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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Booth humidity levels . . . whats good and whats not

Author Topic: Booth humidity levels . . . whats good and whats not
Aaron Mehocic
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 804
From: New Castle, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-18-1999 02:34 PM      Profile for Aaron Mehocic   Email Aaron Mehocic   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Even though its summer and I live in Western Pennsylvania (hot and humid this time of year), we are having serious static problems. We found on the internet a site from British Columbia, Canada, that claimed the humidity in the booth must be between 50-60% in order to avoid problems with static cling. The manager bought a hygrometer and I tested the booth. I found that our humidity fluctuates between 40-45%. We are using a humidifier, buckets of water stashed safely near platters, and mopping the floor every other day to try and get our levels up. Two days ago, our technician droped by and thought he saw watermarks left by condensation on a circut board inside the lamphouse. My question is: What is the proper humidity level inside a booth so as that the film runs without any problems and condensation causes no damage to the equipment?

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Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-18-1999 02:55 PM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have run film in Colorado only. The humidity averages around 16%. We have had all the same problems as you with static. We have never used a humidifier. I don't think it makes a bit of difference. I have seen film have static in Houston where the humidity must have been 300%, anyway I was sweating up a storm. The difference between 40% and 60% isn't enough to worry about. Empty your buckets of water and turn off the humidifier.

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17775
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 06-18-1999 03:16 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I must agree with Ian. Everyone makes the humidity out to be such a big thing, when in reality it is more like a poor excuse from Kodak as to why their prints have so much static. Don't bother with the water. Imagine how good a print will look the day the bowl accidentally gets spilled on the print!

What type of platters are you running? I've found most static problems can be toned down by adjustments to the platter.

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Aaron Mehocic
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 804
From: New Castle, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-20-1999 11:07 AM      Profile for Aaron Mehocic   Email Aaron Mehocic   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We run three types of platters, Potts, Neutronic (Neumade), and SPECO. The Neumade platters are by far the worst with static!

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9532
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-20-1999 12:19 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Neumade is the worst followed by speco because they have painted platters that insulate the film.
Humidity does make a big difference In toronto we use steam humidifiers in all booths to hold the humidity at 55% and very little wrapping occurs.

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Aaron Sisemore
Flaming Ribs beat Reeses Peanut Butter Cups any day!

Posts: 3061
From: Rockwall TX USA
Registered: Sep 1999

 - posted 06-20-1999 02:14 PM      Profile for Aaron Sisemore   Email Aaron Sisemore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The best things to use for humidifying the air in a projection booth is a 'swamp cooler' or an *evaporative* humidifier, as they put the most humidity into the air without a risk of damage to anything in the booth.

If you MUST use 'vaporizers' or 'steam humidifiers' or anything else that emits a mist, steam or spray, try to locate the unit away from lamphouses, sound racks, and other critical electronic items, I have seen mineral deposits from these units find their way onto circuit boards, and even as little white spots on the platters and sometimes the film itself! (and unlike polyester dust these are hard crunchy deposits that stick readily and have to be 'chipped off' the surface)


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