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  1. Since there has been a lot of discussion about 2 new RBAs coming from China, I thought I would submit a small comparison of them.

    First the specs:
    Birkshire
    Height: 54.75mm
    Base dia.: 22.20mm
    Top plate dia.: 22.20mm
    cap dia.: 22mm
    Tank dia.: 19.95mm
    Tank wall thick.: 2.45mm
    Tank height: 22.9mm
    Total weight: 67.10gm

    AGA Tiamat
    Height: 55.70mm
    Base dia.: 22.90mm
    Top plate dia.: 22.90mm
    cap dia.: 22.80mm
    Tank dia.: 19.95mm
    Tank wall thick.: 2.45mm
    Tank height: 22.9mm
    Total weight: 82.20 gm

    So the Birkshire is slightly smaller, almost insignificant. But is is quite a bit lighter.

    View attachment 151503 View attachment 151502

    You can see from the photos (Birkshire on left; Tiamat on right) the different taper in the top cap. Also, the center post is markedly different. The top plate is almost identical, except the threading for the cap is finer on the Birkshire. You can also notice the smaller pattern in the knurling of the Birkshire. The base of the Birkshire is shorter than the Tiamat; but the Birkshires's top cap is a bit longer. The positive posts look identical, along with all the screws (not shown) and knurled nuts.

    View attachment 151504 View attachment 151505

    In these photos, it is a little hard to see, but the Birkshire (on the left again) has a bit more stock removed from inside the base. The difference in the center post is more evident.
    These photos are close-ups of just the cap and base.

    View attachment 151513

    The first half of this phote shows the relative size of the caps and bases (Birkshire on left). Note the shorter base on the Birkshire, along with the different taper of the top cap. Knurling is different, too.

    2nd half Underside: Note the stock removed from the base in the Birkshire (on the left). Also the thread difference in the cap; the Birkshire has a thinner wall, where better machining has been employed. The Tiamat is very thick walled!

    I was limited in the amount of photos I could upload to 5, so I did not post a picture of the assembled units side-by-side; but I think you get the idea.




  2. With the arrival of the Chids (Chinese DID clones), everyone seems to be taking the leap into Genesis-style atomizers. I thought I would offer some thoughts about stainleess steel mesh versus silica wicks.

    There are various claims about the ss mesh as to flavor and vapor. I think that Genesis ss mesh flavor claims are highly overrated (over-stated?). But I guess this is pretty subjective and not everyone's tastes are the same. I have found that the taste of e-liquid using ss mesh can be much heavier, for lack of a better term. That is too say it can sometimes overpower the taste. I've used some of the same juice in my clearomizer and then in a Genesis atomizer and the two don't seem to have the same flavor.

    Could this be due to the voltage that the ss G-atty is running at? Sure. But I have had circumstances where it didn't matter what voltage I ran it at - it still had that heavy, off-flavor taste.

    Silica wick has its own pitfalls. The flavor can be muted by silica wicks. Some say that there is a 'old socks' taste to the wick. In my opinion, this may have been true with cartomizer filler, but I don't experience it with silica wick in itself. I do find that as the silica wick ages and the coil becomes more carbonized, there is a sickly, sort of burned taste to it. Not as bad as a hit off a dry ss mesh wick, but a more subtle burned taste that doesn't go away like it does when the ss mesh is saturated again. Only by cleaning or replacing does this taste go away.

    Another area of interest in the battle of stainless vs. silica is the vapor production. In my tests, I have seen more vapor produced by silica than stainless steel. Only when the voltage is cranked up or a lower ohm coil is used, do I see a larger production of vapor in ss mesh. But then the flavor is also altered.

    This tells me that stainless steel requires more wattage than silica does. Using the same ohm coil with both materials shows more vapor being produced by the silica wick. And if you've ever oxidized a piece of ss mesh, the proof is in your hands. If you hold that rolled stainless steel wick in the torch with bare fingers, you don't really feel any of that heat at the opposite end. This is because the stainless steel is absorbing that heat. And what does wattage ultimatly end up as - heat! So, you are effectively soaking up heat that should be vaporizing your e-liquid! You will need to add even more heat to compensate for the loss. Hence, lower ohm coils and higher voltage. I have also noticed that my batteries do not last as long when using stainless steel as compared to silica. This is the reason why.

    I haven't by any means decided what I like best. I also don't know whether I will pick one over the other, or continue using both. Each has its own merits and I guess that further testing by me needs to be done. These are my own views and there is no scientific or certified testing to verify my claims.
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