Dry Box with silica beads


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weishengg

New Member
Jan 6, 2008
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Eastern Singalalapore
#1
Hi,

I'm looking to setup a dry box with silica beads to keep my camera equipment.
I'm not using the dry cabinet because surprisingly to say, I'm eco-friendly and I dont see it necessary to 'waste' electricity to store my camera equipment. Its less portable anyway.

So, currently I have a entry-level DSLR, 1 medium telephoto zoom, 1 wide angle zoom and 1 standard prime lens. Should be adding a flash in time to come. I dont see my equipment growing in quantity in the near future (grow in quality, maybe :p)

Looking for advice on the following

1) where to find a good variety of dry boxes
2) what are the "qualities" to look for in dry boxes
3) any interesting way to set it up to facilitate taking out and storing equipment? i dont want my equipment to be dropping onto the silica beads directly.
4) What price range should I be looking at?
5) any other advice, comments?


Thanks to all,
weisheng
 

ExplorerZ

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2006
7,752
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West Legion
hkchew03.deviantart.com
#3
you probably end up creating more waste (used silica) on the long run... although you can re-use the silica by reheating, but the energy waste might just be more than cabinet... a 80L dry cab consumption is about 4-5W as far as i can rmb
 

Fotophilic

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2006
2,388
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big tree town
#4
1) where to find a good variety of dry boxes
If speaking of variety, I don't think u have much choices. You can find those black dry box with a small analog hygrometer on top and some silica bead encased nicely, they are sold in many camera shops and NTUC at AMK. U can try getting those "lock and lock" like containers of the size that u like, but u will need to do the other setting up (hygrometer, silica gel, etc) urself.

2) what are the "qualities" to look for in dry boxes
Ideally have soft paddings internally. If using the lock and lock kinda box, u have to put them in urself.

3) any interesting way to set it up to facilitate taking out and storing equipment? i dont want my equipment to be dropping onto the silica beads directly.
Using casing with holes to store the beads. small socks or pouches alike should work well too. I use those that can be "recharged", http://www.epinions.com/content_181098221188, they look sth like that. U can buy them from Homefix.

4) What price range should I be looking at?
The one in NTUC should not cost more than $30 if i rem correctly. If u set up ur own, most prob it will add up more than $30, depending on the items u get.

5) any other advice, comments?
Buy a dry cabinet. Save a lot of hassle. U can put your certificates and impt documents inside too.

But interestingly until today, I still put my camera in a drybox, for personal reasons. :bsmilie:
 

Legoz

New Member
Mar 7, 2008
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#5
1) where to find a good variety of dry boxes
If speaking of variety, I don't think u have much choices. You can find those black dry box with a small analog hygrometer on top and some silica bead encased nicely, they are sold in many camera shops and NTUC at AMK. U can try getting those "lock and lock" like containers of the size that u like, but u will need to do the other setting up (hygrometer, silica gel, etc) urself.

2) what are the "qualities" to look for in dry boxes
Ideally have soft paddings internally. If using the lock and lock kinda box, u have to put them in urself.

3) any interesting way to set it up to facilitate taking out and storing equipment? i dont want my equipment to be dropping onto the silica beads directly.
Using casing with holes to store the beads. small socks or pouches alike should work well too. I use those that can be "recharged", http://www.epinions.com/content_181098221188, they look sth like that. U can buy them from Homefix.

4) What price range should I be looking at?
The one in NTUC should not cost more than $30 if i rem correctly. If u set up ur own, most prob it will add up more than $30, depending on the items u get.

5) any other advice, comments?
Buy a dry cabinet. Save a lot of hassle. U can put your certificates and impt documents inside too.

But interestingly until today, I still put my camera in a drybox, for personal reasons. :bsmilie:

Actually, any box would do. if u dun mind a non-pro setup...

Theres really no need for dry box. I did my own setup with toyo box and hungry hippo. Humidity is kept between 30-40% consistently. And since its so 'dry', i kinda purposefully not close shut the box. Humidity with the above setup and hover between 40-50% and hippo is able to last months....
 

Jan 10, 2008
206
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West
#6
you probably end up creating more waste (used silica) on the long run... although you can re-use the silica by reheating, but the energy waste might just be more than cabinet... a 80L dry cab consumption is about 4-5W as far as i can rmb
Exactly.
 

ashflames

New Member
Aug 18, 2007
34
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#7
hi weisheng

get a dry cabinet, trust us... :p
 

geraldkhoo

Senior Member
Jun 15, 2007
2,571
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36
The Tiny Red Dot
sgstrobist.blogspot.com
#8
I used 2 lock-and-lock boxes for quite awhile until Nov last year when I got a dry cabinet. The dry cab is so much easier, but if you are still going for the dry-box, then this is what I did.

I got the largest lock-and-lock box i could find and went to Home Fix-It to buy a "wireless dehumidifier" (and this can be reused many times and cost about $20). You just put your camera and equipment into the box with the dehumidifier, and follow the instructions for the dehumidifier to reheat and reuse it. I used to fry silica gel, but when i discovered the wireless dehumidifier, it was great!
 

stonecow

New Member
Feb 18, 2008
343
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#9
The 10L drybox available at NTUC and most cam shops costs $25, but I think it's too small for your stuff. Maybe if you stack them up they can fit, but not ideal la. Not sure about bigger capacity boxes... If really budget, can consider buying a huge styrofoam box and line it with thirsty hippos :bsmilie:

Ok seriously like what the rest have said I think dry cabinet is the best. Not too ex, no need to monitor condition of silica beads, very convenient, keeps things organized due to shelving :thumbsup:
 

stonecow

New Member
Feb 18, 2008
343
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0
#10
What is this 'wireless' dehumidifier and how does it work? Seems suitable for my wardrobe. No need to keep changing thirsty hippos!


I used 2 lock-and-lock boxes for quite awhile until Nov last year when I got a dry cabinet. The dry cab is so much easier, but if you are still going for the dry-box, then this is what I did.

I got the largest lock-and-lock box i could find and went to Home Fix-It to buy a "wireless dehumidifier" (and this can be reused many times and cost about $20). You just put your camera and equipment into the box with the dehumidifier, and follow the instructions for the dehumidifier to reheat and reuse it. I used to fry silica gel, but when i discovered the wireless dehumidifier, it was great!
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
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Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#11
you are wasting your time to do all the search about alternative, those alternative will not be able to give you best results. and wasting your money too.

in the long run, dry cabinet is still the best choice.
 

#12
What is this 'wireless' dehumidifier and how does it work? Seems suitable for my wardrobe. No need to keep changing thirsty hippos!
Basically, it is silica gel that is in a casing with a heater inside. When the silica gel turns pink, just plug the dehumidifier onto a wall socket, and the heating element inside it would heat up the silica gel and the water gets removed from it, and when it turns blue, the thing can be used again. It is a very useful device, and I much prefer it to thirsty hippo. Thirsty hippo collects the water inside, and if it is full and you leave it there, it becomes counter productive.
 

beanbean

New Member
Jan 23, 2008
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#13
Basically, it is silica gel that is in a casing with a heater inside. When the silica gel turns pink, just plug the dehumidifier onto a wall socket, and the heating element inside it would heat up the silica gel and the water gets removed from it, and when it turns blue, the thing can be used again. It is a very useful device, and I much prefer it to thirsty hippo. Thirsty hippo collects the water inside, and if it is full and you leave it there, it becomes counter productive.
How did you manage two lock-locks with only one dehumidifier?:think:
 

JoeyAstro

New Member
Mar 7, 2008
15
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Singapore
#15
I'll go for the dry cabinet too :)
I used to used the dry box but silica gel/beads need to be change very often, which I think would lead to spending more money...
I've noticed you've 1 DSLR, 3 lens and saying a speedlight might come the way...
Instead of getting a BIG dry box to fit all this in, maybe you would like to consider a small dry cabinet that uses very little electricity...;)
 

Mondeo

New Member
Jun 24, 2007
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0
#16
The blue silica is very toxic :eek:not so much the silica itself but the salt that is used to give it the blue/pink colour (cobalt salt if I recall correctly). Please do some search on the internet to understand the hazards. A colourless silica is safer although it does not give any warning on its wetness level. Never heat the coloured silica with other cooking utensils, like frying pan, microwave oven, eating spoons, etc.

I threw away all my blue coloured silica after knowing about the hazards. I use a dry cabinet instead.

I understand there are now coloured silica but using safer salts and cost more as well.
 

Mar 15, 2008
69
0
6
Singapore
#17
Hi,

I will suggest a dry cabinet, as with what the other members have previously suggested. I see you have a few lenses and maybe a flash soon plus a DSLR, the box you are going to buy may be a big one (I personally have not seen big dry boxes before, they must be quite rare), unless you are stacking them up. If so, you have to use foam to cushion them and foams absorb moisture due to the tiny pores and pockets that trap ambient air. Your silica beads will have to work extra hard to bring down the RH levels.

Silica beads can be re-used by reheating them up in an air oven (not microwave oven as the water molecules will vibrate and silica beads may burst and emits toxic fumes) from 60-120C or slightly above, I cannot remember the values off hand, but in a home setting, better buy instead of re-using them. Just my two-cents worth.

I also put more than just camera equipment in my dry cabinet, such as photos burned in DVDs and also documents such as my yellowing birth cert:(.

But if you must, get a big air-tight tupperware from departmental stores and buy a container of silica from the photography shops. It should work. You can buy a battery operated hygrometer and put inside. :)
 

#18
Get a dry cabinet. Go and check out the electricity consumption...its not much. Do you not use a fridge at home because you are eco-friendly?

Else, forget about all of it and just go out and use the cameras and lense all the time. So long as the equipment are used and serviced regularly, you won't get fungus. Sell off all those lenses and equipment you don't use. Just have 1 body, 1 lens, 1 memory card plus a flash is enough.

Else move to a country with a lower humidity, then just need to keep your camera in your bag, which I am doing now, as I am in the UK.

Perhaps being eco-friendly, don't use so many equipment.

BTW, I am a Environmental MSc student...;)
 

synapseman

Senior Member
May 6, 2003
2,196
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36
State of Confusion
www.pbase.com
#19
Silica gel is reaaaaally troublesome to use in the long run.

Every 3 or 4 days, you will need to recharge the gel either by frying it (thereby using up gas), or microwaving it (use electricity). S'pore's weather is so humid that the moment you take it out of the oven and allow it to cool, it would've probably be already 30% saturated before you even load it into your drybox.

I am quite sure that most anyone will start to get negligent after a while, and not change the silica gel even after it has been pink for the last 3 months!
 

faa

New Member
Jun 25, 2004
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up north...
www.flickr.com
#20
just a question..

do we have to open the caps of the silica beads bottle when its put inside the box?

know it sounds kinda redundat but i seriously duno leh..:confused:
 

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