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This is a purely technical video about one of the earlier Chinese versions of what has become a huge industry.
At the time this was considered more of a novelty, and the TINY lithium cell inside (due to the space limitations of imitating the dimensions of the real thing) meant that future designs went in a completely different direction. The method of liquid storage and delivery also evolved significantly.
What's novel about this version is the built in mains voltage charger with pop out pins. The circuitry is very minimalist, but works. The whole thing is quite stylish in the way it visually emulates the original product.
The best thing to breathe is clean air. I only endorse things like this for people with an existing dependency as a safer option.
If you enjoy these videos you can help support the channel with a dollar for coffee, cookies and random gadgets for disassembly at:-
This also keeps the channel independent of YouTube's advertising algorithms allowing it to be a bit more dangerous and naughty.

This video is a technical video about this. Can i call this an antique, it's a vintage, uh electronic device and right for the beginning. I know that i'm making this video it's going to be demonetized, because it's going to contain keywords. There's no way to talk about this without mentioning keywords involving vaping electronic cigarettes.

That's it the monetization has gone the video, it's what happens, but the video is not promoting vaping. It's about the technology contained in this really old pack, and i'm talking, i think about this. In 2009 and by electronic cigarette standards, this is an antique and the interesting about this one is: it was uh. It used these little cartridges, which will i'll open one of these cartridges up to show you how they work, because it has it'll inspire to other techniques that could use a similar technology, but i'll also open up the device itself to show how it detects the uh.

The airflow and i'll also show you the device that converted that combine the two to actually create the viper note that this screws in to the cigarette packet, it's designed to emulate a traditional packet of cigarettes, because when you want to charge it, let me put it On so, nothing falls out here. You slide this little thing over here and these prongs pop out right, so i'm gon na have to plug it in there. Let me bring in a very, very suited death, adapter and plug it in and i'll bring in the hobby. The happy and we'll see how much power this thing takes.

I shall wipe the dust off the hoppy and we'll plug it in a little red light lights. Presumably that goes greener because i can't really remember i can unscrew the thing that will show uh it's drawing pretty much bang on one watt, uh 12 milliamps per factor 0.347. It's a little switch mode power supply. I think i hope maybe it's capacitive dropper.

I don't know we'll find out: we open it uh, just out of interest. What happens if i do unscrew this does it. This will be the equivalent of it will floating high and you have to grab the bits that i just tested. That with is it going to go green, oh, it is, but it's a very, very dull, uh gallium phosphide green.

It's virtually invisible! Oh that's a bit cheap and tacky. That might be that uh little trick. They do where the green is lit all the time, but it gets swamped by the red right, let's open it, but first of all i'll tip these little cartridges out right and i'll show you what they came with. This was just an early concept.

This was in the early days. This is when ryan were pioneering electronic cigars and things like that and uh. There were lots of experimental things being done. It turned out.

This was not the best way to do things, but they evolved uh to what we have today. Just the early days, i'm just loading these in no dad don't need to load all these in, but the idea was you had your little uh pack of cartridges uh and when you pulled it out like this, there was a little thumb thing, so you could actually Take one out and plug it in all right. Tell you what let's say pop the inside of this out. I need a pin like an led lead.

Perhaps, to push down in there is this going to pop out might not pop out it just popped out what we have inside i'll zoom down in this we have a little plastic capsule filled with liquid. Oh, it's leaky, there's a foil front to this and then there's a little sponge spongy bit of material just loose fiber inside just to hold it and stop it pouring out everywhere and when you push this in it physically perforated that foil and went split and then The device itself has this mesh that basically like imagines steel wool, but just crushed quite solid uh crushed to make it sort of hard and spiky, but also porous, and it wicked it down to a piece. This is wedged in on a piece of uh fiberglass. I think wick with the heating coil wound round.

I shall show you that i'll draw it out afterwards. This is going to squirt stuff everywhere, don't even know if it's nicotine, based or not. I have a clue. Let's take a look at the charger because that's quite interesting, it's quite stylish so rubbing the front of this i'm looking for screw holes.

I think that's a screw hole, that's a screw hole. I think that's it if those are screw holes, let's just peel the label off that will reveal. What's underneath this, it's very stylish there's a scroll there. Oh actually there's another screw down there right here, let's open the top.

I thought this was pretty cool at a time i don't smoke, i don't really vape, occasionally i'll. Do it just for the novelty value but uh. I had lots of fun showing this to friends, because these things had not been seen yet they were just happening in japan and china and they hadn't really come to the uk. Yet so, there's a higher novelty factor.

This pops up revealing a circuit board with a single transistor. Oh my the little slide out contact assembly. Well, here's a slide out contacts that just rub against these uh springy contacts here right. Tell you what uh and there's the contact right! Tell you what i'm going to uh, i'm going to reverse engineer this i'll be back in one moment.

The power supply has been reverse engineered here is the front of it flipped, so it matches. What's in the back, which is all surface mount. The isolation is staggering. Obviously, i don't really 100 trust that little transformers having proper isolation between between the windings.

As with many of these things, but you know, they've actually made a decent effort, so it's divided into the the sort of main side of the power supply and then the low voltage output side, uh we've just got a single transistor and it's using a very simple Technique where the voltage in the output is echoed on the the input side, the primary side by a feedback winding that doesn't just drive the transistor but also uh pumps, a capacitor up to a matching voltage level to other side, which is then used to regulate this Side, i shall show you it as a schematic. We shall, because that's going to be so much easier than trying to explain it on this very cluttered pcb, so i shall zoom down onto this. Here's the incoming supply, the mains, the ac. It goes via a 1 ohm resistor and a single diode to a 4.7 microfarad 400 volt capacitor 400 volt.

That is not the pen i normally use. I shall i think, that one's kind of worn down this one's better. That then, goes to the one end of the primary winding, which then goes to the transistor uh. What was the transistor again? Let me just remind myself what this is: it's a one, three, zero zero one, that's very common in these one: three: zero zero one and then on the emitter of that transistor, which is a standard npn transistor well fairly.

High voltage, npn transistor is a 100 ohm. Resistor actually explain what that's for in a moment when the circuit, initially powers up current flows through this one mega ohm resistor, and this 200 ohm resistor and starts turning this transistor on when it starts. Turning on it induces current at couples, current that's flowing through this primary winding into the secondary, but also the feedback winding. The feedback winding when this is turning on goes positive.

At this end, with respect to the zero volt rail and current flows, through this 100 ohm resistor, and this capacitor, which rations the mic current that can flow to the base, the transistor. Turning on much harder at a certain point, if the current that goes through through going through this is too high, the voltage across this 100 ohm resistor will rise high enough that the base voltage doesn't really affect it. It basically starts turning the transistor off and when it turns off the magnetic field in this collapse is that's the point. The part is actually going through this diode and charging up the output capacitor, but it's also the point that this diode here is actually charging this capacitor negatively with respect to the zero volt rail here.

So this is about uh 350 volts, and this is about plus - and this is about the zero volt but reference to the means. So it charges this capacitor negatively so that, as the voltage on this side rises, the voltage and this capacitor will rise. And what that means is that, when this is trying to turn this transistor on this zener diode is such that when that has been charged negatively enough, it's effectively dropping below the zero volt rail. This will start conducting it'll actually pull the base down and it will act as a sort of regulation.

It's very simple: there's no fail-safe thing. If the the way these things tend to fails with a bit of a bang, it's just super simple circuitry. It's about the easiest, they could get. It's very cheap and nasty, but then end result of that is: we've got a six volt supply going out.

Then other parts of the circuitry that is the part of the circuitry over here is two things. It's a voltage regulator very, very crude voltage regulator and it controls the two leds they've done that trick again. The green led high value resistor, it's not a very bright, led in the first place. Uh, it's lit all the time, but when it's charging the red led swamps that out, it creates a 4.5 volt reference out to the e-cig via this 150 ohm resistor, going to a zener diode.

The zener diode feeds the base of that transistor there and that pretty much means that, depending on the voltage here, where the transistor conducts it's related to the voltage, roughly a 0.6 volt difference between the base and the output. So you just choose this zener diode to match the voltage. There is a 30 ohm resistor. Is that a 30 ohm resistor 3 0 and a 0 is a multiplier.

It is a 30 ohm resistor which serves to do two things. It limits the current flowing through this into the vaping device, but it also generates a voltage across it depending how much current is flowing and when that voltage is greater than 0.6 volts. This transistor is effectively turned off, but uh. Sorry when it's greater than 0.6 volts.

This transistor, it pulls it below the positive rail. By that point, six volts turns this on and the red charging led lights at very high intensity because it's got a 1k resistor and it's also a bright led as the charge comes to completion. This will gradually fade out no decisive thing just when it gets roughly near the the point that the current's uh reducing, then that will ultimately just turn that off and you'll be able to see the green led again the e-cig, i'm not sure. What's in it, i guess there's one way to find out.

So, let's uh take a look at the last pitch. I've got here, which is how the vapor the liquid is carried down. So when you push the cartridge onto the top of the spikes, then the spikes penetrate into the liquid via the film and the liquid, is soaked down through this compressed mesh along this wicking material. And then there's a heating element which is fed from the outer connection and from the inner connection and just wrapped around that and that's the bit that the liquid is based on glycol and uh.

When you heat it up, because glycol always has a certain element of water in it, it's very hard to get completely dry glycol it's a extremely hygroscopic. Now i've broken this seal. This thing will actually probably start gradually oozing because it absorbs a lot of water from the air. But what happens is that, as this is heated up, the water has a much lower boiling point than the glycol.

So, although it's all mixed together as water and glyco, when the water boils, it shatters the glycol, apart into lots of tiny little droplets and those little droplets floating in the air, are what creates that fog and also carries the other ingredients across to stimulate the vaping People right, okay, i've got to pause momentarily, i'm going to restart the video just so i can get a nice clean start on taking this apart. One moment please right it's time to take the cigarette device so we'll zoom in on this, and i shall get a pair of pliers and i suppose i could try and get this end off. Can i get this end off here without nipping my fingers? Wiggle wiggle wiggle the cap has come off. I can see a little circuit board with leds up the end, well, an led in a capacitor.

I think we're gon na have to take this end off. So, let's wiggle this keep you in mind. Oh that's crumbling! That's not helpful. That is definitely not helpful.

Oh i'm gon na short out this little lithium cell in here. Probably this is not going well. Oh, that's just pulled that wire off that that didn't go well, but not to worry. This sometimes happens right.

Tell you! What can i gingerly poke this out by ramming a screwdriver down the end into a lithium cell yeah right? Okay, that's good! That's uh! Not a great approach to this you're foolish bear. What have we got? What system is it using? Hmm? This doesn't really want to come out, say what let's cut the wires off, so i can diffuse this little lithium beam, so i'll cut that wire and that wire. That's it relatively safe ish and this technical speaker then pull the lithium cell out. No, i'm just pulling the little tab off the lithium cell, it's in there tight, but this is what we want to see.

Is it the? I don't think it's not the one. That's using the original uh air pressure, sensing. It's usually the thing that looks. It's quite advanced then, but it's not the latest, it's using what looks like a little microphone, but if i remember correctly that microphone type thing all we've got in the back here is a led and a capacitor, but this little microphone thing isn't a microphone.

It's the same case as a microphone, but it will contain a little transistor inside a little mosfet, a chip optimized to this task. And if i unfurl this metal strip of it will simply be a diaphragm and spacer. So that, as you draw a vacuum, it pulls the little mylar layer up to the point. It touches the front, and that tells the little chip inside, which i don't see, there's a little mylar disc there that i've just basically dropped it is it's the it's a slightly translucent? Well, it's kind of you can see through it.

It's metallized mylar and it's the one that, as you draw the pressure it touches the other bit. Oh, i see what they've done here. That's quite weird. This is an intermediate design.

It's got two pins. I've not seen this one before they've got a chip on board a tiny little blob chip, though that spells all the fun in later models. They just got rid of this completely. They had the little microphone type thing and the circuit board in the back that the wires are coming out of see this little circuit board here inside the little microphone thing.

It's not a microphone just a pressure sensor. They had the little chip, the mosfet and the control circuit all built into one um and on the back of the circuit board, they had the leds that they have on here. So this is an intermediate design. So i wonder if it does have any charge control or if that 4.5 volts was basically just charging the lithium cell via a diode, hmm, not knowing which of these connections was, for it doesn't really help.

Now, let me think i shall probe this one moment. Please yeah that looks like it's just going through a diet, possibly the the natural diet that is formed inside a mosfet. That's a wild guess because i can't really say much when there's just a blob there uh right tell you what let me just try and doodle something out that kind of makes sense. Here are my thoughts and i could be wrong here.

Let's just uh focus down onto that. If this is the inside of the e-cig, it's got the pressure switch feeding to the control circuit, which is under that blob, with its mos with its mosfet actually built in, but that mosfet's there as well. Then, if that's the lithium positive - and this is the negative - then the the mosfet could actually be either side here. It could be a p-channel or n-channel mosfet.

But if that's the heater connection, that's also used for recharging it. If you were to apply positive with the heater off and negative to there, then the positive would go straight to the positive lithium cell, but the negative could go via this uh diode, this parasitic diode. That always just happens to be across mosfets, and that would then allow the current to flow through and charge that cell, which could explain that 4.5 volts, because it's basically they've played safe, then as it's dropping about 0.5 volts or so across this diode. So that would charge the lithium cell up to about 4 volts ish, and that's just a thought, though, not really sure what they're doing in there, because that little blob is hiding an awful lot.

But that is it. That's the complete thing stripped bits. I have no intention of using this sort of thing, particularly with these cartridges, because they're they're pretty old, but it was quite a nice design. It was quite a functional and so a cleverly styled design.

But i really don't think these these days, you wouldn't really have one this size, because ebd wants a vaping device that is going to last for much longer in the battery than the tiny little lithium cell that's used in these they're. You find the same lithium cell in the disposable ones. It's not got a high capacity, but there we go. That is it.

The thing has been stripped to bits. We have gained the knowledge that we wanted from the inside of the flimsy little power supply and uh. The how the liquid is fed down to the uh, the actual the heater, how the liquid comes from those cartridges, is atomized by the heat and uh how the cigarette itself is. Recharged, i think that's it.

That's uh not bad. Quite an interesting, stylish little unit.

10 thoughts on “Vintage novelty device teardown (with schematic)”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Leodoz says:

    My mom bought one of these that has a better(?) case. Me playing with it personally on my childhood concluded that one of the more sogdhit things i broke

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Thoroughly Wet says:

    Growing up we just called them blue tips. Electronic cigarettes.

    You'll know it's nicotine based if your finger tips went numb after a bit

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 1978garfield says:

    I was the first kid on my block, if not my entire city to have an electronic cigarette.
    They were banned by the FDA at the time so they would arrive with "interesting" descriptions.
    I think mine usually said somthing about vitamins. They were often labeled as ink pens or flashlights.
    I liked the small cigarette size. I wasn't worried about "throat hit" or massive clouds of vapor.
    I still have a few of the small batteries and a bunch of the atomizers just in case I ever pick up the habit again.
    All my batteries were push button. I would have like to have tried a draw activated one but never got around to it. The early ones were just sound activated. If you worked construction or went to a bar they would run until the batery died or they caught on fire.
    I maintain the restrictions in the US have more to do with lost tax revenue than legitimate health concerns.
    All the teenagers that were vaping becase of the flavors have moved on to marihuana edibles.
    Somehow that's progress?

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars patrick davis says:

    Awesome. You do realize that 99% of the people in the country I live in cannot comprehend most everything you talk about as common sense. The US that believes they own America. America is a continent not a country. But I used to repair ICB. So I understand almost everything you are talking about. But here's the issue. I'm 50. Gen X. people like me are becoming extent. Technology seems to be making us ignorant. Think about this. Most people don't even know their own phone number. When I was young. I used to know at least 10 by memory. But now I can't find my way home without a map application on my phone. It's honestly scary how technically advanced we became and in turn becoming more ignorant.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Crooks says:

    Clive when you have finished your dismantling of all the devices. The items that you can't re-build and there circuitry inside that is still in working use. Do you re-use those circuits, for example, the built in power supplies. To use them for the output voltages in your own projects that you build? Maybe you could show some of those repurposed circuit's in action.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ayk says:

    "So rubbing the front of this I'm looking for screwholes…. I think that's a screwhole… That's a screwhole…. I think that's it." ಠ◡ಠ

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars brooknet says:

    I found one of the 'cigarettes' shown in this video, many years ago: someone had discarded it and others had trodden on it. Being a fool, I picked it up because I noticed some 'gunge' emanating from it. Once taken apart – using a Dremel in a not-very-subtle fashion – I found the small circuit board and microphone-like device and LED shown in the video. Naturally, I decided that it must be a secret Soviet-era bugging device and I spent a few hours fruitlessly tuning up and down the FM band, trying to detect a squeal of feedback. There was a tiny amount of charge left in the cell so I connected a white LED and resistor and used it as a torch for a few hours.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dylan Finch says:

    I love how vaping started off as a "healthy" alternative to smoking, then became a way to quit smoking, now it's known that it's as bad as smoking, if not worse, but now it's here to stay.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Alex Huntesmith says:

    I had something very similar back in the late 2000s early 10s. Exactly the same almost just minus the holder, instead it charged with a USB adaptor that you screwed it into.

    The cartridge pack was exactly the same though, they were apparently Benson and hedges lol

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars darkinertia2 says:

    i cant believe someone has this! this is basically what i had back in the day, i remember thinking to myself "this is terrible but one day itll change the world" little did i know big tobacco was smart enough to pay off the left, which i thought would be behind vaping as an alternative

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