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Discussion in 'Mom and Pop Vapor Shop' started by themysterious1, May 16, 2012.

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  1. pwyll

    pwyll Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Oh. My. Gawrsh.

    I think "beginning" vapers would do alright with it if they've watched all the videos and read a few threads about it. But definitely not "first time" vapers--I think it might scare them off. And it probably shouldn't be anyone's first mod/apv because then they will have unreasonable expectations for everything after that.

    Dayum. This thing has not been outta my face for two days. When I first started vaping I was using 24mg nic and I had to cut down because I found that the nic content was "irrelevant" to my vaping habit as I enjoyed it so much that "satisfying the nic fit" did not even slow down my vaping and I was occasionally overdoing it and getting the jitters and nausea. I found that the 14-16 area was good for me. Then when you all came along and only had 10mg or 18mg, I found that 10 was fine and 18 would occasionally be too much so I've been (for the most part) sticking to 10.

    But this VMax delivers the nic so well that I have to actively pay attention to my vaping and make myself take a break every few minutes. I've chain-vaped a 3ml tank dry in two hours without any problems, but I've made myself sick 4 times in the last 2 days with this thing :blink:
  2. pwyll

    pwyll Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    You might not need all the bells and whistles, but they can be fun to play with. And these things are simple enough that if you're still using it (two weeks after you first posted about it) I bet you could help people out with it just fine--at least as far as getting it working for them. I think the biggest problem is the "inaccuracies" of the display and the way it's behaviour is radically different from the couple of other vv mods I've tried.

    I think it's the pulse width modulation that makes it so different. Set at 3.0 volts it gives about the vapour production I would expect, but it's still as warm as my vv's set at 5 volts. And the Boge 2.0 carto I've got on this VMax hits harder and hotter at 3.7 to 4.0 than either a 1.5 DCC or 1.7 Ressurector at 6 volts (actually 6.4 off the charger) using stacked batteries--without any trace of burnt flavour.

    The vaping behaviour just does not match reasonable expectations of any of the settings, in my opinion, so you really have to just throw expectations out the window and treat this thing as compleatly new. I mean a warm vape at 3 volts and a hot vape at 3.7? Dayum.
  3. pwyll

    pwyll Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    I've never even seen a Provari in real life so I obviously cannot compare them directly, but I can infer a lot. I think that if you like what the VMax does then the Provari will be a disappointment, and if you like what the Provari does then the VMax will be nothing but a cheap imitation. And I think both opinions would be right.

    The design is obviously a flagrant rip-off of the Provari, and I personally feel this was a bad decision for a few reasons. Number one, it instantly sets up ill feelings in a lot of people. Number two, gullible people will expect a similar build-quality and the Provari will, frankly, blow the VMax out of the water in this regard. * Number three, and most importantly IMO, the obvious imitation of form implies an imitation of function--and the function has to be drastically different because...

    Cheap VV devices use a linear regulator that converts voltage to a lower output by converting the difference to heat--basically "variable resistors". "Quality" vv devices (up to now, or up until the SVR) came in two types, a BUCK/Switching regulator or a BOOST regulator. The Buck system (as is used in the Buzz Pro) switches a battery on and off very quickly and runs the current through a series of capacitors to even out the output and decrease the voltage to what is desired. They require an input voltage that is higher than the maximum output voltage, and the only way to get that in our devices is stacking batteries. The Boost system (as is used in the Provari) converts amperage to voltage to increase it to the desired level. They only require one battery but it needs to be high drain, high capacity and high quality. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but both output the actual voltage to which they are being regulated. The SVR introduced, and the VMax uses, Pulse Width Modulation to "regulate the voltage," but this does not actually regulate the voltage at all. PWM switches the current on and off extremely quickly so that the average output is whatever you have it set to. For this reason it can only regulate voltage downward, like the Buck, so it requires stacked batteries--but instead of outputting a lower voltage, it outputs the full voltage (in micro-second bursts) to imitate a lower voltage. If your batteries are charged to 7 volts (remember they're in series/stacked) and you have the device set for 3.5 volts and you press the button for one second, it is actually turning itself on and off 500 times. The average ("effective") voltage is 3.5, but the actual voltage put through the coil is still 7. **

    This means that while the VMax is a blatant ripoff of the Provari as far as style and visual appearance goes, the behaviour cannot be the same. The Provari actually varies the output voltage--vaping with it would be like having a 100 watt light bulb on a dimmer switch. The VMax "effectively" varies the voltage by turning the output on and off--vaping on it is like having an adjustable strobe light.


    * The big buzz phrases right now are "Cheap Chinese junk" and "don't buy stuff made in China." Ninety percent of mass-manufactured goods available in this country are made in China. Your Nokia (Finnish), Sony (Japanese) and Motorola (USA) phones are all made in China. The difference between them and the DECT/CECT/no-name phones are that Nokia, Sony and Motorola all pay a premium price for decent quality control at the factory. For an example closer to home (as far as this discussion goes) I've actually seen people say "don't buy Chinese batteries like Trustfires and UltraFires, stick to the quality brands like AW." What? Andrew Wong is Chinese, his business is located in China, and he only employs Chinese residents. Even Panasonic and Sanyo, Japanese companies who manufacture their own cells, have the batteries assembled ("made") in China. What makes Chinese "junk" cheap is not where it's made, it's how much "attention to detail" is paid for.

    Smok could have easily made the VMax just as high quality as the Provari, but no one would be able to afford it then. When you buy a Provari you are either buying from the manufacturer or a reseller who bought directly from the manufacturer. There is, at most, one step between the retail purchaser and the original manufacturer. When you buy the VMax you are buying from a retailer who, at the very least, imported it from a distributor who gets it from a warehouser who got it from the manufacturer. Somewhere in there China got their "export fees" and the US got their "import fees and tariffs." There are, at least, five steps between the retail purchaser and the original manufacturer--and everyone's taking their cut of the pie. Most supply chains are much longer, but the Ecig/PV market is still so new and small that "distribution bloat" has not yet set in.

    ** The technical details here may not be entirely accurate, but the general information offers an effective understanding of the principles involved. To understand the difference between "actual accuracy" and "effective accuracy," re-read the part about pulse width modulation ;)
  4. pwyll

    pwyll Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Can of worms is right. I don't think Vaping Connoisseurs will like it much, mainly because it doesn't actually do what it's being sold as (though a few would probably still appreciate it just as some Chocolate Connoiseurs still enjoy the occasional Hershey bar). But I think a lot of us Blue Collar Vapers will be blown away simply because it is capable of doing some things nothing else has been able to do until now (well, nothing else that isn't custom built and has to be individually customized by the end user).

    I do think it will be "too much" for some people, but I also think it will be a disappointment for some people. On the other hand, I think it will appeal to a lot more than just a niche audience, and I honestly believe that it will open up the market for PWM to start appearing in a lot more form-factors.

    In my opinion, and my opinion only, the appeal breaks down like this:

    If you are satisfied with an eGo/Riva/Kgo/ePower-type PV, this is not for you. No one that is happy with their Toyata Tercel is going to want a Countach for their daily commute.
    If your bliss is a Provari or Buzz Pro, this is not for you. No one that drives a Ferrari to work is going to be happy driving a stock Corvette.

    If you're basically happy with your equipment now but you want to try new and different things--this is definitely worth a try.
    If you know you want VV but nothing so far has done it for you--this is definitely worth a try.

    If you want to try VV but haven't yet, keep in mind that this is not true variable voltage. If you like it, you cannot "move up" from here, yet, as there is nothing else like it, yet. If you don't like it that doesn't mean you won't like true vv mods.

    And defintely use a tank. I've put over 10ml through this thing in two days--and I haven't had it above 4.0 for more than a drag or two.
  5. Wuzznt Me

    Wuzznt Me Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Mar 2, 2011
    Twilight Zone
    Wow Pwyll, thanx for the education on the Vmax and congratulations on being a proud new owner. I should have batteries for mine in a few days. I kind of got a handle on the workings from your post but I'm more like Pop, WHERE DO IT TURN IT ON? lol. I'm gonna have to discipline myself as all I have is 24mg and I can get into chain vaping without thinking about it. As far as brand new vapers goes I cringe when I see people recommending changable battery devices as their first without knowing if they have the skill level to safely charge and install them correctly. Most do but there are some that don't and lithium batteries can be dangerous. I've actually had a few people ask me what the positive meant and how do you tell which end is which. Another one asked me if it was ok to charge them on their ni cad charger. Most devices and chargers are protected against the basics like polarity but there are things out there that are being recommended that aren't and I sure hate to hear about people getting hurt.
  6. pwyll

    pwyll Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Congratulations! I think you're going to enjoy it once you get the hang of it. It really is quite simple to use once you learn how, but you are going to have to memorize which menu options you will use because the display "description/designations" are not very descriptive, or even intuitive.

    A couple things about the batteries: AW 18350s are a very tight fit--protected 18350s will not fit, so no *fires or AW Black Labels. One of the videos mentioned that his AW 18350 IMR's did not fit inside the bottom cap and his solution was to use 16340's (I'm sorry I don't remember who it was, I've watched like nine video reviews on the VMAX in the last couple of days). I had the same problem at first but I looked at the bottom cap and noticed it was out of round--it was bent in slightly at one spot. One thing nice about the cheaper build quality is that I was able to push on the inside of the cap and round it back out by hand (well, I used a butter knife handle to push with, but it didn't take a dremel or milling machine) and now the 18350 IMR's fit just fine. I did try the 16340's though, since I figured I would be able to use protected batteries if I wanted, and while my grey/silver-jacketed UltraFire's fit in perfectly, the flame-jacketed Trustfires were too long.

    Everything I've read (and videos I've watched) about the VMax has specifically stated that it didn't come with a manual. The one I got from Mom and Pop's did come with a manual, and it was a surprisingly good and useful one. In fact, it is better than a lot of the manuals I've gotten with fairly high-end (non vaping) products since it's actually intelligently written and grammatically correct English. The menuing system on the unit itself is rather unintuitive (read: amazingly horrible), but the manual I got in the box makes it easy to navigate and use, and fairly simple to memorize the few settings you'll actually want to be able to check or change regularly.
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