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Looking for m401 cart mod recommendations?

Discussion in 'M-401/402 "Mini" & M403 Super Mini' started by VaporMadness, Feb 3, 2010.

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  1. VaporMadness

    VaporMadness Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    CA, USA
    I've been using the m40x for less than a week. It's great. I'm interested in what others have found is the best way to get the most out of the small m401 carts?

    Do the "XL" carts make a good difference? Is the outer housing larger, or just the inner cart?

    What about filler materials and techniques? Today, I trimmed a couple of the polyfill fillers for the first time, a simple "mod" i suppose, just cut the length down a little bit.

    Filler material options seem to be
    - polyfill (stock material)
    - fluval (not really sure its that not the same as the polyfill)
    - blue foam

    Technique options seem to be
    - just trim it down (length? width? trim which way?)
    - make a 'dart' out of it with a stirrer straw (ala BFD mod)
    - after trimming it down length wise, place a small spacer at the bottom of the cart to reset the filler on (to keep the filler top near the top of the cart)

    Wondering what other m401 users have found that work well for this device, and would appreciate any advice.

    Thnx
     
  2. rtbob

    rtbob Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 20, 2009
    Austin, TX
    The best filler material I have found is the blue foam. It can be used all by it's self our with the dart. A spring from a pen cut to fill the inner cart about 3/4 of the way when placed in vertically can be used with a blue foam plug or as a spring/dart mod, where the spring takes the place of the stirrer straw. I have tried poly, wool, scrubbing pad, fluval, buff puff pads. Blue foam works the best. Fluval is another product used for aquarium filters.
     
  3. Turbo

    Turbo Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 23, 2009
    NC/USA
    I started a thread a while ago in hopes to find the same thing. I tried the spring mod w/ decent results. As the post above mentions, blue foam is popular and w/ the spring should work well.

    Nowadays I use the 401 to dip and my KR808 when out and about.
     
  4. Guineahill

    Guineahill Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I have used the blue foam and am now using the dart. It seems to be working well. Only time will tell if I continue to like it. ;)

    I have also tried the silicone plug, but I find that it is just too fiddly for me since it is so tiny.

    The XL carts do hold a couple of drops more. I like them, but they don't fit into the case or the PCC.

    The EVO carts are the same length as the M401 carts but they have a slightly larger inner cart. I get them from Cignot. I know there are other suppliers but I can't think of them off-hand.

    Good luck on your search!

    :)
     
  5. VaporMadness

    VaporMadness Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    CA, USA
    Thanx for the advice and ptrs. Sounds like blue foam is a winner for the 401 too.

    This use of blue foam sounds simple enough for me to try for starters...
    http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/polls/48723-favorite-m-series-cartridge-mod-3.html#post783300
    ... or maybe stuff one end into a straw to make a dart, or prop it up on a spring if it sinks too much.

    I hadn't realized that EVO carts were any different than regular 401 carts, I'll look into that, and bummer that the XL carts won't fit the PCC :(

    After watching a couple of KR808 cart refilling videos, I've got cart size envy :|

    I cut down on the amount of polyfill i had in my carts today as an experiment. It worked well with a thicker VG juice, but really didn't work out with a thinner PG juice (leaked out).

    Gotta make a trip to pet smart tomorrow for that blue foam stuff!
     
  6. Guineahill

    Guineahill Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    LOL - I understand the envy and I gave in to it. I now have a Kr8 that I use when driving and other times with switching out or refilling carts is inconvenient.

    To make the darts for the M401, I used the thinnest cocktail straws I could find. I cut the foam about 12 mm wide and 15 mm long. I twisted it into the end of the straw. I left about 6 or 7 mm sticking out. Then I trimmed the straw while holding it up next to the inner cart. I did this because I have some XL carts and some normal carts and I was making them one at a time to fit each. I could have measured, but what the heck.

    I left 7 mm sticking out for PG liquids. For the carts that I use VG in (I use the brown carts for VG and the black for PG) I only left 6 mm sticking out. It seems like such a small difference but it has worked for me. If you find that your VG isn't wicking well, trim a HAIR's width of foam from the side. Literally one single thread of foam. And I do mean a tiny, tiny, tiny bit and try again. I was trimming a millimeter at time at first and went from clogged to leaking when working with VG. The PG seems much more forgiving.

    In any case, once you have perfected your darts they last for ages!

    Good luck!

    :)

    Pete54 - Thanks so much for the detailed B.F.D. pictures and info!!!
     
  7. VaporMadness

    VaporMadness Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    CA, USA
    Hi Missy... thank you for the detailed instructions and variations for PG vs VG!
     
  8. Guineahill

    Guineahill Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Anytime! ;)

    The darts are still wicking dry every single time. I'm amazed by how well they work for me. I hope you have the same success!

    :)
     
  9. MadScientistVapor

    MadScientistVapor Senior Member

    Feb 7, 2010
    New Hampshire
    I got some blue foam stuff at walmart, "aqua-tech" and it doesn't seem to work well...is there a difference between different "blue foams"?
     
  10. Turbo

    Turbo Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 23, 2009
    NC/USA
  11. Guineahill

    Guineahill Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Yep... there sure is. They come in different densities. You want the Marineland foam size U. Petsmart carries it.

    :)
     
  12. VaporMadness

    VaporMadness Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    CA, USA
    So... an update on my blue foam experience...

    I found the Rite-Size U package at PetsMart and now have enough of this stuff for a great many carts. The material feels more resilient than polyfill and it's easy to clean and reuse.

    My first attempt at using it was a big mess. The juice ran straight out and flooded the atty and battery and leaked out of the holes between the atty and battery. A spectacular failure. I had cut a piece of blue foam to fit within the cart as precisely as I could without having to compress the material when inserting it. So... don't do that.

    My next attempt is working much better. Still no fancy darts or straw pieces involved. Just a piece of blue-foam cut to slightly wider than the cart and about the same length. These pieces (i've made 2 now) need to be compressed slightly width-wise in order to insert it into the cart. These vape pretty good, but still are maybe a little leaky.

    Overall, I like the blue-foam material, given how easily it can be cleaned and dried and how well it holds up to that, but I still have not found an ideal way to use the damn stuff. I think I need to use a little more material (in order to leak a little less).

    When filling my carts, I've been compressing the foam into the bottom, dripping in, then pulling the foam off the bottom (with a paperclip) and topping off (after getting some air bubbles out). I'll have to try the syringe technique when i get a suitable syringe.


    Now... this battery flooding has me asking the board a new question...

    Ever since some liquid leaked into my battery holes, the auto-switches haven't been working quite as well. They still function, but I sometimes have to draw really hard to get them to switch on. When I first noticed the leakage, I did try to get the liquid out by...

    - inserting narrow piece of twisted up tissue paper into the center battery hole to soak it up

    - swinging the bat with hole down to force the liquid out (as you would with a ketchup bottle to get the remainder near the cap)

    ... but still the auto-switches are not 100%. Is there anything I can do to make it better?
     
  13. tbl35

    tbl35 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 28, 2009
    NPR - FL
    This worked for me, but this is at your own risk!!

    I had a simliar problem with a RN4072 battery - really hard, delayed reaction draw. I first used a tightly twisted piece of paper towel (stiffer than tissue) & put that in the batt hole, it did come out with some liquid. Didn't solve the problem though.

    I then figured what the heck, seemed to be on its last leg anyway so I took one of my straightened out paper clips & GENTLY put it in there. There seems to be a small part inside the batteries that gets out of alignment, this put it back in. Not sure if the liquid is what caused this or if I had 2 separate problems (liquid and alignment issue), but now the battery works normally.
     
  14. Guineahill

    Guineahill Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    If I get liquid in the hole of an automatic battery I twirl the corner of a tissue and wick out as much as possible, and then I put the battery in a ziplock back with some of those desiccant packets. Other people use rice. If the battery comes back into use I'm thrilled. If it doesn't I chalk it up to my own foolishness.

    I have learned (the hard way!) to only test cartridge mods using sealed manual batteries!!!

    I am still using the darts in all of my cartridges. They are working perfectly for me. I'm amazed.

    :)
     
  15. Turbo

    Turbo Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 23, 2009
    NC/USA
    Wish the 401 manuals were sealed..wonder why they didn't? Every other model has sealed manual batts.
     
  16. Guineahill

    Guineahill Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    LOL - I feel kind of foolish right now! Somehow I never actually looked at my M401 manuals!

    I do use manuals for testing cartridge mods for all my models... but there you go... M401s are not sealed! Oh well, I haven't destroyed any manual ones thus far by leaking liquid into them. Luck?

    :oops:
     
  17. tbl35

    tbl35 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 28, 2009
    NPR - FL
    That is a really good idea! I'll file that one away, sure I'll need it someday!
     
  18. VaporMadness

    VaporMadness Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    CA, USA
    Thnx for all the battery tips. Hopefully my auto-batts will survive, but if not c'est la vie. I got another tip from angelique510 in a different thread that may be of use too...

    After using the blue foam material for a day, I'm not sure about it now. It tastes funny to me. Anybody else notice that?

    How the material can be easily cut and cleaned, and how it handles the liquid is fine and good... but... I don't like the funny taste much or the implication that the liquid is picking something up from the foam which is being vaporized and inhaled.
     
  19. Guineahill

    Guineahill Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Did you wash it before you used it? :oops:

    I don't notice a funny taste, but a couple of other people have said something about it. Since it is for aquarium use (yes we heat it... fish don't) and fish are super sensitive to their environment I figure it probably can't be that bad for me! :rolleyes:
     
  20. VaporMadness

    VaporMadness Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    CA, USA
    Initially I had just rinsed it in cool tap water. Then prior to really putting them to use for a day, I let the foam sit in cool tap water overnight. Is there a better way to wash this stuff?
     
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