Welcome to D-Central’s maintenance manual for the Antminer S9 hashboard. This manual provides detailed information on the signal direction, essential circuits, inter-chip test points, voltage domains, IO ports, 14V boost circuit, DC-PIC, DC-DC circuit, and 25M clock and 25MHZ passive crystal oscillator of the S9 hashboard. The manual is intended for professionals with experience repairing and maintaining the mining equipment. It contains valuable information on the various components of the S9 hash board and their respective functions. Following the instructions in this manual, you can quickly diagnose and repair any faults in the hash board, ensuring that your mining equipment operates smoothly and efficiently.
Preparation and Maintenance Guidelines
It’s essential to take the time to properly prepare and maintain components before, during, and after installation. This includes applying thermal gel for better heat transfer, forming air ducts for better airflow, connecting power supplies in the correct sequence, fixing chips to prevent overheating, and ensuring test fixtures meet production requirements. Additionally, these guidelines should also include instructions on cleaning components with approved solvents such as isopropyl alcohol or distilled water, as well as how to store components away from extreme temperatures and humidity levels safely. Finally, regularly scheduled maintenance checks should be carried out every few months or at least annually to guarantee the proper functioning of all parts within the system.
Preparation Requirements for Repair Platform, Tools, and Equipment
I. Platform Requirements
- The requirements for the platform include a workbench for repairing Antminer S9 hashboards that must be properly grounded. In addition, an anti-static wrist strap and grounding are also required to prevent static electricity from damaging the materials being worked on.
II. Equipment Requirements
- Thermostat soldering iron at 350-450 degrees Celsius, pointed solder tip for small patches like r-c.
- Heat gun for chip disassembly and soldering, no long-time heating in case of PCB blistering.
- APW3 power source with 12V and 133A Max output to test the hash board.
- Multimeter, tweezer, L3+ hash board tester (oscilloscope preferred).
- Scaling powder, cleaning water and anhydrous alcohol; cleaning water is used to clean the residue and appearance after maintenance.
- Tin grinder, tin stencils, and solder paste; implant tin for chips upon renewals.
- Heat-Conducting Glue, black (3461), to glue the cooling fin after maintenance.
III. Test Tool Requirements
- ARC Antminer Hashboard Tester
- Lab PSU 10-30V / 1-15A
- APW9+ power supply and power patch cord for hash board power supply
- Use the test fixture of the V2.3 control board (test fixture material number ZJ0001000001).
IV. Maintenance Auxiliary Materials/Tools Requirements
- Solder Paste 138°C, flux, Mechanic lead-free circuit board cleaner, and anhydrous alcohol.
- Mechanic lead-free circuit board cleaner cleans up the flux residue after maintenance.
- Thermally conductive gel is used to apply to the chip surface after repair.
- Ball-planting steel mesh, desoldering wick, and solder balls (the recommended ball diameter is 0.4mm).
- When replacing a new chip, it is necessary to tin the chip pins and then solder them to the hash board. Apply thermally conductive gel evenly on the chip’s surface, then lock the heatsink.
- Serial port code scanner.
- Serial port adapter board RS232 to TTL adapter board 3.3V.
- Self-made short-circuit probe (use the pins for wiring and welding and heat the shrinkable sleeve to prevent short-circuit between the probe and the small heatsink).
V. Common Maintenance Spare Material Requirements
- 0402 resistor (0R, 10K, 4.7K,)
- 0402 capacitor (0.1uF, 1uF)
- Maintenance personnel should have good knowledge of electronics, at least one year of experience, and a strong mastery of QFN encapsulation and soldering techniques.
- Check the maintenance work at least twice, and ensure the result is satisfied each time.
- Pay close attention to the techniques used during maintenance, ensure no obvious PCB deformation after changing fittings, and check for missing/open circuits and short circuits on parts.
- Check the maintenance target, corresponding test software parameters, and the hash board tester.
- Check the tools and testers.
How to use a miner tester fixture
A miner tester fixture is a device that can help you test the hash boards of your Antminer S9 and detect any damaged chips. To use it, you need to follow these steps:
- Unzip the files the test fixture supplier provided and copy them to the root directory of a TF card.
- Insert the TF card into the test fixture and turn on the power. Wait for about 2 minutes until the indicator light flashes.
- Take out the TF card and insert another containing the test file matching your miner hash board model. You can download these files from online sources.
- Connect the test fixture to your computer with a USB cable and open the software. Create a new connection and configure the parameters correctly.
- Connect your hash board to the test fixture with a voltage regulator line. For some models, you may need to use your miner’s power supply to power the test fixture.
- Start testing your hash board and check for errors or faults on the software interface.
Overview of Antminer S9 Components
Antminer S9 Hashboard Structure
The Antminer S9 hash board is a critical component of the miner, comprising 63 BM1387 ASIC chips responsible for mining calculations. It can be divided into 21 voltage domains, each containing three chips connected in series, resulting in 63 chips on the board. The chips have built-in buck diodes with a step-down function determined by the chip’s designated pin, and they share the same voltage level within each domain. The hash board uses a 25M single-crystal oscillator to transmit the signal sequentially from the first to the last chip. Each chip has independent small heat sinks on the front and back, fixed using thermal adhesive after initial measurement. When replacing or repairing a chip, it is crucial to apply black thermally conductive adhesive evenly on the IC surface and heat it to fix it. The signal direction on the hash board is crucial in sending and receiving data and commands to and from the chips.
Boost Circuit of S9 Hashboard
The Boost Circuit in the S9 Hashboard regulates the voltage supplied to the hashing chips and is critical to its functioning. If there are issues with the Hashboard, the Boost Circuit may need to be checked. Troubleshooting involves checking connections, testing voltage output with a multimeter, and replacing the Boost Circuit if necessary. During the overhaul, various voltage tests are conducted before and after the main test chip, including testing DC-DC output and boost 14V Voltage. The detection method involves plugging in IO and using the PIC tool test program to set and adjust the voltage.
The signal direction of S9 chips
The signal direction of S9 chips refers to how the ASIC chips on the hash board send and receive data and commands. The S9 hash board uses a 25M crystal oscillator that provides a clock signal to the first chip, U1. The clock signal then passes sequentially from U1 to U63. This signal synchronizes the chip’s operations, ensuring they work together efficiently. The signal direction also impacts how temperature sensors and voltage domains connect to the chips, with each domain comprising three chips that share the same voltage level. Proper signal direction and voltage control are critical for maintaining the chips’ stability and ensuring they work efficiently.
Introduction to the S9 miner and its components
The Antminer S9 is a widely used Bitcoin mining machine that Bitmain released in 2016. It is known for its hash rate of 13.5 TH/s and power consumption of around 1400W, making it an efficient and popular choice for miners. The S9 miner comprises three main components: the control board, power supply unit (PSU), and hash boards. The control board manages the miner’s operation and communication with other devices, while the PSU provides stable and efficient power to the miner. The hash boards are where the mining occurs and include hundreds of BM1387 ASIC chips that perform complex calculations to solve cryptographic puzzles. The S9 has other components, such as fans, cables, connectors, resistors, and capacitors, that help with cooling, signal transmission, voltage regulation, and other functions. Over time, these components may wear out and require replacement or repair.
Definition of IO pins
The IO pins on the S9 chips serve two essential functions. Firstly, they enable communication between the chips and the control board. Secondly, they help regulate the power supply. The designated pin three on each chip has a step-down diode function that reduces the voltage for each domain, ensuring that the chips run smoothly and efficiently. The IO pins also connect to test points on the hash board, providing an easy way to troubleshoot and diagnose issues if they arise. This feature helps ensure that any problems with the S9 miner can be identified and resolved quickly, reducing downtime and improving efficiency.
Here is a summary of each pin:
- Pins 1, 2, 9, 10, 13, 14 are GND pins.
- Pins 3 and 4 (SDA and SCL) are used for communication between the control panel and the PIC using the I2C bus. The control board can read and write data through the PIC using these pins, which control the operational state of the board.
- Pin 5 (PLUG0) is an identifying signal for the operational board. It is pulled by the operational board and has a 10K resistance to 3.3V. When the signal is high, the foot should also be high.
- Pins 6, 7, and 8 (A2, A1, A0) are address signals for the PIC.
- Pins 11 and 12 (Txd and RXD) are used for the arithmetic board’s counting force of the channel. After being divided by a resistor, they become TX (CO) and RX (RI) signals. The port pin end ping du for 3.3V, and after the voltage is divided by the resistor, it
- becomes 1.8V.
- Pin 15 (RST) is a reset signal with a voltage of 3.3V. After being divided by the resistor, it becomes a 1.8V reset signal.
- Pin 16 (D3V3) is the power supply for the arithmetic board with a voltage of 3.3V. The control panel provides the 3.3V power supply, which mainly provides the operating voltage for the PIC.
Testing and Troubleshooting
The Antminer S9 includes a built-in test program that can detect and report problems with the hash board, such as missing or malfunctioning ASIC chips or an ASIC num=01 error. To diagnose and troubleshoot these issues, one can use a multimeter to test the voltage of the five signal test points (CLK-CO-RI-BO-RST) corresponding to each chip. If the voltage reading is abnormal, it may indicate a faulty chip or a broken connection. It is also essential to check whether the control board’s signal cable is connected correctly or replace it with a functional one. If the problem persists, reloading the firmware or resetting the miner to factory settings may be necessary. These steps can help identify and resolve issues with the Antminer S9 quickly and effectively, minimizing downtime and maximizing efficiency.
Testing points for chips and how to test them
The Antminer S9 uses BM1387 chips arranged in 21 voltage domains on a hash board. Each chip has five signal test points: CLK (clock), CO (chip output), RI (chip input), BO (board output), and RST (reset). These test points can be used to measure the voltage of each chip and identify any abnormalities or faults. To test them, a multimeter set to DC gear can measure the voltage by placing the probes on the corresponding test points. The normal voltage range for each signal is CLK: 0.8-1.2V; CO: 0.8-1.2V; RI: 0.8-1.2V; BO: 0-0.4V; RST: 3-3.6V. The voltage outside the normal range may indicate a damaged chip or a broken connection between chips. A test jig board can connect the hash board to a PC and run a test program to identify and diagnose chip issues. Using these methods, any faults or problems with the Antminer S9 can be quickly and accurately detected, allowing for efficient troubleshooting and repair.
Troubleshooting common Antminer S9 failures
The Antminer S9 miner may experience various problems affecting its performance or operation. Some of these problems can be detected and resolved by checking the kernel log, which records the different stages of the miner’s operation. For example, if the kernel log shows “Fan 1 speed low,” it may indicate a problem with the fan connector, cable, or control board. Similarly, if the kernel log shows “CRC error counter is High,” it may indicate that the chips are unstable and need firmware to reload or power supply replacement. Network issues may also be detected in the kernel log, indicating problems with network settings, Ethernet cables, connectors, routers, or switches.
Common problems that may not appear in the kernel log include low hashrate, offline hashboard, pool connection failure, or ASIC=0. These issues may be caused by external factors such as grounding problems, electric leakage, data cable problems, or voltage domain problems. To troubleshoot these problems, one can use a multimeter to test the voltage of each chip and voltage domain on the hash board, swap or replace data cables and power supplies, check grounding and electric leakage, reset the miner to factory settings, or use a test jig board to run a test program. Using these methods, miners can quickly and accurately diagnose and resolve problems with the Antminer S9, reducing downtime and maximizing efficiency.
Heat sink displacement
The heat sink on the board should not shift or collide with different voltage domains before powering on the PCB. Each op-amp’s heat sink should be firmly fixed with good heat conduction. If the heat sink is damaged, it should be replaced or re-heated after cleaning and re-gluing the adhesive. Anhydrous alcohol can be used to clean the residue on the chip and heat the conductive adhesive.
If the impedance of some voltage domains deviates from normal, it may indicate open or short circuits in an abnormal voltage domain. The problem can usually be attributed to one of three chips per voltage domain, with only one chip usually having a problem. To identify the faulty chip, test the impedance at each test point to detect ground impedance anomalies. Short-circuit phenomena can be addressed by removing the chip’s heatsink and checking for any tin residue on the chip pin. The short-circuit point can be found through the resistance or current interception methods.
Voltage-domain voltage imbalance
If some voltage fields’ voltages are too high or low, it could cause an abnormality in the adjacent voltage field, leading to a voltage imbalance. You can detect the voltage and signal at each test point to locate the anomaly. Comparing each test point’s impedance can also help identify the anomaly. CLK and RST signals often cause voltage imbalance.
When detecting the board with a test box, not all 63 chips are detected. The missing chips are often not in the displayed position. To locate the abnormal chip, use the TX deadline to identify the position by grounding the TX signal of a chip, and then use a dichotomy method to forward detect the anomaly.
All the chips behind the faulty chip fail due to the anomaly, leading to an abrupt halt in the entire signal chain. Test boxes can detect broken chains, and locating the anomaly chip can be done by measuring the voltage and impedance of each test point before and after the faulty chip.
Failure to run
If the test box does not detect any chip information on the operation board and displays “NO hash board,” there could be a voltage-domain voltage anomaly, an abnormal chip, or a VDD voltage problem. The CLK, TX, RX, BO, and RST signals should be checked in a specific order to identify the cause of the fault.
Hashing boards not being detected
- The Antminer S9 has three hashing boards connected to the control board by data cables.
- Occasionally, the miner may not detect one or more hashing boards, displaying no information on the miner status interface.
- This could indicate a problem with the firmware, data cable, power supply, or hashboard.
- To troubleshoot this issue, the following steps can be taken:
- Power off the miner and reset it. Reload the firmware.
- Swap or replace the data cable of the missing hash board with a good one.
- Replace the power supply with a good one.
- Use a test jig board to connect the hash board to a PC and run a test program.
- Replace the control board with a good one from another miner.
- If none of these steps solve the problem, the hash board may be damaged and require repair or replacement.
The issue could be related to insufficient power received by the test box or the cooling conditions of the chip. Pay attention to the small heat sinks’ glue and the ventilation performance of the miner. The chip can be replaced directly if the return nance number of chips is below the set value, excluding false solder or other reasons. If the calculation force is low after installation, it may be related to a critical voltage on a chip or differences between the 12V power supply and test power supply. DC adjustable power supply can adjust the voltage before testing again. If the test box serial port information shows insufficient or zero return nance of a chip, replacing the chip may be necessary.
- The Antminer S9 miner should have a hashrate of around 13.5 TH/s. However, sometimes the miner may show a lower hashrate than usual, impacting its mining efficiency and profitability.
- There are several possible causes and solutions for this issue:
- The mining program has not started or has crashed. This may be indicated by no hardware or BMMiner version shown on the miner overview screen or an error message in the kernel log. To solve this, reset the machine, and reload the firmware from
- Bitmain’s support page, and run the miner for 20 minutes after loading the firmware.
- The control board is faulty. This may be indicated by a low fan speed or a high CRC error counter in the kernel log. To solve this, replace the control board with a good one from another miner.
- The power supply unit (PSU) is faulty. This may be indicated by a low voltage reading on the miner status interface or a high temperature reading on one of the hash boards. To solve this, replace the PSU with a good one from another miner.
- The heat sinks are loose. This may be indicated by a high temperature reading on one of the hash boards or abnormal noise from the fan. To solve this, tighten or replace the heat sinks on the hash board.
- The Antminer S9 is a popular Bitcoin mining machine that uses fans to cool down its components and prevent overheating.
- Sometimes, the fans may malfunction or stop working, leading to various problems for the miner.
- Common symptoms of fan failure include:
- A fan error message is displayed in the kernel log.
- The miner’s status shows that the fan speed is too low or too high.
- The network port light not turning on.
- The miner shut down due to high-temperature protection.
- To troubleshoot the fan problem, one can try the following steps:
- Replace the faulty fan with a good one and check if the problem is solved.
- If replacing the fan does not work, check if the control board is damaged and replace it if necessary.
- Reset the miner to factory settings and check if it operates normally.
- If none of these steps resolve the issue, contacting Bitmain support or returning the miner for repair may be necessary.
Temperature lower or higher than normal
- Antminer S9 with abnormal temperature may affect performance and cause errors.
- Power off the miner and restart it.
- Lower ambient temperature below 35°C to prevent high-temperature protection mode and overheating.
- Clean dust inside the miner and check for any blockages in the air inlet or outlet to improve airflow and cooling efficiency.
- Check the fan connector and cable for any damage or loose connection, and replace them if needed.
- Reset the miner to factory settings to restore the default configuration and clear errors.
- If none of these steps work, contact the nearest repair center.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning and maintaining your Antminer S9 is crucial for its efficient operation and longevity. Antminer S9 is a powerful Bitcoin mining machine that generates heat during operation. The accumulation of dust and debris can clog the cooling system and reduce the efficiency of the miner. Regular cleaning of the miner’s filters and cooling fans will ensure the heat is dissipated effectively, prolonging the machine’s life. Additionally, routine maintenance of the power supply unit, circuit boards, and other components can help prevent system failures and downtime. Keeping your Antminer S9 clean and well-maintained is essential to ensure optimal performance and protect your investment.
How to remove dust from the miner
- Disconnect the power supply and allow the miner to cool down.
- Use a soft-bristled brush to remove dust from the fan blades and heatsinks gently.
- Avoid using water or cleaning solutions as they can damage the electronics.
- Use compressed air or a vacuum cleaner on a low setting to blow or suck out the remaining dust.
- Take care not to touch any of the electronic components while cleaning.
- Reassemble the Antminer S9 and plug it back in.
- Regular cleaning and maintenance of the Antminer S9 will help to extend its lifespan and ensure it operates efficiently.
Fan replacement procedures
- Power off the Antminer S9 and unplug it from the power source.
- Remove the screws that secure the top cover of the miner and remove the cover.
- Locate the faulty fan and unplug its connector from the control board.
- Use a screwdriver to remove the screws that secure the fan to the heatsink or bracket.
- Carefully remove the faulty fan from the miner, not damaging electronic components.
- Take the new fan and align it with the screw holes on the heatsink or bracket.
- Secure the new fan to the heatsink or bracket using the screws you removed earlier.
- Reconnect the fan’s connector to the control board, ensuring it’s properly seated.
- Replace the top cover of the Antminer S9 and secure it using the screws that you removed earlier.
- Plug the miner back into the power source and turn it on to confirm that the new fan works correctly.
Firmware and Software Upgrades
Firmware and software upgrades on Antminer S9 are essential for the optimal performance and functionality of the device. These upgrades improve the miner’s stability, enhance performance, and provide new features and functionality. Firmware upgrades typically address bugs and vulnerabilities, provide improved security measures, and increase the overall efficiency of the miner. Failure to upgrade your Antminer S9’s firmware and software can lead to reduced performance, increased downtime, and potential security risks. Therefore, it’s essential to regularly check for and install any available firmware and software upgrades to keep your Antminer S9 operating at its best.
In addition to Bitmain’s stock firmware, aftermarket custom firmware options are available for Antminer S9. These custom firmware versions are developed by third-party developers and are designed to offer additional features and optimizations beyond what is available in the stock firmware. Custom firmware’s benefits include better overclocking capabilities, improved stability, and increased energy efficiency. Additionally, custom firmware can offer more advanced monitoring and control options, allowing miners to fine-tune their settings for maximum performance. However, it’s important to note that custom firmware can void your warranty and introduce security risks. Hence, it’s essential to thoroughly research and understand the implications before making any changes to your Antminer S9’s firmware.
How to upgrade firmware and software
- Access the Antminer S9’s web interface by entering the miner’s IP address into your web browser.
- Navigate to the “System” tab and select “Upgrade.”
- Choose to upgrade the firmware, software, or both.
- Select the appropriate file for the upgrade, which you can download from the manufacturer’s website or other trusted sources.
- Click “Upgrade” to begin the process, and allow it to complete.
- After the upgrade, the Antminer S9 will automatically reboot to apply the changes.
- Avoid interrupting the power supply to the miner during the upgrade process to prevent damage.
- Regularly upgrade the firmware and software of your Antminer S9 to ensure optimal performance and stability.
How to use an SD card for recovery
If you’re having trouble with your Antminer S9 Miner due to missing programs, one possible solution is to use an SD card to flash the firmware. You’ll need a MicroSD card with a recommended capacity of less than 16GB and a computer running Windows XP or later, along with a card reader.
- You can use an SD card to flash the firmware to fix Antminer S9 Miner issues caused by missing programs.
- Recommended tools include a MicroSD card (less than 16GB), a computer with Windows XP or later, and a card reader.
- Download the firmware image from the manufacturer’s website and follow the flashing instructions carefully.
- Depending on your control board model, you may need to shift the JP4 jumper or short-circuit the AB to enable flashing using the SD card.
- After flashing, power off the control board, reset the jumper or AB to the original position and reboot the miner.
- If you encounter any issues during the flashing process, try reformatting the TF, ensuring that the firmware is correct, cleaning the TF, or trying with a different SD card.
- If you cannot resolve the issue, contact the manufacturer or reseller for further support.
How to reset the miner to factory settings
- Access the Antminer’s Configuration Interface
- Connect your Antminer S9 to your computer or laptop via an Ethernet cable
- Open a web browser and enter the Antminer’s IP address into the address bar
- Log in to the Configuration Interface
- Enter your login credentials
- The default username and password are both “root”
- Navigate to the “System” Tab
- Click on the “System” tab located at the top of the page
- Click “Factory Reset”
- In the “System” tab, you should see an option labelled “Factory Reset.”
- Click on it
- Confirm the Reset
- You’ll be prompted to confirm the reset
- Click “OK” to confirm
- Wait for the Reset to Complete
- The Antminer S9 will automatically restart and perform a factory reset
- This process may take several minutes, so be patient
- Log in to the Configuration Interface Again
- Once the reset is complete, you’ll need to log back into the Antminer’s configuration interface using the default username and password (“root”)
- Configure the Antminer S9
- After resetting your Antminer S9 to its factory settings, you’ll need to reconfigure it to your preferences, such as setting the pool URL, username, and password and configuring your network settings
Other Considerations and Maintenance Flow Chart
Additional maintenance considerations
- The routine inspection involves several steps. Firstly, visually inspect the Repair board for any small heatsink shift deformation. If any issues are found, the small heat sink should be shifted, the original gum removed, and the heat sink repaired and re-glued. Secondly, the impedance of each voltage domain should be checked for short or open circuit conditions. If any issues are discovered, they must be adequately handled. Lastly, voltage detection should be carried out for each voltage domain, ensuring the voltage difference does not exceed 0.05. If a voltage field has a voltage that is too high or too low, this could indicate an abnormality in the circuit of its adjacent voltage field. Troubleshooting the cause of the abnormality is necessary.
- After routine testing, checking for any short circuits to prevent damage to chips or other materials when the board is energized is essential. A chip detection test box is available to determine the location of the faulty chip based on the test box detection results.
- Display the test box detection results and start locating the faulty chip, checking its test points (CLK IN OUT/TX IN OUT/RX IN OUT/B IN OUT/RST IN OUT) and ensuring equal voltage for VDD, VDD 0V8, VDD 1V8, and VDD 2V5.
- Signal flow should be inspected to locate the faulty chip. Reverse transfer of the RX signal (63-1 Number Chip) and forward delivery (1-63) of several signals, including CLK, CO, BO, and RST, must be checked in the power supply sequence point to identify any abnormal faults.
- If the faulty chip is located, it must be re-welded. This involves adding flux around the chip, heating the solder points of the chip pin until they dissolve, and gently moving the chip left and right before pressing it. This enables the chip pin to re-attach to the pad and collect the tin, achieving the effect of re-tin. If the fault persists after re-welding, the chip can be replaced directly.
- After repairing the operation board, it must be tested more than twice using a test box. The first test should be done after replacing the faulty parts and allowing the board to cool down. Once the test is passed, leave the board aside. The second test should be carried out once the arithmetic board has wholly cooled down after a few minutes. Although these two tests may take a few minutes, they do not delay the overall repair time. Once the second board is repaired and cooled, the first board should be tested again. This staggered approach enables more efficient use of time.
- Once the board is repaired, it is necessary to classify the fault and record the replacement component model, location, reasons, and other relevant details. This information can be used for feedback to production, after-sales support, or research and development.
- After recording the information, the repaired board can be reinstalled into the whole miner for regular testing.