Rebuilding Atomizers and Variable Mods 101
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Advanced personal vaporizer or e-cigaretteRebuildable atomizers and mods are popular. There are mechanical and variable voltage/variable wattage mods and three types of RBAs: Genesis, bottom fed, and dripper.


Genesis uses stainless steel mesh as a wick. The other atomizers commonly use standard silica as the wick. All atomizers use Nichrome or Kanthal as the resistance wire (heating coil). Resistance less than 1 ohm is known as sub-ohm. Resistance affects the power. Power affects vapor volume, vape temperature, and flavor.


Mechanical mods are a hollow tube with a switch. They contain no circuitry which is why mechanical mods are preferred for sub-ohm vaping. Variable mods allow you to adjust the voltage/power up and down. They also have a protection circuit against shorts. It can’t be used for sub-ohm vaping.


Most vapers use IMR batteries which have a safer chemistry than standard rechargeable batteries.


Rebuildable mods (RBA) have 2 core sections. The lower part (case) that holds the battery is the mod. The coil is located in the top and is a rebuildable atomizer. There is mechanical and variable voltage and wattage.


There are 3 types of atomizers. The top-fed atomizer, a bottom-fed, and a dripper. Drippers are also referred to as RDA or Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer. Top-fed atomizers use stainless steel mesh that's rolled and torched as a wick. The standard builds use silica as the wick.


Nichrome and Kanthal resistance wire is used in the atomizers but Kanthal is more robust. Note: Torching is recommended to burn off any manufacturing residue. This wire is used in many home and industrial applications like heating and ventilation systems, and in small appliances like toasters, coffee pots, and irons.


Drippers do not have a tank. Just add a few drops of e-juice between drags. Drippers have fewer problems with wicking since you drip e-juice directly on top of the coil and you can easily switch flavors.


Length of wire affects resistance. Wrapping lengthens the wire and increases the resistance. Resistances that are less than 1 ohm are known as sub-ohm. Resistance affects the power. Power equals voltage square over the resistance: So, batteries equaling 3 volts with resistance of 1 ohm, the power is 9 watts. Increased resistance will decrease power. When it goes down, power will increase.


Power affects vapor volume, temperature, and flavor. You can adjust the voltage or power up or down with variable mods. You can adjust the voltage and it will directly affect the power or just set the power to a desired wattage. This is similar to vaping at 3.2 volts and 4.8 volts.


Variable mods have a circuit to protect against shorts. Most will not work with low resistances and cannot be used for sub-ohm vaping. Mechanical mods are a hollow tube with a switch with no circuitry in the device. With no protection circuit, anything can be built and it will still fire. That's why mechanical mods are excellent for sub-ohm vaping.


Sub-ohm vaping can be dangerous if you do not know what you are doing.


IMRs are not standard rechargeable batteries. They are supposed to have a safer chemistry. They come in button top or flat top. The number on top is the battery capacity and the lower number is the physical size of the battery.