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Zen and the Art of reading poorly translated PID manuals


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Can anybody tell me how to program a Sestos PID? The manual makes absolutely NO sense. All I want to do is get it to hold at a specific temperature for right now. Someday I may want it to ramp up and down, etc... but I won't be picky at this point.

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Okay thanks Skip.... I will try that out. I do have the sestos manual that you linked to.... which is what I was having problems with. I'm assuming that then that the Auberns is set up in a similar way?

 

 

edit.. I checked out the Auberns PDF... and it helps. But still a bit confusing. It seems that all I have to do is use the arrows to set a target temp and that is pretty much it? I guess it will become easier once I can actually rig it up to my kiln and experiment. But since my PID controller will be the only device running this kiln (built by myself).. I wanted to make sure I understood what it was doing the first time I fire it up.

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I'm assuming you are using a type K thermocouple and the D1S-VR controller with the SSR output to run an electric kiln/oven/furnace. I also assume you may want to treat Stainless steels at some point, so will want to be able to go above 1000 degC (1832 degF), and that you do not need alarms.

 

I have not used the Sestos controller myself, so this isn't necessarily reliable. However, based on my experience of other controllers and the manual, such as it is, I think you will probably want all factory default settings except for the following:

 

Ctl This is the output cycle time. Default is 4 seconds. I'd suggest 2 seconds.

D1P Decimal point position. Default is 1, set to 0 (1 limits max display to 999.9)

d1H Display High range. Set to 1300.

 

Once you have the settings in, I recommend you run an autotune at a fairly typical tempering temperature first. Maybe 250 degC. I think the way to do this is:

Power the elements with the setpoint at zero (how you do this will depend on your setup; it might be close the door, press a button, plug it in, or any one of a number of other ways), raise the setpoint to 250 degC then immediately press the AT button for 2 seconds. It should start flashing the AT display. Let it do its thing; I'd expect it to take several minutes.

 

If successful, the autotune should complete and the controller should just keep working and hold the 250 degree setpoint.

 

You can then adjust the setpoint as you see fit. Watch for the temperature overshooting the setpoint and see if you are happy with it.

 

Other than that it's quick, the reason I suggest tuning at a low temperature is mainly due to overshoot; if you tune at high temperature, I find you tend to get overshoot at low temperature. If you tune at low temperature, you seem to get a slower approach to the setpoint when it is set at high temperature. You take a choice, but slow approach to Austenitizing doesn't seem to do as much harm as overshootin the tempering temperature.

 

Of course, if you only use it for Austenitizing and temper with something else, you should tune at high temperature.

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You're welcome, Scott, but the thanks may be premature.

 

Please let us know when you get it working properly.

 

Also whether or not you'd recommend the controller?

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