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Sentry Digital 12-key Ceramics Control Type


Paragon digital kilns are powered by either the 12-key Sentry micro processor or the smaller 3-key Sentry Xpress. These micro processors are the result of intensive effort between Paragon Industries, L.P. and Orton Ceramic Foundation. The controllers add convenience and accuracy to your firings. 

Owning a Sentry is like hiring an assistant to watch your kiln. Nevertheless, please remember that you should monitor the kiln occasionally during firing, especially near the expected shut-off. (We do not warrant against over-fires. 

Sentry 12-Key 2.0 

Most Paragon ceramic kilns use the Sentry 12-key. Some of its exciting features: 

  • Temperature Display throughout firing and cooling in your choice of °F or °C 
  • Firing Cost Enter the cost of electricity and kiln amperage in Options. After the kiln fires to completion, press the 8 key for the cost of electricity to fire that load. 
  • Rate At the factory, we can configure a controller for you to show rate as degrees of temperature change per hour (the default), degrees of temperature change per minute, or elapsed time needed to reach a temperature. 
  • Stop/Back Key goes back one step with each key press during programming. Use this feature to correct programming errors. 
  • Add Time Key adds five minutes to a temperature hold with each key press during firing. Helpful for glass with holds. 
  • Program Review lets you check that the program you are about to fire is correct. 
  • Audible Temperature Alarm to remind yourself to close a vented lid or to check the kiln near firing completion. 
  • 30 Month Warranty 
  • Thermocouple Selection The Sentry 2.0 can operate types K, S or R thermocouples. 
  • Error Messages report mechanical problems such as a disconnected thermocouple, bad voltage, temperature deviation. 
  • 14 Segment Display is easier to read than the previous 7 segment. 
  • Program Safety Lock for the program in active memory. Gives you peace of mind. 
  • Delay Fire Set the time that the firing is to start. The kiln will turn on at that time. 
  • LED Lights show when the relays are powered. 
  • Quick Release Molex Connectors permit fast removal of the controller. Replacing the Sentry 2.0 or Sentry Xpress takes only minutes. 

The Sentry 2.0 can be installed on all existing Paragon 12-key digital kilns. It uses the same size faceplate as the earlier DTC 100 - 1000 series. Upgrade a switch-operated kiln with the wall-mount version. 


The thermocouple senses temperature inside the kiln. The standard thermocouple on most Paragon kilns equipped with the Sentry 2.0 is the ¼” Type-K. It is hermetically sealed in a metal sheath for long life. It replaces the earlier 1/8” thermocouple. 

Though a precision instrument, the thermocouple wears with use, resulting in a gradual shift in temperature readout. (This wear occurs mostly above 2000°F.) If you fire pottery, consider the deluxe Type-S, noted for its extreme longevity. 

Two Firing Modes 

The Sentry 2.0 operates in two modes: ceramic Cone-Fire, and custom-firing Ramp-Hold. The Sentry 2.0 on ceramic kilns comes with both Cone-Fire and Ramp-Hold. The Sentry 2.0 on enameling, jewelry, heat treating and glass kilns comes with Ramp-Hold mode only. 

Ceramic Cone-Fire Mode 

Cone-Fire fires to pyrometric cones. Simply enter cone number and firing speed (fast, medium or slow). Among the exciting features: 

  • Slow Cooling  Adjustable cooling rate. Experiment with cooling to achieve shifts in glaze color and crystalline development. 
  • Customized Speeds Alter the standard Cone-Fire Slow, Medium and Fast firing speeds with the Options key. 
  • Skip Segment skips past Pre-Heat and Hold during firing. 
  • Pre-Heat maintains a drying, or candling, temperature of 200°F for the period you specify at the beginning of firing. 
  • Cone Table Enter a cone number. This feature shows temperature for that cone. 
  • Hold soaks the ware at the end of a Cone-Fire. This produces higher gloss and richer, deeper colors in some glazes. 

Ramp-Hold Custom Programming 

Ramp-Hold allows you to infinitely adjust each part of the firing cycle. Vary the firing to obtain different effects from the same glaze. 

Ramp-Hold programs are made of segments. Each segment has a temperature, firing rate, and, if desired, a temperature hold. 

  • Skip Segment skips past any segment. 
  • Store Nine Programs: One 18-segment and eight 10-segment programs remain in memory even when the kiln is unplugged. 
  • Present Status shows which segment the kiln has reached during firing. 
  • Cooling Control both heating and cooling. For deeper colors, especially iron reds, experiment with slow cooling. 
  • Hold is available in every segment. 

AOP Vent 

The “Auxiliary Output” is available on most Paragon TnF kilns. The AOP is a relay-powered electrical receptacle mounted to the kiln. You can plug an Orton KilnVent into the AOP to control when the vent operates during firing. 

Three Zone Firing 

Standard TnF kilns are single zone; 3 zone is optional on 10- and 12-sided TnF kilns. Three zone is now faster and more accurate than on previous 3 zone controllers because of the Sentry’s time-temperature algorithm. This eliminates the temperature lag adjustment. 

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