In this post, we are going to compare two popular Helium miners – the Bobcat 300 and the SenseCAP M1. While they might appear to be the same, there are differences that make the SenseCAP stand out as the better product.
To understand why let’s get into the details.
Since the beginning of 2022, we’ve started to see Helium manufacturers catch up to customer demand. We’ve also seen tremendous growth of the mining population from about 25,000 last year to approaching 700,000 at the time of writing.
Bobcat and SenseCAP miners are two noteworthy miners – solid performers that are referenced frequently in the Helium community.
Bobcat was one of the first companies to sell Helium hardware. At the time of writing, they have sold nearly 250,000 miners to date. SenseCAP is a newer entrant to Helium mining with first miners shipped to customers in September 2021.
Bobcat 300 vs SenseCAP M1 Comparison Table
In the following, we have compared the two miners. We have highlighted the better specification.
|Feature||Bobcat 300||SenseCAP M1|
|Transmit Power||+25 dBm||+26 dBm|
|Processor||Quad-core Cortex-A35||Quad core Cortex-A72|
|RAM||1GB||2GB / 4GB / 8GB|
2.4 GHz only
2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
2.1 mm power jack
USB-C power connector
|Thermal design||Radiator Grille||Aluminum enclosure with a heat sink and cooling fan|
|Operating temperature||0° to +60°C||0°C to +50°C|
|Relative Humidity (non-condensing)||20% to 90%||0% to 90%|
The SenseCAP miner has 1 dB more transmit power relative to the Bobcat 300. Since every dB counts, this means a little more range relative to the Bobcat miner.
Bobcat only supports 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi while SenseCAP supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi in addition to relatively newer and faster 802.11ac standard. Supporting 5 GHz can be an advantage in condo apartment buildings where there’s a lot of 2.4 GHz RF interference.
The SenseCAP has a USB-C power connector (much like the RAK miners). This is a distinct advantage over the Bobcat. Losing a power supply is easy – having to replace it is challenging. Unless it is a standard interface like USB-C which is super-easy to replace. [As an aside at this point in time I’m trying to unsuccessfully track down the non-USB power supply for my Nebra]
The thermal design of the SenseCAP is much better – aluminum enclosure with a heatsink and cooling fan. This provides better heat dissipation relative to the Bobcat.
The Bobcat 300 miner has a wider operating temperature range. The lower upper temperature threshold on the SenseCAP can be explained by the higher performance processor.
The SenseCAP M1 has an advantage in being able to operate in very dry environments (0% minimum RH) relative to the Bobcat (20% minimum RH).
Bobcat uses the Quad-core Cortex-A35 CPU, with 32-bit performance. Sensecap uses the Quad core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.5GHz.
As can be seen in the picture above, the A72 is higher performance while the A35 is ultra high efficiency. This explains the lower power consumption of the Bobcat which would put it in a better position for power constrained deployments.
However if you are running your miners at home with a constant reliable power supply, the 3W difference is not a big deal. In that case, the higher performance SenseCAP might be an advantage.
In this post we have explained the differences between the SenseCAP and Bobcat Helium miners. Based on our analysis, we recommend purchasing the SenseCAP M1 miner on account of its features and specifications.