At the 2013 IPCPR, Cigar Oasis unveiled a series of four humidification devices that has been dubbed “the next generation of Cigar Oasis”. The company introduced four updated models of its humidification devices. The four models are designed to be used based on the size humidor that is being used. Today we look at the Cigar Oasis Ultra 2.0. This is a device that is designed to be used on humidors containing 100 or less cigars. Recently, I’ve had an opportunity to install and use this product. I found this to not only be an easy to setup and easy to use product, but most importantly I found this a product that does the job and does the job well.
In terms of the new features incorporated into the Cigar Oasis Ultra 2.0, they include:
- An LCD display that now incorporates temperature reading, hi/low and three day averages for humidity
- A rechargeable lithium ion battery
- Low Battery and Low Water alarms
- Ability to connect the device via Wi-Fi to monitor and regulate conditions remotely through a smartphone or web-browser. We will cover the Wi-Fi functionality in a separate assessment.
|Cigar Oasis Ultra 2.0 Bill of Materials|
There are three main things that are done during the assembly process:
- Install the Water Cartridge
- Connect Power Cables
- Mount the unit inside the humidor
|Assembled Cigar Oasis Ultra 2.0 and Cable|
There are two different mediums for instructions. There are an assembly guide in the product manual and there is a video. While both are easy to follow and execute, there is no question I would recommend the video as really makes this an easy process. In fact as someone who dreads the assembly process of any product, I found it rather easy.
There are some good points in the video that go above and beyond the assembly guide:
- Removing the tape from the Water Cartridge
- Installing the cartridge into the unit
- Show how to install the ribbon cable into the unit.
- How to mount the unit. There is some specific guidance in the video that is not mentioned in the assembly guide.
Set Thresholds and Calibrations
Once the unit is plugged in, it is ready to go. When the fan generates the unit is on and generating humidity. The unit comes pre-set to 70% humidity, but you can easily change this to determine the level. The fan generates until it reaches the threshold level set.
There is also a calibration step that might be necessary. This allows you to calibrate your unit to match the reading by another hygrometer. This is one area that is covered in the assembly guide as opposed to the video.
Placement of Unit and Cable
The magnetic mount is a huge plus. The fact the Cigar Oasis comes with a very strong magnet is a plus. Many humidification devices and hygrometers that mount in humidors do not come with a strong enough magent, thus leading to the unit falling. The Cigar Oasis Ultra 2.0 really benefits from this strong magnet because it is larger and heavier (and that’s relatively speaking because the unit itself is lightweight) than most hygrometers.
|Mounted unit to lid of humidor|
Placement of the unit is key. The video advises lid mounting it during installation, but it can be mounted anywhere. The video tells the importance of leaving the fan is left exposed in order to ensure air circulation.
The ribbon cable design is really thin. It can go either out the back of the unit between the hinges or the sides of the unit. There is no issue getting your humidor to seal tightly.
|Ribbon Cabel Cigar Oasis Ultra 2.0 coming out
of side of humidor
Refill Water Cartridge
While the water cartridge comes pre-filled, it will be necessary to refill it with distilled water. The assembly guide shows how to do this, but there also is another video that demonstrates this. Again, I found the video to be a big plus.
There is an audio and visual indicator that will tell if the unit is dry. However the video advises if the unit is running long periods to time, it probably is time to recharge the cartridge. This is another good reason to follow the video.
During the ten week period, I did have to refill the cartridge twice. On both occasions, I noticed the was running for longer periods of time not reaching the humidity threshold. On both occasions, filling the cartridge worked perfectly.
There is a rechargeable lithium ion battery specifically designed for the loss of power. I tested this out by unplugging the unit. I found the humidity to continue to be maintained. The environment and amount of charge of the battery determined how long the unit could run without power. My unit ran for four days. While there is an low battery indicator, I find if you are not home, you might not hear it, so its important to monitor this.
I found this to be a very easy unit to monitor the temperature and humidity conditions. The LCD display makes it easy to toggle through temperature (Temperature Fahrenheit or Celsius), average humidity, low humidity reading for past three days, high humidity reading for past three days, and battery charge level. The Wi-Fi attachment provides a more robust collection of this data and we will cover that when we assess the unit.
If you have not installed a electronic humidification system before, you will be in for a real treat. Cigar Oasis does a great job at delivering a device that is relatively easy to set up, easy to get going, and easy to monitor.
I do like the fact there are printed (electronically) and video instructions, but would have liked to see the printed instruction contain hyperlinks to the videos. The videos are extremely well done and are definitely worth taking a look at.
Perhaps the only thing I would like to see are more pro-active alerts on the battery level and water cartridge levels. I do realize the Wi-Fi can help with the latter.
Most importantly the unit does its job and does it well. I find that touching my cigars is the ultimate test to see if they are dry or soft. In this case, my cigars were optimum and never had problems with those extremes. This is a unit that is a must have – especially for that humidor with those special cigars.
Source: Cigar Oasis Ultra 2.0 device provided by Cigar Oasis for the purposes of this assessment.