So, first off let’s lay the ground work of what we will be talking about. What exactly are intermediate and advanced e-cigs? At first I was not sure what everyone was talking about. But, as the years went on, I begin researching what makes these e-cigs, as a whole, different? I mean, they all do the same thing: A battery charges the e-cig; There is a heating element to vaporized the e-liquid; The e-liquid it-self is made of Propylene Glycol and/or Vegetable Glycerin, Liquid nicotine, Flavors of some kind and, most times, food coloring… as well as water. thrown in there as well, a container to hold the liquid and some travel means to get the e-liquid to the atomizer. Analog (or traditional cigarette) “look-alike” e-cigs do this in a small form factor, sure, but what are these others and why should I care if the “look-alike’s” are doing the job?
So, Intermediate and Advanced E-Cigs are e-cigs that are larger than the normal form factor of the “analog look-alike” e-cigs, like the ones in the starter kits. Most “look-alike” e-cigs are small, a little larger than a regular cigarette. They also are a little more complex that the “look-alike” e-cigs. Most small “look-alike” e-cigs are just two parts; a battery and a cartomizer. This is really simple to use and has no learning curve. Most intermediate and advanced e cigs have some degree of difficulty, like filing them with e-liquids or the size is that of a small flash light. This reason alone has turned people off of e-cigs. So, “look-alike” e-cigs, for those people, are perfect. Once they are comfortable with e-cigs, they usually migrate by themselves to the intermediate and advanced fields. But, why does anyone move away from the small e-cigs?
Well, that’s the key point there… Why look for something outside of the starter kits to begin with? For me, V2Cigs worked just fine… I love the Coffee flavor but I wasn’t “in-love” with the others. So, I tried others… and others beyond those. To be honest I was in search of, I found out after some soul searching… and maybe a beer or two, that I really wanted a full pallet of flavors. A smorgasbord of fantastic flavors. The taste was my goal. How can I improve on what I already had? As I began to search deeper into e-cigs, I had an epiphany… What made the taste good to begin with? I figured it was the flavor of the makers… which I realized isn’t completely true. Realistically, there are only so many flavors to begin with, and most come from the same one or two companies. True, they mix them up differently, but… most are the same.
But are they really? I found the company Johnson Creek and Halo e-cigs. Their flavors are REALLY different from the others… like master pieces. But, some are hard to vape daily… on certain devices. That’s when I noticed the hidden piece… that wasn’t really hidden at all, just… not taken into account: The battery. The battery has two components, milliampere hour (mAH) and voltage. They are two different aspects of the battery, but they dance with each other all the time to effect the performance you will receive. How you say? I’m glad you asked!
So, this is rather long, so I have two sections: Short and Long. You can take your pick as to which meets your style of information consumption.
The battery has two stats as stated: mAH and Voltage. The higher the mAH (IE 2000 mAH) the longer the battery will last. The voltage (IE 3.7v) effects how strong the throat hit is as well as sharpens some flavors. As the battery loses it’s charge. the flavor and throat hit generally will drop as well. That’s it for the short answer. Part 2 we will look at the ohms of the atomizer and the delivery of the e-liquid.
Now for the long version:
Milliampere hour (forever from here on known as mAH), literally means 1000th of an ampere hour, which ampere is a unit of measurement of electrons, or currents, flow past a specific point during a specific time. Got it? Well, I didn’t, at first. But, in a nut shell it means, to me at least, “How long will a batter last”. The bigger the mAH, the longer the batter lasts.
Now, Voltage, or electric tension, is measured in volts or joules. This basically is how much work (or energy) is required per unit charge to move one electron through an electronic field from one point to another. Right. Now, for me, this means “how much punch the e-cig delivers”.
Now I know there are some physicists, electricians and electrical engineers out there that are shaking theirs heads at my description, so I welcome you to leave comments on the true definitions to your hearts content.
At first I thought the milligrams of nicotine controlled the throat hit of the e-cig alone. I thought the flavors that were in the e-liquid controlled the taste. I was wrong. A lot of factors actually effect these. Lets look at the battery first, since we just went over it. The bigger the mAH, the longer the battery lasts. Check. The higher the voltage, the better the throat hit, check. The Voltage also effects taste. The higher voltages sometimes makes certain flavors… sharper. Too high, and it tastes burnt. So, to give you an idea, most of the bigger “look-alike” e-cigs are about 3.7v. The smaller ones can be lower, all depends. Green Smoke sits at 4.2v. V2Cigs at 3.7v. Same with EverSmoke and South Beach. Some companies do not list their batteries voltage, but if you Google it enough, you can usually find it.
So, the first plus is shown along with… longer lasting batteries. the bigger mAH means the difference between needing to carry two batteries and constantly re-charging them as with most “look-alike” e-cigs and having one device that holds it’s charge all day… and sometimes a day and a half. This is a key factor to keep in mind.
What happens as the battery’s charge begins to fall? Ah, good question. Well, the voltage begins to drop. The battery cannot “push” as hard as it can when it’s fully charge, thus the throat hit and flavor dwindles. Thus the smaller batteries are in a constant state of lower flavor and throat hit every hour and a half until the battery dies an hour latter or so. This is important because I’m sure this really helped push the consumer-developers into the realms of mods.
In part two, we will discus the atomizer and the e-liquid delivery system and how it effects your e-cig experience.