USB Stick Hub Mint Box (USB SHMB)



Introduction: USB Stick Hub Mint Box (USB SHMB)

Hello you all,

This is my first instructable, and I'm from Holland, so be gentle with me.
With that out, it seems a standard part of every ible...

What we will be making in this instructable is a USB Stick Hub Mint Box, I named it that because well... There are four USB Sticks, a USB Hub, and it sits in an Mint Box.
It's actually pretty self explanatory...

Then also this, I'm not responsible for any damage, wether it be you burn your fingers with a soldering iron, or you lost the data on your USB drives... So don't try it if you don't know what you're doing!
And: Always BACKUP!!!

So, let's get started!

Step 1: What You Will Need

Well, you will need this:
1.) A mint box (this one is plastic on the bottom half, if you hav one thats fully metal, you will have to insulate it)
2.) A small USB Hub, I suggest one from TOMTOP shop on ebay, they are easy to take apart, I didn't even need a screwdriver
3.) Multiple USB Sticks, one would be pretty useless (don't use too big ones)
4.) A piece of thelephone wiring, the kind with 4 strands
5.) Double sided tape and/or hot glue

Make sure the electronics fit, without their casings, in the mint box.
I would recommend a hub with only four outputs, unless your box can hold more USB Sticks.

And you need to be able to do this:
1.) Use your mind, I can't describe every possible scenario you help yourself into...
2.) Solder, USB Sticks and Hubs are very little devices, so you need to, atleast, have some knowledge about soldering.
3.) Strip wire
4.) Use a hot glue gun
5.) Etc, that meaning all other things to make your products fit your plan!

Step 2: The Fun Part! Pry It Open

First pry open the USB Sticks, it will probably explain itself how to open it. Most of the times there will be a seem along the side and you just have to stick a screwdriver or knife in it.
Then pry open the USB Hub, if you took my advise to get the TOMTOP one, it just snaps apart if you pull both sides with your bare hands. If you got another hub, you may need to remove some screws or something, if you can't figure it out, this ible may be nothing for you...
Anyway, there are some instructables out there on how to open usb sticks.

Step 3: Fit It, (de)solder

Try one more time to fit all of the components in the box.
If it fits, desolder the USB connector from one of the USB Sticks, and make a hole to fit it in the box.
Glue it in with hot glue, and attach 4 wires from the telephone cable to it, in the right order (of colors).
Make logical color combinations, and use:
For example:
USB:-----Telephone cable:
And stick to it troughout the project!

Desolder the wires from the USB plug from the hub (the "input" side), and remember wich signal goes where on the circuit board of the hub.
If you're not sure about that, grab a multimeter and measure which wires go to which pin in the USB plug, use the link.
I'm just here to mark a point in text:
Then solder four (different) wires to the USB Stick, again use the above link.
Desolder the "output" cables from the hub, and remember which signal goes where.
And solder those wires to the "output" side of the hub, to one port.
Test the wole device, to make sure it works so far.
Be sure, you have no shorts before plugging it in your computer (maybe even check it with a multimeter, the the wires on the USB Stick may have a couple of hundred ohms of resistance, not less!).
Goto "I'm just here to mark a point in text" for the other USB Sticks.

Step 4: Think "inside the Box"

Grab all the circuit boards, ant try to work out how they fit best in the box, if you find the perfect layout, stick them boards together with double sided tape, or hot glue.
If you have done that, tape the items inside the box.

Step 5: Final Thoughts, and Something About LED's

It's great how the plastic of my box lets the LED's of the USB Sticks shine throug, so you still see the activity.
And, as I later found out, my hub had no power led, but it had the connections for it.
So i added a little yellow led to see if the device was powered on, you can see that now too!

If you're satisfied, slide the lid on the box, and test if it works, if it does, congratulations.
If it doesn't, trie to check, with a multimeter, if you made a short somewhere, are you sure the metal of the box doesn't short something out?

And there you have it, your very own USB SHMB!
I also made a little extension cord, in the case your mint box is to large to reach the USB Port.
It's made from the cables that came off the USB Hub, and it's pretty straight forward, just connect color to color and insulate!

Last step: show it off to let your friends see how geeky you are!

And, no, I have not entered any challenges, because they are not available in the Netherlands... :-(

I hope you've enjoyed my first instructable, and please leave comments!

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