Wednesday, April 15, 2015

An inexpensive DIY box mod - Part 2

Part 1 is available here.

Well, it's been a couple weeks and both my mods are still going strong. Well, as strong as the batteries I put in them. I would recommend protected IMR batteries. Use them at least to ensure that there are no serious bugs. We're building a mod, not a bomb.

And, it being a couple weeks, I assume anyone following this thread will have acquired the items listed in part one.

Before we start, let me repeat that this is no easy task and not to be attempted by beginners. You will be using hot soldering irons, toxic flux, torches, potentially toxic solder, and a variety of power tools. Make sure you take appropriate measures to ensure your safety.

Proceed at your own risk.

Let's begin.


I started by eating all the mints. Sorta... I dumped them into a ziplock baggie I keep in a box on my table and I've been popping them when I feel like it.

Step 1. Clean out the box.

Step 2. Dry fit all the components and mark where you want them to go. I used a Sharpie marker, but you could use a scratch awl or soft lead pencil. Dry fitting also allows you to get a very good idea of how long your wires need to be.

Step 3. Use a small piece of sandpaper to rough up the spots you want to set your glued in components.

Step 4. Prep all your components. That means you should strip and tin your pre-cut to the correct length wires, clean all the surfaces that need to be soldered. I also removed the pre-soldered connections on the 510 connector so that I could use heavier wires.

Step 5. Pre-assemble your components. Do this by creating a mechanical connection everywhere you need one EXCEPT the 510.

Step 6. Drill all the holes you'll need for the button and the 510 and the switch. You want everything to fit snug. It will take a bit of grinding with the rotary tool or with a set of files after drilling to create the cutouts in the lid. When drilling, place a piece of wood inside the box to back up the tin so it does not collapse with the pressure of the drill. Many suggest using a step drill bit. I used a set of metric Forstner bits. Also set the speed of your drill relatively low.

Step 7. Prepare your 510. To get the best connection and to prevent the connector from spinning around when you try to attach or detach your atomizer, I find it best to seat the 510 connector in a washer. I used a 1/4 ID x 3/4 OD steel washer. I ground out the inside diameter to get the 510 to press fit snugly. I then sweat soldered the washer and 510 to the Altoids tin in the hole I had drilled in step 6. If you are unfamiliar with sweat soldering, take a look at this video.

For EACH of the next several steps, create a mechanical connection, then solder the items together, then test for continuity or shorts using a multimeter.

Step 8. Place a small piece of shrink tubing over the wire and as far away from the solder joint as you can. Solder your wires to the 510 connector.

Step 9. Place a small piece of shrink tubing over the wire and as far away from the solder joint as you can. Solder your wires to your button.

Step 10. Place a small piece of shrink tubing over the wire and as far away from the solder joint as you can. Solder your wires to your switch.

Step 11. Place a small piece of shrink tubing over the wire and as far away from the solder joint as you can. Solder the wires to the battery sled.

ONLY continue on to Step 12 IF you have tested for continuity or shorts in all of the above steps and found things to be operating as expected.

Step 12. Install a PROTECTED IMR 18650 battery into your battery sled. Using your multimeter, test for voltage at the 510 with the switch off and with the switch on. Repeat the test with the firing button depressed. You should only see voltage when the switch is on and the button is pressed. If you see voltage at any other time, STOP. A mistake has been made somewhere.

Step 13. Remove the battery from the sled and install all components in the tin - being careful to position the wires so as not to break the solder joins or create any shorts - using your glue of choice. I used Loctite 5 minute epoxy, but I would not recommend this product. I've seen a lot of people use plumber's epoxy or a product like JB Weld. The plumber's epoxy, I would think, would be best as I am unsure of the conductivity of JB Weld. I soldered in the switch, but - hindsight being what it is - I wish I had thought to use two small sheet metal screws or machine screws to attach the switch.

Step 14. Run through Step 12 again to ensure that nothing got bent or broken while installing.

Step 15. Reposition all of the pieces of shrink tubing over the solder joins and shrink them using a lighter. Do not use a torch as this might weaken the solder joins or burn the shrink tubing.

Step 16. Attach a tank filled with your favorite juice and vape, I would STRONGLY recommend against ever running any kind of subohm atomizer on this mod. I've put my V2 Rocket RTA built at 1.3 ohms and it is a champ,

Feel free to hit me up with questions or leave comments below.

1 comment :

  1. As an arduino and tech junky I collect altoid tins, this is definitely a cool project. Thanks man.

    ReplyDelete

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