SAGA The Beast

Just in the other day, these were on sale over at Vaperz Cloud and had an impulse moment. I saw the Ultem model last year on line and was impressed by the look of the mod. I was not aware they had several other models as well and found the Iced Out was in stock and on sale for $75, so I picked it up. This is the first dual 21700 serial mech mod I have procured but not the first serial mod I have owned as I bought the Wismec Noisy Cricket designed by Jaybo back in 2016 for $40.

For those of you that are not familiar with a serial configuration, it is basically two batteries stacked on top of each other. You get 8.4 Volts (3.7V x 2) and about the same mAh as one battery. Parallel configurations, two batteries side by side, give you the same Voltage output 3.7V but twice the mAh. Most dual, triple and quad battery mods are set up in parallel.

Some mods like the Noisy Cricket give you both a Serial and Parallel connection providing you flexibility. It does this by changing the physical configuration on the bottom battery connections. There are some other mech mods that can do this like the Hammer of God but I am not personally familiar with them at this time.

It has been years since I built coils for a high voltage situation and had to review some you tube videos. I found Richard Vick’s video quite helpful also made in 2016.

Building for Series by Richard Vick

Basically, I had to build a dual coil RDA to about .7 to 1 ohm which means I had to build each coil to about 1.4 ohm’s to 2 ohm’s.

I wanted more flavor than a single wire can provide so after about 4 attempts to get it right without too much fast heat I dug out/found some simple 26ga x 32ga Kanthal Clapton wire made by GeekVape that worked well and ended up using the Vaperz Cloud Asgard Mini RDA.

Geek Vape Kanthal Clapton Wire

I was able to achieve .909 ohms with 12 wraps of each coil to get them to around 2 ohm’s each. As Richard stated, Kanthal has a higher resistance than stainless steel which I usually build with. The lower ohm builds prior to this one I found to be just too hot too fast and so a just slight push of the fire button to get totally blown out. I have a little more time with this build to heat the coils to a heat level that is more comfortable for me.

I love the aesthetic look of the SAGA. It is well made and feels nice in the hand because of the shape of the mod. All the connections are silver plated for better connectivity and less resistance. The center pin is adjustable for use with different rda’s center pin lengths. The switch feels solid and had a good resistance to the push and has room to feel the heat (not just on and off). The Acrylic is thick and solid. Ultem is stronger but it was out of stock and more expensive as well. This page explains the differences between Acrylic and Ultem plastic.

All in all, I can recommend the SAGA if you want something different and feel comfortable working with the high voltage it puts out quickly.

I have more information on mech mods here.

Kicks Like A Mule – Last Chance…

If you don’t like or use mech mods, you can pass up this post.

Mechanical mods are edgy, meaning, they are more extreme in the nature of the vaping world. You kinda need to know what you are doing to make a mech mod behave they way you want it to.

In my experience and reading, people that have only used regulated mods on their vaping journey can’t really understand why you would want to use a battery to power their atomizer alone without being able to turn the power up or down, just on and off. Especially with MTL or mouth to lung style of vaping. That’s where it get’s tricky.

The trick is that you have to build your coils correctly to match the feel you are looking for and not draw too much power or amps from the battery you have chosen to use. If you draw too many amps or power from your battery at one time you take the chance of heating up the battery enough to cause thermal overload, and that my friends, you want to stay far away from. That’s where the term “advanced device” comes into play.

There is something about hitting a high quality, finely machined mech mod with a reasonably low resistance build that is like no other feeling in vaping. You have to try it to understand it. If you don’t want to know or at least understand ohm’s law and understand the nuances of coil building and making mechanical adjustments to hardware, then stay away from mech mods and stay safe with a regulated device that wont let you screw up and get into physical danger. Most advanced regulated devices do feature a “bypass” mode but then again they do or will limit your amp draw for safety so at least you could experiment with that and have a safety net, and that’s all I am going to say.

If you want to learn more about mech mods, check out the Big Lou East Coast Review’s older videos here.

I suggest you use the Steam Engine site to figure out your best battery/coil combo here.

Just in from Marshall Vape Outlet, The SOI or Sub Ohm Innovations 24mm Shorty-X is just amazing. The machining is quite frankly magnificent. A true work of mechanical beauty. Simple but elegant. Perfect fit in your hands. Almost perfect in every way. Oh, did I mention it is weighty?

Sadly, after a number of years in the business, the Sacramento California based SOI company has gone out of business. Here is the quote from Cale on their site.

“To our SOI friends and family:
All of us at sub ohm innovations became interested in vaping because we were smokers. All of us were able to give up cigarettes entirely thanks to vaping. Thanks to flavors. Thanks to small businesses that provide these products. Thanks to passionate people and passionate ex-smokers that helped us, just as they had been helped to quit a dangerous habit.
When sub ohm innovations began, vaping was a light at the end of the tunnel. Since then our federal, state, and local governments have been on a mission to destroy all that has been accomplished in this industry. We have fought tooth and nail to convert every smoker we see to a proven healthier alternative. Our government has fought tooth and nail to stop vaping entirely. In the past couple of years we have seen so many retailers, distributors and manufacturers disappear because of ignorant, misinformed and occasionally malicious regulations. Sub ohm innovations has been an exception. We’ve survived the nonsense and continued providing badass product for the technical/hobby side of vaping. Despite the nonsense, our passion has pushed us farther along than the vast majority of mom-n-pop operations like us, and to the few who are still here: we salute you!
All of that said, it is time for us to close our doors, this is very much a personal choice.
When I first heard about vaping, i thought maybe it would be a good alternative to smoking. I also thought it might be a great way to shake the nicotine addiction. Both of those things are true, but instead of using vaping as a means to end addiction I went full steam ahead. I’ve designed, built, tested, destroyed and rebuilt every vape I could get my hands on. In that process i’ve lost sight of the original purpose, and i’ve nurtured a nicotine addiction that i never really wanted. Being in this industry i’ve secured myself a nearly lifetime supply of vapes and juice… And i’ve got to let it go. Someday I may have the strength to work on vape projects without getting back on nic, but for now i’ve got to separate myself. From everyone at soi: thank you, and stay awesome!
-cale”

However, if you are lucky, you can pick up the remains they are blowing out at Marshall’s while they last and a few other places in the world ie: Australia, UK etc. that have some stock left, or of course, the used market. Don’t buy a clone.

My experience with SOI is their OG Copper Shorty’s. (I have two of them :-). They have always hit very well/hard and I am especially fond of their innovative button clutch design. I discovered the button clutch assembly of this kind after I first purchased the Broadside Admiral. Similar in design but different in fashion, they are very effective as far as conductivity and low amounts of voltage drop. I’m pretty sure SOI came out with the button clutch first, so I just had to have one or two. End of story.

I am so glad I picked up this beast as it really hits like a mule or even a truck 😉 The clutch button assembly is different than the OG Shorty but works on a similar principal.

I was not sure about the composition of the metal and coatings of these units so I just got the stainless steel one to play it safe and am glad I did. After some research they are indeed all made of stainless steel and they made a copper version. Hard core purists often prefer copper or brass to stainless because of the conductivity and lower voltage drop, but I just not a fan of the stink of the metal and natural oxidation that occurs with them. If I get a copper or brass mech mod, it has to have some sort of cerakoting to cover up the metal smell and lessen the maintenance of cleaning and buffing out the finish. Some like all that stuff and that’s ok. I don’t. I did however make an exception with the “white brass” Admiral.

My other mech mods include the v2 Hades, the Paps X, The SS Dreamer, the VaperzCloud XXX, the Silver Bullet single and double barrel, the Super T Precise ELA and a few 26650 Simplicity’s.

Get one or two if you can, you wont be disappointed.

Ardent RDA

Picked up the Ardent RDA by Stan of  TenaciousTXVapes in February to match up my polished SS Dreamer mech mod and am really happy with the purchase. This RDA offers literally tons of vapor and good flavor with a hybrid connection to the Dreamer for a low voltage drop instant connection to the battery. I occasionally need a huge draw (more air flow) from a mech mod and this definitely fits the bill. If you own the Dreamer you should pick up this atty to fit perfectly as a pair here: https://lucidrda.com/product/ardent-rda-by-tenacioustxvapes-and-timesvape/

DotSquonk Back From Repair

About a week ago, I recently woke up to find my dot.squonk button frozen and a bit of eLiquid splattered around the mod. Luckily, it was not a battery venting issue. However, the mod was not usable anymore. I took it apart and found the peek insulator was melted and the cable to the positive battery pin was blackened/roasted. I immediately emailed dot.mod and they responded quickly. I was asked how I maintained the center pin and I explained truthfully, not often, I was told that I should have been doing regular cleaning of the center pin. I did remove the pin and found the pin was also blackened from overheating but still cleanable. They explained that it was a known issue with some folks and they have re-engineered the button assembly. I was sent the RMA and just got the mod back today all working and good to go. Great customer service that will keep me buying their products.

burnt peek insulator
Before burnt peek insulator

Replaced button assembly
After Replaced button assembly

new button assembly
Replaced button assembly

new positive pin assembly
New positive pin assembly