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How does a vaporizer actually work?

em175

Mar 30, 2014
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I've been trying to build a homemade version of a vaporizer and I'm stuck on how the components work. I'm not even sure if I have a clear grasp on what components make up a vaporizer. I know the basics: typically a 3.7V battery, a circuit board/micro-controller, and a heating element. I would appreciate if anyone helped me understand how the heating element is controlled, how it works, or how temperature sensors fit into the picture. Does the microcontroller activate the heating element?
 

Arouse1973

Adam
Dec 18, 2013
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Do you mean from star trek or blakes seven or red dwarf. There is a difference. Kris might know if doctor who has one also. What do you mean?
Adam
 

jpanhalt

Nov 12, 2013
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Please tell us what you are trying to do with it. For example, do you want to humidify an entire room or vaporize some medication for inhalation with a face mask or anything in between.

If it is a medicine delivery device, I would suggest buying one, instead of trying to build one as a novice.

John
 

em175

Mar 30, 2014
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It's for dry herbs, similar to the Pax Ploom vaporizer. I already own one, and I opened it up to see what's inside. I'm more curious as to find out how it works because I'm interested in building one as a project. I'm a novice tinkerer, but I need help understanding the electronics behind this device. I figured I would start with how the heating element is controlled.
 

jpanhalt

Nov 12, 2013
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Do you want to use heat or ultrasonic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humidifier)?

My first choice would be ultrasonic. However, the odoriferous components in many (maybe all) herbs can be steam distilled. Thus, any simple heat-based humidifier would fill a room with the smell.

John
 

em175

Mar 30, 2014
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I'm trying to build it to function as a portable unit though, not have the vapor resonate throughout the room. I'm basically trying to figure out a way to minituarize the conduction process.
 

KrisBlueNZ

Sadly passed away in 2015
Nov 28, 2011
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"Dried herbs" eh... LOL :)

It's just a heater with temperature regulation. There will be one, or possibly two, temperature sensors, and the microcontroller will monitor the temperature and control the current to the heating element to keep the temperature constant at the ideal temperature for releasing the scents from the dried herbs without burning them.

Most likely the micro will be doing PWM (pulse width modulation), controlling a small high-current MOSFET in series with the heating element. When the temperature drops, it increases the duty cycle of the PWM, and vice versa.
 

jpanhalt

Nov 12, 2013
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Aren't e-cigarettes relatively simple and miniaturized versions? That would give you a more personal delivery device. Working out temperature control as Kris suggests shouldn't be that hard.

John
 

CDRIVE

Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3
May 8, 2012
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. However, the odoriferous components in many (maybe all) herbs can be steam distilled.

John

" Odoriferous" - variant - "Odiferous". I think I like this word so much that I'm going to spend the rest of this day fitting it into sentences. In fact it's a good word for the "Impractical Jokers" TV series. They could use it in the episodes that challenge each other to induce strangers to repeat a word.

Chris
 
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shrtrnd

Jan 15, 2010
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I think Kris and I are assuming the dried herbs referred to are of an even more popular variety than jpanhalt's e-cigarettes.
 

jpanhalt

Nov 12, 2013
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I am aware of the term "herbed-up."

This YouTube from Letterman may bring a smile.


John
 
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