I had always steered clear of Wismec (apart from one tank (the Theorem) that they made with an acclaimed “long lasting” foil coil – although even that died after a week’s abuse), but I came across an RX200 in Talat Din Daeng for 100 baht. After checking it with three charged 18650s and proving that it worked and fired, I bought it. Hmmm…
At first it was rather good, much like the Theorem, everything worked well and the USB charger appeared to work, and it also produced a good vape. You see? This is how Wismec getcha… and lull you into a false sense of security…!
However, when it came to finally charging a low set of batteries, even though it showed the battery charging icon, after an hour or two the batteries’ state of charge had not changed perspectively. So I left it charging over night and went to sleep.
When I awoke, the charger was off, and it would not switch on. I put two of the three batteries to my trusted clone SMOK Alien 220 (which I use for charging only, see Smok Alien 220W – No coil), it wouldn’t turn on. After moving the two batteries to a SMOK Procolor, the mod switched on and when plugged in, there was tentative signs of charging, but not the usual charging animation, but rather instead a sluggish animation (empty battery, then a red low charge and then a slow charge animation), and the animations for both batteries were not in sync, with one animation significantly slower than the other.
I thought that this situation might change over time (after the cells had taken some charge) but one hour, two hours, four hours later it was still the same. So I unplugged it and the Procolor turned off and would not turn back on. Plugging it back in had little effect. The batteries were clearly at the deadly zero charge.
So, in summary, the RX200 USB charge functionality clearly just drains the batteries beyond the safe limit and kills them. What an amazing and well thought out design.
I have purchased an XTAR VC8 in order to revive the three 18650 cells – see Is the XTAR product department confused?. Hopefully during the time that the charger takes to arrive, the cells will not form too many dendrites, and become permanently damaged.
There are numerous links recommending against using the USB charger as the charging is not balanced.
- Can’t charge RX200S with USB? – so even the updated “S” version still has the same failings as the original RX200… unbelievable!
- RX200 won’t charge, is this the reason why?…
- Reuleaux RX200 internal charging! Testing, analysis and ramblings 🙂 – good link, similar to another review about the Alien, maybe it is by the same chap? I might have the link somewhere, buried in Vaping…
Apparently, even Wismec recommend against using the USB charge function, quote from here:
Which is in my opinion precisely why they tell you that this mod does in fact charge your batteries (they wouldn’t allow it if it wasn’t safe) but openly suggest that using an external charger is better.
If that is the case, then why on earth did they even include it in the build..? Pathetic.
I knew that there was a reason to avoid, and why I had avoided, Wismec over the past four years… poor, shoddy, workmanship. If only I had remembered why, when I saw the cut-price mod in the market… I would have saved myself from potentially ruining three perfectly good Sony VC6 cells.
To see the state of charge of each of the cells, turn the mod off, and then hold the fire button and the left button. This will give you an inaccurate reading of the cell voltages. Holding all three buttons apparently also does the same
When my XTAR VC8 charger finally arrived, I found that only one of the three Li-Po batteries was super dead, with a voltage of 1.2 V, the other two had 2.3 V or so.
Regardless, the VC8 managed to revive all three batteries, even after a six month wait in the low charge state.