The reason why Blu cigs have problems, and how to alleviate them as a user.

Discussion in 'Blu Electronic Cigarettes' started by Delos, Sep 15, 2009.

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  1. Delos

    Delos Full Member

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    Sep 9, 2009
    E-cigs are pretty poorly engineered. The first one I bought was the 51 duo. You'll notice that all e-cigs have two small holes either in the atomizer (3 piece models) or on the battery fringe that connects to the cartomizer (2 piece models).

    Those holes are there to allow air to be drawn through the atomizer. The air coming through the battery is extremely minimal compared to the amount that will come through those holes. On most e cigs, those holes get covered up by something and basically don't function. The 51 Duo doesn't work at all if you tighten the cartridge down really tight, but ease it off a bit and it starts working very well.

    Most people think air needs to be drawn through the battery to activate the pressure switch, but that isn't the case. The venturi effect ensures that the pressure switch is activated by the low pressure zone created across the atomizer when air is quickly drawn through.

    The Blu cigs e-cig attempted to address that problem. That's why there's little slots cut out of the battery fringe that aren't there on other e-cigs.

    But, they're still using the same atomizer... which was tested and designed in e-cigs that DIDN'T have those grooves. Hence, the atomizer does not function ideally because they fixed the problem too well. The holes in the atomizer are too big when you actually open them to the air properly. Another consequence of the venturi effect is that drawing air faster decreases the temperature more.

    A second problem is how the atomizer itself seems to work. It requires pressure to draw liquid onto the element. Since the flow is extremely unrestricted, you have to breathe in HARD to create enough pressure for the atomizer to work properly.

    So I'll write up a little guide to using them that should improve the results people get:

    1) After inserting a fresh cartridge, twist the battery and atomizer clockwise while keeping the cartridge still. Then withdraw the atomizer from the cartridge and clear all foil/plastic from the atomizer and look down into the cart to make sure there's nothing in there. The foil stops the atomizer from working right if it's in there.

    2) Always store your ecig in the pack, with the LED facing down. This helps you get the full amount out of the cartridges. I also recommend having both atomizers in the pack (set into a cartridge) so you can rotate through them to get a more consistent smoke and get the maximum liquid from the cartridges. A cartridge with an atomizer in it will fit in the normal cartridge spots in the blu pack.

    3) Breathe hard. REALLY hard; you need to breathe in fast enough to where you're creating suction pressure. To reduce how fast you need to breathe in you could try plugging some of those grooves on the battery; either permanently, or just with your fingers while taking a drag. This will reduce how much effort you have to expend to get a good draw.


    The blu cig is definitely not a huge vapor producer. However, it seems fine for smoking replacement. The vapor is about as much as a cigarette gives off, and you definitely get the right amount of nicotine. Keep in mind that the only vapor you really see is the propylene glycol; an INACTIVE ingredient. I'm guessing because the blu carts are so small they reduced the amount of PG.
     
  2. hxj

    hxj Super Member ECF Veteran

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    Both of these suggestions run counter to my personal experience. Well, actually, I should clarify that: I did store the blu LED-down until I switched to different filler material that wicked better, as well as thinner liquid, so now I store it LED-up so that I don't flood the atomizer. With the standard carts, though, I agree, LED-down makes more sense.

    But as for the breathing hard stuff, drawing hard on a blu activates the battery but produces NO vapor. I just tried, and confirm this. Light, slow draws-- just hard enough to activate the battery and keep it on-- produce a LOT of vapor. Again, this is in my personal experience after two months with the kit.

    You're definitely right about covering one or more of the air intake holes; that produces a heavier draw, more vapor, and a higher atomizer temperature (which may or may not be bad for the atomizer, but I haven't killed one yet).
     
  3. Delos

    Delos Full Member

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    You're not breathing hard enough. I'm serious. Breathe in with everything you've got; your cheeks should suck in from the pressure.

    Slow draws work great when the cartridge is fresh and the atomizer is basically flooded with liquid, but they don't work at all once the cartridge runs down a bit which is why people think they can only get 10-12 good draws from a cart.
     
  4. hxj

    hxj Super Member ECF Veteran

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    I swear, I am. Almost absolutely nothing-- the teeniest visible puff of vapor. This is with a full cart. And I can say with total certainty that hard draws have never yielded any vapor with my blu kit since I got it two months ago. If you don't believe me, I suppose I can post a video, but I'll look really funny almost collapsing my lungs on this thing. :D

    Long, slow, even, LIGHT draws have always worked better for me-- for the first three days when I used the stock carts, for the month I used the stock filling and Johnson Creek liquid, and for the month since I've switched to PET filling from Lipton Pyramid tea bags. Maybe my equipment's anomalous, I don't know.

    I get what you're saying about getting the last bit of juice out of the bottom of the cart by drawing harder, though. I guess that hasn't been an issue for me, because the JC liquid is quite thin and wicks well, and with the PET, I can empty out a cartridge without even trying. I still have some old carts with the polyfill, maybe I'll do some experimenting. :)
     
  5. BEdmonds

    BEdmonds Full Member

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    I just ordered my blu, would it be easier just to cancel and find a diffrent model??
     
  6. Bandit

    Bandit Ultra Member ECF Veteran

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    Sorry, but your theory is proven wrong here on the forum.

    While you have to draw hard on say an M401, or fairly hard on a 510, the Blu actually requires a smooth, fairly light, long draw.

    Hitting it hard as you instruct does two bad things:

    1) It heats up the atty too fast, giving a harsh, hot vape

    2) It makes you hit the batt cutoff way too fast (3-4 seconds in many cases)

    A smooth, light and long/consistent draw will allow you to draw for much longer (I can get 7 seconds before cutoff) and more flavor without any harshness.

    The Blu has the easiest draw of any e-cig or PV that I own, and I have had my Blu for a while. Same goes for my Sidesho which essentially is a Blu with a longer battery.

    One trick you can use if you experience a tight draw (which you should not, the Blu draws like an open/empty straw actually) is to slightly loosen the connection between the batt and the atty. This trick is used on most e-cigs. It allows more airflow.

    If ypu're experiencing a tight draw, you might have foil on the atty as well. When popping a carton always twist it 360 degrees, then remove the cart. There should (90% of the time) be the foil ON the atty bridge. Remove it and put the cart back on and vape away.
     
  7. hxj

    hxj Super Member ECF Veteran

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    All depends on what you need. In my experience, the work you might want to put into making the blu work better is exactly the same sort of stuff you HAVE to do with most other e-cigs: stuffing and filling carts, cleaning atomizers, etc. I doubt you'd have an "easier" time with a 510, for instance, and depending on the kind of smoker you are, you might have more trouble with it because it's bigger, heavier, uses a manual battery, etc.

    One benefit of the blu is that they have a 30-day money-back guarantee, which I don't think I've seen for any other e-cig. So since you've already ordered it, you may as well try it, in my opinion. You might like it. I do.
     
  8. Bandit

    Bandit Ultra Member ECF Veteran

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    The Blu is a good unit, great for a lot of people. I always tell people that if they are a HEAVY smoker, then the Blu might not be entirely satisfying because you may want more vapor production (feeling of "smoke" entering/exiting body) than the Blu can provide.

    IF that happens to be the case, return the Blu and buy a Sidesho. It is essentially a Blu with longer battery and better carts (more juice) that gives a load more flavor and vapor. It is 99% as convenient as the Blu using the same style charging case, the only exception being that you cannot carry an ASSEMBLED unit in it (like all other e-cigs actually).

    If you aren't as hung up on the convenience, the 510 is about the best all-around for beginners and pros. Mountains of vapor, tons of flavor.

    See my Sidesho review and comparison to Blu in the ModernVapor forum in the vendors section.
     
  9. xfuryxstriker

    xfuryxstriker Full Member

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    i would have to wonder if Blu is getting feedback on the problems people have with the foil wrapped cart. you would think that if they are then they would be considering changing the design to match that of other ecigs such as the sidesho, seeing as how its the same manufacturer.

    as it is, im fairly happy with my blu even having been a pack a day smoker. the throat hit and amount of vapor are enough to satisfy me, though the carts dont last as long as i would like, or as blu claims...once i actually run all my stock carts down im going to play with the PTB mod and and some of hxj's other suggestions for refilling the stock carts...

    Can anyone recommend a reliable quick nicquid supplier in the states? there are no local suppliers where i am at. :(
     
  10. hxj

    hxj Super Member ECF Veteran

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    The Sidesho does use foil-sealed carts like the blu. Modern Vapor kindly sent me some to test with the blu equipment, and they don't fit (though the mouthpieces do).

    As for liquids, I'm still a big fan of Johnson Creek. Their reduced-PG formula seems to work really well at the blu's atomizer temperature. I saw a definite increase in performance once I started refilling with JC instead of using blu's stock prefilled liquid. Their delivery time is decent (usually ship within a couple of days, and then it's up to the USPS) and they have a 60-day satisfaction guarantee, which includes shipping both ways. They cover it all. Be aware, though, that their flavors don't agree with everyone (weirdly, several people seems to think the base flavor tastes of bacon, which I don't see, but I'd probably love that!), so I'd suggest getting the sampler pack (10 flavors for $21.95 plus shipping) and seeing which, if any, you like. I'm a huge fan of both the JC Original and the Tennesee Cured, and I love the Summer Peach when I'm in the mood for something more fruity.

    JC fluids can be a little thin, and last night I mixed in about 1/4 of ECOpure Gold. ECOpure is a vegetable glycerine-based, stripped-down, pure-as-possible liquid made in the UK. This thickened up the JC a bit, added quite a bit more vapor, and didn't blanch out the flavor much at all, so I'm very pleased with it. ECOpure is available in the states from InnoVapor and Cignot and presumably a few other places, but those are the ones I know. Cignot probably ships faster than InnoVapor.
     
  11. hxj

    hxj Super Member ECF Veteran

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    Bandit, are you really getting good flavor from the 510? Because it's making everything I also vape in the blu taste weak and scorched by comparison. I know I've seen lots of people in the forums say that the 510 is one of the worst models for flavor (I hear the 901 is one of the best), but it sure is a monster for vapor and throat hit.
     
  12. Cowboy Dan

    Cowboy Dan Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    I just ordered from Rob at goodprophets, a supplier here on the forum, and got 70 ml of liquids for $24.00, that's with s&h, which is free for any order over $20. Customer service and prices can't be beat.

    The JC juice is good, but I was looking for something with a little more tobacco flavor. The Winston, Marlboro, Turkish and Flue Cured are all really as close to tobacco as I've come across, speaking from limited experience.

    The JC reduced PG really does put out the vapor though, and to me, also has a good taste...especially the Tennessee Cured.
     
  13. Delos

    Delos Full Member

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    Proven? Really? Care to link me to your conclusive proof? Maybe you conducted a double-blind peer reviewed study?

    Oh, no, wait, it sounds like you're claiming your own subjective experience (and that of a few others) is actually universal. This is of course completely irrational and the well-known fallacy of anecdotal evidence.

    False. The increased airflow keeps the temperature down. The only way you can get the atomizer to heat up really is by plugging the holes on the side.

    Once again, there is no harshness, and the idea that harshness would be increased by breathing faster is preposterous due to basic physics.

    I just sucked as hard as I could and got a 7 second cutoff. Gee, looks like you got "proven" wrong. The cutoff circuit isn't based on average pressure over time or something; it's nowhere near that sophisticated.

    This does nothing for the blu cigs. The cross-sectional area of the cutouts is significantly larger than the cross-sectional area of the atomizer holes. Therefore, the atomizer holes are the restrictive element and widening the grooves will not improve airflow.
     
  14. Delos

    Delos Full Member

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    Sep 9, 2009
    That's very strange. The only time drawing fast doesn't work for me is when the cart is brand new... and it only "doesn't work" because it'll send you into a coughing fit spewing the vapor all over the room instead of into your lungs.

    I also have to wonder if it's a problem of differing lung capacities. I wasn't a very heavy cigarette smoker before switching to e-cigs, and as such may be applying an amount of suction that most e-cig users cannot due to a more greatly diminished lung capacity as a result of cigarettes.

    When I breathe quickly through it there's almost a sort of "crossover point" where the draw feels different and you can tell it's working. I imagine that's the saturation point for maximum suction.

    I'm not sure exactly what the quicker drawing does. I think it assists in drawing fluid up onto the element via the increased pressure. The fluid dynamics of how the cartridges work is rather strange. I'm surprised they work at all, really.

    It sounds like the fluid you're using definitely offers some advantages over the basic blu fluid though.
     
  15. Cowboy Dan

    Cowboy Dan Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    For the record, I also tried collapsing a lung to no avail. Slow, light and steady still working...
     
  16. Bandit

    Bandit Ultra Member ECF Veteran

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    Forgive me Einstein. You go enjoy yourself and teach the world.... :rolleyes:
     
  17. Bandit

    Bandit Ultra Member ECF Veteran

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    I wouldn't bother... leave him be. It is apparent that relaying our experience, and the experience of others here on the forum will do no good. n00bs know all.

    I think I'll slink off to the PureSmoker area and enjoy my Prodigy while he sucks his head in...
     
  18. Delos

    Delos Full Member

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    So what exactly do you make of the large number of posts on this forum saying that slow and steady fails to produce any vapor past a few puffs for them? It seems to be a serious complaint of many people that "slow and steady" does not solve, causing many to give up on the device all together.

    You're not backing up anything you say with anything, and yet act like you're more right because you've owned the device longer. I assure you that heating elements are not new technology.
     
  19. laidbak101

    laidbak101 Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    The only e-cig i currently have is the blu.. So i don't know how well others work, but i get my biggest pulls when i drag slow and steady with one hard primer puff... Just a hard pull doesn't seem to work for me.

    I do tend to get pretty good vapor that is close to a analog... Its just not always consistent. I like the blu so far and am actually more interested in finding a atty that i can put on my blu as an upgrade
     
  20. Bandit

    Bandit Ultra Member ECF Veteran

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    You can use the Sidesho atty from ModernVapor, but you must use a Sidesho cart with it.

    Good news is that the Sidesho cart can be bought in blanks (Blu cannot, you must recycle those more expensive pre-filled ones) and they hold a lot more juice than the Blu does also.

    If you go that route, be sure to use the 25% off discount code posted in their forum!
     
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