I’ve actually had the AIOS for quite a while now. I was a little intimidated by it when I first got it in back in October, and it took me a while to really get comfortable with it. Now that I know what I’m doing, I really love this piece a lot. Obviously, it works flawlessly in regular dripper mode – in fact, I think as a regular dripper, it offers some of the best flavor I’ve gotten out of any RDA, and the bottom airflow works great for me.
However, the elephant in the room with this piece is getting it to work in auto dripper mode. Now if you know anything about me from reading this blog, you will know that I don’t ever use stainless steel mesh. The typical autodripper setup for the AIOS calls for a stainless mesh wick, usually coming out of the tank and directly through the coil, basically in an upside down genesis setup.
Personally, I don’t even think it’s worth bothering with that kind of setup. For one thing, it’s a pain in the ass to try to put your wick through the opening in the tank and then through the coil – I tried it with cotton and it was a bitch to set up and didn’t wick good enough.
After a lot of tinkering with setups, I think I finally have found the ideal way of setting this up, so this tutorial will show you how to forget about manual dripping on your AIOS and set this bitch up to be a beastly auto dripper.
What You’ll Need…
First off, you’ll need the AIOS – I strongly recommend this one, it’s the one that I use and it works amazing and has silver plated contacts.
Second most important thing you will need is a compatible device. The AIOS is designed to turn your mod into a hybrid, meaning it won’t screw on to your mod like a normal atomizer, rather you will remove the top cap off your mod and replace it with the AIOS. This is designed to reduce voltage drop and provide a better vape in addition to hopefully making your mod look a little shorter and more natural with the huge AIOS atomizer on top of it.
The two clones I know of that are compatible with the AIOS are the Chi You, and the Astro from fasttech. I am using the Astro.
Next you will need some Kanthal. I used 28 gauge kanthal for this tutorial. You can use other sizes, but your number of wraps may vary.
For wrapping the coil, I used a 3/32 drill bit. You can pick one of these up from Walmart for about a dollar. You can use a different diameter than 3/32, but that’s what I have found works well for me on this particular build.
For the wick, I use a basic cotton ball. You can pick up a huge bag of sterile cotton balls from Walgreens or CVS.
Last, you will need a phillips head screwdriver for the posts on the AIOS. If you got the kit I linked to above, one should have come included with the AIOS.
Step 1 – Setting Up the Coil
The AIOS is designed with one post higher than the other, so it is ideal for a vertical coil configuration. I wouldn’t even waste a second thinking about doing a horizontal coil. For this build, we are going to do a basic vertical microcoil, run the wick through it and leave plenty of space below the wick/coil for air to flow through the bottom airhole which is positioned directly in the center of the two posts.
So, you’ll want to take your 3/32 drill bit and wrap a tight microcoil around it. I used 8 wraps of 28 gauge kanthal and it came out to around 1.1 ohms. Now with the AIOS, the only way to check your resistance is with a multimeter. If you don’t have a multimeter, that’s OK, but you are going to need to err on the side of caution since you will have no way of checking your coil.
If you did 8 wraps like I did, you should be OK provided you have a halfway decent battery. If you want to be sure, you can create a duplicate of the 8 wrap coil around a 3/32 drill bit and test it on another atomizer to check the ohms before proceeding on the AIOS.
As with any microcoil, you want to make absolutely sure that all the coils are snug up against each other.
Once you’ve got your coil wrapped, keep it on the drill bit. Position the drill bit so that it is resting in the center airhole, then attach each leg to a post and fasten them down with your screwdriver.
It should look something like this…
As you can see, the coil is nothing special. It is super easy to set up and it doesn’t have to be exactly perfect. The main point is that you need it to be directly centered over the airhole, as that will not only line you up with the airhole, but also the drip hole from the tank that will sit above it.
At this point, it’s not a bad idea to give your coil a test fire to make sure all the coils glow bright orange in a uniform way. If your coil looks anywhere near the picture above, you should have no prolems. Now you’re ready to wrap the wick.
Step 2 – Setting up the Wick
The way the AIOS is designed, it will likely give you the impression that your wick needs to be connected to the tank that sits above it in some way in order to function correctly. Luckily, that is not the case at all. The tank that holds your juice will work with a simple vacuum seal that will prevent all the juice from flowing through the hole in the bottom right away, and juice will only drip out of it when you apply light suction when taking a hit from your mod.
So the good news is, you don’t need to worry at all about having your wick attached to the tank. The main thing you want is for the wick and coil to be sitting directly below the tank so that when liquid drips from the tank, it drips right on to the coil. If you set your coil up like I did in step 1, then you have nothing to worry about.
For this build, we are going to put the wick right through the center of the coil. This should be especially easy since the coil is 3/32 which is quite wide.
So tear off about 1/4 of a cotton ball and roll it so that it will thread through your coil. Then thread most of the wick through the top of the coil and out the bottom. You shouldn’t have much wick left on the top – most of it should be coming out the bottom of the coil.
The key here is that you need to make absolutely certain that your wick isn’t going to block the airhole. I think the reason is pretty obvious. Cotton tends to swell quite a bit once it gets saturated with juice, so you need to leave quite a bit of space between your coil and the airhole to account for swelling, as you really don’t want any part of the airhole obstructed at all.
What I do is take the wick that is coming out of the bottom and wrap it around the outside of one of the posts. It’s good to have a longer wick to catch any juice that drips down into the tank, but you have to keep the center of the atomizer deck unobstructed, so wrapping the wick around the outside of one of the posts should leave you with a pretty long wick, and at the same time the post will prevent the wick from encroaching on the airhole in the center.
At this point, you should have at least 1/2 inch of breathing room between the wick and the airhole.
Here’s what mine looks like from the side view:
Notice, if you look, you can see a big gap between the bottom of the wick and the atty deck, and you should be able to see the airhole in the picture.
Here’s a top view as well:
As you can see we’ve got more than enough wick to work with, and plenty of airflow, so this is perfect.
At this point, I take a scissors or nail clipper and clip off any wick more than 1/8th inch above the coil. The primary reason is I don’t want it drooping down over the side of the coil and covering it up once it gets saturated and swells, so you really don’t need hardly any wick above the coil for this build – it should primarily live below.
If you’re setup looks somewhere close to mine, you are ready to go ahead and prime the wick.
There is a quite a bit of wick on my setup compared to a more basic RDA build, so you really want to make sure that the wick is fully saturated. The hope is, once you seal up the atty, you won’t need to access the coil again until you’re ready to refill your tank, so you want to make sure it starts off completely saturated.
Saturating it will also let you have a good look at it swollen to make sure it doesn’t start drooping anywhere that is either going to obstruct the coil or the airflow.
It should look something like this once you’ve primed it:
Notice that even though I trimmed that top part of the wick pretty short, it still looks fairly long after being soaked – BUT it isn’t covering anything up, so we are good to go. Now you’re ready to fill up your tank and start vaping.
Step 3 – Filling the Tank
This is probably the most crucial step, and it took me a while to perfect it. The key here is understanding the tank. It is a basic cylinder with a screw on top and a 1/16 hole in the bottom. What prevents the liquid from immediately draining out of that hole is vacuum sealing it. That part is pretty straightforward.
What I have found, however, is that when you overfill the tank, the vacuum is TOO strong and liquid won’t drip out of the bottom – leading to dry hits.
So what I do is only fill the tank up about halfway to 2/3 of the way full.
To do this, you will need to put your thumb over the bottom hole on the tank, then fill it with juice, keeping your thumb over the hole the entire time.
Once you’ve filled it no more than 2/3 full, you need to screw on the top cap. So still keeping your thumb over that bottom hole, lightly screw in the top cap about 1 rotation, just enough to get the threads locked in, then flip it upside down and screw it in the rest of the way. NOW you can remove your thumb. You should be able to flip the tank back over to its normal position, and if you did it right, your juice won’t be flooding out that hole on the bottom.
The Bottom Line
This is really an amazing build as far as I’m concerned. It took me a while to perfect it, but it was worth the tinkering. Really the key with this build is keeping your airflow going and making sure not to overfill the tank so that you’ll keep your juice flowing as well.
My last build before this one lasted me about a week of sporadic vaping without ever having to unscrew it to mess with the coil or the tank. I managed to vape through the entire tank without a single dry hit, and it produced flawlessly for me every time.
The downside of this build is you are not going to get the level of flavor you would get from manual dripping mode, but manual dripping mode is practically the gold standard as far as taste goes, so it’s no real surprise. I don’t think the flavor is any worse than on any other tank setup.
Some people complain that the vape is too cold, but I have really not found that at all. In fact, even at 1.1-1.2 ohm, this is one of the hardest hitting setups currently in my rotation, so I would definitely recommend ignoring the haters and giving this one a shot.