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Friday, December 15, 2017

"Multi-Use" OSP: making Facebook an FDA ENDS

So it's been a couple of months and I have been busy with other things.  However, over the last week or so I have finally gotten the first Open Source Power (OSP) module up and running. (I have been testing the OSM version all this time.)

First some quick background.  As I have posted here I believe that the various FDA and state regulations targeting "e-cigarettes" break down when presented with "dual use" or multi-use or "user defined" (such as DIY or software configured) devices.  (See this lawsuit by Kingdom Vapor.)

Given the history of the PrimusZ (links below, a commercial vape product we built and sold) and the use of an iPhone as the electronic "controller" it's kind of hard to believe that the FDA thinks your iPhone is really a "tobacco product" (see 

Be that as it may, though, we still have to respect what the FDA might say or do.

But, on the other hand, we can still ask "what's not an e-cigarette?"

My opinion here is that any device which serves multiple purposes, e.g., is a USB charger, supports RC cars via a Dean's connector, allows electronic "breadboarding" and is can only be made into an "electronic cigarette" via a user-controlled software installation is not really an "e-cigarette."

(As time progresses it will also be nice to create a version of all this that is tightly integrated with Facebook or whatever web site you like, that requires a live connection in order to fire - hence making Facebook a "tobacco product...")

Obviously there's a lot of history, technology and thought here but at the end of the day this is what I have:

The key features are

1) It doesn't do anything unless you download software into it.  (It's essentially an Arduino Micro using an Atmel 32u4 which you program with the freely available Arduino development tools and the GitHub software below through your computer or phone's USB port.)

2) It's also USB charger and an RC charger via the Dean's connector (

3) It can sync up with Bluetooth on your PC or phone (

Obviously I know all about DIY.  And yes I suppose this is just DIY. But since all the parts you buy with DIY are not "tobacco products" or ENDS it seems hard to imagine that a Vishay VOL618A, Linux, Android, iOS, a phone, etc. are anything but plain old computer and electronics technology unrelated to ENDS or "tobacco products."

The point of this is that I believe that any e-cigarette manufacturer or any other manufacturer can, obviously I am not a lawyer and at their own risk, make and sell something with this open source technology domestically in the USA without entering the cross hairs of the local, state or federal tax or regulatory bodies.

The schematics for this particular OSP unit are here:

The quick and dirty here is that VBat+ is available via the Dean's connector from the quad 18650's (flashlight batteries).  The "Motion Sensor Board" powers the AdaFruit Bluefruit down when the unit doesn't move or vibrate for 15 seconds or so (which is adjustable via the R/C circuit).  We do this to ensure the Bluetooth doesn't just run the battery down (which it will).

This thing is huge, I know, but it's actually a lot of fun.

It's basically a breadboard.  But I have been using this daily for the last few months and it works pretty well.  Without a cover it's only real issue placing "breadboard side up" onto some sort of conductor.  I've dropped it too and other than the batteries falling out it just works.

Still to do:

1) Integrate the Adafruit UART service into the GitHub code below.  This will allow your phone to put data into or pull data out of the unit.  At that point we can then have an app on your phone that will make Facebook a tobacco product.  This will require trivial Android fiddling via the Android Development Studio.  The iPhone would require an Apple developer license.

2) Get a detailed BOM and case design up on the GitHub.

Over the next few weeks I hope to get these to do's taken care of...

Another issue is that I don't vape nicotine.  Here the question is what exactly is this device when loaded with PG and VG?  Most people think it's some type of weapon until I vape with it.

Source Code for OSP:

PrimusZ background links: (we no longer own

Summary of OSP posts:

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