(7) Information Resources for Your First RBA
I'm not aware of any Beginner's Guide to RBA's. They are considered to be for more advanced vapors. I usually qualify that statement more specifically meaning RBA's should be reserved to those who:
- Have done their homework researching them. They are not plug-n-play easy, and require specific knowledge to be used safely. Intro into the World of Rebuildable Atomizers (RBAs)
- Have learned which batteries to use for RBA's, and know about battery safety in general. RBAs are more demanding on batteries, especially if sub ohm coils are used, and can easily push a battery beyond it's safe limit. Therefore it is extremely important to use a high quality high drain IMR battery that has adequate high amperage capacity for you particular needs. Battery Basics for Mods: IMR or Protected?
- Have learned about mod safety features, and in particular for their specific mod. Vent holes and hot springs in mechanical mods only kick in once a battery has become hot & hard-shorted, but they may keep your mod from becoming a pipe bomb. Regulated mods have superior safety features built-in which will shut them down prior to a catastophic battery event should there be issues with the atomizer, fire button, or battery. Mechanical Mod Safe Useage Guide
- Have a multimeter or ohm reader and know how to use it. Coils must be checked for resistance before they are fired on a device, and re-checked periodically to ensure the resistance remains the same. This is even more important when using sub-ohm coils. MultiMeter Tutorial
- Have a working knowledge of coil resistance and how it relates to battery amperage requirements. This is Ohm's Law. Ohm's Law for Dummies & Ohm's Law Calculator
- Don't mind tinkering with extremely tiny parts and have a high frustration tolerance.
- Have a dependable and reliable juice delivery device to fall back on when your RBA gets fussy.
- Don't plan to jump right into Sub-Ohm coils without prior RBA experience.
- Cloud Chasing is Dangerous
- How is Sub-Ohm Vaping Dangerous?
- Sub-Ohm Advisory
- PBusardo: Some Thoughts on Sub-Ohm Safety
Types of RBA's:
- RDA (rebuildable drip atomizer) - e-liquid is dripped on cotton or silica wick; only a few drops of liquid is used for a few puffs, then more drops applied to continue vaping. Relatively shallow juice well so only 6 - 10 drops of e-liquid can be used at a time. Extremely easy to change up your flavor choice on a whim. Easiest first exposure to rebuildables. If this is your first use of a rebuildable, it is suggested to drop your nicotine by at least one step.
- Genesis-style tank atomizer - e-liquid tank below the rebuilding deck; uses stainless steel mesh wick (high learning curve) or silica; is position dependent, will leak if not held upright; requires using the "genny tilt" for adequate wicking as you are fighting gravity with this tank.
- Kayfun-style tank atomizer - e-liquid tank above the rebuilding deck; uses cotton or silica wick; not position dependent, uses negative pressure vacuum like a cartotank; much easier & better design than a Genesis-style RTA in my opinion.
There is a sub-forum here on ECF dedicated to RBA's with tons of information. Rebuildable Atomizer Systems
Coils, Wicks, and Vapor Production:
Vapor production comes from a combination of net coil surface area, wicking and juice type, air flow... and the wattage necessary to heat that net coil surface area. If you're lacking in any of those areas, you'll come up short.
Just a few basic points, for your consideration... some IMO, some incontrovertible fact.
- The gauge of wire and overall length of that wire is what determines resistance. Coil count is irrelevant.
- Thicker gauge wire, for a given net resistance, where the finished coil(s) physically fits in the atomizer, provides the greatest surface area.
- Thicker wire, for a given net resistance, runs cooler than thinner wire, for a fixed wattage value.
- For a given net resistance, thicker wire requires more wattage to obtain the same heat flux (coil radiant heat) as thinner wire. Thinner wire, although it reduces surface area, can be used to raise heat flux where adjustable wattage (mech mod) is not an option.
- Higher wattage, for a given net resistance, produces more heat, and requires both better air flow and optimized wicking.
- "In-coil" wicking that is "loose" vs. "tight" is almost always a better choice, as overly tight fits can choke off the capillary action of the wicking medium.
- Plain old cotton balls can be "unrolled" perpendicular to the grain, to produce a flat strip of cotton.
- Always roll cotton wick in parallel with the cotton "grain".
- In an RDA, high VG juice will produce thicker "cloud" density.(Thanks to State o" Flux)
INFORMATION RESOURCES FOR NEW RBA USERS:
Useful supplies: ohm reader or digital multimeter; micro butane torch; metal tweezers; precision screwdriver set; Kanthal wire and wicking material.
How to Use Your Multimeter
Video on How to Use Your Multimeter
Ohm's Law Calculator
Steam Engine Calculators for amp limit, coil wrapping, & battery drain
battery & mod safety resource guides
Explanation of a hard short
Battery Basics for Mods: IMR or Protected? - List of battery specs and amp ratings
PBusardo's Guide to Batteries for RBA's
ECF's Rechargeable Batteries Recommendations for APV's
Mechanical Mod & Battery Safety Guide - YouTube Video
recommended articles & tutorial videos
Rebuildable Drip Atomizer specific guides:
Tutorial for silica wicked IGO-L RBA: Taking the Scary Out of Rebuildable Atomizers - Spinfuel Magazine.
(Kayfun-style) RBA specific guides:
(Genesis-style) RBA specific guidesCarl Zen shows how to setup a Genesis-style RBA - great video tutorial
E-Human's blog on the AGA-T2
A PBusardo Review - The AGA-T(s) - Part 1 - The Review - YouTube
A PBusardo Review - The AGA-T(s) - Part 2 - Assembly & Building Tutorial - YouTube
Link to Micro Coils for RBA's
Sub-Ohm Vaping: Discussion, Safety, Battery Info, Warnings
Video Tutorial on Safer Sub-Ohm Vaping
Tutorial: Wire and Resistance for Rebuildables: Tutorial - Wire & Resistance for Rebuildables - YouTube
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