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Cloud repairs

Discussion in 'DIY' started by lazylathe, May 2, 2014.

  1. CentiZen

    CentiZen Evil Genius in Training Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    1,829
    Location:
    America's Hat
    Wonderful post Lazylathe, I'm impressed by your resourcefulness! Did you have to do any fanangling to get the power controller to work with the new heater? I'd always held of on trying this because I'd assumed the PID was tuned for the specific ohmage of the Clouds custom heater.
     
  2. Frederick McGuire

    Frederick McGuire Aggressively Loungey

    Messages:
    3,614
    Location:
    The Land of Oz
    Ok, so I finally got around to opening up my dead fakexhale...

    I can't get the bottom section apart - the power cord seems to be connected to one side of the housing, and to the circuit board on the other side of the housing.

    I'm hoping there's something simple in here that I can repair myself (I know its not all that likely, but its worth a shot), so I don't exactly want to risk ruining it further by ripping it apart.

    Got any helpful hints for disassembly?
    (And if someone wants to be a guardian angel, anyone got any tips on diagnosing exactly where my problem is? It's not a cracked bamboo - although I will note that the bamboo in there is quite dirty...)
     
    biohacker likes this.
  3. olivianewtonjohn

    olivianewtonjohn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,616
    Im vaped but here it goes

    Few tips:
    -two wires connected to thermocouple under white ceramic heater and other end connected to circuit board.

    -two wires connected to heater and circuit board

    You want to make sure the thermocouple wires are still soldered to the board, if they come lose it will flash red. Solder doesnt like to stick to thermocouple wires

    You have to desolder either the wire or switch, I cant remember which. You have to take the knob off and I think unthread the nut.....I have taken it apart many times but cant remember this step

    On reassembly use a rubber band to keep the two metal halves together so you can start threading the allen screws in, once threaded take out the rubber band (metal picks come in handy here). If the two metal halves come apart and things inside get shifted or insulation comes out you have to start all over thats why the rubber band comes in handy here. I have heard you could also use a thin metal wire and get it out after assembly
     
    biohacker and Frederick McGuire like this.
  4. lazylathe

    lazylathe Almost there...

    Messages:
    2,839
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    @theCerberus

    Sorry to have been missing for so long...
    Herbie and now the MiniVap are taking up all my time.

    So i have been testing the Cloud that i repaired with a coil style heater.
    Does it work, why yes it does.
    Is it the same as the Cloud, no it is slightly different.
    Does it still taste the same and produce the same clouds, yes it most certainly does. Hits are hotter though.
    Does only the top section still get warm, no after more demanding testing the whole body becomes a hand roaster...
    The sensitivity of the dial is almost non existent! I keep it around noon and get nice dark straw coloured ABV after a hit or two.

    So the Cloud can be repaired and it is almost as good as the original but just not quite.
    The heater i bought cost $70 and i need to test out a few more, testing is expensive!
    I also want to rethink the size and wattage as i think it is too high and too large at present.
    Kind of thinking along the lines of those new E-Nail coils that are very tight together and much thinner.
    Trying to localize the heat and not heat the entire room!

    To sum up:
    If you are a one, two or three hitter and then turn off the unit you will never notice a difference.
    If you are a power user and leave your vape on all day, then this mod is not for you.

    And one last piece of bad news...
    Since switching jobs i do not have access to the high powered electro-soldering machine i used to fix the Cloud belonging to @olivianewtonjohn and the one @biohacker has.
    I have priced them out but at around $700 for a decent one i would need an awful lot of Clouds to fix and have to charge...

    I am more than willing to help anyone out though, just know what lies ahead!
    I can also lead you to places to buy and select your own heater.
    There was a guy selling the heaters and bamboo on ebay a while ago, that would be the best option!
    Then it is just soldering two wires and you are back in business!
     
  5. biohacker

    biohacker Fucking Combustion Since 2006

    Messages:
    5,739
    I'm pleased to say that the FakexHale that @lazylathe revived is STILL working incredibly! I was quite the power user of it in the past, and it's been put through its paces and more. Thanks again @lazylathe for paying it forward dude! This beast will make not having my Herbie tolerable! I feel bad for still having your EVO, especially since it's not used, and i'm sure you miss your Swagger....we need to get together really soon, otherwise I will mail them back you you! My t-break should be over in a matter of a week! It sucks! lol
     
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  6. lazylathe

    lazylathe Almost there...

    Messages:
    2,839
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    As soon as your T-Break is over bro!
    I did not want to mess up your break!
     
    biohacker likes this.
  7. theCerberus

    theCerberus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    439
    @lazylathe thanks for the reply. I guess I would buy a new heater if that is the only way to fix it. My bamboo is fine though.
    I am however a "power user" and I want to leave it on for many hours a day, so I would need the appropriate heater.
     
  8. olivianewtonjohn

    olivianewtonjohn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,616
    Whats wrong with it? Red light? Might be worth cracking open if you are handy. I know one person had a faulty circuit board, I also know that lose sensor wires on the circuit board can cause flashing red light.....I believe I read that flashing red light can also be due to lose heater wire. So a few possible problems, from the speculation lose heater wire is the most likely cause but who knows if you have a lose sensor wire thats an easy fix
     
  9. theCerberus

    theCerberus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    439
    I think its a loose wire, it stopped heating up after 30 days. I turn it on and it goes red, I wait for heat up but it just flashes its lights after a while.
    I can try taking it apart if theres some sort of guide to follow.
     
  10. olivianewtonjohn

    olivianewtonjohn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,616
    Ok, I am pretty busy right now (all nighter :rolleyes:) but can make a decent guide tomorrow. It wont have pictures though (prefer not to take mine apart again), its easier than it looks IMO as long as you take your time.
     
    theCerberus likes this.
  11. thesoloman

    thesoloman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Temecula
    If you send me a copy of your disassembly /reassembly guide when, i would be more than happy to look it over and make sure its as clear as possible for someone who hasn't taken a cloud apart, as i have preformed surgery on my cloud many times.

    Additionally, if i track down some furnace cement, i will take pics next time i take my cloud apart, my thermocouple is loose and could use some cement to hold it in place.
     
    grokit and olivianewtonjohn like this.
  12. olivianewtonjohn

    olivianewtonjohn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,616
    Excellent! Exactly what I was hoping for. I might be fuzzy on a step. Ill type it up later today, would hopefully be a good rough draft for you to improve upon
     
  13. charliedontsurf

    charliedontsurf Medical

    Messages:
    2,220
    Location:
    West Coast
    Really sad today, I knocked my FakeExhale (cloud+) off of a 2 foot end table onto a carpeted floor while it was off, and despite doing no obvious damage, the unit now refuses to heat up. I just get a red light that never goes green. The unit doesn't rattle, the bamboo is not broken or compromised, and I'm wondering if the fall broke some delicate soldering inside..

    It's really a bummer. The Cloud has been an utterly amazing, trouble free vaporizer since the day I bought it, and only my personal stupidity has put it out of commission.
     
    SSVUN~YAH and t-dub like this.
  14. jojo monkey

    jojo monkey Well-Known Member Manufacturer

    Messages:
    463
    charliedontsurf These things aren't that complex. If its broken, what harm is there in attempting to fix it?
     
  15. charliedontsurf

    charliedontsurf Medical

    Messages:
    2,220
    Location:
    West Coast
    Cheers mate, just feeling like a moron at the moment, and pondering how I've never held a soldering iron in my life except to defret a guitar. I'll do some research and work up the courage to open it up pretty soon. :)
     
    SSVUN~YAH likes this.
  16. t-dub

    t-dub Vapor Sloth

    Messages:
    7,429
    Location:
    Oregon
    My condolences sir . . . :peace:

    Click to play YouTube Video
     
  17. Frederick McGuire

    Frederick McGuire Aggressively Loungey

    Messages:
    3,614
    Location:
    The Land of Oz
    My fakexhale has the same issue...

    If you ever figure out whats wrong with it I'd love to know so I could attempt a repair on mine...
     
    charliedontsurf likes this.
  18. mistergyro

    mistergyro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    124
    hi all. i really would like to get mine fixed...can anyone help?
     
    theCerberus likes this.
  19. theCerberus

    theCerberus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    439
    +1
    If anyone is fixing them? i'd like to know...
    @lazylathe could you direct us to the heater you were talking about? are you still willing to do repairs? It was like a year ago....
     
  20. lazylathe

    lazylathe Almost there...

    Messages:
    2,839
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The repair is simple providing you have the correct equipment...
    I do not have access to the welder i used to fix some other members Clouds since i moved jobs.

    What you need is something like this:
    http://www.yates-motloid.com/collections/dental-soldering-machine/products/soldering-machine

    Heavy duty and super powerful!
    A regular soldering iron will not work, trust me i tried.
    Maybe one that you heat with a large propane torch would work. The old style soldering iron that requires a separate heat source.
    http://www.terapeak.com/worth/solde...ndle-blacksmith-antique-vintage/252152571671/

    The problem arises in that you need to SUPER heat a tiny area in order for the solder joint to work.
    You are dealing with a ceramic insulator that just sucks up the heat of the iron, so it better be super hot and focused!
    The machine i posted is what i used and it worked well.
     
  21. theCerberus

    theCerberus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    439
    @lazylathe thanks for the reply. I was hoping for the cheaper method of repair you referred to by replacing the heater and bamboo altogether. is that still feasible? would you be willing to do that kind of repair?
    simple is relative to your skill level. i've never soldered anything in my life. so even if i had that soldering machine, i probably still wouldnt be able to repair it, im not all that handy.

    hence why i'm looking for a repair service.... because vapexhale still wont fix it and its barely even broken (just a bad connection for presumably 1 wire)
    Also that soldering machine should be a good investment for the manufacturer, but its completely useless to me once done the repair. it is not a good investment for an end user. might as well buy an evo for significantly less (which also includes a warranty, and is compatible with the nail).
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
    SSVUN~YAH and lazylathe like this.
  22. lazylathe

    lazylathe Almost there...

    Messages:
    2,839
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    @theCerberus

    The Cloud I fixed with an aftermarket heater does still work, to a degree.
    Temp is adjustable but only slightly.
    The whole body of the Cloud gets scorchingly hot after 30 minutes.
    It does still work and extracts very well and still produces clouds. You just have to change your technique to a conventional desktop and not invert it unless you are wearing gloves. Lol!!

    Hit me up in a PM and we will see what we can do!!
     
  23. lazylathe

    lazylathe Almost there...

    Messages:
    2,839
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    UPDATE TIME!!!!

    So after searching for literally years to find a replacement heater, i think i may have found an almost original heater replacement!
    No links or anything yet though.... I am in communication with a Chinese company that makes this type of round, ceramic heaters. Some of them are 3D printed and are good for VERY high temps!

    So far, they have verified that they have what i need in stock and are ready to ship. I am asking for detailed pictures and specs before ordering although it looks very promising! I have sent them pictures of the original heater to help identify what we need.

    I still have an older Cloud+ that i modded a long time ago with an e-nail type heater. It still works but it heats the whole unit up to almost blistering temps, so it was never a viable alternative.

    I will be ordering 5 heaters to test for the first batch!
    One for me and if it works i will have 4 left to fix anyone else who has a broken unit!

    Cost of the heater is a few bucks, so if it works a few bucks plus shipping and your old Cloud could be up and running again!

    @stickstones Your old Cloud+ is still the test bed!

    @theCerberus I have not forgotten you!
     
  24. biohacker

    biohacker Fucking Combustion Since 2006

    Messages:
    5,739
    That sounds like the EVO! :lol:

    I wish I never threw out my old OG Cloud+ that went belly up! After VXL said they weren't able to repair, I thought it was a paperweight!

    You are a tremendous asset to this community @lazylathe !
     
  25. lazylathe

    lazylathe Almost there...

    Messages:
    2,839
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    @biohacker
    Thanks bro! I enjoy doing it and if i can help out someone, all the better!
    And i do miss my Cloud+...

    So for anyone interested, it is almost Chinese New year so reply times may increase until the middle of February... Lucky guys get to party for 2 weeks! So don't order anything at the end of January and expect it soon...

    So this is the website i found:
    https://zh4u.en.alibaba.com/

    It's a mini site from Alibaba and they can make custom heaters very cheaply!
    Cost per heater is anywhere from $1 to $5!

    While browsing i found these:
    https://zh4u.en.alibaba.com/product...uminum_24V_220V_Rod_Water_Heater_Element.html

    Still waiting for a reply but they look exactly the same!

    FYI for anyone else wanting to tackle this by themselves!
     

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