Ever since I first heard of squonking, it has to me seemed like a classic case of overcomplicating things. Tired of running around with your mod in one hand, a bottle in the other and having to drip every few minutes? The obvious solution is of course to remove one of the batteries from your mod, drill a small hole through the 510 connector in both mod and atty, put a small bottle inside the mod and drip from the bottom up every few minutes.
It works - but there is a much simpler and more elegant solution to that problem, and that is to simply use an RTA or RDTA instead.
Yes you can’t use your favourite RDA, if you have one, but you’re gonna have to pay the piper one way or another, and with the many excellent RTA’s and RDTA’s available nowadays, I don’t really consider that a problem.
I however also believe that you shouldn’t write something off before giving it a fair try, it might after all be the most ingenious invention since vaping itself, and I just haven’t seen the light yet. I got the opportunity to try squonking for myself, when I won a giveaway by @Heaven_gifts for the Anita regulated squonk mod by Arctic Dolphin, so I thought I would share my experience with it with my fellow forumites here.
The first three things I immediately noticed when I opened the package was: It is made of all plastic, it weighs less than my dark soul and Anita is a somewhat chubby lady.
Personally I’m really more of a full metal jacket guy, and I come from a generation where being heavy was considered a sign of quality, this isn’t necessarily the case anymore, and perhaps it never was, but old habits die hard. As I understand it, plastic has however pretty much become the standard for squonk mods even high end squonkers, so I’m no going to hold that against her.
As for the size, then the above pictures of Anita next to the Teslacigs Nano 120, which is anything but nano in both size and weight, and the Vaporesso Revenger X, which is a quite compact mod, will hopefully give you a good impression of her size.
Now she does take a 21700 battery (or 20700 or 18650 with the included adapter), so it is only natural that she has to be a bit larger than a dual 18650 mod, and it is a regulated mod with a board and everything, so she obviously has to be more voluminous than a mechanical squonker, but if we take a look inside
It to me seems like they could easily have shaved of a mm or two off here and there. It also looks like they could easily have fitted a much larger bottle in there, but more about that later.
The frame of the mod comes in three colours black, grey and silver, and it comes with 6 different colours/types of side panels. The one I got is with the black frame, but @Heaven_gifts also send me a full collection of all the panels, my favourites being the two types of wood looking panels.
And I say wood looking, because despite the “leather” and “wood” words in the description of the panels, they have never been anywhere in the vicinity of an actual tree or cow, but are instead 100% plastic like the rest of the mod. They do however each have a slightly different texture, and the “wood” panels kind of feels woodlike, the “leather” panels however won’t fool anybody and neither really feel or looks like leather. The black panels also isn’t the same black as the frame, which annoys me a bit, as an all stealth black mod would have looked cool, but is kind of destroyed by the two different shades of black.
The panels however do fit on very snug, and there is absolutely no lateral movement whatsoever, if you however squeeze or press on the corners of the panels then they will squeak and bend a little bit but nothing major. All in all I would say that the panels fit on very nicely. It also comes with an extra front panel without a squonk hole which you can use if you want to use it as a normal mod, personally I find it a bit superfluous and can’t really imagine that there are many that will ever use it, and I would rather have had an extra squonk bottle included, which there isn’t.
The frame of the mod unfortunately has some rather sharp edges, with is extra disadvantageous since the panels actually has a very nice curve to them, and it would have been a very comfortable mod to hold, if they had just rounded the edges of the frame a bit, I am actually very tempted to take a piece of sandpaper and round them a bit myself, but haven’t done so yet.
At the top where the 510 connector is, the frame is 27mm wide, so you would be able to fit a 27mm RDA without any overhang whatsoever, it however bulges out to 30mm at the centre of the panels so you might also be able to fit something a bit larger, without making it look too ridiculous.
The squonk bottle is a 7ml soft silicone bottle and … well as this is my first squonk experience then I don’t have anything to compare it to, so I can’t really tell you if it is gold or crap, actually that isn’t quite true, I can tell you that it is not complete crap. The bottle seem to be 100% airtight and doesn’t squirt juice into the mod when squonking, it also sucks any excess juice back into the bottle, though it does take some time for it to expand to normal size.
It only has a small metal lip on the top to grab onto when screwing the cap on and off, and to make it worse the actual bottle is slightly wider than the lip, so it is difficult but not impossible to screw the cap on without squeezing the bottle slightly and squirting a bit of juice on your hands. When I first got it, the cap was also screwed on so tightly that I had to use two pliers to get it off.
The easiest way to install the bottle in the mod, is in my experience to use a set of tweezers, grab it by the tube, and slide the tube onto the metal pipe. I have also managed to install it using only my hands a couple of times, by gently pressing the bottom of the bottle, but this is far more risky and if not careful, you will end up squirting juice inside the mod.
The bottle system is 100% standard and not a proprietary system, so if you don’t like the bottle there is many aftermarked bottles you can use instead, and as I mentioned earlier, there is plenty of room to fit something larger than the 7ml it comes with. It however doesn’t come with an extra bottle, which is a minor con imo.
She takes either a single 21700, 20700 or 18650 battery, and comes with an adapter for 18650. The battery connector is spring loaded at the negative end, and it is fairly easy to both install and remove your battery without any risk of tearing the wraps. The batteries also fits snugly without any battery rattle whatsoever, I have tested it with both a 18650 and 20700 battery, and it doesn’t matter how much or how violently I shake it, there is absolutely no rattling sounds, also not any button rattle.
The 510 connector is self adjusting, and does seem to have adequate seals to prevent leakage into the mod, it is however not what I would describe as being spring loaded. It feels more like it is the seals that provide a bit of elasticity, I have however not had any problems fitting any of my rda’s on it.
(Sorry for the blurry image, it proved a bit of a task to get a good photo of the screen)
The buttons are also as far as I can tell, made of plastic. They are however very clicky with only a very short movement and no mushiness to them at all, there is also absolutely zero button rattle, so even though I would have preferred metal buttons I’m going to give them a passing grade.
The screen is a standard size monochrome screen for side mounting, it is however of excellent quality. It is very bright, I actually have it set at only 35% brightness, and at 100% you would need sunglasses to avoid getting blinded. It contains all the necessary information without cluttering the screen with unnecessary graphics, and uses a very large and easy to read font. I have see screens more than twice as large as this, where the font was so small that you need a magnifying glass to actually see what you are doing.
The controls are fairly standard with 5 clicks to turn if on and off etc. I’m not going to go though all the options as you can read that in the manual yourself. I will however mention that 4 clicks will allow you to adjust the wattage in TC mode, which isn’t mentioned in the manual and I only discovered this by chance, this annoys me greatly and if I hadn’t discovered this by accident I would have been unable to use it in TC and this review would have been far less favourable.
Apart from power and TC mode, it also contains the option for power curves and bypass mode, neither of which I have tested. As far as I can tell it doesn’t have any way to lock the resistance nor does it have a stealth mode, the first an odd oversight imo, but it does seem to work fine in TC without it, and the latter is something that I would personally have appreciated, but is not a big deal.
According to the specs she can deliver up to 100 watts at either 7V and 45A or 9V and 40A, there is a discrepancy between the manual and the web site regarding max volts and amps, however regardless of which are the right numbers, it should mean that it can deliver this 100W at a rather large range of resistances. I have no way of verifying this, and I also don’t vape as such high wattages or have an RDA set up with coils large enough to test it at 100W. What I however can say, is that at the wattages I vape (30-60W) she delivers without any problems.
Those of you that know me, probably also know that I more or less exclusively vape using TC, and especially on a squonker where you will greatly benefit from the dry hit protection I would consider the TC performance to be alpha and omega. So consider everything up till this point to be the appetizer, now it gets serious!
If you fire the mod without actually puffing on the atty, you can both hear and see on the display that it starts high and stays high for a short period before taking a deep nosedive, slowly climb up again and continue in a slightly pulsing manner. This is however not greatly different from how most of my mods behave, and is not really something that you notice when actually puffing on the RDA.
More importantly it does give you the all important dry hit protection, no matter how hard I have tried I have not succeeded in getting a dry hit out of it. It simply throttles down on the power giving me less and less vape until the wicks are bone dry. Firing it without any wicks at all, I even managed to provoke a “no e-liquid” error message.
The default TCR for SS also seems to be fairly accurate at least with the wire I use, perhaps a little bit on the cold side, but not so much that I have found the need to manually adjust the TCR settings.
All in all I’m actually impressed by the performance, it is obviously not DNA performance in TC mode, but it works!
The big question here is of course if I can recommend Anita to others?
And the answer is YES – without any reservations or buts!
Whether you like the looks, feel, form or size of her, is of course a question you can only answer yourself, what I however can say is that during the time I have tested her, I haven’t found a single major flaw, problem or con, there is some minor and subjective cons, but if I were to sum this up in a single sentence it would be “She Works”.
The other big question is if my positive experience with Anita has converted me into a squonker, will I retire or sell all my RTA’s and non squonking mods and live out my life as a squonker, and the answer to that question is a no.
I appreciate that I get to use my RDA’s more often, and I have used Anita in my daily rotation, however whenever I leave the house I still grab one of my other mods. The big problems imo is that you get less battery life, and it is so much more fiddly and messy to fill the squonk bottle compared to filling an RTA. And yes I know, you can get some refill bottles that makes it easier, but I never vape 30ml of the same juice in a row, in fact I rarely vape two tanks of the same juice in a row, so I would need something like 30 refill bottles.