The Hidden Menu in the DynaTrol - what it does and how to make changes


This menu contains the programmable settings for the rest of the features in the Dynatrol. To find this menu, first IdLE, tC2, and the current temperature must be cycling in the display.

Press Other once to see RSET displayed

Press 4, 4, 3, and see NOTC (this is the first option in the hidden “Other” menu)

To exit the menu press ENTER twice when you see PCt. You will then see CPL, and then IdLE, tC2, and the current temperature cycling in the display again.

WARNING: ‘OPTION A’(OPA), ‘OPTION B’(OPB) DO NOT PRESS ENTER HERE. These options are currently programmed to operate with different equipment than our powered bottoms and are therefore not recommended as options for controlling them. If you accidentally press ENTER on OPAor OPB you must then re-enter the hidden Other, 4, 4, 3 menu and press Other, Other, Other ( a total of three times to scroll to OPC). If you have a powered bottom then press ENTER while you see OPC. If you do NOT HAVE a powered bottom you must press ENTER on PCT, set it for all zeros, and press ENTER again.

When you press Other, 4, 4, 3 The “Hidden Other Menu” is displayed as follows:

NOTC: Number of Thermocouples

NOTC is used to change the number of zones in your kiln (essentially, the number of thermocouples used).

To run the kiln using only one thermocouple: When you see notC press ENTER, then 1, then ENTER. If you choose to do this you must use only thermocouple number 2 in the kiln and we recommend putting it in the middle zone’s thermocouple hole. All the zones of the kiln will turn on and off simultaneously when you program the Dynatrol to use only one thermocouple.

If you wish to run the kiln using only two thermocouples: When you see notC press ENTER, then 2, then ENTER. If you choose to do this you must have thermocouple #1 in the top zone of the kiln and thermocouple #2 in the middle zone or in the bottom zone. When you program the Dynatrol to run using only two thermocouples the bottom zone and the middle zone go on and off simultaneously.

To run the kiln using three thermocouples: When you see notC press ENTER, then 3, then ENTER. If you choose to do this thermocouple #1 must be in the top zone, thermocouple #2 in the middle, and #3 in the bottom. All three zones will operate independently, tied to their respective thermocouples.

NOTE: Kilns with only one thermocouple can be programmed to run with two or three thermocouples but because they physically only have one thermocouple the FAIL message will be displayed referring to the non-exhistant thermocouple. You must then re-program for just one thermocouple. Likewise, two section L&L kilns come with only two thermocouples. If you physically add a section to a two section kiln, you be able to add a third thermocouple. But if you program a two section kiln for three thermocouples you will receive the FAIL message referencing the non-exhistant thermocouple. You must then re-program for two thermocouples.

OP A: Option A


OP B: Option B


OP C: Option C

When you press ENTER here all you will see is CPL (meaning ‘Complete’). Now when you program in VARY-FIRE mode however, you will see an extra prompt in each segment called FAN1, FAN2,…FAN8. This will appear right before you see the rA1, rA2,…rA8 prompt. FAN, in this application, is referring to the powered bottom. You can set the powered bottom to be either ON or OFF in each segment of programming in a VARY-FIRE program only. Toggle between ON and OFF using a number key.

PCT: Percent

When you press ENTER here you can either exit the menu by pressing ENTER again (you are essentially setting the percent to remainas is without changing it by doing this). Or else you can program this setting to turn your powered bottom on a percent of the time that the bottom zone in the kiln is on. To set this percent from 0% to 150% press the percent you want. i.e. Entering 100 here would turn the powered bottom on whenever the bottom zone came on. Entering 50 here would turn the powered bottom on for about eight seconds, then off for about eight seconds if the bottom zone of the kiln was on all the time. 150 is the maximum you can enter. This pretty much ensures the power bottom is on all the time. The bottom zone would have to be on less than about 66% of the time to have the power bottom cycle if PCT was set to 150.

NOTE: Setting the PCt setting to 0000 will turn off all powered bottom options.

PId: PID Setting

This setting is not part of the powered bottom settings, It is always “on”. Pressing ENTER here allows you to set another percent setting that can help a slow, heavily loaded kiln fire faster. This setting comes pre-programmed at the factory for 65%. Basically you are determining how much help the middle zone of the kiln gives the bottom zone of the kiln when the bottom zone is lagging behind during heating. This function automatically activates to your pre-programmed setting when the bottom zone is on 100% of the time. Without this feature, heat from the bottom zone will rise up and help to heat the other zones so generally the bottom of the kiln is on more than the other zones to compensate for this. Sometimes the slow bottom zone will slow the whole kiln down. With this feature, the middle zone of the kiln will come on the programmed percent of the time that the TOP zone comes on, if the bottom zone is on all the time. What was found during tests was that if the bottom was on 100% of the time, the top zone was generally on 90% of the time, but the middle zone was on only about 40% of the time. By programming a higher percent you can greatly speed up your firings. (you will have to experiment, try the factory setting 65% then try maybe 85% and compare your results).

dIAG: Diagnostics

This is handy to use when your kiln is first delivered and set up to make sure it was done properly. It can also be useful in seeing if an element has burned out. Press ENTER when you see dIAG and open the lid of your kiln. When you are ready, press Enter again and each zone of the kiln will turn on for 10 seconds starting with zone #1, the top zone. If you have a powered bottom it will be on last; when it says OUT4. CAREFUL it can get hot and there is LIVE electricity – DO NOT TOUCH THE ELEMENTS! This will tell you if all the power circuits are hooked up right and working; , or if kiln sections are plugged in to the wrong receptacles on the control panel (Jupiter kilns & DaVinci kilns only). If this is the case the zones will not turn on in the proper 1, 2, 3, order.

ShTO: Shut-Off Averaging

This option is used to shut off the automatic feature in the Dynatrol that holds the hottest part of the kiln at each segment’s set point until the average of the three (or two) thermocouples reaches that set point. Pressing 1 here allows you to toggle between ON and Off. ON meaning that as soon as the hottest zone gets to the segment’s set point the entire kiln switches to either the “hold time” or the next segment. OFF meaning that the Dynatrol will not let the hottest zone’s temperature rise until the average temperature of the three zones reaches that segment’s set point. Then the kiln can begin the “hold time” or the next segment. You may want to turn this setting to ON if you fire with the “Lag” set for say 15 and the “Autolag” OFF. ON can also help to speed up a slow firing as well.

ALR4: Alarm For…

This feature is activated by pressing ENTER when ALR4 is displayed. It energizes output #4 on the DynaTrol electronics board when the Alarm goes off. Since the alarm is a temperature alarm; can be set to go off at a specific temp, output 4 can be connected (for example) to a relay that governs the power for an auto-dialer to call your cell phone so you know it is time to come check the kiln. Or it could be connected to a really loud buzzer or light for the kiln room door. Contact the factory if you want to learn more.

NOTE: On kilns with powered bottoms DO NOT CHOOSE THIS OPTION. Your Powered Bottom is connected to output #4 and is best controlled by the ‘PCT’ option in the Hidden Other Menu. If this option is chosen, and you have a powered bottom, and you set the alarm, when the alarm goes off the powered bottom will come on- even if the program is off. The bottom of your kiln could get a bit hot if this happens. Just another reason why it is good to never leave a firing un-attended.

CYCL: Cycle Time

The cycle time is the length of time between an element turning on two consecutive times. Using a short cycle time may improve temperature control, while using a long cycle time may improve relay life. Cycle time can be programmed anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds. The default setting from the factory is 14 seconds

MAX: Maximum Temperature Setting

Maximum Temperature Setting controls how hot the kiln can be programmed to fire. It can be set as high as 2400°F, although on any L&L the max temp in the warranty literature is “2350°F or Cone 10”. This is already set in the factory.

TYPE: Type of Thermocouple

The type of thermocouple can be either Type K or Type S. You must have the appropriate thermocouples and lead wire to switch from one to the other; either Type K thermocouples and wire or Type S. In addition you must switch the software setting from “K-TH” to “S-TH”, or vise versa. Pressing any number key toggles you back and forth from K-TH to S-TH. For precaution, a small jumper must be moved on the circuit board when going from K to S. This jumper is located approximately in the center of the board under the marking “R97”. If the jumper is on only one of the prongs the control is set for Type K. If the jumper is on both of the two prongs the control is set for Type S. This precaution keeps you from accidentally having it set for K with S thermocouples or vise-versa. (A severe overfiring can occur if you have the control programmed for a Type S thermocouple and you are using a Type K thermocouple). If there is a mismatch between the jumper setting and the software setting you will get an error code: ERR9.

2KEY: Two- Key Start

Two-Key Start is a safety feature that makes you press ENTER after pressing START/STOP to begin a program. It keeps you from turning the kiln on by accident. If Two-Key Start is activated, when you press START/STOP you will see “----“. Pressing ENTER now starts the program. By default we do not have this feature turned on.

E-bd: Error Board Temperature

This allows you to set how hot the room can be that the kiln is in before the DynaTrol shuts the elements off. A temp sensor right on the electronic board inside the control box senses temperature and can be used to trigger a power-off to the elements if the kiln room gets too hot. 250°F is the max. Remember it is a whole lot hotter that close to the kiln than it is in the rest of the room. Default seting is 200°F (93°C)

REST: Restore Default USER Programs

The DynaTrol comes preloaded with 6 special programs in the VARY-FIRE USER memory slots. VARY-FIRE has 6 memory slots for you to create and store your own custom programs. When it comes to you from the factory however, it already contains programs that as you create your own, you will program over.You may decide to keep these original programs or program over them with your own programs.

If you ever want to get all of the original programs back again, you can go to REST in the Hidden Other Menu and press ENTER. If you do this however, any custom programs you made up and saved in the VARY-FIRE USER memory slots will be unretrievable. If you want to just get some of the original programs but not others, you will have to manually enter them in. VARY-FIRE TEMPERATURE PROFILES section in the Appendixes contains the actual segment-by-segment program for each of the preset programs.

RTF: Stores the Temp, Hours Past, and Rate of Rise when an Error Code occurs.

This feature stores the temp, number of hours that have passed in the program, and the rate of rise of the kiln when an error code occurs. If you come in to your kiln and see E- 1 for example, it has shut off because it cannot climb faster than the slowest allowable temp:12 degrees per hour. You can press ENTER and then go to ERTF in the Hidden Other Menu, press ENTER there and see, the temperature at which the error code happened, then the number of hours and minutes that have passed since the program began, then the actual rate of rise in degrees F/ hour (or degrres C/ hour if yours is set for Celcius) when the error code occurred. This is a great diagnostic tool.

COOL: Cone-Fire Cooling Segment

This feature allows the user to toggle ON or OFF a cooling segment for any EASY-FIRE Program. OFF means that the EASY-FIRE Program will fire to it’s maximum temperature, then shut off and cool naturally. ON means that once the max temp is reached the cooling segment will kick in. If ON is set, when a EASY-FIRE Program is chosen, like Slow Bisque, the control will prompt you to enter the cool down segment you want after you are done programming the EASY-FIRE Program.

With this feature turned on, the prompt while you are programming an EASY-FIRE program will be RA 8. When you see this enter a ramp rate. Then you will see °F 8 (or °C 8). Enter a final set point temperature that you want the controlled cooldown to stop at. Then you will see HLd8 for a hold time (typically not used). An example of a good cool-down segment would be: Rate: 150 degF/hr, to: 1200F, hold: 0.

VOLT: Voltage Measurement

This feature allows the line voltage to be tested by the DynaTrol safely, where the kiln is set up. This will help diagnose firing problems where the kiln cannot reach temperature. When you see VOLT in the Hidden Other Menu, press ENTER and the display will flash NOLd; meaning that the next number displayed will be the “No Load Voltage”. Press ENTER again and FLLd will flash meaning the next number to appear will be the “Full Load Voltage”. The kiln’s heating elements will be turned on for about 4 seconds while the full load voltage is displayed. After that, it will return to IdLE

To display voltage using the kiln controller a calibration must be done. Before calibration make sure the relays and elements are connected.

  1. Press Other key one time. The message RSET will be displayed.
  2. Type in key sequence 4, 4, 3
  3. NOTC will be displayed. Press Other until VOLT is displayed.
  4. Press ENTER key. NOLD for no load will be displayed for two seconds. After NOLD, a number will be displayed until either ENTER is pressed or the 443 calibration code is entered. This number is the no load voltage. However, until after calibration this number is meaningless.
  5. Type in key sequence 4, 4, 3.
  6. CAL1 will be displayed. Measure the line voltage and enter this number now using the keypad. This number will be used to calculate no load voltage.
  7. Press ENTER key.
  8. CAL2 will be displayed. Measure the line voltage and enter this number now using the keypad. This number will be used to calculate full load voltage.
  9. Press ENTER key.

10. The voltage calibration routine is now complete. The controller will return to idle.

    DTCT: Amperage Measurement Setting

    This feature can only be used if your DynaTrol came with the optional current sensor. If equipped and properly installed, this sensor allows the DynaTrol to read the amperage of the kiln in real time. This setting here only controls the maximum amount that the current sensor will measure. It is set in the factory for the proper amount and should not have to be changed. The amperage reading requires a current sensor that clips around one of the power cord’s hot wires. The default range for the calibrated sensor is 50A. For larger kilns the controller can be adjusted for a higher range sensor.

    Installing the optional current sensor:

    The current sensor has two wires that need to be connected to the circuit board. One wire is black. One wire is white. On the top left corner of the circuit board is a terminal with inputs marked black and white.

    1. Insert the white wire in the terminal that has been marked white.
    2. Insert the black wire in the terminal that has been marked black.
    3. Use a screwdriver to tighten the two screws on the terminals so that the wires will not come lose.
    4. The circuit sensor clips around one of the power cord’s hot wires.

    The control is now able to measure the amperage draw using the controller’s diagnostic routines.

    Amperage Measurement

    Amperage measurement can only be done if your kiln is equipped with a current sensor. If there is no sensor (or no amperage), your amp readings will be 0 when you run try this feature.

    To run this feature first enter the “Hidden Other Menu”, then scroll through it until you come to dIAG. Press ENTER and see it say OUTS. Press “1”, see it say AMPS. Press ENTER and see it say AMP1 -meaning the next number displayed will be the amps of Zone 1. Then AMP2 will be displayed- meaning the next number to appear will be the amps of Zone 2, and so on for Zone 3 if you have three zones.