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.
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.
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.
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.
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*
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.
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