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Author Topic: Prometheus 7 - newbie help needed!  (Read 2627 times)
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Mars
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Posts: 36


« on: September 21, 2015, 01:20:53 PM »

Hi everyone

I've read a *lot* of kiln advice on here, but can't find any thread with a similar problem so throwing it open to the collective wisdom of FH!  I've bought the Prometheus 7 and today plucked up the courage to do an empty firing with just the shelf in resting on the 4 posts.  The controller is the Orton AutoFire Express that's built in to the kiln.

Essentially my problem is the kiln heats up fine to temp and holds, according to the program... but when it moves on to the next stage, where I've been trying to get it to cool down, the temperature starts to drop... but then gets to a point and it starts climbing again.  I've managed to repeat this "mistake" 3 times (ish).  When I review the program, I see what I programmed in and it all looks fine!

Full story below...

First time:

Ra1 - Full (this went fine, it reached the 1st temp in about about 30 mins)
tC1 - 550C
Hld1 - 60 hrs (my oops, was going for 60 mins but have figured out now that that's 1.00!)

Ra2 - 250
tC2 - 50C
Hld2 - 10mins

Ra3 - 000

First segment went fine, left it at 550 for an hour and a half and then tried to get it to go onto the 2nd bit, but I wasn't getting to grips with the programming, so I turned it off and then reprogrammed Program 1 as

2nd time:
Ra1 - 250
tC1 - 50C
Hld1 - 15mins

Ra2 - 000

This started off okay and temp started to drop from 547C and got down to about 335C (more slowly than I was expecting, about 200 in an hour or so) but then it started climbing again so at 396, so I stopped it and started again with the same programme.

Wasn't going well, but by then I'd found some instructions for the programmer online, and it said it needed a heat up step first, so reprogrammed it again so it  had to heat up before starting to cool down.

Third time:

Ra1 - 250
tC1 - 400C
Hld1 - 2mins

Ra2 - full (I chose full this time so I could just see how quickly it would cool)
tC2 - 50C
Hld2 - 5mins

Ra3 - 000

Segment 1, went fine, did exactly as I was expecting it to... started on 2nd Segment and it fell to about 370 in about 25 mins but then started climbing again, I turned it off at about 496 but this is way higher than the highest bit of the program was set at.

I've noticed that when it went onto the 2nd segment, the program light started to flash at a slower speed than the run light (the run light blinks slowly and is in the manual as normal, but I don't think the program light should be blinking during a firing) - I can't find anything online that explains this - any clues??

When I click the review programme button during any of these, it shows me what I think I programmed in, so I don't appear to be accidently adding anything unexpected to the program once it's started but I'm still not sure what's happening?

I did wonder if I'd programmed the cooling at too high a rate, but I don't understand why it would start climbing again so high and beyond the highest set temperature?

I'm a complete newbie so wondering if I've just misunderstood the instructions?  It's on IDLE now and just cooling down slowly - I'm away for the next few days so I can try again at the weekend, but hoping someone can shed some light on what I'm doing wrong with the programming?

Mars

p.s. I realise the schedules are not the ones I'd be actually using, these were more for me to learn how the kiln does stuff... but I'm more confused now!
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Moira HFG
Half Full Glass
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Posts: 416


Ever the optimist


« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2015, 03:02:01 PM »

I'm not sure why the temperature should be going down then up - but I do think you are asking this kiln to heat and cool beyond what it is designed for.

First: read through the manual, check you are programming the controller correctly. If possible, do it with a friend - two heads are better than one!
Then: set a normal fusing programme - the Warm Glass site has some good basic ones, if you didn't get advice with the kiln. http://www.warm-glass.co.uk/images/pdfs/products/Basic%20Firing%20Schedules%20for%20most%20kilns.pdf

If it behaves oddly doing that, it's time to ring the supplier!

Let us know how you get on  Smiley

Moira
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Designa-Glass
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Posts: 5


« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2015, 05:30:10 PM »

Hello Mars

I also have this kiln, purchased a couple of months ago. I had the same problem.

You are not making a mistake in the programming of the kiln. When you switch the kiln on, I suspect you see the letters "Ver1". This version of the controller used for this kiln is faulty, there is a fault in the software that runs the controller; when I had the issue I had to contact the manufacturer to have a new controller shipped out. I now have "Ver4" (after first going through Ver2 and Ver3 which had the same fault) when I switch the kiln on - and everything works fine.

The kiln will take some time to cool down - so you need to make sure that you do not set the ramp down speed too high - but for a standard fusing program it copes perfectly. It heats up very quickly and I've run it to 820 degrees C without any issues. But only with a functioning controller. Contact whoever you bought the kiln from and explain the problem - chances are you will be referred to the manufacturer who will then send you a working controller. Ensure this is Ver4 or greater otherwise you risk having the same issues.

Hope this helps!
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Mars
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Posts: 36


« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2015, 06:10:54 PM »

Thanks both!

When I switch on I'm seeing Ver3 - actually thought it was Uer3 lol so was trying to look up User Error 3 for a clue Wink

Seeing how long it takes to cool down once switched off I think my "testing" for cooling was way too ambitious!!

Designa-Glass - sounds like you've been through it several times already!  When you say you've replaced the controller... how do you do that? Is it easy to do?

Mars
« Last Edit: September 21, 2015, 06:12:31 PM by Mars » Logged
Designa-Glass
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Posts: 5


« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 09:07:19 AM »

Hi Mars,

Sorry for the delay in replying, yesterday was a very hectic day in this house and I didn't get online last night either!
The manufacturer sent us the new controller plus the tools with which to change it (all the way from Turkey) as well as a pdf full of step by step instructions (plus images) to show how it is done. It was fairly straightforward provided you follow the instructions to the 'tee'. It might be an idea to contact your supplier first though to see if they are happy for you to do it this way, and to get confirmation that is will not void your warranty.
Alternatively, they might offer to do the repair for you or indeed swap the kiln for one with the correct version of the controller! :-)

If you would like us to write down the programme we use on the Prometheus 7 for a full fuse (tried and tested) then give us a shout!
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Mars
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Posts: 36


« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 12:57:07 PM »

Thank you! Suppliers are on it  Grin

Would love to have your program for a full fuse, totally new to all of this, not just the kiln so appreciate any advice, especially as less people seem to have the Prometheus 7, that would be fab!

Mars
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Designa-Glass
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Posts: 5


« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2015, 08:25:55 AM »

Hi again,

Hope you manage to get it sorted soon :-)

Here are the programme steps we use (in Celsius)

rA1: 222    tC1: 677    HLd1: 00.30
rA2: 333    tC2: 820    HLd2: 00.15 (recently changed this to 00.30 as some edges were not coming out completely smooth - but may be due to other variables)
rA3: FULL   tC3: 516    HLd3: 00.30
rA4: 83      tC4: 371    HLd: 00.01
rA5: FULL   tC5: 80     HLd: 00.01

The last step is just cooling the kiln down to (nearly) room temperature so you can omit it if you want and just have the kiln switch off. It takes a few hours to get down to this temperature from 371 degrees.

Hope that helps! We're newish to this too and very much still learning :-) (The Designa-Glass is from my stained glass side of things ;-))
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Mars
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Posts: 36


« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2015, 03:37:13 AM »

Thank you so much! Can't wait to try some fusing, my plan is to buy one of the starter kits and see what happens Smiley

Mostly I lampwork (which I'm also new to) but I wanted a kiln that would do small fused/slumping projects as well as that's something else I really fancied trying. 

At the moment I have the kiln on a paving slab but hoping to get something that puts it more at a convenient height... but I'm still working out where I want everything before it goes into permanent places Smiley
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Mars
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Posts: 36


« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2015, 04:19:01 PM »

So it's confirmed, I do have a rogue controller... it's not me, it's the kiln Smiley

Going to try swapping them over once the manufacturers are back in their own country... it's like a novel Smiley

Hopefully will have a working kiln by the end of the month, or a pile of parts and a story to tell over a bottle of wine/gin

Can't wait  Grin

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Designa-Glass
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Posts: 5


« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2015, 06:21:39 PM »

I'm very glad to hear that things will get sorted for you, although it must be frustrating to have to wait so long. I remember well how eager I was to get going with some fusing and bead annealing but having to wait for the new controller first. Then of course, the second controller (ver2) had the same fault, as did the third one - so all in all we also waited over a month to have a working kiln!

I bet you can't wait (but daren't hope) to finally get fusing :-)

Look forward to reading your update of a working kiln minus the oile of parts ;-)
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Mars
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Posts: 36


« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2015, 06:00:54 PM »

New controller arrived, suprised it got here so fast!

Kiln surgery was performed today, abeilt with a bit of swearing... tiny screws and right next to places that make it hard to place them... but new controller finally in place and time to give it it's first run!

Started up and it showed Ver4 - yipee

Programmed in 2 segments, full ramp to 520, hold for an hour, then cool down at 250 to 50 and hold for 10 mins.

1st segment, all is well, yay!

2nd segment, started well... then it got to about 347 and started climbing again... turned it off at 453  Sad same problem it appears - checked the program and it was showing what I'd programmed in, even took a short video as was doubting myself again.

Cooling off and going to double check tomorrow but expecting to see the same results, at least it's consistent...

One day I'll do some bead annealing!   Undecided

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Designa-Glass
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Posts: 5


« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2015, 07:12:56 PM »

Hi Mars,

Argh how annoying, I am so sorry you didn't have success with your programme today - I remember very well how frustrating that was!

If you are going to try it again, perhaps try ramping down at full rather than a specific temperature, just to check whether the kiln is having an issue ramping down at the required 'speed' i.e. if programming it to ramp down at full works, then it could be that you were asking too much of it to ramp down at 250 - this would of course then indicate a programming error rather than a software error. If however it once again gets to any given temperature and then begin to heat again, despite ramping down at full, then that should be indicative of a software error.

I hope that makes sense and will cross everything for you that it works tomorrow  Smiley

Good Luck!

Let us know......
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Mars
Forum Member
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Posts: 36


« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2015, 11:30:57 AM »

Issue was repeated at lower temp and usual, 1st segment behaves exactly as you'd expect, however 2nd cooling down segment gets so far then starts rising all by itself!

Manufacturers are on it, they have been doing some comparison testing their end so I'm confident we will get there in the end Smiley

In the meantime I'm seeing what the cooling rate is "au naturale" once the 1st segment is finished and so far it's behaving as if it was on a slow ramp down anyway so I think I can batch anneal my beads at least whilst we're waiting for a result - anything more complicated will have to wait!

Have thrown all my super rejected beads in to see what happens (as opposed to my reject beads which I'll try next) - if the results remain consistent I might try some non-reject beads!



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