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Fungus Free Storage
Posted By: gordon_l34, 06-24-2018, 01:22 PM

Hi All,
Just thought I would let you know my solution for the storage of my collection in a fungus free dehumidified environment, here in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
I approached a local photographic accessories dealer, namely Kayell Qld., regarding buying just the unit that is used in the Wonderful Dehumidifiers. I told him that I wanted to dehumidify approximately a nine hundred (900) to one thousand liter (1000) cabinet. Andrew spoke to the importer who advised him that there was a pair of units that when used in parallel that they were rated for an eight hundred (800) liter cabinet. Because the cabinet which was an old two (2) door drinks fridge with all of the refridgerative components removed and would not be opened very often I decided to try it. I already had a Wonderful Dehumidifier for my digital equipment so was well aware of its function as a unit.

I cut holes in the back of the cabinet to fit the two components and turned them on. I placed a hygrometer on one of the shelves to monitor the relative humidity (RH). when this dropped to 50% RH I then turned the units off as they are fitted with an adjusting dial and an LED light when they are actually drying. I then obtained a second non functional refrigerator and did the same again thus giving me just over two thousand (2000) liters of dehumidified storage and piece of mind.
These units are a low power consumption unit unlike an air conditioner or such like.


I hope that this has been of some assistance to members contemplating a dehumidified storage solution in a high humidity environment
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06-24-2018, 03:18 PM   #2
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Good idea!
We live Christchurch NZ, which normally has a relatively low humidity (thanks predominant NorWester over the ranges) but there is still the problem of daily moisture generated in the home, so looking for a simple / cheap solution. Was going to do a hot box but now will look into a dehumidifier.
06-24-2018, 09:18 PM   #3
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I live in a very humid place, in Caracas, just next to the hillsides of Avila mountain, a national park with dense tropical rainforest, typical tropical warm climate. Relative humidity (RH) is over 70% around the year, and frequently goes up to 80-90% on the rainy season. In fact, I got fungus growth on two lenses just weeks after moving here many years ago.

I've read a lot about fungus growth on lenses and found that this kind of fungus like to grow in humid (over 65-70% RH), warm and dark places.

Fungus spores are everywhere, you cannot avoid them getting in to your lens. You can stop a growth that already started by exposing the lens to UV radiation (direct sunlight could be the source) which kills the growing fungus. But eventually new spores will come in and fungus starts to grow again if kept in the same conditions (humid, dark and warm places).

The most effective way to avoid fungus growth is to keep your lenses in a dry place, where you can be sure RH values are below 45-50%. RH is the variable to control. Fungus simply cannot grow at RH values that low.

I solved the problem building a DIY dry box. It's a wall mount cabinet with a, for want of a better name, hot bar. This is an electrical resistance enclosed in a ceramic rode that generates some level of heat that drys the air around it. It is sold to be used in closets where humidity is high. I put the bar in the bottom of the cabinet and cameras and lenses on shelves over it. I also put inside a digital thermometer/hygrometer so I can monitor temperature and RH values. Temperature goes between 28 and 32 C and humidity between 40% and 50% RH, all depending on climate conditions. Right now temperature inside the box is 29 C and RH 49%, and it has being a rainy day. Within the last seven years of use I've never saw any sign of fungus growth again.
06-25-2018, 03:24 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by gordon_l34 Quote
Brisbane, Queensland
Good solution. I'm 100km away in northern NSW, where 70-80+% humidity is the norm, and I also ended up getting two modest sized Legend Wonderful dry cabinets to house my lenses and bodies. The local Camera House seems to do a brisk trade in them.

Pity I can't put all my clothing & bedding in the same dry cabinets. Constant high humidity has an impact on those items too, alas.

06-25-2018, 10:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Good solution. I'm 100km away in northern NSW, where 70-80+% humidity is the norm, and I also ended up getting two modest sized Legend Wonderful dry cabinets to house my lenses and bodies. The local Camera House seems to do a brisk trade in them.

Pity I can't put all my clothing & bedding in the same dry cabinets. Constant high humidity has an impact on those items too, alas.
Hi,
If you shop around you will pick up a deceased cafe two doors drink fridge and add the units as I have done.
Regards.
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