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[Build Log] Modifying my Lavabox 200 for a 1300mAh battery


PandaSPUR
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UPDATE 12/23: Up for sale now: https://www.shapeways.com/product/BBS8PBT23/lavabox-dna200-8mm-extension-rev-2
Still not perfect, read the thread for more info.

So I had this thought ever since I decided to get the Lavabox 200. I figured at the rate I vape, the 900mAh battery wouldnt last me a long night out, and so far I've been right.

Anyway, that leads me to my current goal: to modify the Lavabox to hold a bigger 1300mAh battery.

Luckily, this seems fairly simple, I just need to do three things:
  1. Make either a new back plate, or a "washer" to fit between the mod and the current back plate.
  2. Find a suitable battery that will fit in the existing space in terms of height and width.
  3. Longer screws to secure the back plate.
The current battery in the Lavabox is: 70 x 19.8 x 26mm (HxWxL).
The battery currently has extra foam padding on it to make it fit snugly in the Lavabox, so I know theres a bit extra space in terms of Width and Length. Sadly, Height seems to be a constant since the battery is already a snug fit due to the extra space needed for the battery wires and connectors.

So lets say the battery space is roughly 70 x 22 x 28mm (HxWxL).

The most suitable battery I found was a Lumenier 3S 1300mAh 35C~70C battery. Its dimensions are 70 x 22 x 32.

Next, the "washer" that I need to make that battery space long enough for the new battery. I decided to just use Tinkercad and Shapeways to design and create it. Result was this: https://www.shapeways.com/product/QHJSAD54L/

The washer adds an extra 8mm of space, more than enough for that battery. I'll refine the design once I have this first copy in hand along with the battery. Hopefully it all fits together simply. The washer design is rough and I already spot one mistake I made (anyone else see it?).

I still need longer screws, does anyone know the thread/screw specs of the current long screws used to hold the back plate?

Future goals:
  1. Minimize the size of the washer so the 1300mAh battery is a snug fit, and the mod is no bigger than it has to be.
  2. Make the washer a two piece design that attaches to itself via magnets. Each half of the washer will screw in to the mod and back plate. Basically would allow me to quickly swap batteries.
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I've thought about a similar design myself but so far haven't attempted to model anything out. I'll be tracking your progress with interest. How are you planning to deal with the grip/cover? I suppose you could make one if you could find a sheet of rubberized plastic that could be cut/bent to size/shape.

Not sure on the size of the long bolts, but I have quite a few different sizes lying around, so I'll try to find one that matches and let you know.

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bmclaurin said:

I've thought about a similar design myself but so far haven't attempted to model anything out. I'll be tracking your progress with interest. How are you planning to deal with the grip/cover? I suppose you could make one if you could find a sheet of rubberized plastic that could be cut/bent to size/shape.

Not sure on the size of the long bolts, but I have quite a few different sizes lying around, so I'll try to find one that matches and let you know.



Right now, the washer I designed will let me use the original grip for as long as I want. The grip just wont reach all the way to the usual spot on the front, so there will be a ridge along the sides of the mod where the grip should be. It might actually look nice.

Gonna wait and see how this setup turns out before I decide if I want to try making my own grip as well.
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Becuase a washer would mean the item has a lot of parts now. where as I can make a "click on" back panel that would look the same and would cover the back and accomodate any battery (that is not more than 70mm tall)

PandaSPUR said:

[QUOTE=cukrus]If you would make a 3d model of the "washer" that has a longer back panel integrated into it ( i mean one piece back) i would 3d print it and test it 



Just curious, why would you rather have this than just adding the washer?[/QUOTE]
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cukrus said:

Becuase a washer would mean the item has a lot of parts now. where as I can make a "click on" back panel that would look the same and would cover the back and accomodate any battery (that is not more than 70mm tall)

[QUOTE=PandaSPUR][QUOTE=cukrus]If you would make a 3d model of the "washer" that has a longer back panel integrated into it ( i mean one piece back) i would 3d print it and test it 



Just curious, why would you rather have this than just adding the washer?[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]

Hmm.. I see your point, it would be one less piece. But I personally thought people would rather keep the aluminum back piece rather than replace it entirely with plastic. I'll design it later after everything else is done if people actually want that though.
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Double post, meh, shoot me >_>


UPDATE!

Got the battery in the mail today.

Here's what the mod looks like with the battery in and the back piece on:
[9m7BroP] 

Once I get the washer in, it'll close that gap. And it turns out my 8mm estimate was spot on. That gap is exactly 8mm wide.

This also shows how the grip would look. Now I'm thinking of extending the washer to have a piece that covers that "valley" next to the grip.
Seems like a better idea than to make my own grip since the material from a 3D printer wouldn't feel or look as nice.

Top view of the gap:
[5uoso01] 

Side clearance views:



My 22mm measurement was perfect. The battery slides right in with no resistance, but it probably wouldn't fit a battery thats 23mm wide.


Comparison to stock battery:



So now I'm waiting for some XT30 connectors to come in the mail, and the washer itself. Still needa find the proper screw. Might just take one of the stock Lavabox screws to a hardware store and dig around.

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wow! that looks amazing. fits like a glove. even with the extra 8mm of space it would still be decent fitting in your hand. my xcube 2 is longer. i have no idea why volcono hasnt released a kit with the same battery pack and a larger milled back plate. even have some larger grips. it would sell for a decent price for those who just need the extra capacity. i am curious about what the final capacity is when you finally get to run the battery analyzer. 

once again. it looks great. keep up the good work.

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Got it all assembled and working!

[Zi3MADc] 

Other images here: http://imgur.com/a/hnQTW

Hardest part was soldering those huge wires on the tiny XT30 connector... The wires this battery came with are about 2x as thick as the wires on the stock battery, and my soldering skill is terrible lol.

Currently leaving it plugged in to my computer with the device monitor up. Nothing seems out of the ordinary so far.
Chain vaping at 120-150W and the battery doesnt even get warm. Current pull only hits a max of 19A if I set the mod to 200W with this .46ohm coil since .46ohm makes the DNA200 chip top out at 170W. The battery is rated for 35A continuous and 70A burst, so this isnt surprising. No puffing of the cells either.

Still need to find screws... But I'm not in a rush, I dont feel comfortable carrying this around every day until I test it more at home first.

The washer isnt a perfect fit. I was off by about 1mm with the holes for the prongs at the bottom of the back plate. Had to take a knife to it and shave it a bit. So thats something I'll work on when I have time as well.

cukrus said:

can you let me know the dimensions of the battery ?


Dimensions of both the stock battery and the new battery are in my first post, bolded.
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Margucci said:

really nice work. have you run the battery analyzer yet? if so, what is the Wh its reporting?



Have not done that yet,  but it would be a good way for me to stress test this whole thing... hm

I needa find a free weekend to do it since I'd want to keep an eye on it lol. Plus I dont have any big resistors either, so I'll have to do the big crazy kanthal loops too.
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From what I've read somewhere on these forums, it is best and more accurate to run the test after around 10 charge/discharge cycles. Supposedly u gain a little more mahs after its broke in so it would me more accurate. Just a thought if your going for absolute accuracy as well.

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scoopy said:

From what I've read somewhere on these forums, it is best and more accurate to run the test after around 10 charge/discharge cycles. Supposedly u gain a little more mahs after its broke in so it would me more accurate. Just a thought if your going for absolute accuracy as well.



Ah thanks for the heads up, I'll use this for another week or so before trying the analyzer then.

____________________________________

cgallagher said:

what about the vt200 lipo battery. from the looks of it, it seems pretty small and it is 1300mah as well ?



No idea. I cant find any dimensions for it online. I doubt it'd be any smaller than this Lumenier LiPo since they're both 1300mAh 3S LiPos and this was the smallest one I could find.

____________________________________

Volcano hasnt been real helpful unfortunately:

Thank you for contacting us. I have actually requested this information and unfortunately I am unable to provide you with the screw specifications.

If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.

Mahalo



I mean.. wtf... how do you not know the specs of your own product? SOMEONE has to know right?
____________________________________

On another note, so far so good. I decided to take my Lavabox out with me last night. Went from 100 to 0% while vaping at 130W. The atomizer/mod would get pretty hot as usual but the battery stayed cool (I popped the cover off once in a while to check it). Experienced no puffing at all. So I'm feeling pretty confident about this setup now.
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Volcano's front line customer service is terrible. I have had some interaction with them and eachband every time they couldn't have been less helpful. I have no doubt that your questions could be easily answered with even the slightest effort. However, that isn't effort they are willing to give. I had some issues with my order. First person I spoke to didn't even try. Asked to speak to a manager and from that point it was all good. The people who answer twitter are even worse.

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[QUOTE=cgallagher]A Flight Power PWP2133 would almost fit 67 x 33 x 20. Just over by one mm. http://www.flightpowerbatteries.com/fp25.html

What about buying individual cells then wiring them up in series ?
[/QUOTE]

Yea that would fit, I just needa make the washer a bit longer. Could be a good option for people who are concerned about puffing as they'd have 2mm of space.

Otherwise, I dont see a reason for it.

The PWP2162 looks more interesting to me. 1600mAh and 63 x 40 x 20. Big ass battery, would make the mod quite big but people might be interested if they really want a long battery life lol.

The extra 8mm I have on the mod right now is probably as far as I'll go. Its already getting a bit big to fit in my pocket with my wallet.

_________________________________________

[QUOTE=Margucci]Volcano's front line customer service is terrible. I have had some interaction with them and eachband every time they couldn't have been less helpful. I have no doubt that your questions could be easily answered with even the slightest effort. However, that isn't effort they are willing to give. I had some issues with my order. First person I spoke to didn't even try. Asked to speak to a manager and from that point it was all good. The people who answer twitter are even worse. [/QUOTE]

Yea I just contacted them again:

[QUOTE]

We are having on of our technicians contact the manufacturer, however at this time we do not have the specifications.

If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.

Mahalo

[/QUOTE]

Meh.
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