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  1. #21
    Full Member TafkanX's Avatar
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    If you're going to get a mod, the area to skimp is not the batteries. You'll want AW IMRs, probably in 13500 or 18650 (small/big) or both if you get one that can use either/or (like the SVD) and a good reliable charger (Pila, Xtar and Nitecore all put out solid chargers).

    There are other form-factors, of course, but the two I mentioned are the most common I've seen. I have also used Efest IMRs before with success so those are also acceptable in lieu of AW, but AW seems to be the gold standard in these parts in terms of reliability and general quality while Efest is a newer brand that hasn't yet gotten a huge reputation one way or the other yet as far as I can tell. Avoid anything with "fire" in the name.

    Ultimately in your quest for a new PV it's going to come down to what features you want, how much you're willing to pay for it, and maybe personal aesthetics as well. I think my SVD looks awesome, some people think it's ugly. Find something you like (just remember that form follows function).
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  2. #22
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    I feel the same way about mods right now.

    I did get a mvp2 and as far as that goes i love it 101 vapes has it for $40
    Comes with charger and i clear 30
    A simple search on here i think you will find any one who owns one loves it, and for the price and what you get wowzer.

    I use the cartotanks, but if i didnt use those i would definately use iclear 16 and 30. I have both.

    I have used kanger t2, t4, t3s, evod, aspire bdc, kanger esmart, vivi nova, mini nova, stardust, iclear 10s, iclear 16, i clear 30, and then the cartomizers.

    The best imo for ease of use no leaks, no coil rebuilds, easy to fill, no burnt taste is iclears.
    After owning all these i threw away the evods and gave away my kangers.

    I have a few esmarts for taste testing new juices and thats just because i bought ten,

    Thats my take on that iclear or cartos lol.

    Battery totally go variable wattage if you can.
    Imo anything not vv/vw is a waste of money.

    Wish i knew that $1200 ago.

    Goodluck!
    Last edited by Ladiekali; 11-23-2013 at 04:36 PM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonicaRae View Post
    I'm still here and reading everything believe me. I haven't decided yet. There's many options out there...I'm not too concerned with the tank or clearomizers at this point..more about the mod or just the battery. I've followed all the links you guys have posted and checked everything out...even that starter kit for the Vamo, I'm tempted on that one. I'm scared about the whole watch the battery situation though!
    I like starter kits...nice easy everything is there in one neat box. Fasttech is a complicated website I must say though... I was scrolling through the list and it gets a bit confusing -- for me anyways. I just wish there was like an easy way someone could say here 3 options bam! I wouldn't actually mind a mod but then I was looking thru the batteries and there are SO many diff one's how could u possibly know which one is right and which one is wrong? It's just making my head spin a little...hence not responding for awhile.
    Everything CAN be confusing which is why I provided links to the exact things I was referring to.

    Batts: Although there are many differnt batts you can get only a few brands are recommended. I linked to the least expensive most recommended one: IMR EFEST 18650 2000mah. The AW IMR 18650 is the most recommended one, but is slightly more money and tests have shown the EFEST is its equal. Panasonic hyrids are popular but more money. RTD Vapor is recommended b/c many fake batts are sold as genuine name brands, so buying from eBay or the like can be a crap shoot. Especially since you are new at all this, I'd stick with TRD Vapor and the link I provided. You can always venture out to other batts and vendors once you have some experience under your belt.

    Added info on batts: There are "protected" batts and "safe chemistry batts." Protected batts are made of chems that can explode if there is a short. They are called "protected" when they include a protection circuit on one end that checks for shorts and will shut the batt down if one is detected to keep it from exploding. Problem is, what happens if the circuit fails? So the batts recommended are NOT "protected batts" but "safe chemistry" batts which cannot explode, so they don't need a micro-circuit. For this reason they are sometimes unfortunately called "unprotected batts" but they are safer and the ones you want. The chemistry they use is abbrev as IMR, hence IMR batts. Again, I provided a link to the correct batts. (You also cannot use a protected batt in a Vamo b/c the micro-circuit interferes with the Vamo's circuitry.)

    Vamo kit: I too was temped to do this, but realized the kit is $53 + I'd need a tank and heads so add ~ $18 plus I wanted 2 batts, not one, and was afraid of the one they provide, so that added another ~ $18 for 2 batts (roughly) from RTD, and that = about $90. Now for just $25 more I could go the a la carte route and get the better battery charger so I didn't have to use a volt meter! For me, I thought $20 more for my safety was well spent money, as I didn't want to fiddle with a volt meter every time I charged my batts. I would suspect many people skip this after doing it endlessly at first and finding their batts are fine. But to me the peace of mind of glancing at that charger and knowing my batts are great was well worth buying everything separately and getting the best charger, best batts, and a great mod. And having made that decision, I could not be happier.

    Ok No Crap HELP-xtar-vp1.jpg

    (I roll the batt I used last around with the label hidden, so I know which batt to use next as it's best to rotate them.)

    There are a gazillion links to kits on FastTech... some are EU chargers, some are cheap chargers you wouldn't want, some are bad batts.... the kit I sent a link to is the best kit they have, AFAIK. I did pick the one with the stainless steel (SS) finish on the Vamo because that finish looks new always whereas the other polished finishes wear off after use, from what people have said.

    Same with the link to the Vamo by itself... that is the SS (stainless steel) model. If you don't like FastTech you can find a SS Vamo or Innokin SVD state side, but it will be about $50 for the Vamo alone. FastTech ships free and is a very dependable site, though getting batts from there is not something I recommend.

    Bottom line, if you want to go the mod route with a Vamo or Innokin SVD, you can get either one on the links above, then the better charger I linked to (EDIT cannot edit earlier post but the XTAR VP1 is available from FastTech now and chearper there: http://www.fasttech.com/product/1450...ctional-li-ion ), which I would highly recommend for someone new to charging batts (like I was and still am), and any tank you want. Again the Aro seems to be the most problem-free, but whatever tank you pick, I'd stick with pyrex, again for ease since you are new and don't want to have to worry about your juice breaking the tank. Plus it eliminates any potential health issues with plastic tanks leaching chems.

    Anyway... not being pushy, just trying to clarify. It IS a lot to take in all at once.
    Last edited by Trayce; 11-24-2013 at 05:46 AM.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladiekali View Post
    But now that ive gone carto tank i wont go back. Try a smokdct with smok flanged carto. Make sure its punched.

    I was totally intimidated and my god its so much easier than clearos!
    No burnt hits, no leaking. Its a piece of cake and all my juice tastes amazing.


    I have one ibtanked
    And 8 smok dct
    I was always tempted to try a carto tank but the OP said she was done with cartos and "hate hate hated them." I felt the same after my cigalike days. A carto cannot be rebuilt and too many were bad out of the box. Also they get expensive. At least with a tank you can rebuild the heads, and though the OP is new to this and won't be doing that right off the bat, she can save her old heads in a jar and when she feels like it later, if she wishes and wants to save a little more money, can rebuild all those heads with new coils and wick. I have about 20 heads and will never need to buy them again. In fact you could buy 5 heads and never need to buy any again, as long as you had less than 5 tanks.

    The other thing about cartos is they use silica wick.... heads do too, but you can replace those with cotton wick (again, later if you feel like rebuilding). Since I started using cotton I could never go back to silica.

    I guess that's another point... with clearos you have lots of options later if rebuilding interests you... cotton wick, micro-coils... lots of ways to dial in an even better experience.
    Last edited by Trayce; 11-23-2013 at 11:21 PM.

  5. #25
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    Realized I should have added this about the separate batts:

    When a 3.7v batt (like the ones we are discussing) is fully charged, it should read 4.19 - 4.2 volts. As you use the batt in your mod the charge will drop ... when it reaches 3.2 the Vamo or SVD mod will not fire anymore, because the batt should not get totally depleted before getting re-charged, so that's a safety feature in the mods. I never wait until it gets to 3.2 however... there is an easy way to check your battery charge on the mod... just hold down one of the buttons a few secs and it will show you the batt's current charge state. So after I've been vaping a few hours, I check it. When it reaches 3.5v or so, I pop it in the charger and pop in a fresh batt.

    When it goes in the charger I linked to, it will show the current charge state of the batt: e.g. 3.5v ... it has a progressive LED bar that shows it is charging the batt... and the volt readout will increase slowly as it charges, back up to 4.19 - 4.2 volts. So as I pass by the charger I can just glance at the LED readout to see if the batt is fully charged. A shorted batt or batt with a problem won't take a full charge. And once it is fully charged, the charger stops charging it but continues monitoring the charge state... and when it drops below 3.9... it tops it off again to keep it in a fully charged state.

    Another great thing about this charger is the batts never get warm to the touch when charging. It also has 3 rates of charge you can choose with a button-press: 250 milliamps, 500 milliamps, or 1 amp. All are safe to use but it defaults to the 250ma charge rate... this takes longer to charge the batt but extends the batt's life. So if not in a hurry it's best to use the 250ma setting. (The rough equivalent of a trickle charge on your car batt.) Also comes with a DC car adapter.

    The iCore charger (also highly recommended here, and the one that comes with the kit I linked to at FastTech) has no LED window, no built-in volt meter, and only different colored lights to tell you if the batt is charged or not (e.g. a green LED for charged and red for not charged or whatever).

    All something to think about when considering you will be using this charger constantly... an iCore can be had for about $20 ... but for $32 (from FastTech, forget the prior link, FastTech carries them now http://www.fasttech.com/product/1450...ctional-li-ion) the XTAR-VPI is a great investment you won't be sorry you got.

    And now I'll step off my soap box... Good luck.
    Last edited by Trayce; 11-24-2013 at 06:23 AM.

  6. #26
    Full Member TafkanX's Avatar
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    Actually the Nitecore chargers have a series of LEDs to indicate the level of charge and charging state. Three yellow LEDs in kind of a battery shape that blink while charging and the number of LEDs indicate the level of charge. 1 LED means it's low, 2 mean it's about 2/3 or so, 3 LEDs and it's nearly full. When it finishes charging it displays 3 LEDs and stops blinking. It also has something to display a fault condition (in which case it will not charge) but I forget what it is off the top of my head.

    It's also got reverse polarity protection and monitors each bay separately and automatically identifies the battery type and charge rate automatically via a microcomputer inside and is safe-ish to leave in as it will stop charging when they are full (I say safish because really no battery should ever be left in the charger unattended because even the safest devices can fail).

    I think the chargers you're thinking of are the Trustfire/Ultrafire chargers, and yeah I don't recommend those.

    That Xtar looks fancy, I like the LED display. Might pick one up when I can come up with the extra scratch to do so.
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  7. #27
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    Im so confused.
    I read she hadnt gone that route.

    Anyway i dont care what op buys or doesnt she asked for help and i gave her my opinion with my own experience. So why are you addressing me like that? No please dont answer that question. I feel if she didnt want multiple opinions she would not have asked.

    Why dont you just buy her what you want her to have, im sure she would appreciate it.

    Any way to the op, everyone has an opinion, and there are no wrong or right answers.
    All i can do is share my experince and what works for me.
    My thougts here are just mere suggestions and i do not and will not be offended if you dont rush out and buy what i reccomend.

    Carto tanks are to me easier than clearomizers.
    Which is why they are so widely reccomended.
    I was intimidated to go that route. But after a graveyard box full of leaky and broken and burnt clearomizers i private msged baditude who talked me thru it. He buy the way is very knowledgable and also not offended if your opinions differ from his.

    I still stand buy iclears for ease of use and cartotanks.

    I am also intimidated with mods, went to try to buy one before my mvp2 and couldnt figure out what to buy. I knew i wanted vv. And aside from that i couldnt figure out what i needed, which battery, which charger, how to make it vv, some say stack others say dont.
    Goodluck hope you find what works for you. I found what works for me. Whoo hoo!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TafkanX View Post
    Actually the Nitecore chargers have a series of LEDs to indicate the level of charge and charging state. Three yellow LEDs in kind of a battery shape that blink while charging and the number of LEDs indicate the level of charge. 1 LED means it's low, 2 mean it's about 2/3 or so, 3 LEDs and it's nearly full. When it finishes charging it displays 3 LEDs and stops blinking. It also has something to display a fault condition (in which case it will not charge) but I forget what it is off the top of my head.

    It's also got reverse polarity protection and monitors each bay separately and automatically identifies the battery type and charge rate automatically via a microcomputer inside and is safe-ish to leave in as it will stop charging when they are full (I say safish because really no battery should ever be left in the charger unattended because even the safest devices can fail).

    I think the chargers you're thinking of are the Trustfire/Ultrafire chargers, and yeah I don't recommend those.

    That Xtar looks fancy, I like the LED display. Might pick one up when I can come up with the extra scratch to do so.
    Thanks TafkanX for clarifying as to the LED lights... I don't own one so was just giving an example that it uses LED lights verses an actual LED readout with charge state, charge rate, progress bar, etc. I was not referring to Trustfire/Ultrafire chargers as those are not recommended. I have been careful to include that the iCore is highly respected and well recommended.

    FTR the XTAR-VPI has all the safety features you mentioned too... polarity protection, and charges and monitors each bay separately, etc.... just so happens in my pic both my batts are fully charged.

    And yes, the iCore also stops charging when the batts are fully charged.

    I like that the XTAR-VP1 has the optional very low charge rate of 250ma, which is where I leave it.... the batts never even get slightly warm. The thing about leaving batts in a charger is if the charger's circuitry fails it can overcharge and heat/melt/start a fire or even cause them to explode... but that's another reason the LED readout with the volt reading is so handy.... I can pass by and see they are at 4.19v ... and not "4.3 or 4.5" in which case I know something went wrong and they are overcharging. With an iCore if it should fail and overcharge you don't have any easy way of seeing that until something bad happens.

    I am not saying the XTAR-VP1 is fail proof and completely 100% safe -- no charger is -- I am saying with it's expanded feature set and LED readout it is easier to use (don't need a separate volt meter) and arguably provides more safety features and convenience in that you can gather more information at a glance. Also the 250ma setting will extend batt life and keep batts cooler while charging.

    I understand that the "charger of choice" here is the iCore because it has been around so long, most of the vets own it, and it's a good, solid charger with good safety features. Plus it's inexpensive. But I believe if more vets owned the XTAR-VP1 it would be the charger of choice. It's just a lot nicer for not a lot more money. But it's especially a great choice for newbies who aren't familiar with volt meters and are new to batts and charging. The vets can detect when something is amiss even without a LED readout... I wasn't counting on being able to do that myself... I wanted all the info I could get.

    And btw to Monica.... the great thing about getting a mod with separate batts and a charger (regardless of which one, iCore or XTAR-VP1), is that if you want to get a different mod later you already have all the other stuff you need. So let's say after 1 year you get tired of the Vamo or SVD and want some new mod that has come out... you can buy it a la carte for cheap and use your batts and charger with it. Whereas if you go with an eGo style battery device, everything is proprietary... so if you switch to another, you have to buy another charger with it.
    Last edited by Trayce; 11-24-2013 at 06:25 AM.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladiekali View Post
    Im so confused.
    I read she hadnt gone that route.

    Anyway i dont care what op buys or doesnt she asked for help and i gave her my opinion with my own experience. So why are you addressing me like that?
    I am very sorry if I offended you and don't know what I said to illicit this response, but again, I apologize. Absolutely all opinions are welcome. I only made the point she said she was through with cartos, which a carto tank uses... ??

    No please dont answer that question. I feel if she didnt want multiple opinions she would not have asked.

    Why dont you just buy her what you want her to have, im sure she would appreciate it.
    If my verbose answers are sounding like I am being pushy. I can understand that totally. I am not trying to be pushy but to provide the info I wish I'd had when I was looking, that I had to read many threads for and scour many forums for. Sorry if that's coming off as offensive. I have no stake in what the OP chooses, and don't care if she chooses an iTaste, a Vamo or something else all together. Forgive me for trying to help too much?

    The fact is -- whether the OP finds this point of value or not and I can't know that, so that's why I made it for her to decide -- clearos allow you to rebuild later, if you want. So it's gear that is sort of future proof in that way. The investment can pay off again later, if you grow with your vaping hobby. Cartos don't allow that. And they are more expensive because of that. Doesn't mean they aren't the perfect choice for some.

    Any way to the op, everyone has an opinion, and there are no wrong or right answers.
    All i can do is share my experince and what works for me.
    Which we are all doing, right?

    My thougts here are just mere suggestions and i do not and will not be offended if you dont rush out and buy what i reccomend.
    And why would any of us? We don't own the shops selling this stuff.

    Carto tanks are to me easier than clearomizers.
    Which is why they are so widely reccomended.
    I was intimidated to go that route. But after a graveyard box full of leaky and broken and burnt clearomizers i private msged baditude who talked me thru it. He buy the way is very knowledgable and also not offended if your opinions differ from his.
    Nor does he take false offense.

    I am also intimidated with mods, went to try to buy one before my mvp2 and couldnt figure out what to buy. I knew i wanted vv. And aside from that i couldnt figure out what i needed, which battery, which charger, how to make it vv, some say stack others say dont.
    ...which is why we all answered...

    Again, sorry your toes felt stepped on.

    EDIT: To the OP you might wanna read Baditude's blog on batteries... it's what I based my recommendations on here for batts and a good read.
    Last edited by Trayce; 11-23-2013 at 11:23 PM.

  10. #30
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    Went back and read this entire thread trying to see how Ladiekali took offense, and the only thing I could see being misinterpreted was when the OP said everything was confusing and that the FastTech site was confusing, and I wrote back saying 'that's why I sent links to everything I was referring to' (or the like) ... which I guess could be misinterpreted as implying "just get what I said." ??? That is not what I meant.

    Here is why I said that... often when people post to ECF asking for guidance, they get answers like this:

    "Provari all the way."

    "SVD with T3."

    "Vamo's are great for VV VW."

    And so when I was looking for a mod I would have to look up every single one of these, and what I found is that once I searched for something like "Vamo" on ANY site, but especially FastTech (where it is least expensive and most recommended), I saw like 30 different Vamos! Took hours just to read all the descriptions to see what the difference was, and which one was 'right'. Like some have EU chargers, not USA, some have crap chargers, some have crap batteries, and even of the a la carte, there are many model finishes.

    Same with batteries. There are a million different batts. So I linked to the least expensive recommended one according to Batitude's batt blog... from the vendor he recommends. (And I have also seen a batt chart that compared EFEST to AW and they are pretty much comparable and EFEST even comes out ahead in a few more categories and Bad does also include EFESTs as recommended, but AWs are great too... just costs a bit more.)

    IOW I linked to what she needed to see so she could CONSIDER those options without wasting time FINDING THEM FIRST, trudging through the mire. So that's why when she said it was confusing, I said I linked to what she needed... meaning for purposes of considering this option. If she decided she wanted it, then she wouldn't mind investing a little more time looking at the different finishes or whatever, but I gave her a starting point to at least rule it in or out as a possibility.

    I could have saved myself a lot of time by not responding at all, or not providing links. But after being in the OPs place, I didn't want her to have to spend days running down this information before she could even BEGIN to weigh her options. If she still wants an iTaste or ends up with a box mod or e-pipe or some other device, that's her business.

    I realize it is easy to misinterpret typing vs talking to someone face to face, but it would be nice if people gave each other the benefit of the doubt, especially in a thread like this where everyone's just trying to help.

    Again, sorry if I offended anyone, though I suspect I helped more than I offended if the purpose was to gain information to make a better informed decision -- whatever it is. You also need info to decide against something... which is another reason all responses are always welcome.
    Last edited by Trayce; 11-23-2013 at 09:12 PM.

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