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Guide to e-cig world.
#4
The all-mighty electronic cigarette.
We discussed the principles of the operation of an electronic cigarette and found out that this is a small pocket smoke machine in which a spiral under the influence of an electric current heats the liquid coming to it through the wick and, thus, turns the liquid into vapor. Now it's time to look inside, and find out exactly how this happens. If we need to create a device that evaporates liquid with electricity, it is necessary to solve three main tasks:
  1. Where can it get electricity?
  2. How to deliver the liquid to the coil?
  3. How to make liquid to vaporize?
In fact, an electronic cigarette consists of three main parts, each of which solves one of the above tasks:
  1. Battery (responsible for storing and feeding electric charge to the heating coil)
  2. Fluid reservoir (contains a supply of liquid)
  3. Evaporative element (responsible for the actual evaporation of the liquid)
Quite often, two or even all three of these parts can be combined in one package and look like a single unit - in modern electronic cigarettes, the evaporation element is usually combined with a liquid reservoir (this design is called an atomizer). On the other hand, any of these three parts can exist separately, and often a fully functional e-cigarette can be assembled from parts manufactured even in completely different factories under different brands. In the world of electronic cigarettes, there is a certain compatibility of components among themselves. Electronic cigarettes are also sold in a variety of options. You can buy:
  • One-time electronic cigarette, in the body of which all of the above elements are contained.
  • Re-usable electronic cigarette in the form of a set, which includes everything you need - battery and atomizer. Sometimes all this is done in a single package and inseparably, but more often the battery and the atomizer are separate modules and are connected using a connector.
  • Separate components of a re-usable electronic cigarette: separate battery compartment and separate atomizer.
Both disposable and re-usable electronic cigarettes can measure from miniature, simulating a conventional cigarette, to huge "electronic hookahs". Forms are also very diverse - from cylinders simulating ordinary cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars or simply not trying to pretend to be like anything, boxes and so on. In addition to the sizes, many other things are different: the capacity of the batteries and the maximum power, the volume of the liquid in the tank, the ways and convenience of refilling, the ability to replace the coil or build it yourself, and much, much more.
Connector of the electronic cigarette.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, in modern reusable electronic cigarettes, a battery and an atomizer are connected to each other by means of a connector.
The connector of the electronic cigarette is a simple thing, but it's also very important, because it provides the compatibility between the batteries and atomizers of different models and manufacturers. The connector looks like a threaded connection, through which the atomizer is attached to the battery. The most common type of connector is type 510. It is found on 99% of reusable electronic cigarettes sold all over the world, and guarantees to users and manufacturers a certain level of compatibility between different batteries and atomizers.
The history of the appearance of this connector is uncomplicated: it is named after the very popular model of the electronic cigarette by Joyetech, which tried its best to resemble a conventional cigarette, and had about the same diameter and length. The Joyetech 510 consisted of an atomizer and a battery, and they were connected using a threaded connector with an internal thread on the battery side and an external connector on the side of the atomizer. 510 means that the threaded connection has 10 turns with a distance of 0.5 millimeters between them. The diameter of the connector is 7 millimeters.
The model was extremely popular and had many clones and imitations. And since then the type of connector has not changed - to maintain compatibility, almost all manufacturers in most of their models of batteries and atomizers continue to use this connector.
There were two main types of 510 connector: a frequently encountered variety without a "skirt", just this was on the original Joyetech 510, and for much older electronic cigarettes there is the modification with a "skirt", which at one time appeared on another popular model Joyetech eGo. Thus, the modification of the 510 connector with the skirt can be referred to as the eGo connector or 510/eGo connector.
As for the compatibility of these two connector types, they are only conditional: you can usually install an atomizer with any kind of 510 connector on a battery with a 510/eGo connector, but there is a problem to install an atomizer with a 510/eGo connector on an usual 510 connector battery - it is only possible to do by using the appropriate adapter - they are manufactured and available for sale.
It only remains to add that there were other types of connectors, in addition to the 510, but none of them was widely used, and most of them are now safely forgotten. Sometimes you can meet other types of connectors, but, as a rule, these are proprietary (private) connectors that can be seen only on particular model and nowhere else.
E-cigarette battery unit.
The battery of an electronic cigarette plays a very important part. Although the battery itself does not convert the liquid into vapor, it is the only source of energy for such a transformation.
In addition, all the functions of controlling an electronic cigarette, starting from a button, by clicking on which the user starts evaporation, and up to all sorts of extra features, are also concentrated in the battery unit. Roughly speaking, it also contains all electronics of the electronic cigarette, forgive me for that spelling.
As for the size and appearance, then there is a complete diversity. As I have mentioned before, at the dawn of their appearance electronic cigarettes tried to be as good as ordinary cigarettes, but then this desire came to naught, and now the designers are limited only by their own imagination and vision.
But, in any case, batteries for electronic cigarettes can still be divided into two large classes - made in the form of a tube, or made in the form of "box". The latter are often called "box-mods".
Inside such a "pipe" or "box", there is a mandatory source of electricity - one or more lithium-ion (or lithium-polymer, in rare cases) battery cells. These battery cells can be removable or non-removable, can be charged both directly in the case (just as you charge your mobile phone without removing the battery from it), or in a special external charger for this type of battery. Naturally, in the latter case, the battery cell must be removable.
Electronic cigarettes use the most modern type of "chemistry" of battery cells, denoted as Li-Ion or Li-Pol. Such battery cells have the maximum current density (the amount of accumulated energy per unit of mass of the battery), and are free from unpleasant and inconvenient effects such as "memory effect".
It should be kept in mind that absolutely all lithium-ion or lithium-polymer battery cells have the same electrical properties: being fully charged, such a cell has a voltage of 4.2 volts, and when it discharges - it drops significantly, and the minimum threshold is 3,2 Volts, upon reaching which the cell counts as depleted.
This knowledge we will need in the future, when we will discuss the "electrical" aspects of the work of electronic cigarettes, so remember these figures.
As for the size of battery cells, they can also be very diverse, although the most popular sizes are usually used for removable cells. Of these, the most common is the size 18650, where the first two digits of 18 indicate the diameter in millimeters, and the next two - the height in millimeters. That is, a battery cell of the size 18650 is a cylinder with a diameter of 18 and a height of 65 millimeters. Earlier, cells of size 26650 were distributed, and now 20700 and 21700 are gaining popularity - their diameter and height can be determined independently. There are also more "exotic" sizes, for example, 10400, 18350 or 16650.
But let's leave the battery cells for a while, and get back to the battery units of electronic cigarettes themselves.
In addition to the power supply itself, most electronic cigarette battery units also contain some kind of electronic circuit of greater or lesser complexity, which answers immediately for much:
  • Supply voltage to the atomizer only during inhale.
  • Control voltage output, that is, the power of the electronic cigarette.
  • In the presence of thermal control modes - control the temperature of the spiral.
  • Charge built-in or replaceable battery cells.
  • Indication of the status of the battery and other operating parameters.
  • Protect the battery from overcharge and overcharge.
  • Protection against short circuit, from too long inhales and the like.
  • Service functions such as puff counters, backlight color changes, screen-severs, games, built-in clocks and so on.
It is necessary to understand that not all models contain all this set of functions, many are limited to only a few of them, the most important are the supply of voltage during the inhale, the indication of the discharge of the battery, and protection against short circuits.
The electronic circuit in the battery unit of the electronic cigarette may have some means of control and indication: one or more control buttons, one or more LED indicators. In more advanced models, pretty big displays are often built in, up to touch and color, where information is displayed in text and graphics. In addition, there are models in which control is carried out from a connected special smartphone application or even voice input.
Automatic and manual control.
Once again we remember: when electronic cigarettes just appeared, one of their main tasks was imitation of the regular cigarettes. Therefore at their creation designers tried to make so that also process of their work differed nothing from smoking. In such electronic cigarettes, a special inhale sensor was mandatory, which allowed the electronics to apply voltage to the atomizer only at the moment when the user inhales and automatically cut off its supply when the puff is over.
Batteries working on this principle are usually called "automatic", and they can have no buttons at all - in this case they are absolutely unnecessary. The user simply makes a puff, the electronic circuit inside the battery understands this with a sensor, and turns on the power supply. The atomizer starts to produce vapor from the liquid, and does so until the user ceases to draw in air. Typically, the supply of electricity to the atomizer is accompanied by the inclusion of a light indicator at the end of the cigarette, which can even simulate the light of regular cigarette.
At the moment, "automatic" almost do not occur among reusable electronic cigarettes, because they were not very reliable, but they still constitute near one hundred percent of disposable electronic cigarettes. A characteristic feature of the "automatic" is the air duct running inside the battery itself - it is needed to trigger the inhale sensor. The presence of this duct is what makes such batteries not very reliable: sooner or later liquid from the atomizer gets there and disables either the sensor itself or the electronics board. In contrast to "automatic machines", most electronic cigarette rechargeable batteries - the so-called "manual" ones, have been equipped with a button to control the supply of electricity to the atomizer. On these batteries there is a large and conveniently located button, which the user must hold during the inhale. Plus of this solution - reliability and independence from the design of the atomizer, and minus - the inability to make a puff, holding the cigarette with your lips or teeth without the help of hands. However, modern electronic cigarettes are usually too large and heavy to hold them like that when vaping.
Charging the electronic cigarette.
The battery of a modern electronic cigarette can be recharged, usually through the built-in charger, which receives power through the MicroUSB port (less often - USB Type C and others) - as well as any of the many other gadgets running on the battery.
Some obsolete or simply too small electronic cigarettes can have other charging methods - for example, specialized chargers that somehow attach to the battery. Sometimes they are screwed into a regular 510 connector instead of an atomizer (which will have to be unscrewed for charging), sometimes charging is connected to the magnet to the end of the battery opposite from the connector. There are also very tiny electronic cigarettes, the size of an ordinary cigarette, for which one (or even the only) method of charging is to place them in a special "cigarette case", inside which is a larger battery that transfers a charge to a small battery of an electronic cigarette. In this case, the user through USB charges the "cigarette case" battery, and then carries his electronic cigarette in it, where it is constantly recharged. If the battery cell is replaceable and has one of the standard sizes, it can be charged outside the case of the electronic cigarette itself, in a universal external charger for Li-ion batteries. Such devices are widely available on sale, and have from one to six slots for the battery cells. As a rule, in slots having a spring-loaded contact, it is possible to install cells of various formats, up to 26650.
If we talk about the time necessary to fully charge the battery, it depends on many factors - both on the current consumed, and on the number and capacity of the battery cells. Typically, this is 2-3 hours, but in some cases, the time needed to fully charge, can reach 5-8 hours.
The figure of the capacity of the battery cells requires a separate discussion. I only note that, as a rule, the capacitance of the battery of an electronic cigarette is tried to be sufficient to ensure that the user can not care about the need to charge it during the day, but, unfortunately, this is not always possible - the power levels of vape devices grow much faster than the capacity of available batteries.
Mechanical mods.
In some cases, the battery of an electronic cigarette, despite the name, may not contain any electronics at all - just a compartment for the battery cell, a mechanical button and a connector. Such minimalist patterns are popular among the vaping enthusiasts and are commonly referred to as "mechanical mods" or "mech".
In fact, all that mech can do is to apply voltage directly from the battery to the atomizer when you press the button. All issues of protection, control, management, charging, etc. remain at the mercy of the user. The battery cell or cells in the mechmods are usually replaceable, external chargers should be used to charge them.
The button for mechmods, as a rule, is quite large, is almost always inconvenient (often on the bottom end of the battery), it can have a mechanical lock from accidental pressing, or can simply be drowned into the case as such protection.
The use of mechmods is unsafe, since in them the lithium-ion battery is located without any protection from a special protective circuit, which should not give the battery an ability to over-charge, over-discharge, and must protect it from short circuit. There were cases of explosions of battery cells in mechmods.
So, we have established that electronic cigarette accumulators come in a variety of shapes and sizes, contain either removable or non-removable one or several battery cells, usually have control elements and displays, and can often be charged from USB. To connect the battery to the atomizer, the 510 connector is usually used, although the atomizer and the battery can be made as All-In-One. Well, and to supply electricity to the spiral at the time of puff, either the inhale sensor or "manual" button control is used, which the user presses and holds during the puff.
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Messages In This Thread
Guide to e-cig world. - Crazybasil - 04-27-2018, 06:14 PM
RE: Guide to e-cig world. - Crazybasil - 04-28-2018, 04:07 PM
RE: Guide to e-cig world. - Liz (glizz) - 05-03-2018, 06:46 PM
RE: Guide to e-cig world. - Crazybasil - 05-04-2018, 07:08 PM
RE: Guide to e-cig world. - Vapelove - 06-08-2018, 05:36 PM

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