Vaping Blog

Zen, House of Hybrids, ZNA30 Clones, etc

When I hit the vaping scene, there were a few devices that I really wanted to get my hands on. They are the House of Hybrids ZNA, The Vapor Shark DNA, and a Hana Modz DNA 30 box. Well, I have a clone of the Hana Modz and I am quite happy with it. I still haven’t got my hands on the other two, but I did hold the ZNA for the 1st time yesterday. I also got to hold the clone of it as well. I have quite the interesting story to share here today about that experience.

ZNA with an 18650 Tube. Photo credit

What is the ZNA?

The House of Hybrids ZNA is a sexy looking device that uses the EVOLV DNA30, the same chip that’s used in the Hana Modz. The ZNA uses 18490 and 18650 tubes. The base model comes with an 18490 tube and is quite small in size but you can purchase additional tubes for it.  You can read more about the ZNA here.

The Vape-a-Palooza Story

On Friday, August 15th, I jumped in my car at 9:15 AM to head to Atlanta, Georgia for Vape-a-Palooza 2014. It was going to be about a 4 hour drive so I loaded up some podcast content for the drive. I listened to Smoke Free Radio, a show by Dimitris Agrafiotis (VapinGreek). I highly recommend any B&M shop owner to listen to this episode.

Around the 50 minute mark in the podcast, Dimitris reads portions of a statement from the creator of the ZNA, Zen. The statements came from a post on House of Hybrids. Dimitris sets up his comments admitting that he’s had some disagreements with Zen about the ZNA in the past, but he goes on to praise him for the statements regarding the ZNA clone that was recently released. He mentions that he was impressed with Zen’s warning that the clone will not come with the same safety features that come with an authentic EVOLV DNA 30 chip and mentions that Hana Modz could have learned from the way this cloning is being handled.

I normally do not quote entire posts from other’s writing, but the entire statement is too good not to share. I hope Zen doesn’t mind.

So the Chi-NA clone is finally in the states, at least a sample of one has landed. I am very pleased they used Z2 threading and they maintained the same tube length. It is as close to a 1-1 clone as they can probably manage at the price point.

IF they are using the “dna clone” board that is in the CHANA it is important that people who are considering this purchase understand that the device will have NO battery condition monitoring or any of the safety features associated with the battery monitoring circuit. It does have a battery level meter… this is not the same thing as condition monitoring.

I am looking forward to the many number of people that will now get to experience the Z2 system at china prices. People entering the system from this direction will be able to add accessories from the existing Z2 lineup to personalize their Chi-NA, and if they decide to continue on and purchase an Authentic ZNA, the purchase of the accessories will not be a wasted effort. They will slide right onto the real device.

I will be contacting the manufacturer to see what we can do about getting access to these for certification as a factory authorized edition.

We live in a global economy. We have to embrace change. For those of you that feel they have stolen my design, it is true… they have… but the important thing about being in this industry is that devices like this save lives by helping people free themselves of their dependency on cigarettes and combustible tobacco.

If you are concerned about the effect this will have on my business and the livelihoods of my employees, please encourage the purchasers of the Chi-NA to accessorize with genuine ZenKote parts. I do ask that you NOT alienate people that make the choice to own a Chi-NA.

It took them 8 months to knock this one off… that’s a long time in this industry, but we all knew it would happen. I am not going to file lawsuits against the resellers as others have done. I am not going to threaten the manufacturer in any way. If the American public wants to buy a knock-off of my design then they are going to buy it, no matter what I do. This is the world we live in, and I intend to embrace change.

When I heard Dimitris comments, I went onto Facebook and asked him for a link to those comments. I wasn’t sure where they were posted and wanted to write about this. What I didn’t expect is what happened next.

I arrived at Vape-a-Palooza and a couple of hours in, I ended up at a booth with business cards that is also a sticker with The ZFO on the front. The O has the word ZEN inside of it. I started talking to one of the guys and asked what they were. He went on to explain that he was a store that sells ZNA devices. He told me he was the owner of this shop and that the creator of the ZNA that they sell was standing next to me. I turned to see Zen (Mike). I had seen him in interviews only and didn’t even notice him until he was pointed out to me. I was super excited to meet the man who created one the devices on my bucket list.

zen1 zen2

This was so crazy, not only because I admire his work, but because I had just listened to Dimitris talking about his comments. I told Zen about the podcast and he had not heard the comments yet.

Zen asked me if I wanted to see the clone. I was taken back that he even had one in his possession. He showed me all the difference in clone, he showed me how his authentic products and accessories fit the clone. It was pretty amazing and who better to show the differences in the devices than the creator himself. The biggest differences were the firing button and some of the machining. There were some short cuts in machining that were mostly ascetic differences. The firing button on the authentic has a click feel, but the clone didn’t. The clone he had wasn’t operational unfortunately, which doesn’t bode well for the company, but it does look very close to a 1:1 version. I asked him if he was impressed with the clone, and he said, “Very”.

Authentic on the left, Clone on the right.
Authentic on the left, Clone on the right.

It was quite refreshing to hear him talk so openly about a clone of his product. I was very impressed with him altogether. He was definitely the coolest dude in the room that day. I was looking forward to buying the clone ever since I posted about it a while back.  Now that I have had this experience, I am leaning towards buying the authentic now. I almost did so yesterday, but the wife said no, for now.

Press photo of the clone from Wotofo
Press photo of the clone from Wotofo

I am not 100% sure of the manufacturer of the clone he had in his possession, but I think it’s the same as the one I posted about earlier, Wotofo.