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TC - the quick and the dirty
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paulS Offline
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Post: #1
TC - the quick and the dirty
Lets go over temperature sensing and the various coils and TCR settings and what they mean.

Metals used for coils:

Kanthal -- a ferritic iron-chromium-aluminum alloy specifically created for stable resistance at varying temps. Used in power mode primarily but now some modes have temperature sensing for kanthal.
Nichrome —is made from nickel chromium alloy and has a lower maximum operating temperature than kanthal. This means it heats up faster than kanthal and is great for cloud chasing. It has a lower resistance than kanthal. It can be used for TC vaping with a DNA200.
Ni200 (NI) — used in TC mode because it predictably changes resistance with change in temperature. Can produce harmful nickel oxides at high temps, and must NOT be used in VV/VW mode.
Titanium (TI) —used in TC mode because it predictably changes resistance with change in temperature. Can produce harmful titanium dioxide at high temps, and must NOT be used in VV/VW mode.
Stainless (TI) — smaller change in resistance with change in temperature (compared to Ni and Ti), so not supported in TC on some devices, but safe to use in VV/VW as well, making it the most versatile. Comes in many alloys/grades, with 304 and 316L being among the more commonly used in vaping. SS does not oxidize. This has about half the resistance of Kanthal so if building with SS wire be aware of that.

Common wire configurations:

Single wire -- just like it sounds.
Twisted -- two or three wires twisted together, which lowers resistance and increases surface area (giving more juice contact).
Clapton -- a thinner wire wrapped around a core (or a 2-wire core, in the case of a fused clapton) for increased surface area

Resistance

The hotter the wire, the more resistance it will generate.
Resistance is affected by volume, diameter, and the length of wire. Thinner wire has higher resistance than thicker wire. You can think of it like a highway: The bigger the highway (thicker the wire) The easier it is to move through it (lower resistance). The longer the wire, the higher the overall resistance. Here is what we mean: Nichrome 80 Resistance wire has a lower resistance per length compared to kanthal, meaning it will heat up faster; better for those sub-ohm builds and cloud chasing. 

Using your coils on a TC mod

You must enter TC mode to use TC coils. You can then choose NI or TI or SS. There are a few mods that are temperature sensing that can use TC with Kanthal or Nichrome. You set your values in TCR mode. When I cape SS 317L for instance I go to TCR mode. You cannot cape TI or NI in power mode. It is dangerous. There is no recommended temperatures for TC. You have to dial in your preferences. They generally range from up to 300 c and 600F. But never go above 580F. You are getting into a dangerous zone for oxides. There is a misconception that kanthal and nichrome cannot be vaped in a temperature sensing mode. Ijoy has mods that can sense kanthal in what is almost a TC mode. The Hohmwrecker G2 mod can be set in TCR for kanthal. So it is possible. But don't attempt it until you understand it.

TCR values

These are temperature coefficients that certain mods will allow you to use. When caping SS in TC I find i need to adjust the TCR because its resistance does not change as much as NI or TI. So I modify to taste and reduce the temp as well to about 50 degrees. Temperature Control works by monitoring changes of resistance in the coil and using this to estimate temperature changes. Resistance increases linearly and predictably with temperature, although the amount that it increases varies between wire types. So preset TC settings can work but sometimes you need to use TCR settings and adjust.

TC is possible only with wire that has a reasonably high Temperature Coefficient of Resistance (TCR). The Coefficient is a numerical value that indicates how much resistance will rise for a given temperature increase relative to its starting resistance. When the coefficient is high resistance will increase a lot as temperature increases. When it is low, resistance rises a smaller or negligible amount.

The TCR is relative to the starting resistance. This is why we lock in the resistance. The higher the starting resistance of the coil, the greater rate of increase in resistance with temperature.

Nickel - 0.006
Stainless Steel 304L - 0.00105
Stainless Steel 316L - 0.00092
Stainless Steel 317L - 0.00088
Titanium - 0.0035
Kanthal - .00002
Nichrome - 0.0004

Get TCR settings here for your DNA200 … steam-engine.org

The Misconception


The conception held by numerous indivisuals is that TC is for newcomers to prevent 'dry hits'. TC settings are temperature limiting but certainly not perfect in that regard. Advanced users feel they can handle power mode without getting a dry hit. However using TCR on advanced mods will get you a superior vape now. It takes some customization for TC to work effectively. When you get it right though the taste and the warmth of your vape can be set precisely to your likes. It isn't really just for 'dry hit' protection. It is for beginners but advanced users will use TC to get just the right vape for them. On a Hohmwrecker G2 I can set kanthal for the perfect vape with a little experimentation and a lot of patience. But once it is set it is better than power mode.

TCR is now used for Nichrome, Kanthal, Platinum, NI, TI and combinations of different wire in claptons and aliens. It is quite complicated and takes some practice and experimentation. It certainly is not for everyone. Now I am a mech guy primarily but I have a number of regulated devices and use TCR at times with my RDAs and often with my tanks - unfortunately some mods do not regulate TCR as well as others. But the ones that do are marvelous.

Well that is just about it. Comment and ask questions and someone will answer.

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(This post was last modified: 13-06-2016 11:37 PM by paulS.)
20-04-2016 03:02 AM
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peter-k Offline
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Post: #2
RE: TC - the quick and the dirty
According to PBusardo the Homewrecker fails with Kanthal in TC mode. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDS-jO8c_zU

Besides of that, I doubt it is necessary to have Kanthal TC. Kanthal is so ... yesterday Crazy
20-04-2016 04:29 AM
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TinWhisker (05-01-2017)
paulS Offline
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Post: #3
RE: TC - the quick and the dirty
PBusardo is wrong. If you adjust the TCR settings you get reasonable temperature sensing on your RDAs. It will prevent cotton burning. I know a few guys using it around here swearing by it and loving it. Temperature control is really in its infancy. It has not yet advanced far enough and has inherent flaws with the way mods and attys are currently constructed. It is more temperature sensing and temperature limiting. As to kanthal ... well I think SS is the way to go. Tastes clean, is flexible , works in TC or power mode. There we agree. But as it stands we still use a lot of kanthal. Might as well understand it.

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(This post was last modified: 20-04-2016 12:52 PM by paulS.)
20-04-2016 12:06 PM
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Michael Offline
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Post: #4
RE: TC - the quick and the dirty
Here's a question: what's the difference between Titanium and Nickel? I see on your list that nickel has twice the TCR, so it's more efficient in TC, so why is titanium even an option? Does it taste better than nickel or produce bigger clouds or something? 
20-04-2016 01:37 PM
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paulS Offline
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Post: #5
RE: TC - the quick and the dirty
TI has has a more predictable TC setting. That is to say it is presumably the most accurate for temperature sensing. However, I feel it has the most dangerous oxides. I will not use TI but you have to make your own decisions.

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20-04-2016 02:04 PM
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Don Offline
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Post: #6
RE: TC - the quick and the dirty
I'm actually dubious about the toxicity of titanium oxides. As these are the pigments in white paint. Of which rather a lot gets used annually.

On the other hand, I won't use nickel because of its powerful allergenic nature and general nastiness. Fortunately vaping conditions are highly unlikely to produce nickel tetra carbonyl which is thoroughly evil stuff. If the carbonyl bit doesn't get you, the carcinogenic nickel soot will.

Which is why titanium is an option though dry burning titanium is likely to be impressive if you manage to ignite it.

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20-04-2016 02:27 PM
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peter-k Offline
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Post: #7
RE: TC - the quick and the dirty
It is pretty hard to hand make coils from Nickel wire. I am not touching that one. Ti wire is a bit more easy to coil, but still soft. It's oxid is easy to see if there is some. I can live with it. I do dry burn Ti but very low, only 7 W and only pulse to slight orange glow.
SS is a lot easier to coil than Ti, it is relatively robust in comparison to the other two. It's slower ramp-up is no problem under TC. Most of my coils are SS316L. I don't like Kanthal and never use it anymore. The only plus it has it is very easy to make coils from it.
21-04-2016 03:24 AM
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TinWhisker (05-01-2017)
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Post: #8
RE: TC - the quick and the dirty
Pauls....I’ve recently jus come to love TC vaping for the simple fact that flavor is untouchable. I’ve started building my coils , well, I’m jus in the infancy of it all. But I had a weird experience maybe u can explain. The first wire I used was SS316L. Now I’ve used a few tank set ups that I could get these exact material coils for and loved em on TC mode. But when I built a couple dif coils with this wire I hated a taste that it gave off. I was givin this wire with a few other things to play with building on an RDA as I learn. The wire was from lightening vape. It’s probably years old. It’s a Clapton wire, but as I said it’s 316L. ..it’s a 36k/26s....there’s something in this discription that is the reason it’s giving off a horrid taste. What’s ur thoughts on this, as well as what (in ur opinion) is a SS wire I can order and build with. I do love the biggest best clouds I can get, but at the same time not suffer totally on flavor. I know there’s a lot that goes into deciding things like this. But I need somewhere to start, and mainly start WITHOUT the taste I got from that wire.
14-02-2018 11:21 PM
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Post: #9
RE: TC - the quick and the dirty
Are you sure it's SS316L, and are you sure your TCR is 0.00092? Your mod may be preset with SS304 instead of SS316, which is a different TCR (0.00105).
15-02-2018 12:01 AM
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gentlydoingit* (02-15-2018)
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Post: #10
RE: TC - the quick and the dirty
36k? 

Taste?? Like burned? Could be that it's not ss or even more likley a short.

Don't forget to apply for the freecycle section!
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15-02-2018 12:04 AM
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