Camera storage - Drybox advice

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stormfoxy
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Camera storage - Drybox advice

Post by stormfoxy »

Hello I wonder if anybody can help me with a problem I've been having.

I live in UK and recently I made a simple drybox consisting of a plastic container with silica gel and dehumidifiers inside.

My problem is that even with multiple dehumidifiers and plenty of silica gel the humidity in the sealed box is upwards of 70%. I have no idea why.

In the past I'm simply stored my equipment in a wardrobe and never had any fungus issues but after realising that my houses humidity is so high I've srot of become obsessed with storing down properly.

Does anybody else use a drybox and if they do am I doing something wrong?

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Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

I don't know how you are caring for your dessicant, but if your house is humid, you have to constantly renew the dessicant. Your "dry box" is not hermetic and lets humidity enter easily.

Troels
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Post by Troels »

Also remember: If you close the box in a warm room and then stores it in a cooler room, the relative humidity will rise as an effect of the temperature change.

That is why good ventilation is sometimes better than a closed container.
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Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

In tropical countries we usually build dry boxes that are not tightly sealed and do not contain dessicant, but we heat them with a low-wattage incandescent bulb. This keeps the RH low and that is what you need in order to prevent fungus.

stormfoxy
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Post by stormfoxy »

Lou Jost wrote:I don't know how you are caring for your dessicant, but if your house is humid, you have to constantly renew the dessicant. Your "dry box" is not hermetic and lets humidity enter easily.
So how would I make it hermatic exactly? Do I need a better box?

I don't live in a tropical country so I've never used a dry box before, I can't wrap my head around how the humidity could be higher in the closed box than in the room.

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

It's the relative humidity that matters for fungi and mold. Cold air holds less water than warm air. If you put warm moist air in a closed container, and the temperature drops, the relative humidity goes up and could even reach 100%, causing condensation, because the cold air can't hold as much water as hot air.

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

If you choose the hermetic route, you generally need something that really seals air-tight, preferably with a rubber seal. Pelican cases work, though you need to make sure the pressure equalization hole is closed.

NikonUser
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Post by NikonUser »

It may be more efficient to dehumidify an entire room.
I use a 60 Litre/day Danby dehumidifier which keeps my large basement at 40% even in the most humid weather (have to keep door and windows closed). My cameras, microscopes and bug collection in the same room.
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ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Think "airing cupboard".
With combi boilers, fewer houses in the UK have them.
Homebrew suppliers have low powered heating plates, and lizard-house heating pads start from just a few watts.
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stormfoxy
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Post by stormfoxy »

ChrisR wrote:Think "airing cupboard".
With combi boilers, fewer houses in the UK have them.
Homebrew suppliers have low powered heating plates, and lizard-house heating pads start from just a few watts.
wouldnt a airing cupboard be high humidity?

I think I'm just going to get a more airtight box and see if that helps, the percentage as dropped to 64% now however it is unusually hot right now so maybe once the temperature drops I won't have an issue.

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Post by ChrisR »

No, the airing cuboard (traditionally housing a hot water storage cylinder providing heat) has warm air which holds more vapour in the air, so moisture comes out of your towels and cameras, into the air, and is carried away.
So, a cardboard box wouldn't come out soggy, it would be dry.
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stormfoxy
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Post by stormfoxy »

ChrisR wrote:No, the airing cuboard (traditionally housing a hot water storage cylinder providing heat) has warm air which holds more vapour in the air, so moisture comes out of your towels and cameras, into the air, and is carried away.
So, a cardboard box wouldn't come out soggy, it would be dry.
Oh right.
So maybe if I stuck my gear in a cabinet and put a couple of low watt bulbs in there they may have the same effect?

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

That's the "dry box" I described above. It is the standard solution in humid countries.

stormfoxy
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Post by stormfoxy »

Lou Jost wrote:That's the "dry box" I described above. It is the standard solution in humid countries.
Thats what I'll probably do then if the box doesnt work out too well.

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

If you go on the sealed-box route, make sure you use indicator dessicant that changes color when full of water. Most people don't realize how fast dessicant becomes saturated.

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