Rig Mod & Hotcig RSQ Squonk Box Mod
Hotcig has teamed up with Rig Mod to create the RSQ regulated squonk box. However, this is more than just a random collaboration, in fact, on paper, it seems like the perfect marriage.
With Rig Mod playing a part in build quality and design, you know it is going to be a solid device. Then the inclusion of Hotcig’s waterproof (yes waterproof) ‘HM’ chip means the performance should be on point.
So…it’s just another single 18650 regulated squonk box, you might say?
But trust me, it’s far far more than that.
Tiny compact, sleek design, with an excellent performing board.
Squonk bottle isn’t the best, and the magnets on the battery panel could be better.
The Bottom Line
An exceptional performing regulated squonk mod, that is not only well built but incredibly pocket-friendly. Probably the best single 18650 regulated squonker on the market.
Having used several single battery mechanical squonk boxes, I was expecting the Hotcig RSQ to be a much larger and heavier affair, due to it having a full regulated board.
While the latter part is true as it weighs in at 270g, (compared to the Vandy Vape Pulse’s plastic 170g). However, unbelievably the size of this thing is mind-bogglingly small. It’s 79mm by 48mm by 25mm diminutive frame is actually only a shade taller but on the whole smaller than the Pulse. What??
Even more impressive is how the RSQ can fit up to a 25mm atomizer, but still looks so dinky. This is due to its design that curves out in the center. Which also leads to it being comfortable to hold, so instead of being just an awkward square box….it’s a slightly less awkward, slightly box.
The 510 plate is solid, spring loaded and held in place with two screws; it’s also set back a little from the front of the device, so it sits at the widest part allowing for 25mm atomizers without the whole mod having to be that width – a nice design choice.
The RSQ is constructed from Zinc alloy which gives it a weighty premium feel, but due to its form factor, it doesn’t feel too heavy.
The paintwork is excellent; it’s nice and smooth in the hand, and I’ve not noticed any chips or scratches through constant use.
The internals of the RSQ squonk mod are clean and uncluttered if a little snug. There are battery orientation markings and a little lip on the bottom section, so you can easily remove the battery and squonk bottle (more on the squonk bottle later).
Externally, on one side of the mod, you have a raised ‘RSQ’ logo and a micro USB port for charging and upgrading. I think the logo looks stylish and actually helps with the grip.
On the flip side is the removable battery panel which has a smooth carbon fiber sticker on it, not the best quality but still looks and feels fine. This panel also has an engraved Hotcig logo, which again is neat, tidy and not too obtrusive. It also contains a smooth curved cutout to access the squonk bottle.
All good so far.
Well, not quite. The removable battery panel is one tiny negative on an otherwise stellar designed squonk mod. The panel has two small magnets, which just seem to be glued to the door, and not glued very well I might add.
Now the horizontal magnet connects to a solid section inside of the mod, but the vertical one attaches to the battery. It’s this one that causes a little bit of play in the door when using the device. However, it only occurs when I’m using particular batteries which have thicker wraps on them. It’s not a massive amount of play, and I’m being a little nit-picky, but it’s worth mentioning.
I think they could’ve come up with a better-designed panel, or at least better magnets. Who knows maybe Hotcig will release aftermarket panels as they have with other devices.
Another subjective negative is the Rig Mod logo on the rear of the squonk mod. It’s not that I dislike the logo, it’s just that a white printed logo on an otherwise clean sleek device looks out of place. That being said, after using it for several weeks it seems to have faded due to oils coming from my sweaty palms…..yes I have sweaty palms.
I absolutely detest pointless LED lights on box mods, and I really wasn’t a fan of seeing the inclusion of them on the RSQ.
Still, I was glad that Hotcig gives you the option to switch them off (and they remain off even when you switch batteries on the latest firmware).
But why anybody would want their squonk bottle glowing in Red, Green or Blue was beyond me.
That was until one night having a vape outside a bar; I couldn’t see how much juice I had remaining in my squonk bottle. A quick fiddle on the menu and hey presto, a glowing blue light on the bottle making it perfect to see.
So I apologize Hotcig, it’s actually quite a handy thing to have included. It’s grown on me enough now that I just leave the LED on and it doesn’t seem to affect battery life either.
Features & Operation
The real selling point of the Hotcig RSQ regulated Squonk Mod is the HM chipset, which is not only liquid-proof but also a full-fledged advanced board, capable of 80 watts, full temperature control, power and bypass modes, and is also firmware upgradable.
Operating the RSQ Mod is simple enough, with your typical vape Mod controls – long/short presses of the fire key, and up and down buttons – all paired with a simple monochrome display. It’s nothing experienced vapers won’t figure out quickly, and nothing new vapers will struggle with (especially with the detailed manual included).
Hotcig does provide options to further tweak the device with external software, which resembles Evolv’s Escribe although it looks a little in its infancy in comparison. The software seems to be the only way you can set TCR values for temp control mode, but that’s not a big issue as all the standard materials are still accessible in the Temp Control settings of the mod.
I’m don’t think most will actually need to go near using the software, the only reason I did was to change the start-up logo….which is fun, but geeky and unnecessary.
I should also mention that the screen and buttons on the front of the mod are in keeping with the sleek look of the rest of the squonker. The simple button and fire key setup are well-implemented, and all buttons have a nice throw and clickiness to them. Especially the fire button, it’s nice not to have a crunchy mechanical squonk mod fire button.
Squonk Bottle & Squonking
The Hotcig RSQ squonk mod comes with two squonk bottles, one silicon, and one plastic.
That should have most people covered whether you prefer a harder plastic or softer silicon. Personally, I prefer the silicon, and it has just the right amount of firmness to it and is pleasant to use.
The not so pleasant part of the squonk bottles is the incredibly cheap looking and feeling top cap of the bottle. The threading really is sub-par, and it’s a bit of a pain to fiddle around with and screw back on without accidentally forcing juice out the tube.
Thankfully for me, I usually use a handy squonk refill bottle from modmaker.co.uk, so I don’t have to keep taking the squonk bottle out of the device – otherwise, I’m not sure how well it will hold up.
I’ve also tried a 7ml Modmaker squonk bottle instead of the included one, which also fits just fine.
So although the squonk bottles are not the best quality…..it’s not the be all and end all.
The Hotcig RSQ is a regulated squonk mod with all the battery protection you’d expect.
One of the main reasons vapers might gravitate towards a regulated squonker over a mechanical one is for safety.
You don’t need to be as clued up on Ohms law (although it’s still advisable to know your stuff). You don’t have to worry whether the battery you are using can handle the amps your coil requires.
A regulated mod just takes all the guesswork out of the equation, and the Hotcig RSQ is the perfect squonk mod for the safety conscious and new vapers.
Rig Mod – Hotcig RSQ Regulated Squonk Mod Specs:
- Dimensions: 79mm x 48mm x 25mm
- Requires 1x 18650 sized battery (not included)
- Powered by the HM chip
- Output wattage range: 1.0-80.0 watts
- Temperature control range: 200°F – 600°F
- Temperature control supports the following wire types:
- Ni200 Nickel, Titanium, Stainless steel 303, 304, 316 with adjustable initial resistance and adjustable TCR
- Bypass firing Mode
- 0.91″ OLED display
- Dual adjustment buttons and an oversized firing button
- Magnetic battery door
- Spring loaded internal contacts
- Micro USB port for firmware updates but can support 1.0 amp charging
- 7mL Squonk bottle which resides next to an LED light which can be red, blue, green, and “cycle” Mode
- Stainless steel threading 510 bottom feeding contact
Rig Mod – Hotcig RSQ Regulated Squonk Mod Contents:
- 1x RSQ Bottom Feed Mod by Rig Mod
- 1x Silicone bottle
- 2x Plastic bottle
- 1x Micro-USB cable
- 1x User manual
Colors Available: Black, Silver Blue, Red
This is where the HM chip in the Hotcig RSQ really brings it home.
The RSQ squonk mod has a fast ramp-up time, accurate temperature control, and smooth filling when squonked – overall it’s one of the most positive experiences I’ve had with a squonk mod.
Since squonkers are fairly straightforward devices, I wasn’t expecting to be this impressed. But the ability to have rapid ramp-up time on any resistance build, smooth Temp Control and the peace of mind of battery safety, are all major bonuses that the RSQ handles with such ease.
I’ve tried an untold amount of builds on the Hotcig RSQ using anything from the Wasp Nano RDA with a small single coil build to the Digiflavor Drop with big beefy dual Claptons.
The RSQ impressed me irrelevant of the build I was using; it always fires quickly and smoothly.
I don’t tend to vape at 70-80 watts, but when I did push it up that far, it felt like it was managing to put out the right power. But a single 18650 isn’t really the right device to be pushing 80W out all day unless you want to rip through batteries, and although it’s capable of it – that’s not what this device is intended for.
This was the biggest surprise on the performance front for me.
I’m a fan of Temp Control, and I think it makes sense having TC on a squonk mod. If you forget to squonk and run out of juice – no worries, no burnt wick.
I couldn’t believe how smooth the TC mode was on the standard Stainless Steel setting. I’m used to using DNA boards, and the only other chips I’ve tried that come close are the Gene chip (VooPoo) and the chip inside the Modefined Sirius – but they are not squonkers.
Now I’m not saying the HM chip is as good as a DNA or even a Gene chip. But it is a super smooth experience, and I had no complaints whatsoever.
You also have the ability to adjust the resistance on the mod, if you think it reads it wrong, or if you want to tinker with the experience a little. Not something I had to do, but good to know it’s an option.
This device alone got me back in love with using TC mode. I can’t think of any other regulated squonk mod that’s this compact, this affordable, and can perform this good in Temp Control.
Obviously being a single 18650 mod battery life is never going to be the greatest.
It’s always going to be dependant on the build you are using, the power you want to put out and the mAh of the battery.
On a lower ohm build (0.15) the RSQ was nothing special and did drain quite quickly with a standard Sony VTC5A.
But I prefer to vape at around 0.3-0.4 Ohms with a single coil. Which is not something you can easily do on a single battery mech squonker without horrendous ramp-up time and the correct battery.
This is where the Hotcig RSQ is at it’s best, using a Sony VTC6A (3000mah) on a 0.4ohm build, I was getting the perfect vape with no ramp-up time, and the battery was lasting me nearly all day.
And that’s the thing; I’m not sure this squonk mod is for everyone. Of course, if you like low ohms, lots of power and big clouds – a single 18650 regulated squonk mod is not the right device for you. There are now plenty of dual 18650 options on the market.
But if like me you prefer to vape at slightly higher ohms on a single coil and you want a portable, compact regulated squonker. Then the RSQ is going to give you good battery life, along with the perfect performance.
- Excellent design
- Solid build quality
- Incredibly compact for a regulated squonk mod
- Great performance in both Power & TC modes
- 2 x 7ml capacity squonk bottles
- Fits up to 25mm BF RDAs
- Squonks really well
- Battery panel and magnets not the greatest
- Crappy top cap for squonk bottles
- Rig Mod logo (subjective)
I’m not sure what I was expecting when I got this device for review, was it just going to be another regulated squonk mod, rushed out to market, that will probably fade into the vaping ether within the next few months.
I couldn’t be more wrong; in fact, this might go down as one of the unsung heroes in the rapidly increasing squonk category.
While it does have it’s minor quirks; like suspicious magnets and not the best squonk bottle. It is an excellent device for the right type of vaper.
It might just be that it’s a niche type of vaper that the Hotcig RSQ appeals to.
So, if you’re someone looking for a new squonk mod that’s; a new vaper, or safety conscious, or a temp control fan, or prefer higher ohm builds, or just want a well-built compact 18650 regulated squonker that performs flawlessly – then this the perfect choice.
In fact, that actually covers quite a few vapers – including me!
And I know I’m keeping my RSQ as my daily squonker. So forget what I just said and go out and buy the Hotcig RSQ….you won’t be disappointed.