Jump to content

Genesis Controller


Recommended Posts

I'm getting close to ordering my first kiln ( eyeing Cone Art ).  I was wondering if folks that had  used the Genesis controller were happy with them... any issues? Any software bugs... or complaints about the user interface?  Any fried controllers that had to be replaced yet?

Suzy

Link to post
Share on other sites

I love my Genesis! I'm also testing their mobile app. It's just for monitoring the firing, not programming, but that's a good thing-I don't really want my kiln to get hacked. At some point they'll have alerts to your phone if the controller puts up an error code. The best thing about the Genesis is how easy it is to do custom programs. You can see the whole program on the screen at once, instead of just one step at a time, and you can change any part of it without having to scroll through the entire program. You can also do a lot more steps and store a lot more programs, and you can put a name to each program, instead of just a number.

Touch screens with wi-fi are the biggest change to happen to kiln controllers in 20+ years. It's a cheap upgrade when you buy the kiln ($125 with L&L, not sure what it is with ConeArt), especially if you math it out over the 20 year life of the kiln. They'll be standard equipment in a couple of years, and buying it as a replacement later will cost you $300.

Edited by neilestrick
Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like my Genesis. I bought it direct from Bartlett and built my own external wall-hung controller with it. The additional features and ease of use over the earlier V6-CF are worth the extra cost. The only thing I don't like about it is that Bartlett doesn't seem to have any idea how the customer side of a software company operates, in that they don't offer any information about the changes that are in each firmware update. The version number of the user document on their website can only be determined by the download filename, not printed on the cover page, and is an older version than was most recently installed, and thus I have no clue what new features are being installed in my controller when it updates itself other than a page-by-page line-by-line comparison of this document vs. the last one I happened to have collected.

Neil, what can you tell us about the availability of this new mobile app?

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Dick White said:

I really like my Genesis. I bought it direct from Bartlett and built my own external wall-hung controller with it. The additional features and ease of use over the earlier V6-CF are worth the extra cost. The only thing I don't like about it is that Bartlett doesn't seem to have any idea how the customer side of a software company operates, in that they don't offer any information about the changes that are in each firmware update. The version number of the user document on their website can only be determined by the download filename, not printed on the cover page, and is an older version than was most recently installed, and thus I have no clue what new features are being installed in my controller when it updates itself other than a page-by-page line-by-line comparison of this document vs. the last one I happened to have collected.

Neil, what can you tell us about the availability of this new mobile app?

Just like cell phones! I never know what's happening when my phone updates. I'm betting that 99.9% of the controllers Bartlett sells are sold to the kiln manufacturers, who all have their own manuals. This updating stuff is new to them. It would be nice if they maintained an update list on their web site.

The app won't be available for public use for another couple of weeks. They're shooting for November 1st.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a winner.   Thx for the responses. Cool that the phone app is getting close. Sure would be nice if they would expose the software interface the mobile app uses so folks could create their own monitoring software, or hook it up as a home automation trigger (ex: if the kiln throws an error, flash the overhead lights in the house )

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

I bought a Genesis controller as an upgrade to my Bartlett V6-CF.  The first firing with it just did what ever it wanted and overfired everything.  I called Bartlett Co. and their Technician was only  interested in proving their was nothing wrong with the controller, it was my programing.  Finally after firing twice more with just shelves and posts and cones in the kiln I pulled the controller and put the original V6-CF back in and fired a load of pots successfully.   Today I called Bartlett to return the controller, and was put thru to Dave Bartlett, he said a lot of upgrades had been made on the firmware and would I put it back in and he would step me thru it.  This afternoon I called him again and had put it back in.  First I had taken down the information on the controller, He said that was the newest version, and after much talking back and forth of what I was seeing, he said he wanted to check one more thing.  He talked me through how to get to the PID and the setting was at 1 he said change it to 18 and he thought that would solve the problem.   I am now firing the kiln with shelves  and it seems to be following the setpoint like it should.   This PID setting in my manual says don't change without askiing the kiln Mfg. 

David 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Hey. I have been having discussions about the Genesis controller and realized that you can extract your firing data. I plotted my last three firings in R to compare them against each other. It is pretty amazing how accurate the kiln fires. One of these loads was practically empty and they are still all almost exactly the same. The offset on one of the graphs is from a hold.

I just thought I would post this here so you guys can track this as well if you want. I am going to chart each firing onto this graph so I can notice the differences in firing increases. I haven't figured out how I am going to offset the holds, but I know I can do it in R by offsetting the plot by the minutes of hold. I will figure that out later, but I just wanted share how cool this is. I love my controller. It is so awesome. Nothing like being able to check what ramp you're on via your cell phone.

Rplot01.png.a145865b208c15315d68d0c867871304.png

 

Edited by Joseph F
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Genesis controller has many great features.   My experience with it did not end up good and I returned it and they gave me a full refund.  As Dick White said they give no information as to what  some of there software changes mean to how it will react.  I felt like I was doing there testing in the field for them and that  this should have been done  before it left the factory. I finally gave up when they tried to convince me that the cycling was due to stray coming in on the thermocouple even though I kept telling them the old V6 worked perfectly.  I now have an industrial controller that is 100% better and a setup where I can monitor firing on my computer and  go back and review firings and just measure how long they take to see if there is a change in element s that require  replacing them.  I also changed over to solid state relays, no clicking of relays and a much longer life span on SSR"s with a tighter control.

David

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, David Woodin said:

The Genesis controller has many great features.   My experience with it did not end up good and I returned it and they gave me a full refund.  As Dick White said they give no information as to what  some of there software changes mean to how it will react.  I felt like I was doing there testing in the field for them and that  this should have been done  before it left the factory. I finally gave up when they tried to convince me that the cycling was due to stray coming in on the thermocouple even though I kept telling them the old V6 worked perfectly.  I now have an industrial controller that is 100% better and a setup where I can monitor firing on my computer and  go back and review firings and just measure how long they take to see if there is a change in element s that require  replacing them.  I also changed over to solid state relays, no clicking of relays and a much longer life span on SSR"s with a tighter control.

David

Glad you found something that you're happy with.

The firing time won't be any longer until the elements are so worn that they can't put out enough heat to keep up with the firing schedule. Prior to that point, the controller will simply cycle the relays more often or for longer periods to keep up with the schedule. It may be that by the time the firing is actually slower, the elements are beyond where they should have been replaced. Or maybe not. I don't know. But until you do know, keep testing them with an ohm meter to be sure of their condition.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

Hi... the D-pads have different mechanisms in them. The stiffer ones push down directly on the PCB, while the one with more roll/throw to it is attached to a stem that goes through a hole in the PCB and attaches to another piece which presses up on the back of the PCB! These pads are far better in my opinion, this is the best way to make a D-pad and feels much better to play games with, my one is permanently plugged into my Amiga.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 11 months later...
On 10/19/2017 at 5:49 PM, Suzyq said:

I'm getting close to ordering my first kiln ( eyeing Cone Art ).  I was wondering if folks that had  used the Genesis controller were happy with them... any issues? Any software bugs... or complaints about the user interface?  Any fried controllers that had to be replaced yet?

Suzy

Hi Suzy, 

On my new Olympic 10 cubic foot kiln the controller is factory set to turn off if it get too hot(160 degrees) This feature is not mentioned in the manual and I couldn’t find it online. My first 2 cone 7 firings were interrupted several times resulting in over firing, because it spent so much time above 2000.  The suggest fix is to put a fan on it to cool the controller!!
I called the kiln manufacturer and they showed me how to change the top hot number to 200 degrees.  It fired normally last night, but kept me checking it for hours near the end.  I am amazed that this kiln controller is mounted in such a way  that it gets too hot!!  It’s a kiln, it get hot! Other manufacturers have wall mount options or at least the controls are not attached to the kiln.   
as far as the app is concerned it’s handy to check current temps and when it’s complete or in error. But that’s about it, no record of firings, no other features.  So just be aware the controller will turn off if it gets hot unless the “hot point” is set higher.

good luck!!

erik 

Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Erik Hertz said:

I am amazed that this kiln controller is mounted in such a way  that it gets too hot!!

Most manufactures, especially today provide isolation and vents for airflow to keep these below 160. If the area where the kiln is  becomes  hot though, they really only have hot air to try and cool themselves. Perhaps the area your kiln is in overheats a bit at top temperatures and could use some ventilation. The Bartlett controller has a board temp parameter see the technical manual, it’s called max board temp and in the hidden menu. I mention this because it’s obviously getting more than 160 degrees, reducing this ambient temperature will likely extend the life of your kiln controls, relays, Control wiring etc....

here is a link to the manuals: https://www.bartinst.com/manuals/kiln

Edited by Bill Kielb
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Erik Hertz said:

I am amazed that this kiln controller is mounted in such a way  that it gets too hot!!  

Usually when I see controllers shutting down from heat it's because the room space is not being adequately vented and cooled. If the room is vented properly it should not be an issue. If you can't change how the room is vented, then aiming a fan at the controller is the only thing that will cool it down.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

Being an electronic tech, I was really interested in the Genesis Controller.   The user interface, graphics, profiles, and features are really nice.   The profile software that is used for programming is K.I.S.S., which is proprietary, closed-source, and very expensive.  I asked them about this.   It would be nice to allow 3rd party programmers to create their own profile software and apps which could be used by the Genesis.  Of course they told me that won't happen.   They have WiFi which is used for "future" features and for firmware updating, but again, it will be 'closed' and proprietary for use only through their website.

So they have this amazing hardware that could be improved and made accessible for hobbyists like myself to really make this a perfect controller.  But they are keeping it totally closed up. 

In the very least, if they want to "keep control", they should allow users to create a formatted JSON file that contains the profile configuration that can be 'sent' to the users' Genesis through their website (create a secure API).   Cut ties with K.I.S.S.,  which is out-dated and expensive Windows software.   Let professional programmers create amazing GUI profile applications that anyone can use.

It's possible that K.I.S.S. software is where they really make money?     The KISS starter kit is $800!    It looks like 1995 Windows Software!

Really?

It would be so easy to make it accessible and usable.   I just don't understand.

And the $362 price tag for the controller is perfectly OK.    Just not the way it is now.   A $150 ramp-soak PID controller does the same thing, just without the fancy graphics.

For those of you that have researched inexpensive WiFi temp controllers .... there are cheap ways to build your own controller using ESP32 WiFi controllers and SSR (solid state relays).  A person would need to create their own website user interface and build the hardware or hire someone to do it.  There is a problem with this method though ... if a firing is running and something happens to the communication or the micro controller resets for any reason, the whole thing will crash.  It can't run "offline".   

The best option is to use a high-quality ramp-soak controller that utilizes MODBUS/RTU/RS485.   A ESP32 can accept a profile configuration from a website and write the profile data to the controller.  It can monitor everything and keep the user notified with real-time information.  If communication is lost, the ramp-soak controller can run all by itself "offline".  It is not dependent on the WiFi.  One ESP32 can address any of the art studio's kiln ramp-soak controllers as they are wired RS485 with unique addresses.

This is exactly what the Genesis Controller can be.  It can accept profiles from WiFi and run totally offline if something fails with communication (WiFi router problems for example).   If WiFi is running, it can happily send real-time data to any user's phone app or any user's website.  

Sorry for ranting.  I just think they are missing the boat on this one.   They could have such a perfect controller and sell thousands of them.

Edited by mlseim
Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, mlseim said:

Being an electronic tech, I was really interested in the Genesis Controller.   The user interface, graphics, profiles, and features are really nice.   The profile software that is used for programming is K.I.S.S., which is proprietary, closed-source, and very expensive.  I asked them about this.   It would be nice to allow 3rd party programmers to create their own profile software and apps which could be used by the Genesis.  Of course they told me that won't happen.   They have WiFi which is used for "future" features and for firmware updating, but again, it will be 'closed' and proprietary for use only through their website.

So they have this amazing hardware that could be improved and made accessible for hobbyists like myself to really make this a perfect controller.  But they are keeping it totally closed up. 

In the very least, if they want to "keep control", they should allow users to create a formatted JSON file that contains the profile configuration that can be 'sent' to the users' Genesis through their website (create a secure API).   Cut ties with K.I.S.S.,  which is out-dated and expensive Windows software.   Let professional programmers create amazing GUI profile applications that anyone can use.

It's possible that K.I.S.S. software is where they really make money?     The KISS starter kit is $800!    It looks like 1995 Windows Software!

Really?

It would be so easy to make it accessible and usable.   I just don't understand.

And the $362 price tag for the controller is perfectly OK.    Just not the way it is now.   A $150 ramp-soak PID controller does the same thing, just without the fancy graphics.

 

362 is a great deal for this magic machine.  A 150 ramp-soak pid controller is difficult to program and not user friendly.  The majority of kiln users are actually not computer (or electrical) savvy. 

Bartlett has to keep the genesis closed source because of liability and certification issues.  I know it seems silly, but the world and industry in general work in mysterious ways not immediately evident to us.  

One thing that you might enjoy is one of several raspberry pi based digital controllers, which are all open source in both hardware and software and are not bound by industry or safety certification or liability.

Edited by liambesaw
Link to post
Share on other sites

They're in a niche market- why would they open up their system to everyone? And it's not just a simple ramp/soak program- there's a lot of stuff that goes into dealing with heatwork. The Genesis and their other kiln controllers are made to be user friendly out of the package. I've worked with kilns that have general-purpose heating controllers, and they're a nightmare to program, and you have to be knowledgeable about heatwork in order to get successful firings.

There are definitely cheap ways to build your own controller. Several forum members have done just that.

47 minutes ago, mlseim said:

It can accept profiles from WiFi and run totally offline if something fails with communication (WiFi router problems for example).   If WiFi is running, it can happily send real-time data to any user's phone app or any user's website.  

The Genesis does not have to be connected to the wi-fi in order to function. The wi-fi is there for system updates and app usage only.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mlseim said:

Sorry for ranting.  I just think they are missing the boat on this one.   They could have such a perfect controller and sell thousands of them.

Back in the day when there were several controller companies we had this competition and .................... Bartlett lived through it all to become THE controller of choice for most kilns. Rebranded by many might I add, probably hundreds of thousands maybe millions. I feel your pain though as when I build kiln monitors I will go with PLC because it has been in industry for decades and as such have many many options to do what I want when I want on a rugged established platform with multiple communication options etc..... The arduino folks always tell me how dumb I am, why use off the shelf PID loop controls, blah, blah, blah. Of course everyone is right and has a point but to Bartlett’s credit they have produced a decent control, multi zone, for reasonable cost ............ forever, so there is that.

I will say I believe they were one of the first to figure out a reasonable way to calculate heatwork and they have been spot on with cones do not require difficult pid parameters, come  capable of multi zone, have a fan output and safety output in a proven form for 362.00 bucks.

Edited by Bill Kielb
Link to post
Share on other sites

You also have to realize that most pottery kiln users don't care about all the diagnostic stuff, and have no interest in hooking a computer up to their kiln. It's no different than cell phones or laptops- most people just need to check email and go on social media. They don't use them for all the things they could. Potters just want good firings, and most of the other stuff doesn't matter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the thing that I am questioning is the K.I.S.S. software.   Maybe it really is 'keep it simple', but it seems to be really expensive and out-dated.   Do art studios really use it?   It would so nice to just be able to upload a configuration file to the Genesis without the need for K.I.S.S.   They could remain closed and in control of the own hardware for safety and legal reasons, but hey, let us at least be able to use it without entering everything in with buttons or keypad.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.