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The Wonderful World of Vaping (Part 6 of 6)

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Reviewer / Blogger
ECF Veteran
Jun 5, 2009
South Florida
    An Illustrated Guide to E-cigs

    Part 6 (of 6)

    Please see Part 1 (the post at the top of this thread) for an explanation of what this six-part series is all about, including a Table of Contents and relevant caveats. This final installment – by far the longest – wraps up the series with suggestions for:

    During the Weeks and Months to Come

    Commentary assumes that you have purchased and begun using your first electronic cigarette. But your foray into this wonderful world doesn’t end there.
    • You will need to continue to order additional supplies and accessories.

    • You may want to mix your own e-liquid (DIY).

    • You probably will want to try other e-cig models.

    • And you may want to make modifications to your device (Modding).

    Supplies & Accessories

    Over time (or perhaps immediately, if you choose), you will need or may want to consider purchasing:

    1. Filling/Dripping/Dipping Supplies and Tools
    • Cartridges – prefilled or blank (to fill with e-liquid). The supplier you used for your initial order is an obvious place to start. But also search for other sources, which may be less expensive overall (including coupon code and shipping costs) have a sale or time-limited coupon code at the time you are ordering or have flavors, colors or designs you might prefer.

    • The e-Dobit (as an alternative to dripping). The original 1 ml capacity version is described here by MoobyGhost:
    The availability of various colors can help distinguish different flavors. It is now also available with 3 ml capacity (at twice the price).
    This last one may seem strange, but many vapers of exposed wick atomizer devices prefer to dip their atomizer in the juice, rather than using a prefilled cartridge or dripping. The little pools in the contact lens case work well for this. [Guys – it’s also available in black.] Or you could just pick up smaller cases like these from your local pharmacy. Same comment about multiple color choices as for the e-Dobit.

    2. Replacement Parts
    • Additional atomizers (as soon as your first one dies). [You did include at least one extra atomizer in your initial order, right?] In addition to price and color considerations in your search for supplier alternatives, look for different models or versions that also work with your battery. For example, the DSE801 battery also accommodates RN4072 and BE112 atomizers; the KR808D-1 battery also accommodates DSE901 atomizers and GreenCig cartomizers and (with an adapter) Joye510 atomizers. [NOTE: GreenCig carts only work with KR808D-1 auto batteries.] And not all atomizers of the same model are created equal. I’ve had better results with the atomizers from some suppliers than others.

    • Additional batteries – timing and supplier selection considerations similar to atomizers.
    While you are at it, you may want to try a battery in a different color, e.g., a red 510 or a coppery gold one from Totally Wicked:

    Gold-e-cig, it’s the one, the one that I love to touch; a wicked touch...
    …I love gold; I love only gold; only gold. I love gold!
    [Well, you knew there would be at least one song.;)]
    …or different length, as in the M40X series.

    And recently more and more models with automatic batteries also are offering manual batteries. [NOTE: The previous photos were somewhat to scale. The following photos are not, other than within a product line, e.g., KR, DSE, or Joye/Titan.]

    [Caution: I don’t think that some of these Johnny-come-lately manual batts are that well implemented. For example, the button on the 801 (and, I believe, 901) manuals are flimsier than the 510 buttons. Of three KR808D-1 manuals I’ve tried, one was ineffective, the other two are fine. And all them them are more recessed then the 510 button, a recession I don't happen to like.]
    Some now offer longer batteries (longer in millimeters and in time required before recharge). The Titan (510) mega manual battery and KR808D-1 mega battery (auto or manual) are examples. [BTW, notice that the mAh (milliamp hours) of the mega 510 is the same as the regular KR808D-1.]
    If you like, you can get the KR808D-1 batteries covered with logos:

    3. A PCC (Personal Charging Case) to carry your e-cig and cartridges and to charge the battery when you are out and about. More and more of these have become available during recent months, to the point that most (of the popular) minis and super-minis have them. The typical PCC can recharge a battery about four times before needing to be recharged itself. You saw the PCCs for the blu*, Volcano, and GreenCig in Parts 4 and 5. Here are some of the others:

    * [NOTE: If you already have a blu PCC (“Blu Pack”), read the important message at the top of the blu homepage.]
    • Joye510 – A bit longer and skinnier that a pack of cigarettes (and the least attractive PCC, IMO), it is available in black, silver, blue, and red; and from another supplier in purple. In addition to the battery being charged, the metal case holds one atomizer and two cartridges (less capacity than most).
    The Titan branded 510 PCC is reviewed (and described in detail) here by igetcha:

    • DSE901 – One of the newest PCCs. Its plastic case will charge one (auto) battery and hold one atomizer and six cartridges. Like the 510, it has external LEDs indicating the status of the battery being charged. Available only in white with the flower design in black shown here. [Question for those responsible for the 510 PCC: How is it that an attractive PCC can be made for an e-cig 6 mm longer than the 510 and hold four more cartridges?]
    Nicco Daniels reviews and demonstrates the 901 PCC here:
    YouTube - Nikko's Review of the PCC for the DSE901 ecig

    • The PCC for the KR808D-1 is quite different from any of the others. Since it charges a longer battery, the cigarette pack metaphor wouldn’t work. Looks like they took one of those metal carrying cases available for most e-cigs and stuck electronics in it. It winds up being slimmer but heavier than the others. It charges one battery and holds two cartomizers.
    EcigReview demonstrates and evaluates the Vapor King branded KR808D-1 PCC here:
    YouTube - Vapor King PCC review and overview for the charging case for the Vapor King from Vapor4life.com

    • At this time there is no PCC for the M401, but I believe it is imminent.

    • The PCC for the Sidesho (a new mini similar to the 401 and described later in this installment) charges one battery and can hold one additional battery, one atomizer, and four cartridges. It is available in black and with the Modern Vapor logo and trim in pink or blue as shown below. The Sidesho PCC is discussed in this thread in the Modern Vapor supporting suppliers’ forum.

    • The PCC for the Revolver Elite (a brand new super-mini also described further down) charges one battery and also holds one completely assembled e-cig, one atomizer with cartridge, and four other cartridges. It has an extra LED indicator (the black and blue bar in the photo below) to let you know when it's time to recharge the PCC. Since it is charging a 100 mAh super-mini, it is able to do so quickly and at least six times on a PCC charge. Appearance and styling are only as shown. Other than that black bird (which I suppose Edgar Allen Poe would like), I think it is quite handsome (or pretty, depending on your gender). Nicco’s enthusiastic, high-energy review of the e-cig and its PCC appears later in this installment.

    4. A USB Passthrough for use when sitting at the computer or with a portable power pack (PPP?) or in the car, if you purchase a car adapter. PTs are available for all of the popular models, such as the ones shown here, as well as for the RN4081. Most can be purchased from Heaven Gifts, Health Cabin, and/or the suppliers who sell the respective model of e-cig. All but the M401 are manual switch. KR808D-1 passthroughs are either manual or auto. [NOTE: GreenCig carts only work with the auto passthrough or battery.]

    Most that are sold are not true passthroughs (i.e., directly powering the atomizer from the computer), but instead provide a constant charge to the inline battery. That doesn’t mean they’re bad, just not as powerful (and often not as durable). Two exceptions are the UK-built E-Cig City line of passthroughs for the 510, 801, 901, and RN4081 (RN4081 and 510 examples shown on left) and the very sturdy and powerful (but much more expensive) US-built Puresmoker passthrough (on the right) for the 510, 801, or 901. [NOTE: I’ve read that KR808D-1 cartomizers will also work with 901 passthroughs, and batteries ... and (I believe) vice versa.]

    5. Storage Containers

    What you will need in a storage container will depend, of course, on the extent of your supply of hardware and software. At the beginning, the box that contained your starter kit may be sufficient, although that tiny 510 box looks a bit cramped.


    • If you enjoy different flavors (as I sure do), you’ll probably want some way to keep track of which cartridges are which flavor. Most carts (even prefilled ones) are not labeled (Vapor King cartomizers are an exception). You could label the carts themselves (perhaps using ideas from the cosmetic mods section later in this installment), but that can be time-consuming and IMO it mars the look of the ecig. What some have done (and what I did back in the old days when I used carts) is to keep them in pill organizers that you can pick up from your local pharmacy or online. [Make sure the compartments are large enough for the size of your carts!]

    • After a while, you may need one or more other plastic containers, which you can buy at a supermarket, Stacks and Stacks, or from U.S. Plastic, such as inexpensive Deli Containers, compartmentalized Storage Cases, or a Sterilite Plastic Container with handle (into which you can put those smaller containers). That’s pretty much what I did, piecemeal. [If you place a large order with NHaler, Drew probably will send it in a sturdy 8” X 4” X 2” plastic case. For smaller orders, he’ll likely throw in a tin (to hold 6 ml juice bottles). Other suppliers may do something similar.]

    • Or you can think ahead and get a tackle box or tool box (each with the same multi-tier concept). [TIP: Confirm that the dimensions of the box and storage compartments will fit the batteries, atomizers, cartridges, juice bottles, etc. that you’re going to put into them.]

    6. Carrying Cases

    If you don’t have a PCC, you can carry one or two back-up batteries, an atomizer, and a couple cartridges in this $5 metal case (you can spend more if you like), available in virtually any color and with molded inserts for most of the popular models:


    • A PCC or a small carrying case like those might be sufficient for a day at work or a night out except for juice. Carrying your PCC in something like this on the left might work. Or this less feminine one with belt clip on the right. Those would enable you also to carry one small juice bottle.

    • But for longer periods (e.g., when traveling), to carry more juice and tools like tweezers or a dental pick (ask a cartomizer user what this is for), we need something else. Thus far, I’ve just been shoving my e-cigs (including my penstyle and Prodigy) and juice bottles (in a baggie) into my pockets. I guess some women do the same with their pocketbooks. Not exactly elegant solutions. The two best carrying case ideas I’ve read about here on ECF are a flashdrive case and a two-sided diabetes supplies case. The latter even comes with a refreezable gel pack to keep your juices cool.
    [For some reason, I feel ashamed whenever I contemplate using such an item (not the flashdrive case) for a purpose quite different from its intended use. No reason to. Unlike Swine Flu vaccine, there are plenty available for those who need them for medical needs. But there it is.]
    7.E-liquid – I hope your reaction to this one is: Duh! [If you went with a cartomizer model or a kit that included many cartridges in different flavors, I’ll forgive you for not including e-liquid in your first order. But if you want to continue to stay in my good graces, you must now start ordering juice!;) Otherwise, you’re throwing money away and depriving yourself of a much greater range of flavor and quality choices.]

    Of course you will have an ongoing need for juice. Use this need to try out different flavors and suppliers and, perhaps, nicotine levels. I provided you with lots of leads in Parts 3 and 5. Since then, I’ve discovered a couple additional very inexpensive juice suppliers in the U.S.:
    • Cignot, which also sells the 510 and parts for the Evo (M401). Terri and Vicky carry a broad range of ECOpure juice at about the same $1/ml prices as Intellicig-USA.com (although Cignot offers a 30 ml size for a bit less than $1/ml). But the reason I’m bringing Cignot to your attention, is the pricing on their China-manufactured juice – among the best: $9 for a 20 ml bottle = 45¢/ml (less than my demanding benchmark). Shipping is a flat $5 per order. They carry both PG juice and VG juice, each in every flavor imaginable. [Technically, that statement is hyperbole, but not by much! For example: Litchi, September Wolves*, Shaddock* and, not only RY4, but also RY1 through RY3!†]
    * What the heck are September Wolves and Shaddock? My guess is that September Wolves is the same as “Stepwolves” –whatever that is – as it is spelled (misspelled?) at myFreedomSmokes. And Shaddock? Where are Meshach and Abednego?
    † FYI: Kellbell has described RY3 as “a milder version of RY4.” GrimmGreen has been quoted as describing the taste of RY1 and RY2 as “sweaty socks.” Maybe because the screen name of another supplier (GoodProphets) of RY2 (and 3 and 4) is dirt2suck. Now I ask you: Why would an e-liquid supplier (and a good one at that) call himself “dirt to suck”?:confused: [As I write this, I am vaping RY2. GrimmGreen may be right about RY1, but RY2 reminds me of TAB, which I like very much.]
    All of Cignot’s PG juice is 26mg strength. However, their VG (in most of the same flavors) is either 26mg or 0mg. This would work out great for me: 20 ml of 26mg PG + 20 ml of 0mg VG = 40 ml of 13mg PG/VG. (I prefer the PG/VG combo and that extra 2mg would provide a nice added kick.) And it could work for anyone vaping at any level less than 26mg (although that would require higher level math).
    • Tasty Vapor is a new supplier who has excellent prices for US-mixed e-liquid ($15 for a 30 ml bottle, i.e. meeting my 50¢/ml benchmark). [Actually, Geoff doesn’t think in terms of milliliters, but ounces. He sells 1 oz. bottles of e-liquid.]
    But the really exciting (and cost-saving) offering is his “doublers”: 4 oz. (i.e., 120 ml) bottles of flavored 0mg juice (PG, VG, and PG+VG) for only $12/bottle, intended to be used to cut his high-nicotine (30mg or 45mg) e-liquid of the same flavor. For someone like me who vapes at around 11mg strength, these are really quadruplers: 1 oz. at 45mg + 3 oz. at 0mg = 4 oz. at 11.25mg (plus an extra 1 oz. of 0mg juice for “pacifier” vaping). Whoa! I’ll let you do the arithmetic for how cheap that nets out to be. [And those who vape at 0mg (as I sometimes do) make out like bandits: 10¢/ml.]
    A couple caveats: With one or two exceptions, his flavor choices are limited to LorAnn’s flavoring mixed with PG and/or VG, so you could create those doublers yourself (but at those prices – and my laziness – I’m not going to bother). For example, the 4 oz. bottle of tasty Butter Rum juice I ordered tastes like what I had mixed a couple months ago (but never stirred my stumps to do so again).
    The exception is his Tobacco (and Tobacco Menthol) juice. Geoff claims that it tastes delicious (and is uniquely created), but the vapor production is disappointing. I found it (i.e., Tobacco; I haven’t tried Tobacco Menthol) to be just the opposite. The vapor is fine, but I found the flavor to be barely detectable (of course, I like TAB, which some find to be too intense). [My first impression was that it tasted like unflavored PG and VG. Since none of the bottles were labeled (which he claims is unprecedented), I wondered whether he simply forgot to put in the tobacco flavoring; and he was reluctant to correct the matter. But after vaping it in my Prodigy, I think I notice a very subtle flavor.]

    I doubt that my experience was typical, so you may want to give his Tobacco juices a try and don’t hesitate to order his other flavors.

    You may want to “do it yourself,” i.e., mix your own e-liquid – to save money and/or to create your own flavors. This can be as simple as:
    • Combining two or more purchased premixed juices.

    • Using Juicy Liquid’s $20 JuicePaks (shown in the photo on the left) to adjust the flavor intensity of your e-liquid, following these instructions. [I keep wanting to refer to these folks as “Juicy Fruit,” because that pretty much describes what they carry. Other sweet-tooth flavors as well, but no tobacco.] They also are a good source for the tools of the DIY trade, pictured on the right.


    • Cutting high-nicotine juice with some plain PG and/or VG (VG tends to generate more vapor) or, better yet, with Tasty Vapor’s doublers.

    As a newbie, I found RitaLee76’s user-friendly videos very helpful, including this one – it can ease you into DIY.
    YouTube - Custom E-Liquid for E-CigaretteMy reaction was: Gee, even I can do that!*
    *[As I read that sentence I realize that it might be misinterpreted. Take my word for it (as a professional trainer by day), making something look easy is not easy!]

    Scratch Cook

    Since then, I have dabbled with mixing from scratch: combining inexpensive unflavored PG and VG – with or without high-test unflavored nicotine juice – to create a base…


    to which I add flavorings from LorAnn (most of the non-tobacco flavors) and/or Perfumer’s Apprentice (e.g., Tobacco Absolute, Ethyl Maltol, Menthol, Vanillin, Clove).

    Nicotine Juice

    Sources for high-test unflavored nicotine juice include:

    • MyFreedomSmokes: 40 ml bottles of 48mg and 60mg – $27 and $31 respectively. Also available in many other quantities.

    • NHaler: 30 ml bottles of 48mg and 60mg – $25 and $35 respectively.

    • Midwest Vapor: 30 ml bottles of 40mg (PG, VG, or combined) – $20.

    The Elusive Tobacco-flavor

    To concoct a tobacco flavored juice, see this thread for what to do with ingredients like Tobacco Absolute or Ethyl Maltol. My own attempts at creating a tobacco juice have had dismal results.:oops:

    But Scubabatdan may have saved the day! In his Tobacco Flavors in the U.S. thread, he has just made us aware of a great source for tobacco flavors: Seedman.com (scroll down that page to the “TOP NOTE FLAVORS”). Quoting Scubabatdan (with some liberties taken in formatting):
    COMMERCIAL CIGARETTE tastes like Marlboro, CAPTAIN BLACK TYPE has a darker richer taste, ENGLISH TOBACCO FLAVOR has a spicy flavor…I was surprised that I really liked the HONEY.
    All are inexpensive: $5 for a 2 ounce (60 ml) bottle – and that’s the flavoring folks, not the juice. One bottle can yield as much as 20 times that amount of flavored e-liquid – 1,200 ml! [NOTE: That is 40 oz.]

    Tools of the Trade

    You’ll need some plastic bottles (small and large), graduated cylinders or beakers, pipettes, droppers, etc., all of which can be purchased from U.S. Plastics, although I got my smaller quantity of pipettes from Amazon.com (along with a book order to qualify for free shipping). [But remember Juicy Liquid as a good source for pipettes.] All of those supplies (other than the nicotine juice and the more unusual flavorings described below) are quite inexpensive.

    DIY Starter Kits and Flavorings

    Or, instead of buying these supplies piecemeal, you might want a starter kit, as offered by:
    • DIY Flavor Shack’s Silver, Gold, Platinum, Ultimate, or Premium DIY Kits ($30 - $56 plus $8 shipping). What varies is the quantity and nicotine strength of the e-liquid included. All kits include the two-level Snap Close Tool Chest shown here, a guide to mixing, some base liquid, four flavorings, and myriad supplies – virtually all you would need to get started and to continue, adding just some more bottles and additional base liquids and flavorings as you need them.
    If I had to do it over again, I would have started with this kit (instead of buying containers and supplies hither and thither). Most people get the Ultimate or Premium kits, but, since I’m cheap, I’d go with that $30 Silver kit. NOTE: In addition to reselling LorAnn flavorings, they also carry a variety of tobacco flavorings, which therefore may not be quite as elusive as it used to be.
    • One Stop DIY Shop’s DIY Flavor Artisan Apprentice and Masters Kits ($33 and $50 plus $6 shipping), containing many of the same supplies but no case. Shown below on are the contents of the $33 Apprentice kit. NOTE: Although their kits may not be quite as complete as the previous, this shop has a pretty good price on base PG or VG – $5 for a 4-oz. mini-jug (also included in the kits). Compare them in the context of your needs and decide.

    • Liquidxpress’ DIY Starter Kit ($60 plus free shipping) focuses entirely on the liquids and travel case shown here. The case is nice. [NOTE: The hardware shown in the photo on the right is not included in the kit. And the case looks strangely familiar.]
    I believe that Liquidxpress’ greatest strength, however, is their broad selection of flavorings, many of which do not come out of a LorAnn’s bottle. For example, they are the source of the Kung Pao chicken flavoring I commented on in previous installments as well as many tobacco flavors. They’re fairly pricey, but if you want your vapor to taste like Atomic Fireball or Dragon Fruit, I don’t know where else to send you.
    Add to the list of sources of unusual flavorings: Decadent Vapours, now sold by Totally Wicked in 10 ml bottles for $8 (remember that’s flavoring, not the mixed juice; so a very good price). I don’t see their absinthe or roast beef, but they do have parma violet, passion fruit, and roast chicken (among others).

    This just in! – Kent C has just alerted me to what appears to be a fantastic source for flavorings, based in Italy: Flavorart. I've not even had a chance to read all of Kent's extensive comments about them, but any DIYer should explore their vast assortment, including some very unusual flavors. Although primarily food flavorers, they do have a special section devoted to vaping. [I invite Kent to post his commentary in this thread [after this guide is completed] ... and in the DIY forum.

    To Learn More about DIY

    ECF’s leading mixicologist/brewmeister is Walrus, whose concoctions recently have been made available for purchase. He’s been very generous here in ECF in sharing his expertise and some of his formulae. His videos can inspire one to probe the depths of DIY. [My favorite, for entertainment value, is:
    YouTube - DIY Throat hit with Cayenne Pepper extractEnter The Laboratory to learn the secrets of the “Mad Vaper.”

    The DIY e-liquid sub-forum is the place to explore all of this further.

    Onward and Upward

    After whatever period of time, you probably will want to branch out (or up) to other devices. There is no perfect e-cig (at least yet). You probably have found that there are many things you like about your first model, but some things you don’t.
    • If you started with a mini or, especially, a super-mini – having to constantly recharge those batteries may be getting to you. Your PCC can’t keep up with the demand and every USB port on your computer is taken up with a charger.

    • Maybe you’d like more flavor, throat hit, or vapor you’re more open now to something larger. Those hybrids (especially the newer, streamlined ones) don’t seem quite as intimidating as they once did.

    • It’s possible that your automatic switch battery is not as reliable as you’d like and you want to try a manual switch or vice versa (with a smaller e-cig, I think I prefer an auto switch).

    • Maybe you’re tired of stuffing and topping off cartridges and you want to drip or dip. Or vice versa. Or you’d like to chuck it all. Those cartomizers are looking pretty good right now.

    • Or perhaps you’re just restless and looking for a change of pace, another model to switch back and forth with. That’s what happened to me recently and I went “retro.” That is, I’ve been using a penstyle and the Prodigy – both very effective in delivering the flavor, throat hit, and vapor I enjoy. But the Prodigy especially is a bit clunky to carry around and it’s not the kind of thing I can puff on hands free.
    So I’ve given the cartomizers a second try and many of them taste better than I remember (I have heard they’ve been improved). And those GreenCig carts are quite special; Leaford is right about their vapor, but I think he understates their flavor and throat hit, especially when filled with good juice and on a passthrough (which has to be automatic switch for these carts).

    And I finally broke down and got a 510. It’s cute! [Remember where I’m coming from.] The vapor’s not bad, but I find the flavor and throat hit to be disappointing. That’s just me; as you know, this model is immensely popular.
    What to Choose

    We covered the various models and their pros and cons in Parts 4 and 5. You may want to go back and browse through those installments to see what catches your eye now.

    And there have been some new models introduced. [I told you this industry changes weekly.] Here are the ones I know of:
    • The Revolver Elite is a brand new super-mini roughly the same size as the blu. The $60 starter kit comes with what you see here, including that impressive PCC discussed above. It is available only with white battery and black cartridge.
    As you will see from Nicco Daniels’ high-energy video review (and accompanying ECF thread) of the e-cig and its PCC, he is very enthusiastic about this product. [FYI: Nicco is a very effective pitchman and, I believe, he did receive his kit gratis. However, I am assured that he is not in the employ of Revolver.]
    You’ll find counterpoints to his positive review here and here and here for MoobyGhost’s video review demonstrating less impressive results.

    I’ve just learned that the Revolver Elite is a branded M702 that soon will also be carried by LiteCigUSA, which I think of as the Smoore specialist (even though they do carry a couple other product lines). China-based AbsolutelyEcigs currently carries the M702 (for $19 less than the Revolver Elite, but with only one battery and atomizer and the shipping charge is $15 so I’ll shop stateside for this one).

    • Modern Vapor’s Sidesho is a new mini similar to (but not compatible with) the 401. The $80 starter kit ($60 with their 25% discount code) comes with the PCC discussed earlier, two batteries, two atomizers, and four cartridges.
    There are many color choices: black, blue, pink, red, stainless, white, and white with stripes. Both auto and manual batteries are available. And notice that Sidesho carts are larger than M401.
    [For some reason, all starter kits are shown as out of stock at the moment, even though all the parts and accessories can be ordered (not necessarily in every color). I imagine that if you contact kaeo773, he can help you out.] Read a lot more about the Sidesho in the Modern Vapor supporting suppliers forum, including Bandit’s in-depth review (written; I haven’t found a video review yet).
    • LitecigUSA calls their $100 (complete kit) Vapre-51 a “penstyle” (and it does kind of look like one), but it really is a hybrid. [At that price, it better be.] It uses an RCR10440 3.7v protected 360 mah battery (i.e., slightly less than the mega KR808D-1 battery) and a penstyle atomizer (with multiple adaptors available “in the near future”). [NOTE: I see that TrueSmoker also sells the Vapre-51 (did sell? – it’s not featured on their homepage), but is sold out at the moment.]
    It looks just like vaprlife’s VP1, takes the same battery, is the same price (well, within one dollar, I guess for the branding), and even has that same ring of LED lights.

    Here is Figurehead’s two-part video review:

    • I was tempted to put cybervex’s Bartleby in the Modding section below. It is a mod and is derived from the mother of battery mods, the NicoStick, but since it is available for purchase, here is where it should be. What distinguishes the Bartleby from other NicoStick derivatives – other than its sleek look (for a box mod) – is that is both a portable PV and a USB passthrough. No external charger is required. Versions are available for the 510, 901, or 801. It costs $50, including shipping (and two 14500 900mAh 3.7V batteries – now that mAh is impressive), but no atomizer or miniUSB cable. [I think the absence of the latter is a marketing gaff (but no reason you shouldn’t buy a Bartleby). Anyone who would order this will almost certainly have one of those atomizers, but not necessarily a miniUSB cable (at least one that isn't charging a smartphone).]
    It is discussed in this thread and MoobyGhost, who named the device, reviews it in this video:

    [To clarify, the models shown in this installment are not necessarily better than those previously mentioned, just in addition to.]

    So, expand your horizons with another, different type of personal vaporizer (the term ‘e-cig’ just doesn’t fit some models).

    And you may want to become a Modder.

    The Marvelous and Mysterious Milieu of Modding

    Modders reinvent the e-cig by tweaking or redesigning the appearance, cartridge, atomizer, battery, or its access to e-liquid. Being electro-mechanically challenged, I just visit the Emerald City on occasion. Those who inhabit this realm share with each other the fascinating (and sometimes strange) devices and techniques they’ve developed (often using materials readily available from RadioShack, Hobby Lobby, or even Lipton).

    The following are just a few examples of each category of mod:

    Cosmetic Mods

    To some (including yours truly), almost as important as an e-cig’s performance is its appearance (of the device itself and its casing). This sub-forum explores these “cosmetic” modifications.
    • so2late4me’s Professional Vapers case is a mod of a business card briefcase, for holding 2 assembled super-minis (e.g., the M402 shown on left) and 10 carts as is vikas27’s version on the right (holding 2 disassembled DSE901 minis and 3 carts). [I almost put these in the carrying cases portion above, but – as modified (with those straps) – they’re not available for purchase.]

    • In this thread on battery cases, JohnR snuck in his idea for a “Lo Fi Pocket Cap/Holder:”

    • This thread discusses myriad ways to apply designs to your e-cig, e.g.,
    – Freehand designs using Pilot gold or silver metallic markers.
    – Using nail art supplies from SallyBeauty or Konad Stamping Nail Art
    – Using the materials and tutorials of Friendly Plastics and techniques like this...
    ...to create permanent design coverings like this Mill Lane Studio pen design.

    – Using the $80 Etch-O-Matic to permanently engrave logos and text even on rounded metal surfaces like an e-cig battery.

    Porphy provided a link to colored rhinestones. [No, I am not going to sing Rhinestone Cowboy.]

    • Similarly, brialeeanna20 wanted to emulate the diamond tip of a Bling mini. She popped the gray LED covers off her batteries and, in their stead, hot glued Diamond Wedding Confetti from a Hobby Lobby. As she put it: “Looks really neat becouse it sill lights up!!!!” [sic]

    • Speaking of “bling,” igetcha shows how to transform a white and tan M401 into a solid platinum “Bling-Cig” in this video. [What’s with this ‘bling?’ I had to consult Wikipedia on the term. Not being into hip-hop, I wasn’t familiar with it. It’s what staid people like me would call ‘flashy,’ right?]

    Cartridge Mods

    For those who refuse to drip, modifying the cartridge is almost a necessity. The simplest (but important) cartridge mod is restuffing the cart with a different, more effective wicking material, such as:
    • Fluval, as instructed by djstern1:

    • funkybozu’s Eheim filterpad mod, using the blue filter pads from aquarium suppliers like this one. ["funkybozu"? And I thought my screen name was silly.;)]

    A few months back, marcus49ath came up with the spring mod to “get good atomizer contact and to warm up the most of the fiber filling to get more vapor” and then we never heard from him again.*


    * Where have you gone, marcus forty nine? Our forum turns its lonely eyes to you. Woo, woo, woo.
    [Well, this is a long installment; it needed another song. And since I refused to do Rhinestone Cowboy (even I wouldn’t stoop so low), Simon & Garfunkel it is.]

    Atomizer Mods


    • billyboy689 believes you can’t have too much of a good thing in the world of vaping and created the dual atomizer Shotgun…
    …which, for awhile at least, was available for purchase and is reviewed here by igetcha:

    It seems as if Carlos has been working into the wee hours of the morning on his creation(s). He needs to get some sleep.
    Battery Mods

    The battery is perhaps the greatest weakness of a cigarette-shaped PV. The increasing popularity of the hybrids bears witness. But it all started here by modders.
    • What has become a classic is the NicoStick (invented and taught by nicowolf), discussed extensively here.
    Many of her students have done their own tweaking of the NicoStick, e.g., cybervex’s Bartleby discussed earlier and this version created and demonstrated by ecigro:

    • warp1900 created the PVMA (Power Vaper Modular Array), enabling modders to use only one connector no matter how many mods they build. You can connect any atomizer to any power source mod with these adapters. As I understand it:

    [The photos are warp1900’s; the attempt at an explanation is mine.]

    • Cisco’s LaserVaper (link includes detailed, illustrated instructions) transforms the $5 laser pointer on the left into the neat looking hybrid PV on the right. [It looks very much like the Vapre-51 and VP1 (especially the first version), but without the ring of LEDs.]
    Here’s igetcha’s video review of it:

    Such battery modding led to the Screwdriver and the hybrids that have followed.

    When your battery mod is complete, make sure to promote it dramatically, as shown here by tonarinonsx:

    The Next Giant Leap

    From my perspective, modding’s current cutting edge (and next breakthrough) is juice injection. For example:
    • The UPAC (Ultimate Portability And Convenience) developed by MoonMan. One [not so] small step…

    • Carlos49’s Juice Box (also incorporating one of his homemade attys);

    …which he demonstrates here:
    [NOTE: Even the electro-mechanically challenged (i.e., I) can see the influence of the NicoStick on mods like these.]
    • And tinear’s magnificent molded mAhmba:

    The Ultimate Cosmetic/Cartridge/Atomizer/Battery/Juice Injection Mod

    All of these mods – cosmetic, cartridge, atomizer, battery, and juice injection – point to vaping’s future. It’s exciting to look forward to but I’m already having a great time in the present!


    Vaping is not only a hand-to-mouth, inhalation experience it is also a community – a community under siege. As former smokers, we are all well aware of the intense antismoking attitudes held by a great many people – attitudes and an intensity that I believe go beyond concern about the real health risks of analogs and other tobacco use. The most virulent anti-smokers are just that: expressing hatred not only of the second-hand consequences of the behavior, but of the behavior itself and of the people who engage in it, even in private. We could speculate about their deeper motivations (and I have), but primarily we need to be fully aware that it exists and take appropriate action.

    But why do we vapers need be concerned about that. Most of us no longer smoke analogs. Because that attitude, especially in its most hostile manifestations, spills over (unfairly) onto vaping. The anti-vaping charge has been led, at the federal government level, by the FDA; and “public interest” groups such as ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) accelerate it with vituperative pronouncements and lobbying.

    We need to defend ourselves and our right to vape. And we don’t have a wealthy industry with decades of lobbying expertise and connections to support us. Thus the Electronic Cigarette Association (ECA), Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), and the other associations and forums within the Campaigning section of ECF. They are sources of important information about this issue and they (and the Electronic Cigarette Forum itself) need your participation and support.


    [Personal note: I have not yet become actively involved in any of this campaigning, due partly to the time taken up by this opus of mine and also to my temperament (thinking about such matters gets me upset). I just feel grateful that others are involved. If at all possible, please become one of them. For what it’s worth, here’s my two cents on what seems to me to be a reasonable position to take: I respect your right not to be exposed to the vapor from my PV or to have your children be enticed to vape or smoke; please respect my right to vape (as long as it doesn’t interfere with your rights). OK?]


    I hope this guide has been and will continue to be a valuable resource for you. Some readers have told me that they’ve gobbled this series down in one or two bites. Although that is flattering, it is not recommended. My intent has been to provide a summary of and convenient access to the wealth of resources and information about vaping that is available, especially here on ECF.

    To the extent that this intent was made manifest, there is far too much to absorb in just a couple sittings. I urge you to go back and watch all the videos and explore the myriad links that have been included, certainly for the topics that have caught your fancy. Use this guide as a gateway to this wonderful world, not as a final resting place.


    As should have become obvious to you, although the WWV Guide (as I abbreviate it) bears the DaBoomVape imprimatur, I claim credit primarily as the collector of the work of hundreds of others here on ECF (and elsewhere). [Well, also as a singer of songs.;)] Many of those unwitting contributors have been acknowledged directly throughout this tome and some indirectly via linkage. There is one set of individuals, however, who has not yet been brought to your attention and are, perhaps, most deserving: the Moderators.

    This thread and the posts therein have gone well beyond standard forum limitations and protocols (both systemic and human). From the very first post, the Moderators have blazed the trail for this work. Jim Davis, for example, arranged for photo restrictions to be lifted and for the thread to be stickied. Smokey Joe has shepherded the project, given it his blessing, and waved his magic wand to break through system barriers. Most of all, Sun Vaporizer and lordmage have invested dozens of hours editing, rescuing, and html coding what appears here. They have my deepest appreciation!

    And I invite you to share in my heartfelt thanks to all of those hundreds of contributors and well-wishers!

    The End of the Beginning

    [Warning: Mélange of mixed metaphors ahead.]

    There is so much more that I or others at ECF could tell you about vaping, but this series has gone on quite long enough and it is time to push you fledglings out of the nest. If you have not already done so, make your first (or second) purchase, sample and savor the myriad varieties of flavor, converse with others, experiment ... and enjoy.

    And have fun with it.

    Dive in; the water is wonderful!

    Welcome to vaping!

    You've taken your first step into a larger world. (Obi-Wan Kenobi)

    YouTube - How has E Smoking Helped You? Be a part of the video...

    Don DaBoomVape
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