iPV 5 Box Mod Intro
In this review we will be taking a look at the iPV5 dual 18650 TC mod made by IPV Technology Co. Ltd. of Shenzhen, China. The iPV5 is powered by the Yihi SX330-200 chip, which delivers Yihi level performance while having fewer configuration options (and thus can be easier to use) than the more advanced Yihi offerings.
We’ll also introduce three essential concepts in objectively evaluating TC mod performance: Ramp to Temp, Temperature Accuracy, and Stability of Temp Regulation, collectively “RTS.” Finally, we will for the first time roll out the Thermocouple of Truth which will show how this mod measures up in terms of its RTS performance.
iPV 5 Box Mod Specs and Features
- Wattage Range: 10W – 200W
- Joule Range: 10J – 100J (120J Using Ti Wire)
- Standard Resistance Range: 0.15 – 3.0 ohm
- TC Resistance Range: 0.05 – 1.5 ohm
- Powered by YiHi SX330-200 Chipset
- Supported TC Wire: SS, Ti, and Ni
- Requires (2) 18650 Batteries (Sold Separately)
- Firmware Upgradable
- Troubleshooting: How to Guide
Just about everyone is familiar with the three basics of vaping performance: Vapor, Throat Hit and Flavor or “VTF” (if you’ve been stranded on a deserted island for the past several years, check out PBusardo on youtube for plenty of explanation!).
For TC mod performance, the essence boils down to Ramp to Temp, Temperature Accuracy, and Stability of Temperature Regulation, collectively “RTS.”
Ramp to Temp means the speed and profile of bringing the coils to the desired vaping temperature. This is important not only for a fast response of vapor production, but can also subtly change the flavors experienced.
If you think of eliquid as a casserole of flavors, changing the Ramp to Temp can give a flavor perception of everything from the full baked casserole to differing nuances of the separate flavor ingredients for certain eliquids. A fast ramp usually gives the perception of a mod “hitting hard” and will almost always increase vapor production for a given vape time.
You can slow the ramp time to some extent on most mods by adjusting the max wattage, but on a poor performing mod, you can never speed up the ramp time beyond what it’s capable of. As a result, we want to see how fast we can get the Ramp to Temp as part of evaluating performance.
Temperature Accuracy means just that – once the coil reaches a stable temperature, is it the temperature that you set on the mod?
Finally, Stability of Temperature regulation which means how stable is the temperature over the course of each vape once the coil reaches the desired temperature. A TC mod should deliver reasonably stable performance. A mod with temperature varying all over the place isn’t really a TC mod.
The performance of the iPV5 overall is very good. Ramp to Temp is reasonably fast. Temperature Accuracy seems to be spot on. And finally, the Stability of Temperature is very good (all as would be expected from a Yihi based mod).
Time for a Graph
But you don’t have to take my word for it. I connected the “Thermocouple of Truth” to actually measure its performance. Here’s what I found:
OK, so what is this? It’s a graph of the actual temperature of the coil inside a functional atomizer (I used a Plume Veil I had handy) mounted on the iPV5 for a single vape.
Along the left side representing the vertical, or Y axis is temperature in degrees C. Along the bottom representing the horizontal or X axis is time (8.8 points are plotted every second). The red line shows the actual measured temperature of the coil inside the atomizer as that temperature changes. (The flat green line is room temperature).
What you see initially where the graph starts going up is the Ramp to Temp, from room temperature to about 230 degrees C, at points 15 through 25. I pressed the fire button right when you see the graph move up a bit at point 15. So the iPV5 ramped from room temperature to full vape temperature in about 1.1 seconds.
Also important is the slope of that ramp line – almost straight up to 200 degrees C. In comparing many different mods, I can tell you the iPV5 has a darn good ramp. Not the very best of some more expensive mods, but darn good.
Next we can look at the Temperature Accuracy – the flat portion of the graph along the top shows the temp of the rest of the vape. We see a general “average” of around 230 degrees C or 446 degrees F. I had the iPV5 set to 450 degrees F so we are seeing exceptional Temperature Accuracy.
Finally we look at Stability of Temp – or in other words how flat is the flat part of the graph along the top. What we see is good stability with the iPV5 keeping the temperature within a reasonable band right around the 450 degree F setting.
I have seen flatter and thus more stable results with more expensive mods, but this is still very good. The iPV5 level of Stability is more than good enough that you will not be able to tell it varies at all.
The last part of the graph from about point number 73 on is when I released the fire button. Here you see the coil start to cool back down – a typical exponential decay for the math heads in the crowd.
So in summary, the performance of the iPV5, both in terms of my opinion and as directly measured on the Thermocouple of Truth, is very good. The Ramp is fast, Temp Accuracy very good and Stability very good. This mod passes the RTS test.
I’d say the main “feature” of the iPV5 is its simplicity of operation when viewed against its top level performance. There are not a whole lot of settings and options to wade through when compared to, for example, a DNA 200 or SX mini ML-Class. Just select coil material, set watts and temp, and vape without thinking about any other settings.
If you want simple with great performance, this may be a device to consider.
Build quality is good. The finish seems to be a powder coat and has held up well over the several weeks I’ve used the iPV5. It is a heavy, die cast piece that seems like it’s built like a tank.
The battery door definitely moves around and rattles as you handle the iPV5 and that can be annoying. On the plus side, if you slide the battery door down with your thumb, you can just grab the now exposed bottom of it to remove it – no fingernails needed. For me, the battery door design is a con – I don’t like any looseness.
The buttons are metal and do not rattle. Feedback from the buttons is “clicky” and positive.
It’s always true, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The iPV5 is very sturdy looking, almost industrial to my eye.
I suppose the curved surfaces and accents on the sides give the mod texture and certainly much more visual interest than just a plain box. In some ways it seems to have almost a certain art deco quality to me.
The smooth curved surfaces of the iPV5 feel good in the hand. It does seem to be a heavy mod, but as a result it feels sturdy and well made. The finish has been durable and I’d bet its powder coated rather than painted which adds durability.
- Solid RTS performance
- Sturdy, durable feel
- Simple to use compared to some of the more complex offerings available
- Firmware of the iPV5 is upgradable
- Battery door seems loose and rattles in the hand
- Early production iPV5 models had an issue with the firmware (see Chris’ article on how to fix that — iPV5 75W Glitch Fix)
The iPV5 is another solid performing TC mod which can give Yihi level performance without the ML-Class price. The lack of numerous configuration options naturally does limit the full customization of your vape.
But for the price and simplicity of use, the iPV5 is one mod to take a hard look at when shopping for a dual 18650 TC mod. On the battery door issue, I’d recommend you get a chance to handle it before buying to make sure that won’t drive you crazy.