Coil building to get preheat and TC-ish on a mechanical mod

Discussion in 'Coil Building' started by Giraut, May 11, 2017.

  1. Giraut

    Giraut Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Do you like mechs but hate how slowly they ramp up? Well, here's a trick: build coils with Ni200. You'll get instant vapor production, a sort of temperature control, and a better vape when the battery starts to sag.

    Here's what it's about:

    Nickel wire increases in resistance as it heats up. What you want is to find out the target resistance of a cold Ni200 build, so that when it's hot at the temperature you (ideally) want to hit after it ramps up, it reaches the resistance you'd normally build your atomizer at with kanthal.

    With such a build on a mech, what happens is this: you hit the button, the build is cold and the resistance is very low. The battery initially dumps a lot of power into the build and the coil(s) heat up in a hurry. As the build warms up, its resistance rises, the power tapers off, and the resistance eventually settles roughly around what you'd use with kanthal. In other words, it's a pre-heat feature.

    In addition, the hotter it gets, the more resistive the build becomes, which naturally limits how hot it gets somewhat, giving you more time to "feel" a dry hit coming.

    Finally, as the battery sags and its voltage drops, the build gets less hot, its resistance drops also, thereby pulling more amps out of the dying battery. The vape gets wimpier over time just like with kanthal, but you'll use more of the battery before you feel the need to change it.

    For example, I like a 0.3Ω build in my single 18650 mechs with kanthal coils. To get the same resistance at 500F with Ni200 coils, I do a 0.12Ω build (that's the resistance when it's cold of course).

    How did I work that out you ask? Two methods:

    1/ Maths:

    Rcold = Rhot / [1 + α x (Thot - Tcold)]

    α = temperature coefficient of resistance of nickel = 0.006
    Thot = target temperature of the build when it's hot (in Celcius) = 260 (500F in Celsius)
    Tcold = room temperature (in Celcius) = 20

    So, for Rhot = 0.3Ω, that works out at Rcold = 0.12Ω

    2/ Empirical:

    Math is boring :) So what you can do is try builds in the 0.1Ω - 0.2Ω range when they're cold, screw the atomizer onto a regulated mod running the ArcticFox firmware configured to display live ohms.

    Set the mod in TC mode, dial the temperature you want, fire the mod and read the resistance the build settles at when it reaches the temperature you dialed. If it looks right for use on your mech, simply screw the atomizer onto it and enjoy.

    Simple as that. Try it out, you won't be disappointed. Ni200 builds really add to mechanical vaping.

    EDIT: here's a video to show that it's not bullshit or dangerous or anything:

     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  2. Everpresentnewb

    Everpresentnewb Bronze Contributor Member For 2 Years ECF Refugee

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    Great idea. And then if you screw up the math and end up getting your coil red hot you get to inhale toxic fumes from the nickle. And NI200 is REALLY low resistance. Dual 3mm coil 28G ni200, at 8 wraps is .057ohms... so yea, lets build that .05 coil and advise someone to put it on a mech.... Not the best idea in my book.
     
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  3. Dutch0hms

    Dutch0hms Bronze Contributor

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    I got my questionmarks on this aswell as Ni200 isn't meant to be vaped in powermode.
     
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  4. conanthewarrior

    conanthewarrior Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    You really don't want to vape Ni200 on a mech mod, or on a regulated mod without TC. (It would be worse regulated, as the resistance increases the voltage does, creating a kind of vicious circle and before you know it it is putting a lot through the coil and it is at a very silly temperature)

    If you want lower resistance than Kanthal and a faster ramp up, use SS316L or another wire suitable for use in plain old power mode.

    To achieve this safely, you would need to make a build that never hit temp protect when used from 4.2 down to whatever voltage under load your mech hits, and even then you have no way of knowing once it is on the mech if it ever is going over this temp say when chain vaping.
    I have never found a Ni200 build that can have that much voltage put through it without hitting even the maximum temperature of a mod.

    Really not worth it.

    EDIT: After really thinking about it, I don't see any real issue doing this on a mech mod as long as you know what you are doing, and the reason you are doing it.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  5. Giraut

    Giraut Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    So much misinformation and FUD-spreading - from people who've obviously never tried what I suggest... that's really sad.

    Let's adress each point shall we?

    Ah yes, that old canard...

    I've yet to read a credible source - i.e. not some semi-informed random dude on a vaping forum citing nickel allergies and occupational hazards in the welding trade - that certifies that elemental nickel gives off fumes when it's heated red-hot. If you have, please cite them.

    In any case, even if it did, you'll cough from acrolein fumes from overcooked juice in a dry hit and let go of the button long before your nickel wire even gets to that temperature.

    You can build nickel builds as low or as high as you want. My favorite Ni200 coils (12 wraps, 3 mm ID 28 gauge wire) come out at 0.18 ohm for a single coil, and 0.09 as a dual coil. I've built 0.4 ohm coils in the past, when mods didn't go very low like they all do today.

    Also, the cold temperature resistance doesn't matter: it's the resistance when it gets hot that does. That's the whole point! Your coil would only stay at low resistance if you dunk the atomizer in water to prevent it from warming up. In an atomizer, the resistance rises very quickly after you hit the go-go button, and your battery won't suddenly explode if you pull a lot of current from it for only a split second.

    Hell, what do you think happens in a single 18650 regulated mod that does preheat? Same thing, it pulls a lot of amps temporarily at the beginning of the toke. Nobody's ever heard of a battery venting from that.

    You got it backwards: the resistance increases as it gets hotter, therefore to power drops. It's a virtuous circle - i.e. safer than a static kanthal resistance. Do the math, accounting for the coil's resistance when it's cold and when it's hot, and the battery's internal resistance. It ain't that hard.

    And why is that? There's nothing magical about Ni200 that prevents it from being used with a straight battery. It's just a variable resistance ferchrissake! Better, it happens to be a variable resistance that naturally happens to resist being heated up. TC mods only do active TC because you need an active feedback loop to guarantee a target resistance regardless of wick wetness and airflow. But you get kind of the same effect with a staight battery - only uncontrolled.

    Jeez, if you have your doubts, just do a build and try it for yourself, and you'll see. How hard can it be? Try it before you knock it you guys! I've been vaping my mechs with Ni200 builds for years, it works great and I ain't dead yet :)
     
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  6. Everpresentnewb

    Everpresentnewb Bronze Contributor Member For 2 Years ECF Refugee

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    Good for you. Im out. Im happy with my SS, Kanthal and Nichrome builds.
     
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  7. Giraut

    Giraut Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Sure, whatever you're happy with man. I'm just suggesting this if you're curious and you want to try something different.

    Me, I'm a TC sort of guy. I vape mechs infrequently. I started vaping Ni200 builds on my mechs because I didn't want to redo the builds just to use a mech when I feel the urge every once in a blue moon. I quickly calculated the resistance when hot, figured it'd be okay on a tube mod, tried it and it worked wonders. Now half of my atomizers are built for dual use - regulated TC or mech - and I love the flexibility. So I figured I'd share.

    But like I said, whatever you're happy with. The important thing is to stay off cigarettes at the end of the day :)
     
  8. ttatlanta

    ttatlanta Bronze Contributor

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    I see absolutely no point in using mech mods in this day and age, but this "TC coil" idea certainly has some merit. Health hazards aside, I don't like the taste of Ni200 though… Maybe someday someone is going to create a tasteless and safe alloy with high TCR that is just right for this very purpose? Heck, not so long ago a high-temperature superconductors were things of fiction!
     
  9. Giraut

    Giraut Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    I vape my mechs like I wear a wind-up watch from time to time: clearly there are much better watches, but mechanical watches have something likeable and "authentic" about them. When I'm done marveling at the movement for a day or two though, I put it back in the drawer and wear my regular, efficient and boring quartz watch.

    Others like mech mods for their simplicity and durability. I dig this too, but I don't dig it enough to get over the absolute lack of electrical safety. But... I understand the appeal. Whatever the case, mechs exist and people use them.

    As for the nickel taste, I've never felt it myself, but I've heard it before from fellow vapers. If you can't use Ni200, you could probably get a similar effect with other TCR metals like titanium - only less pronounced because of the lower TCR.
     
  10. conanthewarrior

    conanthewarrior Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Actually, no I haven't got it backwards. Say you are using a regulated mod which I said would be worse, set at 60W, for 0.1 you would need 2.44 Volts.

    As the resistance increases, still set at 60W, say to 0.15, it will apply 3V to get the same 60W. This will make the resistance rise more, and more voltage will be needed to get those same 60W. Soon you will be pushing a lot through that coil and it will be very, very hot indeed.

    Obviously on a mech power will drop as the resistance increases, but it is why I mentioned it being worse on a regulated mod in power mode.

    I agree it isn't likely dangerous for the reasons most people assume, with Ni200 giving off fumes or things like that, as I haven't seen any evidence for this. If people do try this, they need to know to make sure to only ever do it on a mech- but I see confusion stemming from this and people using it on regulated mods too.

    If people do try this, please remember to stick with a mech only and make sure if you tell others, they also know the same.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
  11. Giraut

    Giraut Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Ah, my mistake, I misread your post then. I thought you were talking about TCR wire on a mech.

    You're correct, on a power-regulated device, the mod will jack up the voltage as the coil's resistance increases to maintain the power output - although I've seen older power-regulated devices that worked by reading the resistance once before firing the coil, and then maintaining the same voltage until the user released the button.

    But you're wrong to say a TCR coil in power mode on a regulated mod will get hotter than a kanthal coil, or create some kind of runaway power increase or be more dangerous. As you describe yourself, the mod tries to maintain 60W regardless of the coil's resistance. Whether the resistance varies or stays the same throughout the toke, the power going through the coil stays the same with those mods. So no, it won't get hotter than with kanthal. It'll be exactly the same: 60W going through a fixed resistance wire or a variable resistance wire is still 60W.

    The best proof of that if, I regularly dry-burn my Ni200 coils in power mod on all my mods, and they don't instantly melt: they glow red-hot and the color stabilizes until I release the button. They glow brighter if I dial more power, and duller if I dial less. Exactly like with kanthal: no difference whatsoever.
     
  12. conanthewarrior

    conanthewarrior Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    No problems mate, this is the mech section after all so I probably added to the confusion lol.

    You are right that with older regulated mods, and some newer ones, the resistance is just read before firing and maintains consistent voltage to output your set watts at the read resistance.

    The problem I was thinking of is for people like me, who like to take a good few hits in quick succession, then put the mod down before going back. Doing this, each time you fire the resistance will be read, so to supply that 60W say at first at 0.1, and after 4 fires is at 0.2-25, there will be a pretty big increase in voltage to supply the same 60W as the mod thinks the wire is Kanthal with a very stable TCR.
    After those 4 fires, even if it only reads before each fire, you can see where I am going.

    Thinking about it though, I can see exactly what you mean, in that 60W is 60W. The only thing is if say you are using 26G kanthal, as the resistance increases, and in turn the voltage, it is pushing more than it should.
    Similar to when a coil is read at the wrong resistance, higher for example. In that case it should be 60W going to the coil, but say the coil is 0.15 and read at 0.25, and pushing the voltage required for a 0.25 coil, it will be higher than it should be.

    I'm not the best at explaining things in my head to text, so I hope this makes sense.

    I will say different to others here, in that I don't think this idea is actually bad for people who understand what they are doing, such as yourself.

    The thing I worry about is this though- if for example, this catches on, and a vaper hears of his friend getting great results on a mech with Ni200, he will do the same for his regulated mod. The first few people will explain why not to use it on a regulated mod, such as how we are discussing now, but it seems in vaping things turn into a kind of Chinese whisper style thing quickly, and soon everyone will be using Ni200 not fully understanding why.
    We need to make sure if people do it, they fully understand why they are doing it.

    When you glow the coils, is that just one fire, or multiple times? Just genuinely wondering as I have not done this myself.
     
  13. Giraut

    Giraut Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Maybe this will put everybody's fears to rest.

    I made a video showing a Ni200 build being dry-fired, then vaped on a mech, then vaped on a mod in wattage mode, with a meter to show exactly what happens:



    Can you see the absolute lack of drama in this video? Seriously, there's nothing to vaping Ni200 on a mech mod, nor on a power-regulated mod really.

    Vaping Ni200 on a mech *should* catch on in my opinion: provided you don't mess up the calculation of the target resistance of the coils when they're hot, a TCR wire build is naturally self-limiting when fired on a mech. And quite frankly, I fail to see how people could mess up such basic maths.

    In any case, users of mech mods always pride themselves in knowing what they're doing. This is no different: you just add another calculation to account for temperature. People who say they know what they're doing should know what they're doing, right :)

    As for power-regulated mods, they don't care: they just adjust the voltage on the fly as the resistance changes. So it's exactly the same as vaping kanthal with them. Even if you have an antiquity that only probes the resistance once before a toke, since the resistance increases when the coils warm up, the power will go down anyway. There is zero safety issue either way.

    I just wish people didn't automatically assume Ni200 is only for vaping in temperature control mode, and dangerous in any other situation just because they heard it somewhere. It's safe, it works, and anybody with a bit of spare time can easily try for themselves and see how well it works.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
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  14. JuicyLucy

    JuicyLucy My name is Lucy and I am a squonkaholic VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee

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    Mechs are a much better investment than regulated mods - a good mech can last for decades with easy repairs/remodeling/refurbishing

    Personally, I like the quality of the vape much better than regulated
     
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  15. verdigris

    verdigris New Member

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    I've been doing something similar for a couple months.
    Kudos for braving the *storm* to spread some info.

    That video is very helpful for those that don't understand.
     
  16. conanthewarrior

    conanthewarrior Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    You are right actually, people who use mechs should really know what they are doing- and if they mess up, it IS their fault.

    I have only tried SS316L on mechs, I have never tried Ni200, but I do have a lot left over from when Ni200 was the big TC wire.

    I tend to vape around 0.2-0.25, what would you recommend as a Ni200 build for this? I was thinking somewhere around 0.15 or so? This will allow it to rise in resistance while not being too low to start with.
    I do want to try this out as I know there is no reason to fear the wire in power mode, apart from what I mentioned- I know they adjust on the fly, but 60W through a 0.1 coil takes less voltage than when it rises to say 0.25 (I realise this is regulated, and we are talking about mech use here though- it is where I always vape regulated and use mechs from time to time alongside. This is the only real safety issue I can think of, at the output stage. As you probably have noticed yourself, if a mod reads a coil too high, it feels too powerful at the wattage you set due to the higher voltage going through the coil resulting in a higher wattage than set).

    The danger people assume with Ni200 is often misunderstood for sure. Most vapers take things they hear as gospel, without finding out exactly WHY you shouldn't do it- in this case I can only think of the reasons I mentioned. For people who understand what they are doing though, I do not see a problem. (as long as everyone that tries it does understand fully what they are doing)
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  17. Giraut

    Giraut Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    It doesn't matter how low you build (to a point of course) because the wire's temperature and resistance rises so quickly that it won't hurt the battery. What matters is the resistance when the coil is hot. That's what I keep saying :)

    Batteries are designed to be able to deliver a lot of amps for a short time. They only vent when you ask them to do it continuously, like when you have a short and you don't release the button. That's why I wrote in an earlier post that Ni200 would only be dangerous on a mech if you prevented it from warming up by dunking it in water - which you won't do when you vape obviously.

    You can try 0.15Ω. It should give you around 0.35Ω at 500F (which is my preferred temperature, yours may differ), therefore about 30W with a fresh battery when the wire is hot. For a hot resistance between 0.2Ω and 0.25Ω, I would do a build between 0.08Ω and 0.10Ω cold myself though. But if you're concerned, sure 0.15Ω will work well enough for a first try.

    Well right, but the firmware would have to be seriously buggy in a regulated mod for that to happen. I own 60-odd regulated mods here, old and new, and I've never seen one that loses its marbles when I dry-clean a Ni200 build in power mode - and God knows I've done that quite a few times over the years.

    The failure mode you describe is extremely unlikely, and at some point you have to trust the board manufacturers that they know what they're doing. I know it's made in China, but surely even they can code an algorithm that works out a multiplication correctly :)
     
  18. Giraut

    Giraut Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Thanks man, I appreciate.
     
  19. conanthewarrior

    conanthewarrior Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    That is true, the resistance does rise fast with Ni200. I think I will have to experiment though, as I think I only have 28 Gauge Ni200 in my ottoman, and usually build with 26G SS316L or Kanthal.
    As the wire has less mass I will likely need something that hits a bit higher resistance when hot so I don't get a vape that is too hot for my liking.

    I will be honest, I haven't ever tried Ni200 in power mode on my regulated mods to see if what I am describing would happen or not, I am just going from my experience with SS316L and seeing the resistance change happen, along with the voltage. I have a fairly large collection too, I will have to see how they react just as an experiment- I won't be vaping Ni200 in power mode on a regulated mod to try to emulate TC, as they can do TC so it would miss the point really lol :)

    I will let you know how I get on mech wise with Ni200. If anyone else is thinking of trying this, please know what you are doing though before you try, and if you tell your friends explain it fully!
     
  20. Giraut

    Giraut Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    24-wrap, 4-mm I.D. Ni200 build for use on a series mech mod: cold resistance is 0.47Ω, hot resistance is 1.15Ω. Power when hot is roughly 50W. That thing hits like a freight train: press the button and *wham* - instant vapor! Works great with tokes of 2 seconds or less.

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. conanthewarrior

    conanthewarrior Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    I forgot to update here- I did try it, and it is nice with a tank.

    Starting around 0.16, ramp up is instant, then nice hits follow. I stopped using my Ni200 but think I will continue using it now just for this :)
     
  22. WiSK

    WiSK Member For 2 Years

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    I also usually build for TC. I just got a mech and tried my usual spaced clapton SS316L but it takes too long to ramp.

    Now accidentally found this interesting thread and going to try with nickel.
     

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