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Creating a Basic Cryptocurrency Mining Rig and Mining Dogecoins

In this article we will build a simple Cryptocurrency mining rig and use it to mine Dogecoins. The primary focus of the article is the process of building the actual mining computer (or rig as it is called). Normally considerations of efficiency take precedence however this is not the case in this article; with this in mind, this article is aimed at beginners. Before we begin building our rig, we will start with a definition, and a warning. What is mining? A simple quote should suffice here, albeit modified to suite our needs,

Mining is the process of adding transaction records to [Dogecoin’s] public ledger of past transactions. This ledger of past transactions is called the block chain as it is a chain of blocks. The block chain serves to confirm transactions to the rest of the network as having taken place. –The Bitcoin Wiki

If the above is seems cryptic to you, then fear not; mining is simple the process by which we will generate Dogecoins. Having defined the process, I will leave you with a warning: mining places an extraordinary burden on computer hardware, namely the graphics card typically used as the backbone of the rig; whatever is being used, be it a graphics card, CPU, et al., the burden can damage the hardware in question. I recommend starting with a simple rig like the one in this article as you learn the ropes. Avoid the temptation to expand your nascent operation to include personal computers and laptops.


To start with we will be using an older desktop PC (along with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse) and a Radeon R9 280X graphics card. These two components will form the core backbone of the rig itself; with the graphics card as it’s muscle.

Old Desktop


The desktop PC you use will need to support the graphics card; specifically there will need to be a way to connect it the system and the system will need to have sufficient power to maintain itself and the new card we are putting into it.

The graphics card is a Sapphire Dual-X R9 280X 3GB GDDR5 OC; as a general note, this card belongs to the Radeon series of graphic cards which typically perform better than their Nvidia counterparts. The core requirements that are needed for this card are as follows:

  1. One X16 lane graphics slot available on the motherboard.
  2. Appropriate power connectors; one 6 pin and power connector and one 8 pin power connector.
  3. A 750 Watt Power Supply.

Sapphire R9 280X Graphics Card

Internet connectivity is required and if you choose to connect via an Ethernet cable than you will be fine; in my case I am using a Linksys AE1000 wireless dongle to connect by a wireless connection.

This article presumes sufficient knowledge of desktop configuration to install the required component; the graphics card. In my case I needed to add a power supply with sufficient wattage to support the system as the one in the desktop I had wasn’t up to the challenge. Swapping out the power supply and adding in the new one was simple however it further required additional components in the form of two SATA to IDE adapters to insure I could connect my DVD drive and Hard Drive; the new power supply only had IDE connectors.


With the hardware configured we can move on to the Software side of the configuration. Again we make some presumptions; that the OS is installed, in this case Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate is being used. As the graphics card is a Radeon, we need to ensure we have the most up to date drivers for the card installed. Radeon drivers can be found at the following website. Next we will install a program that will prove most useful; it will tell us what the temperature is on the graphics card’s GPU, and it will allow us to control the fan speed on the graphics card. The graphics processing unit, also know as the GPU is the actual portion of the graphics card that does the work we are interested in; some cards such as an NVidia 590 have two GPUs. As the GPU does the work, it will become particularly hot; if the heat isn’t managed it has the potential to destroy the graphics card. As you might guess, the capability of increasing the on-board fan speed for the graphics card is paramount. Not all graphics cards provide support for changing the speed of the fans on the card; especially those that are older. The program I will be using is MSI Afterburner; a free utility you can download here.

MSI Afterburner

MSI Afterburner, showing the graphics card, and metrics including the GPU’s temperature. In this example the graphics card is an NVidia 870M.

Moving on, the next program we will use is the one that actual is responsible for the mining; there are a number of different applications available however we will use in GUIMiner-scrypt which you can download here. You may receive a warning from your browser or Anti-Virus software about this program; you can disregard this. Configuring this application is extremely easy; this application can mine Scrypt coins such as Dogecoin. We will configure the application to work against a Dogecoin mining pool. What is a mining pool? Quoting from :

Mining pools are a way for miners to pool their resources together and share their hashing power while splitting the reward equally according to the amount of shares they contributed to solving a block. – bitcoinmining.com

Using Google we can easily find a suitable pool; here are two lists of Dogecoin mining pools:

  1. dogepool.com
  2. www.doktorrf.com/dogecoin/pools.html

There will be many options for how you can configure the GUIMiner-scrypt application; these options depend on many factors. For example some pools do not require standard authentication, opting instead that the user provide the Dogecoin wallet address as the user name. We presume in this article that you have a Dogecoin wallet; or have a minimum understanding of the application which can be found here. Further we will not be using the actual Dogecoin wallet address in this example. In this article we will use a fairly standard setup; the pool will require registration via the pool website where you will be able make configuration changes unique to your environment. The minimum steps involved are,

  1. register with pool on pools website – allowing access to the pool.
  2. create workers – a worker simply represents your mining rig in a one to one ratio (in our example). So we will create a worker with it’s own unique name and password which will be input into GUIMiner-scrypt.
  3. enter your Dogecoin address – this will allow us to be paid; your address will look something like: D762MBjMMvAKnvkGFZVsyZJC25jXB8S3f4.

There are broader configuration options that you will likely want down the line but the above is a standard minimum. Using Fast Pool (https://fast-pool.com/), I have followed all of the above steps. As a note, pools come and go; try choosing a pool with a large number of users to avoid downtime caused by a pool closing down. Again, to be clear, the steps used with this pool are common. Once you create your worker you will have an option to see the work done by your worker,


Pool Worker Statistics


With the username and password for the Worker you created, you can configure GUIMiner-scrypt,

GUIMiner-scrypt configured with pool information.

When you have GUIMiner-scrypt configured properly, you will be able to start the application (click the Start button at center bottom). Note in this above image the application is configured with settings for a Radeon HD 5870 graphics card; choosing this option from the GPU Defaults drop-down will populate core settings optimized for this graphics card. The only core settings however are the Host field, Port field, Username and Password fields, and the Device drop-down. From the Device drop-down we can select available options on the mining rig including for GPU(s) and CPU(s). When the application is running you will see information at the bottom left,

GUIMiner-scrypt configured with pool information and running.

Note, the message “Shares: 6 accepted, 1 stale/invalid”; this reflects the success we are seeking; albiet the results are poor given the age of the graphics card used in this image. As some time passes, we will see on the pool website, the results of our labor,

Pool mining results.

This concludes this introductory article on creating a basic mining rig. If you found it to be useful, and you are feeling generous, you can Doge me @ D762MBjMMvAKnvkGFZVsyZJC25jXB8S3f4.

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