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#328645 - 11/07/06 02:03 AM dampp-chaser experiment II
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
I recently started another thread ( link ) describing a damp-chaser experiment, but with a nonstandard installation. Here are the first results with a correct installation. The present readings are between the last 2 red dots on the following 2 graphs.

Last night I set up the system just before a dinner party. Here is what it looks like at the location of the controller. This is the setup used by the tech who fixed my original installation, except that he used Velcro tape instead of screws. (My original installation was done wrong. See this link ).



After the party was over I checked my data loggers. This is what I saw:

Here is the room humidity. For the dinner party I placed the coffee table humidistat in a different location (wife did not want it on the coffee table):



Here is the reading from the data logger placed on the front beam underneath the piano:



Needless to say, I was not happy about this measurement. During the course of around 5 hours (between the last 2 red dots), the humidity was mostly below 35%, and sometimes in the high 20’s. But, as you will see in the next plots, it changed overnight, becoming more regular but still very low.

Here is the coffee table reading overnight (after the party I placed that data logger back in the center of the coffee table):



Here is the reading on the front beam underneath the piano:



Again, the numbers are low, mostly between 28% and 35%, but increasing to 30-39% by 8am in the morning.


At this point I think it is worth repeating some remarks made by Ori when I posted last December ( this link ). Among other things, he said:

 Quote:
When an undercover is installed, the ideal distance between the humidistat and the tank is about 12"-14". However, when an undercover is NOT installed, the ideal distance is usually about 6"-8". This number is also not set in stone.
The humidifier is sending the warm and moist air up until it hits the plastic buffer above the tank. Then it moves sideways along the board.
When the humidistat is further away, it will take a longer time for the humidity to reach the humidistat, and for the system to switch from the humidifying to the de-humidifying mode and this will result in a higher humidity levels.
The drier the climate is (and in Barganx specific case it is a very dry local), the humidistat should be mounted closer to the tank (probably not more then 6" without the undercover). This will result in a drier RH level near the soundboard.
My guess is that the problem with my current installation (which does not have an undercover) is that the controller is too close to the rear reservoir. So, I am now taking measurements with the controller moved a bit further from the rear reservoir and closer to the front. I will post these results next.

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#328646 - 11/07/06 04:49 AM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
Well, it is 2:30AM and I now have strong doubts about everything I have done so far. I'll explain below. But, in case I'm wrong, and in the interest of completeness, I will post my final readings.

When I wrote the previous thread, I had had my system running all day with the controller in a slightly different location. I read out the data loggers late in the evening and obtained the plots below.

Regarding the new location of the controller: For simplicity, I used the existing screw hole, placing the left hand screw of the controller in the screw hole that was formerly the right hand hole. This actually moved the controller over about 6 inches, which was more than I wanted, but it was easy to do.

Here are the readings from the coffee table logger (as usual, the new data are between the last 2 red dots):



And here are readings of the logger on the front beam underneath the piano:



As you can see, the data are erratic at the start, then there is a period of about 6 hrs where the RH oscillates between 34-46%, then it is erratic again.

I assumed that the controller was now too far from the rear reservoir, and that if I simply put it in between the two locations (in the middle of the 6 in interval) everything would be fine. But I never got that far. Here is what happened:

As I was moving the controller, I placed it back in its original location (as in the first picture in this thread), and was suprised that the heater rods were not on since previously this had led to very low RH. In fact, I held the controller at various locations and nothing I could do would make the heater rods come on. I even held the controller with the top right next to the top of the reservoir -- the heater rods still would not come on. Finally, I brought over an electric tea kettle, boiled water, and, when there was warm moist air coming out, I put the top of the controller in its path. The heater rods finally came on. Then I placed the controller on the floor, where I was reading 31% RH, and felt the heater rod. It stayed hot, like it was receiving current, for 8-10 minutes. Then it abruptly cooled down.

Based on this, I am now wondering if the heating portion of my controller is malfunctioning? I plan to call dampp-chaser corp tomorrow to ask them about this.

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#328647 - 11/07/06 08:17 AM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2313
Loc: Lowell MA
What you need to measure is the resulting EMC of the wood as affected by the readings of the air you now see.

The condition of the air is only important as it is related to the resulting condition of the wood.

After all it is the condition of the wood we are concerned about.

What measurments have you taken of the wood?
_________________________
Has Anyone Seen My Glasses ?

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
www.finepianodevelopment.com

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#328648 - 11/07/06 09:42 AM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
I can't explain these results.

The first place to start is with the tech who installed the system. It's much easier to investigate such problems onsite, rather than miles away with just photos.

Also, you've modified the original installation (sensibly, as far as I can tell), but maybe something else isn't connected right.

It looks like the RH goes out of range only at night. Is that right? Does your furnace switch to a lower temperature at night? It shouldn't matter, but again, we need to see the whole picture to understand what's happening.

I also don't understand Ori's recommendations to have the 'stat close to the water tank. When you had that configuration, you didn't get drier RH levels than you have now.

Oh, and the Velcro is the standard installation method for the 'stat; it comes with it. You can also use the screws.

--Cy--
_________________________
Cy Shuster, RPT
505-265-4234
www.shusterpiano.com
www.facebook.com/shusterpiano
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registered Piano Technician
Dampp-Chaser Certified Installer
PianoDisc Certified Service Technician

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#328649 - 11/07/06 10:57 AM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Mr. Kia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/06
Posts: 179
Loc: Northeast, USA
If I were installing this system I would position the humidistat on the opposite side of the same post you have it on now. As with the first installation pictures you posted, it's still too close to a water tank.
_________________________
Piano Technician

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#328650 - 11/07/06 04:38 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
Cy,
The thermostat in that room is set at 64 deg. The heat is radiant heat from beneath the floor -- it is very stable. Temperature changes in the room are due mainly to the house heating up in the daytime sun. FYI we draw two layers of shades when we leave for work, so that keeps the room environment pretty stable.

Regarding the velcro: the tech who fixed my installation many months ago used the velcro tape. Then I left for a few weeks and when I returned was sad to see the controller hanging in the air several inches below the soundboard. The problem was that the sticky side separated from the wood. I never could make that tape stick. For a time I used some slings to hold up the controller, but I had to be careful not to impede the air flow through the top holes, and with slings (fashioned from tape) it is hard to get the controller to stay up high enough. So I finally decided to use 2 screws to position and hold the controller.

Mr. Kia,
I tried that location once. I don't remember the results. But I can tell you that, recently, I have found that even with the top of the controller placed a bit above the beam, there still seems to be a noticable difference in results in my piano when there is a beam between the reservoir and the controller.

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#328651 - 11/07/06 05:30 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
Today I spoke with Roger from dampp-chaser corp. We've talked at other times over the past several months and he has been very helpful and generous with his time. He said that there is not necessarily anything wrong with my controller, that I might just be observing slow sensor response. He also said that he suspects an undercover would help a lot, and he offered to send me one at no charge to see if it would solve my problem. I hope to have it installed before I leave town for Thanksgiving and be able to post the new measurements when I return from the holiday.

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#328652 - 11/07/06 07:59 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2313
Loc: Lowell MA
Every Humidistat that I ever put on with just the velcro, regardless of cleaning, has fallen off. Screws and velcro make for a quiet "stat" free from vibration.

DC ststems cycle within a certain Humidity range. I'd recite numbers now, but I'd have to look them up.

Regardless, the humidity rising and falling is the natural cycle within a certain range.


What is important is the EMC of the wood as a result of exposure to that cycle.

It is well understood among veteran installers that the humidifier portion of the system struggles in grand pianos. That is a good reason for installing the undercover. Or, supplimenting by humidifying the enviroment around the piano.

Most people do not put a logger underneath the piano so....the finer details of what is happening is not usually the subject of conversation. I am reasonably sure that these conditions, more or less, exist in all grand systems.

Keep in mind, it is the resulting EMC of the wood and the stability of that EMC that is the goal.

Moving the humidistat away from the water tank and toward the rim of the piano will result in the Humidifier portion staying on longer in dry climate. Adjust as necessary or reasonable.
_________________________
Has Anyone Seen My Glasses ?

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
www.finepianodevelopment.com

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#328653 - 11/08/06 05:45 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Glad you got a good response from Dampp-Chaser. I've been very impressed with the company's products and support.

--Cy--
_________________________
Cy Shuster, RPT
505-265-4234
www.shusterpiano.com
www.facebook.com/shusterpiano
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registered Piano Technician
Dampp-Chaser Certified Installer
PianoDisc Certified Service Technician

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#328654 - 11/08/06 09:59 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
jwcosta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/06
Posts: 74
Loc: Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA
Barganax: Glad to hear you're getting the undercover. I'm very curious to see your results with the undercover installed. My tech felt VERY strongly that this addition would make the whole system so much more efficient.

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#328655 - 11/09/06 11:33 AM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
Larry,
Thanks for the comments. I did not know if my velcro experience was unusual or not.

Regarding supplementing/humidifying the environment, I wish I could do that but it is difficult for me. The room is big (20' x 30'). There are windows and patio doors that my wife likes to keep open except in winter to keep the room cool. There is no water supply if I should want to have a humidfier or humidifiers that I don't have to constantly fill with by hand. And the openness of the room with the windows open would mean the humid air would not be trapped anyway.

Someone commented in another thread that dampp-chasers don't humidify the hammers. Is this true? I would have thought that, with the lid down, the trapped humidity would reach there...

Mr Kia:
Regarding your suggestion to put the controller on the opposite side of the beam, I had not done it in a long time, so I decided to try it again. Here are the results of 12 hrs running before I had to leave town. Note that, unlike all my previous graphs, these are taken with the lid down.





Given the dryness of Santa Fe I am reasonably satisfied with these results. In my mind it be nice if the low reading did not drop below ~35%, but what is shown here is only for 12 hours anyway. I am leaving it like this while I am out of town and will post the results when I return.

Of course, what really matters is how the system operates all year long. There are many days our area where the RH is in the teens and 20's. So I am still looking forward to monitoring the situation with an undercover in place and seeing how stable the microclimate is over the long haul.

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#328656 - 11/09/06 12:32 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1695
Loc: Massachusetts
 Quote:
Originally posted by barganax:
There are windows and patio doors that my wife likes to keep open except in winter to keep the room cool. [/b]
With open doors and windows that allow air movement, an under cover is especially called for.

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#328657 - 11/09/06 01:44 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1579
Loc: Chicagoland
barganax,

I really appreciate the work you have done here. Information is always a good thing - especially because I would guess few of us even have one, not two data loggers to check installations.

I'm at a loss to explaing the erratic nature of some of you graphs - considering that the "out of the norm" readings seem to be when the humidifier portion of the system is running amok. Again, Roger would be the person to ask.... Has he been able to study the graphs you have made?

This has really made me rethink some of the installations that I have out there. Some seem to be more stable than others, and your work gives me a bit more information to work with!

Keep us posted, I find this VERY interesting...
_________________________
Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com
@ronkoval

my piano videos:
http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=drwoodwind


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#328658 - 11/09/06 01:52 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
devils4ever Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/04
Posts: 477
Loc: northwest NJ
I'm very interested also since I'm trying to decide if I should install one on my AF grand with winter approaching. The RH inside my grand right now is at 50%.

 Quote:
Originally posted by RonTuner:
barganax,

I really appreciate the work you have done here. Information is always a good thing - especially because I would guess few of us even have one, not two data loggers to check installations.

I'm at a loss to explaing the erratic nature of some of you graphs - considering that the "out of the norm" readings seem to be when the humidifier portion of the system is running amok. Again, Roger would be the person to ask.... Has he been able to study the graphs you have made?

This has really made me rethink some of the installations that I have out there. Some seem to be more stable than others, and your work gives me a bit more information to work with!

Keep us posted, I find this VERY interesting... [/b]
_________________________
"Applaud friends, the comedy is over." --Ludwig van Beethoven on his deathbed.
August Förster 190 Artcase

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#328659 - 11/09/06 03:21 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Toddler2 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 760
Loc: Hillsborough, NC
I picked up my desert spring humidifier last night. $325 with the auto flush and current sensor.

Super simple and elegant design. Think of a Venta that fills and washes itself, and that uses the warm air from your furnace to evaporate the water. It's true it will only run while the blower is on, but since my thermostat cycles the blower on several times an hour, I don't see that as a problem. I suppose I could simply leave the blower running on super dry days,so the desert spring would then act just like a venta and use room temp air. Seems wasteful though.

Thing looks very simple to install too, if you can use an electric drill, a screwdriver, and sheet metal snips. Oh, and you have to hook up the water line, but that's pretty simple.

I'll let you know what my increase in humidity is in a week. Right now we're in the high 20's at best, and it's not even winter yet.

Todd

edit. Sorry. Today it's actually 50% outside, temps in the mid 70's. It's been in the 20's. I'll check my humidistat when I get home. Curious if my house went up that much.
_________________________
M&H AA (2006)

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#328660 - 11/09/06 09:04 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2313
Loc: Lowell MA
There is an EMC chart on my web site anyone can download and print.

I think it is a usefull perspective.

http://www.ejbuckpiano.com/Pages/Resources.html

Larry
_________________________
Has Anyone Seen My Glasses ?

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
www.finepianodevelopment.com

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#328661 - 11/09/06 09:37 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
 Quote:
Originally posted by barganax:

Someone commented in another thread that dampp-chasers don't humidify the hammers. Is this true? I would have thought that, with the lid down, the trapped humidity would reach there...
[/b]
There are holes through the soundboard where the "nose bolts" go through it, and the hammers strike the strings by coming up through an opening at the front of the soundboard. The humid air also dissipates around the rim of the piano and into the room, even through the undercover. It will reach the hammers.

If you've ever seen a smoke-damaged piano, you'd see proof of how air migrates through it...

--Cy--
_________________________
Cy Shuster, RPT
505-265-4234
www.shusterpiano.com
www.facebook.com/shusterpiano
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registered Piano Technician
Dampp-Chaser Certified Installer
PianoDisc Certified Service Technician

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#328662 - 11/10/06 09:58 AM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Toddler2 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 760
Loc: Hillsborough, NC
Smoke is one thing Cy, difusion of the humidity is another. I would never say the dampp chaser does nothing for the hammers, but with the lid down, the airspace inside a piano is fairly dead. Simple enough test, put your humidistat in the piano and close the lid, then check it when the dampp chaser is on a humidify cycle.

Mine didn't budge more than 1% from the ambient room humidity after an hour, but when I put it under the piano on a beam, it went from 27 to 45% in about 15 minutes. Also was 3 degrees warmer. It may be that after a lot of cycles the inside under the lid would go up a couple of points, and I'll check that tonight, but I have my doubts. The soundboard limits airflow from underneath and the lid isn't air tight.

Not complaining, I love having the system.

Todd
_________________________
M&H AA (2006)

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#328663 - 11/10/06 11:38 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
CTPianotech Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/06/06
Posts: 1473
Loc: CT
You would likely need to keep the lid shut for a week or so, before the RH above the soundboard becomes more in line with the underside of the piano, than with the room RH.

From my own experience while the systems 'moderate' swings experienced in the action cavity on grands, while on uprights they offer much more precise control of RH in the action.
_________________________
Rich Lindahl
Piano Restorations in Central CT
D-C installations, Player-Piano installations/service
Ritmuller/Pearl River

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#328664 - 11/12/06 10:33 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Toddler2 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 760
Loc: Hillsborough, NC
Well, I haven't opened it for three days, but it's so humid right now I'm not sure this is a valid test. \:\) I also put in the outflow and inflow on the furnace for my humidifier today. Now I need to get the water line in place. Plumber is coming tomorrow. I think my experiment may be useless. Oh well.
_________________________
M&H AA (2006)

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#328665 - 11/18/06 12:06 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
Hi Everyone,
I last wrote Nov 9. I had to leave town and got back yesterday. While I was gone I left my data loggers in place. My dampp-chaser was set up as shown on the first picture of this thread except that the controller was on the other side of the beam. There was no undercover in use while I was away. Here are the readings from Nov 7 to Nov 17:
COFFEETABLE



FRONT BEAM


As you can see from the coffee table measurement it was quite dry -- the RH was between 30 and 35% for the first 2.5 days, it was between 25 and 30% for the next 5 days, and for the final 2.5 days it was around 25% in the room.

The measurements on the front beam (actually the data logger is place on top of the belly rail) contain some good periods of fairly regular behavior in a reasonable humidity range, but there are also periods (e.g. the last few days) involving big humidity swings.

I think the prevailing view is that by having an undercover installed the behavior will become more stable (still oscillatory, but more reliably so). The undercover arrived while I was away and I installed it yesterday. Actually it is not fully installed, but I have it pinned up with the tacks provided. (The instructions say to tack it first, make sure everything is good, then use the velcro.) I used a large number of tacks and have a pretty decent seal. I watched my data logger for a couple of hours on-and-off and it did not look promising. I saw an excursion from 30-50% at first. But, I suppose that the microclimate needs to stabilize, so I have left everything in place over night and will post the latest results in a few hours.

It's also possible that I will need to move the reservoirs now that the undercover is on to get the nearest reservoir 12-14 inches from the controller. BTW that seems like it will not be an easy task given that there are two reservoirs. At any rate, the next measurements will give a sense of the difference with/without an undercover and with everything else in the setup unchanged.

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#328666 - 11/18/06 09:42 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Toddler2 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 760
Loc: Hillsborough, NC
I gave my humidistat 5 days, then opened up the piano. It read 33%, and didn't change at all after I opened the piano for several hours. Finished installing a humidifier today, so I suspect further experiments won't be as useful.
Todd
_________________________
M&H AA (2006)

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#328667 - 11/18/06 10:54 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
I have to take back what I said at the end of my last post:
"At any rate, the next measurements will give a sense of the difference with/without an undercover and with everything else in the setup unchanged."

I was watching my data logger with the undercover on, and I did not like what I was seeing: the RH was varying between around 30-50%. It just seemed like it was getting too dry, and that the heater rods were on too much of the time. I have been struggling with this for a long time and am coming to the conclusion that, in a dual reservoir system in a dry climate (like mine), the 36" heater bar is a problem because the reservoir gets in the way of positioning the heater bar in relation to the controller.

I finally moved the front reservoir in such a way that it is nearly parallel to the front of the piano. Then, I positioned the heater bar *behind* the reservoir, closer to the conroller. The difference is huge, and it makes sense. The controller now senses the dry air sooner, and the minimim humidity is now around 40% instead of 30% as it was previously.

I will post the latest measurements soon.

Another observation: when the humidifier comes on, the humidity climbs quickly to around 46%, then very, very slowly rises to 50-52%, and lingers there for a very long time, before the heater rods finally kick in and the humidifier turns off. (Remember, the data logger is on the belly rail, with no obstruction between it and the reservoir; the controller is in the triangular opening between the beams that contains nothing, i.e. no reservoir in that triangular space). I am guessing that this means that humid air is filling the underbelly of the piano, but the conroller is not sensing it until there is sufficient buildup? My controller is just a bit higher than the top of the beams, I don't think I can get it higher because the ribs get in the way. If I could angle the controller between the ribs I could probably raise it another 1/4 inch, maybe a bit more, closer to the soundboard. Has anyone else tried angling the controller to get the top closer to the soundboard?

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#328668 - 11/18/06 11:09 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
You're trading off one thing for another.

The humidistat needs to be near the center of the soundboard (horizontally). This is more important than its distance vertically to the s/b. Another 1/4" won't make a difference.

The long heater rod needs to be near the belly rail, to be near the center of the piano overall, and to provide minimal protection to the action.

Additionally, to protect your five-year Dampp-Chaser warranty, you need to go with the installation position that your installer selected. I'm just trying to protect you.

Different humidistats are available with slightly drier or wetter set points, if you need to make adjustments.

How long did you measure with the undercover on before moving it?

How are you getting the controller to stay on the belly rail?

--Cy--
_________________________
Cy Shuster, RPT
505-265-4234
www.shusterpiano.com
www.facebook.com/shusterpiano
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registered Piano Technician
Dampp-Chaser Certified Installer
PianoDisc Certified Service Technician

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#328669 - 11/18/06 11:19 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
CTPianotech Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/06/06
Posts: 1473
Loc: CT
It sounds as though the humidistat is at an appropriate height given the beam/rib construction of this piano. (those installing the new H-5 humidistat will note that you need a little space above one side of the humidistat in particular)

The recommended location of the components for the system have to do with creating a stable average moisture content of the wood, particularly the soundboard.

Prior to determining that there needs to be a change in the setup of the system, it would be most beneficial to verify whether or not the system is accomplishing this goal. There are devices available for measuring this, although the simplest way to tell, is if the pitch of the piano remains stable.
_________________________
Rich Lindahl
Piano Restorations in Central CT
D-C installations, Player-Piano installations/service
Ritmuller/Pearl River

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#328670 - 11/21/06 02:36 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
Cy,
In answer to your questions:
-The undercover was only on for ~12 hrs before I changed the setup. Probably not long enough, but I did not like the low humidity swings (regularly down to 30%).
-The controller is not on the belly rail; it is my data logger that is on the belly rail. The controller is in the general area that it should be for a standard installation.

Regarding the front heater rod: I am just saying that if, for example, you had 2 18" rods with a small space (few inches) between, you would have more flexibility to move a rod a couple of inches away from the front without the front reservoir getting in the way.

Rich:
Regarding pitch stability, this is what got me started monitoring the RH again after a several month break. During my last tuning, which I think was in October, my tech said he was surprised: there had been a lot of wet weather in the area previously, and he had found the other pianos that he had serviced to have high pitch, but mine was actually low. He knew that I had at times monitored the RH inside my piano, and suggested I do it again to see what was happening.

I will now upload my measurements from a couple of days ago. Will post within the hour...

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#328671 - 11/21/06 11:48 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
Here are my measurements from after installing the undercover. I had let the system operate over night and observed low (down to 30%) humidity swings when I looked at the data in the morning. It seemed like the controller was not sensing the dry air soon enough, and I wanted to get the heater rod a bit closer to the controller. So I adjusted the front reservoir and moved the heater bar behind it. Here is the new setup:





In the 2nd figure you can see my data logger. Just the corner of it is visible, it's white with a red dot on it.

Here are the results. There are 4 red dots on the right hand portion of the plot. Ignore the 4th from the end. The data overnight are between the 3rd dot from the end and the 2nd from the end. The data for the next 12 hours with the new setup (in the above pics) are between the last two dots.

First, here are the room (coffee table) data:




Here are the data from the data logger on the belly rail as seen in the photo:



In the original setup the data are varying between roughly 30-40%, although near the end of that period the RH appears to be climbing higher. The data for the new setup vary between 43-54%. Here is a zoomed in view of the data with the new setup:



As you can see from the steep drop in the curves at the end of each cycle, the heater rods are now on for only a very short time. If I could just bring the RH range down to 35-45% I would be satisfied.

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#328672 - 11/22/06 01:33 AM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
CTPianotech Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/06/06
Posts: 1473
Loc: CT
How flat was the piano? Did it require a pitch raise?

How new is the piano and the system?


A couple tips with respect to the installation as pictured:

1) The heater rod should not be directly beneath the humidistat. The system is tested to work best with the components within certain distances of each other.

2) Watch that those wires aren't directly resting on top of the heater rods. Over time, this has the potential to cause the rubber to dry up and crack off, leaving the wire exposed.

3) Try to make certain that the moisture baffles above the humidifier tanks are clicked onto the hanger rods at all four points, and are in general sitting level. To do otherwise can cause the moisture to distribute much less evenly. In one extreme case, I saw where this caused there to be a large mold/mildew stain on the underside of the soundboard. Ugly.

Best
_________________________
Rich Lindahl
Piano Restorations in Central CT
D-C installations, Player-Piano installations/service
Ritmuller/Pearl River

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#328673 - 11/22/06 01:04 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1695
Loc: Massachusetts
If the heater rod were farther from the humidistat would that not lower the overall humidity as you wish to do?

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#328674 - 11/23/06 05:05 PM Re: dampp-chaser experiment II
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
Roy:
Since a tech has not yet responded to your question I will give you my thoughts. Hopefully a tech will respond if this is wrong or incomplete.

If the heater rod was moved further from the controller, then, after the heater rod started to operate, it would pump more dry air into the system before it was detected by the controller, eventually shutting down the heater rod and turning on the humidifier. (This assumes the controller is in a sensible location and will eventually detect the changes.) During that time dry air would diffuse through the system. Thus, moving the heater rod further away from the controller would generally lower the minimum RH in the humidification/dehumidification cycle underneath the piano. I don’t know what it would do at the location of the controller itself; if the controller responded instantly, it would make no difference, but, if controller response is an issue (which I think it is), then it could also change the minimum RH at the controller too. Moving the heater rod further away doesn’t seem as though it should change the maximum humidity in the cycle anywhere underneath the piano; that would be controlled by the location of the reservoir with respect to the controller.


Rich:
1) Yes, I can see that, by having the heater rod too close, the controller would almost immediately sense the dry air coming off the heater rods and shut down too soon.
2) I’ll watch out for this.
3) Thanks for pointing this out. It was something I had not heard of before.

Regarding your other questions: My piano and DC system are about a year old. Regarding the last tuning, I need to ask my tech how flat it was. He did not do a pitch raise. He thought it better that I first monitor the RH and find out what was happening.

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