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The Glass Kiln Controller

What is it and why you should want one

Although the term "controller" is commonly used to refer to any electronic device that can be used to regulate how a kiln fires, it's important to realize that a kiln controller really has three main parts:  the thermocouple, the relay, and the actual controller. 

The thermocouple is a long coated wire (actual two wires) that runs from the actual controller to the kiln.  In some cases it is installed permanently and juts into the kiln slightly; in other cases it's moveable and slips through the kiln's porthole or a similar hole in the kiln brick.  The location of the thermocouple in the kiln is critical; after all, it's the thermocouple that gathers the actual temperature inside the kiln.

The relay is an electronic component that turns the kiln elements on and off in response to instructions from the controller.  There are many different types of relays; some are whisper quiet, while others click on and off as they turn the kiln elements on and off.  Relays sometimes fail, but they're generally quite reliable and can last a good while.

The controller is the device that contains the set of instructions (the "program") that tells the kiln what to do.  Properly programmed, it's what determines how quickly the kiln will fire, whether it will soak at a particular temperature, and how the kiln will turn off when the schedule is done.

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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