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Best of the Underdog Vaporizer thread

Discussion in 'Best Of' started by underdog, Aug 21, 2011.

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  1. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    mod note: To comment on the Underdog, go to the full Underdog Vaporizer thread. To add posts to this thread, read the sticky at the top of this forum.

    Greetings everyone,
    I'd like to introduce you all to Underdog Aromatherapy and our associated products, specifically our vaporizers. We have been making vaporizers since late 2009 / early 2010 but haven't had a web presence until this week so please bear with us as we iron out any wrinkles.

    >> Update: for anyone on FC who is interested in purchasing a piece please message/email me so I can give you a discount code for free shipping and some other FC upgrades! <<

    Underdog vaporizers are probably best classified as "log" vapes but combine fine-art quality woodworking and a proprietary heating core to bring you a unique vapor experience.

    We build each of our vaporizers as one-of-a-kind pieces of functional art by hand here in NorCal.

    Features at a glance include:
    - highest quality woods
    - stainless steel heat core
    - beautiful, unique and original pieces of art
    - renowned "log" vape efficiency
    - simple, reliable design
    - organic, sustainable, eco-friendly materials (even our exotics!)
    - first rate customer service
    - nearly boundless customization options

    I could happily go on but as they say "a picture is worth a thousand words".. so, how about a picture?
    [​IMG]
    I invite you to check out our newly launched website at: www.underdogvapes.com
    or visit us on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Underdog-Aromatherapy/138617099562048

    Cheers!
    Dave (Underdog)

    **edited for update at top**

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Hi RumbleShorts,

    I'm fading fast tonight but I'll try and answer your questions as best I can:
    1) The power adapter is 12v
    2) Avg temp is 350-70 though herb, grind and draw technique can greatly effect those numbers
    3) The air path is stainless steel, high temp silicone and the ceramic heating element
    4) Warranty is 2 yrs on vapes and all accessories including power supplies
    5) We ship custom (commissioned) pieces internationally but stock pieces in the USA only

    Thanks,
    Underdog


    Hi bio,

    To try and answer your questions:

    1) Due to the design of our heat core out temp is less effected by the wooden body and they all heat to almost exactly the same temp. The amount of time it takes the piece to get to that heat is effected by the mass of the body though so to answer your question (kinda haha) the quickest (hottest) ones are the small pieces like: http://www.underdogvapes.com/index.php/catalog/11527/ which gets up to temp in as little as 15-20 minutes vs the large side mount Tortuga: http://www.underdogvapes.com/index.php/catalog/11484/ which can take close to an hour.

    2) Currently I build two different size cores, one uses a 3/8" stem and the other a 1/4" stem, if you look at pieces on the website they all indicate what size they are under "core type"

    Thanks,
    Underdog



    Hi McNerdius,

    I'm just going to copy and past from my other response: Due to the design of our heat core out temp is less effected by the wooden body and they all heat to almost exactly the same temp. The amount of time it takes the piece to get to that heat is effected by the mass of the body though so to answer your question (kinda haha) the quickest (hottest) ones are the small pieces like: http://www.underdogvapes.com/index.php/catalog/11527/ which gets up to temp in as little as 15-20 minutes vs the large side mount Tortuga: http://www.underdogvapes.com/index.php/catalog/11484/ which can take close to an hour.

    So, basically they all heat up to the temp range everyone expects log vapes to but just vary in how long they take to get there. On the site you'll see each piece has an rough warm-up time listed. With the variable power supply and some careful usage you can experiment with a range of temps, you can also reduce the warm-up time by increasing the voltage slightly but I wouldn't recommend doing it all the time as it will increase the wear and tear on the core.

    Thanks,
    Underdog

    Modnote: 3 posts merged. Please use the edit button to avoid back-to-back posts. Thank you.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Hey everyone, I need your attention here for a bit... make way for some serious vape business.

    Alan from Toasty Top and I recently decided to exchange pieces and I sent him an UD piece. He made some modifications and was pretty happy with it as was posted here earlier but today it died on him, not sure how yet but not really the point of this post anyways.

    Being the inventor he is he took it fully apart and discovered some things about our assembly that concerned him and so he emailed me about them, after some discussion I decided that it would be best if I posted those concerns here for everyone to think about and just for the sake of full disclosure.

    Alan's concerns were that in my older cores, including quite a few in the catalog and the piece he got I have a high-temp silicone insulated wire in the air path, in contact with the heating element. This is something we no longer do and I don't believe there are any health concerns with it but since those pieces are still out there and in use needs to be said. Here is a picture illustrating this situation:
    [​IMG]

    His second concern is my usage of high-temp silicone on the bottom of the core to hold the assembly firmly in place. This silicone is separated from the air path by a thick glass bead. We still use this technique on our current cores and I see no reason that we shouldn't but again want to be in full disclosure about our design. Here is an example of this:
    [​IMG]

    Our newest design no longer has the silicone wires in the air path, only the resistor leads with no lead and the glass bead at the bottom. We do use the silicone adhesive to hold the bead and assembly to the outside of the core. We have also stopped using glue to hold the cores in the body but so far we have only made several of that type. This is an example of our newest design air path:
    [​IMG]

    So, again, there are the facts and a better description and explanation of how we assemble the cores. We will be continuing to modify and improve the design, eliminating the glue and silicone in the air path was the first steps. We may or may not remove the silicone from the bottom of the design. We hope to alter the design to enable UD pieces to be left on 24/7 in our next phase of change and as always are interested in your feedback and suggestions for improvement.

    Thanks!
    UD

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

    Messages:
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    Thanks for the heads up guys regarding the other thread with the concerns about UD vapes. I've posted a response as best I can without getting drawn into some kind of flame-war.

    To summarize here for those of you who are UD users (present, past or future):
    - I have eliminated all adhesives and silicone from the air path aside from the stems themselves of course.

    - There is still a dab of silicone used to hold the wires in place at the bottom outside end of the core (outside the air path)

    - There is of course glue in the pieces which are made of multiple pieces of wood. This glue is rated as food safe by the FDA but obviously not rated for 'sniffing'. This glue is kept out of the air path as it's only used in gluing the various woods together.

    As we all know there is little to no regulation in this industry so it falls on each individual manufacturer to do their best to use safe, high-quality materials in the construction of their products. This is something I work hard at and invest a significant amount of effort in and I think that any of you who know me understand that. I build the best vaporizers I can, out of the safest and highest quality materials I can and the prices I charge are a reflection of that. These pieces are a product that my family, my friends and myself use on a daily basis so obviously safety is #1... all of you who use UD pieces are in my mind part of the family.

    Anyways, lets move on to the fun stuff and keep this thread flame-war free.. other threads can go where and do what they want.

    I'm working hard to finish up this big order for France and then will be moving on to the Twigs and some other custom pieces that are in the pipe. Those of you who've reserved your Twigs already will get first 'dibs' as they're completed and posted up here and the website.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    The announcement yesterday that Purple Days was closing shop effective immediately has resulted in quite a few people emailing me with questions regarding the compatibility of UD parts and accessories with PD units. I think this surge of message will probably continue so I will answer some of the reoccurring questions here.

    re: Stems (UD>PD) - I don't have PD style stems made of Polypropylene and stainless steel and will not be making any in that style. All my stems are simple silicone stems. My glass stems utilize a small micro-bowl of silicone too. All 3/8" UD stems will fit the PD without modification and in many cases will actually increase performance.

    re: Power Supplies (UD>PD) - The 12v DC power supplies that come with all UD pieces (and are available separately on my website) are compatible with the PD. Power supply accessories such as extensions, splitters, lighted pig-tails, etc are also compatible. Our mobile adapter for use in the car/boat/whatever are also compatible. Variable power supplies (when I stock them) are also physically compatible though i can't guarantee how they work with the PD.

    re: Misc Accessories (UD>PD) - I don't have a sample of Buzz Butter but to the best of my knowledge it is very similar to my Underbutter and the two should be interchangeable. The composition of Underbutter is mostly local organic Walnut Oil and organic Beeswax. UD aroma-cups fit in and work with the PD fine.

    re: PD Repair - For those who have asked I am capable of making repairs to the PD if needed. I won't be making any 'PD clones', it's not what I do and I believe there is already 1 or more people doing that but again, I can help with warranty service / repairs if needed.

    Lastly, a couple of you have asked if I will take 'trade-ins' of a PD for UD store credit as I do with older UDs. The short answer to this question is that I don't know, I need to think about it a bit. For those inquires I suggest you message me and discuss it privately.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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  7. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    'Lost Dogs' is what I call vapes that get away from me in the shop and end up with a blemish or a ding or something that I can't easily get rid of.. so I sell them at a discount rather than toss them in the firewood bin, I figure it's a win-win that way.

    It's hit and miss with the Lost Dogs, sometimes I got for a long time without any and sometimes there's a bunch.. recently it's been a bunch.. including quite a few Twigs.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    Hi Glairige - Always nice to see a new face around these parts, it helps keep the conversation lively, and engineering talk is always fun!

    Funny you mention ceramic heating elements I was just talking to someone else about those the other day. To keep a long story short I've thought about it and even made a prototype piece with one and it worked great. In the end the reason I went the way I did was for simplicity and cost effectiveness. On a small production scale like mine I found that using the ceramic heating element would increase my cost by $80-$120, require higher voltages than 12v and find something to do with the control box for the heating element which isn't particularly small. In the end I decided it's just hard to beat the simple old resistor design.

    As far as the ceramic insulation goes, again yeah I've thought about it and could have used it in a similar fashion to how I think Rick is using it in the Rock Zaps. When I was revising the core last time I decided to go with a different solution though and instead use an air-gap internal to the core as insulation which so far is working very well. That all being said I actually do use a layer of ceramic insulation in my pieces between the core and the power plug to help reduce the heat radiated to the plug from the core.

    Of course if someone is really really interested in a piece with a different type of heater or a non-standard size or type of core I'm always happy to do custom jobs. There was a time not long ago when all my jobs were custom ones and it's something I really enjoy!

    Anyways welcome to the madhouse er, thread.. :cool:

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    Looks like it's already been covered but just to confirm, all pieces with the revised core are now officially ok'd for 24/7 operation. Occasionally with certain pieces I might recommend differently but that will be rare special occasions.

    In relation to other log type vapes I can't make direct comparison since I haven't really used (or even seen any first hand) any of the other guys pieces. I will say though that from what I've heard they all work great and are all a step up from the classic PD type log in terms of core performance and features.

    I saw in another thread recently someone wondering about the UD compared to others and saying that they thought it might run hotter but that's not the case. The UD uses the same heating element, same voltage and generates the same amount of heat as a PD does. It's more potent because of a much more highly refined core design that much more effectively and efficiently transfers heat to where it's needed most. Rick will surely correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the CRZs are in the same boat and are providing increased performance because of a improved core design, not because of increased power.

    The UD core is by design insulated internally to reduce the heat directly transmitted to the wooden body, not eliminate but reduce.. In most woods and at recommended operating voltage there shouldn't be any significant charring. The air path is closed so super-heated air or vapor doesn't come in contact with the wood on the UDs, I believe this is also the case with Zaps.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    Hey Jack, my UD core is dramatically (completely?) different from the old style logs like PD and was designed from the ground up to reduce/eliminate charring in most woods I use, it also keeps the wood out of the air-path so you don't get the taste of scorched wood.

    It is also secured differently than the PD which makes the old rattle phenom a non-issue with UDs. There have been a couple users with certain softer wood UDs that have experienced a core loosening in the body but that has been rare and something that is covered under warranty.

    We'll need to talk in more detail to find the best compromise between higher temp and longer term stability for your needs so you might want to email me directly for that. Typically the smaller pieces and the pieces of less dense wood run a bit hotter but again we can discuss that directly.

    Thanks and welcome to the community!
    D

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    I've done my best to design the core in such a way that it minimizes the effect the wood mass and density play in the operating temperatures of UD pieces. The key word here is minimize as there is still some minor variation in temps based on the wooden body.

    Keeping it quick and simple in the UD world, in realistic scenarios the smaller/less dense bodies like the Twigs run a little bit hotter than larger/most dense pieces. This isn't a huge difference but it is noticeable.

    When choosing an UD I try to help guide you through the process so that you get a piece that best suits your particular needs and this usually involves a bit of compromise and finding the proper balance of form and function that again best suits the individual user.

    In the case of the Twigs for example we're talking about a design that is smaller and a bit hotter but at the expense of less durability because of its thinner wood and less mass to dissipate heat as well. For some people a Twig is the right choice but for some it might not be. Some people might be better suited to a heavier piece that while not so small can take years of abuse and keep on ticking.

    All these things are part of the reason I like to talk to people before they buy so I can help them get what is right for them and make sure they understand all the pros and cons of each design. I'm also just a super awesome guy and like talking to you guys.. :brow:

    Anyways, lecture over.. carry on.. I'll be in the shop. :peace:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    I've had luck unplugging them, standing them upside-down on a stack of paper towels and let it set for a while so any fluid can run out (15 min maybe) then carefully wipe it all down, plug back in and let any lingering oil evaporate off.. don't leave the piece unattended during this stage as the oil could reach combustion. There may be lingering smell for quite some time but in my experiments it has all burned off eventually.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    Hey GO!!bot - all the pictured woods are theoretically hardwoods I do believe but that being said some of them are much softer than others. Yew, Canarywood, Black Limba, Mahogany and Claro Walnut are going to be the softest of the choices in order of softest to hardest. The rest of the wood types are considerably harder. Hope that answers your question?


    Hi Bananiq - not exactly sure I understand your question fully but I'll take a whack at it anyways.

    The UD core (at the time of joining FC) used to be divided into three types: 1/4" 3 watt, 1/4" 5 watt and 3/8" 5 watt. All of these had good performance but none were rated for the 24/7 operation people wanted. I revised the 3/8" core several months back making quite a few improvements in design, performance and efficiency (amongst other things), added 24/7 operation and improved air-flow. My initial intent was to also revise the 1/4" core in a similar fashion but have decided not to do so for the time being and am now using the revised 3/8" core in all pieces being sold.

    I revised the DC power supplies shipped with UDs several months ago after having a series of failures with the type I had been using. The new power supplies are still the same 12v DC but are a different technology, much more dependable and provide better performance.. those these gains are at the expense of the power supply being significantly larger.

    As far as wood designs go the only revision externally noticeable is that of the uber-Twigs which are larger than the old generation of Twigs, have a side mounted power plug instead of bottom mounted and all use the revised 3/8" core.

    Hope what you were looking for is in there somewhere.. :cool:

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    Good observations there Vapemeister. The revised core has 20-30 finned washers around a steel tube depending on final length. I arrived at this design after considering how best to get the airflow to pick up the most heat in the quickest time. The answer for UD was to force it to go through all the fins instead of over the top of them like in the PD design. In that design the air will just want to pass over the round washers and not drop down into the finned areas, not the case on the UD and so we get more performance out of a smaller core.

    The revised core is for all intents and purposes a solid core. It goes together piece by piece and is then all welded into one single assembly, best of both worlds this way.

    Not sure what you mean by the integrated stand part? And the part about the ceramic cover, and RockZap laughing all the way to the bank? I'm kinda lost by both those parts.. ?

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    Yep that sounds just about right.. maximizing the heated area the air travels though.

    Yes, the core heats up quicker with a reduced mass. The heat retention for our purposes is unchanged and doesn't require more electricity. I know in a lab setting we would see a loss of heat retention but in the real-world use of the UD it's not noticeable as they are very much over-engineered to begin with.

    Ok I think I understand what you're asking now, but still not entirely 100% sure. Do you have a picture of what you're talking about specifically? Or can you point me to where you're seeing it so I can verify?

    mod note: Edited to fix quotes.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    Ah, ok thanks for the clarification on both points.. that helps at bit.

    As far as efficiency and over-engineering are concerned I simply mean that the UD has much more heating power than actually needed and similarly the heat generated and retained by the core as so much more than needed that we only end up using a fraction of it. For a good example of how little mass is actually necessary you can look at Alan's new HI design which uses a very small thermal mass, and also at one of the prototypes I posted a couple months back. The size of the current core is more of a result of being optimized for ease of manufacturing rather than for performance gains. So the revised core has achieved a good balance of performance and mass and while improvement is possible I'm sure it's at a point of diminishing returns and so isn't really something I'm focusing on much at this point at UD headquarters.

    The 'base' you're referring to (thanks for the pic links btw) is simply the bottom washer which once fitted to the outer steel sleeve assist in securing the core in place in addition to closing the core so the airflow is limited to the steel core and not the wooden body, etc. The PD design (and some other logs) have an open core that allows wood in the air-path to be exposed to superheated air.. which runs the possibility of introducing debris into the vapor. Sealing means that this isn't an issue with the UD, the air goes where we want it and nowhere else.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    I think you've summed it up pretty well there dude and that's exactly what I try to accomplish with UD pieces. I've sized the core to be a good compromise between warm-up time and heat retention and to do it's job without the (to me) distractions of lights, switches, screens, dials etc. I much prefer the 'plug it in', 'wait a bit' and 'have fun' method of use... :brow: and similarly thinking, rather than using separate insulation I chose to design my core with an internal air-gap to lower the outside temps which it does admirably.. in this regard it is very much like a insulated flask design.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    I have a shelf of lab temp measuring equipment and used it extensively during the design phase of the various UD revisions. I used to include temp info with the UDs and actually included a detailed heat curve/graph with custom pieces.. no longer anymore though.

    For a large variety of reasons (some mentioned here) I decided it wasn't practical to list actual temps anymore for any of the UDs. Differences in line voltage level, power supply efficiency, ambient room temperature and surface the pieces are put on can affect the temp delivered to the material. There are many other things like wood density, shape & size of the piece, weld placement inside each core that can and will affect temps too. There are also variables that are specific to each individual piece and/or user of those pieces which will determine temps. You and I could sit down at the same vape each with our own stem and get a temp delivered to our meds +/- up to 30-40 degrees based solely on how fast and long we inhaled.

    Lastly it should be kept in mind that the heat generated inside the core isn't by any means the same as the temp that is delivered to the medication being used. For example the core might need to be running at 400deg internally to deliver an air temp of 375deg to the meds, slide the screen up or down a bit in the stem and that number changes. Draw faster or deeper and that number changes. I think you get the idea.

    So in the real world it's best to not specify a temp number or range that outside the lab will be very to verify or depend on. The proof is as they say 'in the pudding' ie, whether or not the UD works.. and I think the majority of the feedback here and other places say 'it does'.

    The UD is a variable temperature vape that is easy to adjust with stem screen placement, water usage and draw technique. It is also possible to use with variable power supplies for a greater range of temperatures. It is also compatible with DC dimmer switches to vary the temp downward.

    Many new accessories and add-ons will be added to the website after I get back from my trip.. including some of the power accessories. Working hard here to ensure UD is still here and providing you all new pack members 20 years from now! :peace:

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    I do have uber-Twigs but not until after my return on the 15th.


    Yep, the resistors are all the standard 20 Ohm (5%) ones and the draw falls in the range of .55 to .65 under any normal conditions. As far as power supplies go I like to size them so they only have to run between 50-75% capacity so usually aim for ones in the 1A to 1.5A power range (12v DC ideally) so they run cool and live a long life.

    @ Gonzo - scored some Sumac today but won't be able to get pictures of it until I get back to the shop. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    I've done it. ;)

    With an UD load the standard power supplies I include in the north American market run between 12.6 and 13.25v typically. This can vary quite a bit (as has been discussed) based on your local line voltage.

    I've had no way of testing the EuroPlugs that I have included with your other-side-of-the-pond guy's purchases so not sure what they put out under UD load.

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    Sorry OTA I didn't see that part of the question earlier.

    I'd say to an extent yes with enough experience you start to get an idea of what a piece of rough wood might hold before it's been turned but that being said it's never quite spot on.. I still regularly come across a piece of wood I think will be awesome and it's just 'blah' once I've turned it and of course also come across ones that are the opposite and go from 'blah' to 'wow'. All part of the fun of buying wood, good stuff is expensive but even then there are no guarantees.

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

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    I use an alcohol soak (overnight) for the glass and a brief alcohol wash for the silicone tip (10-15 minutes) and it works out pretty well. The glass comes clean and the silicone slightly improved.

    I replace the silicone tip every other week or when it's grimy enough that it bugs me. As far as screens go I find that I don't have to replace them very often, usually a couple hot/dry hits once the herb is cashed and the screens blow/tap out pretty nice and clean. I replace the screen every few weeks or when I think about it but I don't think I really need to at all.

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. SD_haze

    SD_haze MMJ Vaporist

    Messages:
    3,318
    Location:
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    I absolutely love bho oil/wax/budder in the UD. I put a little dab right in the middle, and in the first inhale I melt it down onto a bed of flowers.

    Now you have oil-coated shredded bud, which even with the stock power supply and running a little cool, still gives me satisfying hits.

    I can dab [x] amount of bho in one lungful and cough my head off, or i can take that same amount an add an extra 7+ hits to a stem. My lungs finds this much more manageable.

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. JoeFinny

    JoeFinny Joe

    Messages:
    45
    The easiest way is the taste, generally speaking when it doesn't taste fresh like a plant matter taste it's done. Some people do push it a bit further which is fine and i have kicked it early sometimes using that judgement but that is the easiest way.

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    SSVUN~YAH likes this.
  25. underdog

    underdog shade-tree vapor engineer Manufacturer

    Messages:
    2,427
    Location:
    NorCal
    Your UD should run just fine off a small generator, I'm assuming you're planning on using the generator to make AC voltage and then power the UD with it's stock power supply from that? If that's the case it should work just like at home. If you're planning on running it from a 12v output from a generator then it will run cool and you'd probably be better off running it from the car. The car will run the UD warmer than what it runs at at home if the car is running and a bit cooler if the car is off (depends on the state of your battery, etc). The insulated core Twig with the car running should heat up in less than 10 minutes in most cases, probably 20-30 minutes with the car off.

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    SSVUN~YAH likes this.
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