DIY Kiln Controller

Hi - just wondered if anyone has come across any diy plans for an
electric kiln controller using an embedded controller?
I'm in the process of trying to make one, but it would be nice to see
some others for comparison.
Regards
Jules
Reply to
Jules
No, but I've thought about it. I was thinking more along the lines of putting an old PC to use for this, since I have a bunch on hand, and also I could have it plot out temperature versus time.
The main drawback for me is that modern Windows PCs have no easy-to-use I/O (parallel port), and older DOS units would be more trouble to program... and more pointless, if I wanted to share the plans with others who were not similarly endowed with a computer graveyard.
However, I have developed a circuit to use a Windows sound card to read thermocouples (see ), and it will probably be fairly easy to get the sound card output to control the elements.
Since all this involves circuit contruction, it probably will appeal only to the most die-hard tinkerers. I think your idea of using an embedded controller makes a lot more sense, though.
Best regards,
Bob Masta DAQARTA v6.00 Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
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Scope, Spectrum, Spectrogram, Sound Level Meter Frequency Counter, FREE Signal Generator Pitch Track, Pitch-to-MIDI Science with your sound card!
Reply to
Bob Masta
hi Bob thanks for your reply, i know what you mean by old PCs? seem less hassle to interface than new ones. I was thinking of using a modern PC running some software to monitor the kilns progress etc but the PC would not be allowed to interfere with the kilns operation.
I?ve seen a few examples of people using a pre-built temperature module then adding a thermocouple then just connecting it up to the elements, but I want to control the heat ramp / soaks etc.
Regards
Jules
Reply to
Jules
sry for the simple scribble, this is what i've built, i'm ready to do some simple low temp curve tests this week, i'll let you know how i get on.
Regards
Jules
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Reply to
Jules
Just done some low current switching tests; starting to get there now; still a few more tests / code revisions to make before it's ready to hook up to the kiln elements. I'll probably test by cooking a potato on a custom 3 segment ramp ;-)
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Reply to
Jules
It's been a few days but No I haven't given up;-), still doing tests and code additions / revisions. I want a core set of kiln controller functionality before I set onto a pcb.
The functionality I want is..
(1) 10 internal preset programs (for pottery) (2) clock set (3) start delay (3) set vent (4) alarm options (5) power trip restart (6) firing program logging (7) ability to upload /
download programs / logs to a smartphone / pc software
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Reply to
Jules
Sounds great! Have you got a thermocouple system worked out yet? I haven't looked into what's available (or affordable) off-the-shelf for easy interfacing to a controller.
I suppose if your controller has 2 A/D inputs you could use one for the TC and one for a reference junction measurement, and do the corrections in software.
Best regards,
Bob Masta DAQARTA v6.00 Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
formatting link
Scope, Spectrum, Spectrogram, Sound Level Meter Frequency Counter, FREE Signal Generator Pitch Track, Pitch-to-MIDI Science with your sound card!
Reply to
Bob Masta
Yes, I'm using the K-type with the AD595; expensive but less hassle, the Ad595 has it's own cold-point compensation; I had small problem with noise but I made it stable by filtering it out in software, hopefully this will remain so when switching the 21 amps on/off. I also have an offset table for +- adjustment for trimming if required.
I'd like not to use the AD595 as it's quite expensive as chips go; my idea is to use as few components as possible and make it as cheap as possible.
The interface side i'm not decided yet, after seeing your site I was thinking of using a simple audio jack to send data back and forth, as even modern computers have them and a audio jack cable is very cheap to buy.
I'm not an electronics engineer so all this is new to me.
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Reply to
Jules
Jules, I am also interested in doing this on a old kiln I have with just a kiln setter. I was looking on ebay and found this: "Temperature Controller PID Kiln Ramp Soak 64-Setpoints" which along with this: "SSR25A SOLID STATE RELAY for PID Temperature Controller" might just do the trick. Together they go for around a $100. What do you think? Zard
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Reply to
Zard
Hi Zard, I looked into PID units but I personally wanted something custom for myself. Try and google info on setting these up or ask someone who has one already setup and running.
My Kiln is an old one that had a kiln sitter. The kiln draws around 21.8 Amps, i'm using 3 x 80A SSRs mounted on heatsinks with an old computer fan, so if one fails and locks-on I always have a backup SSR to turn it all off.
Regards
Jules
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Reply to
Jules
Tested and works fine :-) I Just need to create the pcb artwork and then put onto a pcb then into a box and make all the kiln connections tidy.
If anyone would like to build such a device, let me know, if there is a good amount of interest I'll sort something out.
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Reply to
Jules

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