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Looking for advice on RDA's

Discussion in 'General Vaping Discussion' started by Waxxiii, Feb 9, 2016.

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  1. Waxxiii

    Waxxiii Senior Member

    Jan 13, 2016
    Hi, first let me say that I know NOTHING about RDA's. I know that I want to try dripping and that I need an RDA for this and will need to build my own coils *gulp*. I would like some advise about which RDA's to look at getting. I'll tell you a bit about my vaping preferences and I guess that will help. I'm definitely not a super high wattage vaper; I found that I didn't get on with the TFV4 mini since it performs better at high wattages. However, I'm not satisfied with my current tootle puffer set up either. I'm currently looking at another sub ohm tank and think I'll be happy vaping at around 15w - 35w. I don't like a super airy draw either. Does this help with recommending am RDA? I was just going to grab a velocity mini clone off Fasttech, simply because I've heard that particular RDA come up a lot, but then I thought I should really ask here first :).

    An aside, I have no idea whether the information I've given you is even relevant.
     
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  2. Baditude

    Baditude ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Apr 8, 2012
    Ridgeway, Ohio
    My advice, gear-wise, is to purchase an inexpensive (clone or authentic) RDA and experiment with it to make sure that you like dripping enough to buy a "high end" dripper. That way you haven't invested much by trying. My first RDA was a $20 IGO-W, and then I "upgraded" to a Patriot later.

    Inexpensive Mechanical Mod and RDA Setup

    Try to choose a RDA which has a reasonably large (deep) juice well so you don't have to drip as often, and one which has adequate air flow holes (adjustable air flow control is a very nice feature). Otherwise you may find you need to drill out the default holes for better airflow.

    Learning to build your own coils may seem intimidating, but it's not difficult. Its as much an art form as it is a science. You'll save money and get such an exceptional vape that you'll never use factory made coils again.

    Information Resources for Your First RBA
     
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  3. Kprthevapr

    Kprthevapr Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 1, 2015
    On the River, GA
    I recommend the Derringer a lot lol
    It's easy to build and it has adjustable air flow. Comes with a delrin drip tip.
    image.jpg
    image.jpg
     
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  4. jjatl

    jjatl Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 12, 2015
    Georgia
    I second this recommendation. My derringer was my first RDA and first atomizer that I ever built on. It was not challenging.

    I think that a derringer would do exactly what you are looking for, and the clones a very inexpensive.
     
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  5. suprtrkr

    suprtrkr ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    For you, Waxxiii, let me recommend a Plume Veil clone. They don't breathe well enough for me, but I like them with more air than you. They take really well to low watt builds with small wire, are air adjustable, and easy to work on because the top cap is in two pieces.
     
  6. leftyandsparky

    leftyandsparky Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 22, 2015
    Somewhere in the South
    Just started reading your blog and it's very helpful! I bought 3 orchid v3 and I can not get 2 coils the same so now I'm looking for a single coil anyway thanks for the helpful tips!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. jjatl

    jjatl Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 12, 2015
    Georgia
    Here is my single-coil derringer build
    image.jpg
     
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  8. Kprthevapr

    Kprthevapr Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 1, 2015
    On the River, GA
  9. sonicbomb

    sonicbomb Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2015
    1187 Hundertwasser
    The Tugboat V1 is a great beginner RDA. Not too airy, great flavor, nice deep well, easy to build on and relatively leak free. Clones are a cheap way to test out what you like from an RDA, because everyone is different. The truth is that you'll get a hundred different recommendations, but it's not until you build it a few times and use it, that you know if it works for you.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Waxxiii

    Waxxiii Senior Member

    Jan 13, 2016
    Thanks for the advise guys. As always @suprtrkr I will bow to your superior knowledge. I will certainly look at the Plume Veil. In fact I will look at all of the suggestions with the same obsessive ferocity that I do everything else. I really needed a starting point and you have all helped. @sonicbomb I have quickly realised that vaping preferences are very subjective. I guess I'll give the suggestions a shot and see whether it works for me.

    I have always been really good with my hands, more in an art sense than a mechanical one but I'm sure I can apply the general principal to coil building. I'm also a perfectionist in the extreme so I think I'll enjoy mastering a build. Saying that, maybe I'll cheat to start with some pre coiled wire thingies. I had a look on Fasttech and they were offered in varying resistances (I understand that bit) and sizes. How do I work out which size I need if I decide to take the cheater route?

    Another question, is it much cheaper to build your own coils? Does it make a significant difference to the vape? If so, how?

    I guess I'll apologise now for so many questions. The ones I've asked and the ones that are bound to come later ;).
     
  11. Bad Ninja

    Bad Ninja Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Jun 26, 2013
    God's Country
    If you can wrap a wire around a toothpick you can build a coil.
    Dont be intimidated.
    It's easier than lacing up a par of shoes.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  12. bwh79

    bwh79 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 11, 2014
    Oregon
    Much cheaper. A spool of Kanthal is like five bucks at Lightning Vapes, and a box of Japanese organic cotton pads is $12 at Nordstrom, both with free shipping. That'll make you hundreds of coils and thousands of wicks. And a single coil can last for weeks or months with occasional cleaning and re-wicking. How much are you spending on factory coils, right now?

    You'll also need a few other items, some of which you might have laying around the house already. You'll need a drill-bit, coil jig (~$2 at FastTech), or other small rod to wrap the coil on and help you install it into the RDA. You'll need wire cutters or nail clippers (that you don't need for clipping nails anymore) to cut the wire, and although you might already have one built-in to your regulated device, it wouldn't hurt to get a stand-alone 510 ohm reader, too (<$10 at FastTech). A pair of needle-nose pliers comes in handy, too.
     
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  13. Kprthevapr

    Kprthevapr Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 1, 2015
    On the River, GA
    www.lightningvapes.com for wire
    Coupon code: ohmsweetohm 17% off
    I got 3 100' spools for less than $12 shipped :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. sonicbomb

    sonicbomb Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2015
    1187 Hundertwasser
    For a while the V1.5 Plume veil was my goto RDA. What lets it down in my opinion is the ventilation holes in the posts, great in principle but they cause bad leaking problems. Of course this is subjective.

    Making your own coils is marginally cheaper, but the advantage is that it puts you in complete control of your vape, and that sounds like it might be your thing. Balancing surface area, heat flux, the space inside the deck...it's a geek thing, it's an engineering thing. I would recommend using a coil jig though, perfect coils every time has a lot going for it.

    Ask away, we like answering questions on vaping.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. suprtrkr

    suprtrkr ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    It is much cheaper to build your own coils. You'll have to spend some coin up front to get set up. You need a basic selection of tools, plus an ohmmeter. But once that cost is sunk, if you spent the price of a 5-pack of coils on wire and wick, you'd have enough to last a year or two. It can make a significant difference in the vape as well, but this requires some care and attention-- something you'll have no trouble with given your "obsessive ferocity." To me, the cost is actually a secondary issue. I'd build my own coils even if it were more expensive, partly because I like it, but mostly because i am in control. I can make it do anything I want and am not limited to somebody else's idea of the right thing to do. Of course, I have to know what I want, and that takes some trial and error.

    As to how... There are a number of issues involved, and they are interdependent. The wire you will be using has a specific resistance per length. I like to build coils between 4 and 10 wraps, depending on the deck I am putting them on. To make my desired resistance, I can change the mandrel size to use more (bigger mandrel) or less (smaller mandrel) wire in the same number of wraps, thus varying the end resistance.

    Another point-- I told you it was interdependent-- is the bigger mandrel you use, the more wick you can get in the middle of the coil, and the fatter the tails are. Some tanks like more wick, others less. Adjusting the mandrel helps put you in the right ball park. Similarly power levels: a high power coil vaporizes more juice per second than a low power coil, and it needs more wick to do so. And on and on.

    Vapor is produced by power radiating from the coil surface in contact with wet wick. The more surface area, and the more power, the more vapor you get. It is possible to build, say, a 20ga wire coil at X ohms, and a 2 x 28ga twisted wire to the same resistance. In power level they will be the same. But the twist will have more surface area than the round wire, and thus make more of the heat energy available to make vapor.

    A really good tool for this is Steam Engine, a coil calculator that is the best I have ever found. Let me suggest you bring it up on your screen. When it pops up, it will display a coil of 30ga Kanthal A1 round wire for a dual coil setup at .5 ohms on a 1.3mm mandrel. Look over to the right at the "Results" box. The top two lines show how many wraps to make on that mandrel to give the desired resistance; in this case 6 "full" wraps or 6/5 "half" wraps. A full wrap coil ends up with the coil legs pointing in opposite directions and is primarily used in single coil setups. A half wrap coil winds up with the legs pointing in the same directions and is normally used for duals. If you go and change any variable-- highlight the 1.3 mandrel and change it to 2mm-- you will change the results; in this case it drops the wraps to 4 or 4/3.

    Now below that on the 6th line, you will see the "heat flux" box. That tells you how much power the surface of the specified coil is making at a specified wattage. You can change the wattage by clicking the arrows. on our 4/3 wrap 30ga .5 ohm build, you can see the color is green at 6 watts for 107 milliwatts per millimeter squared (mW/mm^2). Raise the watts to 12, and the green takes on a decidedly orange tint and the value raises to 217 mW/mm^2. This tells you the wire is starting to get hot at the surface, and may scorch your juice.

    So, below 6, it's too cool, and above 12, it's getting too hot. The 100-200 mW/mm^2 thing is not absolute: you might like 85 or maybe 225. That doesn't matter, really. Once you know what you like, you can adjust the coil design to give you that power level at whatever wattage you want to vape. :)
     
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  16. sonicbomb

    sonicbomb Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2015
    1187 Hundertwasser
    Wow, that's a lot of info in one post :)
     
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  17. suprtrkr

    suprtrkr ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I may have mentioned it is a complex and interdependent issue :)
     
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  18. sonicbomb

    sonicbomb Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2015
    1187 Hundertwasser
    You may have mentioned it
     
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  19. edyle

    edyle ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    and!
    judging by the first picture, it is among the few that has a chuff cap!
     
  20. leftyandsparky

    leftyandsparky Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 22, 2015
    Somewhere in the South
    After reading this I think I need a class!
     
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