9 South Vapes

9 South Vapes
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Monday, August 12, 2013

Guide to Rebuildable Atomizers!


GUIDE TO REBUILDABLE ATOMIZERS

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Many people have recently heard about the new trend in vaping, and that is rebuildable atomizers aka “rba” or “rda”. What is a rebuildable atomizer? Simply put, it is an atomizer composed of two pieces made of stainless steel or another form of metal, a “deck” or a “base”, and a “top cap”. On the bottom of the deck, there is a native 510 connection, and on top there are generally two posts, a negative post and a positive post. Through these two posts you attach either kanthal or nichrome resistance wire by threading the wire through the holes located on the previously mentioned positive and negative posts. The top cap has an air hole drilled on the side, unlike conventional atomizers having the air hole located on the 510 connection. The top cap is held on by o-rings so that you can adjust the amount of vapor, and throat hit delivered from your coil.


What are the advantages?

In my honest opinion, if your coil is built properly, you will be rewarded with of the most satisfying vapes of your life. The amount of vapor produced is incomparable to any other device. You will be able to “blow clouds” as we like to call it, which you have to admit is amazing. Second, the flavor is unbelievable. You will be shocked with your first “toot”; subtle notes from your juice will be brought to life, providing a more drastically flavorful vape. Next, the throat hit. Many vapers are vaping anywhere from 1.8% - 2.4% nicotine on other devices, which produces a very satisfying throat hit. With a rebuildable atomizer, the amount of nicotine consumed sky rockets, which in turn, you will have to lower your nicotine level to roughly .6 – 1.2, to replicate the same throat hit and nicotine absorption. Last but most certainly not least, the versatility, you can install single coil, dual coils, even quad coils. The ohms (resistance) can be manipulated by the gauge of wire, or the amount or wraps used for your coil. Most importantly, the structural integrity is phenomenal. Most being made of stainless steel, you can run it over with an 18 wheeler, and still vape as if nothing ever happened.
What are the disadvantages?
There are not many disadvantages when it comes to rebuildables, most being personal preference. Carrying a juice bottle can be considered a negative, but to me it’s honestly no big deal. Having to drip ever so often can be sort of tedious to some, but in return there is no other type of atomizer/cartomizer that produces the flavor of dripping on a rebuildable. Lastly, having to “re-coil “can be troublesome, when re-coiling, you need a general knowledge of ohms law (will be further discussed), dealing with small objects, an understanding of wire gauge, and patience. I will say, re-coiling is not something to be taken lightly, I will explain in more detail how to safely enjoy your rebuildable atomizer. 

Wire gauge



Kanthal is the most commonly used resistance wire when rebuilding an atomizer. It comes in a wide variety of sizes; the thinnest recommended being 34 gauge, and the thickest being 26 gauge. Keep in mind, the higher the gauge the thinner the wire, the more resistance per foot, on the other hand, the lower the gauge, the thicker the wire, less resistance per foot. When using anything under 26 gauge, the risk of shorting out the coil causing a catastrophic failure becomes substantially higher. Which is why at 9 South Vapes, we do not recommend using such wires.

Which gauge wire, for what resistance? 

34 gauge --------------> 3.0-2.5 ohms
32 gauge---------------> 2.4-2.0 ohms
30 gauge---------------> 1.9-1.1 ohms
28 gauge---------------> 1.1-.8 ohms
26 gauge--------------->.7 ohms and below (experienced users)




Which device for what resistance 

Regulated:
A regulated mod contains a chip, which adjust the voltage/ wattage transferred to the atomizer. Also, the chip will monitor the ohms of the attached device limiting the mod to only fire a resistance of 1.3 and above. Due to the limitation, “sub-ohm” coils have to be used on a mechanical mod. Your mod will let you know when the resistance is too low, when a “low load” or “short” message is displayed on the screen.

Which wire is recommended for regulated mods?

When re-coiling for a regulated mod, it is safe to use 30 gauge and above. Our recommended wire gauge is 32 gauge, yielding the perfect resistance per foot to achieve a resistance above the limitation of 1.3 ohms. When wrapping your coil, it will take more wraps of 30 gauge to reach a 2.5 ohm resistance than 36 gauge would, hence why carefully selecting your wire is crucial (use the above chart to choose wire).


Which battery will optimize performance in regulated mods?

When it comes to regulated mods, batteries are not as big of an issue as mechanicals. Regulated mods have built in protection in the chip such as, over heating protection, over discharge protection, an amp limitation of 3 amps, and short circuit protect. We recommend using a good quality battery, with a high milliamp hour fating of “mah”. A good quality battery ensures even voltage loss throughout the battery life cycle, and the high milliamp hour provides long battery life.


Mechanical:

A mechanical device does not contain any chips or wiring. They mostly contain brass contact or some other conductive metal as the contacts. They do not have a chip determining the amp limitation, the amp limitation lies within the battery used. Mechanicals will fire and resistance, so a great deal of safety measures must be taken into consideration. Since the battery is the brains of the operation, we will discuss how to determine which battery is safe for which resistance.

Which wire is recommended for mechanicals?

Mechanicals are a little trickier when it comes to selecting the gauge of wire. With the amp limitation lying within the battery, this is where “sub-ohm” building coils are introduced. Sub-ohm coils are designed to generate a large amount of heat in a short period of time. These coils range from 1.2 ohms down to a dangerous .1 ohm. Here at 9 South Vapes, we highly advise all customers to stay above .6. Anything below .6 should be attempted by advanced users with proper knowledge of ohms law, and battery safety. Staying below 30 gauge will be acceptable; our recommended wire is 28 guage. This wire contains the a low resistance per foot of wire, while still being safe enough to stay in the “safe zone” as we like to call it. The safe zone being between 1.2 and .6 ohms to ensure your battery can safely power the coil. 

Which battery will optimize performance in a mechanical?

Before I get into which batteries are safe, I cannot stress this fact enough. NEVER USE BATTERIES THAT ARE UNLABBELED TO USE WITH SUB-OHM COILS. WE DO NOT KNOW THE AMP RATING OR CHEMISTRY OF SAID BATTERIES. Only imr high drain batteries are to be used with sub-ohm coils. The batteries have a safer chemistry and can take the rapid amp draw the coils pull from the battery. Efest, EH, AW, MNKE, Panasonic, LG, Sanyo, and Sony are trusted high drain battery brands. 
With that being said, this decision is most crucial when using sub-ohm coils. As with a regulated mod using a higher milliamp hour rating, mechanicals need a high amp rating. There are three different battery size compatible with mechanicals, an 18350, 18490/18500, and 18650. Depending on your coil’s ohms you will need to calculate how many amps you will be drawing from your battery. We recommend using “ohms Law” on iOS and android products, and from computer, use www.ohmslawcalculator.com. A rule we try to implement to customers is, to be safe by only pushing a battery to 80% of the battery’s amp limitation. 

18350 
Being the smallest battery out of the “18” series, naturally have the lowest amp rating of 6.4A. These batteries can be safely paired with a 1.2-.85 ohm coil. With a fully charged battery(4.2v) on a .85 ohm coil , using my ohms law calculator, that coil will be drawing 4.9 amps, which is well below the 80% amp draw of an 18350.

18490/18500

Being the middle of the road battery in the “18” series, they have a fairly decent amp rating of 8.8A. These batteries can be safely paired with any ohm coil in the “safety zone”, while still complying with the 80% rule. At .6 ohms (lowest resistance to be used), the coil will be drawing 7A, which is exactly 80% of the battery’s limitation.

18650

This size battery fulfills any sub-ohm builders dream. Being the largest “18” series battery, they fluctuate between amp rating between brands, 10A being the most common, while the MNKE, Sanyo, and Sony cells being 20A and higher. With a 10A rating, the batteries are great for the advanced builders. You can safely push a .5 ohm coil and still be in the 80% range. These batteries also have the highest milliamp our rating from (1600-2000 mah), in turn you will have the most vape time from an 18650 than any other “18” series battery.

How do I determine the ohm (resistance) of my atomizer? 

There are two methods to check the resistance of your atomizer.

First, being a multi meter. A multi meter is an electronic measuring instrument that combines several measurement functions in one unit. You can test voltage left in a battery, also check the resistance of your atomizer. To check the resistance, you turn the dial to the ohm symbol, and touch the positive lead to the positive post on the deck, and the negative lead to the negative post on the deck. This method is very accurate; as long as you test the resistance the unit itself contains, by touching the positive lead to the negative lead together, and recording the reading, and then subtract that number to the atomizer resistance displayed on screen.

Second is an ohm meter. A ohm meter is as simple as screwing atomizer to the female 510 connection on the unit, and flicking a switch. When the switch is in the ON position, the resistance will be displayed on screen.

Different types of wicks.

rebuild


Wicks are used for exactly what their name state, a material that wicks liquid to the coil. The coil is wrapped around one of three different kinds of wicking material, to create a coil.

Silica- most common type of wick currently used. Silica can withstand high temperatures, making it ideal for beginners. You will not be able to permanently burn your wick, the dry flavor you may encounter is from a lack of liquid on the coil. Also, these wicks are very versatile in the sense that when you want to change flavors there is little to no traces of the previous flavor used. There is no preparation time needed, just cut a length, and use.

Eko-wool-a braided silica wick with similar features as silica. Eko-wool can withstand high temperatures, never burn, delivers liquid, and forging when switching flavors, similar so silica. There is no preparation time needed, just cut a length and use.

Cotton yarn-100% organic cotton yarn must be used, must also be bleach, dye, and fragrance free. There is a preparation time when it comes to cotton wicks. You must cut a length of yarn, and boil it for 15 minutes. After the initial boil, drain the water, and boil again for an additional 15 minutes. Strain, damp dry with paper towel, then let it air dry overnight. After all the prep is over, cotton provides the cleanest flavor out of the three, in my opinion. It also transfers liquid very rapidly, making it the ideal wick for sub-ohm coils. Cotton is a very absorbent material, which translates to more liquid storage, leading to longer vape time between dripping.  The dark side of cotton is you CAN NOT DRY BURN. It will burn permanently, and there is no going back. You must replace the wicks when this happens. Also, changing is a little more difficult with cotton. Since the material is so absorbent, you will most likely have the previous flavor linger when changing flavors. I recommend this wick for the more experienced users.

How to build a coil

There are four steps to building the perfect coil.

  • Decide which type of wick you will be using.
  • Select the gauge of wire correspondent to the resistance you desire.(above)
  • Wrap the desired amount of wraps around your wick.
  • Make sure all coils are space evenly apart.





How to install the coil

There are two styles of posts to attach your coil to.

First, is the “thread” style. Holes are drilled into the posts where you will thread your coils through, making sure the first and last coil are not touching the posts. There will be screws on top of the posts; once you thread your coil it is as simple as screwing down the screws to capture the wire. Remove excess wire, and adjust the coils if they have been disturbed.

Second, is the “screw capture” style. There are no holes drilled into the posts. Instead, you place the coil in front of the post, and wrap the wire around the top screw threading. Make sure your coils do not touch the post, it will create a short. Once the wire is wrapped around the screw threading, tighten down the screws to capture the wire. Remove excess wire, and adjust the coils if they have been disturbed.

Types of coils

Single coil- A single length of resistance wire wrapped around a wick, then attached to the negative and positive posts.

Dual coil- Two lengths of resistance wire wrapped around two separate wicks. To install attach two coil ends to the negative, and two to the positive opposite of each other. When building a dual coil, you must keep in mind, you are running those coils in parallel. Meaning the overall resistance will not be split in half rather than doubled. ex. two 3 0hm coils will not result in a 6 ohm coil, instead you will end up with a 1.5 ohm resistance due to the resistance being split in half. The possibility of dual coils shorting is most certainly a risk, so do not attempt without proper knowledge and experience.

Triple/quad coil- If you are a beginner do not attempt under any circumstance. Triple/ quad coils put a lot of strain on your battery, unless you have thoroughly done your research, do not attempt.

In closing, if you thoroughly read this guide and understand what it takes to build a coil, you will wonder why you have not tried them earlier. Just remember, safety, safety, safety. We do not want anyone to harm themselves, because of a minor error. Lives, it’s all we care about.


FAQ:

Q. Why is the vapor not as thick as I would like when using sub-ohm or standard coils?
A. Simple, it’s your air hole. To create “clouds”, you must have a perfect combination of air to vapor. The lower the resistance, the larger your air holes need to be. With standard coils, you may also need to increase the voltage of your device.

Q. Why is my button getting warm on my mechanical mod?
A. If your button is getting hot to the touch, immediately remove your battery. Your resistance is causing your atomizer to draw more amps than your battery can handle. You have one of two options; either get a new battery to handle the amp draw, or rebuild you coil to accommodate the amp limitation of your battery.

Q. When re-coiling, why is part of my coil glowing red, even though they are covered in liquid?
A. This is what we call “hot spots” or “hot legs”. To remedy the situation, push your coil closer to the posts, remembering not to have the coil touch the posts. Also, play with the spacing of your coils, a little nudge in the right direction can make all the difference.

- Fluffy Jacob Castoire

Keep Vaping!!!

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