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Digital pyrometers


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#1 Betsysbeads

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:53 PM

Anyone use the digital pyrometers sold on eBay they're 49.99 +shipping, ceramic suppliers are charging around 150.00 are the ones on eBay garbage or are the ceramic suppliers really marking up?

#2 yedrow

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:14 PM

Just an FYI, there is a PID that sells on Ebay/Amazon for around $35. I think that it is also a digital pyrometer. I think it's kind of small and probably a little tekky.

Joel.

#3 JBaymore

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:34 PM

The place to get a lot of GOOD kiln support electronics is Omega Engineering (Stamford, CT).

As in most things in life...... you get what you pay for. Be carefull of really cheap stuff on EBay. If you already KNOW a lot about what yopu are potentially buying... then you can find bargains sometimes. But if you don't have a background in the item.... then you are at the mercy of the seller.

best,

.............john
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#4 Mark C.

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 01:14 AM

I like the old style Fluke pyros-they run 40-80$ on e-bay and are green or brown in color.-I have 3 of them.I also bought one new back in the day for 250$.The newer style flukes are yellow and spendy.
Mark
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#5 Denice

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:45 AM

The Flukes Mark mentioned sound like a good deal, when I was shopping for one I found the cheaper ones on ebay the max temperatures were lower than I fire at. I was about to order one from the Omega Company when I found a introduction sale of the new dual Skutt pyrometers. They are well worth the money I'm not a techno person, these are easy to use and accurate. Denice

#6 perkolator

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:41 PM

i've lately been using one of the new Skutt pyrometers. so far so good. it replaced an old pricey Fluke unit that was in service for about 2 decades, repair cost was going to be more than the Skutt pyrometer, which is why I bought it. i also believe in spending a tad more for quality items.

#7 yedrow

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:08 AM

I use a Proteus 1000 controller (as a pyrometer) that I scavenged off an old British kiln. But next firing I will be using an automatic controller (that I scavenged of another old kiln), w00t.

Joel.

#8 Mark C.

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:28 PM

My flukes are model 51
They are really well built-been using them for over 20 years
e-bay had them used for very good prices.
Mark
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www.liscomhillpottery.com

#9 koreyej

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 11:07 PM

Anyone use the digital pyrometers sold on eBay they're 49.99 +shipping, ceramic suppliers are charging around 150.00 are the ones on eBay garbage or are the ceramic suppliers really marking up?

I don't know how they compare to the ones the ceramic suppliers are selling, but I do have one that my husband bought for me off ebay. Good thing, too. The firing right after I got it I had a kiln element burn out and I couldn't figure out why the kiln was running so long (old style with switches). With the pyrometer I knew it wasn't getting to temp, so when I shut it down I knew what to look for right away. On the ebay ones, the trick is that if you fire higher than bisque temps, you need to switch over to celcius readings to get the temperature. The display will only go up to 1999, so celcius will tell you what you need to know in order to use one of those pyrometers. So except for having to use a chart to do the temp conversion, they work pretty well. I have only used it for 5 or 6 firings, though. Best of luck!

Korey Averill
ka Studios Pottery

www.kastudios.com


#10 Mark C.

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 11:19 PM

The flukes all go to at least 2500 in fahrenheit and will read Celsius have hold temp feature(meter only not kiln)-you will need their plug and wire to use .


Only the low end brands top out at 1,999 degrees and then you switch to Celsius-
I suggest not buying one of those unless you are only ever going to do o6 wares.
Mark
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www.liscomhillpottery.com

#11 neilestrick

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:07 AM

Just remember that pyrometers are just a guideline. They show you the approximate temperature, but do not show heat work, which is far more important. Pyrometers can be helpful to see how fast a kiln is increasing or decreasing temperature, but cones are the most accurate method to decide when a firing is done. For this reason, a cheap pyrometer will generally work just fine. Fluke is great, but expensive. There are a lot of other good pyrometers out there for a lot less money.
Neil Estrick
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Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
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#12 JBaymore

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 12:38 PM

Cones are THE way to really measure the impact of heat work (what cones actually measure). That is what they were developed for.

But pyrometers CAN be useful for a lot of other stuff besides just "is it going up", "is it stalling", or "is it going down". When you get really serious about improving your firing control, there are lots of things to potentially consider that are more specifically temperture dependent.... like when certain events happen (boiling point of water, combustion of organics, alpha-beta quartz inversion, cristabolite inversions, evolution of gases from certain compounds, percipitation of certain crystal structures in a glaze melt, and so on). If you need/want to control that kind of stuff.... a cheap pyrometer is not necessarily going to be up to the task.

The reason to spend more on a metering unit is for factors like accuracy of resolution (the Omega one I use on the noborigama will resolve to 0.1 degree C), durabilty /quality of construction, and available features. Which termocouple to select is based on maximum use temperature, atmosphere it will be subjet to, and durability. (And of course the meter and the thermocouple must be compatible also.)

In fact if you are firing to cone 9-10 (or more) ASTM does not recomment Type K thermocouples for probes (what most handcraft potters choose) ... they go totally non-linear in those kinds of temperatures. Accuracy goes out the window as you near the top end.

And remember that the reading is only the reading where the PROBE is. It says nothing about the temperature any given distance from that location. You have to know the heat distribution to make conclusions about otehr locations in the kiln.

best,

.......................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#13 Mark C.

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:14 PM

John said
(In fact if you are firing to cone 9-10 (or more) ASTM does not recomment Type K thermocouples for probes (what most handcraft potters choose) ... they go totally non-linear in those kinds of temperatures. Accuracy goes out the window as you near the top end.)



Thats one of the reasons I use a few oxyprobes in a few kilns with a platinum thermocouples -
costs way more than a type k thermocouple but does many functions that they cannot.
These excel at cone 9 and above -they help with reading reduction atmospheres.
Mark
Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com




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