The Karma RDA’s Redemption?

So I previously took a look at the Geekvape Karma Kit and as you can probably tell, while I loved the Mech mod for it’s quality and price, I found the RDA left a lot to be desired. Thankfully, as I do, I don’t give up right away and I’m glad I didn’t.

So I’ve had a noisy cricket 25ii (the Version 2) mod for a while and I really like it, I will cover it at some stage but it’s not what I’m here to talk about today – it was just the jumping off point. I used the Karma RDA with the cricket pretty much by accident. I was playing around with a parallel coil on the Karma and undershot the resistance – Coming out to .1 – .12 rather than a .15-.18 which is just a little too low for my batteries on a single 18650 mech.

But not too low for the cricket in unregulated parallel mode. 4.2V on the massive 8 wrap parallel nichrome coil is cloud city in flavour country. The vape is dense, its warm and it’s dripping with flavour, all the problems I had with the Karma – Gone. Just look at it, isn’t it a pretty set up too?

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So to weigh up the Karma after a bit of time with it  – get the kit, It’s only €50, but use the RDA with a cricket (or similar box) and a nice low build with a lot of surface area and use the Mech with another 25mm Atty.

 

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Tuxedo Choclair – Quick Juice Review.

Choclair of the Tuxedo Vapes E-Liquid line promises:

“Choclair is a heartwarming luxury chocolate eclair. A moist pastry filled with light cream and topped with delicious belgian chocolate layer. A perfect way to start or end your day with zero calories. A must have for sweet-tooth lovers.”

I’ll save you some time. It tastes like a stale donut with chocolate icing. Have you ever had white lightning chocolate donut? Worse than that.

Now this may be just me, my flavour palette could be different to yours. But yeah.

Best best, most chocolate-y vape I’ve ever had was Met4 Golden ticket. But because it was very much a hype juice here in Europe it’s become near impossible to get a couple of months on. 

So I’ve been on a hunt for some chocolate and thought that the Choclair might scratch the itch based on the description, but unfortunately, it hasn’t, it’s given me a different kind of itch in the back of my throat and its not the throat hit.

In Summary: Would I recommend?

Yes. I recommend you don’t buy this juice.

Cheap Travel Advice. Part 1 – The City Break

So, People are always looking for a holiday on a low budget and I’m here to help, whether it’s a city break, a party weekend or a beach holiday, I aim to sum up all the best locations from my personal experience. Links to future articles in this series will be added to the bottom of preceding articles.

Part 1: The City Break.

Paris. If you haven’t been, then go.

When I travel there now I fly into Charles de Gaulle airport, take a taxi or the metro to my favourite hotel (I’ve been enough to have a favourite). But this can be pricey. Charles de Gaulle is an expensive airport to fly into and the taxi can cost €50-60. Now if your not in europe this is pretty much your only choice but if your european you have a cheaper option – Beauvais.

If you book a few weeks in advance, you can get weekend return flights from Dublin to Paris (BVA) for as little as €50pp. mid week is even cheaper. Google Flights and Skyscanner are your best friend here.

When you arrive in Beauvais, you’ll notice your not in Paris. Your a good bit outside the city. There is a regular shuttle bus service from outside the airports doors to Paris-Port-Maillot which is a main metro hub in the city proper. Tickets for the bus can be pre booked for as little as €9 online which a bit of searching or between €10 and €17 at the bus office at the airport depending on the season.

Now when you get to Port-Maillot your going to use the metro to get around, a lot, have a look at the map and you will see the metro goes everywhere in the city – it will be your best friend on your short breaks. Don’t be intimidated by the scale of the underground – I have walked for 15 mins underground between platforms to get to my next connection before. There’s signs everywhere and just workout on the map which direction your going based on the stops listed.

A couple of words of advice for the Metro Noob – Keep to one side on the escalators, one  side is for if your in a rush the other is slow moving, if you don’t like this, you will be pushed aside – your the asshole in this situation, not the person rushing past. Don’t throw away your metro ticket, you need one to enter the system and then leave on the other side, there will be ticket checks along the way and you may have to enter it into a few barriers, but its valid till you leave the network. Your going to be using the metro a lot so I would recommend buying you tickets in bulk at the automated kiosk, works out much cheaper. Also – get the belgian chocolate waffles from the venting machine on the platform – Your welcome (they look horrible but they’re an absolute gem).

Now hotels. Hotels really vary in price with the seasons, but they never get super cheap and in paris, super cheap is never a good idea. I’ve stayed in a building in paris (for free – thanks buddy) where the fire escape plan was to climb down the drain pipe and jump for the water fountain and just try to break you legs and not your spine. This was a private residence but the mantra is true for some of the lower end hotels.

The first thing about hotels in Paris is – the rooms are small. Most of the good hotel rooms will be fairly small, enough room to move around in, but nothing enormous. That’s normal, its a densely populated city.

Booking.com is my greatest tool for hotel deals for any holiday. I’d recommend staying close to the city centre, your probably going to pay between €350-500 for 2 people in one room but its worth it.

Opera is one of favorite districts to stay in. It’s nice and quiet and a short walk to the Louvre/Notre Dame. The Hotel Peyris Opera, my favorite, is reasonably priced at around €100 per night plus city tax (usually €10 per night). There’s a metro close-by but if it’s your first time – get a map and enjoy the walk. The best places to stay as a tourist would be anywhere within the triangle formed by the Poissonniere Metro stop, Notre Dame and the Palais Du Chaillot. The closer to the sights the better.

The Hotel Peyris Opera has some of the best staff I’ve encountered worldwide – they are worth any price for a first timer. It’s great that the hotel is so lovely and reasonably priced too. They may be able to organise a return trip to Beauvais if there is a shuttle available which might be easier than the bus.

Spending Money in Paris.

People always say that Paris is a crazy expensive city to go to, that you’ll spend all your money getting one cup of coffee on the Champs Elysees. You can do that anywhere in the world. If i wanted, I could spend 20 odd quid on a BLT in a  hotel. But what you have to do is think sensibly.

If your on a budget trip, then I’m here to tell you the Champs Elysees isn’t for you. The big stores anyway. You have to remember, this is a street where you can spend €10,000 on a purse – so the coffee will be pricey too. Have a look in the shops and the car showrooms/museums. Explore the hidden malls – there’s some great shops in here, I picked up a once off dress for my wife for €300 – he came down from €500. Don’t be taken in though.

A lot of these little stores will sell you Big Ben, if your buying a once off, make sure the shop has a seamstress in it and not a guy in a vajazzled sparkling shirt promising you “Special Price Sir”.

There are some great finds in these places for people who love old books or antiques, second hand or custom clothes, have a fun afternoon exploring. But when you get hungry, go one of two streets away. Its amazing the price difference.

Street food is your best friend for lunch in Paris, most hotels cover breakfast. Get a crepe or a sandwich from a vendor for €4 odd euro.

When it comes to dinner don’t go for the peacocks. By peacocks i mean the big neon flashy restaurants on the tourist streets. Go to to the smaller bistros, there’s usually a few empty seats and the food is always much better and reasonably priced. One of the best steaks i ever had was in a small bistro near Notre Dame. There was only one other couple besides us and we only paid maybe €60 for two 3 course meals (also including the best escargot I’ve ever had) and a bottle of lovely white wine.

Trinket sellers. Every place you go in Paris, there’s trinket sellers. Usually they run from the police as soon as there’s trouble so don’t be afraid to shout as they can be quite intimidating for the inexperienced. But your out in public lot’s of people around and if he gets caught hassling a tourist, he’ll have his head caved in with a truncheon. So – you’ll be fine. Don’t be afraid to tell them to get fucked.

The Romas. Before I get into it, 99% of the time you won’t have an issue. But.

Never have I encountered Romas so brazen. They’ll beg from you, try to rob from you and attack you in broad daylight – approach with caution. Some of the scams you’ll see –

ATMS – They beg at ATMS and will try to take the money out of the machine as it comes out, elbow them out of the way. Don’t get physical and be done for assault.

Petitions – You made it onto an airplane, you should be smart enough not to sign a document in a foreign language presented by a Roma. They can be pushy on this one. Get loud and get aggressive – they’ll back off.

You dropped this – A child runs up saying you dropped this (usually jewellery). Don’t take it, because there’s a guy 10 meters down the road who’s going to step in and accuse you of theft.

Now as I’ve said, you probably won’t encounter this behavior, but if you do, now you have some info.

Paris is a wonderful city, everyone should go there.

Also unless you have kids, don’t stay in Disneyland and commute to the city, stay in the city and do a day trip.

Cheap tips: 

  • If you’re under 25/ a student, bring your passport to all the major national sites – Versailles/Louvre etc. You can sometimes get in free.
  • Bulk buy metro tickets.
  • Pre book bus tickets from Beauvais.
  • Eat on the side streets or food vans.

 

 

Geekvape Karma Kit: Quick Review

There are two elements to the Karma Mech Kit, The Karma RDTA/RDA and the Hybrid Mod. First up we’ll take a look at the mod.

The Mod is made of copper, 25mm in diameter and 84mm in height. It has internal battery insulation to protect against tears in your battery wrap (I still wouldn’t use torn batteries mind you). It is a hybrid mod, so protruding 510 pins and no sub ohm tanks please (most sub ohm tanks have an adjustable springy 510, with a hybrid this can cause a short if over tightened). It also has a brilliant button.

The battery is in direct contact with you atomizer here, so it is a very hard hitting mod. The mod itself feels weighty and durable. There is a little bit of sideways battery rattle but not enough to bug me. For the price, €50, it makes you wonder about all the €100-150+ Hybrid Mechs out there.

The button is recessed and has a slightly heavy throw, so it can be stood upright without fear of firing. The button uses magnetic resistance rather than a spring, which really shows. There’s no hot button issues and no messing about pressing the button “in the right spot”. Press anywhere, it fires.

The RDA/RDTA is well thought out, but does nothing for me.

The Atty is 25mm in diameter to sit flush on the mod, has a gold plated protruding 510 pin and comes in black with the kit. I immediately set it up as an RDA which was a little fiddly but less fiddly then getting the wicking right on a new RDTA – it’s not that it’s overly tricky, it’s just trickier than an RDA. I’m a dripping man. 

karma-2

The device uses a velocity style deck, which unscrews from the base. When you swap to RDA mode, you end you with a really shallow juice well.

The juice I choose to test out this kit is the Dinner Lady Lemon Tart, I’ve been vaping a lot of this stuff over the last couple of months and so know what it should taste like. I put a simple 0.18Ω Nichrome80 build in it, a nice tried and true build.

First Impression – 

Wide open – I tried the Atty wide open, as I do for all my new Atty’s. All I got was some mildly citrus’y air. and a pretty cool (temp) vape. So cool I took the Atty of and checked the resistance again. So kept vaping like that for a while and then turned down the airflow. and kept turning it down till i got flavour.

Nearly Closed Off – The Atty gets pretty hot closed off, with the low pro mouthpiece its pretty uncomfortable to have in your mouth. Whats more, because your pull will be tighter, your going to be drinking your juice.

So what do I think?

Overall, I think the kit is worth a buy, its €50 and it’s a high quality piece of kit. I think the RDA is trash but other people may enjoy it. I’m going to try it out on some regulated devices and see what I think of it at some higher powers.

Realistically what I would recommend this kit for; is for someone who’s done their research, knows about battery safety, Ohms Law and a bit about hybrids and is looking to try out a Mech Mod, because it’s definitely worth the price on it’s own.

First time buying a Mech or need to brush up, read my article on battery safety and Ohms Law, link below:

Vaping Battery Safety

 

 

Ghost Recon: Wildlands Beta Review

grw

So, the Ghost Recon: Wildlands Beta has been available for the last few days and I managed to fit in a bit of time on the game.

The game itself is set across a number of Bolivian Provinces, the beta is set in 2 of the games provinces, Itacua (1 star) and Montuyoc (5 star) – The easiest and toughest, respectively, provinces that will be in the full game. The player plays as a special ops operator who operates in an operation to take out a cartel.

When starting the game, there is no tutorial or easy start mission with such hints as “hold o to crawl under the log”. The game seems to assume a certain level of competency, so you will spend a few minutes testing the buttons and checking the menus.

 

Now I played the game purely as a single player without going online and I found it to be very enjoyable. The starting province Itacua starts you out nice and smooth and lets you get used to taking out a base without the occupants knowing they’re being killed. In Montuyoc the developer gives us a glimpse of the level we will be playing at after we work our way through the mid-level provinces.

 

Either that or they’re a sado-masochist.

 

The player controls in the game are very good, typical refined and well thought out Ghost Recon setup – Swap between main weapons with one click or side arm with 2, attach or remove a silencer by aiming and pressing up, select a grenade launcher by hitting down while aiming (bit sloppy if you have a scope) or use the command wheel to order you squad with some basic commands and call in support.

 

The drone and sync shot are very nice additions. You can scout an area for all the baddies and then paint a target for sniping by members of your squad (great for sneaking).

 

Most of the vehicles are useable if not brilliant – the cars don’t really obey physics and fly around a bit while driving and the accelerator has 3 settings. Stop, crawl or full speed. Remember car games in the 90’s? no traction and just glide around, a little like that but still useable.

 

The only thing I disliked about the game was the Helicopters.

If you put a helicopter in a spec ops game, I want to use it properly. I want to be able to fly into a town full trot, land on a penny, drop my guys and take off again in the space two seconds. If I’m playing multiplayer I want to be able to leave a guy in it to provide air support, cruise along on strafing runs, bust a few rockets or even just be able to land accurately and quickly for a speedy exit from a town. Battlefield always managed this, GTA always managed this. Hell even the remote control helicopter from GTA San Andreas had better controls.

 

  • If you try to go forward it nose dives unless you lean forward then back then forward, feathering along as slow as a balloon.
  • If you flare back, you stop dead. It should pull back as the air is rushing away from the base of the helicopter – essential to a quick landing.
  • You can’t pivot. You can only pitch and roll. There is no Yaw control. How was this overlooked? It’s a basic principal of aircraft design.
  • There is zero physics. I mean ZERO. No feedback, no wind no nothing, I can only imagine this is to compensate for the terrible controls.

 

As I said this is a good game. But it’s too big to not have well-functioning aircraft. The enemies get aircraft and they’re HARD to kill, so the player will need aircraft to play the game well. This issue makes a well playing, polished game feel sloppy and cheap – when you’re going to be paying €79.99 for it.

 

It’s something I really hope the developers fix for the main release or I foresee many people buying second hand. For €20 within 3 months.

The Realeaux RX300.

Ooddles of battery life in a big yet weirdly nice package.

So I’ve had a Realeaux Rx200 since the first week they came out, its always in my daily rotation, the form factor and battery life are fantastic.

I typically vape claptons – single core kanthal, at around .18-.2 ohm and I usually like a nice warm 110-120w vape. So for me, battery life is pretty key.

And out comes the 300, a big black block. I picked it up from my favorite brick and mortar for a very reasonable price (about 60-70ish euro if I remember correctly) about a month ago. To be honest I had a very singular use in mind – I drive a lot, sometimes full days in the car – this was to be my car mod, it fits a cup holder and I don’t have to change batteries half way through the day.

On first impression – its big. But you get used to it surprisingly quickly. About a week after I got it, I was heading out and I had no other charged batteries so i threw it in my hoodie pocket and brought it with me. Now I find myself taking it everywhere.

The battery life I have 4x samsung 25R batteries in the mod. Each with 2500 mah. Now does this mean i have 10000mah?

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure, from the insert config of the batteries it appears its two parallel sets of series batteries. In normal terms, say a dual series box, this does not equate to more battery life – its just more voltage. But we also have the parallel. So it can do more volts, for longer.

As I said, I’m not sure, things like this aren’t always widely announced with fanfare in the vaping world. What I can say is, vaping a griffin 25 at 85w – you get 4 days without a charge. You could even push 5. To me that’s insane and its definitely worth the buy.

Now issues – there’s only 2 issues that I can see and they’re minor.

1. The screen – it feels loose, it rattles, makes the mod feel a little cheap compared to the quality of the version 1 Rx200.

2. Gaps. I hate gaps. I shouldn’t but I do. My old reliable velocity that has never not sat flush on anything has a gap between itself and the mod. Anything that has a slightly longer protruding pin than is normal will have a gap.

The good points and why i would buy it again.
1. Its a Realeaux. It will always work – its a brand name for reliability if we ignore the weird 2/3 mod.
2. The battery life is insane. This alone makes it worth a buy.
3. Its heavy. I love heavy mods.
4. It does fit in pockets, not always super comfortably, but it fits.
5. The power. No i dont vape at 300W but at 120W, it feels like 120W should, no lag time and hard hitting.
6. The price. Its so cheap. Get this mod starting out and you’ll never need another mod, no matter what way you vape (if you’ve got the pockets to handle it).

The Norweigan Flights – Well Fuck Me.

Well. Shit. There’s no other way of putting it – it’s fucking cheaper to go to New York now then Spain.

Well, not quite, but nearly.

So I did a quick comparison, comparing flights with Aer Lingus (because they got bitchy on twitter) for the same dates in August (picking days where both have the cheapest flights of that week).

The Results.

Aer Lingus – €650pp
Norwegian Airlines – $147 (€140ish).

I mean seriously. Fuck Me.

Now Aer Lingus kicked up a fuss and they made some good points.

With NA you don’t get a meal, checked bags or preclearance. But not only that, you don’t fly to New York city. You fly to Stewart International, a 2 hour drive to the north.

But you know what? So what?

My thoughts on this.

The meal – according to NA website, you still get a meal on International long haul but you have to pre-order 72 hours before the flight, so no one will know if you have to pay extra just yet. Even if you do? No big deal. Take it out of the 500 quid savings, 1000 quid for anyone like me, travelling as a pair. Even then, its a 7.5 hour flight – buy a sandwich for a fiver in the airport, sorted.

No checked bags – i regularly travel for up to two weeks with just a carry on case. If your going over shopping? Just book a bag for the way back and buy a cheap suit case over there and jam pack your carry ons.

No preclearance? This i dont get, correct me if i’m wrong but its not exclusive to Aer Lingus. I can only assume the AL twitter guy figured the flights go via norway – which from what i can see, they dont, they fly direct.

Now. You do fly into an airport a couple of hours from the city. Your options.

1. Drive. Don’t. What are you going to do, rent a car and then pay to park it for your stay? You don’t drive in NYC.

2. A taxi – its going to cost you if you can get one willing to make the trip, maybe $100+

3. A limo, a limo will set you back $150, but hey, even with that its still cheaper than aer lingus.

4. Get the train. Theres a $10 shuttle from Stewart Int. to beacon train station. Ticket from there to grand central is about $20ish. Just get a flight that doesn’t arrive in the middle of the night – trains stop around 1am to my knowledge.