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FAQ/Answer

After I open the lid of my kiln for a few seconds, the temperature keeps going down before going back up. Why the delay?

Our digital controllers have a 10-second duty cycle. This means the controller decides whether to send power to the elements every 10 seconds. If you closed the lid at the beginning of that 10 second period, then the elements will wait a few seconds ... [More]

Are there charts that convert cones to degrees and times for digital kilns?

If you specialize in jewelry or glass beads, you may enjoy making ceramic jewelry for a change. Clay and ceramic glazes are very inexpensive compared to silver and glass, and the results can be stunning.

Cone-Fire mode is included with cerami ... [More]

Can a digital kiln over-fire?

If the digital kiln gets too hot, the controller is designed to shut off the kiln. This is one reason so few digital kilns over-fire. Nevertheless, over-fires definitely happen.

When a relay fails, it usually fails in the "off" position. If ... [More]

Can the DTC 100, 600, or 800 be upgraded with a new controller?

Yes. The Sentry controller is the same size as our earlier controllers and will fit into the kiln’s switch box using the same four screws. You will need to order a wiring harness along with the Sentry.

... [More]

Can the Sentry controller’s alarm signal be used to activate a much louder alarm?

Yes, the temperature alarm can activate a louder external alarm through the optional AOP (auxiliary output). The AOP is an extra relay that the Sentry controller can turn on when the controller alarm sounds. The factory-installed AOP includes an elec ... [More]

Can you use the alarm to detect an over-fired kiln?

The temperature alarm on most digital controllers operates only during a firing. After the kiln fires to completion and begins to cool, the alarm is inactive. Here is how to use the alarm after the kiln fires to completion:

1) Program the ala ... [More]

Does a digital kiln read out kilowatts used after each firing?

The Paragon Sentry 2.0 controller gives the electrical cost of a firing. In Options, enter the cost that you pay for electricity in kilowatt hours. (A kilowatt-hour is 1,000 watts of electricity running for 1 hour.) You can enter the cost in any form ... [More]

Does a small digital ceramic kiln fire in the same length of time as a large digital kiln?

Cone-Fire mode, which is included with Paragon’s ceramic digital controller, fires to a pyrometric cone in Slow, Medium, or Fast speed. Cone-Fire mode will fire kilns of different sizes to a given cone and speed in the same length of time. As long as ... [More]

Does the HTDE error message on the Sentry controllers have an audible alarm?

Yes. The audible alarm sounds for one minute after HTDE appears. This applies to the 3-key and 12-key controllers.

... [More]

Does the room temperature affect the accuracy of a digital controller? (For instance, does the controller’s temperature change from summer to winter in an unheated building?)

The Sentry controllers compensate for room temperature as long as you stay within the range of 32°F – 158°F. For instance, if your unheated room is 32°F in the winter and 100°F in the summer, the room temperature should have no effect on the way the ... [More]

Does the Sentry Xpress have an error message for a temperature drop during a hold?

The 3-key Sentry Xpress Orton controller does not have an error message for a temperature drop during a hold. This is because the controller is used on enameling and bead making kilns where the door is opened frequently during holds, causing a temper ... [More]

Does the Sentry Xpress have an error message for a temperature drop during a hold?

No. The 3-key Sentry Xpress Orton controller does not have an error message for a temperature drop during a hold, because the controller is used on enameling and bead making kilns. The door is opened frequently during holds while enameling copper or ... [More]

During a 15 minute soak in my digital kiln, the temperature continued to climb the whole 15 minutes. What would cause this?

The soak should hold the kiln at a temperature for the length of time that you programmed. The temperature may keep climbing a little, however, at the beginning of a soak if the soak was preceded by a fast temperature climb. This is called temperatur ... [More]

During a controlled cooling, does a digital kiln fire down at the same speed whether the kiln vent is on or off?

During a controlled cooling, a digital kiln turns on the elements intermittently to maintain the programmed firing rate. The slower the programmed rate, the more often the elements turn on. If the vent causes the kiln to cool faster than normal, the ... [More]

Every time I turn on my Sentry Xpress prior to programming, I get an E-1 in the display. This

E1 is the software version of your Sentry Xpress 4.0 controller. It is not an error code. Earlier versions of the controller did not show the software version on start up. Controllers that show this on start up have Add Hold Time, Change Target Tempe ... [More]

How can you improve heat distribution of a three-zone kiln that fires cooler on the bottom?

(The answer is for the Sentry 2.0 controller. Instructions may vary for other brands.) The controller has three display lights. They each represent a zone inside the firing chamber. When a light blinks rapidly, that zone is not receiving enough heat ... [More]

How close does the Sentry Xpress maintain temperature during a hold?

The normal temperature fluctuation during hold is plus or minus 2 degrees C. Ordinarily, the only time the temperature goes beyond the 2 degree fluctuation is after a fast rate, which causes a temperature overshoot. The overshoot usually stabilizes w ... [More]

How close does the Sentry Xpress maintain the temperature during a hold?

The normal temperature fluctuation during hold is plus or minus 2 degrees C. Ordinarily, the only time the temperature goes beyond the 2 degree fluctuation is after a fast rate, which causes the temperature to overshoot. The overshoot usually stabili ... [More]

How complicated is it to install the thermocouple that comes with a portable digital controller?

The easiest way to install it is through a drilled peephole plug. Or you could drill a thermocouple hole in the wall of the kiln. If you are firing two kilns, one at a time, with the same controller, you will need to transfer the thermocouple from on ... [More]

How do I alter a digital firing in progress?

There are several ways to override a digital controller, depending on the brand. One method is to just press Stop. Make a change in the program, such as adding another segment, and press Start again. The controller will continue firing, taking up whe ... [More]

How do I know when my digital kiln has fired to completion?

CPLT (complete) appears on digital controllers after a kiln has finished firing. If your controller shows a low temperature, the CPLT message assures you that the kiln fired to completion while you were away, and the kiln is now cooling down.

... [More]

How do you correct a kiln that is firing around 50 degrees too hot?

Make sure the thermocouple extends into the firing chamber by the correct distance. A 1/8" wide thermocouple should extend at least 1/2" into the kiln; a 1/4" wide thermocouple should extend at least 1" into the kiln.

If the kiln overfires by ... [More]

How do you program a controlled cooling in a digital controller?

To control the cooling rate, program a segment to a lower target temperature than that of the preceding segment. Most controllers do not use minus numbers for cooling. Just enter a lower target temperature than that of the previous segment.

... [More]

How do you program a cooling cycle? Programming positive temperatures doesn't make sense for a cooling cycle.

Every segment raises or lowers the firing chamber temperature. Instead of thinking of the segment temperature as either positive (heating) or negative (cooling), consider it merely a target. If the segment temperature is higher than the previous segm ... [More]

How do you program a cooling segment that will go fast from the fusing temperature to the annealing temperature?

If you want a fast temperature drop, program a rate of 9999 in the Sentry 12-key controller (1799 F rate for the 3-key Sentry Xpress controller). The kiln will cool down at an uncontrolled rate, meaning as fast as it is capable of cooling with the el ... [More]

How do you scroll quickly through the numbers on a 3-key controller?

To program a high temperature from a low temperature, press the down arrow instead of the up arrow. The numbers will go down through zero and then continue through the highest temperature. Example: You want to program 1500, and the controller is at 2 ... [More]

How do you speed up the programming in the 3-key Sentry Xpress? It takes forever when you press the arrow key for each degree.

Do not press the arrow key for each degree. Hold the arrow key down. The longer you press the key, the faster the numbers will change.

... [More]

How does a controller fire to a pyrometric cone?

Cone-Fire mode fires at the speed and temperature that will bend the witness cone. The speed varies during the firing, with a faster speed near the beginning and a slower speed at the end. During the last 1-1/2 hours, the firing rate is 108 degrees F ... [More]

How does a digital controller work?

A digital kiln is not complicated. When you understand how it works, you may find greater satisfaction in firing the kiln, because it won't seem so intimidating. Knowing how it works will also simplify the maintenance on your kiln. This information a ... [More]

How does one clear all the firing programs entered into a temperature controller? I made an error in one of the programs, left it and started a new program, but need the space.

Our 12-key Sentry 2.0 controller has a Reset feature that erases all the firing programs that the kiln owner installed. The 3-key Sentry Xpress controller does not have the Reset feature.

We suggest that you keep a paper record of the progra ... [More]

I am casting 3” thick glass. How do I program a rate of less than 1 degree Celsius?

Set the controller for degrees F. Convert your degrees C program to degrees F. 1 degree F is .55 degrees C.

Below is the F/C temperature conversion formula. Use formula #1 to convert a firing temperature. Use formula #2 to convert a change in ... [More]

I am going to install a portable controller on my manual kiln. What should I do with the Kiln Sitter?

Having a Kiln Sitter safety backup on a digital kiln is a good idea. If the digital controller malfunctions, the Kiln Sitter could prevent an overfire.

... [More]

I am programming a segment with a rate of 300 F and a temperature drop from 1000 degrees F to 800. Will the power shut off during that segment until the temperature drops to 800?

If the kiln's natural cooling rate is faster than 300 degrees per hour, the elements will intermittently turn on to slow down the rate to 300.

If the kiln's natural cooling rate is slower than 300 degrees per hour, you may get an error messa ... [More]

I am using the Sentry’s Cone-Fire mode. How can I estimate the total firing time?

The Cone-Fire mode in the Sentry digital controller is used for firing ceramics to a pyrometric cone. Cone-Fire is available in the Sentry controller used on Paragon ceramic kilns. Cone-Fire is not available on glass kilns.

To estimate the le ... [More]

I anneal glass beads. I program segment 1 to 940F with a 4 hour hold. When my bead session is finished, I skip to segment 2. Can I program segment 2 with the same 940F target temperature as segment 1?

We assume this is because you want your beads to soak for a certain period, perhaps 30 minutes, at 940F after you skip to segment 2. Yes, you can program duplicate target temperatures in consecutive segments. Orton controllers made before 2006, howev ... [More]

I changed the thermocouple type, and now my kiln over-fires.

The Sentry comes with a Type-K unless you specify a Type-S when you order your kiln. If you install a Type-S on your Sentry controller, please make sure that you change the thermocouple type under Options. Otherwise your kiln could over-fire.

... [More]

I don’t think my digital kiln is firing to an accurate temperature.

It is not unusual for a digital kiln to be a little off in firing results from the cone number you enter. But once you know how much it is off, you can adjust the controller with a feature called "thermocouple offset."

If the witness cone is ... [More]

I fire ceramics. When would I ever need to use Ramp-Hold mode instead of Cone-Fire?

The modern digital ceramic kiln has two firing modes: Cone-Fire and Ramp-Hold. (Glass, heat treating, and jewelry kilns have Ramp-Hold only.)

Most people use Cone-Fire mode to fire ceramics. It is simple--just enter speed, cone, and hold time ... [More]

I found a glass firing schedule that says to "cool at a natural rate" from 1600 F to 1020 F. What does that mean?

Cooling at a natural rate means you should turn off the heating elements from 1600 F (871 C) to 1020 F (548 C) and allow the kiln to cool at its own pace. To do that, program a Full rate for the cooling segment. To Paragon’s controllers, Full means a ... [More]

I get a FAIL message on my digital controller. According to the instructions, this means the thermocouple is no good. But it looks fine--not broken or corroded.

It is possible that the thermocouple was struck and damaged. Here is a simple test, which works with most brands of controllers:

1) Unplug. Remove the controller board.

2) Remove the 2 thermocouple wires from their connections on the ... [More]

I get an FTC message on my Sentry controller when I use a slow cooling rate.

Most digital controllers can slow down the cooling rate. But if you program a cooling rate that is faster than the kiln's natural ability to cool, you may get an error message. For instance, Paragon's Sentry 2.0 will flash FTC (Failed to Cool) if the ... [More]

I have 3 digital glass kilns. How do I calibrate them so that all 3 kilns fire glass the same way? This is for the benefit of visiting instructors.

It is difficult to make all three kilns fire exactly the same, because every kiln is unique. Firing a kiln is as much art as science and requires that you become familiar with the kiln's individual firing characteristics.

... [More]

I have a Paragon Firefly kiln with a Sentry Xpress 4.0 digital controller. How does one delete a program that has already been entered?

To delete a program, over-write it with a new one. This will automatically erase the old one. Press Start, and then select the program you want to erase. rA1 will appear. Enter a new rate. C1 will appear. Enter a new temperature. Continue to make all ... [More]

I have an SC-2 with Sentry Xpress. Is there a way to say oops, that's not what I wanted to do and then cancel everything I just did and start over at idle?

If you do not touch the keys of the controller for one minute during programming, the controller will go back to Idle and will retain the previous program.

... [More]

I have just purchased a small digital Paragon kiln. What suggestions do you have for a beginner?

1) Read the manuals. If you don't have time to read all of them, then at least read the sections on operation and skim through the rest. The cover of the Sentry Xpress manual is a visual index of all the controller's features. If you ever wonder how ... [More]

I have never figured out how to use the review mode on my Paragon Home Artist kiln. Review is printed on the keypad, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to activate it.

The Sentry Xpress Program Review works only while the kiln is firing. Press the Down Arrow. The program that is firing will appear one step at a time.

... [More]

I have programmed a cooling rate of 400 degrees F per hour, which should take 4 hours to cool down to 100 degrees F. Why is the kiln taking 7 hours to cool instead of 4 hours?

The controller's cooling rate is limited by the cooling rate of the kiln's insulation. If the kiln takes 7 hours to cool to 100 degrees, then the controller cannot speed up the cooling rate, even if you program a FULL rate.

The purpose of a ... [More]

I have programmed a flash cool in the Sentry 2.0 controller with a rate of 9999. Why does the FTC message keep coming on?

The FTC alarm, which means “Failed to Cool,” appears during a cooling segment when the kiln is not cooling fast enough.

However, a rate of 9999 disables the FTC alarm. FTC should not appear. Please use Program Review to make sure you entered ... [More]

I have programmed a segment for flash venting, which takes the kiln down to the annealing range. I open the kiln to bring the temperature down, but when I close the lid, the temperature shoots right b

If you flash cool the kiln by raising the lid, the rate for that segment should be FULL. If you have programmed a slow rate, the kiln will heat back up in an attempt to slow down the cooling rate.

Another possibility is that the elements turn ... [More]

I live in an older house that has ungrounded 120-volt outlets. Will that affect a digital controller?

Yes. A digital kiln needs a circuit with a grounding wire. This helps the controller to dissipate random electrical “noise” that might otherwise adversely affect the controller.

... [More]

I programmed a FULL rate, yet my kiln heated at only 550 degrees F per hour.

The controller is limited by the heating capacity of each kiln. So, it is normal that when you programmed a Full rate, your kiln heated at only 550 degrees per hour.

... [More]

I recently replaced the controller. It now shows an erratic temperature display. It jumps up 5 or 6 degrees and then down 3 or 4.

Minor variations in temperature readout are normal. Usually there is nothing to worry about, because the actual kiln temperature does not fluctuate.

Since you just replaced the controller, the thermocouple wire connections on the back of the ... [More]

I use commercial glazes and wonder if Ramp-Hold programming would produce better results than Cone-Fire, but I am not sure what the purpose of Ramp-Hold is.

Cone-Fire mode uses firing schedules designed by the Orton Ceramic Foundation. Those schedules are safe and produce excellent results. Ramp-Hold mode allows you to customize the firing and cooling rates. Suppose you needed to fire slower than the ... [More]

I worry when my kiln shows an error message, though the kiln continues to fire.

Many of the digital controller error messages are only to alert you that the kiln is not firing exactly as you had programmed or that there was a temporary power failure. If the error is serious, the kiln will shut off. Examples of serious errors are ... [More]

I would like to fire my digital kiln with the Delay feature. How can I lower the vented lid when I am away from the kiln?

We suggest that you install the Orton Vent Master downdraft vent. With this vent, the lid is kept closed and the peepholes are plugged throughout the firing.

... [More]

I would like to program a rate of 4.2 degrees per hour in the Sentry 12-key controller. Is it possible to program a fraction of a degree?

The Sentry controller rate is programmed as degrees per hour in whole numbers. There is a way to program in tenths of a whole degree, however.

First, we would need to configure your controller to program a rate in degrees per minute instead o ... [More]

I'd like to add a hold to heal glaze pinholes in my next cone 5 firing. Should I fire to cone 4, add a hold, and abort the firing when I see the cone 5 witness cone drop?

Yes, fire to cone 4 with hold, and turn off the kiln when the cone 5 witness cone drops. Write down the length of time the kiln was on hold. Then the next time you fire, program that much hold.

... [More]

I'd like to fire a digital kiln to cone 6, hold for 8 minutes, and then go to 1600 degrees F and hold for 1 hour. How do I do that?

In Ramp-Hold mode, program a cone 6 firing with an 8 minute hold at the end. You will need an additional segment for controlled cooling down to 1600 F. Program a segment to a target temperature of 1600F. Use a Full rate with a one hour hold at 1600 F ... [More]

I've been putting bronze clay in a kiln pre-heated to 1472F. The temperature overshoots to as high as 1515F after I put the piece in. What ramp would you recommend to avoid overshooting?

Program two segments:

Segment 1: Full rate to 1400F

Segment 2: Rate 400 to the desired temperature.

Later from the customer: YES! I tried the second segment at 400F rate and it worked like a charm. I don't think it went over ... [More]

If a kiln cannot get up to temperature in the programmed time, does the controller move on to the next segment at the end of the period or does it wait for the temperature to reach set point regardles

If the kiln fires more slowly than the Orton Sentry controller programmed rate, the controller waits for the kiln to reach the temperature before moving on to the next segment. It doesn't automatically move on after the calculated time has passed.

If I open the door while my digital kiln is hot, will the kiln continue to fire within the programmed firing schedule after I close the door, or will I have to restart the kiln?

Cracking open the door for a moment will barely affect the interior of a firebrick kiln. This is because the insulation stores so much heat. The temperature may go down, but when you close the door, the temperature will quickly begin to rise again. ... [More]

If you stop/abort a firing to change a temperature and then resume firing, do you need to skip segments to get back to where you were before?

When you press Stop during a firing, reprogram the controller, and then press Start, the controller will go to the first segment that matches the temperature inside the kiln. For instance, if segment 3 starts at 1200 and ends at 1700, and the kiln te ... [More]

In Cone-Fire mode, do aging elements and slow firing affect the glaze?

The latest controllers use an algorithm that Orton developed to compensate for aging elements. If the firing is taking longer than programmed in Cone-Fire mode, the kiln shuts off at a lower temperature.

... [More]

Instead of showing CPLt, the Sentry Xpress display shows PF2. Is it possible the kiln fired to completion before the power failure? Could another error message have appeared before PF2?

PF2 can appear only during an active firing cycle (before the kiln reaches CPLt). Since PF2 showed in the display, the power failure occurred before the kiln could complete the firing. There were no other terminating error messages before PF2. Otherw ... [More]

Is it okay if the thermocouple extends into the firing chamber 1/2” farther than normal?

Yes, it is okay if the thermocouple extends into the firing chamber 1/2” farther than normal. You will need to be careful not to bump it with a shelf, though.

As a rule of thumb, the thermocouple must extend into the firing chamber four times ... [More]

My 3-zone kiln is firing unevenly. What do you suggest?

The thermocouples must be connected to the correct relays. Also, the thermocouples may need to be adjusted using Thermocouple Offset. Please see your instruction manual for details.

... [More]

My digital kiln grossly under-fires bisque to about a cone 06 while set on cone 04. Then it grossly over-fires glaze to a cone 7 or cone 8 while set for cone 6.

Cone offset will adjust the firing for a particular cone without affecting the other cone temperatures. Thermocouple offset adjusts all the cone firings with one adjustment.

Also, if your controller is grossly over- or under-firing, you may n ... [More]

My digital kiln has 3 zones with 3 thermocouples. The kiln stalls out and shows an error code. Suggestions?

The back of the Sentry 2.0 controller has a series of terminals for the thermocouples. One set of terminals is for the top thermocouple, another set is for the center thermocouple, and the third set of terminals is for the bottom thermocouple.

... [More]

My digital kiln is taking too long to fire: 9 1/2 hours to cone 6. I want the kiln to fire in 4 hours.

9 1/2 hours is the firing time programmed into the Sentry Cone-Fire mode at fast speed. The easiest way to go faster is to use Ramp-Hold mode, where you can program the exact speed that you want. Note, however, that the firing speed is limited to the ... [More]

My Fluke pyrometer reads 1280C and my kiln controller reads 1233C. What is wrong with the kiln?

It's normal for a digital controller to be out of adjustment by at least a few degrees. So it is not surprising that your kiln reads 1233 while the Fluke pyrometer reads 1280.

The Fluke could be off, too. A pyrometer or controller is only as ... [More]

My kiln is in a freezing basement. I kept getting an error message, so I raised the temperature of the kiln interior to 38F with a hair dryer, and then it cycled just fine. Is it okay to do this?

Yes, it is okay to use a hair dryer inside the kiln to raise the temperature. The hair dryer will not adversely affect the kiln as long as the controller and the thermocouple are not subjected to static electricity.

... [More]

My kiln is not shutting off when it reaches cone 06. It is holding the temperature 1861 for hours and hours. After the controller shows me "cone 06" I see "5 20." How do I eliminate this?

Please check Program Review. A long hold time has been added to cone 06. The 5 20 means the hold will continue for 5 hours and 20 minutes. To remove the hold time, please reprogram the kiln for cone 06. When you see the Hold prompt, enter 0000.

... [More]

My Sentry controller does not have the Firing Cost feature. Can I have it added?

No. The Firing Cost feature is available only on the newer controllers.

... [More]

My Sentry controller flashed the TC 2 error message. I tried loading the kiln to see if it could still fire, and the error messages FAIL and TC 2 flashed. Is this a thermocouple issue?

According to the error messages, your thermocouple has burned out. To verify this, unplug the kiln. Remove the four screws from the corners of the controller keypad, and pull the controller from the switch box. Remove the two wires from the bottom of ... [More]

My Sentry Controller flashes an FTL message. What does it mean?

FTL is a 12-key Sentry controller error message that means “Firing Too Long.” FTL can appear during either heating or cooling segments. FTL means the temperature has stalled.

FTL will appear when the temperature change is slower than 27°F/60° ... [More]

My temperature display shows the temperature rising with a stair step pattern. Is that normal?

In theory, the heating ramps of a digital controller are linear. A rate of 300 degrees per hour will raise the temperature 300 degrees in one hour, or 5 degrees per minute. But instead of showing a perfectly linear rise in temperature, the display wi ... [More]

On the Sentry Xpress controller, what's the purpose of the speeds? (Used on glass kilns.)

The speeds are for simple firings that need only a single segment. For instance, you fire to 1650, hold for a certain period, and then turn off the kiln. You would not need an extra segment for that firing.

Each single speed, from 1 through 5 ... [More]

On the Sentry Xpress controller, why would you use a second segment, and what's the purpose of the speeds?

The extra segments in PRO1 - PRO4 are for more complicated firings. You may never need more than one segment, however. In fact there is a tendency to use too many segments, especially with small projects.

If you were firing a thick glass pro ... [More]

Our digital kiln has given alerts, yet the kiln continues to fire as programmed. The most recent one showed FTC. It was, however, continuing to cool as it should, so I just shut off the alarm.

The FTC error message is nothing to worry about, as you surmised. FTC means "Failed to Cool." FTC appears during a cooling segment and means the programmed cooling rate is faster than the kiln can cool down. To eliminate the FTC message during your n ... [More]

Programming a cooling in Ramp-Hold seems confusing.

Program a cooling segment the same way you program a heating segment. Only instead of entering a higher temperature, enter a lower one.

Heating the kiln at a rate of 9999 leaves the elements turned on, just like turning a switch to High. Coo ... [More]

Should a hold time be programmed as total number of minutes, or hours and minutes?

Program a hold as hours and minutes rather than the total number of minutes. (i.e., 90 minutes is programmed as 1:30.) You can program a hold up to 99.99 hours.

... [More]

Should I wait until the kiln is completely cool before I start another firing? If I start at 122 degrees F / 50 degrees C, should I change the rate or the target temperature?

Paragon recommends that you allow the kiln to cool to room temperature before unloading it. Nevertheless, if you begin the firing in a warm kiln, you do not need to alter the firing schedule.

... [More]

Since rate is figured in degrees per hour, is a minimum firing one hour long?

Rate is figured as degrees of temperature rise per hour. However, you can break that down into temperature rise per 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes, etc.

A rate of 1000 degrees per hour is 500 degrees per 30 minutes, or 250 degrees per 15 ... [More]

The alarm on my Sentry sounds a minute into each firing. Why is the alarm going off?

If the alarm sounds as soon as firing begins, it is because the alarm was set to a temperature below the current temperature. Next time, set the alarm to 0.

... [More]

The controller on my Paragon SC-2 jewelry kiln flashes FTL, but only when I include a controlled cooling. What is happening?

FTL means “firing too long.” But “firing too long” applies to cooling as well as to heating. FTL can appear if you program a segment for slow cooling and the kiln is taking too long to cool. Program a slower cooling rate. FTL will also appear if you ... [More]

The display shows FTH. Should I turn off the kiln?

The FTH (Failed to Heat) error message is to let you know that your kiln could not keep up with the rate you programmed. The kiln will continue the firing, though. It is not necessary to turn off the kiln when FTH appears.

Determine your kil ... [More]

The PRO1 program in my Sentry Xpress is erased when I fire a program in PRO2 – PRO4. Is this normal?

This is normal for the Sentry Xpress versions 2.0 – 3.0. The PRO1 program always defaults to the last program that you fired. The PRO1 program in the Sentry Xpress version 4.0, however, is retained in memory no matter which program you fire.

... [More]

The toggle switch has broken off my DTC controller. Do you sell a replacement switch?

We no longer sell the DTC 600, 800, or 1000 series controllers; however, you can replace the original controller with a Sentry. To upgrade to the Sentry control board, you will also need the Sentry wiring harness. Conversion instructions are included ... [More]

The top section of my 3-zone kiln is 200 degrees F hotter than the middle and bottom. I am firing at a FULL rate with the Sentry 12-key controller. Why is there such a large difference in temperature?

At FULL rate, the zone control system is turned off. This is because the controller assumes that when you program a FULL rate, you want to fire as fast as possible without slowing down the kiln to even out the temperature in 3-zone mode. Fire at a sl ... [More]

We have fired our kiln to bisque and are now trying to switch to a Ramp-Hold slow cool down, but the controller keeps turning the kiln off. The display shows CPLt.

The kiln has just shut off, it is still hot, and you want to turn it back on using a new program. To fire a controlled cooling segment, program a temperature for segment 1 that is higher than the current kiln temperature. If the target temperature of ... [More]

What are the Sentry controller deviation alarms?

A glass artist recently asked about the error messages on the 12-key Sentry 2.0 digital controller. When he programmed a cooling rate that was faster than his kiln could cool, FTC appeared in the display window. A heating rate that is faster than the ... [More]

What causes an erratic temperature display? The temperature jumps up and down.

A digital kiln measures the firing chamber temperature with a thermocouple, which is a metal or ceramic-sheathed rod that extends into the firing chamber.

When the thermocouple is about to fail, the temperature display often becomes erratic o ... [More]

What does it mean when the relays stop clicking during a firing?

Some of the reasons the relays of a digital kiln stop clicking during firing:

1) An element burned out, causing the other elements to stay on continuously in an attempt to maintain the firing schedule.

2) You are using a fast rate. ... [More]

What is firing rate?

At Paragon we are often asked about the firing rate of a digital kiln. "Does the increase in temperature always assume a one hour time period?" someone asked. "If I need to get to 300 degrees in 30 minutes, would I set the ramp for 600 degrees per ho ... [More]

What is the best way to reverse the thermocouple lead wires?

The thermocouple is a temperature sensor that protrudes into the firing chamber. The wires that connect the thermocouple to the digital controller are color-coded. It is important to follow the color coding when installing a new thermocouple.

... [More]

What is the difference between R and S type thermocouples?

The R and S type thermocouples are both made of platinum / rhodium wires. The R type has 13% rhodium / 87% platinum for one conductor, pure platinum for the other conductor. The S type has 10% rhodium / 90% platinum for one conductor and pure platinu ... [More]

What is the difference between the controllers on a ceramic kiln and a glass kiln?

The difference between controllers designed for ceramics and those designed for glass is that the ceramic version includes Cone-Fire mode. The glass version does not. The other mode, Ramp-Hold, is used on both types of controllers.

Also, mor ... [More]

What is the difference between Type-K and Type-S thermocouples?

If you have a digital kiln, you will notice a small rod projecting into the firing chamber. It is the thermocouple, which reads the kiln temperature. Ceramic kilns use two basic types of thermocouples: Type-K or Type-S. Most kilns are equipped with t ... [More]

What is the kiln’s actual firing rate when I select FULL rate on the controller?

On full rate, the heating elements stay on continuously until the kiln reaches the target temperature. The elements do not cycle on and off, because the controller is firing the kiln as fast as it will go. Suppose you were firing to 1650F at ful ... [More]

What is the lowest temperature that a kiln controller can accurately monitor?

The Orton Sentry controllers equipped with the Type-K thermocouple can accurately monitor temperatures from -300F to 2400F. In actual practice this is from room temperature to the kiln’s maximum temperature.

At low temperatures, the accuracy ... [More]

Showing FAQs  1 - 100 of 123     Next


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