Rebuildable atomisers and mechanical mods are the vaping enthusiasts’ dream; however there are some things you need to know about before delving into the world of RDAs, Mechanical Devices and Unregulated Mods & More!!
These devices offer high customisability and are orientated towards intermediate to advanced users. People new to vaping should avoid these as they can make it very difficult unnecessarily.
Watching video’s and tutorials is a great way to understand the technical aspects involved with rebuildables, just be sure to get this information from respectable and knowledgeable builders.
The wrong information and guidance can lead to accident or injury.
Your first foray into the world of rebuildables will probably be your basic RDA. RDA’s consist of either a single or dual coil build deck with negative or positive contact points (posts). Your aim is to connect the negative and positive terminals, thus completing the circuit by using a piece of wire known as a coil (taking its name from the coiled shape that increases resistance due to distance). In more modern designs, they also have the ability to use strips of metal which are much easier to install and build.
You can also buy pre-built coils too, cutting out some of the more fiddly stuff, simply cut them to size and install in your RDA deck, add your cotton and you are ready to go! These strips and prebuilt options make it easier to get consistent results and are ideal for those looking to dip their toes into the world of rebuildables.
An important thing to note regardless of whether you use coils or mesh strips is the lower the resistance, the more power can pass freely through the coil. You don’t want too much power passing through the coil as this puts the battery under immense load and can cause damage to your device and a risk to the user. We would recommend keeping your coil builds above 0.2 ohm.
Cotton & Effective Wicking
Your next step once the coils are installed is to add your cotton. Wick the cotton straight through the middle of your coil or under the mesh strip. The cotton should go down and into the juice wells too, this is so the juice can saturate into the cotton and `wick` up to the coil when it is vaporised as the device is fired.
Cotton comes in a number of various materials but most are comprised mostly of organic Japanese cotton or other materials such as wood pulp. Each type can give different wicking properties and taste.
Some cotton comes pre-rolled to a set diameter delivering consistent builds time and time again. They’re designed to fit your coils with ease and the ends are agleted (like a shoelace), making threading them through the coil even easier!
Other types we would refer to as pouch or loose cotton which requires you to size and roll it into shape yourself. This is best for offering more flexibility for those who want larger or even smaller builds than the standard sized prebuilt-coils.
Lastly, you can buy strips which work with mesh builds on some RDA and RDTA decks, making building your own even easier.
Your cotton should not be too tight or thick as you won’t leave enough room for the liquid to flow up and through the cotton to the coil sufficiently. Some tell-tale signs that you have too much cotton fitted are dry hits and regular burning or slow wicking.
The liquid flows along the cotton fibres via capillary action. Too little cotton can have a similar effect, by not being adequate to deliver enough liquid to the coil to be vaporised, it will also fit too loosely and not fire correctly.
When you cut your cotton, you need to leave `tails` that are long enough to reach down to the juice well but without being too long that you overcrowd the build deck. You need to allow room for sufficient airflow so the coils can be cooled and thick rich clouds to form.
Restricting the airflow can cause the vape to be warmer and deteriorate the cotton prematurely or increase the chance of dry hits. Dry hits will burn the fibres causing the cotton to taste burnt and require changing so avoid dry hits where possible. Some people do prefer restricted airflow builds, but you may find you need to change cotton slightly more regularly.
Using mechanical mods and unregulated devices carries great risks if operated without sufficient knowledge. This is why all of the devices on our site which fall into this category carry safety warnings and advise you not to purchase without extensive knowledge and understanding of Ohm’s Law as well as battery output and safety. These devices have NO protection, so if you get it wrong, you can cause yourself great injury and damage the device.
Mechanical mods should not be operated with coil builds lower than 0.2 ohm; using builds lower than this can cause batteries to vent or thermal runaway which is dangerous to the user. Just because you can build lower, it doesn’t mean you should. Using higher ohm coils requires less Amps from the battery, using very low ohm builds require a lot of power and drawing too much too quickly can lead to some serious problems.
Using an ohms reader will allow you to check your coils resistance safely without fitting them. You should always inspect you coil build to ensure there is no possibility of a short circuit and that your coils are operating within a safe range. This is why Ohm’s law is important as you need to confirm the amount of energy that will discharge from the battery and that this is a safe level of discharge. By following the build above 0.2 ohm rule, you will still get the experience of unregulated vaping whilst reducing the associated risks of operating these devices.
V ÷ R = I
Power (V) ÷ Resistance (R) = Current (I)
By using the formula above it will help you calculate with ease. It looks technical but it’s easy once you understand what the letters represent.
`V` is Power which is measured in Volts.
`R` is Resistance which is measured in Ohms.
`I` is Current which is measured in Amps.
If you have a fully charged battery (3.7V 20A) then you know the value for `V`, and if it is a 0.3 Ohm coil then you know the value for `R` so your calculation would look like this:
3.7 (V=volts) ÷ 0.3 (R=ohms) = 12.333 (I=Amps)
This means you are drawing 12.3 Amps of power from the battery, which can cope with up to 20A, so this build would be suitable. The equation should be easy to follow know you know how it is calculated and it is vital you check your math is correct. Inaccurate calculations or errors can lead to increased risks of danger or harm from using these devices incorrectly.
Do not allow battery voltage to drop too low as this can have adverse effects on the battery and your device with increased risk of battery problems. Please ensure batteries are always installed correctly, as the devices have no safety features, there is greater risk of a serious accident occurring.
We cannot be held liable or responsible if any issues arise from usage of these devices. We will provide as much documentation and information to support safe usage but as these are unregulated, full responsibility is on the customer to ensure they are operating these devices safely within the limitations of whichever batteries and coil builds they use.
If it doesn’t look safe or sound safe, don’t do it – Simple.
Using the correct tools and knowledge will help to avoid serious issues or injury arising so it is essential that you do have very good understanding of this type of product before attempting to purchase or use such devices.
It is especially important to inspect your batteries before every use when it comes to mechanical devices. They are made from metals such as brass or copper, any nicks, tears or damage to the battery pose a much greater risk of arcing or causing a short circuit.
This leads to batteries venting, overheating or in some cases a severe fire/explosion risk. Even if the mod has insulated tubing, there still is no safety cut off built into to them, so it is paramount that you inspect batteries meticulously.