Bypass Mode? Wattage Curve? What Do the Different Vaping Modes Mean?
Today’s vape mods have more power, flexibility and features than ever. The typical high-end box mod also has several different operational modes available, but if you’re relatively new to vaping, there’s a good chance that you’ve never used anything but the basic wattage-based vaping mode. You turned your device on for the first time and found the appropriate operational wattage for your tank’s atomizer coil, and your device’s settings have remained exactly the same ever since.
If you’re happy enough with your current vaping experience, then you’ve probably never explored the other vaping modes available with your mod. That’s a shame, because vaping is all about choices. If you don’t know what your choices are, how can you ever be certain that you’re vaping in the way that works best for your needs?
In this article, we’re going to explain vaping modes like temperature control mode, bypass mode and all of the other settings on your mod that you’ve never bothered exploring before now. We encourage you to spend some time testing your device’s different vaping modes. Although it’s true that wattage-based vaping is what works best for many people, you’ll never know if that’s the case for you until you explore everything that’s available. Let’s begin!
Wattage mode is the default vaping mode for virtually every vape mod that exists. In this mode, you select the wattage at which you want your device to operate. The device detects the resistance of the installed atomizer coil and automatically configures the battery to operate at the correct voltage to deliver the wattage you’ve selected.
Some atomizer coils – particularly larger, heavier ones – require a bit of time to warm up before they begin to deliver vapour as efficiently as they can. For that reason, your vape mod may offer a pre-heating function that can get the coil up to its operational temperature a bit more quickly. If you see something like “Hard/Normal/Soft” or “H/N/S” on the display, your mod has that function. In “Hard” mode, your device gives the atomizer coil a bit of extra power when you press the fire button, helping the coil to generate large vapour clouds on demand.
Some older vape tanks have atomizer coil resistances that are significantly higher than the resistances of today’s coils. Some of today’s vape coils have resistances as low as 0.15 ohm. In contrast, the Aspire Nautilus Mini – a popular older tank designed for mouth-to-lung inhaling – has coil resistances of 1.6 ohm and up. Using Ohm’s law, we can calculate that a 1.6-ohm coil connected to a 4.2-volt battery would generate an operational power of just 11 watts. Some mods, however, don’t actually allow you to select power levels that low in wattage mode. Because it makes more sense to use voltage rather than wattage to select the operational power for certain older vape tanks, some mods include voltage-based vaping modes. Voltage mode, however, isn’t as common as it once was.
Wattage Curve Mode
Have you ever wished that you could control your vaping device a bit more finely by altering the wattage during your puffs? If that’s the case, you might enjoy wattage curve mode because it allows you to program a sequence of wattage changes in advance. After you’ve done that, the sequence replays automatically when you hold your device’s fire button. The most popular purpose for wattage curve mode is to define a curve that gives the coil a bit of extra wattage at the beginning before tapering off gradually to help prevent the wick from burning. With a bit of tweaking, wattage curve mode makes it easy for your vaping device to deliver precisely the experience you want with every puff.
Temperature Control Mode
With some metals and metal alloys, it’s possible to estimate the temperature of the metal if you measure its resistance while it’s being heated. That’s because the electrical resistance of any metal changes in a predictable way as its temperature changes. The rate of change in resistance is the metal’s temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR). If a metal has a high TCR – the resistance changes enough that it’s easy to measure with inexpensive equipment – then the metal can be used as an atomizer coil for temperature control vaping.
To enable your mod’s temperature control vaping mode, you need a tank with an atomizer coil made from titanium, nickel or stainless steel. Titanium and nickel coils aren’t particularly common, but stainless-steel coils are easy to find. Kanthal and nichrome coils do not work for temperature control vaping because their TCR is too low.
When you enable your mod’s temperature control mode, its interface will change. Instead of simply selecting a wattage as you do when vaping in wattage mode, you’ll select a wattage and a temperature. The wattage determines the amount of power initially sent to the coil when you press your mod’s fire button, and the temperature is the highest temperature that the mod will allow the coil to reach. If the coil reaches that temperature, the mod automatically reduces its power to prevent a dry hit or a burned wick. You might enjoy temperature control vaping if you prefer a cooler, smoother vaping experience.
If you have a rebuildable atomizer or vape tank that operates well at any wattage setting, you might enjoy a vaping mode that makes it unnecessary to worry about wattage at all. In bypass mode, your vaping device operates at the battery’s maximum available voltage – usually 3.7 or 4.2 volts – when the battery is fully charged. As the battery’s charge is depleted, the vapour production slowly decreases. Since bypass mode bypasses the mod’s wattage regulation circuitry, you may find that it makes your device “hit harder;” cloud production may seem like it happens more quickly when you press the device’s fire button. All of your device’s safety features are still active in bypass mode.
Bypass mode might also be good for you if you’re a past user of mechanical mods. A mechanical mod always outputs the full available voltage of the battery to the atomizer coil, so you’re probably used to building coils that work well at up to 4.2 volts. Bypass mode gives you that kind of experience but has the safety features that mechanical mods lack.
Proprietary Vaping Modes
Sometimes, a vaping device will include proprietary vaping modes designed to provide a better experience when you’re using a tank made by the same manufacturer. For example, many of the pod-based mods currently on the market have replaceable atomizer coils with different resistances. It’s becoming increasingly common for a pod mod to have an automatic vaping mode that detects the resistance of the connected atomizer coil and prevents the user from selecting a resistance that’s too high for the coil to handle.
Some vaping devices also have modes that optimise those devices’ settings for specific goals. For example, many Voopoo devices include a proprietary vaping mode called FIT. If you’re using a Voopoo device and a Voopoo tank, you can enable the FIT vaping mode to automatically optimise your device for the best possible battery life, vapour production or flavour quality.