Augvape VX217 Kit
Augvape recently asked if we’d be interested in taking a look at their new VX217 kit. As I’m still on the lookout for the perfect compact dual 21700 mod I jumped at the chance, especially as they’ve teamed the mod up with the stock coil version of Mike Vapes popular Intake tank.
The Augvape VX217 kit comes in a robust cardboard box with a picture of the kit on the front, a list of contents on the back and Augvape logos around the sides. Lift the lid, and you're greeted with the user manual and warranty card with everything else laid out in a single layer under these. Strangely, they’ve decided to wrap the Intake sub-ohm tank and its spare glass in plastic zip lock baggies. You also receive spare o-rings, a second coil for the tank, a usb-c cable and hidden in the battery compartment of the mod is a dual 18650 battery adapter.
Augvape VX217 dual21700 Mod
- Size 80 x 49 x 42 mm / weight 192.3 grams
- Zinc alloy construction
- Dual 21700/20700/18650 battery
- Power 5 to 217 watts / 0.5 to 12 volts
- Resistance range 0.05 to 3.0Ω
The Augvape VX217 is a surprisingly short mod standing at just 80mm, it is a little wider front to back though at 42 mm, so “short and stout” would probably be the best description on first impressions. As always with dual 21700 mods, I was concerned this may prove to be too big for my tiny hands but I needn’t have worried. I’ve actually found that thanks to its curved edges and slightly inset front control panel, it fits rather comfortably in the palm of my hand and leaves the fire button in the perfect position for thumb firing.
The controls are a little different than normal. First there’s a large fire button which is hinged from the top and requires a decent amount of pressure to activate and instead of the usual up/down controls, you have a dial near the bottom. I’ve found the dial to be quite easy to use both for adjusting the wattage and accessing sub-menus, which is done by pressing the fire button three times. There is an option to lock this to avoid accidental changes as well. The menu is clearly laid out and logical, and I haven’t felt the need to go to the manual at any point. Nestled between these is a large 1.3 inch colour display which is clearly laid out, however I did need my reading glasses for anything other than the wattage selection, and it is a little difficult to read outside.
At the bottom edge of the control panel is the usb-c charge and update port. Augvape claims 1.2amp charging capability and in my test, it actually exceeded this charging at around 1.35amps.
Batteries are inserted from the bottom via a familiar hinged battery door arrangement. This has minimal wiggle in the hinge and I haven’t encountered any problems with it opening unexpectedly in pockets etc. Battery polarity is clearly marked on both the door and at the base of the battery tubes. I tried the usual range of batteries and was pleasantly surprised to find that even my oversized Vapcell 21700s, which frequently defeat other mods, fit perfectly. There’s zero battery rattle either even when using 20700s. You may not currently be able to use your batteries to their full potential, I was quite surprised to see “low power” warnings with what appeared to be a fair amount of life displayed. Placing the batteries confirmed this as they were just above 3.5volts which seems like quite a high low voltage cutoff.
On top, there’s a spring loaded 510 connector which is offset slightly towards the front and for those that want to know these things, there’s plenty of room up top for all your “big boy” atomisers. I tested it with my 30mm steamcrave Glaz Rta and it fits easily with zero overhang.
The VX217 has three main modes, wattage, voltage and bypass, along with all the modern safety features you would expect. Augvape also claims that the board used in the VX217 uses an optimised design which minimises the amount and length of wire used to improve battery efficiency, however that’s beyond my capability to test so I’ll have to take them on their word for that.
In wattage mode there are a further three options, “normal”, “soft” and “hard”. It seems slightly overpowered, in fact in the “normal” setting it appears to be applying a little boost or at least that’s what the voltage reading on the screen would seem to indicate. By comparison the “soft” mode feels woefully underpowered so you’re going to have to do a little bit of “adjusting to taste” to perhaps get the experience you expect from your go to atomizers which you use at a set wattage on other mods. I think this could perhaps do with a little tweaking in future firmware updates.
I asked Augvape about this and likelihood of a firmware update and this was their response (edited for clarity):
“Taking into consideration there is a small amount of resistance in the PCB, 510 connector and battery connection, for example when firing at 70W, the actual output to the coil is less than 70W (some power will be wasted during transmission). To ensure the output to the coil actually reaches 70W our mod was designed to increase its output slightly according to the changes of coil resistance, and the loss power during transmission. So that is why its voltage output is a little higher than the theoretical one.”
The voltage mode goes all the way up to 12 volts… very impressive and I’m sure there are some high oHm, voltage only vapers out there that will welcome this feature. Me? I’ll stick to wattage thanks!
I wouldn’t advise using the bypass mode unless you know what you are doing and have your atomizer set up for a series setup, trust me 8+ volts on a freshly charged set of batteries is like vaping on a volcano otherwise and it could easily burn out most stock coils!
Curiously, there’s an option in the menu to change between fahrenheit and centigrade but there’s no temperature control (TC) mode available! Perhaps Augvape intends to add this with a future firmware update?
VX217 mod Pros
- Compact for a dual 21700 mod
- Fits 30mm atomizers
- Works with oversized 21700 batteries
- 12 volt cutoff for those that need it
VX217 mod Cons
- Wattage mode feels a little off, could do with a firmware tweak
- Quite heavy (unsurprising really for a dual 21700)
- Seems to have quite a high cutoff (3.5V) before you get weak battery warnings
Intake Sub-Ohm Tank
- Size 25 x 50.3mm (including drip tip & 510 pin) / weight 66.2 grams
- Top airflow / leak proof design
- Easy top fill
- 3.5ml capacity (5ml with bubble glass)
Included in the kit is the stock coil version of the popular Intake tank, developed once again with Mike Vapes. Externally this looks almost identical to the intake rta and features the same top airflow system where air comes in the top, runs down the columns inside the tank into the base and then goes back up through the coil. This, of course, means that the tank is virtually leak proof. It breaks down into six parts as shown above, with the coils being press fit from the bottom, and it has a 3.5ml capacity with the straight glass, or 5ml with the bubble glass, both of which are included here. I’ve opted for the straight glass as it gives a cleaner, more streamlined look.
Up top is an 810 catch cup with an o-ring so all your favourite 810 drip tips should work. I’ve been quite happy with the included drip tip though. The top cap has the same bayonet style system as the rta as well, which means it opens with just a quarter of a turn for easy access to the generously sized fill ports.
Where the original intake rta had a silicone stopper in the top cap to provide a seal when closed (which didn’t always work, I had to pad mine out to get a good seal), Augvape have switched things around this time with the seal on the top of the tank and I have to say this seems to be much more robust and I haven’t had any leakage at all. One downside is that no spare seal is provided. Under the top cap is the adjustable top airflow which is smooth with just the perfect amount of restriction for me when fully open.
Augvape and Mike Vapes decided they wanted to try something different from what is rapidly becoming the standard mesh coil head and have developed the “Clapton Mesh” coil. This features several strands of clapton wire running between the positive and negative connectors. It seems like an over complicated way of doing a clapton coil to me although it does allow Augvape to put that intriguing wave in the runs of wire potentially covering more of the wood pulp cotton wicking material.
Although the cores are Kanthal, the outer Clapton wrap is Nichrome so you may want to think twice before using this coil head if you have any Nickel intolerance like myself, big plus points to Augvape for clearly marking this on the coil heads. A 0.15Ω kanthal mesh coil is also available if this is the case, but bizarrely Augvape have opted to put two of the “Clapton mesh” coils in the box with the full kit and I would have preferred to see one of each coil instead for obvious reasons. (I believe you also get a kanthal coil in the box if you buy the Intake sub-ohm tank separately).
The “Clapton Mesh” coil is rated for 60 to 75 watts and I found that it indeed performed best in that range with clean crisp flavour throughout. Augvape claims longer coil life thanks to the clapton “mesh” design but I didn’t want to test that out as I’ve only just got rid of the mouth ulcers from the last nichrome coil I used!
Intake Sub-Ohm tank Pros
- Leak free top airflow
- Easy filling
- Great flavour from coils
Intake Sub-Ohm tank Cons
- Nichrome claptons may not be suitable for those with nickel allergies
- Disappointing not to see the kanthal coil included
So is the Augvape VX217 the perfect dual 21700 mod I’ve been looking for? No, but it’s certainly the closest yet form factor wise. Hopefully we’ll see some firmware updates in the future which will improve the output wattage and battery cutoff so it delivers the power you expect and there will be less need to “adjust to taste”. The fact that the kit comes with the very good Intake sub-ohm tank is an added bonus with the surprisingly good “Clapton mesh” coils, but I’ll be sticking to the kanthal mesh coils in future.