I’ve been building quite a few PCBs in the past, mainly electronic speed controllers for brushless e motors. At the moment I am looking into components to build a mod and found the yihi board and the DNA board as possible candidates for my first own mod.
I was wondering if there are any DIY solutions out there yet. The boards look quite simple to me and very similar to the speed controllers I’ve built. There seem to be mosfets and a controller chip as the main components which I think I could solder myself.
Unfortunately electronics are a little bit like painting with numbers for me. I can solder stuff together with soldering irons or hot air and upload programs to Atmega chips but I can’t design boards myself.
Does anybody know of a DIY VW board project?
Thanks a lot
I think @Whiterose0818 is the man you should talk to about this.
Paging WhiteRose…WhiteRose line one!
Here i am.
Mr @Bad_Influence, i can help you.
just going by what you said, there are at least a couple of ideas that come to mind:
first, DNA kits:
there are several options there, including DNA 75, 200 and 250. Most of everything you need is in those kits. If you dont like the idea of battery sleds, lemme know and i’ll line you up with lipo solutions.
second, some PWM mods:
parts for PWM mods:
There are more, but thats a good start.
i have built DNA before and those are ok, IMO, but i currently build PWM now, as they suit my needs better than anything and they are very fun to build.
Dont hesitate to ask questions.
Tag me or PM me for a quicker response time!
thanks for the info, that’s definitely a good start. I was planning a VW board but the PWM sounds very interesting as well. I’ve read @Pugs1970 review of the mod you built for him. I’m just not completely getting it - what are you regulating with the pot? Is it the voltage? I assume if you set a voltage it will deliver the amps you need in order to keep the voltage up to the set value? I’m just so used to using power mode.
I thought about using a DNA board because the high current is managed via mosfets and there is only a small current on the switch. High currents can be a problem for mechanical unregulated mods because the switches are made for AC rather than DC so they die eventually.
I was looking for a DNA equivalent as a DIY project to save some money and to brush up on my soldering. So I’m still looking for such a project but for now I’ll have a closer look at the PWM mods. Seems to be much cheaper anyway.
my clients are pouring in, so i will reply later!
I knew there was something I was forgetting…dammit!
Listen, I gotta get some sleep…5am comes quickly…
If you don’t hear from me tomorrow, remind me. I love sharing, especially to those who are eager.
I have a ton of clients tomorrow, but I anticipate being done around 4ish EST. I have a build planned tomorrow evening, so I’ll be elbow deep…perfect time for questions! I got 2 new boards today and really wanna try em out! Gunstar Mods pwm board.
PWM stands for Pulse Width Modulation. Basically, it pulses the entire battery voltage over and over again. The potentiometer adjusts the duty cycle of the pulses. It’s unregulated, unless you have a board like the Smart PWM v2.2, which allows you to lock the voltage output. Those are from voltrove.com, but I think he’s out of boards. Nevertheless, look at some pwm boards online, like the links and names I’ve posted and even on ebay. They are extremely cheap to buy and even cheaper to build!
Gotta go…I’ll hit you soon, and if not, hit me!
BTW: pwm Mods hit differently than normal power mode Mods. There’s something about them…they just do something to the flavor!
Thanks @Whiterose0818, no rush! I have enough material to work through for now. Come back whenever you’re ready.
Fasttech has lots of pcb boards.
- subbox 75w pcb (i bought 5 and all work well) https://m.fasttech.com/p/4507200 (11$)
- Jigan 160w pcb https://m.fasttech.com/p/3763901 (26$)
3 pico 75w pcb
- Snowwolf 75w pcb (almost same design as dna)
If you vape 75w and under you could go with any of the boards. For a dual battery mod you’d have to run them parallel. If your looking for more the JiGuan has good reviews, granted not many but still good. From info in the ft forum it does need to be ran in series though
Thanks for the links @skiball. Not really what i was looking for but still worth a closer look. I was hoping to find a kit where you get the pcb only and solder the chips on yourself. This is one of the speed controllers I’ve mentioned. This one was done with a soldering iron and it still has the flux on it. The later ones look nicer because i started using hot air. The pcb on the picture is 21mm x 43mm.
I know it doesn’t look very nice but it runs a 200W brushless motor just fine.
The prices on the boards from fasttech are great, i guess i will have to buy one just to see how they are. The DNA boards are 3 or 4 times that.
there are sites out there that sell the PCB and you do all the chip work.
i believe my schedule is opening up tonight and tomorrow, so i should be available, lol…
i have 2 builds due this weekend, so time is a bit sparce, lol.
No worries, after looking into pwm mods i think this is what i should get started with.
which ones have caught your eye?
are you looking at a populated board or are you planning on assembling yourself?
I think the first one to make should be a ready assembled board. I really liked the style of the one you made for pugs with the linear pot inside. Once I’ve built one or two i want to find a board i can solder the components on myself. It usually takes a while to find all the parts, they are never available from just one shop. At least that was the case with the speed controllers.
However, the more i look around the more i start to think that it may not be a good idea to go with a diy from scratch board. Ok, the dna and the yihi boards are expensive but there seems to be a lot of ready made boards from china so it may not be worth the effort.
The plan for now is to find a web shop to order the parts for a dual 18650 pwm mod and for a single 18650 VW mod.I love my little cuboid mini and need another mod with around 75W. So that’s what i aim for at the moment.
If you have any parts lists for a pwm device or any links to reviews, build journals or something like that… any help would be appreciated.
Hey, great thread @Bad_Influence! I’m watching with great interest coz, though I have no immediate plans, it’s crossed my mind lately that I’d like to make one too. I really dont know a single thing about it - I’ve got EVERYTHING to learn… well, almost… I’ve just learnt what PWM stands for lol.[quote=“Whiterose0818, post:6, topic:89539”]
BTW: pwm Mods hit differently than normal power mode Mods. There’s something about them…they just do something to the flavor!
…something good, I presume?
When you’ve got a minute @Whiterose0818, would you mind elaborating on this a little? And what is an example of a commercially available mod with a pwm board that I wouldve heard of …just for some perspective.
What is a PCB board? (see?? I know ZIP!)
for a pwm device… or any other device for that matter. Is there such a thing as “Mod building for dummies”? That said, I’ve seen there are quite a few build tutorials on youtube, but the more info the better. Thx folks… & thx @Bad_Influence for starting this thread. vT
Hi @vonTrueso, I’m learning new things here every day at the moment, too. Great hobby and soon a good set of skills to have if they keep hammering down on vaping.
A PCB is a printed circuit board. The difference to an old style board is that the old boards had holes and the wire ends of the componets go through the holes for soldering. On a PCB the circuits are “printed” on the surface. There are multi layer boards with contact points between the layers but a simple one layer pcb has all its components soldered on to the surface where there is copper left. The picture i posted is an example of a multi layer double sided pcb. All solder spots are on the surface. There are a few little circles on the board, these are the contact points to the other side of the board. On the left there are a few holes for the connecting wires and a big capacitor.
Pretty much all modern circuit boards in phones, TVs and such are PCBs because they are much easier to produce. A stencil is used to put a tiny amount of solder paste on each spot, then a robot places the components which stick to the solder paste. Then it goes into an oven. The componets “swim” into position when the paste liquifies, this is why the boards always look so perfect without a single part out of place.
Thank you @Bad_Influence… that was a great explanation!.. Now I know. Perhaps my questions from here on will pertain to matters less fundamental …but, then again… perhaps not . Got to tell you I had to lmao when you said…[quote=“Bad_Influence, post:1, topic:89539”]
electronics are a little bit like painting with numbers for me.
Hmm… from someone who makes speed controllers, eh… That makes me color blind and numerically eliterate - fixing the lights on my trailer absolutely makes my head spin!
Anyhow, back to the topic… Like you, I was thinking that if ever I made a mod I’d look at a yihi or DNA - the DNA for obvious reasons, & the yihi because the SX Mini, although I hear nothing of them these days, has had a great reputation in the past.
But to me, the enclosure it goes in (whatever “it” is) is just as, if not more important & will probably represent a greater challenge than the electronics. [Edit]: I’m talking a box, maybe made of the wood of Aust. Malley root, or Iron Bark or similar, with stainless steel, or bronze chassis, topped of with beautiful ergonomics. Not askin for much, am I!
Ultimately, I want something totally unique but hey, I’ll cut my teeth with a kit (or 2) & see where I go from there.
I havent had the opportunity yet to take a good look at @Whiterose0818’s suggestions, but I reckon between those & @skiball’s suggestions, there’ll be a good place for me to start.
well, it will depend on the board you are using, but for the most part:
1 enclosure plus magnets
1 fire button - dripp
1 510 connector
1 pwm board
14g silicone wire (very flexible)
24-28g silicone wire
18650 sled or lipo (depending on what you go for)
as for sources…i use different vendors for what i want. i’ll share what i like personally:
1590g tall: https://boxmodguys.com/collections/enclosures/products/1590g-tall-cnc-machined-aluminum-enclosure
fire switch…i like these: http://www.dripp3d.com/D-1202-12-mm-Convex-Anodized-Push-Button-p/d-1202.htm
510 connectors: http://www.fatdaddyvapes.com/shop.html <~
from this site, i like the v4 ue, and the v4 low profile and the v3 low profile~ my favorite, but currently sold out.
potentiometers can be obtained a lot of places, you’ll wanna check which is needed for the board you choose and search from there.
PWM board: i use a few, but here is what i recommend for you initially:
https://squareup.com/market/modpcb/ micro and micro v2
18650 sled: let me know what board you go with and i’ll tell you what i recommend…or if you even need one. Big Al has boards mounted to sleds ready to go.
all this should get you going.
as for learning material, if you facebook, join the group “smart pwm mods” and read some posts, and look at some pix.
i gotta shave some dog ass! if you need anything, hit me up!
Man, if you’re running short on wick, we can set you up!
Excellent advice, thanks a lot!
I’ve found the smart pwm 2.2 here:
There seems to be everything you need.
I also found this one, but everything is out of stock. But good enough to see what they pack into their kits:
Why are there warnings coming with all the pwm boards? Is it because they don’t have on board fuses?
Need to read up on the pwm boards anyway, not sure how they work yet., how to find out what resistance the coil can/must have etc.
Is it correct that by pulsing the battery power a stable voltage is provided and depending on the resistance of the coil the necessary current is drawn from the battery? (Pulsing as a method to limit the voltage)
For example, i set the mod to 5 volts and the coil is 0.5Ohms. Will it then draw 10A from the battery which is 50W of power? (I=V/R?)
With PWM boards, the batteries are set up in series.
The full capacity of the batteries are drawn when the fire button is pressed. But the potentiometer determines the duty cycle. It pulses the full capacity of the batteries. The pot determines the length of the pulses. Lower on the pot, shorter pulses. Higher on the pot, longer pulses. The pulses are super duper quick though…
Here’s a coupla great videos showing the signal on an oscilloscope:
Your resistance can be primarily limited to your batteries amperage.
And, as always, ohms law calculator is a must!