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Conversion of RX200 to DNA200 and replacement of 510 connector

Discussion in 'Modifications and DIY' started by dl12345, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. dl12345

    dl12345 Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    I thought I would document my experience with converting my RX200 to a DNA200 and replacing the 510 connector, even though it ultimately turned out to be an abandoned project. I have a new Boxer mod dual 18650 kit on the way to house the DNA board instead.

    Despite one or two reports on the net about successful conversion of an RX200 to a DNA200, I felt that I ended up with an inherently unsafe mod and elected to abandon the project.

    I think it is possible to convert to a DNA200 OR to replace the 510, but not to do both. Even so, replacing the 510 connector is ok, but I would strongly recommend not to convert to a DNA200. Just buy the mod. The only reason I attempted it was that the 510 on my mod was already trashed and the mod was unusable. Thanks to @Neilly for sourcing a 510 for me from Cremedevape.

    I think that the conversion to the DNA200 results in an unsafe mod. The reason for this is that the space inside the RX200 is VERY cramped and re-wiring with Evolv spec wire means that you have to make substantial cutouts in the battery compartment to allow the wires to fit, and when they do, you have to cram them in so tight that they press up hard against the contacts and the board. The battery sled contacts and the battery sled itself is very flimsy and re-wiring with heavier gauge combined with the cutouts just left me feeling that it was an accident waiting to happen.

    I will caveat the re-wiring remark: I was unable to use 22 gauge for the balance taps. I had to use 26 gauge, which is theoretically ok since the balance taps are low voltage, low current, however, the use of such small gauge wire makes it very prone to dislodging for tearing off the solder joints.

    Replacing the 510 connector in conjunction with the DNA200 board requires dremelling out the stock mount, because otherwise even a low profile 510 won't fit in without touching the board out and ground contacts. Even then, you need to mount the 510 proud of the mod by using a couple of 22mm steel washers. Looking at another report of replacing the 510, if you elect to keep the RX200 board, then you don't need to dremel out the mount.

    Here are some photos and comments. I don't have photos of every stage of the process and some of the photos were taken just after dremelling and before finishing off with a file and sandpaper. Excuse my untidy dremelling in some cases, but in my defense, the space is very cramped and getting in there with the tool is pretty tricky.

    Here's the original wiring on the battery sled. Flimsy, small gauge wire for a 200W mod.

    DSC07959.JPG

    Creating the same mechanical reverse polarity protection as the Releaux DNA200 is fairly easy. The spout on many juice bottles is exactly the right size. Just cut it off the top, sand it down to about 0.5mm in height and superglue it on. Make sure to do so AFTER wiring the sled otherwise the heat of the solder will conduct through the battery contact tabs and melt the plastic. You need to fully disassemble the battery contacts before soldering as below. The plastic top pulls off the contact.

    DSC07950.JPG

    DSC07987.JPG

    Here's a view of the box where you can see the 510 mount. It slots into the tiny bracket at the top.

    DSC07962.JPG

    Here's the substandard 510 they use

    rx200-510.jpg

    Here's the compartment after the slots is dremelled out so that it can fit a 22mm 510 connector. You must use a low profile connector and mount it proud of the box using a couple of 22mm washers on the outside of the box between the 510 juice well and the box. It's tricky to get the dremel in the recess, so a very neat job was beyond my ability.

    DSC07980.JPG

    I also ground down the two ridges outside the box to allow for a better seating of the 510

    DSC07983.JPG

    Here's the DNA200 board next to the RX200 board. About the only thing that actually fits properly in the box is the board itself.

    DSC07966.JPG

    Here's the DNA200 mounted in the RX200 box. The RX200 fire button has a recess in it that needs to be built up. The best solution is to cut a small circular piece out of a credit card and superglue it in. It's exactly the right thickness.

    The up-down buttons need to be filed down because when the faceplate is put on they press down on the buttons.

    The screen is substantially too large. You will need to file out the window. I didn't get around to doing this as it was the last task of the conversion, which I abandoned.

    You need to solder the balance taps directly to the board. You cannot use the provided connector as there isn't enough space. You also have to use very small gauge wire - 26awg, otherwise you cannot re-insert the battery sled. You need to make cutouts at the bottom of the battery sled to allow space for the wires to bunch (the balance tap wires must all be the same length).

    In my opinion, this cutout combined with the need to stuff the wires very tightly in here makes this an unsafe modification.

    DSC07976.JPG

    You need to dremel out some of the bottom part of the box to allow room for the battery wires and for the balance taps.

    DSC07989.JPG

    Here is the 510 fitted and the DNA board wired to the 510. I didn't trust the grounding in the box so I wired the ground to the 510 as well. Note how tight the space is. You must choose a 510 where you can remove the 510 pin. This way, you can solder the 510 pin to the wire, then the wire to the board. Then you attach the 510 connector and screw the 510 into the pin. It's impossible to solder the wire with the board mounted in the box. So, using a FDV v5 would be impossible as it's 510 pin cannot be removed. A 510 from Cremedevape or a FDV V4 low profile would both work. They're both low profile (the Cremedevape even better as it has a slightly smaller cylindrical profile on the bottom part of the connector).

    Note that this is 14 gauge wire. It's pretty thick stuff. Very difficult to get in. You need to heat it a bit to allow easy bending. I used a silicon insulated wire.

    DSC08009.JPG

    Originally, I didn't wire the 510 this way. I first soldered a piece onto the board then connected it to the pre-soldered 510. This results in a wire that is too large and you cannot replace the battery sled. I had to pull it apart and start again.

    You need to make a big cutout in the top part of the battery sled otherwise it impinges against the 510 connector. You also need this cutout because the 14 gauge wires are pretty thick and press against the back of the battery sled, preventing it closing.

    Here's a view of the wiring (all as short as possible) that gives you an insight into why this becomes so tricky when attempting to replace the battery sled. There is a minimum of space between the back of the sled and the board mount.

    Even after making every wire as short as possible, making cutouts in the battery sled and dremelling out the case, I still had big problems getting the sled to fit back into the box properly. I had a slight gap of about 0.5mm where the battery compartment cover meets the main part of the box. This was due to the wires at the bottom pushing out the battery sled. Even pressing them in really tightly didn't solve the problem entirely.

    DSC08010.JPG

    So, after what amounted to about 20 hours of work, I pulled the whole thing to pieces again and ordered a Boxer mod. Hopefully this will be an easier DIY task that results in a safer mod.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
    jpr, johanrobert, Rick O-Shea and 6 others like this.
  2. Siam Diesel
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    Siam Diesel Nauti Moderator Staff Member

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    Valiant effort...and great write-up!
     
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  3. Rick O-Shea

    Rick O-Shea iStick Fanboy

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    Shame it didn't work out.
    Incidentally, the reverse polarity protector on the battery sled is the only con for me on the Reuleaux DNA 200, it's a PiTA to remove the batteries without wrapping a tab around them (excluding the single battery which is easily removed without damaging the wrapping).
     
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  4. dl12345

    dl12345 Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it isn't a very elegant solution. I suspect they didn't use an electronic solution simply because there's no space to fit one....it's not like the Releaux has a price point much lower than the other DNA200 solutions, so an electronic solution wouldn't have added enough to the bill of materials to make much of a difference.
     
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  5. Siam Diesel
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    Siam Diesel Nauti Moderator Staff Member

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  6. Tibo
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    Tibo French Hedonist

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    Just seeing this baby, thanks SD.

    @dl12345 how did you manage to remove the back where the batteries go ? I removed all the screws I can see :
    - one on top of the box
    - one on bottom
    - 6 inside, where the batteries go
    - one on the board, at the bottom
    - one behind a little piece of foam, close to the top of left battery tray.

    I can somehow move the tray a bit now but something is obviously blocking. The board does not move at all..

    Your help would be much appreciated :)
     
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  7. dl12345

    dl12345 Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    You'll need to desolder the red positive wire from the side of the board in order to remove the battery sled. You'll see it on the other side under where the faceplate is found. Have a look at this:

    Sent from my SM-N920C using Tapatalk
     
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  8. Tibo
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    Tibo French Hedonist

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    Much appreciated !
     
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  9. Longtail1
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    Longtail1 Vaping Troll

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    @dl12345 Got a question for you as you have stripped one of these down. I understand that there is some questionable wiring Guages inside these and I was wonderinf if you thought that this could lead to overheating of the mod itself? The reason I ask is that when using mine it has started to get very hot on the body of the mod on the board/dosplay side only. Battery side of the mod is the same as always and there is no extra heat in the batteries themselves. (Authentic VTC 5's) Admittedly this has only become a real problem since this stinking hot weather has kicked in, but it has me a bit worried. Some I know is from heat retransfer from the atty (Aromamizer Dual claptons 80W) ut never before this bad. Any info or insight from someone with much more comprehewnsive knowledge than me regarding electronics would be appreciated
     
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  10. dl12345

    dl12345 Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    I doubt that the heat you're feeling comes from the wire gauge. It looks to be about 16 gauge for the atomizer out and ground wires - it's 1.3mm diameter wire according to my digital caliper, which is borderline for a 200w mod. The battery wires themselves are much smaller gauge, although I don't have the originals left to check for you. I think the battery wires are definitely too small.

    It would be difficult for the wires to generate the heat you're feeling (the atomizer wires and battery wires don't touch the metal chassis). It's more likely to be the chipset on the board generating the heat. The chips sit against a backplate which is metal and is connected to the chassis - it's one integral unit, so the backplate functions as a heatsink and will transmit heat to the outer casing. I've seen similar reports about the RX200 getting really hot from other people. One of the folk who converted a RX200 to a DNA200 reported that the heat generation had gone down significantly. So I think this is just "normal" heat generation from the board and unrelated to the wire gauge. If you were feeling this kind of heat from the wire then I'd guess you'd probably smell some burning soon and your mod would stop functioning
     
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  11. Longtail1
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    Longtail1 Vaping Troll

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    Much appreciate that answer mate. Makes perfect sense.

    Already have 3 mods running to counter heating with this weather, no air-con, So I had better bring in another to minimize the use of the RX.DOn't want to fry the chip if i use it for too long at high temperatures.

    Many thanks
     
  12. dl12345

    dl12345 Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Also, the mod is likely to conduct heat from the 510 connector - it's all metal. If you turn off and click the fire 10x it will tell you the temperature.
     
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  13. Longtail1
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    Longtail1 Vaping Troll

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    Now I didn't know that.

    Cooled down for about 10 min and it shows 41C.
    **Updated**
    6 Draws and up to 56C.

    I have to shy away from too much transfer from the 510 as it appears to be an almost uniform overheat from top to bottom but Transfer is definately a factor. As I said not great problem before the hot weather kicked.

    thanks again and i will keep an eye on it.
     
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  14. -V-
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    -V- Administrator Staff Member

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    Found a 4 part video on this too







     
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  15. johanrobert

    johanrobert New Member

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