Hi,

Thanks for joining me, I’m Dean the Vaping Biker and this is a post about something I threw together to give me some way of providing a comparative measurement of the mechanical mods that I review.

One of the questions I get asked a LOT is the very generic ‘which is better’. The previous article published addresses in some way the reason that is incredibly difficult to answer, in general it’s a nightmare question because a lot is personal preference, but for tube mechs it’s often a question of the internal resistance of the tube, connections, and button.

I set out to make a quick and dirty tester that will give me a comparative idea between products under the proviso that:

  • I use the same atomiser
  • I use the same build
  • I use the same resistance
  • I use the same battery

I’ll go into what I’m using and why shortly, but this is about a very simple tester that can give you an idea, and how I threw it together.

 

This is the beast – it may not be pretty but it works.

 

And so here’s how I went about making it.

The box

I used a cheap and nasty project box I had kicking about. I used this impulse buy from Maplins because A) I had it not doing anything and B) being an ABS plastic box, it was super simple to drill through and file to make the holes the size I needed.

Using a stepped drill bit (pictured) I set about getting approximate hole sizes once I’d measured the atomiser, 510 connection, and voltmeter. I eyeballed where I wanted them in the box, made an indent with the pointy end of a knife, and had at it the drill – this took mere minutes to do – pro tip: place the piece you’re using over the corner of a cardboard box so the waste material is collected meaning less to clean up! If you do use a metal project box or something like one of the modmaker.co.uk enclosures, I would suggest clamping it down so it doesn’t take your fingers off if the drill ‘catches’ during the process.

 

The atomiser

For the male connection I wanted an atomiser with a significantly protruding 510, but also a ‘base’ to it so I chose the Peerless from Geekvape.
Some atomisers have the build deck portion the same size at the bottom as the top, this means that the barrel of the RDA will slide down all the way for a flush look. I decided against the latter purely because I’m lazy and didn’t want to have any issues inserting the base into the box and keeping it there. Having the ‘shelf’ meant that I could drill a 22mm hole pop in the RDA base and the ‘shelf’ would stop it going all the way through.

 

 

 

The 510

I used an old Fat Daddy Vapes 510 as this was a ‘prototype’ version to see if it worked, however, in a future build I will be using one of the Modmaker 510s as I have seen some basic testing suggesting they are better still with regards to lack of internal resistance.

 

The Voltmeter

I used originally a larger voltmeter than the one pictured as once again, it was something I had kicking about in my parts box from previously making a few mods. The problem with that one was it would only read one place after the decimal point, and I wanted to be a little more accurate, so picked up a smaller version from Modmaker that reads two places after the decimal and changed it out. To hide some of the big hole I’d created for the larger meter I used the stainless steel bezel they also supply and covered the remaining gap with a sticker – ropey, but it also allows air to circulate inside the box should it be needed so I’m going to pretend the gap is entirely planned *ahem*

 

The Wiring

I used some single core copper wiring from some ‘twin and earth’ kicking about after an electrician fitted a new cooker some time ago, so stripped the two larger wires and used them. They are more than capable of handling the load as well as being easy to bend and keep reasonably short.

 

The insides

As you’ll see, it’s crazy simple wiring with only 4 solder points.

I hot glued the Peerless into position – it looks extra messy because I was literally on the last centimetre of glue in the gun and didn’t have any more glue sticks, I kinda had to push it in with a screwdriver, and unfortunately it meant that it doesn’t look very pretty – but it worked.

I pre-bent the wire so they would fit where I wanted them, then soldered the positive and negative to the relevant parts on the 510, and manoeuvred them into the relevant post holes of the RDA. Tightened them down hard, and popped a bit of solder in the other side to the side you can see in the picture – just to ensure a strong connection.

The voltmeter connects easily to the solder points with only two wires, added a couple of stickers to make it look a hint less ropey and job done! All in all, a 20 minute job!

 


Wallop, there we have something that will give me a comparative indication of mod performance for the mech mods I review. It reads the voltage at the RDA, and once an atomiser is attached to the 510 the the voltage under load. Now obviously at this point it is inclusive of battery sag as well and therefore is not an indicator of purely voltage drop through the mod.

This is why it can only be something for comparing mods against eachother, and does not produce standalone figures for individual use. Also this clearly doesn’t specify if any lower performance is down to the switch, the tube, or the connection.

Used in connection with my experience with the product, it can help me during the evaluation process and reduce some of the subjectivity for only the mods I am using.

At this stage my process moving forward it:

  • Using the same Sony VTC5A, freshly charged, but left to cool from the charger for 10 minutes at room temp
  • Using a ‘Yeti’ RDA from Envii – easy to build and use
  • Using the same 24g SS 316 wire – and where possible the exact same actual build juiced and wicked. *EDIT: I’ve since chosen to use 5 wraps of 22G kanthal over 4mm dual coil – still 0.2, because kanthal is more stable*
  • Using a resistance of 0.2 ohms, this is a reasonable draw on the battery as well as a very ‘normal’ resistance used these days for a portion of vapers
  • I will be firing the mod once attached without any draw to ensure it is reading 4.20V
  • Then I will attach the RDA and fire a further 3 times taking the average reading – there will be a slight reduction in battery power during the process so the average figure is my best bet at an approximate reading

 

AGAIN: THIS WILL ONLY GIVE ME A FIGURE FOR COMPARATIVE USE BETWEEN MODS AND NOT A FINITE MEASURING OF MOD RESISTANCE LEADING TO VOLTAGE DROP.

 

I hope this has been helpful to someone, and if it’s something you want to knock up on your own, it’s a simple job – as well as potentially a gateway to start you getting used to making stuff so you can move on to making some mods later down the line!

With the exception of the enclosure and RDA, I bought the parts from www.modmaker.co.uk where you’ll find a wealth of information as well as bits to help you make all manner of fun projects.

 

Also, this is not sponsored by modmaker.co.uk, but I bought the products there and am chums with Ric – the mad scientist type owner.

Thanks for reading!

L&R Dean, the Vaping Biker

12 Comments

  1. Hmmm.. Wouldn’t a mod with a lower internal resistance be harder hitting but in turn give slightly more battery sag.. This doesn’t really seem like the best way to test anything apart from your battery

  2. Love the test, and wish I had the gumption to make my own. Until I do, I’m relying on your tests…

    Speaking of your tests… I note that the chart is not posted anywhere on your site. Perhaps I am not looking in the right places. Perhaps you don’t want it posted.

  3. I really like this idea of making the test as controlled as it can be in order to compare the different values you get from different mods. Keeping everything the same besides the actual mod tested is brilliant and make the test trustworthy.

    Also liked the box you made just for doing this test.

    Keep up the good work.

  4. You’re right. My bad. I apologize for my ranting rambling first thing in the AM, which obviously makes no sense.

  5. Author

    @T4P3

    It appears that you’ve entirely missed the point of that I’m doing. I’ve said multiple times that this is a COMPARATIVE CHART ONLY and does NOT PRODUCE STANDALONE RESULTS.
    The figures produced are inclusive of battery sag and all aspects of mech usage – hence keeping the ‘environment’ controlled as much as possible so each product has the same demands.

    This is a test that has previously been discussed with multiple people prior to me starting (Mooch included) and due to it’s purpose of giving an idea of how effective the mod is during ‘real world usage’ it is yielding results that certainly do show differences between products, and those differences have been noticeable in use as well.

    I have no idea why you mentioned JKuro – from Kuro concepts, I am aware of his tester, and also I am aware of charts he’s previously produced regarding mechanical mods – you seem to have lost your point with that one?

    You’ve said “comparing how hard a mech mod hits is basically useless” and I’m ‘wasting my time’ – well, I strongly disagree, if people are going to part with their hard earned money to purchase a product and come to my channel looking for information and/or advice, I’m going to do everything I can to produce solid information alongside my own experience.

    Going through your points though in that monster paragraph let me see if I can address them:

    “Only testing the battery”
    Well, clearly not, the circuit has to be completed in some way, and in this instance it’s through the top cap, body, and switch of a mechanical mod that will all provide some resistance during the process.

    “Voltage output of the battery under load will vary”
    I agree – hence using the same load, same atomiser, and same environment for every test.

    “Actually, the material (ie SS copper etc) of the RDA will have more of an impact on “voltage drop” than the mod itself”
    Well this is crazy talk, of course the mod has the biggest impact – but even then, I’m using the same product and setup every time so the point is moot.

    “the single most important aspect of a mechanical tube mod in relation to “hard hittingness” (lmao) is the switch and how well it makes contact with the battery and with the housing of the mod”
    I agree – so, all the parts that make a mod have influence on resistance, which is why I’m doing this in the first place

    I honestly don’t know why you took the time to write out your comment as I’m failing to see any point that you’re making, you seem to be saying it’s all about the battery and rda, but then say the parts of the mod are important. It’s all very confusing.

  6. Hate to burst your bubble Dean but, in essence, you are really only testing the BATTERY with your set up….NOT the mod. Obviously, resting voltage with no resistance applied should be ~4.2v (but this is not true in all cases – which would be a whole other conversation). Voltage output of the battery under load will vary depending on the resistance applied. Just look at Mooch’s battery pulse charts. He’s already done this for you. If anything, you should be just be checking the resistance of the mod. But you will find that there is virtually no measurable resistance differences in copper tubes even at high 40amp+ loads. Dirt, grime, corrosion on the threads of the tube and atomizer will cause more of a “voltage drop” than the tube mod itself. Actually, the material (ie SS copper etc) of the RDA will have more of an impact on “voltage drop” than the mod itself. Even how tight your screws are on your coil leads will make more of a difference. There too many variables to account for when discussing “voltage drop”…even how the button is pressed. So, besides the battery itself, (in general, beyond the material) the single most important aspect of a mechanical tube mod in relation to “hard hittingness” (lmao) is the switch and how well it makes contact with the battery and with the housing of the mod…then maybe the threading and how many conductive parts the mod comprised of. But the funny thing is, most people don’t realize that the BATTERY ITSELF IS THE MOST IMPORTANT part of the equation when it comes to voltage drop.. ie HARD HITTINGNESS. Again, look at Mooch’s battery PULSE charts and tell me which is the HARDEST HITTING BATTERY. To top this off, a guy by the name of JKuro (you may have heard of the Kuro Coiler) on Calivapers Forum built a decent test rig and has tested a bunch of tube mods (years ago, back when tube mods were far more popular), I believe Twisted420 and SuckMyMod (along with a few other YouTube reviewers) each got one of these rigs to “test” tube mods. But they got them as the mech tube market was dying down and not much was done with them. Anyhow, to my point, after so much rambling…comparing how hard a mech mod hits is basically useless. Discuss the functionality and the switch design, that’s all the really matters when it comes to mech mods. The battery and it’s age/use is far more important. I think it’s great that you built that tester and want to provide the community with information, but in brutal honesty, you are wasting your time. Keep up the great reviews, I love your humor, enthusiasm and sexy beard.

  7. Id like to know the voltage of the Sebone i just purchased. Just curios if you get a chance. thanks keep up the great work. love from the U.S.

  8. yes makes perfect sense. and after reading my comment that last sentence sounds condescending and I didn’t mean it that way. Sorry about that.

  9. Author

    @Jason Enticknap – Thanks – and no, probably not wearing a Stig outfit 😉 LOL

  10. Author

    @Jeremy hall – Thanks! and yes, I know a lot of people vape at lower resistance, but I chose 0.2 as it’s something that a lot of the popular batteries handle well so I wanted a kind of ‘average’ figure for the normal sub-ohmer if that makes sense 🙂

  11. Nice write up. I am very interested in your results. As this seems to be a “real world” way to test. As I dont really care what the true voltage drop is, I care about what the voltage drop+battery sag is. And as I use VTC5a’s exclusively in my mechs, it seems the perfect test for me. I might even knock up a tester my self, to give my mechs a go, as I vape at a little lower resistance than you seem to be comfortable with.

  12. Looks good Dean, will you have a kind of Top Gear lap time board visible on each review. You could build some tension before slapping the results on the board. Maybe start the list off with ones you’ve already reviewed. You could even wear a white Simpson skid lid while you do it and call yourself The Stag. Just kidding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *