Instructables

Mintyboost on the Cheap!

Picture of Mintyboost on the Cheap!
While Ladyada's Mintyboost design is great, there is a cheaper and much easier way to build one- with Sparkfun!

If you'd like to save a few bucks and skip assembling a board, a quick trip to Sparkfun can net an already assembled equivalent of the original Mintyboost.

By the way, please use what you save on this project to buy something else from Ladyada- she's got some sweet kits- especially arduino related, and she keeps everything open source and transparent! Her kit was the grand-daddy of all things Mintyboost, so please remember to support her!

Mintyboost Original- http://www.ladyada.net/make/mintyboost/index.html

Adafruit (Her kit store-check it out!)- http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=index

 
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Step 1: Components and Tools

The Ladyada Mintyboost design (v1-2) uses something called a boost converter to "boost" the 3 volts you can get off a pair of AA's, up to the 5v required to charge a usb device. Her kit is a boost converter of her own design, and comes with a pcb and components that you need to solder together. An attractive kit, and the v2 kit can source 400ma for faster charging. Her kit, shipped to my house in PA, runs about $23.25.

However, if you're cheap, lazy, or know all about boost converters already and don't care to solder a pcb, there is another solution! Sparkfun sells a pre-assembled 5v boost converter, with a AA holder already attached. Hooray!

So, with a pre-assembled boost converter, our parts list shrinks immensely, as you might imagine. Conveniently, we can buy all the electronics components at Sparkfun.

Components

5v Boost Converter http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8249

USB Type A Female Connecter http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9011

Total Price with Shipping: $15.44

Alright! We saved over 7 bucks, or ~ %30! You'll also need an Altoids tin of some sort. I used a cool round one, mainly because I had it already, and I could wrap the charge cord around it. You can use whatever will hold the components.

Tools
1. Soldering iron- Basic one is fine, just for soldering pins.

2.Solder

3. Drill/ Hammer/ Knife/ Hole Punch- To start the hole for the USB connector

4. File- To shapes and smooth off the edges of that hole.

4. Glue gun/ Double Sided Foam Tape- For insulation and holding things down.

**Must Read Stuff**
Boost Converter Background http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boost_converter

Ladyada Mintyboost design process (Very Interesting)- http://www.ladyada.net/make/mintyboost/process.html
antoon2 years ago
why is this one so easy and the minthyboost so hard and complicated
if it works than chapeau (good job in french
pushbit2 years ago
is this has been tested? i mean the pure output, how long will it charge, i wonder if any review about this around :)
I ordered the parts the parts on the 4th ans go them today, the 11th. Everything was real simple and as easy as the steps describe. I've been charging my Galaxy S without issue. Pretty sweet very happy with outcome. Thanks for the info!!
scottinnh2 years ago
Nice instruct able. I think what this shows is just how many ways you can go about making a boost charger. There are many differences with the Minty though. The Minty will charge products that look fow power on both Power and Data (as Apple and others might). The Minty delivers 500ma (the original Minty v1 did less power as it used the max756 IC).

Anyone looking to build a non-Minty charger should review this recent boost circuit review: http://dangerousprototypes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2663

FYI it looks like you can get the SF board now for $6 http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8999


Note you can build the v1 Minty real cheap, using a free sample max756 and protoboard.
mrelement3 years ago
holy crap i have the same mp3 i thot i was the only 1 to have that!!
I'm going on a trip and was actually planning on buying one until I saw the vuze and a place to buy it cheaply. Gonna use this to power it. Sounds like Sandisk makes good players.
 Answered my own question through the power of the internets. I saw the original makers site they sold just the PCB without the battery pack, but still no info, so I went back to sparkfun and found they to sold it, and it takes any where from 1.1-4.5v meaning a 3.7v LiPoly battery would be just fine... Thanks for pointing this out... I might start over on my project now.
Lesedi4 years ago
Hmmm now i knw wat to do with that mobo im taking apart!! Hehehe destruction is a turn on!!
notoriouss4 years ago
This is pretty much the non nerd version of mintyboost. I like it, and i wonder why people rated this so low, just because it's just a simplified version of an advanced instructable doesn't mean it sucks, 5/5 just for the boost lol.
jam BD4 years ago
cracked my screen so i have to use mine in the dark.... LOL
depotdevoid4 years ago
Hey, Sansa! Right on man, do you have rockbox on it?
agdollison4 years ago
how do you like your Gerber suspension
gmoon4 years ago
Nice job. Sparkfun is great--thanks for pointing out that cool boost converter.
exilepc4 years ago
Question on the math, How do you get 5v from 2 1.5v batteries? You don't have the anything close to the PCB setup that you have pointed out in step 1. I am guessing that the only reason it works on your mp3 player is it not needing 5v or the charge icon is just coming on because its getting a value >0.1v
gmoon exilepc4 years ago
Read the instructable.
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