Masternode Operator's FAQs Needed

Ryan Taylor

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I am the proud owner of a masternode and received my first few payments. I'm obviously very happy about that, but I now find myself with lots of questions about the practicalities of owning and operating my masternode, yet can't seem to find any resources either here or elsewhere that answers many of my questions. It would be great if there could be a masternode operator's FAQs section which is maintained somewhere on the site. Here are some of my questions (or at least questions I can imagine others asking), but I'm sure others have suggestions or questions on their minds that should be added. I think I know the answer to many of these questions, but it would be good to hear from a definitive source. If an FAQ like this already exists, my apologies.

Some of these questions might seem obvious to those involved in the development efforts, but you'd be surprised how difficult it is to get good clean answers to some of these basic questions. There are a lot of aspects to owning a node that I'm finding to be quite difficult to understand, especially around the handling of funds / profits. Is there someone from the dev team that could answer some of these questions definitively? Thank you for all the great work!

Great, everything is set up, secure, I have monitoring set up, and I received my first few payments. Now what? Can I remove any of the funds from my cold wallet without deactivating my masternode? e.g., What happens if I have accumulated 1,012 DRK and I attempt to send 12 DRK to an exchange or another wallet? Does the masternode stay operational? Do I need to use coin control to ensure I don't touch the original 1,000 DRK, or does it not matter which specific coins I transfer?

I am worried that if I initiate a transaction for the full amount of my profit that it will also trigger a transaction fee. If it does, won't the transaction fee be added to my withdrawal, thus lowering the balance to less than the 1,000 DRK I need to maintain the masternode? If this is the case, how can I determine the maximum amount to transfer - including anticipated transaction fees - that still keeps the masternode fully funded and operational? Are there any precautions I could take to prevent an accidental deactivation of my masternode?

What about immature coins that were recently mined? For example, if I have 1,012 DRK in "balance" and 1 DRK in "immature" (for a total of 1,013 DRK), can I withdraw 13 coins, or only 12 until the last coin matures?

Is there any way to have my masternode payments sent to a different address of my choice (e.g., directly to an exchange perhaps, or another wallet)?


I am curious about what percent of blocks are actually paying the masternodes. This is important in order to calculate expected payments. What is the best way to get this information? Is the trend positive (e.g., rising percentage as more pool operators convert) or negative (e.g., falling as more miners actively switch to pools that aren't paying)?

How often does the active masternode switch? Is it every block, or could I be the active masternode for a period of time?

How can I best stay notified of version updates to the daemon?
 

fernando

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Not sure about the first one. I tried to transfer out some payments to a MN made in the previous attempt and I had to generate a new wallet (and keys), but maybe I did something wrong with coin control.
When you do a transaction you'll always get asked before about the fee, so you can reduce the amount to avoid leaving the balance below 1000.
Wait for the immature to get mature.
There is a feature request done a couple days ago to be able to get payments in a different address, but it is not possible atm.
The best way to get info on blocks and payments is chaeplin's darkcoin tools: http://drk.poolhash.org/menu.html
Hang around darkcointalk and you'll know when new versions appear :)
 

Ryan Taylor

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Did you check the general FAQ? There are a lot of masternode questions already added: <url removed because not allowed>
Feel free to add new questions... :)
Vertoe, none of these questions are covered in the general FAQs, but to be honest, I don't think we want to gunk up the general FAQs with masternode operator questions. I'm guessing there are probably less than 300 of us that will ever be in existence given many owners who own more than one masternode. It would create more confusion for the general public and probably cause more harm than good. I'm thinking if you are a masternode owner, though, you almost certainly know about and use darkcointalk, so that might be the better home for advanced users. My 2 cents... but if you want me to add a bunch more questions even if they only apply to a select few, I'm happy to go there to ask. You are the moderator after all! :)
 

Ryan Taylor

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Thanks, fernando! I figured that was the case on the immature coins. I'd be interested to hear if coin control helps with the first question. Has anyone tried that? If removing profits means shutting down a masternode, redepositing 1,000 DRK, and then restarting, that's obviously less than ideal (and I would say needs to be fixed)!

Also, isn't there some kind of email list for daemon notifications? I thought I saw some posts alluding to it's existence.
 
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Ryan Taylor

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Well, for anyone interested, I figured out at least PART of answer to this set of questions: "Can I remove any of the funds from my cold wallet without deactivating my masternode? e.g., What happens if I have accumulated 1,012 DRK and I attempt to send 12 DRK to an exchange or another wallet? Does the masternode stay operational? Do I need to use coin control to ensure I don't touch the original 1,000 DRK, or does it not matter which specific coins I transfer?".

I finally decided to take a risk and try sending my profits from my MN cold wallet to my wallet on my iMac, and my MN is still running. I used coin control to ensure that I didn't touch the original 1,000 coins and didn't incur any transaction fees. I don't yet know if failure to use coin control would have yielded the same result, but I'll leave that to someone else to risk finding out (or maybe someone from the dev team can confirm).
 
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vertoe

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Well, for anyone interested, I figured out at least PART of answer to this set of questions: "Can I remove any of the funds from my cold wallet without deactivating my masternode? e.g., What happens if I have accumulated 1,012 DRK and I attempt to send 12 DRK to an exchange or another wallet? Does the masternode stay operational? Do I need to use coin control to ensure I don't touch the original 1,000 DRK, or does it not matter which specific coins I transfer?".

I finally decided to take a risk and try sending my profits from my MN cold wallet to my wallet on my iMac, and my MN is still running. I used coin control to ensure that I didn't touch the original 1,000 coins and didn't incur any transaction fees. I don't yet know if failure to use coin control would have yielded the same result, but I'll leave that to someone else to risk finding out (or maybe someone from the dev team can confirm).
Yes, I usually send $balance - 1000.1 and this works even without coincontrol. Just make sure your transaction wont touch the 1000 masternode coins. (include some fees in your calculations!)
 

ScioMind

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I keep seeing talk about "coin control." Could someone explain this to me and how to use it? Or just point me to a good tutorial/explanation?
 

Propulsion

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I keep seeing talk about "coin control." Could someone explain this to me and how to use it? Or just point me to a good tutorial/explanation?
It's a feature in the QT wallet enabled by going into the options menu.

So say you have a MN that was selected only once. You would see the single input of 1000 for the MN, and another input with only 1.

With coin control, you can select only the 1 and send it to a new address not affecting the MN 1000 at all.
 

ScioMind

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My local "cold" masternode wallet is not the qt version - it's the linux command-line daemon. So, am I to understand that as long as I make sure that more than 1000DRK are left over after any outbound transaction from my local machine (for example, if I always leave 1001DRK in there) then my masternode will continue to function normally?
 

vertoe

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My local "cold" masternode wallet is not the qt version - it's the linux command-line daemon. So, am I to understand that as long as I make sure that more than 1000DRK are left over after any outbound transaction from my local machine (for example, if I always leave 1001DRK in there) then my masternode will continue to function normally?
Yes, the daemon is trying to leave large blocks of coins (from a vin) intact.