Watchdog for mining


Watchdog — software or hardware module that can restart your miner and/or PC in case of failure and/or malfunction:

  • One or more graphics cards have lost overclocking — you need to restart the miner for the overclocking to be applied again.
  • One or more graphics cards “dead” — you need to restart the PC.
  • For some unknown reason, the hashrate has dropped sharply — you need to restart the miner or PC.
  • The number of rejected shares is too large — you need to restart the miner or PC.

There are two types of watchdogs — software and hardware.

  • A software watchdog is a feature built into the miner. Watchdog monitors mining and take specific actions in case of an error during mining. For example, if the computer is completely frozen and does not respond to commands, a software watchdog will not help. So here you need a hardware watchdog.
  • A hardware watchdog is a standalone device that monitors the computer constantly and reboots it if it freezes.

If necessary, you can use both types at the same time.

It's the salvation! Why don't you tell me this before?! — you say, and you will be correct only in part.

Watchdog is not a "remedy" for unstable mining. It is just additional insurance. However, a watchdog can save you time and frustration when you're away from the mining rig and can't fix the problem personally.

How to configure a software watchdog

If you are mining through the Kryptex app, you do not need to configure anything. Instead, Kryptex restarts the miner on its own and performs the function of a software watchdog.

Each miner has its commands and watchdog capabilities.

Usually, the watchdog works by default, and its limitations converge to automatically restarting the miner in case of an unexpected failure.

Watchdog usage scenarios can vary significantly between miners or depending on your needs.

This article will look at setting up a watchdog using the T-rex miner as an example.

  1. First, create a .bat file for pool mining.
  2. Switch on logging for your miner. When and if the watchdog works, it will be essential for you to find out why it worked.
  3. Enter the command to the miner to enable the watchdog, and set the trigger conditions.

The T-rex miner uses the --watchdog-exit-mode command to enable the watchdog. The command has trigger parameters N:M:A — they define the action A that the watchdog should do if the miner is restarted N times within M minutes.

The watchdog command will look like this --watchdog-exit-mode N:M:A

  1. A — the action which the watchdog should take:
    • r — system reboot;
    • s — system shutdown;
    • e — miner exit.
  2. N — the number of times the miner has to restart itself before the watchdog algorithm starts. Set to any positive integer, such as 1, 3, 8, 20, etc.
  3. M — the number of minutes during which the miner must restart itself the specified number of times N before the watchdog algorithm starts. Set to any positive integer, such as 1, 3, 8, 20, etc.

Sounds difficult? Let's take a closer look!

--watchdog-exit-mode 20:10:s — the watchdog will turn off the PC if the miner itself restarts 20 times within 10 minutes.

--watchdog-exit-mode 5:7:r — the watchdog will restart the PC if the miner itself restarts 5 times within 7 minutes.

Recommendations from Kryptex:

  • Do not set the number by restarting N miner more than 5 times, as the miner or PC may freeze during the restart. 2-3 is the best option.
  • Do not set the number of minutes M to be less than 5 minutes. For the watchdog to work, the miner must have time to close and start within the specified time. 5-15 minutes is the best option for 2-5 restarts.
  • Do not use the s (shutdown PC) or e (close miner) commands unless you are ready to run to the farm and figure out what happened. The r (reboot PC) command would be the best option.

How to use a hardware watchdog

A hardware watchdog can have different designs, so you should rely on the manufacturer's instructions. Usually, this device is connected to the USB port and the RESET / POWER pins on the motherboard. Unfortunately, it cannot monitor mining as a software watchdog does. Therefore, it only reacts to a complete computer freeze or sometimes to losing an Internet connection.

Types of hardware watchdogs

Let’s summarize

A watchdog is a professional tool that can help with rare hardware failures. It has its limitations:

  1. A software watchdog will NOT be able to restart your PC if the PC is completely frozen and unresponsive. Only a hardware watchdog connecting directly to your mining rig will help in this case.
  2. Watchdog does NOT solve the problem. What's the point of restarting the mining rig every half an hour? This mining will not be stable and can also break your expensive equipment.
  3. A watchdog is just a program code or a small device. It can also fail. You can't rely on it 100%.
  4. For different miners, watchdogs may only perform certain functions or may not be customizable. You can't force a program to do something it can't do.

🤯Too complicated?

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