December in North Carolina and it is finally getting dry enough to worry about the humidity surrounding my instruments. Lucky for me, so far I haven’t had to put my guitars, ukuleles, and mandolin into their cases with their D’Addario Humidpaks for protection but once. How are things where you are? I doubt it would be so nice back in Boston where we used to live. If only there were a way to easily monitor the conditions of my instruments. Now there is.
I once kept all of my guitars in a cabinet that could be humidified. I had a remote humidity sensor in with the guitars and the digital humidity gauge where I could see the humidity and temperature inside each time I passed. But now my guitars and other instruments go back into their cases when it is too dry. I could buy multiple remote sensors and monitors but D’Addario has a better solution. The D’Addario Humiditrak – Bluetooth Humidity and Temperature Sensor goes into your instrument case but transmits it’s readings to an app on your phone.
The phone app can monitor multiple sensors in multiple instrument cases. The sensors can send alerts when it is too dry, too hot or even when your instrument is dropped or falls (accelerometer). The bad news each sensor costs about $50. I have four guitars I would want to monitor plus a mandolin and a ukulele. I’m not yet ready to spend $300 to monitor each individually. Still, I love the idea of keeping track in the case and seeing the results on my phone. The more expensive your guitars, the less expensive $50 per guitar seems.
I don’t have one of these yet but I want one. However, there are some downsides to the current version and app that have been noted by reviewers. First, the sensor transmits its information via bluetooth. You won’t get updates when you are out of bluetooth range. Also, anyone who had tried to keep a bluetooth connection between your phone and another device might have experienced lost connections. It can be frustrating. I frequently have trouble keeping the connection between Spotify on my phone and a bluetooth speaker. My computer sometimes lost the connection to a bluetooth keyboard sitting one foot away. Users report similar connectivity problems between their sensor and phone resulting in no data being displayed from the sensor for hours or more. Thus, this is a great idea but you should be cautious about trusting it. Still, I hope to get one and see how it goes.