I think that most of us know that there is a lot more to the 510 vaping experience than just the battery voltage. Liquid, cart, filler/mod, atty temperature, etc., etc.. all add up to define how the unit works. But the actual loaded battery voltage certainly has a large influence on how the 510 performs. Vapor production, flavor, throat hit, atty life.... all of these can be tied directly to the battery voltage.
Here's where the surprise comes in. A lot of people appear to think that the standard OEM batteries are 3.7V units.. and that the stock 510 is a 3.7V device.. and if you want to experience a different vapor or performance sensation then you'll need to go to a higher voltage mod.... perhaps 5V or 6V. Surprise.... that's just not true. In stock form, from the Joye factory.. the 510 does not run at 3.7V. It runs at "substantially" less than that. And you don't necessarily have to go to 5V or 6V to see a quite noticeable (and perhaps enjoyable) change in performance.
Let me back up my comments a bit:
The test rig: The test rig for my analysis is nothing more than a quality DVM and a fixed resistance load for the batteries. In this case, I am using some nice stable wire-wound resistor that create a 2.5 Ohm load.... roughly the same load as a typical 510 atomizer. I simply hook a battery up to the rig, actuate the battery.. and read the voltage. That tells me what voltage that battery would actually deliver to a real atomizer.
All of the batteries in this test have been charge cycled quite a few times, but none of them are "old". They are all freshly charged, but I have put the load on them for 20 seconds or so before taking the readings to eliminate the false "surface charge" readings.
For the first test I'll look at a standard Joye 180mAh manual battery.
We would have expected this to be close to 3.7V... but it's not! It's a full .6V below that (which in relative terms.. is a LOT!). I have yet to see a standard Joye 510 180mAh battery put out much more than this.
OK.. well certainly the 280mAh Mega batteries put out more loaded voltage than this.. right? Take a look:
Same story.... just about .6V down from a true 3.7V unit. Amazing! (no?)
OK... well certainly the Joye PT with its 5V USB power source must put out some good voltage.. right?
Perhaps a bit better.. but still almost a full half volt (~14%) down from where we thought we were operating.
Well what about that eGo/Tornado. Certainly with its big (650mAh) battery capacity, it must have a higher delivered voltage.. right?
Seeing a trend here? Joye batteries, by design and as a function of their internal circuitry and resistance... do NOT put out 3.7V.
Soooo..... can we only get 3.7V by going to some form of mod or after-market unit that doesn't look like a "traditional" PV? Lookie here:
That's the SLB (L2) "clone" battery for the 510. Certainly better voltage, but the dern things have a habit and reputation of "sticking on", which can fry an atty and whatever it is close to.
Other options? Hmmm... how about a Kanger (KR808D-1) battery on a 510 atty adapter:
Woah!! Now we're getting somewhere. 3.7V+ out of a "standard" form factor battery. But is that true for just the "manuals"?
Nope! The above readings are off of a KR808D-1 automatic battery. You just can't see the battery because I was sucking on it to take the pic! You'll have to trust me!
And just for one more data point.. and to let you know that the tester really worked.. and to show what kind of voltage you actually do get off of a 3.7V "mod", here's a shot of the Bartleby 3.7V unit:
People might not think that .5V or .6V is that big of a deal when we're talking about 510 hardware, but based on my personal experience and perception... it's a big deal. The vapor is much "fuller", it is warmer, and to some extent it even tastes better (for most flavors). And I also believe that the atty just flat works better at that voltage. I had atties that I thought were getting sluggish and were in need of a traditional cleaning. I put them on a true 3.7V device, and they "came back to life". And I think/feel that's because the higher voltage was able to de-gunk and vaporize some of the thicker residual "stuff" that ended up around the coil after the bulk of the liquid had vaporized away.
I didn't say anything in the above text about battery life. The only way that you are going to get battery life is with a larger (mAh) battery. And that may lead you to an eGo/Tornado or a mod. But... if you're just looking for voltage.. or a "true" 3.7V experience, I thought it was very interesting to see that it was/is possible to get that without violating the traditional PV "form factor".
Some of you might find the above information (especially the Kanger voltages) to be surprising. I know I did!