Humidity control is important for musical instruments made of wood. If the humidity is too low, the wood will crack, and if it is too high, the neck will bend and mold will grow.
An epoch-making device useful for humidity control is the “Lee Guitars Bluetooth Hygrometer Thermo-Hygrometer”. You can monitor the temperature and humidity inside the case from your smartphone, and notify you when an abnormality is detected. Also, thanks to its unique shape, it is possible to monitor the humidity inside the instrument instead of the case.
This time, we will review such Lee Guitars Bluetooth Hygrometer thermo-hygrometer together with an optional gateway.
Humidity control of important musical instruments
It is said that sales of musical instruments have been increasing recently due to the influence of the corona.
Among them, musical instruments made of wood are attractive for the soft sound unique to wood, and according to Yamano Musical Instruments, the best-selling acoustic guitar from June 2020 to February 2021 was the ukulele, and the third place was the ukulele. ..
Humidity is a weakness of such wooden musical instruments. Trees shrink due to humidity, so if the humidity is too low, they will not be able to withstand and will crack. Repairs are possible, but they will cost a lot of money.
Also, it is not good if the humidity is too high. Mold may grow or the neck may bend.
Humidity inside the case is invisible from the outside
For this reason, it is recommended that you store your instrument in a case with a humidity control agent.
However, humidity control agents do not keep humidity in good condition forever, and their effectiveness gradually diminishes. If the effect diminishes, it is necessary to take measures such as replacement.
It is necessary to monitor the humidity inside the case to know when to replace it, but since the general case is not transparent, the humidity cannot be known until the case is opened.
For this reason, if you leave the instrument unplayed for a while, it is possible that the humidity was outside the recommended value when it was opened.
I don’t know the humidity inside the instrument
Yet another problem is that a typical hygrometer can measure the humidity inside the case, but not the humidity inside the instrument.
When installing the hygrometer inside the instrument case, it is usually installed at the head where there is plenty of space.
This also means that even if the hygrometer is unfixed, it will not hit the important body.
However, what really should be measured is not the humidity of the case on the head side, but the humidity inside the instrument on the body side. The body is important for the sound, and in the case of guitars, the inside of the body is often unpainted, which is also the reason why it is more vulnerable to humidity changes than other parts.
There is a way to keep the humidity constant by preparing a room dedicated to musical instruments.
If you want to manage the humidity well, you can prepare a room for the instrument to keep the humidity constant and keep the instrument out of the case.
However, if you leave the instrument exposed, you are worried that you may knock it down, drop something on it, or step on it.
Also, I think there are few people who can prepare a room just for musical instruments and keep the humidity while using utility bills.
Lee Guitars Bluetooth Hygrometer Observe the humidity inside the instrument with a smartphone from outside the case with a thermo-hygrometer
Lee Guitars Bluetooth Hygrometer Thermo-Hygrometer solves these problems.
There are two main features of this thermo-hygrometer.
1. You can communicate with your smartphone via Bluetooth
Lee Guitars Bluetooth Hygrometer The thermo-hygrometer can communicate with your smartphone via Bluetooth.
And a dedicated smartphone app is prepared, and it is possible to check the internal temperature and humidity from the outside of the case.
In addition, you can notify your smartphone when the temperature or humidity exceeds the set range, and you can rescue the instrument before it is exposed to bad conditions for a long time.
2. The temperature / humidity sensor can be placed inside the instrument.
What’s even more interesting is that the temperature / humidity sensor is a little further away from the body, with a flexible material in between.
Magnets are attached to the main body and the temperature / humidity sensor, and by sandwiching the surface plate with these magnets as shown in the photo below, you can install the sensor inside the instrument and the display part outside. ..
There have been thermo-hygrometers that can communicate with smartphones via Bluetooth, but there are no products that can measure the temperature and humidity inside musical instruments in this way, which is epoch-making.
I actually bought it so I reviewed it
I actually bought this Lee Guitars Bluetooth Hygrometer thermo-hygrometer and would like to review it.
This time, in addition to the main unit, I also purchased an optional gateway. This makes it possible to monitor temperature and humidity even when you are away from home.
The price is 5,500 yen (tax included) for the sensor body and 2,200 yen (tax included) for the gateway, and it can be purchased from Amazon and Rakuten.
First check the main body
Sensirion’s high-precision sensor is used for the thermo-hygrometer sensor. Sensirion is a Swiss manufacturer with a high market share in the small and reasonably priced semiconductor environmental sensor market.
The space between the main body and the sensor is made of a soft material.
Also, it seems that the magnet is equipped with a fairly strong one. Here is a video of actually bending and attaching and detaching the main body and sensor.
It weighs 33 grams and is fairly light, so there seems to be no burden on the instrument.
The battery runs on the CR2032 coin cell battery. This one will run for about 8 months. I’m glad that the battery is attached.
The display is not an ordinary liquid crystal display but electronic paper (E-Ink), and it is easy to see with a clear display.
Electronic paper also has the characteristic of low power consumption, so it may also contribute to extending battery life. There is no backlight, but I think it is unnecessary considering the usage.
Pairing with a smartphone and setting up the app is easy
Next, pair with your smartphone. A dedicated app is required for pairing. Apps for Android and iOS are available.
When you start it, there is a button called “Add Equipment”, so press it.
Then you will be prompted to press the button on the device for about 2 seconds, so follow it.
This is the end of pairing. You can use multiple devices to monitor multiple instruments, so you can register names and photos for distinction.
Next, set the normal range for humidity and temperature. If this range is exceeded, a notification will be sent to the smartphone.
In addition to the “strict” and “loose” presets, you can also set your own.
At this point, the current temperature and humidity will be displayed on the top screen of the app.
I was able to finish the setting of the application without any hesitation.
Attached to an instrument
After completing the settings, attach the main unit to the instrument.
This time I attached it to a classical guitar, but if there is a hole and the sensor goes inside, it seems that it can be attached to various musical instruments.
Installation is done by inserting the sensor into the hole and sandwiching the face plate with a magnet.
The magnets are quite strong and won’t shift at all when you stand or shake your guitar.
It is too strong, and if you install it without thinking about it, it will hit the face plate strongly with a clicking sound, so I think you should install it carefully.
Set up gateway
Then set up the gateway you purchased as an option.
Since the Lee Guitars Bluetooth thermo-hygrometer body communicates with the smartphone via Bluetooth, you can check the temperature and humidity only within the reach of the Bluetooth radio waves.
When you add a gateway, the thermo-hygrometer communicates with the gateway, allowing the thermo-hygrometer to communicate with the Internet using the gateway’s Wi-Fi connection.
This makes it possible to monitor the temperature and humidity of a musical instrument even when you are away from the musical instrument in your house or when you are away from home, as long as you are connected to the Internet.
The gateway is shaped like a USB charger. It’s not that big, but it’s not too small.
In this way, you can use it by directly inserting it into an outlet.
Then press “+” on the top screen of the app and select the Bluetooth gateway.
You will be instructed to press and hold the button on the main unit for about 5 seconds, so follow it.
A list of connectable Wi-Fi will appear, so select it and enter the password.
This is an additional success.
It seems that you can have multiple gateways, and you can name them. By the way, it seems that up to 10 thermo-hygrometers can be paired with one gateway, so if you have more than that, you need to add it.
The gateway and thermo-hygrometer were paired automatically without any special action.
Immediately notify that the humidity is too high!
The day after I started using the Lee Guitars Bluetooth Hygrometer thermo-hygrometer, I was immediately notified that the humidity exceeded the set range.
As a tribute to the subtle strangeness of Japanese, the notification will be sent to your smartphone, so it seems that you can deal with it without overlooking it.
“Humidity is a little high” is also displayed on the app.
After that, I was able to reduce the humidity firmly by replacing the humidity control agent.
This notification seems to occur many times when the temperature and humidity exceed the set range. I’m grateful, but it’s also a little annoying.
You may not be able to deal with it immediately when you are out, and even more so, you may want to temporarily turn off the notification or change the humidity setting range. Don’t forget to put it back after dealing with it.
The temperature / humidity change in 1-day or 30-day units can be displayed in a graph.
Using the app, you can graph not only the current temperature and humidity, but also the daily and 30-day temperature and humidity changes.
This will allow you to see trends in instrument temperature and humidity changes and take action before the recommended range is exceeded.
This is a daily graph.
The sudden rise in humidity is when you open the case to play the guitar. After all, opening and closing the case puts a burden on the instrument.
On the other hand, this is a graph in units of 30 days. The maximum and minimum for each day are displayed.
Even if I put it in the case, I found that it was greatly affected by the weather.
Can it be applied to other than musical instruments?
This Lee Guitars Bluetooth Hygrometer thermo-hygrometer is an excellent device that can monitor the temperature and humidity inside the instrument from outside the case.
However, since the temperature / humidity sensor itself is a general-purpose one, I feel that it can be applied to other purposes as well.
For example, it can be used to monitor the temperature and humidity near babies and pets, and to store camera lenses that are sensitive to humidity like wooden musical instruments.
There are innumerable things that need to be controlled in temperature and humidity, and it seems that various uses can be considered if the advantage of being able to sandwich them with magnets is used.
A breakthrough device for monitoring the humidity of musical instruments
The Lee Guitars Bluetooth Hygrometer thermo-hygrometer introduced this time is an epoch-making device in that it can monitor the temperature and humidity from the outside of the case, and it can also monitor the inside of the instrument instead of the case.
Notifications let you know immediately that temperature and humidity are out of the recommended range, and gateways allow you to monitor even when you’re away from your instrument.
The ability to graph changes in temperature and humidity will also help predict future trends and take early action.
In addition to guitars and other wooden musical instruments, there are many other possible applications.
Japan has four seasons, and the temperature and humidity change greatly depending on the season. How about introducing Lee Guitars Bluetooth Hygrometer thermo-hygrometer to protect important musical instruments?
Source: Lee Guitars
Source: iPhone Mania