Mech mods & RBAs: Basic to advanced user guide: Pts. one & two

Published by State O' Flux in the blog SOFstuff. Views: 738

This collection of threads and blog links is intended for those who desire a greater depth of knowledge about mechanical mods, NiMH batteries, rebuildable atomizers, DMMs... electrical theory and it's practical applications in vaping.

The idea was to provide a broad selection of resources, covering the most popular - and often misunderstood - subjects... all in one location.
As we don't all drive our best nails with the same hammer - yes, there is a bit of data overlap and redundancy, but the perspectives are unique - and so, what may not be beneficial to one reader, may be valuable to another.

Lets begin!

> A coil wire / wraps / resistance spreadsheet. This comes from a thread started by nerak, contributed to by many... then recently turned into a nice spreadsheet, that is continually updated by ancient puffer.
Not that useful for determining a coil build as much as to see what others are using - please note that resistance can be a bit "trendy" so what was popular a few months ago may not be now.
Use the "Steam Engine" coil calculator at the bottom of the page to "build" coils on paper... or the internet. You know what I mean. :p

> Battery max amperage and minimum resistance chart. Credit to Baditude for the making and updating the list in the first place, and to Steam Turbine for taking that list, calculating safe resistance values and making a chart out of it.
Note that this chart has a wide safety margin... and does not take into account the momentary or pulse rate of a battery (more on that below).
It's original intent, I suspect was for those who, besides having issues with doing math... are new rebuilding, new to Ohm's Law and new to determining battery amperage limits.
Those who are "math capable" and battery knowledgeable, may choose to bypass it as being overly cautious. (original thread link for commentary)

> By Super_X_Drifter - A neat pictorial of how to select wire gauge... this offers a most excellent visual reference for those who have better luck with visual aids.

> How Kanthal wire works. I wrote this because there is so much misinformation (and utterly ridiculous BS) out there as to why Kanthal wire doesn't short out when building compressed coils. Yes... there is an actual, fact based reason.

Something I'm leaving in, even though we have Dampmaskin's "Steam Engine" (bottom of page) is a neat, clean & uncluttered Ohm's Law calculator, found at

> Mech voltage drop testing. This is an ongoing standardized test process by Vape Faction member - jkuro. It gets updated as people drop off or send him mechs for testing. Probably the most accurate & unbiased mech test list you'll see.
In the real world, unless you're running a 0.1Ω dripper, a few 100ths of a volt difference between mechs is more esoteric than practical... buy what you like and can afford, and you'll be happier than trying to keep up with the "collectors" and ragged edge of zero VD junkies.

> Understanding batteries. This was recently written buy member TUC, and is one of the best written, most detailed and well researched articles I've ever had the pleasure to read. Do not blow this off... even battery savvy people will enjoy this. There's no such thing as knowing too much, at least when it comes to batteries... so, written from a different perspective... Baditude's blogs on the subject. Part I, Part II and "Basics for mods - IMR or Protected".
And yet more battery information... from probably the best single source on the interweb... Battery University.

Scroll down to the 6-22 addendum... for in depth battery test data by @Mooch!!!

> Kayfun 3.1 & Kayfun Lite user PDF manuals. There are a boatload of Kayfun "clones" out there... and these are the manuals for the original Svoe Mesto Kayfun models. If you have anything Kayfun'ish - from the high end Kebo/UCT Russian to the Kayfun evolutions like the Orchid, Erlkönigin and eXpromizer... to the low end Tobeco Rocket - you might want to look at this. If anyone who reads this is aware of manufacturers PDFs for other attys, shoot me a PM and I'll include them. Gracias. :D

> Silver conductive grease. I've listed this because there is a good deal of confusion as to what lubricants are conductive and non-conductive... and their appropriate applications. Most products are designed to lubricate and prevent oxidation only... this product does that, and with the high silver content, offers the greatest opportunity of improved conductivity. (the link is to provide product data - it's actually a few $$ cheaper on Amazon)

>Ohm's Law, and common vaping questions. With this, I'll endeavor to answer a few of the more common Ohm's Law calculation questions, as well as briefly explain momentary or "pulse" amp ratings and how they might effect your calculations. There are a few APV references, but I don't think they'll be too offensive. :laugh:

> SparkFun (Seriously... that's the name) has a very well done "How to use a digital multimeter" guide. There's nothing in-depth on ECF, and considering the variety of meters and number of generic and model specific guides already on the web, there's no reason for anyone to do so.
I've reviewed most of this, and it appears to do a good job of it without burying the "DMM n00b" in techno-babble... and you have a choice of written or video.
The Sparkfun website itself is pretty cool, if you get a chance check it out.

> How tank type atomizers work. From Kanger, Innokin and Aspire clearos and glassos, to Kayfuns, Squapes, Fogger Vs and Taifun GTs... they all operate on the principals of pressure differential. This was written primarily for new users, to provide a basic understanding of how their clearos/glassos work... but if don't have a clue how your Russian 91% works, have a read. Written by me. :2cool:

> Addendum 2-17-14:
A coil calculator, developed by ECF member Dampmaskin and called "Steam Engine" (previously called "vape calc") has become available.
It includes not only an ohms law calculator, but a coil wrap estimator that includes parameters like ID, target resistance, leg or "tail" length, "heat flux" (coil temperature values), "heat capacity" (coil "lag time"), coil wrap counts... and a battery drain calculator as well.
IMO, this may prove to be the single most handy link any coil builder can have bookmarked... see 2015 addendum for updated information.

> Addendum 5-13-14:
Martin Lorton... a gent who knows a thing or two about meters, has produced a number of DMM reviews and buyers guides. Of particular interest to those looking for a good mid-price DMM... the 4 part series buyers guide UNI-T UT61E.

>Addendum 8-2-14:
Coil building fixtures. Yes, you've seen the universal single coil fixtures you can buy... from under $10 for a Tobeco jig, to a good deal more for the Hexacoiler, Danish TotalSteam and QVapes Coiler. They all do the same thing... make it easy to build an assortment of coils in a variety of IDs.
Update 1-7-15: The "Kuro Koiler", designed by Jon Kuro ('Jkuro' on most forums) is out and available... and it works very well. Not cheap, but a very elegant and clever design, especially if you have a frequently used coil ID.
For the budget minded, there are now China clones of most of the above fixtures. In fact, FastTech has close to 50 versions/multiples available.

How about 'specialty' fixtures? Can't buy them... you have to make them. One of the very best RDAs to came out this year, is the Veritas - from "faceless" the maker of the iHybrid line.
Dual vertical coils and a unique air flow system that is near leak-proof... and allows for filling without any disassembly or DT removal. I got one... and the first thing I found out was that it's not easy to make a nice, single looped wire/dual coil set - on the atomizer.

Where am I going with all this? A guide to make your own dedicated "pattern duplicate" jig for an atomizer. Not just the Veritas... but any atty you think a custom jig might benefit from. Get creative!

> Addendum 10-27-14:
Tech Thing "Half-Ohm" plug-in adapter. What this is, is a converter that you plug into your DMM, allowing you to measure milliohm values quite accurately... for only $20.
Of course, the level and consistency of that accuracy will depend on the quality of your meter and test leads as well... but considering what a real, 4-wire milliohm meter costs, it's a hell of a deal and can be far more accurate than the usual cheap China ohm meter/build box.
Speaking of ohm meter/build boxes... if you like them and want a good one without spending $60-$80 - USA Ohm Meters makes one of the most accurate and consistent boxes I've ever used.

> Addendum 1-7-15: I've written a 2-part users guide for those having trouble understanding some aspects of the Steam Engine coil modelling program - part 1 and Part 2. the latter of which deals exclusively with heat flux and heat capacity.

Although Dampmaskin has done a wonderful job overall (for my needs, the best complete vapist's calculator made)... I felt a more in depth explanation was required for some users, particularly in the area of tuning wattage or build for a desired heat flux/heat capacity.

> Addendum 2-17-15:
For those who're new to mech mods, and are perhaps having an issue with voltage drop (VD), and/or "hot button conditions... "How Mechanical Mods Work" may provide a bit of insight.

>Addendum 4-2-15:
I've added several articles, which are extensions of Parts 1 & 2 of the Steam engine modeling program guide... they are:
"The practical applications of heat flux", "Sub-Ohm... what's the point" and "Optimizing heat flux - chart design"

Addendum 6-22-15:
Our resident battery maven... @Mooch, has been busy testing popular batteries, or "cells"... so as to separate them from eGo batteries... including the damaging effects of exceeding "normal" cell temperatures at vapecentric discharge rates.
Lots of work and devotion has gone into this series... so if you want the latest greatest battery information, take a look at Mooch's blog, and don't forget to say - Thanks Mooch (and thanks to the companies that donate cells for testing)... for the passion, time, out of pocket cash... and effort!!!

Just like in part one.... Members that have, of their own accord, spent time producing valuable & practical educational material... for those seeking knowledge and understanding. If you get a chance, somewhere along the line, take a moment to say thank you to them.

As always, take it for what it is, do with it what you will.

  • Dampmaskin
  • State O' Flux
  • Baditude
  • InTheShade
  • MiltyBuilt
  • davidj523
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