How to build your first ecig mod / APV

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Sep 24, 2009
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More people are looking at how to build their first mod now, even though they have no knowledge of electrics / electronics. This is a result of general interest, plus economic pressure: boxmods are hot now but may be priced beyond the reach of some vapers.

This is good, provided you go about it the right way. It is likely that some people will take their first steps into electronics by way of building a boxmod. This has always been the way, although it goes in cycles: this was hot around 2010 / 2011, then died down for a bit, and is now coming back around. 2015 will be the year of the boxmod (again) so it's timely - last time around for boxmods was 2010. Right now, boxmods are where the action is, because the this high power alternative to mechmods is hitting the bigtime.

Some of the best modders ever are women - look up Mamu for example - so this is something open to all who become interested in the custom ecig game. There are no stereotypes here.

2015 will be the year of the boxmod

It's a 5-year cycle :) This year will be high-power boxmods, then temperature control boxmods, and then by September temp control tubemods (VV / VW / TC) will be hot (cool actually) when the big boys ramp up production with the DNA40 chip and its successors in tubemods, once the groundwork has been done in the boxes (as it always is). New heads will come out using coil wire suitable for TC, as the current wire is no use for TC applications.

Learn from scratch

It's best to learn in steps. This way you start out with instructions and then grow from there. Please don't just buy wire and a battery and try to reinvent the wheel - there is a ton of good instructions out there on how to build a basic boxmod, or a regulated boxmod, or a VV boxmod, or a squonker combined with any of those. Follow what somebody already did and has given you the instructions for, for your first project. This way you can learn what wire to buy, what case for the box, etc.

Start here:
Modding Forum

And look at:


The Nicostick

This is where it started for many: a low-profile 3.7 volt boxmod. It's low-profile due to the small 14500 batt and the stealth fitting for the connector (internal). All fits entirely within the hand. You can get a bigger case (box) and use an 18650, which would give you more power and more space to play with; and the connector can go on the top of the box, so you don't have to use a 510 carto. That would give a more modern approach as we don't have to go stealth so much these days.

Some important tips are:
1. Only use IMR or hybrid cells now - ICR (Li-ion) batts are RIP. Do not touch. If in doubt get a genuine AW or Sony battery as it's a safe bet.
2. Get a decent switch. If you're not using a mosfet switching circuit that handles the power - you're just going to switch straight battery voltage - you need a much bigger, chunkier switch then you think. Small switches burn out fast with low voltage DC and big currents.
3. Use thick wire. Thin wire is no good, it heats up, puts resistance into the circuit, then heats up some more. You're just making a handwarmer if you use thin wire.
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