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Thread: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

  1. #1
    Member Parka's Avatar
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    Default Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet



    What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

    (This thread is inspired by a photo with cameras kept in airtight NTUC plastic)

    I'm thinking of getting the plastic because it saves me more shelf space.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    advantage is cheap

    Disadvantage is you cannot control the humidity level and need to regen the silica gel every now and then.

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    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    Knowing the people clubsnap, they will tell you to get a Dry Cabinet.

    My opinion is, it all depends on the total worth of the equipments you are storing. If you have over $5000/- worth of equipment, it's a no brainer, get the dry cabinet.

    If you are storing a $300-500 PnS, a lock lock is fine....anything in between it's really up to you.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    I read from somewhere that the actual cost of of a dry humidifier is still cheaper.

    The actual cost of the setup aside (its like buying a furniture),let us compare the purchase of silicon gel ($4) versus electricity bills for 1 year.

    I understand from a fellow cs member that electricity bill for the dry cabinet would not exceed more than $4.

    That was the hot button which triggered me to get my dri cabinet a few yrs back.

    Hope the above info helps.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    Dry cabinets actually actively remove moisture, unlike a simple plastic container..

  6. #6

    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    i heard that with silica gels, you can actually heat them to get the moisture out so that they can be re-used infinitely. don't know if this is true but if so, it definitely sounds less costly than electrical bills ... but then again, it is more troublesome compared to using a dry box.

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    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokka View Post
    I
    I understand from a fellow cs member that electricity bill for the dry cabinet would not exceed more than $4.
    $4 afew years ago? Did you know that electricity just gone up like close to 20%? If you are talking about 5 yrs ago, the currently price should be more than 50% compared to back then.

    Yes, I bought a Dry Cabinet recently, but I store more than camera stuff. I have stamps & old $$ notes in them to justify the cost.

  8. #8
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    Quote Originally Posted by Yew Fai View Post
    i heard that with silica gels, you can actually heat them to get the moisture out so that they can be re-used infinitely. don't know if this is true but if so, it definitely sounds less costly than electrical bills ... but then again, it is more troublesome compared to using a dry box.
    yes you may, you can buy a toaster to toast the silica gels, I'm sure you wound't want to mix silica gels with food, cos silica gels is definitely not food...

    Hazards

    Alone, silica gel is non-toxic, non-flammable and chemically unreactive. However, some of the beads may be doped with a moisture indicator, such as cobalt (II) chloride, which is toxic and may be carcinogenic. Cobalt (II) chloride is deep blue when dry (anhydrous) and pink when moist (hydrated). This is one reason most silica gel packets are labeled as dangerous or poisonous when eaten.
    Crystalline silica dust can cause silicosis but synthetic amorphous silica, which is what silica gel is, does not cause silicosis .[citation needed] A chemically similar substance with far greater porosity is aerogel.
    taken from here
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    Yes you can heat up the silica gel by frying it. But you'll need a wok and a spatula.

    You can also dry it in the hot sun, but some will turned blue, some half blue, some remains pink.

    Lots of time wasted. You can spend the time takingt THE next shot.

    With regards to the electricity thingie, not too sure about the actual math. But then again, we all on the aircon dont we? A dehumidifier definitely uses less energy as compared to aircon, fan; or even the pc that we're looking at?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    There are silica gels that comes in a self contained box... the box has a power plug and a heating element inside so if you need to dry the silica gel you just plug the whole thing in to a power socket and the heating element will take care of the rest... normally takes 1 1/2 hours.... i saw 1 at CP Marina...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    why is there a need to heat the silica gels?? dont it already take up the moisture??

  12. #12

    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    Quote Originally Posted by kebeye View Post
    why is there a need to heat the silica gels?? dont it already take up the moisture??
    you heat the silica gels to dry them so that you can reuse them again and again and again....

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    Dry Cabinet uses like 4 watts max. How much does your fan or even a light buld uses. Anyway heating silica gel in a frying pan uses more energy than the dry cabinet.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    i heard that silica gel is also microwavable
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    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    Quote Originally Posted by aloyyolaaloy View Post
    i heard that silica gel is also microwavable
    But i am not going to use the wok or the microwave to cook / heat my food, and the cobalt chloride component is not exactly really something i want to breath too much when it fumes or anything

    Ryan

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    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    Quote Originally Posted by DeSwitch View Post
    advantage is cheap

    Disadvantage is you cannot control the humidity level and need to regen the silica gel every now and then.
    Hmmm... this discussion seems to have come up several times in various forms, i.e., dry cab vs camera dry box vs tupperware/locklock

    Agree with DeSwitch.

    Advantages of plastic container:
    1. Cheaper
    2. Lighter
    3. Not as fragile as dry cabinet (or 'real' camera dry box) --> the plastic it's made of doesn't crack as easily
    4. No electricity needed to keep it working

    Disadvantages
    1. Cannot control humidity level --> can drop to 20% with fully charged silica gel! (Most manufacturers recommend about 40%)
    2. Need to recharge silica gel occasionally.

    IMHO locklock or other airtight plastic containers are not much different from camera dry boxes. They are both airtight, just that dry boxes sometimes have fittings to 'lock' equipment in place, and usually have a 'tray' so you can pour silica gel into the base. I use a locklock, and put the silica gel into a cloth netting (the type used to wash delicate clothes in the laundry. $2-3 at homeware shops)

    Regarding recharging of silica gel, the principle is to heat it sufficiently so that the adsorbed moisture is driven out. I recently did this with a full bottle of silica gel in a microwave oven. Humidity in my dry box was 70% at first. I put the silica gel into a microwave-safe container (can use one of those disposable plastic bowls that hawkers use to da bao soup, which are labelled on the base "FOR MICROWAVE REHEATING ONLY"). Microwaved at LOW setting for 15 minutes. Allowed the gel to cool then put back into dry box. Dry box now reading 20-30% humidity. =) And I threw away the plastic bowl after that.

    Erm, about silica gel being carcinogenic, overall I feel it's quite a low risk. If you're worried about heating the gel in a food preparation container, just use a disposable bowl and throw it away after reheating. If you're totally worried about carcinogens, you might also want to avoid BBQ food, cigarette smoke, and, oh, no taking photos out in the sun either...
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    u may want to get a lock lock but i heard of an electronic moisture absorber- u can plug the thing into the power mains and it will dry the silica inside...its reusable, kinda of like one of the posts above me mentioned...but dunno where to get it though..

  18. #18

    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    i still think its better to go for dry cabi....its so irritating to keep on reusing the silicon gel...
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    Quote Originally Posted by IceMocha View Post
    $4 afew years ago? Did you know that electricity just gone up like close to 20%? If you are talking about 5 yrs ago, the currently price should be more than 50% compared to back then.

    Yes, I bought a Dry Cabinet recently, but I store more than camera stuff. I have stamps & old $$ notes in them to justify the cost.

    petty cost compared to overall photographic equipments right?

  20. #20

    Default Re: Airtight Plastic vs Dry Cabinet

    Quote Originally Posted by giantcanopy View Post
    But i am not going to use the wok or the microwave to cook / heat my food, and the cobalt chloride component is not exactly really something i want to breath too much when it fumes or anything

    Ryan
    You might want to check out the actual melting point temperature of Cobalt Chloride. No way a microwave can reach those temperatures (the microwave oven itself will start melting...).
    You'll feel more relieved.

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