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Discussion in 'Vapor Related Equipment' started by WatTyler, Jun 14, 2012.
Yeah the Ego batteries work amazingly well on TV atties.
I think the secret is the regulated voltage. I still think that TV atty's are the best, but I've been won over by the dark side to regulated supplies. I just picked up (today) a "SmokTek SmokBox VariCool 6 Amp Beast" box mod. This is a tiny little plastic box that holds two 14500 batteries, has a sealed, reinforced 510 connector on the top, and a big button on the front. The whole box is the size of a 3xAA battery box (the area where the third battery would go is taken up by the electronics). It would easily fit into a pack of Camel unfiltered cigarettes, with room for a couple of DART cores and drip tips on the side.
It makes a HUGE positive difference with my (1.5Ω) LV DART atty. You know how nice a DART hits when it's freshly cleaned, and you have a fresh battery in, and it's primed just right, and you're using a refined oil like Pure Gold? That huge flavorful hit? Well you get that on every hit, right until the batteries go dead.
Absolute consistency is a wonderful thing. And you can dial in the voltage to just what you like. I'm set to 4.0v, which is what seems to give me the exact hit strength I want. The cart warms up and starts producing vapor in six seconds. Every single time. And I seem to be getting significantly more run time from the same two batteries in the SmokBox than I did with the two batteries used individually in the Ultra holder. I attribute this to how much longer the DART core takes to warm up once the battery is less than 2/3's full. With the unregulated Ultra supply, by the time the battery was half used, the warm-up time had increased from six seconds to twenty, and each hit took longer (to get the same amount of vapor), and I usually left the power on in between hits to avoid having to go through a warm up each time. By the time the battery was down to 25%, the DART core was really running inefficiently.
Now it's six seconds pre-warm, ten or so seconds of huge hit, letting the button go at the eight second point, and then after holding, exhaling, coughing, smiling, I only have to pre-heat for maybe three seconds. And it's the same for every hit until the batteries go dead.
This box-mod isn't the be all and end all of mods. It works great, but it won't win any awards for fine machining and exotic materials. It seems to be constructed well, but it isn't cheap ($63 for the 6 amp beast model, $8 less for the standard 3 amp model). The battery cover moves around a little more than I like (it's not gonna fall off, but it does wiggle a little). There are a bunch of new APVs (Advanced Personal Vaporizers) that have just come out, and some of them are pretty sophisticated and look much nicer, and there are a couple that are also in the $50-$75 range; some will even drive a 1.5Ω DART core properly. But the one I just got suits my needs now, isn't in the tube format, and isn't burdened with 10 second timeouts and the like (the APVs are really made for e-juicers, not us. If you keep an APV on for more than 10 seconds or so, without taking a hit, it usually trashes a typical e-juice atty's wick and/or burns out the core.)
Thanks Haywood, I've been wanting one of these boxes for a while now, and your great review-like post has definitely confirmed that this is what I'm looking for. Especially since i only use a couple of DARTs as my daily drivers on the go. Sometimes, those quick one hit sessions need to happen just a bit quicker... and a bit denser. So now, the question is, do I tackle an awesome project for the day... or do i do what I had planned on doing today and fall back on ordering a prebuilt one.
Love these videos, but I end up getting sucked into youtube for a long time with the help of my dart
Nice avatar rcflow.
When I decided to buy rather than build, I thought about how I was gonna use my new toy. I'm a herb user, mostly, rather than essential oil, and I use my T1 or Evo core for that. But I've found that my stealth needs revolve around the smell part, rather than the visual part, and for that need I've switched over to PG and my DART. Small is still important, as well as speed of use, but the smell factor far outweighs everything else for my stealth needs.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy (or build) something based on the new Evolv DNA 20D 20 watt control board, for use with my existing T1 or (more likely) Evo core, and retire my T1 battery holder, the same as I've retired my Ultra battery holder. With a suitable adapter, the Evolv 20 watt supply should also work for the new Cera cores. But I also realized that I had a bunch of 14500 batteries (for my Ultra), and that a regulated voltage (or wattage) base would be MUCH better for my DART cores, and that I didn't want to wait until I got around to building something. Plus 20 watts is way more than a DART core needs. (I run 10 watts into mine, and it's plenty; I could get by with 7 or 8 watts, but I like the fast response and dense hits I get with 4.0 volts, which is 10 watts into my 1.5Ω DART core).
The SmokBox VariCool 6A Beast costs about twice as much as it would cost me to build something using the same parts. But I had it in a few (3) days rather than the couple of weeks it would probably take me to order and receive and build something. That was worth the $30 extra to me, particularly since I plan on getting/building a more powerful device in the future. I have been EXTREMELY happy with the SmokBox VariCool. Extremely. It is SO much a better experience than using the unregulated Ultra battery holder. The single only thing that bothers me is the looseness of the battery cover. This does not effect usage at all, nor do I think it will break, it just feels cheap.
I again want to mention that the quality of the case itself, as well as the mounting of the 510 connector on the top, is not up to the level of the commercial metal tubes that compete with it in the same price range. On the other hand, none of them use the same switching regulator used in the VariCool, and none of them provide me the flexibility of its simple circuitry (for example, they all have 10-15 second timeouts, which is NOT suitable for using the DART with essential oils). The battery cover has a noticeable amount of play, and I worry that an extremely extended session (with multiple users, not just me) will allow the 10 watt DART core to get hot enough to losen the 510 connector, which is press fit into the plastic case (and hot glued on the interior). This has NOT happened so far, and I've left the DART on for long enough that simply touching the metal DART tube is enough to instantly burn you, so it may be a fear that's not real.
As to whether you want to buy or build, I don't know exactly how to advise you. The switching regulator used in the VariCool is the exact same chip I would buy if I were building, and the internal construction is probably as good as I would build myself (assuming the same size box). The main switch used when you vape (the pushbutton switch, not the sliding safety switch) is just fine, and feels great. I've been doing a LOT of reading on the e-cig forums, and I think I've found a custom handmade wooden cased box mod that uses the new Evolv 20 watt controller (which also has a GREAT OLED display that shows you voltage, core resistance, and wattage simultaneously), but also costs twice as much ($130-$150) as the VariCool box we're talking about. It also uses an 18650 battery (or two 18650s, or two 18490 batteries, or even 26500s. You can get whatever you really want; it's custom made), and hence is much larger (though it's still pretty small) than the VariCool box, which uses two 14500 batteries. I'm pretty sure that's what I'm going to wind up buying in the near future. I love wood, and the quality of his woodworking on the mod is second to none.
I would hazard a guess that if you love building stuff, you're at home with a soldering iron, you've found a suitable box case that you really like, and you're in no particular rush, then building one is probably a good choice, and will save you a little money. If you don't want to bother, or don't feel particularly qualified to design and build something, or even if you're just in a rush, then you could do much worse than buying a VariCool.
I recently ordered a Beast for the same purpose (yet to arrive). Thanks for your positive review. It confirms the performance we've been seeking. Our experience running an LV DART on an Ultra was similarly frustrating to your own, but wonderful when everything was right.
BTW I ordered a 510-510 sealed extender to avoid overheating of the 510 connector mounted in the box. E-cig attys aren't on long and don't get as hot as our DARTs, so the extender seemed a sensible precaution.
Two weeks with the VariCool and I'm still very, very happy. It works like a champ, the batteries last a really long time compared to the unregulated Ultra holder, and the hits are all great. It's particularly nice to be able to instantly know if I'm running out of oil versus running out of battery. I never found this important distinction easy to discern using the Ultra handle. The beast box makes my LV DART work as well or better than my SV (6v) DART on my T1 handle. And have I mentioned that the batteries last a really long time? I get a whole day of personal medication on a single pair of AW IMR 14500 batteries. (I have three pairs of the AW IMR 14500s, and a pair of AW protected ICR 14500s. They seem to perform similarly, except that the ICRs are a tight fit in the VariCool box. If I were driving a core with more than 10W, I think I'd stick with the IMRs)
In the next couple of weeks I'm probably gonna buy an expensive VV/VW wood box mod for my Evo core that handles more power, has a tiny built in digital volt/watt/amp/ohm meter, and uses an 18650 or 26650 battery (or two xx340/xx350/xx500 batteries). I'm vacillating between the Evolv controller which only goes to 20W and a custom made controller that goes to 35W. The former is nicer, but doesn't have the power to drive the 30W T1 core. Either should be able to drive the new Cera cores. (I think the LL Cera core is only 20W).
What color beast did you order? I ordered the black "stealth" version (the led is inside, and not visible with the battery cover in place). I recently added a tiny ~ 1mm-2mm thick spacer inside the case, stuck on top of the glue holding the 510 connector. It's made from stacked pieces of (real, cloth backed) gaffer tape (NOT duct tape!). It keeps the battery cover from flexing in at the top center when I'm pushing the switch, which was about the only thing that was bothering me.
I carry everything in a little cloth drawstring bag. There's room for the beast, a holder with four extra batteries, and I have two plastic tubes with caps that are the perfect length and width to hold (#1) the unscrewed-from-beast DART with its extended mouthpiece and (#2) three half-gram ampules of PG. The tubes, which came from TET to hold a DART core, "dripper tip", and mouthpiece, are about the same length as the beast, so everything fits nicely in the little pouch.
I wish I had a delrin insulating sleeve that fit the DART core (as I have for my Evo core, which is thicker). The DART core does get very hot after a few hits. I'm using an extended length delrin mouthpiece as I found the standard one was so short that I frequently touched the top of the metal DART core with my lips, which was NOT fun. I too was worried about the heat deforming the plastic where the 510 connector lives, but so far it hasn't loosened at all, even after extended sessions. A 510 to 510 adapter is probably a good idea though; are you concerned that the additional length of a 510-extender/DART/mouthpiece might make it easier to loosen the 510 connector in the box if you accidentally drop it or bash it against something? In any case, let us know how yours works out. I'm sure you'll be as happy with it as I am with mine.
The fine performance of the Beast is great news. I only have AW IMR 14500s, so no problem on battery fit at this point.
Which mods are you considering?
I ordered black stealth as well. The reinforcement for the battery cover sounds like a good idea.
That sounds like a great kit. We've been having good luck with liquid nitro gold instead of PG. It isn't perhaps as light and refined as PG, but the vape is very good and it is half as expensive as PG in our neck of the woods.
Did you see the recommendation for a heat sleeve from jam in the Thermovape Alpha Ultra thread:
Our LV DARTs came with an extended length delrin mouthpiece so we were at least able to avoid burning our mouths on the DART. I hadn't considered the increased likelihood for damage with the extender, but I'll be aware of the possible problem.
Thanks again for the great review and the wealth of information.
The first one I'm getting (after the beast, of course), is a wooden box mod that uses a single 18650 and an evolv DNA20 controller board. It will support up to 20W, and works down to 1.2Ω, which should be fine for any core I can throw at it, including all of the new TET Cera cores. I am particularly looking forward to the EO core, and being able to dial it in to whatever power I want (say between 10 and 15 watts), depending on what I put in it. PG should require a little less power than something less pure. Our 6A beasts have enough power, but putting a Cera core on top of the little plastic box is probably a bit much. Still, mine has been working fine for weeks with a DART core at just over 10 watts (I feed it a regulated 4.00v).
Here's a link to the the ManCaveMods thread in the ECF forums. It's huge, and the particular "model" I'm looking at doesn't even show up until about 2/3's the way into the thread. The evolv DNA20 wasn't released until long after Matador started making mods, and his earlier mods use a different evolv controller. There is GREAT reading in ECF about mods of all kinds. Just don't, repeat don't, mention what you're planning on vaping.
I can't get ANY oil where I live, and depend on a friend for my oil. I wish I could give him a grocery list, but I don't want to push my luck, and I don't want to take advantage of his good nature, so I stick to PG. He gets it for me at $30 per half gram ampule. I really hope one day my state wises up, and I can just go "down the block" and pick and chose.
Yes, but I haven't gotten around to investigating yet. I've been tied up fooling around with the beast, and with picking out what wood I want.
Check the inner diameter of the mouthpiece that came with your DART. At the end that goes into the core. TET made a small run of delrin mouthpieces with a deliberately narrowed airway, at the request of some users that wanted a more restricted draw with their Revo/DART. It's longer than the standard mouthpiece and slightly shorter than the extended. I didn't like mine; I preferred NOT having my draw restricted by the mouthpiece (and prefer to modulate the amount of air I get with my mouth and lungs, not with a restricted mouthpiece. The draw is restricted enough by the four tiny holes in the bottom of the cart).
I just ordered (and received) a couple of 18650 batteries and some Noalox and I thought of what you said and ordered a 510-510 sealed extender at the same time. The good news is that it isn't long enough to make the kit less stable or more susceptible to damage if dropped; the bad news is that the adapter heats up to the same temp as the core instantly, and so serves no purpose in keeping heat from the 510 built into the box.
But as I mentioned, mine boxes 510 hasn't loosened at all, and my core has gotten really hot a number of times.
Did you get yours yet?
Thanks for the update. Too bad the extender doesn't help relieve the heat; sorry for the bad advice. Luckily the heat hasn't been the anticipated problem.
Since we use concentrates a bit less refined than PG, loading isn't always exact. On occasion the DART can leak a bit with overfilling, so the sealed 510 extender may still be useful to prevent any leaks hitting anything vital.
My mod was misrouted by the PO; that was a new one on me. It is now due to arrive on Friday. We'll have to pick up some nice extracts to test it out over the weekend while rooting on our 49ers.
I use one sealed small 510 to 510 adapter snug tight to save my dart threads from multiple twists on and off battery mods. Never once had a leak maybe that's why?
How long would you say a cart lasts? Also how many draws would you say you get off .5 of wax?
I have tried the gentlemen's v2 hash oil cart, and I have 3 (4 kinda) different versions coming to me in the mail as I am trying to find the best possible one. I have not bought the 601 adapter yet, so all the ones i'm trying are 510 threaded.
I got 2 carts from Wacky Willys (http://www.wackywillysweb.com/proddetail.php?prod=WPA-1), 1 old and 1 new cart from Essential Oiler (http://shop.essentialoiler.ca/), and the skillet attachment from Vaped (http://www.ruvaped.com/shop/skillet-attachment/). Vaped has a cool glass dome attachment too that looks very tempting the gentlemen's cart HAS to be used at lower voltage and should be babied a bit to get the most of it. 2 weeks of screwing around with them had both of them broken for me, but one was clearly my fault so take that for what it is
I'll update with reviews when I receive them in the mail and test them out!
Keep me posted as i am interested in your reviews. I had tried the 710 pen and it worked good and was pretty cheap, but i was concerned as to what materials they used in their products. I tried doing some research but was unable to determine what materials they used. I then decided on the thermovape revolution cart, i know it is expensive but at least i know the product is safe and built to last. This product is not in production anymore but GOTVAPE still has some if you are interested, they cost about $55 USD. Oh i forgot to mention they are 510 threaded, but i hear they perform much better on the Variable Voltage (VV) ego twist batteries as oppose to a non VV battery.
Whoa I had no idea you could still get DART stems... I figured it was just game over. $55 is steep, but man.... I want one
2 of the stems came in today (Willys & Vaped skillet). I have only tried the Vaped Skillet attachment. It is very different from the gentlemens. First, it's nice and heavy. It feels substantial. The Gentlemen's cart had an open coil, the vaped has a coil wrapped around a wick. The ceramic bowl is about 5x bigger in the vaped vaporizer, but there is no 'cart' to it; you have direct access to the skillet so you only load what you want to smoke (it's not an 'all day' cart). I didn't even melt my oil into it, I just scraped it directly into the bowl, using the edge or wick/coil as the detach point. After my first rip, all I can say is that it is for those looking for big hits. A decent dab only lasted me about 2-3 hits max (the first being the best), but it was a legit cloud, so those looking for the efficiency of an omicron cart might be disappointed in that way. As a plus, the cart without the mouthpiece fits a 14.4 gong joint perfectly, so it is compatible with water tools as well. I'll have to play with it more, but as far as being a cart I can use to deliver massive hits, it seems to work great.
the other cart I got today was the wacky willy's carts. They seem very similar to a omicron cart but with 510 threading. I'm gonna load my last batch of AVB honey oil into it and see how it goes.
i'll try to load some pics later too - edit: here's pics of the vaped skillet
i use my dart just fine on my EGO-C battery (not a twist) and mine only has 2 voltages... 3.7 and 4.1
Are you saying your battery allows you to select 2 dfferent voltage settings? (3.7 or 4.1)
Here's the wacky willys one. I think it is exactly like the omicron carts; it has a chamber in which you load your oil and it feeds to the central heater below, which then vapes up through a small pipe/hole that comes up the middle of the cart. It is more of a 'sipper', as opposed to the vaped skillet which gave me huge clouds and bong hits. To get a 'good hit', I had to cycle the heater 2-3 times to get it going warmer (maybe this is standard practice). Either way, different carts for different effects. I will say that they do take a lot of oil to get going. I can go dab by dab in the skillet, but it took well over 0.5g to even prime the wacky willy's cart, so that may be something to consider as well.
I'll update again when the essential oiler carts come in. I think their 'old' cart is much like the wacky willys one, but i'm hoping their 'new' design will be an upgraded gentlemen's cart. I did like the gman cart for its efficiency, as you could get a nice little session off the smallest drop or two of oil, but their reliability is questionable (imo) and they really require a lower-to standard voltage or they'll burn out quick. I'll have to see!
Can you provide a link i have not seen them
sorry i was mistaken it's 3.3 and 4.1
Thanks i haven't seen that before. I wonder if they are the same size as the other non vv non pass thru ego c batteries. Also do you keep it on the 4.1 setting when using the dart?
arr, both of my ecig batterys are variable voltage as well.
I bought a LCD battery which switches from 3.2 to 3.8 to 4.2 that is exactly like this (http://diloter.net/en/wwwdiloternet...cig-battery-for-ego-electronic-cigarette.html) and I also got a Vision Spinner which goes from 3.2 to 4.8 in 0.2v increments from a Hong Kong supplier (or here: http://www.gotvapes.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=104_214&products_id=1127)
Careful tho; I burnt out my gman's v2 cart with the spinner by going above 4.0v so you gotta be careful at times Each cart is designed for specific voltages, but i'd expect a higher quality cart like the DART would probably be able to handle higher voltage, especially considering the Thermovape is much higher voltage than a standard ecig
actually... when i use the Dart on my EGO... i stay in the "regulated" mode so it is at the lower voltage. works fine for me
I've been building a lot of Ego Twist + Omicron/Bridgeless atty kits for friends just getting into the mobile concentrate field. I have to say, even the 650 mah battery is capable of above average performance. I'm sitting here testing one out as I write this, and for $35, I can't think of a better option.
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