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Old May 1st, 2003, 10:58 PM   #1
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Camcorder Storage Strategies

Where do you store your equipment and camcorder when they're not in use? Where I live it can get very humid and so I've been concerned lately about any effects it may have on my camera.

Right now its sitting in a plastic case with a couple of silica gel packs (the kind which you can reuse after throwing them in the oven) but I noticed that very quickly they go from blue to pink, which means there's a lot of moisture in the air.

Do you think this matters much? Should I look for something air-tight? In the manual for the AG-DVX100 for example, it says recommended temperature for storage is 77 F. This is not gonna happen here.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 11:05 PM   #2
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Hmm, how long are you planning on storing it?

Me personally, when my camera isn't in use, I just leave it sit on the tripod right here beside my desk, it doesn't sit like that for very long, I use it quite often...
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Old May 1st, 2003, 11:19 PM   #3
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Humidity certainly does effect electromechanical devices. I'd store it in a ziplock bag with the silica gel inside. Or get an air-tight case for the camera.

My assumption, after a lot of years in electronics, is that the better the storage conditions, the better service life equipment will provide.

My rule of thumb is that if I am comfortable, then the equipment is OK.

Fortunately, I have a very well insulated studio with heat and air conditioning. Most of my equipment is stored in PortaBrace bags but then Northern California is not the same as your location.

For certain, don't leave tape loaded in your camera. I'd also not leave batteries installed.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 12:08 AM   #4
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Christopher,
It would be reasonable to consider investing in good air-tight and water-tight hard cases, such as Pelikans, to provide medium-term storage for your cameras. Such cases, with some of that desiccant, would fend-off the effects of atmospheric moisture.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 12:28 AM   #5
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If it is that humid, i would do both my self and my equipment a favour and get a nice reverse cycle air conditioner with climate control.

That way you can enjoy a dry well cooled and confortable area for both yourself and the equipment.

Zac
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 02:33 AM   #6
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I have an editing setup that requires an air-conditioned room to keep the hard drive RAID from overheating, so I store most of my electronic equipment in there. The room's rather small, so there's not much available storage.

For other photographic equipment I found a very large ammo case (used to store 20mm canon shells) and use Drierite (a dessicant) to absorb the moisture. The heavy steel surplus ammo cases are quite cheap (about $30) and feature a rubber gasket for an excellent air-tight seal.

Hope this helps.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 07:21 AM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions - certainly got me thinking about a better storage solution. Don't get me wrong, the camcorder is not in storage for great lengths of time, its just that it averages 84 F in my home easily these summer days (exacerbated by the fact that my room is situated in the worst area of the house, with no wind to help cool things down).

I have an AC but I turn it off when I leave for work, etc. Should I keep it on 24/7 just for the camera? Guess I have to do some research to find out whether its a reverse cycle one, I did only buy it recently - is it something you have to specify?

Definitely gonna look into the Pelican case for the camcorder's permanent home. Question though: will it accomodate an AG-DVX100 and a Cavision matte box? The matte box does not have to assembled on the camera. Should I go for the dividers or foam? (Perhaps I should post this in another thread, hmm...)

Guess its a plastic bag for now.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 08:13 AM   #8
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I've never heard of reverse cycle air conditioning. Any airconditioned space will benifit from dehumidification, the closer the unit is matched to the load, the better the dehumidification. Oversized doesn't do a good job.
The ideal is a machine that labours constantly. The only other way to extract more moisture is to drop the air temp to the desired dew point and reheat. (that's what a dehumidifier does) 50% RH (at 72 degF) dew point is 54 deg F

I'm a Refrigeration Field Eng for a large international maufacturer and somewhat anal about my AC setup. My home rarely goes above 60% RH and is usually around 55%.

For storage, I lock my cameras in my office credenza.

For those that pack the camera away in a Pelican air tight , just drop a silica gel pack in before you close the lid (if'n you want too). I personally wouldn't bother unless you live in a very humid area. If it's dry when you close the lid it should be dry when you open it back up.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 11:34 AM   #9
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Christopher,
Go for a case with pick-and-pluck foam. Much easier to customize to your needs.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 12:30 PM   #10
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I'm in the same boat

<<<-- Originally posted by Ken Tanaka : Christopher,
It would be reasonable to consider investing in good air-tight and water-tight hard cases, such as Pelikans, to provide medium-term storage for your cameras. Such cases, with some of that desiccant, would fend-off the effects of atmospheric moisture. -->>>

I'll second Ken's above, Pelican (or other brands with o-rings and a pressure relief vavle) is the way to go when you live with the ocean at your back door.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 02:11 PM   #11
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Pelican's are great, they have the pick and pluck foam and you can get them in a number of configurations...the 1650 cases we use for the glidecams are big enough to accomodate an xl1 plus a host of accessories...or an xl1, an dvx and some small accessories...plenty of room!

not cheap though.
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Old May 3rd, 2003, 02:11 AM   #12
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Okay, I'm sold. I'll order one Sunday night so I hope to receive it later that week. What do you think about this place to order it from?
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Old May 3rd, 2003, 02:48 AM   #13
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Christopher, I keep my cams in a plastic bag, and the bag with cam in a "protective" cam case. The cam case sits either in my closet or in my desk drawer (yes, I have a large desk which my wife hates).
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Old May 3rd, 2003, 03:12 AM   #14
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Reverse cycle must be an english/australian term, it means it can do heating and cooling. I believe the most efficient heaters are just air conditioners running in almost reverse mode, as they create excess heat as an offshoot of cooling.

Basically the unit itself is in 2 halves, the big noisy air fan part is outside or on the roof, and tubes run into the house, and the unit on the wall is quiet, usually automatic as well. You set a temp you want the room at, and it can cool or warm it up depending on what season you are in.

Some now have become intelligent, and can sense sudden changes in the room and compensate in areas of the room and so on.

Zac
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Old May 5th, 2003, 04:06 AM   #15
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Thanks for the explanation, Zac.

In regards to the Pelican case, one should be on its way here soon. So, how do you go about customizing the foam, do you cut it, and if so, with what? There any reason why I shouldn't have gotten a black one?

In the meanwhile I have the silica packets back in the oven again and have kept the AC on - no sense investing in equipment only to subject them to possible damage.

Bryan, I wonder if your expertise would help out on shoots in the arctic when it comes to maintaining equipment properly.

Thanks again, everyone.
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