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The BB by Altsmoke – A Review


Get out the Kevlar gloves, this baby's HOT!
Altsmoke has a new mod hot off the griddle! I was one of the lucky few to receive a BB for review. Initial impressions are that Altsmoke has a winner on their hands.

So, who am I and what can you expect from my review?

I was a 35 year smoker - 2 packs a day. I have vaped exclusively for about six months now. I have several mods (Silver Bullet, two VP1s & VP2s, and several Coppers). Additionally, I own many 510s, a few 901s and a M401 Dragon.

I'm a Senior Mechanical Designer with 17 years of experience. My review will be a critique from the perspective of an engineer.

For those that want a general, short winded answer; the BB has a robust design, thoughtful choice of materials and is compact and versatile. It gets a thumbs up.


Comfortable and compact in the hand
A few specifics about the BB:

The unit is .85" diameter x 3.55" in length and weighs 2.6 oz with battery; about 3 ozs with a 510 atty and mouthpiece.
  • Main shell is CNC Machined from 6061-T6 aluminum
This is an alloy with Magnesium, Silicon, Copper, Chromium and Titanium as it's main elements. It is corrosion resistant, machines well and is considerably hard for aluminum. The T6 designation means it has been heat treated to further increase its hardness.
  • The atty connector is pressed in
There are two basic ways to do this; pressed in or screw in. Normally, a screwed in connector is superior in terms of strength and permanence of mounting. Sometimes, a screwed in connection must be used if the design doesn't have sufficient strength to accept a pressed in connector.

The BB features signifigant wall thicknesses in it's design and because of this, a pressed in connector can attain near the permanent stability of a screwed in connector. The connector is pressed in under great force with an interference fit - the hole for it is .005" smaller than the connector being pressed into it. Quite strong, but a screw in connector would have been somewhat better.
  • Very smooth thread engagement
One thing immediately noticeable is the fluid like smoothness when unscrewing the body to place or change a battery. These threads are machined with multiple passes and polished. This produces a very exact shape and surface of the thread. The Noalox anti-sieze lubricant that has been applied gives it the dampened, uncongealed feel. Hit up your local home improvement or hardware store and get yourself a small tube. A very welcome change from a couple other mods I own.
  • Hard Powder Coat finish
This stuff is pretty tough. I found out the hard way... I dropped the BB from about two feet onto an asphalt parking lot. I found a couple marks. No dent, no crack, just doesn't look pristine any longer.

The powder coat process involves electrically charging an item then spraying a powder with an opposite charge - opposites attract. The item is baked as high as 650 degrees for several hours as the powder melts into a contigous mass. Chemical changes occur which make this particular coat on the BB aproximately eleven times harder than the paint on your car.

Additionally, there are two finishes available: Smooth or Crinkled. I tested the smooth as evidenced by the photos. I found a pic of a crinkled BB on a post in the Altsmoke ECF forum.
  • Push Here
The switches on the BB as in the SB are very heavy duty. The switch you see on the outside is the mechanical switch; it operates an electrical switch that actually opens and closes the flow of electricity. Many electrical switches are only rated at 10-40 thousand actuations, MTBF (mean time before failure). The mechanical switch on the BB is rated at One Million actuations! The electrical, at 200,000 actuations. This is above and beyond any mod that I know of.


Aesthetically pleasing, robust, versatile and compact
I tested mainly with a 510 atty that had been previously broken in (about a weeks use), 14500 LiOn batts (meter shows about 4.2v no load) and my own juice that consists of a 50/50 mix of PG/VG-H2O @ 24mg/ml with 7% Capella Coffee Bean flavor and 4% Capella Chocolate flavor (21.6mg/ml). I used this mix exclusively throughout the review period (two weeks).

EDIT: I wanted to add that I use about 3ml of liquid a day. Your mileage may vary...

Additionally, I tested at 6v with 510, 801 & 901 attys. More on that a little later. All vaping is done via dripping.


Tolerances can be held up to .0005"

In use, it is quite comfortable in the hand and the button is in an expected, comfortable position. Feels natural to use. It's lightweight and easy to carry.

With a single 14500 900Mah (stated) battery, I am getting nearly a full day (8-9 hrs) with it using a 510 atty. Vapor production is substantial and flavor is pretty good. A 901 proves similar but produced more flavor for me. The 801 was a bit warmer and almost too flavorful at this voltage. Alternate attys are utilized via adapters sold by Altsmoke.

I popped a couple 750Mah CR2s in there and tried the 801 at 6v. Wow... Volumous clouds of warm vapor with nice, strong flavor. Great throat hit and just a little too much chest hit at five seconds! Keep it at three... This ended up being my favorite at 6v. Shorter hits, and all the perks.

The 510 is nice at 6v. Surprisingly, it wasn't a warm as the 801, and it had a little harshness to the flavor. Still not bad. The 901 was equally as cool, but had better flavor. Still like the 801. Got a good 5-6 hours out of the batteries.

Did I mention I like the 801 at 6v? OK, good.

Only problem with 6v is the availability of protected cells, or lack thereof. There are LiFe chemistry cells which are safe, but have much lower capacity.

One plus is primary CR2s are available most everywhere. They're expensive, but if you get stuck with a dead battery and no way to charge... $10 could save your sanity. Much cheaper than Prozac.

A built in protection and/or voltage regulation circuit would have been nice as this could be the ultimate small high voltage mod.

EDIT: My only other observation (thanks Puff Daddy) is the omission of a master off switch. Although, I carried in in my jeans pocket without incident; perhaps because it takes a solid push to actuate it. But I suppose it could fire in your pocket.

In closing, I have to say that I'm impressed with the BB. It has a couple minor design features that I would change, but I'd be proud to have designed it.

The additionally functionality of an available pass through is evidence of a plan well thought out.

The obvious elements of strength and longevity in it's design, and using a facility to manufacture it that has over 150 years of combined experience shows a commitment to quality.

Once again, Altsmoke has taken the high road and brought a quality product to market.

via: E-Cigarette Forum


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