The thermocouple generates an electric signal that the temperature controller converts to a temperature.
How to Adjust a Thermocouple
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HOW TO ADJUST A THERMOCOUPLE
The thermocouple is easy to find. It is the small rod that extends into the firing chamber of a digital kiln. The thermocouple generates a faint electric signal when exposed to heat. The controller interprets that signal as a temperature.
You can’t actually adjust the temperature reading of the thermocouple. But you can adjust the way your digital controller interprets the signal that it receives from the thermocouple. Why would you want to do that?
1) You have replaced the thermocouple in your kiln, and the new one does not read exactly the same as the old one.
2) Your kiln has a Type-K thermocouple that has drifted in temperature. (The longer it is exposed to ceramic temperatures, the more it drifts in temperature.) A Type-K thermocouple can vary as much as 36F / 20C over its life span.
3) You want to adjust the thermocouple so it matches the bending of a pyrometric witness cone in Cone-Fire ceramic firings.
The thermocouple reading is adjusted in Thermocouple Offset. This is the term used by the two most common brands of controllers, the Orton and the Bartlett.
Thermocouple Offset for Orton’s Sentry 2.0 12-Key Controller
1) From Idle, press the Options key until TCOS appears. Then press Enter.
2) Using the 1 and 2 keys, change the temperature setting. An H number will cause the kiln to fire hotter; a C number will cause it to fire cooler. The higher the number, the greater the temperature change. Then press Enter. To return to Idle, press Stop.
Thermocouple Offset for Orton’s Sentry Xpress 4.0 3-Key Controller
1) From Idle, press the down arrow key several times until Strt appears.
2) Press the up arrow key. TCOS will appear.
3) Press the arrow keys to change the controller temperature. A minus number will cause the kiln to fire cooler. Press the START key to return to the Strt display. To return to Idle, press START two more times.
Instead of adjusting the Thermocouple Offset, you may prefer to change the temperatures in your firing schedules, fire to a different cone number in Cone-Fire mode, or add hold time in Cone-Fire mode.
Q. We purchased three of your Dragon kilns. They came with Vent Master exhausts. Is there any harm in moving the vents so the motors are mounted on top of the kilns? A vent duct above the kilns won’t reach the Vent Masters mounted at the back of the kilns.
A. The Orton vents are mounted in the back of the Dragons because that is the side opposite the door. During firing, the corners of the door bow slightly outward, because the inner door surface expands more than the outer surface. The vent pulls a small amount of air from the kiln, and make up air enters through the corners of the door. If you mount the vent in the top of the kiln, the make up air will enter through the top two corners of the door. This will yield uneven venting within the firing chamber. Please vent the kilns through the back walls.
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I am posting photos from a trip to Australia on Instagram. Paragon President Todd Lokash and I attended the Sydney Blade Show there last month. To post a photo that you would like us to see, please include the #paragonkilns hashtag in the caption.
Being in Australia last month was like stepping into a BBC production on NetFlix. As pedestrians we had to cross the street with great care, because cars in Australia are driven on the left side of the street. I love the Australian accent, which was everywhere . . . “mate,” “bloody,” “bloke,” “ga-day.” Our hosts, the people at Gameco, were exceptionally courteous. Parramatta Road in Sydney, where Gameco is located, reminded me of Hilo, Hawaii. I enjoyed hearing stories about the deadly snakes, the wallaby, and the Australian road trains.
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