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Converting the temp. controler for Kerr 666 kiln to digital

My old Kerr 666 needs a new temperature controller. I cant find a replacement part, so I was thinking about replacing the old one with a new digital controller.
Has anyone ever done this?
Thanks

I upgraded a very old “infinite control” manual kiln to digital last year. It was very easy. Go to www.auberins.com. They were a lot of help. There was a conversation about this topic nit too long ago. Do a search and you may find it, but go to Auber too…Rob

I haven’t done this yet, but have looked into the possibility of retrofitting an old Satellite kiln (which is similar to what you have) with a digital programmable controller. These are available all over ebay and probably other places and they are pretty cheap…a lot cheaper than buying a new kiln. All you need to do is figure out the wattage of your kiln and use a controller that has the capacity to handle that. The controllers are rigged to the standard thermocouple that the kiln uses. Some of the vendors on ebay advertise various controllers and say they will work with you to find and install the correct one, so you can probably get some free consultation. The installation does not appear difficult and only requires that you find a suitable mounting setup which insulates the controller from the kiln’s high temperatures and feel secure wiring the 110 volt power source and the thermocouple to the controller. It would probably not be too expensive to have an electrician wire it, as you can take the whole mess to him and it is a less than 20 minute job. I’m currently occupied with learning stone setting and acquiring the few extra tools I don’t already have for that, so replacing the element and getting a controller for the kiln is a ways away for me yet. But if you are handy with electricity it should just require a little bit of internet research. Good Luck! HTH, royjohn

I’m not familiar with the Kerr 666 specifically , but the easiest way to do it is to get a controller that the kiln can just plug into. Set all the kiln’s dials to High and let the controller turn the coils on and off, depending on the feedback from its own thermocouple. I mounted my controller on the wall next to the plug, so there’s no impact from the heat. No element replacement was required, nor an electrician.

To clarify, my mention of replacing elements was not to suggest that this was necessary…I have a set of elements that needs replacement because of a break in them and planned to do that when I installed a controller…perhaps I should have explained that. Of course, if the kiln is working properly, there is no need to replace the elements because you are installing the controller. As to using an electrician, I never suggested that any reasonably intelligent person would need one for this installation…long experience on this list tells me that there are a lot of folks who are afraid of anything electrical, just the same as some are afraid of anything having to do with torches and tanks. I merely suggested that it wouldn’t be incredibly expensive to hire someone to wire and controller, if that were someone’s preference. Hope this clears up any misconceptions…-royjohn

Further to my original post. My old kiln was of the infinite step type control. I purchased it forty years ago as a part of a complete lost wax casting kit that I have never used. Infinite step means that you really had no direct control over the temperature. The elements were fine since I had never really used it. I just disconnected the original controls and direct wired the elements to a new lead and plug. The controller that I bought from Auber had a socket in the back that I plugged the kiln into. The controller basically is the on/off switch. I also replaced the thermo couple with one appropriate for the controller and it too is plugged into the back of the controller. The controller now can turn the kiln on and off to maintain a set point, which is all I use it for, or it will perform a series of ramps as needed for burning out wax, something that I don’t do. The controller and thermocouple were less than $200 as long as the kiln did not require more than 1500 watts. I calculated the actual load by measuring the resistance of the elements and doing some math. It all works fine for what I do…Rob

If you understand electronics and software, here is a project that you can build for about $100.

I made one major mod. My output is to an electrical outlet. As awerby mentioned above, I set my kiln dial way up and plug the kiln into the outlet. It works great.

If you want to something cheap and easy thees will do the job,
no programs so your going to have to ramp and soak manually.