(1) Proper terminology - Is it a carto, a tank, or what? A Guide to Juice Attachments. - Blogs - E-Cigarette Forum
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(1) Proper terminology - Is it a carto, a tank, or what? A Guide to Juice Attachments.

Rating: 22 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 10-22-2012 at 11:51 PM (50899 Views)

CLEAROMIZERs , clearos, or CLEAROTANKS. These tanks use string-like wicks that feed e-liquid to an atomizer head. The heads with wicks are replaceable in some of these clearomizers, so when the original head dies, it can be exchanged with replaceable coil heads available from a vendor. Depending upon the model, they can be ​top or bottom coiled for a different vaping experience.

Liquid capacity is 1.5 - 4.0 ml. Filled by removing either the top cap or bottom base (upside down) depending upon the model, and dripping in the liquid, being careful to not get any juice into the center airhole.

The top coil clearos require you to tilt the vaping device horizontal frequently so that the string wicks stay moist with e-liquid. The bottom coil clearos are gravity fed, so do not require this. Top coils may provide a more warm vape, bottom coils may provide more of a cooler vape.

These devices are known by several different names and models, such as the CE4; Aspire CE5, Vivi Nova, and Nautilus; the Kanger line of T3S, Evod, ProTank, and Aerotank; Vision Vivi Nova; the Smoktech Aro and PBC; and Innokin iClear 16 & 30.

Videos on how to fill a clearomizer (top & bottom coil):
How to Fill a Vision eGo Clearomizer (aka CE4+ or Stardust Clearomizer) - YouTube top coil
Kanger Evod vs Kanger Mini Protank vs Kanger T3 bottom coil

* Some flavors, such as cinnamon and citrus flavors, can react with the plastic used in these and cause the material to crack or actually melt. The ProTanks, Aerotank, Nautilus, Aro & PBC are glass, so are safe. There is also a pyrex version of the Vivi Nova​ by Smoktech.

NANO CLEAROMIZER is a smaller clearomizer in the size and shape of a cartomizer. For someone who doesn't drip on an atomizer, these can be useful for testing out new flavor samples. They only hold 1ml of juice, and are easily re-useable by simply removing the first flavor and adding the next. Easy screw off top like the regular clearomizers above to fill.
Clearomizer tank review vision nano clearomizer - YouTube

* These use polycarbonate and are not safe to use with the volatile juice flavors.

ATOMIZERS are juice delivery devices not too different from a cartomizer, but have no wick in them to hold e-liquid. With an atomizer, one drops just a few drops of juice into the atomizer and then vapes it (called "dripping"). After a several puffs, a few more additional drops of juice will need to be added to continue vaping. This ritual is repeated as long as the user vapes. Many vapers prefer to use this method over others, as there is no wicking material involved which may affect the flavor of the juice. Many people use this method to test out new sample flavors.

A video on how to use a 510 drip atomizer:
How to Use a Drip Atomizer

A dripping atomizer used on a bottom feeding box mod combines the superior flavor of an drip atomizer with the added convenience of a tank.
blogs/baditude/attachments/183312-1-proper-terminology-carto-tank-what-guide-juice-attachments-single-coil-cartomizers.jpg ​ ​
or carto's are steel tubes filled with polyfiber that looks like a cigarette filter. A heating coil within this material heats e-liquid into vapor. A small air tube in the center of the filler runs its entire length which directs vapor into a drip tip placed on the end. The drip tip is just the name vapors use for a mouth piece.

Single-coil cartomizers have 1 heating element, dual-coil cartos have 2. Heating coils have a resistance (ohm) rating, which determines the amount of energy used to heat e-liquid and turn it into vapor. A drawback to using a cartomizer solo is being unable to see your juice level to know when to refill it. Using a carto in a cartotank allows larger quantities of juice to be used, and since these tanks are usually clear you can see the juice level in them.

A video on how to fill a cartomizer:
How To Fill A 510 Cartomizer (Electronic Cigarette) - YouTube

A cartomizer can be placed into a tank to allow longer periods of vaping than when used alone. Holes are required to allow juice from the tank to enter the cartomizer. Juice levels can be easily monitored in the tank.

Above is a diagram of a typical CARTOTANK setup. It is made up of a clear tube with end caps on either end. A punched cartomizer is inserted between the two endcaps. A drip tip (mouthpiece) fits into the end of the carto. This combination is what is referred to as a cartomizer tank.

The above pic is of a laser-drilled or "pre-punched" cartomizer. Note the small hole near the bottom of the cylinder. Pre-punched cartomizers are ready to be filled and inserted inside of a cartotank. The second pic shows a carto which was previously an unpunched carto and holes have been made with a carto punch tool. I recommend for beginners to purchase the pre-punched cartos initially. Two holes are adequate for all but the most thick e-liquids.

Tanks can have a capacity of between 2 - 8 ml. Tube material can be polycarbonate or polypropylene plastic, pyrex glass, or stainless steel. Pyrex is preferred. End caps are either plastic or preferably metal.

Tanks sizes are categorized by length: standard (using a 35mm cartomizer) or XL (using a 45mm cartomizer). The diameter of tanks vary greatly, but typically are between 15mm and 25mm.

Cartomizers in a cartotank can last for 1-3 weeks. A cartotank can be refilled multiple times using the same cartomizer. When the carto has either flavor loss or a stiff pull while vaping it should be replaced. Spent cartos are discarded and a new cartomizer can be filled and inserted into the tank.

Video on how to fill and assemble a cartomizer tank:
Electronic Cigarettes 101: Tank Basics - YouTube

* Tanks that use polycarbonate are not safe to use with the volatile juice flavors.
__________________________________________________ _______

RBA / RDA (rebuildable atomizer/ rebuildable drip atomizer)
These juice attachments are geared more toward advanced vapors. They are not out of the box friendly for most novices. They require specific knowledge in the principals of Ohm's Law, require DIY skills to make your own wicks and wrap your own wire coils, know how to use an ohm reader to measure coil resistance, know how to spot coil hot spots and hard shorts and know what to do to eliminate them. They must be used with high drain IMR batteries. If considering one of these, please do your research first.
Advice and Tips for Vapors Looking to Try Their First RBA

Additional info for juice attachments: Vapors Table

luvchins, piggy, Glenn_K and 176 others like this.

Updated 03-09-2015 at 10:12 PM by Baditude



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  1. Vyvyene's Avatar
    One of the best informative Posts I have found, especially for us newcomers. Myself , I did a lot of trial and error before I found ECF. Thank goodness for people like Baditude that share and educate, therefore facilitating this whole process of becoming analog free permanently!!! This site is exceptional due to contributions from people like Baditude!
  2. CrossXFire's Avatar
    Awesome post.
  3. J_Gundy's Avatar
    That was extremely helpful and well written. Thank you, I just learned a few things! :-)
  4. barefootntx's Avatar
    i just love learning from someone else's experience instead of my own, because mine can tend to be adventures instead of experiences at times. thanks Baditude.
  5. supermarket's Avatar
    Oh my! What a great blog post!
  6. dragonista's Avatar
    This cleared up several questions for me. Thanks Baditude for a great effort.
  7. Joe 13's Avatar
    Great thread !!! Very Valuable.
  8. Finn the Human's Avatar
    Awesome post! I learned a lot, thanx!
  9. Beequeen's Avatar
    I will echo what everyone else has said- this is such a clear, concise explanation of delivery systems, truly invaluable! Thank you so much!!
  10. Nickotine87's Avatar
    This is amazing.
  11. MizStakes's Avatar
    Baditude, you are officially one of my VAPE GODS! ;)
  12. Skypea's Avatar
    This is great info for new people. Great job!
  13. 23duncster23's Avatar
    Awesome work Baditude! This was the kind of in-depth reading material I needed to understand some of the differences in terminology and to better understand what is what and why. Thanks a ton!
  14. Mario87's Avatar
    I have become a fan of your blogs and post Baditude. Awesome information for newb like me, keep it up!! you are a wealth of information!!
  15. smokinMelissa's Avatar
    Let me echo the sentiments above, this is so valuable to us beginners!!
    Great post. Wish I read it before I bought my drip coil today. I'll check out the e smart minis for sampling.
  17. Rickg's Avatar
    Thanks for this! It was very helpful and the pictures are great!
  18. Valkyrie_Freya's Avatar
    OMG. IMHO this is THE best post I have seen so far :toast::thumbs:
  19. Amberina's Avatar
    Thank you so much! I have been looking through all of the threads to try and find this information. I was so happy to see everything explained all together!! This is exactly what I wanted to know. Now I will not feel so ridiculous going into my local store to ask for something, not knowing the names of ANYTHING. Thank You Thank You!!!!
  20. deltadiva's Avatar
    Outstanding post. As we n00bs begin our journey, we thank you.
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