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HELP! Issues with Lighter Heating Coil

Falcore42

Apr 24, 2023
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Hi, I'm new to electronics and have been playing around with my breadboard for a few months. I've started to transition over to PCB but I keep running into an issue I can't seem to solve.

I have a 9 volt battery powering the circuit. I've connected an on/off switch and a push button as well. The issue i'm having is with the lighter coil i've added to the circuit. On the breadboard the amount of current running through the circuit seems to be fine and it can be sustained.

When I solder the connections to a PCB the coil seems to overheat and breaks. I tried adding resistors to the board and have played around with various resistors but it seems that any amount won't turn the coil on. I even tried to add a 1 ohm ceramic resistor to test and the resistor became increasingly hot. The size of the ceramic ohm resistor won't work for this project anyways as I need something more compact.

Can anyone help me solve this issue. I'm sure it's not complicated to those with a proper background. See image below of coil on breadboard if this helps at all.

20230621_222008.jpg
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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Interesting project.
What’s the specifications of the lighter coil?.
I would have thought that these are very low current and high voltage, powered by a piezo igniter?.
Out of curiosity, try adding a series connected torch bulb to limit the current.
Also a schematic of the circuit would be helpful rather than a picture of the breadboard. I suspect the coil is drawing max current from the 9V battery.

Martin
 

Falcore42

Apr 24, 2023
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Hi, I tried asking for the specifications for the lighter coil but haven't been able to get an answer from the sellers. What do you mean by torch bulb?

Falcore
 

Bluejets

Oct 5, 2014
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Breadboards and "smoke alarm" batteries were never made for high current circuits.
Those thin as hookup wire either BTW....or tactile switches.........:oops:
 

Delta Prime

Jul 29, 2020
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What do you mean by torch bulb?
A 9-volt flashlight bulb.
. On the breadboard the amount of current running through the circuit seems to be fine and it can be sustained
What is the amount of current? You have a multimeter?
Take a current measurement.
When I solder the connections to a PCB the coil seems to overheat and breaks.
For pcbs and breadboards and coil leads Dupont pin connectors are useful. Those are the connectors on the ends of your jumper wires in the photo.
photo_1695078139447.png
 

Falcore42

Apr 24, 2023
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Here is my schematic drawing. The program i'm using doesn't have the fan or tungsten coil lighter I'm using, so swap out the two light bulbs for those items. The tungsten coil is a replacement piece for e cigarettes and I've been told has a 9-11 W. I measured the current and it's 2 amps, 3 volts. When I solder this to a PCB board, the tungsten coil overheats and breaks, looks like too much current. I tried adding resistors but when I do the coil doesn't get any current through. The only resistor that works seems to be a 1 ohm but it's bulky and heats up.
 

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kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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either your coil needs to be of the correct resistance to 'glow' without breaking or you need to control the current through it.

Adding resistance only means the power is dissipated in that resistance so is a waste of time (and energy).

Are you running the coil continuously? In an e-cig the coil only heats momentarily AND it has a lot of heat dissipated by the air flow (from suction) over it. The coil is also only heating for as long as someone is sucking on the cig.

Match the e-cig circumstances and your coil will probably be ok. If you want to do something DIFFERENT you need a different approach.
 

Delta Prime

Jul 29, 2020
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the tungsten coil overheats and breaks, looks like too much current
Power in Watts equals voltage times current in amps.
3 volts * 2 amps equals 6 Watts
Of power. Something's wrong?
1708760367735.png
Heating elements in commercially available e-cigarettes, vape pens are usually made of stainless steel, nickel-chromium or nichrome, Kanthal nickel, or titanium. You're using tungsten? Anyway you say you have to add a one ohm resistor; one thing all these alloys have in common is a resistance depending on length,
diameter, cross-sectional area, of the wire. therefore...you added a 1 ohm resistor then you need a longer piece of tungsten wire to equal one ohm of resistance. What length of wire ?
See below . Have fun!
 

73's de Edd

Aug 21, 2015
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The tungsten coil is a replacement piece for e cigarettes and I've been told has a 9-11 W.
An E-cigarette unit will be found to be using a Li-ion cell with a 3.6 V cell that can read on up to 4.25 V when fresh off a charge session..
Looking at the 9 watt spec, would relate to a 3.6 voltage presence, and the resistance element pulling 2.5 amps at an exhibited 1.44 ohms.
Should a fresh "hot" charged cell be used instead, then, 4.25 V into the 1.44 resistance element yields 2.5 amps again but at 11 watts.
Thus the shifting conditions of your given 9-11W specs.
FACTOID . . . . .
Your 9 V alkaline 9V battery is basically being a series wired build of six 1.5V alkaline AAA cells within its housing.
Take a multi meter that has a 10 amp current capability and place it in its amps metering function and that 10 amp range.
Observe lead to battery polarity and stab its meter leads directly across that battery, if being a new battery you can expect to see 5-6 amps output.
BUT . . . . only for a short time . . . . as that current capability will start diminishing vewy-vewy*** rapidly.

VIZ . . . on your car . . .as an example

Where its battery is supposed to fulfill all of your cars electrical demands as the alternator replenishes it.
Equate that rapid decline in performance, on your prior test, as being compared to a Lead Acid car battery and its Cold Cranking Amperes specification.
Specifically . . . . for its time limitation of operating the HIGH CURRENT DEMAND of the cars starter motor, if used more than minutes , on a start up crank..

I measured the current and it's 2 amps, 3 volts.
So now, if you INITIALLY had a HOT 9 V battery to start with, you NOW have exhausted its capability down to the point where it is only reading 3 volts. And at that reduced voltage level across the heating coil, its temperature is now colder and shifted up to an increased resistance of 1.5 ohms.

If you initially started with a "HOT" 9V battery it would have been dumping 6.25A @ 9 V or 56.25 watts into that heater element=a 500% overload to its specs. Then a decline, as your battery rapidly peters out.

YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED A HEFTIER BATTERY POWER SOURCE. (A 3.6V Li ion cell . . .or paralleled pair.)

Although only being continually rated at 2<--->3.3A . . . . Li-ion E-BATTERY cells have 10-20-30 amps . . . (wink-wink) "COLD CRANK AMPS" specifications listed upon them.

*** an Elmer Fudd'ism

73's de Edd . . . . .

Smile and the world smiles with you . . . . .then Fart . . . . . and you are standing alone.


.
 
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hevans1944

Hop - AC8NS
Jun 21, 2012
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This is a very old topic. Vape pens and e-cigarettes are popular, and smokers wanting to make their own "vapes" are numerous. I began vaping many years ago as an alternative to smoking real cigarettes, but the cost of the vape pen was minor compared to the cost of purchasing something to vape.

Then in 2017, after retiring and moving to Florida, I had a major heart attack, followed by open-heart surgery to perform a double coronary-artery bypass graft (cabg) procedure around my "widow-maker" artery. Having survived that, my cardiologist ordered me to stop using nicotine in ANY form.

My wife, who suffers from Lupus, tried vaping with TruLeaf marijuana, which is legal in Florida if you pay a doctor to sign off on a "marijuana card," which needs to be renewed every year to purchase "medical marijuana" from an authorized dispensary. I imagine that folks living in other states without access to "medical marijuana" would figure out some way to "smoke" weed without rolling it up in paper or burning it in a bong. Bear in mind that marijuana is still illegal at the Federal level, being classified as a useless narcotic drug. Not that I am suggesting that is the purpose you have in mind. This is an international forum and marijuana use is legal in many places, just not in the United States of America, although many states have "decriminalized" its recreational use. Florida allows it for medical use with a medical doctor "signing off" on it to allow its purchase with a "medical marijuana" card.

Generation-Z kids were vaping together in vape shops in Dayton when we left there in 2016. I have no idea what the attraction was. It certainly wasn't marijuana because that wasn't legal to use then. I have not checked to see if vape shops exist here in Florida, but e-cigs are available over-the-counter in gas stations and drug stores... both disposable vape pens (can't refill them) and the more complicated vaping rigs with electronic controls that allow the user to set the heater parameters. I bought several of those in Dayton over a span of perhaps five years or so, mainly because the cost of real cigarettes with filters became outrageously expensive. Could I have made my own, from scratch? Certainly, but the effort pales against the cost of just purchasing something ready-made that actually works.

Good luck with your vaping heater, but as someone has already mentioned, a 9V "smoke alarm" (we used to call them "transistor radio") battery is not going to cut it. So, besides a lithium ion rechargeable battery, you will need a charge-controller to recharge the battery, and another controller to set the current draw, perhaps the temperature, and perhaps the heating time. None of this is "rocket science" but it isn't trivial either. There are (probably) many "monkey see, monkey do" websites devoted to making vapes. Google some of them to see what folks here in the 21st Century are doing.
 
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