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Thread: Planet Waves Humiditrak

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    Default Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Has anyone used the D'Addario Planet Waves Humiditrak? I saw it the other day and thought it looked pretty neat since it was bluetooth and I could check it on my phone.

    - - - Updated - - -

    http://www.planetwaves.com/pwhumiditrak.page
    Here is a link to it.

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak


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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    For very little more you can buy a humidifier for your whole house, not worry about monitoring it, and help every wooden thing in your house including yourself. I guess I am just too old, but creaking floors, kitchen cabinets, furniture, all your instruments, not just one, with a humidifier makes much more sense and you won't need to fill it as often, it turns off and on by itself, adjusts to the humidity that you set it to. ???????
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    I know of the product you speak and I think I am going to buy it. It would be handy to check on my instrument with my phone. I see it has an accelerometer chipset so you get pushed messages telling you that you just dropped your case and you should check your instrument for damage. Like I need an app for that.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Quote Originally Posted by lloving View Post
    2 different products.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    For very little more you can buy a humidifier for your whole house, not worry about monitoring it, and help every wooden thing in your house including yourself. I guess I am just too old, but creaking floors, kitchen cabinets, furniture, all your instruments, not just one, with a humidifier makes much more sense and you won't need to fill it as often, it turns off and on by itself, adjusts to the humidity that you set it to. ???????
    I have a very sophisticated whole house climate control system. It does keep the RH at 45% except when the outside temperature drops really low and then the humidistat automatically lowers the RH to prevent condensation from raining down the inside of the windows. If it stays very cold out side for a while I have seen the RH go as low as 22-28%. I store my 71 year old Martin in a Mark Leaf case with those packs in the case and I think they do a good job but I think being able to read the RH in the case without having to open the case may be nice. We will see as I did just order the Humiditrak and some more packets of saltwater for the Mark Leaf vault.

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    I have one. Its cute. Tells me when the humidity inside my guitar case gets low or high. Handy but not indispensable.

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    I guess humidity and humidifying is the new topic to run into the ground with startling regularity. There is a huge misunderstanding about what it means. Not to be outdone in the dead horse dept., here again is an incomplete (but relatively short) explanation. Blame the UW for teaching me about refrigeration cycles while getting my BSME.

    Humidity is a term to describe the amount of moisture (water vapor) in the air. It is expressed as a percent. Absolute humidity is simply the amount of water divided by the amount of air in a sample. Its pretty hard to measure so we refer to relative humidity, also expressed as a percent. Relative humidity is the ratio of the moisture in the air divided by the maximum amount the air can hold before saturation (water starts condensing and forming dew or rain). Because the amount of water vapor air can hold varies with temperature and pressure, don't think that a constant 40% RH means the moisture in your instrument is steady. As temperature rises, the moisture the air can hold also goes up. So if you humidify a case, room or house to 40% RH at 68 F and temperature rises to 75 F the RH will drop. So you need to add more water vapor to the air to restore RH to 40%. When the case, room, house cools back down the RH will rise above 40%. The point is you are not keeping your instrument "hydrated" at a constant value unless you control temperature as well. Also, humidifying a case does nothing when/if you ever actually pull the instrument out and play it.

    Yes I have an instrument room that I attempt to keep at a constant temperature and RH, but I know that none of that has any lasting effect when I take a few instruments to a jam or gig. I have 4 instruments ranging from 30 to 150 years old that have been in an extremely dry climate (northern NM above 7000 ft elevation) for most of their "lives" and they have zero evidence of damage from being overly dry. No changes at all since they have been hanging on the wall in my instrument room.

    I'm sure this has cleared nothing up...

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    I wish I could say that I haven't got any that are damaged from getting too dry but I have one Taylor I bought in about 1989 that has suffered and continues to suffer. No matter what I do that one guitar just has always been a problem. It sits in cases next to other Taylor's, Martin's, Gibson's and a few other brands from various centuries and decades and it simply has issues when it dries out. If it wasn't my favorite guitar I would have ditched it years ago. It's going back to the factory again and I'm sure this time it will cost me more money than I want to spend but I love this guitar.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Mandobart, That is good information and IMHO it does not contribute to running this issue into the ground especially a confusing thread about a product that I think is new to the scene. Since you mention temperature in relation to humidity I would point out that this device besides telling you when you have dropped your case, it will push you messages when the temperature has dropped or the RH is dropping. Since my old Martin does not have any easy way to adjust the neck, do you think I am worrying too much about humidity?

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Greer View Post
    Since my old Martin does not have any easy way to adjust the neck, do you think I am worrying too much about humidity?
    Yes, but - I am not a luthier nor an expert on the long term behavior of wood as temperature and humidity change. I am also not a product development or marketing expert.

    Most of my instruments (10 out of 15) have no neck adjustment capability either. I may have been just lucky that none of my instruments (except my old cheapie 6 string that I packed around the world on a submarine) ever developed any cracks or neck issues. There is no air flow in most cases so I wonder how well a sensor at one location reflects humidity throughout the case. I'm not sure I would want a message from my case when I'm on the other side of the world to give me something (that may be nothing) to worry about until I get home. I'm not saying this is a bad, unnecessary or misleading product. I don't think it would be useful for me as I rarely have my instruments in their cases, and I already have a good hygrometer in my music room.

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Bart,
    wood humidity is known to correlate closely with relative humidity of air. So you don't really need to care much about how temperature affects the RH. Even if you don't keep constant temperature and only use dehumidifier with humidistat (which works with RH only) you rinstruments will be fine.
    Of course it is good to know that heating the air will drop the relative humidity and that air at freezing temperatures contains almost no vapor (it all condensed as snow or ice as cold air has very little capacity of holding vapor) but it's Rh can be close to 100% while it's cold, but when you force heat it you get dead 0% RH air that will dry your guitar totally.
    Adrian

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Not going to debate RH here - its one of those things that people trust their gut/clever marketing over science and engineering. Not my circus. However, the RH in my practice room goes up when I go in and spend time with my instruments. Turns out carbon based units make pretty good heater and humidifiers. So get those axes and hatchets out of the case and in your hands playing them and that is more effective humidification than in-case gizmos.

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    So my Humiditrak has arrived and I paired it to my phone. It read exactly what the humidistat read in my home. So far so good. I put it in my case and my phone could not connect very well to it. Could it be because my case is an Accord carbon fiber case and the material attenuates the RF? May try it in the Mark Leaf case next.
    Last edited by Steve Greer; May-19-2016 at 8:59am. Reason: sp

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    Absolute humidity is simply the amount of water divided by the amount of air in a sample.... Relative humidity is the ratio of the moisture in the air divided by the maximum amount the air can hold before saturation...
    I assume that relative humidity is the quantity we read (inaccurately) on those cheap meters that come in some instrument cases and humidors, as well as those inexpensive digital humidistats you can get at electronics and gadget stores?
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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Has anyone any longer term experience with the Humiditrak? I am torn. The nerd in me wants to go for it, but realistically I suspect I would just be buying a new way to worry about my mandolins.

    Except for the retuning them almost a full semitone every spring and fall, I have had no problems with the instruments.
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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    I assume that relative humidity is the quantity we read (inaccurately) on those cheap meters that come in some instrument cases and humidors, as well as those inexpensive digital humidistats you can get at electronics and gadget stores?
    Yes, most any hygrometer a consumer can purchase (expensive or not) reads relative humidity.

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Battery went dead pretty quickly. In my area its only important during the winter. So.....I guess Ill replace the battery. But like I have said before, not indispensable.

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    I'd love to use a couple humiditraks to monitor humidity levels in different parts of my cases. In my guitar case, I've moved my in case hygrometer to inside the compartment, under the head stock, next to the heel and even inside the guitar itself. I'd open the case quickly and read the hygrometer level in that location, and all the readings were different, sometimes by a lot. Lots of guys say that it will all be the same, but not in my experience. That's why I like the idea of being able to read levels in multiple locations without opening the case.
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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    Not going to debate RH here - its one of those things that people trust their gut/clever marketing over science and engineering. Not my circus. However, the RH in my practice room goes up when I go in and spend time with my instruments. Turns out carbon based units make pretty good heater and humidifiers. So get those axes and hatchets out of the case and in your hands playing them and that is more effective humidification than in-case gizmos.
    Unless you intend to actually play your instruments for weeks or months at a time, non-stop, it isn't going to make much difference. Humidity control, when it comes to keeping wood from drying out and splitting, is a long-term subject. Different instruments will react with more or less drama when it comes to short-term humidity/temperature changes (like popping or needing to re-tune). But the dimensional stability across the grain, and strength of the wood over the long term, depends on the wood retaining an internal moisture content above a certain level. The ideal level should be exactly how moist the wood was when the instrument was built, and most quality builders use 40% to 50% as the mark.

    So it's not a big deal if your instrument hits dry air for a few hours at a jam. Or if it gets really humid when you play it. Those short-term fluctuations are not the problem. It's the longer, seasonal changes that can cause an instrument to crack. Keeping an instrument humidified in its case or instrument room (where it likely spends 90% or more of its time) is what's going to really matter in terms of internal moisture content in the wood fiber.

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Looks like another thing to cause me to worry.....

    It is interesting to me how different people approach our hobby. Some with the playing and learning of songs, practicing, etc. Others with the maintenance and restringing, polishing, humidifying. etc. Others with constant upgrading and buying and selling. It's all cool to me.

    As I said before, the answer to instrument humidifying is: it depends.... I like pops1 idea of the whole house unit covering all the bases. I personally have never liked a wet/damp item introduced into my instrument cases. (I realize this unit is a monitor). I will say some people, depending on location and use of heating/furnaces, etc., probably have avoided cracks with careful monitoring. You can buy a wall mount humidity gauge for under $10....... OTOH, instruments have been found in hot attics where they have resided for the last half-century and still are in perfect condition. Of course, some are found bent like a bow and arrow!

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    I just got a whole house humidifier and I'm not so sure about it. This isn't one that connects to your furnace, its an evaporative humidifier that needs to sit within the house.

    I've found that in order to make a big difference in humidity, the humidifier needs to run most of the time on a high fan setting. The fan noise really bothers me so I usually turn it off so I can hear music/TV/myself play mandolin, etc. So I'm not sure this is the best approach (at least for me).

    FWIW, I have this model:

    https://www.amazon.com/EP9-800-Whole...air+humidifier
    Last edited by Stevo75; Dec-15-2016 at 2:26pm.

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    I would simply be very cautious about relying on any cheap humidity sensor. Accurate sensors still cost money. You get what you pay for. The cheap sensors may give you an approximation, but like cheap thermometers, accuracy can be all over the place and there is often very little consistency from one example to another.
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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    I would simply be very cautious about relying on any cheap humidity sensor. Accurate sensors still cost money. You get what you pay for. The cheap sensors may give you an approximation, but like cheap thermometers, accuracy can be all over the place and there is often very little consistency from one example to another.
    True, but folks tend to overlook two important things in this thread:

    1) The moisture in the wood of an instrument changes only VERY SLOWLY in response to ambient changes in humidity. We're talking many days to weeks, here. So no one should worry about taking their instruments to a jam, away on a short trip, and so on.

    2) It isn't really necessary to get the relative humidity right to within any better than 10-20%. So the less expensive meters, which can easily by off by +/- 10% or thereabouts from the true value, are still perfectly good for the purpose of keeping your instrument's humidity in roughly the right range. A digital meter can be had for less than $10 that fits the bill, in fact.

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    Default Re: Planet Waves Humiditrak

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    True, but folks tend to overlook two important things in this thread:

    2) It isn't really necessary to get the relative humidity right to within any better than 10-20%. So the less expensive meters, which can easily by off by +/- 10% or thereabouts from the true value, are still perfectly good for the purpose of keeping your instrument's humidity in roughly the right range. A digital meter can be had for less than $10 that fits the bill, in fact.
    I agree. It's silly to think these instruments need to be kept perfectly in a 5/10% range. I have a cheapo hygrometer that I believe works pretty well (I validate it with outdoor RH posted by weather stations when I have all my windows open). I don't care if it's off by 5 or 10 percent. I know when it's really dry and I should be careful about leaving my mandolin out of the case. I know when it's neither too dry nor too humid (so I don't need to worry about it), and I know when it's really humid (not much I can do about that but it's short lived here in CO). That's all you need to know if you're paying attention.

    This is the one I have:

    https://www.amazon.com/AcuRite-00613...rds=hygrometer

    That said, I don't have $50,000+ worth of instruments hanging on walls in a room. If I did, and if I was really concerned about keeping that room in a tight range of RH, I would spend the money on a more accurate hygrometer (might as well at that point, what's another $50-$100).

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