Have a guide or tutorial? Post it up!
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By Fienen
#4952952
This tutorial is going to come in a couple parts. I'm posting what I already have to help some other folks out, and will round it out after some other stuff is sorted out (all will be explained).

So, you want to build a smoke kit? Well, here's how I did it for under $60. Let's start with my parts: Total cost: $58.35

Other items you'll need: Image
I started off with Mark Carabelli's design for a vent kit mount. If you want to print one, it's at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4843115. It comes in two parts and fits the Q-Pack N-Filter really well. The best part is, all of this is basically reusable if I want to switch out to a prebuilt kit later (assuming it doesn't have the fan assembly included).

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Everything else I needed to order/scrounge. Build list is up above. Total cost for what you're looking at: $58.35. The most expensive part is the remote trigger, which you don't need. I just want a way to be able to fire smoke without going into overheat mode. Also, make sure you order silicone tubing so that it's not damaged when the coil heats up. Vinyl or PVC tubing could pose a fire risk.

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Fitting the T10 light socket into the main housing. Really happy with how this fit given that I ordered the socket pretty blind on sizing.

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Bulb installed, and ran the wires out the channel to the side. This bulb is quite bright, and very white. Just what I was hoping for.

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Fan mounts easily enough to the base with some M4 screws.

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Couldn't wait and wanted to see how good the lighting was from my LED that'll go in the smoke kit. This was the result of a dry fit, just hotwiring the bulb to my battery. To say I'm pleased is an understatement.

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By default, you're probably using a 12V battery. If you use the same buck converter as me, it should show you your input voltage when you turn it on the first time. This is where you could substitute an UBEC if you want, but given the variability in vape coils out there, I suggest a buck converter for the convenience of being able to adjust the voltage to your setup. An UBEC will lock you into 5V.

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Pressing the button once in the lower right corner will kick you into output mode. When these things ship from the factory, they're usually configured for 20V output, so you'll need to turn the adjustment at the top counterclockwise a bunch before you see it start lowering the voltage. This process is the same if you use a buck converter without an LED readout, you'll just need a multimeter on the output to tell you where you're at on the step down.

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Why 5 volts? Well, the coil I'm using is a high resistance, older coil that was actually designed to run off a USB wall wart. Those supply 5 volts. Ohms law is V = IR. So we adjust it with middle school algebra and get I = V/R. My battery can supply up to 3 amps, so we should be plenty safe at 5V. I can also play with this, since my buck converter lets me adjust things. I might step up to 7.2V when I test things to see how that helps. Higher voltage + more amps = more heat (we more than double the wattage at that voltage), and, in theory, more smoke. Calculating wattage is W = AV.

Warning: you 100% can fry a vape coil just changing stuff willy nilly. Too hot, and it may also create a "dry hit," which basically means it burns off the fluid too fast. Not to mention just blowing the coil. You're also likely to shorten the lifespan by running it hotter than intended.

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Wiring together the fan and light to make things easier. It's all 12V, so they'll run in parallel fine. My original plan was to run these off the strobe header on the Ninjatunes daughter board, but note that that connection is only 5V. Not pictured: I drilled out that base hole a tad larger to fit the OD of my silicone hose, and I taped off the other three to prevent smoke leaks.

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Here's the vape coil. Negative is soldered to the inside of the outer casing, and the positive is soldered to the inner post of the coil itself. I poked a hole in the silicone tube about halfway up to thread it out. Make sure the tubing seats cleanly over the end of the coil. It's also worth noting that silicone works better here because it'll better hold up to the heat the coil creates. PVC or vinyl might pose fire risks.

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Aaaaand this is where disaster strikes, and why this tutorial will come in two parts. I was disassembling the setup to take some additional photos of the solder points and one of the solder points hooked my tube and caused me to pull the coil itself apart. But fear not! I've ordered a new coil, and I have a couple videos to help out.


Here's an overview of everything in a test state before I was stupid and careless.


Here's how it looks in practice, again, before I was stupid and careless.

Stay tuned for part 2 with more photos and showing the installation and final wiring!
Last edited by Fienen on August 31st, 2021, 9:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
CaptainAssholay liked this
#4952962
Quick followup to note some feedback from Marc - you can absolutely go with all 5V components (light, fan, pump) and keep your circuits a little simpler without needing to tie back into your mainline 12V and ground. I made the choice to isolate my vape coil since it's such a high current device and everything else is pretty low (the LED bulb tops out at 250mA/3W), plus when I was planning all this, I wasn't sure what rating I'd get on my coil, so it was easier to plan for flexibility in the voltage I'd supply it, and keep everything else normalized to 12V. But you certainly can go all 5V and run it off a combination of a buck converter/UBEC and/or the strobe header provided your coil runs fine at that voltage. It's mostly a matter of preference, comfort level, and math.

If you talk to people at a vape shop, you'll hear a lot of talk about sub-ohm stuff and how it works best. Yes, it gets super hot and can make huge clouds, but they draw a TON of current. That's fine if you're prepared to commit a dedicated battery (like a good 18650) and circuit to it, but you can't run it off the normal Talentcell battery most folks use. Look for a coil rated no less than 1.5 ohms, and plug it into a calculator like https://www.myvaporstore.com/ohms-calcu ... -a/292.htm. The Talentcell battery can deliver 3A. That's not a ton to work with.

For instance, say you find a great deal on a .5 ohm coil and you plan to run it on the same 5V:

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That coil is going to draw more than triple the amperage your battery is rated for. In short, you're definitely gonna make smoke. Once. So just make sure to do the math.
User avatar
By Fienen
#4953540
Sorry for the delay in part 2, it's definitely still coming. My replacement vape coils are just between "here" and "there." I think they'll be in this week (I ordered from a Chinese drop shipper). In the mean time, I'm doing some additional mounting and planning.

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This is the remote relay switch for my smoke kit. I've decased it, and need to design a mount for the board to stand it off from the motherboard. Just feeling out where I'll have room to mount it. I do believe I'll need to reverse my wiring plans to include this, as the negative is NOT switched in the relay, so instead of running negative through my relay as described above, I'll be running all positive on the switching. Could I reverse the polarity on this remote switch? No clue, and it's a cheap thing, so I don't want to risk blowing it up to find out. Easier to just reverse the wiring polarity.
tobycj liked this
#4953601
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We're back in business folks! This time with backups! Lower resistance, bigger tank.

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I've already disassembled the old, broken one. Here's the base of the Kanger. First, we'll use the Dremel to grind down a spot in the outer ring to give it better metal to solder to.

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Second, grind down a spot on the inner post of the coil. Be gentle here, this is delicate, obviously. It doesn't take much.

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Not the greatest shot here, since it's tight. But you can see where I ground down the spot on the outer ring for the ground, and kinda see where I did the same for positive.

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Soldering things in. Positive wire goes IN the tube and comes out the side.

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Slide the tube over the stem of the positive coil and wire solder point. Poke a hole in the side of the tubing to let the wire come out so you can wire it up. The other end fits to the air pump.

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Finally, I wrapped it all up in electrical tape for stability and to prevent my prior error. You could heat shrink this if you have some big and long enough. I didn't, and I like the stiffness of the tape after a few passes.


Here's the new one in action on the test bench.

PART 3 COMING SOON. I'll show the final wiring and mounting the kit in the shell.
User avatar
By Fienen
#4953830
[EDIT] UPDATE: See the first post for an alternate suggestion on wireless relays. After wiring this one up, it died on me after the very first use. I'll post an update to how this affects wiring soon. For now, I'll leave the details for the original though, as you might have better luck than I did.

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I wanted to save some space with my remote relay by decasing it, but the board itself doesn't have any mounting holes or anything on it. So, I designed this simple little mounting box for it. While it's pretty specific to this exact device and board, it's available if anyone wants it at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4931532

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The board slides in and uses its own wire to hold the board in place. The wires are pretty hefty, making this quite sturdy
Last edited by Fienen on August 31st, 2021, 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Fienen
#4954630
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Need a bracket to mount the vape kit inside the pack. I sketched this up in a pinch.

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Here's the bracket after some adjustments. If anyone wants to use it for their kit, you can grab the file at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4943391.

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I installed my kit along the outside edge of the pack. That gets it out of the way of wiring while still keeping it pretty accessible for refills.

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This lets you run the hose straight down to the N-Filter kit. The hose I used fits in the mouthpiece of the vape, but I used some electrical tape to keep it in place. I also used a dab of hot glue to hold it to the fan.

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Here's the full look at the shell with things installed and wired. I tied together the fan, light, and pump, which have two pigtails. One set goes to the remote relay, which is just hotwired to the battery. The other set goes to ground and the relay on the NJT board. The vape itself just connects to the 5V off the buck converter.

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