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July 2015, more than a year ago, I was testing with a certain suspicion the Pipeline Pro 2 that I rated with a very rare 5/5, to my own surprise. I was in fact surprised of my very good evaluation of tubular mod since I was used to box mods.

The Pipeline Pro saga

Anyone who is interested in our domain knows and goes with his comment, particularly with regard to its limited power. More justified are comments about its elevated price for a tubular mod.

This evolution of the Pipeline Pro arrives on a market dominated by box mods sometimes with unjustified very high power except to exhibit the biggest value ever. What is also new on the market is the overall price increase. It is not uncommon to see that the €150-200 limit is reached and sometimes passed. I have tested devices for which I was really wondering where the €200 were invested. Neither in the manufacturing quality, nor in their longevity. The unique tubular mod that stands along with boxes that I am using regularly is the Pipeline Pro 2, finally. I gave up with the Provari P3 because of its size.

If you add an efficient temperature control and reasonable dimension for a 18650, you have the recipe that made the success of its predecessor and that will probably work again with the Pro 3. Its design is very close from previous models but why changing a successful formula is the device is still performant?

Comparable to its predecessors

 

My first feeling is that it is 95% comparable to its predecessors, Pro 2 and Pro 2+.

I have in my hands this German tube that for me is the highest range of electronic mods, worldwide. Its finish is of a very high quality and, at this level, the Pipeline has to date no serious competitor.

Pro 3 surprised me because of its usability and its compactness for such a tube. Later, I have been disappointed by its packaging that does not reflect the high quality of the product. My deception increased when I realized that no user manual was provided, even not a summary to start using it. Is it too expensive to provide a scheme showing the different options?

 

I abhorred electronic mods with a unique switch for navigating in menu until I first tested the Provari P3 then the Pro 2 and I discovered their alchemy. I admit that it is much less intuitive than classic presentations. Nevertheless, I concede that the main advantage is longevity. The robustness of this design is total, even when I inadvertently dropped it in water for a couple of seconds.

The preliminary check of my Pro 3 does not reveal anything extraordinary new. I am just amazed by its compactness and its very good manufacturing quality. To me, it remains at the top quality level of what is available on the global market, end of 2016.

Intrinsic qualities and a top-notch chipset

 

Let’s first address the power of the device. Sixty watts is the maximum value delivered by the Pro 3. Laughable? I don’t think so because this power is coherent with what I expect when I am using it. The only limitation of this value is when used in temperature control mode where, sometimes, more power is needed.

Except for the temperature control mode, the 60 W were far enough, even with the resistance coils of about 0.5 Ω that become the norm on the market. I am currently vaping with a Taifun GT III and a 0.75 Ω resistance coil at a power between 13 W. I am generally exploiting the boost (setting 2) or the power modes. I never noticed overheating with my Pro 3.

The Pro 3 will inform you about the voltage of your battery in an open circuit (rest voltage) and in a close circuit (voltage on load) with the resistance coil in place. A large different between the two values indicates that you should check the connections or think about replacing the battery.

 

The Pro 3 slightly gained in size compared to the Pro 2. Not in the diameter that remains exactly the same, but in length. It possesses, like the Pro 2 +, a connector mounted on spring that will adapt to any type of atomizer. I have severely criticized the Pro 2 when the Pro 2+ was released because this connector was missing.

A “premium” mod

 

The materials used in the Pipeline Pro 3 are more noble than for any other mods in store. External finish is perfect, especially with screw threads.

The Fire switch is made of steel and is not backlit but embossed on this Pro 3. And this presents two advantages: operating the device in darkness is made easy and the protrusion prevents rolling on a flat surface.

Aesthetically, it remains very classic with an unparalleled compactness among electronic mods. The upgrade is not obvious but it keeps its unchallenged supremacy regarding the manufacturing quality.

Technical review

The main features of the Pipeline Pro 3 are:

  • Power: 5 W – 60 W
  • Connector pin mounted on spring
  • Max output voltage: 12 V
  • Max output current: 20 A (15 A on the Pro 2)
  • OLED  screen
    • resistance, impedance, remaining charge, power and voltage
  • Temperature control mode (different resistive wires)
    • Manual or automatic calibration procedure
    • Calibrage manuel ou automatique
    • Adjustable temperature coefficient of resistance
  • Heat protection mode
  • Power Boost mode
  • Bypass Mode (not regulated but surge-protected)
  • Adjustable disconnection voltage (2.5 V – 3.0 V)
  • Detection of the resistance
  • Display of rest voltage and voltage on load
  • Adjustable Backlit display
  • Standby mode
  • Selection of the number of clics for activation (0-5)
  • Info menu
  • Resistance: 0.05 – 5 Ω
  • Resistance @60 W: 0.17 – 2.1 Ω
  • Polarity reversal protection
  • Overheating protection
  • Serial number (#0002 for the test)
  • 2-years warranty (electronic)
  • Design by Thomas Wilms
  • Made in Germany by Dicodes
  • Start Boost with 10 different levels (duration/intensity)
  • Metallic switch Fire (no backlit)
  • Menu navigation by successive clicks
  • Switch OFF function to disable switch action
  • threaded 510
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Diameter: 22 mm
  • Height: 106 mm (2 mm more than Pro 2)
  • Weight: 122 g
  • Battery: 18650
  • Design: polished metal
  • Bottom cap with spring connection
  • Step down technology delivering a lower power than the battery

Connexion pin adjustable, high precision temperature control mode

 

Screw threads are of very good quality and parts are assembled without jingling. The OLED screen displays all the information and the backlight can be adjusted. Of course, a left-handed mode can be selected if you pay attention to the online user manual. Select “Extend Funct” then reach “Display Dir” and wait for the letter to become L.

The menu is still not very intuitive, at start. After a short wait, the value appears on a white background and can be accessed. By clicking immediately you reach the next option in the loop. Take care not to change inadvertently a value that may become white because you waited too long. If it is the case, wait until the screen shuts down and start again with the manu “Extend Funct”.

The factory setting “Menu on click” activates the Menu with a short click while vaping is allowed with a long click. I recommend changing this value to 2, which will allow you to access the Menu with two short click instead of one. The advantage is that you do not risk to enter the menu when handling the device.

I don’t really like this type of navigation but I recognize also that I don’t often navigate through the Menu.

The chipset makes vaping exceptional and will demonstrate the difference between low range, mid range an high range products. With the Pro 3, vaping is comfortable, vapor is dense with an incomparable quality. Even if the vaping quality offered by the last Joyetech or Innokin products has raised, the Pipeline Pro 3 still remains at the top by offering an overall homogenous product in terms of quality for assembly, design and vaping.

Adjustable pin mounted on spring

The fixed pin was a flow on the Pro 2, quickly corrected on the Pro 2+ and kept on the Pro 3 with an adjustable positive ping mounted on spring to accept any type of atomizer. Maybe it is also the reason why the Pro 3 is 2 mm longer than the former model?

Unfriendly but complete menu

Without reading the user manual, navigating through the menu is impossible. Nevertheless, the user manual has the advantage of being short and clear, especially for the Temperature Control mode.

Insert the battery with caution and you can start vaping without being obliged to unlock it, which is very easy.

At start-up, you will get access to the Menu loop through which you can get access with a simple click. First click allows you to select the power (in Watt), a second click will set it down, a third click will show you the resistance, a fourth one the voltage. Finally, after 5 clicks you will be able to choose between the five modes: Power (VW), TmpCtrl (Temperature-Controlled vaping), PowerHP (VW with Heat Protection activated), PowerBO (VW with Power Boost activated), and Bypass (unregulated mode, electronic overload protection). A sixth click offers the possibility to disable the Fire and a seventh click gives you access to the extended functions, a magic world for geeks.

I really like the boost mode that increases the reactivity of vaping, especially if you are using a Clapton Coil.

Unexpectedly, the Extended Functions mode is the clearest but reveal some inconsistencies, especially in the Boost mode that is kept under the sub-menu Temperature. I am still confused because I consider it doesn’t address the use of temperature.

I won’t go through each option but I want to spend more time on the Temperature-Controlled vaping mode (“TmpCtrl”) that can be accessed through “Temp Menu”. The two other menus ate “system” and “info” that  give you access to any setting of the Pro 3 which is aptly named because of its professionalism.

Focus on the Temperature-Controlled vaping mode

 

The Pipeline Pro 3 proposes a control of the temperature of the coil that can be adjusted for any type of resistive wire, provided that you know the wire-temperature coefficient.

I gained knowledge with temperature control modes on the various devices I reviewed and I can tell you that this one is the most achieved one, ever. I was impressed by the very clear user manual that details each wire-temperature coefficients for the different types of resistive wires. I better understand the difference between Ni and Ti.

The calibration procedure is also well detailed with manufacturer’s recommendations.

 

The manufacturer recommends calibrating the device manually although it performs automatic calibrations. Default setting is 320 and refers to Dicodes proprietary Resistherm NiFe30. If you are using another type of wire, you can enter the “tempCof” setting option to adjust the value to your wire.

Then, mount the resistance coil in your atomizer and screw it on the Pro 3. Select “Temp ctr” to select your vaping temperature and start your calibration. “Calib Init” indicates you entered the calibration procedure. You will have to confirm by clicking at each step: “Init”, “confirm” and “Process” and you’re done.

 

Remember that calibration must be made at room temperature (ideally 20°C) and that it needs to be done each time you replace your coil, even if it is made of the same alloy. There is not indication which temperature to choose for vaping in the user manual. With a Ni wire, I am vaping around 250°C to get dense clouds and a great taste.

The remaining charge of the battery is given with the battery icon, not very accurate, and the Voltage. Another important information in the voltage under load that can be accessed through the menu. Something that is not detailed in the user manual is that the menu starts where you stopped it, during the last visit.

 

In summary

The “+”:

  • Deserved brand image
  • Adjustable center pin
  • Temperature control mode
  • Compactness of a 18650 tube
  • High rank chipset for an exceptional vaping experience
  • Simple and elegant design
  • Embossed Fire
  • Reasonable Juice consumption
  • Adjustable battery shutdown voltage
  • Flawless design
  • Readable OLED display
  • Left-handed Mode
  • High performance and security
  • Contained weight
  • Discreet Logo

The “-“:

  • Only few innovation compared to previous models
  • No user manual included, only accessible online
  • Finish a bit too smooth for a the grip
  • Menu access and settings with a single switch
  • Menu not intuitive at start-up
  • Small vertical screen
  • Price

Conclusions

Rating of 5/5. Even if the Pipeline rests on its laurels and does not disrupt the actual trend, Pro 3 is a long term investment. Those who did not find the equipment they need will get a chance to finally find it with the Pipeline Pro 3 that provides security and serenity. Pipeline Pro is, with my Provari P3, the only mod that remains the same despite intensive use. At this price, high but fully justifiable, the European brand is still ahead of Chinese and US brands in this domain. I will certain get comments regarding the absence of innovation but who may complain to have a winning combination?