Skexís Vaping Guide Part 1
by, 04-29-2011 at 09:33 PM (586 Views)
I wrote this up to gather all my thoughts on vaping in one place (thought about posting it on the newbie forum but alas I can't start threads there and I wasn't sure where another good place would be. Then I remember this blog thingy and thought hey I'll just put it there and link to it.
Since Iíve went well over the 10k character limit on the blog here Iím going break this up into smaller sections.
We see countless Ecig advice threads and it can get a bit overwhelming for new users (I know I was overwhelmed back when I started this stuff and sometimes find myself a bit lost even now)
First thing to understand is that different people have very strong opinions on what works best and honestly different people end up finding their own paths in this endeavor.
I donít intend this to be the end all advice thread. Iím simply giving what I consider the best advice based on my personal experience and what has worked for me.
That said Iím cocky enough to think that I have a pretty good idea of the lay of the vaping land. Iím not as immersed as some, hell I was practically AWOL for a year and a half but this was because what Iím doing works so well.
Iím a pretty opinionated person and I have a definite difference of opinion with a lot of the advice being given to newbies particularly when it comes to device recommendations.
I think that while much of this advice is well intended to try and make vaping more accessible and cheaper at the start in the long run itís likely to end up costing the new user more in addition to providing a less than optimal vaping experience.
There seems to be a definite tendency to try and ease newbies into the vaping world by steering them more towards devices and components focused towards low initial cost and convenience rather than towards overall value and the best vaping experience.
Myself Iíd rather skip all that crap and push people towards the path of ultimate value and maximum success.
Obviously if people really are that strapped for cash itís better to get a slightly inferior experience and quit smoking; but if it is at all possible itís actually cheaper in the long run to invest a bit more than to get nickel and dimed by inferior products.
I also suggest checking out the excellent guides in the EFC library for more information.
A bit about me
so you know I'm not full crap
I started vaping a bit over 2 years ago (started February 2009) and have been pretty settled on my system since August of that same year. Iíve not had any relapses or any desire for an analogue since about a month of starting Ecigs. And honestly the few analogues I had at the beginning were caused either by a lack of planning (not enough supplies) or in a couple cases just to confirm how crappy analogues compared.
I started smoking (tobacco) when I was 18. Up to that point I had been a firm anti-smoker but most of my friends smoked despite my efforts to talk them into quitting and then I tried one of my buddies clove cigarettes. Djoram 234s havenít even seen them in years but boy how I loved those things.
Eventually I decided Iíd better switch to something a bit less dangerous than cloves with their aneurism inducing particles so I switched to Marlboro Reds then to 100s when I was short on cash.
I joined the Marines at 19 and still remember smoking on the plane while flying out for boot camp in San Diego (they changed the law while I was in Boot Camp).
I quit for 13 weeks cold turkey, not that I had much in the way of choice and had I been smart that would have been the end of my smoking. Of course the first thing my buddy and I did upon graduation was to go to the exchange and buy a pack of Marlboros.. such is life.
Now Iíd tried quitting many times since then, Iíve done the patch, Iíve done Welbutrin, Chantix as well as some other drug I donít recall the name of, I tried cold turkey, I tried the ďIíll only smoke when I drinkĒ which is decidedly stupid since thatís how most of us get started in the first place . You know how it goes youíre out drinking with your buddies and you figure one smoke wonít kill you then your hung over some morning and you light one up next thing you know your smoking a pack and half a day.
Finally at 38 after my most recent failure at stopping after I quit taking Chantix (actually worked great for me until I stopped taking it and I didnít have any of the suicidal stuff a lot of others suffered) a buddy here at work got an electronic cigarette. This was the first Iíd heard of these things. Iíll admit my first thought was ďwhat a lame gimmickĒ.
However I was pretty desperate to quit, my second child was a year old and Iíd just had a pulmonary test where the technician said I shouldnít even be around smoke my lungs were in such bad shape.
So I listened to this guy and gave it a puff. I thought hmm this might be alright.
I did some digging on the internet to ensure that it didn't seem completely unsafe then after being satisfied that the odds of it being worse than smoking where insignificant, I hunted around locally to find a local source. When this failed I finally broke down and ordered a pen style kit from Puresmoker.com (the place my friend got his).
I liked it almost immediately.
There were of course some technical hurdles to overcome.
This was pretty early in the days of Ecigs, not long after getting that first kit I found this site which started my education in earnest. I pretty quickly learned that auto batteries were crap. The majority of my pen style batteries didnít die from the batteries giving out. They croaked from juice leaking into the mechanism and would either stop working or fall apart.
Then I discovered the joys of the manual button when I decided to order what was the Cadillac of Ecigs of the day, the Kissbox by Janty. This was actually a nice little device the battery and switch were separate units and it came with both an auto and a manual switch.
I soon learned to love the manual. It also had a USB pass thru whose only failing was that it used some rather weak wires and had a battery built into the loop to allow it to be used off a USB port. While this was handy in some ways it caused the device to fail when the battery failed eliminating much of the advantage of the pass thru.
I had also tried some of the earlier USB pass thruís though these had the failing of having auto switches as well.
My next major investment was one of the early Puresmoker manual pass thruís. This thing was wonderful when it worked. Sadly the connections inside the unit were flakey and although it had a nice beefy cable that cable wasnít locked down with the device so as it twisted the connections inside would get jacked up.
By this point I was getting pretty well versed in the technology. Iíd read Trogís stuff about batteries and kind of understood the weaknesses of cigarette like devices. Personally I could give a crap about looks so I started pining over some of the torch mods like the Screwdriver.
By this point I really just wished Iíd started with one of those type devices because even at $150 bucks it would have been cheaper than the nickel and diming Iíd done with the various kits Iíd tried up that point.
I was kind of waiting for the for the Janty stick (which looked very interesting) when Puresmoker came out with the Prodigy V1, I had been very happy with the service and experience Iíd had with Puresmoker, so I scraped together the 135 bones and ordered one. OMG it was wonderful! 5v beat the tar out of 3.7 by such a margin that my PT was pretty much relegated to back up status.
Now donít get me wrong it wasnít all sunshine and rainbows. The V1 had a few quirks, the switch was decidedly unreliable and while Steve has a very good service department and warranty. I didnít want to have to deal with having to give up my V1 for even a day to get the switch repaired. So I ordered a couple extra switches as well as a couple extra adapters so I could just swap them out when they failed.
I also found that I could order the batteries from a battery warehouse so I could cut those costs down a bit (also got an extra charger so I could have one at home and at work) I found another source for atomizers (as much as I love Steve and Puresmoker crew Iíd prefer to spend $5 bucks an atomizer than $10) as well as a good supplier of bulk juice .
I got my maintenance cost down to about $70s every month or two when Iíd alternate ordering new batteries or atomizers/juice which I consider an acceptable level of expense.
Which was the limit of my expenses save for one Jantystick I purchased thinking it would make and acceptable backup (it didnt') until just two weeks when I purchased a Prodigy V3.1. So I think I can fairly say I've got this down to an economical level.
Well enough about me next I'll go into my specific advice.