• Custom data

    Custom data

    Now you can add your own custom wire materials, batteries or mods to Steam Engine.


  • Let’s talk about holes

    Let’s talk about holes

    Many box mods come with no visible vent holes. Some vapers, including reviewers, seem to be concerned about that.

    In most cases, that concern is unwarranted.

  • Q&A: TC precision

    Q&A: TC precision

    What exactly does TC precision entail? Is a higher value more desirable, or lower?

    The TC precision number in the Wire Wizard is an attempt to describe how easily a mod can sense the temperature of a coil. A higher number means that you should have more precise temperature control. (more…)

  • Themes are back

    Themes are back

    I was originally planning to drop themes in the new version, because I figured no one was using them anyway. Then one user reminded me that there is an accessibility aspect to being able to change how the site looks. Good point.

    To change to one of the alternative themes, go to About, click Themes, and select one from the list.

  • New version out and about

    New version out and about

    The revamped version of the code has now replaced the old version.
    Now to spend the rest of the day pressing F5, waiting for bug reports to tick in.

    By the way, there’s a couple of brand new features in the coil calculator:

    New heat flux interface

    When I first made Steam Engine back in 2014, uttering the words “heat flux” in the presence of vapers would only evoke blank stares. I still chose to include the value as an unremarkable little output under “advanced results”.

    Fast forward a couple of years, and people had started taking notice. When I discovered that some paid app even had one-upped me by giving heat flux a more prominent place in the user interface, I quickly followed suit, moving the value to the the more visible “basic results” section. A small coloured icon was added in order to draw the user’s attention, while simultaneously giving them a hint about what’s hot and what’s not. I still wasn’t sure that this was something vapers would actually care about, though.

    The last year or so has removed all doubt. I see people on forums discussing what heat flux they prefer to vape at, everyone who’s into coil building seem acquainted with the term, and some even use it as a starting point for their builds. It seems the concept is here to stay. Time to update Steam Engine accordingly.

    You can now enter the heat flux you want to vape at in the “new old” coil calculator. The calculator will then tell you how much power or voltage your mod needs to provide in order to reach the selected heat flux.

    In addition to being more intuitive and more practically oriented, this also solved the problem with how to recommend a reasonable power/voltage setting for the mod. Now that the heat flux dictates these numbers, it’s no longer a question of a practical but ultimately subjective estimate, now it’s a straight forward and objective calculation. Two birds with one stone.

    (The next challenge would be to automatically suggest a heat flux based on the heat capacity, and possibly some other values, but that’s a task for another day.)

    Incidentally, I also plan to implement something similar in the Wire Wizard, although it is a bit more complicated because the heat flux will have to be an average of all the wire components. The required voltage will depend on the TCR and the temperature at any given time, so I’m not quite sure what exactly to display yet. The preheat and boost features of many modern TC mods may complicate matters even further. There’s definitely some design decisions to be made there.

    Ok, back to the “new old” coil calculator:

    Dynamic step size for target resistance

    When you use the arrows (or the arrow keys of your keyboard) to adjust the target resistance in the coil calculator, the step size will now depend on the selected resistance at any given moment:

    • Below 0.4 Ω: Step size 0.01 Ω.
    • 0.4 Ω to 1 Ω: Step size 0.05 Ω.
    • Over 1 Ω: Step size 0.1 Ω (like before).

    This should give the sub-ohmers some long awaited fine control when approaching the holy grail of the short circuit. 😉

  • Q&A: Preset for fused Clapton coil in the Wire Wizard

    Q&A: Preset for fused Clapton coil in the Wire Wizard

    in the wire builder, could there be an additional area for a fused clapton? the clapton is there of course as is the staggered clapton but not the fused so its tough for new wire builders to figure out

    Yes, learning to use the Wire Wizard does require a bit of thought. In this particular case, ask yourself: What is a fused Clapton coil? If I’m not mistaken, the answer is: Two core wires with a thinner wire wound around it, right?

    So in the Wire Wizard, you choose a Clapton coil. Then you choose a parallel core with two wires. And that is all.

    This flexibility admittedly makes the Wire Wizard a bit challenging to get started with, but the flexibility is also one of the main reasons for this calculator to exist to begin with.

    Shortcuts may seem practical, but in reality they’re going to mask the flexibility. This will make the learning curve less steep to begin with, but it will also make the learning curve much longer, and that’s not a tradeoff that I’m willing to make at this point in time.

    The old Coil Calculator is designed to be easy to use, so if you just want a low threshold tool that you can churn out coils with without having to engage your brain, the old calculator is the right tool for the job. In contrast, the Wire Wizard is designed to be powerful, and will not be equipped with training wheels any time soon.

  • Q&A: Will Steam Engine shut down at some point in the near future?

    Q&A: Will Steam Engine shut down at some point in the near future?


    There are rumors that I will take Steam Engine offline at some point in the near future (the exact point in time depends on when the assertion was made). Like most doomsday prophecies, this is baloney, hogwash, rubbish, etc.

    I just wanted to get that out there.

  • Q&A: Square wire

    Q&A: Square wire

    Please add square wire into the system as it’s used allot now not ribbon


  • Better specific heat and density data for NiFe30

    Better specific heat and density data for NiFe30

    The only property of the coil materials that is essential to coil building, is the resistivity of the material. All the wires in Steam Engine need to have a precise resistivity number in order for the calculator to even work.

    For temperature controlled vaping, some type of data describing the relationship between temperature and resistance is also important. This can either be a single number called temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR), or it can be a more detailed multi-point curve consisting of resistivity factors at different temperatures (which I chose to abbreviate TFR, “temperature factors of resistance”, in the calculators).

    Density and specific heat are the two last values, and the least important ones. They’re “nice to have” features. They will give you a heat capacity and a mass for your coil – not extremely useful, but interesting enough.

    Whenever I can’t find the resistivity of a material, I simply cannot add it to the calculators. But when I have the resistivity, and perhaps the TCR or TFR data, omitting a material just because I lack density or heat capacity data, would be a shame. Luckily both these values can be estimated without any major risks.

    For the NiFe30 wires, I had to do just that – until an attentive user in my Facebook group pointed me to the actual datasheet for Resistherm NiFe30! (PDF in German.)

    This data allowed me to tweak the values for heat capacity and density for all the NiFe30 variants – that is, to replace the estimates with hard data.

    • An estimated density of 8.2 g/cm³ was replaced with the accurate 8.5 g/cm³ for all the NiFe30 materials (except StealthVape‘s NiFe, which had the correct density all along, because they actually got this number straight from their own manufacturer and shared it with me).
    • An estimated specific heat of 0.45 J/g×K was replaced with the more accurate 0.42 J/g×K for all types of NiFe30.

    And lo and behold, the datasheet also contained a TFR curve for Resistherm. This curve seems to be a little bit steeper overall than the linear TCR that was used before.


    I have updated the Resistherm NiFe30 data point with this curve, which is used instead of the single TCR from now on.

  • Q&A: Determine the material of prebuilt coils

    Q&A: Determine the material of prebuilt coils

    I have come across problems with non labled prebuilt coils. I have been using coil dimensions and its resistance to find the matierial. Which has been inaccurate. Is there a way I can do that with this site that’s more accurate? Could it be possible to add somethings similar to the site?