Monday, 12 March 2018

Back to Basics - Battery Wraps

Today we're doing another Back to Basics, and we're taking a look at battery wraps. This is an important one as the batteries we use as vapers can be incredibly dangerous if not looked after, and it's so simple to keep them good as new. I'm not going to get into what can go wrong, we've all seen the horror stories, but we should only be using clean, well wrapped batteries, no matter your budget there's wraps out there for you, some awesome vape shops out there will even do it for you!

So to start we take a look at a Samsung 30Q that's been slightly abused and the wrap is starting to come away on the negative end.

All we need to do is carefully, and with nothing metal, peel away the wrap. The little plastic ring resting on my finger is an insulator, and it's very important you keep this part as it helps protect against a short circuit on the positive end of your battery. Some cells with have these glued in place, but a lot are loose, so just make sure you don't throw it away with the wrap you're taking off.

Now here we have some awesome wraps from ODB, I bought these from, there are cheaper alternatives out there, but the ODB ones are super high quality and look awesome, so I'm going to try them out.

All you need to do is slip inside your unwrapped battery, making sure you've an even amount of wrap hanging over both ends. You dont want to be completely covering one end and then leaving the other completely exposed!

Pop your insulator ring back in the positive end and make sure it's nice and central, most will fit perfectly, so this shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Then the fun bit, you grab a hairdryer, put it on hot and get shrinking! Hold it a few inches away from the battery as we don't want to get them too hot, just warm enough to make the wrap nice and snug. If you've ever put a crisp packet in the oven and watched it shrink down to an inch high then you'll really enjoy this bit as I did, it took me back to being 5 again. Run the hot air all over the wrap to make sure its all nice and smooth and you're done!

And there we have it, 6 batteries as good as new, and once again safe in less time than it took to write this piece on how to do it!!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Back To Basics - Coil Cleaning!

Today I'm wanting to start a new series, I'm going to call it “Back To Basics”, but I'm probably starting a little further down the line that I should! I'm starting with cleaning coils in a rebuildable atomiser, any type will work the same way as long as you can dry-fire your coils (I'll explain what this is later, so don't worry). As much as I maybe should start with installing coils and wicking them, I'm jumping in here because in the last few weeks on the Facebook groups and forums of which I'm a member I'm seeing a huge amount of people discussing this, not sure what they're doing, and people replacing their coils far more regularly than is really needed.

Now, a lot of coil builders out there do it because they love doing so, and so thoroughly enjoy replacing their coils every couple of days with a shiny new set, and as wire isn't particularly expensive if that's you, then all the best to you, have fun! This guide is for those builders who predominantly use pre-bought, sometimes very expensive coils and who want to get more life out of them, or those that like me, just can't be bothered putting a new build in their device and want to be up and vaping again in less than 5 mins!

So, for this guide I've been on these coils for around 2 weeks trying to get them as black and gunky as I can, but to be honest they still aren't that bad, the juice I've been on is pretty kind to coils, but no matter how gross your coils are, they will clean up to nearly new the exact same way!

I'm using the Dead Rabbit SQ here, as the raised deck shows off the coil nicely, on the Vandy Vape Pulse, my current all day device set up. Ideally I'd do this on a regulated device, and I recommend you do the same, just incase your coil moves or shorts, we don't want exploding batteries, but I was careful, and I love the Pulse, so I stuck with it. I'm also using a cup of water, where I'd normally use the tap, this just shows off the cleaning more easily, and you can see the gunk as it comes off. The tap will work much faster, just please, please be sure to keep water out of your device and away from batteries. Use a slow trickle, and angle your mod so that no water at all will hit it, a wet mod is likely to short and/or auto-fire, neither of these things will end well, at all, and so please be careful!

To start off with we need to remove the cotton from our coils, do this carefully as you don't want to distort or damage your coils, I find the easiest way is trim off one of your cotton legs as near to the coil as you can, then just gently pull it out.

Here we see a dirty, pretty nasty looking coil out of the CoilMaster Skynet kit, and as it's such a lovely parallel build, I don't want to get rid of it quite yet. All we're doing to start is giving it a quick dip to rinse off any juice left on it, then we're going to “dry-fire” our coil. All this means is to heat up your coil until its glowing red without any cotton or juice. Once it's glowing red you need to then get it in the water, and you'll see the filth come straight off. You may need to repeat this a couple of times to make sure its nice and clean, but it really is as simple as that! Just be sure to not use cold water, I tend to just use slightly warm, if your coils go from red hot to freezing cold that quickly then it can “shock” the metal causing them to wear out much faster, and sometimes just fail altogether, leaving you having to replace them anyway.

Once we're clean (it'll never be quite as shiny as new, but it will vape perfectly), then I simply heat the coil slightly to dry it and the build deck off, before we we-wick and are good to vape. This process can be repeated over, and over again, I've had coils in RDAs for months, even with vaping on them every day. These coils have been in my Dead Rabbit since I bought it, all I keep doing is cleaning them off, and there's no reason you can't do the same!

Keep an eye out here, I'm going to keep these guides coming, and if you've any suggestions just drop a comment here or on my Instagram!