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View Full Version : With all the snow and cold weather-humidity guages do you own one



MGM
02-11-2010, 06:57 AM
How many of you out there actuallly know the humidity of where you keep your ukes by owning a accurate hygrometer guage....? just a wondering???
with all the cold running heat in ahoime or office is killer on solid wood uke bodies....drying the air to some really low RH

dkcrown
02-11-2010, 06:59 AM
Mike,
I have one in my humidor, but not in my uke cases. I re-saturate the Hercos evry week though.

csibona
02-11-2010, 07:26 AM
I have a humidifier in the room that I play most often. The humidifier has humidity sensor in it so the humidifier can stop at a certain point. I live in Denver where it can be pretty dry - but I don't think the inside humidity fluctuates that much compared to the outside humidity.

pithaya9
02-11-2010, 07:32 AM
I own 3 digital hygrometers and rotate them weekly in my cases.

Doctroid
02-11-2010, 08:34 AM
I own three analog hygrometers, and two of them approximately agree with one another...

The other reads 10% RH lower than the others, though, which leads me to worry. It'd be nice to be able to buy and use a hygrometer with some confidence that it actually works correctly.

kenikas
02-11-2010, 08:48 AM
I own three analog hygrometers, and two of them approximately agree with one another...

The other reads 10% RH lower than the others, though, which leads me to worry. It'd be nice to be able to buy and use a hygrometer with some confidence that it actually works correctly.

I have small digital ones in the cases with my solid guitars and ukes, but as Doctroid said I often wonder about their accuracy. Living here in the high desert I have Humidifiers in their cases and try to check them twice a week.

Nuprin
02-11-2010, 08:55 AM
I own a Planet Waves hygrometer which I keep in the room where my ukes are (where I also have a humidifier always running). The hygrometer usually reads between 49% - 51% humidity. The hygrometer in the case for my Kanile'a usually reads between 42% - 45%. I'm assuming that the hygrometer in the Kanile'a case is an accurate measure of the humidity level in my other uke cases.

Lanark
02-11-2010, 09:52 AM
We run a humidifier in our bedroom where all the ukes are stored and the hygrometer generally reads around 50-60%. Cold air carries less moisture, so I figure it's probably better to be on the slightly higher side.

Lori
02-11-2010, 10:01 AM
I have one digital hygrometer that lives in my Kanile'a case. I sometimes do a spot check on the other cases, since it will update pretty fast. I do wonder how accurate it is. I have pressed the max/ min button and had it read a max temp of 110 degrees??? It is one of those black styrofoam hard shell cases, and it is not near a heater, and it doesn't get direct sunlight. The weather has been pretty mild too. The case is stored at table height and is near an eastward window. The gas wall heater is in the hallway, outside of the room about 30 feet away, and the door is closed half of the time. Should I worry about temperature highs of 110 degrees? The hygrometer is stored in the accessory compartment, and there is an Oasis outside the compartment magnetized in the head area of the case.

–Lori

heyjude
02-11-2010, 10:06 AM
We've got four in our house, two in my music/computer/den and two in my wife's music room. A humidifier is in each room and humidity is kept between 45-50%. None of them give the same reading but are close. They've been tested so I know how much to add or subtract from each. Here's the test if you want to check yours-

Itís always a good idea to check the accuracy of your hygrometer. You can use the Salt Test method on both digital and analog hygrometers. Most hygrometers today can either be adjusted or calibrated to an accurate reading. The salt test method wonít fail you, and itís very easy to do.

MATERIALS NEEDED:

- Small sandwich ziplock baggy
- Bottle cap from 2 liter soda bottle (works best)
- Table salt
- Hygrometer (whichever one you want to test, digital or analog)

Now that you have all of your materials handy, follow these steps and youíll be on your way to effectively checking the accuracy of your hygrometer.

STEP 1:

Fill bottle cap with standard table salt; fill about 3/4 of the way up.

STEP 2:

Add tap water to the bottle cap to saturate the salt. If you see water floating on top of the salt, youíve added too much water. Easy fix for this is to grab a paper towel, and soak up all of the excess water. You want more of a slurry consistency of water and salt. Again, if you see water actually floating on top of the salt, soak up the excess with a paper towel.

STEP 3:

Place both hygrometer and bottle cap (with salt/water mixture) inside of a small ziplock baggy, as pictured above. Wait 4 hours and come back for a reading check.

STEP 4:

If your hygrometer is perfectly accurate, it will read 75%. Most hygrometers will be +/- 3 %. If your hygrometer is digital and has a calibration button, follow the directions that it came with to calibrate to 75%. Digital hygrometers have a calibration button you push, while analog hygrometers have a screw which allows you to adjust the needle accordingly.

If your hygrometer is not adjustable, youíll just have to make a note and remember how far off it is.

Thatís all there is to it!

Youíve just calibrated/tested your hygrometer using the famous Salt Test Method.

Jude

phanzo
02-11-2010, 10:37 AM
I have one hygrometer in a case with my Mainland concert, but I have yet to get any humidifiers. Which is dumb bc I live in Phoenix where theres like 15% humidity...all the time. I need a humidifier ASAP

sukie
02-11-2010, 10:42 AM
I've got the hercos in my cases but no hygrometer. Do I really need one? or three?

leftovermagic84
02-11-2010, 11:08 AM
I run a full room humidifier in our music room with a hygrometer. It usually reads around 50%, but when the temp drops below 0, and the heater really gets going, humidity is around 45%. I have to fill the humidifier up all the time, but it keeps the whole music room, living room, and kitchen at a reasonable level, so no dry skin, bloody noses, or worst of all, cracked instruments.

Doctroid
02-12-2010, 04:47 AM
If your hygrometer is perfectly accurate, it will read 75%. Most hygrometers will be +/- 3 %. If your hygrometer is digital and has a calibration button, follow the directions that it came with to calibrate to 75%. Digital hygrometers have a calibration button you push, while analog hygrometers have a screw which allows you to adjust the needle accordingly.

If your hygrometer is not adjustable, you’ll just have to make a note and remember how far off it is.

That’s all there is to it!

You’ve just calibrated/tested your hygrometer using the famous Salt Test Method.
Thanks for this, but... if it's say 5% off at 75%, can you be sure it will also be 5% off at 45%?

Also, a note -- not that it probably matters for anything relating to ukes indoors, but I'm pretty sure salt water can only raise the humidity to 75%, not lower it to 75% -- so if you're starting in an environment with humidity higher than 75%, that's what you'll read.

Ukuleleblues
02-12-2010, 11:34 AM
I've got one on the wall and worry when the humidity gets around 50% inside (I live in a swamp). I can't imagine what is like in other places up north and out west where high humidity is 65 %. Must be hell on the wooden instruments. Down here when folks claim they miss the change of seasons I point out that you can tel what season it is by the color of the mold on the back porch. Brown in winter, Yellow green in spring, Deep green in Summer and brown green in fall. If I lived up north again I'd definitely buy a decent humidifier and gage for the room I stored my instruments. I remember living out in San Diego and when the Santa Anna winds blew in it would be < 20% humidity, stuff would curl up and shrink. Not good for a uke.

UkeforJC
02-13-2010, 09:03 PM
Wow, that is a very nice experiment. Thank you for sharing.

I also got an Humistat humidifier today. I didn't see too many people use this kind of humidifier.
I will test it out and post my experience about it.

Doctroid
02-14-2010, 01:24 AM
Thanks for this, but... if it's say 5% off at 75%, can you be sure it will also be 5% off at 45%?
And the answer to that is an emphatic no!

I did the calibration thing twice with three analog hygrometers, one adjustable and two not. The first time I didn't make as careful notes on the results, but the two non adjustables were reading a little high and the adjustable was way low; I adjusted the latter, waited a few hours to let all three come back to room humidity, and then calibrated again.

This time I wrote things down: Hygrometer #1 read 85%, or 10% too high; #2 read 78%, or 3% too high, and #3 (the adjustable) read 75%, or spot on. So at least the results were fairly reproducible.

Then I let them drop back to room humidity overnight. #3 read 43%. From the calibration results then I'd expect #1 and #2 to read 53% (10% high) and 46% (3% high). Instead they read 29% and 32%!

Conclusion: I have three hygrometers, I've calibrated them, and I still have no idea what the humidity is!

AlanZ
02-14-2010, 01:41 AM
There is an old saying: "A man with a watch always knows what time it is, a man with two watches is never sure"

Doctroid
02-14-2010, 01:51 AM
There is an old saying: "A man with a watch always knows what time it is, a man with two watches is never sure"
Ah, but how about a man with two salts? Some Googling eventually turned up this page. (http://www.kingofthehouse.com/hygrometer/) You can, it turns out, do a two point calibration: use table salt for a 75% point, and use another substance for a 33% point:

You need Magnesium Chloride Hexahydrate. This is not as easy to obtain as regular salt, but it is not that difficult to find and it certainly can be done much cheaper than purchasing salt calibration kits. I purchased 60 oz of Magnesium Chloride Hexahydrate, lab quality flakes, on Ebay for $4.00. ... Mix the Magnesium Chloride Hexahydrate with distilled water, the same way as was described above, and follow all the same procedures.
I'm not sure how happy I am to have learned all this.

dentuke
02-14-2010, 02:59 AM
I've been vacum bagging my ukes for the winter with a seal a meal kit..... It works like a charm..... Unfortunately this year I left a couple out so I could play them and even with the case hydrometers three managed to crack KPK Tenor..... OS220 and Hamano soprano....... I thought Mahogany was one of the most stable woods but it cracked too

portlandjosh
02-14-2010, 07:00 AM
I've been vacum bagging my ukes for the winter with a seal a meal kit..... It works like a charm..... Unfortunately this year I left a couple out so I could play them and even with the case hydrometers three managed to crack KPK Tenor..... OS220 and Hamano soprano....... I thought Mahogany was one of the most stable woods but it cracked too

Yikes! What kind of humidity levels do you have out there in Joisey?

koa
02-14-2010, 01:05 PM
Case hygrometers in all the cases. Room hygrometers in the house. Case and room humidifiers used as needed. A necessity with winter seasonal indoor low RHs dropping into the mid 30's.
One issue we have with relatively cold winters (ag zone 5) is humidifying the house. On a real cold day too much humidity relative to the condensing point of your windows results in a moisture problem. I crank up the humidifiers to just 40% RH and play the ukuleles in this relatively dry condition. The hour or two of exposure has not caused any problems even after 4 winter seasons on the KoAlohas or Kings.
In the house spring, summer and autumn are nice on the ukes and body with RH normally between 45-55%.

Doctroid
02-16-2010, 04:55 AM
Conclusion: I have three hygrometers, I've calibrated them, and I still have no idea what the humidity is!
Aha! I think I learned about wet bulb psychrometers in elementary school but I'd forgotten about them until I did some more Googling. No, a psychrometer doesn't measure how crazy you are (anyway I'd be off the scale), it's a type of hygrometer. See this web page. (http://www.miamisci.org/hurricane/psychrometer.html) Cheap and easy to make, no calibration required (well, the thermometers have to be calibrated, but that's easy and as long as both measure the same dry bulb temperature that's probably good enough), you can measure room humidity with one and use that to calibrate a room or case hygrometer. Problem (in principle) solved.