My Kayfun Lite Build Odyssey
by, 07-28-2014 at 05:07 PM (324 Views)
The purpose of this blog is to hopefully help others who might have similar issues. But first, a word of warning: if you're a Kayfun user and you're happy with your build and you've been doing it right all along, this will be annoying to read and I will likely appear to be the stupidest person you've ever heard about. Personally, I don't mind coming off as a complete dufus if it helps one other person who might have come to the same erroneous conclusions I did and have consequently been having trouble with their Kayfun. I will attempt to explain my reasoning along the way, so hopefully you'll understand why I was doing what I was doing, even though it was giving me nothing but trouble.
The starting point for all my troubles is, in fact, a screwdriver. Many years ago I got a small set of jeweller's screwdrivers, the kind used for detailed, tiny things with teensy screws. They've been invaluable over the years, and I have relied on them daily for a wide variety of tasks. So when I saw my very first tutorial on rebuilding, I was delighted to see the guy using the same phillips head screwdriver in my set. The smallest one in the bunch, the kind with the rotating flat crown at the very top, which allows you put pressure on the driver while still being able to turn it with ease. The one you use to fix your eyeglasses. That screwdriver became the basis for all my future problems rebuilding the Kayfun.
It worked fine making dual microcoils for my RDA. But when I got the Kayfun Lite Plus I've blogged about previously, it became the bane of my existence. Why? Because it's TOO BIG. Here's how I found out that it's not the thing I want to wrap my microcoils around.
After I got the Kayfun I watched a bunch of videos on how to build them. Starting with, and always using, 28g A-1 Kanthal, this is how it went: Wrap the microcoil, check. Attach it to the build deck, check. Attach to mod, pulse and squeeze, check. Put in the cotton, juice it up and test, check. Put the wick down against the sides, careful not to block the juice channels, check. Screw the whole thing together and achieve Vaping Nirvana. Um... almost. Oops, getting a short, gonna hafta go back and start again. Ok Nirvana, here I come. Nope. Too much cotton, not wicking right. Start again. Oh, and the coils are coming out to 1.7, 1.8 ohms instead of the 1.0 or 1.2 like everyone else's - which is what I was shooting for because I was going to be using the KFL on a mech. At 2 ohms the mech didn't have enough power to keep up.
So I tried lessening the number of wraps. All the videos are saying 9, sometimes 10 wraps? That gives me a whopping 2 ohms of resistance. What the heck? It's supposed to be half that! So I went to 8 wraps, then 7. With fewer and fewer wraps, the coils got shorter and shorter in length, making the leads harder and harder to keep from touching the airflow hole in the build deck. I was pushing my coils higher and higher into the chimney to keep this from happening. Meanwhile, the wicking was getting worse and worse. When I got down to 6 wraps, finally achieving the magic 1 ohm coil I was searching for, it just burnt the juice and the cotton, and tasted like crap.
Every now and then, I would get exactly the right balance and I would get a whole tank or two of vaping bliss out of the Kayfun, and it was pretty sublime. But when I'd go to rebuild it, I'd have to go through this process all over again. It was getting increasingly frustrating.
So I went back and watched the videos again. I was clearly missing something, but it didn't hit me until yesterday while watching Ruby Roo do a microcoil that she said she was using a 5/64th drill bit. 5/64ths? Holy smokes that's tiny. My smallest drill bit is 1/16th, but that's smaller than 5/64ths so that can't be it. When I used a drill bit, I used the next size up in my little bit box, the 3/32nd, but eventually went right back to the screwdriver because it was about the same as that 3/32nd, and it was easier to wrap on.
At this point I'd like to say, perhaps a little too late, that I'm not a math guy. I hate numbers and they hate me. I can't remember birthdays or phone numbers to save my life. I just can't seem to keep numbers in my head for more than a few seconds before they morph into other numbers and then disappear entirely. It's been a problem all my life, and I think it's actually some kind of disorder. I'm not like that when it comes to words - my reading retention is off the charts. But numbers, for me, are just maddeningly impossible. They just don't stick. As I've been writing this blog I've had to get up and go look at my drill bits to get the sizes right. Several times.
Okay, so at this point I just googled the math, and discovered the possible source of all my problems. My screwdriver is too big. So I decided to wrap a microcoil on my tiniest drill bit, the 1/16th. I went with 8 wraps. 1.2 ohms. My googling had revealed that the 1/16th bit is smaller than 5/64ths, but not by much. The bigger bit, the 3/32nd (and my little screwdriver) is actually slightly more than twice that size. Duh. Like I said, not a math guy. With a bigger diameter coil, the amount of wick that seemed to fit was too much. It was clogging things up inside the chimney. However, once I got the 1/16th coil in there, the amount of wick was drastically reduced and worked perfectly. The coil was now long enough to reach the screws on the build deck without trailing across it and shorting (they were never touching the airflow hole, but I think they were close enough to occasionally arc).
When I got it all together, my first draw on the Kayfun was exactly perfect, and it stayed that way. Just the right amount of wick, just the right size and resistance of the microcoil, and quite suddenly I had the perfect vape. It was an epic facepalm, but now it all makes sense and my Kayfun is wicking and vaping like a dream.