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Dampmaskin

The Steam Engine (vape calc)

Rating: 3 votes, 4.67 average.
by , 02-25-2014 at 03:47 PM (1076 Views)
So I made this coil wrapping calculator, and I couldn't think of a creative name to begin with, so I called it "vape calc". Later, I pondered my own ECF nick, Dampmaskin, which is Norwegian for "steam engine". I realized that the name "Steam Engine" had more more schwung to it, was marginally more creative, and with a tip of the hat to Babbage's clever contraption, it would suit a calculator nicely.

I first started touting the calculator in this thread on the New Member Forum (yes, I can be trigger happy), but maybe a blog post is a better place to track the progress. Here's a recap of the development thus far:

February 10, 2014:
The project started as a simple Ohm's law calculator, plus a simple calculator that allowed the user to set a target resistance and find the total length of the resistance wire. Later in the evening I added the number of coil wraps.

February 11:
Added support for dual and triple coils (series and parallel), and quad coils (series-parallel). Support for inputting the leg length, and displaying the power loss in the legs (in percent) also turned out to be a nice feature if I must say so myself. Added some more wire gauge presets for kanthal, and some nichrome gauges.

February 12:
A rudimentary DIY e-juice calculator was added. Not much to write home about yet, but to be honest I'm not sure which features to add and which to avoid.

February 21:
More gauges.

February 24:
Save the state of the coil wrap calculator by pressing a button. This is saved to a cookie in the browser. Load it back later with another button. Keepin' it simple. And a reset button. Everybody likes a reset button when confronted with a new and scary interface with lots of knobs.

Also added input for wrap spacing, which returns the helix angle, and takes it into consideration when counting wraps. Suddenly the "coil width" became meaningful for widely spaced coils as well, not only for micro coils. Added inputs for fractional inches (e.g. 5/64).

February 26:
Name changed from "vape calc" to "the Steam Engine".

March 2:
I realized that the interface had become somewhat cluttered with inputs, so I introduced yet another button. Yes I know. But this button is a "Simple/Advanced" toggle that hides four out of the nine inputs by default. Hopefully that makes it less confusing to the newcomer, and easier to get started with.

March 4:
More UI cleanup, and made it possible to choose between a few different css themes.

March 12:
I added a battery drain calculator. See my blog post about battery drain for the details.


Plans for the future:

  • Support for twiddling with the amperage in the simple Ohm's law calculator.
  • More gauges; I just discovered a new link to some flat ribbon kanthal data in the thread comments.
  • Some more presets for the coil calculator, as a kind of addition to the "default" preset.

Suggestions for more features or other improvements are always welcome.

DejayRezme likes this.

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Updated 04-08-2014 at 08:34 AM by Dampmaskin

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Comments

  1. bover907's Avatar
    Just wanted to say, such a great looking tool and design! Very helpful tools all in one place! Thanks so much for making this!
  2. DejayRezme's Avatar
    Wow nice calculator! I was thinking about doing something similar myself.
    It might be interesting to include the heat flux in milliwatts per square mm (mW/mm²). That value *might* give one a somewhat helpful figure to estimate how a coil will perform, or how much heat is generated on the surface of the coil?

    I might also be cool to include the wrap spacing / distance between wire wraps, e.g. 0 for contact adhesive micro coil or 3 to 4 for a loose coil. It would be awesome of course if one could calculate some kind of "vape experience" based on heat flux and wrap spacing, a kind of "heat density" or something.

    For the juice calculator a calculation with mg/ml would be slightly more accurate, since the density of VG is 1.261 g/cm3 and I think most base liquids are sold this way. Propylene-glycol has a density of 1.036 g/cm³.
    Updated 04-08-2014 at 08:23 AM by DejayRezme
  3. Dampmaskin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DejayRezme
    Wow nice calculator! I was thinking about doing something similar myself.
    It might be interesting to include the heat flux in milliwatts per square mm (mW/mm²). That value *might* give one a somewhat helpful figure to estimate how a coil will perform, or how much heat is generated on the surface of the coil?

    I might also be cool to include the wrap spacing / distance between wire wraps, e.g. 0 for contact adhesive micro coil or 3 to 4 for a loose coil. It would be awesome of course if one could calculate some kind of "vape experience" based on heat flux and wrap spacing, a kind of "heat density" or something.

    For the juice calculator a calculation with mg/ml would be slightly more accurate, since the density of VG is 1.261 g/cm3 and I think most base liquids are sold this way. Propylene-glycol has a density of 1.036 g/cm³.
    In the coil calculator, you will find heat flux and wrap spacing if you click the "Advanced" button.. The heat flux calculation is rather new, so you might have to force a cache refresh in your browser in order to load the new javascript.

    I like the "heat density" idea. Unfortunately, I have no idea how I should go about making it a reality. What would be the most relevant factors to take into consideration? I'm pretty sure air flow is one, and probably wicking material. What else, chamber size? PG/VG ratio? If I add too many variables, it becomes a tempremental mess with its own opinions. Too few, and it will become a spherical cow in a vacuum.

    Also thanks for your thoughts on the juice calculator. I see on Wikipedia that nicotine has a density of 1.01 g/cm3. As far as I understand, VG comes in different qualities with slightly different properties, but an estimated density could be useful anyway. I will keep it in mind, the next time I do something with the juice.
  4. DejayRezme's Avatar
    What, how did I miss that?!?! I just tried it yesterday for the first time, so I must have overlooked it. Great, will have to start playing around with it.

    I think any kind of "heat density" should only have wrap spacing and maybe wicking material as an input. Maybe a "guesstimate" will still be useful. I'd love to get more info on the physics involved. Maybe vapor particle size is dependent on the wire spacing and also affects flavor?

    Also saw that there already IS a mg/percent switch! Or did you just add this?
    BTW, it would also be good to add the amount / percentage of aroma you want to add, because that changes the nicotine level. Even without detailed recipes or "Aroma 1", "Aroma 2" this might be useful already.
  5. Dampmaskin's Avatar
    Thanks for your input. The mg/percent switch is not new, but it's not accurate either. It simply treats 10 mg as 1%, and calculates everything according to volume anyway (it assumes that everything has a density of 1 g/ml). I think I will implement both aroma amount and a more accurate way to handle mass/density the next time I go over the e-juice code.
    Updated 04-10-2014 at 02:39 PM by Dampmaskin
  6. JayC's Avatar
    Coil wrapping | Steam Engine | free vaping calculators May be bugged, I enter everything in like I used to but it tells me now for a 1/8 bit that I need 44 wraps of 28g Kanthal to = 1 ohm.

    That or I just don't understand what's been done to it since 3 days ago lol.
  7. ChrisOrange's Avatar
    Quick usability suggestion I posted on a reddit thread but this is probably the way to contact you directly:

    EDITED....see below

    Would be cool to have a drop-down that can auto-fill the inner diameter's field based on common drill bit sizes. Maybe there are some mechanics or machinists out there that know 3/32=0.09375in but it sure isn't me lol.

    Wow nevermind it's in here under x/y...that's...interesting. Didn't notice that before.
    Updated 05-08-2014 at 03:13 PM by ChrisOrange
  8. Dampmaskin's Avatar
    JayC: That is strange. Hopefully it was only a temporary glitch, perhaps related to an update?

    ChrisOrange: I have done a test enabling the user to input fractions directly in the box, but that requires the input box data types to be changed from "number" to "text", which means no arrow controls in Chrome, Firefox and Opera. I am still considering to make it an option in the next version, though. Or maybe I should just write a how-to guide instead.
  9. DejayRezme's Avatar
    Oh I didn't know that the coil page actually puts the parameters in the link while changing it, so you can just copy and share the link for a specific coil build! That is the most precise way to share a specific coil build. Really nice!

    A way to make it even better would be to have the main specs of the coil in the page title so it appears in the ECF link. Or you could add a "tooltip" functionality so that if you hover over a link, a popup appears on ecf (or other sites that implement some addon) so that you can see the specs.

    BTW I'm looking at OpenJsCad atm. That is basically a webgl version of OpenSCad, and open source cad program. It might be a good way to have a simple program to describe different coil wrapping styles and generate a webgl 3D preview.
  10. Dampmaskin's Avatar
    The querystring parameters are updated via javascript after page load. A dynamic page title would also be updated via javascript. I may be wrong, but I doubt that the ECF link parser is javascript capable. My guess is that it will just pull the initial page title and use that for the link text.

    If it is possible to implement addons on ECF, and if so do you have a link to the docs? I wonder if the ECF webmaster(s) would be interested in implementing a custom link parser.

    I have done a few feeble attempts at drawing a coil in 2D via CSS/javascript, but I'm still testing out options. I am trying to keep browser compatibility in mind, and to keep it simple.
  11. Diy Mik's Avatar
    Really nice for a newb like me, but...
    I find myself playing around trying to get a green symbol for the heat flux readings.
    I dont know if this is what im supposed to do, how do they relate to each other? is it better to have one higher than the other?
    Also with a dual serial coil, isnt that the same as a single coil, and why does it change the heat flux values?

    I imagine a vapour calculator would be very tricky as is the nature of thermodynamics.
    Also i think its the best and nicest coil calculator i can find.
    Updated 06-30-2014 at 03:44 PM by Diy Mik
  12. Dampmaskin's Avatar
    Heat flux in relation to vaping is largely uncharted territory. The calculator can give you the numbers, but I cannot say which numbers are "better".

    The numbers may be significant, but there might be too many other variables at play, making the numbers less useful. I simply do not know yet.

    The two heat flux numbers essentially mean the same; the only reason why they are not proportional to each other as you change the parameters, is because a changing resistance changes the relationship between volts and watts. This is also why a dual coil gives different numbers than a single coil; each coil must have a higher resistance than a single coil setup to achieve the same combined resistance, thus increasing the surface area of each coil, and then, lastly, doubling the total surface area, if the coils are in parallel.

    The heat flux numbers reflect how much heat is delivered from the coils, per square millimeter of coil. A more useful number might have been "how much heat is delivered to the juice per cubic millimeter of juice", but different coils/attys have different 3D topologies, so this cannot be computed without 3D modelling the whole atty, figuring out the properties and "wetness" of the wick, and probably taking air flow into account - which I believe is impossible (or at least impractical) for the user to input, and probably far beyond my skills to program.

    That is why I calculated the heat flux per square millimeter and stopped there. I am hoping that someone would eventually use these numbers to experiment with, and maybe figure out the relationship between this number, and the vape quality - if this relationship is indeed useful or informative at all. I just don't know yet - still hoping it has some usefulness, though.
  13. DejayRezme's Avatar
    Another suggestion: I have bought a scale for DIY mixing, and it would be nice to offer "mg" as a (volume) unit, that takes the density of VG (1.261 g/cm³) and PG (1.036 g/cm³) into account. Mixing with a digital scale is theoretically easier because you don't need syringes and clean them afterwards etc.
    Adding aroma percentages and save/load of different profiles would be even better of course. I know a lot could be added but your calculator already looks really nice so I hope you don't mind me pushing you


    I still think the vaping community needs a central "database" and wiki like wowhead.com that accumulates all wisdom about vaping, and offers ratings and a database of coil builds, juice recipes, atomizers etc. Ideally such a wiki / database should be creative commons so it can be mirrored and the source code be open. That way people would be more open to use and add to the content on the website.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dampmaskin
    If it is possible to implement addons on ECF, and if so do you have a link to the docs? I wonder if the ECF webmaster(s) would be interested in implementing a custom link parser.

    I have done a few feeble attempts at drawing a coil in 2D via CSS/javascript, but I'm still testing out options. I am trying to keep browser compatibility in mind, and to keep it simple.
    Of course 3D rendering could be optional, but WebGL is going to be standard and is supported by Internet Explorer 11 finally. I found a potentially better alternative to OpenJSCad called CoffeeSCad. It has a less verbose syntax (although a more verbose library lol). I still plan to look into that but you could theoretically integrate the library, write a class for different coils and pass a few parameters and it does all the rest.

    About the link parsing I have no idea. Again wowhead is a good example that introduced "tool tips" for items found in the game that a lot of websites used. So if you want to share information about an item, you could write a short link and the web page displayed the right name and on hover showed it's properties. That's what I was thinking.


    Cheers,
    Dejay
    Updated 07-17-2014 at 12:42 PM by DejayRezme