How much and how to place silica gels in dry box?


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Yevgeny

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Oct 16, 2004
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#1
anyone can advise?

thanks a lot
 

Diavonex

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Sep 23, 2008
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Admiralty
#2
It depends on the following:

1. how big is the box

2. how offen you open the box

3. how much moisture is in your equipment

As such I would suggest you get a dry cabinet instead of wasting your effort trying to figure out how much silica gel to use.
 

Jul 5, 2007
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AMK
#3
Silica gel can be place in the box as long as the equipment does not touch it. Reason is silica gel can break under weight or stuck in the equipment or scratch equipment. So drybox has a separator at the bottom. However you can also use sheets of folded paper too. Alternative, use a fine mesh bag will do too**.

You can pour the whole bottle as long as there is space. The logic is the amount of silica gel absorption must be greater than amount of liquid in the container (equipment + space). The larger the area of spread, the faster the absorption.

** Handle silica gel gently to avoid breathing in the fine pieces, bouncing around and prevent pets and child from swallowing.
 

Diavonex

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Sep 23, 2008
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#5
If you put too much silica gel in the box, there's a possibility of RH going below 40%. These is damaging to O ring and will also dry up lubricant in camera and lenses.
 

Jul 5, 2007
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AMK
#6
I may have to disagree on the amount thing. Silica gel, unless near expanded, will continue to take in vapour, thus the humidity within the box will drop significantly low regardless of amount eventually. The larger the gel spread area, the faster the intake.

On the lubricant drying out, I am skeptic about this as my impression is, synthetic grease dries faster under heat and open air, not dryness. Although I cannot say it is confirmed but I have never encounter such issue with silica gel.

I know of paper, real leather and natural rubber becoming brittle when store in too dry of a condition. But again for camera equipment, such encounter are only exhibited when it item is buried or direct contract with silica gel.

If you put too much silica gel in the box, there's a possibility of RH going below 40%. These is damaging to O ring and will also dry up lubricant in camera and lenses.
 

sinned79

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2009
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#7
I may have to disagree on the amount thing. Silica gel, unless near expanded, will continue to take in vapour, thus the humidity within the box will drop significantly low regardless of amount eventually. The larger the gel spread area, the faster the intake.

On the lubricant drying out, I am skeptic about this as my impression is, synthetic grease dries faster under heat and open air, not dryness. Although I cannot say it is confirmed but I have never encounter such issue with silica gel.

I know of paper, real leather and natural rubber becoming brittle when store in too dry of a condition. But again for camera equipment, such encounter are only exhibited when it item is buried or direct contract with silica gel.
then u are also wrong. the more u put, the faster it sucks the moisture, and it may came to a point it becomes too dry isn't it especially if the box is small and the amount of moisture may not be alot, then in the end the recommended level may drop to extremely low level? And you may not achieve the recommended level of 45-55 :) And i think too low level will cause the oil to dry out faster also (especially if you seldom use the lens).

watever it is, a drybox can never be consistent.

Factors :
1. How big the box is? How much amount to use to suits the box size?
2. If your equipment comes into rain, you may need more silica gel to achieve the recommended level
and blah blah...

get a dry cabinet and dun scrimp on it, saves your headache for the next 5 years (gauging based on the warranty given by digi-cabi).


by the way, i got a tripod, the plastic handle becomes brittle and just broke off... i kept this tripod in a tripod bag (no silica gel) and left it unused for at least 5 years lolz
 

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Atlas

New Member
Jan 18, 2007
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Behind the Camera
#8
If the box is keep too dry it might damage your equipment. better use a digi-cab where the humidity can be control.
 

Jul 10, 2009
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#9
I own a small dry-box which fits my D80 body, its kit lens (18-135mm w/hood) and maybe another smaller lens. So far (nearly 2 weeks now) i've used only 1/10th of a bottle of 500grms Silica Gel. The hydrometer has been a constant of 45-50, but might jump to 60-65 whenever i open the box for a while to take-out or put-in my camera. But it will go back to 45-50 in 2-6hrs. The Silica Gel have turned into a mixture of blue/pink but since the hydro reading is still within the "acceptable/recommended" level, i'll not replace it for now. I'll take note of how long it will last. :)

I poured the silica gel into a Body Shop bodyscrub container (got it from my wife!!). The container is about 1/4 filled. And i've drilled 4mm holes onto the screw-in cap. I think it will be a good idea for me to leave the cap (with the holes) screwed on, until the time comes when the silica gel is "less effective", then i'll leave the container open w/o the cap. :D

So far it works fine for me, for the past 2 weeks at least. I'm guessing when i have more things in the dry-box, i'll have to adjust the amount of the silica gel accordingly..
Hope this helps!! Cheers.. ;)

 

drechohead

New Member
Jul 10, 2009
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#10
Update on my Silica Gel replacement.. :)

Ok, i checked yesterday evening and today morning and the hydrometer remained in the 63-65 region. Its after i took some shots yesterday evening. Its been 2 weeks and 4 days since the last time i placed fresh silica gel in the dry box. The "spent" silica gel is not all pale pink, but a mixture of faint purple and faint pink. So my guess is it takes about half a month before i need to switch silica gel. After i've replaced the box with a fresh batch, the hydrometer goes to 55 after about 45mins. Now its at 46 after 3hrs.

Hope this info is useful to the TS.. ;)
 

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