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The Wonderful World of Vaping (Part 2 of 6)

Discussion in 'The ECF Library' started by DonDaBoomVape, Sep 9, 2009.

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  1. DonDaBoomVape

    DonDaBoomVape Reviewer / Blogger ECF Veteran

    Jun 5, 2009
    South Florida
    You'll notice that this thread is closed to replies. That's only to keep all six installments grouped together. However, I welcome your comments. To facilitate that, I've started this other thread in the General Discussion forum. Don't hesitate to pose questions and share your reactions, suggestions, and critique. [BTW, "Junior" members can post replies to threads in that forum and in most forums.]

    An Illustrated Guide to E-cigs

    Part 2 (of 6)

    Please see Part 1 (the preceding post) for an explanation of what this six-part series is all about, including a Table of Contents and relevant caveats. This part focuses on...


    Whatever the shape or size, virtually* all e-cigs have 3 components (or 4, if you count the mouthpiece that contains the cartridge), illustrated in this photo of the smallest e-cig:


    1. The cartridge (or cart) contains the e-liquid (the flavored, nicontined, vaporable PG and/or VG). Shown below is the cartridge of a “Penstyle” (the longest category of e-cig), with the stuffing pulled out a bit by those tweezers.


    The cart is stuffed with material like polyfill or fluval (or even teabags or coffee filter), which absorbs the e-liquid (prefilled or inserted by the user) and makes it available to…

    2. The atomizer (or atty) vaporizes the e-liquid, turning it into inhalable/exhalable vapor (which looks and feels like smoke, but tastes so much better). The first photo above shows an example of an exposed wick atomizer (suitable for “dipping,” discussed in Part 3). Some atomizer wicks are inside a tube, as shown in the next picture of the atomizer for an RN4081 (at 105 mm, on the cusp between super-mini and mini size and certainly shorter than the penstyle) – exterior and cross-section:


    And the steel wool wick can be “low bridge” or “high bridge”, as shown in these two versions of the atty for the Mini sized DSE901.


    3. The battery (or batt) powers the atomizer. It is this part especially that varies the shape and size so much. Most batteries are the same shape as the one in the first picture, but vary in length. [The bigger the battery, the less frequently it needs to be recharged. And, all other things being equal (which they are not in this rapidly changing cottage industry), the bigger the battery (and certainly the higher its voltage), the more powerful the experience.]

    Some batteries, however, have a very different shape, rising out of the concept (typical in hybrids) of a unique battery housing using generic batteries. The example shown below is one of the versions of Imeo’s GG with its alternative battery options.


    Most batteries have an automatic switch (e.g., turned on by sucking on the mouthpiece or by sound or movement); an increasing number (especially on larger models) are manual (turned on by pressing a button on the side or end of the battery) as shown in photo above and here (a Joye 510 battery).


    4. And the mouthpiece (containing the cartridge) goes in your...(wait for it!) mouth.J

    Oh, there usually also is an LED indicator light at the end, simulating the lit end of an analog and indicating whether the battery is on or off. Often there is a choice of LED colors, e.g., blue, red, orange, green, purple. The most typical colors of the e-cig itself are black (shown above, either matte or glossy), white (shown below, with white or other colored mouthpiece/cartridge/atomizer), and silver/chrome/platinum/stainless steel (in fact, all are stainless steel, although some are shinier than others, e.g., “titanium” is not made of titanium). There are even red, blue, green … and pink e-cigs. And some have pretty designs on them.


    [ E-CIGS! … are a many colored thing…they’re in black-and-white…pink-and-green…like the early spring… Sorry about that! I can’t help bursting into song, when I talk about this.J]

    * Now the exception to the 4-component rule: the KR808D-1 shown below (as well as the Loong Totem and GreenCig) are 2-component devices: the battery plus a combined atomizer/cartridge/mouthpiece (the “cartomizer”). And notice the myriad-colored cartomizers in this photo. [Ooh! Colors! Don't worry, I won't sing again.]



    Most e-cigs fall into one of five categories (based primarily on length), examples of the first three of which are shown here. [This is a patchwork picture. All but the first model are courtesy of Nikko Daniels.]


    1. The Penstyle (top of photo): the longest type (~150 mm), the same size as a…pen. [Isn’t it elegant looking! ß DaBoomVape bias perhaps.] Models include: DSE801 (what I use), RN4072, BE112, M201, and Janty Kissbox.

    2. The Mini (the next four, working down from the top of the photo): mid-length, at 108-118 mm, a bit longer than a 100s analog. Models include: that silver model second from the top – DSE901 (the longest of this group and the very first e-cig, I believe) … RN4075 (not shown) … the black unit with a button – the Joye510 (currently the most popular among ECF members) ... M401 (the next one down, black with gold design, although such color and design are selectable) … and the white and tan one beneath that – the DSE108 (guess what length it is).

    3. The Super-Mini (including the two shown at the bottom of the above photo): the smallest e-cigs, either:
    • 98 mm (about the size of a 100s analog): Models (not shown in the photo) include the Joye306 (aka Janty Mini Fogger) and the M402 … or
    • 89 mm (about the size of a regular filtered analog): Models include the Joye306a, the M403, and the silver & black “blu” shown in the photo …or even
    • 84 mm (the smallest e-cig): the DSE084 (aka 8084), shown at the bottom, just below the blu.
    4. There also are models not falling neatly into the above by-length niches, e.g., those that mimic the two other tobacco smoking devices: the cigar (the two photos on the top of the next group picture) … and the two photos on the bottom: the pipe (including the “lady” or “mini” pipe on the right).


    5. And then there’s the Hybrids (or Mods): Chinese atomizers and cartridges combined with western (e.g., U.S., U.K., Greece, Holland) battery packs, shown in the next two group pictures. Hybrids often are referred to as “Mods,” since many started out as homebrew modifications, addressing the biggest weakness of the electronic cigarettes – the battery.

    [I’m looking forward to another type of modification – automatic juice injection. Actually it has been done by ECF Modders, but nothing yet has been manufactured for sale to the non-mechanically/electrically inclined, i.e., people like me.]

    Check out this excellent article in for pictures and descriptions of the various models of this category (including my beloved Prodigy), many of which also are shown here (from Zofryer’s collection):


    As vast as his collection is, it doesn’t include two classics, Trog’s Screwdriver (the first manufactured mod/hybrid) and the popular Janty Stick:


    More information on many of the models in these five categories can be found in the Model Specific Discussion sub-forum and in the Supporting Suppliers sub-forums.


    E-cigarette hardware is evaluated – in numerous text and video reviews here on ECF and on YouTube – using six primary criteria (in addition to price and supplier reliability/customer service):

    1. Vapor production – voluminous vapor (even more than analog smoke) … or wimpy wisps.

    2. Flavor – harsh, burnt taste ... full flavor ... or bland.

    3. Throat hit – that rush you get when inhaling (centered on a tickle or pinched feeling in the back of the throat). Similar to the first drag of an analog after an hour’s deprivation.


    4. Draw – like sucking air through a straw (not necessarily such a long one) … or a thick milkshake.


    5. Battery life – meaning (in one sense) how long the battery will last before dying completely ... or, of main concern, how long (or how many puffs) before recharging is required.


    6. The switch (which turns the battery on and off) – either automatic (triggered by sucking on the mouthpiece, movement, or sound) or manual (a button you press on the side or end of the battery). Each is evaluated differently:
    • Automatic – some are oversensitive (turning on at outside movement or sound, e.g., when clubbing), many have automatic cutoffs (after 2–8 seconds), some are simply unreliable.


    • Manual – the size, placement, durability, and reliability of the button, e.g., as shown in the two photos on the right. For example, I love the large button (and its convenient placement for the thumb or index finger) of my big, fat Prodigy; I hate the tiny button (which sticks and can get stuck inside the housing) of the manual version of my DSE801 penstyle. [Most reviewers use a 5-point or 10-point scale. As you can see, I use the simpler love/hate scale.;)]
    Other factors often critiqued are reliability and consistency, juice capacity of the cartridge, type and effectiveness of wick on the atomizer, appearance, how it feels in the hand, and even the package it comes in. [I’ve never understood that last one. After you’ve opened the box and started using the e-cig, who cares? Well, I guess many video reviewers do.]

    At this point, one or more models probably have struck your fancy. Why don't you "Search" for them here in ECF, to find out other members' experience with them. And experiment with the various options in the Advanced Search mode (e.g., search titles only or entire posts, specifying which forum(s) to search in, etc.
    And here's a tip: that Search feature only works on words of at least four characters ... yet so many terms in this world are two or three characters in length (frustrating!). So use that tiny "Google Custom Search" box at the very bottom (on the left) of most of the pages in ECF. [I was here six weeks before I noticed it.] It incorporates all Google search features, e.g., +, -, "exact phrase", etc. ECF is a big place; tools like this can help you find your way.
    Want to learn more about this wonderful world? Well tune in to our next episode:

    PART 3 Teaser

    In the next installment, we’ll be examining the software (i.e., the e-liquid) and the process of vaping:
    • The Juice – What Vaping is All About
    o Nicotine Levels
    o Flavors – Tobacco / Gender-based Intermission / Non-tobacco
    • The Process
    o Analogous to pipe smoking
    o Preparation
    o Puffing and inhaling
    o Maintenance
    See you then!

    And remember, to post questions or comments – good, bad, or (heaven forbid) indifferent – please use this thread in the General Discussion forum. I look forward to interacting with you!
  2. AngusATAT

    AngusATAT Captain Tightpants Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 2, 2009
    GA, USA
    Posting to get the different parts in order.
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