Home General Discussion
Options

calibrating a Xikar Hygrometer. This is news to me.

NorthsideSmokeNorthsideSmoke Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭
edited August 2016 in General Discussion
SteveInTexas started a thread regarding the humidity using Boveda 69% packs. It led to a discussion regarding his Xikar Hygrometer. Using the Boveda calibration kit his Xikar only read 71%. I had the same non adjustable hygrometer sitting in a junk drawer for the exact same reason. It was 4% off after about 48 hours in the Boveda bag that came with the Kit. 

Steve's original post is here: I am starting a new thread because we went off topic regarding this hygrometer and folks searching could miss this.

http://forum.cigar.com/discussion/897173/boveda#latest

Steve contacted Xikar who had this to say:


In regards to Xikar, here is the response that I just received:

I am sorry to hear about your situation with your Hygrometer.  Our new hygrometers should come precalibrated, and so not have a calibrate function as it is very difficult to get to and maintain a proper environment to test and calibrate the hygrometer.  Using the conventional salt test will have some variables uncontrolled and can actually produce a lower reading( read 69-70, not the needed 75%).  Likewise, the Boveda calibration kit does not address one variable.  That is the use of a plastic bag, which, from tests of our hygrometers that I have done in a controlled setting against a certified hygrometer, compared to how those same hygrometers have tested in the Boveda calibration kit, has shown a drop of 4-6%.  I.e. in the Boveda kit our hygrometers test around 70% but in a humidity chamber against a certified hygrometer they test with in the +-2% Tolerance.  This variable is hard to maintain with a hygrometer that has a button that needs to be pushed.  In a perfect world, you set up the salt test as described in the second half of this video( starting around 4:30), or use a sealable hard walled container with the Boveda pack to check the accuracy of a hygrometer.  If you would rather not go through that process, then you can send in your hygrometer under our Lifetime Warranty and I will test it against our certified hygrometer and then will send you a picture so that you can see exactly where it is reading.  If it is outside of our +-2% tolerance then I will test a replacement, give you those results, and send it out to you under our warranty.

 

Let me know if you have any other questions.


So that led to this test:


Well, after just 6 hours the hygrometer I dug out of the junk drawer that never got above 71% in a Boveda test bag read this:


if you look close you will see the top ring of a Caliber 4r that hygrometer is reading 75% so the bag does not seem to affect that hygrometer. But for the Xikar this is pretty interesting. 

SteveInTexas thanks for the information man. I guess I can use this thing after all. 

Note: I'm still going to give this the 36 hours to finalize the test but I thought this was worth sharing.

Post edited by NorthsideSmoke on
«13

Comments

  • Options
    Gray4linesGray4lines Posts: 4,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2016
    That is very interesting.  I knew the new xikars came "pre calibrated" but I haven't used one. I have 2 older models. I used to think "yeah right" re: the no calibration button; that was the great thing about older xikars.

    I never thought the plastic bag would matter though. This is timely since I just had a battery die.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • Options
    NorthsideSmokeNorthsideSmoke Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2016
    I have to admit I was so ready to call BS on the bag making a difference, but the proof (for me since I saw this thing stop at 71% in the bag) is pretty indisputable.

    Steve is going to do the same test so I am really interested to see his results. 
  • Options
    Gray4linesGray4lines Posts: 4,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I wonder if you use a bag, so you can calibrate, but also put the bag in a hard container until the humidity settles, if the calibration would be more accurate on older models. 
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • Options
    SteveInTexasSteveInTexas Posts: 85 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Xikar is in a small Tupperware container with a small 75% Boveda
  • Options
    NorthsideSmokeNorthsideSmoke Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭
    cool Steve, I am looking forward to your results.
  • Options
    SteveInTexasSteveInTexas Posts: 85 ✭✭✭
    Xikar is at 74% this morning
  • Options
    SteveInTexasSteveInTexas Posts: 85 ✭✭✭
    75% at 73 degrees
  • Options
    Bob_LukenBob_Luken Posts: 10,316 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks to both of you for sharing those results. I wonder why would a xikar be "off" in a bag but the caliber4 not? 


  • Options
    90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Posts: 12,408 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I gotta say that surprised me, but for the price and look and functionality I will just stick with the 4R's I've got and like better plus they can be calibrated too. 

    Brett
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • Options
    SteveInTexasSteveInTexas Posts: 85 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2016
    I placed my other hygrometer into the plastic tub alongside the Xikar. It reads 76% as the Xikar reads 75%.

    i am going to change the calibration on my other to match the Xikar and place them both back into the Boveda calibration bag, side by side, to see what happens. Then I will place them into the humidor and check them.
  • Options
    NorthsideSmokeNorthsideSmoke Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭
    I sort of messed up, I broke the seal on the tupperware before I took the final picture this morning. But the Xikar read 75% same as the Caliber 4R. I will put them both in a bag as well just see we can have those shots in this thread.
  • Options
    SteveInTexasSteveInTexas Posts: 85 ✭✭✭
    So, what if the hygrometers, in a bag go back to being 4% apart? Which one is correct?
  • Options
    NorthsideSmokeNorthsideSmoke Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭
    the one you had in the tupperware is reading correctly, the reading in the bag is skewed somehow by the bag so is incorrect. there's really no reason for you to put the Xikar back in the bag unless you want to take a picture to show folks that checking the Xikar calibration using the bag will give you a false reading. 

    Your Xikar hygrometer is reading accurately so all you need to do is put it back in your humidor and match any other hygrometers you have with whatever reading you're getting off of it.
  • Options
    SteveInTexasSteveInTexas Posts: 85 ✭✭✭
    But if I calibrate the non-Xikar to match the Xikar and put them both back into the humidor and get different readings, what makes the Xikar correct over the other?
  • Options
    90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Posts: 12,408 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well my personal opinion is to put both of them in a plastic bag with a boveda and see what they read then. Then put them both in the humidor and check again. The one that consistently has the most accurate and steady readings would be my "control" and the one I would base everything off of. Yes the Xikar in the setup that THEY want is accurate, I would now want to know how accurate it is in different situations where it was less than what Xikar considers ideal situations and compare it to the Caliber 4R, if the caliber is the one always showing the most consistent readings then that is the one I would base everything off of. Just my two cents...

    Brett
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • Options
    NorthsideSmokeNorthsideSmoke Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2016
    But if I calibrate the non-Xikar to match the Xikar and put them both back into the humidor and get different readings, what makes the Xikar correct over the other?
    Well, I guess it depends, but if we're talking about the plastic analog one that came with the humidor. Those things are more ornament than an actual tool. But I am going to say that calibrating in the tupperware is a lot more like the environment you're actually storing the cigars in, and it is the recommended factory method to check the calibration of their hygrometer. So either you trust XIkar, which I tend to lean towards since they are a pretty well respected company.  Or you don't. Like Brett, I use the caliber 4r and I really trust the hygrometer since I get the same reading in the bag and in the tupperware. 
  • Options
    Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn Posts: 5,960 ✭✭✭✭
    If you use a freezer bag I'm sure that would work just fine. Personally I find using boveda packs I just use the hygrometer more for temp then most else
    Money can't buy taste
  • Options
    SteveInTexasSteveInTexas Posts: 85 ✭✭✭
    I have calibrated my non Xikar to match the Xikar. Both are now at 75% in a sealed Tupperware bowl. I have now removed them and placed them back in a Boveda calibration bag:


  • Options
    YaksterYakster Posts: 26,625 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good job, thought you were almost lost in the weeds there chasing this down. 
    Join us on Zoom vHerf (Meeting # 2619860114 Password vHerf2020 )
  • Options
    SteveInTexasSteveInTexas Posts: 85 ✭✭✭
    So now, after having both hygrometers tested and confirmed and the non-Xikar calibrated to match the Xikar, I placed them both back into my humidor and as of this morning, the Xikar reads 62% and the non-Xikar reads 67% (with 69% Boveda packs).

    I feel like I am back to square one and have no clue which is correct.
  • Options
    90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Posts: 12,408 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Personally I would trust the non-Xikar... it has been spot on the entire time and nothing has changed, I personally would NOT trust the xikar and would just use the other and not make it so complicated. But that is just me, I have had brilliant luck with the non-xikar unit and wouldn't go back. The bored can be off by +/-2% so that is well within range and expected.
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • Options
    SteveInTexasSteveInTexas Posts: 85 ✭✭✭
    I ordered another Xikar last week, so we will see how it compares to the others.
  • Options
    NorthsideSmokeNorthsideSmoke Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭
    I will post a pic tonight I sort of forgot I left this stuff in the bag. But I agree with Brett, I trust my Caliber 4r because it read the same in the bag and in the tupperware. To me that is a lot more comforting than having to provide ideal conditions to get the hygrometer to read correctly.  
  • Options
    SteveInTexasSteveInTexas Posts: 85 ✭✭✭
    I e-mailed the guy at Xikar for his input.
  • Options
    NorthsideSmokeNorthsideSmoke Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭
    I e-mailed the guy at Xikar for his input.
    send him a link to this thread maybe we can get him to join the discussion
  • Options
    SteveInTexasSteveInTexas Posts: 85 ✭✭✭
    Good idea
  • Options
    NorthsideSmokeNorthsideSmoke Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭
    I don't think you're seeing the real problem and that is if you did not know that the Xikar needed to be sealed in a Tupperware container and believed what you read inside the bag you could have some serious issues. For example when I did the "bag test" my Xikar read 71% (so did Steve's) if we were to have just gone with "well I will just add 4% to get the real value". We would have been over humidifying our humidors by that 4%. 

    If a person kept their humidor closer to the 70% many people advise and their temp got up into the 72+ range. That could be a problem. 

    So here are some shots of inside the bag interestingly the added volume of the caliber 4r helped nudge the Xikar closer to the real humidity in the bag.


    And here it is in the box, and it looks to be accurate. The electronic humidifier was set to the same calibration of the Caliber 4R some months ago but it seems to be holding fine as well. (that's a glass top humidor)
     
  • Options
    Bob_LukenBob_Luken Posts: 10,316 ✭✭✭✭✭

     
    Me,......... trying to read all those hygros. 
    cheezburger  funny dog head turn
  • Options
    NorthsideSmokeNorthsideSmoke Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭
    lol well normally it's just the humidifier and the Caliber But for this test  I threw the Xikar in there. ignore the temps I took that pic about 30 minutes after I put them in there after I got home for lunch and the Caliber still had not settled out. normally it's right on with humidifier.    
Sign In or Register to comment.