Well, if you arrive at this page by the keyword “DIY Drybox“, then, you have come to the right place.
Making your own dry box is actually very straight forward. Firs tof all, you will need to prepare the following items:-
- A container. A air-tight, transparent container is recommended as we do not want any humid air to enter the container and a transparent box means some light can still go on hindering fungus growth.
- A humidity level gauge or better known as a hydrometer. It’s a vital device that tells you how dry the container is. Most of the hydrometer sold today includes temperature reading too. You can get a decent one from Shashinki at RM 76.
- A dehumidifier agent. You can get silica gels in the market or maybe even buy those meant for keeping clothes dry like ‘thirsty hippo’ and such. If you are going to buy thirsty hippo then it requires you to replace it from time to time. The cheaper way is to actually use silica gels.
Going the silica gels way
When the silica gels absorbed all the water that it possibly could, it will turn pink. You may re-use/recycle them by putting them into the microwave, heating them up thus removing the stored water/moisture within. The gels will turn back to blue when it’s dried. Just make sure that you are on guard when the heating process is performed! We do not want anything silly to happen. If the process is done properly, you make re-use them virtually forever.
Or if you would like to save the hassle or do not have a microwave/oven at home, you can get a Electronic Moisture Absorber at RM 46.
How to put things together
- Put a layer of bubble plastic wrap as a cushion for your gears inside the plastic container.
- Drill a hole if needed to connect the hydrometer sensor into the container.
- Place the dehumidifier elements in the container.
- It’s just like that! You are done.
Monitoring the humidity level
It’s a manual job and that’s the dangerous part of the entire idea actually. An typical electronic drybox would automatically maintain the humidity level by itself but a custom made one here would require you to maintain it yourself.
You should maintain the relative humidity level at the range of 40-50% for camera equipments. You will need to add or reduce silica gels to achieve that level.
It’s the cost that make your want to DIY! And here’s the estimated breakdown.
A decent hydrometer : RM 76.
Electronic moisture absorber : RM 46.
A decent air tight plastic container (40L): RM 100.
Total: RM 222.
As a comparison, a decent AIPO 38L electronic automatically regulated dry cabinet costs RM 418.
To do it yourself or not its your say!