How to use EScribe with your DNA200
Ok, you have your new DNA 200 Mod and you’re excited to get started and find out why everyone is raving about the performance of the board and the power of the EScribe program. Here’s how to use EScribe to get your DNA 200 up and running with the basics.
If you are still looking for a DNA200 then head over to our DNA200 Box Mods page.
What you’re going to need
- Your DNA 200 Mod with a temp control atomizer. Good choices for atomizer wire materials when starting out include pure nickel (Ni200) or titanium, grade 1 (TiG1). Stainless steel is also becoming very popular, but keep in mind there are many grades and types of stainless steel, each with differing resistivity characteristics, so stainless steel might not be the best choice for starting out.
- A Microsoft Windows PC connected to the Internet. You’ll need at least XP or newer version of Windows, but XP is already so old, that shouldn’t be an issue for anyone.
- A USB cable with data connections – some USB cables are charge only. Make sure you have a cable with all the data connections. The cable that came with your Mod is a good choice for getting started.
Download and Install EScribe
To get the most from your DNA 200 Mod, you have to have EScribe. EScribe is a free Windows application produced by Evolv that will let you update the firmware on your DNA 200 Mod and configure just about every aspect of it for a customized vape experience.
Download and run the EScribe setup program. The exact steps to do this will depend on your operating system version, and you may need to have administrator privileges on your PC. The version at the posted link is the latest version presently available (version 188.8.131.52). Evolv also often allows access to “early” versions of the next planned production release of firmware and sometimes ESribe itself, but it’s best to use the fully vetted production version firmware when getting started. Once you are familiar with your Mod and EScribe, you can branch off into the uncharted waters of pre-release firmware, sometimes with additional features if that’s your pleasure.
Start EScribe, Connect Your DNA 200 and Update Firmware
Run EScribe. Once running, connect the USB cable between your PC and DNA 200 Mod. EScribe should automatically detect the Mod and greet you with a Connect popup similar to as follows (if this popup does not appear, click “Connect and Download Settings” button in the upper left corner area of EScribe):
Before you press “Ok” to connect, give your Mod its own name. Press the “Rename” button, type in your name for what you want to call this Mod, and click “Ok.” For example, I’ve named this Mod “eFusion DNA 200” (yeah, real original, I know). If you have more than one DNA 200 Mod (if you don’t you will – they are addictive) give each one its own descriptive name so you can tell them apart. Then click “Ok” on the Connect popup.
Escribe will now download all of the settings from your Mod so you can display and change them on your PC. The settings download takes about twenty seconds, so let it do its thing. Once it completes, all of the settings in your DNA 200 are now available within and ready to configure using EScribe.
Another great feature of EScribe is that it will tell you if a more recent version of the firmware is available for your Mod. Firmware is the program running on the DNA 200 computer inside your mod. If a more recent firmware version is available, EScribe will tell you in the upper left corner, like this:
Click where it says to update your firmware to the latest production version available. Do not disconnect your Mod from the USB cable while it is updating. Every time you connect your Mod to EScribe, it will check to make sure you have the latest Evolv DNA 200 firmware.
Configuring Your DNA 200 Baseline Settings – Setup Battery Pack Capacity With EScribe
To get going with your new DNA 200 Mod and get the most out of it, there are a few settings you really need to configure at a minimum. These settings are so it knows your battery capacity, and so it has at least one or two “profiles” ready to use with your favorite atomizers and wire types.
Setting the battery capacity is important so that your battery meter is reasonably accurate. Much more advanced settings are available, such as setting the actual discharge profile of the battery pack, and we’ll get to that type of stuff in a later post. For now, we’ll just let the DNA 200 know the capacity of the Mod battery pack.
To set the batter pack capacity, click the “Mod” tab, and on the tab’s page, click “Manufacturer Settings.” Then click “Watt Hour Calculator.” The tab and buttons mentioned are circled below:
When you click the “Watt Hour Calculator,” a popup will appear asking if you know the total voltage of the battery pack. Click “yes” because you do know this – it is the total “nominal” voltage of the pack. Available lithium ion and lithium polymer cells have a “nominal” voltage of 3.7 volts per cell and a typical pack consists of three cells. So 3.7 volts times 3 cells equals 11.1 volts for the pack. This is also the “default” voltage you will see in the Watt Hour Calculator when you click it. LiFePO4 packs exist, and the DNA 200 can use them, but there is no commercially available Mod that uses them yet, so we’ll leave settings for that type of pack for another day.
If you have a two 18650 cells Mod, make sure the cells dropdown is set to two cells, and use 7.4 volts as the pack’s nominal voltage in the Watt hour calculator. The pack capacity will still be the capacity of each cell individually, not added together. So, for example if you have two 2500 mAh cells, the pack capacity is 2500mAh at 7.4 volts nominal. The watt hour calculator will do the arithmetic to calculate the watt hour rating of the pack correctly.
In the Battery Cell Capacity entry box, enter the capacity, in milliamp hours, of the pack at its nominal voltage. So, for example, if your pack is a Lipo pack marked 1300 mAh, enter 1300 as the cell capacity. If you are using a Mod with three 18650s, enter the capacity of what each of the cells is rated at – usually around 2500 mAh. Click “Ok” and EScribe will show you the calculated watt hour for the pack and ask if you want to use that value. Click “Yes.” Your setting is now entered in EScribe, but not yet uploaded to the Mod. To upload the setting, click the “Upload Settings to Device” button. That process takes about thirty seconds. Once complete, your battery pack capacity setting is now in your Mod. (EScribe also includes a powerful battery pack analysis utility called Battery Analyzer that will test and calculate the actual Watt hour capacity of your battery pack – that’s way beyond just getting started with EScribe and we can take an in depth look at that utility in a future article.)
Configuring Your DNA 200 Baseline Settings – Setup Profiles With EScribe
In terms of vape quality, one of the key features of the DNA 200 is using temperature controlled preheat followed by a rock steady temperature controlled remainder of vape for each draw. Once setup correctly, the DNA 200 will almost instantaneously bring the coil to the desired temp and then keep it there for the duration of the draw. It is a completely different and (in my opinion) better vape than what most ecig users are used to. The way the DNA 200 controls temperature is by measuring the change in resistance of the coil wire as it gets hot. Different metals change resistance with temperature differently, and they have differing values for this change at each range of temperatures reached. Luckily, the DNA 200 houses a computer that takes care of all of these calculations for us.
To perform these complex calculations, and to make the preheat feature and temperature control feature work correctly, the DNA 200 must know how much the coil wire resistance changes for each degree of change in temperature at each temperature reached. That information is expressed as a curve in graphic form (or as a polynomial equation for the math nuts in the crowd). As an approximation, a single value, often referred to as the wire TCR, can also be used and while not precisely exact, it will be close enough to get started with various wire types (and is what we will use to setup initially for titanium wire). In a nutshell, TCR is a number that when multiplied by the initial cold resistance of the coil and by the temperature increase, will represent the heated resistance of the coil. TCR is usually expressed as Ohms per degree Kelvin or Ohms per degree Fahrenheit (when entered as an approximation in EScribe, it is expressed as Ohms per degree Kelvin). Ok, enough of the technical, let’s get back to how to use EScribe.
When you setup a profile in Escribe, the DNA 200 also needs to know how much wattage you prefer to limit your vape to, and there are several additional settings that can customize your vape to your preferences (we will talk more about these additional settings in future articles). Entering these numbers for every wire type or atty you use every time you change attys would get very cumbersome very quickly. To allow you to save a group of settings that you can call up at will on the Mod, the DNA 200 has a set of eight profiles that you can choose “on the fly.”
Setting Up a Profile for Nickel and Titanium Wire in EScribe
To set a profile for Nickel, choose the “General” tab in EScribe and from there, choose “Profile 1.” You can name your profile anything you want by typing in the “Name” entry box. Let’s call the first one “Nickel.” Next, enter the power setting you want to limit your vape to. Use a limit high enough that your vape won’t be cold due to lack of power. As a tip, set the number after the decimal for wattage to the profile number so for example profile 1 would be set to xxx.1 watts and profile 2 set to yyy.2 watts, etc. This way when you are using the profile, you can tell at a glance which profile is currently selected by looking at the “tenths” of wattage on your DNA 200 screen. Next, enter the temperature setting you prefer. A typical starting setting would be around 450 degrees F or 232 degrees C. Next, in the drop down box for “Coil Material,” choose “Nickel 200.” Those are all of the setting you’ll need to get started with pure nickel wire.
To set another profile for titanium grade 1, click on “Profile 2” at the top of the page. Make the same settings as you did for nickel, except for “Name” enter a descriptive name, like “Titanium” and for “Coil Material,” choose “Custom.” When you chose “Custom,” a graph will appear on your screen as follows:
To keep things easy for now, we’ll enter the wire TCR directly as an approximation rather than a precise curve. At the lower right corner of the screen, click the “Special” button. A dropdown will appear allowing you to choose “Temperature Coefficient of Resistance (Approximation)”; choose that selection. Now we can enter a shorthand approximation of the curve for titanium grade 1. A typical starting value is 0.0035. Note that titanium (like all metals) will have a slightly different actual TCR depending on precisely what it is made with and precisely how it is made. If you find that your particular wire is running colder than expected, increase that TCR value a little bit. If it seems to be running too hot, decrease that value slightly. I’ve been very happily using 0.0041 for the titanium wire I use with very accurate results.
Upload All Settings You’ve Made with EScribe to Your DNA 200 Mod
Don’t forget to upload all of these settings to your Mod. Click “Upload Settings to Device” in the upper left area of your screen to do this. Once EScribe completes this operation, you are ready to select a profile and vape.
Select a Profile on the DNA 200 and Vape
Selecting profiles on your DNA 200 Mod is done from an unlocked Mod, but with the power settings locked. To get your Mod into this state, unlock the Mod and press and hold the up / down buttons for two seconds. The Mod will display “Power Locked Hold Up Down.” Now double click either the up or down button. The Mod will display the Profile number and name. Press either up or down to get to the profile number and name you want, then press the fire button to select that profile. Now vape away as a happy camper!
For the Future
Future articles will focus on more advanced EScribe settings and temperature control topics. If there’s a particular topic you’d like to see covered, please say so in the comments. Any and all feedback and questions are welcome. Thanks for reading!
If you are still looking for a DNA200 then head over to our DNA200 Box Mods page.