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Vivid Color

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Pelican Storm Case Question
« on: May 28, 2013, 03:56:23 PM »
Discussions on this forum, and a recent leak in my ceiling (which has been fixed and fortunately did no damage to my camera gear) have led me to thinking about getting the Pelican Storm im 2720 case so I can store all of my gear in one place. (I looked at all of the various sizes and this one seems to have the right dimensions plus wheels.) But, in reading an old thread, an issue was raised by Neuro about the cases being air tight and the implications of too much humidity or dryness. I don't use my gear everyday (sadly) and can sometimes go weeks or even months without using some parts of it. If it helps to know, I live in the northern VA area and have a dehumidifier running in my basement pretty much full time in the spring/summer. Also, the case will be stored on the floor of the only interior closet I have, which is on the first (ground) floor and is well ventilated due to a laundry chute in it. What precautions/measures, if any, should I take? Should I make sure I open the case periodically if I'm not using my gear to let it air out? If so, how often?  I want to protect my gear but I don't want to inadvertently damage it in the process. Neuro: thank you for providing all the information you have on the Storm cases -- it's been really helpful. I look forward to the responses from you and others on the forum.

PS: Perhaps I am over-thinking this, but I do ask the questions in all sincerity.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 05:09:10 PM by Vivid Color »

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Pelican Storm Case Question
« on: May 28, 2013, 03:56:23 PM »

docholliday

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Re: Pelican Storm Case Question
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 05:32:56 PM »
Dark and moist are the worst enemy that gear can have - the perfect environment for fungus. I use a series of Pelican 1620 cases to store gear in, but only on occasion do I keep lenses in there. With that said, I still have a ton of studio and lighting gear that gets used indoors and out. Usually, if I'm out with the gear shooting, I'll leave the cases open for a week or so an air-conditioned before closing and putting the gear away. I'm in Indiana, so our climates are fairly similar.

However, I do keep huge bags of molecular sieve in the cases to maintain dryness. I used to use silica gel, but got tired of it not drying the air enough in damp environments. I get the stuff from here for cheaper than usual: http://sorbentsystems.com/desiccant_overview.html I use the 80unit bags and the dry boxes in my mobile gear bags.

I also use the sieve to dry out submerged computers (I'm the IT director for quite a few businesses in our area and deal with bad users more often than I would like). Haven't had one that I couldn't fix yet...

Drizzt321

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Re: Pelican Storm Case Question
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 06:30:34 PM »
Dark and moist are the worst enemy that gear can have - the perfect environment for fungus. I use a series of Pelican 1620 cases to store gear in, but only on occasion do I keep lenses in there. With that said, I still have a ton of studio and lighting gear that gets used indoors and out. Usually, if I'm out with the gear shooting, I'll leave the cases open for a week or so an air-conditioned before closing and putting the gear away. I'm in Indiana, so our climates are fairly similar.

However, I do keep huge bags of molecular sieve in the cases to maintain dryness. I used to use silica gel, but got tired of it not drying the air enough in damp environments. I get the stuff from here for cheaper than usual: http://sorbentsystems.com/desiccant_overview.html I use the 80unit bags and the dry boxes in my mobile gear bags.

I also use the sieve to dry out submerged computers (I'm the IT director for quite a few businesses in our area and deal with bad users more often than I would like). Haven't had one that I couldn't fix yet...


Low humidity tends to be good for equipment, but you might not want it to be completely dry. Don't forget there are lubricants and such in lenses and they do need a certain amount of humidity. I agree on principle with throwing some silica packs, or that sorbent systems stuff you linked, but don't let it get bone dry.
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mrzero

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Re: Pelican Storm Case Question
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 06:31:11 PM »
I use the little packets of silica dessicant, with one in each lens compartment.  I don't have Pelican's, though, I am just using a foam lens divider inside a generic watertight storage box from the Container Store (the Pelican would probably cost about as much as the gear, unfortunately).  I haven't been doing this for very long, so I look forward to what others have to say about storage practices.
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timmy_650

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Re: Pelican Storm Case Question
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 06:49:40 PM »
What you can do is mold can only grow in right conditions. They sell little charts temp and humidity and I would put one of those in there and see if it is something you need to worry about.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Pelican Storm Case Question
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 11:15:57 PM »
Low humidity tends to be good for equipment, but you might not want it to be completely dry. Don't forget there are lubricants and such in lenses and they do need a certain amount of humidity. I agree on principle with throwing some silica packs, or that sorbent systems stuff you linked, but don't let it get bone dry.

+1.  Both the lubricants and the rubber parts require trace moisture to maintain resiliency.  Personally, I use silica gel cartridges (4" diameter) - I keep a pair of them in the im2720, one in the 2300, and a smaller cartridge (2.4") in the small im2075. 

I suspect long term storage in an airtight container with several bags of molecular sieve might drop the relative humidity too low.  The goal is to keep the environment dry enough to inhibit fungal growth, not to remove all moisture from the air for storage.  Ideally, you want the RH at around 40%.
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ahab1372

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Re: Pelican Storm Case Question
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 11:45:12 PM »
Walk-in humidor?

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Re: Pelican Storm Case Question
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 11:45:12 PM »

Vivid Color

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Re: Pelican Storm Case Question
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2013, 01:51:22 PM »
Thank you to all who have replied. It seems like there is a delicate balance between too much and too little humidity. In general, I don't have a problem with mold in items I'm storing at home, but then I haven't used air tight containers before--just various camera bags to store my camera gear and plastic bags and boxes to store other stuff. Given that I'm mostly looking at the Pelican case for protection in times of storms with heavy rains or when I'm going to be out of town, I'm wondering if the solution might be to close the lid but not lock when I'm at home/work. That way, I'd keep out the dust (a much bigger issue at my house) but maybe this would not make things air/water tight and I could lock the case when I'm going to be gone for extended periods or know that storms are likely. Let me know if you think this might work or if I'm missing something.  (Again, some risk here but so too it seems from drying out the gear.) Thanks again!

Don Haines

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Re: Pelican Storm Case Question
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2013, 09:43:09 PM »
My camera gear and telescope optics sits in plastic storage containers. They are not as waterproof as a true pelican case, but if you poured water from above the contents would stay dry. They are not sealed, but they do protect. When I go canoeing, that's when they go into the pelican case.....
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Re: Pelican Storm Case Question
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2013, 09:43:09 PM »