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Date added: 21 May 2014 Bitcoin Miners progress update – 22 May 2014
We experienced a few serious technical issues with the backplane PCB which unfortunately delayed the completion of the Prospero X3. Our engineers spent the whole week debugging the problem without finding yet a working solution. We solicited expertise from 3rd parties and we are now having 3 different teams working on the issue around the clock. Please note that we are not in the position to estimate a completion time. It is possible that the fix could be solved as early as tomorrow or as late as next week. We decided as a safety measure to start redesigning 2 extra versions of the backplane PCB. The first complete bug free version will be used in production.
Deadline delays are never welcome news therefore we decided to offer the following optional packages available immediately which might be suitable for a minority of anxious customers who are able to build their own miner based on the Minion chip:
Option 1: Replace each Prospero (2 Thash) including the compensation package (1Thash) with 50 Minion ASICs (up to 7 Thash)
Option 2: Replace each Prospero (2 Thash) including the compensation package (1Thash) with 20 Hashboards (each PCB includes 2 x Minion ASIC, heatsinks, power chips, inductors, capacitors) – 4.5 Thash. Note that due to the lack of a backplane these boards have not been intensively tested therefore further rework might be required (e.g: add some capacitors); should this work be required we will only provide documents on what needs to be done. The customer will be responsible of executing it and purchasing the parts.
Note: Opting for any of these options will not cancel your 25% discount for your next Minion orders.
We would also like to ask from help from the technical community to help speed up solving the issues that we have encountered or to design a new backplane. The solicited work will be rewarded accordingly (money, products, etc.)
Prospero X1 miners are not affected by the issue mentioned above and we should start shipping next week once the cases will be delivered.
Note: To avoid any further delay we have the option to deliver the case-less X1 if any of the customers will choose so.
Please contact out customer support should you choose any of the options above.
Date added: 08 May 2014 Bitcoin Miners progress update – 09 May 2014
1. The Minion has arrived.
a. Has been tested at 120Ghash. The power measured at the wall was 150Watt. This includes the 8% loss of the PSU and currently 20% on the DC/DC converter. This translates on 0.92W/Ghash at the chip level. We have asked the ASIC designers to come to our office to study how to further improve the power efficiency.
b. The expected loss on the DC/DC should be around 10%. We have identified We identified that part of the power used is lost by the inductor. A new customised inductor is scheduled to arrive in one week.
b. We decided to write a software application which will produce a full report to include details on voltage, speed and efficiency at all ranges. Estimated time to completion is up to 3 weeks but this additional feature will not affect the shipping schedule.
c. We believe that further overclocking is available, further tests are scheduled after we complete the assembly of the 200A board tomorrow.
2. All Minion orders have been shipped today.
3. Most of the X3 and X1 PSUs have been delivered are now in stock.
4. The majority of the heatsinks have been manufactured.
5. The first lot of X3 cases has been received. (Aluminium alloy)
6. The control board assembly has just been completed. This is behind schedule and we are not confident at this stage that we can write the LCD driver in useful time for first shipments. If this is the case we will release firmware updates to enable the LCD functionality.
7. The first batch of LCDs was delayed 1 day and is now due to arrive tomorrow.
8. Unfortunately we have been told that the X1 case will not be delivered in time. If the X1 miners will not be ready at the same time with our X3 miners we made a contingency plan to start hashing with our own X3 units for our X1 customers affected by this delay. Bitcoins mined on their behalf will be transferred accordingly. Full details will be announced directly to customers, therefore please do not flood our customer support with tickets regarding on how to receive Bitcoins.
9. Our main PCB assembly factory failed to initiate the assembly 2 days ago as scheduled. We were forced to switch the assembly production with another local factory which is now scheduled to start the assembly tomorrow.
10. X3s are scheduled to start shipping early next week.
Date added: 01 May 2014 Bitcoin Miners progress update – 01 May 2014
1.Minion – shipping scheduled in the next few days.
2.X3 hashboard – currently in production
3.X1 hashboard – currently in production
4.X1 and X3 backplanes – the boards containing the voltage fix have been tested. We’re able to restrict the voltage to 0.8Volts in hardware using in the previous version of the backplanes which are already manufactured. The board with the new improved design will start to be manufactured on 04/05/2014. PCBs will be delivered on 08/05/2014. The units manufactured on 7th and 8th will not be able to be overclocked too high. The customers due to receive this small batch will be contacted directly.
a.Apart from having double memory, early reports confirm that our control board is proven to be 3x faster than RPI and more reliable.
b.One of our PCB suppliers reported the wrong specifications on PCBs therefore we don’t have it yet in stock. However, despite the holiday season they made amendments and stock will be replenished on 05/05/2014.
c.The LCDs are not yet in stock. We have scheduled a visit to the local supplier on 04/05/14 to reconfirm their delivery schedule.
6.Software - the control board in mining correctly on FPGA, the software team clearing the final debugging while waiting to receive the real chip to confirm our pre-testing results.
a.Final sample has been approved. We are happy to report that we reached our goal in producing a case which is robust, compact, very light and easy to assemble.
b.Currently in production.
a.Metal case in production.
b.The plastic case mould will be manufactured in the next few days.
c.Our last hashboard had to be resized. A new version of the hashboard has been produced.
9.Bill of materials: Most of the parts have been delivered, the rest are due in the next few days.
Date added: 01 May 2014 Stock clearance: Bitcoin ASIC Bitfury boards
Date added: 26 Apr 2014 Black Arrow increases the compensation for preorders
As our shipping date is few days away, we wish to thank and give back to all customers that have believed in us.
Today we are increasing increasing the compensation as we are looking to start rewarding our loyal customers:
For Batch 1 customers, the 25% cloud hashing compensation previously announced will be replaced with 50% in the form of physical hardware. The extra hardware will not include power supply or shipping but they will be available to purchase from our store. We will also offer a technical solution for customers who wish to use their own power supplies.
- Every X3 purchased will now contain 3 * 1Thash modules, 2 modules with power supplies, one without.
- For every 2 * X1 purchased we are offering an extra X1, without power supply. Customers who have not purchased an even numbers of X1s, will also receive a free X1 miner on their next purchase of a X1 miner.
- Cloud hashing packages will receive 50% extra hashing power minus setup and maintenance costs which will be announced at a later date.
All customers who have placed pre-orders until 05/05/2014 will be offered 25% discount on all future orders of miners based on Minion (limit: up to 10 times the hashing power of their previous orders)
Pending sales and further reducing costs once we go into mass production we are looking to continue offering discounts to the customers who have supported us and helped us to make the Minion & Prospero a success story.
Note: The discounts for future orders are offered only to customers who have believed in us and continued to support us. This will not be offered to customers who requested refunds and to a small minority who abused or threatened any member of Black Arrow Team.
Date added: 24 Apr 2014 Bitcoin Miners progress update – 24 April 2014
1.As the delivery date approaches we have more accurate dates regarding shipping. The current schedule is looking like this:
- 5th of May – Packaging house will ship the Minion ASICs
- 6-7th of May - ASICs will arrive at the assembly factory and we’ll ship all Minion ASIC orders.
- 7th of May - Prospero units will start to be assembled and tested
- 8th of May – Shipping of Prospero X3 will start if no failures are found.
2.We are now able to improve the compensation scheme further. We will make a public announcement tomorrow.
3.We are keeping our promise to price match per Ghash any genuine new miner in stock at the time of shipment and if needed we will dispatch more hashing power.
Note: Not all our competitors supply PSUs and Touch Screen LCDs, therefore if we compare our miners with these we will subtract the price of our extra hardware before the price match.
The Minion ASICs will be shipped after the May holiday break.
4. Control board
LCD orders were placed with 2 providers. Testing for WiFi connection, touchscreen have been finalised with satisfactory results.
First batch has been completed.
4. X3 Backplane
Testing revealed that the user can change the voltage above accepted thresholds by mistake. We need to add a protection to restrict this in hardware therefore we’re taping out the revised design in next few days.
5. X3 Case
Final design has been tested. Further testing was carried out on samples made of plastic and metal. Agreed delivery schedule with our manufacturing partners.
6. X3 Fan (5000rpm)
Without an ASIC on hand we are unable to accurately determine the required airflow. The final decision was to select a powerful unit which will outperform any requirement. The fan has ball bearing and will produce a maximum of 5000 RPM and 66db. Speed control is available therefore high noise will be present only if required. Mass production has been started and delivery is expected to be on time.
7. X3 plastic parts
Final design has been approved and sent to factory. First batch shipment expected on 15/05/2014. For the first units we are manufacturing this part out of aluminium which is delivered on 05/05/2014.
8. X3 Hashboard
Exceeding all odds we have managed to raise the hashboard to 200Amps (see pictures). This has been a huge effort of our engineering team and our suppliers which worked together towards achieving an outstanding performance in such a high density board while being under pressure from aggressive deadlines.
Mass production of this board has started.
9. X3 Power Supply
First batch shipment expected at the end of next week.
10. X1 case
Final design has been sent to factory. Further testing was carried out on samples made of plastic and metal. Agreed delivery schedule with our manufacturing partners; First units will be made of aluminium.
11. X1 Fan
The fan will produce a minimum of 700 RPM and 19db. First batch shipment expected at the end of next week.
12. X1 Power supply
First batch has been received (see pictures)
Date added: 17 Apr 2014 Bitcoin Miners progress update – 17 April 2014
· The wafers have been shipped as confirmed by Global Foundries
· The packaging supplier business partner received the wafers.
2. Control board – final design
· We received the LCD samples however testing proved unsatisfactory. New bespoke sample will be delivered to us in the next few days.
· First batch shipment received.
4. X3 hashboard
· The X3 hashboard sample has been tested and approved. Our engineers were happy to report that testing scored very highly on performance. Agreed delivery schedule with our manufacturing partner
5. X3 backplane
· Final testing under way. We expect to complete the testing results by Monday.
6. X3 Fan
· First batch delivery expected at the end of next week
7. X3 Power Supply
8. X3 case
·Final design has been completed, waiting for the sample.
·Plastic mold is being manufactured
9. X1 hashboard
· PCB has been assembled.
10. X1 backplane
· A placement problem for the Ethernet connector has been found , we need to remake the board.
12. X1- Fan
· First batch delivery expected at the end of next week
14. X1 case
· Final design approved and sent to the factory which is going to start manufacturing the mold..
Date added: 10 Apr 2014 Bitcoin Miners progress update – 10 April 2014
Received news from Global Foundries: they are 8 days ahead of schedule and will ship the wafers next week
Have discussed and received great support from our packaging company, we’re looking forward to receive the chip.
We have received the X3 hashboard sample, 2 days later than expected.
Adjusted parts based on feedback from the case
Reviewing design, will send to factory tomorrow.
PCB has been assembled
Completed, sent to factory
Waiting for LCD + touchscreen factories
has been corrected based on all the parts
plastic parts have been sent to factory for review
has been designed, pending review
Date added: 04 Apr 2014 Reseller status of XBtec has been revoked.
Black Arrow has revoked the reseller status of Xbtec.
If any customer has placed orders with this company please contact them immediately for a refund as Black Arrow will not ship any miners to them.
Date added: 03 Apr 2014 Bitcoin Miners progress update – 03 April 2014
- Completed the all X1 and X3 hashboards designs sent to factory, waiting for final prototypes to be manufactured
- Everything on the control board is working proplery, we're writing the software
- Approved the X3 PSU, mass production has started.
- The mold for mass production of the heatsink has been completed and we have received the first batch of heatsinks. See gallery.
- We have started sending the advance payments for components.
- Received X3 case prototype
- We are evaluating more than 20 fan types to determine which provides better airflow with lower noise; Now that we have all parts in place for X3 we have purchased a smoke machine and conducting tests on the fans.
- More work has been conducted on our website payment system.
- Pool design is continuing according to the plan.