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Do regulated mods protect our batteries and keep us safe?

Discussion in 'Batteries and Chargers' started by Mooch, Nov 26, 2019.

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  1. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    Short answer = not really.

    While a regulated mod will keep a battery from being overdischarged down to a low voltage, if the protection electronics are working properly, the mod has no idea what the current rating of the battery is or its condition.

    Some mods measure temperature and shut down when hot but that’s just the temperature of one part of the regulator circuit board. It has nothing to do with the battery. A battery with too low a current rating for the way you vape could be run at way beyond its rating and the mod would have no idea that it’s happening. The mod can only act if the battery’s voltage drops too low.

    A lot of regulated mods don’t even have fuses that can blow in order to disconnect the battery in case the mod’s electronics fail and the battery is being short-circuited.

    Lastly, if there is damage to the wrap at the top of the battery you can short-circuit the battery when it’s inserted or removed from the mod. Even wrap damage on the side of the batteries can cause problems. If the metal cans of two batteries in a series-connected mod touch then one of the batteries will be short-circuited and could vent or burst. No circuitry in the mod will protect you from this.

    So while a regulated mod can help protect us from short-circuits in the atomizer, and batteries that are nearing empty, mods will only protect themselves for any other problems. We still need to choose batteries with a high enough current rating for the way we vape and be vigilant about the condition of the wraps and top ring insulators of our batteries.

    I am NOT saying that regulated mods are “unsafe”!
    I am NOT saying that unregulated/mechanical mods are “safer”!
    I am ONLY saying that we cannot call regulated mods “safe”!
     
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  2. Rossum

    Rossum Surly Curmudgeon Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    NE FL
    A mod could monitor the battery's sag under load. Watch its resting voltage, then look at how much it drops while it's being fired. If it sags too much at the selected power level, warn the user, back off the power, or even refuse to fire at all. DNA mods have done this to some extent since at least the DNA20. I don't know about any others.
     
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  3. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    I wonder how many vapers look at the displayed amp draw when the fire button is pressed on a regulated mod (not all show this info). Mine is drawing 3.55 amps vaping at 10W with a .73 ohm coil. I suppose not all mods display the same operating info.

    We all want the longest vape time, but high MAH ratings usually come with lower amp ratings. If you vape over 60 watts on a single cell, chances are that you are pushing an 18650 at or over it's maximum amperage capability.

    As Mooch pointed out, the real danger is a direct short across the terminals from a ripped wrap on the positive battery terminal. Battery sleeves are cheap and easy to replace. Most everyone has a hair dryer at home to shrink them with.
     
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  4. Punk In Drublic

    Punk In Drublic Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Aug 28, 2018
    Toronto, ON
    What you are seeing is the current draw at the coil, not the current draw at the battery. Although in your case there is not much difference. However, it could be vastly different and misleading. 100 watts with a 0.5 ohm coil would yield roughly 14 amps at the coil, but 30+ amps at the battery for a single cell device.

    I do not know many devices that show the battery current draw on screen. DNA’s do, but this must be enabled within Escribe along with an appropriate theme to show this information.
     
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  5. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    There is definitely a difference between the source drain and the load on a regulated mod. The battery supplies current to energize the mod's needs so the total current includes that plus the current draw created by the atomizer.

    I'm not really sure what my mods are showing me. I suspect it's the total current drawn from the battery and that would include both the electronics and the atomizer load. My Aegis mods list coil resistance plus amps and voltage drawn that I presume is battery load or maybe it's the load from the coil only. Maybe someone knows that info.
     
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  6. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    Run the ohm’s law equation using the coil resistance and voltage the display shows you. If the current it shows you equals what your equation solves to then you know you are looking at the coils current and not the battery current.

    In a multi-battery device the coil current is MUCH higher than the battery current so it’s usually pretty easy to see which is being shown. Almost all mods show the coil current. DNA and Dicodes-based mods can be set to show the battery current IIRC.

    The regulator board + screen current draw is often about 15mA or so. This might not even show up on a display that claimed to show both the coil current and current needed to run the electronics.
     
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  7. Opinionated

    Opinionated Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 19, 2015
    My Mountain
    The topside dual shows amps that are being used.. it's close to what steam engine says, but not exact to steam engine so I'm not sure what the ever so slight difference is, but it's very close anyway..
     
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  8. Punk In Drublic

    Punk In Drublic Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Aug 28, 2018
    Toronto, ON
    The Aegis displays coil voltage and coil current draw based on your resistance and power setting. Adjust either resistance and or power, voltage will change and as a result, so will the current draw at the coil. V = √PxR and then I = V/R. However, current draw at the battery will only change with power and battery voltage, not resistance. I = P/V

    The Aegis does not display current draw at the battery.

    The example I gave above displayed how the coil current could be less that the battery draw. Depending on settings, ie: resistance and power, the coil current could be more than what is being drawn from the battery. Example: 0.15 ohms at 40 watts would yield approx. 16.5 amp draw at the coil, but only approx. 14 amps at the battery. But yet the same resistance at 60 watts would yield approx. 20 amps at both coil and battery. Increase above 60 watts with this resistance, and battery current becomes greater than coil current.
     
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  9. Punk In Drublic

    Punk In Drublic Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Aug 28, 2018
    Toronto, ON
    The Topside Dual (non Yihi) is just displaying coil current. Perhaps this has changed with Firmware updates but the below example is displaying coil current.

    11 watts with 0.13 ohm coil = 1.20 volts and 9.2 amps at the coil. Battery current draw at 11 watts would be roughly 2 amps per cell at 3.2 battery voltage. Even less with full 4.2 volt batteries.

    Note: The black lines accross the screen is just the device screen refresh being lower than the camera's

    Steam Engine uses the exact math for it’s calculations – these are not the most accurate devices so there is usually a discrepancy.


    Topside Dual.jpg
     
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  10. Opinionated

    Opinionated Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 19, 2015
    My Mountain
    nvm.. got it..
     
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  11. Punk In Drublic

    Punk In Drublic Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Aug 28, 2018
    Toronto, ON
    Was in the middle of typing a response, but guess you figured it out.

    Just note: Steam Engine only displays battery current based on a single cell device. To use it for multi cell devices that employ a Series battery configuration, we need to multiply the battery voltage by the amount of cells. So if you want to know the battery current for the Topside Dual at 3.7 volts, you enter 7.4 volts in the Battery Voltage field.

    Steam does not provide calculations for a Parallel battery config, but you can easily divide the battery current draw by 2 to get your answer
     
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  12. Opinionated

    Opinionated Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 19, 2015
    My Mountain

    Thank you for your help! :)
     
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  13. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    That's interesting info, Mooch. I always wondered how much of the current load total was from the regulated mod circuitry and I've never seen a clear explanation. It's easy to calculate the output load, but the mod electronics was an unknown.

    The electronics load is small, but the Triac load would be roughly equal to the load from the coil. So I can see the electronics only expending enough power to control the circuitry with the Triac taking the beating from high amps.

    15ma seems like a reasonable number for the controller, but it's less than I thought it might be.
     
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  14. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    The controller is probably a couple of mA, a lot less when “sleeping”. The display is the user of almost all the current. I should say that I don’t know how much current the new larger displays draw but it won’t be huge amounts.

    The input/output caps, the MOSFETs, and the inductor all see the full current so there’s plenty of stress to go around. Especially with the MOSFETs getting all the voltage spikes each time they switch, tens of hundreds of thousands of times a second. :)
     
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  15. Punk In Drublic

    Punk In Drublic Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Aug 28, 2018
    Toronto, ON
    You are forgetting the modial interaction of magneto-reluctance and capacitive diractance. ;)

     
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  16. GOMuniEsq

    GOMuniEsq Self-Proclaimed Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Aug 25, 2012
    Alberta, Canada
    Like this comment if you would prefer that questioners who ask, "iS iT sAfE???!1", be pre-emptively banned. Nothing is ever completely safe. It's all about educating yourself to avoid potential hazards.
     
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  17. jandrew

    jandrew Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 2, 2013
    Winnipeg
    If the questioner has a couple henchmen and a tray of dental instruments, then yes, pre-emptive banning is in order. Otherwise, that seems a little harsh.
     
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  18. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    Thanks, so many details to remember!
    A classic video that taught me everything I know.
     
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  19. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    That video made me realize that my formal electronics training from Cleveland Institute of Electronics was lacking in certain information! All those corporate product schools from my employer were also missing the that same technology!
     
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  20. dripster

    dripster Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2017
    Belgium
    What possible guarantee do we have that a regulated mod will─in a timely fashion─shut itself down completely, as opposed to will merely enter standby mode such that it will still display the 'battery low' message after we press the fire button, i.e. continuing to consume power to keep monitoring the fire button thereby continuing to overdischarge a battery?
    So basically, even if the regulated mod in question does have a feature that will disconnect the battery in case it is about to get overdischarged or short circuited, this same feature might still fail so that the net result would be the equivalent of real danger being commonly touted as 'safety'. At least with a mech you get the advantage of being, also commonly that is, encouraged to properly be aware that batteries can get overdischarged or short circuited─and encouraged to act safely, that is, based upon that awareness.
    While I agree that a regulated mod can help us from short-circuits in the atomizer, and batteries that are nearing empty, I firmly believe that the more vitally important question about the safety is this:

    Will it?
    Finally, if the answer to that question is yes or probably yes, then, naturally, I am going to have to ask what logical reason do I have to believe that? :toast:
    At least with a mech mod you get the advantage of not being capable to leave the mod charging over USB overnight having it turn itself into a nice fireball while you are sleeping next to it on the couch. (I apologize for my doing it on purpose. :D)
     
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