Staebell controller and fan upgrade....it's....alive...!!

BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
Finally finished up, seems to be running great..!! Took pics of the whole job, will post in a bit. Went relatively smooth, one minor bit of fabrication required but not a big deal. That was my fault for putting bigger re-circ fans in the cabinet...but I'm really glad I did. I'll let it run for a couple hours to see how it settles down, then the cigars that came out go back in the cabinet. They are all bagged with Bovida packs so short term they're fine. Starting set points of 66% 68F and the fans will run one minute every ten minutes (Bob's recommendation). The new fans move way, way more air than the old ones, got my fingers crossed that will keep my cabinet a happy place.

However, right this second, it's time for an adult beverage and a cigar......:cool:
 

BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
OK, first step was to gain access to the areas that I needed. Out came some really, really nice cigars:

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Here's the "before" picture. The controller had been in there since I bought the cabinet, about 15 years ago. It was sent back to Climate Monitor about four years ago, but clearly wasn't getting the job done properly anymore. And....the circulation fans are tiny. Bob knows his stuff, but my concern is that my cabinet is narrow and tall, like a phone booth, and really full. I wanted to move the air around, and not just when the humidifier or coolers were on. Bigger fans and Bob's new controller were ready for install.

Sorry for the sideways pic.....

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Everything out, ready for new parts....got the new fan cable routed, ready to put the fans in:

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First problem - the small blocks that were in the cabinet split when I tried to mount the new fans to them. So, I needed to fabricate some new blocks. Gee, if I only had some small rectangular pieces of wood that were humidor friendly.....turns out I'd been collecting them, just never thought they'd come in so handy...you can guess where they came from:

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Here are the old blocks, and the wood I'm going to use to make the new blocks:

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Old fan (teeny) and new fan (beefy):

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Cut the connectors off the old fans, a little soldering and heat shrink and the new fans were ready to go in:

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New fans ready to go. I also decided to use some 1/4" spacers, which will put the fans about 1" away from the back of the cabinet. The airflow is designed to pull the air up the back of the cabinet, and blow it at the front of the cabinet. Seems reasonable to me:

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Now I needed to make up the mounting blocks. Bob used double stick tape behind everything he mounted in the cabinet. Seemed reasonable, so some 3M industrial double stick foam tape went in with them. Hey, I'm an electrical engineer; wood working isn't something I brag about....:rolleyes:

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Blocks are in, wires are in, fans are in....hey, stacks of boxes will hide this, I can live with it:

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BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
As long as we're this far in, I took the humidifier cans out, and scrubbed the botttom containers with hot soapy water, rinsed well, and dried them off. Tops got wiped out with alcohol wipes. Filters weren't bad, thanks to the silver in the water, but I put news ones in with a fresh batch of distilled water and silver mix:

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Pro tip for us Staebell owners....get a couple feet of poly tubing that will fit inside the humidifier cans and a funnel....you can fill the cans and if you spill, you spill outside the humidor. Winning....

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Nothing eventful about the mounting of the new controller....much to my pleasant surprise, the darn thing started right up..!!

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BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
So far so good. I set things up at 66%, 68F, and set the fans to run for a minute every ten minutes (Bob's recommendation). Seems to be running like a champ. I'll wait another hour or two to let it settle down, and then the game of Tetris to get the boxes back into the cabinet begins..!! Really happy with the upgrade so far. The new circulation fans REALLY move some air, so this should be a solid upgrade for what has been a very, very reliable storage cabinet.
 
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jfields

Where did all my money go?
Nice Tom! As usual, thanks for sharing your experience! = Knowledge

“Pro tip for us Staebell owners....get a couple feet of poly tubing that will fit inside the humidifier cans and a funnel....you can fill the cans and if you spill, you spill outside the humidor. Winning...”.

Just don’t accidentally overfill. Losing.... 😂
 

BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
Nice Tom! As usual, thanks for sharing your experience! = Knowledge

“Pro tip for us Staebell owners....get a couple feet of poly tubing that will fit inside the humidifier cans and a funnel....you can fill the cans and if you spill, you spill outside the humidor. Winning...”.

Just don’t accidentally overfill. Losing.... 😂
.....that's what the beaker is for, smart guy....:cool:
 

Acclaym

Moderation in moderation
Question, how does the electrical wiring enter the humidor? I have refrigerator type seals on mine so I just close a door on my wires.
 

BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
OK, one slight change. RH was running a couple points higher than the setpoint. Of course the hygro controller could be a little off, but I realized that the humidifiers could run quite a while with no air circulating, and basically make one part of the cabinet really high RH (hygo RH sensor is a couple shelves away). Then, when the circulation fans kicked on, they efficiently spread it to the rest of the cabinet. Since I'd left all the original wiring in the cabinet, it was a simple matter to change one of the fans back to run with the humidifiers, and leave the other on the timer to run one minute every ten minutes. We'll give this a couple days and see what we can see......big hopes for this configuration.

Nice having calibrated SensorPush modules in there to keep an eye on things.....:cool:
 

StatHaldol

Well-Known Member
Thanks Tom! I've got a Staebell and your post gives me ideas on what to do when the system needs an overhaul.
I've been toying with an idea on how to gauge when the humidifying system needs filling without opening the door. I've thought about getting some sensitive scales and running the LED display out through the grommet in the back. Any ideas?
 

BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
Let me think about the level sensor for the humidifier tanks. The scales aren't a bad idea....let me think about it.

Looks to me like the controller is several points off, RH wise. At least, that's what my independent RH sensors are saying, and they got calibrated before I started this experiment. I'll give Bob a call when I get a chance sometime this week. Things are working, I'm not too concerned.

The system is stabilizing. I think this is good to go but it's clear to me that I'll have to use the SensorPush RH sensors to monitor things. Bottom runs a couple points higher, RH wise, than the top does. Makes sense.
 

George Scott

Well-Known Member
Suggestion. Look for an electronic type sensor to put in the tanks. You might have to cobble something custom together, but you could keep it very simple to keep the cost down. Basically a couple wires in the water tank could tell you a lot with the right electronics behind it. More sophisticated option (but also more expensive) would be the array of fancy sensors on the market now a days...

Some cheap items on ebay. I have not vetted these
https://www.ebay.com/p/12-24v-Non-contact-Tube-Tank-Liquid-Water-Level-Detect-Sensor-Switch-Container/8017895325?iid=142753559300
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Liquid-Level-Controller-Sensor-Module-Water-Level-Detection-Sensor-Component/113358000956?_trkparms=aid=555018&algo=PL.SIM&ao=1&asc=56426&meid=9c49d46184d34eb39466a61b8aff4f4a&pid=100005&rk=1&rkt=12&mehot=lo&sd=253094054253&itm=113358000956&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851
 

drunkfish3

Well-Known Member
Let me think about the level sensor for the humidifier tanks. The scales aren't a bad idea....let me think about it.

Looks to me like the controller is several points off, RH wise. At least, that's what my independent RH sensors are saying, and they got calibrated before I started this experiment. I'll give Bob a call when I get a chance sometime this week. Things are working, I'm not too concerned.

The system is stabilizing. I think this is good to go but it's clear to me that I'll have to use the SensorPush RH sensors to monitor things. Bottom runs a couple points higher, RH wise, than the top does. Makes sense.
Doesn't it have a low water alarm?
 
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