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Voltage / Resistance / Wattage Discussion

Discussion in 'General Vaping Discussion' started by MilkyG, Apr 27, 2011.

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  1. MilkyG

    MilkyG Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 18, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    At 3.7v with a 1.7ohm atty you get ~8.1 watts. At 4.5v with 2.5ohm (as an example) you also get ~8.1 watts. My question is, with all other things being equal, is there any substantial difference in the quality of the vaping experience when effective wattage is the same but voltage and resistance varies? Mainly in terms of flavor and TH...I tend to think vapor production is over-rated and relied on simply as a visual cue to remind us that our lungs are being filled, since vapor lacks the same "heavy and fulfilling" feeling we all used to get from analogs. But since it's important to most, I'll ask for feedback on vapor production as well.

    I don't have a ProVari or other VV device or else I'd do the experiment myself. Perhaps this has already been posted, but I didn't have much luck finding anything. I also know there's been plenty of discussion regarding the "sweet spot" of wattage for vaping...the problem, IMO, is being able to properly account for the many variables (for instance, the sweet spot might be different between a standard 510, a LR 510, and a 901, then between different manufacturers of the same model, then between dripping vs. cart, then different juices, and finally our subjectivity in assessing the experience, etc.).

    Assuming comparable effective wattage vaping experience regardless of voltage/resistance as I mentioned above, I'd like to see a chart plotting 3 curves of flavor, vapor and TH ratings vs. calculated wattage while standardizing the atty model and juice used via a cart (since it's at least more consistent than dripping). Then repeat for variation in PG/VG ratios. Then repeat on different atty/carto/tank models. Then repeat again for different juice "flavor types" (a standard tobacco vs. a fruit flavor vs. a chocolate, see how wattage impacts our perceptions of flavor for different types of flavorings). Sounds like a lot of work and the results would be very subjective. However, it would be nice if one day someone wanted to vape a 18mg strawberry juice that has 30% VG, posted ECF about the best way to vape it, and we could reply that they should use a certain PV and atty to get the best experience...and that suggestion would be based on a library of data instead of our collective, yet personal and limited, experiences.

    Sorry about the long post...and maybe this topic isn't quite that important to the average user anyway. Any thoughts?
  2. ancient puffer

    ancient puffer EX PV Collector Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Mar 8, 2011
    Virginia, USA
    I doubt you can find a chart like that, since "flavor" is a very subjective issue. My uneducated guess would be that wattage is a common denominator, i.e., same watts=same throat hit and vapor production (and flavor). I haven't experimented enough to be able to really say, but I do know that higher wattage produces a warmer (and higher volume) of vapor.

    I seem to recall seeing a post about the watts/voltage/resistance thing. In the early days, things were much simpler so volts and ohms were used for comparison. With the wide range of resistance and voltage available now, seems to me that watts are the way to go for that, but you have to do the math to figure it out.
  3. AttyPops

    AttyPops Yeah, I type stuff. ECF Veteran

    Lol. It's a good question. It's been kicked around a bit before. The Modder's Forum has a lot of discussion on different atties (some DIY). That said, it does seem to make a real-world difference.

    For me, 5 volt just has more "oomph". Remember voltage is potential difference, so there's more "oomph". Also, as has been noted time and time again, the LR atties just don't hold up very well/long. I think that the 3.0 ohm atties are more robust. I assume that they make them lower ohms by reducing the length of the wire, not by adding more (thicker) metal. This may vary depending on atty design. So with 5 v you get more wire hotter faster. I use 5 v as an example, 4.5 is similar.

    So, to me YES. There is a difference. As far as taste, vapor an TH, the vapor production and TH is higher. Flavor is so subjective... I factor it out other than noting that 5v has less flavor for most juices.

    I've tried LR atties and lower voltages, and found that they can sometimes "burn" the juice (flavor wise) and maybe, this is a guess, they just have a smaller "hot spot". Still the same power dissipation, but maybe a small (hotter?) point, whereas the 3.0 atties give a more "even" heat. Total guess but that kind of describes my experience, even if not technically accurate. Thus, 3.0 Ω 5v for me!

    2 cents.
  4. Stownz

    Stownz Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 29, 2010
    Guthrie, OK
    Wattage was once a good starting point for picking out your ohm and volt set up. Until I tried the dual coils. They are rated at 1.5 oh, but perform great at a technical 25 watts. Not sure why these are so different, but these cartos retired both of my provari and I sold the darwin. Problem is that circuit protection kicks in and doesn't allow the provari to crank them up to 6 volts. Darwin caps out at 12.5 watts, which is still not where I wanted these cartos run out. So out comes 6 volts on a mechanical mod fired into a 1.5 ohm cartomizer: with no burning and fantastic vapor and TH and flavor.

    On the old stuff, running a high ohm atty at 10 watts performed better imho then a low ohm atty at 10 watts. Not sure why this effect happened, but it was a noticable difference. Life of the LR attys/cartos was less then higher resistance run at the same wattage on the same PV. I did not do significat testing on the lifespans, either I had bad luck with LRs, or I had great luck with the HR.

    There is definately another factor at play here, brought out real clearly by the dual coils. It's not as simple as Wattage. Atomizer and cartomizer design have always played an effect as well. The fail CE2 design is a clear version of this effect also.
  5. DC2

    DC2 Tootie Puffer Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jun 21, 2009
    San Diego
    I have always heard that people prefer higher voltage rather than lower resistance to achieve a given power level.

    I have even seen someone explain the technical reasons why once.
    That was a long post and as far as I could tell it was written in Chinese.
  6. AttyPops

    AttyPops Yeah, I type stuff. ECF Veteran

    I'll add to the above...... Let's think about it this way: If you were building your own atty, how many ways could you make it XX ohms and what would be the difference? Let's say you use a copper coil (lacquer insulated) [DON'T DO THIS] with sufficient length to achieve 1.5 ohms resistance. Put it on a 3.7 volt e-cig and press the button for 10 seconds. It might get warm, but would it put out enough heat per square inch to vaporize e-juice well? Now use a 1.5 ohm length of nichrome.

    So it's not just the volt x amp = watts, but design that matters... probably heat per square inch or something like that. Thus, Stownz talks about dual coils, the atty modders build atties and debate materials endlessly. Seriously, see:

    Atomizer Mods
  7. MilkyG

    MilkyG Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 18, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Thanks for the feedback. In regard to the dual coils, I think the total resistance is ~3ohm but the "effective" resistance per coil is about you get "LR-like" performance for each of the 2 coils without any burning, etc. because of the full length of the tandem coils. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that's why these have been so highly touted recently. Of course without a HV mod (yet) I'll have to wait to try them.

    The "high voltage / high resistance" wattage equivalent performing better makes sense to me, if only due to the fact that higher resistance attys/cartos do tend to last longer...I mean even at 3.2V with an eGo I've still popped a LR atty and can still burn some liquid, as I'm sure most others have as well. In fact I prefer dripping on a standard 510 more than I do on a LR.

    So (while trying to keep this on topic without turning it into another dual coil thread) how would you rate, say, flavor variation across a wattage range as well as compared to the dual coil cartos? How about variation with different "types" of juices (by that I mean those that give us different flavor perceptions...sweet, savory, acidic, earthy, etc.)?

  8. Stownz

    Stownz Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 29, 2010
    Guthrie, OK
    Due to everyone's different vaping styles, along with the actual ohm rating and design of the carto/atty, power regulated or straight bat power, airflow design on connector, VG or PG or what ratio, PGA added or not, PG based flavoring or water..... you see where this is going. There are SO many factors that contribute to the flavor perception, there is only one way to find out: buy them and try them on VV units and regular.

    We still got Gotvapes telling people that the CE2s are the best carto made. We got people that LOVE the ego tanks. We got people that hate all Cartos and will only drip. So many factors too consider, and atty ohm/bat volts/total wattage is only a very small component. That is why there is such a huge spread in opinions on what is the best PV/atty/carto.

    I've bought sooOOoo many over this last year, testing as many as I can. If I'm using the provari, I use the higher ohm attys/cartos and crank them up. If i'm using the GGTS +UFS I use LR because I don't like the size of it with stacked bats. Lil Sis can crank a dual coil up to 7 volts, because it has no ciruict protection built in and it is super small. See how recommendations change depending on what set up you have? Not just what wattage you are aiming for.
  9. atomizer mizer

    atomizer mizer Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 1, 2011
    USofA, Alabama
    This chart can take into consideration the individual users preferences if he\she knows what power level is best for the juice they are vaping. I made this yesterday. Hope it can help someone.

  10. SteveMacc

    SteveMacc Full Member

    Feb 17, 2011
    Manchester, UK
    Watt density comes into this. One turn of thin wire could make a 3 ohm atomiser but it woudn't work very well. The heat is too concentrated. Thats why the dual coils work well. Each one has the same resitance but used in parallel, thus halving the overall resistance. However the high wattage that results is spread out over the length of two coils, so spot heating is actually quite low.
  11. MickeyRat

    MickeyRat Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 4, 2011
    Hickory, NC
    I haven't gotten into VV yet. It's on the way though. The most logical argument I've seen for the higher resistance atomizers at HV is that you have more coils to make more resistance. So, you get the same energy spread over a wider area and it provides a smoother more flavorful hit. I can't say whether that's true or not. Give me a couple weeks. :)
  12. BuzzKill

    BuzzKill Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Nov 6, 2009
    Central Coast Ca.
    Flavor of juices VARY from juice to juice , so no one wattage will make a juice taste BEST , this is where VV ( variable voltage ) comes onto play , you can TUNE to the juice, flavor and TH .
  13. atomizer mizer

    atomizer mizer Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 1, 2011
    USofA, Alabama
    That's a lot easier than changing the resistance.
  14. MilkyG

    MilkyG Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 18, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Very nice! This is the type of info I was eluding to. And even though taste is subjective I still think some "generic guidlines" might be able to be pieced together from our collective experiences and these types of data...such as what garyinco posted about "tobaccos at 7 watts and fruity / lighter flavors at 6.5 watts or lower". A VV box mod build is in store for me next week...assuming I can find my old soldering iron. Speaking of which, has anyone looked at this adjustable voltage regulator unit for mods?: Adjustable step down switching voltage regulator

    It sounds great for ease of build...only problem is that output is only 1A. Thoughts? (sorry if this has been discussed...and for adding off-topic)
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