So my old Vision Spinner batteries have started taking longer and longer to charge (one of them hasn’t even fully charged, and it’s been on the charger for over 12 hours – I suspect it isn’t ever going to finish charging).
I had noticed the increased charge times starting a couple of weeks ago. At first I thought it was the charger, and then the power source. But after switching things around a bit (using three different chargers, different power adapters, computers, etc.) I realized that it wasn’t going to get better. The batteries I’m working with are around a year old, and were my heaviest usage batteries… So it was time to replace them.
So, off to Plumes I went. When I decided that it was time to replace my Spinners, I also decided that it was time to upgrade to a full mod.
A while back I got a KangerTech ProTank and I am more than satisfied with it (IMO – it was $20 USD when I purchased it, and it was the best $20 I have spent… Now it’s only $16 USD and I would recommend it even more). So, I wanted something that would work well with the ProTank. Of course, that wouldn’t be a problem since most of the mods have the 510 / eGO style threading designed to worth with most of the cartos and tanks that are on the market.
I considered some options like The Gripper and The Groove, but when it came down to it, I narrowed in on the SmokTech Zmax and SmokTech SiD as I didn’t like the size/shape of The Gripper and Groove. Honestly it was a toss-up. The deciding factor came down to (a) being told that the battery handling of the SiD was a bit better, (b) out of the box vaping with my ProTank was a little better on the SiD.
I did play around with the SiD a little in the store (changing to variable wattage instead of variable voltage), and within five minutes I burned the wick on the ProTank head (not a surprise, it sometimes takes a bit to get these things dialed in). In talking with guys at the store, one of them told me he runs his Zmax up to 10 watts, even with a low resistance head (in my case 1.8 ohms). I had my SiD set to 8 watts when I burned the wick. Another guy said that he couldn’t go above 8 watts on his Zmax without flooding the ProTank. Very strange that my results seemed counter to both of their experiences. I can only think that there is something different about the way the SiD handles variable wattage versus the Zmax.
When I got home, I replaced the head, and went back to adjusting things a bit more. I know that the ability to have variable voltage or variable wattage with the SiD is one of the big advantages (as it is with the Zmax as well). However, I decided that it was best to start with the recommended voltage setting from KangerTech, which is 3.4 for a 1.8 ohm head, so that was the configuration I went with.
Holy cow! The ProTank on the SiD with these settings is amazing! So, that’s what I am at now: 3.4 volts with a 1.8 ohm resistance head. This is so mind-bogglingly good that I nearly vaped a whole tank of fluid in 3 hours (normally a tank lasts me about 6-8 hours).
Overall, the complete setup (two 81650 batteries, a charger, and the SiD) was just under $100 USD. To say I am satisfied with it is an understatement. Once dialed in properly (your mileage may vary: different tanks, different resistance heads, different fluids, etc. can all require some additional adjustment) this is an amazing vape. I am sure people that are more experienced with mods will have different opinions, but for my first jump to a full-blown mod it’s an excellent experience.
Update: So, several days later and I have a few more thoughts.
First: I’m not nuts about having to use the menu system to turn the device on and off. I wish it was more convenient like the 5 press on / off for the eGo Spinners, and other devices. That may seem like a minor quip but it’s kind of big. With the 5 press, I’m able to walk and turn on / off the device. With the menu system, I have to stop and look at the screen, and it takes considerably longer.
Second: I have gone back to wattage based setting. Still using a 1.8 ohm resistance head on the ProTank, and running at 8 watts. It’s working fine now. I think the first head must have had something odd about it. I now wish I had looked at the ohm meter on the SiD to see what it thought the resistance was on that head, but I didn’t. I will probably try pushing the wattage to 10 watts on the next tank and see how that works.
Third: speaking of the ohm meter. I’ve been using the one on the SiD. As Pete Busardo and others have noted it appears to read the resistance a bit on the high side. IE, my 1.8 ohm heads are being read as 2.0 ohm heads by the SiD. I might have thought that it was the cause of my original problem, but since it’s working fine with this head I’m reduced to thinking the other head was flawed.
Fourth: I’ve started following Pete Busardo’s advice about removing the top wick on the ProTank heads. I’ve noticed that with this technique and cleaning the heads carefully (I take them apart, and clean the element and wick by squirting a 30ml bottle full of warm water over it, then drying it off with a paper towel, and letting it air-dry for at least 24 hours before using the head) I’m able to extend the life of the head quite nicely (I’ve re-used one head 3 times already quite succesfully).
That’s all the updates for now.