I would like to share some of my experiences in Dry Cabinet (and Data Centre) experience and hope this short guide will help newbies decide on the size and placement of their dry cabinets.
1. Do I need a Dry Cabinet?
Answer: For easy hassle free operations, it is recommended that your camera equipment, including body and lenses should be kept in a dry cabinet. Dry boxes, though cheaper to purchase are subject to higher maintenance with the need to recharge Silica Gel packs.
2. What is the ideal setting for a dry cabinet?
Answer: Most manufacturers recommend a setting of Medium (M). In general, you should maintain your camera and lenses at a humidity level of between 40%-55% but no more than 60% or lower than 35%. The reason is that for prolonged storage at below 40% may cause the lubricating oils to dry from the moving part, especially the lenses.
3. Where should I place my dry cabinets?
Answer: In general, the dry cabinets requires a good air flow, especially behind the cabinet to allow the moisture to be remove. A distance of 5cm or more from the back of the cabinet to a wall should be a good enough distance. Avoid overhead shelfs and carboards around the cabinet. Also, avoid placing the dry cabinets in an aircon room, esepcially directly in front of the blower unit. If unavoidable, ensure that the aircon room is left "open" at least for 8 hours each day. Do NOT place the dry unit where there is a high air flow (windy) room.
Famous last words:
To ensure a constant humidity, you may have to fine tune the dial in the cabinet. Allow the settings at least 24 hours before fine tuning again. When fine tuning a dry cabinet, ensure that your equipment are in the cabinet. An empty cabinet may give a different reading.
Additional updates from Artosoft:
Pro series Dry-Cab let you set the humidity level (in digital display, work as humidity display) and the Dry-cab will adjust humidity level inside accordingly.
Hope my long post helps you setup your dry cabinet well.