Youde UD Aga T7 from Canvape
I've been looking for opportunities to test and review atomizers with glass tanks. When Canvape offered this for review, I jumped at it. The Youde UD Aga T7 has been called the Kayfun killer. I like the Kayfun and found this possibility to be a line in the sand that I wanted to see if I could push a little bit.
I also no longer use atomizers with plastic tanks. All of my Kayfuns have been converted over to straight stainless steel.
The pictures I saw of the UD Aga T7 show an attractive chromed atomizer with an unusual feature in rebuildable atomizers. That is a ring at the bottom to control air flow. Most rebuildables have a threaded screw that requires a small flat screw driver to adjust. This is just a nice round ring with two oval slots that open/close the air flow holes in the atomizers.
If you look at the picture on the left, you should also notice that this is a flat and fully sealed base.
Even the inner components are bright and shiny. Very promising indeed.
The box is a bit unusual itself. There is an outer gift box, and an inner box with two sides. The one side that you can see through the window cutout of the outer box holds the atomizer itself. Be aware that this does not include a drip tip. That surprised me a bit, it's the only clearomizer/atomizer that I have ever seen without some sort of drip tip. It also adds to your cost (although most have spare drip tips they can use). The other side of the box is a similarly hinged door where the spare parts, wicking material, and coil wire are. There is also a small three-fold user manual.
I was enthusiastic in taking this all apart to inspect the UD Aga T7. After all, anything that rivals the Kayfun has big shoes to fill.
There are two visible differences right off the bat. The first is that the chimney is huge. In terms of air volume, I suspect it is about twice the capacity. The Kayfun chimney fits inside of this and still leaves a lot of room. The second is that there are four power posts. The UD Aga T7 will accommodate two coils. I understand from reading other comments that the user has the choice to set this up with one or two coils ... I chose to build a two coil configuration.
This is where I need to point out that the UD Aga T7 is not for beginners or anyone new to rebuildables. This is not a simple system, you really have to understand how an internal atomizer vaccum system works to appreciate how the wicking and coils need to be built. I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I do understand technology and, fortunately, was able to figure this out – but it took two builds to get it right.
The first issue in building this is that the coil base has no coil platform, it is is flat. It is not raised like the Kayfun, which means it will much less forgiving when it comes to leaking and gurgling. Any excess eLiquid, and you get gurgling. Poor wicking and you get flooding. (Note: there is an edge around the outside perimeter, what I am referring to is the raised platform on the Kayfun ... on the Aga T7 it is flat.)
I first attempted a single coil build. I used a slightly modified version of the user instructions for wicking and ended up with severe flooding. As a matter of fact, just about all the eLiquid dumped out through the air flow within minutes of putting it in. Got a few draws out of it in the meantime though, and the taste was incredible.
The second attempt was as the user manual instructed, with a dual coil configuration. I used 32 AWG coil wire, twisted, in an 9/10 configuration. I didn't follow the wicking instruction though, they didn't work well with the first attempt. After consulting with a few friends and others here, and staring at the coil base for about 30 minutes, it occured to me that the air flow tube in the coil base sticks out only about 1/16th of an inch. With the coil base being flat and in full contact of the eLiquid, what is really needed is a way to block the air flow tube from getting any eLiquid. That means making sure the eLiquid makes it up the wick. I would suggest Youde increase the height of the air flow tube in their next iteration of this atomizer. There's plenty of room between the top of the air flow tube and the bottom of the first coil.
The UD Aga T7 user manual suggests a criss-cross coil configuration. In looking closely at the coil base, there are several other possibilities. You can build to Youde's recommendations, but you can also set these up like chimney extensions that are side by side – instead of spanning the coils so that you are using the post at the opposing side, you can use the positive/negative that are also side by side. Instead of the coils being horizontal, they would be vertical. That would suggest less of a hot vape.
Because of the previous attempt's flooding, I stuck with the criss-cross recommendation. Putting the coils on the posts was a reasonably simple process. It's a tad more difficult with the lower one because you are working around the taller posts. By the time I was done, the resistance came out at 0.9 ohms. I had hoped for a bit higher resistance so I could also use this with regulated devices, but at least now I know what it's going to take to achieve that next time.
For wicking, I decided to put a "fence" of cotton around the posts so that it would block some of the eLiquid from straying towards the center air flow tube. I then wicked normally though the center of the coil and laid the ends on the "fence" I had built.
In the previous attempt, I barely got the UD Aga T7 on my mechanical mod before it started leaking out. Now the moment of truth. I put this on a brand new Tobeco Flip mechanical mod. I fired it up and got such amazing flavor and vapor that I was floored. This is an incredible tank. Two hours after building this, I am still using it and there is not a single sign of gurgling, no leaking, no flooding. It's a nice quiet vape that is impressive for flavor and vapor. The criss-cross coil placement is excellent and is not producing an unusually hot vape. No dry hits, either. It's just perfect. When I first put the organic cotton "fence" in place, I thought I might end up with a few dry hits, but none whatsoever. It's just perfect. I've even taken a unusually long draw that last about 12 seconds, no dry hit again. The eLiquid flow is just perfect.
The air flow is a distinct improvement over the Kayfun. The Kayfun can be modified, but it isn't easy. The UD Aga T7 has at least double the air flow with no modifications whatsoever.
There is one aspect of this atomizer that is questionnable. The only way of filling the tank with eLiquid is through a hex head screw at the top. You have to use either a syringe with a metal tip or a plastic bottle with a metal needle nose. You cannot use a bottle with a small plastic tip – that would seal the tank while filling and compromise the vacuum inside the tank, pushing the eLiquid out through the air flow tube. Be careful with the small screw too, by the way. It's easy to drop and lose, and be careful putting it back (easy to drop in the air chamber). There are discrepancies in the tank capacity for eLiquid. The manual, manufacturer website, and other users all have different numbers. I understand why, in part. There are different "chambers" where the eLiquid is. If you look at it only from the perspective of the tank portion (where you see the glass portion at the top), that is about 1.5 ml. But you also have to factor in all the chambers where the eLiquid is. My measurements in this are not precise, but it is at least 3.5 ml and likely closer to 4.0 ml.
So what's the verdict? Is it worth it? Kayfun killer? Not exactly. The flavor is better, the throat hit equivalent. But it does have a glass tank, a sleek look, greatly improved air flow. The dual coil capability puts this over the top and gives it a great edge over the Kayfun. The flat coil base design, though, sets it back and puts this out of the realm of beginners at rebuilding. It's worth putting in the time to learn the idiosyncrasies. The key to this is to "block" eLiquids from having a straight path to the air flow tube. Youde is also a company to watch. They are also responsible for making the IGO line of dripping atomizers. One of those drippers features multi-post multi-coil capabitilties and loved by fans.
Youde has a winner with this, but it does cry out for a modified design where the air flow is more isolated from the eLiquid path. They could raise the air flow tube, that would be the simplest solution, or they could step the base effectively blocking the eLiquids from reaching the air flow tube altogether. We do have a work around until then with a cotton wick fence.
If you like the Kayfun and Russian style atomizers, you have to get one of these. In addition to improved vaping experience, this thing looks great. You can see it with the lower picture on the left. I had a spare "Caravela" drip tip that I put on it, and then used it with the new Tobeco Flip mechanical mod. It's a great combination.
Canvape have this on their website for $39.95. That's in the same price range as the Kayfun and a better value than the Kayfun in my opinion.
Update: July 2014 ... taking a few days off and drove to the cottage for a few days. I forgot the hex key to refill the eLiquid. I did have my tool case with me, and fortunately also had a set of 1/4 shank bits. Turns out the hex key is a CCV 1.5 size. Got the tank refilled and happy vaping again. Good to know!