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Merlin RTA build, not mini

Discussion in 'New Members Forum' started by margiegrl9, Mar 8, 2018.

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  1. margiegrl9

    margiegrl9 New Member

    Oct 18, 2013
    Duluth, MN
    I've spent a couple months trying to figure out what should be my first RTA. Many people have a different answer on which is the best depending on your style. Which is great news if there are so many to choose from but has caused me a lot of confusion. I don't have my style figured out yet. lol
    Long story short, I couldn't decide and I saw an original Merlin RTA on sale from China for $12. So I bought two. I'm almost out of coils and took the risk of buying something and at least giving it a try rather than buy any more coils.

    My question is.... can anyone give me advice on the best build for the Merlin? Not the MTL or mini.
    I need to make an order for the tools, wires, meter etc. I don't have anything for building yet so i thought I'd ask before making an order. Mostly concerned about which wire to choose.
    I tried my best to read and watch videos but most of them are for the mini. I didn't want that small of a tank and like I said, it was on sale.

    I consider myself MTL and go for flavor over clouds.

    Your help is much appreciated!!!
    • Like Like x 1
  2. NealBJr

    NealBJr Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 27, 2013
    Lawrenceville, Ga.
    Well, you're right.. there's always going to be something different depending on who you ask. The first question I would ask in return, is what kind of vape do you like? Are you a Cloudz4Dayz, Flavah4Dayz, or ToodlePuffer (mouth to lung) vaper? Is there any setup that you're trying to emulate, like the TFV8 baby beast with X coil?

    If I just had to give a blind suggestion, I'd say go with a clapton build... since it's a single coil design, you'll want to make best use of that coil. Maybe if you don't know how to coil yet, you could buy some prebuilt coils to start with. Probably start at a .4-.8 ohm range for wattage.

    IF I had to give a builder's supply list, I'd recommend a coiling jig with several diameter posts. This is one I've been looking at. Also, get some Japanese cotton, it will make your life much easier. A GOOD and sharp pair of scissors... Cutting cotton with dull scissors is frustrating, any kink and it doesn't cut and deforms the cotton. A fresh pair of fingernail clippers... yes.. those to me have been the best wire cutters around.

    If you wanted to go straight kanthal, I'd say buy a small roll of 26 gauge, and go from there. Same With Nichrome. If you were going the TC route, I'd probably get some 24 or 26 gauge Stainless Steel.

    As far as wicking goes, a video tutorial is the best thing.

    Good luck.. RTAs are fun... it's all I use now. Flavor is amazing and cannot be beat... Price savings on coils are amazing as well.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  3. Celt1

    Celt1 Senior Member Verified Member

    Mar 6, 2018
    Sorry I'm to new to vaping to offer anything helpful, but welcome!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. stols001

    stols001 Mistress of the Dark Nicotinic Arts Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 30, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    I got a coilmaster kit and I use most things in it (although the tools aren't "super high grade" they work for my needs) and it's nice to have an ohm's reader and etc.

    I vape MTL and I use mostly 28 gauge SS wire, and that has worked out well for me I usually build around 1.0 ohms, about 9 wraps if contact, and about 8 if spaced. I have used thinner prebuilt coils and they can be a bit harder to work with. can help you calculate builds to the target you want, by putting in a few variables, (type of wire, diameter of coil, etc.) and it's pretty handy especially in the beginning.

    I use rayon for wicking and highly recommend it. I never get leaking anymore since the switch, and my wicks last far longer than cotton wicks. Rayon isn't for everyone but there is a dedicated thread on it that you could search for, you don't have to read the whole thread, folks on that thread are very helpful at answering questions, they fixed my wicking issues (permanently, it seems like) in about 3 questions and 4 posts. This forum may also be of use to you getting started. The good news is, you were building with premade coils, so you should be able to get up and running pretty fast, building your own coils. Rebuildable Atomizer Systems

    Best of luck,

    • Like Like x 2
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  5. Vapemesilly

    Vapemesilly Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 21, 2017
    I have the full size Merlin and build .5 ohm coils on it so I would suggest following Anna's advise for MTL building. One thing about the Merlin, as with most RTA's is that the wicking is critical. If you don't wick it right it's gonna leak. Make sure the cotton fills into the juice holes on the deck.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. uthinkofsomething

    uthinkofsomething Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 7, 2015
    Toledo, Ohio
    That coilmaster kit is a nice one to start with, the jig works great for me making basic single wire coils. As far as wire, the thicker you go the lower the ohms, so if you want to stay away from subohm be mindful of that, but with a single coil it won't be that hard (two coils together cut resistance in half). Once you've been making basic coils, if you want to try something more advanced and fancy, but super easy to do, think about twisting wire. Twisted wire increases surface area of coil and increases flavor ( though lowers resistance ). No you don't need a drill, i do it by wrapping one end of 2 wires around a heavy coffee cup handle and hold the other ends in pliers and spin the cup till their twisted to the point I want. Easy as pie. Google twisting wire without a drill.
    • Useful Useful x 2
  7. Eskie

    Eskie ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 6, 2016
    For an original Merlin, with the air restrictor in place, Anna's suggestion will work fine. A some round coil will be more than sufficient. If you ever want to use it for a sorta restricted DL pull the air restrictor and throw a plain Clapton in it for increased surface area and it works like a charm.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  8. margiegrl9

    margiegrl9 New Member

    Oct 18, 2013
    Duluth, MN
    Wow! Thanks for all your replies. Lots of info. I think I’m going to get the coil master kit and a few different types of wire. It’s looking like, just like choosing the right tank, coil or RTA or anything else, all the advice is excellent but you won’t know till you try it. That being said, you narrowed it down for me considerably. Thanks!
    Sorry I didn’t address you all individually, I’m still absorbing what you said. I’ll let you know how it goes but it will be at least a month until I get the dang thing. Now I have to post another question on why my diy juice tastes bad. Lol
    • Like Like x 3
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  9. NealBJr

    NealBJr Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 27, 2013
    Lawrenceville, Ga.
    Ok.. just keep us informed. I'm one of those people who like to have that imaginary check box by an imaginary "satisfied vaper" box... Without knowing how it ends up, I might wake up one day when I'm 90 and say "I wonder if that margiegrl9 ever got her Merlin working."
    • Funny Funny x 3
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