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Steam Engine inaccurate?

zaroba

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Member For 4 Years
Often see people recommending coil calcs such as steam engine.

While back in a facebook group, somebody was mentioning how somebody was using an unsafe build, saying that when he put the guys values into a calc on his cell phone, it was dangerously low. I put the same values into Steam Engine and came up with the same resistance.

then, I put my current coil into Steam Engine, and it was off by quite a bit. And not in a good way. If I followed Steam Engine, my coils would have had much LESS resistance then what it claimed. This could be bad for anybody already pushing the limits of their battery, especially if their Ohms reader is faulty.


My current build:
Dual 22 Gauge Kanthal A1, 7.5 wraps @ 2mm ID, 10-15mm leg length = 0.16 ohms resistance
coil-22g7.5-vulcan.JPG


*however*
According to steam engine, I only need about 6 wraps to get 0.16 ohm resistance off dual coils and 10mm leg length. In fact, even if I lower the leg length to 0, it will only claim 6.8 wraps to get 0.16 ohms.
22gauge-0.16ohm.jpg



Anybody have any thoughts on this?
Is steam engine inaccurate or am I just not using it correctly?
 

GrayVaper

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Are you tweaking something in the advanced settings? I can't seem to duplicate your results. I get close.
 
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Taver13

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i have problems with steam engine. i use nichrome, and when setting it to nichrome 80 im finding it even more inaccurate than the kanthal calculator. i have stopped using it and just learned through trial and error what to wrap. you are right, it would be dangerous to newbiew who are pushing battery limits, although they shouldnt be doing it to begin with especially without double checking with an ohm reader
 
T

Taver13

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I haven't tweaked anything anywhere.
Just opened it up and plugged in my details
what kinda snake is in your avatar? i see your a snake guy, i gotta get you a picture of my lucistic ball python and my piebald
 

GrayVaper

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I live in South Florida. Back in December I was in my detached garage and I kept noticing our cat looking curious about something just outside the doorway on the ground. I finally investigated and discovered a four foot ball python! It was so gorgeous! It was completely docile, so I placed it in a cooler and gave it to a friend who breeds snakes. Turned out it was a nice, healthy female.
 
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Taver13

Guest
I live in South Florida. Back in December I was in my detached garage and I kept noticing our cat looking curious about something just outside the doorway on the ground. I finally investigated and discovered a four foot ball python! It was so gorgeous! It was completely docile, so I placed it in a cooler and gave it to a friend who breeds snakes. Turned out it was a nice, healthy female.
awesome, thats what i like to hear man
 

Neunerball

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As stated in the "How it works":
"...
Possible error sources – or spherical cows in a vacuum
This coil calculator is a pretty simple and straightforward digital model of the geometry and electrical properties of an atomizer coil, and can be expected to be concistent with at least itself. Real life, on the other hand, involves a myriad of ways to introduce error to your numbers:

  • Depending on the quality, the resistance wire might be slightly thicker or thinner than specified, or the alloy might be slightly different, which would affect resistivity.
  • When you wrap a coil, the wire is also being stretched, increasing resistivity. This is seldom very significant, but that depends on how small the inner diameter of your coil is, and how much tension you put on the wire while you wrap it. Thinner wire stretches more easily, but it also bends more easily, requiring less tension on a small mandrel.
  • In a coil with touching loops (e.g. a micro coil), a little current will flow between the loops. Even though the oxidation of kanthal creates an thin insulating layer of alumina around the wire, no insulator is perfect. The amount of current that will "leak" depends on the thickness of the alumina layer, which in turn depends on the alloy used, and how much you torched it. It also depends on the area of the loops actually touching, how hard they are touching, the voltage potential between each loop, etc.
  • E-juice does not conduct electricity very well, but like everything else, it does conduct a little. Burnt juice leads to carbon buildup on the coil, and carbon conducts electricity fairly well.
  • When building with Ni200, the resistance of the coil is typically so low that the "internal" resistance of the atomizer itself can become significant. As a result, the resistance may read higher than expected when everything is put together on a mod. Examples: One of my favorites, the eXpromizer, has a spring loaded center pin. The spring also acts as a conductor, and because of the high currents involved, it can become warm if it is not clean. The Squape R is also known to not "like" Ni200. High or erratic resistance readings are not uncommon. If you can, try to stay well over the 0.1 Ω limit of the DNA 40. With a higher resistance coil, the current will be lower, which means that you lose less energy heating up the electrical pathways in the atomizer. Your resistance readings, and as a result the temperature control, will be more accurate. Your battery life will probably be a little bit better as well.
    The maximum resistance for the DNA 40 in Ni200 mode is 1.0 Ω. Reaching this high is difficult with Ni200, and not a goal in itself, but keep this in mind: There is plenty of headroom at the top. Don't be afraid to take advantage of this fact.
These are some of the factors that can impact real life accuracy. Another possible error source is the inner diameter of the coil. If the mandrel is off spec by only 0.1 mm, the length of a single wrap will be off by roughly 0.314 mm. Multiplied by ten wraps, this small error has grown more than thirtyfold. The output from a calculator can never be better than the input.

All these error sources can cancel each other out to some degree, but they can also add up. This is one of the reasons why you should always have a decent multimeter handy, and measure your coil after you build it. A model is great for getting you into the ballpark, but getting the final build right still requires your skills, and some measuring equipment. Steam Engine is not intended to replace a multimeter.
..."
 

Robert B

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Member For 4 Years
I use steam engine to calculate coils. They are almost always dead nuts testing on my ohm reader
 

CrazyVpr

Member For 4 Years
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Often see people recommending coil calcs such as steam engine.

While back in a facebook group, somebody was mentioning how somebody was using an unsafe build, saying that when he put the guys values into a calc on his cell phone, it was dangerously low. I put the same values into Steam Engine and came up with the same resistance.

then, I put my current coil into Steam Engine, and it was off by quite a bit. And not in a good way. If I followed Steam Engine, my coils would have had much LESS resistance then what it claimed. This could be bad for anybody already pushing the limits of their battery, especially if their Ohms reader is faulty.


My current build:
Dual 22 Gauge Kanthal A1, 7.5 wraps @ 2mm ID, 10-15mm leg length = 0.16 ohms resistance
View attachment 19818


*however*
According to steam engine, I only need about 6 wraps to get 0.16 ohm resistance off dual coils and 10mm leg length. In fact, even if I lower the leg length to 0, it will only claim 6.8 wraps to get 0.16 ohms.
View attachment 19820



Anybody have any thoughts on this?
Is steam engine inaccurate or am I just not using it correctly?
Maybe your $10 ohm meter is off? I wouldn't trust that thing.
 

zaroba

Gold Contributor
Member For 4 Years
Maybe your $10 ohm meter is off? I wouldn't trust that thing.

That is a possibility.

At 0.16 ohms, there isn't much room for error
My sig says 0.1 ohms (doesn't show hundredths), so it is possible the ohm reader is reporting lower then the actual resistance.

On the flip side, my sig 100 wont fire if resistance is below 0.14
So, if I were to build a coil using specs that steam engine claims to be 0.14 ohms and it wont work, then we know that steam engine is inaccurate. Or that for some reason it just isn't working right for me.
 

KeyserSoze

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This is something I'm very interested in as someone who works with electronics for a living (Audio/Video). I use Steam Engine all the time and it's never dead nuts accurate according to my $10 ohmmeter or my IPV3 or my IPV Mini 2, none of which agree. They are all pretty close though. I agree that when you are less than 0.2 ohms it's super important to be accurate.

I wonder about super cheap ohmmeters that read to 2 decimal places. This would include the meters in any regulated mod (the ohmmeter part of the chip is a small fraction of the cost of the mod). My friend has a $400 fluke multimeter and it only measures to a tenth of an ohm... I chalk that up to the fact that it also does a lot of other things like voltage and amperage.

You might ask, KeyserSoze, what's the bestest most exciting news you've got in awhile? I would excitedly reply that I may soon own a lab-grade ohmmeter that's supposed to be good to 3 or 4 decimal places. It is calibrate-able and has a verified load that you use to calibrate it with. It's old but was used for some really critical, super sub-ohm microscopic measurements. We'll see how she runs!

Sorry, got a little OT there. I too have found Steam Engine to be a little off. As many hundreds of times I've used it I can't remember if it's always off in the same direction (or which direction that is) but I do know it's never been exactly right. I gave him some slack though because it's a serious piece of coding and a super useful tool.
 

Number3124

Silver Contributor
Member For 4 Years
I only use the steam engine as a guide. In order to make sure of my build, I'm utilizing my USA-Ohm-Meter. It's not the cheapest, worth every penny though!
http://www.shop.usaohmmeters.com

I just got one of those. It took a little getting used to. The osculating thousandths place made me think I'd gotten a dud at first, though further research showed that that's just how it's supposed to work.

It's awesome.
 

GregC

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I agree that it is innacurate.

I've been trying to duplicate what is actually in the SSOCC NC coils with red caps. They use NiCr wire, 28g, and the wire length is actually 5.76" of wire length. They ohm at .5 as advertised.
I pulled the wire out of one and it is approx 5.76" of wire using my micrometer.

No matter what you use in the steam engine calculator to duplicate these, it's wrong.
It gives me 2-3 wraps??? BUT, the actual factory coils have 8 wraps at 4mm diameter. No freaking idea what that app is doing and it's not even in the ballpark.
 

Robert B

Gold Contributor
Member For 4 Years
I agree that it is innacurate.

I've been trying to duplicate what is actually in the SSOCC NC coils with red caps. They use NiCr wire, 28g, and the wire length is actually 5.76" of wire length. They ohm at .5 as advertised.
I pulled the wire out of one and it is approx 5.76" of wire using my micrometer.

No matter what you use in the steam engine calculator to duplicate these, it's wrong.
It gives me 2-3 wraps??? BUT, the actual factory coils have 8 wraps at 4mm diameter. No freaking idea what that app is doing and it's not even in the ballpark.

1 year after this thread was first posted, wrapping kanthal, nichrome and stainless, Steam Engine has been dead on accurate for me. Must be some other factors you're not considering. Maybe in the chinese kanger production line, a bunch .5ohm stainless coils got mixed up with the .5ohm nichrome coils, or the red seals got mixed up with the pink seals.

316L 24gauge Stainless wire @ .5ohm with 4mm ID is 8 wraps for a single coil. Probably what they are using, which would make Steam Engine right on target.

Here is Nichrome80 22g, 8wrap, .2ohm. perfectly matches Steam Engine
dJMv5tS.jpg


nichrome80.jpg
 
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GregC

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http://www.steam-engine.org/coil.asp?mat=n80&r=0.5&awg=28&id=4

Robert B, thanks for posting. Try that calc. using 28g, Nc80, single coil.

It gives you 2 wraps! This is the wire inside the SSOCC NC coils with red caps .5 ohm.

Also, I have a few coils I made with 26g NC80, exactly like what came out of new coil, except only 7 wraps, resistance of the wire itself is about 1.2 ohms.

And just sitting at the Harley dealer I realized, we are talking different things. Ohms of coil itself NOT sitting in the device is going to be higher. Lol
That still doesn't explain why steam is saying 2/3 wraps? It's wrong on a single coil,
 
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GregC

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Also, you can go and change the resistance wire length on the steam app and it changes the # of wraps but it doesn't change any other specs of the wire, which is really screwed up. When you let it default when you change the wire size it says like 2 inches of wire.
None of it makes any sense.
 

lordmage

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the inches of wire refers to the total length of wire needed to reach the target. but it does not do a good job of accounting for user error in defining leg length to attach it to the atty. which affest it as well
 

Robert B

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Member For 4 Years
http://www.steam-engine.org/coil.asp?mat=n80&r=0.5&awg=28&id=4

Robert B, thanks for posting. Try that calc. using 28g, Nc80, single coil.

It gives you 2 wraps! This is the wire inside the SSOCC NC coils with red caps .5 ohm.

Also, I have a few coils I made with 26g NC80, exactly like what came out of new coil, except only 7 wraps, resistance of the wire itself is about 1.2 ohms.

And just sitting at the Harley dealer I realized, we are talking different things. Ohms of coil itself NOT sitting in the device is going to be higher. Lol
That still doesn't explain why steam is saying 2/3 wraps? It's wrong on a single coil,

My whole point is, that coil you have probably isn't nichrome, it could be stainless, which matches the wraps you have in the coil. Either that, or the wire isn't 28g, rather 24g. You wouldn't know the difference vaping it, since they would both be .5ohms and you're not using TC.

Kanger may have put the wrong wire in that coil head, but still ohms out to .5.

I just wrapped this 24g kanthal, 15wraps, single coil. Matches Steam Engine perfectly.
jXEW1Jx.jpg


Here's 22g Nichrome80, 4 wraps, .2ohms, matches Steam Engine perfectly

Qno5fOE.jpg
 

GregC

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Robert, you may be partially right about the coils I have.
They are labeled NC, which is suppose to mean they have Nickel chrome wire in it.
But do know this... The wire in it is 28g (.32mm), I measured it with my micrometer which also has a digital readout. I have 26g NC 80 wire which mics to .40mm.

I plugged in some different specs on the steamy and did get it to come out to 10/9 wraps, Nc80, 28g, but only if I manually change the resistance wire length to 5.8". 5.8" length is the actual length of wire that is wound in the SSOCC NC coil that came in my SUBVOD.
 

GregC

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Here is why the Steam Engine is kinda ???? and I have yet to figure out why it does this.
Take for example this calculation.

Using the basic setting, use N80 wire, 26g, .5 ohm target, inner diam 4 mm and no other settings.
This results in; wire length - 59.1mm, # of wraps 3/4, ohms .49 -.55 ohms
http://www.steam-engine.org/coil.asp?mat=n80&r=0.5&awg=26&id=4

Now switch to advanced settings so you can use a known amount of wire that a factory coil has. My SSOCC had 146mm of wire coiled inside.

If you add the 146mm to the calculator, now we get a result of; 9/10 wraps, .48-.51 ohms.
And that is accurate with what comes in the ssocc nc coils....except mine had 28g wire.
http://www.steam-engine.org/coil.asp?a=true&mat=n80&r=0.5&awg=26&wl=146&id=4

If anyone can say why it doesn't give the correct info in the basic settings, that may help anyone else who comes across this thread, like I stumbled upon lol

There is a complete difference when you use Kenthal wire verses NC80 on the steam engine.
When I plug Roberts numbers, it comes out right i.e., 24g Kenthal, 3mm dia 15 wraps
 
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HondaDavidson

Gold Contributor
Member For 4 Years
I have noticed the coil tab and wire wizard give slightly different results. Close but not the same... No the engine isn't 100% accurate with every coil. But it's close enough. I have never had it be more than 1/2 a wrap off.

Heck I know I made a data entry error anytime the result is more than 1 wrap different than expected. I have yet to find where the error was really the engine.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk
 

Severs

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I've never really had an issue using steam engine. I have noticed some attys throw off the final ohm reading though. When I used to build on the freakshow I had the build might be off by .01 ohm from what I tried to build, the Fogger I used to use was never off by too much, But I've noticed this Griffin can be off by .04 to .1 ohm depending on how big of a coil I make; I tend to build in the .8 to 1.2 range depending on my mood when I build.
 

GregC

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I've been trying to rebuild these SSOCC for 3 days now lol I'm using 26g N80 wire, which has a lower resistance than the 28g wire that's in these units.

If anyone has some NC80 wire, try a wrap according to steam set for .5 ohm target.

I've used the same 146mm length of wire that came out of the SSOCC, wrapped it anywhere from 6-9 wraps, 3mm and 4 mm diameter, and these coils will still not go below about 1 ohm.

I don't mean to sound so complaining, just trying to understand why this isn't working correctly. I did however find a way to duplicate what I'm getting here.
On the Steam page, go to Wire Wizard, with these specs:
id 4mm, 9 wraps, leg 5mm (I never change this), wrap spacing is set on .05mm, NC 80, 26g, single wire

The results are very close to what I'm seeing here when I ohm the coil in the base. It shows wire length of 141.06, 1.194 ohms (original is 146mm, 28g, .5 ohms)

So it appears the coil wrapping section using NC 80 wire is incorrect because it always shows around .5 ohms.
I actually just proved it using coil wrapping section, advanced settings. You can change the wire legnth to what ever you want and it always show around .5 ohms, just the # of wraps change??? Well that's impossilbe
 

GregC

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FINALLY, after all my ranting and raving and trying to make sense of this.
This morning I looked very close at the 2 legs where they come thru the neck of the casing.

Seems that if the top leg (which the negative end) touches the inside of the casing where the wire comes thru, it makes the resistance go up. And of course if the bottom leg (positive end) touches anything but the little button, it makes the coil not function. Doesn't make sense so much since the ground wire gets connected to the side of the neck under the red cap

So using my magnifying glass, I pushed the ground leg in, making sure it wasn't touch the casing, and the positive leg wasn't touching anything either, the coil was not back to .6 - .7 ohms.
I installed it and now it fires as quickly as the new coils do.
 

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