Terminator Tank a Good Idea, but…

Pop quiz! What are two of the most popular e-cigarette trends at the moment?  If you answered rebuildable atomizers and tanks, you’re right. And if you put both of those things together in the same package, you get the subject of today’s review, the Terminator tank. So, is putting the two together like putting together chocolate and peanut butter? Or is it more like putting together police dramas and musicals?

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terminator rda review Product name  The Terminator RDA Tank
Available from  MadVapes
Price  $11.99
Competing products Vivi Nova, DCTs
Who’s it for? Early adopters who don’t mind fidgeting with a product

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Terminator Tank Design

If you’re going around calling something a terminator tank, that must mean there’s a tank involved somewhere. That is true. The Terminator comes with a standard-issue 3.5ml cartomizer tank.  They’ve been covered, so I’ll skip that part.

Terminator RDA PartsI’d like to say you can use this with any cartomizer tank.  That’s not entirely true because the design means they have to be fit into tanks a certain way, and not all tanks will work. Generic carto tanks should be fine, however.

What is it about the design that makes it incompatible? The Terminator features a big bulge in the middle (well about 2/3 of the way down). That bulge is where the rebuildable atomizer unit is housed.

It’s actually a three-piece design. There’s a lower post that houses the battery connector and feeds through the cartomizer opening in a tank.  Then there’s the head and bottom part of the bulge. The head also has a 510 connector to screw into the bottom post.

Finally, that is all topped off with the housing which features the top half of the bulge and the remainder of the tube intended to go out the top cap of the tank.

This means you can’t just slide the thing into the tank, it’ll never fit.  To put this system together, you have to unscrew the atomizer and place the bottom half through the bottom cap of the tank. Next, fit the tank tube onto the bottom cap.  Finally, you can fit the top half of the terminator and the top of the tank on.  Maybe you should fill it while you have the top half of the tank off.  There’s no slide and fill option here.

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Let’s back up just a bit and take a look at the atomizer portion.  In some ways it’s more a replacable head than a rebuildable atomizer.  There is a heating coil inside a ceramic cup and the housing can be pulled apart to rebuild the coil Vivi Nova style.

The heads have stubby little coils that protrude out slightly to fit into the housing.  How the whole thing works for feeding e-liquid is very interesting.

There are slots in the bottom half of the bulge’s threading.  Egg, I think I’ll call it an egg, it sounds better than bulge.  Anyway, you screw down the top half of the egg to cover the slots.  The further you tighten the top part, the smaller the holes get. This in turn lets you adjust the flow of liquid into the coil.

Brilliant! The theory is that there’s a little bit of play between the top cap and the top of the terminator tube (did I mention it was very long?) This lets you twist the tube to adjust the flow of liquid on the fly.

Using the Terminator Tank

Of course there’s a flaw in that theory. That flaw is that there is also a little play between the bottom of the Terminator and the bottom of the tank.  The result is more often than not, when you twist the top, the bottom goes too.

Terminator RDA in AGR TankSay you’re trying to loosen the top to increase liquid flow. The bottom will likely also spin loosening the entire thing from your favorite device, which then means the thing won’t fire.

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I’ve found if you tighten the bottom half as much as possible when assembling the tank and attaching it to the e-cig, it helps. Eventually it comes loose. It’s also not great to tighten the heck out of an atomizer on your e-cigarette it can cause problems with the threads.

It is also a little tricky if you want to actually remove the tank. since the bottom of the carto has a tendency to spin freely unscrewing it may just move the tank around and not much else.  A little sideways pressure when unscrewing may help.

The best results I’ve had so far is using the AGR tank. I can get the atomizer pretty tight on the bottom part of that tank. Unfortunately, you still have to fill the tank.

Because this is an atomizer, excess e-liquid has a way of running right through the thing and out the bottom. When sealing carto tanks after filling, there is always an amount of air that will be displaced when the caps are attached.

Physics or something equally science-y tells us that the displaced air has to go somewhere. And it does, it pushes the e-liquid through the atomizer and out the bottom, dribbling e-liquid everywhere.  If you’re particularly unlikely, you’ve created a sort of siphon effect and a lot of e-liquid will come out.

terminator rba on skvw provariThere’s always the option of closing the Terminator when closing the tank up. Then you might find that when the air has no place to go, it’s pretty much impossible to get the caps on the tank.

Different tanks behave differently. The AGR seems to have a problem with e-liquid leaking out even with a sealed Terminator. That probably means it’s escaping between the end cap and the cartomizer itself.

Getting a balance of just right with this thing is a trick. There is a pay off if you can manage it.

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Now, if you’ve read this far without running away screaming, good job!  There is an upside to the terminator.  It has fantastic performance.

The flavor is outstanding since this is essentially an atomizer. Vapor production is great and the vapor is reasonably warm when it gets to you. That’s because there’s a nice, wide tube between you and the atomizer and nothing else. Well, unless you installed that little gasket that comes with it to prevent liquid coming back up the tube on you.

When the stars align and I have this device working properly it is one of my favorite vaping experiences. I really hope this design gets improved upon.

If they can just make it less fiddly, this would be such an excellent atomizer tank.  Perhaps if they use friction instead of threading to adjust the openings in the egg.  Pull up or down instead of twisting. Or, maybe figure out some way to do some kind of flange that will keep the bottom piece still.

I look forward to the next version of this thing. If you’re up for a challenge and don’t mind fiddling a great vaping experience can be had from the Terminator.

Too Long; Didn’t Read

Terminator RDA TLDR

The Terminator Tank has so much potential, in fact, its performance is amazing. But, the tank is so difficult to use that the whole concept falls flat. It is a great idea, and it might be fun for the truly curious, but I’ll be excited to see the next version. If you want to try it out, check MadVapes.

Pros

  • Amazing performance
  • Adjustable liquid flow
  • Fits many standard carto tanks

Cons

  • Doesn’t fit all tanks
  • Entirely too fidgety
  • Leaks when filling

Disclosure: This review features affiliate links

 

 

Steve K

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