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The auto-magic super rZToaster, or something like that..

Discussion in 'DIY' started by rz, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. rz

    rz Well-Known Member

    hi @polykoma :) Thanks to you and many others for sharing your enthusiasm for this project and sorry all for an overdue update.

    I'm still working on this VC IH. I've made great progress on the modularization redesign. My main three objectives above have been accomplished :) I built up a board from the first modularized design and got everything working after a little modifications and have a few minor things fixed for next PCB cycle already. I have to figure out how to ramp up production of these as the hardware is getting to a satisfactory point. I still haven't done any enclosure work. I'd love to work with select few makers in the community and eventually provide them with a few boards to dress up.

    I don't think I'd offer completely blank boards as a kit unless you're very confident with SMD components like QFP-48 and can deal without any documentation (yet). I'd prefer to offer assembled devices without enclosures as I can at least make sure they work out the door. There are a lot of parts that need to work right for it all to come together properly. I've been eyeing those addressable RGB LEDs just like in that awesome looking Dr Dabber vape @Hogni I don't think end users really need the OLED so there are things I need to simplify before larger production runs.

    I'm mostly doing this as a hobby but it's costing a hell of a lot to develop so I have to recover somehow and I really love this tech so I have been involved with other projects which will bring IH to the ppl quicker but for feedback controlled vapcap IH you're all going to have to hold on a little longer :) Stay tuned! :D
  2. Copacetic

    Copacetic Somewhere North of The Wall

    It's good to hear about your progress rz.
    i'm still definitely up for doing some enclosures, champing at the bit in fact!
    I've been getting my 'eye in' by making some caddies for Grasshoppers, and some custom sized/featured stashes for vapcaps.
    I've been investing in some essential tooling too.
    I'll post some pictures in the Dynavap thread once I complete a stash I'm going to make for Drexciya.

    I can only speak for myself, but the configuration of your device that I'm most interested in buying would involve an absolute minimum demand from me for electronic work/knowledge, due to the fact that all the skills I possess lie in craft/art.
    I can solder, and have a decent iron, but little to no knowledge of what should be soldered to what!
    I'd bet most of your other prospective customers would also prefer to just slot a working IH into an enclosure of their choice/manufacture too (unless you decide to offer a complete unit, in which case I change my bet to that being the popular option!).

    I for one have never even touched an SMD!

    I can definitely make a tasty enclosure though.

    Thanks for the advice you've been giving me via PM by the way, I'll respond to that ASAP.
    Induction heating seems to offer a great many possibilities, and your project in particular seems well suited to both a VC heater, but also an independant induction powered vape!

    Keep on it rz! :cheers:
  3. polykoma

    polykoma New Member

    Thank you all for the warm welcomes :science:

    Yeah I could imagine its hard to solder SMD for many ppl. I'm a "german engineer" so I already dealt with SMD almost a decade ago ;)

    Great to have some update ! Sounds neat!
    Personally I love the OLed (or the idea of actually seeing a specific temperature -in numbers- with the ability to change)

    Also sweet news from the enclosure front!

    For now I will wait for the parts to make me a PortsideMini. Oh yeah :D
    Keep up the good work. :leaf:
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  4. rz

    rz Well-Known Member

    @polykoma there are a lot of factors that affect the reading from an IR sensor largely the emissivity of the measured object (think shiny new cap vs charred black one) along with other quirks of the sensor itself such as being introduced to a temperature gradient. This sensor (MLX90614) does a lot to compensate but it is not optimized for each and every cap so the temperature reading is not exact (though it is somewhat precise). For this reason I don't treat the number as a temperature reading, but a value that is largely influenced by the temperature of the end of the cap (not necessarily tip chamber temperature) and to avoid any meaningless debates, I may as well just put a gauge or some 1 to 20 value. Anyway, I'm keeping the OLED for now though it probably won't be in any version I try get assembled for me. The reading has a wide enough range to be useful in a feedback loop, so the result is still the same :)

    Portside mini parts are great. I only recently put together a purely manual driven IH with a @Pipes style switch and I must say it's a fantastic experience. Very convenient. I personally love the versatility of a manual vape and often keep my VC afloat with 3~5 second boosts between hits depending on how hot the hit was. As long as I'm somewhat consciously tracking the thermal state of the VC I get the boosts right and can drive it really well but I do get out of sync every now and then either charring or having to boost again and again to get back to temp or wait for the click down cycle etc and it gets fumbled specially if I'm distracted which tends to happen :p This is what the temperature feedback solves. I usually start off on the cooler side, and bump up my hit by about 10 degrees till I find a spot like. it does a pretty good job at hitting the same spot for consecutive hits and bumping up a few behaves accordingly. Currently taking a cold cap straight up to top temps is risky as the VC is too far from thermal equilibrium (fins still haven't absorbed enough heat yet) that there's a tendency to overshoot. Probably a software tweak to slow down initial heat up from cold caps would solve this and I look forward to getting back into software optimizations after the HW design settles. SW will probably be the focus of initial alpha builds while I work on getting the board a little more assembly-friendly as I sure don't plan to hand assemble about 150 components (~85 unique) on more than a prototype here and there.

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