Controller question -

Controller question

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Controller question

Postby Kaye » Sat Jul 19, 2003 11:55 am

Me again! I'm the one who was recently given a Paragon X14J china painting kiln. I e-mailed Paragon and asked if I could use the PCB-1 infinite control switch (currently on my Quickfire) on the X14J. They said "no." But on one of the sites selling the PCB-1 it said it could be used with any 120v/15amp kiln.

Can somebody 'splain this for the electronically challenged?

Tony Smith
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Postby Tony Smith » Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:33 pm

A 15 Amp infinite switch is a 15 Amp infinite switch. It may not be the one that Paragon sells for that kiln, but it will work.

The tightrope between being strange and being creative is too narrow to walk without occasionally landing on both sides..." Scott Berkun

Phil Hoppes
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Postby Phil Hoppes » Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:45 pm

An infinite switch (sometimes called a range switch) is a simple device. Inside there is a bimetalic strip that heats as current is passed through it. As this strip moves it breaks the current (heating up or when the kiln is on) or makes the current as it cools (when the kiln is off). The difference between a Low and a High setting is the distance between the contacts is decreased as the switch is moved to the High settings. A closer distance means that as the bimetalic switch cools it has less distance to move before it makes contact to the power and thus it allows the current to be delivered on shorter intervals. Most, if not all, infinite switches will lock on the high setting meaning that the circuit will be closed all of the time and they also have an off setting which means the circuit will never be closed.

This type of switch can be used to control any type of kiln provided that the existing kiln controller can be switched to be permanently on and the infinite switch is rated to deliver the proper amount of current required for your kiln.

For you kiln you need to look for two things. First you need to make sure you can put the kiln hard ON all of the time. Next you need to know that your infinite switch can deliver the current that is required by your kiln. As long as you can do both of these things there is no reason why you can control your kiln with the infinite switch.


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Postby Hohenshelt » Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:51 pm


The X14J china painting kiln has the same infinite switch already mounted on it that in included in the PCB-1 controller. Using the PCB-1 would be redundant. The infinite swicth on the X14J will operate the same as using the PCB-1 on the Quick Fire kiln. As you already know how to do this it should make using the X14J easy.
John S. Hohenshelt

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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 5:33 pm
Location: Camano Island, WA

Postby Kaye » Sat Aug 16, 2003 5:13 pm

Thanks, John. When I got the kiln there was no knob, so I just bought a generic one at Radio Shack (so I wouldn't have to use pliers). There are no markings on the kiln, but I noticed that whether I turned the knob right or left the light came on. Thinking maybe I had a "low" and a "high" setting, I charted the temps over time on each and, low and behold, the "right" setting got hotter faster! You've answered my next question--whether there were "settings" in between. Guess I should have been able to figure this out sooner :oops:


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