Two Ways To Convert An Electric Cooler To A Humidor

It’s not a proper humidor in the technical sense (there isn’t any specific way to moderate the humidity) but [Dzzie] came up with a couple of ways to keep his cigars cool in the summer heat.

Both versions use a Coleman electric cooler as the enclosure. This hardware uses a Peltier device to keep it cool inside. The first attempt at use a thermostat with this worked by adding an external relay to switch mains power. A thermostat dial hangs out inside the cooler to give feedback to the relay board. This worked, but it’s a really roundabout approach since the cooler operates on 12V, and this method uses a mains-to-12V adapter. If [Dzzie] decides to hit the road the relay won’t work when the cooler is powered from a 12V cigarette lighter in the car.

The second rendition fixes that issue. He moved to a 12V relay, and used a car cellphone charger to supply the 5V of regulated power his control circuitry needs to operate.

6 thoughts on “Two Ways To Convert An Electric Cooler To A Humidor

  1. “It’s not a proper humidor in the technical sense”

    It’s not a proper humidor in the real-world sense either.

    Nothing sucks the life out of a good cigar like dryness. Put a ultrasonic humidifier and a humidity gauge in that thing ASAP.

    Next thing you know, this guy will be telling us he puts ice cubes in his Scotch.

  2. You do not NEED to install a “active” Humidifier. A simple large jar of humidity “beads” or gel will do the trick just fine.

    If you want to get fancy use some Spanish Ceder to build some trays out of. Best idea would be slotted bottom trays, with risers to keep the cigars off the floor. This way humid air is free to flow around in the cooler.

  3. A couple of thoughts…
    1) Wouldn’t a mechanical thermostat mounted inside the cooler with the wires poking out to break the 12VDC signal.

    2) Cooling alone will not change the humidity of a closed system. If you lower the temperature but do not remove the water the space should remain at saturation.

  4. Regardless of the humidity issue, temperature control of a thermoelectric cooler like this is beneficial. (Although often they don’t provide enough cooling even when running full-tilt…)

    Rather than switching all of the 12v power, what about PWMing the Peltier? If the fans keep running, this reduces the temperature differential across the Peltier, potentially improving efficiency. It also might provide finer-grained control than pure “on/off” control.

  5. coolidors typically use cat litter or humidity beads to control the moisture. this solves the temperature issue. some guys actually swap out ice packs or frozen bottles of water in hot summer months to try to keep the temp right in their collidors. If you cant afford a vinotemp this should work fine!

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