HCigar HB DNA40 Review by VapeMaster

Review Date: 
24.08.2015

Introduction to the HCigar HB DNA40

Introducing the HB DNA40 by HCigar, a Chinese company who are very well known as being a clone manufacturer. However in the case of this device it is a fully authentic product featuring a genuine Evolv DNA40 chipset. The HB DNA40 is capable of a maximum of 40 watts and features temperature control.

HCigar HB DNA40 Features

  •  Temperature protected variable wattage box mod.
  • Aluminium construction.
  • 510 spring loaded copper centre pin.
  • Takes a single 18650 battery.
  • Depth 23mm, Length 95.4mm, Width 45.5mm.
  • Magnetic battery door.
  • Genuine Evolv DNA40 Chipset.
  • Output Power: 1-40 Watts.
  • Output Voltage: 1-9 Volts.
  • Output Current: Max 16.0 Amps.
  • Atomizer Resistance (Kanthal) 0.16-2.0 Ohms.
  • Atomizer Resistance (Temperature Sensing) 0.10 Ohms to 1.0 Ohms.
  • Temperature Limit 200f to 600f or 100c-300c.
  • Input Voltage: 3.1 volts to 4.3 volts.
  • Input Current: 0.5 Amps to 16.0 Amps.
  • Variable Wattage: 1-40 Watts.
  • USB Charging, can be used as a Pass through.
  • Stainless steel threads.
  •  Power wattage lock.
  • Display can be flipped to suit right or left handed users.
  • Stealth mode option.
  • Automatic resistance check.
  • Ni200 Temperature Sensing.

What’s in the box?

  • 1x HCigar RDNA 40 box mod.
  • 1x Micro USB charging cable.
  • 1x User Manual.

HCigar HB DNA40 Styling

The HB DNA40 isn't actually that small a device. If I compare it to my Sigelei 100w+ it is about 2cm shorter in height and about 1cm shorter in width. In terms of depth the device is actually almost the same. The striking difference though is the actual weight. The RDNA is incredibly light due to the aluminium construction.

The design is quite ergonomic with all the hard edges being nicely rounded off. When holding the device the fire button can be pressed with your thumb and it feels really comfortable whether you are a left or right handed user.

The actual buttons feel nice to the touch and they do not rattle at all. The 510 pin is spring loaded and I had absolutely no issues screwing on any of my tanks or drippers.

The Electronic Cigarette Company

There are a good number of battery venting holes on the base of the device, thirty two in total. The device can be charged via the USB port which is conveniently located on the side of the device and since it supports pass through you can happily vape while you charge.

The item sent for review was the sliver version and it has a speckled two tone finish, I didn't care for the look initially since I typically prefer a plain colour but I have grown used to it. Of course this is just my personal preference and completely subjective.

The display is very clear and displays all the relevant information you would expect, wattage, voltage, resistance, battery charge and temperature when you are in that mode.

Now we come to the first issue I have with this device, which is the battery compartment door. It creaks when you hold it in your hand and it doesn't seem to stay completely flush. It can shift ever so slightly when gripping the device and I know this might be a minor issue that won't bother some people but it really does get on my nerves. If you make sure to only grip the mod from the sides it becomes less of a problem but I expected it to be better.

Removing the battery door is trouble free, as is installing a battery. There are two magnets on the door itself and I found after a week of use one of the magnets detached itself. It appears that the original glue used wasn't very good but it was easily fixed with some super glue and has not caused any further issues.

Vape Club

One thing to bear in mind is that if you plan to use RDA's with bottom fed air flow which are prone to leaking then juice can get into the battery compartment due to the less than tight seal of the battery door.

The mainboard and chip are protected by a press fit plastic lid which has a gold sticker on it. Please don't remove that sticker to investigate the board since it will more than likely invalidate your warranty. Speaking of which HCigar claims they will honour the warranty for the Evolv chipset in case you have any issues but it is always wise to speak to the vendor you purchased it from first.

Operating Procedure

It is important to note that this device never truly switches off. Essentially it goes into standby mode to conserve battery power. If you are carrying it around in your pocket remember to lock it so you don't accidentally fire it. In terms of actual use the HB DNA40 is very straightforward:

  • Five clicks activates the device and five clicks also locks it.
  •  Wattage is adjusted by the plus and minus keys.
  • Holding the plus and minus keys down for five seconds locks the wattage level. To unlock the wattage simply repeat this task.
  •  With the device locked hold the plus and minus keys down to activate temperature mode.
  • In temperature mode the plus and minus keys allow you to cycle up and down through Celsius and Fahrenheit as well as switching off the temperature control feature.
  • There are additional features such as flipping the screen and stealth mode which are fully covered in the manual.
  • When fitting an atomizer the screen will display “New coil, same down”. What this basically means is that you press the plus button if it is a new atomizer and down if it is the one you were previously using. This allows the device to perform accurately.
  • For atomizers that feature a nickel build the chip will automatically detect it and go into temperature control mode. This chip really knows the difference between Kanthal and nickel so you should not run into problems.
  • Remember five clicks to lock the device when carrying it in your pocket.

Performance

The performance of this device is very good. The Evolv chip gives incredibly accurate resistance readings and works exactly how you would expect a top quality chip to function.

The RDN40 is a comfortable and lightweight device and considering it only offers 40 watts of power I have to say it has been more than acceptable to me. I've enjoyed using my Freemax Starre, my Twisted Messes RDA and my Derringer on it. For someone who wants much higher wattage then this device will not be for them but for quite a few people 40 watts is more than satisfactory.

Sacowin

I'm sure many people are wondering if the temperature control actually works and I can happily say, yes it definitely does. The device detects the difference between nickel and Kanthal builds and when using nickel it will automatically go into temperature control mode.

I will not go in to depth about how to get the best from temperature control because it is still very new to me, since I am no authority on it and also prone to making mistakes. All I will say is that if you have any issues then seek out Tubby Engineer on the forum who will be able to offer helpful advice, I know he certainly pointed me in the right direction with some problems I encountered.

Now we are at the point where I must explain an issue I have encountered with the HB DNA40. I have been using the device for over a week now and while I was away in Harrogate for the Vape Expo event I started to run into an annoying problem. The device has started giving me “Check Atomizer” warnings. The strange thing is it only does it for certain atomizers. The Freemax Starre continues to work fine, the Lemo 2 worked for a few hours but now will not work at all. My Freakshow Mini and my Herakles tank has the same issue yet my Twisted Messes and Derringer still work fine. All these tanks and drippers function without issue on my Sigelei 100w+.

What I suspect has happened is that my tanks or RDA's with longer pins have pushed the floating 510 pin down due to being continually screwed on and off. I actually took the lid of the main board which I don't suggest you do since it will likely invalidate your warranty. It seems the plastic surround which holds the floating pin has loosened and I have had quite a task on my hands trying to fix it. It still isn't right to this day and I will likely have to take a more in depth look at it.

While I would like to hope that this problem is isolated to this one item I received for review I did check on line to see if other people had a similar fault. It seems they did. How widespread this problem is and how easy it is to fix may depend on the manufacturing quality of the individual unit so it is certainly something to be mindful of if you are considering this product.

Vape Dinner Lady

It is certainly a real shame because the device itself is truly excellent and the pin problem may in actual fact be a very simple fix but I haven't had the time to fully investigate the issue at the moment.

Conclusion

An excellent device that is sadly let down in a couple of areas namely the battery door and the floating pin. If you get one of these devices and you have no issues at all then it really is a great mod. Certainly the main attraction is that it is the cheapest genuine Evolv chipset mod currently on the market.

This item was purchased from VapeGeek for review, they always have some interesting items in stock so it's well worth paying them a visit!

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IVG