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The MKI Screwdriver - first impressions

Discussion in 'Commercial Ecigarette Reviews and Videos' started by Switched, Apr 10, 2010.

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  1. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    After seeing this device reviewed by several people, I just knew I had to have one. The reasons are as follows:

    • The device is adaptable, therefore can use a variety of atomisers;
    • It is solidly built and has a proven track record; and
    • Comes with a common 1000 mAh battery.
    The Screwdriver from Trog is not to be mistaken with the DSE-905 which is a Chinese knock off. This is the real Mc Coy. It is surprisingly small all things considered. Until you actually hold one in your hand, it is hard to fathom how tiny this thing actually is. Lengthwise it is the same length (excluding the button) as the eGo by Janty. Its girth at the maximum width (about the same place where the eGo button is) is 13/16". The ergonomics of the device will situate the ridge between the index and middle finger, when the button rests on the pinky. Holding or vaping on the device is comfortable.

    The review
    Unlike most kits when purchased, the SD did not come packaged in a box, but bubble wrap. It was however well packaged. The downside, the contents were also contained in a bubble wrap envelop, vice a "shipping box". The package contained the following:

    • 2 body assemblies (promotion) fitted with selected connector;
    • 2 16340 unprotected batteries rated at 1000 mAh;
    • 2 RN4075 atomisers (my selection) also known as the minis or 901s complete with tips;
    • 2 spare carts (SD juice which is a Flue cured variant);
    • 1 15ml SD juice;
    • 1 "nano" single battery charger;
    • 1 wrist lanyard;
    • 1 neck lanyard;
    • 1 carrying case; and
    • A set of instructions.
    The unit comes ready to go. Since there was no special instructions wrt the batteries. Since both tested out at 4 volts, I slid one into the unit, and screwed on the atomiser without any difficulty and inserted a pre-filled cart after priming the atty with a couple of drops of the SD liquid I vaped away. There was no foul taste we sometimes experience with new attys. The SD cart was good, providing a mild TH and decent vapour. The unit provided 3 or 4 decent hits then died off. The unit is well built and the button only requires slight pressure from the pinky to activate the atomiser. It is reported that the the button's spring tension is a mere 100g.

    After checking out the batteries on a voltage tester and confirming power was still available (3.87 Volts), and checking that the cart contained liquid and priming once again the atomiser, I gave it another whirl. Again 2-3 decent hits, and then it would die off. The atty was not wicking.

    Having the necessary adapter, I installed a 510 atty and the unit performed flawlessly. I re-installed the RN4075 and same as before. Here we go again... So I decided to install a fresh 510 atomiser and use the cart that came with the unit. The cart performed flawlessly, and vapour was excellent. Conclusion - unless the RN4075 is primed just right, it will not energise properly. It requires a constant 2 drops on the atty and 2 drops in the cart for 2-3 hits, what a nuisance. I tried the other atomiser that came with the kit, with the same results. Now I wish I had ordered the unit with the 510 connection. In all fairness the RN4075 provides a cooler vape ideal for first thing in the morning with the supplied liquid, which I utilised the following morning intermittently. Regardless of the variations I performed the following morning the RN4075 was still asleep. I have more attys coming and will try those, when they arrive. To date (almost a week) I cannot get these attys to perform - period

    First Impressions
    The unit is slick and priced reasonably at $122 shipped to Canada from the UK. It did not perform as expected with the mini, but performed well with the 510 atomiser fitted. The stock (RN4075) atomisers are not becoming seasoned nor improving with age. I have tried to season them on regulated 3.7 volt devices to no avail. I have varied the cart filling with various known mods to no avail as well.

    Disappointments

    • Some disadvantages besides the atomiser, the batteries are overrated and their longevity falls way short from 1000 mAh expectations;
    • The charger barely holds the battery in place (not enough tension) which makes it difficult to use in any position off horizontal. Even after gently prying/bending the contacts closer;
    • The charger is inadequate to charge the 16340s - 6hrs plus give me a break. I use my multi charger with better results, although nothing to write home about. On one occasion the battery was in the charger for over 8hrs. I took it out and checked the voltage 4.1 volts. The charger's light never changed. I do not like nor trust this charger, and would definitely not recommend it's use to anyone (especially with non-protected batteries). The battery on a different occasion re-charged in 6 hrs from dead on my own charger;
    • The unit cannot be pocketed perse without unscrewing the atomiser as the button is too delicate. This has been addressed if you want to use the neck lanyard - but there are occasions the last thing I want is a screwdriver hanging from my neck. I have since made a button protector, similar to the MKII from an 801 cart protector.
    Pros

    • The unit feels and looks well made. The ergonomics make the device a pleasure to vape;
    • The battery slips into the unit effortlessly and does not have any exaggerated movement within the sleeve. This is accomplished with a o ring fitted above the switch at the bottom of the battery carrier;
    • The SD one comes fitted with an all mechanical switch which is stock on the MKII; and
    • The top spring is said to act as a fuse, should an atomiser short occur. Also fitted in the top cover is an o ring which maintains the battery in proper alignment against the spring.

    Some final thoughts - The unit performs as expected for a 3.7V device. Not being an HV vaper, it has a place in my daily arsenal. I ordered the MKI because I was under the impression (from the SD site) that the MKI was retro-fitted to incorporate the modifications of the MKII. This is not so.

    It does not have the switch cover, nor the extra battery capacity. However in all fairness the o rings which I believe are indeed a part of the new MKII and the MKII switch form part of the unit. However, the information contained on the site wrt spare parts is ambiguous at best - wrt what fits what and unlike TW, certain parts can only be ordered as part of larger package deals of dated parts.

    It is a little pre-mature to offer a thorough review wrt the screwdriver. I will do a follow up at a later date as these are just my first impressions. However, I believe that the developers sat far too long on a great product, enjoying the fruits of their labour vice improving the device, in doing so I firmly believe they would have earned a greater market share, with some very minor tweaks.

    "The consensus is why change something that isn't broke. True, but the Studebaker has long been a part of history. A good device that never kept up with the times"!
     
  2. boxhead

    boxhead Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 3, 2009
    Chico, california
    hey Switched! good review. i find the nano charger slow, but the batterys seem to last longer when i use it, the multi-charger when i use it, charges in 90 minutes or so,i definetly do not get the same run time with MY multi charger (went thru as far as taking the time to use the same battery, noted time to green lite, made effort to check my hit times...)
    i find the atty that comes with the SD hotter than TWs, and i hate when i have to go thru a few hours ( or more ) to break in ANY new atty, the 901 gets better on the wicking of e-liquid with use. like the heat cycle starts having that capilary effect ot the cart. ah, breaking the surface tension on those tiny holes in the metal foam from the oem primer fluid, ie: cherry 36mg from TW takes less time to start wicking than nhaler 24mg ry4 and tasty vapors atomic cynicide, depending on nic level seem to start with the first cart, and because of that takes more tops ups.
    this is just my limited experince...
     
  3. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    I sure hopes so because I love the RN4075, all things considered, but I also like performance. As I stated I will provide feed back after a couple of weeks. Wrt batts, opposite with me.
     
  4. redrhino

    redrhino Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Nov 7, 2009
    NY,CA,FL
    Very excellent and detailed review....Thank you Switched:)
     
  5. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Thank you, you are most welcome.
     
  6. prof beard

    prof beard Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 29, 2009
    Stafford UK
    Good review switched. I've not had problems with RN4075s, they remain my atty of choice, although I have adapters for nearly everything ( ;) ). The only thing I can suggest is either you have faulty attys (do they glow nice and red when you press the button?) or possibly you have funny carts - normally real RN4075 carts are two piece with a brown insert inside the black part?

    I agree the nano charger is very slow, but a slow charger is both safer and increases battery life.
     
  7. The BULL

    The BULL Moved On

    Jan 30, 2010
    cyprus
    I manage to get the Mkii this is so great so much smoke and the battery life makes me happy.It takes me for a whole day.
     
  8. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Nope, they take a while to get their red wings. They both test out at 3.5 Ohms. I am not a HV vaper as I prefer 3.7V, but do have a regulated 5V device (for special occasions). After I slapped the meter on them this am, I decided to check out their performance on both devices. It takes about 3 seconds to get the red wings on the 3.7 but is instantaneous on the 5V.

    I had heard so much about the 901/RN4075 that I wanted to give them a try, as their is times where I simply do not want the hit of a 510, like first thing in the morning, or during the evening.

    I believe it's more of a wicking problem than anything else, as they do good provided:

    • that I start with a freshly topped off cart; and
    • 2 drops to prime the atty.
    From this, I will get 2-3 decent hits 3-5 sec draw. The TH is cool and mellow, and it produces good vapour. This is all carried out with the SD juice. After the 2-3 decent hits, the vapour trails off, regardless if I let the atty cool or not. However, if I perform the aforementioned procedure, I do get 2-3 good hits once again. So this indicates to me that the atty is not wicking, and to be honest, this procedure is PITA.

    If I let my SD sit for 15 minutes or so, and hit on it (without re-priming and topping off) I get a decent med hit out of it, that's it.

    Back to 5V for a sec. Although the red wings are instantaneous with 5V, the same happens. 2-3 good hits then re-prime and top off. I am sorry this is not the way I vape.

    The carts that came with the atties are single colour/solid black carts, not a 2 piece like the 801s.

    Dripping on these atties only floods them, (they were not purchased for dripping) including dripping at 5V. The only way that I can get these atties to work is, the procedure previously mentioned.

    I decided to try them out on the 5V device as the power output of a stock 510 atty at 3.7V is similar to the using the RN4075 at 4.7V under load:

    • 510 @ 2.2 Ohms - 3.7V=6 watts
    • RN4075 @ 3.5 Ohms - 4.7V=6.3 watts
    As previously stated, the 510 works great with the SD, and the RN4075 carts work great on a 510 atty. So yeah I am totally confused.

    Edit: It doesn't matter which 3.7V device I use these atties on, they simply suck. OTOH the 510 on the SD hits everytime consistantly.
     
  9. prof beard

    prof beard Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 29, 2009
    Stafford UK
    Sounds like you have a couple of "slow" attys then - don't blame all 4075s, mine are fine on both the SD and Super Six
     
  10. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Prof,

    Until I get my other one's in the mail I can't compare them to anything else. Yeah I got 2 duds, that are going to need some shaking up. I like the vape, when they work, when being the operative word here.
     
  11. Keef

    Keef Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 29, 2008
    Scotland
  12. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    My review and pertinent discussion has been posted there.
     
  13. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    The issue wrt the atties has been resolved. I will post my conclusions in my follow up.

    Edit: In the mean time Prof thanks for all your help. It was much appreciated.
     
  14. prof beard

    prof beard Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 29, 2009
    Stafford UK
    Glad to have been of help :)

    I find your experience fascinating because I find the 4075 one of the LEAST "finickity" atomisers (I have more temper tantrums from 510s myself) - the 4075 is my atomiser of normal choice (and I have adapters/carts/attys for 510, 510 Mega, 4081, 801, 401 and Cartos for SD and Super Six).

    I must mean (unless you really did get two really weird attys) that you and I do something different - I have no idea what though!
     
  15. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    I find them a steep learning curve. As we discussed during the trouble shooting process there is a fine line between wicking and flodded on the 901, a drop when way or the other. I also use 801s without a problem.

    Is it your experience that you really have to suck on them to get a decent draw, in other words not as smooth as the 510?

    No the atties are/were not to blame. I got my other RN4075s in the mail yesterday and they are pretty much the same. My follow up will include my experiences that:

    • do not purchase a device with an untried atty;
    • purchase a device having previously experienced the unknown atty;
    • if you want to try out an atty, buy or borrow an adapter for your present device and give one a whirl.
    I like the fact they do not run as hot nor as harsh (vape wise) as the 510, which makes them excellent for morning coffee. What ratio of PG/VG are your liquids? So I can tune my liquid to decrease the learning curve and find some satisfaction with these puppies.
     
  16. prof beard

    prof beard Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 29, 2009
    Stafford UK
    The third point is excellent - that's what I've done (I have a huge collection of attys now ;) )

    I use Dekang liquids and others liquids which are high PG vs VG. I top up my carts with typically 4 0r 5 drops (until just wet to the top by not overflowing) - I've never suffered from flooding - even as a noobie with regular 901 e-cigs.
     
  17. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Do you happen to know the PG to VG ratio of Dekang juice of the top of your head or offer a guesstimate? I use dekang juice but also DIY I am not a big fan of VG myself, but certain flavouring do require it.

    From my previous post, do you really have to suck on the 901, to get a decent draw, or suck it as a 510? 510s have spoiled a lot of people you know :)
     
  18. nicadd

    nicadd Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 20, 2010
    Germany
    It doesn't look like Dekang liquids have VG, going by the ingredients listed on their site. There's a lot of vanilla extract, though.
    Apple Coffee Chocolate Tobacco Mint/Menthol Herb Cherry
     
  19. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Dang, too bad they didn't have the test certificate for 555 :D Thanks that explains a lot.
     
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