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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2012-09-22, 2:16pm
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Default 2 questions-maybe related or not

Update: so the temperture gauge was not the problem. I now have a new digital gauge and I noticed that when I have it ready to go at 960 degrees it continually goes up 40-50 degrees and then back down to 960. It's doing it ever minute or two. This seems that the elements are surging on and off. Is this normal or should it stay at a constant 960 degrees except for maybe when I open the kiln to place a bead in. Could the constant up and down of 50 degrees be enough to cause my cracking problem?




I've got a lot of cracking issues lately. I mean a lot. Like half of everything I make. It's really cutting into my production. I've been making beads for several years and haven't had cracking problems since I first started. Some of the beads are plain spacers so it's not just because I'm mixing a bunch of stuff together and something's not compatible. It's cracks like shattering around the bead, not down the center of mandrel. I'm having it in boro and soft.

I'm not looking at them too long before putting in kiln, haven't changed my garaging temp or ramping schedule. BUT, my concentrator is registering a yellow light saying 1/2 full. What is wrong with my concentrator and could this be affecting my beads or do I have something wrong with my concentrator and my kiln?
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Last edited by Donna T.; 2012-10-07 at 3:37pm. Reason: update on problem
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  #2  
Old 2012-09-22, 2:18pm
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Sounds like your kiln - temp is probably way off
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  #3  
Old 2012-09-22, 2:28pm
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how do I check it?
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  #4  
Old 2012-09-22, 2:45pm
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That's my first thought too. Your kiln is a big fat liar.
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Old 2012-09-22, 4:54pm
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penny test

http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...42&postcount=2
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  #6  
Old 2012-09-22, 5:21pm
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Get a stand alone digital pyrometer - I think Malcolm at Artco carries a good one.
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  #7  
Old 2012-09-23, 7:07am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squid View Post
Get a stand alone digital pyrometer - I think Malcolm at Artco carries a good one.
This is what I use now. I guess they can go bad? It's probably 6,7 years old.
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  #8  
Old 2012-09-23, 7:43am
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I found a digitally controlled pyometer on Ebay. Do these work like the stand alone ones that I just stick the k coupler into the hole in the kiln or do these need an electrician to wire it into the kiln? I just want to make sure I'm buying the right thing. The one I have now is not capable of putting a schedule into it, it just tells you the temperature of the kiln, so if I have to replace it I might as well look at upgrading so I don't have to babysit the kiln and manually ramp down.

I'm looking at this one on Ebay
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tchlink:top:en

or this one at Sundance that tells tempature digitally but not ramp down (the $44 one)
http://www.sundanceglass.com/controllers.htm
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Old 2012-09-23, 7:52am
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The ebay item appears to be just the controller and is for a solid state relay. So in other words while you do not an electrician per se, you would need the expertise to connect everything or the services of an electronics technician.
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Old 2012-09-23, 8:36am
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Thanks Roy, I'm not sure I understand fully what your saying, "just the controller" and "solid state relay". It sounds like I'm not looking at what I need. My kiln has a dial switch for turning kiln on and off with numbers. So, are you saying this controller will ramp the kiln down but not turn it off? And would I have to connect this controller with the dial switch?
I'm thinking I need to go with the other one that is a lot more simple but I won't be able to ramp digitally.
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Last edited by Donna T.; 2012-09-23 at 8:41am.
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Old 2012-09-23, 9:44am
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The ebay controller is just the computer, it ill read the thermocouple, and then turn the kiln off and on, The item in question is designed to use a solid state relay instead of a mechanical relay. So if you are looking for a solution that is plug and play this is not it.
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Old 2012-09-23, 10:18am
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I think you need a controller like this:
http://www.arrowsprings.com/html/kil...re-Controllers
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Old 2012-09-23, 4:53pm
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If you have a K type thermocouple one could use a DMM or DVM to check the output voltage. For 950 F the output should be 21.071 mV (millivolts).

Last edited by Alaska; 2012-09-23 at 4:58pm.
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  #14  
Old 2012-09-23, 6:48pm
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Sadly, your non-cracked beads may not be stable either. =(
So sorry you're having this problem. Keep us posted when you confirm what the trouble was.
I can certainly understand how frustrating this must be.
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Old 2012-09-23, 8:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKDesigns View Post
I think you need a controller like this:
http://www.arrowsprings.com/html/kil...re-Controllers
Wow, I hope not, this is more than my kiln cost.
Roy, thanks for clarifying. I'm going to keep researching. I'll probably just buy what I have now, just a stand alone temperature gauge and babysit the kiln.
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  #16  
Old 2012-09-24, 2:10pm
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A Fuji PID controller would take care of your temperature measuring issues. And once installed could be used for kiln temperature control if desired. Use one on this end and found that it works very well.

There is a firm on Ebay that sells a new Fuji PXR-3 (PXR3-RCY1-4VOA1) for $70. It takes a K type thermocouple. With the addition of an SSR the Fuji can control your kiln. It is easy to install, but it is NOT plug and play. One with a SSR is available for $85.

Programming can be an issue, but there is a lot of information on the net that can help. Find that its adequate for my boro annealing needs and yet reasonably priced.
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  #17  
Old 2012-09-24, 2:48pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna T. View Post
or this one at Sundance that tells tempature digitally but not ramp down (the $44 one)
http://www.sundanceglass.com/controllers.htm
LOL, no one answered your question.

The answer is: YES.

Get the $54 one with the ceramic probe.

Put it in the hole in your kiln, good to go.
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  #18  
Old 2012-09-24, 5:32pm
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Here is the one from Artco. These are what we buy to send with our analog units. Always a good read on them.

http://www.artcoinc.com/pyrometer.php

Definately DO NOT buy the cheap one on the Sundance page. I tried a couple of those and they get bad connections very early (like a month). I don't know about the more expensive one further down on the page. I went to Malcolm after my first one failed and have been very happy with the performance.
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  #19  
Old 2012-09-24, 7:06pm
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Thanks everyone for your help. I ended up buying the $54 from Sundance (too late Pittsglass, I had already ordered before I saw your post) I won't be able to program the kiln but I've babysat the thing for many years I can keep on babysitting.
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  #20  
Old 2012-10-08, 4:59am
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I posted an update but didn't think about how it wouldn't move it to the front page, so I'm bumping hoping to get more answers to this problem. If you scrolled to the bottom please go to OP to see the update. Any ideas would be appreciated.
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