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About PigFish

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    Resident Cigar Climatologist
  • Birthday November 6

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    Isle of Man

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  1. I suppose since we are talking wish list items! -Piggy
  2. ... looks like a wing and prayer did not help him!
  3. ... in life he was a real cock!
  4. ... this is a chickensh*t thread!
  5. ... this must be the effect used when an actor dies during a movie shoot! Anyway, I loved the video. I am glad to see more FoH'rs doing them. Cheers!
  6. Can I post a picture of another tunneling cigar here....? PLEASE! All I can say is that I am damn glad that Havana is not the hot spot to find the low bidder for jet engines! -the Pig
  7. You let me pick through that box (along with everyone else) of JL2 at the SoCal herf. I think I will review that one. Might have to pick up one of your samplers! Short of the Fundie, I cannot say that I have smoked most if any of those cigars in a long while. Some, not at all. Its been a long time since my last Hoyo DC... And the last box of Cohiba Robustos I bought were from '04. Cheers! -Ray
  8. Mate, you might find some relief in changing your mindset. No, your mindset will not change a crap cigar to a good one, or vice versa, but it may help you some with how you feel and deal with cigars unsmoked. Stop with your prejudices about them! How I intend you to take this, is stop looking at all the cigars in a box as equals. This does not mean that all in a box might not be garbage, or might not be great, what it means is that in all likelihood there will be mix of some good and some bad and some average. This site is full of advice on up-averaging the smoking experience (so I won't bore you with that here yet again). So as you look at your box(es) of cigars, don't view them as the dances that you must take your sister to because you don't have a date (metaphorically speaking). Look at each one as a beautiful woman... (or whatever your taste may be...) one that is new, intriguing and mystifying, not a known unhappy unpleasant, or obligatory affair. Let her be who she is. If she is a dud, take her home early and move on. If not enjoy the date. Viewing the whole box as bad before the proof is prejudice. You may be right, and you may be wrong, but you still don't know until you light them up. You might as well consider each one a winning lotto ticket instead of a loser! One bad one does not make them any worse than one good one makes them better! I bitch a lot about Cuban cigar quality. So I understand you better perhaps than some others. I don't like a lot of newer crap that I am smoking. However that does not stop me from choosing another, enjoying another, or voicing my displeasure about the first... The key is understanding. Then balance the risk with the reward (based on some experience). If 5 out of 100 cigar is your level of enjoyment (a comment from another poster) evaluate what you might do different to change it. I have an idea for you. Get some Partagas Chicos. If you don't like them, well they are cheap... and you have not lost much. They are short filler and they are therefore blended cigars. They are amazingly consistent, like cigarettes, because they are blended. They are not bad... If they were I would not smoke them. They are certainly not refined (generally) with a lot of nuance. But frankly, they are better than a lot of other Cuban cigars (newer ones), cheap and pretty reliable. Cheers! -Piggy PS: And for the record, I do believe that there are means to up-average your smoking experience. I have prejudices and they have proved to be of value to me. Prejudice and wisdom therefore can run hand-in-hand. If offered a Diplomaticos 1 or a Behike, I will take the Diplomaticos! That is a prejudice based decision. That does not make either cigar good or bad. It is just a means by which I try to choose the best of two cigars that are markedly different in appearance and potentially in taste.
  9. ... why do I not feel contented wining this? I am thinking of starting an ongoing thread, "Your Latest Crappy Smoking Experience..." -LOL Stay tuned! -the Pig
  10. PigFish

    Cigar Boom in BEIRUT

    Hmmm... The Nordstrom Rack of the cigar world!
  11. PigFish

    In the box or out

    Thanks mate...You have written a lot here. It will take me some time to digest it in depth. I really enjoyed your analysis. Some of the fun for those following will be in digesting it, so I am not going to spoil the fun by analyzing and dissecting it. I will say this, I don't necessarily agree with some of your conclusions but you are looking at raw data with far less 'firsthand knowledge' about what is actually happening. It is pretty damn good stab at it however!! For me, it almost seems a life of learning. I say this somewhat romantically. This has just been such a fun, albeit often frustrating, part of my life, I feel like I have done in now for my whole life. Talking with people about it, with some of my customers and people like you, often collaboratively, gives me another level of enjoyment. So, thanks for playing along! There is more than one way to skin a cat... Lets go back a few years! This is a demonstration on why an inquirer was having problems with his TE humidor. I recreated it by manually running my test humidor so that he could understand why he was seeing what he was seeing. I am not going to take it all apart, but it shows reasons why I don't think TE cooled humidors running high amplitude, low cycle rate cooling cycles, work worth a damn... Since this is not really a TE cooler, nor, one less significant engineering, just a simulation, it frankly works better than most of what the world uses as a TE cooler humidor! Choices are therefore made. Cycle rate, amplitude of dehydration and overshoot must be considered if you are to make a better humidor. Next is an older humidor where I was working on getting my amplitudes reduced. It comes at a cost of cycle rate. And cycle it did... This is still a working humidor. It just could stand improvement. I also wanted to prove I could push a compressor cooled wine cooler humidor to work in the mid-nineties (F) and not burn it up. Here I was getting low 80's heat range dehydration only down a couple of rH. Pretty damn good actually but I did not like the long tails and figured that there had to be a better way. I also did not really like the cooler running every 3 or 4 minutes. What was happening is that there was actually a request for cooling prior to the cooler running, and I had hit the limit were the recycle relay was acting as a controller. This went against what I defined as a controlled humidor. I was stuck with a deeper cycle, limiting the operation range of the cooler, or other compromises I did not want to make. Once I saw this small amplitude dehydration however, I did not want to give it up! This is a generation 9 humidor. 16 cycles per hour... Wow... This brings me to a whole different animal. Controlling and using overshoot, mastering algorithms to not only reduce amplitude further, but allow me to limit cooling cycles to about 4 an hour. It is the algorithms then that over-drive the cooling. While this will come under the broader term of activation logic, it is more a logic overriding algorrithm. There are also some overriding presumptions in the algorithm, one being that 'things will get worse, before they get better.' While I don't exactly expect that to be understood, I want the cooler to be looking at an upward trend in temperature before it finds a cooling trend. Like a training indicator in the stock market, the trend change must happen to change the humidor's 'outlook' for what is to come next. If you get behind on a cooling cycle in an upward trending temperature environment, the recovery typically means some short-term crappy looking performance to make up for it. I can see this (not here) but in a restart that has the controller reset to a nonexistant trend. I in that case, there may be 2 or 3 cycles before the humidor knows where it needs to go next. I could in fact reference an external sensor. However that is a 'false god.' Meaning that external temperature at a single point in space is not the driver for humidor performance. The driver is external temperature certainly, but it really is an overall differential energy state and rate of transfer, not single point differential temperature. More sensors, means more money, more code, more shit to break... More bad data to overcome when the system gets tricked. I do think I may drive that algorithm too hard. But this has actually changed some since this data log. I tweet some of these functions pretty regularly. There were some other problems with it back earlier in the summer I have since changed. As I begin to explore other rates of change control functions, I think that I will make this thing run better yet! All for now! Cheers! -Ray
  12. PigFish

    In the box or out

    No, not in this case. When I develop I typically log though the sensor that I am controlling along with two independent loggers placed in different locations, all sampling once per second. They are synced through the computer that loads them so there is very little drift there. This is a maintenance and long term performance log. This means that I stretch the data by logging once in 14 seconds and have to collect data once a week. Every sensor is different so there are two factors two consider. One, is the actual differential at the different areas and the second is the differential sensor to sensor. Frankly, this whole process is only going to get so good. I am not to the point where I am going to buy a chilled mirror calibrator. Setting the logger to run through the control sensor is a bit of a pain in the ass. I typically use 4 to 20ma signals but it is easier to pull the signals at 0 to 10vdc, and that means that I have to set up a din terminal setup at the back of the cooler to run a 24v power supply, to get the 0 to 10 to power properly and then tap the signals at the terminals at the back of the cooler and feed all that crap, inside and outside the cooler to the logger, the controller and the sensor. It is a pain... Not to mention, if I shoot video around any of it, it makes the place look like Frankensteins workshop... -LOL Also when developing I run a multi state logger that pulls hi/low signals at each appliance. What makes this cool, is that I can overlay the hi/low on the logs and see what appliance is causing the problems. I do less and less of this because I can largely read what is going on just by experience now. So where the hell have you been keeping yourself buddy? Glad to see you again! -Ray
  13. PigFish

    In the box or out

    I know many of you think I am nuts... and I am okay with that!!! -LOL However humidor analytics are fun for me. First it makes me arguably the best controlled humidor maker in the world (that I am aware of). Next I bring this to the community and share it so I can help people store better. Really store cigars better, not assume or hearsay store cigars better! Since I am facing digging out a footing in one of my horse corrals today, I am doing whatever I can to avoid that, so I might as well talk humidor analysis. Same chart from above viewed two different ways. 1) Where is your average? Not that average is really the absolute way to handle this analysis, because depending on the cycle amplitude and frequency, the hysteresis of tobacco may not actually allow the cigar to settle at the average, but for the sake of a basis of discussion we will just use the average. What got me thinking about this was the question from above... ... so where do I settle out? From this chart you can see that in actuality, my rH is running about 61.1 at a 1 hour moving average. How does one make a better humidor? I am glad you asked... It is done through analysis and finding the flaws. As the flaws get smaller, they get harder to find but when you are hell bent at being the best at something, you want to do things no one is even thinking of doing. For the record, I am not going to call this a problem. Because in the real world, with the hysteresis of cigars being what it is I cannot say that there really is any way to prove if the very small variance that I see visually is actually reflected in the condition of the tobacco. It becomes a resolution issue and more of a mental condition than a physical one... but what the hell... 2) Shows the same analysis from a different perspective. What if I want to use my data to actually make my next generation of humidors better? What can be gleaned from this is two things. One is that late in the day in the shop is at its hottest. Rather than let my humidor get hotter, a rather aggressively attack the heat cycles (for a number of reasons I won't bother with here). So, late in the day you can see an actual dip in the heat line, more visible with a shorter moving average that I did not plot. But the dip is there around 6PM... you can see it plainly above. While the day gets hotter, the humidor actually gets cooler. This means actually that I am a bit too aggressive with how I have approached cooling. There are a number of ways to fix this as the controller calls for cooling around a certain set point. This really is likely more an activation logic issue than an actual operational issue. It is not in any way an engineering issue. The humidor works beautifully, but the logic is flawed some by aggressively attacking high heat periods... That is something that costs me nothing but time and analysis to fix. The second 'fix' is a wish list item. It will take a lot of code writing and analysis to modify. However I am going to modify it (someday). In some ways it shows how well the humidor is engineered. For the record I like to stay away from mixing concepts such as aH or absolute humidity in with cigar analysis. Like that Newair chart posted a week or so ago, it just confuses people. However operationally this humidor is doing a damn fine job of keeping the same amount of water in the humidor at all times. It is quite impressive I must say... EXCEPT, when you really understand cigar conditioning, you know that the warmer tobacco gets, the wetter it should be kept. Now, for the record we are viewing such a high resolution perspective of this that I firmly believe that this does not matter at all in one of my humidors. We are talking 1/10 of points here. 1/10 of points, when the cigar community is not really worried about 10 point swings is really splitting hairs, but what the hell. It beats digging in the horse corral... So what I need (yeah... need...) to do here is write code that views a moving average of temperature (say as a driving factor) and then adjusts the set point of the rH based on it. In this way I actually drive the aH of the humidor lower in instances where the box has a cooling trend. Conversely as the ambient gets cooler, and the box gets warmer, I may want to drive the aH (and rH with it) up to compensate by some small fraction. In this fashion instead of the temperature valleys touching the rH peaks (an indication of great engineering and constant aH) they would coincide (meet peak with peak, valley with valley) and as the box trended higher or lower and then reflect the actual isothermal behavior of tobacco keeping it even more stable. Coming full circle, aH is not how you store cigars properly. aH stability is great, only if you have temperature stability to match it. Higher heat should be met with higher rH. Lower heat should be matched with lower rH. Now I need to dig in the dirt... -the Pig
  14. PigFish

    In the box or out

    ...Bingo! Been telling people this for years.... There is no need to refrigerate cigars. Room temp is perfect. I is easier to keep, less wet, and when you have air exchanges you have far less free water to deal with. As an added result, water exchanges faster at higher temps because it is more active. Therefore wetter cigars will come to be smokeable faster. If you want cigars to be the best they possibly can be, a stable environment at your preferred combination of rH and temp is the way to do it. Cheers! -Piggy
  15. PigFish

    Cigar Cravings

    ... just tobacco! When I find myself enjoying the smell of a cigarette, I know I am overdue a good cigar. Sometimes the cigar crave, no brand non-sense with me, it is just a Partagas Chicos moment. When they made the Bolivar Demi Tasse, that was the 'need a hit' cigar. Now, just the Partagas Chicos. -the Pig

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