Battery Data: Panasonic CGR18650CH

Battery Data


Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Brand:  Panasonic
Model:  CGR18650CH
Chemistry:  IMR
Bare Cell:  Yes
Capacity:  2250mAh
Diameter:  18.6mm
Length:  65.2mm
Positive end:   Button Top / Flat top
Lowest Discharge Voltage:  2.5v
Max Charging Current:  2.15A
Life Cycle:  >500 charge cycles
Maximum Continuous Discharge Rate (CDR):  10A
C Rating:  4.4C (calculated from CDR)
Source: Here


Regulated APV?:  Yes
Mechanical APV?:  Yes
Lowest Atomizer Resistance before damage?:  0.5Ω

This battery is rebranded as several other batteries that can occasionally be found cheaper than the original.



Battery Data: AW IMR 18350

Battery Data


AW IMR18350

Click to enlarge

Brand:  AW
Model:  IMR 18350-700
Chemistry:  IMR (LiNiCoMn)
Bare Cell:   Unknown
Capacity:  700mAh
Diameter:  18.2mm
Length:  35.2mm
Positive end:  Button Top
Lowest Discharge Voltage:  2.5v
Max Charging Current:  2A
Life Cycle:  >500 charge cycles
Maximum Continuous Discharge Rate (CDR):  6A
C Rating:  8.5C (roughly, calculated from CDR)
Source:  Here (that is the manufacturer posting this information)


Regulated APV?:  Yes
Mechanical APV?:  Yes
Lowest Atomizer Resistance before damage?:  0.7Ω


Battery Data: AW IMR 18650 (2000mAh)

Battery Data


Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Brand:  AW
Model:  IMR18650-2000
  IMR (LiCoMn)
Bare Cell:  Unknown
Capacity:  1600mAh
Diameter: 18.2mm
Length: 65.9mm
Positive end:  Button Top
Lowest Discharge Voltage:  2.5v
Max Charging Current:  2A
Life Cycle: > 500 charge cycles
Maximum Continuous Discharge Rate (CDR): 10A
C Rating:  5C
Source:  Here (that is the manufacturer posting this information)


Regulated APV?:  Yes
Mechanical APV?:  Yes
Lowest Atomizer Resistance before damage?:  0.5Ω

These batteries can certainly be run in mechanical mods, but you can see that the safety threshold for these is far below the AW IMR18650-1600 batteries.


Battery Data: AW IMR 18650 (1600mAh)

Battery DataSpecs

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


Brand:  AW
Model:  IMR18650-1600
  IMR (LiNiCoMn)
Bare Cell:  Unknown
Capacity:  1600mAh
Diameter: 18.2mm
Length: 65.9mm
Positive end:  Button Top
Lowest Discharge Voltage:  2.5v
Max Charging Current:  4.5A
Life Cycle: > 500 charge cycles
Maximum Continuous Discharge Rate (CDR): 24A
C Rating:  15C
Source:  Here (that is the manufacturer posting this information)


Regulated APV?:  Yes
Mechanical APV?:  Yes
Lowest Atomizer Resistance before damage?:  0.2Ω

AW IMR batteries are (generally speaking) the only batteries I use in my PVs.

I have charged these batteries in a Nitecore Intellicharger i4 and i2.


New Category: Battery Data

Battery Data

I see lots of people asking for information on the batteries they are using for vaping on different sites and forums. I am going to start collecting stats and information about the batteries used in vaping, so that I have a single place to direct people for this information. The problem is that I only use a couple of different batteries (but I know how to find the right information). So if you notice a battery that you are using but it is not listed here, please let me know so hat I can add it to the collection.


Hardware Review: IGO-L

IGO-L - click to enlarge

This was my first RDA, and I will always have a soft spot for it.


Material: Stainless Steel
Length: 25mm (~0.98″)
Diameter: 20mm (~0.79″)
Battery Connection: 510
Number of posts: 2
Post holes: NO
Number of air holes: 1
Diameter of air hole(s): ~1mm
MSRP: $19.99USD
What’s in the box:

IGO-L box contents

IGO-L box contents

  • 1 IGO-L RDA deck
  • 1 IGO-L RDA top cap
  • 1 bag of spare parts (2 o-rings, 1 extra post screw, small piece of wick, small piece of wire)

Some retailers include the spare parts baggie, some do not. The actual price for these guys ranges from about $12 to $25 depending on vendor (available here, among others).


  • Price.
  • Simple, easy to get working.
  • Spacious drip well makes dripping super easy.
  • Large deck (this is relative with RDA’s).
  • Philips head post screws, no allen wrench to fool with.

The IGO-L is simple to set up, and is a fantastic RDA for someone just getting into rebuildables. There is lots of room to work with on the deck and in the cap, making this one of the easier RDAs to build on.


  • No post holes.
  • Only 2 posts.
  • ~1mm air hole creates a very tight draw.

The only thing that I really want to see in the IGO-L is post holes. They just make attaching coils so much easier.


Air flow

That single ~1mm air hole is going to limit your cloud chasing. While I’ve seen people bore these out huge, it seems that the sweet spot for most people is somewhere between 1.4 and 1.6mm. That’s not a huge change from the stock air hole, but it makes worlds of difference when it comes to the vapor produced.

I’ve also seen people drill out a second 1mm air hole either right above or right next to the stock hole. This is kinda personal preference as to which mod you would enjoy more.


Slumberland Industries Custom

Slumberland Industries Custom – click to enlarge

One of the neat things about the IGO-L is that the cap is made entirely of stainless steel, which will colorize at high temperatures. The picture above is a colorized and bored out IGO-L produced by Slumberland Indistries (available here).

This is just an example, but other colors are easily done.

All in all I think the IGO-L is possibly the perfect starter RDA, and I find myself reaching for it more often than some other far more expensive RDAs.


Getting Started: Mechanical APVs – Mechs 101

In a previous Getting Started post I covered Mechanical APVs in a 40,000 foot overview sort of way. Mechs are a fairly complex topic, and deserve a more thorough explanation.

Advantages of Mechanical APVs

With the advances in VV/VW regulated APVs, why would someone choose a mechanical APV? At first glance it would seem that it makes more sense to choose a wide variety of features than something as simple as most mechanicals.


While at first blush the very simplicity of a mech seems a disadvantage, it is one of its strongest draws for many.diagram

The diagram at the right is essentially the entirety of a mechanical APV. There are no electronic components. This means that it is far less likely to break or fail than a regulated APV which contains a control circuit and safety features. This also makes it far easier to repair if it does break or fail.


Since mechs essentially create a direct connection between the battery and the atomizer, they require that you control every aspect of the vaping experience by varying the resistance of the atomizer. Want an 8w vape? You’re going to need to put a 2.2 ohm atomizer on a fresh battery. How did I know that? Ohm’s Law. You’re going to need to get very familiar with it if you want to use a mechanical APV to its full potential (and be safe while doing it). There are dozens of Ohm’s Law calculators online, I like this one.

The pay off for this work is that you can run sub ohm coils (this is not to say that you necessarily should, but you can), because there is no protection circuitry.

Which can lead to things like this:


Chasing clouds like that is dangerous. I don’t advocate anyone do it (you can get plenty of righteous clouds without going crazy). But is sure looks cool every now and again. You’re definitely not getting that cloud out of a regulated APV, stuff like that requires the right mech in the right configuration.


Now I like my Sigelei ZMAX v3 telescope, but when it comes to craftsmanship, it can’t hold a candle to a Sentinel, Zenesis, or any of dozens of other mechs. I’m not talking clones here, I’m talking about high end mechs here. They are expensive, but they are well made. There are no machining marks, no uneven grinds, no gouges. A well made mech is a thing of beauty (maybe I’m a bit biased, I used to be a machinist).

A ProVari is nice, but it’s not anything like a Caravella or an Nzonic. Some people just appreciate a well made piece of hardware and are willing to pay for it.

Mech Safety

The picture of the guy practicing for the man made eclipse event in the coming Olympics above reminds me that I need to talk about safety here. Mechs don’t have any built in fuses or safety circuits, so there are a few things you’ll need to know before using a mech that can keep you from blowing your face off.

Buy a multi-meter and test everything regularly

You need to test the output of your batteries so that you know when they are charged (or if a charger is over charging them), when they are depleted, and when they are beginning to fail (draining much faster than normal).

Aside from that, you need to be able to test your atomizer for resistance and shorts.

Unlike with regulated APV’s, a mech will still fire even if there is a short present in the atomizer. It is imperative that you test for shorts before you attach the atomizer to the mech, and that you test the mech itself for shorts.

Battery Safety

If you haven’t read the Battery Basics post, now is a good time to do that.

I’ll reiterate here that it is super important that you understand current draw and how it is calculated for your battery.

I personally won’t use anything but AW IMR batteries in APVs. I strongly recommend that you not either (at least some variety of IMR cell, the chemistry really is that much safer).


There are a couple of different companies making fuses for use in mechs. I highly recommend using them. The VapeSafe is one that is really popular, and some mechs are now coming with a fuse (like the K100/K101 series of clones).

This will prevent doing things like this:

Just... don't

Just… don’t

But, it will also prevent catastrophic battery failure, which is just a bit more important.


Venting is nothing more complicated than holes or slots that provide a direct path between the battery and the outside world. Bottom venting alone is really not sufficient, as most batteries will vent from the top, and a failing battery may swell and effectively seal off bottom vents.

All APVs should have venting, but this is especially important in mechs because (despite all of my warnings to this point) people are going to play with sub ohm coils and some will overdraw their batteries. Vents allow the gas (and possibly flames) from a battery failure to leave the mech in a safe(ish) way, rather than turning the mech into a mortar or grenade.

Ideally, all APVs would follow this standard for venting, but not many will.

Battery Safety Revisited

Yes it really is that important.

Do not use batteries that are fully discharged

The batteries that we use in APVs are not like the batteries in your television remote. The chemistry of these batteries dictates that certain precautions be taken.

The batteries that we use typically output 4.2v on a full charge, and this will reduce with use. These batteries can typically be used down to somewhere between 3.6v and 3.2v safely (some well made batteries such as AW IMR’s, can go lower than this even).

Generally the vapor output will change notably when it is getting close to empty. A good rule of thumb is to change the battery when you feel it might need it.

Do not invert batteries

Due to the simplicity of mechs, they will function with the battery inserted either direction (generally proper orientation is that the positive side of the battery goes toward the atomizer). This is not a good idea. With the battery inserted the correct way, the spring and body of the mech will be “negative”, with the positive terminal separated from the negative terminal by the switch.

This is important because every part of the actual battery (with the exception of the positive terminal) is also negative. So if your battery wrapper were to become torn or be pierced, the negative part of the battery would be in contact with the negative part of the mech, preventing a short. Also, many mechs utilize a “hot” spring, that will collapse if a short occurs, physically separating the positive terminal from any potential short if overheating occurs. This is a fairly effective way to prevent many cases of thermal runaway.

If on the other hand, the battery is inserted reversed, the spring and body of the mech become “positive”, and any tear or nick in the battery wrapper will expose a negative portion of the battery to a direct connection to the positive terminal of the battery, creating a dead short. This is the fastest way to achieve thermal runaway and experience a critical failure of your battery.

Do not stack batteries

There are several issues that arise in stacking batteries, not least among them being the doubling of output voltage.

Perhaps the most serious issue with stacking batteries is that it becomes much more likely that you will overdraw one. Batteries will wear at different rates (this is even a problem when using two identical batteries from the same manufacturer – even the same run of batteries). Eventually this leads to a situation where one battery is completely discharged, and the other can still fire the mech. The problem with this situation is that both batteries are still experiencing current draw.

Use a good charger, do not overcharge batteries

If you are going to use unprotected cells it is imperative that you not leave them on the charger once they are done charging, and that you test them with a multi-meter directly off of the charger. The batteries will continue to take current until they reach the point of failure. With these batteries more than any other, a quality charger is paramount.

Prevent accidental firing

If your mech has a locking mechanism for the switch, use it. If it does not, don’t leave a battery in your mod if there is any conceivable way the mech could fire.

One of the leading ways that APVs are damaged is through accidental, continual firing. This is most common when transporting them by dropping them in a pocket or a purse. Many mechs have locking rings or other locking mechanisms to prevent this. If your mech has this feature, use it.

Mech features

Generally speaking, all mechs are composed of the same basic components:

  • A battery tube
  • A switch
  • An end cap (may also contain the switch)
  • An atomizer connection

While all mechanical APVs have these features, they are not always in the same place, nor do they always function the same.


Generally come in two varieties; magnetic and spring operated. They function exactly like you would think: a spring or an opposing pair of magnets is used to keep the switch in the open position until the user physically closes them.

The switch can be located in several places:

  • In the end cap
  • In the top cap
  • On the side of the mod at the bottom (pinky fired)
  • On the side of the mod at the top
  • On the side of the mod anywhere in between

Generally speaking magnetic switches are more expensive, and are also smoother, but still fairly rare in the vaping world.


Most mechs are made with a proprietary threading that precludes their parts from being interchangeable, though House Of Hybrids has recently made their Z2 thread spec public (the threading pattern used in the Zenesis 2 line).

The hope is that mech makers will use the Z2 spec as a standard, making many mechs capable of using parts from other vendors, leading to some truly one of a kind mechs.

Lance at SteamMonkey is the first to take advantage of this and has released a switch using the Z2 thread spec, and has a mech planned that will utilize the Z2 spec throughout.



Hybrids are nothing more than an APV with a built in atomizer (the Zenesis is a great example of this, it can be had as a hybrid or with an optional 510 connector end cap). These provide a very sleek form factor device as the topper is made specifically to work with the mech body.

The Best of Both Worlds?


Recently there have been some devices like the Evolv Kick and it’s clones that bring variable wattage functionality to mechanical APVs. Some people love them, some hate them. Some mechs support them, some don’t. I have not used these devices, but I like the principle. The beauty of a mech with the ability to change wattage without changing the atomizer.

Hopefully that is enough to get you interested in mechs, and maybe consider trying one.


Hardware Review: Kanger Protank 2


With the release of the original Protank, Kanger changed the standard for well made clearomizers. The Protank was first, but it was far from perfect. The most common points of failure with the original Protank were the separation of the seal between the base and pyrex tank, and the (unfortunately common) shearing off of the threads on the 510 connection.

With the release of the Protank 2, Kanger has proven that they can not only listen to customer feedback, but they can act on it.


Length: 68mm (~2 11/16″)
Diameter: 18.3mm (~23/32″)
Capacity: Nominally 2.5ml (it actually holds more like 3ml or so)
Battery Connection: 510 threads
What’s in the box:

Protank 2 package contents

Protank 2 package contents

  • 1x pyrex glass tank with removable chrome drip tip
  • 1x steel base
  • 2x replaceable atomizer heads (both 2.5ohm)


  • Use any 510 drip tip (see the errata section below for details).
  • Don’t have to worry about “tank cracker” juices.
  • Replaceable atomizer heads (they run between $0.99 and $2 each depending on vendor and how many you purchase).
  • Easy to clean (even easier now that you can take the tank apart).
  • Easy to fill.
  • Don’t leak (this sometimes requires minor adjustment from the user).
  • Capacity.
  • Cooler draw (bottom coil clearomizers tend to be this way).
  • Airy draw (some people don’t like that, it can be adjusted, see the errata section for details).
  • Atomizer heads can be recoiled and rewicked for even greater savings.
  • All parts of the tank are user replaceable (when they become available).

The Protank 2 corrects the two major flaws that the original Portank had; it can be disassembled and it has a “standard” 510 drip tip:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This makes cleaning super simple.


  • Occasional leaking or gurgling when less than 50% full (this can be fixed).
  • Glass tank is prone to breakage if dropped (but can now be replaced).
  • Airy draw (which can be adjusted, see the errata section for details).
  • Not all 510 drip tips fit (this can be fixed, see the errata section below).
  • No beauty ring included in the package.


You’re really only going to have three common maintenance tasks with a Protank:

  • Assembling or disassembling the tank.
  • Filling or topping off the tank.
  • Cleaning it.


Unlike the original Protank, the Protank 2 uses no silicon or epoxy in its construction.

Here is a diagram showing assembly instructions (this is included in the printed manual that comes in the box):

Click to enlarge


This is probably the thing you will do most often.

Filling the Protank - click to enlarge

Filling the Protank – click to enlarge

Simply invert the tank, remove the base (including the atomizer head) and fill to just below the center tube as shown in the image above. Careful not to get the juice in the center tube. That tube leads directly to the drip tip, and if you get juice in it the juice will run right out and onto whatever is under the drip tip at the time (plus if you don’t clean it out afterwards, you risk leaking or gurgling as the juice runs back into the atomizer head). You should also ensure that the atomizer head is fully seated (just give it a good clockwise twist), as it has a tendency to unscrew after the Protank has been removed from the battery a few times. This can lead to rather bad leaking directly into the battery connection if it becomes too loose.


The Protank 2 is fully disassembleable, and so even easier to clean than the original. I just rinse if off with hot water from the sink, drop it into a glass of Pure Grain Alcohol (PGA – unflavored Vodka works just fine), let it sit for a few minutes (I usually just kind of swirl it around in the vodka for maybe 30 seconds, but if the head is particularly gunked up I’ll leave it in there for a while), flush it out with some bottled water, and let it dry. I do this every time, or every other time I fill the tank, and get pretty good life from my atomizer heads.

Changes worth noting:

  • The center tube is smaller than the original, so you are going to have to work a little bit to get a cotton swab in there (they do go in).
  • When completely disassembled there are two silicone o-rings (they are flat on one side so they are more like gaskets), one on either side of the tank. These tend to pop out at the most inconvenient times. Like in the sink with the water running.

Those gaskets are just small enough that they can go down the drain in most sinks. Be careful. I watched one go down my drain. Luckily I was able to fish it out with a piece of coat hanger (they will catch at the bottom of the sink stopper in most modern sinks. Take a look if you lose one (but be careful, you don’t want to force it down) , you might get really lucky and be able to fish it back out without having to remove the P trap on the sink.


“Standard” 510 Drip tips

Some will fit, some won’t. Unfortunately the Captivape BDS90 (which is virtually the entire reason I bought a Protank 2) does not:

This is what Frustration looks like

This is what frustration looks like

I also had issues with a Captivape DS60. The aluminum DS60 was an easy fix (aluminum is a relatively soft metal, so I was able to reduce the diameter of the 510 drip tip connector using some jeweler’s files and emery paper. I’m not about to try that with stainless steel (it would take way longer). I will note that a couple of other drip tips I had did fit, though there was a generic delrin tip that also did not fit.

This frustration was compounded by the fact that I could feel that the problem was just at the very tip of the drip tip slot, there was a slight lip of material which made it just too small to accept all tips.

For me, this was not acceptable.

So I started thinking. The original Protank is made of brass, then chromed. The Protank 2 is the same. Brass is a very soft metal. I can fix this!

I accept no responsibility for your actions!

I accept no responsibility for your actions!

What you see there is a standard HSS 3/8″ drill bit. This picture was very difficult to take, so please excuse the focus.

I took said 3/8″ drill bit (NO drill, just the bit), laid the cutting edge against just the lip of the drip tip slot (applying just very slight but consistent pressure), and then spun the tank.

I did not remove much material. The material I removed looked like pepper flakes, it was so little (I’m pretty sure I just needed to remove the chrome). Let me reiterate, brass is VERY soft, you could easily remove too much material if you try this with too much pressure.

Click to enlarge

Once that was done, I was able to use all of my drip tips with the Protank 2.

With a drip tip attached you can’t even tell that the Protank 2 has been modified at all:

Success! Click to enlarge

Success! Click to enlarge

Gurgling/Leaking fix

The same fix for leaking/gurgling in EVOD tanks works for the Protank 2. Sometimes though you get gurgling for other reasons. Like if you spilled some juice in the center tube while cleaning, or a severe change in altitude or ambient temperature. Generally this only requires you to get the juice out of the atomizer head/center tube, and mop up any juice sitting on the battery connection. You can do this with a cotton swab. Just pop the drip tip off, and twist a cotton swab up into the center tube until it is pressed up against the atomizer chimney, and invert the atomizer. Hold it there for a few seconds, and then pull out the cotton swab and do the same with the other end.

Usually there won’t be much juice in there, and the second end of the swab will come out pretty dry. If so, you can use that end to wipe off your battery connector too. If not, use another cotton swab.

The center shaft of the Protank 2 is slightly smaller than the original, though you can still get a cotton swab in there with a little work.

Adjusting the airy draw of the Protank

I’ve already mentioned that the atomizer heads can be rebuilt, but this isn’t necessary for adjusting the draw. The Protank, Mini Protank, and Protank 2 all use the same atomizer heads, but the atomizer heads from the EVOD are also interchangable with the Protank 2 (works both ways). This is great because the EVOD atomizer heads have a tighter draw, and will tighten up the draw on the Protank (it won’t be the same as an EVOD, but somewhere in between the two).

Click to enlarge

Also if you are using the Protank 2 on an eGo type battery and have a beauty ring (one was included with the original Protank, but is not with the Protank 2), make sure you spin that up flush with the base of the Protank as shown in the image above.

Like the original the Protank 2 has air channels cut into the base (it draws air from the top of the 510 connector up through the atomizer), and if all of those are exposed the draw will be much airier than if the beauty ring is sitting flush with the base. Also sealing off one or more of these air holes or air channels will tighten the draw on the Protank. Just don’t seal off all of them, or the Protank won’t function. I would suggest sealing one at a time until you get the draw you want. I would use Teflon tape for the air holes in the 510 connection, and hot glue for one of the air channels (I wouldn’t seal off both air channels).

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Easy way to keep juice out of the center tube while filling

The center tube in the Protank 2 is slightly smaller than on the original (but you can still get a cotton swab in there). To prevent leaking (because you are going to have some liquid drain off of the atomizer into that tube if you remove the base after the tank has had liquid in it), I run a cotton swab up into the center tube before unscrewing the base.

Once the swab is butted up to the atomizer chimney, I hold it there while unscrewing the base and withdrawing the atomizer. Once the atomizer is out, just push the cotton swab all the way up to the end of the center tube, but keep the head inside. That will effectively seal off the center tube, preventing accidental spills through the center tube. When done filling, simply withdraw the cotton swab and replace the atomizer and base.

Everything that I did not like about the Protank appears to have been fixed with the release of the Protank 2. Unless a couple of dollars is just too much (or you just really like the look of the original Protank), I would recommend opting for the Protank 2 rather than the original.


Juice Review: Mt. Baker Vapor – Extreme Ice


Here is my review criteria, let’s get to it!

Product Page

Cost for 15ml: $4.99

Vendor Description: Nothing that even remotely describes the flavor. Seriously, their descriptions suck. You have to read the reviews to figure out what half of their flavors are supposed to be. This one is generally agreed to be a Mint + Menthol flavor.

As reviewed:

  • 80%PG/20%VG
  • 24mg/ml Nicotine
  • 30ml bottle
  • Dripped through an IGO-L on a Sigelei ZMAX v3 at 6.5-8w
  • Vaped in a Kanger Protank on an eGo Twist.

Mixing Options: 15 points possible


MVB is one juice vendor that offers a serious array of options. They have a slection of mix ratios, and you can even add extra flavoring to the juice. They even have a mix your own flavor option.

Cost: 5 points possible


MBV is about the cheapest you are going to find. Coupled with their flavor variety and mixing options it’s a great deal all around.

Packaging (shipping): 5 points possible


Everything arrived correct and secure.

Packaging (bottle): 10 points possible


About the only thing I can gig MBV on with their bottles is that they only offer plastic bottles.

Throat Hit: 5 points possible


As I would expect for a 80/20 mix this juice has a serious throat hit.

Taste (Before Curing): 5 points possible


Tastes very minty and has a strong menthol component, exactly what I was looking for.

Requires Curing: 10 points possible


I could vape this right out of the mail.

Cure Time: 10 points possible


One day in a hot car toned down the menthol a little bit (which is ok), but didn’t have much of an impact on taste.

Taste (After Curing): 25 points possible


Minty, very strong menthol. This is what I used to trick my brain into thinking I was smoking when I first started vaping. It worked for me. I like this, but have since discovered that I prefer mint to menthol, and like some additional flavoring in my juice. I would buy this again, and I could vape it all day, but probably wouldn’t.

Vapor Production: 5 points possible


Vapor production is consistent and good.

Tank Cracker: 5 points possible


Not a tank cracker.

Preliminary Score:  91/100

This is a solid juice, I would recommend this to anyone who likes mint of menthol. The only way it could improve is if MBV offered glass bottles.

Bonus Points: 7 points possible


Free sample with every order I’ve made, same nicotine level as the order, and nicotine up to 36mg/ml.

Final Score:  94/100