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

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  #1  
Old 2015-05-07, 2:27pm
tlyn tlyn is offline
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Default Orton controller issue

I have a Paragon Bluebird XL kiln purchased December 2012. Despite only being fired a few dozen times, the controller has quit working. Warranty was only one year. I've been told the new controller is $272 U.S. The kiln itself was $950 so the cost of the controller is a significant amount. Has anyone else experienced problems with the Orton Sentry Xpress controller? I am so disappointed and upset with this kiln that I thought was a good brand. Can we really expect to have to replace an almost $300 part every two years? I need to know if it's even worth fixing if this is a common and ongoing issue.
So sad I could cry! Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 2015-05-07, 2:36pm
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echeveria echeveria is offline
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I had to replace the Orton controller in my Chili Pepper, but it was still under warranty. They sent me one and then Orton walked me through replacement over the phone. You may want to call Orton directly rather than Paragon.
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  #3  
Old 2015-05-07, 4:02pm
2xMI 2xMI is offline
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Are you sure the controller has to be replaced, rather than just repaired? I hope it's something as simple as replacing a relay, rather than the whole thing being toast! Good luck.

Mimi
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  #4  
Old 2015-05-07, 10:00pm
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Aye, I would get with the maker and see if they can help you locate the problem down to the part.

I don't know if these things have fuses inside them but it sure would suck dirty brown swamp water to find out that a two dollar fuse was the only problem, ( well that and a lighting strike two miles away that took out the fuse).

It doesn't hurt to put these machines on a surge protector these days.
I think I have most of the technical stuff in the house on a surge system of one sort or another and I am thinking of getting a "whole house protection unit".
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  #5  
Old 2015-05-08, 7:03am
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I have 2 kilns with Orton controllers and whenever I have a problem, I just call Jen-Ken and they can answer your questions. They are so helpful and have talked us through any problems. The only thing I have had to replace was the relay and my brick kiln is 11 years old. I don't think it matters that your kiln isn't a Jen-Ken, they fix controllers too.
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  #6  
Old 2015-05-10, 11:14am
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What is it doing ?

Mike
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  #7  
Old 2015-05-10, 6:00pm
flowman flowman is offline
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I don't have an Orton controller (built two of my own using Auber digital units), but I agree, we need to know more about what it's doing and what you've tried. My Aubers (not dissing the company) "go stupid" every once in a while and do things like reading 2000+ degrees when the kiln's actually at 70F. I unplug, check all the programmable parameters, and so far I've been able to get them to start working again just by messing around. I know you don't have as much access to programming with the Orton's, but it would help to know more about what it's doing. As others have said, if it's just a relay that's dead that might be something you could replace with Orton's help.
Building my own was a challenge, but it did give me an understanding of the components. Of course there are days when I'm tempted to chuck it and buy a commercial unit.
Steve
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  #8  
Old 2015-05-12, 1:50pm
tlyn tlyn is offline
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Default Controller issue

Thank you all for your helpful hints. As an update, I returned the controller to Orton for testing after the Paragon people took us through testing the various other kiln components and concluded it was the controller. I received an email from Orton today saying they tested the controller and it's fine! So basically I'm back to square one with a non-operational two and half year old kiln
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  #9  
Old 2015-05-12, 2:55pm
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Frack !
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  #10  
Old 2015-05-12, 3:32pm
2xMI 2xMI is offline
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Could it be something as basic as the thermocouple? Did that go back with the controller to Orton? did Paragon have you check the connection between the two?

Mimi
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  #11  
Old 2015-05-14, 5:49pm
tlyn tlyn is offline
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Default Latest headache:(

So Orton ships the controller back to me by UPS which I paid by ViSA $21 shipping. The delivery person tells me I owe an additional $57 duty and taxes!!! I refused to pay. I now have to argue my case to the government I guess so I may never get my controller back. Unfreakin' believable! The package even says "repair" and I spoke to three different people and explained it was returned for repair (which it didn't need) and that it wasn't new, no, I didn't buy it, no it wasn't a replacement and on and on. When I bought the kiln from the U.S. I paid duty and taxes, so why would I have to pay again on a part I returned for repair!? And seriously, $57???? What tax rate are they charging me? Sheesh! Time for a glass of wine. Sorry for the rant.
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  #12  
Old 2015-05-15, 7:08pm
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Double Frack!!!


Who did you piss off in a past life?

Any chance you have the receipt as well as the correspondence between you and the repair lace?

Where are you anyway. I want to make sure I don't move there.
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  #13  
Old 2015-05-15, 7:51pm
tlyn tlyn is offline
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Default Orton controller

I live in Ontario, Canada.
Good news today though, I got my controller back!!! A kind gentleman named Jim from Orton phoned UPS and pleaded my case and lo and behold UPS phoned me this morning to say I could come and pick up my package with no additional charges! Yay!
So we'll try reinstalling it this weekend and see if we can figure out what is actually wrong with the kiln.
The repairman who was here fixing my stove (yes! I have terrible luck with anything electronic and I can often put out streetlights just by walking past! Seriously!) suggested it could be a funky toggle switch so we'll check that out too. Wish me luck
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  #14  
Old 2015-05-15, 9:31pm
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Well at least Orton was able to make it happen.

Good luck with the trouble shooting.


Look at the power cord at the plug end and where it goes into the kiln. Power cords can get flexed enough to break inside the cord but look fine outside. If working it back and forth gets it to start and stop then that will be something to get fixed.

Let me know if you need help tracking this down although I would have thought the Orton folks would have run through most of the possibilities before you sent it in.

As a 17 year electronics tech for the Navy I can troubleshoot problems through the keyboard if you want.
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  #15  
Old 2015-05-16, 5:16am
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Hooray for Orton!

There are not many moving parts to a kiln, so I think now that the controller is deemed good you have the most expensive part eliminated. Good luck!
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  #16  
Old 2015-05-29, 9:21am
Arnold Howard Arnold Howard is offline
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Tlyn, I'm sorry the BlueBird XL is not operating correctly. I hate to hear about the frustration you've gone through.

Please describe the problem. Did you get error messages on the controller? Also, feel free to send me an email.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com
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  #17  
Old 2015-05-29, 9:23am
Arnold Howard Arnold Howard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xMI View Post
Could it be something as basic as the thermocouple? Did that go back with the controller to Orton? did Paragon have you check the connection between the two?

Mimi
Mimi, the problem could very well be a faulty thermocouple. I will be happy to send out a new one at no charge for the BlueBird XL in question.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com
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