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The miniVVPS - FC's Own Voltage Regulator

Discussion in 'Vapor Related Equipment' started by CentiZen, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. CentiZen

    CentiZen Evil Genius in Training Accessory Maker

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    After several months of development, I am proud to announce the first production version of the miniVVPS. This device has been honed into a sleek, reliable product by the beta team and general FC community, and I am very grateful for all of the support I have received during the longer than expected wait time. They are now available at VapePower.ca

    [​IMG]

    This latest version is a major departure from the technology used in the previous version. The miniVVPS is no longer just a step down converter, which would take in a higher voltage and put out a low one (i.e. 16v to 12.3v). The new miniVVPS is capable of switching power in either direction, meaning we can use lower voltage adapters (like the very common 12v adapter) and still be able to put out higher voltage output. Both the input and output jacks are protected by self-resetting fuses to protect you from shorts or surges.

    This newfound flexibility is a huge difference. The miniVVPS no longer restricts you to the adapter it came with; allowing you to use the cords you already own with your log vapes. The input voltage can range from 5 – 15v DC, meaning you could use your laptop charger, plug it into your car or even powerful USB ports! As well, you can pick up replacement power adapters at Wal-Mart or any other big box store.

    I’d received a few requests to build in a system for displaying the input voltage, but I have not made this a standard option as I feel that is irresponsible. This could give the user the idea that monitoring the input voltage is an acceptable or safe way to monitor a battery discharge, when in reality that task should be performed by a dedicated protection circuit which can monitor each cell individually to stop the battery well before an issue happens. Seeing the voltage of the battery as a whole tells you little about the actual condition of the battery, and is not a good indication of current capacity. I think this is a feature that adds extra cost for questionable benefit. That being said, if it’s a feature your dead set on having, I can accommodate that for you at a small increase in cost and the mutual understanding you will never use a rechargeable battery without a protection circuit with it.

    If you are unsure whether or not a particular battery has a protection circuit on it, contact me and we will find out.

    But speaking of batteries, I wanted to share with you what I think is one of the coolest new feature of the miniVVPS; it’s new efficiency opens up a whole new range of battery options. Drill batteries, car batteries, even AA Alkaline batteries are now options for powering your vaporizer. Don’t believe me? I wouldn’t blame you; we’ve had the discussion many times here at FC and always end up concluding that AA’s are just too weak to vaporize well. But we never took into consideration the crazy efficiency of the miniVVPS! Here’s a video of me effortlessly white walling a big tube off of 8 ‘AA’ batteries.



    These 8 “AA” cell batteries provided more than enough power to run my log for an hour and a half at full temp. The miniVVPS had no problem converting the battery power into a clean 12.3v (my preferred spot) of power. The HI heated up as fast as usual, to the exact same temperature. The batteries hardly even get warm, peaking at around 45C right before they died. I’m just putting the finishing touches on a battery holster which will be available soon. I am still working on my Lithium Rechargeable, but for now, I think this is a perfect solution for anyone who wants to have a quick vape in the wilderness or elsewhere on the go. AA batteries are cheap and readily available around the world.

    The standard miniVVPS package will include:
    • 1 controller box
    • 1 vaporizer cord
    • 1 tester
    This will come to 45 dollars in total. This does not include a power adapter, as most log vape owners are going already own one that will work perfectly.

    Optional Accessories include:
    • Extra power adapters for 12 dollars
    • Extra vaporizer cords will be 10 dollars.
    • The AA battery holder for 15 dollars
    • Alligator clip input/output cord for 8 dollars.
    You can place your order at VapePower.ca
    The next batch of miniVVPS will soon be available for preorder on my site, with an expected 1 – 2 week lead time. Shipping will vary depending on where you are, but the miniVVPS is so small it fits into a flat rate box even with the dial poking up; so it won’t be terribly expensive.

    I am open to the idea of making unique units, based on individual requests so long as they are safe and feasible. Some examples of custom options would be different colored displays, different knob locations/styles, or enclosure options. I will be offering painted miniVVPS in the future, with both predesigned units and custom painting as an option. These will be more expensive based on the complexity of the artwork. Custom units will range anywhere from 50 to 100$ for the most complex additions.

    All units will carry a six month warranty, and have lifetime technical support via email/FC. Even once your warranty expires, I’ll still repair your unit any provide you with upgrade options if new features are implemented in the future.

    If I’ve missed anything, feel free to ask any questions you may have below. Thanks for everything FC!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2014
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  2. King

    King You show respect, and I respect you. Accessory Maker

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    What is the tester thats included in the standard miniVVPS package?
     
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  3. stickstones

    stickstones Wasted Staff Member

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    Fabulous! I want it all...a portable log, yes!
     
  4. jambandphan03

    jambandphan03 Vapor Goddess

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    :) so let me get this straight, if I ordered a basic box for $45, it runs on AA batteries? as well as works with a power cord? (sold separately as listed above) would I need anything else besides a power cord? Also curious, are we talking strictly alkaline AA or can the rechargeables work too?
     
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  5. stickstones

    stickstones Wasted Staff Member

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    this is great...a vvps with accessories! I can see me now running around town with a log vape on my hip.
     
  6. lazylathe

    lazylathe On the verge of...

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    What a break through!!!
    Can't wait for mine!!!
     
  7. CentiZen

    CentiZen Evil Genius in Training Accessory Maker

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    It's a small light up indicator that you can plug your power adapter or vaporizer cord into to test whether or not the cord has power. I think few people will ever need to use them, but it will come in useful if the power adapter, vaporizer or miniVVPS stops working as it will make it easy to figure out which one is not working.

    Indeed, $45 is for the standard package so that gets you everything you need but a power adapter. I am pretty sure that you would be able to use the log vape adapters you currently own to power the miniVVPS, and it will work off AA batteries and the upcoming rechargeable battery. You wouldn't need to pick up anything extra except the AA battery holder.

    As for rechargeable, high quality rechargeable cells can be used. I'd recommend going with PowerEx AA's if your going to do that. The lithium battery, which uses the same technology in my Solo batteries is going to offer some pretty incredible runtime as well. I'm making great progress on that.
     
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  8. jambandphan03

    jambandphan03 Vapor Goddess

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    Thanks for the reply CentiZen. I will likely hold off a bit until you have more of this worked out, as I would like to pair up my order with some other battery stuff you are working on. This is very exciting, I have been eyeballing the sealed 7amp hour rechargeable 12v batteries on amazon as a possible alternative to being portable with the HI, but this sounds like a much better set up. Currently I power the HI with the small box/dial vvps that came with the HI when I bought it, and I have one of the monster sized VVPS that eats up space on my desk, so I stopped using it. This sounds like a promising addition, I look forward to seeing how things advance.
     
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  9. CentiZen

    CentiZen Evil Genius in Training Accessory Maker

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    Well you don't have long to wait! I've got a test unit right now which is based off of my Solo battery design that has been running nonstop for two and a half hours now. I'm blown away by the efficiency of the converter; at this point we are far past the runtime an Arizer Solo would get off of the same batteries. This particular test is on a 2 cell battery, I'm expecting big things from the larger ones I'm working on.
     
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  10. Puffers

    Puffers Micro-Climate Mastermind

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    @CentiZen This is so bad ass you mad scientist you. So could I make like a 26650 battery pack for camping trips if you can get an hr and half off of 8 aa's that would be beastly...

    Just curious is this using pulse width modulation?
     
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  11. CentiZen

    CentiZen Evil Genius in Training Accessory Maker

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    A pack of two 26650's in series would easily power it for 8 hours straight. Man, that would be one hell of a camping trip.

    As for pulse width modulation, the answer is sort of. The converter board is based around a Single Ended Primary Inductor Converter (SEPIC for short) circuit. In this implementation, an 8 bit processor modulates a transistor, which controls the amount of power exchanged between the large capacitor and inductor. The output voltage is controlled by the duty cycle of that transistor, through PWM. You can read more about them here.

    This produces a pulsed output current, which is fine for vaporizers but less than ideal for most other kinds of electronics. Fortunately, the board also includes a scrubber circuit which smooths the output and minimizes the effect.
     
  12. King

    King You show respect, and I respect you. Accessory Maker

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    Nifty! Anything to make troubleshooting easier, eh?

    I'm assuming I could use D batteries in place of AA batteries? How long do you think eight D batteries would last?
     
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  13. CentiZen

    CentiZen Evil Genius in Training Accessory Maker

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    Other battery sizes like C or D cells could be used, but only the higher quality ones from respected brands. I've seen a lot of off brand D cells that are really just an aluminum can with one or two AA batteries in it, and filled with sand or flour for weight. But if you get one from a brand like Energizer, Panasonic or Duracell to name a few; you would get around 6 - 7 hours off of D cells and around 4 off of C cells. That's assuming your using 8 in a row to make 12v.

    I'd be happy to make a battery holder for anyone looking to use these larger Alkaline batteries instead of the AA's, just send me a PM or use the contact form on my website.
     
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  14. King

    King You show respect, and I respect you. Accessory Maker

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    How do I buy one? I can't find a link to your site.

    Edit: Just sent you a PM
     
  15. CentiZen

    CentiZen Evil Genius in Training Accessory Maker

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    Thanks for bringing that to my attention, I'll be adding information to the first post including a link to my website. Not sure how I missed that.
     
  16. King

    King You show respect, and I respect you. Accessory Maker

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    [​IMG]
    This thing has given my Underdog a second wind. Being able to see and control the heat intensity has allowed me to run my UD a bit cooler which means that I get the perfect "cook" each and every time.

    I'm so happy I finally pulled the trigger on miniVVPS after a year of telling myself that I didn't need a VVPS and the UD was fine without the need to adjust the temperature.

    Thanks @CentiZen (and @underdog), I now have a favorite accessory to go with my favorite vaporizer!
     
  17. jambandphan03

    jambandphan03 Vapor Goddess

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    I'm curious can your mini VVPS run my Thermovape T1 via the Pipes adapter?? its a 6v/30watt core, ... I was at one point using a 6v 3.5amp power supply that seemed to work fine, but sold that set up, and now have another with the Pipe's power supply designed only for T1 use, but it is clunky and big on my desk. I am most interested in the mini VVPS for the battery capabilities.
     
  18. CentiZen

    CentiZen Evil Genius in Training Accessory Maker

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    Thanks for the picture and kind words @King, I am glad you are enjoying the unit.

    You can use the miniVVPS with the pipes pass thru, however it would require the use of a power supply that is a little more powerful than the one intended for use with log vaporizers. The same goes for Arizer Solo heating.

    I actually have pipes adapter and use it with my miniVVPS as well. When I do this I use a laptop power supply. In this case, I am certain we can reuse the pipes power supply you currently have as the power source to the miniVVPS. That could perhaps sit under your desk and power the regulator. That would supply more than enough power.

    As for batteries, there is about to be a big update on that front, I'm just getting everything ready for introduction. Thanks for the interest!
     
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  19. lazylathe

    lazylathe On the verge of...

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    After a few mishaps on my side and quick help from @CentiZen i now have a fully functioning VVPS!!

    I first tried to use my Jameco converters as we thought they would work perfectly.
    I tested the converters with the supplied LED tester and it lit GREEN, so i was good to go.
    Plugged it in to the VVPS and for some reason it would not go above 6V.
    Then i heard a crackle from the converter and everything started to cool down again.
    Hmmm.. Decided to try a brand new converter and got the same results.
    Sent off a quick PM to @CentiZen for some help.
    It was then discovered that these VVPS only work with DC to DC converters, while the Jameco is 12VAC.

    I was quickly sent a 16VDC converter.
    Tested it out again on the log vape i am working on and SUCCESS!!!
    The variable control is absolutely required on a log vape to bring out it's true potential!
    I have tested it with both the resistor vape and the cartridge style heater, both work flawlessly!
    I think this would be ideal for anyone with a Purple Days vape so you can turn the unit down so that it is not baking 24/7. I have noticed a distinct drop in the wood smell from my PD since plugging it into the VVPS and keeping the voltage at around4,5V.

    This is a great, small VVPS that works as advertised!
    It does not take up a lot of room, is easy to use and the display is nice and clear under my lighting.
    Very happy with this Mini VVPS!!!
     
  20. CentiZen

    CentiZen Evil Genius in Training Accessory Maker

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    I have to take some of the blame for that mishap! AC and DC voltage adapters have been used interchangeably by various log vape manufactures in the past because the simple circuit will heat up regardless of the waveform.

    The miniVVPS is only going to be compatible with DC adapters because of the way the circuit is designed. It's difficult to make one that is effectively compatible with both, so I went with DC because it is far a far more popular standard at these lower voltages. Plugging in an AC adapter is not a good idea as there is potential for the adapter to be damaged (the miniVVPS would be fine though), so it is inadvisable to plug in an AC input source.

    I am very happy to hear that your vaporizers are working well with it! I hope that it helps you out in your log vape projects, I really look forward to seeing what voltage control enables you to do with them.
     
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  21. CentiZen

    CentiZen Evil Genius in Training Accessory Maker

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    Hey guys, quick update. The AA battery holders are now available for order on my website.

    I've tried a bunch of different styles of AA battery holders but these are the only ones that I thought were reliable and rugged enough to stand up to regular use in the outdoors. They have a complete case to them, so the batteries are never exposed to the outside environment while in operation. This is important since it lowers the chances of moisture damage and long term corrosion of the contacts. Not to mention it stops the batteries from falling out.

    There is also an on/off switch embedded the in the case which makes it really easy to make sure the batteries are actually not discharging when you don't want them to be. This is partly a convenience, since it lets you ensure your batteries are not losing power; but it's also a safety feature since AA cells have no protection circuits. This stops a potential short circuit from happening in a bag or pocket when the cord is unplugged.

    These are available now for 19 dollars each, including everything you need to use it except the batteries. Here are some pictures. These can be made with either straight ended cords (as pictured below) or with a right angled tip.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  22. King

    King You show respect, and I respect you. Accessory Maker

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    FYI guys, I just had to bench my UD for a bit (I did something foolish) and found that my PD runs perfectly at 13.4 volts just like my UD did even though their stock transformers are 4 volts apart.

    We should start a compendium of operating temps that work....

    I have found that UD and PD both work swimmingly at 13.4, who's next?
     
  23. CentiZen

    CentiZen Evil Genius in Training Accessory Maker

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    Good idea King. I was planning on asking everyone what voltages they run their respective logs at. I make a point of calibrating all of the units before they go out, so the voltages are going to be pretty consistent across all of the units.

    I run my underdog between 13.5 and 14 volts depending on the time of the day and how baked I want to get. I use the purple days at 13.7 and run my Heat Island at 12.3. Can anyone else chime in with their usual voltages?
     
  24. stickstones

    stickstones Wasted Staff Member

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    I've been running my PD mostly at 13.5 - 14
     
  25. gosaints420

    gosaints420 Well-Known Member

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    What about 20v or 12v Dewalt batteries. That would be sweet!
     

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