** Introduction to vaping ** What is it? Vaping is the act of vaporising a nicotine solution and inhaling the resultant vapour to provide a nicotine dose similar to if a cigarette was smoked. This link will tell you what all the jargon means but don't worry if you don't understand much of it: http://www.vapeland.co.uk/vaping-101-school-12-w.asp Safety Is vaping safe? The short answer is that we don't know with complete certainty but most peer reviewed research suggests that the risks are minimal. The safest way to vape is to not vape. However, is vaping safer than smoking tobacco? Almost certainly it is. Recent papers from Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians state that vaping is 95% safer than smoking tobacco. Royal College of Physicians paper: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/nicotine-without-smoke-tobacco-harm-reduction-0 Public Health England paper: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/...armful-than-tobacco-estimates-landmark-review Getting started So, you want to pack in smoking do you? Vaping has helped many people give up tobacco where other cessation methods have failed. It's also a fun hobby. Please don't read this and think about starting vaping if you don't already smoke. This thread should not be taken as advice to start vaping, but if you have already made the decision it will help you understand the various devices you can buy and what it all means. There are many, many devices on the market from "cigalikes" (devices that look like a regular cigarette), through to high-powered box-mods with dripping atomisers so, where to start? Firstly, ignore the cigalikes. They taste terrible and are expensive in comparison to buying a good quality atomizer, a flexible battery and some good liquid you can fill up. What do I need? To vape you need the following items: A battery box - referred to as a "mod" - This provides the power for your vapes and are quite sophisticated devices these days. A variable wattage item (VW) will provide you with the ability to vary the amount of power your battery puts out depending on the liquid you are using, the atomizer you are using, and your general mood. They also come as fixed power items - known as mechanicals - but these are for advanced vapers who know what power they need for a given set of gear, although they are falling out of favor these days. More modern devices support temperature control that estimates the temperature of the coil based on it's change in resistance and can give a more consistent vape. A tank - This will hold your liquid and produce the vapour from a heating coil that is replaceable. Some tanks use replaceable heads and others - referred to as RTAs or rebuildable tank atomizers - allow you to build your own coils and wicks to get your vapour exactly as you want it. Some tanks such as the Kanger Subtank or Toptank provide for both methods with the same tank. Liquid - also referred to as e-liquid or juice - This is the nicotine solution that you will be vapourizing. It comes in many different flavours and strengths from 20mg down to 0mg. A 20-a-day Marlboro Red smoker might start on 18mg and then gradually reduce this. If you are in to big clouds (discussed later in the thread) then 3mg or even 0mg is where you want to be. Those 3 items will get you vaping and off the cigs. Here are some recommendations for some stuff to get you started: A good starter mod is the Joyetech Evic VTC Mini or the vTwo Mini. About £45 - http://www.joyetech.co.uk/mods-batteries/evic-series/evic-vtwo-mini-battery-mod A tank that is easy to start with is the Nautilus X £22 - http://www.vapourlites.com/aspire-nautilus-x-2ml-tank.html Both of those items are easy to use and reliable. The Nautilus X tank produces excellent flavour and vapour at around 20W while being easy to fill and cheap to keep running with easily replaceable coil heads that last about a week and cost about £1.50 each. If that lot is a bit advanced and a bit rich at over £65, there are cheaper ways in to it without buying a cigalike. The Joyetech eGo AIO starter kit contains a simple battery and a tank to get you started. : £25 http://www.joyetech.co.uk/e-cig-kits/ego-aio Choose your juice As for liquids, it's very much a personal taste. I don't vape many tobacco flavours these days as they all taste like cigarettes smells in the packet (kind of raisin-y), but most starters will want something familiar so ask in the thread for advice on flavours from the guys who've tried them. Generally you can pick up a month's supply of premade juice for about £15 depending on the brand and website. Browse around the websites and read the descriptions to get an idea for what's there, but it's all trial and error. For a starter, I suggest about 11mg to 18mg strength juice, just until you find what suits you. Buy small amounts (10ml) at first until you find something you really like. Battery safety Please remember that these devices either come with a high-powered battery built in, or take 18650 or 26650 cells. Never leave your device plugged in and charging while unattended. If you have a mod that takes removeable batteries it's important to choose a battery that is rated for the current you need and is from a trusted brand. Be careful what you buy and where you buy it from because there are a lot of fakes out there. Mooch has an excellent resource for battery information here: https://www.facebook.com/Mooch-1636157550007158 ** Advanced vaping topics ** Next steps Really, the sky is the limit with what you can spend and what you can do. Atomisers come in many different shapes, sizes and types from simple drippers - a device where you drip the liquid directly on to the coils - through to precision engineered rebuildable tanks. Most people will never need anything more than the items listed previously but others will want to take it further. A good next step would be a simple rebuildable atomiser such as the Kanger Toptank Mini. This will enable you to use either low-resistance coils for some big vapour or an easy to use, rebuildable head on which you can make your first coils. Build your own coils Building your own coils on a Toptank Mini or similar is fun and can be rewarding when you get it just so. Traditionally, coils are made from Kanthal wire and wound over a 2mm to 3mm shaft several times to get to the desired resistance. It looks hard the first time you see it but it really isn't. There are also tools available to help you such as the Coil Master coiling jig. These make making coils an absolute doddle. The best thing to do if you want to build your own coils is to watch some of the many videos on Youtube of people building on either a Subtank Mini or a Kayfun. Once you have your coils built, you need to make a wick. Muji cotton is the wicking material of choice these days and provides a smooth vape and is easy to work with. A recent development in coiling is called temperature control. This is where a coil with a known resistance is wound out of NI200, Titanium or Stainless Steel wire. This wire has a very predictable change in resistance for a given temperature and so a suitable battery can estimate the temperature of the coil. To do temperature control you will need either a mod that supports it such as the previously mentioned VTC Mini or something based on the DNA200 chipset. Sub-ohm vaping Sub-ohm vaping is where a coil resistance of less than 1 Ohm is used. Most tanks were until recently in the 1.8 to 2.5 Ohm range but recently there has been a trend towards coils of 0.5 Ohms or less. These when paired with a suitable mod of 30W plus will provide massive clouds. DO NOT PUT SUB OHM COILS ON BASIC EGO BATTERIES from a petrol station The previously mentioned Subtank Mini or Toptank is a good introduction to sub-ohm vaping with the provided 0.5 Ohm coil. These coils can also be re-wicked when they wear out and last ages. Dripping A simple dripping atomiser is the single-malt whiskey tasting of vaping. It is vaping in it's purest form. A simple atomiser on top of a powerful battery, coiled how you want and with liquid dripped directly on to the coil. Drippers will give the very best flavour and the biggest clouds but their requirement for always carrying a bottle of liquid with you makes them unsuitable for a beginner. They are massive fun though. Squonking Squonking is a new development in the world of vaping and consists of a dripping atomiser with a hole in the centre pin. You then need a squonking mod that has a built in juice bottle. You squeeze the bottle and it forces juice up through the centre pin and soaks your coils ready for vaping. Useful links Vaping Forums http://ukvapers.org/ http://allaboute-cigarettes.proboards.com/ http://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/ Recommended Hardware Vendors (Mods and PV's, Atty's, supplies etc) https://www.cremedevape.com www.greyhaze.co.uk/ http://www.liberty-flights.co.uk/ www.myepack.co.uk/ www.stealthvape.co.uk/ www.vape-atomizer-mesh.com/ http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/essexvapours http://essex-vapours.co.uk/ Batteries http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/big_f_d_d http://stores.ebay.co.uk/ECOLUXSHOP?_trksid=p2047675.l2563 Recommended Juice Vendors http://t-juice.com https://www.chefsflavours.co.uk/ www.digbysjuices.co.uk www.grantsvanillacustard.com www.krakenecigs.com www.redjuice.co.uk www.scopesejuice.co.uk www.spectrumvaping.co.uk www.spiritusvapes.com http://tmax-juices.co.uk/ www.vapehype.com www.vapingking.co.uk http://www.e-smokeless.co.uk/ Discount codes for some popular sites Drip Hacks: HACK10 ELFC: UKHB10 DARKSTAR: DARK 10 Youtube Channels worth checking out (Reviews, tips & tricks etc) Damien Morter (ABGV): https://www.youtube.com/user/ABloodyGoodVaping Martyn Parker: https://www.youtube.com/user/vapingreviews Pauly Meatballs: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcIYia_3w10rfIJWicsRjLQ Phil Busardo : https://www.youtube.com/user/pbusardo Rip Trippers: https://www.youtube.com/user/RiPTrippers The Vaping Bogan (not if you’re easily offended): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCExqR7C-PZp9aTEF-hUIRsA Scott Bonner: https://www.youtube.com/user/igetcha69 Todd: https://www.youtube.com/user/toddecigreviews Vaping Greek: https://www.youtube.com/user/VapinGreek VapingwithTwisted420: https://www.youtube.com/user/VapingwithTwisted42 Handy websites for coil building, Ohms Law www.steam-engine.org/ http://ejuice.breaktru.com/ DIY Mixing GEE'S GUIDE TO MIXING E-LIQUID BY WEIGHT! WHAT DO I NEED? Scales - 0.01g precision for batches lower than 500ml // 0.1g precision for batches over 500ml Bottles PG VG Nicotine (I recommend PG based) Concentrates 2x 500ml bottles for decanting PG & VG into. A smaller 30/50ml bottle to decant Nicotine into (preferably with a thin nozzle). Sterile gloves & eye protection (remember highly concentrated Nicotine is VERY TOXIC and CAN BE FATAL. Be VERY careful when handling it. Wear eye protection & gloves) Syringes/Pipettes Mixing Calculator - http://e-liquid-recipes.com/create WHERE DO I GET THIS ALL FROM? Darkstar Vapour - http://www.darkstarvapour.co.uk/ FlavourArt UK - http://www.flavourart.co.uk/ Vapable - http://www.vapable.co.uk Chefs Flavours - https://www.chefsflavours.co.uk/ Scales (Amazon) - http://amzn.eu/bQa05m9 Bottles (iBottles) - https://www.ibottles.co.uk/products/e-liquid-bottles.html Bottles for decanting (iBottles) - https://www.ibottles.co.uk/products...eavy-duty-wide-neck-hdpe-plastic-bottles.html. Choose the 500ml ones with the 38mm nozzles. Syringes/Pipettes WHAT ABOUT RECIPES? WHAT CAN I MAKE? E Liquid Recipes - http://www.e-liquid-recipes.com/ Le DIY pour les Nules (DIY FOR NOOBS) - http://www.lediypourlesnuls.com/ DIY_eJuice on Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/DIY_eJuice/ WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? Money saving! Guaranteed way of knowing exactly what's going into your mix Make your liquid whatever ratio/strength you want Ability to use concentrates that you know are clear of Diacetyl, Acetoin & Acetyl Propionyl (Diketones) Takes roughly 2 to 3 minutes to make a 1-2 concentrate 100ml bottle. ANY PREP I SHOULD DO? Give your concentrates a good shake before using them If you got two of the bottles for decanting I linked above, put 250ml or so of both VG and PG into one of each. CAREFULLY decant some Nicotine into a spare 30/50ml bottle IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING, KEEP YOUR NICOTINE AWAY FROM ANY CHILDREN OR PETS. STORAGE? Nicotine likes to spend it's time in a cool, dark place. Away from direct sunlight and odours. Ideally if you can, store it in the fridge or freezer. Nic (PG based) usually has a shelf life of around 10 years if it's kept in the freezer. Don't worry, it won't freeze. VG I don't bother refrigerating. It's a right pain in the backside handling this if it's cold. PG again I don't bother refrigerating. OK, I'M READY. HOW DO I START? I'm not going to go into too much detail here, I'll try and keep it short and sweet. First off what I do is I find a recipe I like the sound of, in this case I'm going to be making a 100ml bottle of a personal favourite of mine, FlavourArt Apple Fuji and FlavourArt Forest Fruits, at 1.5mg Nicotine and a 60VG 40PG ratio. Below is the main screen you see when using the ELR (E-Liquid-Recipes) calculator. As you can see it's pretty blank and has the default values in. Spoiler: One Here we need to do a little inputting of some values first for our finished product. See below: Spoiler: Two Here you can see I've added the amount I want to make. Notice how I've put 90ml? The 100ml bottles from iBottles are 100ml right up to the brim. I leave a 10ml gap so that there's enough room left in the bottle to give it a thorough mix. I've also changed the desired strength of my mix to 1.5mg and set my desired PG/VG ratio. My nicotine strength is set to 72mg however if you are starting out now it will be 18mg due to the TPD banning sale of nicotine liquid of high strength. I'm using PG based nicotine so keep the 'PG-Content of nicotine' value set to 100%. If you are using VG based nicotine, set this to 100%. I'm not adding any Water or Vodka to my mix so I keep this value at 0. DO NOT GET THE DESIRED STRENGTH AND BASE STRENGTH MIXED UP. YOU WILL HAVE A VERY BAD DAY OTHERWISE. I've also added the concentrates and the percentages as well. Here I'll be using Apple Fuji at 4% and Forest Fruits at 3%. First off, turn on your scales and put a bottle on the top. Reset or 'tare' the scales to zero them. As per the values, I'm going to be adding 1.95 grams of nicotine to my bottle. Try and be precise here, you can go a little but under or a little bit over but try and keep it as close to the value as you can. Okay so you've added your nicotine? Good, now zero or 'tare' your scales. Next, I'm going to start adding my concentrates, here I need 3.6 (3.60) grams of Apple Fuji and 2.7 (2.70) grams of Forest Fruits. Add your first concentrate, again try and get this as close to the value it says as you can. Once you've added the first concentrate, zero/tare your scales and add the second. Zero/reset again. What I like to do here is put the nozzle and lid on the bottle and give it a good shake. This gives the concentrates a prior shake to make sure they're blended well enough before you add your VG/PG. Once you've done that (obviously remove the lid and nozzle!) you can start to the last two parts of this mixing journey, your PG and VG. Put the bottle on the scales again and zero them. Time to add the PG. Here I need 28.83 grams of PG. Try and keep this as close as you can, for me personally, I'd probably round this up to 29 grams just for quickness. I'm not saying bang in 35 grams of PG but use your head and round that up if you want! Added your PG? Good, reset the scales again. It's VG time. 68.1 grams of VG needed here. I'd probably take your time with VG. At room temp it's like thick cooking oil but if it's been stored in the fridge you'll die of old age before you fill that bottle up. Added your VG? Good, put the cap & lid on the bottle. Give it a VERY good shake. WE DID IT! That's pretty much all there is to it. That was for a simple two concentrate recipe, but the steps are always the same. TL;DR Scales on Bottle on top, zero scales Add nicotine, zero scales Add first concentrate, zero scales Add second concentrate, zero scales (OPTIONAL) Add concentrates and zero scales if using more. SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE Add PG, zero scales Add VG, zero scales Cap on, lid on. SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE VAPE VAPE VAPE FURTHER READING FlavourArt are my favourite concentrates to use. They're exceptional quality and the concentration of them compared to others such as Capella or The Flavour Apprentice means that you don't need to use much. Not to mention they do not contain any Diacetyl, Acetoin & Acetyl Propionyl (Diketones). With FA (FlavourArt) as well, don't think that the higher percentage of flavour you add, will give you BETTER flavour. With FA, usually less is more and most of the time the more you add, the more the flavour will diminish. I've found with FA that most of the concentrates don't need any sort of steeping/breathing time. The only that I've found DOES need a little time, is their Custard. Usually a minute or two shake is good enough. I'll let you be the judge on what concentrates you want to use, but personally I only touch Capella, FlavourArt and TFA (The Flavour Apprentice). I stay WELL away from LorAnn and Flavour West concentrates. Educate yourself on which concentrate manufacturers use Diacetyl, Acetoin & Acetyl Propionyl (Diketones) _______ I recommend you all download the tasting notes from HeadInCloud's website here - http://www.hicsmixes.com/notes-etc.html // it's free, don't worry. HIC (HeadInClouds) also has some VERY VERY good recipes on his website priced at $3 each. You can also find tasting notes on ELR (E-Liquid-Recipes). Just search for the concentrate and click on the notes tab. You may need to make an account first. My last bits of advice would be to experiment with flavours. Use your head and think about what goes well together. Supplies http://www.leisureliquids.co.uk/ http://www.thealchemistscupboard.co.uk/ https://www.chefsflavours.co.uk/ http://www.flavourart.co.uk/ Recipes http://ejuice.breaktru.com/ http://www.e-liquid-recipes.com/ Android Apps: Cloud.Box: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ermeso.cloudbox Microcoil Pro: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.powervaping.commercial.microcoilpro Ohms Law Calculator: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.calculatorco.ohmslaw Steam Engine: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.steam_engine Vapers Toolbox: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.valsoft.vaperstoolbox DIY Liquid E-Liquid Calculator: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.boggi.esig eLiquid Recipe Manager Lite and Pro: https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Composed+Chaos iOS Apps: Microcoil Pro: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/microcoil-pro-swiss-vaping/id890062636?mt=8 Ohms Law Calculator: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ohmulator-ohms-law-calculator/id398901336?mt=8 Previous thread https://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18642758 FASTTECH BUYING GUIDE! What is Fasttech (FT): Fasttech.com is a China based retailer for ecig goods and electronics amongst other things. Whoah, China? isn't that risky? Not really, they accept PayPal, have very responsive and active customer service and are held in high regard - especially by the vaping community. How do I know what I'm buying is legit? FT mark everything clearly if it is a legitimate 'Authentic' item or if it is a clone. Genuine items will ALWAYS be marked as Authentic, while clones will ALWAYS be marked as 'Styled'. The legitimate items and clone items are marked as I described above. Authentics will always be just that, FT have far more to lose then gain by trying to pass of clones as Authentic. Why should/shouldn't I buy the clone? This is something you have to weigh up for your self with the information I'm about to give you. The Authentic will, in 99% of circumstances, be significantly cheaper then buying it retail in the UK, especially for mods. It will also be in the same packaging/condition you would expect from a local retailer. The Clone will, again, be significantly cheaper (as above), though you may risk it not being 1:1 (identical in every way), having some defects you wouldn't find on an Authentic, have different packaging. To make the most educated selection you can, look for listings with many positive reviews, usually a good sign its up to scratch, its also worth looking out clones made by manufacturers such as SXK and SJMY, these are almost always very good quality. My authentic is missing its validation information? It doesn't appear to as big of an issue for FT as it once was, but due to undercutting the manufacturer RRP, some manufacturers refused to deal with FT directly, so they had to stock via a 3rd party, as serials and the likes are traceable, they can be removed before shipping in order to protect their 3rd party supplier in the form of removing validation stickers. This does not affect your warranty with FT. Shop smart! Take time to note the shipping estimates on everything you add to your order and split your order accordingly to get your items quicker. Anything listed as being 'In Stock' or 'Ships Next Day' will be in stock and ship ASAP. Anything with a lead time, will usually say something like 'Due xx/xx/xxxx (6 days)' or 'pre-order, due xx/xx/xxxx (12 days) are estimates, I've had some ship sooner, some ship later, do not request to ship this items with your 'in stock' stuff, as the entire order will be held until everything is in stock. I want to buy batteries... You're safe enough to buy batteries from FT, make sure they're listed as 'Authentic' and crack on, just make sure to check which shipping option FT advise for batteries, not all carriers will accept lithium batteries, which will deflect them onto a sea route, giving you a ~3 month shipping time. At last glance Sweden Post was the 'go to' carrier, shipping being around 2 weeks. In all honesty though, you won't save that much in comparison to somewhere like FogStar or Ecolux, for the hassle of shipping I'd advise to use one of the aforementioned UK based suppliers. This also applies to buying mods with fitted battery packs, you'll be in for a longer-then-usual shipping time. Anything I shouldn't buy? Note these are my personal preference, I'm not in charge of what you buy... Clone mods - Should be self explanitory E-Liquid - You don't know what you're getting or that its been mixed in an ISO clean room. Batteries, or anything containing a battery (see above) What shipping option should I use? You should (at time of writing) always use the UK Express EPacket, yes its something like $1 or so extra, but the delivery time is superb, on average you're looking 6-7 days from point of shipping, which is pretty damn good for going half way around the world. The China Post free option has decayed somewhat in the last few months, it used to be reliable for a 10-14 day delivery, more recently they've been taking 6-8 weeks! My item has broken, or arrived broken, what can I do? FT customer support, is IMO, very very good. If you have an issue, simply log into your account and open a support ticket, if warranted make sure to take and attach pictures/videos where possible as this will speed things up. If it requires a return FT will in one way or another cover you, see their returns policy for more information: https://www.fasttech.com/pages/standard-return-policy Anything I've missed or I feel needs to be added I will update accordingly.