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More on the Digital Alarm

Assemblying switch boxes for digital kilns at the Paragon factory.


More on the Digital Alarm

Reader Response: Glass Sinks

Recent Q&As


Last week’s Kiln Pointer was “The Digital Temperature Alarm.” Ron Reisman, a reader in the Northeastern U.S., wrote, “I too use a baby monitor, but I use it to guard against ‘runaway kiln’ while I sleep. I set the alarm for around 50 degrees higher than my top process temperature to allow for some overshoot by the controller. I keep the monitor volume very low so the clicking doesn't disturb me, but loud enough so that I will hear the alarm.”

The “runaway kiln” that Ron wrote about is the rare circumstance where the relays on the kiln have locked in the “on” position. If the kiln has only one relay, then the “runaway” condition could cause the kiln to over-fire. This is why kiln manufacturers recommend that you do not leave the kiln unattended.

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, as Ron is doing:

1) Program the alarm for 50 degrees higher than the temperature that you are firing to.

2) Add a cooling segment with a rate of 9999. This will turn off the heating elements as the kiln cools down. (To program a cooling rate, enter a target temperature that is lower than that of the preceding segment.)

After the kiln shuts off, it will begin the cooling segment. The alarm will continue to operate.


Last week I included Barbara Hausman’s request for a book recommendation on making slumped glass sinks. Charlie Spitzer of Cave Creek, Arizona wrote, “There probably isn't a book on it. Basically, you make a blank large enough for your sink when it's slumped at the depth you want it at, slump the glass in an appropriate mold or use a dropout cutout in some sort of fiberboard, and drill a hole for the drain. You can get the correct sized drill bit and beveller at .”

Anne Neal of Dallas, Texas wrote, “There is an 8-hour class on making fused glass sinks at the Glass Craft and Bead Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 28-April 1, 2007. Also, for a web site with lots of great glass tips including one on making glass sinks, go to .”


Q. The Orton Sentry controller can handle multiple kilns, but how is the cabling done? How do I use the RS232 ports on all three kilns with one computer? Do I need three ports on the computer also?

A. A special connection on the kiln, called the RS232 port, makes it possible to connect the kiln to a personal computer. This allows you to monitor the kiln from another room and to keep detailed records of each firing. You will need one COM port on your computer for each kiln.

Q. I fire the Paragon GL-24ADTSD kiln. Is it possible to use only the top elements for standard fusing and the combined top and side elements for casting and thick fusing?

A. Yes, you can turn off the side and door elements and fire only with the top elements. Turn off the switches labeled "SIDE." Turn the switch labeled "TOP" to MAX.

The kiln will fire more slowly using only top elements. However, it will still fuse glass. If you need more speed, just turn on the side switches. You can turn them on or off during firing at any time.


In the next few months I will be revising two instruction manuals: 1) the GF & GL series glass manual and 2) the S, SnF & TnF series ceramic manual. I would appreciate your suggestions on these manuals. I welcome your input.

Thank you,

With best wishes,

Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P. - Better Designed Kilns 2011 South Town East Blvd. Mesquite, TX 75149-1122 Voice: 972-288-7557 & 800-876-4328 / Fax: 972-222-0646 /

PRIVACY NOTICE: Under no circumstance do we share or sell your email address.

Copyright 2006, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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