Time to Turn Up the Temp
If you’ve had a play around with your mod or delved into the world of vaping online, you’ve probably heard of Temperature Control (TC) vaping. What is it? How does it work? Can I use it? What do I need? Why would I use it? What’s the point? How’s the weather? What are you wearing? Whoa, ease up on the questions! We’ll get there but firstly, it’s nice and sunny, and I’m repping the Super Vape Store shirt, of course.
Starting with “huh?”
At times, your coil can reach well above its optimal temperature, leading to a vaping experience that’s too hot – even causing minor burns – or exposing you to that infamous hellscape known as a “dry hit”. Elsewise, you may go in for your first hit in a while and you need to take 3 or 4 puffs before it gets to your sweet spot. TC is designed to avoid all of this. It is far from fool-proof but it’s a pretty good step. It works by capping the temperature that your coil reaches, instead of supplying a steady power.
How does it work?
The good news here is that you don’t need to understand all the science behind it to use TC. Your mod carries the workload there. If you don’t want flashbacks of sitting in high school science class, staring at the clock, praying the nightmare will end, you have my permission to skip this part. If you’re still reading, then like me, you enjoy twisting your brain and getting into the nuts and bolts of things. Let’s dig in.
If you’re this far in, you’re likely familiar with the idea of resistance (measured in ohms: Ω) – a measure of how easily an electrical current passes through an object, and in the case of vaping, a coil.
Temperature Coefficient of Resistance
The temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR: measured /°C) is a value that represents how an object’s resistance changes with heat. The following equation is used to determine the resistance at a given temperature.
Thankfully, most of the hard work has already been done for us. The metals used in vaping already have known TCRs and most TC mods have preset values for the most common TC wires; stainless steel (SS), titanium (Ti) and nickel (Ni or Ni200). On your mod, the TCR is usually represented as a whole number, representing the significant figures. E.g. ni200 has a TCR of approximately 0.006. That could be represented as 60, 600 or 6000, depending on the mod’s level of accuracy.
At this point, you might be wondering why Voopoo listed a coefficient range, not a single value. That’s because the TCR often differs depending on the temperature set and grade of the metal and it’s not uncommon for different manufacturers to use different preset values. That’s why a very handy feature to have in your mod is the ability to adjust the TCR. This is usually done within the preset metal’s mode or in a separate TCR mode. If you’re using a mod with Evolv’s DNA chip, steam-engine.org have CSV files available for most wires.
What do I need to use TC?
First and foremost, you need a TC mod. Thankfully, these days, most box mods have TC. Voopoo’s GENE.FIT, Vaporesso’s Axon and Evolv’s DNA chipsets are just a few that are capable. Although, if you’re looking for the best, it’s hard to go past DNA’s customisability.
Next, you’ll need TC compatible wire. SS, titanium and Ni200 are a few of the most common wires that can be used in TC but, as always, if you have or suspect you have a nickel allergy, avoid Ni200 like the plague and you at least should be cautious about using SS. Check which grade you’re using, the reputability of the manufacturer and look around for other’s experiences.
The last thing you’ll need is a decent set of batteries. I don’t just mean any old set that works. Make sure they’re reliable models and that you’re getting the real deal. Hohmtech or Sony batteries from reputable suppliers will do you well.
A somewhat optional, but ultimately helpful, thing to have is your user manual. Having limited buttons, mod menus can get a little tricky sometimes. If you’ve thrown the box away, most big manufacturers have their user manuals in the “Support” or “Download” section on their websites. If nothing else, you can often find rough guides on YouTube on how to navigate your mod’s menu.
How do I use TC?
Now that you’ve got all the supplies you need, it’s time to actually use them. Set your mod to your relevant TC preset or TCR mode. Check your user manual for exactly how to do it but it’s usually as simple at selecting it from the menu or 3 presses of the fire button to cycle through the modes.
The next thing you’ll want to do, if applicable, is lock your resistance at room temperature before vaping or dry firing. As noted, your mod is expecting the resistance to rise as the coil gets hotter and so it needs a reference point. It’s a good habit to do this every time you change or clean your coil as well.
Common temperature ranges are roughly 100°C - 315°C (200°F - 600°F) and adjust in 5° increments. If you’re using replaceable coils, their recommended range is usually printed on their box or on the side of the coil itself. Try and stick within that range. If you’re using rebuildables, you’ll have a bit more freedom to play around with. Common temperatures to start with are within 200°C - 250°C (400°F - 500°F), depending on what style of vape you’re going for. As always, your sweet spot is entirely subjective. Have a little play around and find out what works for you.
Most newer mods also allow you to also adjust the wattage within TC mode. It will cap and lower the wattage as needed once it reaches the temperature set. A good indication for what wattage to set it at is 5w – 10w higher than you would for a similar coil in power mode. Again, this is subjective.
And that’s it! A little bit of a fuss to start with but think back to when you first started vaping; experimenting with different coils, wattage ranges, inhale styles, airflow; and it’s really not that big of a deal.
What’s the point?
There are a few benefits to use TC compared to power mode. First, dry hits. Ugh. I only typed the words and I can already taste it again. Nobody likes them. When your coil starts getting dry, it will naturally get hotter. TC can detect that and tone down the power. Dry hits not only come with searing heat and traumatising taste, they also pack some nasty toxins – formaldehyde being one of the big ones. No monstrous taste and a lack of formaldehyde sound good to me.
How often do you need to replace your coil or wick? Once a fortnight? Once a week? Every other day? TC can lengthen that time as well. By avoiding overpowering your coil, you get to enjoy the sweet nirvana of a clean coil for longer.
Battery life: a concern for many. Either you need to make sure you have your cable at the ready or pack a spare set of batteries if you plan on having a big day with your vape. TC can also help save your battery life by not wasting unnecessary power. Some users estimate that TC vaping uses a little as 2/3 that of vaping in power mode.
Lastly, it’s consistent. As I said at the start, sometimes you may be chain vaping and it gets way too hot or you need to chain vape just to reach your sweet spot. TC removes the headache of it all. You get the same temperature, every time.
To sum up
After a little bit of research and testing, it may seem like TC is the vaping messiah and there are many that would agree with you. There is always a whole new realm to step into. So, have a go and find the pleasure in the longer-lasting, dry hit free land of TC.