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Starting over help thread.


Asmodeus
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I've been at this for a little while now with a DNA 250 chip in 2 cell 18650 mode.  

I built it in an alpinetech P+ box, with a battery sled and board holder from their store.  I used silicone wire of the largest gauges from the chart I could manage, with a varitube V2 510 connector.  It's really crammed in there but I taped over my joints in the tray to be triple sure to prevent any kind of shorting on the case.  (even though they were recessed enough it shouldn't have been an issue)  

I have individual cell reporting in escribe.  I set up my profiles and loaded one for 316L.

I set up my mod resistance and subtracted just a little.  

I haven't made an elaborate wire loop to do battery tests.  


I've been having 2 issues.

1.  Check battery when the pack voltage gets low.  And low for me is 3.8v each...  This is likely due to sag tripping the voltage alarm.  And there's plenty of sag.  Depending on the set of batteries anywhere from .6v to 1v.  I have set the soft cut limit to 2.35v to try to get it to leave me alone.  But on a cold start up.  Where the mod and atomizer is cool to the touch.  I still encounter it and it won't fire. 

2.  The mod goes to sleep and when it wakes back up it won't deliver a normal vape.  I changed the screen to display voltage and I can see the problem.  (This is in TC mode)  It's putting out 1-2v or less.  If you pop the battery out, and back in, it will then typically come back on full power and then some delivering either a fairly typical vape or a little extra which is borderline hot hot hot.  



It seems like power mode works just fine.  I've tried to change the mod resistance to trick the device into thinking it was one way or the other with no success.  When it cools and re-reads the resistance I think this was a dead end.


I have purchased batteries 2x now.  I had been running 30Q's and HB2's and some Sony and purchased fresh pairs when I got the DNA.  I have had nothing but issues with the check battery and not getting a serviceable life out of any of them.  So I bought LG HB6's and VTC5a's with much higher drain limits thinking they might sag less under load and let me get some kind of life out of them.  I hit the check battery limit still, though slightly less often.  (I have VTC5's and they did better than 30Q's, so I went with higher drain batteries)  

I had been running a fairly large dual wire (two separate clapton wires / in the same coil x2) clocking in around .09.  


If I put this on my minikin it just fires and works.  If I put any of the batteries with any of the atomizers in any configuration over .08 on the minikin it just works.  It doesn't matter if they are contact coils, spaced, batteries low.  IT JUST WORKS.  



So let's assume it's something I am not doing right, something I didn't solder well enough.  Or there is an issue I need to track down here.  

What is the likely issue if there is heavy battery sag?  The supply wire from the battery on the chip + pad?  

If TC is essentially useless after a full cool down, what is the likely cause?  


I just need a fresh set of eyes before I chuck this out of a window.  






  

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I also tried rebuilding this to about .20.  It's a dual coil.  316L fused clapton, 9 wrap, contact, built on a tool and I took care they were very neat.  This was far worse than my dual wire style coils clocking in at .09.  It seems like TC totally hates them.  

No issues on the minikin firing these in TC. 


I'm thinking that the sample accuracy of the DNA in TC is very high, and the minikin probably is lower which allows there to be some variation and still "work just fine". 


I need a way to test this.


So again, let's just assume that I know absolutely nothing, and did everything wrong.  Where do I start?  

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2.35v won't be accepted by the board. the hard cutoff is 2.5v i would set it to 2.65v

post a couple shots of your soldering/wiring/sled setup.

do you have the wattage at 167w when the cells are at 3.8V?

i usually get the weak batt message around the 3.3v mark with my DNA 133/167 mods, when asking for the full wattage.

the reason the vape gets weak is because the resistance is being refined (lowered). this is normal operation for DNA (this is done for a more accurate temp setting). you can lock your resistance as soon as you put your atty on. this will lock in the base res that is initially read. or you can just up your temp after refinement.


edit. post a screenshot of DM with cell 1-2 firing when you get the weak batt message. most likely one cell is hitting the limit. let's find out which one. this could be a poor connection relating to that cell.

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I'm just barely a pretty face, and not a builder. I also don't vape that low, but I have a couple thoughts. 9_9

Could it be a bad solder joint or your battery not making good contact?

Is it with one atty or with all atty's?

But @Chunky is one of the 'experts' and if I'm out to lunch, just say so. I have the thickest skin and won't be offended. I'll just go back to huffing some C14 in the corner. :)

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Wayneo said:

I'm just barely a pretty face, and not a builder. I also don't vape that low, but I have a couple thoughts. 9_9

Could it be a bad solder joint or your battery not making good contact?

Is it with one atty or with all atty's?

But @Chunky is one of the 'experts' and if I'm out to lunch, just say so. I have the thickest skin and won't be offended. I'll just go back to huffing some C14 in the corner. :)

you better share that C14 with me! i don't know what it is but it sounds like lots of fun. 
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ChunkyButt200 said:

2.35v won't be accepted by the board. the hard cutoff is 2.5v i would set it to 2.65v

post a couple shots of your soldering/wiring/sled setup.

do you have the wattage at 167w when the cells are at 3.8V?

i usually get the weak batt message around the 3.3v mark with my DNA 133/167 mods, when asking for the full wattage.

the reason the vape gets weak is because the resistance is being refined (lowered). this is normal operation for DNA (this is done for a more accurate temp setting). you can lock your resistance as soon as you put your atty on. this will lock in the base res that is initially read. or you can just up your temp after refinement.


edit. post a screenshot of DM with cell 1-2 firing when you get the weak batt message. most likely one cell is hitting the limit. let's find out which one. this could be a poor connection relating to that cell.



My kanthal power limit is set to 167.  

It won't take 2.35v you're correct.  It changes it to 2.34v.  But it let me upload that.  And it gives me check battery warnings less. 


I'm using TC.  Preheat 120W, falling down to 85W.  I had this around 7 for punch.  But the more I lower it.  The less I get battery warnings.  I don't actually enjoy a screaming hot vape.  Temps vary between 425-470 dep on mood.  I'm certain it's not correct due to wire construction and the profile loaded have to be off considering I'm using coils with anywhere from 4 wires in different thicknesses and sometimes two completely different types of clapton wire interspaced, or twisted SS in between fused clapton.  The only thing that's accurate is it's all 316L. 

On the minikin I used TCR.  On the DNA I think I am using the actual CSV for 316L from DJLSB's site.  

One cell definitely drops harder than the other if memory serves.  A few tenths of a volt.  "Stuff" is epoxied down in the case at this point though.  I did not drill the enclosure for the mounting screws, and both the board and battery sled "are where they are".  My packaging constraints required me to flip orientation from the diagram to wire it I found online.  But essentially I have the tapped lead coming from the top of the sled, and the vast majority coming from the bottom so the wires are very very short.  I bridged the two pins req with a solid bit of wire and soldered it in place then brought the other wire through and joined it all.  Using the max gauge silicone wire from the chart made getting the entire bundle on the pad entirely impossible.  Even tinning the pads a little extra was still a process of sticking it down and trying to neatly heap the joint.  Which I am not very good at admittedly.  


I'm a little eskeerd of turning up the temps a lot and then switching batteries and blowing my face off.  It will re-check on a battery swap and if it's already warm, it goes nuclear.
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Asmodeus said:



Specific gravity race fuel.  Or a radioactive isotope.  

If he had said C-16, I would have gotten it instantly.  

Only ever used the 114 octane in my younger days. IIRC it was Purple and a unique clean smell, unburned and at the exhaust. When setting up street races, it could help identify the badass engines.

If ya don't wanna blow your face off, limit it via your kanthal max.
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Wayneo said:

Only ever used the 114 octane in my younger days. IIRC it was Purple and a unique clean smell, unburned and at the exhaust. When setting up street races, it could help identify the badass engines.

If ya don't wanna blow your face off, limit it via your kanthal max.




That stuff ain't cheap.  But we did it the dirty way.  You can run up to 30% toluene, or xylene in gasoline.  (And if you're smart you can get it for disposal if you write an affidavit conforming to regulations about burning it at a specific temperature through a catalyst from a lab.  FOR FREE)  Which, have a higher specific gravity than gasoline, and a very high octane.  It also settles down a lopey idle giving the car a more mellow sound since it doesn't have to work as hard to burn the stuff.  So the car actually sounded tamer than it was.  
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Asmodeus said:



It won't take 2.35v you're correct.  It changes it to 2.34v.  But it let me upload that.  And it gives me check battery warnings less. 


I'm using TC.  Preheat 120W, falling down to 85W.  I had this around 7 for punch.  But the more I lower it.  The less I get battery warnings.  I don't actually enjoy a screaming hot vape.  Temps vary between 425-470 dep on mood.  I'm certain it's not correct due to wire construction and the profile loaded have to be off considering I'm using coils with anywhere from 4 wires in different thicknesses and sometimes two completely different types of clapton wire interspaced, or twisted SS in between fused clapton.  The only thing that's accurate is it's all 316L. 

On the minikin I used TCR.  On the DNA I think I am using the actual CSV for 316L from DJLSB's site.  

One cell definitely drops harder than the other if memory serves.


I'm a little eskeerd of turning up the temps a lot and then switching batteries and blowing my face off.  It will re-check on a battery swap and if it's already warm, it goes nuclear.  

even tho it keeps your 2.34v for the CSC, the board isn't actually using that value. the board cannot function unless it sees a min of 2.5v. what's happening is most likely the board is defaulting to a 2.5v setting and just not updating the field in ESCribe (this can be seen by looking at the lowest point a cell will reach in DM).

if you're running a lot of low ohm (0.09) builds, that will demand a lot current from the  cells, from any mod. this where sufficient wire size, solid solder connections and appropriate cells come into play. a difference between the minikin and the DNA is the DNA will tell you more information on what's going on with your build and cells. whereas the minikin will keep error messages down to min. but they will still be there. my guess is the same is happening with the minikin, in terms of weak battery, but it's just not displaying it until it absolutely has to. this can be proven by measuring the voltage output from minikin vs. the DNA. 

in your case, i would just lock the res and choose consistency over accuracy. seems like you just wanna slap a build on, set temp and be done. whereas with refinement (ohms not locked), this might require you to moderately adjust your set temp after the mod has had time to refine the res.

i would inspect the cell that is dropping off more sharply than other. check the sled contacts (making sure the pos and neg springs are firm against the cell), solder joint is solid (good solder flow from wire to contact and from wire to board. this also goes for the balance wire.) also the cells themselves play a large part in whether they can deliver the power the board requires for any set wattage.

basically if you're getting the weak battery message early, it could be cell related, cells are too low, poor connection somewhere between cells and board. same applies for check battery, except that usually indicates only 1 cell is sagging more than the other. try rotating the cells. if the same slot has more regardless of which cell, it's a connection issue.
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ChunkyButt200 said:

even tho it keeps your 2.34v for the CSC, the board isn't actually using that value. the board cannot function unless it sees a min of 2.5v. what's happening is most likely the board is defaulting to a 2.5v setting and just not updating the field in ESCribe (this can be seen by looking at the lowest point a cell will reach in DM).

if you're running a lot of low ohm (0.09) builds, that will demand a lot current from the  cells, from any mod. this where sufficient wire size, solid solder connections and appropriate cells come into play. a difference between the minikin and the DNA is the DNA will tell you more information on what's going on with your build and cells. whereas the minikin will keep error messages down to min. but they will still be there. my guess is the same is happening with the minikin, in terms of weak battery, but it's just not displaying it until it absolutely has to. this can be proven by measuring the voltage output from minikin vs. the DNA. 

in your case, i would just lock the res and choose consistency over accuracy. seems like you just wanna slap a build on, set temp and be done. whereas with refinement (ohms not locked), this might require you to moderately adjust your set temp after the mod has had time to refine the res.

i would inspect the cell that is dropping off more sharply than other. check the sled contacts (making sure the pos and neg springs are firm against the cell), solder joint is solid (good solder flow from wire to contact and from wire to board. this also goes for the balance wire.) also the cells themselves play a large part in whether they can deliver the power the board requires for any set wattage.

basically if you're getting the weak battery message early, it could be cell related, cells are too low, poor connection somewhere between cells and board. same applies for check battery, except that usually indicates only 1 cell is sagging more than the other. try rotating the cells. if the same slot has more regardless of which cell, it's a connection issue.



The minkin actually displays both batteries, and on the spot voltage.  (You can watch the meters sag)  But this chip uses a step up.  So even when they are low and saggin' baggin' Mary.  It just pumps it back up until it can't.  Which is when the battery meter tells you that's all she wrote.  And since it's just feeding cell voltage out.  You can really see this coming.  (Unlike the DNA, where it's programmed as watt hours)  However, the minikin can get those cells down to 3.3v or lower before it's time to swap them out.  And it will absolutely give you the same battery warning message when it hits that point.  

I fear it may be connection related.  Mainly due to the fact that I bought 20+ 18650's in the last 2 months and they all essentially suck in this mod.
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Asmodeus said:



The minkin actually displays both batteries, and on the spot voltage.  (You can watch the meters sag)  But this chip uses a step up.  So even when they are low and saggin' baggin' Mary.  It just pumps it back up until it can't.  Which is when the battery meter tells you that's all she wrote.  And since it's just feeding cell voltage out.  You can really see this coming.  (Unlike the DNA, where it's programmed as watt hours)  However, the minikin can get those cells down to 3.3v or lower before it's time to swap them out.  And it will absolutely give you the same battery warning message when it hits that point.  

I fear it may be connection related.  Mainly due to the fact that I bought 20+ 18650's in the last 2 months and they all essentially suck in this mod.

which minkin is this because the v1.5 and v2 (touch screen) have a max output of 7.5v which indicates buck converter topology only. i'm looking at both boards asmodous sells from their website, the GX-180-HT and GX-150-V2. just by looking at the back of the boards i can see their only buck just like the DNA 200/250.

i just took 2 Sony VTC5A cells out from my Hcigar Vt167, both drained down to 3.2v. this is at 167w all the time for TC coils. i just leave the wattage maxed out, this allows for instant ramp up. i adjust my temp till i'm happy. 

let me see how low i can get 2 Sony VTC6 cells that i use in my Vaporflask DNA 133. it's pretty full at the moment but will post back when they're toast.
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But IIRC this is how I wired it. Essentially I saw a diagram but the batteries faced the other way and I just flipped it. In the AT P+ the positive on the battery near the 510 HAS to be where it is to give it enough stand off to clear. And it kinda screws you on the top right corner with the negative, but it just, and I mean just clears. It made more sense for all those wires to be closer to where they needed to go, and the only lead that had to make it's way down is a battery tap which can be smaller gauge. The positive and negative at the output side are long because then I could work on them outside the case and stuff them back in. The ground has a dot of glue holding it down so it doesn't bother the door. I would use smaller guage wire if I did it again because the pads on the chip and that gauge wire was difficult. A sliver of tape separates the joints. It was a "bugger".

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minikin buck.png 
the mosfet circled in red is the reverse batt protection. the 2 circled in white are switching mosfets responsible for converting the battery voltage into usable atty voltage. looking at your pic, it's a synchronous buck topology. same as the DNA 200/250. except the DNA has 2 inductors (coil thingies) and 4 switching mosfets. this is what gives the DNA 200/250 a 97% efficiency rating and lets the board run cooler at high wattage.

it's super hard to see your solder joints in you DIY 250 from those pics. i'm not expecting you to rip it apart, but it you may want to closely inspect your joints to make sure they're solid. i always double check my joints with a lighted magnifying glass. you'd be surprised at a joint you thought looked fine with just your eyeball holes, only to find out it's super sketch up close and under magnification. obviously the way you wired it is fine, it IS working.

when you get a chance, post a screenshot of DM with the batt sag (make sure only cell 1-2 boxes are ticked. DM tends to run faster with less boxes ticked. at least on my garbage PC.). 

here are a couple shots of DM using my DNA 167 using 2 yr old sony vtc4 (3.8v resting) cells at around 120 watts.    
Vt167 sag 2.png 

 here's with charged vtc5a's at the full 167w
Vt167 sag 3.png 

Vt167 sag.png

Vt167 sag.png

Vt167 sag.png

minikin buck.png

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Quite honestly this is pretty severe.  These are HB6's and they have been through MAYBE 2 charge cycles.  They are brand new.  This is just what I have in there this second, and while I normally watch the pack voltage out of the corner of my eye now every so often.  I have logged this before without as much deviation between cells, OR as much sag, period.  As we both can see it is not long before I hit the low V cut off on a pull.  Perhaps my bottom right + lead under the battery tray is not ideal. 


LG HB6.png

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brand new authentic HB6's, although small in capacity, should handle anything the DNA 250 asks from them. i'm tellin ya, it's all about connection and the ability to flow that current from the cells to board. start from the cells and work back to the board (with a set plan, you're less likely to miss something). contacts pushing hard and flush against the ends of the cells. you want firm pressing contacts with a large surface area to mate with the cell. good quality sleds can be hard to find. correct battery wire awg. wires (including tap wire) soldered solidly to contacts. solid main + and - batt wire to board pads soldering....tap too.

other than that, i'm outta ideas.

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Re: Asmodeus
I would start with the negative as it looks easier.
Use volt meter, get one probe on the packs neg. battery and the other probe on the 510 housing and fire taking note of voltage....then when problem is noted go from pack neg. to sled neg. contact, fire, note voltage...ect 
Work your way through the path.
Pay close attention to those battery contacts on the sled.
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It may be easier to buy a new battery and board sled and chisel this stuff out of the epoxy.  They are not that expensive.  If I can get it all broken down I may be able to just soak the case in thinner and get the remainder (of the epoxy) off.  

The real question at that point though is... do I install the LiPo I bought just in case.  Or continue with the 18650's and sled.  I have so much $ in (18650) batteries at this point I don't want to give up.  But I know if I just pop the LiPo in I'm done and it's good. 

*sigh*

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I just got done with my first p+ build with a 250 chip. I used the same sled and mount as you did. I'm getting really good at soldering these things up.....I've fought battery connection issues since it was done. I'm sure you have noticed that the positive connection tab in the upper right isn't exactly ideal on that sled, and that'she what I'm blaming my issues on. The more I think about it, the less I want to continue with 18650 batteries in this enclosure. Which lipo did you buy to fit this enclosure.....heck....if you aren'the going to use yours, do you want to sell it? Hmmm......or maybe I find a nice 2 cell lipo so I don't have to jack around as much with the wiring at the board. Maybe I can even get away with not chiseling the board mount out. Choices choices. FWIW, I'm not looking forward to chiseling the stuff out of mine either, but I'm done fighting this nonesense. Life's too short and I don't have time for things that don't work like they are intended to. TBH, if this build plan hadn't been rushed and I had looked at the spec sheet for the 250 before building this thing, I totally would have used lipo to begin with. The 1 amp charging of the 200 made lipo unusable (imo) but 2 amps?.....awesome.

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I see you even swapped the contacts around where the negative is in the upper right to try to get around the issue I am having.....this just solidifies my conviction of going good lipo. Aaaaaaaaand I'm off to hobbyking to look at batteries.

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Quite honestly internal charging is the least of my concerns.  The only time I use the charging port is when it's plugged into DM to try to figure out what is wrong with it this time... 

I definitely flipped the position of the contacts so I would have more space at the 510, and it's still not enough.  I have an atty or two that protrude enough that the throw on the insulator scrapes the tape on the output (510) wire and nearly touches the battery.  I could have probably done a better job soldering that joint so it isn't so bulked up on the + 510.  But to stick it I tinned the 510 first and I wanted the wire to attach vertically so it didn't twist and snag on things.  Despite it's appearance, I don't believe it's the issue.  

What appears to be the issue is I have a bad connection in the battery tray from one of the cells.  And I'm almost certain it's in the spot I have to break the sled out to get to.  The bottom of my sled where 4 wires go to the board and are crammed in between the case and sled took a good bit of force to get into the case and even getting the wires to lay in the groove in the sled was a chore.  If I screwed up somewhere.  That's the most likely "where".  

I purchased a 900mah 3s lipo, I think it's a lousy efest unit.  BUT.  If you look in the show me thread there's a guy who crammed a 45c lipo in the P+ enclosure.  

https://forum.evolvapor.com/topic/65631-topic/?do=findComment&comment=887291

That looks like the biggest thing you could possibly cram in there and still use connectors.  


Did you bend your positive connectors from that tray?  I reshaped them so they were round where the batteries make contact.  Otherwise they would rip the wraps off the batteries.  Mine are pretty tight and I made a battery pull so I didn't have to snatch at them either.  You can clearly see that my right cell doesn't sit centered though.  Part of that has to do with the sled being nearly broken out of the box.  And the other is the torque from the wires against the case allowed it to drift slightly when the epoxy was setting up.  

I hit the batteries with a probe, then the connectors with a probe to see that what the battery cells were putting out was making it to the connectors, so in my case, the connections TO the cells are good enough.  It has to be in my wires leading out.  Which, I can't really get to while fumbling around with the mod, and trying to fire it and not short something.  I'll try again when I don't have a bunch of other stuff going on at home distracting me to try to isolate it a little more.  

I need to re-read dwcraig's post 10 more times to figure out exactly where he wants me to probe it to figure out which cell.  I obviously switched batteries and their positions and it's not "a bad cell" sagging.  I have a LOT of 18650 batteries.  Most of them are < a month old.  So... 



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I ended up modifying the taps quite a bit. On the back side I trimmed them to provide more clearance from the case and on the positive side I put a dab of solder to help get a good connection. I'll check out the show me thread for that battery. Lol I hate going to that thread because every time I go there I end up with the modding fever, planning a new build before I even get done with the one I'may doing. It really doesn'the help that I have extra components just laying around ready to be used. I've totes already started planning my next build. Think my next one will be in a g+ with a 1300 lipo I have left over from a previous build. I'll use external components for all the switches and seal the round usb hole with a silicone flanged thread protector. It'll be basically waterproof if I RTV the lid.

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The one for the P+ actually has the shape of the enclosure kinda built into it. It fits in it's ordained spot perfectly. It's 3D printed so it's less durable than an injection molded one you linked. Like soldering on tabs already in place causes them to melt it almost instantly. Which I definitely did slightly. But the one they sell definitely has the advantage on putting everything exactly where it needs to be in that very very cramped enclosure. In some places a mm out of sorts would cause you an issue. So I don't know if I'd recommend using another one unless you know it fits perfectly.

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