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Old September 14th, 2004, 07:55 AM   #1
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Preventing fungus/mold growth

Having just experienced this problem with my VX2000 I'd like to discuss ways of preventing or killing fungus inside camcorder lenses. So far suggestions I've seen...

1. Keep the camera in a sealed container (e.g. Pelican case or sealed plastic bag) with fresh dessicant (silica gel).

2. Keep the camera in a nearly-sealed container with a demumidifier in it.

3. Avoid condensation caused by start-stop air conditioning.

4. Store the camera with the lens cap off with as much sunlight on it as possible. Fungus hates UV (and warmth?).

5. To kill fungus try sealing the camera in a sealed container with an open container of chlorine bleach for a couple of weeks so that the gas permeates the camera and kills the fungus.

Does anyone have any other ideas or comments on any of the above practices?

2 related questions I have right now...

- What's the best way to dry out silica so that it can be re-used?
- Might chlorine gas from bleach harm any of a camera's components?
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Old September 16th, 2004, 07:12 AM   #2
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preventative medicine is always wise...


however , I had a similar problem many years ago with a Canon XLS Super8 Movie Camera. On the net I found a reference by an experienced Nikon certified repairer, who details the use of Nivea handcream (water based) to gently remove the fungus from the elements - Ive long since lost the link but try google.

You may find that if you obtain the VX2k service manual (for dis-assembly guidance) and take it together with your camera to a well established camera repair shop you may get a better service since it is a 'mechanical' repair issue.

fungus should be removed as early as possible since it can eat into and cause pitting in the glass
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Old September 17th, 2004, 01:41 AM   #3
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I managed to download the service manual but unfortunately there were no schematic diagrams in it.

On this occasion I'm probably going to send the camera back to Sony for cleaning.

For future prevention i think I'm going to build a cabinet hooked up to a demudifier and keep my camcorders etc. in that. What do people think about that?
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Old September 17th, 2004, 06:48 PM   #4
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AN excellent idea. But you don't have to build a cabinet. Find yourself a refrigerator that still has good door seals but is otherwise a loss mechanically (can buy seals cheaply in US, probably not in T-land.

Put dessicant inside with gear.

Use Pelican or equivalent case with dessicant for kit you carry into the field.
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Old September 17th, 2004, 08:15 PM   #5
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> What's the best way to dry out silica so that it can be re-used?

Microwave oven, perhaps?

A similar topic is happening in the VX2100/Sony PD170 area:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...452#post223452
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Old September 17th, 2004, 09:15 PM   #6
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Re: Preventing fungus/mold growth

<<<-- Originally posted by Nick Hope : Having just experienced this problem with my VX2000 I'd like to discuss ways of preventing or killing fungus inside camcorder lenses. So far suggestions I've seen...

4. Store the camera with the lens cap off with as much sunlight on it as possible. Fungus hates UV (and warmth?).

-->>>

I'm not so sure about this point. Not practical and UV on your camera this way.....no-no.
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Old December 31st, 2004, 01:56 AM   #7
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Well, I've ended up with quite a large dehumidifier which runs all the time. I've created a "dry tunnel" around the opening of the dehumidifier and my cameras etc. sit in that. It's working well but unfortunately the model I have bought tends to act as a heater. It should throw air out at the same temperature as it takes it in, but it doesn't.
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Old December 31st, 2004, 05:45 PM   #8
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For dehumidifying containers I use Drierite.

To re-activate it:

Regular and Indicating DRIERITE
For the regeneration of Indicating DRIERITE and small lots of Regular DRIERITE , the granules may be spread in layers one granule deep and heated for 1 hour at 210° C or 425° F. The regenerated material should be placed in the the original glass or metal container and sealed while hot. The color of the Indicating DRIERITE may become less distinct on successive regenerations due to the migration of the indicator into the interior of the granule and sublimation of the indicator.

==========

A microwave oven wouldn't be a good idea as you want to heat up the granules evenly to drive out the moisture. A microwave oven may not be able to do this.

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Old January 1st, 2005, 03:47 AM   #9
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Definitely, as Dean says, only use a conventional oven. Microwave ovens won't dry out moisture. In fact, they work by using the water molecules to heat food. RF energy excites the water molecules and their motion produces friction which produces heat.

Nick, about the chlorine idea. BAD IDEA. The chlorine gas will slowly corrode all the metal inside the camera if left there for any length of time(like a couple of weeks).


Take care,

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Old January 1st, 2005, 08:25 AM   #10
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Yes, I wrote off the chlorine idea too as I was not sure what it would do to the camera itself.

Before we got the dehumidifier my girlfriend tried drying some silica gel in our microwave. The quick result was some nice brown burnt silica gel.

I'm still thinking of using the dehumidifier just to dry out dessicant and then use a discarded fridge as a dry cabinet to keep down the electricity cost of the dehumidifier.
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Old January 1st, 2005, 01:42 PM   #11
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Nick.

I don't know what facilities you have in your neck of the world. But, if you use an oven daily, I would suggest that you put your silica in your oven after you have finished cooking. Turn the oven Off. When the temperature has fallen below 300 degrees F, put the gel in the oven. If it is not bagged but just loose, spread it out on some foil. Leave the gel in over night.

The silica should be at the most warm to the touch the next morning.
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