How to use Full Mech Vape. (Safely)
I have been vaping for quite some time now mostly regulated devices, as I hang out with my vaping buddies a question keeps popping out. How do you safely use a Full Mech Vape or a Full Mechanical Mod?
I did a little research and with the help of my friends here at The Serial Vapist I was able to come up with a guideline. One of the most prevalent issues preventing people from using a full mech vape is safety, particularly battery explosion or battery venting.
Battery venting can occur whether you are using a regulated mod or a full mechanical vape mod. Using a full mech vape requires that you know about battery safety, how to properly maintain and clean your mod and using proper coils with the appropriate resistance thru Ohms Law and battery orientation depending on which configuration your mod is running.
Let’s look into these guidelines more so that you will know how to safely use a Full Mech Vape as well as the different types of mechanical mods.
How to build a proper coil for full mech vape?
Coils are made up of a resistance wire coiled up to produce even more resistance, resistance wires come in different forms, gauges, and materials ( Stainless Steel, Nichrome, Kanthal, etc..) Now each material has its own properties, some may be naturally more resistant to current than others and that plays a part.
You may see resistance wires twisted, braided flattened, etc.. That also plays a part raising or lowering the resistance value of your coil.
Wire gauge – how thick or thin it is, the thicker the wire the more it allows current to flow freely. Commonly used is the AWG or the American Wire Gages. The lower the number the thicker the wire e.g 10G is thicker than 24G thus having less resistance.
Coil diameter – how big the inner diameter(where we put the wicking material) the coil makes.
Coil wraps – how many wraps determine how high or low the resistance will be.
Coil building is an art in itself, this is where you can customize to your liking how you want your vaping experience to be. Full mechanical mods have an edge here as some chips can be very picky and won’t fire just any build whereas full mechanical mods don’t discriminate, even at zero ohms the mod will fire which is why we need to be very careful putting builds on our full mech mods.
You can tailor your vape to be MTL (Mouth to lung) or DTL (Direct to lung) warm vape or not, dense cloud or airy(RDA plays a part here also), you determine how you like it.
How to properly choose the right battery for full mech vape and take care of them?
Knowing your battery safety is absolutely crucial. See our guide here. Know what type of battery to buy, the most commonly used and what we recommend is the Li-Ion type as this is the most stable.
Know where you buy, if you read our guide this would help you avoid those shady batteries that advertise outrageous ratings which mislead vapers and ultimately causes battery venting.
For example a Sony VTC5A is rated at 25A at 2500mAh, the mAh stands for milliamperes per hour, it indicates how much electric charge a battery can provide, 25A is the CDR rating in Amperes of the battery or the Continuous Discharge Rate, it is imperative that you do not go over the CDR of the battery that you are using, going over this limit stresses the battery and could result in one of two things. You would kill the battery or worse battery overheats and then vents.
But how would I know if I’m approaching, at or over the battery’s CDR?
In regulated mods, the chip will detect this and apply measures to prevent you from exceeding the limit. In full mechanical mods, there is no chip to do this for you.
So what you do is build a coil, install it in your atomizer and then either test using a vaping specific ohm checker, which is readily available e.g. coil master 521 tab or get the whole coil master build set which includes an ohm checker, or if you have a regulated device, see the ohm rating there. From there you can calculate how much power it draws from your battery using this formula.
Ohms Law for vaping
This is just a breakdown of what is most usable for us as vapers.
A = V / R
Whereas Fully charged, an 18650 battery is at 4.2V and 3.7 volts discharged and the resistance of our coils is at 0.2 Ohms
4.2V / 0.2Ohms = 21A
21A is well within the CDR rating of our sample SONY VTC5A Battery!
We recommend staying within -2 or -3 of the maximum CDR rating as a safety net and to keep our batteries healthy.
So in this example, our battery’s CDR rating is 25A and based on the computation we are only drawing 21A even if the battery is charged at maximum capacity. As the charge of the battery goes down so does the Amp draw.
That’s it! Ohms law may sound really complicated but it’s really simple once you know the variables like the CDR rating of your battery and the resistance of your coil. For voltage remember that a Li-Ion 18650 battery fully discharged is at 3.7V fully charged at 4.2V
What Causes Battery Failure in Full Mech Vape / Mechanical Mods
Venting occurs when the battery fails. It is normally caused by hard shorts (unintentional contact of the positive and negative terminals) or damage to the battery body or the battery wrap.
Keep in mind that the whole body apart from the top part of the battery is the negative so it doesn’t take much to cause a hard short specially when the battery wrap is damaged or in poor condition.
Another cause is wrong battery configuration. In a dual parallel mod the battery is both positive up. In series mod the battery is in opposite direction, positive up negative up. Refer to the mod you are using to know the proper battery orientation.
More notes on battery safety:
Whether you are using a Regulated Mod, or a Full Mechanical Mod always check your batteries. Inspect the battery wrap top to bottom, this should be immaculate, having no tears, leakage or dents.
Never put your uncased batteries in your bag or pocket, always put them back in their case.
Do not overcharge (Use only quality battery chargers)
Do not over discharge (In mech mods, you would feel the significant drop in power) Immediately replace the batteries with freshly charged ones.
How to clean Full mech vape mod / Mechanical Mod?
Cleaning and maintaining your full mech vape mod is essential to keep your mod functioning to its full potential and also prevent hard shorts. You will notice a drop in performance once parts get dirty due to constant use or improper storage.
The most basic way is to clean the 510 threading and battery contacts. Avoid using metal polish on silver plated parts. Keep the contacts clean using a q tip dipped in alcohol and let it dry. You can disassemble the whole mod and do a general cleaning once a month ideally.
What are the different configurations of Full mech vape / Mechanical Mod?
In full mech vape mods / mechanical mods there are two configurations. The Parallel Mod and the Series Mod, both are using dual batteries.
Unregulated Parallel box mods are devices that split the current between two or more batteries at the same time. While the total voltage remains that of a single battery (4.2v), the total battery life (or mAh rating) is increased as well as the overall amperage since there is less draw on any one battery in the circuit.
Unregulated series box mods are devices that stack the voltage that is being applied to the resistance of the coil. This type of circuit creates a current from each battery at the same time and combines the voltage from each battery. While the voltage is multiplied by the number of batteries, the amp draw remains at that of a single battery. So 4.2V + 4.2V = 8.4V !
But what about Tube Mods?
We treat tube mods as if it’s a series mod whether running a single battery or dual battery (Stacked) it’s the same with the Series mod.
Notes on battery orientation;
For both the series and parallel configuration, it is important to ensure that both batteries are draining at the same rate. Always clean the battery contacts and properly tighten the battery caps at the bottom of the mod.
Why Switch to Full Mech Vape Mods?
Resaleability– full mech mods have resale value, if its a particularly rare mod prices could go up. These mods are produced in limited quantities not mass produced
Durability– very rare that a full mech mod would break, no chip less complicated circuitry all you need to maintain it is to clean it once in a while.
Future proofing – your full mech mod would still be relevant and function just as well as when you first bought it even five years down the line
Battery tech, as energy storage and efficacy evolves, full mech mods benefit the most from battery tech, the downside is full mech vape mods are heavily reliant to battery technology. A modder can make his mod with as much less of a voltage drop as possible by using quality highly conductive materials but the mod will always be limited by the battery.
For full mech mods without a locking mechanism, if you have to put your mod in your bag loosen the atomizer so that it won’t make a connection with the 510 pin, that way even if the fire button is pushed the circuit is not complete and will prevent an auto fire. Remember that removing your batteries before storing your mod is highly recommended.
Never do this in a hybrid mod (mech mods without the 510 pin) it is recommended that you remove your batteries and put them in its storage case before storing/keeping it in your bag.