Davinci Ascent Repair

Discussion in 'DIY' started by stonedogg, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. stonedogg

    stonedogg New Member

    Messages:
    3
    For anyone out there who has a Davinci Ascent let me both congratulate you and give you my condolences. It's a fantastic device... as long as it holds up. For the past 4 months my unit has basically not worked when unplugged. It can operate for about 90 seconds (get up to full temperature, maintain for a few, then begins powering down). I've sent the unit back for repair a few times and finally got tired of paying for shipping back to them for what seemed to be (in my opinion) a defective unit.

    Knowing what I do about electronics, I determined that it couldn't be that hard to fix. I regularly fix everything from iPods and cell phones to doing circuit board design. Opening it up the first time proved correct. Inside the unit displays very poor craftsmanship. There is a lot of flux all over the board and a lot of "wet" joints on some of the parts. As would be guessed from the two 3.7 volt batteries it appears from some of the markings on the board that the unit uses 3.3v logic for the microcontroller / VCC.

    I'm going to talk about two common repairs: replacing the batteries and fixing the switch.

    First, opening up the unit may be trivial. The reason I say may is whether or not you've sent the unit back to Davinci in the past. Normally most of the unit is held together with a film adhesive (something like double sided tape). After sending back for repair Davinci may forego this (as they did with my unit after the last repair) with an epoxy. In the case of the film you simply run a razor blade / exacto knife / shim / or small screwdriver in between the parts and slowly separate them.

    [​IMG]

    Clockwise from the top left we have the back of the unit, the front of the unit, and the right and left sides respectively. Those combined with the internals and base comprise the five major components of the Ascent. Continuing the top right is the top of the unit with the back and front rubberized pieces, as well as the temperature up, temperature down, function and plastic OLED protection screen.

    Inside, the unit uses a standard 18650 battery. These can be purchased from some radio shack / electonics stores (not best buy, but more places that sell parts) and from Amazon. The batteries used in this unit are "flat tops". These types of batteries do not have the normal "nub" which would signify the "positive" side of a battery. Instead they are simply labeled and designed to be directly soldered to. The batteries are marked ICR-JD-GPC-18650 3.7V 2200mAh 201310. In upgrading this unit anything with a rating of ~ 2200mAh (milliamp hours) will get you roughly the same performance. Upgrading to batteries with a higher mAh rating may hold a longer charge, but I didn't assume they put a lot of thought into the charge circuit. Safe to say that you should roughly seek this same type of rating out.

    The OLED screen is marked with:

    S13B288B2501011
    WS13B043101

    I was unable to find these identifiers in any major parts listings.

    The switch is a simple momentary SPST (single pole, single throw) switch. When the switch is depressed for a few seconds, the unit powers on. After the boot up sequence, the process can be repeated to power the unit off.

    Here you can see a broken switch:

    [​IMG]


    Here is a finished repair:
    [​IMG]

    At the top of the unit you can see that there are two solder points where the switch is connected. The wire used is stranded wire of very low quality. As this is not passing a large current high gauge wire isn't needed, but feel free to replace with sturdier wire in the event of doing any work on the switch.

    I also took a photo of the back of the internals of the unit as well:

    [​IMG]

    This photo does a wonderful job illustrating my earlier point about poor build quality. The wire used is low quality stranded and I noticed that most of the strands at B1 above were actually already broken. I'm not sure if this is due to a previous repair from Davinci or the manufacturer.
     
  2. CarolKing

    CarolKing Singer of songs and a vapor connoisseur

    Thanks for showing us what's under the hood of the Ascent. Your warranty won't be any good because you tore your unit apart. You didn't want to get another unit to replace yours if it wasn't working?

    I've had my unit, it will be 2 years come October and it's still working. I have other vaporizers I use besides the Ascent so it's not my daily driver. It's still in the lineup.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
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  3. stonedogg

    stonedogg New Member

    Messages:
    3
    They only warranty the battery for 90 days. It was up to me to replace them or have it out of service and pay to have something done I could do myself.
     
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  4. CarolKing

    CarolKing Singer of songs and a vapor connoisseur

    There's a limited 2 year warranty on the unit itself and 90 days on the battery. I'm glad you can do those types of repairs because I'm not very good with electronics DIY. I learn so much from others like yourself.
     
    HD Springer likes this.
  5. gangababa

    gangababa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    413
    Location:
    center of the jagat
    When removing automotive trim held by adhesive tape strip, a heat-gun is often (gently) used because it softens the adhesive. One might try using a home hair dryer when opening an Ascent.

    I suspect the sides are removed prior to the front and back?
     
    CarolKing likes this.
  6. stonedogg

    stonedogg New Member

    Messages:
    3
    @CarolKing - that's exactly why I did this. Not too many people are excited by doing a teardown on a well loved toy.

    @gangababa - you're correct. My basic process was:

    First remove the rubber on the very top (just use the pick that comes with the device to pry it off). Be careful, the switch is recessed in the plastic so you don't want to pull it very far. In this photo i pushed it back into place, hence why you can see the wires which would normally be recessed:
    [​IMG]


    Next the front and back:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next remove the two side pieces:

    [​IMG]

    Finally, remove the screw beneath the rubberized plastic on the back of the unit:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. swineflulu

    swineflulu New Member

    Messages:
    1
    So I believe my da vinci battery or both are dead, one day I went to turn it on and nothing lights up. I tore it all apart and now have bought two 18650 3000 mAh batteries, can I solder them to each top of the battery, put the unit back together and it should be working again if the problem was dead batteries?
    18650 Batteries
     
  8. Vapx_Brazil

    Vapx_Brazil Maconheiro

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Brazil
    Hello, i have this unit too and the battery level never reach 100%.. is stay on 90% and work for just an hour.

    like this photo:

    [​IMG]


    Questions:

    - This is possible due bad batterys?
    - can i change the default 18650 2200mah for 3000mah or even a 8000mah?
    - the 18650 bat need be flat top? or i can change with any type of top?

    Thank you.


    Thanks
     
    CarolKing likes this.
  9. KeroZen

    KeroZen Chronic vapaholic

    Messages:
    1,733
    Location:
    On Air
    I don't think any real 8000mAh cell exists in fact, don't trust what the Chinese put on those labels. We don't know either what the exact amp draw of this device is, but to be safe I would us something that can output at least 10A continuous.
     
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  10. Vapx_Brazil

    Vapx_Brazil Maconheiro

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thanks KeroZen, i will buy one of 3000mah Panasonic with flat top but there is any difference to use the other model with no flat top?

    Sorry for my english.

    thank you
     
  11. Zhash

    Zhash Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    34
    hi, i try to open my ascent who don't run the heat.
    but every cable seems to be ok.
    How can i know where is the problem ? and why the the heat does not rise ?
    thanks for your help
     
  12. elener_702

    elener_702 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    A vid world be much appreciated... How'd you pry the two side that contain the batteries underneath
     

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