Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

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Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:25 pm

So, I've decided to start a vaping thread after all.
Here it is.
This is where you may exchange any views opinions, experiences and general whatnot on the clouds. NO, not dropbox or anything google or whatnot, ACTUAL clouds. The kind you make with an atomizer/vaporizer/clearomizer/meanoldmizer/e-hookah or whatnot.

Why?
Burning tobacco stinks, stinks up your breath, your body, your clothes, your apartment, your car. The ashes from burnth tobacco aren't much better. Worse, to a degree. Also, the tar and shit in the smoke colors the walls of your home yellowish-brown.
Inhaling all that burnt crap keeps you from enjoying the delightful flavor of any manner of foods, fucks up your respiratory system.
The chemical substances in there, from carbon monoxide to stuff with, to the Welsh people's great dismay, more syllables than Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch will fuck up the air-intake for your internal combustion, mess up everything and slowly poison you.

Also, crucially.
Tobacco, be it in ready-made cigarettes or loose for rolling up, is not just expensive, it's taxed (in most places, at least). On TOP of sales-taxes. I don't have a billionaire's tax loopholes, so I don't see why should go out of my way to pay even more taxes.
AND
Tobacco doesn't come in Buttermilk-Lemon, Single-Malt or Sausage flavor. Tobacco comes in urgh and retch flavor.

Heck, you can't just go have a 30 second cigarette. A cigarette and your lung volume dictate an awful amount of the timing in your life.

Hence, we vape!
It tastes nice, it's cheaper, it gives us more control over out life. It's, according to the experts, at least 99% less harmful than smoking anything. +/- 1%.
When we coil (no, not a euphemism. Get your mind out of the gutt.... okay, leave it in the gutter, but it's really not a euphemism), we have a valid excuse to fiddle around with blowtorches AND, once we are done with that, get to produce our own clouds to camouflage ourselves as we sneak up on our enemies/hide our shame.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:27 pm

07:30 AM: get in a car with friends and head to a vaping expo in Oberhausen, 'bout 30 minutes away. Doors open 10 AM. We have no tickets.
08:00 AM: arrive at the conference center where the expo is being held. 'bout sixty people or so already waiting outside to buy tickets. We could have bought early, but they had already sold out when we had finally decided to go. About a month ago.
09:00 AM: the box office opens.
09:20 AM: step out of the box office and find the end of the line at the door. Find it about 300ft. away from the doors.
10:00 AM: the line we were in had, by now, stretched to an intersection, so a second line had formed that kinda merged with the first. That one went across a street, actually. Round the block sort of stuff. I'd estimate more than 2,000 people were waiting to get in at the appointed time of 10 AM.
10:20 AM: the line moves about a foot.
and so on, and so forth.
11:30 AM: FINALLY reach the gate. The doors. Whatever. All the pre-sale tickets, all of them, had sold out over a month ago. The conference center had four glorious doors, double doors, about six foot wide a piece. One was open. Not one double door, no, half of that. With ONE single lady tearing off ticket stubs ... and then holding people back a moment. Because inside were two other ladies, who'd attach a wristband to every visitor so people could go out and get back in and so forth. And weren't very efficient at doing that. Quite friendly, well dressed, professional demeanor. Just not very good with their hands (and I just tried in vain to find a pie chart that could inform me whether that town is predominantly catholic or protestant, until I realized I'm not quite of sound mind at this moment).

Inside was. Crowded.
Every single person either already a vaper, or intending to become a vaper and trying stuff out. Everybody was delighted by the unusual experience of being able to vape away, to one's heart's delight, while in a public building, being slowly crushed by a mob. It was foggy, the smell was amazing.
Image
The glare of the lights is exacerbated by a solid cloud of fog. We had climbed one of the balconies to rest our weary bones. And could not, I kid you not, see more than the lamps on the opposite wall of the room, maybe 100 feet away. I must admit, honestly ... blowing clouds while standing under a "No smoking anywhere in this building" sign was good fun. Or had been, until I went to point the pink pistol at the porcelain firing ranger and there were well-maintained ashtrays mounted on the wall right there. Maybe leftover from a previous time or, which would warm the cockles of my heart, something put there by a staff fed up with the bogs in a non-smoking building constantly getting clogged up by fag-ends.


Actually getting to the front at any stall and trying out the wares or something, that took at least 10 to 15 minutes. And THEN you'd wait for someone to come over and answer questions or serve you or stuff.

The conference center is not huge. I'd say, with about 1,500 people, it'd have been crowded. Full enough to become uncomfortable.
There were 3,500 people in there that day. Yes, my survival instincts were ringing the alarm bells at times. Not because of all the fog, but because I know that people suck.

Tried out three or four flavors, didn't have time to do more. Managed to pick up ONE aroma. The other stuff I liked was only available as ready-made liquid, which I do not use. Also picked up some spare wire and empty bottles for storing my self-mixed liquid. Some Fibre Freaks Classic Density 2 cotton.
Grabbed a sample of "barrel aged, limited stock" liquid. No, that's not a joke. I have NO CLUE what it is. The flavor is strange to me and ... the lung hit off of that stuff is EVIL. A build I was vaping at 100 Watt all day, had to turn it down to 65W. There is something HYPER volatile in that barrel-aged stuff that just jumps out and punches ya in the chest and giggles, madly. No, thanks.

01:30 PM: went outside for the vaper's rights rally. Thought that, since the conference center had not become one little bit less crowded at 1PM, it would be empty.
Nope. Wasn't. Headed back before the hordes horded in. At this point, there was STILL a 200 foot line at the gate, people who hadn't yet collected any wristbands.

3:00 PM got the fuck out of there. NOT going again next year, I don't think.

About 4 PM got home. Feeling every nut and bolt, ouch.

Interesting observation:
The current hot ticket in vaporizers/atomizers whatchawannacall'em, is the Genius².
It will deliver so much vapor, with so much airflow, it doesn't have a standard 510 drip-tip. But a bigger one. It is for cloud-chasing, I've had the opportunity to try it out. It's a good, mid-sized dripper, really. Except it isn't. It's a cleverly designed RTA, a tank atomizer. I want one.
But the guy who invented and patented it, he's asking for 180 Euros. 'bout 200 USD. Quality made in Germany, but too rich for me. At 100, I might talk. But not 2.
And yet, just waiting in line before the "gate" was opened, near me, I saw at least five of them. One guy had brought two and was alternating between the one on his mundane box-mod and the other, on a one-foot "scepter" for which he had a special quiver and holders attached to one of the straps of his back-pack.

Another interesting observation:
Ticket price on the day was 8 Euros. While standing in line at one stall inside, the people in front of me waved over and welcomed their friends. Who hadn't even been planning to attend the expo an hour earlier, apparently, and had bought tickets from a scalper outside. Or, more likely, someone who had been waiting in line to get in for about four hours and had just wanted to get rid of his ticket (had I not been far away from home and reliant on someone giving me a ride, I'd have gone home without even selling the ticket by 11 AM, I admit. I was miffed, then). Apparently, they had to pay an outrageous price.
10 Euros!
Yeah, they're all cashing in out there, greedy scalpers!

A 2 Euro markup, all of 25% of the regular door as it was, for an event where pre-sale tickets had plain sold out in August. Apparently, such a markup is outrageous.
This, I feel, is a symptom of out society here. The sane reaction, I'd have thought, how I think I would have reacted, would have been "Wow, bargain!". Had my friends reported getting such a low price with scalper, I would suerly have congratulated them, given kudos.
But people must not enjoy good fortune, and nobody congratulates anyone on good fortune, mostly. Yeah, rub it in, braggart! would have been the likely reaction with most people here.
While, as it is, the "victim", whatever makes them a victim, automatically gets the moral high-ground and authority of definition and generally gets to complain. Which Germans enjoy, the buggers, I must suffer them, commiserate! Pity me!! :P

Yet more interesting observation: The vaping culture is built around youtube. It's where vapers show off their gear and their skills. A lot of amateur reviewers have managed to amass such a following, manufacturers just throw new products at them for free, to get it reviewed. Saw Germany's master youtube vaper, Obi, but only from afar. Physically bumped into two others (most of the time, inside there, ANY encounter would necessarily involve bumping. If not shoving, groping or felching). I know now how, in their videos, they always manage to make such huge, impressive clouds.
Guys are SHORT. You don't see it in the videos, but the one that stick in mind, he could stand up straight like a rod, I could comfortably rest one of my man-boobs on his head. SHORT dude. Of course his clouds look big, even if his lungs are proportionally small.

Ah, well. I got email last night. The replacement for my beloved HexOhm V3 VV box-mod, which had crapped out about a week ago, has already come in from China and should be in my hands no later than Wednesday. Their English isn't always very good, but the after-sales customer service at Focalecig.com is exemplary. They also have warehouses in Germany and the US for very quick shipping of select items sans any customs hassle. It's, not just in my opinion, by far the best mail-order retailer in China thus far. They ship quick, with several S&H options at surprisingly reasonable prices, they describe their products honestly, in my experience (though not always with good English), are very accommodating in all regards. If you want affordable vaping gear, that's the place to go.

Also, on Monday, I get to pick up my new Hypersquonk at the post-office. The Slovenian who makes them (any "NEW" product in vaping will come from a guy in a shed, basically) must be bored with Slovenia, he shipped it from Italy. The shipping cost at first had me flabber, and ghasted, doubly so when the tracking indicated regular Italian post and not a private jet powered by blackjack and hookers. But, as it turned out, the tracking was just crap, and three days from Milan to my local post office is respectable. Okay, three days really is horribly slow in the 21st century, when everybody shops online and just-in-time logistics are getting preposterous (I ordered something from an online pharmacy Thursday evening, 'bout 7PM ... on Friday, I got a note to pick it up the registered shipment at the post office. Not a BIG online pharmacy even.) But still, with what I know about shipping stuff across Europe, it's a reasonable deal.
Ah, yes, WTF is a Hypersquonk. It's a device that'll let me use ... wait, I just remembered, I explained that the other day.
Please forgive me, I woke up with some pretty bad pain and took a small dose of Tilidine (a synthetic opiate considered so harmless here, they only recently added it to the special list of medicines that need the doctor to sign TWO pieces of paper for a prescription. In the US, schedule 1 since always). Very nearly the maximum daily dose of Ibuprofen, spread over the day, too. And a full dose of Tilidine just now. Stoned.
I had considered taking it along to the expo but had decided against it. I could have lost it somewhere and someone might have tried vaping it. Would have done nothing, since it's converted into actual opiate only in the liver, and I'm ranting again, I'm watching Charlie Brooker as I type this and while my headache is relieved, as is my hip, my neck and shoulders are all hurtey now.

Funny note: One aroma on offer was G-Punkt. Literally G-Spot. The G? Gurke. German for cucumber. NO. Just ... no.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:00 pm

The Hypersquonk has arrived.
Not entirely happy with it's performance, but not exactly displeased, either. Might be the bottom-feeder pin of my Velocity is just an unsuitable design for this one. Only one I presently got, though. Others incoming. Time will tell.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby Pattio » Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:09 am

As far as cultural type observations go- what is the relationship of your vaping community to drugs besides nicotine? My observation from afar seems to be that there is a drug vibe to the culture, a lot of 'raver' and 'stoner' type appearance, but the talk seems to be strictly of nicotine and flavors. Is this just like in the drug paraphernalia storefronts where all the big glass bongs and tiny folding pipes are 'for tobacco use' if anyone asks?

My only prior experience with something called 'vaporizing' was to try a device which used heat (it appeared to be a modified soldering iron) to bring pot plants to a certain temperature where the vegetable matter 'vaporized' but wasn't burning. This technological moment that you're sharing seems to have nothing to do with vaporizing actual vegetable matter, but instead with a mixology element of making and dispensing things in extract.

I recently spoke to a person who was using small, cheap e-cigs, the kind you see in gas stations, but somehow had a source of material (what do you call it? mix? solution? ) that delivered THC (or something like it) instead of nicotine. I was pretty intrigued by the subtlety and discretion of it. Does the vaper culture you are seeing include this stuff, or are they really actually about nicotine?

I guess one observation that suggests it really is nicotine is the nerdy tech aspect- I would imagine that in a room nearly opaque with vaporized pot mist people wouldn't be able to think seriously about windings and voltages and such but would settle quietly down for some snacks and a nap.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:55 am

Vaping culture and stoner, hipster or even youth culture do not overlap in any way that I'm aware of.
You average vapist is middle aged, mostly male (though only by a very slim margin) and used to smoke for many, many years.
Unlike gum, patches or the puritanical cold-turkey, vaping works for most who try it. Unless you try to run before you can walk ("Ha! I'll start with the lowest nicotine concentration, go to 0mg in a week and be done in two, haha!") and if you're willing to admit you have an addiction, one that vaping lets you get comfortable with in a not-quite-so-unhealthy manner, it's a great alternative.
Most vapists are working class, like I said, craftsmen mayhaps. The security thugs wore the most expensive suits at the expo last week. The wealthy folk are statistically less likely to smoke to begin with and, unlike someone who stacks shelves or drives a truck for a living, can often afford their smokes.
The savings are what draw many people to vaping even before health benefits do. They would have to, the majority consensus here is that "nobody knows what's in there!", even though they put it on the label (unlike cigarette makers) and that it is used be the same people who used to use tobacco, so it must be just as awful and evil as tobacco. So, publicly, getting people to admit that it's probably not quite so unhealthy is an uphill struggle.
Going from €6 per 20 pack, so easily €200/month even for someone with a moderate habit (I was informed by medical experts that 20 a day is moderate, no real statistics exist for anyone who uses less) to less than €1/day for liquid? That's an argument that draws many in.
True, the initial investment. But you can still start with some pretty severe hardware for around €100, so you'll be in the black before the 2 month mark.

Smoking here is something that makes it's practitioners social outcasts. Sure, you congregate on a smoking break. But you know, that shit is bad for you, it's no great fun beside satisfying your addiction. Unlike e-cigarettes, which bring out all sorts of personality quirks. People who can barely tell red wine from white, or a potato from a watermelon, become honest to god experts on different aromas. People who can barely find the on-switch on their computer will do calculations with Ohm's law in their head, people who can barely tie their shoelaces start building coils that look like they should be part of the LHC, not of an electric cigarette.
It's more than satisfying addiction. It's empowering, do a degree. Messing around with the hardware, hunting for new flavor liquids, getting to know people to actually exchange experiences rather than just to hide a common shame. It turns many into connoisseurs, fashionistas and outright geeks. And will still save money.

The people who run the business end of the vaping world are, often, middle aged. They go into the business because they honestly care about vaping and figure they can do it better than the other guy.
The entire retail end of vaping is mom-and-pop stores, or a few buddies going into business together after getting laid off at the car-plant or something, everybody lives on word-of-mouth. The manufacturing end has some big names, but the entire business is so fragmented, so many players on all ends, even there, mom-and-pop businesses can compete with the few big names that there are.
There are no big-budget add blitzes or PR campaigns. The whole sector runs on a word-of-mouth basis. FB groups, reviews and how-to instructions on youtube.
Some youtubers have amassed such a following, they get free hardware. Even if the "big" brands could afford big advertising (which they can't, or won't), serious vapers wouldn't notice.
Here is a similarity to potheads, I think.
The vapers were in the wilderness so long, reputation and personal recommendations outweigh flashy advertising.
To the extent that even in hardware manufacture or liquid production, the small startup will stand almost as good a chance as any long-established brand name. A good and/or innovative product, reasonable customer care, and the attention of one reviewer, that's all they need. Since nobody is leveraging ad-buys and whatnot against a media outlet's reporting, it's really a free for all.

Apart from nicotine, though, the only other "substances" I'm aware of, besides the basics like PG and VG, are caffeine and menthol. You can get caffeinated base liquid, to mix your own e-juice, or menthol crystal to dissolve in your PG.
Sure, like for everything else in vaping, there are instructions on youtube how to put the THC from cannabis into liquid. You can, quite legitimately, buy liquids with "Mary Jane" aroma. Though neither is nearly as prevalent as you might think.
Everyone has a tale of an authority figure flipping out at the sight of vapor but letting off when they see what's going on (happened to me on a non-smoking train, before they banned ecigs on trains), but still, the potheads don't seem to get the message.
"Hey! This stuff is legal, it smells and tastes like cannabis, it makes big clouds, you could put THC in it and get stoned right in front of a cop and they couldn't do anything!"
isn't something that seems to register. I've had potheads, while they were lighting up a fatty, tell me it was bad form that I should expose them to all those toxic chemicals ...

Back in the 90s, somebody came up with a damn expensive machine that would produce THC vapors from cannabis, supposedly less toxic than smoking. Rather than vaping directly, users would fill up a baloon and inhale from that. I don't know the technology behind that, exactly. You can buy "dry content vaporizers", which are just a high-temperature coil in a ceramic "dry content holder". They heat whatever you put in till it burns/smolders/glows/whatnot, for whatever purpose. But like cooking up THC e-juice, it's not something you see a lot of. Or any of, really.
Headshops will sometimes sell cheap, not very good beginner vaping kits. Right next to the sporting crossbows, collapsible batons and apparel, it's treated like the incidental merchandise they have besides the bongs.

No, I don't see any cultural crossover.
Which, like I said, is weird, since anarchisty potheads would probably love it. But any pot culture that exists here is, in my experience, rooted more in the 60s/70s bicycles-and-birkenstocks paradigm. Oooh, evil corporations, evil chemistry, evil pharmaceutical industry. Smoking pot good! Vaping bad, just evil chemicals and evil electronics!
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby Pattio » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:49 am

It's interesting that you seem to have a 'mature' vaping crowd in your culture. The only people I've ever seen doing the big-device-big-clouds thing have been very stereotypical ravers, weird facial hair, colored contacts, hoods worn indoors, animal print accessories, etc. They make sure that everyone can see them and they keep hitting their device constantly so you can tell where they are in a crowd. I've never seen a 'normal' looking person doing it. I do see plenty of people doing the small, gas station e-cigs, presumably, as you describe, to quit smoking. I'm surprised to learn that the ravers are actually just doing nicotine, but hey, we all know its a powerful drug so I guess I shouldn't be.

I read a lengthly article the other day about the undesirable influence of what the writer called 'toxic bro culture' in the vaping scene, by which they were referring to the bikini-girl-gothic-font-extreme-dirt-bike-jumper style, saying that there is a far larger potential market when women are welcomed and aggression is downplayed. I guess early-adopters like you are forging the path for less exxtreme people to eventually get into the technology without the culture.

Would you say there is a macho/masculine element to the emphasis on big clouds, big volume, or overwhelming sensation? I've never seen tobacco smokers go down that road, or some would smoke cigars the size of coffee cans and exchange notes on who exhales more.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:37 am

Huh. How about that.
Here, the media keep going on about how vaping could be a gateway to smoking for kids. Because e-cigarettes come in many different colors and sweet aromas that can only be designed to appeal to kids.

The youngest vapers I've encountered would have been around 20.
While an adult, with some disposable income and an overdraft can afford to invest in vaping gear, a kid, still in school, with expenses for fashionable hoodies and smartphones, probably will find the fancier gear too pricey. While the unfancy, entry-level stuff isn't very adult, unlike a cigarette.

I think there's a bit of macho culture to "cloud chasing" as it's called. Guys show off how they coil, post "hand-check" pics on FB to show off what mod and atomizer they are using that day, they talk smack at each about making too-small clouds.
Meh.
You see fewer women there, doing that. But at the vaping expo, like I said, almost as many women as guys I think, and many of them vaping themselves.
Women smoke, too, Edward Bernays saw to that, and like men, they figure buttermilk with a twist of lemon or coffee with cream taste A HECK OF A LOT better than carbon-monoxide laced with droplets of tar and the ammonia that cigarette makers put in their wares.

I missed the cloud-chasing contest (because I couldn't give a fuck), but here's video:

phpBB [media]


The contestants here are definitely from the young end of the spectrum.
Note the predominance of beer-bellies.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby wyckedsin » Sat Oct 10, 2015 2:37 pm

There is a mixed Vape crowd here. Everything from just turned 18 to bitter old foggies who can't smoke because they carry oxygen tanks.

You never know who your going to run into here with a Vape, and I am not just talking the e-cigs but all the way up to the latest boxes or mods.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby Pattio » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:16 am

I've been hearing in the news about people burning buildings down using some process that involves pot and butane. I now know, to my regret, that this is the source of the THC fuel used in, also new term to me, Weed Pens. Looks like the raver douchebag vapers really are just nicotine addicts, and the THC vaping crowd are the the criminal losers.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:54 am

Double-plus loosers if this "weed pen" nonsense is likely to cause such conflagration.
From a quick GIS, I do get the impression that these "weed pens" look like silly little entry-level e-cigarettes. Not like vapes, just the damn little e-cigarettes.
The ones I could find on youtube were really just little heaters that would heat up weed with an electric heating element. Didn't strike me as ... sophisticated, really.

When the first fella poured PG and VG into an e-cigarette, the second fella started trying to find a way to turn that liquid into a THC carrier, making the vape the delivery system.
And, by now, it's been figured out, there are a number of recipes for dissolving THC in e-juice, or making a suspension of THC oils, or things like that.
Burning down a building?? Whatta bunch of willdeeds.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby Pattio » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:26 pm

As I understand it, what goes on is that butane is used to extract 'hash oil' from pot plants. The process is not a big deal, but evidently too big a deal for profit-minded pot-addled entrepreneurs to manage safely. I am guessing that the use of e-cig delivered THC will trickle down to legal reality quite soon, as a part of the pot legalisation process. I imagine part of the technology-minded vapitst's thought process involves a certain satisfaction in sticking it to Big Tobacco. We have not yet reached the era of Big Weed, brought to you by Big Tobacco, but its coming.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby Pattio » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:53 pm

I don't want to hold this up as particularly funny or insightful, but at least it reenforces the idea I've set forth here that the 'vaper' is not a well-regarded stereotype and it gave me a name for the e-cig THC delivery system. FWIW, my personal opinion is that Mr Lennon's previous work on Reno 911 is a very high-level achievement in American cultural satire.


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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby wyckedsin » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:04 am

I was not aware they were using Butane as the medium for the extraction of THC. It was my understanding that rubbing alcohol was the medium, and butane was being used to "boil off" the alcohol after the weed had steeped for "X" length of time. From a monetary viewpoint, this method worked very well with very cheap weed and was a great way to make something worthwhile of a stem and seed filled bag. However, the alcohol fumes obviously could become very volatile around the butane burners.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:50 am

wyckedsin wrote:However, the alcohol fumes obviously could become very volatile around the butane burners.


"...could..."??

Seriously. I gather that using a gas flame feels all kinds of laboratory and white-coat.
I studied chemistry. Only one semester, but that included a six-week intensive lab-skills-workshop. Everything, from distillation to titration to crystallization and the old red-blue reaction. Six weeks, eight hours a day, learning every basic lab-work skill. You know how many bunsen-burners I lit?
Zero. None.
I learned to extract one compound from a mixture of solution through re-crystallization where the different boiling-points made separation by distillation impossible. I don't remember how to do any of it, but I remember what tools I did it with.
Some glass tubes and beakers, paper filters, a thermometer and a fucking hotplate. A tub of cold-water may have been involved, but I'm not sure.
The point of this retelling?

If boiling off the alcohol is all you're doing.
If producing highly-volatile, highly-flammable fumes on purpose, as the goal of the entire exercise, is something you do with an open flame. In the 21st century.
... I'm not sure you don't deserve to get exploded a little.

Seriously. Rubbing alcohol is either a solution of ethanol or of isopropyl alcohol or a mixture thereof. Ethanol's boiling point is 78.37 °C (173.07 °F), for isopropyl alcohol it's 82.6 °C (180.7 °F). The plate on a fucking coffe-maker that keeps the pot warm can probably do that!!
Heck, you need to go out and buy gas for a butane burner - electricity gets pumped into every damn home! Most will even have a hotplate or hotplate-like item already!!

Unless I misunderstand the process and the open flame has other purposes than just heating up a solution, it appears to be intentionally complicating things for no good reason other than increasing the risk of fatalities.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby wyckedsin » Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:29 pm

Not everyone making this stuff at home is exactly a rocket scientist, hell, many probably barely made it to the fifth grade.

After filtering out the herbage from the elixer, I would figure it would be easiest to just put the oven on warm, pour the liquid into a pyrex baking dish and let it evaporate off.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:50 pm

Dunno 'bout the oven, any ventilation that evacuates those fumes, if there is any, would be all electrickery and not exactly designed to handle flammable stuff, so that wouldn't be risk free exactly, either. Evaporating alcohol in a CLOSED box with no evacuation is, obviously, what experts refer to as a "bomb".

Hot plate, thermometer, open windows.
Or maybe even one of those thermostat-controlled kettles, the kind you can buy at many appliance stores or internets, for "coffee gourmets", and an open windows.
Or some manner of pot and a thermostat-controlled immersion heater and an open windows.

I don't mind that people do this without being rocket scientists. I mind that people who aren't rocket scientists can't be bothered to google, or just search youtube, for a rocket scientist explaining how to do shit like that. It's not a secret!
I mean, damn, they are obviously enterprising and have a bit of inventiveness in them. ARgh!
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby wyckedsin » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:41 pm

you're right, I took it for granted to think that someone drying something in the oven on warm is going to leave the door cracked for airflow. of course this is about using butane with alcohol, so naturally I am also presuming electric oven and not a natural gas oven with you know...flames...


In other news, went to a vape expo over the weekend. Wide age and demographic range. Poor vendor turnout. Only a couple of vendors had mods or attys. Lots of juice, and some surprising combinations I have not come across. Like a raspberry cucumber spearmint lemonade. It is like spritzing a squirt bottle of mist into your mouth it is so flavorful.

I picked up a clone mechanical of the Cartel Limited Copper Mod. Learned it needs to have the battery inverted to work best. Also I need a better atty, the Magma I was gifted is not getting the job done that well.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:01 am

wyckedsin wrote:you're right, I took it for granted to think that someone drying something in the oven on warm is going to leave the door cracked for airflow. of course this is about using butane with alcohol, so naturally I am also presuming electric oven and not a natural gas oven with you know...flames...

I wasn't even thinking "gas".
I know, if I leave my oven door open wide enough for good air circulation, it won't heat up that well and the heating elements have to power it out, glowing all the way ... not where I'd want volatile fumes around, either.
I was more concerned about maybe using a convection type oven, but one that draws in fresh-air rather than just circulating what's inside (I'm sure I've seen that, somewhere). Those alcohol fumes going by the contacts on that ventilator motor ...

As far as dripper attys go, let me recommend the Velocity base plus any other top end.
The base is brilliant for building, two posts with four holes, but the top is meh. Luckily, there are only so many variation of "round", so many other top ends will fit. I found I like the Doge X V2 on the Velocity, or the N23.
Of course, myself I'm now on a bototm-feeder trip ... that Fountain V2 is a great little thing, but the Velocity with bottom-feeder pin on my Hypersquonk just rocks.
If you're more looking for a tank, stock RTAs I found are okay are the Lemo 2 and ... well, the Lemo 2. Though I've only ever seen people use it, I hear many, many good things about the Billow V2.
But I won't even try out the Billow, or a clone thereof, because rather than paying +€180 for the genuine Genius², with the patented airflow gimmick, somebody is building one just like that. Only without the patented airflow gimmick. $40 is a reasonable price for a tank that I've tried and found to provide dripper performance, and great flavor, but still is a tank.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby wyckedsin » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:44 pm

I am not so worried about appearance, so my dripper doesn't have to be "round", all I care about is that it works well, has more than two posts.

As for Tanks, I have been looking at either the TFV4 subohm tank. A number of the vendors were using them for sampling juice, and one of the guys I trust locally with vape gear swears by his. It hits really well, chucks clouds and still delivers good flavor.

The bottom feed tanks like the one earlier have not caught on here, so to get one, I will need to order it from overseas, I have patience problems when it comes to that ;)
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:33 pm

Friend of mine, he's all mechanical mods and drippers only, hardcore.
But, on the smoker's balcony, some of the carbon-monoxide junkies were giving him a hard time, so he decided to buy just the next best tank, cartomizer and all, so he wouldn't have to take anymore grief.

Still gets grief, because the TFV4 with the tripple-coil head makes clouds like a small dripper does ... even works fine with 85% VG dripper base, apparently.
I have considered one myself, it does come with a rebuildable atomizer head, also. But, with the bottom feeder collection I'm building and the Genuis² on order and my own customized Wolverine, I just don't really need one.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby wyckedsin » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:29 pm

I only need a tank for driving. Like when driving back and forth to Los Angeles from Phoenix. Other times, I have no problems with a dripper. I could care less if people are annoyed that I need to drip while they're sucking on their tanks.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby jae » Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:58 am

As someone completely unfamiliar with the vaping equipment available right now, is there a functional difference between a tank and a dripper?
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:17 am

jae wrote:As someone completely unfamiliar with the vaping equipment available right now, is there a functional difference between a tank and a dripper?


There is.
A Tank atomizer has that, a tank. You fill that tank up with ejuice and start vaping. Until the tank is empty, which may take a while. Once you've filled it up, you can use it till it's empty, no worries. Like this one, a Kayfun, which is a very popular type of design (emulated by quite a few others):
Image
This is an "RTA", a Rebuildable Tank Atomizer. When the wick/heating coil are used up, you rebuild them yourself. The coil goes on the deck, item 2, right over the airhole in the very center. The chimney, item 3, fits around that. The actual tank is the space between items 3 and 4. The liquid gets to the coil via the little slits in the thread that the chimney mounts on. The airflow is adjustable, through twisting item 1 if I'm not mistaken.
Alternatives would be cartomizers, for instance, where instead of the stuff with the little screws in item 2, you'd have a cartridge containing coil(-s) and wick that can be exchanged once used up. Of course, those don't come in standard-sizes so much.

A dripper has no tank. It's just the bare minimum. Liquid is added as-needed, usually by dripping it on (hence the name). I'm not aware of any drippers that are NOT rebuildable, they are hence RDAs.
This is a Mutation X V2, a popular RDA over here.
Image
As you can see, there are the posts with the screwholes, the positive in the center, negative at the edges, while the air-holes are in the sides of the casing.
This is suitable for dual-coil builds, where you install two heating coils (and wicks, obviously), because that's a very easy way of making twice as much vapor as a single coil. The recessed bottom around the positive post is all the reservoir you get on this design. Here, too, the airflow can be adjusted, the diagonal slit on the third item in the top row is for that. RDAs like this often have three such slits in their airflow-control-device, two opposite each other for use with a dual-coil build, and a third at a right angle. That way, you can close off one of two air-intakes, for use as a single coil. In case a coil burns out while you're away from home, I suppose, and you prefer a lesser vape to the dilution of flavor you'd get otherwise.

Common wisdom used to be: Only RDAs can make big clouds. In a tank, you cannot deliver the liquid to the coil fast enough, it's just not technologically possible.
That common wisdom was dumb, as we have begun to see over the past six months or so, with things like that TFV4 coming out. It won't make quite as big clouds as a Mutation X V2 in any hands that are not a novice's, but easily as big as other, smaller RDAs do. The TFV4 is actually a cartomizer, you can get a cartridge that turns it into an RTA, it's really intended for use with disposable cartridges.

Sidenote: The designers of the Mutation X V2 have, recently, announced they would introduce an RTA. THAT I'm looking forward to ...
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby jae » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:30 am

So, as someone who is NOT into making clouds (would prefer my vaping to be completely invisible if at all possible), is there any particular downside to a rebuildable tank?

When I started "vaping", I was told I was "doing it wrong". I happen to like pipe tobacco (if not the lingering smoke smell, etc.) and opted for a Ploom Pax. I had several friends tell me they'd never seen anyone use a vaporizer like that with anything but weed (which I'm really not a fan of, personally). That didn't bother me much as I liked the buzz (probably better than smoking the pipe), I could actually taste the flavored tobacco instead of just smoke, and it smelled great. Very little vapor on exhale, which made it quite inconspicuous. Except for that toasted nutty smell which no one seemed to associate with tobacco, no one ever really noticed.

I'd be interested in trying out the the "real" vaporizers, but I'm not sure where to start as it seems what I want is counter to the norm.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:52 am

Indeed, vaping without is a bit unusual.
Even the little, pen-sized e-cigarettes like an ego-t will make a little bit of cloud.
Somebody did create a special e-cigarette that makes NO visible clouds, so people could surreptitiously use it on airplanes.
I have ZERO experience with such gimmicks, I doubt I'd enjoy it. At all.

Question is, how hard do you want to be able to draw on your vape.
Vapor production, cloud-making, particularly cloud-volume, is a function of the air-volume that passes through the device and past the coil. There are atomizers or drip-tips that feature additional air-holes to dilute the cloud that is produced, providing plenty of air-flow but only a thin and/or cooler cloud. Of course, this will affect flavor and feel of the thing. The TFV4 features such, it is a rather commendable device.

Downsides to an RTA is that you will, also, require tools, time, and some experience to rebuild it. At first, you'd end up doing it every couple of days until you figure out how you like it, what wire to use, what cotton and how, etc., etc. This may involve browsing youtube for instructional videos and interaction in facebook groups and/or vapoer forums. I fear that, both from what I saw with friends and from my own experience, rebuilding and test-driving attys can be great fun and medidative hand-craft at the same time.

Next, like I said, you WILL produce clouds. At first, myself, the first couple of years, I only used small cartomizers, didn't think I'd want the hassle or that I'd enjoy chasing clouds.
About a year ago, as it happens, I found that I was wrong and, within a few weeks, went from escalating sizes of cartomizer to my first RTA. Which, by the spring, was also no longer enough.

If you want to give it a go, and you don't want to go the route of wire-cutter and blowtorch, I recommend the above-mentioned TFV4 or, if you don't want the option of adjusting your airflow so wide open, the Kanger Subtank. Why? Both are cartomizer devices, there is a wide selection of cartridges for either (though I understand the TFV4 offers greater choice) and, for both, there is an RTA option. A cartridge that screws in like any other but is really a rebuildable deck.
With such, you could try out pre-made cartridges while maintaining the option of becoming yet another builder/cloud-chaser/general-device-obsessed-deviant.

But, like I said. RTA will make appreciable amounts of cloud, inevitably. Adjustable, usually, but always some.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:53 am

Yo, jae.
If you've made your peace with clouds and if you are still looking for an RTA, I think this is worth consideration.

I have not tried this device myself. I decided against its acquisition, even though enough reviewers praise the big airhole on the rebuildable deck.
BUT
It comes with adapters so will not just provide a rebuildable deck, but can also operate atomizer-heads for the three most popular types of clearomizer - while itself not being entirely expensive. The testing does find some weaknesses, but I think it is worth consideration.

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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby jae » Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:39 am

I have to admit that you've at least got me interested. So, understanding that I know very little about vaping outside of the general theory on how the different components work, where should I start? I'm assuming this is just like building a rifle, motorcycle, house, etc.; it's generally easiest to just buy something pre-made first, figure out what you like/dislike, and then start swapping out components and such before getting into a full scratch-built custom. That said, it seems with the right guidance something decent can usually be pieced together from components to end up with a better end product with less "wasted" money.

So, with that in mind, what would you recommend as a first build from what you know of what's out there?
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:27 am

EDIT: I have composed a more concise post below. Hence the spoiler tag. Click that if you want a more nuanced opinion with more detail and background. Make sure you bring water for three days.

You'll need an atomizer, obviously.
Whatever you get, 510 connectors. Those are industry standard, but I feel it's still good to mention.

That Morph I mentioned above, it does seem to have all things one would want to recommend. You can use three different brands of atomizer heads. Things a video-casette player that can playback VHS AND Betamax AND ... I dunno, Video2000? And it comes with an atomizer head you can build your own coil on, so if you get the itch to try it out, it's a good start.
The rebuildable deck looks almost identical to the Lemo that was my very first RTA, it's a decent place to start.

Then you'll need a mod. That's the thing you put your atomizer on, with that 510 connector.
You're a beginner - you do NOT want a mechanical mod. Yeah, those come in all sorts of pretty shapes and sizes and whatnot, and they're cheap, too. But those are a bitch and only for real connoisseurs.
If there are more atomizers than you can shake a stick at, there are exactly as many mods. What you want, as a beginner is a VW. Most are marketed as VV/VW, but they only do VW. That is "Variable Wattage". VV would be "Variable Voltage", but that's only for the advanced class, too.
Such mods come as "scepers" as some call them, or as boxes. I like me a nice box mod.

I recommend something where standard sized batteries sit under a magnetic battery cover. That way, you can switch em out, rather than having to wait for hours for the whole thing to charge.
18650 size Li-Ion batteries are the most common. I've made good experiences with the Sony Konion VTC5 and Samsung 25R. I hear good things about the brown LGs. Get batteries with many amps maximum constant discharge current. No less than 20. As a beginner, you won't need much more, but it's nice to have.
Do not trust the specs on cheap batteries, or those on batteries from obscure brands. A good battery is a safety issue. If it overheats or shorts, a Li-Ion battery may produce and vent hydrogen gas. Has never happened to me, is ultra rare, but a reason to pay $10, rather than $6.99 for a battery.
Batteries that aren't in use or being charged should be stored and transported only in a container that will ensure their contacts can't make contact. There are little clear plastic boxes for your spare batteries.

I recommend against an entry level mod. You don't need something big and unholy. But a small mod can get too-small quickly.
Two batteries are better than one. Even with a small atty and low wattage, you'd have more capacity to play with.
I would recommend against less than 50Watt. As with most things in life, it's better to have and not need than to need what you don't have.
Your mod will have a 510 connector. This will have a positive pole at it's center. That can be fixed, threaded and adjustable or outright spring loaded.
Fixed is useless. Spring loaded is handy, but good only if it's a nice, firm spring with long travel. Threaded is best.
Make your the mod has plenty of ventilation holes at the bottom, just in case a bad battery does something bad.
You also want a nice, big firing button. Small buttons become annoying and uncomfortable quickly enough.

More and more mods come with "TC", temperature control. Nice. If it works. Temperature control depends on resistance changing with temperature. All will function with Ni200 wire, most with titanium, a few with stainless steel. None that I'm aware of advertise temperature control with Kanthal wire.
I'd recommend looking for something that can do temperature control with stainless steel.

Keep in mind that the little display doesn't just show you what it measures while you adjust the power and suchlike with a knob.
No, output voltage is entirely generated by a microchip doing black magic. The last firmware update for one of my mods increased the power output from 160W to 180W. Unfortunately, not everybody writing such firmware is good at what they do. Some mods, even from otherwise reputable firms, don't come near the claimed power output.
When new devices come out, they are tested. You can find videos with opinions from experiences, semi-professional testers on the youtubes. They all depend on word of mouth, so they aren't likely to tell fibs.
I have made good experiences with devices from SMOKtech and Pioneer4you. From colleagues, I have heard good things about products from Kangertech, Joytech and iStick.
If you remain unsure about something, I will be quite happy to look up background for you.

The whole vaping scene, over here at least, works a bit like they told you in those old propaganda movies about how a market economy worked.
Here, a beginner can walk into a vaping store and encounter knowledgeable people who are passionate about the business they are in. He can then get himself some advice, maybe try out some devices.

As for what to vape, what manner of liquid.
Mixing your own is not for beginners.
Buy ready-made ejuice and try out what you like. I recommend starting with a higher dose of nicotine - you can always dilute, later.

This company will ship with a reasonable turn-around time (as little as two weeks, sometimes) from China, with quite reasonable prices. Though you may have to deal with customs, then.
BUT they also have a warehouse in the US, with a smaller selection, but still good prices. Their customer service is exemplary (even though their English isn't always), products are as described. Apart from that, there are a number of online retailers in the USA; of course, quite beside Amazon and Ebay.
However, if you have the opportunity to try stuff out in person in a bricks-and-mortar store, I'd recommend that as a first step. Trying won't oblige you to buying.
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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby Jaeger » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:43 am

Fuck almighty, I'd go back to cigarettes if I had to go through all that. I want a nic fix, not small electrical engineering. :shock:

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Re: Coming up a cloud. Where vapists gather!

Postby DerGolgo » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:47 am

Truly, I should condense.
Condensed, what someone should pay attention to when buying vaping gear. Pretty much in its entirety:

- Atomizer. The Morph that I mentioned above is by far the most versatile tank I have thus far seen. It has all a beginner should want.
- in general: a beginner should not start with an RTA right away. But keep that option open, maybe.
- other devices that will allow that, using either prepared atomizer-heads OR building yourself, are the Kanger Subtank or the SMOK TFV4. I have tried neither and the last one is not so flavorful, apparently. The Morph is getting best test results and brings the best set of options, all at a reasonable price.
I shall happily advice on any other device, of course.

- Your mod. NOT a mechanical mod. Not a mere "variable voltage" mod. Those are for the advanced class.
- You want "Variable Wattage", or VW. Some are marketed "VV/VW", that's fine, too.
- most modern devices are now getting temperature control. I recommend looking out for compatibility with stainless-steel wire.
- Not less than 50 Watts. It's better to have and not need than to need what you don't have.
- large firing button. This may sound silly. But a small button gets pretty annoying pretty quickly.
- 510 connector. That's where the atomizer is screwed on. Threaded and adjustable center-pin is best. Spring loaded is cool if it is a firm spring with long travel. Fixed is useless.
- Being able to change out batteries when the old ones are empty, standard-battery-size, is highly recommended. VERY highly.
- Battery cover should be removable without tools (or nothing more complex than a quarter).
- Two batteries better than one. Even if you only use low wattage.

- Before buying any mod, check youtube or me.
- even moderately reputable manufacturers don't always get their software right, and the mod may say 150W but really only put out 100W.
- a USB port for software/firmware updates should be preferred. The big manufacturers will provide such on occasion.
- brands I can personally recommend are SMOKTech and Pioneer4You. Brands I've heard good things about from colleagues and friends are Joytech, Kangertech and the Eleaf iStick series.

- Batteries. 18650 is the most common size for Li-Ion batteries. Don't buy cheap.
- I can personally recommend Sony Konion VTC5 or Samsung 25R. From friends, I've heard good things about the brown models by LG.
- when buying batteries, what matters is capacity, in mAh, and maximum continuous discharge current, in A.
- some retailers advertise only the maximum peak discharge current. That rating is only good for less than a second. You want continuous.
- the bestest, nicest batteries deliver 30 or 35A continuous. 20 to 25 should be fine for a beginner.
- rule of thumb. If you haven't seen TV sets being sold with the same brandname, the battery manufacturer should probably not be trusted.

- any number of testers provide independent testing of vaping hardware on youtube. Many have a great following and are reliable. The vaping culture does work on word of mouth and reputation.
- any questions you have, opinions you want, I'm here.

- your own ejuice/eliquid mixing is for you not yet, young padawan.
- make sure you try a few different flavors, even stuff you don't expect you might enjoy.
- don't go overboard with a low-nicotine content. Go high. You can always dilute later.

- go into a bricks-and-mortar store, ask questions, let them show you stuff, try something out. You don't have to buy damn anything.

If you want to buy online, there's ebay and Amazon Marketplace, obviously. Also many US based retailers with online shops and (perhaps) better customer service than some dude on ebay.
This company will ship with a reasonable turn-around time (as little as two weeks, sometimes) from China, with quite reasonable prices. Though you may have to deal with customs, then.
They also have a warehouse in the USA. A smaller selection and a prices maybe a dollar or so higher here and there, but no customs worry. Their German warehouse delivers within two business days, I expect similar from their US warehouse.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.
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