NCR RDA Introduction
Following on from my preview of the NCR RDA. These are my thoughts on what is a new concept in the vaping industry. The NCR RDA consists of a normal looking 24mm RDA. The innovation happens under the hood, with the introduction of the ceramic wafer coil system. More on that in a bit. I was sent this in white and at the time of the review this is the only colour available.
NCR RDA Unboxing
The NCR RDA comes packaged in a rather small box almost the size of some of the 30ml juice boxes. On top you find the instruction leaflet which whilst small contains enough info to get to grips with the RDA. Underneath is your sealed bag of spares and below this the NCR RDA itself. On the whole and from first look theres nothing that sets this apart from any other RDA on the market.
NCR RDA Specs and Features
Removing the NCR RDA from its foam protection within the box you are presented with a rather standard and bland looking RDA. Theres nothing fancy about how it looks. But the white top cap does look rather cool I thought. The drip tip is non removable and forms part of the top cap. I would have liked an option to use my own but made do for the time being. Around the sides of the cap are 4 sets of 3 airflow holes. These are rather small and non adjustable ( Other than being able to rotate around the base ). Lifting the top cap off shows where the innovation comes in. Here you will find preinstalled the ceramic wafer this is located under an aluminium cotton holder.
The ceramic wafer as you may have read in the preview is what sets this RDA apart in the market. With some high usage claims of being able to fire it 600,000 times before it needs replacing it has great potential to last much longer than your standard coils. Aside from this and the fact it comes preinstalled there is very little that you need to do other than add cotton. For in experienced builders or those that find building coils complicated or time consuming this may be the answer for you. Installing a new wafer is as easy as unscrewing 2 screws in the base. Merely taking seconds to do. The wafer is manufactured from Aluminium Nitrate. This is a material I have no experience with.
I’d like to say its easy to build this, however there is no coil so building does not seem the right word to use. Literally all that’s needed in this is to place your cotton strip and a small clamp on the wafer. After this place the cotton holder around the cotton, replace top cap and vape until your heart is content.
NCR RDA User Experience
Well, the vape experience was not quite as I expected. I think I expected something mindblowing and initially it seemed to fall flat on its face. Vapour production was okay, nothing tremendous but the flavour was rather pleasant. Flavour for me is important, I like to be able to taste the juice as it is intended to taste and to be totally honest I was not disappointed with the flavour.
The airflow is very restricted for me. The airflow holes on the NCR could do with being a little bigger and having some sort of adjustable feature. With this being a new concept too I was not quite sure where to direct the airflow. The wafer ( coil ) is covered by cotton and only part of the side of the wafer can be seen. This is where I pointed 2 of the 4 lots of airflow holes but in fairness it did not seem to matter where I directed them there was no improvement to production. Given the airflow on a normal RDA would circulate the coil that is not the case with the NCR.
The only thing I tried which did give a slight improvement to the vapour production was that I removed the clamp from the top of the wafer which means more of the cotton is in contact with the wafer and I figured more vapour. This did work and that is how I have continued to use it.
I have vaped using the NCR in standard wattage mode and using the recommended user adjustable mode on the USV L Mod. It is recommended to set your settings to have 0.5 to 1 second of 70w and drop for 2 or 3 seconds to 40/50w I found that this was much more enjoyable that normal wattage mode.
The wafer as I said comes preinstalled and depending on which mod you use reads between 0.4 and 0.5. I did notice without cotton when I fired this quickly climbed to over 1.0ohm and seems to be down to the material used in the wafer. Once I put cotton in and gave it a good soaking then yes it still went up however it quickly returned back to the initial level. So if you see this when you buy it then there is nothing to worry about and this happens in normal operation.
Finally this thing gets incredibly hot. The provided heatsink for me is useless, it does little to hold the heat back from the mod and I found each mod I used getting very warm. Batteries however were nice and cool.
NCR RDA Final Thoughts
I do not think this is a game changer at this stage. With a few improvements such as larger and adjustable airflow. Might make this more appealing. Just because airflow was a little to restrictive for my liking. However its simplicity to “build” and use does go in its favour. Flavour is more than acceptable and is actually pleasant to vape. Considering what we have here is a new material used to heat there is no unpleasant taste that I could notice.
Rewicking was nice and quick and cleaning the wafer is a breeze. Knocking the wattage to around 40w and dry burning instantly rids the wafer of any build up ( very little after a week of use ).
An improved heatsink would be good, the included one felt a little flimsy. That said, larger airflow could help with getting some cooler air to the chamber to cool the RDA too.
Obviously it goes without saying I did not get to test the longevity of the wafer, 600,000 firings is going to take a good couple of years to achieve however I will be sure to update my social media when I change it !! The wafer system I do believe has some good potential if it is utilised correctly. I was more concerned before the review of how the flavour would taste in comparison to my normal coils. Needless to say that is no longer a worry.
One final point I would like to make is that while the review may not make this sound too appealing. These are just my thoughts and my thoughts alone. Flavour is the main positive that comes from this and lets face it… not everyone is a cloudchaser. I will leave that with you.
I am Jay (VapingWithJay) and I am a passionate vaper from the UK. Not only an avid vaper but I love nothing more than to share my thoughts on the latest products in the industry and helping others on their vaping journeys. Happy reading and vape on!