Vaporizer Rebuild


Wait! Don’t click away yet. Yes, this is a vaporizer project, but it has the distinction of being the most electronics engineering oriented post on the subject we’ve ever featured. [Mm Nn’s] vaporizer broke so he decided to fix it. After poking around inside it became clear that pretty much everything was trashed. So this ended up being a complete rebuild of all the support circuitry, with the heating element being the only electrical component he could salvage.

He started looking around for a power supply capable of driving the element from the Arizer V-tower vaporizer. He hoped that he could use a computer PSU but ended up having to buy one to suit; a Mean Well rs-100-24. He drives the system with a microcontroller (programmed in assembly) using PWM to adjust the element. Speaking of, there is a sensor built into the heating element that [Mm] isn’t using because he couldn’t figure out how to read from it. If you’ve got some ideas let us know in the comments.


36 thoughts on “Vaporizer Rebuild

  1. I’ve heard quite a few people call them baby vapourizers, which i always thought sounded evil, and a bit like the weapons used in war of the worlds… They’re even labelled as such in the local walmart and such… maybe it is a regional thing…

  2. I didn’t see a pic of the heating element that he’s talking about. Maybe that can help to see what the sensors look like and how they may work. Barring that, my best guess is that he didn’t initialize the processor to read the sensors properly. You need to set the cold and hot points if the sensors are thermocouples. If that doesn’t would, you need to set a reference temperature lead at the lowest known temperature you can and then use the other lead as your measuring lead by setting the cold and hot points in reference to the other lead.

    This method can also help you in finding out whether the sensors are voltage or resistive based.

  3. Perhaps the new corporate overlords will see fit to ban articles about drugs. Leave the drugs to some other lower brow sites, I’m not interested in them. If you want to get all philosophical and such, you are setting a bad example to young hackers that traffic your site, showing them that doing drugs is okay.

        1. Cannabis Law in the UK is pretty clear about it’s stance on drugs and paraphernalia.

          Cannabis is illegal to posess, manufacture or distribute as a rule (some extreme exceptions).

          Paraphernalia is not. At all.

      1. Problem is that hacks like this means I can not recommend this site to anyone under 18. Parents will get bent. Schools will get upset. And it is illegal in most of the US and probably many other countries. Maybe an offshoot site called grasshack or something would be better suited to drug hacks.

        1. Exactly my point. I used to like this site until they hired a bunch of druggie writers who think this stuff is cool. This site is totally NSFW now. Thing is I’ve complained about this many times and they just go look for more drug paraphernalia to write about. These people don’t know a good hack anyways. All they are is cheap copycats that look on other sites like lifehacker ect which are way better. This site used to have unique stuff not just a rebranded NSFW site.

          1. That is just it. Posting this kind of hack does seem to draw posts but they are all. We do not like this kind of hack or get over it. HAD could drop the gun hacks also but those are not all that common or easy to duplicate or frankly illegal in many places in the US. I work with a good number of young people that I would love to recomend HAD to but just can not because of content like this.

    1. There is nothing “low-brow” about a vaporizer – it is a controlled heating element used for a variety of purposes. By the way, Dad, doing drugs is quite OK for some people.

    2. If you’re in Uruguay, cannabis is no more illegal than coffee.

      This is a site about hacks and hacking appealing to a worldwide audience. What purpose does ‘legality’ have here?
      Drugs has been the hot topic of discussion here many times – with the general consensus being ‘If you don’t like it, don’t read it’.
      Move on.

    3. Not sure how this post and what it feature directed you down this road. Caffeine is most likely the first drug many people abuse, so no more participation by by the Hackaday staff in Red Bull promotional contests & if they do no more on camera consumption of booze. Yea know caffeine is legal, but legal is doesn’t mean not subject to abuse no more Red Bull post, kegerators on so on for the sake of the kiddies. Not like the kiddies ever had to rely on publications when as in every thing else they only observe the adults they are around. God save us from the self described moral majority, as they are morally ambiguous, more often than not.

      1. I move around a lot for my job, and I find it interesting how much the popular stance on this subject changes from one region to the next. In many states, weed is demonized and considered very bad for your mental health but in many others it is considered just another bad habit like drinking, smoking (nicotine) and McDonalds. In these states the laws are generally considered by the public to be outdated leftovers from a different time, but not worthy of the lawmakers time to repeal.

        I say keep these posts coming, as long as they are interesting and informative. And the same goes for other questionable content. I am here because I am a geek and I love to learn new ways of doing things, even if its new ways of doing things I’m not interested in doing. I have no desire to build a weapon but I found this post very interesting as well.

    4. This wasn’t an article about ‘drugs’, it was an article about a vaporizer more specifically, the electronics within them. This is a good example of a hack since he completely rebuilt it himself.

      Just because drugs make you uncomfortable for whatever reason doesn’t mean you have to get all bent out of shape at the first slight mention of them. Just calm down and enjoy reading about the hack, and if you don’t like drugs just move on to the next article.

    5. Maybe our corporate overlords will become more progressive and help start the war on alcohol.

      More of these articles please, less articles about brewing alcohol (unhealthy / wife beating / drunk drivers killing people on a regular basis / addiction / infant deformities). :p

  4. Thank you all for your lovely comments.
    cHRIS: When I think of baby vape I think of the hand-held versions.
    Rollyn01: Ren: While I could not find the exact model, it looks exactly like a white ceramic soldering gun heating element with the same type of leads. I don’t know if outside links to a pictures were allowed in the comments so I didn’t post that. I have no idea what kind of ouptut it is supposed to give, but I would love to use it. If it is a fuse, it is still intact with R=.1 ohms. The original manufactured design did make use of it, which is why I want to know so much. I am sure the thing is not voltage based because I would measure it at different temperatures and all I would get would be noise.
    Rollyn01: Whatever kind of feedback the element has, it is two terminal.
    Brenden: While I think that project is really awesome and better than mine, the schematics seem to be a secret. The goal of my project was to be as cheap as possible while still maintaining high accuracy. My project cost $50 (minus tools).
    Perry Harrington: I make no mention of controlled substances in my article. You have quite the imagination…
    >>lower brow sites
    I most certainly do not want to get philosophical. Drugs are bad M’kay?

    1. Wow, so am I the only one here who immediately thinks of those water vapour/Vicks vaporizers. It seems everyone else went with drug vaporizing instead. Granted I didn’t originally click through as i was at work and the blocking we have wouldn’t let me through, and I didn’t go back after work, but wow. I honestly thought it was a “increase your humidity” vaporizer, not a “increase your high” vaporizer…lol

  5. I personally relate more to a hack of this kind that to the dozens of gun hacks I saw here.
    And by the way, a drug is a drug because you call it this way, not because it is … Tobacco and alcohol anyone ?

  6. For all the people who say “you’re projecting”, this article was filed under the “Marijuana Hacks” category. Y’all must think the world is daft and doesn’t know drug paraphernalia when they see it!

    1. Umm yes, the world is daft, hence the misunderstandings and propaganda about the use of drugs which is neither good or bad, but a fact of life. We have used drugs since the dawn of time. Abusing drugs or anything (food, power, money, etc.) can be considered unhealthy, moderation and balance is the key to everything. The majority of porn subscriptions per capita are in Utah and GOP states, because they are too daft to know about free porn. Since you can’t turn a child loose on the internet in general, what makes you think HaD has to censor itself. I swear people that police the fun out of everything, but then behind closed doors reach into their own sin bin, are a bunch of hyper-hypocritical-holier-than-thou-horse-humpers. What is better than pretending drugs/sex/rock and roll don’t exist or censoring them is to explain to kids what is out there and the pitfalls they need to avoid…much more realistic and effective.

    2. There is no harm whatsoever in responsible use of substances, but you can keep on drinking that Kool-Aid (the variety of which you’re drinking, incidentally, is the one substance that truly ought to be illegal.)

  7. A few problems:

    Temperature isn’t linear with power input (nor with duty cycle)
    The capacitor makes the power circuit soft-off (only the intrinsic diodes in the two power BJTs discharge it), but not particularly soft-on (currently it goes to full on in 100us), and it’s inrush current that kills things. Either remove the capacitor altogether, to reduce power dissipation in your BJTs, or increase the 330 ohm resistor to slow down inrush.

    As an arbitrary guess, the sensor might be a ptc thermistor; they’re one of the cheapest and fine over the temperature range this device should be running at. But they’re not very linear.

  8. Arizer vaporizers use simple predictive logic. The sensor is designed to read differentials in a high-low pattern, just like the O2 sensor in a car’s intake.

    Arizer makes a sophisticated vaporizer that’s only now starting to be dethroned by Pax.

  9. People have different opinion and for me that should be respected. And this cannabis thing should not be banned especially for medical reason use by authorized institution like hospitals. But should be banned if use for violence and crime and people who are under 18 years old.

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