Rebuild a protank atomizer
The Kanger Protank, loved by many, loathed by others... This solid bottom feeding atomizer provides by default a consistent though somewhat cool vape. Let's see how to tinker with it.
By default the Protank (version 1, there's also a new version which has more removable parts) consists of three main parts (and an optional collar for smaller E-go batteries): The tank itself - consisting of a chrome plated base and top part and the Pyrex glass tank, a large screw ring at the bottom, and the atomizer which can be screwed into the bottom ring to sit between the bottom ring and the tank.
Protank atomizers are normally sold per package of five pieces and are surprisingly well rebuildable. Actually suddenly this cheap but solid and reliable tank has the potential to become a true fog maker!
Parts of the Protank Atomizer
Besides the wick and the coil the atomizer consists of five parts:
1. A silicone cup - to prevent leakage of fluid between the atomizer and the tank tube
2. The vent hole tube - this fits in the tube of the tank
3. The atomizer base - contains the wick and coil and screw threading
4. Rubber insulation tube - to prevent contact between the positive pin (5) and the negative base (3)
5. Positive pin - makes contact with the positive pole of the battery and one side of the coil
Dissecting the Atomizer
First remove the silicone cup by sliding it over the vent hole tube.
To remove the vent hole tube keep the atomizer base between two fingers in one hand and use your other hand to pull the vent hole tube out of the base. You might need to wiggle a bit since the tube is simply pressed between two metal sides of the atomizer base.
Use pliers or your finger nails to pull the positive pin from the rubber insulation tube at the bottom of the atomizer base.
Use the same technique to remove the rubber insulation tube from the base.
Lastly by using pliers you can remove the coil and wicks from the top of the atomizer base.
As you can see there are actually two wicks inside a protank coil; one wick runs through the coiled wire, and there's one loose wick on top. When rebuilding it's up to yu to decide whether you want to use the same methodology, it's important to make sure the wick as a whole is between 3mm and 4,5mm thick to prevent leakage.
Rebuilding the Protank Atomizer
You can use the gallery below (click the first thumbnail and follow the steps), or read the instructions below the images.
- Take a piece of silica wick (about six centimeters) and bend it double to make it thicker. I prefer to use 2mm silica, so in the end the wick will become 4mm thick. You could also use 3mm silica, but make sure the wick will be somewhere between 3mm and 4,5 mm.
- Add a needle to the silica package to make wrapping the coil around it easier in the next steps.
- Take some kanthal resistance wire (I prefer to use 0,20 or flat wire) and start wrapping it a few times around the needle and the wicks.
- Depending on the resistance required you need a number of wraps. For 0,20 kanthal resistance wire four wraps is usually enough to get somewhere around 2 ohms of resistance. It will take some trial and error to get consistency in the resistance (depending on the thickness of the wicks, the type of kanthal and the number of wraps). Also make sure the ends of the coil point in the same direction and have some length. Remove the needle from the package.
- Insert the completed wick/coil package into the atomizer base with the legs through the bottom hole. Make sure both ends of the wicks slide into the gaps at both sides of the atomizer base.
- Bend one end of the legs 90 degrees agains the post of the hole in the atomizer.
- Slide the white rubber insulation tube over the other leg of the coil and press the tube into the bottom hole of the atomizer base.
- Press the positive pin into the insulation tube. A small white part of the tube remains visible between the positive pin and the atomizer base. At each end of that white ring a leg of kanthal wire will stick out.
- Cut excess wire from both legs, and use pliers, the needle or a fingernail to press remaining kanthal between the insulation tube and the metal of the positive pin and atomizer base. This is to prevent that a small piece of wire might create a short.
- If necessary adjust the coil with a needle to make sure all kanthal wraps are evenly distributed around the wick. Also make sure that wraps don't make contact with eachother and the sides of the atomizer base.
- With scissors cut excess silica wick at both sides of the atomizer base. Make sure some remains sticking out the prevent liquid leaking into the holes where the kanthal is situated.
- Press the vent hole tube on the atomizer base, don't yet add the silicone cup.
- Screw the atomizer on the bottom ring of the Protank and mount the ring on a variable voltage mod. Then remove the vent hole tube again.
- Use the variable voltage mod to check if there's no short in the atomizer and measure the resistance. The resistance should not be lower than 1,2 ohms.
- Fire short bursts to make the coil glow in succession, and keep on doing that until the wraps of the coil start to glow at about the same time when the mod is fired.
- Press the vent hole tube back on the atomizer base, remove the ring with the atomizer from the mod and remove the atomizer from the Protank bottom ring. Slide the silicone cup over the vent hole tube.
- Congratulations! Your first self-built Protank atomizer is now finished, happy vaping!