Science of Vaping Zenith RDTA Intro
The Zenith RDTA by Science of Vaping is an RDA that happens to house a 2.5 to 3 mL tank/juice well capacity—thus making it a rebuildable dripping tank atomizer (differentiating it from a RTA–rebuildable tank atomizer–that works via a vacuum system). So with this type of set-up, theoretically, it should bridge the gap between those that want more liquid in between refills and those prefer performance of a dripper.
Just looking at the features, the Zenith RDTA does indeed have some cool selling points. Adjustable side-airflow via large slots. Rotating bottom-fed airflow deck (to always be under your coils, no matter if it’s a center-post build or not), and of course there is the tank capacity. It’s also machined beautifully out of 304 SS. It’s stunning piece and it performs VERY well in spite of having its quirks! When I saw this atomizer first promoted, I knew I had to have it and I was more giddy to buy it than I had been, for any product, in a long time!
Let’s take a look and see what’s what…
Science of Vaping Zenith RDTA Specs and Features
- Black Delrin Drip Tip Cap (for user-provided drip tip); $14.99
- Black Delrin Cap (solid-state tip); $14.99
- SS Drip Tip Cap (for user-provided drip tips); $20.00
- SS Single-air hole caps (coming soon)
- Stainless steel tank section; $20.00
- Zenith RDTA in Black cerakoted finish (soon-to-be released) ~$100
- Where Dripper Meets Tank!
- Not Your Standard Dripper or Tank, Combining Both For Flavor AND Cloud Chasers! Your Choice!
- Made from 304 Stainless Steel
- Peek Insulators
- Brass Center Pin
- Dual Airflow – Top and Bottom Airflow Options (Top Airflow Can be Shut off for Dual Chimney Bottom Airflow allowing Maximum Flavor) Or Keep Both Open for Maximum Clouds
- Rotating Upper Deck Allowing Builders to Adjust and Fine Tune Build to Coils
- Reduced Chamber Top Cap for Flavor
- Center Post Has Pass-through Hole for 24 Gauge Wire and UP
- Holds 2.5-3ml of Juice
Simply put, the Zenith RDTA is machined and put together incredibly well! It’s no small feat either because this device has a lot of parts, most of which were machined in-house.
Note: should you be intimidated about putting it all together, know it comes fully assembled and never, necessarily, would need to be fully disassembled unless you want to give it a thorough cleaning.
Essentially the build deck is a type of three-post design, but the two negative terminals are just screws on the deck. The center post is brass with single hole for trapping your leads via a gold plated positive nut.
I can easily get 2×24 gauge wires in and I think you may be able to fit in 2×22 gauge, but maybe not much lower. Of course you can go with thinner wire if you like.
Tips for Building on This Deck
Ultimately, once you learn what to do the build will be easy. Hopefully this will help.
Because this unit has a non-fixed center pin, you won’t be able to tighten down the top to the middle nut as tightly as you would normally with screw-in posts. And if you do try and tighten it down too tightly, you might snap your brass pin.
Some have complained about jumping ohms (loose connection), snapping the center pin or not being able to keep the center pin from spinning (whilst tightening down the top nut).
A couple things to know to get it right:
- The top nut needn’t be super tight, just tight enough that you can tighten down bare-handed, and then you can use some needle nose pliers for a slight turn—but not too much more than that.
- To keep the center pin from spinning and messing up your build, while tightening down the top nut, keep a flat-head screwdriver under the atomizer (to lock in place the center pin via the flat-head connection point). This will allow you to get some twerk on the top nut.
For wicking the Zentih RDTA, it’s best if before you cut your tails you run them along the outside of the tank to make sure they’re long enough. Check first before you cut.
Airflow of the Zenith RDTA
Side slots: They are wide and provide a hefty dose of air! Seriously, I could breathe through the atty if I had to! The slots can be adjusted, from open to fully closed off, by turning the solid-state drip tip.
Bottom-fed airflow chimneys: The bottom-fed airflow chimneys rotate (by turning the tank section), so should your coils be off center a bit, you can simply turn the tank section and the chimneys can be perfectly under the center of the coils. This same feature is similar to what was in the deck of Hyon Mods’ PI2. [Insert Rotating Chimneys 1 and 2]
Note: newer models of the Zenith RDTA will have fixed-chimneys and will no longer rotate. If you aren’t buying direct from Science of Vaping, ask your retailer which model you will be getting should you care.
A couple things to know about the bottom-fed airflow chimneys:
The outside holes (~3.57mm) lead you to believe that there will be a generous amount of bottom-fed airflow, but actual airflow chimneys (~1.9mm) is what matters. If you *just* use the bottom-fed airflow by closing of the top slots, there will not be enough air to cool off builds unless they are high(er) resistances (like 1.0Ω or above). Closing off the top airflow slots makes the atomizer feel like it has hardly any airflow at all; I barely even see this as an option.
The bottom-fed airflow chimneys take up space and make refilling the tank a little difficult when wick’d in a normal fashion. I just recently learned (from another reviewer) to use single-tail wicks like you would on a vertical coil. This frees up otherwise occupied space so that you can refill the tank easily. Using single-tail wicks actually works great! Thank heaven I found this fix; it made a world of a difference for me!
Watch how low you go! The tip that I have is the SS solid-state tip and it can get hot. Also, because the tip is so short, your lips will be close to the top of the cap). For me, it’s too hot below .4Ω. I imagine the newer top caps—the delrin and the caps that let you use your own tip—will greatly fix the issue with how much the atty’s heat retention will affect your experience.
This atty was made to perform and it does! The flavor is really full and the airflow is plentiful. I am not sure what makes this atty vape so nicely, but I can only assume that extra little bit of airflow jetting out from the bottom-fed chimneys—being perfectly centered and coming up from the bottom—that intensifies the flavor.
The Zenith RDTA is a super-solid performer that works great with some knowledge of how best to approach it, and with the new after-market products, I see this atomizer as evolving in the right direction to be even better.
- Capable of fantastic flavor
- Capable of fantastic vapor
- Unique design
- Beautifully machined
- Performance of a dripper without needing to re-drip so often
- Thoughtful design with the rotating deck
- Useful after-market products
- Gold plating on positive nut began wearing off really quickly
- The build may take some getting used to
- The atty can get hot
- Misleading amount of bottom-fed airflow
I went through a period where I was not really happy at all with atomizer, but as soon as I re-thought my builds and learned a couple new simple approaches, I was able to get it to shine with the best of them—maybe better! I must say though, if it were not for me having to do this review, I likely would’ve thrown in the towel a while ago. Just know that while I do recommend this atty to those that are moderately advanced with building skills, it comes with a caveat that only recently did I discover how to get the best experience (for me).