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Post by domesticextremist on Sept 2, 2020 14:11:56 GMT
Go Trev! It's not boring and there's something special that you raised with your own hands from a seed.
For my part the garden is very much a work in progress. When I moved in this spring it was three lawns and one tiny, not very exciting border. One lawn is surrounded on three sides by an overgrown Leylandii hedge which has got to go - that won't be cheap. Spent most of the summer decorating/fixing up the inside, so only dug out a couple of new borders so far. Next year I will focus on digging up more lawn as I hate mowing grass. (It is number two on my list of pointless activities, only bested by washing the car).
Post by domesticextremist on Aug 22, 2020 9:00:58 GMT
Just ordered one of these as I want a faff free RTA and this one has good reviews everywhere. Went for the 3/5ml non-TPD version. Current workhorse RTA is a Doggy style clone, but it needs tools for a refill which can be a pain at times. Looking forward to a top fill tank with good flavour - in a month orso as it is coming from slowtech
Post by domesticextremist on Aug 20, 2020 12:26:05 GMT
I'm back, again. After a long absence, again. Hope all are well.
Lots of real life got in the way of having any fun, but, culminating in a house move, I'm now just about settled enough to start thinking about hobbies.
In the market for at least one nice MTL RDA, thinking about a Vapefly Galaxies, unless I see anything better. Probably will get another mod too.
Just before the plague started I picked up an Innokin Prism T20 - though 'obsolete' and I don't like paying for coil heads it has turned out to be a very good tank. If i can figure out how to rebuild the coils I might invest in a T20S.
Choices, choices, back on the road to e-cig bankruptcy.
Post by domesticextremist on Jan 9, 2019 4:59:32 GMT
Now fully assembled and charged to near full capacity, I'm vaping on my beloved iStick 20 once more. Very pleased to have this legendary out and about vaping device back in service again.
A year ago I wouldn't have dreamed of trying a repair like this, but thanks to YouTube university, a little outlay on the right tools and a fair amount of perspicacity, I can now bask in the satisfaction of a fix well made.
Next on the list is to mod it to take a replaceable battery, so that when the old one finally goes (though it shows no sign of doing so) I can just pop a fresh one in. I'll try and take photos when I do that one. Thanks for reading.
Post by domesticextremist on Jan 9, 2019 4:53:59 GMT
5. Fitting the new port again
Ok, so now suitably armed with tools and better knowledge, it's time to try again. First I removed my bodged port using the method in step 3, and cleaned away the solder with braid and flux. Then adjusted the new, new micro USB port to fit its intended environment. Then I scraped away some solder resist in the right place for the attachment lugs.
I now soldered on the port using just the lugs. One lug at a time so I can adjust the position to get the pins aligned with the pads on the board. Once in place, add more solder to the side edges of the port to hold it securely in place.
Finally, with a fine tip, solder the pins to the pads as best as possible. I also added some jumper wire to the +6V pin to fix the broken track and attached to a exposed piece of board scraped away the other side of the break. I also bridged the vround pint to the port casing to make sure there was a good connection to 0V.
I Cleaned up once more and closely inspected the work which looked OK. Then I reattached the top circuit board to the header pins.
With some trepidation I attached a charge only cable and a USB power bank and hey presto, the screen lit up! Obviously no charging happened as the battery was not connected, but at least I knew I hadn't killed it.
Attached the battery and 510 connector and it now charges and vapes.
The new port is a very tight fit for the cable comapred to the one it replaced, but I did use a metric buttload of lead based solder to hold it in place, so hopefully it won't crack off as it beds in.
Post by domesticextremist on Jan 9, 2019 4:13:44 GMT
4. Fitting the new port
My replacement ports finaly arrived from Slowtech, but were different to the one I removed. Firstly, the solder tabs to secure it to the board point ed down instead of out sideways. This was easilty fixe with persuasion from a pair of thin nosed pliers. Some tiny plastic locating nubbins had to be gently filed away too. Worse still, the locating feet didn't line up very well with the contacts on the board, but I pressed on. After several hours, I had one port soldered in wonkily with all of the pins bridged together. I alomst gave up here, but decided instead that I needed to get a proper soldering iron.
Fortunately Chairman Mao's dolarama is churning them out quite cheaply these day. I went for this style, recommended (with reservations) by Big Clive:
I got one from a UK seller on Ebay for £24. It was 'Katsu' brand and came with a correct UK plug, correctly fused at 3A and the earth wire on the transformer was securely attached. I'm satisified that it is at least as electrically safe as my older one and temp controlled soldering is a joy compared to using the crappy Maplin's bought one I had before. I also got a 'helping hands' thingy, which wasn't quite as much help as I had hoped, the ball joints don't stay put as well as I would like, but it has an illuminated magnifying glass and is still a lot better than chasing a loose board round the bench with solder in one hand and a hot iron in the other.
Post by domesticextremist on Jan 9, 2019 4:00:08 GMT
3. Fixing the centre pin
Wile I had everything in bits, I decided I would fix the well known centre pin issue too, using this excellent guide: iStick 20 Watt repair guide
I removed all the mastic and replaced the grommt, then epoxied the whole thing back together. Sadly, I rather over-stressed the epoxy motif and had to spend a few hours filing it carefully back down so that it would fit back into the case without foulding the circuit board. Having done it this way, I realise it is an almost irreversible repair. Almost, but not entirely , so I'l have to nurture my threads and hope it lasts.
Post by domesticextremist on Jan 9, 2019 3:44:49 GMT
2. Removing the port
Whilst waiting for parts, I decided to remove the old port. I will admit to having made a right pigs ear of this, even with flux and braid, getting the thing off was a real swine of a job*. I did it eventually, but managed to lift two of the pads off the circuit board (thankfully not connected to anything) and damage the track for +5V.
It is possible that the +5V being damaged was my original problem, but I certainly made it much worse.
* the right way to remove it is shown in this video at 2:11:
It is worth watching the whole thing, even if you never solder, it is a thing of beauty
As it turned out, the footprint of the new USB port was different to the old one and my first attempt to solder it on was a mess. I removed it using the method above and can say that it does work. It takes nerves of steel, but it does work
Post by domesticextremist on Jan 9, 2019 3:34:08 GMT
1. Getting it apart
The usual speil for getting into iStick 20W (there are Youtube videos around that explain thoroughly): Remove the bottom plate, loosen the top plate. Carefully remove the black wondow on the front stuck down with double sided tape. Tip out the buttons, slide out the clear backplate. Remove top plate and carefully slide out the battery and circuit board assembly.
Again very carefully, desolder the tabs from the battery wires to seperate the battery from the circuit.
You now have a two-circuit board sandwich soldered together with two sets of header pins, witht he USC port inbetween. To get to it you need to desolder the header pins and seperate the two boards. This is not easy. It is even harder if all you have is a crappy Amtex 18W iron and one fattish tip. After many hours of trying, I eventually got them apart, not cleanly, a few connectors got melted and there was still a lot of solder leflt on the pins. I invested in some rosin flux and desolder braid at this point to help clean things up and give my self a chance of getting thins bacl together. Also I ordered some microUSB ports from Slowtech.
Post by domesticextremist on Jan 9, 2019 3:07:08 GMT
Long time sufferers of my ramblings may remember the problems I had with my iStick 20W charging port being dodgy: iStick 20W won't charge via USB Well cleaning out the port seemed to work for a few weeks, but then things went downhill and again it would not take a charge properly. Fearing a flat battery, I put it to one side, unable to toss it in the bin but not sure what to do about it.
After browsing YouTube electronics and electronics repair sites*, I decided to try and replace the USB port. This was not an easy job and hampered by having inadequate tools and a dearth of appropriate skills, but I learned a lot along the way. Because I did this over several months, there are no photos or video, so you'll have to put up with a 90s style, TextTube version.
If you are wondering why I bother with fixing up essentially disposable electronics (I do frequently) , bear in mind I'm from the older generation when electronics were expensive and built to last. I hate waste and also as a species we generate 60 million tonnes of e-waste every year, which does not find a eco-friendly end:
Remember this the next time you see a politician on his hind legs, patting himself on the back for banning plastic straws.
Post by domesticextremist on Jan 4, 2019 21:44:23 GMT
Well I use Kanthal and don't really have a problem. Rewick once per week or longer if using non-gunking juice. Usually I recoil when the coil gets misshapen or if it breaks due to metal fatigue. Never really noticed any degradation in flavour due to the coil. Maybe you have a bad batch of wire?
Ok, this is weird. I've left the charging cable plugged in, and all of a sudden the red charging light came on after 15 minutes or so. It is still red, so I'm gonna leave it and see what happens.
Could be the battery is completely discharged and may take some time to recharge. Just keep an eye on it, but it should charge fully now.
Poundland power banks do the same thing - they are devoid of charge so it trickle charges for a few minutes. Unfortunately, there is no outward indication of this until the voltage gets above 3v leaving you to think you have bought a dud. I used to think it was because they were old stock until I saw a "customer" rip open the packaging and start trying to charge her phone in the shop, shamelessly, right by the till. A schoolkid explained to her why her phone wouldn't charge and off she went in a huff. LOL I think poundland stock them that way on purpose.