Minty Boost

21 January 2007

BW: Whitney gave me a Minty Boost kit for my birthday.

WB: I got it from Make! I know B gets excited about using a soldering iron. And a dremel. And we were both reading about electricity at the time– Motorcycle-related for B, and Qi Gong-related for me. I figured it would be fun to do a project involving a circuit board. The MB provides hours of external battery power and is supposed to work with Razr phones and iPods, amongst other devices which utilize a mini USB port– perfect for when your gadget runs out of battery power!  I printed out instructions from ladyada.net, the original brains behind the Minty Boost.

BW: Yea! Soldering! But before the soldering happened, I had to reshape the iron’s tip with the dremel. I had to use my tool to fix my tool. Yes!

WB: We started with the newly-shaped soldering iron, the Minty Boost kit, and an emptied Altoids gum tin. The process was mostly smooth, except we accidentally soldered one of the resistors into the incorrect holes, and had to de-solder and re-do it.

BW: When we finished, we had to test the circuit using the voltmeter, but something wasn’t right. What was wrong? The voltmeter reading was inconclusive, and beyond that… Ummmm…. We tried to get techy, but eventually gave up. In the end, we ran down the iPod battery, and tried using the Minty Boost with it–  it worked!!

WB: Upon further research, we found that there are some glitches with using the Minty Boost to power the Razr. BUT, it works with B’s new Garmin GPSmap 60cx, which is pretty awesome. Also, we discovered that there are inexpensive external battery packs available in such illustrious retail establishments as Duane Reade and your local corner bodega. No matter. Making the MB was so superfun!

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