Four Years of Temperature Control

Posted 29th October 2018 by Dave Cross
Temperature control was a true game changer in vaping and the technology is now four years old. Planet of the Vapes is celebrating this achievement by looking at the two leading brands in the field – starting with Dicodes, a company continually looking to advance its product range.

The Dicodes (digital controlled devices) e-Pipe, created in collaboration with Yogs, won The Innovation Prize at this year’s Paris Vapexpo. No one following Dicodes progress over the years will have been surprised; the German company is renown for manufacturing quality products to rival those made by the medical equipment division it spawned from.

Shrinking a board to be used on an e-Pipe opens up loads of possibilities for the future, and comes at the same time a new Dani Box is set to launch, enabling it to benefit from 21700 batteries powering the ergonomically beautiful mod.

Held up by many as the ultimate for temperature-controlled (TC) vaping, the Dicodes board offers users a wealth of customisable features, even down to providing the ability to check on battery sag and a lifetime puff counter. Backing up the quality of the devices, Dicodes provides a comprehensive manual for each type of mod.

Dicodes distributor in the UK is Crème De Vape, and we asked Keith Venable to take us through how to get the best from the chip. To begin with, Keith explained how he got involved with TC: “I’ve been enjoying temperature control for over 4 years now and while it did take me a little time to get my head around it all, once I understood what’s going on with the technology and use that temperature control setting as a scale, not as an actual reference to a real temperature.”

“As with all new tech I was eager to give it a try. It worked and did what it claimed to do albeit buggy and in need of some refinement, but I feel there was a bit of a flaw with the terminology used in setting your desired heat level.”

Vape Dinner Lady

“One can work out what the approx. temperature of a given wire should be based on the manufacturer’s specification for the resistance changes at different temperatures. This is called the TCR or temperature's coefficient of resistance.”

“In simple terms this means that as a resistance target (the temperature setting) is reached on the TCR scale we can calculate the approx. temp of that wire based on the change in resistance from the room temperature's resistance.”

“My favourite device is the Dicodes as it offers a stable and accurate experience. The room-temperature resistance of the coil is locked by the user and the display on the firmware provides the ability to check at any point in time what the calculated resistance and temperature of the coil is (R/T menu). This gives me the ability to double check the coil at room temp to be sure nothing has changed or if it needs a recalibration, this is not a feature available on any other mod on the market (without hooking up to a PC and using software anyway).

Keith goes on to point out that it isn’t this simple and why he believes there’s a flaw in the terminology: “We are not using an isolated straight piece of wire alone, we are using a coiled piece of wire attached by two screws or clamps with some sort of wicking material running down the middle with both liquid and air passing across it. Thus an actual temperature value is never going to be entirely accurate nor consistent - there are simply too many other variables at play when it comes to that ‘temperature’ value.”

Pure Eliquids

He is quick to offer up an analogy: “Think about the difference between an oven and a hob.” While oven temperature is easy to measure, Keith explains, being a closed system, hob dials have no temperature settings. “There is usually no means for the electronics to measure the actual temperature of that particular heating element on the hob. This is also true with our vaping devices, there is no sensor to measure the actual temperature inside the atomiser's chamber.”

For people looking to maximise their experience from TC vaping with a Dicodes-powered mod, Keith suggests focussing on the factors that come into play:

The TCR Value of the wire

“The TCR value is how much change in resistance it takes to go from room temperature to a max of 600F. When you set your "temperature" on the device you are not actually setting a temperature, you are setting a resistance target on that TCR scale.”

Unfortunately, wire is not consistent across all batches or manufacturers. Consequently Keith recommends using the default setting “as a reference value to start with.”

The Electronic Cigarette Company

“Personally I find that Ni200 having the highest change in TCR works best for temp control as there is a greater change in resistance as the wire heats up. Low TCR value wires such as stainless steel are not as stable and can fluctuate as the device attempts to work out the setting on very small changes which leads to a jumpy temperature that you can actually feel as you vape on some devices.”

Wicking

“There should be a constant flow of liquid hitting the wire, which in turn cools it down again and the device is able to hold a desired setting while you vape. If your wick is not keeping up with the heating element the resistance climbs quickly and the power is reduced to maintain your target resistance and this leads to a weak vape.”

“Don't be scared to experiment with different wick materials and amounts of wick you install in the coil. Some materials are better at keeping up than others, and what works for your friend may not work for you and your application. Every juice also has a different viscosity at different temperatures so bear in mind on warm days you may experience different wicking than you would on a cold day.”

Airflow

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Airflow causes two things to happen: it cools the coil (lowering its resistance) and creates a partial pressure to pull juice onto the wick.

“It's just not possible for a human to pull the exact same pressure on the mouthpiece every puff, all day long. As the market moves back to the mouth-to-lung style vape we are finding that the puff pressure has been decreasing a bit as the air hole sizes decrease.”

“When you are vaping on an atomiser with large air holes and you are taking direct lung hits there is a lot of air passing the coil keeping it cooler and also pulling more liquid to the coil which can result in a warmer vape. With an MTL setup you may experience a weaker vape with TC as less air is passing the coil and less liquid is entering the chamber, you will need to experiment with the settings to get your desired vape.”

The 510 Connection

Sacowin

“This is a weak point for every temp control system. The threads are where the negative side of the circuit passes current. If your threads are dirty or wet with liquid (on either the mod OR the atomiser side) this can lead to an inaccurate temperature control experience. Make sure your threads and the 510 centre post on both the mod and atomiser are very clean and dry at all times.”

Keith concludes: “If you knock or drop your device it's always a good idea to double check your settings and re-calibrate your coil to be sure everything is normal. Don't be afraid to experiment with different wick materials, atomisers, or wire types. You may just find your perfect vape.”

If this has inspired you to try out a Dicodes device, Crème De Vape carries the original Dani box, the 26650 Dicodes No.6, the 80W Dani Box V2, and the dinky little Dani Box Mini. Plus, when in stock, there is the phenomenally gorgeous Taifun Box.

Also, for tube lovers, Crème De Vape supply the 23mm Dicodes 2395 and Dicodes 2395T, the Dani 25, the Dani V3 Extreme, and the Extreme V3 Titanium.

A full version of Keith’s thoughts on temperature control can be found on the Crème De Vape website.

Vape Dinner Lady


 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker
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