EZ-Vape Regular Nicotine Vape 101 Guide
Part 1: From Top To Bottom
NOTE: Before starting with this guide, know that many of the components of a regular nicotine setup are the same as a salt nicotine device.
Having an understanding of those first may be helpful as this section is quite a bit more technical and assumes you know a little bit about vaporizers as a whole.
Firstly, the mouthpiece connects to the end of your e-cigarette vaporizer’s cartomizer. The mouthpiece is included to allow for a comfortable draw that is easy to use. While most e-cigarette mouthpieces are detachable from a cartomizer, some are built in as one with the cartomizer and cannot be replaced.
Mouthpieces come in a huge variety of different materials, lengths and sizes, however, most mouthpieces outside large RDA chuff mouthpieces are made to fit the standard 510 size standard.
Mouthpieces are all about aesthetics, preference and some special mouthpieces have special features such as adjustable airflow and or spit/splash guards.
The cartomizer or “Tank” connects to the opposite end of the atomizer. Cartomizers can be both opaque and transparent. This allows you to see the liquid levels within, it may also be referred to as a ‘Clearomizer’ but the function is the same.
It’s the vessel that holds your e-juice, and you simply refill it when it gets low. Some cartomizers have detachable mouthpieces, some do not.
The atomizer starts at the female connector of the battery pack in your e-cigarette vaporizer and is usually referred to as a “Coil” (although this is but one component of the atomizer.) but sometimes people use the word atomizer to define the tank (cartomizer) section as well.
The atomizer actually produces the vapour of your e-cigarette and contains wire (usually kanthal.) that is “Coiled” around or within a wick (usually organic cotton) that saturates itself with the e-juice from your cartomizer. The atomizer is heated when the e-cigarettes button is pressed and once the atomizer is hot enough to vaporize e-juices, it begins converting the wicked e-juice from liquid to vapour form.
You will need to change your atomizer overtime, based on many different factors such as the level of power you use to vape, the particular juice you are vaping and the quality and construction of the atomizer itself. Always ensure that your atomizer’s wick is at all times saturated and to keep your cartomizer filled at all times to prevent dry hits and to prolong your atomizer life.
You will know when it’s time to change your atomizer as it gets more and more abused overtime, giving you less flavour and draw.
And eventually, cardboard or burnt popcorn like-taste from the coil as the wick gets old/burned out from damage. Usually one needs to replace atomizers every two to four weeks in regards to how and how often you use it, how hard you use it and what juice you are using with it.
All e-cigarette vaporizers require a battery pack that comes in the form of a device that has an internal, unremovable, rechargeable battery.
Or a box (referred to as a “Mod”) that contains exchangeable, rechargeable batteries.
The modern interchangeable battery e-cigarette uses lithium-ion batteries, these power sources are more eco-friendly than alkaline batteries and they carry longer, larger charges and require less time to charge completely.
And are much safer and better for the environment than conventional AA, AAA batteries because they are re-usable, last much longer and have a much lower chance of leaking their chemicals.
Devices come in two forms regardless of if they have removable batteries or an un-removable internal battery: Regulated and Unregulated (although there are some hybrids on the market as well.)
In simple terms, a regulated device uses a digital chip with many safety measures and allows one to set the voltage and watts at any given time being driven to the atomizer and will ONLY drive that setting of power, either having enough charge to provide that setting of power or entirely refusing to fire, giving you a low battery indicator. The vapour experience is NOT based on battery life with a regulated device, although as a battery becomes especially low it may “Hit” a little bit soft (but some regulated devices have a semi-unregulated mode such as bypass, essentially circumventing this.)
Most modern devices are regulated and are much safer and more convenient in general, but you must ensure the proper settings for the atomizer you are using or you may damage your atomizer by using too much power or the device if you attempt to fire an atomizer outside the resistance range of your device (generally not an issue if you are using pre-made atomizers and not mish-mashing brands of atomizers and devices.)
An unregulated device (One without a regulator chip.) however usually doesn’t or has only limited forms of power settings. These are usually older devices or utilitarian in design; specially tailored towards advanced users. They provide a direct feed of power — how much power? It’s based on your batteries voltage, most 18650 batteries at a full charge are 4.2 volts with a nominal of 3.7 volts.
A properly charged battery allows the system to work as desired, while if a battery’s charge is too low the system may become under-powered in the case of an unregulated device, or a device in “Bypass” mode, affecting the draw offered by the vaporizer based on battery life.
Some unregulated devices have basic security features similar to regulated devices, but MOST devices that are truly unregulated with absolutely no digital capabilities that have fully analog circuits are called “Mechanical Boxes” or “Mechanical Mods” and essentially are for the truly advanced users only as they do not have any safety features.
And this concludes the basics of what an e-cigarette is as well as the components that comprise them and some of the terms related.
Even if your device has an internal battery, the next section is the most important, as a basic understanding of the lithium-ion batteries that are used with e-cigarettes and the precautions you should be taking is in all of our best interests.
Especially with interchangeable battery devices, your choice of battery is an important factor in the way you vape, different batteries drain at different rates and hold different amounts of current. We highly suggest checking out the Battery Safety 101 Page for a simpler guide to what you should and shouldn’t be doing with your batteries.
The truth is that the battery cells used with e-cigarettes are very, very similar and in many cases, the exact same as you will find in cell phones, tablets and electronics across the world. Most laptop battery packs even use 18650 style batteries in their internals to provide power to your laptop, as do most things that use battery packs such as construction tools.
The most commonly used batteries in vaping for GOOD REASON (Due to “Amperage Rating” which we’ll cover in a second.) by far are the 18650 and 26650 batteries. What is the difference? Simply: it’s the size of the battery itself, much like an AAA or AA battery, for example, the 26650 is bigger than the 18650.
Other than that, however, two different models of a battery can be different in regards to capacity and Amperage Rating, which is how much “load” or “strain” the battery has been rated to endure safely and they can also differ in voltage and chemical makeup which is important. (This applies to all forms of internal batteries as well.)
So, what are the characteristics of different batteries? Well, it comes down to a few factors we will go over here lightly.
What are the Characteristics of Batteries?
mAh, or “Milliampere Hours” in simple terms is the capacity of the battery, the higher the mAh of a battery the more energy it contains at a full charge.
Amperage Rating or “Amps” is simply how much “load” or “strain” the battery has been rated to handle and relates to OHMS LAW. To figure out how much you are straining your batteries, input your atomizers resistance and your devices set wattage/voltage into an OHMS LAW CALCULATOR. (Discussed Below).
Generally, the higher the mAh of a battery the lower the Amperage Rating, meaning the battery can take less electrical abuse BUT you need to charge or swap batteries less often. Or in reverse, the battery can handle more electrical abuse safely but you will be charging or swapping batteries more often.
There are two Amperage Ratings, one is the “Constant” Amperage Rating which is how many Amps a battery can handle CONSTANTLY (Firing constantly aka holding the fire button. This is what is displayed commonly.)
In Mechs, the second form becomes important; the second Amperage Rating is “Pulse” Amperage Rating which is how many Amps a battery can handle in PULSES! (In other words, Quick Pules / Non-Continuous Firing.)
Voltage in relation to batteries is simply what the Maximum or sometimes the “Optimal” Voltage at full charge is for a given battery. This only matters if you are using an unregulated device. Most 18650’s are 4.2 volts at Maximum charge and have an “Optimal / Nominal” Voltage Rating of 3.6 – 3.8 Volts which is the “Halfway Charged” point.
This doesn’t entirely cover all the technicalities of batteries but should provide you with enough of a starting point that if you buy authentic batteries from authentic distributors such as Sony, Efest & Samsung from authentic businesses (such as us!) and you have checked what your Amperage and mAh needs are and so long as a battery is rated 20A (Continuous / Constant) and above, choosing a battery for yourself shouldn’t be too hard.
But please look at the Ohms Law section below and understand Ohms Law before working with an RDA / RTA as your main setup and if in doubt, ask at any of our Locations!
For a more general guide on batteries please read our Battery Safety 101 Page for info on venting and etc. The remainder of what we will discuss on batteries is Ohms Law below, which is a requirement to understand before using an RDA or an RTA.
Ohms Law Calculations
- V = Voltage (your battery voltage and or the output of the battery)
- I = Current (the amperage (Strain) drawn by your coil in relation to voltage and resistance)
- R = Resistance (the resistance, in ohms (Ω) of your coil)
The above diagram is of the three elements of Ohms Law. It is crucial and a REQUIRED bit of knowledge to be able to use an RDA or RTA safely with home-made coil builds.
Ohms Law is a standard understanding of the relation of Voltage/Current/Resistance in a circuit. Understanding these three elements is crucial to understanding what a safe coil is and what a dangerous coil is.
We will show you a few basic formulas behind Ohm’s Law and teach you what it is in vape terms.
Calculating Current is the first formula we will go over and this is the most important! being able to calculate current in vape terms is to calculate if a coil is SAFE OR NOT!
An easy way of thinking about this — which again is the most important formula for RDA and RTA use because it shows what is safe and what is not safe in vaping terms. is that Voltage + Resistance (Us shooting Volts (V) through Resistant Wire (R) to heat it = Current (I) which is Battery Strain in vaping terms.
For a coil to be safe, the current (in vape terms current = strain on our batteries!!!) must not exceed the device’s battery amperage ratings.
V= Voltage = (Output of Batteries/What we want to go to the Coil)
I= Current = (Strain on our Batteries in Vape Terms)
R= Resistance = (The Ohm Rating/Resistance of Your Coil/Build!)
Calculating Current means to solve an equation to find the value of I in Amps and this tells you by comparing the resulting Current (Strain) in Amps and comparing this to the Amps / Amperage Ratings of your Batteries.
The Formula for that is:
I = V ÷ R (or I = V/R)
If you look at our above diagram — to solve for current (I) you must divide voltage (V) by resistance (R).
A real-life example is: If you have a device with a single 18650 Sony VTC 6 battery charged to its full 4.2 Voltage (V) with it’s 30A Amperage Strain Rating and If your coil is 0.4Ω (R) we can make the calculation:
I = 4.2 (V) ÷ 0.4Ω (R) (or 4.2/0.4)
I = 10.5 Amp Strain on Battery
THIS IS SAFE!
— Our single Sony VTC6 18650 Battery has a Rating of 30A. 10.5A is below this and is safe to use/fire.
A not safe situation would be if you had a 0.14 or below coil. (Single batteries should never exceed 20A! Or about 0.25Ω at normal voltage/watt settings.)
That calculation would look like:
I = 4.2 (V) ÷ 0.14Ω (R) (or 4.2/0.14)
I = 30.00 Amp Strain on Battery
A single Sony VTC6 18650 has an Amperage rating of 30A and 0.14Ω at 4.2V is exactly 30 Amps of strain and is not safe and does not have at least 5A headroom.
The solution to be able to fire anything near 0.14 safely all the time would be to use a two battery (IN PARALLEL NOT SERIES!) device which would have a combined amperage of 60A.
YOU NEVER want to be even near your full Amperage Limit. Always aim to have around 5A if not more as headroom.
This is the most important calculation in relations to vaping because it again, lets us know what is and isn’t safe to vape with. But more importantly: It lets us know this BEFORE WE ATTEMPT TO USE A COIL!
And simply, never exceed or even get near your combined battery amperage strain limits!
We have one other important formula to show you below:
Calculating Power (Watts)
Another crucial thing to know is how many Watts (Also known as Power or P) is equivalent to Volts / Voltage and how many Watts in Wattage mode will be needed to equal the Volts.
(Usually, people want to vape in the 3.8 – 4.2 Voltage range. But, P or Wattage varies based on Resistance whereon as Voltage does not, which is why we need to calculate to figure out P in some situations.)
That Formula is:
P (Watts) = V (Voltage) x I (Current / Battery Strain)
In our above example, the formula would look like this:
P = 4.2V x 10.5A
P = 35.3W
So that 0.4Ω coil with a fully charged battery/output setting at 4.2 V will pull 10.5A of battery strain which is safe and deliver 44.1 Watts of Power. 44.1 Watts at 0.4Ω is equivalent to 4.2 Volts and vise versa. (We didn’t need a fancy chip to do it for us, now did we?)
These are only two formulas and we suggest looking into using online Ohms Law Calculators but, this is the basic premise and a basic understanding of math will allow you to figure out any unknown variable/element by dividing or multiplying by the known variables/elements.
You must understand this to be able to build an RDA / RTA build SAFELY!
Safety is a big deal with RDA / RTA setups and building coils for them and with the above formulas and the use of an online Ohms Calculator allows you to know if a build is safe before you attempt to prime / use it.