VO Chipset review by Mr. 17g for 17vape.com

Original thread in Chinese.

 

VO CHIPSET REVIEW

BY MR. 17G for 17vape

 

The entire vape industry was surprised when BMI switched from the Yihi chipset to the newer VO Chipset. Online opinions of the newer BMI with VO chipset range from calling the machine awesome, to difficult to adjust to the new chipset. Everyone agrees the BMI brand is a smashing success in the vaping industry. However, many Vapers asked: why the switch? Was it due to cost? Performance? Superior Chipset features?

 

In my hands, I have a retail 75W VO chipset which I will be running through multiple tests to show you players if the new VO Chipset is a worthy successor when compared with the original Yihi chip.

I suspect that the VO Chipset package I received has not entered the market yet. It seems the chipset will be marketed to compete with the new DNA75W chipset. I must say it is refreshing to see more reasonable wattages provided by these current chipsets when compared to the ridiculous high 200 watt chipset trend last year. In my opinion, 200 watt chipsets are superfluous and provide little value to most vapers. The high wattage race was like a cold war arms race, or penile measuring contest between chipset manufacturers to see who can release the highest wattage chip simply for bragging rights and a sense of superiority.

From a features standpoint, I find the VO 75W chipset is complete enough to satisfy everyday vapers. It has Power Mode, Temperature Control mode (supporting Ni, TI, and Stainless steel 316), mechanical mode, and a very nice customization mode as well. Operation and navigation of the chipset features are all conveniently operated from a single menu system. This is unlike the DNA200, where you have to link the chipset to a computer to modify and adjust values, a process that I found cumbersome.

Let’s talk about the packaging. The VO chipset comes packaged in a small cardboard that is smaller in size compared to DNA200, yet feels sturdier than the one DNA200 is packaged in.

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Outside of the box, the chipset buttons are connected to wires that are already soldered directly onto the PCB.

 

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The VO Chipset has an extremely sleek black colored PCB.

 

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Behind the OLED

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Notes: Lifting up the OLED, reveals the processing unit. Examining closely, the CPU is completely blank and lacks any identifier markings, unlike many Chinese made chipsets with identifiable markings. There is nothing at all! Were the markings sanded off? Not likely as there are not any sanding marks. Making an educated guess, the chipset manufacturers are unlikely to have developed this chipset themselves, as the R&D investment is too high, to the tune of millions of US dollars. The cost per chip would be astronomical and out of reach. There’s a strong possibility VO Chipset creators are working together with an undisclosed vendor who has spent the money on the R&D already and can customize the chipset for them. So the VO Chipset benefits from the saved R&D costs and the chip vendor can enjoy benefits from selling a few thousand units of processors.

This leads me to believe VO Chipset is positioning itself to seize the 75W market with force with goals of massive sales and cornering the market in the process. This is just speculation based on limited knowledge on my part, but how it plays out we will see.

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The back of the PCB contains four 6512 Mos Tubes

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Two ADP 3110A Mosfets on the front of the board

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B6285V Step-up (boost) Regulator chip

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Micro-USB connector with all four lanes connected – looks like the chipset will be firmware updatable controlled by software.

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Side-view of the PCB

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Comments:

The 75W VO Chipset workmanship is excellent compared to others in the industry. The black colored PCB looks striking and sets it apart from other manufacturers. Further, VO.tech did not cut corners on the thickness of the PCB substrate, arguably the most expensive part of the chipset. Many manufacturers reduce in thickness or layers in order to reduce costs at the expense of users. The edges of the PCB are cut smoothly which is a sign of high manufacturing quality. All of the integrated chipsets are authentic and good quality. Speaking from a manufacturing standpoint, the chipset quality appears to even best the manufacturing quality of the industry leader DNA200. However, the DNA200 does contain a balance charging along with high-powered integrated chips to support lipo batteries, but those are offered at a much higher price point when compared to the VO Chipset.

 

 

 

VO Chipset boot up screen: You can customize your logo with software

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The Default Boot Logo

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The Interface: it’s packed with information

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That’s enough information of the physical board. Let us get to the main reason why we are here: performance testing!

 

POWER MODE TESTING: The Data

In power mode, the chipset was set to provide wattage from 5W-75W in 5W increments and the power output over time was measured. The results are in the below charts:

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Commentary:

I would first like to say many manufacturers in this industry claim artificially high wattage outputs on their mod, yet when submitted to testing the results say otherwise. A little bit of deviation of power output is expected and acceptable, but I personally do not condone to manufacturers claiming high wattage for simply for bragging rights. This kind of practice by manufacturers is purely opportunistic and gives users a false sense of superiority because of the high wattage claim on their machines. For me, setting up 15W on the device means 15W sustained output should be delivered every time with no delay. With that said, the VO chipset is accurately delivering the wattage it claims and with a quick ramp up time. Based on the above graphs, we can see that when the VO chipset is outputting near its max claimed power output of 75W there are slight wattage drops. The magnitude of the wattage drop is negligible (below 3%), showcasing the efficiency and accuracy of the VO Chipset.

Next, we will measure power output during NI200 temperature test

 

 

 

NI200 Power Output @ 190°C, 200°C and 220°C

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The VO Chipset while in temperature control mode will heat up the coil very quickly initially and then use lower power pulses to maintain the rated temperature. The amplitude of the pulse is not very large, but I was able to feel the power pulsing in order to maintain the temperature. From the graph we can see the power pulsation frequency is not fixed, but the power pulsation frequency is determined by the temperature of the coil as it should.

 

 

COOLING FAN TEST: I used a blowing fan to blow cool air onto the coil while testing the chipset at 220°C. According to the graph, the power output increased the power peaks in the graph, showing the chipset will increase power output to maintain a steady temperature even when a cooling fan is blown onto the coil.
Without Cooling Fan (Baseline):

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Cooling fan applied to coil:

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Commentary:
With a cooling fan pointed at the coil, the chipset had a marked boost of power as indicated in the graph above. The initial heating of the coil was longer than usual. The heat that was dissipated away from the coil by the cooling fan was compensated by more power output from the chipset as seen by the increased number of small peaks in the graph.

 

 

220°C DRIP TEST
A drop of e-liquid was dripped onto the coil during the constant temperature phase where a marked boost of power was immediately applied by the chipset to compensate for the sudden temperature drop.

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VPC Mode:

The VO Chipset has a Variable Power Control feature where users can customize the power output of the chipset according to vaping preference. You can control the output power curve through six points. I set up the following points for power output testing: 10W, 45W, 15W, 50W, 25W

 

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Look at these power output curves along with wattage data: each point I set was accurately provided by the chipset!

To challenge the chipset, I set up a declining power curve of 30W, 18W, 13W, 10W, 10W

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The chipset handled this beautifully unsurprisingly.

Although the custom variable power mode was quite fun to toy with, I was not able to find a way to set up the time interval between each point. I hope this feature can be incorporated with some sort of client software in the future.

 

 

CONCLUSION:

Through my evaluation of the VO Chipset, I have found the VO Chipset is manufactured extremely well and delivers the advertised rated power reliably and quickly. The temperature control mode is extremely well done, and through our tests, showed the chip smartly handled temperature drop conditions with grace. The custom mode I found extremely fun to play with though I would like to adjust the time intervals between the points and can be improved in the future. I feel the VO Chipset is an extremely competitive product and it brings good value over its competitors. If these chips are able to penetrate the market, and find larger distribution in the Chinese market, it will help bring a quality product into this 75W chipset market segment. I hope the VO chipset does well in the market in order to bring all vapers, from beginners to veterans, an even better vaping experience.

 

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