What to do if there is no display on the DynaTrol

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What to do if there is no display on the DynaTrol

How the DynaTrol is Supposed to Work

All of the DynaTrol controlled L&L Kilns have similar control circuits.  Basically, a wire from L1 on the main power block goes to a 1/2 amp fuse, then to a toggle switch, then to the transformer.  Another wire goes from L2 directly to the transformer.  This brings 240 or 208 volts AC to the "line side" of the transformer.

When the transformer is energized by the voltage, it produces about 24 volts AC with a center tap.  This power goes to the DynaTrol on 3 wires.  The two outer ones will give you about 24 volts AC when tested with a multi-meter.  The inner wire gives you about 12 volts AC.  DynaTrol is powered by two 12 volt AC circuits.

What to do if it doesn't work

  1. First, be sure to leave the toggle switch on for 30 seconds without pressing anything.  If the pre-2006 controls are running a program and the toggle switch is turned off without having pressed the STOP key first, the screen will blink, go blank for 10-15 seconds, and come back on when the switch is set back to on .
  2. Check the little control fuse next to the toggle switch.  Push the top of the fuse holder in while you turn it to open it.  You should be able to see the little filament inside.  If it is the fuse, check the circuit carefully for any signs of overheating of shorting, and get a couple extra fuses.  Something caused the fuse to blow and unless you find what it was chances are it will happen again.
  3. If it is not the fuse, you will need a digital multi-meter and be able to work safely around the live electricity.  
  4. With the power to the kiln off, open the control box carefully.  Turn the power back on.  Set the meter to AC volts, the next setting higher than 240 volts AC (on a lot of meters this is 600).  
  5. Locate the transformer.  Most have 3 wires on the bottom of them. The center wire here is actually a jumper wire connecting the two center terminals, and three wires on the top. All wires are on one side of the transformer.  With the meter you should be able to read 240 volts AC on the outer two wires at the bottom of the transformer. (these wires come from the toggle switch and the power block)
  6. If there are 240 volts there, everything is good up to the transformer.  Set the meter to read 24 volts AC and look for this on the outer two wires of the 3 wires at the top of the transformer.  They go to the DynaTrol.
  7. If there is no voltage there, replace the transformer.  If there is proper voltage there, replace the DynaTrol.

Additional Actions to Take

  1. The control fuse is normally located on the side of the control box.
  2. Twist open the fuse holder and physically check the little fuse.
  3. If the fuse is blown then you will see the metal element inside is melted.
  4. Optionally, you can use your digital multi-meter to check continuity across the fuse.
  1. Unplug kiln or turn off circuit breaker if the kiln is wired direct to your power supply. If you can not physically be sure the power is disconnected (for instance is you see that the cord is unplugged you KNOW there is no power coming into the kiln) then check the voltage at the power connection pluck with your multi-meter.
  2. Unplug kiln.
  3. Open up the control panel. This will be a little different on each kiln series.
  4. Remove or open the panels that cover the element connections.
  5. Look at internal wiring.
  6. Specifically look at wires going from power connection block to the on/off switch, then to the control fuse, and finally to the control transformer.
  7. Make sure all wires inside control panel are connected.
  8. Look for any burned spots or deteriorating wire.
  9. Look for any short circuits. This might be caused by a wire losing its insulation and touching another component for instance. Typically if there are any short circuits there will be some evidence of a burn on the metal the wire touched.
  10. Look for dirt or foreign material. Some material can be an electrical conductor and could cause a short circuit. Clean out any dirt.
  11. Check all power wires for firm connections.
  12. Pull off and reseat all spade connector connections of power wires to remove oxides and ensure good connection.
  1. Make sure the On/Off switch is turned on.
  2. Flip the toggle switch back and forth a few times. Sometimes switches can get stuck in between contacts or the contacts can become oxidized. This removes oxidation and makes sure the contacts are making proper contact.
  1. Check voltage across the top center tap and either of the two top taps.
  2. If there is power look for a bad connection between the power connection block and the transformer.
  1. With the power to the kiln off, open the control box carefully and make sure that nothing is touching any of the exposed wires.
  2. Turn the power back on.
  3. Locate the transformer. Most have 3 wires on the bottom of them- the center wire is actually a
    jumper wire connecting the two center terminals, and three wires on the
    top of it- all wires are on one side of the transformer.
  4. Use a digital multimeter to check transformer operation.
  5. Set your digital multi-meter to AC volts, the next setting higher than 240 volts AC (on a lot of meters this is 600).
  6. Check voltage across the top center tap and either of the two top taps.
  7. With the meter you should be able to read 240 or 208 volts AC on the outer two wires at the bottom of the transformer. (These power wires come from the toggle switch and the power block). If there is 240 or 208 volts there everything is good up to the transformer.
  8. Set the meter to read 24 volts AC and look for this on the outer two wires of the 3 wires at the top of the transformer. If there is no voltage there then the transformer itself is faulty and you need to replace the transformer.
  9. If there is no power go further back on the line and measure the voltage. Keep going until you find voltage.
  10. Look for the problem between the point with the voltage and the last point checked that had no voltage.
  11. Replace transformer if you are not getting proper voltage.
  12. If there is proper voltage there then the control is getting the correct incoming voltage and that the board itself is probably faulty. Replace the control.

CAUTION: This test should only be done by an experienced person familiar with electricity.

See this tutorial on how to use a multimeter.

See this video:

  1. Check the tightness of all connections. Do this by wiggling the connector to make sure it is not loose.
  2. Examine all connections for any sign of oxidation or discoloration.
  3. Examine all wires for signs that the wire may have burned.
  4. Make sure all wires are connected to their proper connection point. You may have to compare the kiln to the wiring diagram to be sure of this. This step would be particularly important if a wire has come loose.
  5. Look for any place where a wire may have shorted against the metal case or a component.

CAUTION: Turn power off to kiln form the circuit breaker or unplug the kiln.

  1. Try leaving the toggle switch on for 30 seconds without pressing any buttons.
  2. This will give the control time to go through its own internal start-up sequence

This applies to DynaTrol controls made before 2006:

  1. When these older controls are running a program and the toggle switch is turned off without pressing the STOP key first and then the switch is set back to on: the screen will blink and go blank for 10-15 seconds then come back on.

The control board needs to be replaced if:

  1. The transformer is OK.
  2. You know you have voltage going to the control board but the control still shows no display.
  3. You know you have voltage going to the control board but there is no output form the control to the power relays (even if you have display). In this case the little transistors inside the control that regulate output are not functioning).
  1. Unplug kiln.
  2. Remove the control box and remove the insulation panel.
  3. Using needle nose pliers pull of the wires from the transformer. It can take significant force to remove the spade connectors.
  4. Unscrew the two nuts that hold the control transformer onto the panel and remove the transformer.
  5. Before installing the new transformer put the small jumper wire onto terminals #2 and #3 on the bottom row of terminals. Note the little numbers by the contacts.

  1. Unplug kiln.
  2. Remove the four #6 screws that hold the control in place from the front face of the control panel.
  3. Remove the control box and remove the insulation panel.
  4. Pull of the spade connectors from all the connection points on the back of the control. Loosen the screws that hold down the thermocouple wires and pull out the wires from under the screw heads. It is OK to remove the screws if this is easier for you. First not where all the wires go. These are all clearly marked with color coding on the Wiring Diagram.
  5. Pull old control out. Put new control in and screw in place with the #6 mounting screws. Replace wires on proper connectors.
  6. Be careful to get the Red or Yellow of the thermocouple wires to match the colors painted on the control board.
  7. Double check that the proper color coded wire goes to the proper terminal (Orange = OUT, Purple = AC1, Green = CT, Gray = AC2).

This video shows how to replace a DynaTrol on an Easy-Fire kiln. The same principles apply to any kiln with a DynaTrol or Genesis control.

Parts

  1. See this page for the part.

WARNING IF YOU HAVE A TYPE S THERMOCOUPLE: WHEN REPLACING A DYNATROL: CHECK THE CONFIGURATION OF THIS REPLACEMENT CONTROL TO MAKE SURE YOU DON’T MELT YOUR KILN! See this for more information.

This video shows how to remove a control panel on an Easy-Fire, School-Master or eQuadPro kiln for service.

  1. Unplug kiln.
  2. Trace wiring for missing or bad connections.
  3. Check wiring against wiring diagram.
  4. Check for corroded connectors or connectors that have frayed wires. Replace any such connectors.