VT40 Evolv DNA40 Mod
Spinfuel Score – B+
Highlight Feature: Evolv DNA 40 Chip
The HCigar VT40 is a relatively expensive, high quality box mod that is designed to be ergonomically easy to grip using the “C-Frame” design function. You won’t notice this C-Frame design though, but you will notice the definite lack of fatigue after holding it in your hand for an extended period of time. Feels great whether you’re left-handed or right, and that’s the main goal with this type of design.
The HCigar VT40 features the Evolv DNA 40 V5-chip and can fire up to 40 watts with standard coils and as low as 0.16 ohm with nickel coils. The Evolv DNA 40 V5 chip is the version that includes the extra large screen found in the Vaporshark rDNA 2014-15 model and the new Vaporshark/Vapor Flask model. This larger screen is not only easier on the eyes, it’s brighter, with tighter resolution to display clear fonts lit up on the OLED display. The HCigar VT40 features Temperature Control, of course, and allows for Nickel Wire Ni200 coils. Whether you use RDA’s or the latest subohm tanks with Ni200 prebuilt coil heads, this device allows for a customized vape, though it taps out at 40 watts, which for some subohm tanks and coils might be a little underpowered.
The Evolv DNA 40 is a power regulated digital switch-mode DC-DC converter for found in several vaporizers today. It features Evolv’s ‘patented’ Wattage Control, Temperature Protection, Preheat, Step Up/Step Down Topology, Digital User Controls, OLED Screen, Onboard Buttons and Synchronous Rectification for maximum battery life with minimal heat generation. Before the expected mass migration to the Evolv DNA200 board, this version of the DNA40 is most advanced vaporizer controller yet. Will we see HCigar release this same design with the new DNA200? Probably… and sooner rather than later I would think. Until then, the HCigar VT40 represents HCigar’s commitment to excellent, high quality box mods. Note that temperature control is only possible when used with Ni200 (Nickel) coils.
The functions in the HCigar VT40 are identical to other DNA40 vaporizers, so going over each one would be an exercise in redundancy. Here are a few that I think you should know about the DNA40, and the HCigar VT40 in particular.
Waking the device by tapping the Fire button. It’s nearly instant-on now with V5. When you connect a new tank or RDA or disconnect and reconnect your current tank, the DNA 40 will prompt you with “New Coil? UP YES/DOWN
NO”. – This can get annoying when vaping requires several refills of eliquid in your dripper or tank.
Locking Mode is as simple as pressing the fire button five times under .7 seconds. While in Locked mode the mod will not fire and the power setting will not accidentally increase or decrease. This is a very important feature and one all vapers should use. To unlock the mod click it 5 times.
Display offers a Right Mode and Left Mode function. While the device is in locked mode hold the fire and up buttons simultaneously for 5 seconds and the display will flip, a great feature for lefties.
New to V5 – Atty Lock Mode – In temperature control mode holding down both the up and down buttons for
five seconds will cause the device to enter into Atty Locked Mode. In this mode the resistance doesn’t change with the change of temperature. While using Kanthal heating coils holding down both the up and down buttons for two seconds will place the device in Power Locked mode. In this mode you will not be able to change the power setting.
Temperature Adjustment Mode – In Locked Mode holding down both the up and down buttons for two seconds will place the device in maximum Temperature Adjust mode. In this mode the maximum temperature is displayed. The up and down buttons are used to adjust the maximum temperature.
Auto Power Down Mode – The screen will be at its brightest setting while firing and after 10 seconds with no button pressed the screen will dim. 30 seconds after you press the last button the screen will fade out completely and the device will go into sleep mode.
The HCigar VT40 can alert you to a variety of error codes. Here are the important ones.
Check Atomizer: The device does not detect an atomizer or the atomizer has shorted out or the atomizer
resistance is incorrect for the power setting.
Shorted: The atomizer or the wiring has short-circuited.
Weak Battery: Very Common with all DNA40 boards. The battery needs to be charged, or a higher rate battery needs to be used. Depending on the wattage used, or the quality of the battery the device will continue to fire the atomizer but will not be able to reach the desired wattage. The Weak Battery message will continue to flash for a few seconds after the end of a drag. Make sure you are using the proper battery, and keep a couple of fully charged batteries on hand.
Temperature Protection: The coil has reached the maximum allowable temperature during use. The HCigar VT40 will continue to fire but it will not push out the previous wattage. This prevents dry hits or dry burns, a nasty situation in every case.
Too Hot: The HCigar VT40 is equipped with an onboard temperature sensing, part of the Evolv DNA40 circuitry. It will shut down and display the message if the internal board temperature becomes too hot.
Features and Specs:
• Dimensions: 3-3/8″L x 1-7/8″ x 1″D
• Spring-Loaded 510 Contact Pin
• DNA 40 V5 Chip by Evolv
• Preheat Feature for Temp control users
• Toggle Screen Orientation
• Setting Lock
• Large OLED Display
• Operating Wattage: 1.0 to 40.0 W
• Resistance Range (Standard Coil): 0.16 Ohms to 2.0 Ohms
• Resistance Range (Temperature Control Coil): 0.10 Ohms to 1.0 Ohms
• Operating Temperature Control: 200F to 600F
• Utilizes one high-amp 18650 battery (removable and sold separately)
• Low voltage protection
• Low resistance protection
• Short circuit protection
• High Temperature protection
• Reverse battery protection
• Charge it via the included USB Cable
• Includes Pass-through functionality
What’s in the Package?
• 1 x HCigar VT40 Mod
• 1 x Micro USB charging cable
• 1 x User manual
• 1 x HCigar VT40 Coin for easy battery cover removal
The VT40 has a 30-day Limited Warranty against any manufacturing defects from the date of delivery. (Keep your receipt!) Scratches and discoloration from regular use is considered normal wear and tear and is not covered by warranty.
Although the C-Frame design works well for less fatigue, the HCigar VT40 is heavier than expected. The weight of this single 18650-battery device is on par with the weight of the dual battery Vapor Flask. It is, despite the C-Frame design, the least “fun” looking DNA40 device I’ve used, although that’s purely a subjective impression.
The HCigar VT40 works just as well as other DNA40 box mods on the market, including the rDNA from Vaporshark and the aforementioned Vapor Flask, as well as the new Johnson Creek Vea Elite. They all suffer the same slings and arrows of the Evolv DNA40, though the extra large screen makes it a bit more attractive as a device than DNA40 box mods that use the previous Evolv version, with the smaller OLED display.
What will ultimately decide your decision to buy the HCigar VT40, I would guess, are the name, HCigar, and the reputation it has for quality vaporizers. The price, $129 (MyVaporStore), is in line with other DNA40 vaporizers, but $20 more than the Johnson Creek Vea Elite, a DNA40 device that should not be overlooked.
Things That Impress This Reviewer
Naturally we are all interested in what’s coming with the Evolv DNA200 board, but there are some ‘things’ about the HCigar VT40 that truly do impress me. I like the weight of it, it has heft, and it feels “serious”. That’s not something that should be easily overlooked. It is designed to fit most palms, and for smaller hands it does quite well. Julia and Keira both own this device and they say the “fit” is perfect for women’s hands. It also fits perfectly well in my own hands. That said, despite its size, if you use a larger tank, say the Subtank Plus from Kanger, the box mod look abnormally small. The perfect sized tanks, in my opinion, are the Subtank Mini and the Herakles (in black). Anything similar or larger than the Aspire Triton pushes the balance toward an abnormal weight distribution. Again, this is just my opinion from 2 weeks of use.
The HCigar VT40 is definitely a high quality DNA40 box mod. Superior materials, large screen display with the V5 chip, this is the DNA40 for advanced Vapers. The nearest equivalent in temperature control mods of a different color would be the YiHi SX Mini M Class. Both devices have the same “serious” quality to it, though both use very different boards. If you’re not waiting for the DNA200 and you’re in the market for the DNA40, you simply have to consider the VT40.
Reviewer’s Score: B+ – Why a B+? Let’s face it, as high quality as the HCigar VT40 is, and trust me it is, the price is just a tad higher than I like with a DNA40 end-of-life devices. The overall look and feel is a serious one, but its appeal is, I believe, limited to advanced vapers looking for something that reflects the serious attitude of an advanced vaper. That’s not a bad thing, but it does limit its appeal to a specific subset of users. New Vapers, or Vaper’s looking for a fun device that does temperature control, something like the Vea Elite , or even the iStick 40 TC or eVic-VT carries a more attractive look at a smaller price tag, and that might be the defining factor in making a sale.
What do you think of the HCigar VT40? Is it too late to look at yet another DNA40? Is the HCigar VT40 too serious looking for your taste, or is it exactly what you would want in a DNA40 box mod?