Exploring the DynaVerse is a monthly educational video series hosted by DynaVap founder George Breiwa. To be notified of our next episode, subscribe to our YouTube channel.
For heating the VapCap by DynaVap, we generally recommend using a pocket torch or an induction heater…
But what other ways can you heat a VapCap?
In this week’s episode, we tested out 5 alternative heat sources to see how they work.
An electric stove can be a viable heating option. It produces efficient thermal energy, but it needs to be done just right.
First, we tried heating with the burner set to medium, but the burner was not quite hot enough. We increased the temperature to high, but then the burner was too hot to comfortably hold the 2020 M XL over the burner.
Our test succeeded at 24 seconds - but only when we changed the burner to medium-high.
By the way, for our test, we used a 2020 M XL which includes an XL condenser and mouthpiece kit.
It’s not difficult to start a fire with a magnifying glass. In fact, Pranav was able to easily burn a piece of paper and a good-sized mark in the picnic table behind DynaVap HQ. But what about getting that coveted click?
That took some work. He initially tried the experiment with a small, handheld magnifying glass. However, it’s very difficult to keep such a small device focused on another small device.
Pranav managed to find a bigger magnifying glass with an arm, which he mounted to the picnic table. This allowed him to carefully focus the sun’s powerful light onto the cap of the 2020 M.
The first attempt took about 75 seconds and the second took 57 seconds.
Between the two experiments, only a small number of variables occurred: Pranav changed the focus of the magnifying glass, the sun changed position, and the wind died down.
As George explains, the focal range should be as small as possible to achieve the highest thermal gradient. A larger focal area may not even be hot enough to achieve a click.
When the focal range was reduced and the sunlight was not hitting the VapCap, the sun would ultimately burn a hole into the picnic table, making this technique tedious and somewhat dangerous. Sunlight can also damage your eyes, so protective eyewear is absolutely necessary.
Josh retried this experiment that he had tried out last year with help from Pranav. This time, he had better sparklers.
Sparklers are made of thermite, which is a combination of metal and an oxidizer, which can be ignited with a low-temperature heat source, such as a lighter. This experiment was pretty easy to accomplish; it only took 19 seconds to get the click.
However, even though sparklers are easy to find in the United States, (especially right around late June), you are essentially burning metal to heat your VapCap - not exactly a safe alternative.
In addition to the health risks, a sparkler will also turn your cap white.
It only took 3 seconds for Pranav to achieve click time with his Methylacetylene-propadiene propane torch, but we don’t recommend trying this out at a party, or ever.
However, if you do find yourself with nothing but a Mapp Gas torch to heat your VapCap, you shouldn’t make it glow; you’re too close to the flame! Turn the flame down and move the VapCap further from the flame to effectively heat your device.
This is the most commonly available heat source - and you’ve more than lately tried it if nothing else was available.
For best results with a BIC lighter, bury your VapCap in the flame and rotate slow. You should have little to no yellow. This will give you the best heat transfer (about 13 seconds) and minimize the soot.
If you use the yellow part of the flame, the cap will instantly turn black with soot - a side effect of using a soft flame.
Electric Stove may be in your kitchen, but it’ll take a while to get it just right.
Same thing with the sun, albeit hotter.
With a sparkler, you’re burning metal fragments and that’s not going to be healthy… or tasty.
Mapp Gas is not cost-effective and really just overdoing it.
As for a BIC lighter, it’s perfect for any desperate situation. Just remember to bury the flame.
It’s not really about what source you use with your VapCap, but balancing heat, temperature, and proximity. With a little experimentation and patience, you’ll find using alternative heat sources can be very satisfying. But, using a clean heat source is highly recommended.
What alternative heat sources have you tried? How well did they work? Tell us in the comments below or send us a picture.
Looking for VapCap heating tips? Join us this Thursday, June 18th, at 4:19pm CDT for DynaVap Live as George, Josh, and Pranav discuss their favorite heating tips, answer customer questions, and conduct live demonstrations.