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Picking a pyrometer

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I will eventually drop the 800 for a programmable digital setup but for the moment Im in the market for a pyrometer. I dont fire in my electric kiln for anything fancy besides bisque for saggar firing. I have been happy with just utilizing my kiln setter being Ive been firing 1 piece at a time. I have the available cones to follow as they melt along the way yet I would like to have 1 or 2 pyrometers set up to follow the temps as well. I came across one that was around 100 bucks and would record the rise and fall temps. Im big on reading reviews about things before buying but there isnt much out there on pyrometer feed back (that I can find). These will also server a dual purpose being that I will want to use them for my furnace to better watch the temps when Im melting and casting metal. I know that even basic food thermometers can have temperamental nodes that fail quickly. Anyone have a pyrometer that has endured the test of time for them? So far the handheld Bartlett has seemed like an affordable choice to start. I dont need an extremely high temp one being Im saggar firing but when it comes to metal my eventual transition away from aluminum to brass and copper I will need to see above 2000 deg.

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Omega Engineering......... industrial quality. Can be highly accurate and durable. Wide selection of options.

 

http://www.omega.com/temperature/tsc.html

 

I happen to have the "tech weenie" factor as a part of my makeup.... so if you are unsure what to choose... contact their customer service folks and they can step you through it all.

 

best,

 

...................john

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I purchased a Skutt dual digital pyrometers several years ago haven't had any problems with it seems to be accurate and it's easy to use. Having Skutt's tech help available to me was important, I'm not a techno, I fire to Cone 7. I think pryometers that fire to lower temp are less expensive. Denice

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Pyrometers that read up to 1,800 are cheaper

Over that they cost more

The skutt one is a whole kit(includes meter and pyrometer thermocouple) and is one of the better deals around-I do not own one so thats my disclaimer.

I like Fluke meters myself but they are high end like the link that John put up.

Mark

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I have been using a Cress analog pyrometer for my raku kiln for years now and it is working very fine, it goes up to 2400 F and it cost me 99 dlls 5 years ago.

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I have been using a Cress analog pyrometer for my raku kiln for years now and it is working very fine, it goes up to 2400 F and it cost me 99 dlls 5 years ago.

 

 

Unless they are using somthing that would surprise me for an analog meter (most used on artist potters gear are cheap crap)... look at the dial face or housing very closely. Somewhere in VERY fine print there is usually a little line that says something like "+/- 3% of full scale reading". Some will say up to 5%. And those meters usualy have a dial face that shows up to 2500 F.

 

So 3% of 2500 is 75. 75 degrees PLUS or MINUS.

 

When you look at that meter and it says 1800 F......... assuming that the resistance of the meter is constantly re-calibrated as the thermocouple ages........ the actual temperature could be anywhere between 1725 F and 1875 F.

 

Then if someone is using Type K thermocouples AND firing to the cone 9-10 range....... the output of the thermocouple goes significantly non-linear above about cone 6. Type Ks are not even rated for use in the cone 10 range by ANSI. Artist potters use them because they are cheap. The ones that SHOULD be used in that range are a platinum and platnium alloy metal combo.... and expensive.

 

best,

 

.........................john

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The oxyprobe has a platinum probe and works well at high temps-I own two of them and they now have gotten very spendy-the wire was 325$ to replace last time.

Mark

 

 

Remember if you want to get an "S" type thermocouple to make sure that your pyrometer can read its output... If you simply want to use a cheaper k-type system to gauge what direction your firing is going, the fluke 51 pyrometer can often be found for under 50.00 on ebay and is pretty much bombproof. I have used the skutt as well, and it seemed to be as accurate as I ever needed it to be.

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I have been using a Cress analog pyrometer for my raku kiln for years now and it is working very fine, it goes up to 2400 F and it cost me 99 dlls 5 years ago.

 

 

Unless they are using somthing that would surprise me for an analog meter (most used on artist potters gear are cheap crap)... look at the dial face or housing very closely. Somewhere in VERY fine print there is usually a little line that says something like "+/- 3% of full scale reading". Some will say up to 5%. And those meters usualy have a dial face that shows up to 2500 F.

 

So 3% of 2500 is 75. 75 degrees PLUS or MINUS.

 

When you look at that meter and it says 1800 F......... assuming that the resistance of the meter is constantly re-calibrated as the thermocouple ages........ the actual temperature could be anywhere between 1725 F and 1875 F.

 

Then if someone is using Type K thermocouples AND firing to the cone 9-10 range....... the output of the thermocouple goes significantly non-linear above about cone 6. Type Ks are not even rated for use in the cone 10 range by ANSI. Artist potters use them because they are cheap. The ones that SHOULD be used in that range are a platinum and platnium alloy metal combo.... and expensive.

 

best,

 

.........................john

 

 

Your reasoning seems correct, but regardless it is working for me, tested with cones, perfect Raku every time. It might be that I never go over cone 07.

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