New to mech mods, please help me be safe.

Discussion in 'APV Discussion' started by Kuidaore, Sep 29, 2013.

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  1. Kuidaore

    Kuidaore Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I actually didn't intend to get a mech mod/RBA already, but after seeing the guys at my local B&M building some, I figured 'how hard can it be' -- right. (I'd walked in to get some juice and a Protank 2, and left with...something totally different.)

    I picked up the KeCig K101 kit and Igo-L. I'm new to tinkering with electronics in general, assume I know nothing at this point and I'm trying to pick it up as I go.

    I won't be doing sub-ohm vaping, as the last thing I need is another layer of complexity... :blush:

    As far as I know, here's what I still need:

    - multimeter
    - spare batts (Panasonic NCR18650PD)
    - charger (Nitecore i4)

    I already ordered Kanthal 30 gauge from Temco and will be getting 2mm Ekowool from OKC or Stormy's.

    I also saw the Vape Safe Fuse being mentioned in another thread and might get one too.

    Is there anything else vital that I'm missing? After the paranoia kicked in I wasn't sure I had any business buying it in the first place, but I love the flavor I get out of it so I really want to figure this out without blasting my face (or fingers) off.

    Thanks and sorry for the newb questions!
  2. Baditude

    Baditude ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    I commend your concern for safety. RBA's demand more from our batteries than the standard run of the mill juice attachments, so high quality IMR or hybrid batteries are a must. The Panasonic PD's are a high quality hybrid battery and should be a good fit for you. The Nitecore i4 is an excellent charger which is also my primary charger.

    The below blog on RBAs has detailed instruction on how to use a digital multimeter, resources of battery & mod safety, and links to videos on how to make wicks and coils.

    I've made a battery guide for mod users: Battery Basics for Mods: IMR or Protected?

    I've also made a blog guide for first time RBA users: Advice & Tips for New RBA Users
  3. Kuidaore

    Kuidaore Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Thanks Bad! I'll check out those guides as well - just wanted to be sure I've 'gotten my homework checked' so to speak.

    I think it doesn't hurt to be double sure, but then I tend to have a nervous disposition.
  4. retrox

    retrox Flavor Chaser Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Another good read:

    Sounds like you're all set with the gear! Sub-ohm isn't necessary to get a great vape with a dripping atomizer. Check out this thread for some ideas:

    Honestly, if I were you, I would skip the ekowool and pick up some silica instead. It's cheaper and will be great to cut your teeth on while you're learning what your build of choice is. Then, once you're experienced enough to not scorch the crap out of it, head over to your local Wal-Mart and pick up some of this:

    You'll be done buying wicking material for a while. ;)

    This is just my opinion, and others may feel differently, but for me cotton offers the best flavor, best wicking, and the best cost-effectiveness out of anything you can use in a dripper. By all means, try other things if you want! And congrats on taking the first bold steps toward what I'm sure you'll find to be a most satisfying endeavor!
  5. Plumes.91

    Plumes.91 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Looks like you've got everything you truly need. If you want, you could get a battery tester. Because overdraining your battery is pretty much just as bad as making a coil too low, an overdrained battery raises the possibility of a thermal runaway as well. I would recommend you just buy a cheap mod that uses the same sized batteries and that will test them and the ohms for you. That way you can rebuild on a mod that has a built in safety circuit, you can test the ohms on the mod, and you can check your batteries with it when needed. A cheap mod that could do all of this is something like the Vamo, which is only $40 with a coupon at some US sites, or something like a smoktech gripper, or the Ovale V8, or a lavatube version 1, or a Zmax. All of these are under 50 bucks and they have a battery tester and an ohm checker built in. I know the Vamo and the Zmax do. Some versions of the lavatube version 1 might not have an ohm test, and I'm not 100% positive about the V8 or the Gripper but I believe they have the ohm + batt tester features. They all have protection. So Idk how much you plan to spend on a ohm tester but you can probably get a protected VV or VW mod for $10 more and get both the ohm + battery tester in 1. Then again, having a battery tester that will test any sized battery will be beneficial to you when you have 2 handfuls of mods all with dif. bat sizes. But thats going to take a while. :p The vapesafe fuse would be good for you, you could get that for added protection throughout the charge of your battery. Most frequently a battery will go thermal towards the end of its charge life, or when undercharged below 3.4-3.3 volts. Good luck man its a great money saver. Try cotton for wick too!
  6. Kuidaore

    Kuidaore Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Thanks all - I really appreciate your input, I loved the experience so far but I don't dare to use it right now, at least before getting decent batteries / charger / tester.

    I found a cheapo $5-6 multimeter that I think I'll pick up for now, but the Vamo really is a reasonable price and I'm interested in buying one too, eventually. No idea why I thought it was much more expensive.

    Just put in for the batts plus several feet of 2mm silica from House of Vapor as they're out of 3mm, and I'll move on from there.

    edit: ...And the charger. Well on my way to flavor city. :p
  7. WattWick

    WattWick Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Not sure how to put this without coming off as a smart-***... but here goes. You can check battery voltage with a multimeter :nun:

    Don't get me wrong :D
  8. Trayce

    Trayce Super Member ECF Veteran

    I'd recommend this charger instead: Xtar VP1 Digital Charger (digital display) .. you can use FB10 for 10% off and comes with a car adapter. It is a lot nicer than the Nitecore as the XTAR VP1 has a built-in VM and an LED screen that shows what the current battery state is in volts. Also keeps batts charged to 4.2 without overcharging them. IOW, unlike other chargers you can leave batts in this one until you are ready to use them and it will maintain them at 4.2. Charge rate is also selectable from 250am to 500ma to 1a. It costs a little more but as a new vaper I wanted to be sure my batts were charging correctly and this is much easier than using a VM separately after each charge to make sure the batt is sound. I did use my VM when I first got it just to make sure it was functioning correctly. It was within .02v. I love this charger - it's the best e-cig investment I made.
  9. Kuidaore

    Kuidaore Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Thank you for the tip Trayce! I've already ordered the other one as it seemed like the best value for money, but I will bookmark that if or when I need a more serious one.
  10. retrox

    retrox Flavor Chaser Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    I still use my Nitecore at work because I know I'm going to be around the whole time my batts are charging, but I love the VP1 I use at home. Being able to charge those monster 2900mAh Panny PD's at 1A is awesome, and the charger only generates a slight bit of warmth during the process. Those things take forever to top off on my Nitecore when they're below 3.7v, and the unit heats up a little more than I would like.

    The i4 is still a solid choice, mine has yet to let me down.
  11. Kuidaore

    Kuidaore Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Gotcha. I'll for sure look into upgrading when I can.

    Question on the yarn though, before using it as a wick, do you need to boil it or prep it in some way?
  12. mackman

    mackman Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    IMHO this information Baditude is passing on should be required reading to let "vapers" realize that their may be inherent dangers that you could be exposed to. The % of us who start with an Ego and never progress has got to be minimal.
  13. Krizzell

    Krizzell Super Member ECF Veteran

    You did get the protection chip for the mod or get a Kick.Get the multimeter you can't check ohms without it unless you have a VV-VW device that can check it.I don't know how other people think about this but I just bought a Charging bag for batteries last night.It's a $7 safety item but it could save your ***.
  14. Kuidaore

    Kuidaore Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    mack: My guess would be that those who go for the simpler approach probably don't need these forums anyhow, or at least not as much. :p

    I haven't gotten the chip yet, but it's next on the list. I do have a multimeter now, though.

    I actually didn't know about charging bags, but thank you, I'll consider getting one.
  15. Krizzell

    Krizzell Super Member ECF Veteran

    My first mod came on Sat. works great had to figure out the kick (had to use a smaller battery ) makes it a VW device. Going to now make a low ohm coil and see .
  16. Kuidaore

    Kuidaore Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Awesome, hope you enjoy it. What mod did you get?
  17. retrox

    retrox Flavor Chaser Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    I boil it twice for 10 minutes each cycle to get rid of any possible contaminants and to fluff it up. Some people don't boil, especially if the cotton they use is labeled sterile for medical use. Some people prefer cotton gauze, rolled cotton, or even cotton batting. I like the yarn mainly because it's already in the shape I want it.
  18. awolfheart

    awolfheart Full Member

    Like you, I'm fairly new to the world of mechanicals and RBA/RDAs. There is so much useful information and so many helpful people on this forum. Never be afraid to ask. There are tons of people here who will help you (like they've helped me) in making informed decisions in your vaping career.

    Happy vapes!
  19. Kuidaore

    Kuidaore Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I had seen some threads talking about using different types of cotton, but I also appreciate that the yarn could be easier to use. Looks like it's also sold on the Peaches & Creme site for a little cheaper, if I remember correctly.

    I've also seen mention of using cotton balls, which would definitely also be good value. Either way I don't think I'm quite ready for it yet but I appreciate your input!

    Thanks! I generally do ask a lot of questions, haha. Mostly I felt that, when reading around, most people who were using mods and rebuildables already had experience with this kind of thing, and here I am just excited to own my first multimeter. I feel better about it now though, I'll just keep reading and watching videos until I get it down.
  20. Krizzell

    Krizzell Super Member ECF Veteran

    Sigelei 8W.
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