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Joined: Feb 2019
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Thanks gwing. That’s really kind of you to offer.
I think I’ll get another hygrometer.
The Govee hygrometer you suggest looks good.
I’ll have 3 in total then.
I’ll also know how stable the RH is through the day.
Thanks everyone for your help.

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You ask, "What hygrometer would you recommend to get a more accurate reading?"
I'm unable to give a definitive answer, but can advise about the unit that was standard fitment inside my upright piano. Link HERE. Barigo.
It appears to be accurate and with a Dampp-Chaser installed the reading is pretty constant at 48%. Prior to installing the Dampp-Chaser I was seeing readings varying between 31% and 56% depending on the season.
When I initially contacted the piano manufacturer Sauter, they commented that "31% is not really frightening, but the tuning intervals might be shorter."
I also asked them to recommend a piano tech in my region for a Dampp-Chaser (as I'd requested one to be fitted from the dealer from whom I'd purchased the piano, and despite their store promoting the device they were never forthcoming on my request). Sauter however replied to me immediately with the name and full contact details of a local tech that was recommended. Indeed, on the few times I've contacted Sauter, I've always received excellent customer support.
In summary, as it's a German made Barigo hygrometer installed on their high-end M-Class pianos, that should be testimony to their accuracy and reliability. I note that a similar unit is available on-line, which provides both temp and relative humidity values. LINK


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I recently purchased the Accurite and calibrated it with table salt. So it may not be perfect, but I'm probably within 5%. It's been interesting to notice how variable the humidity can be in my house just throughout the day, even with no heating or cooling on. One evening I opened the windows and there was a warm breeze blowing and it dropped to the 30's, which is crazy for Portland in April, so I quickly closed the windows up and ran the humidifier a few minutes to get it back up into the high 40's. By morning it was back in the mid 50's.

The story told me Portland is mild enough a damp chaser probably isn't worth it, especially since my home has AC and is heated with a Gas Furnace, so the humidity is fairly stable. Portland is nice in that the summers tend to be dry and the winters humid, so the interior of homes balances out. But I do want to keep an eye on it.

Last edited by Sail26; 04/19/21 01:19 PM.

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Sail26 #3107991 04/19/21 01:45 PM
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*The store I purchased the piano from


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I have a Honeywell hygrometer that was not expensive and appears accurate. I also have two cheap ones that I calibrated 2 or 3 years ago using the ‘salt test’. One of the cheap ones is close to the Honeywell in numbers. The other was so far out it just went in the bin.

Steinway says room temperature should be 20C and RH 45-70%.
I have noticed over the years that during winter when the RH gets close to 35% my lips get chapped.

Yep, we have a built in hygrometer.
Chapped lips = fire up the humidifier.

Sail26 #3108177 04/20/21 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Sail26
I recently purchased the Accurite and calibrated it with table salt. So it may not be perfect, but I'm probably within 5%. It's been interesting to notice how variable the humidity can be in my house just throughout the day, even with no heating or cooling on. One evening I opened the windows and there was a warm breeze blowing and it dropped to the 30's, which is crazy for Portland in April, so I quickly closed the windows up and ran the humidifier a few minutes to get it back up into the high 40's. By morning it was back in the mid 50's.

The story told me Portland is mild enough a damp chaser probably isn't worth it, especially since my home has AC and is heated with a Gas Furnace, so the humidity is fairly stable. Portland is nice in that the summers tend to be dry and the winters humid, so the interior of homes balances out. But I do want to keep an eye on it.

Just a caution for folks, I found that due to these devices not being linear throughout their range calibrating with table salt made mine *worse* at measuring the 40-55% humidity range than they were out of the box/ factory calibrated. If yours is really bad you may come out ahead with a table salt calibration but if you are going to do this its best to use Potassium carbonate, or take the cheat method and calibrate it instead against another Hygrometer that is known to be accurate.

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Originally Posted by gwing
Just a caution for folks, I found that due to these devices not being linear throughout their range calibrating with table salt made mine *worse* at measuring the 40-55% humidity range than they were out of the box/ factory calibrated. If yours is really bad you may come out ahead with a table salt calibration but if you are going to do this its best to use Potassium carbonate, or take the cheat method and calibrate it instead against another Hygrometer that is known to be accurate.

I know professional ones allow you to calibrate it at different ranges. When you calibrate with potassium carbonate what is the RH level it's set to?


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Originally Posted by keff
Might be worth investing in a wet and dry bulb hygrometer as they do not appear to be expensive.
It would require to be the type that you spin around.
Ian


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Originally Posted by Beemer
Originally Posted by keff
Might be worth investing in a wet and dry bulb hygrometer as they do not appear to be expensive.
It would require to be the type that you spin around.
Ian

It's funny that you should mention that. Prompted by this thread (thank you Fenner!) I today have been browsing the internet looking at hygrometers. I ended up buying a vintage whirling hygrometer on ebay. It was made by Negretti and Zambra, who were a very respected maker of scientific instruments - they used to have a shop in Regent Street in London, where I remember buying a barometer back in my schooldays.

There are still several whirling hygrometers made by N&Z available on ebay UK, if anyone else is interested.

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They look fun but I remember using one of these when we had a weather station built in my primary school (this would be some time back in the stone age) when all of the 20 kids in the class had a swing and *all got completely different results*. In the end the teacher picked five of us who could get results near the class average and every day we all had three swings, averaged our results, then averaged the five averages to get a consensus reading and used that. I guess it helped our maths :-)

Then I also start thinking about how the humidity varies considerably from one part of the room to another and more particularly from floor to ceiling and the difficulty of actually swinging said hygrometer inside the piano as well. I agree they are interesting and given an excuse I do generally prefer old mechanical things to modern electronics but on this occasion I think I'll pass.

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Modern electronic room temperature displays usually measure humidity with good accuracy, I have a little Stadler device that is spot on. No need to calibrate anything unless you run a laboratory.

Room humidity varies a bit, it is not only function of outside humidity and temperature. Every breathing human is a humidifier, washing and drying laundry or dishes evaporates water in the room etc.

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Originally Posted by kre
Modern electronic room temperature displays usually measure humidity with good accuracy, I have a little Stadler device that is spot on. No need to calibrate anything unless you run a laboratory.

Room humidity varies a bit, it is not only function of outside humidity and temperature. Every breathing human is a humidifier, washing and drying laundry or dishes evaporates water in the room etc.

What degree of accuracy do you mean by 'spot on' and how did you determine the accuracy?

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Originally Posted by gwing
They look fun but I remember using one of these when we had a weather station built in my primary school (this would be some time back in the stone age) when all of the 20 kids in the class had a swing and *all got completely different results*. In the end the teacher picked five of us who could get results near the class average and every day we all had three swings, averaged our results, then averaged the five averages to get a consensus reading and used that. I guess it helped our maths :-)

Then I also start thinking about how the humidity varies considerably from one part of the room to another and more particularly from floor to ceiling and the difficulty of actually swinging said hygrometer inside the piano as well. I agree they are interesting and given an excuse I do generally prefer old mechanical things to modern electronics but on this occasion I think I'll pass.

I expect it to be fun, and I expect it to be interesting. At best it will enable me to calibrate my various hygrometers, analogue and digital. If the wet-bulb readings prove too inconsistent, I expect I shall still learn something; in any case it was fairly inexpensive, so no great loss if I can't get consistent readings.

It's an interesting idea whirling the thing inside the piano - I think I might pass on that! I will also do my best to keep out of reach of fragile china ornaments... The humidity seems pretty uniform around my piano room. So far as the vertical dimension is concerned, I shall use the thing at mid-height, which is about the height where my hygrometers are located.

I shall report when I have tried it!

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