Total build time about an hour / 18 cigarettes.
Easy to make, with medium soldering skill. Used a clumsy high power gas iron, no problem though! Am seeking precision electric iron but again these components DO have some tolerance to high temperatures.
MintyBoost tested with Samsung Galaxy S2, works; charges! (Two AA cells). The MintyBoost can be given higher power in (up to 4.5 volts I think the walkthrough advises, or three AA cells wired in series).
Also confirmed works on an HTC Desire Bravo.
A solar panel would be an awesome addition to this project. Even in dear old Blighty we've had some sun recently!
This is the only noteworthy vulnerability of the MintyBoost; that the USB socket is soldered to the board. Solder joints, however strong, are not strong enough to withstand the strain put upon them by repeated insertions and withdrawals of various male USB plugs; pushing into, and pulling out of, the socket. Most female sockets are a tight fit so as to prevent accidental interruption of data transfer. Not a good idea to try to loosen a female USB socket, as a strong guaranteed connection is required for data and power transfer.
Therefore I added a four inch USB extender; this way the USB socket on the MintyBoost board only gets one penetration, hopefully for the duration of its life. The socket on the end of the extender is firmly encased in plastic; designed to take a banging.
Also tested successful on a Sony video walkman.
I think the general rule of thumb here is that any device designed to connect via USB to a computer will be designed to draw power in a way that the MintyBoost can provide. A computer USB port might be able to deliver higher current though. In the walkthrough pages for the MintyBoost there are extensive notes on what will work and what will not. http://www.ladyada.net/make/mintyboost/compat3.html
I wonder if perhaps for some devices, switching them off might reduce their current draw sufficiently to enable charging via MintyBoost. I'm sure Adafruit has discussed this already on the forum but thought I'd throw it out there
Thanks again LadyAda!
BTW about that ray-gun?