Apparently, this site isn’t going to update itself… and I’ve given it plenty of opportunities. YouTube videos don’t tend to edit themselves either, so I’ve been skipping that step and streaming live. The Mac Mini (late 2014) is actually a decent machine, once you ditch the 1950s hard drive technology for something more solid and stately.
5MB IBM Hard drive from 1956
Moving the OS from a 1TB hard drive to a 256GB SSD with all of my data and the larger programs on an external USB dock with a 5TB drive made a huge difference. The limited RAM becomes less of a bottleneck when it’s swapping to what’s basically slower RAM instead of a steam-powered spindle with ones and zeros chiseled into it.
Following a good 5min HowTo (link is in video description), I had no problem making the upgrade the first time I’ve opened a modern Mac. If you’re moving to a smaller drive than your original, you’ll need to use an imaging utility like SuperDuper! The MacOS recovery boot won’t do it.
I took my time, familiarizing myself with a few types of connectors I’m not experienced with, and it took about an hour. If I were to do it again, I could probably crank it out in 20 minutes. The biggest time saver tip would be that the small power connectors can be just pushed on vertically, it’s not a plugging-in motion like Molex.
I prefer the rectangular-cut Japanese cotton for dripper builds, and I usually peel off the stiff outer layer as thinly as possible and toss it, since it doesn’t wick as well as the soft goodness inside. After dealing with a set of coils that just didn’t feel like heating up at the same rate no matter how much tweaking I did, I thought it might be useful to bridge the cotton between the two sides so that the cooler coil can lend some of its unused e-juice to the hotter, thirsty one.
I thought I’d try twisting those discarded outer layers together and stringing them between the poles, then thread the coils as usual and wrap the loose ends around the main wicks and tuck them in. It works great. I found that it has the added benefit of leaving less of the coil sitting there just heating the air instead of that sweet, sweet nectar. Plus, it noticeably increases the capacity of the RDA while also preventing juice from pooling at the bottom and leaking out the air holes.
It took longer than usual to get the cotton saturated with a high VG liquid… not only is there more cotton to fill, but there’s very little gap to drip between, so it wants to pool up on top and run off the sides if you’re not patient. (I’m not patient). With 5 winds, the Overdose mod runs so hot that you can get a good lungful of vapor by holding the button for only about a second with this setup. Any more than that and you’ll hear the dreaded pop that usually means you’re about to get a blast of scalding hot vapalm on the roof of your mouth. But, with this much cotton, it gets blocked and is just reabsorbed. Bonus.
I’ll never go back to the two strand setup. One thing you should know is I’ve found that if too much of the wick is touching the center post, you’ll get a short(er) circuit and the coils won’t heat as fast. I use a small flathead screwdriver to go around and pack the cotton toward the outside once the ring is installed. It seems to hold well enough if you make a good trench, but you might want to check and see if it needs a touch-up when you drip.
If you have any techniques you’d like to share, please post them below.