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blab
11-17-2011, 01:30 AM
Hi,

I have two Oasis Ukulele Humidifiers in my Kamaka Tenor case. One in the headstock area (where the hygrometer is), one under the heel of the neck.

This morning I checked the humidity and read 39%. Both Oasis were filled yesterday.

I left the case open for about an hour and the hygrometer read 36%.

Shouldn't it be more than a 3% difference? Any idea why it's just that?

The hygrometer is a new Fischer analog with artificial hair. I calibrated it about two weeks ago to 97% using the damp towel method.

Thanks.

Lori
11-17-2011, 06:51 AM
When did you last refill your Oasis? Sometimes, if there was a little air pocket at the top when you fill the Oasis, the vacuum isn't created, and the tube doesn't collapse when it goes dry. I usually get higher humidity readings than that.

–Lori

PoiDog
11-17-2011, 07:00 AM
The question about whether there ought to be a greater than 3% difference in closed vs open case humidity is dependent on a lot of variables, but the simple answer is that if the humidifiers are being used properly, I would think your case ought to likely be closer to 45% + humidity.

That being said, have you checked to see if there is some sort of leak in your case that is preventing a good seal, allowing the moisture to escape?

Try re-filling the humidifiers using Lori's suggestion, and check out the case. You can also do a test where you enclose one of the humidifiers and your hygrometer in a tupperware-style container to confirm that the humidifiers are working properly.

blab
11-17-2011, 07:07 AM
Thanks for the replies.

The humidifiers were filled yesterday with destilled water. How much water do you fill? As much as possible? I filled them until under the thread area.

Case leak is a good explanation. But how would I check this?

Doing the Tupperware test now.

hoosierhiver
11-17-2011, 07:56 AM
Winter is the hardest on ukes, the cold dry air can be a killer. Aside form the Oasis, you might want to try to increase the general humidity in your house/apartment. Aside from helping the ukes, it will keep your skin from getting dry and itchy. A room humidifier is an obvious solution, but house plants, aquariums and even just open containers of water are also good ways to add moisture to the air.

blab
11-17-2011, 10:07 AM
Winter is the hardest on ukes, the cold dry air can be a killer. Aside form the Oasis, you might want to try to increase the general humidity in your house/apartment. Aside from helping the ukes, it will keep your skin from getting dry and itchy. A room humidifier is an obvious solution, but house plants, aquariums and even just open containers of water are also good ways to add moisture to the air.
Unfortunately, I have the Ukulele in a 1500 sq ft room right now. Getting the right humidification would be very expensive. It certainly should be done anyway, but because of cost, this will be no quick solution.

The Tupperware suggestion was gold. Humidity was 70% within an hour (single Oasis and Hygrometer). So it's definitely not the humidifiers but the case.

I'm puzzled why the case can't keep the humidity. Of course it's not airtight but there aren't any see-through gaps either.

Trinimon
11-17-2011, 10:29 AM
I have a Ko'olau hard case that doesn't have a very secure seal on the lid. I was thinking of picking up some neoprene adhesive weather stripping from HomeDepot to outline the top part of the hardcase to make a better seal. Not sure if it would work thought...

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/industrial-strength-self-adhesive-neoprene-weatherstripping-closed-cell-tap/941511

blab
11-17-2011, 09:40 PM
I have a Ko'olau hard case that doesn't have a very secure seal on the lid. I was thinking of picking up some neoprene adhesive weather stripping from HomeDepot to outline the top part of the hardcase to make a better seal. Not sure if it would work thought...

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/industrial-strength-self-adhesive-neoprene-weatherstripping-closed-cell-tap/941511
You'd probably have to remove the lining in that area. At least I had to when I velcroed the hygrometer to the lid. I have to make up my mind whether I want to put some work into a case that I wanted to replace somewhen in the future anyway.

Last night I put a humidifier and the hygrometer into my China fiberglass soprano case. It read 50% this morning. This case has a U-shaped profile around the bottom part edge with a matching counterpart on the top.

blab
11-18-2011, 01:18 AM
This is a link to an explanation of relative humidity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_humidity
As you can see the room temperature and air pressure may affect the reading, and the reading is relative to saturated air at a standard pressure and temperature. Humans can usually detect some temperature changes, but pressure changes are harder to notice unless they are big enough for your ears to "pop".
A possible solution to prevent the leak is to find a bag that will hold the uke case, maybe a plastic bag or a waterproof bag.
Thanks for the link.

I thought about putting the case into a plastic bag, just to see how this will change readings. As a solution, I'm not sure how much I like it. :)

Dan Uke
11-18-2011, 06:36 AM
Unfortunately, I have the Ukulele in a 1500 sq ft room right now. Getting the right humidification would be very expensive. It certainly should be done anyway, but because of cost, this will be no quick solution.

Wow, 1,500 sq. ft. is bigger than some houses!!

blab
11-18-2011, 07:31 AM
It's my office. Most of the office is one room, shared by many. Great natural reverb. :)

Kitters
11-22-2011, 02:30 AM
I'm starting to suspect that my case hygrometer (I have a Uke Crazy hard case) is either not working properly (or it fails to measure humidity accurately because it is located in the headstock area) or then the Oasis Ukulele Humidifier is not doing it's job. :( I've been using the humidifier hanging from the strings on my Mainland for over a month now and the humidity levels are dropping gradually. Today I checked and the hygrometer reads 32% . I'm getting worried if this continues. The uke sounds great (I wonder if the humidifier has something to do with it sounding better than before) but I'm worried it might crack if this goes on for too long. The relative humidity levels can drop really low in winter time here. I refill the humidifier every week and check it often. Could it be the hygrometer or should I invest in something other than Oasis Uke Humidifier?

blab
11-22-2011, 02:54 AM
Do the Tupperware test described above.

Gmoney
11-22-2011, 05:17 AM
... SNIP ... I refill the humidifier every week and check it often. ... SNIP ...

And, therein may be your problem; at least part of it. IF you want the humidity to remain constant inside your case, you gotta leave it closed for some period of time so that the "relative" part of that measurement can settle. Don't know what kind of case you have, but the lining of the case, & the wood if it is a common hard-shell, etc. will all absorb some of the moisture you are trying to put into the case/uke. So, it might take a bit of time to get the inside to a stable 40-50%. You can also make your own humifiers using "moisture crystals" & 35mm film cans or even Pez despensers! What destroys stringed instruments is rapid changes in temp or humidity - changes from their original construction environment & changes like your'e trying to defeat. I've got a few ukes w/multiple homemade & a still an Oasis hanging in the soundhole. I've also got a couple of tenors w/Herco's + an Oasis. And as you may guess, some of them don't get played every day or even sometimes every week.

Sounds like you are on the right track already. Here's a couple of posts on UU w/good information:

http://ukuleleunderground.com/2008/02/uke-minutes-4-humidifiers/
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?40984-PEZ-Humidifier&p=580825#post580825

Kitters
12-05-2011, 04:04 AM
Since the only hygrometer I have is attached to the case (in the head stock area), I tried wrapping the case inside a big plastic bag and waiting over a week to see if the readings change. They didn't. So... My guess is a) either the wrapping wasn't air tight enough, b) the hygrometer is slow to react and doesn't give accurate readings c) the case leaks d) there's something wrong with the humidifier (after over a week of use it was wrinkled but I couldn't get even a half syringe of distilled water in it). Could be all of these.

I'm thinking maybe I should just stop worrying about the humidity and keep using the humidifier as I have. I can't even see the seam at the back of my Mainland where it might split (there is one, right?) and as long as I'm at least trying to humidify I guess I'm doing something right. The other option is to start buying hygrometers, humidifiers and seal the darn thing inside an air tight container. I know the humidity levels might drop next week so low that no meter will give me accurate readings (if temperature drops as they predict). Sometimes I wonder if I really did the right thing buying an all solid uke. It sounds great but the maintenance...

Drew Bear
12-05-2011, 07:20 AM
It seems to me that for any in-case humidifier to have a chance in maintaining proper humidity levels, the room in which the uke is stored must also have decent humidity & temperature levels. I take my uke out of the case a few times each day. Wouldn't the humidity in the case immediately begin to equalize to room levels each time I opened the case? That's fine if room levels are 30%, but not so good if they're 10% with low ambient air temps.

This article is very detailed: http://ukuleletonya.com/files/Humidity_and_your_ukulele.pdf

hoosierhiver
12-05-2011, 07:49 AM
Don't use regular tap water with the Oasis, the salts in the water will eventually clog up the humidifier.

gokidd
12-14-2011, 05:33 PM
Since the only hygrometer I have is attached to the case (in the head stock area
I'm thinking maybe I should just stop worrying about the humidity and keep using the humidifier as I have. ...

From my experience, those in-case hygrometers are not nearly accurate enough to worry about. Oasis humidifiers are great and get REALLY shriveled when nearly dry. You're doing fine. Celebrate the uncomplicated JOY of having a solid wood instrument! Play it every day and you'll be the first to notice any changes in the wood. Congrats!!

Steedy
12-14-2011, 06:17 PM
I have gas central heat in my house which gets pretty dry during cold weather. I'm using Oasis humidifiers with Caliber III hygrometers for my solid Oscar Schmidt ukes, and they're ranging from 47% to 53% RH in their cases, which seems about right. Right?

Hope4U
12-19-2011, 01:12 PM
Has anyone had a problem with the Oasis Uke Humidifier hanging down. The notches that attach to the strings are fairly large so it doesn't secure it. The Oasis touches the bottom of the uke. Let me know if you've had this problem, or if you have ideas. Thanks much.

blab
12-20-2011, 05:28 AM
I noticed this when I tried to fit the Oasis after buying. I now put it under the heel of the neck. Less fumbling too.

hoosierhiver
12-20-2011, 06:07 AM
Has anyone had a problem with the Oasis Uke Humidifier hanging down. The notches that attach to the strings are fairly large so it doesn't secure it. The Oasis touches the bottom of the uke. Let me know if you've had this problem, or if you have ideas. Thanks much.

I usually just lay mine inside with the top propped up on the plastic piece, I've never had one leak.

Plainsong
12-20-2011, 07:38 AM
Nope, no leakage, and both ukes in different cases both with Oasis humidifiers at 57%, when the room is at 36%.

erinboy
12-21-2011, 03:59 PM
I live in the desert of Arizona and humidification is a year-round struggle with single digit humidity being the norm all year-long I find that an Oasis in the body and a homemade soap box with holes and damp sponge at the head of the case does a good job with weekly refills. I caution against putting the case in a bag, I tried that with one uke and very quickly had a mildew smell in the case that took several days in the Arizona summer sun to cure! Fortunately I caught it before the uke was affected! I am a huge fan of Oasis humidifiers.
Jerry

floydsuke
12-21-2011, 06:55 PM
I made my own humidifiers with dental floss contaniers, the one I hang from the strings I drilled holes all around it and attached it by a string wraped in duct tape and the string attached to a yogurt plastic top, the one for the head stock is layed on it's back with holes drilled only on the top. I cut a spounge to put inside the units, added water, squeezed all excess water out wiped them off, Voila!! two humidifiers for the cost of a spounge. I check them about every other day. I do have a whole house humidifer and I keep the room about 45 percent, I have a handcarved upright bass, so this is must for me. Floyd A. ... aka floydsuke.