Poundworld have recently made available a disposable e-cig for ... wait for it ... ₤1! In the UK, that makes the item 1/6 the price of a comparable product that you'd buy at a major supermarket, so hey - thought I'd try them out! Granted, you get what you pay for, but I couldn't imagine the competition being six times better!
Now, others may well disagree, but I didn't find them totally disgusting ... but they are in no way equivalent to a full pack of traditional cigarettes (as advertised). Indeed, I bought two after lunch and they were both done by later in the evening and I'm not a two-pack-a-day-guy, by any means.
Disappointed, I pulled one apart to see where the problem lay. A disposable e-cig is simply a very small heating element wrapped in wadding soaked in nicotine-infused liquid and attached to a battery (and of course, the trademark LED at the end). I was struck by the fact that the wadding was still quite wet and clearly not spent ... obviously, the cheap, non-rechargeable battery was the problem ...
WARNING: This hack is neither elegant, pretty, nor something you'd be flashing about in polite company, but if it's late at night and everything is closed, this just might well be your saviour. Not only that, but I'm confident that this mod will double the usable life of your disposable e-cig!
You can use any 3 volt DC battery source - I just happened to have some AAs about and they are a good size to hold in your hand.
You can do this without any special tools or skills, and you will need:
1. an ezi-cig (or equivalent) - dead, of course!
2. a couple of 1.5V batteries (or one 3V)
3. duct tape
4. soldering iron
6. about six inches of thin, insulated wire
7. some kitchen foil
9. scissors (the smaller and sharper, the better)
Step 1: Remove the End Cap
You can use your tweezers for this. If that doesn't work, a flat watchmakers screwdriver will do the job (or any sharp knife ... but why take the risk?)
Step 2: Remove the LED
Again, use your tweezers. Don't be shy - get in there and get pull that sucker out! It's in a silastic grommet and won't want to cooperate at first ... you need to show that grommet who's boss!
Step 3: Start Pulling the Battery Out ...
Or at least, pull it out as far as it will go without putting too much strain on the red and blue leads ... they're attached to the heating coil through another silicone grommet but there's a 50/50 chance the grommet is just acting a spacer, rather than an anchor, and you DON'T want to have to worry about re-soldering it later!
Step 4: Snip the Red and Blue Wires to the Coil and Remove the Battery
This is important because it also allows you to pull the battery completely out. The wires "to the coil" are the ones which clearly are heading back down the tube towards the inhaler end. Got it? Good! There's no need to cut the red and black wires to the LED and it means that it's easier to hold on to the LED for later use. If you cut all the wires, no big deal, but don't throw it away - LEDs are cool and always useful to have in your Cool Stuff Drawer for later projects :D
Put it away now, or you'll lose it.
Ok ... don't say I didn't warn you!
Step 5: Making Your Battery Pack
For this you will need (obviously) your two batteries, the kitchen foil and your duct tape.
1. duct tape the batteries together, leaving both ends free from tape
2. fold the foil as shown to make a conductive bridge between the batteries
3. duct tape the foil conducting bridge to one end of the opposing batteries
4. duct tape a spare length of thin, insulated wire to the negative terminal at the other end, as shown
5. you're good to go!
Step 6: Solder the Extension Wire to the Two Wires on the E-cig
The wires are very thin and won't take much to solder together.
If you want to be anal, you can heat shrink them, but this is an emergency and I somehow doubt you have the time for such niceties ...
Oh, well ... if you must ...
Having said that, it would be way cooler to have a permanent socket on the end of the e-cig that could attach to a plug coming from the battery back ... now THAT would be groovy! (and defeats the title rationale i.e. "EMERGENCY etc" ... still ... )
Step 7: YOU'RE DONE!
Nothing left to do but to connect the free wire to the battery and enjoy! All you need to do is to hold the battery pack in your hand and press the red wire on the positive battery terminal with your finger. You are, of course at liberty to add a switch between the pack and the e-cig. I would recommend a momentary switch, because if you forget to turn the switch off you'll burn out the coil and ruin all your hard work. Well, ok ... your work ... AND your ezi-cig ... these ones are made of plastic tubing, and I'm certain inhaling burning plastic smoke will see you very sick indeed - you have been warned!
And as a point of reference, I've been vaping a hacked, re-booted ezi-cig for the entirety of constructing this Instructable (my first) and it's still going strong.
It belatedly occurs to me that there's also no reason why you couldn't prise off the inhaler end cap and re-saturate the wadding with a few drops of e-juice, making the thing a dodgy but ongoing plastic-fantastic e-cig that you always have at hand in times of need.
Thanks for reading!