How does the Magic-Flight Launch Box vaporizer work, and how can I make one?

A challenge to all you rebellious Instructablers: There is a pretty neat small herbal vaporizer called the Magic-Flight Launch box (check it out here: http://www.magic-flight.com/). It looks like a very interesting device, the only problem is that it comes in at a whopping $100. I'm willing to bet that someone out there can design something like this for much less. Can you?

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randirose2 years ago

Hello, I have the magic flight and removed the screen to clean the insides, after assembling it back together it is not getting hot anymore. What did I do? The light still lights up, there are two little wires coming out of the light hold i believe... then the two rods... i noticed there was a mini piece of wire that came from somewhere but not sure where. When I was playing with it, it burnt in half touching the light bulb.. but i truly can't understand where it came from or where the disconnection is. What is exactly that heats up the rods and therefore screen? Or is it the screen that activates the rod charge in result heating it up? Pardon me for my engineering skills but i'm boggled and want my vape back! Please help if you can!

Tony76js4 years ago
Hi to all, I've been very interested in making one of these since I found out about them. I'm a joiner by trade so it seemed right up my street. I've made one to the exact dimensions of the original, used the correct mesh (304), bought some 2700mah rechargables, but had trouble finding the copper clad steel rods. I understand that coaxial cable contains this but it is only 1mm thick at best and the rod used on the MFLB seems to be 2 or possibly 3mm thick. I managed to find some Nichrome 2mm wire, which I used in my unit. The screen does heat up to the touch, tried it with some weed but not sure if it is working properly or if the screen is getting hot enough. Didn't really see any noticeable vapour when I exhale (which on some YouTube videos is very visible). The weed in the trench did seem to slightly brown after a few goes on it but just not sure if the effect is the same as the original as I've never tried any other vaporiszer before.... I suppose my question is, would the Nichrome wire work in the same way copper clad steel wire does? I really want this to work because I think this design is amazing and seems a shame to have to spend my hard earned cash on something that I actually enjoyed making... Any help would be greatly appreciated. ?
You can not use nickel chromium wire in place of the cooper contacts. Nichrome has a very large unit volume resistance in comparison to copper. So based on ohms law p = i^2*r, you want your maximum resistance at the heading element so that it and only it dissipates the most energy. The rest of the circuit should be free current flowing. Also, you don't not have use copper clad steel. I use full copper 12 awg romex wire. Since copper has a very low unit volume resistance, the bigger the diameter of wire the more energy can flow through it without it heating up very hot based on newton's law of thermal convection and ohm's law.

Hope this helps!

Hello, I have the magic flight and removed the screen to clean the insides, after assembling it back together it is not getting hot anymore. What did I do? The light still lights up, there are two little wires coming out of the light hold i believe... then the two rods... i noticed there was a mini piece of wire that came from somewhere but not sure where. When I was playing with it, it burnt in half touching the light bulb.. but i truly can't understand where it came from or where the disconnection is. What is exactly that heats up the rods and therefore screen? Or is it the screen that activates the rod charge in result heating it up? Pardon me for my engineering skills but i'm boggled and want my vape back! Please help if you can!

Hey i have a question... How hot do your copper rods get? and how long before they heat up>?
watatsumi2 years ago

What would you say is the best resistance for the screen to have for the box to work at a similar rate of heating as the original mflb? I'm using a 2300 mAh battery.

Feshtank4 years ago
Hello all. I will be buying my mesh this week and had a few questions. Will this mesh work: http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Steel-Perforated-Sheet-Length/dp/B005H3GTJ6/ref=sr_1_6?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1362366268&sr=1-6&keywords=stainless+steel+mesh

It has a small diameter which is good, but what kind of % open area do I want? Do I want that to be as small as possible? Are there any other factors I should consider? Thanks.
I don't remember exactly the percentage of open area, but I wrote a program to optimize the screen resistance with respect to the screen dimensions I wanted and I determined T316L stainless steel wire mess at 325 wires per inch to be the best. At 325M pollen does not fall through.

What would you say is the best resistance for the screen to have for the box to work at a similar rate as the original mflb?

Thanks. I couldn't find the 325 anywhere in a sample size or for a reasonable price. Do you think the 325 would be best for me? I am going to be putting about 1.2 volts across the resistor with my battery so I may need a slightly higher resistance. I was hoping there would be some way to determine whether a higher or lower open area would be better intuitively. If you have any mesh suggestions/good places to buy from please let me know. Thanks for your help!
First of all, the voltage across the heating element is not the total voltage of the battery. This vaporizer circuit works like a simple bridge circuit. A battery has an internal resistance that is in series with the second resistor or heating element and causes the voltage across the heating element to be less than the total battery voltage. Because of this phenomenon a normal alkaline AA will not heat the screen to 375 - 400 degrees Fahrenheit because it's internal resistance is too high. Theoretically, if the internal resistance of a battery had a value of zero it would work like an ideal capacitor; having the ability to discharge all it's stored energy instantaneously.
In your case, look around and see what you can find. My only recommendation to you is to use a screen that is fine enough that doesn't allow anything to fall through...or else you will breathe it in.
So since I am not going to get the full 1.2 volts, how can I determine how much voltage is dropped across the internal resistance? Do batteries have some kind of data sheet with this kind of information? I plan on using a NiMH Cell, but am still struggling to find the proper mesh. As others have stated equipment that is capable of measuring the resistance across the mesh is not available to me, so would I be best off just buying a mesh that I thought would have the highest resistance? Do you know of any meshes that might suit my needs? I might just use the one you suggested and see what kind of temps I get with it... Sorry for all of the questions. Thanks for your help.
Also if the multimeter says the battery is outputting 1.2 volts then the voltage dropped on the load must be 1.2 volts (despite the internal resistance), correct? Thanks again.
Jason3227 years ago
My "prototype" turned out decent I guess. ;) Not much that I could improve on it except using something besides lumber :$.  Perhaps getting a negative loop, the battery hole has a area that about one cm squared that makes contact with the battery thus completing the circuit. Have any questions or anything, hit me up.  Oh yea...pictures 
Does that screen work for you? I'm using the same stuff, and getting NO heat with a AA, and very little with a 5v .8 amp power supply. am I doing something wrong here?
I am having the same problem has anyone figured this out? Mine is completely built I used 14ga copper rod for the battery terminals and a stainless steel screen. The screen would kinda get hot when i would press it hard into the copper rod. I thought i would solve this problem by soldering it to the screen but now it wont get hot at all. I cannot figure this out i think the copper rod i used could be the problem because it is not the same used of the mflb?? PLEASE HELP

Get a chisel tip for your soldier iron/gun.

You will also need some soldiering flux (preferably the gel type /or brush on type) that is intended for stainless steel.

Brush the rod (don't get it all over the wood, it doesn't take a lot). brush the mesh. Now load the tip of your iron, lay the mesh in and apply soldier as needed along the rod.

It may help you to "Tin" (apply soldier to this piece by itself first) the copper rod before you start. I tin mine. Again, try not to get this Flux all over the wood, you'll never get it out of the wood if you do.

Soldier on the other hand can be flaked off after it cools so don't worry so much about it, just let it cool then flick it off.

I know this is an old one to dig up for you, but, i wonder what you mean by silver soldering?
What kind of silver solder are you using?
Generally even an easy silver solder needs to be 700 degrees to melt, but soldering irons will generally only reach 500?
And surely you can't braze it because... open flame inside wooden box = NUH UH.
Can you give more details on this?
I want my DIY flight box to be spankkkkingly amazing :3

Probably your cable, the bigger the best, copper plated steel pipe hooks work the best for this
GHOSTBOB3 years ago
Anyone know what kind of bulb is inside of MFLB? I think its not a LED, beacouse LED need to work 2,3 V.
GHOSTBOB4 years ago
Hi guys

I wonder if I when I will use 0,028 mm stainless steel mesh (304) with 0,036 x 0,036 mm MESH HOLES? Eyelet? (forgive me but i dont know how it is called in english) and 2 mm stainless steel rods my vaporizer will work properly?

How should I know will it achieve a proper temperature? Do you us it a laser thermometer?

I made it !! :) But I think is going hot to fast...;/
I'm an industrial designer and i also thought i could make this thing for a whole lot less. So, i made a few prototypes and then settled on a design and method of construction. I made 170 of these little guys dubbed the OakTop Portable Vaporizer and am selling them on eBay. Someone mentioned on this post that Magic Flight uses lead free solder on the mesh but i was under the impression that it was micro welded to the two copper rods beneath. Anyhow, i used lead free silver solder and clamped the soldered connections in shallow grooves between the Oak top and the Maple body. Hope ya'll like it, this site helped a lot when i designed it.
oaktop exploded.jpgcollapsed vape.jpglong nose.jpg
Hi Jaketreefrog!!

Could you tell me how did you bend your mesh to get the original shape. I mean what did you use to make a trench?? I would be glad if you give me a solution to my problem.:)

Wow, this is perfect. No separate tube either. On my way to make one for myself.
Hey there. I really like your design and was wondering what tools/instruments did you use to drill holes with? How is it possible to make for more space on the bottom, so that it's wider then on top? I'm trying to make it with a different screen and do not want it to burn through wood.
Trigger pulled here too..
I just pulled the trigger as well. Looks like it's possibly a better design. Looking forward to it.
I pulled the trigger. Looks comparable but with a built in draw.
Looks awesome. I just sent you a pm... hope to hear back from you.
delstrons4 years ago
Hi guys,

Dumb question...how is the pin that holds the plexiglass in place attached to the wood body? Is it just a nail? Can it be pulled and placed back in? or does it have thread? I need to replace my plexiglass top. A firned dropped my MFLB down my window. The thing survived 20feet! Only the plexiglass top broke!!

On the mini vaporizer I built, I use about an inch long X 3/32 inch diameter brass rod. I deform the S-shape into it, then epoxy it in place with JB weld.
When I said "Dumb question" I did not realize how dumb it really was. I actually looked at it for 2 seconds today thinking about what was coming into my eyes and I see how this works. Can posts be removed? This is actually embarrassing. :) Anyways, on my way to purchasing a replacement top. :)
[10] lol
xlioilx4 years ago
Why build one of these when they make a cheap Chinese version that i've seen sell for 20-30 bucks on ebay. OK I know this is the instructables site.

Personally I'd actually like to build the magic flight with some slight modifications. Does anyone know where the light bulb can be bought.. I don't know what kind it is. Thanks!
TheMacgyver4 years ago

2012-03-17 21.05.50.jpg2012-03-17 21.03.22.jpg
Hey guys I have seen so many that I had to post mine! This is refined and fully functional. It took an expensive setup to build but they are done and the final product is in the bag. Ladies and gentleman this is PV^4! Thank You, questions at thestarsmist@gmail.com
WOW. Good stuff! How you connect mesh with rods? It is some kind of solding or welding? Looks really good:) What's the name of the middle of the last picture? Do you used copper rods ?
I mean what's the name of the tool ;)
zigzagchris4 years ago
so, this is where im at. I'm not using the origional dimensions in this version. Didn;t get very hot using aa's but with a nine volt it got hot when i held it but kept sparking when i didn't. Im guessing i should solder it with the silver stuff for it to work? I plan on buying the correct screen size if available or using one of my tea strainers. ANy input?
2012-12-15 20.04.17.jpg
My Launch box is not heating up properly! :(. I think there may be a connection problem. Is this something I can easily fix? I'm not very handy, but you all seem extremely knowledgable and would love any input you may have. If I take out the screen and rubber gasket, can I fix the possible wiring issue and simply put it back together?

Thanks so much for your help on this!!!

Sincerely needing my box to work,
forgedcu4 years ago
I am in the process of making my version. Today I silver brazed the screen to copper clad steel welding rod. With a half charged battery I quickly had the screen temp up to 300 degrees. I am sure it would get a lot hotter with a fresh battery and with something other than my fingers holding the battery to the rod. Has anyone else tried silver brazing (hard solder) the screen to the rods? It seems to work great. I used easy solder and white paste flux.
mamajr965 years ago
Ok guys I know this is really old and no one will probably answer but here it goes. I have all the parts ready to be used this weekend I understand how it works and I'm not stupid but the one thing I do not get is what is holding the copper rods in place please any answer Is better then none thank you
The copper rods are soldered to the screen and everything is heald in place by the case of the device.
Hi mamajr96,

If you have access to a micrometer, measure the diameter of the copper that you are using (needs to be a solid core; not strand wire).

Drill a hole in the wood exaclty the size of the copper and you may have to tap the wire slightly. You can use your micrometer to measure the base of the drill bit (part that goes in drill) this will tell you what size the hole will be. (yeah some of the large drill bits have a smaller shaft in order to fit into a smaller chuck but we are not using bits that large here).

If you will notice on the pictures of the actual MFLB,  Here:


that there is usually a noticeable wood filler mark on either end where the hole has been filled in a little, for cosmetic reasons.

On the negative side of the post; you drill your hole in the front (mouthpiece) end.

Have a copper rod longer than what you will need.
Push it through from the front,
------> bring enough out the back slot side to make your correct bends for your battery contact
------>then push it back through to the front-
------>I won't go into the exact bends but if you need advice on it let me know
------>basically you have to measure the it will come up just short of the end of the box (so you can have a slight indention to hold the filler.
------>If you would rather make you piece first and then slide it in from the "Kerf" side that you cut then do it from that end, just keep you try part of the rod straight. 

You will also notice from the actual pictures of the MFLB that they have a small piece of metal (like a shim for an axe handle, just smaller) to keep the negative side of the rod from coming out of the back side. 

The positve side should just be straight, drilled through on one end and partial drilled in the opposite, and as with the negative side; slightly shorter than the box so you can fill it. I believe on the original, that they fill it on the back side. remember that it needs to be in the middle or at the point of the center of the Battery's positive node. 

Well I hope this gives you a little more insight, I see it is a little late for your weekend project but maybe it will help someone.

The website where that picture is linked will have a Zoom feature that you can look at a few different angles of the original. This will also give you some detailed insight if you need it.

Post back if you need any help. 

That wood filler thing you said isn't true, there are two holes on the back of the MFLB where you can see the rods were inserted. The "wood filler mark" in the picture is a blemish on the wood.
If that were true, all of the originals would not have that same "Blemish" as you say.

The "TRUE" MFLB's are designed this way.

It is your project, build it in whatever way works for you. You may not have some of the tools that a large Cabinet shop would have.

Report your steps or methods back and maybe it will help someone out with their project.

They don't, lol. Unless the 2012 version isn't a "true" MFLB. The "wood filler mark" is perpendicular to the rods, while both holes on the back correspond to the position and size of the rods. It's in the vaporpedia entry.

I'm not sure I understand what your argument is here on this forum.

Let me ask you this and maybe your answers to this, will clear it up for me.

-Are you preparing to make one of these?

-Have you already made one these?

My situation is this; I DO have the Cabinet shop, all of the tools needed but I do understand that some people do not have access to these tools such as I have readily available. I have made these and I have some originals. They all work exactly the same. One is not any better than the other.

I've been a Finish Carpenter and Cabinet/Furniture maker since 1984 and this is a really simple design. I think you may be making it more complicated than it is and the wood filler, insertion of the copper rods etc. is really a non-issue from my perspective. It is what it is. There is only so many combinations that could be used to obtain the desired result , given the information we have from the actual MFLB's.

If I can help you any along the way, then I will try.


I wa only correcting what you told another person.
But if some wood filler is used wont it become heated and release toxic fumes?

No, the wood filler won't be a conductor of heat from the electrical charge. That heat will be distributed to your screen.

The wood filler wont no more ignite or produce fumes than the wood that the MFLB is made of.

I will give you another helpful hint if you haven't gone too far or if you build another. If you notice the almost pyramid or trapezoid like shape that the screen forms.
Depending on your woodworking skills, You can replicate this by carving out a negative shape of this (make sure it will fit your tray mortise in your box) press your screen carefully around this to achieve this shape.

You could also create a positive shape of it and press it into the screen. Make both negative and positive and place screen in between the blocks and press/mold the screen in between to form that shape like the MFLB has.
Thank you, I also have one more question do you have any tips on bending the copper coated stainless steel rods that the battery makes contact to?

If you have a small torch (found in any plumbing section from Walmart to Lowes) you can heat it up SLIGHTLY.

You can heat it by moving the torch back and forth along the wire for 6-7 seconds and see if that will help it a little. If not try a few more seconds.

If you are using the Copper coated pipe hangers; be careful not to burn the copper from the steel. You shouldn't have brought the temp up that high but just pay attention. 

Here is another method for you:

--->Get a piece of plywood (or any wood you can nail into with a small finish nail).

--->Stand your battery up on it's end and trace closely around it.

--->now draw a line from the center of that circle back toward the part where the mouthpiece (tray area) would be as if you were looking at the apparatus from the side (which would also be the end of the battery.

--->Now adjust the line drawing so that it exactly resembles the shape of the finished copper rod on the negative side should look.

--->Now trace the line with a sharpie marker or something similar and try to keep the line at about the thickness of the copper.

--->Get some small finish nails about 3d (3-penny) size.

--->tap the nails in to the wood just far enough for them to be fairly sturdy, making sure to keep the nail on one side of your line and not on the line.

--->Along the straight part of the line, nail a couple more nails in, in the same manner as before, being sure to leave room for your copper to fit in between the nails.

--->You will be able to bend the copper around this JIG that you just created and you have an exact template to go by and adjust by.

--->You may have to strategically place a few more nails than I mentioned but you should be able to see how this method work once you start.

Hope this helps you.
voigas4 years ago
thanks for the great advice!

here is what i have built. i used dried hazelnut wood from our garden and for the finish beeswax. i am still having trouble with the soldering points because i do not get a good connection between the stainless steel mesh and the silver coated copper wires. i use silver based solder and soldering flux containing zinc chloride. the solder points actually burn up and i can see a spark. firstly, i do not want to inhale it and secondly, after a while there is no more connection between the mesh and the wires resulting in a non heating box. any advice?

peace felix
120719_magic box.jpg
Trebawa voigas4 years ago
What did you use to attach the plexiglass to the wood?
you can cut a couple rectangles out of thin copper sheet and place them between the wires and screen. That will be easier for the solder to adhere to and give a greater contact surface area so the mesh won't spark/burn up.
Can you sketch up a picture of how everything is connected ...so a picture with no casing.
I tinned the copper wires before soldering the to the screen then reapplied flux to both screen and tinned wire. After soldering the wire to the screen, the excess flux residue vaporizes at around 400 - 450°. I put the screen assembly in a toaster oven and essentially boiled off the flux. You can also use an emollient to help remove the residual flux. My assembly is clean as a whistle. Hope this helps.
I posted some photos below but here is the demo video showing the PV4 in action.
mamajr965 years ago
So I'm pretty much done right now, only one last question. Does anyone have any tips on how to get the negative loop nice and round. I keep getting mine to bend in a v shape rather than an o, any advice would be great, thanks.
mamajr965 years ago

I order this today an it says it has a zinc coating which I didn't notice before should I cancel my order or is the son coating not going to effect the mflb

Zinc melts at about 900˚F and vaporizes at about 1650˚F

When zinc vapor mixes with the oxygen in the air, it reacts instantly to become zinc oxide.  This is the same white powder
that you see on some noses at the beach and the slopes.  Zinc oxide is non-toxic and non carcinogenic.  

Extensive research(1)-------(see footnote below)
into the effects of zinc oxide fumes has been done, and although breathing those fumes will cause welders to think that they
have the flu in a bad way, there are no long-term health effects.  Zinc oxide that is inhaled is simply absorbed and eliminated
by the body without complications or chronic effects.

1Walsh, Sandstead, Prasad, Newberne and Fraker, Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 102, Supplement 2,
June 1994, 5-46.  Provides summary plus 471 references.
So what your saying is that the the Mflb wouldn't produce enough heat to even vaporize or melt the zinc and even if it could it's harmless

MFLB achieves around 380 degrees Fahrenheit, if it heated much more than that it wouldn't be considered a good Vape. At temps too much higher, your product would burn up and/or turn brown prematurely. 
Don't forget the little Dado/Mortise that runs front the KERF (slot on the Negative side of the battery) to the Bowl. This is an air intake hole and is necessary for the proper operation of the MFLB.
Wait what

Here is a picture, indicating the location on the box. The location I was speaking about the Dado. 

For Dado show.jpg
mamajr965 years ago
guys, I am ordering some mesh, and i was wondering if it mattered between .006 mesh and .007
Here is a Link where you can get an idea of how the sizes look in someones hand.


I assume you are talking about the size (Diameter) of the wire that makes up the actual mesh?
If so, you probably couldn't tell the difference in .006 & .007 if I handed them to you at the same time.

304 Stainless would work best if you can get it at a small enough piece. In other words; you may find it at $3 a sq ft but the minimum order may be like $75. So that would not be feasible unless you plan on making thousands of MFLB's....lol
mamajr965 years ago
Ok thank you so much for your help I really appreciate it
Liverpool125 years ago
I am sooooo close to being done with this process. I have constructed everything, and have all materials (wood, battery, copper coated steel rods, covering), BUT I need to find the steel mesh. Can someone please provide specific, regarding the exact name given to the material? It would help if anyone knew where to buy it, links, etc.
THANKS! - I cant wait to vape maan.
Do an Ebay search------->stainless steel mesh.

As "dsaavedra" stated, pipes screens will show up in the results of that search.

They are very inexpensive and come in a range of sizes.

For Example: if it says 100, that means that there is 100 holes (openings) within one linear inch of screen. 500 is finer that would mean 500 holes (openings) in one linear inch. and so on.
go to a headshop and buy pipe screens. should be very cheap, i got 10 for a dollar.
I think stainless steel silk screen would work if you haven't already got it working. I'm gonna have to try this now cause I just got a new wooden pipe I'm going to mod.
Re-design7 years ago
I works by heating the "herbs" to almost combustion point thus boiling off any volatile substances.  The herbs are finely ground so the essential oils are released and vaporized by the heat.  Figure a way to heat your stuff.  Then make a nicely carved wooden box and you've duplicated it.  I don't have one to look at to figure out what the heating mech. is.  YOu'll have to do that.
 Besides tea strainers, has anyone sourced 304 stainless steel mesh?

If so, please post.

Thanks, Bro.
Check out this palce in New Jersey, they specialize in fine woven wire mesh stainless steel mesh screens:


Have used them in the past before, always been reliable.

Good Luck
akwardsauce5 years ago
someone has successfully made one already. they said it takes about 2 hours to do. even has a nice little tube-holder on the bottom...brilliant!!!

demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7aEw4NqxMA

version 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77DWpoTsXp8&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

version 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTLFTymLc_4&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
Doctor What7 years ago
 Or you could search for a vaporizer that has already been created on Instructables.

Search for vaporizer.
teroblacknight (author)  Doctor What7 years ago
Obviously, but none of the other vaporizers use this one's unique technology.
What is unique about this one that sets it apart from the others? 

Find that feature, and replicate it.
I doubt there's anything truly special. It's a box, a small, variable flow air pump, a plug-style heating element, and a tempertature controller...oh and someplace to put your potpourri. We made these things back in 1974-5, when I was just a "randy lad". The only thing special about an herbal vaporizer (as opposed to a standard vapo-rub type vaporizer) is the specific temperature used, which is a bit higher than that used for plain water and a bit of camphor/eucalyptus
...precisely :D
I hope you don't mind me asking you a question, since you seem to be the only one active in this thread at the moment.

I put together a small test setup to test the principle of this device in the following manner.

Using a stainless steel screen approximately 1 square inch, some thick copper speaker wire, and a 1200 mah nimh battery.

I taped the wires down in parallel to a piece of wood (paint mixing rod, and exposed the last inch of the wires, running them to the battery terminals.

I pressed the screen down by hand, and connected the battery.  Within about 3-4 seconds the battery got pretty hot to the touch, but I don't think it was getting into the range needed for vaporization.  After about 10 seconds it was too hot to comfortably hold down onto the wires.

Do you think using solid core wire would cause the screen to get any hotter? or to heat faster?  I noticed the  retail version uses copper plated steel rods -- I don't know if that is a design feature of a functional feature.

Also, I have a question about the way the negative end of the battery is hooked up.  In the retail version, the copper rod wraps all the way around the battery, surrounding it.  Will connecting this extra surface area affect how fast/hot the screen gets?  Or could you theoretically just hook the negative to the battery like normal?

heavy speaker wire is a poor heater - it has very low resistance == very high current.  High current is the only reason you're getting heat.  You want high current and localized resistance.

You do need the current, but you only want it where the herb is being vapourised - you need something like a heater element; and then low resistance conductor wire between that and the battery.  A piece of nichrome wire will act as a heater...look it up.  It has known resistance per length unit - so you can calculate the exact power being used, and furthermore control the current by controlling the voltage.

Again, a straight short circuit with a big conductor and a battery will just cook your battery.
Thanks for the quick reply!

I just did a bit of reading on nichrome, and I think it has potential for a project like this.  Possibly even surpassing the results of the retail launch box. 

That being said,  I'm personally interested in duplicating the results of the launch box.  It has gotten very high ratings on the following forum: www.fuckcombustion.com/viewtopic.php

It's a pretty demanding forum dedicated to vaporizer reviews, and given it's status as a solid vaporizer and all of the information known about the construction of this vaporizer, I think the best thing to do is try to copy it as accurately as possible.

According to the creator of the launch box, it is constructed with the following materials:

"The following materials are used in the construction of the Box: Birch wood, 304 stainless steel screen, copper plated steel rods, Acrylic (Plexi-glass) cover, and a stainless steel spring clip (for the cover). There is no solder (ie no lead). There are no hazardous materials used.

So, nichrome may ultimately be better suited, but at the moment I am inclined to piggyback on the successes of the original launch box.  We know the box is 2.5" by 1.25" by 0.9" inches in size, and we know precisely what meterials were used.  This leaves me with the following questions:

Would the steel rod coated in copper used by the retail version offer any advantages over a solid core copper wire?

Would short variations in wire length (1-2 in) affect the temperature the screen reaches, or the speed it reaches it?

The retail launch box has a loop surrounding the outside of the battery to make the negative connection. Does the large surface area being exposed to the metal give it any advantage in temperature or speed? Or is that just a matter of functional design?

Also, battery life is not a big concern.  Among users of the retail launch box it seems to be a given that depending on your battery you will only get 1-3 'trenchs'  or bowls of herb vaporized.  A rotation of rapid charged batteries seems to be key.  Do you think using nichrome would greatly affect the number of batteries being used?

Aside from all these specific questions, do you have any advice in general for somebody trying to duplicate the launch box?  

> Would the steel rod coated in copper used by the retail version offer any advantages over a solid core copper wire?
.  The only advantages is that it is cheaper and not as soft/flexible. Solid Cu will work best from an electrical standpoint.
> Would short variations in wire length (1-2 in) affect the temperature the screen reaches, or the speed it reaches it?
.  It will increase the resistance, but if you use a large enough conductor (12AWG? 10?), it won't make enough difference to worry about.
> Does the large surface area being exposed to the metal give it any advantage in temperature or speed?
.  It helps, but, as with the wire length, if you make enough contact, a little bit here or there isn't going to matter much.
.  You are limited to the "smallest" connection on either terminal. It's not just the negative side. You need as good of a connection on the positive side.
> Do you think using nichrome would greatly affect the number of batteries being used?
.  That is strictly a matter of the resistance of your circuit (wires + heater + connections) and not the materials used.
Solide core copper wire will be softer that's true, which we don't really need or want, but it will also be a far better heat conductor which will sap the heat out of the screen, which we don't want.

The steel core will have far greater thermal resistance which will help localize the heat in the screen, while the copper coating on the wire will lower resistance for current flow, more than enough at these levels.

If you allowed thick gauge solide copper wire to form the connections, even if especially short, it would transfer the heat from the screen into the battery, which will make a fairly monstrous thermal sink compared to the screen, as would just the wires alone.

For everyone discussing this "copper coated steel rod", as though it's some sort of exotic material, it's really extremely common. Odds are, you've got all kinds of it laying around already, like in coax cable for instance. Typically it's referred to as copper clad steel.
.  On second thought, solid Cu may not work will at the high temperatures near the heating element. Cu-clad steel may be a better choice.
tramaeivoid here (kind of) -- I didn't expect to get this interested, and was using a bugmenot account.  figured I better get real.

Thanks for the input, I think I'm on the right track finally.

Do you know of anywhere to source Cu-clad steel?  I have been googling, and the only things I can find  are expensive bulk items.  

Thanks again!
Actually I take that back, I think I just found a suitable source:
 Found some more good pics here:
there are not any of those things -- this model doesnt use any traditional electronics.  -- just copper plated steel rods, a battery, and a steel screen.

Look at the launch box to get a better idea of how this works:

I'm not great with electronics, but it appears to rapidly discharge a nimh battery, heating a stainless steel screen.  the airflow is provided only by venitlation, and there is no temperature controller.

This thing is elegantly simple, and from the review i have read works amazingly well http://fuckcombustion.com/viewtopic.php?id=673&p=4
So does this mean all I need is something with a high electrical resistance (like nichrome wire) and it will get hotter with an increase in voltage, amps, ohms? What kind of battery do I need to look for if I want a stronger charge.
ipporock916 years ago

Firstly, Congratulations for the progression of your projects !
I want to do mine but i have some questions :

1) Why do we need the copper in the copper plated stainless steel rods?

2) Can someone make photos about the steps of construction ?

Thanks you very much and sorry for my english =/
Timboscoops6 years ago
does anyone know what type of wood to use because i have a cedar block form ll bean with their logo burnpressed into the back and was wondering if that would be allright to use as my base?
It is made of birchwood. Also I did buy one of these but also spotted this thread so I will likely follow some directions from here to make one or more.

I have to say the unit works terrificaly and now it doesnt even bother me that I spent $75 (had 25% coupon+free shipping) It does everything it is supposed to do.


I got a coupon for these guys. Watch the vid and it gives you a code for the discount and free shipping. I believe it is MFLBYT but double check.
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