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Initially I thought this was a quack medical product like a radionic energy blaster for curing middle aged Karens of sadness. It turned out to actually be a real medical style device, albeit perhaps only suitable for use in some countries.
The construction is actually really neat, and while it's not very serviceable, it does look like a lot of effort has gone into its design. The glass section looks similar to a lab style ground glass tube with a rim, the heater looks like a fairly standard industrial cartridge or soldering iron heater, the controller looks either custom modified or built from scratch and the case is hand made out of wood.
In keeping with devices from the same industry it looks nicely engineered. I'm aware that many technical people with a strong Aspergers twist may partake of medicinal herbs to escape the noise of their overactive brains, so it fits that the industry has a high percentage of very skilled engineers and programmers in it that design stuff to their requirements.
I mentioned in the video that this was found at a car boot sale. That's the UK equivalent of a garage or yard sale where people arrange boot-sales at car parks, bring their cars full of junk and have the boots (rear hatch) doors open as a makeshift retail space.
When I worked out what it might be I did an image search with suitable keywords and found that the magic search is:- "vp-100 vaporizer"
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It's time for a mystery device, so someone called gervais got in touch and said a friend found. This is a car, a car, boot sale and they didn't know really what it was and they brought it to me and i don't know what it is either and i'll show you what the inside looks like. That's got this: it's painted black in there. It's got a silicone grommet at the back and then it's got a glass tube coming out and when you turn it on it glows now this pulsation, i'm not seeing that the camera is picking up because it's using very simplistic, led driving.

But there's a display here and at this point in time nothing happens. Should i even be shoving. My fingers in there is the question, but when you press this button - and i reckon this is a modified temperature controller, when you press this button, the led goes static and then this whole glass rod in here heats up, and i thought i think i know what This is, and i looked it up online and yes, it is designed for um, shall we say dynamically using heat to extract the beneficial effects of herbs. That is what i'll say could be used for many things.

I guess, but i think i know the proper one that it's intended for. So the principle of this is that the user has a section of pipe with a little cup in the end and they pack their dried herbs into that. And when this is up to temperature, they cup over the end and then they inhale and it draws hot air through the unit uh vaporizes, the resins that might be found in such herbs, the beneficial oils and things, and that is what they then inhale. So that's quite interesting.

It's very nicely made. Having said that, uh, the construction of these things tend to be super stylish stylish in that area, because a lot of people are using those herbs to get away from their brain and a lot of them tend to be technical people. Let us open it, so i have unplugged it. Here's the proof that i've unplugged it and we'll take a look in here.

So there are four very tiny screws in the bottom. This does look very handmade, but i get the feeling it is mass produced. I shall provide a suitable search link to find such things. The screws are also in at wonky angles.

It really is that's just. This is definitely a cottage industry thing, but the base does look. Is the base custom made for or they used to base off? Something else and just matched the curve, i'm not really sure it's very stylish. It's quite neat there's something odd about the controller as well.

It looks like a standard temperature controller, but there are differences. Screwdriver hike this out so here is. What's inside we have a little dongle here: let's get the tape off this. Let us slit it open with a pair of scissors or a knife may prepare for this.

This is the led driver. It looks like it's a very, very over simplistic, capacitive, dropper circuit, so i'll peel the cover off it and it's got a capacitor. A zener diode clamp the voltage. I don't know if that would really be needed, given how i think it's running um.

So there's the power going to the leds is coming from, so it's common to one of the supply rails and the others going via the capacitor with a discharge: resistor yep discharge, resistor inrush, current limiter, inrush, current limiter and a zener diode yeah, okay. So this uh may be actually just driving. Well, it is driving the leds. Uh, just they're - probably an inverse parallel in there and that's why they were flickering because they're actually oscillating backwards and forwards.

There are a few wires in here, the mains wire loops out to the led driver, but it also loops out to the controller. The controller then has a pair of wires come out and they go down to the uh the back of this rod. Now i don't know if this screw is going to help me much, because this whole thing just looks solidly screwed in this is a little cap that stops that being pushed too far back. Ah, there's no way this is going to come out because this this has been assembled in such a way that you can't actually get it out.

It's like a one-way trip. I don't know why they did that, but the controller here, it's interesting, the way they've modified it when you turn it on this led starts flashing normally with one of these temperature controllers, when you turned it on, it would immediately go to the set temperature and then It would rise up to that temperature, but in this case this led starts flashing and it won't turn on until you press set. So you can select up and down to actually change the temperature, but by default it's off and when you need it on, you press that and it goes the temperature but note that there is no temperature feedback on this. And when i tested it it was burst.

Firing so i think whatever temperature you set on here, it's all calibration software. It is just going to cycle this heater on and off. The heater was rated about. Let me power this up, while keeping my fingers away from electronics.

Here's the hoppy, so i shall plug the hoppy in and then we can have a flicker fest between the two of them, plug that in the leds are in the back they're flickering away. It's a little uh cluster of four leds at the back shining up. The glass tube it looks like a test tube with the end cut off it's flared at the end in there and then there's a metal core for the heater. But i shall draw the heater out as well when this is set up to full temperature.

Is that all it goes to 235 and you press set to turn it on? The power goes up to about 39 watts. So let's say it's a 40 watt heater in there and if you turn it down to the minimum setting which is going down a lot lower than it did before, that's different from the last we're gon na have to be careful. This circuit board is live uh. Let me just try running that back up again.

Is it going to go any higher? Is it going to go up no 235? Is it um, but if i run it down in temperature, you'll see that the power is actually cycling on off. It's jumping all over the place because it's actually burst firing the heater so like it's basically turn the heat round off in a marked variable mark space ratio according to the digital readout. That is then used to determine how hot it gets. That's very effective.

The led is actually going up. Then there ignore the flickering. It's actually fairly consistent light when you look at it, how hot is it it's fairly hot? But i tell you what, since i can't get this out, which is a shame, because it would destroy it, not that i really have much use for partaking of the herbs. Well, that's quite odd, that is, it must be to stop being pushed against the back.

Another thing here i have when they draw air through this. The only place for air to get in is either around the seams here or through this uh hole at the back, where the cable's going, which is tied in a handy knot, that's very diy. It definitely has cottage industry stuff, but let me uh, let me just draw a doodle of what i'm actually seeing in here, so we can actually explore that aspect of it continue. The exploration i have taken the temperature controller apart.

I've also drawn out, what's inside, having had a thorough look. I tried getting this thing out. No joy, it really is it's built in it's a permanent thing. I guess it's just not running enough power to actually suffer damage, so let's zoom in a little bit and explore grabs pen for pointing this all looks very custom.

There's a glass tube with a tapered end. I thought that was something stuck over then, but it actually looks like ground glass, so presumably the device this is designed to be used with is also matching uh glassware that is designed to cup over that tightly. It's flared at this end to stop it coming through this grommet, a large silicone grommet that is put through the wood. The reason for that little metal bracket is because the tube inside the heater, which is a metal tube, can actually move backwards and forwards.

Now i'm guessing this is like a soldering iron heater. It's got very fine windings on the outside and it's actually got the grille at the end, because when you remove that bracket, the whole thing slides backwards and forwards inside but uh i'm guessing. This is probably wrapped in mica and then it's got, the heating element wrap around it, and then it's got the sleeve coming through and it's poked through a hole in it going down the middle and at the other end it's a similar arrangement. Um, that's fundamentally it it's a heating element in a glass rod.

The controller looks as though it may be custom. It uh has a capacitive dropper with a series: resistor 47 ohm, a discharge resistor across capacitor and a zener diode. The display is actually stood off. A little bit with uh bits of the heat resistant, sleeving and there's a triac for switching the load on the back is a an electrolytic capacitor for smoothing an anonymous microcontroller and a two for co2n memory chip.

The triac is a bt134 uh. The capacitor is 1.5 microfarad, it's quite beefy and the something about this. Just it's surface mount, but it looks kind of hand sodared. It just looks as though this is custom made and in the house for this very specific application strange.

So there it is the mystery device. Is a herb inhaler designed for a safer ingestion of herbs without rolled up. Foliage sticks. If you know what i mean, but there we go.

It was interesting to take part the. I think they could have done a little improvement in the led circuitry just to make it more static. But ultimately i guess that you know uh. It's only going to be used for short periods of time and that you don't really see that flicker with the naked eye uh the dowels in here that hold this little wooden almost like balsa wood uh.

This still hasn't been pushed in. It's basically just sitting. Next to a hole, but it's not been pushed in and glued the, maybe it just didn't fit or something like that, not really sure but yeah very handmade, very strange device. So i'd like to thank gervais for sending that it initially when i saw it with that glowing rod up the middle.

I thought it was some quack radionic energy device. It turns out. It is actually functional. It's a real thing, albeit for shady applications.

12 thoughts on “Exploring a mystery gadget”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Change Agent says:

    Used to have one of these. It was very cheap around £30 new. I remember it worked quite well but would often get so hot it would combust when set above 190c. Anyone serious about vaping would not use this and would prefer a more expensive device with calibrated digital temperature control.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MrNlCE79 says:

    Could you be legally charged for the possession of such paraphernalia? And did you hand it in to your local constabulary?

    The amount of spell checking in this comment is quite embarrassing.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars john doe says:

    yeah it comes with a silicone tube n a glass bowl with a female attachment, it worked great back in the day ha

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Shawn AMKR Dickinson says:

    I died laughing like Ive seen that as every headshop; it's a vaporizer (old style, E-Nails, Electronic Dab Rigs (like Puffco Peak/Pro) and the pen style ones and cartridges that screw in a pen or cartridge modbox) the Volcano was the top of the line. An E-Nail turns your borosilicate glass water pipe/bong with a titanium nail that heats when wrapped around the nail itself which goes to a large power box and oddly an XLR cord/plug in the box which I only knew because I have a studio and thats a microphone cord! weird…

    Fascinating seeing that broke down; also seems to me that they'd make it unremovable because 1. Cheaper & 2. You need to buy another instead of cleaning the frosted glass rod) to maintain it.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mat Billings says:

    Whenever I come across something that I don't know what it is and somebody asks me what it does I always say "It's a thing! It does something?"

    …Either that or "It's a sailboat!" ^_^

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Yak Who ? says:

    The world of mind altering things never ceases to amaze me. I was a long time can of 'erb. A couple of years ago I went on a couple of dates with molly, and since then I have quit all forms of smoking, gaping and drinking….
    I'm 100% clean and sober and I'm bored out of my skull, with no desire to revert to my old ways.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tony Ritter says:

    its a vaporizer you use it to vape plant matter like cannabis. be careful that tip that lights up will burn the hell out of you.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars matthew kimber says:

    A deherbiefier used to unlock they aromatic compounds one finds at a local land farmers market and trap house's. Or many council estate bando👍!!

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars finger351 says:

    Herb wise, I prefer basil. Also, I don't like the crimped connections, I'd prefer to see soldered and heat shrinking on a "basil device".

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars minijimi says:

    Here in Canada, where that herb is legally available we have all kinds of little electronic smoking devices, you would have a great time analyzing them.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars SarkyBugger says:

    As a big fan of Italian food, one of these would help immensely in drying my occasional bumper harvests of herbs. Might as well put it to good use, eh Clive.
    Hint hint. ;o)

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars waxore says:

    Slide it to Dowels out with a pair of pliers take the two screws out and then come right apart

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