Monkey University Reboot: Parallel vs Series batteries.

This is the first installment of the Monkey University Reboot. I won’t have a schedule for these, it’ll be more of a “As I come up with topics to discuss” type of situation. Today’s topic: Parallel vs Series battery configurations.

A lot of devices out, and coming out, are utilizing more than 1 battery. Some are running in Parallel and others in Series. Let’s lay a little ground work.
Parallel configuration means you’ve got all of the negative terminals on one side and all of the positive terminals on the other. I.e. you connect the negative side of all of the batteries to one another and to the ground or negative terminal of your circuit (or mod), and you connect the positive terminals of all of the batteries together and then connect that to the positive terminal of your circuit (or mod).

Series configuration has the batteries in.. well, in series. You have the circuit’s negative connected to one battery’s negative terminal, then you ‘stack’ the batteries. The battery that is connected to the negative terminal will connect it’s positive terminal to the negative terminal of the next battery and that will repeat until you’ve got the number of batteries you want in the chain and then the positive terminal of the last battery connects to the positive terminal of your circuit. Think about a maglight or any other flashlight that uses multiple batteries in a tube stacked on top of each other. This is a series configuration.

*** Important note: Always use identical batteries when using multiple in series OR parallel. It’s important that the batteries are the same make, model, mAh, voltage, etc. It’s best if they are both the same age as well, as in, pair 2 batteries at birth and keep them together.  For the sake of the rest of this post, I will be assuming we are using matching, 3.7v batteries.***

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SXMini by Yihi now available.

If you know what the SXMini is and what it does, feel free to skip the rest of this and just head over HERE to pick one up or swing by the store if you’re in the area. If you don’t… read on, cause this is a fantastic device with a lot going on.

sxmini (1)

Yihi is a company in China that makes a lot of the chips you find in various variable wattage devices. The SX350, SX130, SX330, etc. Until now, they’ve never made an actual ‘device’. I believe they were waiting until they could do it right… and boy did they. The SXMini feels premium as soon as you open up the box. The build quality and craftsmanship are just fantastic. It’s unfortunate that we’re conditioned to automatically feel like if something came out of China that it’s going to be cheaply made and poorly crafted. There are plenty of cases where that is true, but Yihi has really raised the bar with this product.

The SXMini is powered by the SX350-Mini chipset. It’s capable of 60w on a single 18650 battery as long as it’s a good quality 18650 like our Samsung 25Rs. But more than that, it has a bevy of interesting and useful features. Aside from the normal stuff like Micro USB charging and the ability to step up, or down the voltage to provide a wide range of wattages regardless of atomizer resistance, it also comes with 5 memory settings for your various wattage level needs. You can set all 5 memory settings to different wattage levels and quickly switch between them depending on your taste. Beyond that is the new “modes” they’ve programmed into the chip. Soft, Standard, and Powerful.

The modes sounded silly to me at first, but once I started playing with the thing and swapping some atomizers around, I found that they really take the vaping experience to the next level. I don’t mean the next power level, I mean the next level of control and refinement.

Standard mode is what you’d expect, you set the device to 40w and it fires at 40w. It’s clean and consistent.

Soft Mode will start out below your defined wattage and then ramp up to the setting you have currently. This creates an interesting experience as the coil starts off a little cooler and heats up during your draw, the impact it has on flavor is pronounced. If you’re vaping a more complicated juice, like Black Cloud or NannerBear running in soft mode will bring out nuances of the flavor that you don’t normally pick up and the contour of temperature makes certain liquids really shine and take on a whole new level of complexity.

Powerful mode is also pretty nice, as you can probably guess, it starts out higher than your current defined setting then cools down to your setting. Where this really shines is surface area builds and heavy gauge wire builds. If you’ve got a coil set up that takes a little while to warm up, using powerful mode will jumpstart the coil to operating temperature and really give you that punch. This means you can use a thicker wire and build a higher resistance coil to get massive surface area on the heating element and kick it into life right from the start. After playing with it a bit myself, you can get some serious flavor production with this setting in a RBA.

Ultimately, I’m impressed with this product. You can click that link above for the full range of features on the product page. Needless to say, the thing is worth every penny. Yes, you can get a big clunky box that puts out more raw power, but the refined experience and build quality in this device is just a cut above any of the other variable devices coming out of China right now.

Super Simple Sampler Sale! And Decodence soft launch.

Howdy, All.

In honor of the final Simple juice hitting the shelves we’ve decided to do something silly… we’ve never offered sample packs and rather than doing some dinky 5ml sampler, we’ve decided to just offer up all 15 flavors in a Super Sampler for $45. Yes, 15x 30ml bottles, one of each Simple Flavor for $45, that’s 450ml of juice!

We’ve also started the soft launch of the Decodence line with Black Cloud, White Cloud, and Blue Cloud. Currently limited stock and only available in 6mg. We’ll be rolling more out as soon as possible as well as adding 0, 3, and 12mg strengths. This is a complicated juice and will only be produced in batches. Each Decodence juice comes packaged in a sealed can with the 30ml glass bottle and an additional 5ml LDPE Convenience bottle (5ml bottle is empty).

You can find the samplers and the Decodence line HERE,  or swing by the store and pick it up in person!

happy-bear

 

 

The Blog Reboot

Seriously this time… I’ll be posting updates via the blog for ‘most’ things. They’ll go out to the Twitters, facebooks, and google+’s as well. (btw, follow us on those pages!).

What’s been going on: Added a bunch of fancy stuff over the last couple of months to the USA Hardware section. The FUFDA, our own mechanical mod, made right here in the US (mostly in Fort Worth!) which is an affordable authentic and open source tube mod. No user adjustments, all atomizers fit flush, all “good” batteries fit with no rattle, just slap on an atty, put in a battery, and go. Also, I’ve got a limited stock of the TwoTonian Box mods which are parallel 18650 boxes, hand made and custom from a wonderful modder down in Florida. These use a MOSFET switch, have an aluminum chassis and have custom wood or acrylic panels on the front and back which are magnetically attached and interchangeable. This is my personal daily carry right now, I love the modern art feel of the device.

We’ve got a big ol sale going on starter kits with all the basic kits discounted, the iStick’s on sale, added the new MVP20W from Innokin, and introduced the GigantopitheKIT which is Aspires Sub Ohm battery + the Atlantis sub Ohm clearomizer. I’m currently sporting an atlantis on my Twotonian and it’s been an absolute dream to not have to fiddle with builds and get that ‘clearo’ useability with RBA style performance and vapor production/flavor.

Grizzly Vapes final flavor has launched, Simple 15 (tastes like purple). We’ll be having a pretty big celebration sale that will start either tonight or tomorrow, more on that later.

And finally… the Decodence line is live in the B&M and will be going up on the website tonight. Initially launching in 6mg only, we’ll be following up with 0, 3, and 12mg. It’s unlikely we’ll offer 18mg in this juice but if I see enough demand, we’ll consider it. Black Cloud is my ADV right now. All of the juice Ursimian puts out is amazing and I’ve been hooked on Nanner/Polar Bear for the last 2 years but… Black Cloud just takes the cake for me.

Stay tuned for a juice sale announcement this afternoon, and make sure you like/follow/share, word of mouth is the only marketing I have in my budget ;)

 

-Lance

step5

I’m a bad blogger. Big update, followed by more activity.

So,

I’m a bad blogger. Things got a little nuts for a while with the new store, quitting my day job, and a number of other “life factors” both business and non business related… but I’m back and will be posting MUCH more frequently to the blog. I promise this time!
I’ll be putting up a number of posts today with updates on various things that have happened over the last 6 months or so, including new products, the FUFDA, the new store, and I’ll close out with some “What’s coming down the pipe”. Stay tuned, and sorry for the spammy nature of all the posts that’ll be going up today, there’s a lot to catch up on and I’d rather break it up into multiple posts than put up one HUGE one you’d fall asleep in the middle of and possibly miss the part that you actually care about.

-Lance

Ursimian LLC, now the proud distributor of Loki Lab products.

Howdy, folks!

 

I’m proud to announce that Ursimian has picked up the Loki Lab brand. We will be acting as the official wholesale distributor for all current and future Loki Lab products. If you’re unfamiliar with Loki Lab, check out their website at http://lokilab.com. Hint: They made the Omega that’s been cloned all to hell now!

This comes at just the right time, they’ve cranked out a new, exciting dripping atomizer. The Odin. This is an awesome little piece of kit, all made right here in the USA and will retail at ~$65. Dual coil capable, built in AFC, Peek insulators… stay tuned for more detail.
If you’re a store owner and interested in Loki Lab products or any other Ursimian wholesale opportunities, you can email to monkey@ursimian.com.
Ursimian also offers the Grizzly Vapes juice line, custom juice development, pre-processed wick and wire, and more exciting products are coming to our portfolio every day!

Are you a manufacturer who would rather spend your time ‘making’ things instead of trying to run the retail or wholesale side? Contact us, we’d love to handle your distribution as well!

-Lance

 

Introducing Flavor of The Month discounts (FOTM Coupon).

As of May, I’m starting a Flavor of The Month coupon. Each month I’ll be highlighting a specific flavor from the Grizzly Vapes line or a “special guest” juice I pick up from another juice crafter. During that juices month you can put in FOTM in the coupon code and it’ll give ya 10% off that juice.

This month… Nanner Bear! (surprise)

The juice that started it all. This is the original.

A year ago I ran into this big bearded dude at a convention in Tampa who introduced himself as “lolerwaffles”. After a confused moment, I remembered having some discussions about steeping and juice quality with the guy on Reddit. We hung out a bit and chit chatted there in the bay. Good times were had by all.
After I got home, I got a package from him, some cobalt blue dropper bottles with “Nannerbear” on the side. I didn’t think anything of it, I get stuff like this pretty often.
The juice got set aside while I was dealing with some other stuff. I’d tried the juice but it was in passing and in an atomizer I hadn’t really cleaned out right so it just tasted blended with whatever I’d had in there. A little while after I got the package my phone rang… it was my bearded buddy from Tampa. While on the phone I hooked it up with a proper clean set up and tried it. I like to tell people my reaction was confusion followed by amazement. The first hit raised an eyebrow… I didn’t know wtf I was tasting. There was some banana in there obviously and something… cooling, not menthol, not “mint” just… cool. There were a bunch of different things all going on, not in conflict with each other but in this weird dance of flavors and sensations, it was hard to explain. I took another hit and both eyebrows went up. This stuff was GOOD. So I told him I’d buy every bottle he had made, throw it up in Monkey Labs. If it sold and got decent reviews, I’d buy a batch from him and it’d become a permanent juice in my line up.
1 year later, Lolerwaffles and I have spun up an entirely new company called Ursimian LLC specifically for wholesale and juice manufacture, we have 3 bears, another premium line in the works, and an entire “Simple” line. We’re carried in multiple stores around the US and EU, we’re opening a store/processing facility, and we’re working up a whole new line of hardware. On top of all of that… I’m still freakin vaping Nannerbear. I can’t put the stuff down!

I guess what I’m sayin is… this juice is so damn good, it started a company, moved a family half way across the country, and most importantly, made me a friend and business partner. <3
If you haven’t had it, now’s the time. If you have and love it, now’s the time to stock up!

http://www.steammonkey.com/Nannerbear_by_Grizzly_Vapes_p/j-p-tb-nanner.htm

FDA proposal posted: CASAA, Vapers, Vendors… time to act.

Do not waste time.

The FDA released their proposal for regulation today and it’s… long. It’s not as bad as it could have been, but it does have a lot of language in it that can be construed as very scary in the long term. It’s not the end of vaping as we know it or anything like that, but the foundational nature of some of these proposals can put quite a bit of power into the FDAs hands with a lot of blanket regulations that will create a very hostile environment for innovation and development or just continuing our business.

Some of these proposals are excellent. Federal rulings on age restriction means individual states are less likely to create their own regulations, driven by “Won’t some one think of the children” but used to sneak other rules into play.

What we, the vaping community need to do is respond. That is what this is about, they spell out methods of reply in the document (linked below) and I think it is imperative that we all do so. More than anything, vendors and manufacturers need to be responding and above that, CASAA and our other organizations need to put together a VERY thorough response, post it publicly and allow the consumers and vendors to use it as a reference document in our communications and feedback to the FDA. I would recommend that get done within a week.

Important notes from the current proposal that you need to think about.

1. “accessories” vs “tobacco products”. Currently, as it’s stated, not just the juice, but also anything used in the consumption of the “tobacco product” is set to be regulated by the FDA. This may or may not include essentially ‘anything’ we have outside of carrying cases and stands. Because of the wording, there are grounds to consider mods, PVs, batteries (marketed for vaporizers), atomizers, RDAs, RBAs, cartomizers, Kanthal, wicking material, even drip tips, all part of the body of product that they have the right to regulate. This means, if you develop a new mechanical mod or RBA, it may have to go through the full approval process just like a pack of cigarettes.

my personal thoughts on this one: Juice should be regulated. Prebuilt or self contained atomizers (i.e. the coil and wick material are already assembled, think cartos, evod replacement heads, etc) should be regulated. “DIY” atomizers should NOT be regulated. This includes RBAs, RTAs, etc. The “tank” of a clearomizer or carto tanks should not be included. Power supplies (i.e. mods, pvs, mechs, whatever you want to call them) should not be regulated. My reasoning for the parts that SHOULD be regulated is that those have the greatest potential for negative health impact if processed, assembled, or otherwise handled improperly during manufacture and development. The other products have a much lower potential impact on the users health and by over regulating them we will stifle innovation and grind the current explosion of development in the community to a halt.

2. The document is obviously based on “Cigarette” style E-cigarettes. I believe this has caused a lot of ambiguity and odd wording that can potentially screw those of us that are using more advanced product. “cartridge” as a term isn’t really a commonplace thing in the vaping world, is a clearomizer a cartridge or just the head? Is an RBA a cartridge? Is a bundle of wick material considered a tobacco product now?… We need to more clearly define categories of the various parts of our devices and express to them that they are being extremely limiting in scope with their definitions.

3. Even “products containing 0 nicotine” can be considered tobacco products and could require labeling saying “derived from tobacco” etc. This means, even if you pull back to 0 nic and want to vape still, it’s possible that the devices you’d use for it will be regulated and restricted and sold as tobacco products. If the device has a battery, metal tube, some stainless mesh, kanthal wire, and a liquid comprised of the same ingredients you might find in a bottle of juice in the cooler section of the gas station, it should NOT be considered a tobacco product. This all pans back to the definitions of accessories and tobacco products. I can’t emphasize this enough.

4. Flavors: They are setting the ground work to eliminate flavors. The argument has been put out there a million ways, I don’t think I need to expand on that more.

5. “Quitting” in multiple places in this document they say that there is no proof that people have quit smoking or that vaping is an effective method of quitting smoking. I believe they are basing this on the concept of using vaping as a cessation device with the intent of completely quitting NICOTINE not just “Smoking” or tobacco use. Nicotine does NOT equal tobacco. The goal of (I believe) most vapers, is to switch to vaping instead of simply quitting all together. If you write, you should make a note of the last time you used a combustable tobacco product and highlight any health improvements you’ve experienced since switching. They need to be made aware that vaping isn’t being used by the majority of people like a patch or pack of nicotine gum. yes, some people are doing that, but most of us are just trying to reduce our dependance and reduce the negative health impacts our addiction has. They openly admit that the toxins found in vapor are dramatically lower than in traditional tobacco. That should be an endorsement of Vaping as a harm reduction practice and they should stop focusing on vaping as a potential cessation practice.

Those are my primary highlights. Here’s the link to the actual proposal.

http://www.ofr.gov/(S(axtmtr20nu1bl20q4r3shcjt))/OFRUpload/OFRData/2014-09491_PI.pdf

Go, read, reply. Stand up for what you believe it. give them the appropriate information. And CASAA et al, help us… translate this stuff for the masses in language they understand. I’ll be posting breakdowns of various bits and pieces as I have time but I’m also going to be drafting my own responses to the FDA from my own position as a vendor, manufacturer, and product developer. THIS is the time to act, don’t just complain on the internets to each other, take that energy and let the FDA know how you feel and how you believe it should be.