Every individual has requirements for what they would call the “perfect vape.” For some it’s all about flavor and it just has to taste good. For others it’s juice heated to a precise wattage in a fresh cartomizer and the resulting plume. For some it’s being able to blow massive clouds on a mechanical mod after toiling over sub ohm coils, repetitiously working with wire and cotton until they get the math right. These are the cloud chasers.
Cloud chasing, as the practice has been coined, is the art of using sub ohm coiled atomizers on mechanical mods. The coils can be single, dual or multi configurations. Some cloud chasers are using ribbon wire and others are configuring their setups with nifty micro-coils. They spend their time talking on message boards and subreddits about their .8 ohm coils, showing pictures of his or her builds, coils aglow resembling the color of the sun, gloating about the lack of hot spots. On YouTube you can find the cloud chasers recording themselves expelling clouds so voluminous that if you watch long enough you’ll eventually think you see an animal form. There is no wispiness in the world of the cloud chaser. I am in awe and I am jealous.
What is utterly remarkable about the cloud chasers is how, in each posting or thread, they explain that safety cannot be overemphasized. There is an inherent risk of having a mod blow up in your face and your body covered in scarring battery acid if you are not careful, do not have your math correct, or are not aware of the amp limit or discharge rate of your battery. If you do not understand Ohm’s Law and how that correlates to the drain of your battery, then cloud chasing is likely not for you. It is dangerous if not done correctly and can cause serious bodily harm or burn your house down.
There are a lot of subcultures that make up the vape community. There are folks perfectly content with their streamlined eGo setups, the juice heads that have every flavor imaginable and the mod collectors that can tell you every spec of each device they own. The cloud chasers are the builders or Pecos Bill of vapor, wrangling their equipment to tame the perfect cloud.
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Steffanie Atkins, Norm Bour, Cynthia Cabrera, Dave Cross, Jenee Fowler, Steve Hong, Erick Potter, Nathan Shaw, Maria Verven, Paul M. Voigt
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Do you remember the Tobh rebuildable dripping atomizer?
It was highly sought after for a time, with pre-order waiting lists tearing at the seams as anxious buyers waited their turn to own the version 2.5 following its announcement in 2014. Myself included.
Manufactured in the U.S. with its simple three-post design, nicely milled kidney shaped juice well cutouts with just enough airflow for a restricted lung hit, the Tobh was pretty great at the time of its release.
Even if you haven’t heard of this atty, you’ve probably heard of its creator, Jay Bo. An American modder, Jay Bo has since partnered with Chinese company Wismec in releasing hardware he designed, but that is manufactured in China to keep the cost of his products competitively low for consumers.
I won’t be discussing the Indestructible or Bambino RDAs, nor will I focus my attention on the Noisy Cricket, which are all Jay Bo-designed products that are fine in their own right. Instead, I’ll be discussing one of the most well-received mods to date: The Reuleaux.
The Reuleaux takes its name from the Reuleaux triangle, a term in geometry defining the centermost triangle created when three circles intersect. This is also what gives the mod its unique shape.
Originally fitted with Evolv’s DNA200 board, the Reuleaux was an amazing entry in the high-wattage/temperature control market and came with the asking price of $169.99.
While that may seem pricey at first glance, given their scarcity and average cost of about $80 per unit, early adopters of the DNA200 board priced their mods at $200 and above to offset the cost of Evolv’s expensive chipset in order to turn a more favorable profit.
Additionally, these early DNA200-powered mods were also limited to utilizing internal battery packs, which offered little to no user serviceability and often gave way to less than stellar battery life, particularly for users who prefer high-wattage vaping.
This is precisely why the Reuleaux DNA200 was so special. It was the first DNA200-powered device to ditch the internal battery packs and grant users the ability to use three removable 18650 batteries of their choosing wired in series, and outputting a true 200 watts of power with the three cells providing a total of 11.1 volts.
At under $200, this device quickly grew in popularity and increasingly became the obvious choice for those vapers who wanted a longer lasting DNA200 vaping experience, with the benefit of user serviceability and a price point that beat out much of the competition. Enter the Reuleaux RX200.
Utilizing a 200-watt temp control chip created by long-time e-cigarette manufacturer Joyetech Enterprises, this iteration of the Reuleaux has just about the same functionality as the DNA200 version, but comes at a much cheaper price point. Where its predecessor is priced at about $170, the Reuleaux RX200 can be purchased for about $65, and in some cases, I’ve seen it sell for a little over $40.
The physical specs are virtually identical between the sister devices. As is the build quality. Both variations make use of an OLED display, both have spring loaded 510 connections, a magnetic battery cover and USB charging capability. The devices are 84mm tall, 50mm wide and 38mm across.
The main difference here are the guts of both devices. While the DNA200 and RX200 chipsets are firmware upgradeable, and can do temp control when using nickel, stainless steel and titanium wire builds, you do get more for your money with the DNA200, but that depends largely on whether you need the extra features.
The most notable difference is Evolv’s Escribe PC software. With it you can customize just about anything you like. From adjusting display brightness, to inserting custom graphics when the device boots up, or simply substituting images or text for system prompts or custom presets.
What is particularly useful is the board’s ability to allow users the option of creating system profiles. In other words, the DNA200 allows you to save and select between eight groups of output settings.
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“Each profile contains an output power setting and a maximum temperature setting. These can be adjusted on the device, and will be saved when a different profile is selected. Additionally, the resistance lock setting and value for each atomizer is saved in the profile, which can alleviate temperature inaccuracies stemming from attaching atomizers before they have completely cooled,” according to Evolv.
While better in terms of customization, the DNA200 model isn’t without faults. The mod makes use of indentation rings inside the battery housing to ensure reverse polarity protection by allowing only the correct battery terminal to come in contact with the mod. That’s all fine and good, however, the outermost battery tends to loosen when the mod is rattled or set down with force, which prevents the device from functioning properly, unless the magnetic battery cover is removed and that battery is repositioned.
For whatever reason one of the innermost batteries is hard to remove from inside the device and each time I attempt to break it free, the battery terminal likes to tear the wrapping of the battery. This could just be an issue affecting my review product, but I’ve heard others complain about torn wraps due to the design of the indentation rings.
The RX200 model, on the other hand, has different battery terminals that provide reverse polarity protection without the need for indentation rings and thus battery wraps do not get ripped, the batteries are easier to remove and they fit securely inside the mod.
The only gripe I have with the RX200 is that from time to time when not in use and powered on, my selected wattage drops down to 20 watts, no matter what it had been set to previously. The same happened to a friend’s device, and while this occurs infrequently enough, it should be mentioned.
Additionally, there’s a delay when firing the RX200 after sitting idle that might bother some people, but at least the RX200 model can be powered on and off with five clicks of the fire button, unlike the DNA200 version.
Having used both devices, the clear winner in my book is the Reuleaux RX200. The model’s chip might not be as accurate as the Evolv DNA200, particularly with lower resistance builds operating at higher wattages, but the functionality of the Joyetech board compared to Evolv’s is strikingly similar.
In the end you’d be getting the same feel and fit as the DNA200 model, but at a significantly cheaper price point if you went with the RX200. If you’re not concerned with customization and profile settings, I think the choice is pretty clear.
*A special thanks goes to Jake Riccardi of the Long Island Vaporium in Ronkonkoma, NY for loaning me his Reuleaux DNA200 mod for the purpose of writing this article.
Agent VAPE received this email (edited for brevity): On April 19, the House Appropriations Committee voted to include a bipartisan amendment, sponsored by Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), to the 2017 fiscal year Agricultural Appropriations bill that would amend the Feb. 15, 2007 “grandfather date” for currently unregulated tobacco product categories, including nicotine-containing electronic vaping devices and the “e-liquid” used in them. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to “deem” such e-vapor products subject to its authority under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act), pending finalization of the so-called “Deeming Regulation” (FDA-2014-N-0189). The inclusion of the Cole-Bishop Amendment in the appropriations bill has been hailed as a victory for the e-vapor industry, but there remains a long road ahead before this budget amendment can effectively change the statutory grandfather date for deemed products.
Given that there were virtually no e-vapor products on the market as of Feb. 15, 2007, effectively all e-vapor products would be considered new tobacco products requiring premarket authorization. Further, because the SE process requires a manufacturer to compare their product to a “predicate” product (i.e., a grandfathered product, or a product authorized previously for sale through the SE process), if the grandfather date is not amended, the only pathway to market for e-vapor products would be through the PMTA process. For more on potential alternative grandfather dates for deemed products, see “The Grandfather Date – What are FDA’s Alternatives?“
The Cole-Bishop amendment to the 2017 Agricultural Appropriations bill would change the grandfather date specifically for deemed products from Feb. 15, 2007 to the effective date of the Deeming Regulation (i.e., most likely sometime in 2016). If this amendment becomes law, any nicotine-containing e-vapor products on the market as of the effective date of the final rule would be grandfathered and, although such products would still have to comply with the rest of the Tobacco Control Act, could avoid the lengthy and expensive PMTA process. Grandfathered products could also serve as predicate products for future SE Reports for new products intended to be marketed after the new grandfather date.
In addition to changing the grandfather date for deemed products, the amendment also includes language that will:
Require FDA to begin rulemaking to establish a product standard for e-vapor product batteries within 1 year of the effective date of the Deeming Regulation, and publish a final product standard for e-vapor product batteries within 2 years of the effective date of the Deeming Regulation.
Cause an e-vapor product to be considered misbranded under the FDCA if it is advertised in a newspaper, magazine, periodical, or any other publication other than an adult publication (i.e., a publication with 15% or less of its readership from readers younger than 18 years of age, and read by fewer than two million persons under 18 years of age).
Require retailers to sell e-vapor products in direct face-to-face exchanges without the use of any electronic or mechanical devices, such as a vending machine. This provision contains an exemption for mail-order sales (i.e., internet), and allows the use of vending machines or self-service displays if the machine or display is located in a facility where the retailer can ensure no persons under the age of 18 would be permitted to enter (i.e., adult-only facilities).
Require publication, within 1 year of the effective date of the Deeming Regulation, a regulation that would require e-vapor products to be labeled with the phrases “Keep Out of Reach of Children,” and “Underage Sale Prohibited,” as well as feature an accurate statement of the nicotine content of the product.
Requires retailers (e.g., vape shops) to register their establishment with FDA unless such retailer has already registered under any state or federal law.
While it is certainly good news for the e-vapor industry, the Cole-Bishop amendment still has a long way to go before it becomes law. Both the House and the Senate will eventually have to vote on and pass the Agricultural Appropriations bill (with the amendment), which must ultimately be signed by the President. In addition, it is not yet clear when the bill will advance through Congress and make its way to the President, as recent budget bills have been passed in the final days of the previous fiscal year. It is very possible, if not probable, that the Deeming Regulation will be published before the Agricultural Appropriations bill becomes law, likely leading to additional showdowns between anti-tobacco and vaping advocates over the public health and economic impact of FDA’s rule, and the need to change the grandfather date for deemed products.
If you have any questions about the forthcoming Deeming Regulation and the premarket authorization requirements for new products, please contact us. For more information about our Tobacco and E-Vapor practice, click here.
VAPE Magazine writer and VAPE Radio host Norm Bour has been invited to present at the first vaping event in Prague, Czech Republic.
Vapexpo Prague 2016 will be held August 12-13 and joins other countries that are hosting their own national shows, including the Baltic Vape Show, Vape Expo Poland, as well as those in Ireland, France and the UK.
The main objective of Vapexpo Prague is to support and develop the dynamically growing sphere of Vapexpo Prague 2016 guests, and participants will be able to taste and buy new items and best sellers from the world’s leading manufacturers of vaping products.
The Prague show will include traditional cloud contests and giveaways but will also focus on education, with topics like:
- Creation of a successful vaping business from scratch
- Marketing and digital tools for vaping business
- Analysis and prospects for global and regional markets
- New possibilities for the sale of electronic inhalers in Europe
- Features of the Czech market
- Standardization and quality assessment
Since the United States is the leader in the vape space, and international companies want to do business here, Bour will be presenting a talk on “How to Do Business in America.”
As the founder of VapeMentors, the largest vape consultancy in the United States, he is well prepared after working with almost 40 companies internationally since 2013.
So what is it exactly that I have to share about Mods. Well, at this juncture in my vaping lifestyle, I actually have much to report on the matter at hand. I have recently switched over from strictly Vape pens to using primarily Mods with RDAs. This is my story about that transition.
I think the best place to begin with the story of my journey of becoming a vaper is to simply start from the very beginning of my days where I was first exposed to tobacco cigarettes. After all, most vapers are former smokers.
Taking this into account, the very first time I smoked a cigarette, I was in Middle School and I was doing it to be cool, or so I thought. I wanted to look older than I was, because when you’re that age, being an adult seemed “cool,” since adults had more freedom than teenagers. Now when I look back on it, I wish vaping was around rather than just the deadly tobacco cigarettes. Could you imagine if vaping were around back in the early to mid-90s? That would have changed my lifestyle over the past 20 years a great deal.
Given how much vaping has evolved, I’m still impressed with the technological advancements. I can not even begin to imagine what the market would be like if vaping had been around for more than 20 years.
Not only does the market continually evolve in technological features, we, as vapers, also evolve. For example, I was a smoker for more than 15 years. Sure, I enjoyed it, but I began chain smoking while living in Chicago where cigarettes were literally $10 per pack. That is quite a bit of wasted money when you consider I smoked more than a pack a day; that’s nearly $100 a week.
At this point, you may be thinking “seriously what does this have to do with mods?” Don’t worry I’m getting to it.
When I finally gave into switching from tobacco cigarettes to participating in the art of vaping, I first started using e-cigs, or cigalikes, such as VUSE or BLU. Those were the very first two brands I tried for almost two months, but of course, like most vapers, I didn’t want to support Big Tobacco products. I needed better flavor with more vapor production.
So, like a parallel entity of the evolving vape industry, I too began my vaping evolution. As suggested in the title, it is inevitable, a vaping journey surely will evolve no matter what the case.
Therefore, after switching to strictly vaping, I upgraded to vape-pens. At first, it was just the basic eGo set-up — 600mah battery with a cheap knock-off top fill tank, in which I only vaped tobacco flavored E-Liquids. Basically, slowly but surely, I was learning how to vape. Correctly.
After using this slightly unsatisfying device for a couple weeks, I moved onto something better. A device with variable voltage battery power, the Vision Spinner II with a Nautilus mini tank, Vaping more fruity flavors. I quickly became obsessed with collecting Vape-pens, each one with different flavored juice accompanying each tank.
Everyone urged me to at least get a device that was subohm, but I vaped 12mg, and vapers know you don’t want to be caught dripping 12mg or vaping any nicotine strength above 3mg or 6mg with today’s mods. I guess it depends on how tough you are, because I have a friend who vapes 18mg out of a sub-ohm tank and box mod setup. Perhaps some do drip 12mg with an RDA, but for most vapers, that’s just far too harsh. Furthermore, for about a year I preferred the higher nicotine strengths, so I continued to use pens exclusively.
All of my vaping friends would urge me to get a real mod, but I could never give in because I didn’t want to give up the
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stronger nicotine. Taking this into account, I came across a Sigelei 50w Box Mod for only $30, what kind of a vaper would I be to pass up that deal? My time had come, the evolution of the vaper was beginning to take hold.
My next purchase was an INNOKIN iSub APEX Tank. Using the APEX tank, I was getting great flavor and producing large clouds of thick vapor. Oh boy, watch out now, I’m a pro. Next thing you know I’ll be blowin’ some Os. I wish I were kidding but I have been practicing and let me tell you, it ain’t easy to make O rings, yet practice makes perfect.
After buying that Sigelei Box Mod, it was all over for my vapepen obsession from there. My 12 mg preference was now a 3 mg preference. I began searching far and wide for the perfect RDA. I got lucky and I found that perfection in a Royal Hunter RDA.
Nowadays I don’t leave my house without at least three mods at all times. I typically now carry my Sigelei 50w box mod with either an RDA or my Aspire Triton tank as the top piece. The funny thing is even though the Sigelei was my first mod, it’s not even close to my favorite. That title goes to my iPV D2 mod with a Royal Hunter RDA. Quite the change for the pen-addict.
The other device I carry is my Tribus Alpha TC made by Royaltech. This particular device is somewhat special to me due to the fact that it was free. I did a review video of the mod, and fell in love with it.
Regardless, no matter how or when you begin vaping, eventually you will work your way up to the world of mods. It may take a while — at least it did for me.
Of course I’m going by my own personal experience. However, most of the vapers I know or talk to tell me they began with the tobacco or menthol type flavors and then transitioned to fruity or custard flavors. For all of you who are just beginning your journey or those of you who are hesitant to make the move to a mod, give it some time — it’s inevitable.
SFATA hosted its first live broadcast on Facebook this week with its President and Executive Director Cynthia Cabrera talking about a wide range of issues the vapor industry is currently facing and how SFATA is leading the industry’s response.
At its peak, nearly 500 people joined the conversation, and the video of the event has been watched more than 5,500 times.
The hour-long broadcast covered FDA deeming regulations, state and local issues, and more with a focus on what SFATA is doing the build a strong, sustainable future for vapor businesses. The organization said in its recent email that it has received many emails about the broadcast, membership and chapter formation in response, and they are working to turn the enthusiasm from this event into action for the industry.