Playing off the popularity of the Puffco Peak vaporizer, the Focus V Carta instantly intrigued dabbing connoisseurs as a new option for ultra-convenient cannabinoid consumption with many new and curious features compared to its best-selling competitor.
Users of the Focus V Carta love its lower price point, its wide array of intuitive features, its ease of use, and of course its mobility. No more flames, no more cords, no more timers, no more guessing – just darn near perfect dabs darn near every time no matter where you are.
Once you start dabbing exclusively on an electronic vaporizer like the Carta, you’ll probably wonder how you ever spent so much time and effort with cans of butane and crème brûlée torches. But no matter how convenient technology makes some of our favorite traditions, one thing remains constant, you’ve got to keep your gear clean if you expect it to work properly.
CLEANING YOUR CARTA SHOULD FEEL FAMILIAR
The popularization of the domeless quartz nail, the quartz banger specifically, can be chalked up to two main factors – flavor & aesthetic. Properly heated quartz delivers a much truer terp profile than the titanium options that once ruled the culture and the clear curves of a well-crafted quartz bucket, banger, nail, or trough just look so cool on both scientific glass and heady glass dab rigs… but only if that quartz is clean!
So, if you want your Focus V Carta to not only look as good as the day you bought it, but function that good as well, it is important that you be just as meticulous with how well you clean and maintain it as you would be with any other prized possession.
The Carta comes with an owner’s manual, but that documentation does not really give any useful advice on what the best practices are when cleaning or maintaining the device. It comes with a few alcohol soaked towelettes but no instruction as far as how or when to use them. Your buds here at The Dab Lab have some key tips for both cleaning and maintaining your Focus V Carta to ensure that you get the optimal flavor and effects from every heating cycle.
If you are familiar with the standard procedure for dabbing on a quartz banger these days, you are likely well-versed in “Q-Tip Tech” but if not, it’s pretty basic and it happens to be the best way to keep your Carta bucket clean and clear as well.
Regardless of the temperature setting you use your Carta at, there is almost always going to be some residual oil remaining in the bucket after the heating cycle is complete. If that residual oil is allowed to cool, and compound on itself, you get a charred, or “chazzed’, appearance which not only looks bad, but can affect flavor and function as well. So before the bucket cools, and while and residual oil is still liquified, use a cotton swab like the Crud Bud soaked in isopropyl alcohol to quickly and easily mop up the mess and leave a nice clean surface for the next dab.
By performing this seemingly mundane task after literally every dab, you will greatly reduce the need for deeper cleaning or maintenance but if you use your Carta often, that deeper cleaning will be inevitable eventually.
*** ALERT *** DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE CARTA BUCKET FROM THE ATOMIZER AFTER THEY HAVE BOTH COMPLETELY COOLED DOWN!
Residual oil often finds its way out of the bucket and can form a tight seal between the bucket and the ceramic plate of the atomizer once it cools and dries. If you need to remove the bucket for deeper cleaning, do so gently with tweezers like these handy Quartz Tech Reverse Tweezers while both bucket and atomizer are still warm.
The bucket can be soaked in iso alcohol much like you’d do with a pipe, bowl, slide, or downstem. Salt can be added for gentle abrasion to remove stubborn stains or accumulation. Be sure to let it dry thoroughly (a fresh, dry, cotton swab works well to expedite this). The last thing you want is for your next dab to be spoiled by that harsh flavor.
The glass mouthpiece attachment that comes with the Carta, or any custom glass attachment like the ones we offer here at The Dab Lab, are also cleaned like the rest of your functional glass collection – iso, salt, and hot water. Use your trusty cotton swab to clear the port hole near the bottom of the glass attachment.
The connection port where the glass attachment meets the Carta unit itself can be gently cleaned using a cotton swab lightly soaked in iso, then wiped clear with a paper towel. Try to avoid getting too much iso on or near the base of your Carta unit, it can react badly with some of the composite components.
FAULTY ATOMIZER - REPLACE OR REPAIR?
The atomizer is not really designed to be cleaned, but rather replaced. If you are relatively handy, however, you may be able to repair yours.
You will notice a gradual buildup of residual oil – or “reclaim” – on the bottom of your atomizer and in the port that it threads into. The gold colored connections on the atomizer and in the port are crucial for the operation of the Carta unit but introducing moisture like iso alcohol to these parts can often render them busted.
Here at The Dab Lab we offer replacement atomizers (always a good idea to have on hand) as well as atomizer repair kits that will get your Focus V Carta unit functioning again for a fraction of the price.
The process is pretty easy really and involves a simple prying off of a small copper cap on the bottom stem of the atomizer. That will reveal a rubber stopper that is easily removed with a pair of pliers or tweezers. With those removed you will find the wired heating element that you will be repairing. You will use your tweezer tool to remove the wired flat disc recessed down inside the atomizer. Yank that sucker out! Youwill replace it with a brand new one from your repair kit.
Reassemble in reverse order taking care to ensure that the longer of the two wires slides through the tube of the copper pin while the shorter of the two wires rides along the groove found on the edge of the copper pin. With both in place, use your clipper tool to snip the long wire flush/even with the end of the atomizer, reset the copper plug in place and BAM! you’re back in action!
This entire process can be done in less than 5 minutes once you have done it once or twice. The sudden and always inopportune need to repair or replace an atomizer can be frustrating, but with some gentle routine maintenance you can greatly reduce the risk of failure and keep your Carta running reliably.