How do E-Cigarettes work?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by GRNDPNDR, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. GRNDPNDR

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 1, 2012
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    I pulled one of the disposable models apart lastnight and was actually quite surprised by what I found inside....or lack thereof.

    It consists of a battery, and a small device, that looks like an electret mic but much much smaller.

    When you blow on this device it acts as a switch (I think) to allow battery power to flow to the heating coil.

    Well what I'm wondering is, what is the device? It has an SMD LED, and it's variable, as in it isn't just on or off, but the LED will glow brighter or dimmer depending on how hard you blow on the device.

    does anyone know anything about these e-cigs?
     
  2. Little Ghostman

    Member

    Jan 1, 2014
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    I think the led type thing is actually a vaporizer, they work by heating up a chemical to very hot temperature's or something like that, NO I dont smoke but I tried a similar thing with my train set to get the trains to imitate the smoke of steam trains, I used nicro wire and mineral oil with a bit of this and that added
     
  3. GRNDPNDR

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 1, 2012
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    The small device you blow on isn't a heater of any kind. Nearest I can figure is it's some form of variable switch.
    When air passes through it, it allows the current to flow to the heater wire, which is just a small piece of wire wrapped around fiberglass(or something similar) soaked in the glycol solution.

    This is one of the nicotine free models.
     
  4. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    E-smokes have 2 basic parts.. The battery and the "cartomizer" which holds the liquid/heating element.
    In the battery is a pressure switch/sensor (variable resistor) or even a microphone depending on the model in the "automatic" style batteries ..
    "Manual" batteries have a physical push button to offer greater "control"

    I've got a few manuals and autos in the typical style and then some fancy batteries with a variable voltage dial to change the current through the vaporizer element thus changing the amount of vapor you get. Many have microprocessors,etc... Mine you press the switch 5 times to turn it on/off and its got built in timer limits and a bunch of other features..
    http://www.halocigs.com/variable-voltage-battery.html

    Some get "uber" fancy with digital readouts of wattage/voltage/current,etc... and look like the handle of a light saber..
     
  5. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    All this for what crack heads do with a BIC lighter and an empty coke can?
     
  6. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    yep.. Its a 1.5+ billion a year industry now in the US alone..
    And the "juice" is a liquid and the delivery system is pretty ingenious if you ask me.. (simple solution)
    Just waiting for the US goverment/FDA to get involved/tax it..
    And it "seems" to be fairly safe.. No one can argue its any worse than real cigs now but sadly very little real "proof" of how safe it really is..
     
  7. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    FDA don't seem to be saying much, other then beware, it hasn't been tested, (of course there is alot of tax dollars involved).
    My son just bought a couple to test, the price for a complete set up was less than a pack of cigarettes.
    Apart from the savings, it hopefully is not more hazardous than cigarettes.
    Max.
     
  8. GRNDPNDR

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 1, 2012
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    Here is the device in it's entirety, On the right side of the picture is where the heating wire is. I broke it though so it's even smaller.

    That heating wire was wrapped around some kind of fiber that was soaked in the glycol solution.

    The device near the dime is what controls the heating wire. Blowing into that thing makes the LED light up, and the wire get hot.

    The batter is obviously the long silver thing in the middle :rolleyes:
     
  9. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    When you say 'blow', don't you really mean 'inhale'? The part your talking about is an "air flow sensor". Kind of like a MAF sensor in a cars electronic fuel injection system.

    The sensor does two things really,
    1. It provides a small restriction to make it more like smoking a cigarette.
    2. The harder you inhale it allows the heating element to get hotter giving more nicotine or flavor for non-nicotine cigs.
     
  10. Little Ghostman

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    Jan 1, 2014
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    That seems like a very detailed description :D :D any reason you prefer coke cans to say 7up? :p
    I thought BIC made pens, there again I dont smoke, my mum would bin my entire electronics collection if she caught me smoking, funny thing is she does smoke!
     
  11. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Never heard "flick your BIC"? They made the deposable butane lighter famous.
     
  12. GRNDPNDR

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 1, 2012
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    It is inhaling I guess, but you can either suck or blow on it, but I haven't tested blowing through the sucking side or vice versa.

    So what happens inside the device when air passes through it? (<-- see what I did there :p)

    Something has to happen to allow the airflow to variably adjust the current flow.
     
  13. Little Ghostman

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    Jan 1, 2014
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    Yes but I didnt know they were talking lighters:eek: I assumed it was something else..........:rolleyes:
     
  14. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    When I was a kid, the Triang-Hornby locos could be bought in a version that had a small resistance wire heating coil in the funnel - you could buy spare coils and the oil at the same place.
     
  15. ian field

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    Oct 27, 2012
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    As far as I can work out, disposable e-cigs are just as expensive as smoking for real. Rechargeable ones are far more economic - especially if you buy e-liquid and refill the disposable cartomisers (the manufacturers would rather you didn't know that!).

    On rechargeable e-cigs, the capsule also contains the lithium battery end of charge cut off switch, which can become a bit dodgy if contaminated by overfilling with liquid.

    I found that I had to have at least 3 batteries on charge while I used the 4th as they take a lot longer to charge than use up. My first step was to make my own battery units with 18350 cells, quickly followed by a homebrew shunt regulated charger. The charging/sensor capsule was quickly eliminated from the design, it was unreliable, it couldn't handle the charge current needed to charge within 24h and it had a significant volt-drop when supplying the coil with over 1A.

    Eventually I got fed up with the cost and increasing unreliability of disposable cartomisers and bought a Liberty-Flights Vivi-Nova tank, they claim the replaceable atomiser heads last about 2 - 3 weeks.
     
  16. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    You could probably do naughty things with a e-cig tank cartomiser - but I haven't seen any "black-oil" for many a year!
     
    shortbus likes this.
  17. GRNDPNDR

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 1, 2012
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    That stuff is long gone my friend, it's on to better and more expensive things.

    ....uhhh...so I've heard.
     
  18. Little Ghostman

    Member

    Jan 1, 2014
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    If you mean a certain herb oil, 3 years ago where we lived in devon, a old lady (who died last year) was taken to court for making 'herb oil'. She lived on the farm next door (3 miles up the road from us), the police found a 20 meter long Polly tunnel full of herb plants, she got a 2 year suspended sentence because they couldnt prove she sold it, well she didnt but dad says she gave away.
     
  19. Zerotolerance

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    Sep 18, 2011
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  20. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    When I last ran the numbers for me it worked out to an equivalent of $0.42 per pack for the e-smokes vs $4+ for real cigs (aka "analogs" :) ) and its only $4 because I'm in NC.. everywhere else is $5 to 10+ a pack..
    but I refill the juices,etc.. .. disposables are just about as expensive as the real things..
     
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