Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Review: Wotofo Serpent Mini 25mm RTA

Last summer when I went to Denmark on vacation I had some time to kill one day so I decided to see if I could find a vape shop. I did... and needless to say I ended up buying something. This something was a Serpent Mini and another Minivolt to go with it, and this little setup has become one of my favourites lately. The Serpent Mini produces just excellent flavour and decent vapor on pretty low wattages, I usually run it around 20-25W on a 0.8 ohm build, which is great since the Minivolt actually lasts quite a while. Today I'm reviewing what you might call the Serpent Mini's big brother, the Serpent Mini 25mm RTA. The name of this feels kind of weird to me though... I mean it's really not that mini. Then again, it looks very similar to the Serpent Mini, with a lot of the same features. It's just bigger... so there is room for some more of the good stuff.

In the box
    • Serpent Mini 25mm RTA with single coil deck installed.
    • Dual coil velocity style deck
    • Pack of spare o-rings and a multi-tool
    • Pack of Japanese Organic Cotton
    • Pack of Wotofo Comp Wire (3 pre-made twisted coils)
    • Spare glass tank
    • User manual 
        Specifications
        • 25mm diameter, 48mm height
        • 4.5ml juice capacity
        • Dual coil and single coil deck included
        • Adjustable airflow control
        • Top filling

          Look and feel

          As I said, the 25mm edition of the Serpent Mini looks pretty much like the original on steroids. Same external design, clean with just the name engraved on the top cap. Nothing to fancy, and I like that. I've got the Stainless Steel version of this and I'm happy with that actually. My original Serpent Mini is black... or at least was black when I bought it. Now it's kind of a mix between black and SS :) I guess the SS version won't have this problem. I have to say though, that my original has been used a lot and has just been carried in my pockets when I'm out and about.

          In use

          As with the Goblin Mini that I reviewed last time, the Serpent Mini 25 also comes with two different decks, one for single coil builds and one velocity style deck for dual coils. Switching between these are pretty damn easy, you simply unscrew them from the base. There is an o-ring there however that you need to make sure does not disappear. It's quite loose and easily comes off.

          You will recognise the single coil deck from the original Serpent Mini if you've tried that. I for one find this deck pretty easy to build on, just make sure you keep your coil a bit elevated so it doesn't touch the base of your deck. When wicking it I prefer to just keep the knurled ring, that kind of keeps your wicks in place, on a all times and just use a pincer to stuff your wicks down there on both sides. The dual-coil deck is also a dream to build on... well it's not really a surprise since it's a velocity style deck, which is my preferred style of decks atm. The post holes are 2 mm which I'd say is sufficient for my use at least. Wouldn't build with any thicker wire in this atty anyway.

          The top filling is excellent with huge fill holes and a top cap with nice smooth threading. Same goes for the airflow control, nice and smooth and plenty of air when fully open.

          The whole thing is easy to take apart and clean. You can also unscrew the base and re-build your atty without emptying the tank first. Pretty much standard stuff on these kind of atties these days I'd say.

          Performance

          You can, obviously, fit some bigger and more crazy builds in the 25mm version of the Serpent Mini than you can in the original. Which means you can hit it with some more wattage, producing more vapor. Still, I think the flavour is just excellent, as it was in the original. I like it both in dual and single coil setups. As always with an RTA, the performance depends on your build, but I really like the flavour that the twisted coils that come in the box produces. This goes for both single and dual coil setup. Since this is a 25mm atty you'd probably end up using it with a quite powerful mod, which means you can do some more crazy builds and hit it with quite a lot of power for some huge clouds, but you can also go more easy on it and have an all day build that won't empty your tank in a flash.
           
          Pros and cons

          ++ Great flavour and vapor production
          + Dual and single coil decks
          + Easy to use and clean
          - That loose o-ring on the build decks that tends to disappear when you're changing decks.

          Conclusion

          It's tempting to compare this one to it's little brother, the original Serpent Mini, of course. Still, this 25mm version is a lot bigger and you will probably end up using it differently. The original is still superb for small, lower wattage setups, while this one is more ideal for bigger setups, either for huge clouds and lots of power, or for long lasting all day builds. The flavour however, is excellent on both of them. You can get the 25 mm edition for around $30-35ish (NOK 319 at dampevarer.no), making it a great buy if you ask me. I've used mine a lot since I got it.

          Thanks a lot to Dag Einar at dampevarer.no for sending me this atty for review.


          dampevarer.no
          Disclosure:
          • All my reviews are my honest opinion even if I am affiliated with the company manufacturing or selling the product.
          • This product was sent to me for free for the purpose of this review.
          • This review does not contain affiliate links.

          Friday, 25 November 2016

          Review: Goblin Mini V3 by UD

          The Goblin Mini tanks by UD (or Youde) have been some of my favourite mini tanks. I have both the V1 and the V2, and I've loved them both. Have to admit that the V2 has been used a lot more than the V1, simply because it has top filling. In my opinion these are pretty much equal when it comes to building (takes some trial and error to get the right amount of cotton), flavour and of course capacity, but of course ... you don't need to bring a screwdriver to fill the V1. For me the filling mechanism on the V1 is the reason I haven't used it as much as the V2. Now, it's time to try out the V3.

          In the box
            • Goblin Mini V3, dual coil velocity style deck installed
            • Stainless Steel drip tip
            • Optional delrin drip tip with heat resistant top cap cover
            • Spare Pyrex glass tank section
            • Allen key
            • Single coil deck
            • Spares pack with o-rings and screws

                Specifications
                • 22mm diameter, 33mm height (without drip tip and 510 connector)
                • 2ml juice capacity
                • Stainless steel and pyrex glass
                • Dual coil and single coil deck included
                • Velocity style decks
                • Adjustable juice flow
                • Bottom airflow control
                • Top filling
                • Anti-spitback
                • 4ml extension tube available

                  Look and feel

                  This little thing look pretty good in my opinion. Quite simple design with the logo printed on the chamber section inside the tank and only some indicators for the juice-flow and air-flow on the outside. Not that there is much space to print anything else on there. The spare top o-rings are different colours from the original one so you can spice up the looks with some colour if you like that. The threading is nice and smooth and the whole thing feels pretty solidly built. Available in stainless steel and black, and I think you'll be able to get pyrex tubes in different colours as well.

                  In use

                  Let's start out with the build decks, cause they're awesome and a big improvement from the V1 and V2 in my opinion. The dual-coil deck is a velocity style deck, which I love, and the single coil deck is... well pretty much the same style except they've moved the posts to one side so there is only one air-hole in the deck. The post holes are big enough to fit some pretty thick clapton wire, so no limitations here. If you push the limit of the post holes you probably won't be able to fit the coil in the chamber anyway. It is pretty easy to build on both decks, I've been running both single and dual claptons in there. I also feel it's more forgiving when it comes to the amount of cotton you need to put in there to avoid leaks. Both the V1 and the V2 have some problems with this if you don't put enough cotton in there, and they struggle with wicking if you put in too much, so you need to be pretty spot on. On the V3 I've had no problems with wicking even on quite high wattages and 100% VG juice, and I've had no leaking issues at all.

                  To change the deck you need to unscrew the center pin and just pull the deck out. There's a system to make sure the deck is correctly aligned with the juice canals so it's no problem getting the decks lined up correctly. The juice flow control system will automatically open when you screw the atty onto a mod, and you just twist it slightly back again to close it, so it will also close when you unscrew the atty from your mod. Works great if you ask me. I only have it on fully open or fully closed though, as the juices I vape are usually at least 50% VG. It might be useful to close the juice flow down a bit if you have very thin juices, I don't know, never tried it.

                  The airflow is also improved a bit from the previous Goblin Mini versions. It is
                  now slightly raised from the bottom of the tank, so it is a lot easier to adjust it. Fully open it gives more than enough air for proper direct lung hits and I've been running it on wattages up to 60ish with no problems. There is also an optional delrin drip-tip included that will also cover the top cap so you don't burn your lips if you crank up the watts and the tank gets pretty hot. I've been using the V3 mostly on like 35ish watts so I haven't felt the need to use the delrin tip though.

                  The top filling is nice and easy with huge fill holes so you can just pour the juice in there from pretty much any bottle you like. Works great. The juice capacity isn't huge though... only 2ml compared to the 3ml of the first two versions. I guess this might have something to do with the TPD, but also the build decks and chamber are a bit bigger on this one. You can, however, buy an extension tube, doubling the capacity.

                  There is also a spit-back protection system than should be mentioned. It consists of a small part that you screw into the chamber from the inside. I thought it looked like a pain to get in there but it was actually quite easy. Just use your allen key or something like that, stick into one of the holes and use it to tighten the thing. With this installed I've experienced no spit back at all, so it seems to work. However... I didn't have any spit back problems before I installed it either... so to be honest I'm not sure it's needed. Guess it might depend on your build.

                  Performance

                  Great flavour and great vapor production. Simple as that. I liked the flavour of the first versions and I don't think this one stands back compared to those. Among the configurations I've tried I think I like a single coil Clapton the best, but also a dual twisted setup have given me great flavour. One of my favourite tanks when it comes to flavour lately have been the serpent mini, and the V3 is almost as good in my opinion. If not as good... haven't really decided yet, guess I need to test them with similar single coil builds to make up my mind.

                  Pros and cons

                  + Great flavour and
                  + Nice airflow control and juice flow control
                  + Easy to use and clean
                  + Great build decks
                  + Size
                  - Juice capacity

                  Conclusion

                  To me, the V3 wins over the V1 and V2 in all other aspects than juice capacity. This is the reason I'll hang on to my V2 as well. Then again, the top filling on the V3 is very good so it's still a good option to bring out and about. Priced at around $30 (NOK 263,20 at dampevarer.no right now, 20% off until monday it seems) it's worth every penny if you ask me.

                  Thanks a lot to Dag Einar at dampevarer.no for making this review possible.


                  dampevarer.no
                  Disclosure:
                  • All my reviews are my honest opinion even if I am affiliated with the company manufacturing or selling the product.
                  • This review does not contain affiliate links.

                  Wednesday, 16 November 2016

                  Juice Review: Steepd Walter White Xtra & Pink Fizz by UFA Vape

                  Steepd is a new range of e-liquids from UK manufacturer UFA Vape. From what I've seen there are 4 juices in the range, available in 30ml glass bottles, and I was sent two of them for this review. You can get it in 3 or 6 mg/ml nicotine strength and they all come in 80/20 VG/PG ratio. I can't really find the Steepd range on the UFA web page so I guess this range is just sold through other vendors. I do appreciate that they've put up reports from analysis of their juices on their page though, shows that they're serious about making vaping as safe as possible. I was sent some of their original juices as well, and a review of those will follow as soon as I've tried them out.

                  Walter White Xtra

                  Tested on: Goblin Mini V3 (Single clapton @ 0.4 ohms, 35-45 watts)


                  This juice is described as "Blue raspberry bubblegum and aniseed, with a chill". That sounds like an interesting blend I have to say. I have been experimenting with raspberry menthol blends before, quite unsuccessfully I have to admit. I guess that was a result of my severe lack of experience when it comes to mixing my own e-liquid flavours. But anyway, opening the bottle the smell of raspberry immediately immediately comes forward. Actually I didn't even have to open the bottle to smell it. You can also smell the aniseed in there but it's not super strong. Vaping it, I was pleasantly surprised. Don't really know why, I guess I didn't have any specific expectations for it. But it is really good. In fact... it's great. I opened the bottle just a few days ago and it is almost empty already. Very well balanced and the description is pretty spot on. Really refreshing juice that I for one could vape all day. I guess I already did, that's why the bottle is almost empty. It's worth noting that this is a pretty thick juice (that goes for the Pink Fizz as well) so keep that in mind when you're wicking your atty for it.

                  Pink Fizz

                  Tested on: Steamcrave RDTA V2 (Dual Alien Clapton @ 0.2 ohms, 65-75 watts)

                  Described as "Tangy and juicy old-fashioned fruit flavours". Smells like fruit candy, and I guess that is pretty much what they are aiming for with this juice. The second description on the Electronic Cigarette Co. webpage says: "An old school classic of orange, green, black and purple chewy sweets." So it's not surprising that this is also what it tastes like. It also got a nice sting to it... living up to the "Fizz" part of the name. It's a nice, sweet and fruity vape that definitely hits it's target. Without being able to pinpoint any specific brand of chewy sweets, that is what it tastes like. Even thought it is quite sweet it has enough freshness and fruityness to make it a well balanced easy to vape juice. Also a great juice but if I had to choose between the two juices reviewed here, I'd have to give the Walter White Xtra my vote.

                  Thanks to the Electronic Cigarette Co for sending me these juices for the purpose of this review.

                  electronic cigarette co.

                  Disclosure:
                  • All my reviews are my honest opinion even if I am affiliated with the company manufacturing or selling the product. 
                  • The juice was sent to me free of charge for the purpose of this review.
                  • This review do not affiliate links.

                  Saturday, 12 November 2016

                  Review: Good RDA by 528 Custom Vapes

                  I don't usually use drippers much, not because I don't like it but rather because I'm not sitting down much I guess. I don't spend much time a home and when I go out I usually grab some device that I can use while I drive somewhere. I don't think it's particularly safe to drip and drive :) Although I am aware that there are solutions to this. I do own a few drippers though, they just don't get used that much. Nevertheless I still put drippers on my mental lists of vaping gear that I'd like to try out, and the Goon from 528 Customs have been one of those for a while. Mostly because it looks like a lot of fun to build on and try out some high wattage vaping.

                  In the box
                    • Actually my Goon did not come in a box at all, but in a nice cloth pouch
                    • Goon RDA
                    • Black delrin wide-bore drip tip
                    • Spare o-rings and screws

                        Specifications
                        • 24 mm diameter, 34 mm height (including drip tip)
                        • Adjustable airflow (1-6 x 3 mm airholes can be opened or closed as you wish)
                        • Gold plated bridge post and steel clamps
                        • Deep juice well

                          Look and feel

                          I've got the Stainless Steel version of the Goon and I think it looks great. It has got the 528 logo engraved on one side and a really nice clean finish. It's pretty heavy, making it feel solidly built and all the parts fit nicely together with no gaps or anything like that. Great quality.

                          In use

                          The build deck on the Goon is kind of different than what I've come across earlier. I'm a big fan of velocity style decks, cause they are really easy to build on. However the builds you can put on a velocity deck are limited by the size of the wire holes. On the Goon, with it's clamp-style deck, you can put in almost every kind of insane wires you can imagine. If you can't fit your wire into the Goon terminals, chances are you'll have problems bending it at all.

                          Building on the Goon is a bit harder than on a velocity style deck in my opinion. At least when it comes to dual-coil builds. But it's by no means a hard deck to build on, it just takes a little more practice. The issue with dual-coils is of course getting one coil to stay in place while mounting the others, cause you can't tighten the clamps down until both coils are in place. One trick I got from the almighty internet is to position the first coil around where you want it and then bend the leads upward to make it stay in place. This also makes it a bit easier to cut them when you're done.

                          The juice well is quite a deep one on the Goon. 5.25 mm according to the
                          internet. This means you can vape for quite a while before you have to drip again. Of course... this all depends on your build.

                          The airflow control is also quite nice. You twist the middle tube to position the 6 air holes, 3 on each side so the air will hit your coils. Then you twist the top cap to open or close the holes, either closing off holes completely or leaving them partially open. The top cap has 9 holes in total. This enables you to leave one side completely closed for your single coil builds.

                          Performance

                          When it comes to performance I'd say it all comes down to your build. I've tried fused claptons, normal claptons and plain dual 24g kanthal. I'd say it performs best when you build for quite a bit of heat. Running a dual fused clapton build of around 0.15 on 100-150W gave me huge clouds (of course) and the flavour wasn't bad at all. In fact.. I loved it. The thing is, this atty allows for all kinds of crazy builds which can result in all kinds of performance tweaks whether you're after flavour or vapor production. I actually ordered some huge hand made coils that I can't even remember the name of just to put in this... just because I can.

                          Pros and cons

                          + Great performance
                          + Nice airflow control
                          + Deep juice well
                          + Can fit the most insane builds you can think of
                          + Easy to build on once you get the hang of it but...
                          - Requires a bit of training/research
                          - Not really a con, but you need a quite powerful mod for this so not suited for low power vaping.

                          Conclusion

                          A good quality atomizer that will allow you to play around with some pretty cool builds. If that is your thing... I'd say go for it. It's priced around £60 at greyhaze.co.uk, which I think is totally worth it.

                          Thanks to greyhaze.co.uk for sending me this atomizer for the purpose of this review.


                          Disclosure:
                          • All my reviews are my honest opinion even if I am affiliated with the company manufacturing or selling the product.
                          • This product was sent to me free of charge for the purpose of this review
                          • This review does not contain affiliate links.


                          Friday, 11 November 2016

                          Review: Noisy Cricket II-25 by Wismec

                          The original Noisy Cricket by Wismec, designed by JayBo, has become quite a popular mod. It's a quite simple and effective mechanical box running two 18650 batteries in series, which means you need to know what you're doing when you're using it. If you don't know Ohm's law and understand how to use it to calculate the current drawn from your batteries given the resistance of your coils, forget about it. In fact... if you don't understand this, forget about mech mods all together or you risk creating a pipe bomb that will hurt yourself and people around you. The new version of the Noisy Cricket, II-25, do have some protection circuits making it safer, but you still need to know your Ohm's law and you need to know the limits of your batteries. If you don't know these things, or if you feel the urge to push these limits, you either need to do some reading up or just forget about this mod. If you on the other hand do know these things, please read on and join the fun. I said it in my last review of a JayBo designed device (the RX 2/3) as well, one mode of operation just isn't enough for JayBo at the moment.



                          In the box
                          • The Noisy Cricket II-25
                          • A warning card telling you not to use batteries with torn wrapping
                          • A user manual (or Quick Guide as they call it

                            Specifications
                            • 87 x 48 x 25 millimeters
                            • Uses two 18650 batteries (should be rated for 25A discharge)
                            • Atomizer Protection, Short Circuit protection, Low voltage protection
                            • Voltage regulating switch/wheel
                            • Can be run in series or parallell mode
                            • Direct output or constant voltage mode if you run it in series
                            • Battery life indication

                            Look and feel


                            I do like the simplistic look of this mod. It's got a nice brushed/satin finish, the
                            Wismec log on top on the black plate and a JayBo logo on the switch. It feels really solidly built and fits very naturally into your hand when you're using it. The button is nice and clicky and doesn't rattle too much. I mean there is some rattle there but not enough to annoy me at least. Actually it feels a lot more expensive than it really is. The only thing that looks kind of cheap is the plastic voltage adjustment wheel. They could have made this look and feel cooler.

                            In use

                            This is a quite simple mod to use to be honest. As I've mentioned before, you NEED to know your Ohm's law and make sure you don't push the limits of your batteries. Other than that, read the manual and you'll be up and running in no time.

                            The mod can be used in parallell or series mode as I've mentioned earlier. Either way you insert your batteries with the positive end first, so that the negative ends make contact with the battery lid at the bottom of the mod. To switch between parallell and series mode there is a plate kind of inside the battery lid that you just flip around. If you see two "P"s on the plate you're in parallell mode and you can only guess what mode you're in if you see two "S"s.


                            5 clicks on the fire button will turn your mod on or off, and you will see the indicator light behind the switch flashing 5 times to indicate that you managed to count to 5. This will also light up when you fire the mod, and when you release the fire button the light will either stay lit or start flashing at different speeds to indicate your how your batteries are doing. If it stays lit that means you have 60-100% left on them, flashing slowly means 30-59%, moderately is 10-29% and quickly means 0-9% and "go charge your batteries now".

                            When in series mode you can choose between direct output mode, which means you fire the mod with the voltage that your batteries are at, or constant voltage mode, that enables you to use the voltage adjustment wheel to regulate the voltage from 2-6V. To switch between these modes you need to turn the mod off (if its not already off) and then press the fire button until the light flashes three times and changes color. If it's white, you're in direct output mode, if it's red/orange you're in constant voltage mode. There is no indication on the wheel telling you what voltage you're on, it just says 0 on 100. At least on my mod 0 means full throttle (6V) and 100 means... well minimum throttle (2V). The wheel is also a bit difficult to turn. I see some people can't do this without using screwdrivers or pliers or whatever, but it's not really that hard. Stick your thumb nail in the middle and twist. One thing I noticed about the series mode is that it seems to always be in constant voltage mode if you've taken your batteries out and put them in again. Or just taken the lid off and put it on again  for that matter.

                            The battery lid is also kind of a tight fit and you need to use some force to get it on and off when you have batteries in there. I see some people complain about this, but I don't think it's a problem. If you struggle a lot with this you should consider working on your finger strength :)

                            Performance

                            There is not much to say about the performance of this mod I think, other than ... it t delivers. It really comes down to what you put on top of it. I've run it mostly with my Goon with different builds. In parallell mode you can run pretty low ohm build and get decent battery time. In series mode you can play around with higher ohms and really big-ass coils, blowing huge clouds of vapor. It's really a fun mod to try out different builds on and as I said, it delivers. And again, if you don't understand Ohms law or want to save money on cheap batteries with fake amp-ratings... don't get this mod.

                            Pros and cons

                            + Great performance
                            + Fun fun fun to play around with
                            + Good price
                            + Looks good except...
                            - The voltage adjustment wheel


                            Conclusion

                            I've already had lots of fun with this mod, and I don't think it will stop here. I think you can get it around $40 most places (499,- at pgvg.no), which I think is a makes it pretty cheap fun actually. Totally worth it ... again, if you know what you're doing. And I'm not only concerned about safety when I say that (although it's very important), but you'll also get much more out of it if you can safely play around with different builds.


                            Thanks a lot to Michael at pgvg.no for sending me the device for review. He also provided a discount code for my readers: pgvg2016 (10% off)

                            dampevarer.no
                            Disclosure:
                            • All my reviews are my honest opinion even if I am affiliated with the company manufacturing or selling the product.
                            • This review does not contain affiliate links.