Tuesday, September 16, 2008

DIY - Camera Dry Box

As soon as I realized limitations of my Sony Cybershot T-70 point and shoot camera, I wanted to buy a DSLR. After going through so many reviews I decided to buy a Sony alpha A350X DSLR camera with 2 lenses. 18-70mm & 55-200mm to be specific. I got this down from Broadway Hongkong through one of my friends last month. I got 4GB Sandisk CF card, LCD protector and Camera bag free of charge from Broadway. After I purchase it, I realize there are so many other little accessories I need to have with the DSLR. So I end up purchasing a wireless shutter release, 2 UV protectors for my lenses, rubber blower with metal valves etc. I got these through ebay which is quite cheap.

After all these, again I realize I need one more thing. A Dry Box or Dry Cabinet. So I called 2 local shops in Colombo, Sri Lanka to check prices. I got shocked by listening to the price.

One shop wanted LKR 18,000/- (USD 169) for a Dry Box with analog meter and electrically rechargeable desiccants. Two of lower versions of available for LKR 4,500/- (USD 42) which is just a plastic box with some silica gel bags in it. Another cheep version was available with an analog meter with silica gel bags for LKR 7,500/- (USD 70).
For me Dry box is just a box which can keep the humidity lower than the outside humidity. So I decided to do some research on this to see whether I can build my own Dry Box and I ended up with this.

So I decided to share what I have done with others so anybody who is interested can build their own Dry Box for 20% of the cost of what is available at the shop. In my opinion this is better than what is available in the shop since this has a digital meter to show the humidity and this holds the camera and lenses from moving inside the box which adds more protection.

What have I done?

1.Found a box which can be fully sealed (air tight) which is adequate enough to put my gadgets. I ended up purchasing a Microwavable food container for LKR 1225/- (USD 11.50)

2.Then I bought a sponge of 4 inch thickness. LKR 380/- (USD 3.5 )

3.Digital Hygrometer with temperature meter from ebay. With shipping it was USD 11.98 ( Unit was 3.99 and shipping was 7.99)

4. Rechargeable dehumidifier from ebay for USD 15.99. This is the item which was difficult to find and I had to pay LKR 140/- as taxes for Sri Lanka customs.

So the total cost for me was USD 43 for the total solution.

Below are the items I have used and how I have made my Dry Box. This is quite simple. So I am not going to explain step by step. Hope pictures speaks for it self.


ච.ගු said...

WOW your post is so neat !
I got my Alpha 200 3 days ago and was thining to go to pettah (Recoma) to buy a drybox. But then i found your post :-).

i have a few questions though:
> How is the use of SilicaGel instead of the rechargeble dehumidifier ?

> What is the humidity and temperature readings when you want recharged?

> How is the performance of the DryBox so far ?

Rasika Ambepitiyage said...


Thanks for the comment.

You can use silica gel, I have used those before I bought the rechargable dehumidifier. Then the problem is when it saturated you have to put it to the microwave to recharge it, or you have to use new silica gel.

Performance so far is great. No problem what so ever.

All the best for your new camera and the plan for the dry box.


Madhawa said...

Hay good post mate.

I'm also thinking of building one. Just ordered a "Humidity-Temperature-Hygrometer" from e-bay for under $5. :)

Have to finda air tight container. Yesterday I bought one from arpico but later found that it's not air tight. :(


Rasika Ambepitiyage said...

Try Arpico for Microwaveable Containers. It has a rubber beading along with the container lid. ( I have used one of them). I have been using this a year and works beautifully.

Madhawa said...

mmm those were not available yesterday in Battaramulla showroom. Couldn't find any with a rubber beading in the lid.

Have to chk again may be after some time.

Anonymous said...

Whoa! I just followed a Flickr link to find this. Don't know whether it does the same job as the ones available in the market. But your effort is very admirable. Wish you all the best.

Dhammika Heenpella

Anonymous said...

Hi, what size is your plastic box, tq

Rasika Ambepitiyage said...

The Box is approx 20cm*30cm*15cm. Now I got more lenses and need to upgrade to a bigger box. I believe it does not matter what size you buy, as long as it is enough to put your gear and air tight. The electric chargeable dehumidifying component is quite powerful and it can handle probably 4 to 5 times capacity than I used.

goodfewd said...

Nice article. This is what I am looking for. I just started collecting cameras and I believe this will help my equipment a lot. Thanks for the DIY instruction.