Getting started with mechs. Mechanical mods were huge in their day. At the time, regulated devices were generally limited to 15 watts, and often around 1.3ohm as the lower limit. Mechanical mods offered a way around this, utilising the direct voltage from the battery. Some say they are outdated. Yesterday’s technology. But for mine, there will always be a place for trusty mechanical mods in the vaping world. A true mech has no wires, no fuses. Pure metal parts drawing on the direct current of the battery. The quality of materials plays a large part in dictating how well a given mod performs. Certain alloys are better conductors than others, providing the end-user with an experience of less voltage drop than cheap stainless steel or other metals that lack in the conductive department. There is no cut off, as regulated devices often cut off after a ten-fifteen second draw, the mod will keep outputting. The only limits are that of your batteries, which I will go into in this post. The “pros” are not as pronounced as they once were, with the advent of ultra high wattage boards that can sub ohm down to 0.2ohms. But the simplicity, aesthetics, and durability of a mechanical mod will live on. Mechanical mods need maintenance to perform at their best. A regular tear down to constituent parts, and a clean should see it performing well. This can be done under a running tap of water. Some use jewelry cleaner, others use tooth paste. It is also recommended to maintain your contacts with a contact cleaner and or lubricant. Deoxit gold and noalax are two such options. Battery safety and Ohm’s law. When I started out looking into mechs. Everyone made the blanket statement “Learn Ohm’s law”. I had to really push for an answer as to what relevance it has to anything. Ohm’s Law Great, so what does that mean? A one ohm coil on a mech at full charge will output just shy of 18watts and 4.2 amps… and what do I do with that was my question. The answer is, you compare it to your battery specifications. Not all batteries are created equal. Manufacturers are required to give basic statistics on what their batteries can handle. Some manufacturers are more trustworthy than others with this. A popular battery as of the time if writing this post is the Samsung 25R 18650. These are rated and verified a 20amp continuous discharge current. It is this continuous discharge rate that we should pay attention to. In theory, a 20 amp rated battery can handle a build down to 0.21 ohms. But for safety sake, leaving around a 40% margin for safety is recommended. Thus on a 20amp rated battery, we don’t want to build below around 12 amps, giving us an 0.35ohm build on a fully charged mechanical mod at 4.2 volts with a 25R battery. An online, or phone app calculator is generally the easiest reference for Ohm’s Law. There are many available. I generally use http://www.ohmslawcalculator.com/ohms-law-calculator for an online tool, or a variety of android apps. Not applying Ohm’s Law calculations can have disastrous effects, as pictured in this video Another thing to be mindful of, is mods advertised as “mechanical” when they are in fact unregulated, with some wiring, or an electronic type switch. Switches are often the weak point in unregulated mods, as switches rated for above 5 amps tend to be bulky. Look for a mechanical switch [two pieces of metal connecting completes the circuit] Or alternately, one with a MOSFET fitted to take the load off the switch. (A MOSFET is a way to direct current away from the switch, but still maintain functionality. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOSFET ) Future proof Being so simple, constructed out of pure metal. Mechanical mods are going to last a long time. Long after your DNA and SX350j boards give up the ghost, a mechanical mod will keep on keeping on. Which is part of why they still have a place in the vaping world. And really, nothing in the vape world is quite as sexy as a shiny mechanical mod. The form factor and materials used render them very aesthetically pleasing.