The Smok RPM80 RGC RBA coil review – and WOW – doesn’t that just sound like the abbreviation for a very rare medical condition?
Thankfully it’s not, and you won’t suffer any adverse physical effects either, despite some media claims!
That’s not to say Smok isn’t further complicating things when it comes to all things pod-like. It’s that little niggle of mine regarding cross compatibility and the descriptive nature of this particular review.
This is a rebuildable atomizer and as such is not for the uninitiated to the world of vaping, some knowledge of building will be required.
What it does provide, is an alternative to the reams of premade coils that Smok currently has on the market.
Effectively, this RBA allows you the chance to experiment with flavour and cloud production of your own design.
What Can We Expect From The Smok RPM80 RGC RBA Coil?
From a personal perspective, a lot of frustration lol!
I’ve been here before with Smok when they released an RBA (rebuildable atomizer) section for the TVF4 tank a good few years back.
It didn’t go too well. I may also be correct in recalling that it came bundled with the tank, but we’ll avoid any politicizing today.
However, it offers no post holes instead asking the builder to secure the coil legs under the outer side of the posts.
If that isn’t tricky enough there’s also no 510 adaptor to facilitate in pulse burning the coil first. You have to rely on looking down the mouthpiece while attached to the device, not all that convenient.
Some may call this an oversight but Smok has corrected these annoyances with the RGC RBA.
There remains a caveat in that they don’t recommend a build of less than 0.25Ohm.
That actually makes perfect sense giving that we’re still dealing with a pod based system and battery safety should always remain at the fore.
Inside the Box?
This being a standalone product, Smok has ensured the usual number of spares to keep you going.
- RGC RBA section
- 0.6ohm NI80 coil
- Spare cotton
- 510 adaptor
- 4 x replacement Phillips head screws
- 4 x sealing rings
SMOK RPM80 RGC RBA – Specifications and Features
- Single coil rebuildable atomizer
- Coil resistance 0.6ohm
- Weight 10g
- Material Ferrochrome and Nichrome
- Larger heating area
- Well balanced flavour and dense vapour
I mentioned the descriptive nature of this RBA earlier, so let me elaborate and make a few things clear.
Sounds very much like it’s only compatible with the RPM80 doesn’t it?
At the time of writing, these are the three pod systems the RBA can be used with – of course by the time you read this that may well have changed lol!
Design and Build Quality
The bottom airflow structure of the RGC RBA mimics that of premade coils such as the 0.17ohm conical mesh of the Smok Fetch Pro.
Instead of four wicking ports we now have two substantially smaller ones found towards the base of the RBA.
The threading between the deck and the barrel section is silky smooth and there’s some doming on the inside of the chimney designed to aid with flavour production.
SMOK RPM80 RGC RBA – The Build Deck
The deck of the RBA features one raised post, no doubt designed to make the most of the extremely restricted space.
Although there’s plenty of threading on the tiny post screws you’re still going to need your reading glasses whilst negotiating a build – in my case, a magnifying glass lol.
There’s quite a sizeable inlet port on the deck designed to allow air to come in directly beneath the coil. It’s going be vital that it sits centrally above.
How Does The Smok RPM80 RGC RBA Coil Perform?
Here comes the fun part! Do I sound cynical?
I’m going to shy away from putting my own build in and use the pre installed spaced nichrome coil. At least Smok has made life a little easier for those unsure of how to build by meeting them half way.
..if you’d like my experiences building from scratch let me know – I can always update the review at a later date.
However, it remains my responsibility as a reviewer to take you through all the vital steps from scratch so here we go.
How To Build On The RPM80 RGC RBA Coil
- Start by washing your hands
- Unscrew the barrel from the deck section of the RGC RBA
- Install and position the pre wrapped coil. Carefully loosen the post screws and insert the coil legs through. Tighten both screws down, position and ensure the coil is sitting directly above the air inlet hole.
- Clip the ends of the legs making sure they are flush with the sides of the posts.
- Install the included 510 adaptor to the base of the RBA and screw down onto a suitable MOD.
- Dry pulse the coil at a lowered power output, ensuring an even glow from the centre outwards.
- Cut and feed enough cotton through the coil and gently place the ends down and into the wicking ports.
- Soak both coil and cotton with e liquid and make adjustments to cotton if needed. Test fire a few times checking for hot spots.
- Remove the RBA from the MOD and remove the 510 adaptor.
- Screw the barrel back down over the deck of the RBA.
- Push the RGC RBA up and into the RGC pod and fill with e liquid.
Leave the pod for a good five minutes before taking your first vape on the RBA – letting the juice soak into the coil is known as priming and helps stop nasty dry hits!
Smok RPM80 RGC RBA – Factoring In The Frustrations
There are a few things to go back over when building on the RGC RBA.
- Number one, of course is the size of the deck. You must be prepared with tools at hand and you must retain a degree of patience. (Not my strong point).
- Loosen those tiny Phillips head screws just enough to place the coil legs through. Avoid removing them if you can, they’re very easily lost.
- The inner diameter of the supplied coil is 2mm. That may well be the size to stick with when building your own. There’s certainly no chance of building over 2.5mm due to the build deck size restriction.
- To ensure ample coverage of the airflow inlet on the deck build your coils over 5 – 6 wraps to ensure maximum flavour and airflow distribution.
Wicking the Smok RPM80 RGC RBA
- A very fine balance is required when it comes to the amount of cotton used. Use too much and it will significantly reduce the amount of airflow circulating around the chamber. This in turn may cause a few nasty dry hits.
- Use too little cotton and you run the risk of flooding, spit back and leaking from the bottom airflow of the RBA.
Preventing A Device Short
- It’s absolutely vital that the legs are trimmed back to the very edges of the post. If they’re not flush it could result in contact being made with the inner barrel. The device will short out.
- The coil must be sitting directly above the air intake port on the deck. If not there may be a significant reduction in flavour. Also, make sure the coil is elevated and not touching the deck as this will also cause the device to short.
Finally, when attaching the RBA via the 510 adaptor to a MOD please make sure you adjust the wattage settings before dry firing the coil. I found 10W to be a favourable starting point.
I’ve encountered all of the above school boy errors when previously building on RBA sections. So do as I say – not as I do lol!
SMOK RPM80 RGC RBA – Flavour And Cloud Production
I used the Smok Fetch Pro when carrying out tests on the Smok RPM80 RGC RBA.
The great news was the device read the coil at the correct resistance and I found 22W (3.68V) to be an ideal jumping on point.
I was certainly able to pick out the lemon and lime from the profile although any associated sourness was sorely lacking. In fact over the course of the day I discovered the flavour to be somewhat flat and dull.
The RBA was also producing a very dry vaping experience, despite the presence of some quite impressive vapour production.
Changing the flavour profile over for others did very little to improve things. There was simply no clarity, sparkle or zing on show.
The Cherry Bakewell of the 50VG/50PG nic salt by Double Drip was sorely lacking any bakery content. Again it produced a very drab and forgettable vaping experience even cranking up to 32W (3.84V).
With airflow set wide open the vapour quality remained impressive.
It took around four and a half hours of moderate vaping to drain the 4ml capacity of the RGC pod.
Smok RPM80 RGC RBA – Airflow
The size of the airflow intake on the deck shows that this RBA has not been designed for MTL vapers. There was very little change to the restriction values from a fully open airflow to that of one practically closed off.
It’s almost as if the airflow control ring has been made redundant. Flavour value neither increased or decreased.
The vape itself was relatively quiet with no turbulence whatsoever. It did emit a healthy crackle and the occasional air bubble rising through the juice – the sign of successful wicking at least
..a first for me with any RBA lol!
- Doesn’t leak
- Relatively quiet vape with no turbulence
- Good quality threads on RBA
- Too small and fiddly for some
- Only suitable for more experienced vapers
- Average flavour quality from included 0.6ohm coil
- Unsuitable for mouth to lung vaping
It’s important to note that my final review verdict is based entirely on the experiences from the pre-installed 0.6ohm Clapton coil and the cotton provided in the box.
This being an RBA, those experiences will differ wildly for others, especially when using alternative coils and wicking materials. There can be no definitive review opinion for a vaping product such as this.
The Smok RPM80 RGC RBA coil has turned out to be, if nothing else, very reliable. Not once did I encounter any leaking issues and in this respect trounces any of the stock coils available.
The base of the RBA remained bone dry throughout the period of testing.
What Smok needs to do is change the product description because it can be confusing and misleading. In the least it needs an update to show compatibility with the Fetch Pro, which also has the RGC pod.
Just another sign of how swiftly Smok churn out vaping products, I guess.
Sadly, I cannot compare this with the RGC 0.17ohm conical mesh coil because it failed very early on during tests with the Smok Fetch Pro.
It’s a tough call but in general I favour the pre-made coils over the RBA. They just seem to provide additional sparkle and clarity.
However when it comes to cloud production there’s very little to separate them.
I recommend juice ratios of 50VG/50PG – 60VG/40PG when using the RBA and inner coil diameters of no more than 2.5mm over 5 -6 wraps.
A Recommended Rebuildable?
The honest answer has to be no. As with the TFV4 RBA there’s simply not enough space to work with.
The screws are painfully small and can easily be lost.
The amount of cotton has to be spot on in order to prevent wicking issues.
There’s also no option of a MTL vape.
Some of these issues can be overlooked if you’re able to find a more suitable and flavoursome coil. In many respects that’s the fun of owning a rebuildable atomizer – the experimenting.
This RBA will be well suited to those that enjoy either a restrictive or semi restrictive direct lung vaping experience.
If you like a challenge and get satisfaction from building, the Smok RPM80 RGC RBA coil may very well be an option in between stock coil purchases.