What Is An RDA?
In its simplest definition, a rebuildable atomizer or RDA is an atomizer that is a base for a vaper’s own custom wick and coil build. RDAs are the rebuildable versions of standard atomizers and tanks that most every vaper has used before. Because they are rebuildable by design, RDAs are intended to be used by advanced vapers. RDAs are meant to be a more customizable, cheaper and more sustainable way to enjoy your vape. This is because as soon as you have an RDA that you like, the materials used to rebuild your wick / coil setup is actually quite cheap.
RDA – CALDERA Parts:
A. Fully Assembled RDA
B. 3-post build deck with copper center post & 510-connection
D. Top cap with unique spiral cone design
E. Wide bore drip tip
RDA / Dripper: The Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer
The RDA or the dripper is the most commonly used rebuildable among advanced vapers. It has no tank, although it may come with a slight pit or well that may hold a little e-liquid run off. The wick and coil in this setup is what holds all of the e-liquid.
RDAs are so popular with vapers because it produces a lot of vapor, which is very satisfying. Depending on the type of coil build you have, it is the type of atomizer that will give you the most flavor as well. The user drips directly onto the atomizer and a fully saturated wick will normally last a user from 10-20 puffs. But that is dependent on a few factors such as the coil and wicking material you use.
With the cap on, RDA’s all look pretty much the same, but when you take off the top their base, which houses the posts all have their own characteristics. Each “deck” will have a different number of posts in different arrangements and these posts are where you will be attaching your wires to, for your build to work.
How do they work?
Each RDA has a positive post, normally located in the center, with one or more negative posts surrounding the center post. When you build your coils, you will attach one end (lead) of your coil to the positive post and the other end to the negative post in order to complete the circuit.
Most RDA posts have holes drilled into them to make attaching the wires easier, for ones with no holes the wires must be wound between the top of the post and the bolt.
Drippers that have more than one negative post means that an atomizer with multiple coils can be built more easily.
It is recommended that your first dripper have only 2-3 posts, as these setups are a lot easier to use and practice on.
Mech Mod Safety: The Importance of Understanding Ohm’s Law For A Safe Vape
When it comes to vaping, especially with mechanical mods your battery is the most important part. Even over your coil build and the wicking material that you use.
With regulated devices like the LAVATUBE, there is a regulatory chip that keeps your battery in safe range of operation. But when a user moves to more advanced devices like mechanical mods with rebuildable atomizers, there is no longer a safety net.
Before you even think of building your first coil you need to have an ohmmeter in your vaping arsenal. Your ohmmeter will be able to tell you the ohm rating (resistance) of your coil build and it is what you need to be able to figure out if your setup can operate in the safe range.
The batteries that are most used (recommended to be used) in mechanical mods today are safe chemistry IMR LiMn 18650 and 26650 batteries. These batteries operate in a huge variety of amperage ratings (amps). Amperage is the battery’s capability to safely discharge its stored energy (current).
If a battery is used above its amps rating, that is when it can suddenly become very hot and begin failing during use. Being that mech mods do not have a chip that regulates amperage draw, there is nothing preventing battery failure from occurring. The user is essentially vaping from an unregulated simple metal tube with a high voltage battery packed inside. So now you can see why learning Ohm’s Law is so important for you to have a safe vape.
So How Can I Apply Ohm’s Law To My Vape?
In order to figure out if your battery can handle the ohm rating of your coil build, we need to know a few things. First, you need to read your battery label.
Let’s Breakdown the 18650 Battery Label:
Is the size of the battery 18mm in diameter & 65mm in length
Means that this type of battery can handle higher current loads than a regular 18650 battery. It can put out the same amount of power but over a longer period of time.
Is the battery’s chemistry. In this case it is lithium (Li) manganese (Mn), which is considered a safe battery chemistry.
Is the average voltage output of the battery, most batteries this size depending on how much it is charged will put out from between 3.5 – 4.2 volts during its drain time.
Is the battery’s milli-Ampere hour and is the measure of how much energy the battery can store. It is also the rating that measures how much current a battery can discharge over a certain amount of time (usually an hour).
Is the battery’s max rating for its continuous discharge rate.
All of these labels are important, but the most important to know for your battery is its amperage rate. If the resistance of your coil build pulls over the listed amp discharge rating that your battery is rated for, that is when you will enter the danger zone.
18650 batteries are clearly labeled with the amp rating for users. But some batteries from different manufacturers may instead be labeled with a “C” rating. It signifies the same thing, but you just need to do a little math in order to get the amp rate.
For example, let’s say you have a regular IMR18650 1600mah battery with a max continuous discharge rating of 15C. Basically this is telling you that your battery is rated for 15 times the capacity (mAh) of the battery measured in amperage. So let’s do a little math:
1600mAh = 1.6Ah x 15 = 24Amp max continuous discharge rate
If the max continuous discharge rate is not clearly listed on your battery, always do the math. In order to have a safer vape, you need to know what your max continuous discharge rate is in amps.
So how do you figure out if the resistance of your coil build is compatible with your battery?
Knowing the maximum discharge rate of your battery is only half of the equation. Now we need to figure out if your coil build will work safely with your battery. This is where Ohm’s Law comes into play.
You need this equation:
Battery voltage / Ohm rate of your coil = Actual discharge rate the resistance of your coils will pull from your battery during use
You can also use an online calculator like this Ohm’s Law Calculator.
The Equation in Real Use Application:
Your Battery Stats:
35 Amps continuous discharge
Your ohmmeter reads your coil build at 0.5ohms
3.7 volts / 0.5 ohms = 7.4 Amps will be pulled from your battery during use
Your battery can handle up to 35 Amps continuous discharge; you are definitely in the vaping safe zone of your battery’s capacity. But if you were planning on using a battery that could only handle let’s say 5 amps continuous discharge rate with the same resistance of 0.5ohms, you would be setting yourself up for battery failure. So always use a battery that can handle more amperage draw than what your coil resistance asks for.
VOLCANO Vaper Tip:
Coils resistances can vary +/- 0.2 ohms in either direction. That means when you build a coil expecting 0.5ohms, depending on your wire and RBA it can sit between 0.4-0.6 ohms. So when doing your math always account for the +/- 0.2 variance, just to be safer.
3.7 v / 0.4 ohms = 9.25 Amps
3.7 v / 0.6 ohms = 6.16 Amps
These are both still compatible with your 35 amps continuous discharge rate of the battery used in the example above.
Steps You Should Take After You Build A New Coil:
Find out your battery’s capacity in Amps:
Battery’s mAh rate / 1000 = capacity in amps
Find your battery’s max discharge rate (usually on the label). If in “C” rating use this equation:
Your battery’s capacity in amps x the battery’s continuous discharge rate (C ) = max discharge rate
Measure your battery’s voltage with a multimeter or always just start with a fully charged battery.
Measure your coil build’s ohm rating
Calculate the discharge rate your coil build will pull from your battery
Battery voltage / ohms of your coil = actual discharge rate
Make sure your actual discharge rate is LOWER than your battery’s maximum discharge rate.
Nothing is ever completely safe. This applies to your vape, especially if you are using a mechanical mod with an RBA. But armed with the knowledge of Ohm’s Law and how it applies to your device will help you keep yourself in the “safer” zone of your vaping.