In this instructable I will show you how to build your own electronic cigarette at little to no cost by recycling electronics, salvaging components, and obtaining free samples.
Step 1: Gather Tools and Parts Needed
Gather all the tools and materials you will need for this project.
materials as follows:
Texas Instruments ptn04050 booster chip.
1 200 to 470 ohm resistor for the led
1 15k ohm (optional)
1 4.7k ohm (optional)
1 3 amp min on/off switch (optional)
1 momentary 3 amp switch
2 100uf 10-20v low esr capacitors
recycled 2 way radios
springs, battery tabs, materials for battery contacts (optional)
18 AWG wire
1 Glue gun
Step 2: Preparing the Chip
The chip I used is the Texas Instruments ptn04050. You can request one from Texas Instruments as a sample, absolutely free including shipping. The data sheet can be found here:
The chip requires two low esr capacitors of at least 10v 100uf.
I salvaged the caps used from scrapped computers and other electronics. I have used each type of capacitors seen in the photo without problems.
Connect one betwee voltage input and ground and the other between voltage output and ground.
Pay special attention to the polarity of the caps. The negative is generally marked with dashes.
At this time you should also solder lengths of wire to the input, ground, output, and adj (optional for variable voltage).
If you wish to make it a variable voltage unit solder a 15k resistor between Vo and adj pins. Also solder a 4.7k resistor in series with a 100k pentometer.
Step 3: Locating and Preparing a Body for Our E-cig
Not wanting to spend more money on a project box, I began looking around the house for a suitable body for my project. I came across a box of old 2 way radios and realized they are perfect!
Unscrew the back, usually just a few screws. Once unscrewed pull the radio apart and pull out the antenna. Unscrew and remove the internal circuit board as well. This leaves a large empty space which gives us a lot freedom to decide where do mount the chip and other components.
I tucked the chip away inside the cavity above the battery compartment and secured it with a dab of hot glue.
The radios have battery compartments already so we don't have to make our own. You can use nimh batteries, however I chose to use lithium ion batteries I have salvaged from other electronics.
The Ego/510 connectors I again salvaged. Mounting should be a breeze. I found them to fit nearly perfectly where the antennas were located. A small amount of shaving with an exacto knife may or may not be required to make it fit. I was actually amazed at how little work is required. Secure the ego/510 connector in place with epoxy or hot glue.
Next decide where to mount your switch to power the device. I requested the buttons as samples from NTE, making them free as well. They can also be found cheaply at radio shack or frys electronics. Make sure they are rated for 125v 3amp min. I mounted mine in the existing button holes. Again half the work is already done for us.
Solder the wire leading from the positive tab to one side of the button, solder another from the other side to the positive input on the ptn04050.
You can also add an on off switch if you desire. Installation is identical to the above just be sure to place it before the firing button. These can be easily found on many discarded electronics such as old power supplies, stereos, etc.
Use hot glue to hold thing in place and experiment with the layout. It can be easily removed later.
Step 4: Experiment With Placement of Components
Use the hot glue lightly and it makes removal much easier if needing to move something later. Feel free to move things around and find the best fit.
Step 5: Install Led
Solder the negative lead to thr negative battery terminal. Then solder a 200-470 ohm resistor in series with the positive leg of the led to the chips voltage out.
Step 6: Connect the Battery
Connect and solder the positive and negative wires coming off the battery to the corresponding tabs in the battery compartment. I replaced the original thin wires with heavier guage wire.
Next flip it around and solder wires to the terminals the battery is connected.
Step 7: Final Preparation
Once you have everything wired in and mounted it's time to glue them in place. You can use epoxy, hot glue, liquid nails, etc. Use shrink tubing or electral tape to cover any exposed wire or connections.
However, before you do this make sure the two halves of the radio still fit together and are not being blocked by anything.
screw it back together.
Step 8: Various Builds
examples of various builds I have made utilizing these methods. Between the free samples and the recycled/salvaged parts it's possible to build these for the cost of nothing more than a little free time.
Step 9: Various Builds
Step 10: Update! Voltage Display
I recently added voltage displays to the builds.