mike thanks for the teardown and review.

If you do remove the heatsink, there’s some interesting information that one can infer from the chip. Please refer to my attachment showing the Radeon VII as an example. In particular, can you provide:

  1. the body (outer) size of the chip (length and height)
  2. the die size of the chip (length and height)
  3. the text markings on the frame
  4. quantity of HBM die

From the performance of the mini, I’m guessing there are 30 ASICs in the larger system, I get that from scaling performance and power. ie.

1.4 gps x 30 chips = 42 gps
100W x 30 chips = 3000W

Also I’m curious as to why the mini is named iChicken. This is somewhat reminiscent of the game ASIC vendors played with marketing Grin miners. All products were a mile off their announced spec or didn’t get released. I can go over the history but that’s not the point of my post.

In short, it was a game of chicken to see who would blink first. iPollo missed their spec. They took the conservative approach with external HBM memory and limited embedded memory and lots of TMTO. Not fastest or most elegant design, but they delivered a miner to the market. To that I’m happy for the Grin community.

It’s like the moral from Aesop fables which also applies to ASIC marketing for smaller networks, “The Turtoise and the Hare”.

You don’t have to be the fastest, you just have to cross the finish line first.

6 Likes

@ePIC.ASIC

  1. the body (outer) size of the chip (length and height)
  2. the die size of the chip (length and height)
  3. the text markings on the frame
  4. quantity of HBM die

I will try my best, if you have any tips for me while disassembling it let me know. :+1:

2 Likes

Mounting an SD card to iChicken

I successfully mounted a SD card to the iChicken operating system (OpenWRT)
This is nothing spectacular, but for someone it might be helpful as its straight forward.

prerequisites:

  • SD card 16GB (formatted FAT32)
    I did not try with different file system, as my experience told me usually all systems recognize fat32 formatted cards

  • SSH access to your iChicken
    default username / pass == admin / admin

  • one additional SSH session with logread -f which displays you the syslog logs.

From logread -f you should see something similar when inserting your SD card to this:

Wed Mar 10 17:51:54 2021 kern.warn kernel: [262575.551488] mmc0: host does not support reading read-only switch, assuming write-enable
Wed Mar 10 17:51:54 2021 kern.info kernel: [262575.565463] mmc0: new high speed SDHC card at address aaaa
Wed Mar 10 17:51:54 2021 kern.info kernel: [262575.572352] mmcblk0: mmc0:aaaa SC16G 14.8 GiB
Wed Mar 10 17:51:54 2021 kern.info kernel: [262575.582073]  mmcblk0: p1
Wed Mar 10 17:51:56 2021 kern.info kernel: [262577.673136] mmc0: card aaaa removed
Wed Mar 10 17:51:57 2021 kern.warn kernel: [262578.991521] mmc0: host does not support reading read-only switch, assuming write-enable
Wed Mar 10 17:51:57 2021 kern.info kernel: [262579.005476] mmc0: new high speed SDHC card at address aaaa
Wed Mar 10 17:51:57 2021 kern.info kernel: [262579.011647] mmcblk0: mmc0:aaaa SC16G 14.8 GiB
Wed Mar 10 17:51:57 2021 kern.info kernel: [262579.021869]  mmcblk0: p1

If you see something similar your iChicken successfully recognized the SD card.

We now create a mount point, which is just a folder on /mnt as follows:

mkdir /mnt/sd

verify if we created the folder with

ls -la /mnt/sd

drwxr-xr-x    3 admin    root          4096 Mar 10 17:59 .
drwxr-xr-x    1 admin    root             0 Mar 10 18:00 ..

Mounting SD card

we take the recognized name from the above log line and mount the device into /mnt/sd:

Wed Mar 10 17:51:57 2021 kern.info kernel: [262579.011647] mmcblk0: mmc0:aaaa SC16G 14.8 GiB

mount /dev/mmcblk0 sd/

if you successful your logread -f will show you:

Wed Mar 10 18:12:55 2021 kern.info kernel: [263836.716440] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: (null)

now check the directory and if you have access and write some files to it:

dmin@iHaehnchen04:/mnt/sd# ls -la
drwxr-xr-x    3 admin    root          4096 Mar 10 18:01 .
drwxr-xr-x    1 admin    root             0 Mar 10 18:00 ..
drwx------    2 admin    root         16384 Mar 10 17:59 lost+found
-rw-r--r--    1 admin    root             0 Mar 10 18:01 mike_from_grinnode.live

Have fun and please share your knowledge about iChicken here as well.

8 Likes

I would like to ask you how to solve the problem that you have two G1 MINI mining machines that are not working properly.

I have not yet solved the problem with 2 - out of - 4 iChickens.
At the moment they running aprox. with 50% of the possible hash-rate.
I will update this post once I find a solution and if someone else finds a solution please post it here as well.

In reference to this please also check:

1 Like