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Author Topic: My Latest  (Read 24938 times)

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Offline CraigHB

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My Latest
« on: October 16, 2012, 02:23:05 PM »
Here's my latest creation.  It has 1400mAh.  Like the last one it has 30W max output and high rate USB charging (1 Amp).



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Re: My Latest
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2012, 02:54:44 PM »
Wow, Wow, Wow Craig. That is fantastic.  :thumbsup:
This is the Ultimate Mod.  :beer-toast:

Offline Pantera

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2012, 03:54:41 PM »
That is one bad ass mod.
Is that a Li-Po in there?

Offline Dasen22

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2012, 04:31:18 PM »
Great going. That is a perfect small size. I like the way you beveled the box for the display and the counter sink holes for the buttons. Not to mention your expert electronic skills

Offline CraigHB

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2012, 04:39:11 PM »
Thanks Dave, really happy with it.  Pretty much nails it for me.  Took me two years of mod building to get things down to that size.

And, I do use the power it can deliver.  Vaping at 17 Watts right now actually.  The atomizer in the pic showing 30W output is one of my super heavy 28 AWG coils that does actually work well at 30W.  It's funny because the guy in that DNA 20 video said, "nobody vapes over 11W".  It's like where you been buddy, living in a cave?  I know lots of people that vape with power levels higher than that.

There's a 10C 1400 mAh flat cell in there.  That was a tricky one, had to special order the cells from China.

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2012, 04:45:00 PM »
Good things take time and you nailed. IMO it surpasses the Darwin.

Your electronics skills are amazing. To get so much in so little space is mind blowing. Hats off to you Craig.

Offline Dznutz

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2012, 09:02:34 PM »
My hat goes off to you sir, that thing is a beauty :)

Offline fsors

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2012, 09:22:36 PM »
Sweet Craig great creation so where's the tutorial? :yes"

Offline timesarerough

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2012, 10:51:20 PM »
Dayem....

So when does mass production begin?  :laughing:

Offline poorboy

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2012, 02:13:26 AM »
Wow!!!! Kudos to you Craig! You trully are a master. :)

Offline sterling101

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2012, 05:41:20 AM »
You've done it again Craig - the master at work!

Offline silverslayer

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2012, 07:45:14 AM »
I'd expect nothing less from the master. Very nice.

Offline Aromaz

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2012, 04:22:18 PM »
A beauty indeed. Mind blowing ain't it  :yes"

Offline beamrider

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2012, 06:07:23 PM »
Wow, that looks awesome!  And in such a small form factor too!  I'd say you pretty much nailed it!

Offline CraigHB

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 07:05:10 PM »
Thanks for the compliments guys.  Been using this build for a few days now, loving it.  I'm using a rebuildable dripper with a big ass 30 AWG nichrome coil at 1.2 Ohms.  Running at 21 Watts mainly (5V), but I can take it up to 30W (6V) no problem.  Here's the coil I'm using;




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Re: My Latest
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2012, 09:25:50 PM »
Nice, bet if makes tons of vapor  :rockin smiley:

Offline shirl

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2012, 09:27:49 PM »
Looks like a fog machine

Offline kortt

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2012, 09:34:23 PM »
Looks like a fog machine
lol +1
Nice job, looks great!

Offline d_walk

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2012, 11:52:36 AM »
Fantastic work Craig.  :yes"

Offline lazydog

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2012, 05:35:56 AM »
That is one neat mod well done Craig is there a list yet ;)

Offline icky

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2012, 01:26:35 PM »
fantastic mod. I have found the atty connector to be the weak part of my mods. Your 510 connector looks really high quality, can you give more detail and a close up pic?

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2012, 02:22:50 PM »
That is one neat mod well done Craig is there a list yet

I'm making a few for some friends, but no list yet.  It actually takes me quite a while to make one so I'm not selling them regularly at this point.  The circuit board assembly is tedious and I have an amount of finish work on the chassis.  Altogether, it's just too time consuming.  They would need to be made on a proper production line to sell regularly.  I do not yet have any plans for that.

fantastic mod. I have found the atty connector to be the weak part of my mods. Your 510 connector looks really high quality, can you give more detail and a close up pic?

The connector is a 304 stainless steel job I had custom made with a small production run.  It was relatively expensive, but things are pricey when you do custom stuff on a small scale.  The insulator is Delrin and the center post is brass.  These connectors are really tough.  I've not had any noticable wear on them in any of several mods I've been using regularly for months.  Below is a video shot I did some time ago.  It only shows the base without the insulator and post installed.  Although not shown, those parts press fit into the base and are quite secure.

BTW, I'm back on my regular 1.8 Ohm 32 AWG nichrome coils.  Usually run them around 17W.  That coil before was just so I could range to full output regularly to see how the battery mod does.  No issues, works great even at max output, though a 5A load drains the battery pretty quick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpsp6QAe3hE


« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 02:47:23 PM by CraigHB »

Offline icky

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2012, 03:37:34 PM »
Man, i have been looking for a connector like that, is it sealed? I have yet to build my very own mod from scratch but something like this would be perfect.  I live in Colorado and im outdoors everyday, hiking, climbing, biking and I need something that commercial pv's can not delver. I'm looking to make a rugged, waterproof mod. Nothing crazy, just want something to survive a dip in the stream and a fall from 6-7 ft. Although your connector is beautiful I would recess the connector 1.5" into my mod box so when i drop it there would  be less likelihood of snapping the connector. I have no doubt that I can make the enclosure but I am very new to electronics ( like one month, thanks to this forum my wife now has even less time w/ me) and I have a 4050 on a breadboard and im now looking to assemble the parts for the enclosure. If you have any extras I would buy them, I'm sure others on here want some also. I have a feeling that you only have a few and do not want to part with them. I know this is probably not the place for it but maybe we could set up a group buy since you have to get them made custom.


p.s. Also on the connector you said that it presses in, I looked at the vid and you could probably just thread the derlin with a NPT or tapered thread to make it waterproof. Not seeing the whole design I can not say it would be better but just an idea to throw around

Offline CraigHB

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2012, 04:16:41 PM »
The connector itself is waterproof.  The press fit is tight enough to totally seal the connector and I use silicone sealant on the flange when mounting.  Obviously, a solid center post would not work for a bottom feeder.  I don't have an interest in bottom feeders myself.  There's too much of an issue with juice exposure for electronics.

The electronics inside a battery mod must be protected from juice because like water, it shorts things out. Juice is even somewhat more conductive than water.  As well as the connector, the rest of my mod is sealed except for the back where there is some clearance around the USB connector for safety venting.

I've learned the hard way that circuit boards must be protected from juice.  Even if it doesn't get spilled outright on the device (which almost always happens at some point), vapors can condense allowing liquid to slowly work its way onto the circuit board.  That's assuming the device is not sealed well enough to prevent it.  It usually doesn't destroy electronics, but must be cleaned off to get things working again.  That can be a problem depending on how difficult it is to rebuild the device.

Generally, you're going to have safety issues with a fully waterproof mod.  Enclosures containing Li-Ion cells must be vented without exception.  Your only option is going to be the use of NiMH cells which can be safely contained in a sealed enclosure.  You'll want to use 4 AA cells in series and you'll need to use an atomizer with resistance close to 3 Ohms.  It should be possible to make the device waterproof even with connectors you find off the shelf.  Making it impact resistant to two meters may be more of a challenge.

Oh, I thought of another solution, you could use a check valve type of vent that would allow gasses to escape, but not allow water to get in.  Or, even something as simple as a rubber plug that would pop out if the battery vents, but otherwise remain to keep the enclosure waterproof.


« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 04:51:11 PM by CraigHB »

Offline redwolfe

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2012, 06:03:18 PM »
Craig, that is just awesome how small you got that considering how much power that can output. I may be dreaming when I say I'd like to own a Powerblok but still both are awesome. Everything on this forum I've read has been inspiring.

Offline CraigHB

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2012, 06:26:50 PM »
Thanks redwolfe,

Too bad it takes me so damn long to build one of these things.  It's taken me a couple months just to assemble four of them.  Otherwise, I'd build one for anyone who wants one.

Yes, it was tricky getting 30 Watts out of such a small package.  I love the size of this box though, totally worth the effort I put into making a smaller version (the bigger 2200mAh version is posted here).  The bigger one I find too long so I'm not using it much.  The run time is nice though.

The run time is a bit short for the 1400mAh version, but it's just so comfortable, I don't mind charging more often.  Plus, run time is less critical when you can charge and vape concurrently.  Though, I just finished one last night so now I have two for me and one for my wife (another went to a friend).  I can just alternate them on the charger now.

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2012, 06:47:00 PM »
so now I have two for me and one for my wife (another went to a friend).  I can just alternate them on the charger now.

Nice, one for each hand

Offline redwolfe

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2012, 09:30:58 PM »
Thanks redwolfe,

Too bad it takes me so damn long to build one of these things.  It's taken me a couple months just to assemble four of them.  Otherwise, I'd build one for anyone who wants one.

Yes, it was tricky getting 30 Watts out of such a small package.  I love the size of this box though, totally worth the effort I put into making a smaller version (the bigger 2200mAh version is posted here).  The bigger one I find too long so I'm not using it much.  The run time is nice though.

The run time is a bit short for the 1400mAh version, but it's just so comfortable, I don't mind charging more often.  Plus, run time is less critical when you can charge and vape concurrently.  Though, I just finished one last night so now I have two for me and one for my wife (another went to a friend).  I can just alternate them on the charger now.

Yeah that is a shame it takes a awhile to build one. I completely understand why though. Both the 2200 and 1400 are a complicated pair of devices and you're just one guy doing all the work. Something like that takes time and patience to do properly. I'm pretty patient myself for certain things (I waited 8 months to get a Darwin) though the excitement gets the best of me.

Personally I like the looks of the 2200 over the 1400--being that it has 800 mAH more is a plus for more time between charges.  I hope the cells I ordered from Hobby King get here soon so I can start building my mod.  :D

Offline fsors

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2012, 12:09:47 AM »
hey craig how did the connectors cost to produce? Lookin real nice! :beer-toast:

Offline styl3r

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2012, 10:43:23 AM »
Just one word "perfection" you really do rock :rockin smiley:
And i know what you mean about juice affecting components had this happen on some of my early mods, since then i screw atomiser into the 510 connector and completely fill with epoxy which seems to have cure the juice problem. And have now moved the electronics down further in my mods and sealed.
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Offline styl3r

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2012, 10:53:39 AM »
Here's my latest creation.  It has 1400mAh.  Like the last one it has 30W max output and high rate USB charging (1 Amp).

I notice you have 3 pairs of glasses stacked, you need them i expect for that small a device and also that microscope. That's what you call "attention to detail"
 :applaude:
Merry Christmas fella
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Offline CraigHB

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2012, 05:38:58 PM »
Thanks for the Xmas wishes,

The 3 sets of glasses are of varying magnitudes.  So, I have 2x, 3x, 5x and then on to the microscope which is 10x and 30x.  I use all of these magnification levels for various tasks.  For someone with young eyes, they would not need the 2x or 3x glasses.

Juice is a bitch, not only is it conductive, it's also corrosive.  Just today I had the first build of a 2200mAh mod fail because the enclosure was not sealed well enough.  Juice got under the PCB and rotted out a couple of vias where there is no solder mask.  It seems I pay more and more attention to leakage with every build.

The connectors are made using CNC.  The base is 304 stainless, the insulator is Delrin, and the post is hard brass.  The post and insulator press fit into the base.  They mount with an easily solderable 3/8" nickel plated brass panel nut purchased off the shelf.  I found a Chinese shop that could do a small run for me for about $15 a pop.  I used the same 3D modeling program on those as the enclosures.

These custom connectors are brilliant.  I've had zero issues with them and they're tough as nails.  The only thing is, I should have had the connector stick out a half mm or so above the flange for oversize atomizers that can block air flow.  I don't use any like that, but you never know.  Worst case, I can turn the part and remove some material from the flange, but I haven't been doing that on my own builds because I want the full drip cup.  I do it on builds for other people.


« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 06:05:11 PM by CraigHB »

Offline fsors

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2012, 04:13:15 AM »
wanna sell me a connector?  :thankyou: :rockin smiley: ;cheers;

Offline synchro

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2013, 11:17:29 PM »
Amazing work as always Craig!

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2013, 03:17:42 AM »
Thanks.

Working on a revision right now.  So far so good in bench testing. 

I'm going to increase the voltage range 4 to 7.4V from 4 to 6V.  I'm also going to move to wattage based current limiting.  Actually should have designed it that way from the start.  I used an across the board limit of 5A before which was the lazy programmer way to do it.  The booster is actually limited by output power, not output current.

This revision provides an output current limit that ranges 4.3 to 8A depending on voltage setting.  If you notice the math, I'm upping the maximum output from 30 to 32W.  I've dug deeper to milk another couple watts out of it. 

After going with a higher performance NMOS switch and tweaking the feedback a bit, I can actually pull 45 Watts out of it on the bench now, but I need the wide margin so it's stable under all possible conditions and also so it doesn't overheat.  32W is the highest I can go with it comfortably.

The end result is I'll be able to run up to maximum output power with a range of atomizer resistances.

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2013, 03:33:38 AM »
Wow that sounds awesome! I sure can't wait to see how it turns out when that new one is finished.

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2013, 07:39:10 AM »
The PowerBlok  ;bow; has been an awesome mod from the start. I can't believe that you can make it even more awesomer.  :laughing2:

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2013, 07:10:43 AM »
Did some tuning and some tweaking on both the hardware and software.  Here's the result.  First photo shows max output at min voltage, yup that's 8 Amps.  Second photo shows max output at max voltage, 7.4 Volts.   It was actually quite an accomplishment to fully stablize the booster over that voltage range.  Spent a lot of time doing Bode plots and swapping out components on that one.  But, I did it.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 10:41:37 PM by CraigHB »

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2013, 07:24:37 AM »
Unbelievable. Wow-wee. That's some serious amperage. 8amps  :beer-toast:
Who da man? You da man!  :yes"

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2013, 07:53:17 AM »
Craig once again totally awesome. As they say perseverance always pays off.
fantastic job mate
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Offline redwolfe

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #40 on: January 21, 2013, 10:55:08 AM »
That's awesome yet again Craig!  :rockin smiley:

Offline kortt

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2013, 10:22:13 PM »
wow, 8amps....does it have hook ups to boost your car in the winter? lol   :rockin smiley:

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2013, 03:22:54 AM »
Yeah, hehe, I can use it to jump start my car.  Not really, but 8A is a lot of juice.  To be honest, I probably will never run a 0.5 ohm atomizer at 32 Watts, but I'll for sure try 32 Watts with the 1.5 Ohm atomizers I normally use.  It will be interesting.  Atomizer probably can't handle much, but I'll see what it can take.  I know it can handle 24 Watts, that's as high as I can take it right now since I'm limited to 6V with the previous version.  Moving forward on the build with this upgraded PCB right now, probably have it done by the end of the week.  Then I'll try it.

Offline miskol

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #43 on: June 18, 2014, 05:58:26 AM »
woww Craig, first of all congrats with the nice crazy awesome work u have done. i just saw this post (sorry for reliving an old post).

wow, i seriously have to think back if i really want to proceed with my latest revision... i'm not that far deep with such knowledge especially in power electronics like you...  scared:


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Re: My Latest
« Reply #44 on: June 18, 2014, 10:13:51 AM »
Wow, that's amazing!  I understand you design your PCBs from scratch.  I understand the very basics of electronic circuits (most of the your posts on the PCB stuff are complete greek to me), but I'd like to learn more.  Where would I go to read up and start to understand the basics of how you do it?  I mean, I understand a resistor adds resistance and a capacitor stores a charge, but I'd love to eventually have the knowledge to trace a circuit and understand how those things add up to a variable voltage boost/buck mod.  Any suggestions?

Offline CraigHB

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #45 on: June 18, 2014, 02:22:53 PM »
Hi matt, Hi miskol.  Welcome to the forum.

No problem on reviving the post.  I actually have a controller board upgrade I'll probably post, maybe in this thread, maybe start a new one.  I have not yet posted detailed photos of my controller board in this forum.  With the latest revision, I'll get some pics up here at some point.  I've got output up to 40W/10A.  Performance has been improved to some extent since the OP.  Same enclosure though.  Nothing new and exciting there.

@matt; Gotta love the internet.  You can find tons and tons of technical papers on just about anything in electronics.  It just takes the motivation to do the research and study.  For a good place to start with electrical theory I always recommend this set of tutorials;

http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_1/index.html

If you actually read through all of the volumes, you'll find some sections incomplete in the latter half.  The book is written on a volunteer basis and it's not complete yet.  However, the stuff that's there is very good, well written and easy to understand.

Offline matt

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #46 on: June 18, 2014, 02:59:47 PM »
Thank you so much!  I'll get started on it tonight.  Does it cover much of the boost/buck stuff we use for vaping?  I know you've said before that this kind of power manipulation is pretty uncommon in the mainstream electrical world.

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #47 on: June 18, 2014, 05:38:46 PM »
You'll have to get into Volume 2 that talks about the AC stuff.  Though DC-DC converters output DC, they use high frequency PWM to convert power which falls under AC theory.  Be prepared, the AC stuff gets pretty far out there conceptually.  I don't know how they handle it in their volumes since I haven't read their presentation on it.  Based on their treatment of the more elementary stuff (which I've read), I would expect they present it in a fairly easy to understand manner.

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #48 on: June 18, 2014, 08:17:13 PM »
Good stuff CraigHB! Sooooo much Knowledge!  ;cheers;

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Re: My Latest
« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2014, 05:17:31 PM »
I know you've said before that this kind of power manipulation is pretty uncommon in the mainstream electrical world.

In reading the last post I missed that comment before.

Actually, DC-DC converters are very common in the mainstream electrical world.  They most generally fall under the category of a transformer which is one of the most common electrical devices on the planet. 

What is not common is our application.  We require relatively high power outputs from a small footprint.  Normally power devices do not have these kind of strict volume requirements.  Without the size constraints, it would be hugely easier to design a power converter for high outputs with a wide range of input and output voltages.

Small power converters found in modules or ones that are "single chip" solutions tend to be oriented toward lower power outputs since they're typically used in applications that do not have high power requirements.  So we basically want to have our cake and eat it too, we want big power outputs, but we don't want the electronics to consume much space.  The buck modules tend to fit that bill best.  It's a tall order when you get into boost or buck-boost.

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