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MopMan
09-27-2018, 06:00 PM
Howdy ukers -- does anybody regularly use a hygrometer in their instrument cases? I have been doing a little thinking and shopping around online and I was wondering if anyone has advice on how to effectively measure humidity inside a ukulele case.

I managed to survive last winter with all ukukleles intact using Oasis soundhole humidifiers and no hygrometer for measurement. I have acquired a few nicer instruments since then and I'd like to actually measure the effectiveness of this solution if I can.

I have a two main questions:

Which hygrometer should I buy?
I have read some recommendations for the Caliber IV digital hygrometer, but I've also read that it is cheaply made, unreliable, and only calibrates within a narrow range. Other digital hygrometers only seem to get even poorer reviews.

I am leaning toward an old school analog model, as those are very simple in design with few opportunities for failure. However, those tend to be a little bulkier thickness-wise, which leads to my next question:

How does one effectively use a hygrometer inside a ukulele case?
Putting it up into the headstock area or in the accessory compartment, where an inch-thick hygrometer will easily fit, seems like it might make useful readings difficult to obtain. The area I am most concerned with measuring humidity is around the soundboard, where my humidifier is hanging inside the resonating chamber. There are physical barriers in the case between the headstock area and the soundboard that might impede the flow of air between the hygrometer and the humidifier, which is why I am concerned about measurement accuracy with a hygrometer mounted up near the headstock.


So am I totally off base with my thinking on this? Is there a simple solution I am missing? Any experiences you can share will be appreciated. Thanks!

PereBourik
09-27-2018, 06:33 PM
I use an Oasis electronic hygrometer. It tracks well with my household hygrometer when tested. I keep it in the case where there's a space near the neck and upper bout. I use an Oasis soundhole humidifier. I don't worry about it too much.

hollisdwyer
09-27-2018, 06:41 PM
I use the Oasis sound hole humidifiers and the Oasis hydrometers in every instrument case. Those hydrometers keep a historic record of highs and lows. Note though that any relatively inexpensive hydrometer is not a scientific instrument and therefore expect a deviation from actual. After a year or two I have just performed a calibration exercise on my Oasis Hydrometers. Of the 3 that I just calibrated using the Boveda Hydrometer Calibration kit one was spot on, one read -2% and one read +2% from actual. I consider that within an acceptable standard deviation.

Jerryc41
09-28-2018, 01:04 AM
I have too many ukes to buy a hygrometer for every case, but the reviews I've seen were not good. Why get an instrument that isn't accurate? Hopefully, someone will know of an accurate, reliable model that costs less than a ukulele.

Jerryc41
09-28-2018, 01:05 AM
I use the Oasis sound hole humidifiers and the Oasis hydrometers in every instrument case.

Thanks! That's two votes for the Oasis.

PereBourik
09-28-2018, 04:25 AM
Or skip the electronics and use D'Addario Planet Waves Humidipaks. They maintain a constant humidity, absorbing moisture if too humid, and giving off moisture if too dry. Replace them when they get dry out and get hard. They can be restored by putting them back in their zip-lock package and adding water.

hollisdwyer
09-28-2018, 06:04 AM
Or skip the electronics and use D'Addario Planet Waves Humidipaks. They maintain a constant humidity, absorbing moisture if too humid, and giving off moisture if too dry. Replace them when they get dry out and get hard. They can be restored by putting them back in their zip-lock package and adding water.

What’s their life span and how much do they cost?

UkerDanno
09-28-2018, 06:30 AM
I'm in Arizona, where the huimidty is usually in single digits, I just keep my oasis filled with no problems for the last 5+ years that I've been using Oasis humidifiers.

Jerryc41
09-28-2018, 06:46 AM
What’s their life span and how much do they cost?

$29.95 with a 5-year warranty.
https://smile.amazon.com/Oasis-OH-2-Digital-Hygrometer-clip/dp/B0018A21QC?keywords=ukulele+hygrometer&qid=1538153141&sr=8-1&ref=sr_1_1

Snargle
09-28-2018, 10:21 AM
$29.95 with a 5-year warranty.
https://smile.amazon.com/Oasis-OH-2-Digital-Hygrometer-clip/dp/B0018A21QC?keywords=ukulele+hygrometer&qid=1538153141&sr=8-1&ref=sr_1_1

Or $12.99 for basically the same thing (probably made on the same Chinese assembly line with the same components)
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0140UC9XQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Jerryc41
09-29-2018, 01:31 AM
Or skip the electronics and use D'Addario Planet Waves Humidipaks. They maintain a constant humidity, absorbing moisture if too humid, and giving off moisture if too dry. Replace them when they get dry out and get hard. They can be restored by putting them back in their zip-lock package and adding water.

Yes! Definitely! I think I bought every type of humidifier made, and then I discovered the Humidipaks. It was taking me a long time every week to open all the cases and moisten the humidifiers. The Humidipaks are automatic. I had one start to get hard, and I put it in a ziplock bag with a damp sponge. That re-energized it.

The one drawback is they are made for guitars, so they are large. When you buy them, you get three. Two are hooked together like a saddlebag. They're for a guitar sound hole. I cut them apart, and that gives me three separate packs. One goes in the sound hole, one goes by the headstock, and one goes into another case. I bet they start making them for ukuleles, but I'll have to see what they charge for the smaller ones. Boveda makes them, too, so compare prices.

https://smile.amazon.com/s?k=d%27addario+humidifier+packs&crid=2S2CWHRMOVNU6&sprefix=D%27addario+humidifier%2Caps%2C140&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_20

MopMan
09-29-2018, 04:19 AM
As I stated in the OP above, I am already humidifying my ukuleles without measuring the humidity. I was looking to find experienced opinions on:

A) which hygrometers are good for measuring humidity inside a case
B) how to fit or mount them in a case effectively

Jerryc41
09-29-2018, 04:57 AM
Or $12.99 for basically the same thing (probably made on the same Chinese assembly line with the same components)
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0140UC9XQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It does look somewhat similar. :D

I just ordered one. What we really need is a Wi-Fi unit so we don't have to open the case and look inside. Just check the smartphone and see how humid it is in there.

For twice the price, the Oasis has a 5-year warranty, but it doesn't have that catchy Inkbird name. : )

ripock
09-29-2018, 05:09 AM
I use oasis humidifiers and I lay an Oasis guitar soundhole hygrometer in the space below the neck of the ukulele in the case to gauge the humidity.

Kenn2018
09-29-2018, 11:10 AM
The Inkbird claims to have a +-3% accuracy. It does have a record function. I just got one to see.

I've had 2 out of 10 Oasis soundhole humidifiers start to leak. One at the cap and the other where the blue material fits under the upper yellow shoulder. Don't know if I over-tightened the cap or pushed the material accidentally when filling. That's why I'm going to try the Boveda ones. They are supposed to keep the humidity at 45%. Taking moisture out of the air if the RH gets too high and add if it get too low. I think that will reduce the frequency of checking the cases to every other week.

hollisdwyer
09-30-2018, 03:05 AM
The Inkbird claims to have a +-3% accuracy. It does have a record function. I just got one to see.

I've had 2 out of 10 Oasis soundhole humidifiers start to leak. One at the cap and the other where the blue material fits under the upper yellow shoulder. Don't know if I over-tightened the cap or pushed the material accidentally when filling. That's why I'm going to try the Boveda ones. They are supposed to keep the humidity at 45%. Taking moisture out of the air if the RH gets too high and add if it get too low. I think that will reduce the frequency of checking the cases to every other week.

The deal with the Oasis sound hole humidifier is that you should flush out the gel crystals (after letting them dry out) and replace them every year or so. Replacement crystal packs are available. One pack does a lot of renewals. Iíve just refreshed mine. Oasis says if you donít do this the humidifiers will ultimately leak.

Jerryc41
10-01-2018, 05:32 AM
I just received one of these. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0140UC9XQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Be aware that it doesn't come with the CR2032 battery. I keep a lot on hand for my tuners. It looks nice, and it's displaying numbers. Are they accurate? Who knows? : )

If it keeps working, I'm going to get one for my car.

DownUpDave
10-01-2018, 06:08 AM
As I stated in the OP above, I am already humidifying my ukuleles without measuring the humidity. I was looking to find experienced opinions on:

A) which hygrometers are good for measuring humidity inside a case
B) how to fit or mount them in a case effectively

A) : I have 3 Caliper IV hygrometers and they are very accurate and reliable. I have had them for three years now and went through a bunch of others, some cheap, some not until I bought the Caliper. I am extremely happy with them. The Oasis is the same unit made for Oasis by Caliper, so buy either one.

B) : I slide them in the case in the opening in front of the neck heel. You can also lay them on top of the uke close to the sound hole. This is illustrated in the manual. It is a tempory read while the case is flat, only takes a minute or two to get an accurate reading.

Conclusion from real world experience living in Canada where winters can force in house humidity below 15%. Most hardcases with a sound hole humidifer in the uke keep humidity levels above 40% if the case remains closed. I open the case take out the instrument to play then leave the case closed till finished.

Kenn2018
10-01-2018, 01:24 PM
I have a room Acu-Rite; a room La Crosse Technologies; and a small Inkbird (Very similar to the Oasis) hygrometers. They all track within 1% of each other. Though, the Inkbird is a little slower to react to changes than the other two. The Acu-Rite shows RH to the tenth of a percent. It can be calibrated, though I'm not sure to what? I don't have a scientific quality instrument to set it to.

So I am satisfied that the Inkbird will do the job adequately inside a case.

Jerryc41
10-02-2018, 01:44 AM
It can be calibrated, though I'm not sure to what?

Calibrate a hygrometer.

https://www.wikihow.com/Test-a-Hygrometer

Wukulele
10-03-2018, 12:24 PM
For individual uke monitoring, I've been using this one (https://www.ebay.com/itm/DIGITAL-EGG-INCUBATOR-THERMOMETER-HYGROMETER-WITH-REMOTE-SENSOR/271545543500), usually used for egg incubation... w/ probe in the case & display outside the case.

I have 2 free standing/wall traceableģ hygrometers, which can be sent in for calibration periodically https://www.traceable.com/calibration-info. Any individual hygrometers I add can be checked against the traceable ones for ballpark accuracy.

Kenn2018
10-03-2018, 07:44 PM
Calibrate a hygrometer.

https://www.wikihow.com/Test-a-Hygrometer

Thanks Jerry. Don't know why I didn't think to look it up. Too many things to do and so little time I guess. Like practice?

Jerryc41
10-04-2018, 01:48 AM
I bet a regular digital room thermometer would also work. Of course, I would check it for accuracy. If it's not accurate, the test will let you figure the percent of error. You can work with that percent, rather than returning it trying another one.

https://smile.amazon.com/ThermoPro-TP50-Digital-Thermometer-Temperature/dp/B01H1R0K68/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1538653408&sr=8-3&keywords=digital+room+thermometers
https://www.wikihow.com/Test-a-Hygrometer

MopMan
10-04-2018, 12:34 PM
Thanks for the tips, everyone. I am going to try the egg hygrometer--I can run the sensor into the case and into the sound hole alongside my humidifier.

BBQUKER
10-08-2018, 01:29 PM
As a result of this thread I purchased two of the Oasis hygrometers for my cases this winter. I have a room analog hygrometer that I have used for the past several years (I do humidify the room during the winter).So I put the two Oasis next to where I play and they both read 52%. The analog is reading 62%. So I play for a half hour or so and the Oasis now reads 45%. This keeps on for several days. Yesterday I realized that when I play I turn on a lamp. Wonder if the heat from the light affects the hygrometer. So I move one of the Oasis several feet from where I play.. It now reads 68% (it is very humid outside here today and I have a window open). The Oasis where I play next to the lamp is 52%. Just an FYI abut where you should be placing your hygrometers.

Rllink
10-09-2018, 04:25 AM
Just how precise must one be with the humidity to ensure that their ukulele is being cared for in a reasonable manner? How much time does it take for the ravages of dryness to destroy a ukulele? Does it take minutes, hours, months, years? I have my own opinions based on my own very limited experiences.

Lillymo
04-06-2019, 09:13 PM
For individual uke monitoring, I've been using this one (https://www.ebay.com/itm/DIGITAL-EGG-INCUBATOR-THERMOMETER-HYGROMETER-WITH-REMOTE-SENSOR/271545543500), usually used for egg incubation... w/ probe in the case & display outside the case.

Thank you Wukulele! I was wondering if anybody had used a hygrometer with a probe to monitor the humidity inside a case without having to open it. I thought it would be a good way to determine if a humidifier* is effective. MopMan, how did it work out for you?

Kherome
04-07-2019, 04:51 AM
I use this, and really like it. https://smile.amazon.com/DAddario-Humiditrak-Bluetooth-Humidity-Temperature/dp/B019JD0XZ0/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=daddario+humiditrak&qid=1554648625&s=gateway&sr=8-1

MopMan
04-07-2019, 08:32 AM
Thank you Wukulele! I was wondering if anybody had used a hygrometer with a probe to monitor the humidity inside a case without having to open it. I thought it would be a good way to determine if a hygrometer is effective. MopMan, how did it work out for you?

I like the Happy Farm hygrometer. It measured down to 12%RH over the winter in Pennsylvania. It is registering about 35%RH now, in early April. I cannot prove its accuracy level, but it registers a good range so I trust it gives a fair indication.

It is easy to string the sensor down into a ukulele sound hole and leave the display outside of a closed case for quick reference without opening the case.

Using the Happy Farm this past winter, I was able to determine that the Oasis ukulele humidifiers I use easily take a soprano uke up to around 50%RH(according to Happy Farm) within a few hours. Tenor ukulele, however, only made it up to around 40%RH(again, Happy Farm units) inside the body of the instrument after a full day. For me, this was confirmation that both Oasis and Happy Farm were doing their jobs satisfactorily.

I would recommend the Happy Farm hygrometer to anyone. It has been an easily workable and problem-free tool for me so far.


EDIT: Here is a link to the Happy Farm hygrometer on Amazon (https://www.ebay.com/itm/DIGITAL-EGG-INCUBATOR-THERMOMETER-HYGROMETER-WITH-REMOTE-SENSOR/271545543500). Many thanks to Wukulele for the find!

Ukecaster
04-07-2019, 09:39 AM
Gonna grab a few of these FROM Amazon. Plan to secure on the top lid inside the case, above the headstock, with a small patch of velcro glued onto both the unit and the case. The are small, only 1.77" x .5".

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