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Thread: How much Silica Gel to put?

  1. #1

    Default How much Silica Gel to put?

    Hi,

    How much Silica Gel should i put in a dry box enough to store one SLR and two lens?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member fastshot's Avatar
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    The Silica stuff is too troublesome to manage long term. If you put too much Silica, the air in it can get so dry that it is bad for the camera - the grease dry out and the rubber parts may go hazy and crack later. If you have to do it this way, get a temp/humidity meter for about $40(?) and put it inside your box so you can work out how much silica is needed and also when to refresh it. Below 60% humidity, most fungus won't grow.

    Best bet is to go get a small dry cabinet for about $100+ and set it to achieve about 50% humidity for optimal storage.

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    Hello. Just started but here's what I do:

    I bought an air tight box from Harvey Norman and blue silica gel from your local Kodak shop (I got mine for $3.80). I then put a layer of those beads into the box and covered them with a layer of cloth. After which I wrapped my camera round another cloth and put them inside.

    Not sure if I'm on the right track, but there's my method.

    Tim.

  4. #4
    vince123123
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    I'm wonder if so many layers of cloth will reduce the effectiveness of your gel. In order to dry the air around your camera, the gel has to work through all these cloth layers.

    Quote Originally Posted by LordAeRo
    Hello. Just started but here's what I do:

    I bought an air tight box from Harvey Norman and blue silica gel from your local Kodak shop (I got mine for $3.80). I then put a layer of those beads into the box and covered them with a layer of cloth. After which I wrapped my camera round another cloth and put them inside.

    Not sure if I'm on the right track, but there's my method.

    Tim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123
    I'm wonder if so many layers of cloth will reduce the effectiveness of your gel. In order to dry the air around your camera, the gel has to work through all these cloth layers.
    Don't worry. Most cloth are very porous, so the difference in vapour pressure would cause some movement of vapour; basically to equalise it.

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    OT a bit...

    Can we dry out the siliica gel in the microwave oven? ...bcos saw some that comes bundled with dry boxes can...

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    You can. But make sure to hold your silica gel in a metal tray (makeshift aluminium foil tray or baking tray) when u wanna "recharge" it in the microwave. I've tried it with about half a bottle. At first I put in those plastic take-away lunch box that says "MICROWAVEABLE" but after a few seconds of microwaving, I saw that the silica gel started to melt the container. So beware of plastic containers!!!
    incywincyspider climbup the waterspout...

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    Quote Originally Posted by karnage
    You can. But make sure to hold your silica gel in a metal tray (makeshift aluminium foil tray or baking tray) when u wanna "recharge" it in the microwave. I've tried it with about half a bottle. At first I put in those plastic take-away lunch box that says "MICROWAVEABLE" but after a few seconds of microwaving, I saw that the silica gel started to melt the container. So beware of plastic containers!!!

    Was also thinking of using those plastic containers but after your warning...

    Thanks for the tip

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    hmm use metal containers in a microwave? tell me when you are going to do it, I prepare to call the fire brigade.

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    You can microwave the silica beads on ceramic dish or stoneware.
    Using metal container in microwave oven can lead to BIG SPARKS

    The way I understand it, the problem with conductive metal containers is that the electrostatic builds up and concentrate along any sharp edges of the container nearest to the microwave emitter rod. Then comes the BIG SPARKS as the arcing occurs. If however your metal container has no sharp edges or protrusions and the rim is nicely rounded and turned downwards, then the arcing should not occur. This is the reason the metal turntable of your microwave is designed with no sharp edges facing upwards (ok, the enamel is also helpful as insulation).

    For the last time brudder, spent that damn $100 and get a small dry cabinet and reduce stress and give your cameras a good home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastshot
    The Silica stuff is too troublesome to manage long term. If you put too much Silica, the air in it can get so dry that it is bad for the camera - the grease dry out and the rubber parts may go hazy and crack later. If you have to do it this way, get a temp/humidity meter for about $40(?) and put it inside your box so you can work out how much silica is needed and also when to refresh it. Below 60% humidity, most fungus won't grow.

    Best bet is to go get a small dry cabinet for about $100+ and set it to achieve about 50% humidity for optimal storage.
    i used this method over a year already.. no such problems. no rubber dry, no lens crack no grease dry. My prosumer which has, a leather strap, rubber grips and a retractable lens (most likely greased) with coated front element has not mal functioned yet. It's been in there for almost a year. .i only take it out to shoot once in a blue moon.

    why i din't get a dry cab? no money.
    (why risk $2000++ investment by saving $100+ yadda yadda.. the truth is.. i can't afford the room space and money)

    big airtight with anti bacteria plastic container - $10+, silica gel $2.5

    i dun have a hygrometer in my box, but as a general guide.. the gel remains transparent blue for more than 2 weeks if i don't open the box. The gel is held in a small box about twice the size of normal name card boxes.

    this method has been used over a long period of time since the days of my father. of course, if you have the money, like what they say, what is $100+ compared to the possibility of ruining thousands of dollars of investment..
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  12. #12
    vince123123
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    I think ultimatly one would have to consider the effort of having to reheat the gel as well as get replacement gel when the gel starts to "wear out" against the costs of a small dry cabinet.

  13. #13

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    I've repeated this and I'll share how I store my stuff. I use a small digicab, those $20 ones seen everywhere (inclu carrefour). It has an inbuild hygro. I also have silica gel, which i put in a glass jar (with air tight seal). I put 300D, + 3lens + G2 inside. stil got space for 70-200 (squeezy though). I wld pour out about a tablespoon full of silica gel everytime i close the digicab. And the humidty will drop to ~ 55 +/- . One the jar has run out (after about 10+ times taking out the gel), i'll take everything out, wipe down, pour the gel into the glass bottle, and go and heat in a pan. takes 1-2mins to turn all back to blue. Close the jar. Let it cool down, then put everything back into the box. And the process starts again. After 3-4 heating of the gel, i'll throw them away(nt sure the most environmental way to dispose of them). Then i'll refill the glass jar from the mother plastic jar (kept elsewhere).

    This technique is very space saving, and cheap as well. You can even put the whole thing in your car, or carry it around. It takes slighly more effort than the electric ones. But for me, no point getting those electric ones. Even if I get many more lens etc, I shoould be getting another drybox.

    The cost of the gel should be comparable to the price of the electric bill incurred by the electric drycabs.

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    Silica gel is rare in US.... so I "recharge" the silica gel by putting it the microwave....

    But the problem is that microwave recharge the silica gel too quickly resulting high moisture on the ceremic plate where i put my silica gel.... so what i did wan put a layer of paper towel on the plate then silica gel on top... after microwaving i just remove the paper towel and i have a plate of dry silica gel...

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    look the best so far is this china invention, you can get them from most camera shops. It's a Silical Gel recharger. sealed in a box with the stuff inside but have an 2 pin AC plug when you plug in to any power socket with a 2 pin adapter, sitch on the power on the socket waits tills the gels turn blue and you are ready to go. Takes only about 20 minutes to recharge. Cost about $40 to 50 or simply go for a Dry Cabi

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommon
    look the best so far is this china invention, you can get them from most camera shops. It's a Silical Gel recharger. sealed in a box with the stuff inside but have an 2 pin AC plug when you plug in to any power socket with a 2 pin adapter, sitch on the power on the socket waits tills the gels turn blue and you are ready to go. Takes only about 20 minutes to recharge. Cost about $40 to 50 or simply go for a Dry Cabi
    Where can I buy this Silical Gel recharger ?
    It seens useful and convenient. Any photo ?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommon
    look the best so far is this china invention, you can get them from most camera shops. It's a Silical Gel recharger. sealed in a box with the stuff inside but have an 2 pin AC plug when you plug in to any power socket with a 2 pin adapter, sitch on the power on the socket waits tills the gels turn blue and you are ready to go. Takes only about 20 minutes to recharge. Cost about $40 to 50 or simply go for a Dry Cabi
    I got a AM PRO type of electric dehimidifier... $20.... charge 1-2 hrs.... and I dump it into the dry box....... I think similar to yours......
    Art is perception; Perception is art.

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    Senior Member Halfmoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lui002
    Where can I buy this Silical Gel recharger ?
    It seens useful and convenient. Any photo ?
    I got mine from Hougang pt..... level 2 photo shop.

    $20. It claim it can last up to 500 charges....

    Still not long enough to comment much yet.....
    Art is perception; Perception is art.

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