The Kabuki has landed.
I am vaping on my first Nautilus Mini RBA build. Some things to report, for you & @Alisa.
Up for a challenge? LOL
Without a doubt, the tiniest deck I've ever built on. The screws are microscopic. From the time I took the RBA out of it's USC bath, to priming it, and putting some juice in the tank was almost exactly one hour. There's no instructions with the RBA. I found 2 youtube videos that give some half assed instructions, but they really don't have step by step instructions. They show the vertical & horiz builds, but no clear details. I just had to figure it out, for the most part. It was actually fun, but I'm a mutant that way.
I chose the vertical option. 5 1/2 wraps of 30 kanthal, on a 2 mm screwdriver. 5 1/2 because the coil ends end up 180 degrees apart, pointing in opposite directions. I went with a spaced coil, just because, no real reason other than I had to pick something. It turned out to be a bulls eye. 1.6 ohms, right in my wheelhouse, for what I like.
I primed it, and added a little juice to the tank and screwed it together. The tank sealed to the base fine, no leaks (so far). I put in a single flavor tobacco (Hangsen Highway) because I'm very familiar with how it tastes.
I was very very impressed with how good the taste was. I actually couldn't believe how well it was working.
I didn't want to push it too hard, and after vaping on it for a bit, at low power (9 watts) I started to detect a hint of dry hit. Just a hint. Now, I was having a bit of difficulty, wicking it, with my usual rayon wick, on the vertical build. The rayon wanted to just slide between the coils. I decided to use cotton instead. I thought that might hold it's 'flat pad' profile better, bending around the outside of the coil, and it did. That took care of one half. Getting another piece of cotton around the other half of the coil was more difficult. The negative leg was in the way. I decided to just stuff rayon on that side of the coil, to just have some wick back there. So, the wick is cotton on one side, and rayon on the other.
Being my first attempt, I really didn't know how dense to make the ends that get tucked into the juice wells. I just cut off the wick, leaving it long enough to stuff it in it's place, and took off. I think it needs less density in the wick ends. Maybe it's stuffed in there a little tight. I've been letting it sit, as I type, and just taking an occasional hit off it, and that helps, so I think the wick just isn't able to keep up, in it's present config. That's on me, but I needed to start somewhere. I'm sure it's just a matter of finding the sweet spot for the wick.
Over all, I think this RBA has potential, to make the Nautilus & Mini use-able, going down the road. It's just going to be a matter of experimenting with it, I think. I'm going to try a horiz build on it, next. I've never had much luck with vertical builds. The wicking always seems to be the hang up.
One thing I really like, is being able to pull the wick, and do a dry burn, to clean the coil. BIG plus in my book. You're not trapping the wires behind a rubber / silicone insulator. They're screwed down. In theory, I don't see why a coil wouldn't last quite a while.
It takes good eyes, or in my case, a good, magnified desk lamp, and some time, but it's a very doable RBA. When it was first primed it had excellent flavor. I think it was very close to BVC flavor quality, in my opinion. I think it's just a matter of experimenting and learning the preferred wicking method. I'm looking forward to the horiz & rayon combination.
All in all, I think it was a good $20 investment, for 2 of them. I think it may keep the Mini from being 'retired' due to coils being unavailable.