The Vape Cloud UK Intermediate Vape Guide – By Aidan Cooper.
Okay, so we’ve covered the basics.
You’ve bought your first starter device, learned the ins and outs of the all the basic terms, found your perfect juice...so what next?
Maybe you’ve used your device for a few months and decided that the vapour production isn’t enough for you, it’s just not hitting hard enough.
Maybe you’d like to upgrade for something more powerful, more flavourful.
But there’s so many types and styles to choose from, where do you start?
Bigger and better!
The next step forward from your basic starter device would be moving onto a mid-to-high wattage regulated device, also called a ‘mod’, for example an Asmodus Colossal 80W being an excellent mid-range sub-ohm box mod.
Mid-to-high wattage mods are designed for sub-ohm vaping and, depending on the device, are capable of outputting over 200 watts of power to your atomiser of choice, if the atomiser is designed to be used at such wattages. They are known as regulated mods as they contain an inbuilt chip on the circuit board that works similarly to the microchip in your smartphone/laptop, albeit a little less complicated, and adds many features and improved functionality to the device. It also allows your mod to have an LED screen that display a tonne of information, and opens the way for a lot of other features, such as:
- Variable wattage
- Temperature control,
- Customised curve of wattage (curve mode)
- Customised curve of temperature (temp curve mode)
- Pre-heat settings (boost mode)
All these features would not be possible without the use of the advanced chips in these devices.
Safety, safety, safety!
The most important aspect regulated devices bring to the table is the plethora of safety features that are incorporated into the device. The features themselves greatly reduces the risk of harming yourself while vaping, and you’d have to do something spectacularly wrong to mess up a regulated device! If you make sure the batteries that you pick are compatible with the mod you have chosen, are the right amperage and your tank is compatible. Do this and you’re golden! Just use your common sense and do your research.
It is a good idea to look up safety practices just to be safe. But with safety feature like:
- Reverse Polarity protection (protects against the batteries going in the opposite way.
- Short circuit protection: (used to protect against a failure in which it draws too much current out of the battery and possibly damaging the device)
- Over charge protection (cuts off the charging when batteries become fully charged, mainly being 4.2 volts)
- Temperature protection (Protects mod from damage when devices becomes overheated)
- Over discharge protection (Protects the batteries and device from being damaged if the batteries use more power than it can handle)
- Low voltage protection (the device will be cut off if the voltage from the battery decreases below a lower limit, usually being 3.7 volts)
With all of these features you essentially have a lot less to worry about with a regulated mod!
Moving to the world of external batteries
With mid-to-high wattage devices, 9 times out of 10 you’ll get a mod that will take removable batteries. It is important that you get batteries that are both compatible with your new device and that are classed as “high drain”. It is also important to note the size of the batteries that you will need, e.g. a 21700 battery will not fit a mod that is designed to take 18650 batteries.
Though there are a couple caveats to this, as some mods have battery adapters that allow you to use more than one size of battery, e.g. adapting an 18650 battery to fit a 21700 or 26650 battery mod.
Most devices use the standard 18650 battery, and our recommendations would be from the following:
Now, while regulated mods usually come with a USB port for charging, it is highly recommended that you use an external battery charger in order to get the most out of your batteries, both in terms of lifespan and charge percentage.
Mouth to Lung or Sub-ohm Direct to Lung?
If you’re continuing your vaping journey and want something with more kick, we would highly recommend moving into the world of sub-ohm vaping.
So, what is sub-ohm vaping? Well, it’s vaping with coils that are below 1 ohm in resistance. Anything below that is considered ‘sub-ohm’. Today, sub-ohm resistances are common in off-the-shelf tanks and pre-built coils.
There are two ways to increase the amount of vapour you can get from your coil. The first is to increase the power of your battery. The more power you can provide to your coil, the hotter it will get and the more vapour it will produce. There are limits, however, to the amount of power you can put through a coil before it stops producing more vapour and starts producing excessive and unnecessary heat.
Excessive heat will cause the vapour to get incredibly hot, to the point of discomfort, and even burn your wick! I mean, let’s be honest, burnt cotton is not a taste you want!
By combining a lower resistance coil along with more airflow, you can use more power before you start creating excessive heat.
A little about the versatility of airflow control
Larger airflow slots are essential to allow enough airflow to cool the coil and the vapour. When the vapour gets too hot it can be unpleasant, and the heat can be transferred to the mouthpiece if it is close to the coil or made of a heat-conductive material like metal.
Adjustable airflow on tanks allows you to adjust the airflow until you find the right restriction. As a general rule:
- Less airflow: Better for mouth-to-lung vapers, more flavour, stronger throat hit and warmer vapour.
- More airflow: Better for direct-to-lung vapers, less intense flavour but more vapour, and slightly cooler vapour.
So why do people vape sub-ohm?
Most people sub-ohm because they want more vapour. It can be very satisfying to see large plumes of vapour filling a room. It can also increase the throat hit, although typically sub-ohm vapers use high vg e-liquids to offset the throat hit that a high PG e-liquid, as it could be too harsh. Therefore the larger wick slots in tank coils are a necessity to cope with VG-based e-liquids, which are much thicker than high PG e-liquids.
- Tonnes of vapour
- May produce more flavour
- Warmer vapour
- Uses more e-liquid
- Will most likely require a change in inhale technique
- Battery will be used up much faster
To start, pop a low resistance coil to an appropriate tank, e.g Smok’s TFV12 Prince baby tank.
You’re going to want to make sure you’ve primed your coils before you start vaping.
To do this, take a new coil head, and pour a few drops of e-liquid down the centre of the coil, then painting a few more drops on the outside of the coil, soaking the wick slots.
Screw it into the tank, assemble it fully, then fill the tank with your preferred liquid. Now, here’s the important part: let it sit and soak! Don’t be impatient, and don’t rush. If you want your coils to last as long as they can, you must let the liquid saturate the cotton fully to avoid getting dry hits. Leave it to soak for 5 minutes at least, and you should be good to go!
Now screw your tank onto your mod and starting at a low power setting, slowly crank the wattage/temperature up in small increments until you are getting satisfactory vapour. We recommend increasing the power by 5 Watts/5 degrees every 4-5 puffs until you get to the right setting for you.
Naturally you can refer to the manufacturers/brands recommendations, but just be aware that the best wattage/temperature that is being provided might not be the right fit for your personal taste. For example, a Smok coil that is being run at 80 watts might be perfect for one vaper, but you personally might find it too hot for your tastes. (Remember, vaping is experimental at first, and about finding what works best for you!)
After you’ve dialled in your perfect wattage/temperature you should be good to go!
Here’s a little list of terms that you may come across during this section:
Automatic Shutoff: A safety feature found in most regulated e-cigarettes, this prevents overheating of the battery. If the e-cig detects overheating, the unit will shut off automatically.
Box Mod: A type of device that’s shaped like a box, these come in either mechanical or variable configurations. Some box mods are capable of housing up to four 18650 batteries. Typically wider, some users prefer these over tube mods for their shorter (thus, more pocketable) length. Box mods are also more powerful than their tube counterparts, with power outputs ranging from 20 watts to 200 watts.
Clone: A copy of a branded e-cigarette. Many of the top brands now feature authenticity stickers.
Cloud Chasing: The pursuit of blowing massive clouds. People who fall into this category are known as ‘Cloud Chasers’.
Cutoff: A safety feature in e-cigarettes, cutoff refers to the amount of time one can take a drag from an e-cig before it cuts off power to prevent overheating. Cutoff times in regulated e-cigs typically range from 10 to 15 seconds.
DNA Chipset: A brand of chipset that provides control and delivery of power to e-cigarettes.
DNA Mod: A mod that uses the DNA chipset.
Dual Coil: Atomizers, cartomizers or clearomizers with two coils instead of one. This gives off more vapor at the expense of reduced battery life.
Flavour Chaser: A person who priorities flavour from his e-cig (often used in comparison with cloud chasing.)
HV (High Voltage): Indicates a vaping device that operates above the conventional 3.7 volts. As a rule, these atomizers and mods are not intended for use with standard low-power batteries due to potential battery failure.
Kanthal Wire: The brand name that commonly refers to their iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloy wire used in high-wattage devices. This alloy has very slight temperature alterations, that’s why not intended for use as an outer wrap of coils for the Temperature Control mode.
mAh: Milli amp hour (1/1000th of an amp hour)
Microcomputer/Microprocessor: A tiny microchip that contacts the battery to power the atomizer, allowing experience customization.
Mod: Originally the for an electronic cigarette which has been modified into a unique design. Now frequently used to describe mass manufactured box style e-cigarettes.
Nichrome Wire: A Nickel-Chrome wire used in some atomizer coils. May contain some iron. A common ratio is 80% nickel to 20% chromium. Nichrome is applicable in high-wattage devices, TC mode, and exotic coil builds.
Pass-through: When an e-cig model is described as having pass-through capabilities, this means the unit can be used while it is charging, connected to a cable. It can also refer to pass-through models in which no batteries are present, but are instead powered by plugging the USB cable into an adaptor, computer or power bank.
Priming: The process of soaking your new coil prior to use. This reduces the chances of dry burn and burnt out coils and is essential when using more powerful set ups.
Titanium coils: Alternative to nickel coils. Titanium is stiffer, offers higher resistance and is easier to work with. However, there is some controversy over titanium, with some vapers questioning the safety.
Triple Coil: Seen in cartomizers and in rebuildables, triple coils produce massive amounts of vapor, though battery life is reduced because of the added draw on power.
Vaper’s Tongue: A sensation felt when a user uses too much of one flavour, causing the tongue to become desensitized. It can also refer to the tickling sensation on the tongue after a long vape session.
Vent holes: Designed as a safety feature in batteries, these allow gases to be expelled from the battery.
Venting: When gases are released via the vent holes from an e-cig battery.
That about wraps it up for the intermediate guide. Hope this gives you some good ideas on where to go for upgrading from your old device. Remember, ask questions, do your research, get informed, and above all; Vape On!