ComCig ZNA 30 Clone

I have been looking for a 1:1 copy of my House of Hybrids ZNA 30 since I got it. I absolutely love the HoH ZNA, but it is a premium product and I want a clone to use out and away from home so that I don’t risk losing or damaging my pricey ZNA. I have been scouring the net and reading every review I can find, and finally I settled on purchasing the Robbot Technology ZNA clone. This is where things got a little confusing. For starters, there are multiple reviews that claim the ComCig ZNA is from Robbot Tech, and Zen himself (from HoH) states in his blog that they will be servicing the ComCig ZNA. Add the 2 together, and you get the conclusion that the Robbot Tech ZNA is sold through ComCig AND is a 1:1 clone. However, THIS IS NOT COMPLETELY RIGHT! ComCig used no less than three different companies as their own branded ZNA.

Since cost is an issue, I was looking for the best pricing possible, and I found the ComCig ZNA, bundled with the Link RDA (Z2 threaded to match the HoH Zenesis line) on the Steam Monkey website. At the listed price I could afford to buy 2 of these for the cost of 1 authentic HoH ZNA, so I did. Lance (the owner) of Steam Monkey LLC is phenomenal. He answered all of my emails promptly and shipped out the product almost as soon as I ordered it. I can’t speak highly enough of him, and as this review progresses you will understand why.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS:

  1. Fully Z2 compatible threading
  2. Solid, like my authentic HoH ZNA (feels identical in my hand, shape and weight)
  3. Felt nice, solid steel
  4. Good button feel, “Clickey” positive reinforcement in buttons
  5. Smooth lines (mostly)
  6. Nice looking (SS tube, top/bottom caps; Brushed finish main body matches Russians)

DETAILED REVIEW:

After receiving the package from Steam Monkey, I opened the first ZNA box and started testing it out. What I discovered is that the ComCig ZNA is in fact Z2 threaded (as expected), but it is NOT a 1:1 clone, in fact not even a high quality device. The Z2 threaded 510 adapter has very poorly machined 510 threads. The first tank I tried to install was an authentic Russian 3.1, and the threads only went in about halfway. I did not want to force it as I did not wish to damage my tank. When I tried to remove it, I discovered that it was “stuck”, so I took the entire adapter off the top of the ZNA. It was at this point that I realized the Z2 threads were also poorly machined, and are essentially razor sharp, as I sliced open my hand trying to un-thread my Russian. Along the way I discovered that the 510 positive pin and insulator in the adapter are very cheap, the pin is not adjustable, and in fact is only pushed in finger tight, using the insulator as a pressure fitting, as it is not threaded, nor does it take much pressure to install or remove it (it even slipped out of it’s own accord a couple times).  Finally, I removed the Russian and installed a Kayfun 3.1 clone, which threaded just fine.

Within an hour of using it I started to discover some issues with it. These issues are in no particular order, simply presented as is. The first problem I encountered is the left adjust button, the one that is supposed to be used for adjusting the variable wattage downwards. It does work to adjust the wattage, however not quite as expected. The button sticks, and once depressed it goes all the way down to the minimal setting of 7 watts. While this is bad, it is not nearly as bad as the fact that it ALSO doubles as a Firing button. Wow, the ZNA SHOULD NOT fire while adjusting the voltage downwards. When the settings are “locked” the left button still behaves as if it is depressed, and because the settings are locked, it displays the following message “Power Locked Hold Up Down”, and simultaneously keeps the device from entering sleep mode, and therefore drastically uses battery power. Conversely, the Firing button also acts as a wattage downwards adjustment button, e.g. left adjuster button. If you hold the ZNA at the right angle, while vaping you can actually see the variable wattage setting change and drop lower and lower until it reaches the minimum wattage (7 watts). Finally, setting it down hard, or bumping it against something, causes it to reset (power off and then back on again). While this is not much more than a minor annoyance, a stiffer spring might prevent this.

At this point I am starting to get concerned, but after all the GREAT Robbot Tech ZNA reviews, I’m still not too worried about it. With all the good reviews, I was thinking that the problems were just an isolated issue (e.g. a bad device), I decided to try the 2nd ZNA clone. Believing that things could only get better was the wrong way to look at it. Initially the 2nd one seemed to be a much better version. The fit and finish seemed as good as the first, no new observations in this department. The buttons had a nice positive click to them, everything seemed pretty good. However, as I used it, I started to experience more and more problems with it. Ultimately, in the end, it was actually even worse than the 1st clone as it turned out to be completely UNSAFE to vape with.

After I started testing this 2nd clone, the 1st problem I noticed with it was that the Fire button also triggered the downward adjustment of the variable wattage, while vaping. It was not nearly as severe as the first version, so I could potentially live with it as is. The 2nd issue I found was that the downward adjustment also caused the device to sporadically fire while adjusting it. Again, not nearly as bad as with the 1st clone. I then realized the 510 adapter was not screwed all the way down, so I tightened it, which in turn caused the unit to short electrically, and the screen went blank. Thankfully this was only a temporary short, as soon as I loosened the top cap back up, it started working again. Much like the first unit, bumping or jarring it caused it to reset, and the 510 threads were inconsistently machined. None of these issues seemed to be show stoppers though, so I thought if I handled it somewhat gingerly, I could at least use it. As I continued to use it though, it started behaving very strangely. The screen started randomly flickering, disappearing, and then coming back on, which I thought might be a battery issue, so I changed the battery for a freshly charged BRAND NEW one. This fixed the problem for about the first 10-15 minutes of vaping, then it returned. The next thing I noticed was that the wattage was adjusted to 16.6 watts which is in my normal range, but not what I thought I had set, so I adjusted it down to my normal 14.4 watts. I vaped a couple more times, and the screen flashed and the wattage went back to 16.6 watts. I adjusted it back down to 14.4 watts, then locked the settings at 14.4 watts. I proceeded to vape a couple times and it reset itself to 16.6 watts, with the settings still LOCKED! Then it displayed the message “Too Hot” and shut itself off. At this point the solid steel body felt quite warm, so I removed the battery and let it sit. After about an hour, I put the battery back in, vaped a couple times, and then watched it go through the Too Hot dance again. The more I tried to use it, the more frequent that message appeared.

Some additional points I noticed with both of them are that the wattage setting drops by .1 watt periodically (just like my original Hana clone) even when the settings are locked. Sometimes the built in ohm meter appears to be accurate, and sometimes it seems to be off +/- .1 to .3 watts, and when vaping it even occasionally CHANGES as the firing button is depressed. Most of my tanks don’t mount flush, and since there is no adjustable center pin, it can’t be changed/fixed.

Ultimately, these problems and issues led me to contact Robbot Tech on their FaceBook page. I also decided to send Lance an email and describe the problems I was having to him. Since Robbot Tech is in China, I decided that posting on their FB page and waiting to see if I got any response might be the best way to reach them. While awaiting a response from Robbot, I drafted an email to Lance at Steam Monkey, and pointed out all the problems I was having and asked him if this was normal (in his experience) with these clones. He did say that he had a few customer complaints, but they usually developed over time, not over the course of less than 24 hours. He asked if he could send me a couple of “personally tested and working” ZNA clone replacements. I told him that was fine, I just wanted 2 that worked. The next afternoon I got an email from Lance that he had personally tested 2 ZNA clones and was sending them to me. I have not yet received them, but I am waiting to see if they hold up any better than these first 2 did. In the meantime, I have spent a couple of evenings researching these clones even further, and have discovered that these are in fact the 1st version Robbotech produced, and as such, they have a LOT of problems. While HoH will support this version, Robbotech will not. This depressed me quite a bit as I am now out a LOT of money on these clones, and they aren’t usable. The only saving grace is that the Link RDAs are AWESOME (a separate review will follow for these RDAs), so it is not a complete loss.

I will follow up later with any further information after I get the tested replacements from Steam Monkey.

SYNOPSIS:

ZNA Clone #1 Issues – TOTALLY UNUSABLE:

1. Left adjust button sticks and always drops to 7w, unless settings are locked.
2. Left adjust button also randomly triggers fire button.
3. When settings are locked, downward adjustment sticks and keeps unit from entering sleep mode, sometimes causing non-stop firing.
4. Fire button also triggers left adjustment while vaping.
5. Bumping the unit causes a recycle/reset. This I believe may just be a spring related issue with the battery

ZNA Clone #2 Issues – TOTALLY UNSAFE:
1. 510 topcap sometimes causes a short and the unit reads too hot, or the screen goes completely blank.
2. 510 connector threads not right, some tanks won’t screw in and others will, with both authentics and clones.
3. Fire button also triggers downward adjustment while vaping, only occasionally, and does not stick like unit 1.
4. Screen randomly blinks and resets while vaping regardless of battery charge status, full or not.
5. Bumping the unit causes a recycle/reset. This I believe may just be a spring related issue with the battery caps.
6. It is currently “stuck” at 16.6w, but the settings are not locked. I can adjust it up or down, but as soon as I try to use it, it jumps back to 16.6w.
7. It has also started flashing repeatedly and sometimes giving the error “too hot” even after it has been sitting for a long time. It seems to have a short circuit.

ZNA Clone Issues – COMMON TO BOTH

1. The wattage setting drops .1 watts randomly, even when the settings are “locked”.
2. Sometimes the built in ohm meters read accurately, sometimes they don’t.
3. Coil readings fluctuate between .1 and .3 watt variances, sometimes up, and sometimes down, there is no consistency.
4. The firing pin in the 510 connector in both units is in a cheap plastic insulator and sometimes slips out with no effort when you take the top cap off the ZNA.
5. The 510 threads are not even and some devices only screw in part way and no further, but others screw in all the way.
6. The center pin is not adjustable.
On my authentic ZNA, none of these things happens, and the positive pin is mo

BOTTOM LINE:

If you want to save a few bucks over the cost of a HoH ZNA Lite (which is aluminum, not steel, and will scratch/damage easily), you can buy this ComCig ZNA from Steam Monkey, it comes with the Link RDA, and then you send it to HoH for upgrading. $99 for an authentic Evolv DNA chip, $15  for the adjustable center pin, and you are done, everything else is already Z2 compatible. Grand total for the entire setup and upgrades will run you $255 (or less). So for $25 less than just the HoH ZNA Lite, you will get the ComCig ZNA, the Link RDA, the Evolv DNA  upgrade, and the adjustable center pin. Otherwise, unless you really just want the Link RDA from the Steam Monkey package, DON’T BUY THIS CLONE!!!

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About devauto

I am trying to switch to e-cigs to quit smoking, and in the process I thought it would be good to document my various product trials so that others can learn from my journey into this new world of smokeless nicotine.
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