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  1. This is a Table of Contents for my blogs. Click on the link for the subject of choice.

    1. Proper Terminology: Is it a carto, a tank, or what? A Guide to Juice Delivery Devices
    • A picture dictionary for beginners with descriptions of clearomizers, nano's, drip atomizers, bottom feeding mods, cartomizers, cartotanks, and RBA's (rebuildable atomizers). Includes video demos/reviews of all devices.

    2. Guide to Choosing a Li-ion Battery Charger

    • Guide to help a novice in choosing a charger. Covers recommended brands; suggestions for the number of charging bays you'll need, discusses what independent charging bays are, LED and Liquid Crystal Display models, and "smart chargers".

    3. Are You Using a Rewrap (Rebranded) Battery?

    • Learn what a rewrap cell is. If you are using rebranded cell, does that mean it is inferior, poor quality, or even dangerous? Which batteries are suspected to be rebranded batteries.

    4. Good Starter Setups for a Beginner Vaper
    • Typical starter setups recommended for a new vaper.

    5. Baditude's Cartotank Setup Guide
    • How I set up my cartotanks. Includes a video review of a popular and essentual tank tool; commentary on single coil vs dual coil cartomizers, punched vs unpunched cartomizers, and help in determining what resistance coil to purchase.

    6. Something Safe for Cinnamon & Citrus Flavors
    • There are some flavors which can destroy plastic tanks. Discover which flavors are known to cause this, watch a video of a tank melting using one of these flavors, and see a picture dictionary of safe products to use if you enjoy using these flavors.

    7. Information Resources for Your First RBA
    • An essential read and referrance guide for someone new to rebuilding coils. Includes a multitude of useful links on battery safety, mod safety, coil meters, coil building, and the differences in the three types of RBA's.

    8. A Beginner's Guide to Your First Mechanical Mod
    • Covers the differences between a mechanical vs. regulated mod, essential safety accessories, optional safety accessories to add layers of safety to your mech, routine maintanance, use of proper batteries, proper ventilation, low resistance vaping, and faux hybrid mods.

    9. Battery Basics for Mods: The Definative Battery Guide for Vaping
    • A popular and essential read to understand which batteries are safe to use in mechanical and regulated mods. Includes a frequently updated list of recommended safe-chemistry, high-drain batteries with their specifications.

    10. Advancing Up the Vaping Ladder
    • From cigalike batteries, to eGo's, to mods. Another picture dictionary of terminology and form factors for beginning vapers. Includes videos.

    11. Deeper Understanding of Mod Batteries Part 1
    • For those who want to learn the differences between IMR, IMR/hybrid, ICR, and LiPo batteries. What do those numbers and letters on batteries mean? What's an amp rating and why is it more important than the mAh rating when choosing a battery for vaping?

    12. Deeper Understanding of Mod Batteries Part 2
    • Protected vs unprotected batteries - what's the difference? Ohm's Law 101. What is an AW battery? What is an inline fuse? What is stacking batteries?

    13. Why Provari?
    • What is the Provari and why is it so popular? Includes some little known facts, and videos & links to ECF threads on why the Provari is loved by owners.

    14. Ohm's Law Explained for Vapers
    • My attempt at explaining Ohm's Law in simple layman terms and how it relates to vaping.

    15. Inexpensive Mechanical Mod and RDA Setup
    • A response to the frequently asked question on how to get into rebuildable atomizers with a mechanical mod safely & inexpensively. Includes a list of commonly used tools and supplies for rebuilding and links to where to find them.

    16. Explain it to the Dumb Noob: Ohm's Law Calculations for a Mechanical Mod
    • As simple as it is to use, some people have a tough time grasping the concept.

    17. Purple Efest Batteries Not As Advertised
    • A cautionary blog that reveals that the purple Efest batteries may not have the specifications advertised. Also includes an important commentary on "continuous discharge ratings" vs "pulse discharge ratings" of battery specs.
    Comments: 2
    Sep 21, 2014 Edit History Delete
    Ipster and sonicbomb like this.

  2. Choosing the right Li-ion charger for your batteries can be as confusing as choosing the right batteries for your mods. It's my objective to help you become aware of the different features available so that you can make a better, more informed, choice. If you know nothing about chargers, hopefully by the time you read this you will have a good idea of what features you need in a charger.

    THE "BEST CHARGER"
    People often ask, "What's the best charger?" And most people will answer by naming one of the more expensive chargers with all the "bells and whistles". However, that charger may not necessarily be the right or best charger for YOU. For example, you may not need a fancy display screen or a fast charger. A budget charger manufactured by one of the preferred brands may be a better choice for you.

    I went all out when I purchased my first Li-Ion charger. I went with the Pila, widely considered to be the best charger four years ago. It was the most expensive charger, only had two bays, and didn't have a LCD screen ... just LED lights. I have no regrets as it performed admirably for nearly two years under heavy use. One of the charging bays eventually stopped working, so I was then in the market for a new charger.

    I decided to go with a six-bay Xtar WP6 II charger, as I was using two mods that used the smaller 18350 batteries and was going through 4 - 5 a day. Unfortunately, that model uses a combination of "spacers" and springs to retain the batteries in the charger, and the 18350 batteries kept "popping out". I had to place a heavy textbook on the charger to keep the batteries in the charger. I was not a happy camper.

    My third charger, which I happen to still use, is the Nitecore Intellicharger i4. It is a budget charger which suits all of my current needs well.

    Its more important that you take from the below video is an efficient way to shop and compare.


    RECOMMENDED BRANDS
    Except for a couple of exceptions, I recommend buying an Xtar, Nitecore, or Efest LUC charger. Just like recommended battery brands (Lg, Samsung, Sony), these three manufacturers have earned excellent reputations for producing qualtiy reliable chargers. The best batteries deserve a good charger. Should you buy a cheap generic or offbrand charger, you're probably taking a gamble that the manufacturer did not cut any corners to lower his production costs.

    NUMBER OF CHARGING BAYS
    You will need to choose between a single bay, 2-bay, 4-bay, or 6-bay charger. The choice depends upon how many batteries you will need to charge at once. I only see a single bay charger as being useful as an emergency charger for the office or car. Many will get by easily with just a 2-bay charger. If you anticipate going through more than two batteries a day, choose a 4-bay charger. If you anticipate using more than four batteries a day, a 6-bay charger would seem to be ideal.

    INDEPENDENT CHARGING BAYS, OR NOT?
    True independent charging bays will offer faster charge times for each battery being charged simultaneously. The individual charging bays will not be sharing a circuit, which can slow charging times. Independent bays adds more electrical components, and therefore add to the overall cost of the charger. In this case, you get what you are paying for. Not everyone needs a fast charger however. Desirable yes, a necessity no. Chargers without independent bays will still charge batteries in a decent amount of time.

    Many companies advertise fully independent charging bays, but it's my guess that the vast majority of multiple bay chargers are not. Once four bays are filled with batteries, two of the four bays will share a circuit. Probably the only chargers which may be truly fully independent are the top of the line expensive chargers.

    LED LIGHTS OR lCD SCREEN?
    The budget chargers use LED lights to allow you to monitor the charging progress. The more advanced chargers utilize a Liquid Crystal Display to monitor the charging progress, and also have a digital readout of the battery's voltage. Desireable yes, a necessity, no.

    I will say that if you use a mechanical mod, and don't have a voltage tester or multimeter to measure your battery's voltage, using a charger that has a digital readout of the battery voltage is very worthwhile.

    ODD BATTERY SIZES
    All listed chargers here will charge an 18650 battery. However, some may not charge some of the less popular sizes like 14500, 16340, 18350, 18500, or 26650. If you use this size battery, make sure the charger you are considering will accept it.

    [​IMG]


    CHARGING BAGS. YAH OR NAY?

    [​IMG]


    This is a controversial subject. Those who use them say that the flame retardant bag will contain a fire caused by either the battery or charger. Those who don't use them say they may actually create a problem where none existed.

    Charging bags were designed to be used with Li-Po batteries and chargers. Li-Po batteries are used in the remote control car and plane hobby. These batteries are not a safer-chemistry battery, and a "battery incident" with one can be quite spectacular if you are into fireworks and flames.

    Li-Po batteries are not charged in the chargers. They are kept separate, connected by battery charger cables. The batteries are placed into the bag, and the charger remains outside of the bag. This is because chargers produce some heat while they charge batteries, and leaving the charger outside of the bag allows the charger to be cooled by natural air circulation.

    Li-ion batteries are charged while in the charger, so if using a charging bag both the batteries and charger will be contained inside of the bag. The theory against using a charging bag is that the charger may generate enough heat in the bag to cause a problem, and the heat generated will not be allowed to ventilate inside the bag. I'll leave the decision up to the reader whether to use a charging bag or not.

    DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STANDARD, RAPID AND "SMART" CHARGERS
    • A Standard charger is considered to be a slow / overnight charger. It typically takes up to 12 hours to charge your battery. Slow chargers continue to charge your battery even after it is fully charged. Over time this can shorten the life of your battery. With a slow charger it is important to remove the battery after it is fully charged to maximize the life of your battery.
    • A Rapid charger charges your battery typically in 1 to 3 hours. Once the battery is fully charged it will switch to a trickle charge mode so that it does not overcharge your battery. Most of today's Li-ion chargers are either a rapid charger or smart charger.
    • Smart chargers will typically charge your battery in the same amount of time as a Rapid charger but they will also discharge, analyze, condition, and perform cycle tests on your batteries. In most cases they allegedly will double the life of your batteries. Smart chargers usually have more options in how you charge your batteries, too.
    • Some smart chargers include a wake-up feature, or “boost,” to allow recharging if a Li-ion battery has fallen asleep due to over-discharge. A sleep condition can occur when storing the battery in a discharged state and the self-discharge brings the voltage to the cut-off point. An over-discharge situation can also occur in a mechanical mod. A regular charger treats such a battery as unserviceable and the battery will need to be discarded. Boost applies a small charge current to raise the voltage to between 2.20 and 2.90V/cell and activate the protection circuit, at which point a normal charge commences. Caution applies if Li-ion has dwelled below 1.5V/cell for a week or longer.

    A WORD OR TWO ABOUT "TRICKLE CHARGING"
    Once a battery receives a full charge (4.2 volts), it will naturally start to slowly lose some of that charge, even when not in use. Manufacturers want their customers to be happy with fully charged batteries when they need them, so they design algorhythms which keeps the battery's charge "topped off" while sitting in the charger waiting to be used. Sounds like a great idea, but its not so great for the battery's health.

    Trickle charging leaves a battery in a highly excitable and vulnerable state. This is why we tell people to remove their batteries from the charger as soon as they are fully charged, to not leave batteries in a charger overnight while sleeping, and to "rest" batteries before putting them in a mod.

    "Rest batteries after charging--
    One commonly-reported factor in almost all the incidents we hear of where batteries failed violently while in use is that they were taken directly off the charger and then used immediately, at which point they failed.

    Because of this, we think it may be a good idea to rest batteries after charging them. This advice will not be found in the usual 'reference bibles' on batteries, but we see more and different reports than others. Therefore we now advise:

    Do not use batteries directly after charging them. Use a battery or batteries you previously charged, and that have rested for several hours. This is especially important if using a stacked pair for higher voltage, as statistically the risk is far higher."
    --Rolygate​

    The benefit to resting is increased battery lifespan & minimize the chance of venting.

    E-Cigarette Explosions: Comprehensive List
    There have been 50 major incidents this year alone and that's just the ones which make the news. They also go on to say...
    "It is interesting to note that the nature of e-cigarette explosions has changed over the years. The FEMA document cited above suggests that approximately 80 percent of e-cigarette explosions happen during charging.


    How Chargers Charge Your Batteries

    Lithium-ion batteries are charged to 4.2v per cell, higher voltages could increase capacity, but reduce service life. And lower ones can increase battery charge cycles at the cost of less run time.

    A Charge cycle involves two main stages; constant current or CC, and voltage source or CV, but some chargers skip or add more stages.

    Charging process:
    Stage 1 – Automatic analyzing battery status
    Stage 2 – Quick charge
    Stage 3 – Slow charge
    Stage 4 – Standby mode, trickle charge​
    • Most batteries are considered overdischarged or dead when their cell voltage is under 2.8-3v, but even in this situation, some cells can be charged again and be reused. To save them, an "aconditioning" stage is done before charging; in this stage, the battery is charged with a 0.1C current limit until it reaches 3v
    • CC stage. This is the stage all the chargers use, and the only one for most fast chargers. During the constant current stage, the battery is basically connected to a current-limited power supply, usually limited to 0.5-0.7 times the nominal battery capacity (that's from 0.5 to 0.7C) it lasts until the cell voltage reaches 4.2v. At the end of this stage, the battery charge is around 70-80%.
    • CV stage or saturation charge. When the battery reaches 4.2v per cell, the charger acts as a voltage limited power supply, The battery voltage remains at 4.2v while the charge current drops gradually. When the charge current is between 3 and 10% of the labeled capacity, the battery is considered fully charged.
    • Topping charge, or "trickle charge". Depending on the charger and the self-discharge of the battery, a topping charge may be implemented. Typically, the charge kicks in when the open terminal voltage drops to 4.05V/cell and turns off when it reaches 4.20V/cell again.
    Usually, only stages 2 and 3 are used, and a full charge can take from 2 to 4 hours depending on the charge rate.

    Li-ion batteries do not need to be fully charged, nor is it desirable to do so. In fact, it is better not to fully charge, because high voltages stresses the battery. Choosing a lower voltage threshold, or eliminating the saturation charge altogether, prolongs battery life but this reduces the runtime. Since the consumer market promotes maximum runtime, nearly all chargers go for maximum capacity rather than extended service life.​

    Here are some charging tips from Battery Mooch:

    • After charging, let your battery cool to room temperature before using it.
    • Don't charge a battery that is below 0°C/32°F. It causes metal to be plated inside the battery eventually leading to an internal short circuit and possibly bursting of the battery.
    • Where possible, setting your charger to 4.1V will reduce stress on the battery and extend its life. But you will lose 10%-15% of the capacity of the battery.
    • Make sure the charger you use turns off once the charge is complete. Check the instructions for the charger you want to use.
    • Never use a trickle charger with Li-Ion batteries! The continuous holding of the battery at the trickle charge voltage damages it.
    • Don't overcharge them. To get the longest running possible time from a battery some chargers go up to as high as 4.27V. While this does result in a bit more vaping time before needing to recharge, it damages the battery. Most of the batteries we use are rated at up to 4.25V but even this is quite high. It's not dangerous until we're approaching 5V but battery damage starts occurring way below this.
    • Without a separate meter monitoring the battery's highest voltage before the charger stops it's hard to know what our batteries are actually being charged to. Our best option is to have our batteries spend as little time as possible fully charged and charge them just before using them. This usually isn't very convenient but it does extend battery life.
    • Charging at a slower rate is better, to a point. Most of our 18650 batteries have a "standard" charge rate of 1.0A-1.5A and a "rapid" charge rate of up to 4A. Charging at 0.5A might help extend the life of your batteries a bit but if the batteries are not getting warm at 1.0A then that's a good compromise between battery life and convenience. Going down to 0.375A or 0.25A won't help much versus charging at 0.5A.
    • Charge 18350's at 0.5A until you know that they aren't getting more than a bit warm.
    • Charge 26650's at 1.0A until you know that they aren't getting more than a bit warm. The better 26650's can be charged at up 2.0A without adversely affecting battery life.
    Battery Charger Review Websites:
    _________________________________________________

    Originally, my intent was to show pics, prices, and features for each individual charger. However, upon doing some additional research I found that there are way too many quality chargers on the market from the recommended manufacturers to make this task feasable. Just set your priorities on the features you most need and set your budget, and then do your homework to find which chargers meet your requirements and price range. If you're not sure about a particular feature or have questions, contact the vendor for an explanation. I always use RTD Vapor when I need either batteries or a new charger.
    Recommended vendors:


    Prices and pics are courtesy of RTD Vapor:

    Pila IBC Charger - $47.95
    [​IMG]

    At one time widely considered to be the top charger on the market. However, this model has not had any upgrades in the last few years to allow it to remain competitive with the other high end chargers that have display screens. A fast "smart" charger with two independent charging bays. Pila includes spacers for charging 18350 and 16340 size batteries. If you have weak or disabled hands, this is probably the best choice for you, as the spacers used make inserting/removing batteries easier than the sometimes stiff spring-loaded sliding bars seen in most battery chargers.​

    OPUS BT-C3100 V2.2 ($48.99)
    [​IMG]

    ● LED back light displays charging / discharging / quick test / circuit more clearly in the dark
    ● New refresh mode can show you batteries capacity
    ● The charging current can be selected to be 200mA, 300mA, 500mA, 700mA or 1000mA ( 1500mA and 2000mA can only be applied when only slot 1 or 4 is selected ). Default discharging current is 500mA
    ● It provides four independent charging slots for rechargeable batteries. The charger can charge batteries of different types and sizes and with different capacities at the same time
    ● The charger integrates the minus delta voltage ( - ΔV ) for NiCd or NiMh battery charging termination, and for Li-ion batteries charging to 4.2V with pre-selected constant current. ( 3.7 Li-FeO4 and 4.35 type high voltage batteries charging mode can be selected through switch on board )
    ● The charger also includes overheat detection to protect rechargeable batteries and charger itself from overheating
    ● New added quick test mode to test the battery impedance
    ● Four Working Modes available at user's choice: Charge, Discharge, Test, Quick Test and Refresh
    ● Easy to read LCD with back light Showing Battery Voltage, Charge / Discharge Current, Charging Time, Battery Capacity etc.
    ● Designed for AA ( LR6 ) and AAA ( LR3 )NiCd, NiMH or 3.7V Li-ion/IMR rechargeable batteries in size type of 10440, 14500, 16340 ,17500, 17670, 18350, 18490/18500, 18650​

    Xtar VP1 ($24.90)
    [​IMG]
    Features:

    1.Two independent charging channels for 10440/16340/14500/14650/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700 Li-ion battery
    2.Algorithm (CC.CV) charging system
    3.Optional and adjustable charge current: 250mA,500mA,1A
    4.VP1 with switchable LCD indicator to display the real-time charging voltage and battery status
    5.Activation function for over discharging battery. VP1 can recover over discharged batteries
    6.Soft start function avoids damage from a large current surge
    7.Automatically restart charging when batteries voltage(full charged batteries not taken out from the charger channel) is below 3.9V (batteries may self discharge)
    8.Reverse-polarity protection circuit board​

    Xtar VP2 ($34.89)
    [​IMG]
    Features:

    ●Three charging current options (0.25A/0.5A/1.0A)

    ●Three charging voltage options (3.2V/3.6V/3.8V)

    ●for 10440/14500/14650/16340/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700/22650/25500/26650 3.0/3.2V, 3.6V/3.7V, 3.8V Li-ion batteries

    ●Low-Voltage, over-load and over-heat protection, power indication, stop supplying when low power

    ●LED status indications

    ●Real-time status display

    ●Adopts PWM technology to control the high efficiency DC-DC circuit, lower the voltage and reduce energy loss

    ●Three-stage charging and 0V battery activation

    ●USB Output (5.0V/1.0A)​


    Xtar VP4 ($34.99)
    [​IMG]

    Xtar VP4 ($34.99) is an intelligent four channel, completely independent lithium ion LCD battery charger. Charging current can be adjusted automatically according to different channel, the user can also manually choose the current by the current switch button. The 120°angle high definition VA real time display, precision of battery cutting-off voltage, battery power indicators and optional currents, etc., whenever you know the battery charging status. If you want to buy a charger which is multislot, multi charger currents and can see charger status, VP4 charger will be your best option!​

    Features:
    * 10440/16340/14500/14650/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700
    or two pcs 22650/ 25500/26650 lithium batteries
    * Each channel is independent
    * Three-stage charge algorithm(TC-CC-CV)
    * Three charge current options (0.25 A, 0.5 A, and 1.0 A)
    * Soft-start function, to avoid damage from large charge current while charging
    * Automatically cut off when the battery is charged fully
    * Precision cut-off voltage at 4.2V
    * Compatible with small capacity battery
    * Over heat protection
    * LCD displays each battery real time status
    * Use high power intelligent step-down DC - DC circuit,
    greatly reduce the energy loss

    Xtar VC2 ($19.95)
    [​IMG]
    The Xtar VC2 charger is the World's first lithium-ion battery charger that features an innovative tachometer-style LCD display screen. This charger will tell you the real power of your battery. The VC2 will display the batteries mAh capacity assuming it is completely drained before charging. Like all of our chargers, it can intelligently identify input power and automatically adjust the the most suitable charge current (0.15A~0.5). It is compatible with both IMR lithium batteries and small capacity batteries. Both channels are independent and it can also tell you if you have bad batteries. And like all XTAR chargers, the VC2 features overcharge protection, over-discharge, short-circuit, and reverse polarity protection. Adopted from the VP2 charger, the VC2 can revive overly discharged batteries as well.

    What's Included:
    - VC2 charger
    - MicroUSB cable
    - Microfiber carrying pouch
    - User manual
    - Warranty card
    Applies to: 10440/14500/14650/16340/17500/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700/22650/25500/26650 3.6/3.7V batteries​

    Features:
    - Compatible with IMR lithium battery
    - Each channel is independent
    - Three-stage charge algorithm(TC-CC-CV)
    - Soft-start function, to avoid damage from large charge current while charging.
    - Automatically cut off when the battery is charged fully
    - Precision cut-off voltage at 4.2V
    - Compatible with small capacity battery
    - Over heat protection
    - LCD displays each battery real time statues
    - Use high power intelligent step-down DC - DC circuit, greatly reduce the energy loss;
    - Built-in reverse-polarity and short-circuit protection circuit
    - Use fireproof material for the shell
    - 0V activation function can wake up the over-discharged/sleeping batteries
    - 120°angle high definition VA screen to display the charging current ,voltage and power indicator, you can see the charging status from any angle of view.
    - Certified by CE, RoHS​




    Xtar WP6 II ($33.90)

    [​IMG]


    * Six independent charging channel for 10440/ 14500/ 14650/ 15270/ 16340/ 17670/18350/18500/18650/18700 battery.

    * Algorithm charging system (CC/CV)

    * 6 spacers included​

    Efest LUC V4 ($23.99)
    [​IMG]

    1. Four independent charging channels
    2. Compatible with most 3.7V Li-ion or LiMn batteries like 10440, 14500, 14650, 18500, 17670, 18650, 18700, 26500, 26650
    3. Large LCD display

    Efest LUC Multifunction Charger ($19.99)
    [​IMG]

    Features:

    1. HD mini LCD screen to display precise voltage and battery capacity level.
    2. Each charging channel has independent display of charging status.
    3. Switch for adjusting discharge current to charge different size battery.
    4. Compatible batteries: 10440, 16340, 18350, 18500, 18650, 26650​

    NITECORE Digicharger D4 ($28.95)
    [​IMG]


    NITECORE Digicharger D2 ($19.79)
    [​IMG]

    NITECORE Intellicharger i2 ($12.99)
    [​IMG]

    NITECORE Intellicharger i4 ($19.79)
    [​IMG]


    The above are just a few of the quality chargers available






    References:

    What everyone should know about Battery Chargers, Battery University
    Mooch's Blog
    Li-Ion Battery Charging
    FDA identifies 92 events of overheating/fires/explosions from 2009 to 2015
    Liz W, Hitmetwice, Bonskibon and 3 others like this.

  3. Choosing the right Li-ion charger for your batteries can be as confusing as choosing the right batteries for your mods. It's my objective to help you aware of the different features available so that you can make a better, more informed, choice. If you know nothing about chargers, hopefully by the time you read this you will have a good idea of what features you need in a charger.

    THE "BEST CHARGER"
    People often ask, "What's the best charger?" And most people will answer by naming one of the more expensive chargers with all the "bells and whistles". However, that charger may not necessarily be the right or best charger for YOU. For example, you may not need a fancy display screen or a fast charger. A budget charger manufactured by one of the preferred brands may be a better choice for you.

    I went all out when I purchased my first Li-Ion charger. I went with the Pila, widely considered to be the best charger four years ago. It was the most expensive charger, only had two bays, and didn't have a LCD screen ... just LED lights. I have no regrets as it performed admirably for nearly two years under heavy use. One of the charging bays stopped working when it was about 2 years old, so I was then in the market for a new charger.

    I decided to go with a six-bay Xtar WP6 II charger, as I was using two mods that used the smaller 18350 batteries and was going through 4 - 5 a day. Unfortunately, that model uses a combination of "spacers" and springs to retain the batteries in the charger, and the 18350 batteries kept "popping out". I had to place a heavy textbook on the charger to keep the batteries in the charger. I was not a happy camper.

    My third charger, which I happen to still use, is the Nitecore Intellicharger i4. It is a budget charger which suits my current needs.

    RECOMMENDED BRANDS
    I recommend buying an Xtar, Nitecore, or Efest LUC charger. Just like recommended battery brands (Lg, Samsung, Sony), these three manufacturers have earned excellent reputations for producing qualtiy reliable chargers. The best batteries deserve a good charger. Should you buy a cheap generic or offbrand charger, you're probably taking a gamble that the manufacturer did not cut any corners to lower his production costs.

    NUMBER OF CHARGING BAYS
    You will choose between a single bay, 2-bay, 4-bay, or 6-bay charger. The choice depends upon how many batteries you will need to charge at once. I only see a single bay charger as being useful as an emergency charger for the office or car. Many will get by easily with just a 2-bay charger. If you anticipate going through more than two batteries a day, choose a 4-bay charger. If you anticipate using more than four batteries a day, a 6-bay charger would seem to be ideal.

    INDEPENDENT CHARGING BAYS, OR NOT?
    True independent charging bays will offer faster charge times for each battery being charged simultaneously. The individual charging bays will not be sharing a circuit, which can slow charging times. Independent bays adds more electrical components, and therefore add to the overall cost of the charger. In this case, you get what you are paying for. Not everyone needs a fast charger however. Desirable yes, a necessity no. Chargers without independent bays will still charge batteries in a decent amount of time.

    LED LIGHTS OR lCD SCREEN?
    The budget chargers use LED lights to allow you to monitor the charging progress. The more advanced chargers utilize a Liquid Crystal Display to monitor the charging progress, and also have a digital readout of the battery's voltage. Desireable yes, a necessity, no.

    I will say that if you use a mechanical mod, and don't have a voltage tester or multimeter to measure your battery's voltage, using a charger that has a digital readout of the battery voltage is very worthwhile.

    ODD BATTERY SIZES
    All listed chargers here will charge an 18650 battery. However, some may not charge some of the less popular sizes like 14500, 16340, 18350, 18500, or 26650. If you use this size battery, make sure the charger you are considering will accept it.

    [​IMG]

    CHARGING BAGS. YAH OR NAY?

    [​IMG]


    This is a controversial subject. Those who use them say that the flame retardant bag will contain a fire caused by either the battery or charger. Those who don't use them say they may actually create a problem where none existed.

    Charging bags were designed to be used with Li-Po batteries and chargers. Li-Po batteries are used in the remote control car and plane hobby. These batteries are not a safer-chemistry battery, and a "battery incident" with one can be quite spectacular if you are into fireworks and flames.

    Li-Po batteries are not charged in the chargers. They are kept separate, connected by battery charger cables. The batteries are placed into the bag, and the charger remains outside of the bag. This is because chargers produce some heat while they charge batteries, and leaving the charger outside of the bag allows the charger to be cooled by natural air circulation.

    Li-ion batteries are charged while in the charger, so if using a charging bag both the batteries and charger will be contained inside of the bag. The theory against using a charging bag is that the charger may generate enough heat in the bag to cause a problem, and the heat generated will not be allowed to ventilate inside the bag. I'll leave the decision up to the reader whether to use a charging bag or not.

    DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STANDARD, RAPID AND "SMART" CHARGERS
    • A Standard charger is considered to be a slow / overnight charger. It typically takes up to 12 hours to charge your battery. Slow chargers continue to charge your battery even after it is fully charged. Over time this can shorten the life of your battery. With a slow charger it is important to remove the battery after it is fully charged to maximize the life of your battery.
    • A Rapid charger charges your battery typically in 1 to 3 hours. Once the battery is fully charged it will switch to a trickle charge mode so that it does not overcharge your battery. Most of today's Li-ion chargers are either a rapid charger or smart charger.
    • Smart chargers will typically charge your battery in the same amount of time as a Rapid charger but they will also discharge, analyze, condition, and perform cycle tests on your batteries. In most cases they will double the life of your batteries.
    • Some Li-ion chargers include a wake-up feature, or “boost,” to allow recharging if a Li-ion battery has fallen asleep due to over-discharge. A sleep condition can occur when storing the battery in a discharged state and the self-discharge brings the voltage to the cut-off point. An over-discharge situation can also occur in a mechanical mod. A regular charger treats such a battery as unserviceable and the battery will need to be discarded. Boost applies a small charge current to raise the voltage to between 2.20 and 2.90V/cell and activate the protection circuit, at which point a normal charge commences. Caution applies if Li-ion has dwelled below 1.5V/cell for a week or longer.

    Prices and pics are courtesy of RTD Vapor:

    PILA IBC CHARGER - $47.95
    [​IMG]

    At one time widely considered to be the top charger on the market. However, this model has not had any upgrades to allow it to remain competitive with those chargers with display screens. A fast "smart" charger with two independent charging bays. Pila includes spacers for charging 18350 and 16340 size batteries. If you have weak or disabled hands, this is probably the best choice for you, as the spacers used make inserting/removing batteries easier than the sometimes stiff spring-loaded sliding bars seen in most battery chargers.

    Charging process
    Stage 1 – Automatic analyzing battery status
    Stage 2 – Quick charge
    Stage 3 – Slow charge
    Stage 4 – Standby mode, trickle charge

    Xtar VP1 ($24.90), VP2 ($34.89), VP4 ($39.99), and VC2 ($19.95)
    [​IMG]

    Xtar VP1 ($24.90)

    2 Channels 10440/16340/14500/14650/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700 XTAR VP1 Intelli-Battery Charger

    Features:

    1.Two independent charging channels for 10440/16340/14500/14650/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700 Li-ion battery
    2.Algorithm(CC.CV)charging system
    3.Optional and adjustable charge current:250mA,500mA,1A
    4.VP1 with switchable LCD indicator to display the real-time charging voltage and battery status
    5.Activation function for over discharging battery.VP1 can recover the overly dicharging protected batteries
    6.Soft start function avoids damage from a large current surge
    7.Automatically restart charging when batteries voltage(full charged batteries not taken out from the charger channel)is below 3.9V(batteries may self discharge)
    8.Reverse-polarity protection circuit board

    [​IMG]

    Xtar VP2 Battery Charger ($34.89)

    Features:

    ●Three charging current options (0.25A/0.5A/1.0A)

    ●Three charging voltage options (3.2V/3.6V/3.8V)

    ●for 10440/14500/14650/16340/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700/22650/25500/26650 3.0/3.2V, 3.6V/3.7V, 3.8V Li-ion batteries

    ●Low-Voltage, over-load and over-heat protection, power indication, stop supplying when low power

    ●LED status indications

    ●Real-time status display

    ●Adopts PWM technology to control the high efficiency DC-DC circuit, lower the voltage and reduce energy loss

    ●Three-stage charging and 0V battery activation

    ●USB Output (5.0V/1.0A)

    ●Adopts IC temperature monitor, avoid over heat

    ●Small charge current when start to charge

    ●Compact size, portable

    ●Reverse-polarity and short circuit protection circuit

    • Includes a car adapter power cord.

    [​IMG]

    XTAR VP4 ($34.99) is an intelligent four channel, completely independent lithium ion LCD battery charger. Charging current can be adjusted automatically according to different channel, the user can also manually choose the current by the current switch button. The 120°angle high definition VA real time display, precision of battery cutting-off voltage, battery power indicators and optional currents, etc., whenever you know the battery charging status. If you want to buy a charger which is multislot, multi charger currents and can see charger status, VP4 charger will be your best option!

    Features:
    * 10440/16340/14500/14650/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700
    or two pcs 22650/ 25500/26650 lithium batteries
    * Compatible with IMR lithium battery
    * Each channel is independent
    * Three-stage charge algorithm(TC-CC-CV)
    * Three charge current options (0.25 A, 0.5 A, and 1.0 A)
    * Soft-start function, to avoid damage from large charge current while charging
    * Automatically cut off when the battery is charged fully
    * Precision cut-off voltage at 4.2V
    * Compatible with small capacity battery
    * Over heat protection
    * LCD displays each battery real time statues
    * Use high power intelligent step-down DC - DC circuit,
    greatly reduce the energy loss
    * Built-in reverse-polarity and short-circuit protection circuit
    * The car adapter power cord is included with purchase.


    [​IMG]
    The XTAR VC2 ($19.95) charger is the World's first lithium-ion battery charger that features an innovative tachometer-style LCD display screen. This charger will tell you the real power of your battery! The VC2 will display the batteries mAh capacity assuming it is completely drained before charging. Like all of our chargers, it can intelligently identify input power and automatically adjust the the most suitable charge current (0.15A~0.5). It is compatible with both IMR lithium batteries and small capacity batteries. Both channels are independent and it can also tell you if you have bad batteries. And like all XTAR chargers, the VC2 features overcharge protection, over-discharge, short-circuit, and reverse polarity protection. Adopted from the VP2 charger, the VC2 can revive overly discharged batteries as well.

    What's Included:
    - VC2 charger
    - MicroUSB cable
    - Microfiber carrying pouch
    - User manual
    - Warranty card
    Applies to: 10440/14500/14650/16340/17500/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700/22650/25500/26650 3.6/3.7V batteries

    Features:
    - Compatible with IMR lithium battery
    - Each channel is independent
    - Three-stage charge algorithm(TC-CC-CV)
    - Soft-start function, to avoid damage from large charge current while charging.
    - Automatically cut off when the battery is charged fully
    - Precision cut-off voltage at 4.2V
    - Compatible with small capacity battery
    - Over heat protection
    - LCD displays each battery real time statues
    - Use high power intelligent step-down DC - DC circuit, greatly reduce the energy loss;
    - Built-in reverse-polarity and short-circuit protection circuit
    - Use fireproof material for the shell
    - 0V activation function can wake up the over-discharged/sleeping batteries
    - 120°angle high definition VA screen to display the charging current ,voltage and power indicator, you can see the charging status from any angle of view.
    - Certified by CE, RoHS

    How to test your batteries mAh capacity:

    Step 1: Insert your discharged battery (at a discharge cut-off voltage generally below 3.0V)
    Step 2: Let the battery charge and notice the 0000mAh displayed on the screen. Do not remove the battery until the charge is complete.
    Step 3: When the battery is fully charged, the screen will show "FULL" and the entire screen will flash 3 times every 10 seconds.
    Step 4: The mAh on the screen should now give you the batteries actual capacity.


    Xtar WP6 II ($33.90)

    [​IMG]


    * Six independent charging channel for 10440/ 14500/ 14650/ 15270/ 16340/ 17670/18350/18500/18650/18700 battery.

    * Algorithm charging system (CC/CV)

    * 6 spacers

    * Real-time battery monitoring system.

    * IC temperature monitoring system

    * Car adaptor is included

    * 90 day warranty



    References:

    What everyone should know about Battery Chargers, Battery University

    this is a work still in progress. please be patient.
    Ablonz, sonicbomb and YoursTruli like this.
  4. Choosing the righty Li-ion charger for your batteries can be as confusing as choosing the right batteries for your mods. It's my objective to help you aware of the different features available so that you can make a better, more informed, choice. If you know nothing about chargers, hopefully by the time you read this you will have a good idea of what features you need in a charger.

    THE "BEST CHARGER"
    People often ask, "What's the best charger?" And most people will answer by naming one of the more expensive chargers with all the "bells and whistles". However, that charger may not necessarily be the right or best charger for YOU. For example, you may not need a fancy display screen or a fast charger. A budget charger manufactured by one of the preferred brands may be a better choice for you.

    I went all out when I purchased my first Li-Ion charger. I went with the Pila, widely considered to be the best charger four years ago. It was the most expensive charger, only had two bays, and didn't have a LCD screen ... just LED lights. I have no regrets as it performed admirably for nearly two years under heavy use. One of the charging bays stopped working when it was about 2 years old, so I was then in the market for a new charger.

    I decided to go with a six-bay Xtar WP6 II charger, as I was using two mods that used the smaller 18350 batteries and was going through 4 - 5 a day. Unfortunately, that model uses a combination of "spacers" and springs to retain the batteries in the charger, and the 18350 batteries kept "popping out". I had to place a heavy textbook on the charger to keep the batteries in the charger. I was not a happy camper.

    My third charger, which I happen to still use, is the Nitecore Intellicharger i4. It is a budget charger which suits my current needs.

    RECOMMENDED BRANDS
    I recommend buying an Xtar, Nitecore, or Efest LUC charger. Just like recommended battery brands (Lg, Samsung, Sony), these three manufacturers have earned excellent reputations for producing qualtiy reliable chargers. The best batteries deserve a good charger. Should you buy a cheap generic or offbrand charger, you're probably taking a gamble that the manufacturer did not cut any corners to lower his production costs.

    NUMBER OF CHARGING BAYS
    You will choose between a single bay, 2-bay, 4-bay, or 6-bay charger. The choice depends upon how many batteries you will need to charge at once. I only see a single bay charger as being useful as an emergency charger for the office or car. Many will get by easily with just a 2-bay charger. If you anticipate going through more than two batteries a day, choose a 4-bay charger. If you anticipate using more than four batteries a day, a 6-bay charger would seem to be ideal.

    INDEPENDENT CHARGING BAYS, OR NOT?
    True independent charging bays will offer faster charge times for each battery being charged simultaneously. The individual charging bays will not be sharing a circuit, which can slow charging times. Independent bays adds more electrical components, and therefore add to the overall cost of the charger. In this case, you get what you are paying for. Not everyone needs a fast charger however. Desirable yes, a necessity no. Chargers without independent bays will still charge batteries in a decent amount of time.

    LED LIGHTS OR lCD SCREEN?
    The budget chargers use LED lights to allow you to monitor the charging progress. The more advanced chargers utilize a Liquid Crystal Display to monitor the charging progress, and also have a digital readout of the battery's voltage. Desireable yes, a necessity, no.

    I will say that if you use a mechanical mod, and don't have a voltage tester or multimeter to measure your battery's voltage, using a charger that has a digital readout of the battery voltage is very worthwhile.

    ODD BATTERY SIZES
    All listed chargers here will charge an 18650 battery. However, some may not charge some of the less popular sizes like 14500, 16340, 18350, 18500, or 26650. If you use this size battery, make sure the charger you are considering will accept it.

    [​IMG]

    CHARGING BAGS. YAH OR NAY?

    [​IMG]


    This is a controversial subject. Those who use them say that the flame retardant bag will contain a fire caused by either the battery or charger. Those who don't use them say they may actually create a problem where none existed.

    Charging bags were designed to be used with Li-Po batteries and chargers. Li-Po batteries are used in the remote control car and plane hobby. These batteries are not a safer-chemistry battery, and a "battery incident" with one can be quite spectacular if you are into fireworks and flames.

    Li-Po batteries are not charged in the chargers. They are kept separate, connected by battery charger cables. The batteries are placed into the bag, and the charger remains outside of the bag. This is because chargers produce some heat while they charge batteries, and leaving the charger outside of the bag allows the charger to be cooled by natural air circulation.

    Li-ion batteries are charged while in the charger, so if using a charging bag both the batteries and charger will be contained inside of the bag. The theory against using a charging bag is that the charger may generate enough heat in the bag to cause a problem, and the heat generated will not be allowed to ventilate inside the bag. I'll leave the decision up to the reader whether to use a charging bag or not.

    DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STANDARD, RAPID AND "SMART" CHARGERS
    • A Standard charger is considered to be a slow / overnight charger. It typically takes up to 12 hours to charge your battery. Slow chargers continue to charge your battery even after it is fully charged. Over time this can shorten the life of your battery. With a slow charger it is important to remove the battery after it is fully charged to maximize the life of your battery.
    • A Rapid charger charges your battery typically in 1 to 3 hours. Once the battery is fully charged it will switch to a trickle charge mode so that it does not overcharge your battery. Most of today's Li-ion chargers are either a rapid charger or smart charger.
    • Smart chargers will typically charge your battery in the same amount of time as a Rapid charger but they will also discharge, analyze, condition, and perform cycle tests on your batteries. In most cases they will double the life of your batteries.
    • Some Li-ion chargers include a wake-up feature, or “boost,” to allow recharging if a Li-ion battery has fallen asleep due to over-discharge. A sleep condition can occur when storing the battery in a discharged state and the self-discharge brings the voltage to the cut-off point. An over-discharge situation can also occur in a mechanical mod. A regular charger treats such a battery as unserviceable and the battery will need to be discarded. Boost applies a small charge current to raise the voltage to between 2.20 and 2.90V/cell and activate the protection circuit, at which point a normal charge commences. Caution applies if Li-ion has dwelled below 1.5V/cell for a week or longer.

    Prices and pics are courtesy of RTD Vapor:

    PILA IBC CHARGER - $47.95
    [​IMG]

    At one time widely considered to be the top charger on the market. However, this model has not had any upgrades to allow it to remain competitive with those chargers with display screens. A fast "smart" charger with two independent charging bays. Pila includes spacers for charging 18350 and 16340 size batteries. If you have weak or disabled hands, this is probably the best choice for you, as the spacers used make inserting/removing batteries easier than the sometimes stiff spring-loaded sliding bars seen in most battery chargers.

    Charging process
    Stage 1 – Automatic analyzing battery status
    Stage 2 – Quick charge
    Stage 3 – Slow charge
    Stage 4 – Standby mode, trickle charge

    Xtar VP1 ($24.90), VP2 ($34.89), VP4 ($39.99), and VC2 ($19.95)
    [​IMG]

    Xtar VP1 ($24.90)

    2 Channels 10440/16340/14500/14650/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700 XTAR VP1 Intelli-Battery Charger

    Features:

    1.Two independent charging channels for 10440/16340/14500/14650/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700 Li-ion battery
    2.Algorithm(CC.CV)charging system
    3.Optional and adjustable charge current:250mA,500mA,1A
    4.VP1 with switchable LCD indicator to display the real-time charging voltage and battery status
    5.Activation function for over discharging battery.VP1 can recover the overly dicharging protected batteries
    6.Soft start function avoids damage from a large current surge
    7.Automatically restart charging when batteries voltage(full charged batteries not taken out from the charger channel)is below 3.9V(batteries may self discharge)
    8.Reverse-polarity protection circuit board

    [​IMG]

    Xtar VP2 Battery Charger ($34.89)

    Features:

    ●Three charging current options (0.25A/0.5A/1.0A)

    ●Three charging voltage options (3.2V/3.6V/3.8V)

    ●for 10440/14500/14650/16340/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700/22650/25500/26650 3.0/3.2V, 3.6V/3.7V, 3.8V Li-ion batteries

    ●Low-Voltage, over-load and over-heat protection, power indication, stop supplying when low power

    ●LED status indications

    ●Real-time status display

    ●Adopts PWM technology to control the high efficiency DC-DC circuit, lower the voltage and reduce energy loss

    ●Three-stage charging and 0V battery activation

    ●USB Output (5.0V/1.0A)

    ●Adopts IC temperature monitor, avoid over heat

    ●Small charge current when start to charge

    ●Compact size, portable

    ●Reverse-polarity and short circuit protection circuit

    • Includes a car adapter power cord.

    [​IMG]

    XTAR VP4 ($34.99) is an intelligent four channel, completely independent lithium ion LCD battery charger. Charging current can be adjusted automatically according to different channel, the user can also manually choose the current by the current switch button. The 120°angle high definition VA real time display, precision of battery cutting-off voltage, battery power indicators and optional currents, etc., whenever you know the battery charging status. If you want to buy a charger which is multislot, multi charger currents and can see charger status, VP4 charger will be your best option!

    Features:
    * 10440/16340/14500/14650/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700
    or two pcs 22650/ 25500/26650 lithium batteries
    * Compatible with IMR lithium battery
    * Each channel is independent
    * Three-stage charge algorithm(TC-CC-CV)
    * Three charge current options (0.25 A, 0.5 A, and 1.0 A)
    * Soft-start function, to avoid damage from large charge current while charging
    * Automatically cut off when the battery is charged fully
    * Precision cut-off voltage at 4.2V
    * Compatible with small capacity battery
    * Over heat protection
    * LCD displays each battery real time statues
    * Use high power intelligent step-down DC - DC circuit,
    greatly reduce the energy loss
    * Built-in reverse-polarity and short-circuit protection circuit
    * The car adapter power cord is included with purchase.


    [​IMG]
    The XTAR VC2 ($19.95) charger is the World's first lithium-ion battery charger that features an innovative tachometer-style LCD display screen. This charger will tell you the real power of your battery! The VC2 will display the batteries mAh capacity assuming it is completely drained before charging. Like all of our chargers, it can intelligently identify input power and automatically adjust the the most suitable charge current (0.15A~0.5). It is compatible with both IMR lithium batteries and small capacity batteries. Both channels are independent and it can also tell you if you have bad batteries. And like all XTAR chargers, the VC2 features overcharge protection, over-discharge, short-circuit, and reverse polarity protection. Adopted from the VP2 charger, the VC2 can revive overly discharged batteries as well.

    What's Included:
    - VC2 charger
    - MicroUSB cable
    - Microfiber carrying pouch
    - User manual
    - Warranty card
    Applies to: 10440/14500/14650/16340/17500/17670/18350/18500/18650/18700/22650/25500/26650 3.6/3.7V batteries

    Features:
    - Compatible with IMR lithium battery
    - Each channel is independent
    - Three-stage charge algorithm(TC-CC-CV)
    - Soft-start function, to avoid damage from large charge current while charging.
    - Automatically cut off when the battery is charged fully
    - Precision cut-off voltage at 4.2V
    - Compatible with small capacity battery
    - Over heat protection
    - LCD displays each battery real time statues
    - Use high power intelligent step-down DC - DC circuit, greatly reduce the energy loss;
    - Built-in reverse-polarity and short-circuit protection circuit
    - Use fireproof material for the shell
    - 0V activation function can wake up the over-discharged/sleeping batteries
    - 120°angle high definition VA screen to display the charging current ,voltage and power indicator, you can see the charging status from any angle of view.
    - Certified by CE, RoHS

    How to test your batteries mAh capacity:

    Step 1: Insert your discharged battery (at a discharge cut-off voltage generally below 3.0V)
    Step 2: Let the battery charge and notice the 0000mAh displayed on the screen. Do not remove the battery until the charge is complete.
    Step 3: When the battery is fully charged, the screen will show "FULL" and the entire screen will flash 3 times every 10 seconds.
    Step 4: The mAh on the screen should now give you the batteries actual capacity.


    Xtar WP6 II ($33.90)

    [​IMG]


    * Six independent charging channel for 10440/ 14500/ 14650/ 15270/ 16340/ 17670/18350/18500/18650/18700 battery.

    * Algorithm charging system (CC/CV)

    * 6 spacers

    * Real-time battery monitoring system.

    * IC temperature monitoring system

    * Car adaptor is included

    * 90 day warranty



    References:

    What everyone should know about Battery Chargers, Battery University

    this is a work still in progress. please be patient.

    Nov 7, 2012 Edit History Delete
    Moaufan and sonicbomb like this.
  5. This is a Table of Contents for my blogs. Click on the link for the subject of choice.

    1. Proper Terminology: Is it a carto, a tank, or what? A Guide to Juice Delivery Devices
    • A picture dictionary for beginners with descriptions of clearomizers, nano's, drip atomizers, bottom feeding mods, cartomizers, cartotanks, and RBA's (rebuildable atomizers). Includes video demos/reviews of all devices. Includes tips on clearomizer tanks to avoid flooding or dry hit issues.

    2. Guide to Choosing a Li-ion Battery Charger

    • Guide to help a novice in choosing a charger. Covers recommended brands, suggestions for the number of charging bays you'll need, independent bays, LED or LCD models, and "smart chargers".

    3. Are You Using a Rewrap (Rebranded) Battery?

    • Learn what a rewrap cell is. If you are using rebranded cells, does that mean it is inferior, poor quality, or even dangerous? Which batteries are suspected to be rebranded batteries?

    4. Good Starter Setups for a Beginner Vaper
    • Typical starter setups recommended for a new vaper. Includes a video on the use of an eGo variable voltage battery/clearomizer and of the iStick and MVP mods.

    5. Baditude's Cartotank Setup Guide
    • How I set up my cartotanks. Includes a video review of a popular and essentual tank tool; commentary on single coil vs dual coil cartomizers, punched vs unpunched cartomizers, and help in determining what resistance coil to purchase.

    6. Something Safe for Cinnamon & Citrus Flavors
    • There are some flavors which can destroy plastic tanks. Discover which flavors are known to cause this, watch a video of a tank melting using one of these flavors, and see a picture dictionary of safe products to use if you enjoy using these flavors.

    7. Information Resources for Your First RBA
    • An essential read and referrance guide for someone new to rebuilding coils. Includes a multitude of useful links on battery safety, mod safety, coil meters, coil building, and the differences in the three types of RBA's.

    8. A Beginner's Guide to Your First Mechanical Mod
    • Covers the differences between a mechanical vs. regulated mod, essential safety accessories, optional safety accessories to add layers of safety to your mech, routine maintanance, use of proper batteries, proper ventilation, low resistance vaping, and faux hybrid mods.

    9. Battery Basics for Mods: The Definative Battery Guide for Vaping
    • A popular and essential read to understand which batteries are safe to use in mechanical and regulated mods. Includes a frequently updated list of recommended safe-chemistry, high-drain batteries with their specifications.

    10. Advancing Up the Vaping Ladder
    • From cigalike batteries, to eGo's, to mods. Another picture dictionary of terminology and form factors for beginning vapers. Includes videos.

    11. Deeper Understanding of Mod Batteries Part 1
    • For those who want to learn the differences between IMR, IMR/hybrid, ICR, and LiPo batteries. What do those numbers and letters on batteries mean? What's an amp rating and why is it more important than the mAh rating when choosing a battery for vaping?

    12. Deeper Understanding of Mod Batteries Part 2
    • Protected vs unprotected batteries - what's the difference? Ohm's Law 101. What is an AW battery? What is an inline fuse? What is stacking batteries?

    13. Why Provari?
    • What is the Provari and why is it so popular? Includes some little known facts, and videos & links to ECF threads on why the Provari is loved by owners.

    14. Ohm's Law Explained for Vapers
    • My attempt at explaining Ohm's Law in simple layman terms and how it relates to vaping.

    15. Inexpensive Mechanical Mod and RDA Setup
    • A response to the frequently asked question on how to get into rebuildable atomizers with a mechanical mod safely & inexpensively. Includes a list of commonly used tools and supplies for rebuilding and links to where to find them.

    16. Explain it to the Dumb Noob: Ohm's Law Calculations
    • As simple as it is to use, some people have a tough time grasping the concept. Warning: Includes graphic photos of mod explosions.

    17. Purple Efest Batteries Not As Advertised
    • A cautionary blog that reveals that the purple Efest batteries may not have the specifications advertised. Also includes an important commentary on "continuous discharge ratings" vs "pulse discharge ratings" of battery specs.
    Naazim and nyiddle like this.
  6. Dampfakkus is an independent researcher in Germany who tests battery specifications, and who first exposed that Efest is using cells from other manufacturers, rebranding them, and then advertising over-rated specifications allegedly as a marketing ploy for better sales of their batteries.

    Mooch brings to the table quite a few expert years of testing batteries for various businesses and some government projects. He mainly tests batteries for max temperature thresholds. Many know that heat is the enemy for a Lithium based battery -- get a battery too hot, bad things happen. Using a battery towards its max current output makes batteries get hot, damaging them and lowering their output and life cycle. His lists of tests can help you find the right battery for your application. An open letter to Efest...you've gone too far


    The purple Efest 2500mah "35 amp" battery:

    [​IMG]


    The purple Efest 3100mah "20 amp" battery:

    [​IMG]



    The purple Efest 2100mah 30 amp battery:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Unwrapping this Efest reveals a Sony VTC4 cell underneath

    9-12-2015 As Mooch's bench tests are more recent than Dampfakkus's, I believe there's a good possibility that Efest is no longer using a Sony VTC4 cell in this battery. With Efest, you never know what cell is under the wrapper.



    Purple Efest 18650 2100 mAh "38 Amp"

    [​IMG]


    The purple Efest 3000mah "35 Amp" battery
    [​IMG]

    [* Excuse the odd grammar in some of the above quotes. These were taken from Google translations from German or French converted to English.]

    Efest does not "manufacture" their own cells, but rewrap original cells by other manufacturers and them sell them as their own brand. The cells that Efest are re-branding are good quality cells for the most part, but the deception Efest and their distributors use to market their batteries is what is dangerous. Please be aware that Efest may change what cell that they re-wrap at any point in time, so you may never know for sure what's "inside". UPDATE: The Efest 35A 3000mAh exists in at least 3 versions!

    In summary:

    purple 18650 2800mAh "35A" (* tested as only a 15 amp CDR)

    purple 18650 2500mAh "35A" (*rebranded LG18650HE2 2500mAh 20 amp CDR)

    purple 18650 2100mAh 30A (* rebranded Sony 18650VTC4 30 amp CDR)

    purple 18650 2100 mah "38 Amp" (* tested as only a 20 amp CDR)

    purple 18650 3000 mah "35 Amp" (*tested as only a 10 amp CDR)

    Efest Purple 30A 2100mAh 18650
    Efest Purple 30A 2100mAh 18650 Bench Test Results...only a 20A battery

    Efest Purple 35A 2900mAh 18650
    Efest 35A 2900mAh 18650 Bench Test Results...only a 15A+ battery

    Efest Purple 38A 2100mAh 18650
    Efest 38A 2100mAh 18650 Bench Test Results...an ok 20A cell, no higher

    Efest Purple 35A 2800mAh 18650
    Efest 35A 2800mAh 18650 Bench Test Results...a 20A/2300mAh battery

    Efest Purple 35A 3000mAh 18650
    Efest Purple 35A 3000mAh 18650 Bench Test Results...only a 20A battery, equal to HG2 though

    UPDATE: The Efest 35A 3000mAh exists in at least 3 versions!
    People who are buying these batteries for sub-ohm use and expecting them to perform at the advertised spec may be unknowingly using a battery with inferior (lesser) specifications for that use, which could be dangerous by using a battery above its specification limits. The amp ratings that Efest is advertising are dubious and deceptive. Reputable manufacturers use the "continuous discharge rate" (CDR), an accepted industry standard.






    Continuous Discharge Ratings vs Pulse (Burst) Discharge Ratings, Why You Need to Know the Difference

    The "continuous discharge rating" in amps is the standard specification for amp limits within the battery industry. It is a determination made by the manufacturer and represents the amp limit a battery can be safely used before it will fail.

    The "pulse or burst" discharge rating is not a specification standard within the battery industry. Every manufacturer or vendor seems to have their own definition of what the pulse rating is.

    A pulse discharge rating is any use above the continuous discharge rating. It is never safe and not within the intended operating parameters of the battery. You should not operate your device above the continuous rating if you can help it. The pulse rating is a condition in which the battery is on basically a buildup to failure. It is exceeding the sustainable and intended discharge rate of the battery. It is inappropriate for a consumer device to operate in the pulse range of its battery.

    Which would be why we shouldn't rely on any pulse rating. Any failure, mechanical or electronic, that fires the mod will operate in the 'continuous' mode. If your setup relies on a pulse rating, it's instantly over spec.


    If your amp draw is safely in the continuous discharge range, your coil could act almost like a fuse and burn out before the battery is stressed. If you are already running the battery at the edge of it's limits (pulse), there is no margin of safety.

    I am of the mindset that you should leave a margin of safety when deciding what resistance coil to use. We probably place too much faith into cheap ohm readers in being precise and accurate. Also, a RDA's post screw unknowingly coming loose can greatly change the coil's resistance.

    Everyone is free to set their own parameters, and I can only say what mine are.

    I try to never exceed 50% of the CDR (continuous discharge rating) of a fully charged battery (4.2v). So with a 20A batteries, that would be 10A. The above Ohm's Law Calculator tells me that a .4 ohm build is as low as I would want to use.

    The reason that I place a 50% limit is because as a battery ages the mAh of the battery degrades, as the mAh degrades so does the batteries c rating (amp limit). So down the road, your 20A battery may only be a 10A battery.


    Battery pulse ratings are useless! | E-Cigarette Forum
    DaveP, AngiBe and TomHell like this.
  7. Here is possibly a simpler explanation of Ohm's Law as it applies to vaping.
    Ohm's Law Explained for Vapors

    :danger:
    Now, back to your coil question. NO, THAT BUILD IS NOT SAFE FOR THE BATTERY YOU ARE USING.
    List of Batteries and Amp Limits By using this list in the link, you'll find your battery has a 20 amp continuous discharge rate (CDR).


    :rules:
    The two most important things to know when rebuilding coils is to know the amp limit of the battery you have and to know the measured resistance of your coil. This is where Ohm's Law comes into play. If you come away with anything after reading this article, this is it.



    When you push the button on a mech mod, you complete a DC circuit. The battery in your mod doesn't know or doesn't care what the resistance of the coil wire is. All the battery knows is the circuit is complete. And that it has to obey Ohms Law.

    Ohms Law says that the amount of amps will be equal to the voltage divided by the resistance. The more resistance you have with the coil, the higher the ohms will be and the less amps from the battery are needed. The lower the resistance of the coil, the lower the ohm will be and higher amps will be required to fire the coil.

    So a freshly charged battery at 4.2 Volts needs to provide 14 Amps if the Coil Resistance is 0.3 Ohms.

    Amps = Volts / Ohms => Amps = 4.2 / .3 => Amps = 14

    It doesn't matter if the battery can safely do this. It's what the battery has to do.

    So if you ask a battery to provide more amps than it is capable of, it is going to get hot trying to power the coil. Just like a thin extension cord gets hot when you draw too many amps thru it.

    But a battery isn't an extension cord. It is a cylinder full of chemical compounds. And these chemical compounds can rapidly react, breakdown and even burn/explode. And when they do, they release gases. This is called "thermal runaway", or venting.

    It's these vented gases that can build up in your mod causing it to explode. Thus, mechanical mods must have adequate vent holes to allow the escape of gas.

    IMR batteries use what is called "safer chemistry". In that they do not (should not) catch fire or release large amounts of gases when they Vent. So they are MUCH safer to use than regular rechargeable batteries (ICR or Li-Ion).

    But they cost more. So people don't use them unless they need them. Vapers who use mech mods need to use IMR (or INR ) batteries so if there is a problem, and the battery fails, it shouldn't cause a mech mod to explode. The IMR battery will just basically stop working or release some gas. Just make sure the mod has adequate vent holes.

    If you're going to use a mech mod, you have to be able to calculate how many amps you are going to ask your battery to safely provide. Then you have to look at what the "continuous" amp rating is for the battery.

    So if you battery is rated at 20 amps continuous discharge, you should not build anything that requires the battery to provide more than about 18 Amps. You should ALWAYS leave a little "headroom" or safety margin.


    In review, when you build your coil and fire it on your mod, it will draw a specific amount of current (amps) from the battery. That current must not be more than the total amps in continuous discharge rate of the battery, or very bad things could happen.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    hand trauma from vented battery and mod explosion

    Never fire a coil without first confirming the ohm resistance on an ohm reader or multimeter. You can't just rely on a coil wrapping calculator or somebody's recommendations, there's too much chance for human error. The smallest error can be catastrophic. Even seasoned veterans always check the resistance of their coils on a meter to make sure they are safe.




    1) To find out what current (amps) battery you'll need for a regulated mod, see Calculating battery current draw for a regulated mod

    2) To find out what current (amps) the coil will pull from the battery in a mechanical mod, you use an Ohms Law Calculator.

    [​IMG]

    You have the resistance of the coil (what you measured with your ohm meter) and the voltage (always use 4.2 volts of a fully charged battery), so type those figures into the calculator and then click calculate. The current is the amps that coil will draw from the battery. Now compare the coil amp draw to your battery's amp limit. Are they compatible? Not so hard, right?

    The below calculations demonstrate that the lower you go in ohms the higher the amp requirement becomes. See how your 0.19 ohm coil will draw OVER 20 amps from your battery. You are also putting a lot of faith into a cheap ohm reader in being precisely accurate to the tenth/hundreth of an ohm. Always tend to err on the side of safety when you make your builds by allowing some safety head room.

    1.0 ohm = 4.2 amp draw
    0.9 ohm = 4.6 amp draw
    0.8 ohm = 5.2 amp draw
    0.7 ohms = 6 amp draw
    0.6 ohms = 7 amp draw
    0.5 ohms = 8.4 amp draw
    0.4 ohms = 10.5 amp draw
    0.3 ohms = 14.0 amp draw
    0.2 ohms = 21.0 amp draw
    0.1 ohms = 42.0 amp draw
    0.0 ohms = dead short = battery goes into thermal runaway​

    Everyone is free to set their own parameters, and I can only say what mine are.

    I try to never exceed 50% of the CDR (continuous discharge rating) of a fully charged battery (4.2v). So with a 20A batteries, that would be 10A. The above Ohm's Law Calculator tells me that a .4 ohm build is as low as I would want to use.

    The reason that I place a 50% limit is because as a battery ages the mAh of the battery degrades, as the mAh degrades so does the batteries c rating (amp limit). So down the road, your 20A battery may only be a 10A battery.

    Sorry for the graphic photos above, but I believe its important to get the point across that you should not mess with Ohm's Law when it comes to batteries. The above pics are an extreme example. The batteries we have can be quite safe if you use the correct batteries and do not abuse them beyond their recommended amp limit. Most battery incidents result from user error or wrong calculations, or ignoring safe battery practices.

    A battery venting in thermal runaway will release extremely hot gas, toxic chemicals, and possibly flames. Once this chemical reaction begins, there is no stopping it. The gas can build up inside a mod, and if there is inadequate venting the mod becomes a little pipe bomb.

    [​IMG] What's left of an exploded mechanical mod after a vented battery

    Man Severely Injured After E-Cigarette Explodes


    I personally don't believe anyone should build lower than 0.2 ohms over their battery's maximum continuous discharge rate. This gives a tiny bit of head room should your post screws become loose which can change the coil resistance, and also accounts for some error in your Ohm reader. Periodically recheck your build's resistance to insure it doesn't unknowingly fall below your target resistance. Also know there are two amp ratings: Continuous and pulse (burst) discharge rating. I prefer using the continuous discharge rating over the pulse discharge rating. Pulse ratings are always higher than the continuous, and are not as reliable as the continuous rating.
  8. Many vapers are asking the best way to get into dripping on a mechanical mod and RBA without breaking their bank account. I've carefully chosen the following recommendations based on my experience which can provide an inexpensive quality setup, and added suggestions for the tools & supplies needed to make coils.

    The Silver Bullet and IGO-W were my first mech mod and first rebuildable drip atomizer. I've been using Silver Bullets for nearly 5 years. My son is now using my IGO-W on another Silver Bullet. I'm currently using a dual microcoil build @ 0.6 ohms with Rayon (cellucotton) wick in an authentic gun metal Patriot RDA and a black Tobecco Velocity clone RDA on a black silver-vein Silver Bullet (see pic below).

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Silver Bullet mechanical mod from AltSmoke. $85
    • A classic that's been around for years and continues to be a staple in many vapers' collection.
    • USA made, so in the unlikely event should it need repair you can just send it to AltSmoke.
    • Safer and more natural side fire button with a wired switch; recessed button prevents accidental autofiring unlike a bottom-fire button. Battery ventilation via the specially designed fire button; batteries usually vent at the battery top, not the bottom where most other mechanical mods have their ventilation holes.
    • Lightweight yet durable, its milled from aircraft-grade aluminum block. Silky smooth threading.
    • Available in many colors.
    • Kick extension sleeve available to use with the 18650 IMR battery should you decide to use a Kick.
    • A fully mechanical Silver Bullet is also available.
    *The Silver Bullet from AltSmoke is no longer available or in production. (6/27/2017)



    Velocity RDA Clone by Tobeco $17
    An inexpensive first RDA with two posts for single, dual, or quad coils. Huge deep drip well, spacey build deck, large holes in posts to fit wires in, excellent airflow options.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    LG HG2 18650 3000mah 20A continuous discharge batteries, $5 - 7 each
    Among the best, safest, and most versatile batteries on the market; a nice combination of capacity and good amp rating. Don't skimp on batteries, they are the most important gear in your setup and potentially the most dangerous. Use Samsung 30Q 18650 3000mah 20A batteries or AW 18650 IMR 3000mah 20A batteries if unable to find the LG's in stock.

    [​IMG] LG HG2 18650 3000mAh 20A
    [​IMG] Samsung 30Q 18650 3000mAh 20A
    [​IMG] AW 18650 IMR 3000mAh 20A

    Battery charger: Guide to Choosing a Li-ion Battery Charger
    Xtar, Nitecore Intellicharger, Pila, or Efest LUC. $17 - $50 depending on features.

    Meters:
    You'll need a digital multimeter, or an ohm reader and a 510 voltage meter, to measure coil resistance and battery voltage.

    Precision Screwdriver Set. $7
    Used to wrap your coils around and tighten your RDA post screws. Screwdriver bases have the diameter clearly marked on them in mm.

    Stainless Steel Tweezer. $7
    Used to compress the coil loops to make a compressed coils. Also helpful to tease the wick through the coil.

    Mini Butane Torch. $8 (optional - not everyone anneals their Kanthal wire)
    Used to anneal Kanthal wire. Don't forget fuel for the torch.

    Scissors, wire cutter, or nail clipper to cut wire and wicks.

    Kanthal wire: $8
    Available in different thicknesses (gauges). 26 gauge is usually recommended for novices.

    Organic cotton balls, cellucotton (rayon) , Ecowool, or silica wick.
    I strongly recommend building a single microcoil at 1.0 ohm for your first couple of builds. Once you get that down, you can learn to build dual coils and use lower resistance. Baby steps. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid)


    Information Resources for Your First RBA - please read this thoroughly before you begin to rebuild.

    Ohm's Law Calculator - Insure that your measured coil resistance will not pull more amps than your battery's continuous amp rating. Always use 4.2 volts as the voltage (fully charged battery). How to use an Ohm's Law calculator.

    Coil Wrapping Calculator - Type in the appropriate info in the drop down menus and learn how many wraps for a particular resistance coil. Provides a graphic of how the finished coil should look.

    Ohm's Law for Dummies - Learn to understand voltage, resistance, and amps here as it applies to vaping.

    Kanthal Wire Beginner's Guide

  9. So here is my take on an ohm’s law explanation using a power wheel as an anology.

    [​IMG]
    .. ........................

    Section 1: The parts of Ohm's law
    Look at the graphic below and you will see what’s known as the Ohm’s Law triangle, aka your cheat sheet for this section. To understand what this all means we first need to understand the three components of Ohm’s Law: Voltage, Resistance, and Amperage.

    To achieve this we are going to use the analogy of a water basin with a flood gate dam pouring onto a water wheel (see above animation). Bear in mind on a technical level this isn’t a perfect analogy but for our purposes it will do the trick. So here we go again!



    [​IMG]


    • Work - The wheel in this analogy refers to the work being done. The faster the wheel spins the more work that is done.
    • V - Voltage - Voltage is the water basin itself. It is the potential for energy, or the potential amount of water you have to work with.
    • R – Resistance (ohms) - Resistance is the flood gates. It is what controls how much water can flow out of our basin. The lower the flood gates the more water that can flow through.
    • I – Amperage - Amperage (amps, or electrical current) is the stream of water coming out of the flood gates. This is what actually does the work. Imagine the water wheel is right under the flood gate. The more water that comes out (amperage) the faster the wheel spins, let water flow through too fast and the water wheel breaks!

    • Watts is a derived unit of power. Voltage is a simple measurement. Wattage is a calculation.
      In a nutshell, wattage (power) is equal to the voltage squared divided by the resistance of the atomizer. In a variable wattage device, it reads the resistance of the atomizer and calculates the voltage needed based on your wattage setting. I know that sounds complicated, but you don't really have to understand that part. Let's move on...
    • Volts = the level of power (force) coming out of the battery.
      Watts = the amount of power (work) coming through your atomizer.
    • Ohms = measured unit of resistance of a wire coil. Determines the amount of electrical current that will pass through the coil and thereby determines the amount of heat generated by the coil.

    Section 2: Let the water flow - How Voltage, Resistance and Amperage Relate
    Now that we know what V (voltage), R (resistance) and I (amps) are, let’s talk about how they function and what it means to us vapers. The easiest one of these three to grasp is work. Work is simply energy being used to accomplish something. For vapers that energy is electricity from the battery and the work is our coil heating up. The more work the warmer our coil.

    Resistance is our flood gate. If we raise our flood gate (raise our resistance) less water is allowed to flow through. If we lower the flood gates (lower the resistance) more water is allowed to flow through.


    In our ecigs our resistance is in our coils. If you increase the resistance of the coil then less electricity is allowed to flow through the coil. The lower the electrical flow through the coil the cooler your vape will be. On the inverse if we increase the electrical flow by lowering the flood gates (lower the resistance in our coil) we will see a higher electrical flow that will result in warmer temperatures.


    Lower Ohm Coils Will:

    Produce A Warmer Tasting Vape
    Heat The Coil Faster
    Produce More Vapor
    Drain The Battery Faster
    Use E-Juice Faster

    Higher Ohm Coils Will:

    Provide A “Cooler” Tasting Vape
    Heat The Coil Slower
    Produce “Less” Vapor
    Use Less E-Juice
    Prolong Battery Life

    Remember back to our water wheel for a bit, if you let too much water flow into the wheel it’s going to break, right? So if you run too low of a resistance there will be too much electrical flow and the “wheel” will break. What is the “wheel” with ecigs? Your battery! And when it breaks bad things happen, sometimes very bad things. This is really only a concern with mechanical mods as most regulated VV mods have a low ohm cut off to prevent these types of issues.


    [​IMG]
    What's left after a mech mod explosion after a battery went into thermal runaway (venting).



    Next, Voltage, our water basin. This is where the analogy falls a little short but bear with me. So what happens when you have a bunch of water above an opening? The pressure increases. So the larger your basin (voltage) the more pressure you have trying to push through the opening. This means that if you have a small basin and suddenly make it a large basin (increase the voltage) you now need to raise the flood gates a little bit to maintain the same flow rate (amperage). This can be seen by using a low resistance coil at low voltage and then switching to a higher resistance coil at higher voltage. They should vape very similarly. Thicker wire has lower resistance than thinner wire. Thinner wire has higher resistance than thicker wire.


    Bring back the water wheel again, if we don’t raise our flood gates when we increase the size of the basin (raising resistance when we raise the voltage) you will have a higher amount of water flowing through the gate (electrical flow). When we do this the wheel spins faster and our vape is warmer, but once again, spin the wheel too fast and it will break. In this instance though the “wheel” can be several things. You may still damage your battery in a mechanical mod but you might also pop a coil or even burn your juice. So the “wheel” in this instance expands to not only be the battery but also the coil and the juice. Regardless of what it is, things breaking is bad.

    Finally the water flow, which represents the Amperage or electric current. Our water flow is what does the actual work. Amperage is the actual flow of electrons through our coil and what causes our coils to warm up.


    The relationships should be starting to shine through at this time. If you lower the flood gate our water flow increases and if we increase the size of our basin the water flow increases, too. In vaping the water flow (amperage) is the one thing you have no direct control over. We adjust the amperage by raising and lowering our flood gates (resistance) and by increasing or decreasing the size of our basin (voltage). Amperage is what’s dangerous in electricity, it’s what makes things work and causes things to break.

    Section 3: Bringing it Back to Earth - Application of Ohm's Law
    So let’s bring this analogy into the real world and show you how to use your new found knowledge. Grab your text book or review the second image I listed above. Even though you now know what V, R and I are, this thing still might not make sense. Well we’re about to change that! This is what’s referred to as the Ohm wheel, or... er… I guess triangle in this case. This handy little guy has packed in it every basic formula you need when applying Ohms law.

    :unsure: “But Baditude, this thing is just a triangle!” you might be thinking, and that’s where you’re wrong. Using this you can calculate any one value assuming you have the other two. Simply cover up the value you don’t have and BAM! There’s you’re formula.

    [​IMG]

    • Trying to calculate voltage (V) and have resistance (R) and amperage (I)? Cover the V and we get I x R = V and that’s your formula.

    • Have voltage (V) and amperage (I) and need resistance (R)? Cover up R. V / I = R.

    • Finally the most important to us vapers, when you have voltage (V - 4.2 volts of a fully charged battery)) and resistance (R - the measured ohm rating of the coil) and need to know the amperage (I) that a coil will pull from the battery? Cover the I and we get V / R = I. This is the formula we will use the most when rebuilding coils. We can control our voltage with VV devices and we can control our resistance with different coils, so we almost always have V and R and need to find amperage (I) to verify we’re safe.

    Ohm's Law Calculator for mechanical mods -- Hate formulas or math? For those of us who are math challenged like myself you can use this Ohm's Law calculator link.

    [​IMG]





    Section 4: Closing Remarks & Some Tips
    So there it is! That’s a basic run down on Ohms Law as it relates to vaping (and water wheels).:laugh:

    If using a regulated variable voltage battery device, a simple little formula to use to find the voltage needed to fire a coil is the Ohms Plus Two Formula. If you know the resistance of the coil, add the number two and the sum will be the voltage to begin with. For example, 2.0 ohms + the number "2 " = 4 volts. This is a good starting point, and you can adjust + or - to find your "sweet spot".


    How does ohms law work with 2 batteries?


    For RBA users: When using the Ohm's Law Calculator to calculate the battery amp draw of a coil in a RBA on a mechanical mod, always use 4.2 volts as the voltage (a fully charged battery's voltage).
    You should never pull more amps than the continuous discharge rate in amps for that battery, and you should allow for some safe headroom on top of that. Amp ratings for batteries


    For Regulated Mod Users:
    The voltage output from a regulated mod is not the battery voltage (as it is in a mechanical mod). It is converted using a combination of buck/boost and/or PWM (pulse width modulation) circuitry or pulsed DC circuitry in the processor to achieve the desired wattage to fire the atomizer.

    On a regulated mod the coil resistance is essentially irrelevant. What dictates the amp draw on the battery is the wattage you set, and the remaining voltage in the battery. The amp draw will increase as the battery discharges.

    In the interests of keeping things simple:

    If you use a good quality 20 amp CDR battery like the Samsung 30Q or the LG HG2 then you are good for 60 watts per battery. If you have a two-battery regulated mod, don't exceed 120 watts.

    If you use a 30 amp CDR battery like the LG HB6 in a single battery mod, you could safely do 90 watts assuming the mod cuts off when the battery reaches 3.4 volts. 180 watts in a dual battery mod. Realize that a true 30A battery only has 1500mAh capacity, so battery time will be less than for a 20A 3000mAh battery.

    Calculating the current being drawn from the batteries in a regulated device can be very confusing. You can't do it the same way as you would for a mechanical/unregulated device and there are so many different battery configurations; single, dual parallel, dual series, triple series, etc.


    The way I keep it all sorted out is to remember that, in a regulated mod, the coil isn't connected to the battery. The regulator is. To calculate the current being drawn from each battery when using variable-wattage (VW) mode you need to calculate the maximum wattage each battery supplies.

    Calculating battery current draw for a regulated mod

    Never fire a coil in a RBA without first checking the resistance with a reliable ohm reader or digital multimeter. Routinely re-check the resistance after use to insure the resistance remains what you built. Something as simple as a post screw becoming loose can change your resistance. This recently occured in my own RDA when a loose positive post screw lowered the coil resistance by 0.5 ohms. Thankfully I routinely check and recheck my coil resistance with an ohm reader, or I might have experienced a catastrophic battery event. I never build lower than 0.6 ohms. Had I been using a 0.3 ohm build when the screw came loose, I would have hard shorted my battery.


    Understanding the relationship between power and coil resistance | E-Cigarette Forum

    Now for some fun with electricity:

  10. [​IMG]
    *UPDATE: Provape went out of business in 2017, primarily because the FDA regulations introduced in August 2016 made it financially impossible for Provape to remain competitive in the vaping market. This article is now an ode to a once grand company.*

    (The following article originally written circa 2013)​
    Nearly every day a new thread on ECF is started asking what is so special about the Provari from Provape. So to appease those people's questions, I've decided to add another title to my blogs with a collection of facts and opinions about the Provari. This blog is about the 2.5 version. Provape also now offers a "Classic", Provari P3, Radius, and Procyon models. Specification Comparisons of the Radius, P3, and Classic models

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]

    The Provari was first introduced in 2010. It quickly became the "gold standard" of regulated advanced personal vaporizors due to its quality of build, superb craftmanship, quality of parts used, and the attention to manufacturing detail.

    It has a military-grade processor-regulator (made in the US) whose patented Accuset Technology offers unmatched accuracy of providing the user's set voltage throughout its battery's life.

    Exceptional regulation
    From a fully charged battery until that battery needs to be replaced, there will be no drop off in vapor quality as the battery is used. Your last puff will be as good as the first. The processor continuously monitors the battery voltage, and adjusts the voltage automatically to maintain the user setting within 1% accuracy. The regulator uses PWM (pulse width modulation) at 800+ Hz frequency, which many owners describe as a "smoother vaping experience" when compared to many other mods. The vast majority of mod processors use a lower frequency (33.3 - 60 Hz -- the rattlesnake effect).

    Provari on an Oscelloscope vs a Vamo
    Why Mods that Use the Cheap 33.3 Hz Chip don't Vape the Same as a Provari, DNA-20, etc
    The Different Types of Power In E-Cigs


    Most of the Chinese mod manufacturers use cheaper, less sophisticated regulating chips in order to decrease production and sale costs, which use "mean" and not "RMS" regulation. These are not capable of down regulating power (they can be widely inaccurate, especially at lower voltages). They can't output voltages between 3v and 4.2 volts even though their display say they can and are. Therefore, they may appear to be vaping "hot" or harsh at lower wattage settings.

    [​IMG]

    Durability and reliability
    A Provari will provide exceptional durability, reliability, and dependability for years. Survival stories are commonplace. From falling one story off of a ledge onto concrete, run over by cars and a dump truck, falling from a moving motorcycle and bouncing on the highway, getting dunked in a swimming pool or temporarily lost in a river, to surviving an entire cycle in a washing machine when forgotten in a pants pocket. In each instance and more, the Provari survived. Only the blade of a lawn mower has bested a Provari (the chip survived and was placed in a new Provari body when returned to Provape).

    Exceptional customer support and warranty
    The US manufacturer supports its product for life, offering a 1 year warranty, an option to purchase a second year at time of purchase, and offering fast repair service for life after warranty for a reasonable cost. Typical turnaround for repair is only one week. Chinese manufacturers offer no repair options, you will have to purchase another mod should they break or need repair of any sort.

    Standard Post-Warranty Service Repair Costs for a Provari
    Replace Window and screws- $10.00
    Replace Circuit Board - $65.00
    Upgrade to V2 - $20.00
    Replace plastic pushbutton - $5.00
    Repairs to the circuit board - $25.00
    Cleaning - $20.00
    Replace top cap - $15.00
    Broken Cartomizer Service - $10.00
    Return shipping within the USA - $5.00


    Provari: Made in the USA
    The Provari is 99% US made and manufactured. Provape uses US-made stainless steel bar stock to produce the tubes, top caps, bottom caps, and connectors. The circuit board and processor are made in the US. Only a certain few electrical components for the circuit board not available from the US are from other countries.





    [​IMG]

    Two sizes of Provari The standard size Provari and the Mini are exactly the same except for the battery sizes that they can use and their overall length. They are the same price. They have the same mico-processor and functions. The outer body milling designs are different between the standard (crop circles) and mini (tear drops).

    The Provari offers only variable voltage (no variable wattage). It uses a standard 510 connector for juice attachments. It has an LED screen to display information such as voltage settings, as well as ohm and voltage meter readings. For your safety, it will provide an error code when there is something wrong with the setup. It uses a single button to control mode settings: Power Up, Power Down, Power On/Off, Battery Voltage, Ohm Resistance, LED Light On/Off. The Provari measures resistance and battery voltage "under load".

    It comes in a standard size using an 18490 IMR high-drain battery. With the optional battery extension cap ($25), you can use the larger 18650 battery. The shorter Mini Provari uses an 18350 battery; with the extension cap you can use the 18490 battery. Provape strongly recommends using only AW high drain IMR button top batteries. Why High Drain Batteries?

    There are third party manufacturers who offer extension rings which will allow you to use an 18650 battery in the Mini along with the Provape extension cap. Tatroe Mods Provari Extension Ring

    video by Provape

    PBusardo's Review of the Provari (version 2.0) YouTube video

    Provari and rebuildable atomizer.

    Provari 2.5 are currently available (December 2015) with a starting price of $99. The default Provari comes in a satin silver finish. Colors are optional in carokote finishes for an additional $20. This is a durable ceramic coated finish that many firearms use. People may ask why Provape charges more for the colored models. Provape doesn't paint them in house, but outsources them to an outside company. This costs Provape $20, so they only charge this amount to those customers who desire a colored Provari. Provape also offers the extremely durable Zencoat finishes at additional charge.


    "Slightly blemished" Provari's are available for less cost. These are tiny cosmetic flaws that most owners have a difficult time finding.

    The default color for the LED display is red, with blue and green LED colors offered for $15 additional. The supplier charges Provape $15 more for the blue or green LED, so Provape only charges this additional amount to those customers who desire one of these LED colors.

    People sometimes wonder why Provape charges additional for the battery extension cap. Other manufacturers charge the same amount for battery extensions. For example, AltSmoke charges $25 for their Kick extension sleeve for the Silver Bullet. So instead of raising the overall price of a Provari across the board, Provape charges extra only for the above options to those customers who desire them. This keeps the basic Provari cost to a minimum for those on a budget.

    There are a number of beauty rings available to dress up the Provari's top for a more flush look with certain juice attachments: ProRings as of 2013



    Below are links to archived articles, mostly from ECF (Electronic Cigarette Forum), that speak to the quality of the Provari:



    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Provari P3 (20 watt/0.5 ohm)

    The above information is about the 2.5 version of Provari. In late 2014, Provape came out with the P3 version. This version has the same Provape eye towards quality and ruggedness. It's a little more powerful (20 watts vs 15 watts) and now includes variable wattage in addition to VV. By default it can fire down to a 0.8 ohm sub-ohm coil, and with the firmware upgrade (available at selected dealers or from Provape) can fire down to 0.5 ohm.

    It comes with two battery extension tubes, so you can use an 18350, 18490/18500, or 18650 IMR battery; and you can now use either flat top or button top batteries. The tapered "Provari cone" top is gone, it now has a flat top. It has a new user interface and some other added features.



    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    New Provari Radius box mod (40 watt/0.3 ohm)




    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

    Freedom2Vape, PamW, Liskrig and 3 others like this.
  11. Deeper Understanding of Mod Batteries (part I)
    Batteries are the most rudimentary part of any e-cigarette. It is the life force which drives the entire industry. With the initial e-cigarettes, the consumer didn’t have to worry about the type of battery their e-cigarette contained, only that it was safe and you screwed it into a charger when it was empty. With the explosion of the mod market, (no pun intended), and the rise of low resistance atomizers, the need for a more educated consumer has grown considerably.

    This article covers what all the mystical numbers mean and how they affect your vaping experience. I will attempt to keep it as simple as possible without getting too technical and putting everyone to sleep...



    What do all those numbers and letters really mean?
    Battery identification can be one of the most difficult aspects of battery purchasing. All batteries are not created equal and just because two batteries are labeled IMR18650, does not mean they have the same capabilities, characteristics and safety features.


    The batteries we use in e-cigarettes generally follow an industry defined identification scheme consisting of 3 letters followed by 5 numbers, -- IMR18650, ICR14500, NCR18650 etc. The first three letters indicate the battery's basic construction and capabilities. The following series of numbers indicate the batteries approximate physical size and shape.

    The entire sequence can be broken down as such:

    • The first letter indicates the basic chemical makeup of the battery. "I" indicates the battery is a Lithium Ion class battery.
    • The second, and most important letter, indicates the material. "C" indicates the material as cobalt; "M" indicates manganese; "N" indicates nickel.
    • "R" indicates it is a round shape.
    • Knowing this, "ICR" means Li-Ion/cobalt/round; "IMR" means Li-Ion/manganese/round. "INR" means Li-Ion/nickle/round. Using manganese or nickel makes the battery a "safer chemistry".


    Battery duty cycle refers to the approximate number of recharges it can be “cycled” through before the battery will no longer hold a charge. Duty cycles can be 500 charges but will vary depending on the core battery composition.

    It should be noted that while a lithium ion battery does not have “battery memory”, the capacity of the battery will diminish over time as you progress to the end of it’s life expectancy. This means you do not have to fully discharge the battery before charging it like you do with many other rechargeable battery types. You can also use it from the get go without first taking it home and throwing it on the charger, assuming it has a charge left when you receive it.

    It should be noted that you will get longer life expectancy from a battery if you don't drain them down each time you use them. "Topping them off" once they reach about 3.5 volts is better than using them until they stop working and causes no harm. Charging after "half" of a duty cycle of use will prolong the overall life expectancy of the battery. Consistantly draining a battery to 3.4 volts or lower before re-charging will decrease battery life expectancy.


    Long term storage of batteries: Lithium batteries should be stored at 40% capacity at room temperature (69 degrees F).

    Stealthy Statistics
    The battery identifier described above tells a basic story on what the battery can handle, but for
    an ecigarette,and more notably modders, one of the most important ratings is the maximum continuous discharge rate, or amp limit rating. The maximum discharge rate became more prevalent when vapors started building their own coils. With the natural progression of things, our extreme inner drive to produce more vapor, and sub-ohm (< 1.0 ohm) resistance coils, we are dancing dangerously close to the physical limitations of lithium ion batteries. This is because the lower the coil resistance, the more current (amps) it will draw from the battery. Attempting to draw more current than the battery has to offer can cause the battery to vent or explode.

    At this point, I want to point out that some battery brands rebrand/rewrap batteries and then over-rate/exagerate the amp rating to sucker consumers to buy their batteries. Are You Using a ReWrap Battery?


    The maximum continuous discharge rate is generally measured in C and indicates how much current (Amps) you can draw from the battery without causing physical harm to the battery and yourself. Pull more than the maximum discharge rating and the battery becomes unstable, goes into a state of thermal runaway and can exhaust hot gasses, large flames or explode. Quite often, a mod's features will include terms like “battery vent holes”. These holes are in place to safely guide hot gasses and flames away from your face in the case of most battery failures. If they were not present, then a battery venting hot gas with it having nowhere to go could turn it into a pipe bomb.
    There Was a Vape Blast at Vape Blast



    [​IMG]

    The C measurement unit can be a bit hard to understand. The C measurement indicates a current value relative to the batteries overall capacity. For instance, a 2,600 mAh battery with a maximum discharge rating of 1C can handle a maximum current draw of 2.6 amperes or 2,600 mAh; pretty simple. Change the rating to 2C and the maximum discharge rate is 5.2 amperes, 3C is 7.8 amperes, so on and so forth.


    Guide to Battery Specification Terms - what defines capacity, amps, and discharge rates with battery specs?


    BATTERY (Lithium) TYPES:
    Understanding the Types of Battery Chemistry



    IMR (lithium manganese)
    [​IMG]
    AW 18650 IMR battery

    IMR, or Manganese (Li-Mn) cathode batteries were, up until the last couple of years, modders' preferred battery type. IMR batteries originally used a simple manganese cathode which provided for much higher discharge rates than its ICR counterpart. This was not without a loss though. With the manganese high drain cathode, IMR batteries had a much smaller duty cycle and overall battery capacity was nearly half of the ICR.

    Over time, manufacturers started mixing manganese with nickel to improve the duty cycle and capacity of the battery with only a slight reduction to the maximum discharge rate. IMR batteries have a safer basic chemistry than ICR batteries as they can sustain higher internal temperatures before becoming unstable. The manganese cathode has a much lower internal resistance as well, which is the driving force behind the higher drain rating because resistance has a direct correlation to heat generation.

    Most 18650 IMR batteries have maximum discharge rating of 10 amps, with some IMR/Hybrid batteries having up to 30 amps. This is due to the balance of higher capacity and high drain of todays batteries. It is critical never to assume the maximum discharge rating though. If in doubt, Google can be used to find your battery's data sheet which will state the continuous discharge rate in amps. Or, you can trust the amp ratings posted in my Battery Basics for Mods blog.


    It is also worthy to note that some companies may call their IMR-Hybrid batteries simply IMR.


    ______________________________​

    IMR "Hybrid" or INR/NCR


    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    LG HG2 INR (brown), Sony VTC4 IMR/hybrid (green), Samsung 30Q INR (pink), Samsung 25R INR (blue or green), Panasonic NCR 18650PF (green)

    Hybrid batteries (also called IMR/hybrid; also known as INR and NCR) are a newer type of "mixed chemistry" battery manufactured by AW, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony. Hybid batteries use a Cobalt cathode like ICR batteries but have the same manganese and nickle makeup which IMR batteries have. This provides for higher drain capabilities while also having higher overall battery capacity (mAh) than the first generation of IMR batteries. This sub-class of IMR batteries are the most popular for today's mods due to their combination of having high current output (amps) along with respectable capacity (mah).


    Panasonic calls their hybrid batteries NCR, and Samsung and LG call theirs INR.

    Note that not all Panasonic NCR batteries are considered "high drain". The Panasonic NCR18650B 3400 mAh and NCR18650A 3100 mAh are low drain and are designed and best suited for applications like a flashlight, and not mods. Their amp limits are under 8amps continuous discharge rate; in fact the vast majority of Panasonic/Orbtronic batteries are just 10 amps continuous.

    Hybrid batteries are capable of a much lower minimum discharge voltage before causing physical damage to the battery. The battery is capable of being discharged to 2.5V whereas IMR/ICR batteries have a cutoff around 3.2V.

    _________________________


    ICR (lithium cobalt)

    [​IMG]
    AW 18650 Protected ICR battery

    ICR (Li-ion), or Cobalt electrode batteries were the original form of lithium ion batteries. These batteries could handle most factory-made atomizers found in earlier clearomizers or cartomizers. ICR batteries were known for their higher capacities and were suited for the early "entry level" vaping devices, but they are not at all well suited for use in advanced devices such as a regulated variable wattage mod or a mechanical mod with RBA juice attachment.


    Due to ICR batteries not being safe chemistry and having an unacceptable amp rating for today's APV's, they are no longer recommended for vaping and are considered to be obsolete.

    Using Ohm's Law, running a device at 4.2v with a 1.8 ohm coil will draw 2.3 amps from the battery. This is safely below the 2.65 amp rating of the average 2600 mAh ICR 18650 battery. However, using a homemade 1.0 ohm coil at 4.2v on a RBA will draw 4.2 amps which is way over that battery's rating and would not be safe to use.

    ______________________________

    Li-Po or Li-Poly


    [​IMG]
    Ego battery

    [​IMG]
    Lipo battery

    [​IMG]
    Li
    Po battery pack


    LiPo batteries have been used in advanced remote control toys for a number of years. They are used in the vaping industry in eGo batteries as well as in regulated box mods which use an internal, non-replaceable battery. They generally use onboard USB charging. Like ICR, they are not a safe chemistry and depend upon the protection circuitry of the processor to be considered to be relatively safe for vaping purposes. In thermal runaway the reactions are extremely violent and usually accompanied by flames. Their higher reaction temperature creates a lot more gas a lot faster. This can lead to very violent bursting of the battery case.



    Resources:




    ecigrita, LilWhiteClouder and Dom like this.
  12. This is Part II of a Deeper Understanding of Mod Batteries.



    Protected vs. Unprotected Batteries
    There is a common misnomer in the vaping community that a protected battery is safer to use than an unprotected battery. There is a belief that a protected battery will prevent you from over-drawing your battery and prevent it to explode or vent gas. I'm not certain where this belief started, but it needs clarification. A battery labeled as "protected" does not always prevent you from applying a higher current draw than it is capable of handling.

    The term "unprotected" is vague and often misunderstood. It can mean a "safe chemistry IMR or hybrid" that doesn't use a protected circuit, or an "unprotected ICR battery". Unprotected ICR batteries should NEVER be used in a mod; they should only be used in less demanding applications such as flashlights or laptops.

    The protection circuits in batteries vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but primarily prevent you from over-discharging (using the battery past its minimum charge rating) or over-charging the battery. The "protection" moniker is not all-inclusive either. Some will provide just over-discharge protection, others have over-charge protection, and in some batteries over-current protection.

    You will have to hunt down the data sheet from the battery manufacturer to find exactly which protections are provided, or hope that your merchant has this listed online. Protected batteries are quite often longer in length than their unprotected counterpart. This is due to the additional circuitry that is embedded in the battery. Confirm measurements before you commit to purchasing.

    Now, this said, lithium ion batteries have what's called a PTC or Positive Temperature Coefficient circuit. This is built into the battery just above the positive terminal and is present regardless of any "protected" labels. The PTC is designed to raise the resistance of the battery as the temperature of the battery rises.


    The theory behind PTC is that as the resistance goes up, the current draw from the battery goes down - Ohm's Law. This helps prevent most accidents from becoming catastrophic, but it should not be relied on. The PTC is designed to be unobtrusive and you can still over-draw the battery if you aren't paying attention. The PTC circuits can also fail if exposed to static electricity or from a faulty charger. When a PTC fails, it often fails in a position which allows you to continue using the battery without fault.


    Ohm’s Law 101

    Ohm's Law defines the relationship between Voltage, Resistance, and Current, or: I = V / R.
    V = voltage (volts)
    I = current (amps)
    R = resistance (ohm)

    [​IMG]
    Before building your own coils, you should make yourself familiar with Ohm's Law. This will allow you to calculate the draw on your battery before you fire it up for the first time and potentially push the battery past its limits. Ohm's Law for Vapers



    Ohm's Law Calculator

    Basically, if I build a coil that has a resistance of 1.5ohms, and I apply 4.0v across it:

    4.0v / 1.5ohm = 2.6 amps

    This means you will have a 2.6 amp current draw on your battery. If I was using an ICR18350 (a low drain battery), I would be pushing the limits of the battery, while an IMR18350 (a high drain battery) would accept it with ease.


    What exactly is an AW anyway?


    [​IMG]

    AW are the initials of Andrew Wan, who owns a China-based company who at one time "allegedly" purchased large quantities of batteries from the better Japanese manufacturers and performed quality tests on each one because not all batteries are created equal. Once the battery passed the quality tests of AW's standards of quality, they slap on a new wrapper and add their AW label to it. When there were only ICR batteries available (before IMR), the label on AW batteries said, "Assembled in China, Cell and IC made in Japan". This seems to support the theory that AW batteries were "re-wraps".

    [​IMG]

    The above rumors aside, I personally believe that AW is not re-wrapping batteries made by other manufacturers any more. I suspect that AW IMR batteries are manufactured by AW in China. I make this assumption because AW was the very first company to offer a high drain IMR battery on the market, and the Japanese manufacturers do not make IMR batteries in 14500, 18350, or 18490 sizes. AW does offer IMR batteries in this size, so who is actually manufacturing these cells? I believe it is AW. Plus, today's AW batteries say only, "Made in China".

    What is a "Re-Wrapped Battery"?
    There are many battery companies that are not actually manufacturers, but are simply brands. Meaning, they do not make their own cells and are just buying cells from other manufacturers and “rewrapping them” with their own case that has their own brand name and their own logo.

    Most rewrapped batteries are Chinese brands. The first thing vapors must realize is that many of these brands have nothing to lose, and can make greatly exaggerated claims regarding performance with no bad fall back. For example ultrafire will claim 6000mah capaicty in cells that are tested to be only 1000mah. Of course the other grossly exaggerated stat is amp rating...and to sale to vapors, many of these companies will make outrageous claims.. We really recommend that the consumer stay away from all re-wrapped batteries. Here is a list of battery brands highly suspected of being re-wraps:


    • Efest
    • MXJO
    • AW
    • AWT
    • Boost
    • Sigelei
    • Imren
    • Ultrafire
    • Trustfire
    • Orbtronic
    • EH
    • GTL
    • Robiton
    • AWT
    • EagleTac
    • AmpMax
    • Basen
    • BattEnergy
    • EnerPower
    • Fenix
    • Intl-outdoor
    • Redilast
    • Xtar





    Inline fuses are becoming more popular as more people venture into the market of mechanical mods. Unlike regulated mods, mechanical mods have no built-in protective circuitry against short circuits. Inline fuses are small, disk-shaped components which you place inside your mod below the negative terminal on your battery. An inline fuse, commonly rated at 7 amps, will prevent you from accidentally pulling too much current from your battey either from device failure or low atomizer resistance.

    Inline fuses are fairly inexpensive, but do add a small space requirement to fit into the battery compartment of the mod. If you are using a mechanical mod and you can fit one with your battery, I would suggest you add one to your setup. If you are using a regulated mod like a Vamo, ZMax, Provari, etc, an inline fuse is probably overkill as this kind of protection is already built into their processor circuitry. Both Smok and Vape Safe offer inexpensive inline fuses which are specifically designed for e-cigarettes..

    [​IMG][​IMG] Vape Safe Mod Fuse

    Stacked or unstacked?
    In some mods, you can fit two 18350's when the mod is configured for an 18650. This boosts the voltage output from 3.6V to 7.2V which means more vapor. Yay. BUT, you should NEVER do this. Unless you are familiar with matching batteries, you are only endangering yourself and others.


    You may think, "Well, shucks, laptops have multiple batteries in them, why can't my e-cig?" Laptop batteries are specifically designed for stacking and are paired for use at the factory. When using un-matched batteries, they will discharge and provide current at different rates. This means one battery will continuously take more of the stress than the other.

    You may not notice any trouble at the start, but as the batteries age with use the problem will become more severe. Push the batteries a bit further and now you've entered the realm of thermal runaway (see pics at beginning of this blog). Downside being that one battery entering thermal runaway will push the other battery into thermal runaway. Now you have two small, flaming explosives only inches from your face.


    Serial vs Parallel Dual Battery Mods
    Some mods are designed to use two 18650 batteries simultaneously. Series (batteries stacked end to end) will double the voltage output, but the capacity (mah) and amps will stay the same as using only one battery alone. Parallel (side by side) batteries will double the amp and mah capacity while the voltage output remains the same as using single battery. Serial and Parallel Battery Configurations

    [​IMG]
    When a mod is hooked up in series, the voltage is added, while the amperage (current load) and mAh remains the same.


    [​IMG]
    When you have a mod hooked up in parallel, the voltage is the same and the amps and mAh are added.


    Reversing Batteries in Mods
    "Why do people want to insert batteries the wrong way round?
    Perhaps because a battery that fails will vent first from the positive end - you can see the tiny gas vents around the positive terminal at the top. All rechargeables have these. Maybe the device being used only has gas vents at the bottom, so that the user assumes that it will be safer if the battery pos terminal is by the tubemod's gas vent.


    There are so many faults in this reasoning that it is futile listing them and would take too much space. Just don't do it." ---Rolygate, ECF Forum administrator and battery expert.


    How an 18650 Battery is Made



    Summary
    Choose your batteries wisely. Use the right battery for your specific applications. In this day of modern battery technology there is no reason to use ICR batteries in mods. If in question, for general applications you can't go wrong with AW IMR high drain batteries. If building sub ohm coils, use a 20 - 30 amp battery. Battery Basics for Mods

    The above information was adapted and condensed from an article written by Timothy Braun, a vaper enthusiast and battery expert. - Batteries Explained and Safety - » The Original Electronic Cigarette Social Media Network

    Battery Facts


    Legal Battles Between Li-Ion Battery Manufacturers & Vendors




    DarrellG and LilWhiteClouder like this.


  13. :rolleyes: Agreed, the kiosk vendors in the mall are notorious for misrepresenting how their products compare to an analog (cigarette). Accept it as part of the learning process...at least you got your foot in the door by learning about e-cigarettes. There's a whole other world to discover once you start vaping.

    E-Cigarettes or "Cig-alikes

    [​IMG] cigalike

    Many novices start out with the cig-alikes (cigarette-size batteries) and those may well get them off of the smokes. But people soon learn that the cigalike experience can be frustrating with poor battery time (only 2 - 3 hours), limited juice attachment options, and lacking performance in general. Disatisfied, they either go back to smoking or start advancing up the vaping ladder with bigger and better gear to gain more control and more satisfaction from their vape.

    __________________________________​


    Ego Battery Devices

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Ego battery with Evod clearomizer (left) and Ego Spinner battery with Kanger Protank clearomizer (right)

    The intermediate step up are the eGo battery setups like above. These batteries are slim and lightweight, about the size of a cigar or magic marker pen, yet still are pocket/purse friendly. These allow 6 - 12 hours use per battery charge (depending upon the length of the battery), a wider variety of juice delivery devices, a larger e-liquid capacity, and a much more satisfying vaping experience. Expect 6 - 12 months battery life expectancy depending upon how heavy you use a eGo battery.

    Some eGo models, like the Spinner or Twist, have variable voltage (adjustable power). Variable voltage models have definite advantages over fixed voltage models.

    __________________________________



    "Mods" or Advanced Personal Vaporizors (APV)

    "Mods", or APV's, are battery devices for more advanced vapers. They are available in two form factors: Tube or box shaped. Both tube and box mods can be regulated (electronics) or unregulated ("mechanical" with no electronics). The term "mod" originally came from modifying the common flashlight to become a battery holder to create a larger e-cigarette. This allowed vapers to use larger batteries and larger juice attachments.

    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]

    The above iStick and MVP are mods using larger batteries which can go 2 to 3 days on a charge. These are affordable regulated battery devices for entry or intermediate vapors alike. These use USB charging cords like the eGo batteries do, and can be vaped while using the charging cord to save battery life. They also have built-in battery voltage/atomizer readers. The smaller Innokin iTaste VV4 on the far right is an eGo size and form factor. It has the same features as the MVP but with less battery time and being even more pocket-friendly. It has flat sides to prevent rolling off a table.


    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    (In order left to right) Kangertech KBox, Innokin Cool Fire IV, Kangertech Nano, iPV Mini II, Joyetech eVic-VTC Mini, and eLeaf Pico regulated mods. These are other popular regulated box mods currently available on the market. Some of these use external replaceable batteries which are charged in a separate box battery charger.



    So these are the next step up: APVs (advanced personal vaporizers), or mods. These offer even more options from eGo setups by using either:

    • external removeable rechargeable batteries like the below Provari.
    • built-in internal rechargeable batteries like the above Innokin iTaste MVP and iSmoka iStick, which use non-removeable batteries.

    An advantage to using an mod that uses removeable external batteries is the fact that when the original batteries eventually die, instead of having to replace the entire device like you would with an eGo or a regulated mod that uses a non-replaceable internal battery (iStick/MVP), you just replace the old battery with a new one. External replaceable batteries are only $6 - $12 and can have a life expectancy of 1 - 2 years. This can end up being a big money saver over the long term. Downside is the one-time additional expense ($20 - $40) of buying a box battery charger to charge these external batteries. External batteries (IMR chemistry) are also a safer chemistry than internal batteries (LiPo chemistry).


    [​IMG] [​IMG] Provari


    Above is a tube-form mod that uses replaceable rechargeable (external) batteries, called a Provari from Provape. It's a high end regulated mod which has variable voltage, built-in battery voltage and ohm meters, LED display to provide information feedback, and is known for its reliability and ability to precisely sustain the set voltage from the beginning of a new battery until it needs to be replaced.

    Other regulated tube mods are the Vamo, VMax, ZMax, Tesla, SVD, & Evic among others. These also all have variable wattage in addition to variable voltage.



    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Reo bottom feeding box mods

    Another class are bottom feeder mods. These have both the battery and the juice container inside the mod. There is a window in the mod's body where you press the juice container to feed the liquid up to the atomizer attachment. This is a self-contained and often pocket-friendly unit preferred by many vapors. The Reo is the most popular name brand. These are usually mechanical mods that have no variable power options.


    [​IMG]
    Silver Bullet from AltSmoke mechanical mod


    Regulated mods use micro computers to regulate the electrical current from the battery to the atomizer so the vapor stays consistant to what is dialed in by the user. They allow for "fine tuning" the vapor to the user's personal preferences with variable voltage/variable wattage, as some vapers prefer a warmer vape while others prefer a cooler vape. In addition, some flavors are better at a lower power setting while others are better at a higher power setting. This gives you additional options to improve your vaping experience.

    The voltage output from a regulated mod is not the battery voltage (like in a mechanical mod). It is converted using a combination of buck/boost and/or PWM (pulse width modulation), or pulsed DC circuitry to achieve the desired wattage to fire the atomize on top.
    At wattages requiring less than the battery voltage, the mod will either buck the voltage down or more often pulse the DC voltage on and off to get the desired wattage.

    At wattages requiring a higher voltage than the battery voltage, the boost circuitry will boost the battery voltage up to get the desired wattage. This boost circuitry has some energy loss so it will use more watts from the battery than at a lower voltage output from the mod.
    These processors also have built-in safety circuitry which make them a better choice for novice or intermediate vapors because of their safety features. Regulated mods can be tube or box mods. There are newer models called "high wattage" regulated mods which have all the benefits of a regular regulated mod in addition to higher power capability to fire super low-resistance sub-ohm coils.

    Mechanical mods are bare-bones tube or box battery holders with no power regulation or variable power adjustments, and no built-in safety features. Current available to the atomizer is strictly what voltage the battery has available. These have recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity because of RBAs (rebuildable atomizers). Because there is no computer to regulate voltage, mechanical mods depend solely on the battery's charge status and the resistance of the heating coil. Vape quality will gradually and progressively decline as the battery is drained during use.

    Mechanical Mod Beginner's Guide

    The Pro's & Cons of Regulated vs Mechanical Mods:
    Regulated Pro's:

    The battery power to the atomizer is controlled (regulated) to stay the same throughout the battery charge, from a fully charged battery until fully discharged.

    The power can be adjusted to increase or decrease the voltage by the user, allowing the user to change their vaping experience.

    Has built-in protective circuitry against atomizer short circuits, shorts in the 510 connection or fire button; accidentally putting battery in backwards; over-discharging the battery; and over-heating.

    Has built-in battery voltage and atomizer resistance meters to check battery status and the ohm of the coil.​

    Regulated Cons:

    Generally speaking, may not be as well made or as durable over time; electrical components may fail over time or from physical abuse.

    Unless it is a "high wattage" regulated mod, will not be able to fire sub-ohm coils.​

    Mechanical Pro's:

    Generally speaking, made to be more durable and withstand some physical abuse. No electronics to fail.

    Able to fire sub-ohm coils because there is no protection circuitry or processor amp limits to prohibit it.

    Many are machined to be quite beautiful, nearly art pieces.​

    Mechanical Cons:

    No protection circuitry. This is a big one for beginners. The user must always be aware of the signs of a short circuit which could cause the battery to vent into thermal runaway. Must have ventilation holes and a hot spring in case you experience a venting battery and which may prevent your mod from becoming an exploding pipe bomb.

    No voltage regulation of the battery. As the battery drains from use, the vape quality will diminish.

    Some mechanical mods allow the use of a drop-in processor module often known as a "Kick". A Kick converts a mechanical mod into a regulated mod allowing for power regulation and some protection features.​

    If the mod that you choose uses external (replaceable rechargeable) batteries, you must choose the correct chemistry battery (IMR) and a box battery charger:
    Battery Basics for Mods
    Guide to Choosing a Li-ion Battery Charger
    Safari, Bruce C, Bacawind and 2 others like this.
  14. If you are considering purchasing a particular 18650 battery, just remember that...

    ...there are none with a true continuous rating over 30A.

    ...there are none rated at 3000mAh with a true continuous rating over 20A.

    ...there are none rated over-3000mAh with a true continuous rating over 10A.

    ...pulse or battery company "max" ratings are useless and can't be used to compare batteries.​

    There is a LOT of technical information in this blog. I have tried to simplify the information for the average reader. Please take a few days to read over and process this information to avoid information overload.

    Li ion technology remains our best solution for a high current rechargeable battery. It's not perfect, and can fail, at times spectacularly. It can fail due to mishandling, internal manufacturing defects, to looking at it funny. Proper care and treatment keeps failures to a minimum, but even with the best of intentions, "energetic release of energy" may still occur.

    As mod users, we depend heavily upon batteries. To assist novices to choose which external (removeable) battery to use in their mod I have written this guide. Our choices in batteries are Lithium Ion batteries, the same "chemistry" often used in cell phones, laptops, cordless power tools, high end flashlights, and remote control cars. However, there are multiple classes of Lithium batteries and only one class is really best suitable for vaping:

    • Lithium IMR or Li-Mn (Lithium Manganese)
    • IMR/Hybrid batteries (new sub-class of IMR, and today's most common/recommended battery)
    • protected ICR Li-Ion (Lithium Ion)
    *LiPo (Lithium polymer) batteries used as the internal batteries in the eGo, MVP, iStick, etc will not be discussed here other than to say they are not safe chemistry, and depend upon the protection circuitry of these mods which utilize a non-replaceable battery.


    High quality IMRs or IMR/hybrid (INR) are currently recommended in place of protected ICR Li-Ion for all vaping applications. Protected ICR batteries are considered to be obsolete for our purposes.


    There are risks with these batteries if misused or short-circuited, and there have been several incidents and some injuries. But this is a common challenge across many types of battery-powered devices.

    IMR (Li-Mn)
    are the safest batteries available for vaping. By adding nickel or manganese to carbon-based lithium batteries they become a safer chemistry and don't require the built-in protective circuit like ICRs require. They have higher tolerence to stress and heat buildup, and although they may vent hot gas during failure, they are less likely to be as dramatic as an ICR or LiPo battery venting. Should protective circuits fail in ICRs they can vent violently in flames and possibly explode.

    Modern INR batteries are hybrid IMR chemistry, still high drain and safe chemistry. This is the type of battery most popular and most recommended for vaping purposes.

    An Ultrafire protected ICR battery in thermal runaway


    A LiPo battery in thermal runaway


    An IMR/hybrid battery forced into thermal runaway merely vents gas (no flames or explosion)


    Guide to Battery Specification Terms:
    Batteries can generally be broken down by two major characteristics or specifications: capacity (mah rating) and amps (current handling). When choosing which battery to buy you must pick which characteristic is your priority for the application that you will use it. You can't have both the highest mah and highest amps in one battery. This is due to the limits of current battery chemistry & technology. Safety should always be your number one priority.
    Capacity or mAh Rating - an approximation for how long a battery charge should last from 100% charge to when the battery will cut off. Roughly, 100 mAh = 1 hour usage with low drain applications like a flashlight.

    The "best battery" is not always the one with the largest mAh rating. In most vaping applications a higher amp rating (CDR or continuous discharge rate) determines the better battery.

    Amp Rating - or "continuous discharge rate" (CDR), is the maximum electrical current at which the battery can be discharged continuously before the battery will fail. This specification is set by the manufacturer, and is a standard measurement in the industry. The "pulse or burst discharge rate" is not a standard measurement and varies from one manufacturer/vendor to another making comparisons from one company to another company impossible, and therefore should never be relied upon.

    Basic rule of thumb at the moment, to get CDR amps you have to sacrifice Mah and run time, to get Mah and run time you have to sacrifice amps and CDR. You won't find a battery which has both the highest amp rating and highest mAh capacity; that's the way it works with batteries.

    :danger: Beware of dubious marketing claims of over-rated battery amp ratings and mAh ratings by some disreputable vendors and manufacturers. These companies attempt to confuse consumers with "max amp" specs. Efest, IMREN, and the "---- Fire" brands are the worst perpetrators of this practice. Don't fall victim to their advertising scams.

    Look for the continuous discharge rate (CDR). Burst or pulse ratings are just that, they can do a high amperage for 2-5 seconds, but more than that you begin to damage the cells. You want to choose batteries by their continuous rate, never for their burst. This is the danger of sub-ohming and not knowing the ins and outs of your batteries.
    Battery Amp Ratings: Continuous vs Pulse Ratings
    Battery pulse ratings are useless! | E-Cigarette Forum
    There are no 18650 batteries with a genuine rating over 30A!
    Are You Using a ReWrap Battery?

    Technical discussion of a Purple Efest battery venting incident in a regulated mod

    High Quality, Brand Name Batteries. Not all ICR and IMR cells are created equal. This is where the supplier/manufacturer comes into play. There are quite a few different makers, some you can trust and some you can’t. I will give a quick rundown of them and what makes some more recommended than others. I recommend buying only the batteries from the list below, paying attention to model numbers and their specifications. The manufacturer's amp rating is listed first, and Mooch's test results follow below that rating.

    If your battery is not shown in Mooch's Recommended Batteries chart below, its because his tests revealed that it didn't meet its advertised specifications, or became too hot during his bench testing to be considered safe.


    [​IMG]
    Our ECF buddy and battery expert @Mooch has been doing some independent battery testing. Before you purchase a particular battery, look for the results of how that battery tested in the below link:

    Mooch has written his own blog with some useful tips on batteries.

    • Lower Quality Brand-Name Batteries. Trustfire, Ultrafire, and Surefire are a lower-tier name brand battery in terms of quality and safety. Not recommended. The same goes for AWT, Basen, Cloud Chaser, Efest, Imren, MXJO, and Vappower brands, among others. Independent tests have revealed that these have over-rated specifications from what is advertised. Most of these brands are considered "re-wraps".
    What is a "Re-Wrapped Battery"?
    There are many battery companies that are not actually manufacturers, but are simply companies who rebrand others' batteries. Meaning, they do not make their own cells and are just buying cells from other manufacturers and “rewrapping or rebranding" them with their own plastic wrapper that has their own brand name and their own logo.

    Most rewrapped batteries are Chinese brands. The first thing vapors must realize is that many of these brands have nothing to lose, and can make greatly exaggerated claims regarding performance with no bad fall back. For example ultrafire will claim 6000mah capaicty in cells that are tested to be only 1000mah. Of course the other grossly exaggerated stat is amp rating...and to sell to vapors, many of these companies will make outrageous claims.. We really recommend that the consumer stay away from all re-wrapped batteries. Here is a list of battery brands highly suspected of being re-wraps:
    • Efest
    • MXJO
    • AW
    • AWT
    • Boost
    • Sigelei
    • Imren
    • Ultrafire
    • Trustfire
    • Orbtronic
    • EH
    • GTL
    • Robiton
    • AWT
    • EagleTac
    • AmpMax
    • Basen
    • BattEnergy
    • EnerPower
    • Fenix
    • Intl-outdoor
    • Redilast
    • Xtar
    • Generic Batteries. Not recommended. "No name" or off brand printed on the wrapper. Seen at FastTech, Amazon & EBay at cheap prices or thrown in for free in a kit when you purchase a mod from China. These are unknown batteries of unknown quality by an unknown manufacturer, and not worth the risk using in your mod. Never assume because they were included with your mod that they are safe, or the correct battery to use. Do not harvest batteries from old laptop computers; they probably used the wrong type of battery (ICR chemistry).
    • Be cautious when shopping for batteries. Unprotected ICR batteries should NEVER be used in a mod. Be aware of fake AW, Lg. Samsung, and Sony batteries.
    • If uncertain about the quality or type of a battery, don't buy or use it. Do not use over-the-counter alkaline batteries (wrong chemistry) like those from Radio Shack, etc. To insure getting authentic name brand IMR batteries, buy only from trusted e-cig/flashlight vendors such as:
    • Use the type of battery that your mod calls for. For example, Provape recommends using only AW IMR button top batteries in the Provari 2.5; using magnets on flat top batteries will void their warranty because this is an unsafe battery practice.
    • Battery Chargers. Get the best charger that you can reasonably afford, again from a reputable e-cig vendor. Statistically most battery incidents occur while batteries are charging. A higher end charger will have better built-in protections.
    Pila, Xtar, Nitecore, and Efest are the most recommended charger brands. Recommend batteries be charged on a flame-resistant surface: stove top, marble countertop, metal baking pan, pyrex glass dish. Do not charge batteries if you are not physically present to keep an eye on them.

    Guide to Choosing a Li-ion Battery Charger

    Many of today's higher-end box chargers have "intelligent" technology designed for the charger to shut down when the battery reaches full voltage (4.2 volts), however electronics can and do fail. Don't trust the safety of your home & family to a faulty electronic circuit or charging cord.

    Charging external batteries on the mod

    Rest batteries after charging
    One commonly-reported factor in almost all the incidents we hear of where batteries failed violently while in use is that they were taken directly off the charger and then used immediately, at which point they failed.

    Because of this, we think it may be a good idea to rest batteries after charging them. This advice will not be found in the usual 'reference bibles' on batteries, but we see more and different reports than others. Therefore we now advise:

    Do not use batteries directly after charging them. Use a battery or batteries you previously charged, and that have rested for several hours. This is especially important if using a stacked pair for higher voltage, as statistically the risk is far higher.​

    (The above suggestion is based on anectdotal observation only.)​
    • Always use safe battery practices and common sense with all batteries. Even the safest battery available to us can fail. IMR battery failure Most common user-error battery failures are the result of too fast of a discharge -- from the fire button inadvertantly pushed for too long, or the battery being shorted from metal objects (keys, change, etc), completing the electric circuit when carrying a battery in a pocket or purse. Use plastic Battery Cases. Do not stack batteries unless your mod was actually designed to use stacked batteries.
    [​IMG]

    • Long term storage of unused batteries should be done in a dry place at room temperature (69 degrees F) at 40% voltage. Dispose of old unused batteries at a recycling center such as Radio Shack or Hope Depot.

    • If you are using sub-ohm coils in an RBA/RDA, it is extremely important to use the highest quality IMR/hybrid battery with an appropriate amp rating. Coils less than 0.8 ohm require an IMR battery that has a maximum continuous discharge rate of at least 20 amps, preferably with a 30 amps continuous discharge rate.


    PROTECTED ICR or IMR BATTERY: WHICH LITHIUM BATTERY IS BEST FOR YOUR APPLICATION?


    IMR Li-Mn. Lithium manganese batteries. Also called "high drain", "safe chemistry", "unprotected".

    • These are used in regulated mods that use buck boost circuitry to achieve variable voltage-wattage, but they are now also recommended for single voltage mechanical mods as a safer alternative to protected Li-Ion batteries.
    • This class will have less capacity in mAh rating compared to protected ICR batteries, but are superior when maximum load current is required, such as in regulated mods, mechanical mods using a Kick, or using an RBA. Why High Drain Batteries?
    • IMR cells have a lower internal resistance, which translates to a much more dynamic voltage curve in comparison to ICR. These will stay above 3.8v under load for a higher majority of their charge cycle, and then drop rather quickly afterward. This gives them a higher useable mAh*6 than their ICR brethren.
    IMR/Hybrid batteries.
    • Newer mixed chemistry batteries that are both safe chemistry/high drain and extended capacity in one. A good choice for applications that demand both maximum load current and longer battery time. Can be used for both mechanical and regulated mods. Most in this sub-class have 20 or more amps continuous discharge rate, ideal for sub-ohm mechanicals or high wattage regulated mods. This chemistry is the most popular and recommended battery for vaping currently.


    Protected ICR Li Ion. Lithium ion class batteries, also called "protected batteries".

    • ICR batteries are now considered obsolete for mod use because of their potential for flames & explosion and their unacceptably low CDR. Not recommended for vaping.


    CHOOSING THE RIGHT BATTERY FOR YOUR APPLICATION. HOW DO YOU VAPE?
    • If you use standard resistance coils (1-3 ohms) in a mechanical (no electronics) or (low wattage/20 watt) regulated (electronic) mod, then you could choose an IMR battery with more mAh capacity as your first priority. You won't need more than 10 amps CDR using this resistance, but you should still have at minimum at least 10 amps. Generally speaking, comparing two batteries with the same CDR but different mah ratings, the battery with more mAh (capacity) will last longer per charge than one which has less mAh.
    The Panasonic or Orbtonic 18650PF 2900mAh 10 amp CDR battery would be a good choice.​
    • If you use sub-ohm resistance coils (0.2 - 0.8 ohms) on a mech mod or high wattage (20 watts +) regulated mod, your first priority must be for a high amp IMR battery of 20 - 30 amps CDR (maximum continuous discharge rate). Coils under the resistance of 1.0 ohm require more amp power due to their higher amp draw. Use the appropriate battery with an adequate amp rating depending upon the current draw of your coil build (*see the chart immediately below for coil amp draw vs amp rating).
    * Coil amp draw from Ohm's Law calculations for Mechanical Mods:
    1.0 ohm = 4.2 amp draw
    0.9 ohm = 4.6 amp draw
    0.8 ohm = 5.2 amp draw
    0.7 ohms = 6 amp draw
    0.6 ohms = 7 amp draw
    0.5 ohms = 8.4 amp draw
    0.4 ohms = 10.5 amp draw
    0.3 ohms = 14.0 amp draw
    0.2 ohms = 21.0 amp draw
    0.1 ohms = 42.0 amp draw
    0.15 ohms = 28 amp draw
    0.0 ohms = dead short = battery goes into thermal runaway
    • Calculating battery current draw for a regulated mod If using a high wattage regulated mod, use a 20 - 30 amp CDR IMR battery, which ever your mod's manufacturer recommends. The processor's amp limit determines the amp requirement in this application, not the atomizer resistance.
    On a regulated mod the coil resistance is essentially irrelevant. What dictates the amp draw on the battery is the wattage you set, and the remaining voltage in the battery. The amp draw will increase as the battery discharges.

    In the interests of keeping things simple:

    If you use a good quality 20 amp CDR battery like the Samsung 30Q or the LG HG2 then you are good for 60 watts per battery. If using a 2-battery regulated mod, your good for 120 watts as you have two batteries. If you are using a 3-battery mod, you're good for 180.

    If you use a single 30 amp CDR battery like the LG HB6 you are good up to 90 watts; with a pair of 30 amp CDR batteries you could safely do 180 watts assuming the mod cuts off when the batteries reach 3.4 volts.

    60W or higher:
    LG18650HB6 1500mah 30 amp CDR​
    LG18650HB2 1500mAh 30 amp CDR
    LG18650HB4 1500mAh 30 amp CDR
    30W-60W:
    LG 18650HG2 3000mah 20 amp CDR
    LG 18650HE2 2500 mah 20 amp CDR
    Samsung 18650 30Q, 3000 mah 20 amp CDR
    Samsung 18650-25R, 2500 mah 20 amp CDR
    Sony 18659VTC6 3000mAh 20A CDR
    Sony 18650VTC5A, 2500 mah 25 amp CDR
    Sony 18650VTC5, 2600 mah 20 amp CDR
    Sony 18650VTC4, 2100 mah 23 amp CDR
    AW 18650 3000 mah 20 amp CDR


    On a regulated device the resistance of the coil is irrelevant. Regulated mods separate the input and output voltage, in other words they separate the battery from the atomizer. The only relevant value is the wattage, and the remaining voltage in the battery. The wattage is generated by the mod by multiplying the volts by the amps. As the voltage falls, the mod will increase the amp draw to maintain the selected wattage from the remaining voltage level. You need to know the amp draw at full charge, and when the battery is discharged as this value will be the highest. Most regulated mods are about 90% efficient, so you will also need to factor this loss into your calculations as it will marginally increase the amount of amperage pulled from the battery.

    To find the amp draw use I=P/V (-10%)

    Eg.
    50w divided by 4.2v equals 11.9 divided by 0.9 = 13.22 amps
    50w divided by 3.2v equals 15.6 divided by 0.9 = 17.33 amps

    Here's a function within Steam Engine that calculates battery draw for mech and regulated mods.
    ____________________________________________​


    The recommendations at the vaping website Pagasus Battery Revolution (see above video) are too liberal in my opinion concerning amp limit specifications. I recommend a much higher margin of safety for sub-ohm vapers.

    For example, I would not use a 10 amp battery for a 0.4 ohms coil (Type B above) on a mechanical mod because that 0.4 ohms resistance will draw 10.5 amps, which is over its continuous amp limit of 10 amps (continuous discharge rate). The above calculations from an Ohm's Law Calculator tell me that a 0.8 ohm build is as low as I would want to use with a 10 amp battery allowing for a wider margin of safety.
    Everyone is free to set their own parameters, and I can only say what mine are. I try to never exceed 50% of the CDR (continuous discharge rating) of a fully charged battery (4.2v). So with a 10 amp battery, that 50% would be 5 amps continuous -- a 5.2 amp draw from a 0.8 ohm coil).

    The reason that I place a 50% limit is because as a battery ages the mAh of the battery degrades, as the mAh decreases, so does the battery's c rating (amp limit).
    The battery's internal resistance increases, too.

    The capacity loss reduces their run time directly. The increased internal resistance increases the voltage sag you see from them, effectively decreasing their run time even further.

    So down the road, your 20A battery may only be a 10A battery
    .

    A large percentage of the Samsung, Sony, LG cells are used in multi-cell configurations, i.e., battery packs in hybrid automobiles and cordless power tools. These battery packs have their own battery management system (BMS) that ensures configurable, consistent protection at desired current, voltage, and temperature settings to ensure long battery pack life. As vapers, we are primarily using single battery cells alone by themselves, which often means we may be using these single cells at or above their recommended specifications for a single cell. This application is not the manufacturer's intended use for these cells.
    [​IMG]
    multicell battery pack with BMS (battery management system)

    You may be placing a lot of faith in a cheap ohm reader in making a precise and accurate reading to a tenth or hundredth of an ohm. The most accurate and recently calibrated digital multimeters can cost over $1000.

    A loose post screw holding your coil on your RBA can drastically lower your coil resistance by as much as 0.5 ohms (from personal experience).

    At the time of this writing (July 2015), there are no mod batteries that can deliver more than 30 amp CDR. Any advertisement of over 30 amps is either marketing hype or a pulse discharge rating (a spec we choose not to use).
    The batteries we have available can be quite safe if you use the right batteries for the right application and do not abuse them beyond their recommended amp limit. Most bad battery incidents result from user error, wrong calculations, ignoring safe battery practices, or using a mod without adequate vent holes for a battery which goes into thermal runaway.

    A battery venting in thermal runaway will release extremely hot gas, toxic chemicals, and rarely flames. Once this chemical reaction begins, there is no stopping it. The gas can build up inside a mod, and if there is inadequate venting the mod becomes a little pipe bomb.


    Ultra low resistance coils
    August 2014: We have now had the first confirmed mechmod explosion due to sub-ohming, which took place at the recent VapeBlast event. The device exploded, blew a hole in the ceiling 20 feet above, brought down a ceiling tile, and burnt a hole in the floor. As this was witnessed by dozens of people (also, the explosion was heard by a hundred people or so) and the photos are widely available, it is impossible to deny that it occurred. It seems lucky that no one was hurt; indeed the mechmod owner ran away in order that if any injury occurred he wouldn't be held accountable and to avoid paying for the damage. As the device became hot he threw it down, then it exploded. The incident occurred at a Cloud Contest although it is not known if the vaper who caused the explosion was a bystander or a competitor; since he was clearly stressing-out his rig it seems possible he was about to compete.

    What can be learned from this
    An incident like this is caused by a chain of design errors, user actions, and possibly a battery fault.

    - Sealed metal tubes will probably explode if a battery vents violently
    - Small vents at the bottom of the tube are useless, only very large gas vents near the top have a good chance of preventing an explosion
    - Building coils lower than 0.2 ohm will raise the amp draw exponentially and this increases risk - the power graph shows a significant change at 0.2 ohms and starts to climb vertically as resistance is reduced further
    - Using cheap batteries with ultra low res coils is a certain route to high risk - it needs 30 amp batteries of guaranteed high quality
    - Using a 26650 cell is intrinsically safer as it can take a higher load
    - Using long draws or machine-gun draws to create monster clouds stresses the battery much more
    - Cloud Contests are events where people put ultra high stress on their rig to create monster clouds; if spectating, you could consider standing at the back of the room to stay safe
    - If you run a Cloud Contest then you should probably check that your personal and business insurance is really, really good and is appropriate for dangerous sports
    - People are now discussing the safety (!) involved with putting 100-amp pulses on their batteries in order to create the biggest clouds with the lowest resistance coils; there is only one way this is going to go and you don't want to be within the explosion radius: someone may have a counterfeit battery, or one that is just too small for this extreme usage mode together with ignoring the device getting warm or even hot.

    [​IMG]
    What's left of a mechanical mod after its battery went into thermal runaway
    For more in-depth information on mod batteries, see:

    Deeper Understanding of Mod Batteries Part 1
    For those readers who want to learn the chemistry differences between IMR, IMR/hybrid, and ICR batteries. What do those numbers and letters on batteries mean? What's an amp rating (CDR) and why is it more important than the mAh rating when choosing a battery for vaping?
    Deeper Understanding of Mod Batteries Part 2
    Protected vs unprotected batteries - what's the difference? Ohm's Law 101. What is an AW battery? What is an inline fuse? What is stacking batteries?​

    Ohm's Law for Vapers
    My attempt at explaining Ohm's Law in simple layman terms and how it relates to vaping.
    Explain It To The Noob: Ohm's Law Calculations
    As simple as it is to use, some people have a tough time grasping the concept. Warning: Includes graphic photos of mod explosions.


    RECOMMENDED 18650 HIGH DRAIN IMR/HYBRID BATTERIES
    [​IMG]
    AW 18650 3000 mah 20 amp CDR IMR/hybrid (new 2015)
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Samsung 25R 18650 2500mah 20 amp CDR IMR/hybrid (Samsung has recently changed the older blue wrap to a green one.)

    [​IMG]
    Samsung 30Q 18650 3000mah 20 amp CDR IMR/hybrid

    [​IMG]
    LG 18650HE2 2500mah 20 amp CDR IMR/hybrid

    [​IMG]
    LG 18650HG2 3000 mah 20 amp CDR IMR/hybrid

    [​IMG]
    LG 18650HB6 1500 mAh 30 amp CDR IMR/hybrid

    [​IMG]
    Sony 18650 VTC4 2100mah 30 amp CDR IMR/hybrid


    [​IMG]
    Sony 18650 VTC5A 2600mAh 25 amp CDR IMR/hybrid

    [​IMG]
    Sony 18650 VTC6 3000mAh 15 amp CDR IMR/hybrid (*tested to be 19 amp CDR)



    RECOMMENDED 18490/18500 IMR BATTERY

    [​IMG]
    "new" AW 18490 1200 mah 18 amp CDR IMR/hybrid


    RECOMMENDED 18350 IMR BATTERY

    [​IMG]

    "new" AW 18350 IMR 800 mah 12 amp CDR IMR/hybrid
    *Avoid purchasing counterfeit AW batteries. The "new" (2015) AW IMR's have a silver/black AW hologram sticker and a black stripe around the bottom end covering about 40% of its diameter.


    [​IMG] Tensai (Enerpower)18350 IMR 700 mah 14 amps CDR

    RECOMMENDED 26650 IMR BATTERIES

    [​IMG]
    IJoy 26650 4200mAh 40 amp (*tested to be 30 amp CDR)


    [​IMG]
    Brillipower 26650 4500mAh 80 amp (*tested to have 25 amp CDR )
    [​IMG]
    Orbtronic 26650 5200mah 20 amp CDR IMR


    [​IMG]
    Green Efest 26650 4200 mah 20 amp CDR IMR


    [​IMG]
    MNKE 26650 Orange 3500mAh 35 amp (tested as a 25 amp continuous)

    [​IMG]
    MXJO 26650 3500 mah 35 amp (tested as a 25 amp continuous)


    [​IMG]
    AWT 26650 4500 mah 75 amp (tested as a 25 amp continuous)

    [​IMG]
    BASEN 26650 4500 mah "60 amp" (tested as a 25 amp continuous)


    Resources:

    Mods, Batteries, & Safer Vaping

    PBusardo's Mod Battery Information Guide

    IMR Battery Specification Comparison

    A Beginner's Guide to Lithium Batteries

    Are You Using a "Rewrap" Battery? Exposing The WORST Brands In ...

    18650 Battery Buying Guide for Vapor Users

    What does IMR mean?

    Sub-Ohm Vaping: Discussion, Safety, Battery Info, Warnings

    Battery Data | Deus Ex Vaporis

    God of Steam's Getting Started: Battery Basics

    What does a battery's C Rating mean?

    Battery Specifications and Online Calculators

    Exactly why 18650 battery names like VTC4, VTC5, Samsung 25R, are confusing everybody

    Green Samsung 18650 25R5 vs. Blue 25R2

    Best 18650 Battery (2015)?

    Best 18650 Battery for 0.2 ohm?
    JoAnnW, TuanOri, Bonnie C and 11 others like this.
  15. So, you're interested in purchasing your first mechanical mod. What are the differences between a mech and electronic (regulated) mod? What should you know before hand?

    In a mechanical mod with a metal piston switch and no wiring, your weak link is the battery. This is not a link you want to break while it is in close proximity to your hand or face. Over taxing a battery in a mech can create a little pipe bomb.

    There are risks with lithium-ion batteries if misused or short-circuited, and there have been several incidents and some injuries. But this is a common challenge across many types of battery-powered devices. We've all seen the media reports of cell phone batteries exploding or catching on fire.

    Too many people are jumping into mechanical mods without understanding what they are getting into and not realizing it is not a care-free device like an eGo or Provari. It requires more attention to details and a better understanding of all the variables. Too often people on forums say, " Mech mods are easy, just drop a battery in and go. I don't understand why others say it is not for beginners." Because if you don't understand all the things you need to watch for there is a serious chance of something possibly going terribly wrong down the road.

    Mech mods are not learning devices. They need to be understood before you begin to experiment with them. So far most novices have been lucky. However, some people don't check the batteries they use, don't know what resistance their coils are, don't know how to work an Ohm's Law calculation, etc, and nothing has happened, giving a false sense of security to others to try the same things, but all it will take is one bad coil or one bad battery to change someone's face forever.

    When it comes to advanced mass marketed systems like cell phones and laptops and hybrid electric cars, the system designers of those products have taken appropriate steps to make them "safe" for uninformed end-user use. Purely mechanical unregulated ecig battery mods and uninformed end-users is a dicey proposition.

    Most consumer battery operated devices are no where near the limit of the batterys operating limits. The high-end flashlights and ecigs and RCtoys come to mind as applications that really push the limits. With the RCtoys the device is physically far removed from the person so a mishap is inconsequential. With ecigs a mishap is literally in the persons face.

    These batteries were not originally intended for what we are using them for. In fact, I have read that Panasonic, Sanyo, Sony, and Samsung, don't even like the fact that we're using these batteries because they were not intended for single cell, unprotected use in any consumer device. The fact that they're available can be attributed to modders of flashlights, pen lasers, and bicycle electronics. A demand formed around those markets and it was filled by various folks, and then e-cigs came along and the demand skyrocketed.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    With some basic knowledge of battery and mod limitations, and always using safe battery practices, using these batteries for vaping can be considered reasonably safe. Just please always respect the power that are in them.

    From a historical perspective, mechanical "mods" came about when early vapers grew tired of the poor battery life of the original, gas station variety of cigalikes. Innovators took flashlights or metal tubes and added a 510 connector and fire button to make the first "mods". The term "mod" has stuck around since.

    Its fun to watch this 2009 video review by Grimm Green as he experienced his first 18650 battery mod, an AltSmoke Silver Bullet which was one of the first mass-produced 18650 mods. Innitially he was put off by its "huge" size, but eventually it became one of his favorite mods because of the long battery life of an 18650. Today, 18650 battery mods are the most common mods available. Please note, using protected ICR batteries or stacking batteries is NOT RECOMMENDED as Gimm does in the video.



    Regulated mods use micro computers to regulate the electrical current from the battery to the atomizers so the vapor stays consistant to what is dialed in by the user. They allow for fine tuning the vapor to the user's personal preferance with variable voltage/wattage, as some vapers prefer a warmer vape while others prefer a cooler vape. In addition, some flavors are better at a lowr power setting while others are better at a higher power setting. This give you additional options to improve your vaping experience.

    The voltage output from a regulated mod is not the battery voltage (like in a mechanical mod). It is converted using a combination of buck/boost and/or PWM (pulse width modulation), or a pulsed DC circuitry to achieve the desired wattage to fire the atomizer. At wattages requiring less than the battery voltage, the mod will either buck the voltage down or more often pulse the DC voltage on and off to get the desired wattage.


    At wattages requiring higher voltage than the battery has, the boost circuitry will boost the battery output up to get the desired wattage. This boost circuitry has some energy loss, so it will use a little more watts from the battery than at a lowrer voltage output from the mod.

    These processors also have built-in safety circuitry, which makes them a better choice for novice or intermediate vapers because of their safety features. They guard against short circuits, provide reverse battery protection, provide auto cutoff after 10 - 15 seconds of firing the fire button to prevent over-discharging the battery, and provide thermal protection, all designed to prevent a hard short to the battery.

    Regulated mods can be tube or box shaped. There are newer models called "high wattage" regulated mods which have all the benefits of the older regular regulated mods, in addition to higher power capability to fire sub ohm coils.

    Mechanical mods are bare bones tube or box battery holders, with no power regulation or variable power adjustments, and NO BUILT-IN SAFETY FEATURES. The electrical current available to the atomizer will be strictly what the voltage the battery has available at the time. Mechanicals have recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity because of rebuildable atomizers (RBA) and sub-ohm vaping. Because there is no computer to regulate the voltage, mechanical mods depend solely on the battery's charge status and the resistance (ohms) of the heating coil to change the character of the vape. Vape quality will gradually and progressively decline as the battery is drained during use.

    Let's review the pro's & cons of mechanical vs. regulated electronic mods.

    The Pro's & Cons of Regulated vs Mechanical Mods:
    Regulated Pro's:

    The battery power to the atomizer is controlled (or regulated) to stay the same throughout the battery charge, from a fully charged battery until fully discharged.

    The power can be adjusted to increase or decrease the voltage by the user, allowing the user to change their vaping experience.

    Has built-in protective circuitry against atomizer short circuits, shorts in the 510 connector, or fire button; accidentally putting the battery in backwards; over discharging
    the battery; accidentally pressing the fire button too long (auto cutoff timer); and over-heating of the processor.​

    Has built-in battery voltage and atomizer resistance meters to check battery voltage status and the ohm rating of the coil.​

    Regulated Cons:

    Generally speaking, may not be as well made or as durable over time compared to a mech. Electrical components may fail over time or from physical abuse.

    Unless it is a "high wattage" regulated mod, will not be able to fire a sub-ohm resistance coil.

    Mechanical Pro's:

    Generally speaking, are made to be more durable and able to withstand some physical abuse. No electronic components to fail.

    Mechs are able to fire sub-ohm coils because there is no protection circuitry or processor amp limits to prohibit it.

    Many mechs are machined to be quite beautiful, nearly art pieces. Many are manufactured in a limited run, in limited quantities, and inscribed with the number on the mod. To see a few examples of these beautiful mechs, go to the very end of this blog.

    Why do people choose a mech over regulated?
    Mechanical Cons:

    No protection circuitry. This is the big one for beginners. The new user must always be aware of the signs of a short circuit, which could cause the battery to vent into thermal runaway. The mod must have ventilation holes in case you experience a venting episode and which should prevent your mod from becoming an exploding pipe bomb.

    No voltage regulation of the battery. As the battery drains from use, the vape quality will diminish.​

    Some mechanical mods allow the use of a drop-in processor module often known as a "Kick". A Kick converts a mechanical mod into a regulated mod allowing for power regulation and some protection features.







    Essential Safety Accessories:

    Ohm Reader to measure the atomizer's coil resistance. Can also be used to check for coil shorts. Alternatively, if you own a digital multimeter, you can check both battery voltage and ohm resistance of coils, but this device is more cumbersome to use than an ohm reader and voltage tester.
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    Battery Voltage Meter attaches to the mod's 510 connector to measure realtime battery voltage. Batteries should never be routinely drained lower than 3.4 volts. Drained below 2.5 volts will likely destroy the battery.
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    Optional Safety Accessories:

    VapeSafe Mod Fuse will detect a short circuit and break the electrical circuit. Used on the negative pole of the battery, attached via its magnitized surface. Available in a single use version, as well as a multiple use version.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Evolv Kick is a drop-in processor chip that sits on the positive pole of the battery. It provides voltage regulation, variable wattage, and protection circuitry --- essentially turning your mechanical mod into a regulated mod. (Does not protect against reverse battery errors.) Wattage is set by turning a screw with a screwdriver. Due to its size, it may require you to downsize from an 18650 battery down to a shorter 18500 battery; however, many mods offer Kick extension sleeves or battery extension caps to allow the use of an 18650 battery and Kick simultaneously.



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    *Note the ideal location of vent holes in this mechanical. Holes are located at the positive end of the battery and not in the battery cap.

    .
    "Hot" Springs -- if your mod uses a coil spring in the battery cap, you can use a hot spring to add an additional layer of protection. Designed to act like a fuse, it is designed to melt or collapse if the battery reaches a critical temperature, thereby breaking the electrical circuit to the atomizer.
    upload_2015-11-27_14-40-53.jpeg


    Batteries:

    Batteries are the most important part of your setup, so don't skimp here by using cheap low quality batteries to save a couple of bucks. Buy authentic reputable name brands from reputable authorized dealers like RTD Vapor, Illumination Supply, IMR Batteries, or Orbtronics. Not only will they give better performance, but they will be more economical in the long run.

    Use IMR (Li-Mn) batteries only, preferably reputable brands like AW, LG, Samsung, and Sony. These brands offer the top of the line batteries on the market with reputable specifications.

    If you are considering purchasing a particular 18650 battery, just remember that...

    ...there are none with a true continuous rating over 30A.

    ...there are none rated at 3000mAh with a true continuous rating over 20A.

    ...there are none rated over-3000mAh with a true continuous rating over 10A.

    ...pulse or battery company "max" ratings are useless and can't be used to compare batteries.​


    Chinese brands like Efest, Imren, MFXO, AWT, etc sell lesser quality batteries which are second & third bin rejects purchased from the above manufacturers, who then rewrap the cells with their own brand, and usually advertise over-rated specifications. Claims of 30 - 40 amp rates are either unreliable pulse discharge rates or hyperbole, proven by independent bench tests. This gives unknowing consumers a false sense of security and can prove to be dangerous if they push their batteries to their upper limits.

    Basic rule of thumb at the moment, to get CDR amps you have to sacrifice Mah and run time, to get Mah and run time you have to sacrifice amps and CDR. There is no battery made which has both the highest mAh capacity and amp rating in one cell, it is one or the other.

    Use the CDR (continuous discharge rate) spec as the most important spec when choosing batteries, and the mAh rating (capacity) as the secondary spec. Using this spec makes comparing brands and models easier for the consumer. Choose the brand and model with the specifications which best fit your style of vaping.

    Short circuits happen when the voltage from a battery is discharged through a low resistance wire at a discharge rate that exceeds the battery’s upper amp limit. Short circuiting a battery is very close to what a mechanical mod with a sub-ohm coil is doing, except you are trying to keep the resistance under the upper amp limit – there’s a fine line that you have to be careful of when sub-ohming.

    If using sub-ohm coils in your mech, know how to use an Ohm's Law calculator to insure your battery has enough amps (CDR) to safely fire the coil resistance you use. Understand that if you run your batteries at their upper discharge limit, that this practice ages your batteries at a faster rate. Therefore, your 30 amp battery will soon become a 15 amp battery, or your 20 amp battery will become a 10 amp battery.

    Explain It To The Noob: Ohm's Law Calculations

    Always use 4.2 volts (the voltage of a fully charge battery) as the voltage, and the resistance of the coil measured on an ohm reader, and click the "calculate" button. The coil's amp draw from the battery will be displayed in the current (I) box. This number should not exceed the continuous discharge rate of the battery.



    Mechanical Mod Maintanance:


    Keep your mod clean and safe.

    Use isopropal alcohol to clean dirt & gunk from your 510 center pin, internal fire button pins, any insulators, and internal battery contacts.

    Use an antioxidant (Noaloxx) to keep battery cap threads clean from dirt and oxidation particles. The mech body and battery cap are part of the electrical circuit (negative ground). Dirt, grime, and oxidation affect electrical performance.

    Mod body and fire button should never feel hot to touch. If this occurs, there is a short somewhere in your setup. Do not continue to press the fire button, but disconnect the atomizer and remove the battery immediately. Check atomizer resistance. Clean and inspect all parts, including any insulators. Reassemble and test. If the problem persists, refer to an expert; or accept your loss and retire the mod from use. Continued use without correcting the problem is simply not worth the risk.




    Exploding Batteries and Exploding Mods: Fact or Myth?

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    Although rare, there is no denying that there have been some horrific mod explosions in the last three years. It's my guess that there are more battery and mod explosions than what is reported in the media. For those that are reported, details are always scarce: Civil lawsuits usually impose gag orders on the participants, news media reports tell the "what", but rarely report the "how" or "why". Rarely do we learn what mod it was, what batteries were involved, or what resistance was being used. Unfortunately, we are left to second guess the victims and even berate them for not knowing their equipment and unfairly calling them "idiots".

    According to this list:
    E-Cigarette Explosions: Comprehensive List
    There have been 50 major incidents this year (2016) alone and that's just the ones which make the news. They also go on to say...
    "It is interesting to note that the nature of e-cigarette explosions has changed over the years. The FEMA document cited above suggests that approximately 80 percent of e-cigarette explosions happen during charging. In addition, most e-cigarette explosions that occurred before early 2015 involved no reported injuries. However, people began to experience different types of e-cigarette explosions when sub-ohm vaping and mods with removable batteries became more popular. More than ever, e-cigarettes explode during use. Explosions resulting from people carrying spare batteries in their pockets are also far more common. Regardless of the circumstances, e-cigarette explosions are far more likely to cause injuries today than they were in the past."Tobacco Truth: E-Cigarette Battery Hazards Minuscule and Overblown



    Viewing pictures of these mechanical mod explosions, it appears clear that the mods blow their top off. This is most likely due to inadequate or the absence of ventilation holes to allow the escape of hot gas that accumulates inside the mod during battery thermal runaway. In effect, the mod literally becomes a pipe bomb.


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    [​IMG][​IMG]

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    E-Cigarette Battery Explodes, Burning Man's Leg

    Everyone is free to set their own safety parameters, and I can only say what mine are. I try to never exceed 50% of the CDR (continuous discharge rating) of a fully charged battery (4.2v). So with a 20A rated battery, that would be 10A. The above Ohm's Law Calculator tells me that a .4 ohm build is as low as I would want to use.

    1.0 ohm = 4.2 amp draw
    0.9 ohm = 4.6 amp draw
    0.8 ohm = 5.2 amp draw
    0.7 ohms = 6 amp draw
    0.6 ohms = 7 amp draw
    0.5 ohms = 8.4 amp draw
    0.4 ohms = 10.5 amp draw
    0.3 ohms = 14.0 amp draw
    0.2 ohms = 21.0 amp draw
    0.1 ohms = 42.0 amp draw
    0.0 ohms = dead short = battery goes into thermal runaway

    The reason that I place a 50% limit is because as a battery ages the mAh of the battery degrades, as the mAh degrades so does the batteries c rating (amp limit). So down the road, your 20A battery may only be a 10A battery.

    A large percentage of the Samsung, Sony, LG cells are used in multi-cell configurations, i.e., battery packs in hybrid automobiles and cordless power tools. These battery packs have their own battery management system (BMS) that ensures configurable, consistent protection at desired current, voltage, and temperature settings to ensure long battery pack life. As vapers, we are primarily using single battery cells alone by themselves, which often means we may be using these single cells at or above their recommended specifications for a single cell. This application is not the intended use for these cells.

    You may be placing a lot of faith in a cheap ohm reader in making a precise and accurate reading to a tenth or hundredth of an ohm. The most accurate and recently calibrated digital multimeters can cost over $1000.

    A loose post screw holding your coil on your RBA can drastically lower your coil resistance by as much as 0.5 ohms (from personal experience).

    At the time of this writing (July 2015), there are no mod batteries that can deliver more than 30 amp CDR. Any advertisement of over 30 amps is either marketing hype or a pulse discharge rating (a spec we choose not to use).

    The batteries we have available can be quite safe if you use the right batteries for the right application and do not abuse them beyond their recommended amp limit. Most bad battery incidents result from user error, wrong calculations, ignoring safe battery practices, or using a mod without adequate vent holes for a battery which goes into thermal runaway.

    A battery venting in thermal runaway will release extremely hot gas, toxic chemicals, and rarely flames. Once this chemical reaction begins, there is no stopping it. The gas can build up inside a mod, and if there is inadequate venting the mod becomes a little pipe bomb.



    Ultra low resistance coils (sub-ohm vaping)

    Guide to Sub-Ohm Vaping

    August 2014: We have now had the first confirmed mechmod explosion due to sub-ohming, which took place at the recent VapeBlast event. The device exploded, blew a hole in the ceiling 20 feet above, brought down a ceiling tile, and burnt a hole in the floor. As this was witnessed by dozens of people (also, the explosion was heard by a hundred people or so) and the photos are widely available, it is impossible to deny that it occurred.

    It seems lucky that no one was hurt; indeed the mechmod owner ran away in order that if any injury occurred he wouldn't be held accountable and to avoid paying for the damage. As the device became hot he threw it down, then it exploded. The incident occurred at a Cloud Contest although it is not known if the vaper who caused the explosion was a bystander or a competitor; since he was clearly stressing-out his rig it seems possible he was about to compete.

    [​IMG]
    What's left of an exploded mechanical mod after a vented battery at a vape convention.

    What can be learned from this
    An incident like this is caused by a chain of design errors, user actions, and possibly a battery fault.

    - Sealed metal tubes will probably explode if a battery vents violently
    -The battery itself may physically block gas from escaping to the bottom of the mod
    - Small vents at the bottom of the tube are useless, only very large gas vents near the top have a good chance of preventing an explosion
    - Building coils lower than 0.2 ohm will raise the amp draw exponentially
    and this increases risk - the power graph shows a significant change at 0.2 ohms and starts to climb vertically as resistance is reduced further
    - Using cheap batteries with ultra low res coils is a certain route to high risk - it needs 30 amp batteries of guaranteed high quality
    - Using long draws or machine-gun draws to create monster clouds stresses the battery much more
    - Cloud Contests are events where people put ultra high stress on their rig to create monster clouds; if spectating, you could consider standing at the back of the room to stay safe
    - If you run a Cloud Contest then you should probably check that your personal and business insurance is really, really good and is appropriate for dangerous sports
    - People are now discussing the safety (!) involved with putting 100-amp pulses on their batteries in order to create the biggest clouds with the lowest resistance coils; there is only one way this is going to go and you don't want to be within the explosion radius: someone may have a counterfeit battery, or one that is just too small for this extreme usage mode together with ignoring the device getting warm or even hot.​



    [​IMG]
    Above is a mech which has a single vent hole in the bottom fire button, but notice there is no room for any gas to escape past the tight quarters of the battery to that vent hole. It is essentially an enclosed metal tube and therefore has inadequate venting.

    In my opinion, the first thing you should do with a new mechanical mod is to seek out a machine shop with a drill press, and have them drill out two 2.0 mm holes strategically placed in the top of the mod body where the positive pole of the battery makes contact with the 510 connector. If all mechanical mods had this done, I predict there would be no more mechanical mod explosions.

    Mods which use a "recessed" fire button will be less likely to accidentally fire in a pocket or purse, regardless of whether the button is located on the side or bottom. Protruding buttons can be easily and accidentally pressed, and over a very short time can cause a battery to go into thermal runaway. If your mod has a safety locking feature for the fire button, use it each time you stop vaping.




    Faux Hybrid, Hybrid-Look, or Direct Battery Mechanical Mods
    "True" hybrids (below pic) are mods with a dedicated atomizer, and no 510 threaded connection. These mods are relatively safe, as you cannot use an incorrect atomizer as the atomizer is a dedicated atomizer specifically for that mod.

    Below is a true hybrid:
    The atty has 20x1 threads.
    It attaches to the body of the mod.
    There is no top cap.​

    [​IMG]


    "Hybrid look" mods ( or "faux hybrids", "direct battery", or mods with "hybrid style adapters") have a 510 connection without a positive center pin. Using a "hybrid look" mod safely requires an atomizer with an "extended positive center pin" connection. The extended positive contact (center pin) on the atomizer touches the positive end of the battery, completing the circuit. Using an improper (common) atomizer can have disastrous consequences by creating a hard short.

    These "hybrid look" mods have no insulated 510 center pin, such as the SMPL, Noisy Cricket, and Copper tube mods. This design allows direct battery contact with a specialized extended center pin on atomizers designed to be used exclusively with faux hybrid mods. Do not use atomizers with the common/normal 510 center pin, or an explosion is likely to occur from a short. Leave these specialty devices to the more experienced and veteran vape pros.



    [​IMG]
    No insulated center pin in the SMPL faux hybrid mod - requires an extended center pin in the 510 juice attachment.


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    4nine faux hybrid

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    Prime Copper faux hybrid

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    Atomizers (example pics above) with an extended center pin (copper center) in the 510 connector (for faux hybrid or direct battery mods). This type of 510 connector is the only connector you can use with a hybrid-look, direct battery mechanical mod.

    [​IMG]

    Vape retailers believe Lethbridge man was uneducated on electronic cigarettes


    Something else that is good to know is the difference between a "Hard" 510 pin and a "Floating" 510 pin on an atomizer.

    With a hard 510 pin, the center pin in the atomizer can not move, it is fixed. So the amount that the 510 pin extends out beyond the 510 threads never changes. This is a good thing.

    With a floating 510 pin, the 510 pin is being pushed out by the coil head or RBA section in the atomizer. So if the coil head or RBA section is not screwed down completely, or if there is any variance in the length of the coil head or RBA section, it can cause the 510 pin to not extend the full amount from 510 threads of the atomizer. This could be a very bad thing.

    Last thing. Some atomizers have "adjustable" 510 pins. This is a very nice feature, but can also be a serious problem for someone using a Faux Hybrid connection if the 510 pin on the atomizer works itself back from screwing and unscrewing the atomizer On/Off. If someone is using an atomizer with an adjustable 510 pin, the length that it extends from the 510 threads should be checked EVERY time that the atomizer is screwed onto a Faux Hybrid connection.

    [​IMG]

    Some mech have optional top cap adaptors. Above, the adaptor on the left has a 510 center pin and on the right a hybrid-look adaptor.












    Beautiful, limited quantity, high end mechanical mods:


    [​IMG] Steampunk
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] $3000 hand-carved Tribal

    [​IMG] Caravela[​IMG] Caravela


    [​IMG]

    GG



    [​IMG] fully engraved King mech


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