Plotting hasnt been an issue for me, I had 3 high end gaming rigs and so I just bought 6 2TB NVMe drives & 20 12TB USB3.0 WD HDD’s and off I went… before I knew it I had filled 25 12tb USB3.0 WD external drives, appproximately 300TB of plots. Now I want to farm those plots…
I tried connecting all the drives to my PC using a large 2 x 10 port USB3.0 hub and 1 x 5 port hub but most of them are not showing up… its very buggy and keeps failing. My colleague who knows “a bit” about computers said I should huck them out and attach them by SATA… I actually hucked 4 of them and attached those by SATA to one of the machines (which I intend on having as my farmer) they showed up are stable and Chia app see’s them and will farm them but I am now stuck on what to do with the rest (21 drives)?
I have been watching videos on youtube about buying Non Raid SAS HBA card, installing this and SAS SATA extenders which will give me as many SATA drives as I want using SATA 4 way breakout cables… the videos unfortunately are not technical, there is no installation guidlines and I am wondering if this would really work? also what case would I use to house all of these drives?? they wont all fit in the ATX i was thinking about trying to make something purpose built like I have for my GPU mining rigs??
Any help for these networking newbie would be really appreciated… I really do not know what to do and would love to be mining ALL of my 25 drives right now, as apposed to 4.
You are probably just running into your motherboaeds onboad USB controller limit. Many have like a 12 device limit. Just add some cheap PCIe USB controllers and you’ll be fine
Welcome! The SAS extenders are nice, but more expensive and hard to find. If you are interested in going the pure SATA route, here is a solution that gets you 30 SATA drives per 4x PCI-e slot!
You need one of these: Amazon.com: Ableconn PEX-SA156 6-Port SATA 6G PCI Express x4 Host Adapter Card - AHCI 6Gbps SATA III Port-Multiplier PCIe 3.0 4-Lane Low Profile Controller Card (ASMedia ASM1166): Computers & Accessories
And six of these: Amazon.com: SaiDian 1 Pcs SATA 1 to 5 Port Converter Expansion Card SATA Port Multiplier Hard Drive HDD SSD Accessory: Computers & Accessories
Here is the newer 6g version, but it is more expensive. Amazon.com: GYF Controller Card Motherboard Sata Expansion Card 1 to 5 Port Sata3.0 6Gbps Multiplier Sata Port Riser Card Adapter for Comp: Electronics
I’m using the older one above and it is still plenty fast enough for Chia farming even maxed out with all 30 drives.
You can find these components a lot cheaper on eBay and Aliexpress of course, but they take longer to ship from China and the return policy is…questionable. Amazon is more expensive but easy to send back if it doesn’t work for you or you get a bad one.
Hope that helps!
HBA stands for Host Bus Adapter and is used to connect to block level storage such as Fibre Channel, SATA or SCSI
Each port you see in that card can handle 4 drives, so a total of 8 per card. Don’t mind the speed at 6Gbps since you are not plotting
3 cards, plus a big enough PSU and you should be good.
For the case, you want something like this 4U 19" 20 Hot-Swappable SATA / SAS Drive Trays Slim CD-ROM bay, 2 x 2.5" OS HDD brackets IPC-4U20(PLinkUSA / RackBuy)
Decide if you want to mount them internally or externally first.
If external, go with quality powered USB hubs and you should be fine.
If internal, buy PCI card adapters that give you lots of SATA ports and make sure you have enough SATA power connectors as well as places to mount the drives inside your PC.
There’s good info on this at https://chiadecentral.com/ if you click around, a lot of suggested hardware.
Also check your motherboards documentation. My motherboard has multiple USB controllers and the ports are color codes to help differentiate them.
I would spread the connections across the different USB controllers
Big Help… Thank so much for taking the time.
Very Helpful, thanks so much for taking the time to reply. Appreciated.
I’m assuming the amount of drives is still limited to 23/24 in windows whether using SATA or USB adapters? there is no way to connect more to my Windows based farmer? I have to build another farmer for the next 23/24 drives?
You don’t need to map each drive to a letter - you can map a drive to a folder instead. Open Disk Manager and find your drive. Right click the partition and chose “Change Drive Letter and Paths…” and then choose a folder instead of a drive letter. You can even “remove” the drive letter if you’d rather just use folders:
Using this method, you can mount as many drives as you can physically attach. Using the add-in SATA controllers and port multipliers I link to above, I’ve got well over 40 disks connected to a single PC so far. I create a new folder for each drive under my c:\StoragePool\ root folder. The folder’s name is the disk’s serial number so it is easy to match them up:
Then you just add all the folders to your Chia farmer and it works great!
This is great advice, thank you… I am at a crossroads right now as to whether or not to invest more in HDD’s Im not winning anything and I am wondering with the rapid growth of the network and decline in the value of XCH and literally 0 in my wallet… whether or not its a fools erand. :-/
No worries, I have 250 tb and won 2 chia in 1 month obviously, expenses are 50-100x fold of what I have won so far. Yet I have ordered another 250 tb, betting on Chia long term, speaking years, 2-3 probably before I sell my first coin.
So, yeah, I would say If you can afford it and this is not your last hard earned, and you can wait - go for it! At least this is what I am doing and planning on to doing going forward.
Hi, just curious what your response times are like?
Mine keep raising the more plots I add, expected of course.
I know under 5 seconds should be fine, I’m sometimes at 1.25 s now.
Thanks for the info on partitions, really helpful.
Sure! No problem.
Still well under 5 seconds, usually below 1 second. Also I’m up to 90 SATA disks now and attaching 10 more today! Scalable DIY SATA JBOD - Will store over 250 Disks! - Chia Farming & Harvesting - Chia Forum
I’d seen that thread, nice setup, I just don’t like the idea of hdd without some kind of casing, of course I’m paying for it though.
I have someone trying to source some refurb jbods for me, but they’re taking their time about it.
Out of curiosity, what specifically is your concern? If it is heat, you might be surprised to learn that “naked” drives run much cooler when they aren’t cooped up in a plastic housing!
You are right: this is a very expensive concern, to the tune of maybe $10/TB if you are using big external USB drives vs. old smaller naked SATA drives!!
I think dusting would be my main concern, I guess my pc blower would work fine though.
I’m currently using 5 bay external USB caddys, works out £2.50 per tb apx.
They’re metal caddys to dissipate heat with an inbuilt fan.
Ah gotcha - my eventual goal with my rig is to enclose the whole wire rack with paneling of some sort. I have 16 case fans that will sit on the bottom shelf blowing up, sucking in cool air from the floor. The paneling should keep the air going straight up, over all drives in all shelves until it exits at the top. I’ve also got air filter material that will sit below the fans to filter incoming air.
But yeah I have a PC blower thingy too and I’m using that until then!