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Analog oven temperature meter?

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  • Analog oven temperature meter?

    So, I'm on the verge of assembling my first brick oven, and I'm inclined to include two high-temp sensors in the hearth and dome. But! My oven will be out in the yard without a nearby power supply and I don't much care for the aesthetic/accessibility issues that accompany digital meters.

    So, my question:

    Is there a solution that would allow me to use some/any kind of sensor embedded in the masonry at those two points, but which could then be wired to the two analog temperature meters mounted on the front face of the oven, WITHOUT an auxiliary power supply?

    I've talked to Grainger, I've talked to Omega-- both tell me that my only option would be to use a high-temperature version of a meat/candy thermometer-- in this case embedded in the face of the oven with the long sensor mortared into a deeply-drilled hole that terminated within an inch of the oven interior.

    Does this make any sense? Does anybody have a lead on a solution to this?

  • #2
    Re: Analog oven temperature meter?

    I don't know if I understand the question. I went with an Omega Thermometer (HH306) and embedded a total of 4 thermocoupled in various places (thermocouples are really cheap). I believe the battery life on the thermometer is quite long, but you ave to keep it out of the rain.

    One of my projects is to build a battery powered thermocouple based thermometer with a display which fits in a 4" weatherproof electrical service box. I intend to make it wirelessly accessible from my home PC network. Just for fun.

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    • #3
      Re: Analog oven temperature meter?

      I used a 6 position thermocouple from IMC Industries that is battery operated. While it is 6 positions, I only used three probes (dome, floor, insulation slab below floor). Here is a picture of it, I have since enclosed it with a wood box that has been weatherproofed. Battery has been in going on two years. It is easy to get to however whenever I need to change it.

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      • #4
        Re: Analog oven temperature meter?

        Hey Roobqn,

        Thanks for sharing. What did your IMC 776X run you?

        John

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        • #5
          Re: Analog oven temperature meter?

          Back then (May2010) it cost me 267.00 for the unit and 17.00 per thermocouple. Shipping was 17.00 as well.

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          • #6
            Re: Analog oven temperature meter?

            Thanks! The units on the IMC website look perfect for our application, especially the devices designed to monitor bread and pizzas.

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            • #7
              Re: Analog oven temperature meter?

              From my experience with thermocouples in use with kilns, the digital ones all tend to fail. But the old fashioned anologue ones never do provided you don't drop them. When heat is passed through the probe it generates a small electric current which runs through a sensitive meter which is calibrated to temp as the current is directly proportional to the temperature. It therefore does not need a power source. The digital variety has a battery or external power source to power the LCD and the internal circuitry.Anologue for me.
              Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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              • #8
                Re: Analog oven temperature meter?

                I doubt whether you could buy an anologue meter for a thermocouple in the digital age, I'm sure they're all digital now. Ask a local pottery association if anyone has an old one they'de be willing to sell you.
                Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                • #9
                  Re: Analog oven temperature meter?

                  I scored these at the family warehouse which used to be a surplus supply for industrial valves, instruments, and tubing. Plan to use two, one in the dome and one in the hearth. I am thinking about sinking these right into the vermicrete insulation, then cement/mortar coat the dome up to the face. Also there is a threaded thermocouple pipe cover that I wasnt planning to use to minimize the hole I would have to drill in the dome. The diameter of the cover looks to be about 1" while the diameter of the actual sensor is only about 1/4"
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Re: Analog oven temperature meter?

                    FWIW, I'm using an infra red thermometer and it works just fine.

                    The reports by those who have installed thermocouples in their ovens vary, but, the consensus is that you will get used to your oven and not need all that data. The infra red thermometer, or, even the time to burn flour are adequate measures.

                    That said, do what makes you happy in your project.
                    Lee B.
                    DFW area, Texas, USA

                    If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
                    Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
                    An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

                    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Analog oven temperature meter?

                      If you only embed the thermocouple probes into the vermicrete layer, all this will tell you is the temp there, ie when the heat has penetrated through the refractory layer. With experience a stopwatch will tell you much the same thing, or perhaps a hand held to the outside of the oven. Inside the carbon burn off, when the oven goes white, is another good indicator of the surface temp inside the oven. I always use the semolina cast onto the floor test as well. Drilling holes in the refractory is not particularly desirable. What happens when the probes eventually fail? Will you be able to access them? But if you already have the temp measuring equipment you may as well fit it.

                      Sorry Thomas I just re-read the thread and realised that you are using a steel dome, in which case, if the probe is touching the dome, it should give you an accurate reading of the temp at that point because the steel is thinner than refractory and a much better conductor. Don't place the probe at the apex though, go for about halfway up the dome.
                      Last edited by david s; 01-13-2012, 05:07 PM.
                      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Analog oven temperature meter?

                        Is this okay for an exposed installation......rain and snow ?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Analog oven temperature meter?

                          Does anyone have any experience with the analog thermometer offered through the FB store (remote thermometer with 9' cable, allegedly good to 950 degrees F., @ $200)?

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