MintyBoost 3.0 Kit

The MintyBoost kit from Adafruit includes all the electronic parts necessary to build your own MintyBoost: a small & simple (but very powerful) USB charger for your iPod (or other mp3 player), camera, cell phone, and any other gadget you can plug into a USB port to charge.

The charger circuitry and 2 AA batteries fit into an Altoids gum tin, and will run your iPod for hours, 2.5x more than you'd get from a 9V USB charger! You can use rechargable batteries too.

Kit comes un-assembled and is suitable for beginners. Some soldering tools are necessary but even if you've never soldered before it should be pretty easy.

New In Version 3: Provides 500mA @ 5V, tested and designed to work with all the latest iGadgets including the latest iPhones and iPods, etc., improved efficiency for high-drain devices, works much better with LiPoly battery mods.

Tested works with: iPods, iTouches and iPhones (including the iPhone 4), PSP, DS..Please see a full listing at Minty Boost compatibility webpage to see if your device is tested to work before purchasing.

MintyBoost 3.0 Kit Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

2 Soldering

Skill Level: Rookie - The number of pins increases, and you will have to determine polarity of components and some of the components might be a bit trickier or close together. You might need solder wick or flux.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Ivan747 / about 12 years ago / 2

    *Serving Suggestion:
    Use this with a PICkit 3 to program on the go: you can download a program of up to 512kB into the programmer. With a push of a (I mean... The) button you fan download that program into a PIC without having to use a computer. The problem is that it needs power from the USB port, which is kind of ironic because we are avoiding the need for a computer; also it cannot be powered from the board you are going to program. That's where the MintyBoost come in play: it supplies the current that the programmer needs (max 100mA) and you're good to go.

  • brewer / about 12 years ago / 2

    These kits are awesome (got mine from Adafruit). <br />
    <br />
    It would be AWESOME if Sparkfun stocked the LT1302CN8-5. Lots of people want to hack their mintyboosts, but if you fry or damage the LT1302CN8-5 then the ONLY way to replace this chip is to buy a WHOLE KIT. Nobody sells the LT1302CN8-5 to hobbyists (Digikey wants you to buy like 1000 of them). <br />
    <br />
    It needs to be said, while the specs and schematic for the MintyBoost 3 are there for anyone to go build these from parts themselves, mere mortals can not (at least not until some kind seller starts offering the chip... grin)

    • Member #148106 / about 12 years ago / 1

      You can get them in singles at Newark( ) ...a little pricey though @8.91 in quantities

      • sduddikunta / about 11 years ago / 1

        Or you could get free samples from Linear. 2 per part and they arrive in a week.

  • Member #618738 / about 8 years ago / 1


  • zwheel / about 11 years ago / 1

    For the tin being discontinued issue I just used a Penguin Mint tin. They are the same size/shape as an altoids mint (not gum) tin. It's bigger but this meant I could ditch the two-AA battery holder and replace it with a three-AA holder to make it last longer.

    In retrospect I'm not sure if I should have done that or just stuck with the 2-battery holder and used the extra space to keep a small folded up USB cable. There is still a LITTLE space to each side of the PC board. Maybe I can use that space for a very small one. I'll store it with each connector on one side of the PCB and the cord stretching across. This means I will have to cut a USB cord down to about an inch or so long though.

    • zwheel / about 11 years ago / 1

      A couple of other changes... I cut a hole in the side of the tin rather than big notch for the USB socket to keep it stronger. (Meaning the lip of the tin is still intact and there is metal surounding all sides of the connector).

      Also, since I had extra space by using a mint tin I didn't have to make the socket stick out. I made it flush with the tin so that it can't be bumped against things and broken.

      I also added a small bead of solder to each side of the connector between the connector and the mint tin to help hold it in place and to ground the mint tin body. Be careful if you do this, you don't want to plug up the inside of the USB socket with solder.

      The directions suggest that some devices prefer the data pins to be shorted. In case I ever have two devices that each prefer one of those methods I added a little switch which shorts them. So far none of my devices (Samsung Stratosphere and iPad 2) seem to care if the switch is on or off.

  • Member #269518 / about 11 years ago / 1

    assembled my minty boost today, phenomenal product, 5 stars.

  • slinger / about 11 years ago / 1

    Does it work with the 4S?

  • My only real issue with this kit is that Altoids gum has been discontinued. Adafruit sells a similar tin for a couple of bucks, but it's not the same. That's when I discovered these! The tin fits this kit perfectly, as if it were designed for this purpose. Hmmm...

  • czarvargo / about 11 years ago / 1

    This would be a great kit to show up in my local Microcenter.

    • zwheel / about 11 years ago * / 1

      I'll second that! If I could just drive up to Microcenter and skip the shipping that would be awesome.

      • pt / about 11 years ago / 1

        @zweel - hiya! adafruit uses USPS. so for a mintyboost to MI (maine) it's: United States Postal Service $3.70, this includes insurance - sparkfun (nate) let us know that microcenter wants to carry the mintyboost, so we're working with microcenter on this as well :)

  • kredeskarka / about 11 years ago / 1

    does anyone now how to modify this kit to put out 5v 800 mah??or a little electronic trick that can boost the mah??another thing : my input would be 2 batteryes of 1.2v 1000mah each,and i'm thinking to put another battery to reach 3.6v and to use that battery to boost the output needs to be 5v 800mah,any ideas??(i'm new to electronics)

    • wassabi / about 11 years ago / 1

      Folks have had good success with heatsinks

    • BikeLighting / about 11 years ago / 1

      Build two in parallel.

  • I like how the related products for this are the complete tool kits. :)

  • This kit has to be one of the most useful things you could ever make - if you own anything that charges from USB this is a kit for you. See my review on the blog at:

  • iPhone 4, not 4G.

Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

Based on 1 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

Easy assembly

It's one of the smallest PCBs I've ever built, so it was a bit challenging for my older eyes, but it was as easy to assemble as I thought it would be. I verified it would charge my HTC phone and my daughter's iPod Touch too. I had saved up some Altoids mints tins for this kit when I first saw it, and discovered that there's way more than enough room for the MintyBoost in there. I briefly considered fitting a 3-AA holder in but those are a bit harder to find.