OK, so, you've been vaping a while. You've tried dripping, liked the vape, but not the process? Heard about squonking?
It can be an intimidating thing to get started with. Sometimes particularly if your existing stock is cheap clones or chinese mods. The price point of a base set-up certainly puts a lot of people off.
Luckily these days, there are entry level squonkers entering the market, For around $30 USD, you can try out a non-regulated squonk box out of china to see if it is for you. For around $50 USD, you can try regulated. Or you can jump in and buy something more substantial knowing that resale of squonkers is good in holding value.
Before you go out and buy, it is best to ask yourself a few questions about what you seek in a vape. Going back a while now, squonking was a flavour chasers vape set up. REO was king, and the 1+ ohm vape that they prefer went with it on small chamber, tootle puffer RDA, or HH.357s. These days the technology has come along, as well as the supporter base both in the end-user community as well as the modder community. Along with this comes a plethora of devices that can keep up with different vaping styles, including temperature protecting VW, true mechs with added performance over the humble reo, and beginner gear at low cost.
So for tootle puffer flavour chasers, my recommendation would be the tried and trusted REO grand. RRP is around $160 USD for a base model, add a rebuild kit and a few spare parts would leave you just north of $200 USD. Stick to a 14mm atomizer. For single coil, the reomizer2 is the benchmark. Reomizer3 added dual coil capabilities.
The cheaper options are around for the flavour chasers. Focalecig sell the smokeless owl for around $30, fast tech sell the same device under the name terminator. This is a plastic non-regulated, but non-mechanical mod. It has some wiring and is sutied to humble wattages.
If you have a drill press or dremel, any atomizer can be converted to bottom feed by either drilling the positive post both through the 510 connector and horizontally at base level [to drain], or by dremeling channels down the side of the positive pin. The A6 atomizer, which retails for $6 is a reomizer3 without BF modifications.
If you prefer a regulated device, either for peace of mind, or more power. The geyscano 50 watt mod retails around $70 USD. This mod was designed in australia, manufactured in china. Outside that prices go up exponentially. VW squonking is popular in Italy, the majority f the models have waiting lists and $300+ price tags. Some beautiful mods in stabilised woods. If you are on facebook, the group titles "squonkers" run by Ken Fair has many of these for sale and trade. It is a good place to explore Italian VW options, including temperature control. "Squonkers" is a private group, but open entry, Ken will generally just check your profile for a vaping related post to verify you. vapinart.com also sells selected bottom feeders.
For the dinosaurs among us, those who use mechanical mods for whatever reason, but find the performance of a REO's thin contacts limiting, custom modders are generally the best point of call. Two prominant modders can be found on ECF in pdib and tbev. Pdib's wooden mechanical squonkers have no official name, but affectionately get termed "dibbi" "sumpin'" or "OliveR". The waiting list is currently 2+ years. Tbev manufactures a few mods, the tmod and the jmod. The tmod is mechanical, in alloy metals including aluminium, bronze, and brass. At the time of writing, turn around is 4-6 weeks.
So in summary, if you are just looking to get your feet wet, go with a chinese manufactured cheapy mod. If you like it, get on a list for either a mech out of the USA, or a VW/temp control out of Italy. Or just buy a reo, knowing resale value is good if you don't take to it.
As stated, any RDA can be converted. Choose one that suits your style of vaping.
This is me squonking a tmod:
Much more practical than dripping, particularly while driving.