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Several years ago I was showing my newly acquired motorbike to a few family members, it was brand new, very shinny, made in China and very proud I was too. One of the would-be admirers commented that it was a “nice looking factory custom [motorbike]”, this is of course a contradiction in terms. If you have any knowledge of bikes you can now skip to the end of this paragraph while I explain: Many bikers love to customise their machines, most do it subtly with the odd petrol tank sticker or colour matching tax disk holder but some people really go to town with everything from adding oodles of chrome or airbrushed paint jobs right through to frame reshaping, these vehicles are then known as ‘custom bikes’. A factory custom would therefore be a bike with the appearance of customisation while in reality being mass produced.


As vapers we happily use the term ‘Mods’ to indicate the base part of an Ecig of the type which has a removable battery and/or voltage/wattage adjustment, this term has developed from it’s original usage as a shortened form of ‘modification’. True Ecig Mods are modifications of something else to make it into a Ecig device, these are often now  referred to as DIY Mods but if you think about it that is a bit daft, if it’s DIY it is a modification. Tautology.

Inside the first mod by Alex Livewire Walpole

We need to invent a new naming convention, while I think about that lets look at what ‘DIY Mods’ look like and how they are constructed.

Imagine something (anything) that is roughly suited to be held in your hand and is either hollow or can be hollowed out, it could be a small tin that previously functioned as a boiled sweet container, maybe the case used by your partner to hold their glasses or a defunct wii remote… there is an almost infinite degree of possibilities for what can be used. I have included some pictures of  ‘DIY Mods’ produced by Alex Livewire Walpole & Steve Booth to whom I offer my grateful thanks for their inspiration, help and kind permission to share their pictures.

Making a Mod

I don’t intend to give detailed instruction on DIY Mod making, if you are skilled in electrical engineering you should be able to easily work it out, conversely if you are not then I really don’t want you to blow yourself up because of the inadequacy of my tutorage or the constraints of this brief foray into the subject however the principle is fairly straight forward. Once you have your wii remote, partners glass case or whatever you want to turn into an Ecig in your possession you integrate a battery (normally in a sprung holder) and connect the negative end to the negative side of your atomiser/cartomizer fitting and the positive end to a power switch and/or control chip and then on to the positive terminal of your atomiser/cartomizer fitting.

Atom Mod by Steve Booth

The switch in the circuit should be the press=on, release=off type and should be conveniently located for operation with your finger or thumb when the body is held naturally in the hand. It’s also sensible to have a secondary circuit breaking toggle switch to isolate the power when not in use to stop accidental firing. The control chip (if fitted) would normally give the ability to change voltage and/or wattage and may include battery voltage and atomiser ohm readings too. I don’t really think that I need to explain where the atomiser/cartomizer fitting should be fixed.

Where do you get the parts from?

The body of your DIY Mod is often a repurposed object but you can also buy little metal or plastic boxes designed for electronic hobbyists. The control chip and ecig tank / clearomiser fitting can be obtained by cannibalising a ‘factory mod’  or obtained online and Maplins will happily sell you the switches, wire and tools needed.

Don’t even attempt anything like this as a first electrical project, as for myself I simply don’t have the skill, patients or imagination to attempt anything along these lines and am content to use the mass produced products with their inherent practicality and uniformity however I do very much respect those that do make their own mods and love the results of their endeavours.

Back to naming conventions.

There has to be a way of simplifying the terms used within vaping, those we now use have developed chaotically and often lead to confusion for newcomers to vaping and can contribute to the need to explain the use of a word after it has been spoken.

The Preventer by Alex Livewire Walpole

Let’s just start by trying to rename the mods and batteries. Borrowing the term PSU (Power Supply Unit) from computing parlance could be a start. These could be sub devided into those with integral batteries like the standard ego battery and those with removable batteries like mods, these could be identified as IB (integral battery) and RB (removable battery). Thus an ego type battery i.e. battery, switch and atomiser/cartomizer fitting in one unit could be called a IBPSU and a mod could be a RBPSU. You can still use the VV and VV/VW initials to indicate variable voltage and variable voltage/wattage devices, USB to indicate a passthrough device that terms like Ego/510 to indicate which type of atomiser/cartomizer fitting is used.

While we are on a roll with this let us also rename atomiser/cartomizer fittings as A/CFs. So where are we now? Your mod and vision cartomizer filled with a sweet caramel & tobacco flavour ejuice can henceforth be referred to as a VV/VW RBPSU 510 A/CF + CE5 V3 with RY4.

Simples, no?

O’h, maybe I need to think all of this through a bit more.


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