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MintyBoost DIY Upgrade
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

MintyBoost DIY Upgrade

by doccatch on Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:21 pm

Have constructed several chargers using the MintyBoost with great success. I travel a lot (over 10M air miles now) and a DIYer when I can. And I confess that electrical is not my strong suit as my background is Mechanical/Civil Engineering. I travel internationally so space is a premium. Two questions.

Q1. Can you upgrade the Minty Boost to 4 AA batteries in parallel or will that overload the board? Looking for capacity.
Q2. I am considering marrying a Minty Boost with a small solar panel and Lithium batteries. I have the solar panel (designed for travel) and the batteries. Is there any wiring advice/suggestions/ schematic available?
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Re: MintyBoost DIY Upgrade

by kevinrs on Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:38 am

look at http://learn.adafruit.com/minty-boost/batteries
you can use up to 3 alkaline batteries in series, you don't want to go over 5 volts on input. You could use 4 rechargables in series.
The problem with parallel is you get issues where any minor difference in strength results in one battery discharging into another, with overheating and battery leakage.
For increased capacity, you can go with C or D batteries. The calculations for this are on that page too.

For solar see http://learn.adafruit.com/usb-dc-and-so ... ly-charger what you are going to find though, if you have something like a power hungry phone, it's going to take a day or more of optimal sun hitting even a 5.6 watt panel, to get 1 charge worth of juice for your phone.

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Re: MintyBoost DIY Upgrade

by adafruit_support_bill on Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:29 am

If you are looking for capacity, NiMH (e.g. Eneloop) typically perform better than Alkaline. But Lithium cells will give you the best power density overall.

Single LiPo cells and balanced packs are available in capacities up to 6600mAh. In a package not much bigger than a 3xAA pack, you can get nearly 3x the effective capacity.

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Re: MintyBoost DIY Upgrade

by doccatch on Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:27 am

Good information. Thank you both. The solar is a back up- I travel to some remote places. This should get me going.
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Re: MintyBoost DIY Upgrade

by jrd3 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:59 pm

Since you travel with your Minty Boost, what do you tell the good folks from the TSA?
My daughter put together a minty boost for my wife and my wife is concerned with using/loosing the minty boost when she goes through security. Have you had any issues with it in security? Have you used it during your flights?
Thanks

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Re: MintyBoost DIY Upgrade

by doccatch on Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:58 pm

Sorry for the delayed reply. Out of town. Most of the TSA people I deal with are understanding once I explain what this is. I keep all of my charger/recharge equipment in a waterproof clear container ( 10-18 bucks at Walmart/fishing section/Plano/guide product; or any sporting goods shop.) I go to remote job sites with some pretty nasty weather at times so- you get the picture.

I just explain what it does and how I made it. Yes they have run the litmus paper over it several times and yes they have used the dog. Not a biggey. Most of them think it is cool. First few times she may get asked what this is, and they may call a supervisor so plan for a delay in getting through security. The TSA guy's deal with people that are not seasoned travelers. If she travels a lot she can handle it.

I have not used it in flight as I usually plug into the plane- plane charge, or laptop charge. Note: carry a converter if you travel a lot. I have been on recent flights where you needed a converter to get a charge! Not all planes are equal.
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.