I think I may have found the holy grail here, but I'm trying not to get too excited. I originally saw Sun Rod heaters, and upon further research here I was told that it had been tried and they didn't work. I searched a bunch of threads, but couldn't find exactly why it didn't work. Based on the probability that someone else had tried and failed with the Sun Rod devices, I sourced a different supplier that I've been talking with for several days now. I sent him pics of a BE112 atomizer in various stages of disassembly, and a few tutorials on e-cigarettes in general. Here's what we came up with.
They can manufacture a ceramic rod heater that meets the following specifications:
- The heating circuit is encased in non-porous ceramic that measures 3.8mm in diameter, and as short as 10mm in length (top 6mm is heating area, bottom 4mm reserved for spacer and lead wire routing). It can be as long as we wish, and any section (heating area, or bottom section) can be longer. He can also add a non-heated area at the top of the atty, although I'm not sure why we would want to do that.
- The heater will produce roughly 100-120C at 3.7V in less than a second. It cools off equally fast. The temperature can be adjusted up or down. Without a thermistor, it is impossible to regulate exactly, but he said they could adjust the embedded circuit to compensate.
- The resistance of the heater is around 3 ohms. This can be adjusted up or down.
This is a custom job, and he is willing to manually process 10 of them as samples for $250 USD total ($25 each) including shipping. They will create the custom mold for free on a minimum order, but a minimum regular order is 2000 pieces, for $2,500.00 USD ($1.25 each).
I tore apart an old BE112 (801) atty, and have posted some pretty bad photos here on my web site. The ceramic pot containing the coil is larger than the rod, and the lead holes in the bottom correspond with exiting the heater right at the edges of the base, which means it could sit flat in the pot. The base of the pot is 4mm from the bottom of the atomizer, and the entire atomizer is 17mm long (from the base to the tip of the atty bridge). I envisioning re-using the same ceramic pot, wrapping the entire heating rod in a 1mm thick stainless sleeve, and it would fill the ceramic pot. A 10mm heater would bring the tip to the exact position of a low bridge 801 atty, and an 11mm heater would match a high-bridge atty, such as the bestecig.com BE112 attys that so many folks here (including myself) love so much.
Now I'm not an electronics expert, but if what he says is true, he is offering a direct replacement for the weak link in our beloved e-cigarette. Can anyone come up with a reason why this shouldn't work? I'm willing to front the cash for purchasing the sample lot and will do the research that I am able, but I'm looking for some help with funding and guinea pigs. I am not trying to make any money from this, but would probably start offering atty rebuilds if this is as plug and play as it seems. Anyone else want to share the cost of this experiment and pony up $25 for one of these heaters to experiment with?
I'm hoping to make a decision by Sunday night, so I can draft a final list of questions for him and/or place the order for the samples. Please PM me if you would like to purchase one of the heaters, and post if you have suggestions on questions I can ask the rep, or issues that I haven't considered.
Thanks for all the expert help, I hope I don't end up throwing away $250.00 on a wild goose chase.