Quick e-Cig Modding Tips, Tricks and Myths

There is a lot of information out there on creating mods for e-cigarettes and I have done quite a bit myself.  This post is where I will supply useful information, tips, tricks and even dispell some myths about modding e-cigs.  It will be an ongoing post that I will add to periodically as I think of things that may help you in your quest to build the perect e-cig mod.

1. Atomizers

  • Tip 1: Atomizers do not have a polarity.  I see searches all the time for Atomizer polarity.  There is none.  It is good practice however to use the center conductor of the atomizer as the positive and the case as the negative connection.  It reality though, it doesn’t matter.
  • Tip2: Atomizer Resistance:  You really don’t have to know what this is but if you want to know… Atomizers have resistance.  It’s measured in Ohms.  The higher the Ohms, the more voltage you will need to produce the same amount of vapor.  The lower the ohms, the less amount of voltage you need.  Why is this important?  Don’t buy a high resistance atomizer (HR) if you are only running the normal 3.7 volts a regualr e-cig uses.  You won’t get enough vapor for your likely.  An HR atomizer is made for mods that run at a higher voltage than 3.7 volts.

2. Wiring e-cig mods

  • Wire Size.  I see people all the time saying you need to use heavy gauge wire and such to wire your mods.  Did you ever see what connects the atomizer connector to the actual battery in an e-cig battery?  The wires a very tiny.  I have never seen these tiny wires fail due to current so the wire size is not that imortant as long as you use standard hookup wire.  The wires from a battery box are more than plenty big enough for a couple of amps of current that is produced by an e-cig.
  • Simplest e-cig mod wiring:  The simplest e-cig wiring goes like this. 
    1. Solder a wire from the plus side of the battery to one side of a push button switch.
    2. Solder a wire from the other side of the pushbutton switch to the center conductor of the atomizer connector.
    3. Solder a wire from the case side of the atomizer connector to the negative side of the battery.That’s a completely wired e-cig.  You just don’t have an on/off switch or LED but it will work for all e-cig mods.
  • LED Polarity: Although atomizers do not have a polarity, the one thing you need to worry about when building an e-cig mod and polarity is your LED.  If you want an LED light in your mod, LEDs have a polarity and need to be connected in the correct orientation.  Usually the flat spot on the side of an LED is the negative side.  Also, the longest lead is the positive lead.  Make sure you get this right or your LED will let it’s smoke out and not work anymore :).
    Pushbutton switches, atomizers and on/off switches have no polarity so you are safe there.

3. Batteries

    Protected and Unprotected Batteries (myths and legends)…

  • Lithium-ion: If you are using Lithium-ion batteries in your mod, make sure you are using protected batteries. Commercial e-cigs use lithium-ion for their size and charge denisty. If you are going to use them, make sure they are “Protected”.  Protected means they will have a small circuit built into them to keep them from discharging too far or overcharging which will cause them to explode.  Do not use unprotected lithium-ion batteries in your e-cig mods unless you are a very lucky person.
  • NiMH: NiMH batteries are the rechargable batteries you can buy in any store (and what I use in my Puck e-cig mod).  They are unprotected as many try to down them but… NiMH batteries do not need to be protected.  They will not explode due to high drain or over charge like a lithium-ion would.  NiMH are currently the workhorse of the rechargable battery market and are completely safe without any protection what-so-ever. 
  • NiCad: Same as NiMH but not as good for e-cig mod use since their charge dies off linearly.

4. Soldering

  • Tip 1: Make sure you keep your tip completely clean before, during and after soldering connections.  Moisten a folded paper towel or sponge and clean your tips after every connection you solder so solder doesn’t sit on the tip for too long.  This will save your tip from getting ate away from the solder rosin.

I will add to this post whenever I think there is something that will help you or when I see a bunch of searches concerning a certain topic where I feel I can add some value to you.

If you have a tip or trick, post it in the comments below.

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10 comments to Quick e-Cig Modding Tips, Tricks and Myths

  • Radial Anwar

    Hi,

    I’d like to know, what IC or electronic component which can be used as low voltage circuit cut-off module.
    Thank you very much.

    • Puck

      Depends on what you are trying to accomplish and with what type of battery. With Nimhs (like the what the Puck is designed around), do not need cutoff voltages for protection. If you are using Li-ion batteries, you should not use unprotected batteries. Protected Li-iions already have a low voltage cutoof chip insode them.

      So it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

      • Radial Anwar

        Thank you for your reply. My plan is using NiMN battery. It doesn’t have circuit protection. I’m now reading about diode zener, and think it can be a solution. Any advice?

        • Puck

          Why do you need circuit protection? If you are using NiMHs, they don’t need it. NiMHs will not explode if they are over discharged like Li-Ions will. They are completely safe. That’s one of the reasons I designed the Puck mod around them. NiMHs are designed for high discharge use and will not have any problems if they get drained too low. There is not much sense in adding extra circuitry to something that doesn’t need it.

          Unless you have other reasons for circuit protection, I see no reason you need it.

          • Radial Anwar

            My plan is to make a mod which is small but also safe. With NiMN I will only need 1 attery, but with NiMH will be 3minimum. Maybe later I will try to make abigger one so can use NiMH like your design. Thank you.

  • brawndo

    i plan on putting this in an altoids tin if i put 5 nimh batts would that give the opportunity for higher voltages? i’m not keen on how the voltage works and from my basic understanding if i have 4 nimhs then wouldnt the max voltage be 4.8? i built a puck works great first time i got finished soldering!! my wife even says ‘wow that hits really good’ And is it possible to use a dna12 or dna20 chip with nimh batts? i like the idea of not having to worry about batts blowing up.

    • Puck

      With 5 Nimhs, you will have a base voltage of 6 volts and will be well over when fully charged. I would not advise using anything less than 4 ohm atty or higher since you may fry it.

      You can use a DNA with Nimhs. One of my new modes on this site is using a “Gripper” vv board and it works great. I would say though when using a regulator/vv/vw board, you may want to use AA size batteries instead of AAAs. Using voltage regulation tends to use up batteries a bit quicker although you would think it shouldn’t… but it does.

      Let me know if you need any more info.

  • obdin

    First question – I want to make a wick feed custom “clearomizer” with a bottle sitting under and a wick feeds the element.I want build the element and make it so the adjusting it will change the vaping. I was thinking of a LED volt reg and have the volts adjustable from 3.2v to 4.8v so i had some play room.(I like a higher volt taste but the wife likes the lower volt taste and we share)

    Second question – Also what size and type of battery should I be looking at getting. I also toying with the idea of a fixed rechargeable battery with a charging cord

    I’m fairly new to this one is mod 5 but I want to make this tank i don’t know if it possible

    • Puck

      The only issue with having a tank “under” the wick and element is you need an air channel for air to come through. To eliminate the problem, you could make small air holes in the side if you can get the air to pass over the coil somehow. Atties and such need air to produce vapor. Without air, you won’t get much vapor at all and you coil will most likely burn up.

      So, if you want the tank below the coil, you will need to have air holes and an air passage that will bring the air right to the wick and coil. I believe Joytech has a design kind of like this for their evic head although their tank is on top.

      Most current clearomizers bring the air up through a tube through the center of the tank. The air passes right over the coil and wick causing vapor when the coil is heated up.

      I have some boards I’m working with now that do regulation that are not normal ecig boards. Once I figure out the best way to get these to work for ecig purposes, I will post a tutorial.

      There are lot of folks that have built mods using a fixed rechargable battery. Just make sure the battery can handle the drain. It will have to be at least 3.6 volts or more and handle at minimum, 600 mah for it to work correctly and last any time at all. Preferably 1000 mah or better if you can.

      • obdin

        so I decide to use a JUK9 Carto Tank (6.0mL) and build the mod in to a awesome pipe!!!I have picked my batteries (UltraFire 16340 3.6V 1000mAh Protected Rechargeable Li-ion). I’m going to use them in series for 7.2v and 2000mAh with (LM2596 Power Step-down Voltage Regulator Module) carved in to the side wall and (P4PM 0.56inch LCD Mini Digital Display Voltmeter Panel Voltage Meter) to keep an eye on the volts. I plan on using a vapour switch and a main power switch. Ive been looking on-line for a micro USB charging chip with no luck. I read if you get the wrong one it can A) Fry the chip or B) Blow up the batteries… It would be a huge help if u could link me the right one

        Cheers

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