YiHi SX Mini ML Class
This week I am taking a look at the long awaited YiHi SX Mini ML Class, an upgrade to their previous M Class device.
There is a lot to cover in this review so please bear with me as I cover all that I can.
First of all the packaging, it hasn’t changed since the M Class and other than the notable device change it remains the same.
Although in the envelope is the ML user guide and warranty. You still get the USB cable, of course, which you will need for the application and can be used for charging.
Then there is the device itself, let us look at the physical changes first.
The new YiHi SX Mini ML Class has had a few cosmetic changes made to its exterior.
The profiling of the shape has changed quite a bit, but it still keeps its original basic shape and size.
Now the device can be bought in black, silver with a black ‘grip’ and this stunning metallic blue that they call ‘Mystic Blue’.
I have had the blue one since September and although it looks nice in the photos, it looks amazing in real-life when you get it out in the sunlight.
The YiHi SX Mini ML Class maintains the same stainless steel atomiser ‘plate’ with self adjusting brass 510 positive pin.
Here you can see a little more of how the contouring of the device has changed, and maybe notice the metallic ‘flake’ in that blue a little better.
The YiHi SX Mini ML Class maintains the same battery cover design as previous versions had. Although the device now has a stainless steel battery tube, rather than the previous brass one.
The battery cap has also been changed a little. It now has a more substantial feel to it, thicker and more durable material.
The cap now has a ridge on the end to stop the cap being screwed on too far.
The ‘coin slot’ is now deeper and curved, to allow a coin to fit it better without slipping out.
It still has adequate venting and a raised centre (inside) to allow the use of flat bottomed batteries.
Another change to the aesthetics is the ‘cut-out’ on the back.
This is an opening in the coloured body that shows the inner stainless steel battery tube.
The cut-out is profiled with nice smooth edges, and the battery tube is engraved with the SX Mini name.
This is a nice idea that not only adds to the looks of the device but also adds some grip to it.
The control surface has not changed noticeably, same button, screen and USB port layout as before.
But the information on the display has a couple of subtle changes.
In the bottom left of the screen you can now see ‘C1’, but more on that later.
Not shown in the photo above but you can also get some new ‘modes’ shown in the bottom right (where it says Standard in the photo), but again more on that later.
Let us talk now a little about some of the specifications of the new YiHi SX Mini ML Class…
The device uses the new V2 of the SX350J chip-set, as well as the previous nickel and titanium support the V2 now supports stainless steel.
It has 75watts maximum output power, although can manage 85 watts in bypass mode. It can output 75 joules in temperature mode as well.
It can fire coils from 0.05 to 0.3 ohms in temperature (joule) mode and 0.15 to 3 ohms in wattage (power) mode.
Output voltage ranges from just 1 volt up to 9.5 volts.
Temperature regulation can be set to 100-300 Celsius (200-580 Fahrenheit)
There are more feature to cover but I will deal with them later.
It has the usual safety features of reverse polarity, short circuit, low resistance low battery voltage and overheat protection.
Time to take a look at the device menus…
First option is the operation mode , choices are Senior and Junior.
This was changed in the 2.102 firmware update to Expert and Novice.
In expert mode you have access to all the features, in novice the more complicated features are disabled to ease use.
Next you have Configure Mode.
Remember in the screen display photo earlier? It had a C1 in the bottom left corner. This is your configuration mode and you can set up one for each of your five favourite devices.
Each configuration saves all of the device settings, such as the mode (power or joule) the wire type (nickel, titanium, stainless or custom) and the temperature setting. It is kind of like having 5 SX Mini ML Class devices, each with a different setup (but all in one device).
This means you could have C1 set to nickel wire and 210 Celsius,
C2 set to titanium and 180 Celsius,
C3 set to stainless 304 and 230 Celsius,
etc,etc. you get the idea.
The next option lets you set the power. Here you can change the watts in power mode or the joules in joule mode.
The next option is the temperature setting (if in joule mode)
And after that is the temperature unit setting (if in joule mode)
Next you can change the coil wire setting (if in joule mode).
Options in the current firmware are NI200, Ti01 (titanium), SS304 and Custom (which you can set to whatever you like , say SS316 for example).
The next option (also only in joule mode) is the compensate temperature.
Previously you had to lock in the resistance and the device assumed the coil was at 20 Celsius. I never suffered a problem with this but I am sure if you live in Siberia or Australia (as extreme examples) that it could have caused some minor issues. The idea of this setting is to set it to your ‘room temperature’ and then you lock in the resistance as normal when the coil is cold. It is a handy addition for those that don’t have a ‘perfect’ 20 Celsius ‘room temperature’.
Here you can exit the menu system,
turn the device off,
turn the computer link on or off (you can leave it on all the time if you like),
and, set the display to left, right or auto orientation.
Here is where you select Power or Joule modes. Power is for watt output and no temperature control, Joule mode is for joule output with temperature control.
The device has a gravity sensor that you can use instead of the up and down buttons. If you prefer to just use the buttons you can turn the sensor off here.
There are a few more changes that the firmware upgrade added you can read how to upgrade here
As with the older SX Mini devices, the YiHi SX Mini ML Class has some preset power modes.
Eco, Soft, Standard, Powerful and Powerful+. These all do as they did on the old version, change how the power is output over time.
New to the ML Class is 5 new power modes, called SXi-Q 1 to 5. These are user definable power curves.
Changing these on the device would be a nightmare, so YiHi have released an application to do this with on your Windows PC.
This is the main menu of the SXi-Q app.
Once you have installed the driver, connected your device and connected to it within the app you can access the YiHi SX Mini ML Class from the program.
First option is the upgrade option. I had to do this as soon as I started and this is what the upgrade process looks like.
Next screen is the settings screen. Almost every feature and setting of the YiHi SX Mini ML can be changed here for each of the C configurations with a simple click of the mouse.
If navigating menus on a device is annoying to you then this will be your best friend for setting up your device for up to 5 set-ups at a time.
Next up there is the information screen. Here you can see your device version numbers and serial number.
The SXi-Q section is where you can define your 5 custom power curves. You have 20 points on a curve that you can move up and down to ‘build’ a curve of how you would like the YiHi SX Mini ML to output the power.
These work in the same way as the Eco, Soft, Standard etc. curves but you can define them to whatever you want.
Lastly on the app is the logo changer. This is currently unavailable as YiHi finish off the software to make it the best they can for you.
You can expect an update to enable this feature in early January, but until then I will tell you it will let you change the power up logos on your device.
So, well done, you made it through all that information.
Now it is time for opinions …
First of all , the externals. I love the changes to the physical device, I think it looks and feels better.
The coating feels solid, thick and durable. The buttons are the same and as good as always.
They changed the battery cover and when I first saw it I was not a fan, it was tough to screw in. Since then they have changed the threading and the retail version works beautifully (as long as you don’t over tighten it, I can open and close mine with my thumb).
The ‘SX Mini’ cut-out in the back adds grip for those of us that get sweaty hands. The profile changes make the device smoother and more comfortable to hold.
The overall size is the same at 94 x42 x 25mm
The weight is the same at 220grams.
The suggested retail price is $199/€199/£159 , it is a little early to tell what the ‘street price’ will be.
The feature upgrades to the device are great, added with the same simplicity as SX owners are used to.
The additional computer app making the existing and new features even easier to access and use.
The big change the the YiHi SX Mini ML Class is the technology. You will have to forgive me if I get a bit nerdy here.
They have changed the device from a 12 bit DAC, that samples the resistance approx. 4000 times a second, to a 16 bit DAC that tests the resistance over 65,000 times a second.
So what does this mean to you? Well it basically makes the device 16 times more accurate. Resistance readings are taken with 0.0001 ohm accuracy.
Previous devices have done a good job with nickel, an adequate job with titanium and have been unimpressive with stainless steel builds.
The YiHi SX Mini ML Class does a far better job of regulating all of these wire types.
Above is a picture of the dry cotton test from a build I did with stainless steel. The build was 4 turns of 24AWG (0.50mm diameter) V4A (316) stainless steel giving it a 0.2310 ohm resistance, set to 200 degrees Celsius with 25 joule output and a TCR of 0.00100 on the SX Mini ML Class. It was dry ‘burnt’ for a full 15 seconds.
Whilst there is still some little scorching this could either be due to an improper TCR setting, impurities on the wire or cotton burning off or irregularities in the wire itself.
Nickel and titanium coils were, as expected, spotless and unmarked when dry tested. Full marks there.
Not only does this improved accuracy keep your temperature spot on but it makes batteries last longer (due to less wasted power), coils last longer (because they don’t get too hot they stay cleaner longer), vapour taste better (because it is not over heated) and makes stainless steel actually viable as a resistance wire.
All in all the amazing YiHi SX Mini ML Class is a fantastic device that I would call the temperature control ‘next generation’.