Magic-Flight Launch Box
The Launch Box is a portable vaporizer made by Magic-Flight and available from a number of vendors.
- Type: Conduction and Infra-Red
- Heat source: AA battery (Nickel Metal Hydride, or NiMH; 2000mAh or greater)
- MSRP: $119 (might be less depending on configuration)
- Made in: California, USA
- Websites: www.magic-flight.com
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Additional features: Includes velvet pouch, two batteries, battery charger, two battery protector caps, cleaning brush, travel bands, draw stem, instructions, brochure, and a lifetime functional warranty.
- Nicknames: LB, MFLB, the Box
Traduction en français ici : http://www.vaporpedia.com/wiki/Magic-Flight_Launch_Box_Francais
While the unit comes with attachments (and the LB is said to accept the Purple Days stem as well) most users prefer to use the device native (i.e. no attachment).
- Charge the AA NiMH battery.
- Fill the trench with dry, ground material (the drier the herb and the finer the grind the better) but don't tamp it down.
- Push the battery all of the way in and begin drawing fairly slowly after about 3 seconds.
- Draw on the Box for 10 to 20 seconds and then remove the battery. Don't forget this. Ever. You will ruin the trenchful of herb and cross over from vaping to smoking. (Note: new models come equipped with a push-back ring for the battery, so that the battery will lose contact when pressure is released. This ring can be removed if so desired.)
- Shake the Box or stir the trench between hits.
- Connoisseurs always use a fresh battery. However, if you want to squeeze more juice out of a weakened battery (i.e. any battery that has been used once, per Magic-flight) and feel like a smaller trench anyway, you can safely under-fill the trench as well. Mileage will vary as to battery strength/health.
- Repeat! :D
About this Page
Much of the information on this page was compiled from posts made in The Magic-Flight Box Review thread on FuckCombustion.com by magicflight, who represents the Magic-Flight company. The wording is often his, but some posts have been merged and edited. Some material is from other contributors. No attempt has been made to distinguish the original author of any material.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Simplified Use
- 3 About this Page
- 4 Design, Manufacturing, and Function
- 4.1 How does the Launch Box vaporize?
- 4.2 What materials are used to make the Launch Box?
- 4.3 How many versions are there, and what is the latest?
- 4.4 What is the basic power requirement for the Box?
- 4.5 Where can I get more details about the construction of the Box?
- 4.6 Have you considered using other woods?
- 4.7 Is there any kind of finish or oil put on the wood of the box?
- 4.8 Why not make the device in one step using castable (pourable) ceramic, or use ruggedized silicone, or machine blocks of PTFE (Teflon) vs. wood?
- 4.9 Isn't wood also organic and inherently porous--a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi?
- 4.10 The Launch Box is a conduction vaporizer, how can it be efficient?
- 4.11 Has Magic-Flight ever tried increasing the area of contact between the screen and the herb?
- 4.12 How much does IR effect the operation of the box and how exactly the IR is brought into play?
- 4.13 I can get a harder buzz from my Box than from my other vaporizers, why?
- 4.14 Does the Box give off an odor in use?
- 4.15 What temperature is the Box designed to work at?
- 4.16 How can I tell if my Box is running too cool?
- 4.17 Is there some sort of test we can do at home to gauge the temperature of our LB?
- 4.18 Is there a 'break-in' period after which the Box runs cooler?
- 4.19 Could I place foil on the screen of the Box so I can use it for oils, powders, etc?
- 4.20 Would be possible to have some kind of insert that allowed concentrates to be used in a LB?
- 4.21 Why is there no on/off switch or button on the device?
- 4.22 What is the purpose of the little light?
- 4.23 Is the light covered by the lifetime warranty?
- 4.24 Where is the air intake?
- 4.25 Is the contact ring supposed to intrude into the battery hole?
- 4.26 Is there a risk of "copper toxicity" from heating up copper-plated contact coils in older Boxes?
- 4.27 Does the bottom of the trench have a brown tint when the Box is new?
- 4.28 My serial number is in the XX,000s. Does that mean you've produced over XX,000 boxes?
- 4.29 Why is the draw hole partially obstructed?
- 4.30 What is the smaller hole on the other end for? Do I lose vapor from it?
- 4.31 I heard that two rubber rings were added to the Box design, what are they for?
- 4.32 Does the rubber O-ring around the herb chamber opening heat up and release toxic fumes?
- 5 Batteries
- 5.1 What kind of batteries should I get?
- 5.2 Can I use NiZn or Li-Ion batteries?
- 5.3 How do I choose between LSD and standard batteries?
- 5.4 How should I prepare and care for my batteries?
- 5.5 Why don't my peeled batteries fit snugly?
- 5.6 Can I leave part of the label on or wrap tape around the battery to make it snug?
- 5.7 Can the contact coil be safety bent or pushed to be a little tighter?
- 5.8 What batteries does Magic-Flight ship/recommend?
- 5.9 Is it safe to use the peeled batteries for other devices?
- 5.10 Does the Voltage of the AA have any effect on how hot the box gets?
- 5.11 How many hits can I get from a battery?
- 5.12 What is the significance of the mAh of the battery? Does a 2700mAh battery just last longer than a 2000mAh?
- 5.13 So some batteries are more powerful?
- 5.14 I see 3000/3200/3600/4000/4600mAh batteries for sale on eBay/Amazon/craigslist, wouldn't these be good for the LB?
- 5.15 Batteries have venting holes at the positive tip that are there to vent gases in case of shorting or overheating. Is it possible for the battery to vent gases that are then inhaled through the herb chamber?
- 5.16 How can I test my batteries?
- 5.17 Is it very important to drain the batteries completely before charging them again?
- 6 Chargers
- 6.1 Slow charging vs fast charging vs smart charging; does it matter what charger I use?
- 6.2 What charger does Magic-Flight recommend?
- 6.3 What chargers does Magic-Flight recommend against?
- 6.4 I am using a Maha MH-C9000 and I have a question...
- 6.5 Will LSD batteries charge in a fast charger?
- 6.6 Is it OK to pull a fully-charged battery out of the charger, use it for a trench, place it back in the charger, and grab the other battery for another trench (and then use the first battery again before it is fully charged. ..rinse and repeat. ..)?
- 6.7 What do the lights on my Magic-Flight charger mean?
- 7 AC Power Adapter
- 7.1 Is there a desktop AC power adapter?
- 7.2 What is the price of the power adapter?
- 7.3 What kind of warranty does the power adapter have?
- 7.4 Can the AC power adapter be used with power systems other than 120V 60 Hz?
- 7.5 Does the power adapter let me hit the LB without worrying about how hard I draw?
- 7.6 How can I test whether my PA is making a good contact?
- 7.7 My power adapter has gotten weak/stopped working, what should I do?
- 7.8 Is there any possibility for a USB based power adaptor?
- 8 Water Pipe Adapter (WPA)
- 9 Usage & Technique
- 9.1 Why does my load burn unevenly?
- 9.2 Do I need to grind?
- 9.3 How much is a "trench"?
- 9.4 If I put less than a full trench will it still work well?
- 9.5 What's the smallest load that will work?
- 9.6 By filling the recommended amount, do we get better vapor or avoid possible damage to the unit?
- 9.7 What is the method of heat control?
- 9.8 What is "native mode" and why would I use it?
- 9.9 What is the recommended technique for using the Box?
- 9.10 What is the 'micro-hitting' or 'micro-toking' technique?
- 9.11 Is it better to take many smaller hits where no visible vapor is produced, and it can be held in longer and be more completely absorbed?
- 9.12 When you take a long slow draw, do you get constant vapor supply or is it more "airy"?
- 9.13 What is pyromon's technique? Does it really deliver thick cloudy hits?
- 9.14 What is pyronym's technique? Does it really deliver thick cloudy hits?
- 9.15 Are the MFLB clouds really cloudy?
- 9.16 When I inhale quickly enough to swirl the bud in the trench, is the unit still producing vapor?
- 9.17 Is it OK to draw hard/shake/draw hard/shake/draw hard/shake... until a trench is basically done without removing the battery?
- 9.18 Why do I have to remove the battery after each hit?
- 9.19 How do I know when it's time for a new trench?
- 9.20 Why do I cough when I use the draw tube but not when I use "native mode"?
- 9.21 Why do I see little or no vapor when I exhale?
- 9.22 If my weed turns black, it means I'm combusting right?
- 9.23 About blackening, is there any tar or carcinogen in the vapor released by herb that went through temperatures high enough to blacken the herb as opposed to herb that was vaporized at lower temps?
- 9.24 How well does the Launch Box perform in the cold, such as on ski slopes?
- 9.25 Can you vape tobacco in the Box?
- 10 Maintenance And Cleaning
- 10.1 How should I clean my Box?
- 10.2 How about cleaning the acrylic draw tube?
- 10.3 Won't a screen this fine get clogged?
- 10.4 I want to clean the bars running along the top of the trench but I am afraid to even try scraping them for fear I'll damage the screen, what to do?
- 10.5 Why do I get resin build-up under the screen? How can I clean it out?
- 10.6 Why does my Box smell?
- 10.7 Is it okay to run the Box with an empty trench to burn off any residual particles that the brush misses to keep it clean?
- 10.8 How long can the Box run non-stop before something "bad" happens?
- 10.9 Does the mesh come off if heated for too long?
- 10.10 Is it cool to blow back into the Box to clear all the ABV?
- 10.11 The Plexiglas cover is starting to get grungy on the inside just over the trench, how can I clean it?
- 10.12 My screen started to come loose, can I fix it?
- 10.13 I lost/broke my acrylic drawing tube, what can I do?
- 10.14 I vaped oil/hash/kief in my Box and now the screen is clogged, what should I do?
- 10.15 My (former) friend let some material combust in the Box, what should I do?
- 10.16 I lost/broke all my rubber bands, do I have to order more from Magic-Flight?
- 11 Warranty
- 11.1 What is the Magic-Flight Launch Box warranty?
- 11.2 What is the procedure to make a warranty claim?
- 11.3 Is the warranty transferable?
- 11.4 Will the warranty be honored if I purchase through an Ebay seller?
- 11.5 Will Magic-Flight honor the warranty even if I break the Box through my own stupidity?
- 11.6 So with this warranty, if my Box breaks a year from now, the warranty will still cover it? What if it breaks 20 years from now?
- 11.7 Instead of a warranty replacement, can Magic-Flight repair my customized/exotic wood Box?
- 12 Magic-Flight the Company
Design, Manufacturing, and Function
How does the Launch Box vaporize?
When asked to explain how the Launch Box heats up, FC member OF provided this response:
- That one's easy, it's them little bitty electrons, right?
- Current (orderly flow of electrons in one direction) comes down the negative rod to where it's 'welded' to the mesh of the screen. Notice how the screen wires run straight across (at least half do)? The current then splits into one of the few hundred paths available to the other rod and then back to the positive of the battery (where they join in a chemical reaction that 'pumps' the electrons around the circuit). As 'pressure is lost' (that's voltage to us), power in the form of heat happens. Since about .75 Volts makes it to the mesh (the rest is lost in the battery and connections) that number (in Volts) times the current (15 Amps nominally) gives us the delivered power in Watts. A bit over 11 Watts in our case, the same general level as Omicron for instance. "Log vapes" run about 8 Watts.
- All the useful work is done by the side to side wires in the mesh, the front to back ones are there for mechanical support only.
- The key is the stainless steel of the mesh. It a poor conductor (high resistance relatively) and is really tiny in cross section. A lot goes into that material selection.
What materials are used to make the Launch Box?
Originally the Boxes were made from select birch wood, stainless steel (ie, same as used in high end cooking pans) for the mesh screen, copper plated steel (electrical) for the battery coil, acrylic (brand name Plexiglas) for the cover, and a stainless steel spring clip, used for the cover hinge.
In November 2010, Magic-Flight revealed that a transition to maple from birch was underway, and that the battery coil was now re-formulated and no longer requires a copper plating.
There is no solder (ie no lead). There are no hazardous materials used. The added/optional draw pipe accessories (not necessary to use the Box) are also made of acrylic. There are no chemicals used for bonding--it is a physical process. Magic-Flight has made all possible efforts to ensure/guarantee the complete and total health and safety of this device.
Overall, the Box is very durable (can be dropped without harm, etc). The only part which is more delicate is the internal screen which is very thin--use only the provided brush as a tool in direct contact with the screen. If the screen becomes damaged (whatever the reason) Magic-Flight will send a replacement Box unit (it's part of the warranty--the screen itself is not end-user replaceable).
The LB is durable and practical as well as safe. Purists who absolutely and dogmatically insist that everything be made of only borosilicate glass are gently advised to consider the products of other vendors instead of the LB.
How many versions are there, and what is the latest?
Magic-Flight doesn't identify specific models, nor do they announce design changes, therefore the exact date of a change is not known. In chronological order, the versions are:
- The original release. The earliest boxes had a small pinhole on the bottom.
- The pinhole, which was not intended to be a functional part of the design, was removed.
- A small light was added to indicate whether a good battery connection has been made, and to act as a basic battery power level indicator.
- The size and rating of the light was changed to allow for light longevity.
- The air intake channel was redesigned to be broader and shallower.
- An O-ring was added around the trench opening.
- Shelf blocks were removed.
- A pushback ring was added in the battery chamber to prevent accidental prolonged battery contact.
- Maple replaced Birch.
- New stainless steel contact rods replaced the original copper-clad stainless steel.
- The hardness on the trench O-ring was changed to allow for future accessory development.
- A steel ball catch was added to prevent accidental opening of the cover.
Changes listed do not include calibration changes, slight modifications to the fit and finish affecting measure only, build process changes and optimizations, etc. Also not listed are recalibration shifts to match different battery vendors (since the beginning, Magic-Flight has had 6 different battery vendors) or different chargers/accessories (Magic-Flight has had at least 10 different part numbers for chargers shipped). Things that are really only of expert interest or which are not otherwise user visible have been designated with the "a" suffix, since these are considered 'updates' on the existing design rather than different versions. (The lifetime warranty applies to all Launch Boxes regardless, and battery tension variations aside, they are functionally interchangeable.) Furthermore, each of these changes was not made all at once--they are phased into production over a period of weeks, and thus there is no actual single 'date' at which a change gets implemented.
What is the basic power requirement for the Box?
The basic demand load is about 0.75 volts with a current draw of about 15 amps.
Where can I get more details about the construction of the Box?
On December 23, 2010, the US Patent Office published an application for an Aromatic Vaporizer. This document describes the general principles behind the Magic-Flight method of vaporizing, and gives some specific details about how they are deployed in the device that is being marketed as the Launch Box. The patent application makes it clear that it is the principles that are being protected, and that the existing Box is just one possible form factor.
Have you considered using other woods?
Magic-Flight began using birch because it had certain machining characteristics that were "just right"--not too hard or too soft. This wood was also preferred due to its being more environmentally sustainable than nearly all other hardwoods. The transition to maple was undertaken because it offered improved machining characteristics, while also being environmentally sustainable.
Magic-Flight has occasionally made a few sample units out of Cherry, Walnut, Zebrawood, Koa, and some other exotics; however, due to certain subtleties of the machine process, working these other hardwoods can be problematic and more expensive. The considerations are:
- Is it available? (Sustainable production, safe to harvest and use, etc)
- Can Magic-Flight process it? (Does it dull tools, is it too hard)
- Are there restrictions on its use? (import limits, endangered, too smelly, too porous, etc).
Magic-Flight has, from time to time, made units from various exotic woods. Some of these units are available for purchase through Magic-Flight. Contact them for information about cost and availability.
At some point, Magic-Flight intends to offer custom and special request processing for particular specialty woods at an extra cost, although plans for that are on hold at the moment.
Is there any kind of finish or oil put on the wood of the box?
Yes, one coat of odorless/pharmaceutical food grade butcher block oil to prevent discoloration due to handling (skin oils). The wood is otherwise unfinished/untreated and guaranteed natural.
Why not make the device in one step using castable (pourable) ceramic, or use ruggedized silicone, or machine blocks of PTFE (Teflon) vs. wood?
A company--a business--is more than simply a collection of its products and its people. To truly be "successful" in a more meaningful and lasting sense, rather than considering just the functionality of things, it is also necessary to consider the values embodied in them. Magic-Flight uses wood not only because it is nearly a perfect fit for the required functionality, but also because it is an expression of their collective values.
If considered *only* from a functional perspective Teflon or silicone could almost work (glass and ceramic are definitely out because of improper thermal characteristics and because they are to heavy). However, both of these products are seriously synthetic and have non-biodegradable lifespans on the order of one hundred thousand years or more. Having a lifetime warranty is one thing; creating yet more trash in the world 300 years from now is another. Wood is truly the best material to use, both from a functional perspective and also from a values and meaning one as well.
Keep in mind also that the need to "perfectly clean" the unit is purely a psychological one and/or a legal one--it is not (and never has been) a functional issue. People want to remove all trace of what was put into the Box as a reaction to an improperly designed set of prohibition laws. These laws are themselves reactionary, disabling, and needing to get fixed. If we are going to "improve" or "fix" something, lets concentrate our efforts on what is going really solve the problem and be effective--repeal the ridiculous plant prohibition laws!
Isn't wood also organic and inherently porous--a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi?
This is simply not true. Wood has natural resistive aspects that actively prevent the breeding of bacteria, fungi, and mold. Keep in mind that the growing tree in nature has a strong incentive to evolve in a direction that will preserve and protect its wood from invasions of these exact types. Each of the various types of wood have various oils and aromatics within the wood itself that work to protect the wood. Magic-Flight does not need to add these--they are already there and are much better functionally than anything they could invent. Wood has to be exposed to wind, rain, and sunlight a fairly long time for bio-degrade to be possible in nature--years, typically. When Magic-Flight adds their own sealants to the wood, it slows this process by a factor of 10x or 20X. Therefore, given the average of the exposure environments and this slowing, the wood in the Box should be able to last a hundred years or more--plenty long enough.
If you have any doubt of these facts, consider that there have been safety studies conducted on the relative merits of wood cutting boards in the kitchen vs Teflon ones. Although some vendors would prefer that you not know this, it is actually the case that Teflon cutting boards are far worse breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi than wood ones. Both types of cutting boards have tiny grooves in them (due to the action of the knife while in normal use)--grooves which can provide a home for bacteria and fungi. However, while the Teflon boards are inert, and thus do nothing to inhibit the growth of these cells, the natural oils in the wood make it much less likely that such cells can multiply and survive. These studies have shown that for most folk in most situations, wooden cutting boards are far safer. Only in industrial kitchens that regularly clean with chemical sterilization techniques can the disadvantage of Teflon be (temporarily) offset.
The Launch Box is a conduction vaporizer, how can it be efficient?
While it is true that, in general, convection vaporizers will be more efficient overall than conduction patterns, the performance gap can be narrowed significantly with various techniques and in some cases even dramatically exceeded! The Box performance is much better than any other vaporizer in its class due to the following four factors:
- The Box generates vapor only when needed--it does not waste any vapor by staying hot between hits or by continuing to cook the load after you have had enough. Loaded material can continue to be cycled over any extended period of time, delivering vapor when you want it without ever having to wait or waste. Conscious user technique with the battery can ensure that there is zero lost vapor every time.
- The Box makes careful use of infra-red characteristics in its design. While pure conduction designs tend to work poorly, pure IR vaporizers (although uncommon and expensive) tend to be fairly good since they have overall heat distribution characteristics quite similar to pure convection designs for smaller loads. The Launch Box is not "just" a conduction vaporizer--it is also has significant IR characteristics.
- The Box incorporates several vapor channel flow features to ensure the absolute minimum vapor condensation. Convection vaporizers necessarily need to use significantly more heat energy to operate efficiently--heat which must be removed from the vapor prior to ingestion. Any surfaces, piping, or water chambers used to cool the vapor are also condensation sites. Condensed vapor is lost vapor and that means that a big pipe overall is less efficient. Any parts that require occasional cleaning also indicate a significant volume of previously lost vapor. Used natively, the Box rarely requires any cleaning since it delivers the vapor directly to you--without converting some of it into black gunk along the way.
- Since the Box uses only and exactly as much heat energy as is needed for vaporization (the Box is easily one of the worlds most energy-efficient vaporizers), the closed chamber is designed to allow for the simplest and most reliable form of mechanical stirring possible: shaking. By shaking the Box between hits, the previously ground load can be evenly re-mixed to ensure much more even heating. The clear lid also allows for immediate inspection as to determine both the effectiveness of the stirring and the degree of completion. In this way, good user technique can result excellent overall performance and efficiency.
In summary, in-house lab testing has shown the Launch Box vape to be nearly as efficient as the best convection vapes (when used correctly), and noticeably better than most.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that the Box is optimized for convenience--it was never intended to be "the worlds most efficient vape". Dollar for dollar, the Box delivers more vapor in more locations more naturally. That is what it is best used for.
Also, what good is a "super efficient vaporizer" if you do not also use it consistently? If you end up smoking because you are away from the home and have no place to plug it in (or prefer not to wait five minutes for it to heat up!) then your "average efficiency" has gone way down. Getting fairly good efficiency most of the time is much better overall (health wise and cost wise) than getting great efficiency only occasionally. For most people, actual practical convenience is much more important in real life than some elusive abstract ideal of "efficiency".
Has Magic-Flight ever tried increasing the area of contact between the screen and the herb?
Yes, they have. Extensively. It turns out that the shape, size, and angles of orientation all matter. A lot. Surprisingly, these additional aspects make the surface area of contact factor one somewhat less important in the overall design. Certain dimensions have more to do with time rate of change in the degree of criticality due to the specific angles of enclosure as seen from different points in the chamber. It is more of an IR effect than a surface of contact effect. This sort of esoterica can quickly get rather complicated to explain.
How much does IR effect the operation of the box and how exactly the IR is brought into play?
IR effects play a significant part of the overall effectiveness of the design. How significant? At least 25% in regards to the heating and more than 75% in terms of the temperature stabilization. While it is not the majority effect for the heating, it is very important for the overall function and makes more than a noticeable difference in the overall utility of the device. If the Box depended only on conduction characteristics, it would be unusable.
This has a lot to do with the shape and structure of the emission surface and the enclosing chamber as well as the specific materials chosen for its construction. The main concern is to utilize IR effects to create a zone of criticality in the middle of the load without also inducing thermal runaway (combustion). This is not a trivial problem! Conduction by itself has no way of solving this problem and the local resistance to airflow is slightly too high for convection to be of much help in this regard. FC member Seek prepared a diagram to illustrate how IR works in the Box:
Unfortunately, to really understand the way in which this problem is solved using IR effects in the Box involves more than a little calculus. Several important variables change simultaneously (energy delivered, thermal resistance, time rate of change of accumulated temperature, etc) making direct analysis more than a little difficult and beyond the scope of this answer. It is in the balancing of these changing variables that success is achieved.
If you are really interested, and presuming that you know enough about the electrical and battery theory aspects, the main ideas for understanding the important IR effects are to understand:
- the means by which the inverse square law is derived (so that you know how to overcome those effects in the near field), and
- the Stefan Boltzmann law (critical to overall temperature stabilization).
In short, for those who understand these sorts of things, the overall pattern is fairly obvious, and it makes more than a little sense to consider the Box an IR performance enhanced device. Without having used these tools, the Box would simply not work very well -- it really does depend on its IR characteristics.
I can get a harder buzz from my Box than from my other vaporizers, why?
The basic reason has to do with optimized overall airflow and vapor path, as well as near perfect user interface characteristics. The design of the Box has a number of subtle physical and psychological characteristics to ensure maximum actual vapor delivery. The real efficiency of a vaporizer device is not defined by how well it can make vapor in theory, it is measured in terms of how much of that actual vapor it makes biologically available. Temperature, although an important aspect, is not the only criterion of quality.
Magic-Flight research indicates that other vaporizer companies have focused all of their design effort on the heating system. After that has been accomplished, they seem to put little effort into calculating the motion and migration of that vapor once it leaves the heating chamber. Probably this is because it is hard (very very hard!) to calculate and predict airflow patterns to begin with, especially in small spaces with wide temperature differentials, and determining metrics of condensation is, if anything, even much more so. Furthermore, for true optimal bio-availability, it is necessary that the design engineer have a realistic understanding and accounting for the human psychology of how the vapor progresses through the mouth, travels through the oropharynx, nasopharynx, the larynx, the trachea, and the progressively subdividing system of bronchi and bronchioles until it finally reaches the alveoli where the adsorption of active ingredients takes place.
Given the (extreme) level of technicality involved in all of this, and the fact that it generally requires a combined understanding of graduate level physics, physiology, and psychology, it is not so surprising that these higher and more exotic/abstract levels of optimization have been heretofore omitted--let alone have any presence in the popular awareness (hence the apparent reasonableness of the question). Fortunately, Magic-Flight's lead designer does happen to have this level of knowledge, and since they are all true geeks, they tend to go for this sort of thing. Magic-Flight has found that when implemented, such optimizations do make a difference, as user experience is able to attest. Magic-Flight figures that the overall magnitude of these second, third, and forth order effects is about 30%. The effort involved to get that additional yield, however, is at least 30X over that of the heating system design, and tends to require someone who has taken about 20 or so years of advanced schooling.
Does the Box give off an odor in use?
While most vaporizers will have significantly less smell than smoking, Magic-Flight believes (but have not yet confirmed) that this vape produces the lowest level of secondary smell of any vape currently on the market (including and especially the Iolite). Mostly, this is a direct consequence of the design aspects above. The Box has a small short channel system, and therefore, has very few parts in contact with the vapor--fewer parts to re-radiate smell. The Box uses minimum energy (no preheating) and minimum exchange air volume, so that there is no smell associated with the aromatic components coming off while waiting for the unit to start up (there is no waiting with the Box).
Often, the only evident smell occurs when loading the Box (of course, preloading before arrival is an option here). Also, if you exhale directly into someones face, it is likely that they will smell something. Usually however, anyone more than 3 feet away will not be able to smell anything at all. Your mileage may vary--all risks taken are exclusively your own--use responsibly.
Part of the reason is that, used as directed, the Box only produces vapor when you need it--there is never any vapor/odor directly vented to the room. Most vaporizers, once started, will also stay going until the load is completely spent (constant heating). Since the user can only take in vapor intermittently with the breath, that means that with most vaporizers there will always be occasions where the heated materials will be venting to the room--hence the smell. With the Box, the heating is itself intermittent and matches consumption. The user consumes and adsorbs the smell along with the medicine--hence no aroma is ever directly vented to the room.
The Box is designed to produce only as much vapor as the lungs are likely to adsorb, whereas most others vaporizers are designed to produce a significant excess of vapor (looks more impressive). This has the dual advantage of both being more efficient in delivery as well as being more discreet. As with viability of exhaled vapor being an indication that better performance/technique is possible, excess smell is also an indicator of potential improvements in the usage pattern. Unlikely as it may seem to some, it is possible to get full medicinal effects from the Box with nearly zero resulting additional smell in the room (ie, any odor more than the baseline of what the unheated load would produce in an unused Box). The section Usage & Technique describes some effective and optimized user techniques that make all of the difference with the Box.
These comments apply to odors during use only. If your Box acquires an odor after you have been using it for a while, refer to Why do I get resin build-up under the screen? How can I clean it out? and Why does my Box smell? below.
What temperature is the Box designed to work at?
The "science" of vaporization seems to indicate that the optimal temp for vaporization is a constant 380F (193C) so that is what Magic-Flight aims for in all of their designs. At manufacture, the Box is calibrated to be at 380F (193C) four seconds after the moment it is started, assuming a fairly slow constant draw rate and average environmental conditions. The temperature in the Box is far from constant, however. It changes continually depending on the rate of draw, over the range of about 260 on the low end to about (when drawing too fast) to about 450F (232C) when not drawing at all (and leaving it on for minutes at a time). Therefore, what Magic-Flight tries to do is to have the temp most easily stabilize at between 370F (188C) and 400F (204C) for a reasonable rate of draw.
The full range of temperatures, inclusive of all possible operating conditions, intended or accidental, available to the LB is anywhere from ambient to full combustion at 451F (233C). The typical operating temperature of the LB while in use tends to center at about 392F (200C)--this is the ideal. Accessible/common usage technique can easily allow for anything in the range of 329F (165C) to 410F (210C).
How can I tell if my Box is running too cool?
Ideally, if filled and let sit with the battery in and no drawing at all for 2 minutes, the contents of the bowl should turn very dark brown (and perhaps black on the bottom). Magic-Flight tries to calibrate it hot enough so that it falls about 36F (20C) short of actual combustion under these conditions. If you shake/stir the Box (but do not draw or open the lid) during this test, you will get a better sense as to how the heating is occurring. Depending on the specific load (how dry it is, how finely ground, etc), the specific calibration of the particular LB unit and assuming zero draw rate conditions, actual ignition conditions might be achieved in as little as 30 seconds. For most units shipped under most conditions, the time will be noticeably longer.
During normal draw, the Box should be hot enough to create vapor when looking at the draw hole, but not to obviously create large visible clouds (it is not designed for that). If you can see the vapor on exhale, it is either wasted vapor or smoke--both conditions to be avoided. Really, the best test of the Box is how it delivers the medical qualities of the herb--what the user feels like 3 minutes after taking a few hits, rather than on what can be seen when exhaling or what is felt in the first 30 seconds or so. Also, if after taking several hits (with shaking in between) the contents are all brown, then it is certain that all available vapor has been created, and presumably ingested. If the contents are still mostly green after several hits (not just some army green specs) and are not mostly brown, then there is a chance that the Box may be running a bit cool (else, check the battery charge and slow the draw rate).
Is there some sort of test we can do at home to gauge the temperature of our LB?
Unfortunately no. The IR characteristics make a lot of difference, so it's either special built optical gear (what Magic-Flight uses) or embedded thermocouple--neither option available for home use.
Is there a 'break-in' period after which the Box runs cooler?
Possibly. First, the original Magic-Flight analysis:
- Magic-Flight has not noticed any 'break-in' period with the unit itself. They suspect that observations to this effect are more likely to be associated with the batteries. The discharge profile for the first 15 seconds of use immediately after a battery is charged is different than the discharge characteristics for most of the remainder of the battery cycle. This curve itself changes depending on the number of complete charge/discharge cycles the battery has passed through, particularly for the first few cycles. Given the intensive usage and battery cycling that the Box imposes on the battery, these effects are somewhat more pronounced than would be evident from testing that the battery manufacturer would know of.
- As such, the working hypothesis is a combination of the following two factors:
- Changes in the battery itself, and
- Changes in the manner that the battery is used.
- In particular, new users are more likely to pull the battery off the charger and immediately use it, whereas later, there is probably allowed a 'cooling off' period from when the battery is charged and when it is first used.
- This is not to say that there might be some effect with the unit itself that has not observed or is not yet known, only that Magic-Flight has not detected such effects.
Since the Power Adaptor has been available, however, there is evidence that there actually could be a break-in period. While testing a new LB, FC member JDSupreme removed the battery effect by keeping the PA setting constant, and he reports that the Box did run hotter until it had been used several times. This supports considerable anecdotal evidence that there is a break-in period after all.
Could I place foil on the screen of the Box so I can use it for oils, powders, etc?
Not really, unfortunately. The issue is that using the aluminum foil (necessary to protect the screen from oil and resin) can also affect the electrical properties of the Box, potentially disabling or damaging it. There really is no reliable way to use the Box with user formed aluminum foil trays.
Would be possible to have some kind of insert that allowed concentrates to be used in a LB?
In mid-August, Magic-Flight revealed that they are working on development of a pad for vaporizing concentrates. They did not provide details and there is no date yet for a beta test program.
Originally, Magic-Flight did some experiments along those lines and were never really satisfied with the results. One challenge they had to overcome is that the insert/tray/boat itself has to be really small and light, or else it simply takes too long to heat up, and anything that small tends to be fussy, fragile and hard to use. Another problem was that it cannot be metallic--which limits the range of useful designs dramatically. Also, its placement in the Box has to be exact for it to perform at all well--any extra space at all wasted a lot of heat. It also made the Box a lot less portable, since with the tray it now needed to be kept upright. It isn't clear yet how these difficulties will be overcome.
- Magic-Flight wanted to keep the cost under $100 retail.
- Although a single switch will not by itself make the difference, making it possible to use one requires too many side effects to the design. Using high energy electronic methods to get around the problems has even worse side effects on the design.
- There are issues of reliability. For example, the LB needs to switch fairly high current (up to 16 amps) AND it must be very small. This means that "a simple switch that is reliable" is also more expensive than you might expect (think many dollars, not pennies). There are actually very few switches which would even work in the LB, despite the variety of components available these days. (Small means low-current; high-current means large--realistically, there is not much overlap.)
However, Magic-Flight recently introduced a "battery pushback ring" that can act in the same way as a push-button switch. For units so equipped, the back end of the battery becomes the push-button--pressing the battery into the unit turns it on, and releasing pressure will turn the unit back off. These pushback rings can be added (retrofit) into existing Boxes--see Magic-Flight.com for details.
What is the purpose of the little light?
Not long after introduction of the original Box, Magic-Flight added a small light under the screen at the back of the heating chamber. You can see the light if you look directly into the inhaling hole or, if you use one, the drawing tube. The light lets you know if the battery is making contact. Towards the end of the battery charge, the light also dims and reddens somewhat.
The light (which is not manufactured by Magic-Flight) is similar in configuration/construction to a regular household light bulb. LED lights could not be used for technical reasons: the electron band-gap for silicon junctions is simply not low enough for there to be enough free potential for visible photon emission, regardless of the doping.
Is the light covered by the lifetime warranty?
Unfortunately, no. This type of light cannot be expected to last forever. The light lifetime in the Box is also shortened somewhat by the fact that they are run in a hotter than average environment with many sharp temperature changes (which is hard on any pressured glass envelope with a metal to glass seal). This is why the light cannot be part of the lifetime warranty.
Where is the air intake?
The shallow groove on the top face, connecting the bowl area with the negative terminal ring is the air inlet hole. It's not optional, it is necessary for the functionality of the unit (and certain air patterns, etc).
Is the contact ring supposed to intrude into the battery hole?
The contact ring is supposed to be somewhat in the battery hole--it needs to be to make the negative terminal connection with the battery.This is by design, and it should be firm/tight with the battery.
Is there a risk of "copper toxicity" from heating up copper-plated contact coils in older Boxes?
Magic-Flight would not have claimed "no hazardous materials" if they did not feel that it was well supported by the physical facts. They have done as much research on this topic (presented elsewhere in these answers) as they believe to be necessary to assure the safety of all users of our product. Therefore, until someone provides some sort of real evidence/research (ie, something more supported than speculation and/or opinion), they will continue to suggest that it is not worth worrying about. They do also, however, encourage any and all interested parties to do their own research and come to their own conclusions--particularly if they report back to Magic-Flight if there is found to be anything worth talking about and most especially if they can do so in a reasonably well informed and professional manner. So far, all indications have been that the temperatures involved are far too low for there to be anything worth thinking about.
Yes--Magic-Flight uses a burn-in technique that allows them to check the unit calibration. The discoloration is normal.
My serial number is in the XX,000s. Does that mean you've produced over XX,000 boxes?
The number is non-sequential. It contains some quality control codes that allow Magic-FLight to identify the batch if there ever turns out to be any QA issues that need to get fixed.
Magic-Flight recently converted to 6 and 7 digit serial codes, so some people will start noticing these. Early boxes from the first production batch have 4 digits--those Boxes were purchased by their early adopters, sometime in June or July.
There is no Box number 1--sorry. There are no 1 or 2 digit Boxes either. It's doubtful that there are even any 3 digit ones--if there are, they are extremely rare--probably collectors items by now. A handful of "special" numbers have also been reserved.
Why is the draw hole partially obstructed?
The Box has a small lip just inside the draw hole. This lip is necessary to prevent the draw stem from being inserted incorrectly and damaging the screen.
What is the smaller hole on the other end for? Do I lose vapor from it?
The smaller hole on the opposite end of the Box is part of the assembly process. It is not connected to the vapor chamber so there is no possibility of losing vapor through it. You can plug it if you wish.
I heard that two rubber rings were added to the Box design, what are they for?
A rubber O-ring was added around the opening to the herb chamber to prevent material from getting trapped and to reduce or eliminate the possibility of dislodging the screen from its original position.
A small rubber washer was added at the base of the battery hole to provide some resistance that prevents accidental battery contact. With this ring in place, you have to apply pressure to make contact and heat up the screen. These rings can be added retroactively and are available from Magic-Flight.com.
The push-back ring requires a firm pressure and could be problematic for users with arthritic or otherwise weakened hands. If you don't like the ring it can be removed with a pair of tweezers.
Does the rubber O-ring around the herb chamber opening heat up and release toxic fumes?
No. Distance/position makes a significant difference as far as the actual specific temperature is concerned. As part of calibration, Magic-Flight performs thermal imaging on each unit and can therefore be sure that the ring is not getting to temperatures where anything harmful is released.
- Batteries must be AA NiMH rechargeable with 2000 mAh capacity or greater
- Batteries must be peeled (labels removed)
- Magic-Flight currently ships Maha Imedion 2400 mAh low self discharge batteries
- Magic-Flight also recommends Maha Powerex 2700 mAh batteries for frequent/heavy use
What kind of batteries should I get?
Batteries should be AA NiMH rechargeable. Using any other battery chemistry type is definitely not good and can be dangerous. Although this sort of activity does not void the warranty, it is not recommended.
There are a lot of different types of batteries out there with different brands, ratings, and claims--far too many for Magic-Flight to test each one. It is also true that the Box uses the batteries in a somewhat unusual manner--however, not so different that most batteries of the correct classification should work reasonably well enough. The batteries to get are of the NiMh type, and need to be able to store at least 2000 mAh. AAA batteries are too thin to work--the Box is made specifically to fit AA batteries. There is some variation between battery makers, so some fit better than others.
The included batteries are sure to provide enough power for one full bowl--you might get more than that, but that is a reasonable expectation. Batteries that have a higher mAh rating could last for more than one full bowl (six hits, 30 sec each hit, 10 to 20 cc per sec, vapor just visible in the draw channel but not otherwise at least 55% of the time). The device is made as nearly perfectly energy efficient as the physics and materials allow, so it is unlikely that the "one battery per bowl" situation will change anytime soon.
Surprisingly, Magic-Flight has found that having the battery be stronger than that needed for one bowl actually has two disadvantages: 1) users are constantly wondering if the battery is okay on the second and third bowls, and 2) if a user happens to accidentally leave the unit "on", stronger batteries tend to get hotter (in proportion to their storage capacity). Magic-Flight therefore strongly suggest that people only get other batteries for the Box after they have developed a good set of usage habits with the provided batteries and are familiar with the capabilities of the device.
Video on batteries for the Box
Can I use NiZn or Li-Ion batteries?
The short answer is no.
While NiZn batteries have worked in some situations, it is definitely an "at your own risk" situation. Magic-Flight has tested the NiZn chemistry with mixed results. Due to the higher voltage, the Box will run significantly hotter if it works at all. While some people might want to have a Box that runs a lot hotter, not all NiZn batteries will handle the demands of the Box without problems. Magic-Flight therefore cannot recommend them due to persistent concerns. It is still uncertain whether the NiZn type of battery can handle the variety of Box usage conditions without getting over-heated and damaged, causing other problems.
Li-Ion batteries are available in the AA form factor, but they are 3.6V, or around three times the voltage of NiMH batteries. Inserting these into your LB will result in rapid overheating and possible damage, both to the Box and the battery. There is also the risk of burning yourself trying to handle the overheated battery. Li-Ion batteries will not work and it is dangerous to try.
Finally, you must keep in mind that NiMH, NiZn, and Li-Ion batteries all require different types of charger. If you put a battery in the wrong charger, there will definitely be serious problems (for both batteries and charger)! If you happen to have stripped more than one kind of batteries, you must be sure to have them permanently labeled and never put them in the wrong kind of charger, even once, by accident.
How do I choose between LSD and standard batteries?
There are two types of NiMH batteries available: low self-discharge (LSD) and high self-discharge (HSD).
- Have a shelf life measured in months
- Usually marketed as "pre-charged" or "ready-to-use"
- Have a lower capacity range (2000-2400 mAh)
- Can be damaged if charged too quickly (faster than 60 mins is not recommended)
- Best for LB use: Maha Imedion 2400 mAh
- Have a shelf life measured in days, or weeks at best
- Have a higher capacity range (up to 2800 mAh)
- Can be used in fast chargers (15 mins)
- Best for heavy/frequent use: Maha Powerex 2700 mAh
Choosing between them depends on your usage habits. HSD batteries will only provide about 30% longer in use time (say, six solid minutes of "burn" time) which might or might not be significant. They need to be "topped off" every three days or so, but have the advantage that they can be put in a 15 minute charger.
LSD batteries, on the other hand, will remain "ready for use" once they are fully charged for months at a time--people do not have to remember to put them back in the charger as frequently, or keep them there, to be usable. Unfortunately, LSD batteries do not handle 15 minute chargers as well--they need a slower, more accurate charger.
If you mix the two types and also have a fast charger, be sure to mark them so that you don't put LSD batteries through a fast charge cycle. Doing this won't destroy them but it will reduce their lifetime much more quickly.
How should I prepare and care for my batteries?
You will need to peel the label off the battery (exposing the metal casing) to use it with the Box. The coil in the Box needs to make electrical contact with the battery. Removing the battery label makes this possible. The battery will not work in the Box otherwise.
Please be careful if you use a sharp tool to cut the label (do not dent or cut through the metallic battery casing). Most battery labels simply peel off cleanly, but some manufacturers use a glue underneath the label (Sanyo). You can clean this off using a product such as Goo Gone. WD-40 also works, just spray on and rub the glue off with a paper towel exposing the metal battery casing.
Incidentally, the paper ring on the positive end of the battery does not much matter. Magic-Flight leaves them on only for cosmetic reasons and removes them if they ever come loose or get in the way.
Also, it is very important to NOT let the batteries get too hot. It is okay for them to get warm (when charging or in use), but hot is not good--it shortens the life of the battery. ("Hot" is when you would not want to hold the battery in your hand--hotter than hot coffee). Magic-Flight strongly recommends that Box users get into the habit of pulling the battery back after each hit. This keeps the battery cooler and prevents accidental loss of the load and the charge.
It is essential that you make sure that the tips of your peeled batteries do not come into contact with any metallic items--this can result in accidentally making a connection between the positive nipple and the negative casing. If such contact occurs, a charged battery will quickly overheat. Once you have peeled a battery, you must be careful to store and handle it properly. The rubber caps shipped with the Box can be used to prevent this problem. Storing batteries side by side in a case is fine. All charged batteries must be either in their case or have an endcap on the nipple end to protect them from overheating (ie, at all times when not in use in the Box).
Why don't my peeled batteries fit snugly?
There are small but significant diameter variations between various manufacturers. As well, because Magic-Flight has had to switch battery suppliers, they have also had to adjust the tension of the battery contact coil accordingly. The result is that it is difficult to know which batteries will fit snugly in your particular Box. Batteries from some manufacturers will feel a little loose. This might be annoying but it doesn't interfere with use of the Box.
To operate properly, the battery need only contact the battery contact coil; a snug fit isn't necessary. To achieve this, some users find it helpful to twist the battery slightly after insertion. You can also look into the battery insertion hole while holding the end of the box at right angles and see where the coil intrudes slightly into the opening. When the battery is inserted, you can gently pull the battery in the correct direction to make the best contact.
Can I leave part of the label on or wrap tape around the battery to make it snug?
Yes. However, you must be sure that the battery casing is exposed to the battery contact coil when the battery is fully inserted into the Box. As long as the remaining label or tape does not interfere with that contact, the Box should work just fine.
Can the contact coil be safety bent or pushed to be a little tighter?
It is possible--but very difficult--for someone to adjust the coil. Magic-Flight uses a press with a special fixture to make the adjustment, and generally suggests that users treat this as a warranty issue. They will be glad to recycle or re-adjust your existing units and/or send a replacement for a Box that is otherwise unusable (ie making no contact, regardless of battery used).
If you would like to attempt to make the adjustment, most often the best bet is to push the entire coil upwards from the bottom of the Box towards the lid side, with the lid open. Use a vice and a tool with a flat edge that can press with an even, gradually increasing pressure on the center of the bottom of the coil. The idea is to treat the entire coil as a unit, rather than to change the size/diameter of the coil itself. The main risk is to apply the adjustment force exactly perpendicular to the bottom of the Box at the center of the coil. If the coil moves at all forward or backward (rather than just up or down), the screen will be displaced and potentially damaged as the rod slides. Also, just the right level of force is necessary--too much and the coil will either become too small or be moved too far out of position--at which point, an opposite adjustment must be attempted. Above all else, please be safe--think about what you are doing before you do it.
If you have a Box that is not working due to this issue, and you attempt to make the adjustment and further damage the Box, please let Magic-Flight know so that they can send you a new Box.
What batteries does Magic-Flight ship/recommend?
Magic-Flight originally started shipping Tenergy batteries, but had to drop that brand and switch to Eneloop. The basic story is that they received several batches from Tenergy that were not compliant to specification, and had to be rejected. As with most battery companies, they print a much higher mAh rating on the battery than it can actually deliver. Magic-Flight had been buying Tenergy batteries listed at 2600 direct from the manufacturer, and then stripping the label and reselling them as if they had a 2000 mAh rating, since that is what they actually measured out as. (The Maha C-9000 charger is good for this). Although Magic-Flight did this at some loss, it at least ensured that the batteries they shipped were what they needed to be to operate the Box.
Some companies are far worse--eg batteries listed as 2700 mAh rated that actually only delivered 500 mAh, clearly and criminally mislabeled! Without an accurate power metering system, there is no way the public would ever know, and so dishonest battery makers get away with it. Buyer beware!
In any case, Tenergy started playing games also--they started shipping batteries that were 10 mills smaller (ie, would no longer fit the Box correctly), and which only had 1500 mAh capacity, despite being the same part number, same distribution channel, same label on each battery, same high cost, etc. Considering that Magic-Flight was being billed at 2600 mAh capacity, this was unacceptable, since the batteries were now too small and too weak to operate the Box reliably. Magic-Flight considered legal action, but decided that in any case they would have to switch brands immediately. As such, they began shipping Eneloop batteries and can no longer recommend the Tenergy brand.
For many LB buyers, the Eneloop is a good choice. It has the advantage of holding a charge for much longer than most batteries. This is good since it ensures that the batteries can be delivered to the purchaser charged, even if the Box happens to be sitting on a retail store shelf for awhile. Many people seem to use the Box on an occasional or infrequent basis, and for these people, having batteries hold their charge for months is especially advantageous. One downside of the Eneloop batteries is that they should not be charged in fast (15 minute) chargers, as this can decrease the life of the battery.
Unfortunately, Sanyo was purchased by Panasonic and the resulting supply disruption forced yet another battery switch, this time to Maha Energy Imedions.
For people who generally use the Box every day, or multiple times every day, Magic-Flight recommends the Powerex batteries and the Energizer 15 minute charger. People who do this will need to be very sure to keep track of which batteries are which--this is important. Otherwise, get a Maha charger--you cannot go wrong with that one (although it is pricey) or alternately, use the charger that ships bundled with the Box (which will also charge any NiMH battery--at no additional cost).
For those people who simply want to use the Box and not worry about batteries, you will always be able to purchase cells and chargers from magic-flight.com that are sure to work correctly with the Box.
Is it safe to use the peeled batteries for other devices?
It depends on the construction of the device, but in general it is a risk. The problem is that most devices use two batteries in series, usually packed right next to one another. In that case, one of the batteries can side short--releasing a LOT of heat and potentially damaging the device. The labels DO have a safety function in that they make it much harder to accidentally short the battery, particularly when it is in some device. The best recommendation is to put tape over the battery so as to have the same coverage as the original label. Leave the two ends uncovered, but completely wrap the main body of the battery with exactly one layer of tape with no gaps.
- IMPORTANT: Peeled batteries should only be used with the Box. If you want to use the batteries in other devices--make a new covering for the battery! Failure to do so can result in device and/or battery damage.
Depending on the details of the specific device, you might get away with it, but it is not recommended that you try the test without really understanding what is involved.
Does the Voltage of the AA have any effect on how hot the box gets?
Yes, it does. Higher voltage generally means hotter. The battery will not read the same voltage when it is in use as it does when in the charger, however, so the specifics of how much hotter, or even if the difference will be noticeable, depends on the specifics of the battery and the sensitivity of your taste.
How many hits can I get from a battery?
2400 mAh batteries (shipped) should provide 5 minutes of vapor draw time. Assuming 15 second "standard" hits, people should get approximately 20 hits worth per battery--15 hits reliably, or if taking 12 hits per filling (completely cashed), somewhat more than 1 trench. This is only a rough guideline; the actual count will depend on technique, condition of the load, and state of the battery. NiMH batteries deteriorate gradually with use, faster if overheated. A smart charger that can perform a conditioning cycle will help to prolong battery life.
What is the significance of the mAh of the battery? Does a 2700mAh battery just last longer than a 2000mAh?
Mostly, mAh describes how long the battery lasts. A battery with more charge storage capacity will tend to hold a higher voltage for longer as well, so higher mAh will tend to also mean somewhat hotter operation for somewhat longer, if the battery is fresh.
So some batteries are more powerful?
Yes. For example Powerex batteries will operate the Box hotter as well as longer. Because of the significantly increased heat, the timing and breath control of the user must be proportionately more accurate to prevent overheating (changes taste). Magic-Flight strongly recommends that new users become skilled with the stock batteries before trying higher energy density batteries.
Whether you choose LSD or HSD batteries, Magic-Flight ships and recommends Maha batteries. Tests have shown them to be top performers. Comments in forums have shown that they are popular with LB users, who say that their superior performance more than justifies their slightly higher cost.
I see 3000/3200/3600/4000/4600mAh batteries for sale on eBay/Amazon/craigslist, wouldn't these be good for the LB?
The limits of the NiMH chemistry and the AA form factor mean that batteries of capacity greater than 2700 mAh are probably fakes. To make a battery of even 3000 mAh involves compromises that sharply limit both how long the battery can hold its power and how many recharge cycles it can survive, while introducing complexities into the charging process.
Batteries labeled as Sony 4600 mAh have been showing up on eBay and other websites. Magic-Flight obtained a set of them for test purposes, and determined that their actual capacity was only 190 mAh! Needless to say, Sony does not manufacture these batteries.
Batteries have venting holes at the positive tip that are there to vent gases in case of shorting or overheating. Is it possible for the battery to vent gases that are then inhaled through the herb chamber?
The chances of this being any sort of issue are effectively zero.
- It is important to distinguish between the events of charging the battery and discharging the battery. With improper charging (ie, a cheap or malfunctioning battery charger) the battery can be made to vent (its not common, but it is possible). However, venting does not happen during discharging. The box only uses the battery in discharge mode. Therefore, there is no risk.
- Assuming that somehow the battery did vent, in considering risk it is also worthwhile to consider what kind of gases are involved and how much might be generated. From the chemistry the gas would only be H2 (hydrogen) and quantity is tiny (a few cm at most). Both the kind and the amount are biologically harmless. Again, no risk. For people who work with batteries in general, these points are considered to be common knowledge.
- The hole in the back of the unit is a construction hole. It connects to the battery compartment but does not extend through to the vapor chamber. As such, it does not provide any form of direct coupling between the battery compartment and the vapor chamber. To ensure that there could be no doubt of this, the seal on the connector rod has even been tested to 5 PSI. Therefore, even if the battery did vent (see 1 and 2 above) it would not be available for inhalation, but would go instead in the opposite direction away from the user. Again, no risk.
In the interests of safety, however, it must also be reported that some chargers do not do as good a job detecting when a battery is already charged. If people put an already mostly charged battery into a fast charger, and that fast charger is not smart enough to detect this condition, it could potentially overcharge the battery causing it to get hot, and in particularly bad cases, to vent, leaving a white residue (not the end of the world). For some chargers, it can also be rather bad to put the battery in backwards. (Don't try it!) High quality chargers generally handle both of these conditions gracefully.
How can I test my batteries?
Testing battery power tends to be problematic as the voltage remains high until the battery is nearly fully depleted--making most battery testers useless. Magic-Flight uses in-house custom built testers that draw a lot of current and check for changes in the voltage to determine the battery state. Otherwise, the easiest way to check a battery is to put it into the LB with the cover open (and trench empty) and bring the box up close to your lips--not actually touching, about 1/2 of an inch away. You should be able to feel sufficient heat, and if not, the battery probably needs recharging. A little bit of experience with fresh batteries versus used ones will quickly give you a really good indication of what is going on.
Is it very important to drain the batteries completely before charging them again?
No, not at all. NiMH batteries do not have a "memory" effect. The charger will pick up where the charge is at and add what is necessary to "top off".
- Magic-Flight ships their own branded 4 hour smart "fast" charger (compact, simple and easy to use)
- Most recommended charger for high performance: Maha MH-C9000, expensive but full featured
- Often recommended: La Crosse BC-900, expensive but full-featured
- Not recommended: See below.
Slow charging vs fast charging vs smart charging; does it matter what charger I use?
The overall consensus at Magic-Flight is that nearly all NiMH chargers will work with nearly all NiMH batteries, but that poorly built fast chargers are likely to diminish the overall longevity/life of the battery (the number of complete charge cycles).
There are two main issues associated with battery charger quality:
- The manner in which energy is delivered to the battery.
- The method used to determine when charging has been completed.
In regards to charge energy delivery, there are two approaches: "slow charging" and "fast charging".
In slow charging, energy is delivered at a low constant rate that does not require charge endpoint determination. These are also known as "trickle chargers". They are not the "best" chargers, but they are reliable, simple, and safe. Their main disadvantage is that they can take a very long time to charge a battery (8 to 12 hours). Slow trickle chargers can also diminish battery life if batteries are simply left in the charger indefinitely (ie, more than a week at a time without also using the battery).
Fast chargers are much more complex (and thus more expensive), since they can deliver energy at a much greater rate than the battery can withstand. For a fast charger to be "good", it must perform two tasks:
- It must deliver charge current without surges, ripples, or spikes.
- It must reliably determine when the battery is full and shutoff the charge current.
Failure in achieving either of these aspects will definitely shorten NiMH battery life (the number of recharge cycles and the max energy that can be stored per cycle). Specifically, the current delivered must be matched against the battery capacity. Also, if there are surges, ripples, or spikes, the battery discharge characteristics can be adversely affected. This in turn can result in a Box running either way too hot or way too cold, depending on the type of battery damage sustained. Furthermore, if the charge endpoint is not determined correctly, the battery can be overcharged, resulting it its getting very hot (too hot to touch) which will also permanently damage the battery. Such issues are more noticeable with LSD rechargeable batteries than with standard rechargeable.
Unfortunately for fast charger manufacturers, determining when a NiMH battery is "full" is far from easy. The battery itself provides little indication of its internal state. There are three approaches generally taken:
- Use a timer to cut off current after a given interval.
- Look for a specific sequence of battery voltage changes.
- Check the battery temperature and stop charging when the battery is hot.
Each of these approaches has significant problems and is likely to fail if used exclusively. A good charger will need to test for at least two, if not all three, of these conditions to function reliably. It is in this respect that good chargers really stand out from their cheaper cousins--they preserve battery life by not accidentally over-charging the battery. Many fast chargers on the market simply do not test for charge endpoint conditions very well or very reliably.
Magic-Flight ships smart chargers bundled with the Box kit--not fast chargers. The primary reason for this choice is safety: anyone can use the bundled charger without having to understand any specifics about the rechargeable batteries. These stock chargers are convenient insofar as they are compact (they fit in the tin) and are known to be a good reliable option, not because they are the fastest possible means for charging a battery.
What charger does Magic-Flight recommend?
Unfortunately, many charger manufactures generally cut corners whenever possible in their product designs. Such chargers, even from well known brand name companies, will have issues with charge current regulation and endpoint determination. These things are not visible on the outside--they are apparent only when carefully examining the internal electronics with controlled testing. Further, as there are hundreds of different chargers and batteries (with millions of possible test configurations), it is not really reasonable to expect anyone to have tested all batteries and all chargers. Recommendations are based on best available knowledge to date.
Also, in some cases, manufacturers will put special features into their chargers particular to their batteries. For example, for the Sanyo batteries, the Sanyo charger is the "best"--it has the most smarts tuned particularly for their specific battery brand. For those who want to have a set of "reserve" batteries which are sure to remain charged after sitting in your car for months, the Sanyo Eneloop batteries and chargers are very good in terms of quality, power, and long term longevity.
Anyone looking for the fastest possible alternative charger which is known to be reliable should consider the Energizer 15-minute charger with the Maha Powerex 2700mAh batteries. This is the best combination for people who use the Box at least once every day and who are looking for optimum runtime performance. (The Energizer batteries themselves are not nearly as good--take it or leave it,)
- Note: Magic-Flight gains absolutely no benefit from their recommendations or advice in this respect--they have absolutely zero association with Energizer corp.
As an alternative configuration for people who use the Box less frequently (not every day) but are still interested in optimum performance, Magic-Flight recommends the Imedion batteries and the Maha MH-C9000 charger--this is the best overall combination for both battery longevity and long vaping sessions. Be advised that this charger is somewhat more complex to use than most chargers and will be more expensive than most to purchase. Magic-Flight staff uses the Maha MH-C9000 internally and find them to be excellent. They are a bit arcane for the average user, but for those who are into the advanced "tech" of rechargeable batteries, it is a great unit.
For nearly everyone else, (the other 90% of Magic-Flight Box users), they recommend the stock batteries and the stock charger, since they are known to have good performance in most circumstances.
Finally, for the record, Magic-Flight does not make the branded chargers that they bundle with the Box. They are provided as a convenience so that people can use the Box without having to worry about such details.
What chargers does Magic-Flight recommend against?
Magic-Flight does not recommend Radio Shack fast chargers, since they are usually built with circuits that explicitly exclude them from being used in fast mode with anything other then their own RS batteries (which are far from the best). This tends to make them fairly useless since the RS chargers are therefore incompatible (by design) with everything else--including the batteries that Magic-Flight ships.
Some Tenergy chargers are also not recommended. Because Tenergy makes a wide range of chargers, it isn't practical to make a precise list. The only way to distinguish easily which ones are not recommended is to check the directions/packaging with the charger to determine if it can charge one cell at a time (usually good), or if at least two cells must be put in the charger to charge (usually bad).
Note that for a limited period at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, a stock shortage of the Magic-Flight branded charger resulted in some units being sold with a Tenergy charger. This charger has been tested and is suitable for use with the Box.
I am using a Maha MH-C9000 and I have a question...
Although not a LB question, there are frequent posts like this, so here you go:
Video on MH-C9000 usage
Will LSD batteries charge in a fast charger?
LSD batteries (such as Eneloops or the Magic-Flight stock batteries) can be charged in fast chargers, as long as they are not too fast. Charging an LSD battery in anything less than an hour is probably too fast. A charger that charges them in about one or two hours is about ideal. Furthermore, the performance of a battery is defined largely by the quality of the charger.
Low self discharge (LSD) NiMH batteries have a chemistry and physical constitution that differs slightly from standard rechargeable batteries. As a result, LSD batteries are more sensitive overheating than the standard NiMH. Overheating a LSD battery will have a more significant impact, in terms of the loss of battery life (number of charge cycles) and the amount of charge that the battery will retain.
Statistically speaking, ultra-fast chargers--chargers that charge a battery in less than an hour--present too high a risk profile in that detecting charge endpoint conditions is not an exact process. LSD batteries will not tolerate overcharging mistakes as well as standard ones (ie, putting an already charged battery into a fast 15 minute charger is bad). As such, it is really not a good idea to put the stock batteries in a 15 minute fast charger more than occasionally. Magic-Flight does not recommend combining any 15 minute charger with LSD batteries except on rare occasion and when in great need.
The charger that Magic-Flight provides is actually a very good fast (though not the fastest) charger. Its maximum charging time is about 4 hours, and is usually noticeably less.
Is it OK to pull a fully-charged battery out of the charger, use it for a trench, place it back in the charger, and grab the other battery for another trench (and then use the first battery again before it is fully charged. ..rinse and repeat. ..)?
Magic-Flight recommends fully charged batteries for performance reasons only--so that people get the best possible experience with the Box, particularly on their first try when they are just learning how to use it. There are no problems with using partially charged batteries, as long as there is enough charge for them to be usable/useful.
There is also no issue with cycling batteries through the charger as you describe. However, it is recommended that you let the charger complete its charge cycle whenever possible as the microprocessor in the charger may attempt to implement a conditioning cycle on the batteries. If it senses that the battery is low, it may discharge the battery before recharging it so as to extend the battery life. The charger that is being shipped is a smart charger and is designed to make the batteries last as long as possible.
What do the lights on my Magic-Flight charger mean?
That depends on the model you received. For various reasons, Magic-Flight has had to change charger models several times. Unfortunately, no one has tracked the variations, and the meaning and even the color of the lights differs from model to model.
The known models are:
This two battery model has two LEDs:
- Flashing green: charging
- Solid green: charged, on trickle charge
- Off (with battery inserted): bad battery
This four battery model has two LEDs:
- Solid red: charging
- Red off: charged
- Flashing red: bad battery
- Solid green: USB port ready
Note that the USB port is for charging USB devices through the charger, not for charging the batteries with USB power.
AC Power Adapter
Is there a desktop AC power adapter?
The Magic-Flight desktop AC power adapter is now out of beta. Reviews of the unit have been heavily positive. Fans of thick clouds of vapor have been particularly pleased. See: You can now buy a Desktop Power Adapter for your Magic-Flight Launch Box vaporizer!
On November 26, 2010 magicflight posted pictures of the AC adpater at FuckCombustion.com in the Magic_Flight Launch Box thread.
The adapter comes in two parts, a wall adapter and 6 feet of cord, and a converter with 3 feet of cord. There is an option to use a auto adapter instead of the wall adapter, which is sold separately (it is inexpensive, $7). The converter itself houses most of the power electronics. The casing is made of stainless steel, and has two maple end caps with small rubber feet to minimize slippage..
The adapter is capable of delivering a fully regulated temperature compensated 16 amps at 1.42 volts. You can set it anywhere from cooler than most batteries to a value higher than any battery currently available--and everything in between. There is also a push button at the back end of the battery plug that you use to turn the unit on. The nipple of the battery plug is extra long so as to be compatible with newer Boxes that have the battery push-back ring. The adapter should work with all previously made Boxes, regardless of when purchased.
What is the price of the power adapter?
The cost is $59 US plus shipping. A car adapter is available for $7. A Launch Box serial number is no longer required for purchase.
These units have been surprisingly hard to build. Magic-Flight would prefer a lower price, but the components required do not allow much negotiating room. The production unit price is not yet determined but will probably not change much.
What kind of warranty does the power adapter have?
Much like the Launch Box warranty, there is a lifetime functional warranty on the power adapter. They will replace defective or damaged power adapters free of charge. For warranty service, send a description of the problem (preferably with picture) along with your serial number to CustomerService@magic-flight.com.
Can the AC power adapter be used with power systems other than 120V 60 Hz?
Yes. You will need a prong adapter for the plug. The acceptance voltage is from 100 to 240, both 50 and 60Hz.
Does the power adapter let me hit the LB without worrying about how hard I draw?
Not exactly. The power adapter lets you set a consistent maximum temperature. The vaporizing temperature is still controlled by your draw speed, so if you draw too hard you will reduce or stop vapour production. You can, however, set the dial so that the maximum temperature is below the combustion point. This will let you use micro-hitting or pyronym's technique without fear of combustion.
How can I test whether my PA is making a good contact?
If the PA is not making good contact, particularly at the negative contact ring (on the side of the PA where it goes into the Box), this can decrease heating performance. You can check that the PA is making good contact when inserted in the battery hole. With the Box empty/open, the PA at full power, and the button pressed on, does the brightness of the light change if you move the back end of the PA side to side or up and down? If so, the contact ring might need to be tightened on the Box.
My power adapter has gotten weak/stopped working, what should I do?
If the green light for the wall adapter doesn't come on, the wall adapter is faulty and you should email Magic-Flight about a replacement.
Beta testing has revealed that the silver ring nut that retains the activator switch sometimes comes loose, resulting in poor or no heating. You can tighten this yourself. This ring has two small holes on either side of the switch button. A simple way to tighten the ring is to get small paperclip and open/bend it until the two ends are aligned and parallel to one another at about the same distance apart as the two holes. With the power adapter in the Box (makes it easier to hold), insert the two paperclip ends into the holes. Holding or pinching the paperclip as close to the adapter as possible, try turning it to the right (clockwise). If the ring is loose, it will tighten easily. Note: if you make it too tight, you will be compressing the switch itself and it will not turn off correctly.
If this does not fix the problem, contact Magic-Flight.
Is there any possibility for a USB based power adaptor?
Unfortunately not--the standard USB port simply does not deliver enough power to run the Box directly. However, there are USB chargers for the provided batteries. Magic-Flight used to sell them but discontinued stocking them due to lack of demand.
Water Pipe Adapter (WPA)
Can the Launch Box be connected to water filtration devices?
In April 2011, magicflight announced that a water pipe adapter was under development, with pictures of the unit released on FC in June. The device has a 14.4 mm stem, but an 18.8 adapter is available. Variations to support other angles and more uncommon water pipes are in the works.
Magic-Flight subsequently distributed a number of complimentary beta WPA units to FC members, resulting in several positive reviews. The WPA is now available for purchase at at the Magic-Flight sales site.
Videos on using the WPA
- Magic Flight Waterpipe Adapter - Round 1 by FC member JDSupreme
- Waterpipe Adapter "Double Trouble" by FC member JDSupreme
- MFLB with WPA and pedestal bong (battery) by FC member Vitolo
Usage & Technique
Why does my load burn unevenly?
The most common complaint from a new user is that the load does not burn evenly, with some dark brown to black bits mixed with green unvaped material. The degree of evenness is primarily a result of four factors:
- The fineness of the grind.
- The degree of load mixing, via stirring, tumbling, or shaking.
- The volume of the load.
- the average length of time in any given heating cycle (or hit).
The importance of grinding finely cannot be overstressed. To achieve optimal evenness: grind fine, load less, heat longer (but don't wait for the battery!), and mix/shake often and thoroughly. Under these conditions the Box can deliver very even and complete extractions. Almost every user who reports uneven heating learns to correct the problem with proper grinding and technique.
Do I need to grind?
It is important to have the material finely ground for best results. Not grinding finely enough is a classic LB rookie mistake.
Your ground material should at least pass without pressure/force through the mesh of a common window screen. If it is this fine or finer, then that is a good start. Magic-Flight's standard "calibration test load" has an average "grain size" of 30 thousandths of an inch--it's fairly fine, but not powder or kief. That would be a 200 Mesh filter, or approximately 75 microns particulate. Perhaps similar to an average grain of table salt and a little more. Clean picked material is processed using a conventional grinder and then reprocessed using an electric grinder before grading--this provides a consistent standard to test with. Most users would not need to go through this much effort.
Start with dry clean herb (no stems or seeds) and use a good grinder. There are as many opinions about grinders as there are about vaporizers. In general, however, it's agreed that a two-piece yields finer grind than a four-piece. This is because the herb stays in the grinding area in a two-piece but falls through to a collecting chamber in a four-piece. The suggested method to get finer grind from a four-piece is to invert it for a few turns. This can be messy if you're using the kief catcher.
Electric ones work especially well, particularly on dry material; however, it is easy to overgrind and some electrics can be difficult to keep clean--or more importantly to some, it can be hard to get back everything that went into one.
If your load isn't ground finely enough, it won't heat evenly and your vapor yield is reduced. Many users remove the load after a couple of hits, when the material is thoroughly dry, and crumble it with their fingers before re-loading. This exposes more are to vaporization and helps ensure even heating.
If in doubt, or concerned especially with efficiency, using smaller amounts can be helpful in some situations.
How much is a "trench"?
Each filling will take approximately 50 to 100 milligrams of material.
If I put less than a full trench will it still work well?
Yes--it should work fine; however, Magic-Flight recommends that people load it with unpacked material (finely ground but not powder) until it is level with the shoulder (ie do not fill the chamber) even though this might be more than you would normally need. The instant-on and instant-off heating means that you can control the dosage via the heat and draw time. Remove the battery when you are done taking a hit and the rest of the un-vaped material can simply wait to be cooked later (even hours later). Vapor is only produced when you want it--no heat latency means no wasted vapors. This is very different than most other vape units which must cook the entire load to completion once they have been started.
What's the smallest load that will work?
The Box will vape any amount less than a full trench without any problem. You could put 1/100 of a trench in if that is what you wanted--and you would get at least 3/100ths vapor from it (and probably a lot more, compared to smoking). If you wanted to vaporize only/exactly one tiny speck--a single grain--of material, the Box is one of a very few vapes on the market (short of lab gear) that has any hope of doing this. The only disadvantage is that nearly the same amount of battery power is consumed regardless of the load size.
By filling the recommended amount, do we get better vapor or avoid possible damage to the unit?
Neither--it is simply more convenient and more efficient that way. By filling, you will be getting move overall vapor per charged battery. The battery will provide the same heat regardless if it is loaded or empty. Therefore, any part of the unit which is hot but not loaded is wasted heat (wasted battery charge). You might as well load it fully and get the full benefit of the battery energy. Also, by under filling, the vapor density (the ratio of vapor to air) will be somewhat less than that identified as optimal by Magic-Flight's research.
Since it can be arranged that the Box is only hot when you are actually hitting it, you get the benefit of having the vapor dispensed only when you want it. When not heating, you might as well think of the Box as "storing" a very small amount of material. Because the Box is able to heat up nearly instantly (no waiting) it is convenient to use. Because the Box is also able to cool off again nearly instantly, it does not waste any vapor either--this is one of the things that makes this vaporizer efficient.
What is the method of heat control?
The user manages the temperature with breath control. This tends to be a far more practical, responsive, and reliable "feedback circuit" than anything that could be built digitally--especially when different users have different needs. It tends to get around the parallel problems of "is it set right?" and "one setting for everyone" somewhat automatically.
Our recommendation is to ensure that the lips are placed a little above and below the draw hole and to receive the vapor in whole form into the open cavity of the mouth. If the temp/taste seems high, draw a little faster (has a cooling effect), or alternately, stop the heating and start over. It is best to leave a little bit of lung capacity to draw the remaining vapor fully into the lungs before releasing. A long steady draw is optimal. The steady state method is more vapor efficient and more accurately reflects the design method-of-usage intentions of the Box.
The battery is left in for the duration of the hit, or if taking multiple hits, for as long as the load lasts. You must remember to retract, remove, or invert the battery when you are finished taking hits off the Box. Like with the wind, faster tends to mean cooler. To get higher temperatures in the load, you need to draw very slowly. If drawing directly from the Box (ie, using the Box in the "native mode"), you will also be able to sense the temperature of the vapor stream as well as the taste (this is the recommended practice).
For best taste, it is important to tap or shake (stir) the load frequently.
What is "native mode" and why would I use it?
Native mode means hitting the Box without using an attachment such as a whip or tube. This is the intended usage mode for which the Box was originally designed/optimized. Anything that is provided as an attachment is due to user choice, not because it is necessary. In fact, using the Box in its native mode has the specific advantages of 1) increased efficiency (since there is no condensation effect, there is no wasted/lost vapor), and 2) greater accuracy/sensitivity (since the temp/taste feedback is not muted by distance). Magic-Flight strongly suggests that people at least try to use the Box native as this will provide a much more satisfying experience overall.
A minor design point with the Box is that it can be used in native mode while lying down flat on your back. The draw hole is positioned near the bottom edge of the Box allowing for one to hold the Box overhand (if you are right handed) and still be able to draw from the Box while keeping it level to the floor. Your lower lip would be on the bottom face of the Box and the upper lip is just above the draw hole. This makes using the Box accessible to people who are in a bed and cannot raise their head up (for whatever reason).
What is the recommended technique for using the Box?
First, note that you should get two basic outcomes regardless of the technique you use: color change, and taste change. If neither of these occur, then either the technique is wrong or the device is not working correctly. For example, as a first test, without any drawing at all, it should be possible to turn one full load completely brown or even black on a single charged battery. If not, then something is wrong--check the battery, charger, and that the Box is producing heat. It is probably a warranty issue and Magic-Flight will re-issue whatever is necessary to fix it. Otherwise, once you are satisfied your Box passes the basic test, it is a question of technique (or possibly the quality of the loaded materials).
Start by looking into the draw hole or draw tube just after you put in the battery. Wait until you can see vapor appear, usually within a few seconds. At this point begin your draw, using the temperature/taste of the vapor itself as a guide how fast to draw. Faster drawing means cooler temperatures and slower drawing means hotter temperatures; however, please be aware that under normal operating conditions, it is unlikely that you will be able to draw so slowly as to cause the taste to resemble that of smoking (this is by design).
Note that if you begin your draw too soon, you can easily cool down the screen too quickly and you will get little or no vapor. If you wait too long, however, you will overheat and probably wind up with an unevenly cooked load.
Whatever rate of draw you choose, continue until you can hold no more and then while holding your breath, shake the Box so as to tumble the loaded materials. You only need to shake or tap the Box enough to ensure that the load comes free and there is an even mixing of the loaded materials in the bottom of the groove (or "trench"). Breathe out while settling the materials in the trench again. (A gentle side to side motion is usually enough for this, but the Box construction is robust so you can shake it as hard as you like.) Look into down the draw hole to check for vapor again, and begin your next slow draw. Repeat this cycle until the taste has changed significantly and/or the color of the load has changed significantly. When you are finished, remove the battery.
Again, if the load has noticeable changed color, then it is certain that vapor has been produced (and hopefully been inhaled). Otherwise, please check that the battery is charged and that the Box is heating sufficiently. You should have no trouble completely cooking a single load with a single battery.
Videos on technique
- Keys to perfect vaporization by FC member JDSupreme
- Getting clouds through lung capacity by FC member Vitolo
- Long, Slow Draw Technique by FC member JDSupreme
What is the 'micro-hitting' or 'micro-toking' technique?
Micro-hitting is taking a series of quick short puffs with pauses between them but without exhaling, all on a single battery connection. This method is capable of producing a thicker cloud, which is sought after by many users. Keep in mind that thicker clouds are hotter and harsher, and could cause coughing. See the video Keys to perfect vaporization.
Is it better to take many smaller hits where no visible vapor is produced, and it can be held in longer and be more completely absorbed?
It depends as much on how deeply you inhale as it does on how long you hold it in. Filling ones lungs fully, drawing deeply all of the way in so as to get the vapor all of the way into the lower lungs is far more practical than holding a smaller volume of vapor only in the upper lungs and throat for any amount of time. The throat and the larger upper channels of the lungs are very poor absorbers--the real work is done in the deeper passages of the lungs. To truly take a hit, you must fully receive it into yourself.
With our breath there are three factors we can control:
- How fast.
- How deep.
- How long.
For example, to get more oxygen, the body has a natural response--the yawn--which specifically is a deeper breath, not a faster one or one "held in" longer. To adsorb even more oxygen (hyperventilate), the key is to breathe both more quickly and more deeply, with the deep depth being the more important factor (note: you can breathe fast and shallow without any effect). The factors that increase the ability of the lungs to adsorb THC are exactly the same as those needed to improve oxygen adsorption. Molecule size, kind, mass, etc, makes absolutely no difference to this proportionality.
There are certain psycho-physiological effects also. With a bong, the wide shape of the mouthpiece naturally encourages the user to take deeper hits farther into the lungs (the mouth is open in the same manner as with a yawn). Drawing on a narrow tube, the user has to specifically and mentally overcome the bodies natural tendency to take only a short breath (as in "sipping")--one that fills only the throat, and hence will be very poorly adsorbed. To get the same effect out of the Box as with a bong, users should take long slow deeply drawn hits. The slowness is for the Box heating characteristics--the longness is so that the user takes a deep hit, fully into the deep passages of the lungs, so as to get full value for their effort.
Magic-Flight recommends that Box users first learn how to control the temp in the Box by controlling their draw rate, and then work to take fewer, much longer and deeper draws. With practice, you will find that filling the lungs thoroughly and completely in one hit is far more powerful and effective than taking the same exact volume of vapor in multiple smaller hits. Depending on your lung capacity, with most Boxes a good draw will last 15 to 25 seconds. However, be sure to have completely mastered temp control before attempting to increase your draw time--otherwise you will find yourself coughing.
The reports reviewed by Magic-Flight indicate that 95% of whatever is going to be adsorbed will have done so within the first 2 seconds of actual vapor contact with the bronchial passages. This means that the clock starts only at the moment one has completely filled their lungs, and not before. It is also important to recognize that this does not mean that everything that is in a single breath is going to be adsorbed, no matter how long you hold it--it only states that most of whatever is going to happen will do so in the first 2 seconds. Vapor that is held in the throat and in the larger lung passages will not really be adsorbed into the body no matter how long you wait (wrong kind of tissue)--and exhaling these into a bag for someone else to use will allow them to get some also.
As such, really sophisticated hitting technique (optimal adsorption efficiency) with the Box involves several stages:
- You take a few full extra deep breaths at a normal rate to pre-charge your body with extra oxygen and to get a good sense of your available lung capacity.
- The battery is put fully in and heating starts. The temperature begins climbing quickly in the Box. You watch for vapor by looking strait down the Box vapor channel (down the draw hole--NOTE: Be sure to hold the Box horizontally throughout this process so that the material in the tray does not all fall down to one end of the screen--this leads to uneven heating and poor taste).
- Two or three seconds later, the temperature in the Box is about right and the you begin drawing at first slowly, and then only a little faster, adjusting your draw rate depending on the sensed temperature and taste. For maximum sensitivity, using the Box in its native configuration is ideal.
- The long slow draw continues until you begin to sense that you have reached about 80% or so of your lung capacity (perhaps 15 seconds later), at which point you pull the battery back slightly to stop the heating. You continue your draw at a somewhat faster rate so as to capture all of the remaining vapor still being formed in the Box and to assist it in cooling off.
- Four or five seconds later, the Box is cool and no longer producing vapor. At this point you continue to breathe the rest of the way in, filling your lungs completely and ensuring that all of the remaining vapor (the "vapor tail") is moved from your throat into your deep lungs were it will do some good.
- You hold your breath, lungs completely full, for about two seconds and then you breathe out naturally through your nose. This allows you to savor any remaining flavor and to know exactly how much of a hit you have just taken. You can breathe normally again.
- You shake the Box, noticing and ensuring an even mixing. Turning the Box upside down, tapping sharply, and shaking side to side (with the Box still upside down) is usually sufficient to ensure that all material is released from the screen and that larger chunks are broken up. Righting the Box again, you shake side to side again to settle the material in the tray.
- Take note of the color of the material in the Box. If it is green, go back to step 1 and take a few more deep breaths.
A lot of attention is paid to the inherent efficiency of the vaporizers used. For optimal results, however, equal attention needs to be paid to the inherent efficiency of the user technique. Good user technique can sometimes make even a poorly designed vaporizer work well, and with a moderately good vaporizer, can really make it zing!
The technique outlined above specifically for the Box has a number of advantages. For one thing, because no vapor is ever emitted directly from the Box to the air, the level of smell associated with the device remains at a true minimum. Also, because nearly all of the vapor is deeply adsorbed into the body, the user does not emit much smell either. Because the battery is only being used whole producing vapor, the effective usefulness of a battery charge is significantly extended also (energy efficiency). Also, the deep breath in the beginning (step 1) ensures that you have enough oxygen in your body so that the whole process feels more natural.
Finally, in regards to visibility, if you see anything on the exhale associated with step 6 above, it is very likely that you are running the Box too hot and that you need to drawing slightly faster during steps 3 and 4. Whatever you see is going to be either 1) condensing vapor (very light and milky) which is now no longer accessible (wasted THC) or 2) particulate matter (smoke) which is unnecessary and bad for your health. If it is only vapor that you see on exhale, you need to judge your lung capacity lower in step 4 and ensure that you leave enough time for the Box to cool and enough remaining breath for you to fully capture the vapor tail in your deep lungs. If it is smoke that you see, you need to be drawing faster or sooner--don't wait as long to start drawing in step 3 and practice your breath and rate control until you can ensure that you can maintain an even taste.
Also, under no circumstances should the battery ever be in the Box when no one is drawing on it for more than about 3 seconds--something to be aware of if you are ever in a group and passing the Box. A lot of people pass a Box when it is "on" to a new user and then explain how to use it--all the while the Box is overheating the herb and when the new user does finally take a taste, it is way too hot and harsh. A much better approach is to show how to put the battery in, hand the Box over without the battery completely in and explain that a long slow draw is required. Let the new user push the battery in and take their hit--as soon as its done, take the Box back from them and withdraw the battery, showing them that it is necessary to do so. Ensure that each person in a group applies and withdraws the battery individually BEFORE letting them pass the Box around hot.
When you take a long slow draw, do you get constant vapor supply or is it more "airy"?
Done properly, you get a constant vapor supply. The draw rate needs to be slow for this--think of sipping from a teacup. If you pull too fast, it will get more airy--your taste will be an immediate feedback and a good guide.
What is pyromon's technique? Does it really deliver thick cloudy hits?
See below. For a long time this method was mistakenly called pyromon's technique. The correct username is pyronym. I apologize to pyronym for my error, and also to anyone who clicks on one of the many links I have now broken.
What is pyronym's technique? Does it really deliver thick cloudy hits?
pyronym is a member of FC who posted a no-draw technique that gives thicker and cloudier vapor because it results in minimum airflow over the load. In his post, pyronym said, "I have now perfected my LaunchBox technique. I am now getting crazy thick hits like I get with my zap and my surfer." His method is:
- Grind up herb as fine as possible with grinder.
- Load trench so it is filled slightly higher than the top of the trench.
- Insert battery and exhale fully.
- Place your mouth on the box without the stem, being careful not to have your tongue or teeth in the vapor path.
- Breathe in through your nose slowly as though you are taking a normal breath.
- Inhale until your lungs feel full or you start choking on the vapor.
- Hold breath.
- Optional: Breathe vapor out through your nose.
He added, "After my first 2 hits are cleared I remove the herb from the trench and grind it between my finger tips almost to a powder consistency."
This technique works because when you draw air into your lungs through your nose with your mouth open, a slight vacuum effect results in enough airflow to draw the vapor from the LB and mix with the air flowing into the lungs. This is the slowest possible draw, so the load gets heated to high temperatures, and this is why you get a thick hit.
Successful variations to consider, as reported by other FC members:
- Less load in the trench.
- Use the stem.
- Inhale to 80% lung capacity, finish with clean air to draw the vapor deeper into the lungs.
- The hits are thicker because the load is heating with almost no airflow. In particular, a fully charged battery can heat the load to scorching and even combustion if the draw takes too long.
- Until you gain experience, it can be difficult to judge how much vapor you've received. It is better to start with short draws and increase the length as you become familiar with the technique.
Are the MFLB clouds really cloudy?
Despite the variety of ways to produce thick cloudy hits, a common criticism of the LB it that clouds simply aren't possible. FC member BidDaddyVapor decided to put this myth to rest, and prepared some video demonstrations of what the LB is actually capable of producing:
When I inhale quickly enough to swirl the bud in the trench, is the unit still producing vapor?
Usually, the inhale rate needs to be fairly slow, and the swirl only happens when drawing fast. If the material is swirling in the chamber, the draw rate is probably too fast for much vapor production. However, for an especially light and fluffy load and for an especially hot unit, you might get some vapor when a swirl pattern is showing. Vapor while swirling would not be common nor desired, however, as the vape would be especially hard to use--the draw rate would have to be perfect every time. The other heating method the Box takes special advantage of is IR (infra red). The air in the chamber is not heated as much with this technique.
Is it OK to draw hard/shake/draw hard/shake/draw hard/shake... until a trench is basically done without removing the battery?
Yes, it is OK to do this, as long as you perform these steps in immediate sequence. This is a technique that anyone can use once they have become fairly familiar with the performance characteristics of the Box, etc. The fast cycling method is an alternative for using the Box, but requires that the person be fairly accurate in their timing, else they will either get too little vapor or significantly changed taste.
Why do I have to remove the battery after each hit?
You don't have to remove the battery completely, but you must be sure to break the contact. If you have the pushback ring installed then all you have to do is stop pressing on the battery.
Having the battery get too hot can potentially damage the battery if it happens too often. The "damage", if it occurs, will show up in a reduction in the number possible charge cycles. Perhaps after a bad overheating (fully charged to nothing in one 5 minute stroke) a battery instead of lasting 500 recharges, it will only take 400. Magic-Flight says "60 seconds" because they know and are certain that that is "soon enough" to be sure to have no problems. Performance in a battery decreases in proportion to its abuse.
You can probably get away with longer than 60 seconds if you are paying attention by checking the battery warmth, but that isn't recommended. If you use the same battery without even a moments break for more than 2 solid minutes, it can also get too hot to touch comfortably. One answer is to use two batteries in alternation, if you want continuous Box heating (about 10 minutes worth).
Also, to put this into perspective, note that these concerns apply to all NiMH type batteries, not just the stock ones. Energy is energy--all of it carries some risk, regardless of form. For example, butane lighters can explode if thrown in a fire. Similar problems apply to Li batteries. To be safe, Magic-Flight ships battery cases with all outgoing stock. Respect the batteries by always putting them in their case when not in active use. That will ensure that they last a long time and never cause any trouble.
How do I know when it's time for a new trench?
The indicators are usually color and taste. If the load is a uniform light brown, it is most likely done. Some people like to stop before that, when the taste seems to be getting more like "popcorn".
Identifying the endpoint via taste is something of a subjective factor and varies from person to person, depending on overall usage history, recent exposure, etc. One way to test whether an endpoint is correct for you is to save off the load when you think it is done in some container by itself. Then later, (the next day), when in a "normal" or "fresh" frame of mind, load the saved materials back into the Box first, and cook and hit on it a little more. Wait about 5 minutes to see if any effect occurs for you at all. If you get no effect from reheating a previously "finished" load than you know that your original endpoint determination was correct, and you can use that as a guide for future uses. Otherwise, you know that more heating may be required, and you can retest again. Eventually, with experience, you will know what point is exactly best for you.
Why do I cough when I use the draw tube but not when I use "native mode"?
The narrower diameter of the draw tube increases the velocity of the vapor stream and "organizes" it so that it moves farther as a single straight column once it exits (within the confines of the mouth). This basically means that warm vapor is more likely to arrive at the back of the mouth, causing coughing--not good! Using the Box native provides for a larger draw hole (lower stream velocity) and because its "effective length" is very short, the vapor stream is less organized--both effects place the vapor closer to the front of the mouth, which for various neurological reasons, mean less coughing (or none at all). It is a specific and very carefully thought out part of the Box design to ensure that the vapor channel is as short and as likely to place the vapor closer to the front of the mouth as possible--where most of the users sensory capacities are.
Overall, the goal of the channel is to provide the maximum and most easy/natural user feedback and the maximum vapor (ie, little to no vapor condensation in the channel). One of the disadvantages of using any sort of draw stem at all is that it removes the user from directly sensing the vapor temperature and it provides a place for the vapor to condense. Condensation is bad--it means both lost vapor (less efficient) AND it makes eventual cleaning a requirement.
If you still want to use a stem, try breaking up the incoming vapor flow with the tip of your tongue. With a little experience, this also gives you a feel for the temperature you're reaching.
Why do I see little or no vapor when I exhale?
Any vapor that is visible on exhale is wasted, therefore, by definition any device that produces visible vapor on exhale is categorically less efficient than one that does not. As such then, the ideal vapor density is exactly that which can be adsorbed by the lungs in a natural/comfortable interval of time--usually between 3 to 5 seconds. As long as one breathes deeply, lungs are fairly efficient at adsorbtion (for most people, better than 95% uptake in 5 seconds); however, there is a limit, and vapor densities higher than that simply do not achieve as much for the volume of materials consumed.
Given the choice between having something look good vs building something that actually works, Magic-Flight definitely prefer the "works" option. Having visible vapor is also particularly a disadvantage if one is trying to be stealthy. Further, visibility is especially bad since it also implies higher levels of smell as well--even less stealthy, and in a worse way. Magic-Flight finds it especially ironic to find people asking if the Box can produce visible vapor on exhale--as if that were a good thing! Magic-Flight worked hard to optimize the Box to make it easy to deliver results without that sort of ephemera.
Also, the degree of visibility of vapor is also dependent on how hot the material was heated (ie, which components are extracted and/or created). Hotter might create more visibility, but this is also not always a good thing since it usually implies either some degree of free condensation (mist) and/or the creation of particulate matter (smoke)--both of which are bad. True vapor is like a gaseous solution--it should be clear, and therefore invisible. People who speak of seeing a "milky white vapor" are actually talking about a mist that shares space with a vapor--a result of changes in temperature more than anything else (like fog at night).
If my weed turns black, it means I'm combusting right?
Not necessarily--"combustion" generally implies a self-sustained oxidization reaction, whereas "blackening" merely indicates that a number of the more complex molecules have been broken down--"reduced" to carbon. For example, it is possible to blacken nearly any organic materials in the complete absence of oxygen--a clear distinction/demonstration that combustion is definitely not required for blacking--ie, the terms/events are identifiably distinct. You will know for sure when combustion occurs because it always results in ash--generally a gray powdery residue.
However, blackening is not really that desirable either, for it indicates that at least potentially some of the medicinal ingredients have been overheated, reducing them to less useful compounds--ie that less than optimal efficiency has been obtained. Usually, it is recommended that frequent stirring between hits be used to prevent blackening, particularly as it improves the overall taste.
About blackening, is there any tar or carcinogen in the vapor released by herb that went through temperatures high enough to blacken the herb as opposed to herb that was vaporized at lower temps?
This is a good question, and hard to answer without more specific research. Based as much on intuition and indirect reading as on anything measured directly, it seems the chances of such are significant--that there are more likely to be more tars, if not also some level of increased chance of more harmful compounds released if any herbal material is heated to the point of significant blackening. However, the real question is "does it matter"--ie, is this increased chance significant enough to be concerned about?
To make this more explicit, it would be necessary to much more specific about what constitutes a "tar" and would be considered potentially harmful to health. For example, the presence of vaporized THC itself could by most professional (chemical) definitions be classified as a "tar", and some people (more politically motivated) would also list it as "harmful to health", although most people (hopefully) know better. Thus, it becomes a matter of which polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and associated isomers are likely to occur and in what proportions as a result of any given level of overheating. As such, the overall question gets very complex very fast and admits of no simple interpretation other than the fairly obvious "significant overheating of herbal materials is generally bad".
As such, the best that can be realistically offered at this point is an unjustified opinion: as long as you do not heat herbs beyond the point at which more than about 15% of the load becomes more dark than dark chocolate brown, there is no cause or justification for worry. Beyond this, it is *probably* the case that even heating about 1/4 of a load nearly full black will have no detectable long term health effects as long as you are not doing so multiple times every single day for weeks at a time. It is also certain that even if you were to vaporize to these far limits, it is overall significantly less harmful than any type of smoking, including and especially that involving any amount of water filtration.
Furthermore and finally, as many people reading this are likely to already know, hundreds of politically minded groups have pressured many more scientists to find and publish any possible research supporting any connection whatsoever between smoking various popular herbs and any measurable/functional health defect or decline. Given such consistent efforts over the last several decades, the failure of any one of these very motivated and well funded groups to widely and dramatically publish any significant or well justified evidence, I think that it is safe to assume/believe that no such connection exists. Therefore, for anyone to spend any amount of time worrying about the possibility of harmful effects associated with occasionally somewhat overheating some 120 milligrams (max) of herb, given all of this, is probably unnecessary--with a LB vaporizer you are probably as safe as it is possible to be.
How well does the Launch Box perform in the cold, such as on ski slopes?
The biggest potential problem in cold (below freezing) temperatures is loss of battery power. All batteries perform less effectively when they get cold. If the batteries are kept reasonably warm, e.g. in an inside pocket next to your body, the Box will work just fine. The FC member bluntfaced posted a review which said, in part:
- As far as using the unit at high altitude, it rules. I've used it on chairlifts and gondolas many times as well as in lodges at the tops of mountains. It works great in the wind as well. The only problem with the cold is it seems to shorten the life of the batteries ever-so-slightly. I kept my battery case and box in another soft case under my main ski pants and against my leg to keep them from getting too cold. This seems to work very well. The only time I had problems was when it was snowing really hard. Snow accumulates on the box and melts. I only used it once in these conditions then decided it wasn't worth it. As far as wind goes the box is the ultimate solution as it does not depend on a lighter.
Can you vape tobacco in the Box?
Yes, you can. Be aware that the yield of nicotine in vaping is significantly higher than smoking--think about 6X as much, weight for weight. You will probably be fine with 4 batteries and one 15 minute charger. Be careful with this--might be stronger than you think.
Maintenance And Cleaning
How should I clean my Box?
The Box shouldn't require much maintenance or cleaning if you brush it out after each load. This technique has been proven to work well:
- Turn the Box over and dump the ABV, then rap the box against the table to knock loose any sticky bits.
- Make sure the screen is cool, then brush gently.
- Repeat step 1.
- With the cover open, blow through the inhaling hole.
Remember to do this after every load.
You can wipe down the outside of the Box with a soft cloth and a gentle cleaner (perhaps a drop of dishwashing liquid) but remember how you use it. If you do use a soap make sure you don't get it inside the heating chamber, and of course don't leave residue on the areas that you put in your mouth.
Video on cleaning your Box
How about cleaning the acrylic draw tube?
It is okay to use ISO to clean the draw tube accessory, as long as you do not leave it in the ISO for too long (minutes are fine; hours not are good). One good method is to use a regular pipe cleaner soaked in ISO to clean the acrylic draw tube, and then allow it to dry. In order to avoid residual alcohol degrading the acrylic, it is a good idea to rinse the tube afterwards with water.
Video demonstration of cleaning the acrylic draw tube
Won't a screen this fine get clogged?
The screen tends to not clog because it does not act as a condensation surface--in fact, it is a significant aspect of the Box design to avoid the possibility of condensation to the largest extent possible. Due to the inherent distribution of heat, the screen is unlikely to clog as in other devices because it is never colder than the loaded material, even after months of usage. Naturally, this makes maintaining the Box easier.
The screen discolors somewhat under use. This is normal and does not require that you clean it; in fact cleaning will not remove the discoloring. If you do feel you have to clean the screen beyond normal brushing, dip your brush or a Q-tip in ISO and gently rub it on the screen. Take care not to use too much ISO or it will drip through the screen and make the Box taste unpleasant for a couple of trenches. (The taste will go away with use.) To minimize this risk, you can hold the Box upside down while you clean.
I want to clean the bars running along the top of the trench but I am afraid to even try scraping them for fear I'll damage the screen, what to do?
Before you start, bear in mind that cleaning the bars is cosmetic only. Build-up on the bars does not affect the operation of the Box. Like with most grinders, there is an initial buildup in some areas which eventually stabilizes, and then it becomes just "part of the operation"--material is neither lost nor gained. Magic-Flight generally recommends that people leave them be and concentrate on maintaining the aesthetics of the exterior wood. If you still feel compelled to clean, proceed at your peril.
If you insist on cleaning them, heat does help to soften the residue so insert a battery for 10-15 seconds with an open cover and empty trench. Soak the brush in ISO and then brush the bars clear while hot, but make sure to keep the brush bristles at least damp with ISO while doing this. Note that the mesh is bent over the bars, therefore the area you are brushing is probably the weakest part of a delicate screen.
Why do I get resin build-up under the screen? How can I clean it out?
By examining warranty returns and through other observations, Magic-Flight has learned that continual usage of material that is too wet (i.e. not dried completely) tends to cause a buildup under the screen. Properly dried material can be used forever without any condensate buildup under the screen or on it--the Box never needs cleaning. If the material has dampness, however, then the water vapor condenses, causing condensation of other things as well--particularly the terpenes, which cause smell. It is also best to dry your material completely before grinding. You will get a much higher quality of grind.
If you must clean under the screen, scraping is really the only option, but a small slip can ruin your Box. Cleaning under the screen is neither necessary nor advisable, so there are no recommended tools or techniques.
Why does my Box smell?
See above. The terpenes from incompletely dried material condense and cause odor. Another possible source of smell is condensed vapor inside the draw tube.
Is it okay to run the Box with an empty trench to burn off any residual particles that the brush misses to keep it clean?
Yes that is fine. Just be sure that the battery does not get too hot--do not leave it in too long (ie, not more than 60 seconds).
How long can the Box run non-stop before something "bad" happens?
Until the battery runs out. Leaving the battery in overlong could potentially overheat the battery, but will not damage the Box. The taste might change somewhat.
Does the mesh come off if heated for too long?
No. The bonding energy is *much* higher than the operating energy. There are no situations where the bonding is at risk from overheating with time and a battery. The main concerns with the screen are mechanical (pulling, tearing, puncture, etc).
Is it cool to blow back into the Box to clear all the ABV?
Yes. The screen is not that fragile--you can use the brush too. Opening the Box lid and blowing directly into it sharply is usually enough to clear everything. Magic-Flight emphasizes the screen in the instructions as there are some purchasers who are less than mechanically adept and need to be told--else they will likely damage the screen.
The Plexiglas cover is starting to get grungy on the inside just over the trench, how can I clean it?
Open the Box and turn it over. Place the cover on a sturdy flat surface. Apply a light coating of toothpaste, just enough to cover the dirty area. Use an old toothbrush or even a paper towel to rub gently in a circular motion until the cover is clean. Be careful not to apply pressure in a way that could snap the cover. Rinse with a little water. (Most people aren't aware that toothpaste contains a fine abrasive that is excellent for cleaning Plexiglas. It will even remove fine scratches.)
My screen started to come loose, can I fix it?
Go ahead and try to tuck it back. (A flat wooden toothpick is a good tool for this). If you have any troubles and/or are unable to close the gap (ie, if material ends up below the screen), just send Magic-Flight a private note with your address and Box number and they will send you a functional warranty replacement unit.
I lost/broke my acrylic drawing tube, what can I do?
Little bit of trivia--the design size of the draw hole on the Box was originally sized to be compatible with one of the common straw sizes used in many fast food restaurants, and I believe that specification is still unchanged. In a pinch, you might collect and try some soda straws and see if you can find a match. That and a pair of scissors, you might get a temporary solution. Of course, the specifically manufactured version is more likely to be useful. You can order a new drawing tube at Magic-Flight.com.
I vaped oil/hash/kief in my Box and now the screen is clogged, what should I do?
The clogging is probably carbon. The Box was not really designed to work with liquids or oils, and this sort of result is probably typical. Take a fresh battery and simply leave it in the unit (empty) with the cover open until the battery runs out. There is a chance (no guarantee) that it might get hot enough to clean the screen. However, this may have the side effect of also damaging the battery since it too will get hot from being in the Box overlong (several minutes).
Normally, this drastic sort of recovery procedure is not necessary, but if people are going to experiment with anything which liquefies when hot (ie resins), these sorts of method might be your only real answer. Carbon left behind after using oil will probably not get cleaned using any amount of ISO or water--might as well save yourself some time there. Magic-Flight does not recommend any form of immersion cleaning in general since the Box is made of wood.
My (former) friend let some material combust in the Box, what should I do?
One thing you might try to remove any residual smells is to clean the Box as best you can with the provided brush and some ISO (not much, do not dunk the Box or let ISO soak into the wood) and with it empty and the lid open, put the battery in with firm contact for 1 or 2 minutes. Check the battery from time to time to ensure that it is not getting too hot--ie, don't let it get any hotter than fresh cup of coffee.
Another trick you might try (after the above) is to blow a lot of warm air through the Box (lid open again) with a hair-drier. If you try this be very sure that the lid is completely open and as far from the hot air stream from the hair-drier as possible (else the cover will soften and distort shape). A couple of minutes of this treatment should be plenty, if it is needed at all.
Also, a certain amount of screen discoloring is normal and probably does not require cleaning--the Box was designed to not really need it.
I lost/broke all my rubber bands, do I have to order more from Magic-Flight?
A new pair of rubber bands from Magic-Flight is only 25 cents but there are shipping charges, although they have reduced them when asked. LivingInSpin posted a cheap alternative in the FC forums:
- Bands cut from bicycle innner tubes, 23c-25c, fit the LB perfectly. They are vulcanized and do not rot or get weak like normal bands. They are cheap or free. Difficult to break.
What is the Magic-Flight Launch Box warranty?
Magic-Flight grants to all purchasers of the Launch Box a lifetime functional warranty for all Box units. They will replace defective or damaged Launch Boxes free of charge.
Your Launch Box carries a unique serial number. Altering or removing this number renders the warranty completely void. All accessories included in the standard MFLB kit are covered under warranty for the first three months after the date of purchase.
Note that the orange indicator light inside each Box is designed to guide you towards your perfect session and will not last forever; therefore this is the one component of your Box that cannot be covered under the Lifetime Functional Warranty. This light will stop working eventually due to the hotter-than-average environment and sharp temperature changes that it endures. Once you have perfected your technique with the Box, your use of the light will no longer be needed.
The warranty does not cover lost, stolen, defaced, or willfully damaged units. The warranty also does not cover units with the serial number sanded off or not visible. Shipping charges might apply.
What is the procedure to make a warranty claim?
For warranty service, send a description of the problem (with picture) along with your serial number to CustomerService@magic-flight.com. Following this outline will help expedite your claim:
- Include the serial number printed on back of Launch Box, along with a digital photo showing the serial number.
- If the unit is damaged, include photo of the damage. If it's hard to see, use a photo-editor to circle the damaged area.
- Include a brief description of the malfunction.
- If it is a heating issue, include brand and power rating of the battery.
- Provide a name and address to whom a replacement would need to be sent.
- Include a phone number, along with best days and times to contact you.
Once a warranty claim has been approved, Magic-Fight policy is to send out the replacement box along with directions for sending the old box back. They do this as a convenience to Launch Box owners to keep the time they are without their Box to a minimum. It is a courtesy to them, it is also a matter of good faith and trust that they will return the used Box. A Launch Box owner who submits a warranty claim, but sells the old Box instead of sending it back, violates the lifetime functional warranty and voids the warranty on both the old Box and the replacement Box.
Is the warranty transferable?
Yes, provided the Launch Box is not stolen, that the serial number is intact, and it has not been used to obtain a warranty replacement. The warranty applies to the current owner/user of the Box. Each Launch Box has a unique serial number. The warranty is transferable as long as that particular serial number has not been used for a previous warranty claim. Each warranty replacement box that is issued contains a new unique serial number. Magic-Flight tracks the history of each serial number that is issued and will know if someone is attempting to claim a second warranty replacement for the same serial number.
If you purchase a used box that was used to make a warranty claim but not returned or destroyed, the warranty will not be honored. Magic-Flight does not recommend purchasing used units; buy used units at your own risk. If you must buy used, only buy used units from people you trust or personally know. If you are purchasing a used unit but aren't sure about its warranty status, email CustomerService@magic-flight.com with the serial number and they will verify its validity for you.
Magic-Flight strongly recommends that if you buy a unit online that should have been returned, you use the site's buyer protection program to get your money back.
Will the warranty be honored if I purchase through an Ebay seller?
Yes it will; however, it is especially helpful if people let us know where they bought the Box and what serial number they have, even if they have had no problems with their unit. If you elect to buy from Ebay, please let Magic-Flight know the details by email--the feedback is both important and helpful.
Note that all sellers from eBay, Amazon and Craigslist are unauthorized sellers. Magic-Flight therefore cannot guarantee the validity of the Launch Boxes that are being sold on these sites.
It is also important to note that the MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) of the Launch Box is $119, so anyone selling the Launch Box for less is an unauthorized seller and might or might not be selling a legitimate Launch Box kit. In some cases, people who have purchased what they thought were Launch Boxes found that either it was a counterfeit, or that the serial number had been sanded off, or that the box had already been used for a warranty claim.
In such cases, if you are able to provide Magic-Flight with your Box's serial number, vendor/store you purchased from, and the purchase price, in many cases they can track down these unauthorized sellers and put a stop to others being subjected to fraudulent behavior.
Will Magic-Flight honor the warranty even if I break the Box through my own stupidity?
Yes they will, provided the damage was not deliberate.
So with this warranty, if my Box breaks a year from now, the warranty will still cover it? What if it breaks 20 years from now?
Yes, they really do mean it--if you contact Magic-Flight in 20 years with a broken Box, they will issue a replacement. The standard assumptions apply--that they still exist, etc. Contacting Magic-Flight by email is probably the most reliable means. They try to answer everything within one business day.
Instead of a warranty replacement, can Magic-Flight repair my customized/exotic wood Box?
Not all problems are repairable, however Magic-Flight will work to issue as near an equivalent a replacement as is available in such cases. To repair a unit that has had artistic embellishments or for special woods, you will have to send an email with a description of the problem (pictures recommended), the box serial number, and the postal return address, indicating clearly that this is to be a unit repair, rather than a warranty replacement. If Magic-Flight accepts that repair, rather than replacement, is the best option, they will provide instructions for packaging and returning the unit to their factory. Typically, for all returned units the screen must be completely removed, the wood cleaned as best as possible, and then the Box must be securely and completely wrapped in foil and sealed in a zip lock bag. It is important that the email correspondence with the return address be included in the return package so that Magic-Flight's staff can track it more easily. Depending on the nature of the repair, it could take up to 4 weeks to process it and send it back.
Magic-Flight the Company
What does that symbol mean?
The Magic-Flight symbol is a multiple orientation synthesis of the following elements, visual concepts, and ideas:
- a stylized M and F (newer ones with a dash between them).
- a graphic representation of vapor emerging from the Box itself, (the crescent representing the screen the material sits in, the circle representing the load and/or the draw hole, and the squiggle being the vapor).
- images representative of a person (a woman, a priest, the burning man, and/or a person skiing).
- the natural sun and moon and:
- a pyramid.
- a gnomic rod (ancient surveying instrument).
- a road to the horizon.
- a sun and planetary body with a spaceship (the Magic-Flight theme).
- the Ankah (a symbol from Egyptian mysticism).
- a lightning strike (power).
- a geometric trinity (circle, triangle, crescent, as representative of trinities in general, Druidic and/or metaphysical wisdom).
What is the origin of the quote: "Love is that which enables choice. Love is always stronger than Fear. Always choose on the basis of Love."?
The basic idea and structural/systemic basis for that aphorism is presented in a book of philosophy called "The Immanent Metaphysics", and is original to that work. It is believed by the author, Forrest Landry, to be the single most useful/practical idea possible to communicate to a wide audience. As such, it has become quite literally the operations basis of this company.
Forrest Landry is a philosopher, writer, researcher, scientist, engineer, craftsman, and teacher who has been studying and practicing the varied High Arts since the mid 70's. By combining deep personal intuition and experience with some of the most powerful intellectual models of our times, he is able to offer many unique insights on the nature of life in this universe. He is also the author of several innovative and hand crafted books on the primal nature and deep theory of an Immanent Metaphysics.
Currently, he is the highly successful lead architect and the principle systems design engineer for one of the worlds most sophisticated search engine projects. His key systems infrastructure work is in production on several federal classified and unclassified networks in the USA, including various FBI investigative projects, TSC, IDW, DARPA, the Library of Congress Congressional Records System, and many others.
While some parts of his book provide far more powerful/deeper insights, they also suffer the disadvantage that knowing them would require specialized and somewhat more esoteric terminology. Since the language used for most of that work is not very widely understood, those other parts are not as practical for most people. Given that Love is something that affects everyone, providing a new way of completely and truly comprehending it, in all of its varied manifestations, is of great significance. Naturally, the Box has become more of a means of publishing this aphorism than the aphorism is something "added" to the Box.
Which is greater: the idea OF the box, or the idea ON the Box? Either way, it works rather well!
How did you guys come up with the name "Magic-Flight Launch Box"? I understand the box part.
Fairly simple, really: the notion of "flying high" without an airplane is just like magic! The Box gets you there, so that is the "launch" part. The idea for the name just occurred one day and immediately on hearing it, was recognized as perfect.