Mikhail's Modding Part Awards (And modding advice) 2017

Discussion in 'Performance Modifications' started by Mikhail Naumov, May 2, 2017.

  1. Mikhail Naumov

    Mikhail Naumov VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee Unlisted Vendor

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    I'm bored and I want to throw a bone to any fellow modders than may be prowling these forums. So here are the best in class awards for all of the different parts you can find to shove inside boxes to make vapor happen.

    DISCLAIMER: Modding is a vastly personal art that offers varying levels of customization. No one part is going to subjectively win out for every single person. It's just not possible. This list was compiled with my own knowledge and preferences in mind as a gesture to help any modders wondering which parts to use. I am not god, I am a man. A flawed man who has made many mistakes in his life. A lot of those mistakes I made modding, rather from buying shitty parts or using shitty practices. I don't want that to happen to you and that is the reason I made this list. If you have a particular part you favor and love, USE it, don't let anyone tell you not to unless it's dangerous or something. ONWARD WE GO.

    BEST FIRING SWITCH:

    This isn't even hard choice for me, I did have to think on a few of these but this one was a no brained effort for sure. The Mitec wins this, hard. Mitec switches are some of the most amazingly responsive switches I've ever used, the very second you depress it, it's firing. Very clicky, every press you can feel and you know exactly the mechanical point when it contacts. They also have lots of options, from 12mm to 16mm, flush to raised and even different colors. I know some people roll dicks over LED buttons, but my heart belongs to the Mitecs.

    BEST 510 CONNECTOR:

    Two years ago Varitube would've had some real competition, but since the dude who owns FatDaddy pulled a dick move, deciding to be too cool for school and shut his entire website down on the US end due to the FDA shit (Despite selling no juice or anything risky.) in an act of protest, shit changed. THEN he came back, sort of. He came back and made some kickass 510's, but limited the hell out of their options in a way that I felt heavily directed their use toward 'mechanical' no wire mods and bottom feeder mods. I truly feel all of his newest (V4/V5) 510 connectors pander almost exclusively to bottom feeder / mechanical lovers which I am neither of.

    He does offer a lot of variety when it comes to 510's, but in terms of performance and holding up to high ass heat WITH a 30mm variant in the mix as well, Varitube wins. I also loved Varitube 510's even back in the day however, specifically the smooth top 30mm V2. The only competition Varitube has currently is Ebay no brand 510's (AVOID) and Fat Daddy (who is slacking IMO), so this was another easy choice. Varitube deserves it though, their insulator is fantastic and holds up to very high heat and it's a conductive and well crafted 510. Fat Daddy would win this if he would just make 30mm or even 28.5mm 510's in his new V4/V5 configurations, as those have retarded nice ceramic insulators that can take any heat level. Varitube also wins out because you can very easily solder lower gauge, thicker wires to the positive of it without issue, FD 510's make damned sure to limit you to 14AWG at the biggest.

    BEST ENCLOSURES:

    Anybody who thinks Hammond deserves this needs to be taught some things. If you like those blandly painted shit stain boxes and their eyesore leans and exposed magnets, more power to you. We, the rest of us, have moved on. Alpinetech is a modder's all in one resource when it comes to most things, but it's all stock. Except for their ATI series CNC enclosures, sporting hidden magnets, nail nicked lids and nice paint jobs with NO lean to boot. Some even have pre-cut slots and holes. A great resource for any modder and they all come with free N52 real earth magnets.

    BEST REGULATOR BOARD:

    For all of you who know me my choice will be obvious, but I'm sorry to disappoint all of you who are foaming at the mouth when you realize I did NOT pick an Evolv product. Not hating on them, for VW/TC boards, Evolv does win. They make very nice boards, but they're not the standard of quality everyone holds them to. They have a lot of issues, and even the Yihi SX550 board is catching up fast to the DNA250 which until now was uncontested on the modding board VW/TC front. Back on topic, it came down to two boards for me.

    The Big Al's 2S-6S input IntelliPWM regulator and the Voltrove NLPWM 2S-6S input smart RMS PWM regulator. Both are fantastic, but overall I dislike the forced use of actuator cut out buttons with the NLPWM and the diagnostics features on the Big Al board make it win out for me. Can supply any vaper's power needs from low wattage tootle puffing to multi-thousand watt insanity vaping. 2S, 3S, 4S, 5S and 6S input works. Lipo, 18650, 20700, 26650 and LiFePO4 input works. Lock/unlock, on/off, switch from input/output voltage display on the meter, favorites settings, diagnostics mode.. this board is perfection.

    BEST BATTERY SLEDS:

    Keystone was the uncontested king for years back in the day, but then everybody and their dog got a hold of a 3D printer and that shit stopped real quick. At first it was all that shitty ABS that had cracks and lines all over it on top of being as durable as a piece of cardboard. Now you have PETG printed sleds that hold up and look quite nice. Too bad they still lose. Big Al's takes another win here, as his injection molded battery sleds are amazing in quality and even make for easy board mounting for OKL/PWM regulators on top.

    BEST VOLT METER (LOL):

    This was a joke mostly, but SMAKN does make some nice ass meters.

    BEST LIPO CONNECTOR:

    I like XT90's but good luck finding batteries that come with them or even, them. They're newer, rarer. So I'm gonna have to give the win to the younger brother of the lineup, the far more common XT60. In vaping, 60A is fine as our boards and wiring all have parts that cap around 50-60A, regardless of that 195A mosfet and 100C lipo you have in the mod as well. Sorry Dean's and JST, your shit just can't stack up.

    BEST FUSE:

    I like PFETs over NFETs, for various reasons. But I'm gonna have to give the award here to the OG champion of vaping fuses, the IRLB3034 195A N-Channel MOSFET. Still like PFETs better personally, way better.

    BEST ETC. ACCESSORY:

    The Mod Meter is a fantastic addition to any unregulated mod and when you properly combine it with a PFET it leads to a great unregulated circuit that gives you real time, accurate read outs on things like power and coil resistance. A great fucking part.

    BEST DIODE (LOL):

    Get Zener with it. Joke.

    BEST ACCESSORY SUPPLIER:

    Lots of websites offer all sorts of shit in this category, and this is HARD. I'm gonna call this the only tie in the list, as Brimstone 3D and Gunstar Mods both offer a lot of very useful 3D printed shit and such for modding. Bezels and shit as well, covers, everything you could want.

    BEST POTENTIOMETER:

    Almost a joke, but not really. I prefer dials, real ones. Like the typical 1K one we see. If you remember the old school thumb wheel style potentiometers on ancient Hex Ohm mods you'll know what I mean here.

    BEST LIPO:

    As a middle finger to all the MaxxAmp fanboy's, I'm gonna go with the Turnigy NanoTech series. They make really nice lipos that are perfect for various hammond style enclosures, and they have nice, real C ratings to boot. Also they often come with XT60's attached, so that's nice.

    BEST LITHIUM TUBE:

    The Sanyo 20700 blows all the 18650's I've used out of the water, so I'm picking it.

    BEST DRILL BIT TYPE:

    A drill press and a wide assortment of drill bits is the best option for any modder who wants constant, clean holes drilled. A CNC machine helps too. Though we can't all afford this, so the step/graduated type drill bit is essential for starting modders on a budget. Just practice proper drilling techniques for clean holes and NEVER eyeball. Also a dremel with a few different bits is nice to have.

    BEST SOLDER TYPE:

    I've found lead-free, tin-rich solder with a low silver content works best for modding soldering. It has a low enough melting point to be soldered onto most modding parts without heat damage from transfer, and the high tin and low silver content help it create conductive joints. Also, share the gospel of flux paste.

    BEST MOUNTING GLUE:

    Epoxy, multi-part. You'll never look back.

    BEST WIRE (ALMOST LOL):

    Almost a joke as it varies, but I'll share tips. For any lipo boxes, for the wire you solder to the lipo connector, use silicone copper wire. It's extremely flexible, and for something that will be pulled and tugged around a lot, you want that. Stiffer solid/stranded copper wire will create tension against the joints which can lead to them snapping. Otherwise I recommend stranded copper or silver wire, 12AWG/14AWG for load bearing connections on higher power mods, 16AWG/18AWG for load bearing connections on lower power mods. I usually use 28AWG stranded copper wire for low load connections like the wiring switch and volt meter.

    So that's it. If you're seasoned or new and looking for the BEST part in each category, here they are.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  2. HazyShades

    HazyShades Platinum Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Excellent resource, should be made a sticky.
    Regards,
    Hazy
     
  3. Mikhail Naumov

    Mikhail Naumov VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee Unlisted Vendor

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    Oh wow, I figured it might help someone here and there but for someone to say it's sticky material. Damn. Thank you man.
     
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  4. HazyShades

    HazyShades Platinum Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    It is sticky material. Very helpful info..I've been vaping for some years but
    I've only messed around making actual mech mods a couple of times..Been wanting to DIY a nice regulated mod
    and you just saved me a lot of time...For an old fart like me time is essential :)

    Na Zdorovie Tovarishc,
    Hazy
     
  5. Whiskey

    Whiskey Diamond Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Tag a mod to sticky it, great info:)
     
  6. Mikhail Naumov

    Mikhail Naumov VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee Unlisted Vendor

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    Хвала вам.

    I may be a bit brash and confrontational in some areas of the forums but I truly do enjoy helping people at the core of things. I know these forums are a bit crude and that's why I like them, but there's no reason we can't try to help one another sometimes.

    One of the biggest pieces of advice I can offer to a new modder is first, LEARN PROPER DRILLING TECHNIQUES. I cannot tell you how many enclosures I ruined because I decided to drill holes with the box mounted on the floor. The bit wandered. I used a step bit and accidentally let the next size dig into the hole. I tried eyeballing once, worst off center hole I ever drilled. I've never really ruined a part soldering, but I have torn through over 20 enclosures due to drilling fuck ups.
     
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  7. HazyShades

    HazyShades Platinum Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Should I report the post and suggest a mod sticky it or should I bitch at Tiger to return your authority?
    How about I bug 'Bird about it?
     
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  8. HazyShades

    HazyShades Platinum Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Yea, I screwed up a couple of mod stands by not using a drill press
    and I used to make waterbed frames, should know better.

    As far as you being confrontational..Aren't we all? This is VU...
    Keep up the fine work, Bro.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
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  9. HazyShades

    HazyShades Platinum Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    @Zamazam, @Huckleberried, @5150sick, @UncleRJ please make this a sticky. It's a great resource.
     
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  10. Mikhail Naumov

    Mikhail Naumov VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee Unlisted Vendor

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    I couldn't afford a proper drill press for a while so I invested in the next best thing, a bench vise. Then somewhere along the line that broke (I paid $15 for it, should I be surprised) and now I'm back to nothing. So what I do now is, I'll measure and mark the holes on the center point, dig a small chunk out in that point, then prop the box up against a bunch of blocks. Then I place an old CD over the hole to keep the bit steady, make sure it's in alignment, then just press hard. It's worked so far, provided I drill a pilot hole first. I still really need a drill press man. Though I've gotten spoiled as the ATI boxes have CNC cut meter slots included and my laser engraver will CBC cut the holes for me if I ask him to so I usually never touch a drill. I'm more of a.. gluer and solderer.. LOL.
     
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  11. Whiskey

    Whiskey Diamond Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. HazyShades

    HazyShades Platinum Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    As long as it works. I was about to suggest an inexpensive place to buy a drill stand that doubles as a drill press
    but checked your profile...Serbia! Oh chucks. :)
     
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  13. Mikhail Naumov

    Mikhail Naumov VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee Unlisted Vendor

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    I'm FROM Serbia, but now I live in the US so feel free to recommend away.
     
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  14. HazyShades

    HazyShades Platinum Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Mikhail Naumov and 2WhiteWolves like this.
  15. f1r3b1rd

    f1r3b1rd #Team Jimi Supporter Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Thread stickied and moved to performance modifications...
    Just appeared to be a place that people will be more likely to look for this info.

    As a guy whose built a few mods myself- it's good info. Thanks for putting the list together
     
  16. Mikhail Naumov

    Mikhail Naumov VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee Unlisted Vendor

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    I would just like to add that Dripp3D is another amazing website. I've found 60W, 120W and 200W raptor boards on there. Tiny and Micro PWM's. DNA's. Unique enclosures, bezels and sleds. I'll be using this website as it gives my customers more options for regulated circuits. I've used ONE 200W 40A Raptor mod before and I loved it. Shame the board is $43, but if a customer wants it, I'll excitedly wire it up. I've never even seen a 60W Raptor mod, just the 50W OKR T-10's like the OG Hex Ohm.
     
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  17. Mikhail Naumov

    Mikhail Naumov VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee Unlisted Vendor

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    Dripp3D JUST put up all those Raptors and OKL's on sale for half off. I think they're getting rid of them as it's listed under closeout. I'm gonna order a few Raptors just so I can have a few in stock on reserve for future customers.

    I'm way more excited for those 300W 60A Raptors and 400W 80A Deltas to show up, though.
     
  18. ShowerHead

    ShowerHead Bronze Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee

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  19. KingPin!

    KingPin! Gold Contributor

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    Thanks Mikhail very much for taking the time to provide your knowledge it greatly appreciated :cheers:
     
  20. Mikhail Naumov

    Mikhail Naumov VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee Unlisted Vendor

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