Jan 24 2010

Renovating a kiln controller – Part 1


Kiln Bits

Very luckily I came into possession of a free electric kiln. It came with an old temperature control unit that I’ve decided to get back into working order so I can fire my own ceramics. The controller is made by the Industrial Pyrometer Company, which now seems to have become Mitsco. It uses a clever cam-follower system to regulate the kiln temperature and heating rate. The cam wheel has a scale laid out on it with the rings corresponding to 100C increases and the radial bands equaling 2 hour periods (a full rotation takes 24 hours). A sprung arm follows the edge of this cam around and through a system of gears, rotates a potentiometer inside the unit. An R-type thermocouple probe is used to monitor the temperature inside the kiln providing feedback to the control unit, which is compared to the cam-follower position using a simple Op Amp circuit (based on an F709PC chip). A relay is then triggered to turn the kiln on or off.

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