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shoot me...humidity questions

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by orbit2021, Mar 30, 2009.


  1. orbit2021

    orbit2021

    Mar 12, 2009
    Spokane, WA
    i tried the search function and was not too successful unfortunately. not sure what search strings to use to be fruitful on this search function.

    i live in the idaho panhandle and its been raining alot and i bought a hydrometer from a smoke shop, 8.95 for this "gold watch" looking hydrometer that says "humidor hygrometer". it has holes in the back plate for the air to access the coil inside. is this sufficient or is a "humidor" hygrometer not going to work properly? sorry if that sounds stupid or ignorant. its been lowest at like 42 i think, and up to 55 when i woke up today about 1.5 hour ago (9:15). im under the impression 35%-45% is optimal. i think at some point i remember it being

    it seems like this is pretty crazy? at low temps (we still have snow around, it snowed last night) shouldnt the humidity be lower? although after it was done raining yesterday i had my hygrometer outside and it read exactly 100 (i think i calibrated it correctly..put it in a ziplock with a fairly damp papertowel in it for about an hour and then rotated the coil base to where it read 100...let it go back to room humid and did it agian, exactly 100)...so that leads me to believe that rain outside = more humid house...but the whole house is like 50-55% usually, is that normal??

    so is there any way to reduce the humidity in my room? i just got a room humidifier cuz i figured it must be like 30% or below for being so cold or something...

    also as of last night when it was like 55 (its 46 right now, 11:23) and my low E makes something vibrate inside i think, but it 90% goes away when i hold the plug for my realist with my left hand and pluck the E with my right. ive had another 1 day period or so where i had a weird vibration/noise when i played both the lower octaves of F#...i put the endpin all the way in and it seemed to reduce it and then the next day it was gone...so im not sure if these "phantom noises" are due to humidity and what not? there are a fair amount of old cracks that were repaired quite nicely but ive only owned this for about 2 months now. its an old 20's german flatback. could it be that one of the cracks is vibrating because it was so humid?
     
  2. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    The one in my humidor is accurate to maybe 20%.:D

    You should be able to find a more accurate digital one for under $20at any hardware store.
     
  3. orbit2021

    orbit2021

    Mar 12, 2009
    Spokane, WA
    gotcha...ill check it out.
     
  4. +1 on the digital. They're cheap and much more reliable.

    mark
     
  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    As for humidity and temperature, if you were to lower the temperature in a room leaving alone the moisture content of the air, then the relative humidity would rise. Cooler air is capable of holding less moisture so the same amount of moisture content at lower temperature is closer to the saturation point. Lower the temperature too much and you get condensation. In other words, the air can no longer retain the moisture and it condenses out.

    Rapid changes in humidity and very low or very high humidity are the culprits. If your house is pretty much constantly at 50-55%, that's no problem at all.
     
  6. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    Also, I hope you have a good humidifier and will keep an eye on the water supply. I forgot to refill mine and the cigars dried out bad. :eyebrow:
     
  7. That's why I only buy laminated cigars. They aren't as susceptible to weather swings. ;)
     
  8. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    They are ALL laminated. Filler, binder and outer wrap.

    Now, the Swisher Sweets prolly have a paper wrap soaked in plastic, so I doubt they would ever crack. :D
     
  9. gack

    gack

    Sep 28, 2007
    Russia, Chelyabinsk
  10. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I wouldn't want anything most touching the bass. Perhaps you could throw that humidifier in a zip-lock bag. When I want to humidify in the case, I put a damp sponge in a partially open zip-lock bag and throw that in the case. I make sure that the top of the bag is upright so that there is no danger of dripping.
     
  11. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I've never heard anyone here at TB refer to something called a sling psychrometer. The first hit you get on a Google search is here:

    http://asd-www.larc.nasa.gov/SCOOL/psychrometer.html

    These things are easy to make and are vastly more accurate than anything you might buy at a cigar store. Many wood-working professionals use these to track humidity in their shops and wood storage areas.
     
  12. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    ...but why bother with all that when a quite accurate digital hygrometer can be had for all of $10? Some will even track maxima and minima for you.
     
  13. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I'm no expert, but I do know that some of the folks at the musical instrument makers' forum (mimf.com) aren't too thrilled with any sort of inexpensive hygrometer, digital or not. They complain about drift and the need to be vigilant about calibration. The psychrometer is a low-tech, dead cheap method that reliably works.
     
  14. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    I assume we're talking winter here. Truthfully I've stopped worrying very much at all since I take my bass out of a controlled environment daily. Take it outside in freezing temps. Load it in a car. Heat blasting. Take it outside again in freezing temps. Take it into a bar with who knows what kind of humidity. Take it back outside. Load it in a car with the heat blasting. Take it back outside. Take it back in the house.
     
  15. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Me too -- never any need for worry in my operation and locale...
     
  16. jtlownds

    jtlownds

    Oct 3, 2004
    LaBelle, FL
    As a former meteorologist, I can confirm that the psychrometer is the most accurate way to determine relative humidity. What you get from the psychrometer is a dry bulb and wet bulb temperature reading. You still have to calculate the relative humidity using those readings. I have long since forgotten the formula for doing that. We used to use a circular slide rule for doing that.
     
  17. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I think most woodworking people who use psychrometers these days use a table they grabbed off the web. I see calculators and laptop computers in wood shops these days but not too many slide rules!
     
  18. jtlownds

    jtlownds

    Oct 3, 2004
    LaBelle, FL
    I think that you are right. I'm older than dirt. I'm sure that the weather bureau has gotten rid of the slide rules and gone to computers by now.
     
  19. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I don't think I'm older than dirt but I'm pretty sure I'm older than, say, concrete...
     
  20. *orbit
    i think you're overreacting a bit to the weather,and chasing ghost on your bass. i spent many yrs in the panhandle and it is a good environ for your instrument,honestly, you don't know soggy...
    p.s. i too did the weather there twice a day.
    dry bulb
    wet bulb
    weighed the fuel sticks
    wind spd/dir,etc.
    things stayed pretty constant...got to where i could almost pencil whip the data ;)
     

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