Having spent a long time poring over forums and searching through blog posts, I finally managed to turn my PC I into an entry level mining rig. It has taken a painstaking amount of effort for me to get to grips with what I needed to do. So I felt compelled to write a quick start guide for the aspiring crypto miner.
But before I get started guiding you towards the goal of mining cryptocurrencies on your home PC, I would like to make it clear to you that thanks to the cost of electricity, the chance of turning a profit on the cheap is very slim. That of course doesn't mean that it's not worth doing, there is a lot that can be learned from setting up a "small" miner after all, just not necessarily much to be earned from doing so.
So to keep things simple I shall only refer to Feathercoin throughout this guide, but the steps should be the same for almost any other cryptocurrencies if preferred.
First things first you will need to download and install the Feathercoin Core Wallet and leave it to fully sync with the network. Annoyingly this process could take from a few hours up to a day or two depending on your internet connection and hard drive read/write speed.
The official wallet client can be downloaded from here:
At this point you will need to download a mining application. There are a few different miners to choose from and many different versions of them out there, all optimized for different hardware. Personally I use nsgminer as I feel it is fairly user friendly for a command line interface and can mine many different types of cryptocurrencies if that is desired.
Download the latest version from here:
Well now you have your wallet and your mining application, which means you are going to want to join a mining pool. This is because mining is a chance based and competitive process, meaning that the chances of successfully mining a block by yourself are slim to none. Whereas mining pools allow you to earn shares of the block reward for the block currently being mined by pooling your hashing power with that of other miners in the pool.
The Blocks Factory is the pool I have been using for FTC. I find it to have an easy to navigate interface as well as clear statistics on your mining efforts. But again there are many different pools that you choose from depending on the coin/s you wish to mine and most of personal preference. I advise for you to take a look at a few mining pools and see which one suits best.
Here's the link to get you started:
Once you have registered an account, you should click the getting started button, which is located along the top of the navigation bar. Here you will be presented with a list of command line configurations for different mining software. Copy the line that is highlighted for nsgminer, then open notepad and paste it there. Save this in the same folder as nsgminer and call it "startup.bat" making sure to change the "save as type" property to all files.
Finally all you need to do is double click your newly created batch file and hey presto, you are now mining Feathercoin... Or whatever cryptocurrency it is you chose to go for.
Now that you are set up and have a working mining rig, my final suggestion is for you to dig through the readme file that is in the nsgminer folder. Here you will find an extensive list of commands you can use to optimise your rig to the best of its ability. All you have to do is add the respective commands and their values to the startup.bat file created earlier.