12volt DC Power
When I am headed to the ranch, one of the last things done before leaving
town is the ritual of stopping by Starbucks to pick up a grande caffè
latte with three sweet & lows and no foam. Since I am not an accomplished
speed-drinker and since I only like my latte while it is hot, I can sometimes
end up wasting a quarter or more of my drink if it’s not finished before
reaching a certain "too cold" temperature. An insulated mug does help with this
problem, but it wasn’t until I saw the
Mug Master that
I realized there might be an even better option.
Photo Courtesy of Convenient Gadgets Website
The Mug Master is a substantial electronic base that consists of a 12v DC
powered heating or cooling device that fits into your vehicle’s cup holder. It
measures 5" long x 4" tall (not counting the cup holder extension) x 3.75" thick
and weighs approximately one pound nine ounces. A sliding bracket on the bottom
allows for any needed adjustments to ensure a secure fit.
A three position toggle switch on the front of the device allows the user to
choose Hot, Off, or Cool. A protected fan on the front whirs when the Mug Master
is set to Cool, when plugged into DC power.
The Mug Master is a stand alone unit. It is sized so that it can perfectly
hold a can of soda and keep it cold.
The other elixir of life, Diet Coke
Included with the Mug Master base is a 20ounce beverage mug that has a
special circulatory system to allow heated or cooled air to pass through all of
the chambers built around the stainless steel mug core.
Left Photo Courtesy of Convenient Gadgets Website
A spill-proof lid is included, as well as a plastic cap that snaps onto the
mug’s end when it is run through the dish-washer or hand-washed – the idea being
that the cap will protect the chambers from food or other funk that could become
lodged inside while the mug is being washed.
When using the Mug Master, the idea is that you will start with a beverage
that is at the correct temperature, whether hot or cold. The device will
maintain that temperature for as long as it is powered. To Mug Master, the
device is not meant to heat or cool a beverage from lukewarm, but rather to
maintain a specific temperature.
I decided to put the Mug Master to the test in two ways, both as a beverage
heater (while using the mug) and as a can cooler (without the mug). I rigged up
a testing area in our breakfast nook, consisting of an AC powered DC Adapter and
my scale to balance the bottom of the Mug Master.
The first test involved making a hot mug of tea, and letting it sit in the
Mug Master for two hours. I was surprised to find that the fan did not come on
when the switch was set to Hot, but according to the included user manual this
is normal. When I returned after an hour, I found that my drink was tepid. Any
warmth still there was probably due to the design of the mug. At this time, I
wasn’t sure if my unit was defective or not, but since the fan did come on when
switched to Cool, I am guessing it was working properly.
Note the red light glowing to show that the Mug Master is
heating the mug.
The second test involved keeping a a cold can of Diet Coke at its optimal
drinking temperature when placed in the well. After allowing the Mug Master five
minutes in the Off position, I switched it to Cool and left the drink in place
for one hour. When I returned to check on my soda, I was surprised to find that
the unit had shut itself off completely. Not only was the fan not running, but
the green light was off – it would flicker when I worked the switch form Off to
Cool. At least my Diet Coke was frigid, but worried that I might have
inadvertently fried something, I unplugged the Mug Master and let it sit for 10
minutes; the Diet Coke was placed back in the refrigerator.
After 10 minutes, I plugged the Mug Master back into the converter, and it
still would not come on. I checked the fuse in the tip of the plug, and it was
fine – in fact the red power-indicator light was working on the plug. The switch
would still just flicker when I went from the Off to Cool positions. After
another thirty minutes, I checked and once again the unit was operational. Hmmmm…that
didn’t exactly restore my faith in the device, though.
Note the green light glowing to show that the Mug Master is
cooling the can.
The following morning, I ran the same tests again, and had much
different results. The hour long heated test worked perfectly – in fact this
time I could feel air circulating and I could hear an inner fan turning. After
running for an hour, my tea was hot and the unit was still operating perfectly.
I ran the Diet Coke / Coolness test once more, and once again the unit performed
perfectly – it was still running after an hour and my drink was frigid. I have
no idea why the Mug Master didn’t work properly the very first time out of the
box, but it appears to be making up for that, now. I have been running the Mug
Master quite a bit, trying to recreate the early problems, but they appear to
have cleared up.
Since it appears to be working just fine now, I am not going to assume that the
Mug Master I received is defective. It is very possible that when I checked the
fuse in the plug’s tip I fixed the problem somehow.
If you know someone that is on the road a lot of the time, and you would like
to help them keep their drinks at the proper temperature, then the
available from Convenient Gadgets might be
the perfect gift idea. Just be sure to check that the fuse in the plug’s tip is
properly aligned. ;0)
1 year full warranty against defects in materials or workmanship
The included mug is quite nice
Keeps hot drinks hot and cool drinks cool
I had a few false starts in the beginning, but this device now appears to be