little foxes at the keyboards little foxes making clicky-clacky little foxes on the servers little foxes all insane there's a black hat and a white hat and a grey one and fun for everyone! and they're all making clicky-clacky and they all look just the same
I’ve been a non-smoker for three months now. I haven’t hit the e-cigarettes in as many weeks. I recently bought $60 worth of new flavours and syringes and dropper bottles because I expected vaping to replace smoking in my life but most of the first flavours I ordered remain unopened.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining. That’s the last $60 I wasted on smoking, real or otherwise.
On the contrary, I’m writing to sing the praises of electronic cigarettes one last time because of how completely and totally they have saved me from an otherwise unperturbed addiction. Although I see a lot of people on e-cig forums who have been vaping for years, my experience has been that vaping begins to feel like a cumbersome burden until one day it just doesn’t do anything for you.
I still enjoy the odd cigarette when friends come to visit, and they hit me like a metric tonne of bricks. Although I sometimes get a craving it’s only about as strong as a craving for ice cream, and as easily dismissed.
I can’t adequately express how liberating it feels to be able to breathe, to taste, to have just mild optimism about future health. To sit down on the train and not have people scoot away because you reek so badly of smoke you’re giving them a headache. To have all that extra money for weed. To be able to rent in the nicer houses. To be able to sit through a movie, enjoy my meal at a restaurant, wake up without a nicotine knot in the pit of my stomach – the list goes on!
On that note, my deepest thanks to everyone who is involved in the manufacture, distribution and promotion of electronic cigarettes. Even if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, my quality of life has improved today.
YOU’LL NEVER KNOW HOW EASY IT IS UNTIL YOU TRY ONE!
I did not expect to be writing my third product review so soon but my bulk order of eGo-W Variable Voltage kits came so fast that here we are. An eGo-W is essentially an eGo-T with a third party (Eliq) tank cartomizer. Add a variable voltage battery with LED status indicator and you have the eGo-W Variable Voltage from Esco Technology.
This kit retails for up to $120 in Canada but if you’re able to fill an order for at least 10 they run about $38/unit after shipping. It took only four days for my package to leave Shenzen, China and arrive in Vancouver, half a day to clear customs and only another two days to reach me here in Ontario. Mind blowing. The coffee maker I had shipped from the states a month ago only arrived today. :/
The kits include:
2 × EGO-W clear atomizer
2 × VV batteries
1 × Inject bottle (10ml)
1 × Wall Charger
1 × USB charger
1 × User manual
eGo-Ws also have a pen-style cap with a clip on it. This sounds more useful than it is, because the (at least 1100mAh) batteries are long and heavy enough to club someone to death with. I do like the cap for the fact that it keeps the mouthpiece from getting filthy when in transit but the clip exerts an alarming amount of pressure on the – as I am beginning to read – fragile inner cartomizer.
My shipment came with two (I am assuming) sample eGo-T type B (cone) atomizers and 5 T-style tanks. If my first W cartomizer breaks like this guy’s I’ll be giving those a shot and appending my findings:
eGo batteries support 510 atomizers and cartomizers thanks to dual threading. I can’t see myself using the atties off of my 510s; so far I have found the W cartomizer to be superior in every way. There is none of the burnt polyfill taste that comes with cartridges and the e-juice flavour comes out much more clearly.
The part that makes this particlar e-cig really cool is the variable voltage battery. Though I was hoping there would be a 5-click safety on-off as in some newer eGo-T batts this is sacrificed in the variable voltage battery; it is always ready and clicking the button 5 times in under 2 seconds changes the voltage.
Voltages range from:
3.8 – 4.2V Blue LED
3.4 – 3.8V Blue & Red LED
3.0 – 3.4V Red LED
I am so glad I went with variable voltage batteries. I can see the higher voltages causing problems with additives that combust at too low a temperature but the high setting is so intense it can make me cough. This is exactly the kind of experience I was hoping for in terms of vapour production, throat hit and flavour purity.
It would be nice to be able to disable the battery indicator; on a full charge 5 LEDs must be powered on every hit. That’s a lot of juice that could be better spent … vaping juice. On that note, if you’re ordering bulk you’d be an idiot not to go with the 1100mAh batteries as they only run $2 more per unit than the 650mAh batts. If your regular 650mAh eGo-T only lasts so long without charging imagine what the higher voltages would mean to your vaping time.
I have one serious issue with this model. To fill a new cartomizer one must puncture an indentation in the silicone plug that is flush against the side of the tank. The indentation only goes about halfway down the plug. This results in a lop-sided plug after you’ve done your first fill, worse you may end up compromising some of the seal’s integrity by coming out too far up or close to the side. I recommend removing the sleeve around the tank for this first step and make the puncture at as inward an angle as possible. Once the sleeve has been replaced it’s probably wise to leave it there for the next refill(s) to reduce unnecessary stress on the tank plastic.
As with my review of the 510s I’ll be adding updates to this post as these begin to grow on me (or not).
I also want to make special mention of Ms. Lucy Lu of Esco‘s excellent customer service; she was a pleasure to deal with and kept us informed of our order’s progress every step of the way.
UPDATE Lucy was kind enough to send me some great shots of the individual components of the eGo-W:
I should note that – possibly due to the fact that these were being shipped to Canada – the filler bottles in my order came empty despite the apparent option of different strength juices.
Another thing I want to mention is that the low air resistance on this cartomizer is fantastic. The draw is nowhere near as hard as with the 510s so it is possible to puff without straining one’s cheeks. I found with the 510s I have to smoke them like a joint; straight into and only with the lungs. The Eliq cart provides a much more realistic cigarette experience despite the default flute tips, which I am getting quite used to.
UPDATE Day three and I’m still at half the factory charge, having used only one battery. I think I mixed the blackberry juice a little heavy on the nicotine and the all-round better experience this e-cig provides has significantly reduced how often I vape. I also haven’t had to re-fill yet, and the hits are staying consistent (though decreasing slightly with the battery’s charge). I don’t want to come down on the 510s because they were good enough to get me to quit smoking but they are absolutely no match. I can never go back.
As far as my addiction is concerned I am going so long between puffs now I often forget why I feel mildly stressed in a peculiar way and have to think about it for a minute before I realize I could use a hit off the vape. This provides instant relief, I can feel the first three or four puffs rushing up my spine and into my brain. It’s definitely time to kick the nicotine down a notch.
My only complaint so far is that this morning I started getting juice in my mouth. After taking off the flute tip it’s clear this is from condensation and not leaking by the way the droplets are configured within the chamber. It just takes a q-tip to clean but I am wary about removing and re-inserting the mouthpiece more than absolutely necessary to prolong the life of the tank.
UPDATE I refilled my cartomizer with “apple candy” juice mixed fresh last night and realized that when you inject juice into the tank you can create tremendous pressure on the tank walls from within. I don’t think it’s a leap to suggest this might make the cartomizer particularly vulnerable to shattering. I recommend that after every fifth or sixth of the tank that you fill it should be brought battery-connection-up so you can suck some of the air pocket into your squeeze bottle.
UPDATE The unit rolled behind my keyboard while typing. It took me a while to realize I was hearing the atomizer firing. The coil has discoloured the silicone around it and there is a bit of an off-taste. If I place another order I’m going to see what can be done about the 5-click on/off safety mechanism found in newer regular eGo batteries.
UPDATE One of the customers left their cig in a car outside over night. It froze and the tank shattered. This is probably an obvious one to avoid but worthy of mention nonetheless.
UPDATE It has only been 8 days and I’ve already managed to burn both of my cartomizers. I just loaded up a “type B version 2″ or regular cone atomizer and tank. Much to my surprise there has so far been no overtly disagreeable taste from the primer fluid. The regular atomizer does not produce nearly as well as the Eliq W cartomizer and I find the larger flute-tip of the tanks less comfortable.
UPDATE Still going strong with the cone T-type atomizer and tank. It hits well enough and I’ve had no problems with leakage etc. Touch wood. Every filler bottle that came with the kits and I have used (about 4 so far) has broken at the tip on the first use. Be careful when you withdraw the needle or it may stay stick in the silicone.
UPDATE Day 18. The cone T-type atomizer and tank are still holding up well. Just made some Juicy Fruit juice, not bad. Doing peach in the T right now and it’s still weak, will try adding more flavour drops. One of the customers passed her e-cig around at Christmas and something happened whereby it stopped hitting and the Wildberry juice I mixed myself turned fluorescent piss yellow. Will investigate when I have time. Cleaned out my first W cartomizer today. Pretty sure I ruined the seal by pressing to hard on the air straw, which also serves as one of the battery contacts so this may hold it in place. Also may have put the silicone seal on improperly. We’ll see. Serious pain in the ass, got my hands and the carto covered in full strength nicotine juice. I’m wired.
I gave up cigarettes for e-cigs 29 days ago today. Until now I have been vaping various tobacco flavours but the concentrated flavour additives I ordered from The Perfumer’s Apprentice have finally arrived. E-juice – the stuff that makes it “go” – isn’t a very clear-cut matter. For instance, in many countries there are difficulties locally obtaining juice with nicotine. I had to ask some e-cig veterans for a “secret” list to find a Canadian vendor that would ship it. There are three different common bases for the e-juice and some people like to mix them in different proportions. The intensity of flavours varies from producer to producer. Rather than buying a sample from here or there to feel the market out I figured the more sensible route of action given the cost of materials would be to make my own juice to-taste.
How to Do It WRONG
A week into my adventure I realized I would soon be running out of e-juice. At the time fearing I would only be able to get nicotine juice from China (~30 days shipping) and with little knowledge I hit up a health food store and bought a bottle of Vegetable Glycerine (VG) and some flavour additives. There are two things horribly wrong with this picture:
The gauge of those needles is far too fine to draw highly viscous VG; pulling the plunger on anything much smaller than an 18 gauge will simply suck the air in from behind
Those arty-farty organic flavour additives are oil based. Apparently using oil-based flavour additives in your e-juice may lead to a build-up of fluid in your lungs, which is conducive to respiratory infections.
I have this to say about the tobacco flavours I tried:
Canadabacco tastes grapey.
Flu-cured hits better in the nose, tastes somewhere in the ballpark of burnt toffee.
Naturally, the flavours become more dilute when mixed with an appropriate amount of nicotine juice. This confirmed my theory that it is not worth leaving the flavouring up to other people, whom are fallible and may not have as deadened taste-buds as we.
It took them a while to ship and a million years to get here (US->Canada postal service is abysmal during the hollies) but I’m finally breaking into my new flavours:
Maraschino Cherry – Very fruit-punchy. Sort of a powdery, perfumy rose petal undertone. Burns the tongue when over-mixed.
Apple Candy – Weak in small quantities, awful if over-used
Peach – Delicious but much less potent than Cherry, cart required full cleaning to noticeably change flavours.
Key Lime – Crisp and refreshing!
Blackberry – Amazing! Has a sort of floral note in weaker concentrations. Cool fluorescent colour. Contains ethanol and hits strong! Good tolerance for under/overmixing. My favourite so far.
I’ll post what I think of them as I try them out.
To make your own e-juice first decide what base you want to start with:
Propylene Glycol – The standard which most e-cig producers and commercial juice suppliers use.
Vegetable Glycerine – Slightly sweeter, produces noticeably more vapour.
PEG 400 (Polyethylene Glycol) – Some people say it’s safer, some people say it produces more vapour and some say it tastes worse. It is usually the most expensive of the three.
Many seem to find that they are happier mixing two or even all three of these in varying proportions. The second item for consideration is nicotine. Nicotine is so poisonous that a couple of undiluted drops on the skin is potentially lethal. Chances are you can not and do not want to get your hands on some of it. Patronizingly, some “veteran” e-ciggers will throw a tantrum at the mere mention of the idea; but the fact is they’re probably right and you’re really not as clever or careful as you think you are.
The generally accepted standard in the e-cigging community is to try and get very high strength flavourless juice, be it from China or a local vendor if you can find one. I have seen juice with concentrations as high as 100mg/ml but the bottle I am working with currently is 46mg/ml which can be cut by two parts to produce “medium-high” juice. Obviously the lower the concentration of nicotine in the mixing juice the less room you have to add flavours etc. Some folks like to add a drop or two of ethanol or vodka (I imagine the higher the proof the better the taste) to enhance the throat hit. It’s difficult to obtain scientific grade ethanol in Ontario without the benefit of paperwork but not at all difficult to distil; I will share my thoughts once I have tried it.