Saturday, January 27, 2018

REVIEW: Vcigo Moon Box Kit

Remember the Moonshot RTA? I think it came out in 2015. It was a flavor monster with decent airflow, but a sad, tiny build deck that would not stay in the base unless wedged in with a spare, tiny hex wrench or screwdriver. To say that it was a pain in the nethers would be an understatement, but many thought that the flavor off of it was worth the trouble.

This review is not about that tank, but the tank is involved, here... sort of... kinda...

The tank came in a nice, colorful tin box, and a lot of people converted the boxes into tiny, single 18650 mechanical mods.

This review is not about the tin. But the tin is involved here... sort of... kinda...

Fast forward to late 2017. Now, Vcigo - a designer - has teamed up with Sigelei to create the Vcigo Moon Box. This is a dual 18650 box mod that is rated from 50 to 200 Watts. That's nothing special... dual 18650 200 Watt box mods are everywhere these days. This mod doesn't use a screen or up and down arrows to control the wattage. Instead, it uses a potentiometer to dial in your vape - literally, and figuratively. That's not the unusual, either. There are a lot of potentiometer mods on the market - the Wismec Noisy Cricket V2, the Tesla Invader III, the iJoy Zenith to name a few. No, what makes this different is the box... It's a tin shell, no doubt inspired by the modders that made devices from the original Moonshot tin, on a plastic frame with the control board, potentiometer, USB port, 510 connection, and a couple LEDs tucked inside.

The Vcigo Moon Box potentiometer is marked from 50 to 200 Watts. I do not believe that is the case... the potentiometer is mislabeled. The specs say that it wall output between 2 and 7.5 Volts. I do not believe that is the case, either. In a test done with a 1.7 Ω build (yes, 1.7, not 0.17 - a friend asked if it was suitable for older tanks with higher resistance coils), I was reading 6.5 Volts at the lowest setting. That would have yielded roughly 25 Watts. This is both lower than the potentiometer goes, and higher than the minimum voltage. Hmmmmmm... I'm sure, though, that at some undisclosed resistance, the mod is spot on accurate.

Speaking of specs:
  • Size: 94mm x 55.5mm x 27.5mm
  • Wattage: 50 to 200 Watts ± 10%
  • Voltage in: 6.2 to 8.4 Volts 
  • Max current: 40 Amps
  • Voltage out: 2 to 7.5 Volts
There are two LEDs on the control face of the device. One is positioned right above the firing button, and another is sandwiched between the potentiometer and the MicroUSB port. The top LED simply lights up when firing or will flash in the case of an error. The bottom LED flashes when the device is powered on or off, and when the device is charging.

Charging? Yes, according to the specs, it'll charge at 5 Volts / 3 Amps. I would not recommend using the onboard charger even if I knew it was safe and balanced as 3 Amps is a little high for most batteries. It's nice to know that the capability is there, though, if a quick little charge is ever needed when an external charger is not available.

Because of its construction, the mod is incredibly light weight. Without batteries, it comes in at 76g. With batteries and a full Sigelei Suprimo Moonshot 24, a mere 214g. In spite of the rather cheap looking tin and plastic construction, it doesn't feel cheap. There are no rattles anywhere on the unit I am using. The fire button is relatively small by current standards, and basically flush, but easy enough to locate and use. It also appears to be durable. Granted, I try to take care of my mods, but this one often finds itself tucked into a jacket pocket or shirt pocket and, because of its weight (or lack thereof) is forgotten about. I've taken off my jacket and tossed it into a chair or knocked it about, and the paint is not even scratched. Speaking of paint, the kit is available in about 4 finishes... There's the Blue Skull version, the Black Boy version, the Orange Boy version, and the Black Skull version. In fact, the only niggle I have with the construction is a conspicuous lack of venting, although they may have thought that the panels are on loosely enough to allow for venting without dedicated vent holes.

The operation of the mod could not be simpler. Remove one of the tin sides - both sides can come off - and pop in the batteries, making sure to pay attention to the polarity markings above the battery tray (the markings are only at the top, but they are on both sides). Put the tin cover back on, and it's five clicks to turn it on, a simple twist of the dial to increase or decrease the strength, and five clicks to turn it off. The device does have a full safety suite... over voltage, under voltage, short, and a 10 second cut off. In use, the mod is very responsive. If you're wanting x.xx ms from button press to vape, you're gonna have to wait for Pbusardo or Djlsb. I can only tell you that there's not a lot of waiting going on.

If the kit is acquired, it will come with a Sigelei Suprimo Moonshot RTA. I've seen it offered with both the 22mm version and the 24mm version. Aside from the size, the only real difference between the two is a slight raising of the posts on the build deck in the 24mm version. They are both trouble to build on, but offer great flavor and decent vapor. I have and use both, but they're not the first thing I grab... especially when I want to do a quick and easy build. As it's quite an old RTA, I'm not gonna go into any more depth than that.

Reading back through, it would appear that I don't like this kit. That couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, I quite like it. It's a balancing act, really... If you're a higher wattage vaper looking for something incredibly simple and inexpensive, this might just be the ticket. If, on the other hand, you're wanting something to push an old Nautilus or Kayfun for a couple days, I'd say look elsewhere... I fear that this will cook your coils regularly.

Did I say inexpensive? I've seen this priced as low as $26 including the tank (which used to be priced as high as $53 by itself). Even at the MSRP of $36, it's a steal. At that price, the tank can be passed along or gather dust, and you're still not hurt. Interesting to note that on Sigelei's official website, the kit no longer comes with the Moonshot RTA, but instead ships with the Sigelei Sig-S RDA.

  • Lightweight
  • Powerful
  • Affordable
  • Appears to be relatively durable
  • No rattles
  • Onboard charging
  • Simple as can be
  • Choice of colors/designs
  • Inaccurate potentiometer
  • Cheap materials
  • No real venting