Humpty's Review on the Indulgence V3  (Jan 2012) updated: feb 2012


Earlier versions of the Indulgence from Eastmall consisted of a big battery tube, a switcher and adapters for different atomisers. This new version has the main change of combining all three components into one unit.

This solves some of the problems inherent in the old unit such as contact problems between the adapter and the switcher after continuous removing and fitting of different adaptor heads since it eliminates a spring joint between the adaptor and switch, and therefore two contact points being hardwired into one. The spring is also easier to clean since the battery is now inserted from the bottom of the tube instead of at the top.

Theoretically, it should save in costs since adaptor heads are out of the equation. Surprisngly it is sold for about US$20 more (currenty$59).

Apart from the lack of adapter head options (now relying solely on atomiser convertor heads to the 510 thread), there is a furthur limitation on the tube size. Where before there were two sizes (for short and long) there is now only the one long tube to fit either 18650 at 3.7v or two smaller batteries in series at 6v or 7.4v.




Looks Usage
Rather than follow it's predessor's chrome finish, the V3 is all matt aluminium.

Gone is the wobbly feel of the switch button which is now sturdy and positively metal. The old switch, you couldn't tell wether it was metal or plastic because it was the first thing to lose it's chrome coating.

The V3 reminds me of the days when bicycles first trended to one piece models. Suddenly you could get a one-piece aluminium or carbon fibre frame. The beauty and concept would overwhelm you to be satisfied just owning one, nevermind the functionalty.  Unfortunately though, this particular design cannot compare with the elegance of the older models. Something must have went wrong with the curving of the switcher head and atty socket.. If they had done the same curving for a larger battery base cap it would have balanced it out, but the battery cap is flat.

With a regular black 510 atomiser and black cartridge, the V3 looks unimpressive. It looks like one of those kitchen utensils you use to light the stove. You really need to replace the stock cartridge for a drip tip to get the best looks.


This is the first time I've used a tube holding a 18650 long battery. I can't help feeling it's bottom heavy. At times I feel I've nearly let it slip and drop from my hand. This is because the switch is quite high up and wether I choose to activate it with finger or thumb, the switch becomes the pivot point, meaning the bottom of the battery is always trying to wieigh it down. i don't suppose it's the only big battery mod that has this problem. I guess that's the downside of holding 3000mah worth of power.

The V3 retains a hard click switch, annoying for some but satisfying for others. Wether the quality is any better than the old switch, only time can tell. If a switch can't handle the power (amps) it will deteriorate over time and the first signs of this is that it will increase in resistance and reduce the current flow. The problem with the old Indulgence is that because of the small size of the switch, it is near impossible to find a replacement small enough to take the power. You can of course just replace it with a lower amp rating switch and hope that it will last. If the V3 uses the same switch, then it adds a major problem of actually getting the switch out. Because it's a one-piece now,  it looks pretty impossible.





Vapour Taste and Throat hit
Depends on your atty.

Depends on your atty.

Pros Cons
Carries the tradition of the old Indulgence of taking a 18650 battery or two smaller 3V/3.7v batteries.

Solves some inherent problems of the old Indulgence.

Sturdy switch.

Easy to clean battery spring.
No option for shorter tube.

Bottom heavy.

Relies on conversion adapters for atties other than 510.

Switch seems irreplaceable.



Conclusion
It was a good idea to update the Indulgence to a simpler , lower maintenance model. But it looks like they went too far.

Keeping the same elegant, straight, chrome finish would have kept it's legacy looks.
Keeping the battery tube seperate would have allowed for a shorter tube option and justified the upgrade.

As a first  big-batt mod for newbies, the price is a bit steep as there are many mods out there with similar features.






Aftermath
Well it finally happened.

After one month of usage, the performance became unstable and started to decline. I was sure it was the switcher because I had tried different branded batteries with the same reduced vapour, and the atty worked fine on another mod. Then finally one day, I tested the switcher and it had added another 1.5 ohm of resistance.

Seeing that no parts are replaceable, I went about unscrewing the base plate anyway. The unit was giving me no joy and I was curious to find out what kind of a switcher it was. Was it really a 'mechanical' switcher ? (whatever that means) as advertised?.



Voila ! the Indulgence V3 switch revealed !

As you can see above,  it just uses a dual-inline-package-4 switch as did the original Indulgence. 
Infact the construction is almost identical to the Indulgence V2, the only difference is that it is soldered in at one end (to the atty socket), whereareas the V2 relied on springs. Some people think soldered joints are not good, but this is a myth and in this case it probably improved it's reliability.


( just for comparison,  the Indulgence V2 (left) switch next to the V3 (right).)


On the other end of the V3 switch, you see a jutting copper wire that's supposed to connect to the base plate (to the battery) which could be perhaps the reason for the problem.  Metal surface contacts which are forced together for indefinite periods tend to build up surface corrosion,oxidisation or even dirt, all of which adds resistance to current. The more of these contact points you have, the more that can go wrong.

So there you have it. The V3 design isn't that much different to the V2, only that the outer body is all one-piece. Whether the V3 switch is a better quality than the V2 switch, or if this was purely a contact problem, is not the concern for the V3 design. The V3 design was not meant to let you replace the switch, after all the switch has "been tested for a million presses" right?. Unfortunately, the number of presses was not the V2's achilles heel, it was that the switch would break down because it couldn't take the amps. And that there were too many contact points between the switch and everything else.  These things, should keep a V4 designer well busy.








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