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Condar 9-86 probe thermometer

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Todd, Feb 12, 2006.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Anyone have one of these? It's the $90 digital one. How long is the probe? It doesn't say on their site. I need a 8" probe for my stove. I'd call them but their closed.

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  2. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    I have one. Don't remember the actual probe length and don't have one handy to measure. The web site says probe is 6 inches (look to bottom of page where prices are). When I received mine, the web site had conflicting probe sizes. One place said 4 inches, one place said 6 inches. I emailed them (couldn't find the email), told them the real size, and they said they'd correct it. If they have corrected things, then the size is 6 inches.

    The 9-86 was designed specifically for the VC Encore and Winter Warm Large (maybe the VC WW Small, too). The probe seems too short for your application (if you indeed need 8 inches), but the probe is integrally connected to a super heat resistent, braided copper transfer/sender cable (six feet long). Would that allow you to fudge a bit? That cable is pretty rigid.

    BTW: I'd recommend NOT using batteries (9-volt). They are expensive and last less than a week (for me) under heavy usage. I use this thing almost continuously and love it. After my first two batteries expired in the first week (boy are they expensive), I went to Radio Shack and bought a 9-volt A/C adapter. It paid for itself in the first month or two. Condar shows an adapter available on their web site, but I couldn't find a price reference to it. The Radio Shack model cost me less than $15. The clerk allowed me to swap the connector that came with it (one of many I could have chosen from, none of which would work for this application) for a 9-volt snap connector (like on the 9-volt battery). Otherwise, the 9-volt connector would be another $2 or so.
  3. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the info Mo,

    I called them today and they siad the probe is 6", but can make it 8" at same cost.

    I like your idea of an AC adapter. I'll have to look into that. Was thinking of rechargable batteries, but AC sounds much better.
  4. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Well I received my Condar probe thermometer and it doesn't work! All it reads is "PROBE"! I followed all the directions and there is no trouble shooting guide. It automaticlly turns off after 30 minutes. What a piece of crap!!! You pay $90 for a thermometer you expect it to work!
  5. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Todd, hang on. It may be fine. It doesn't start displaying anything but 'PROB' or 'COOL' until it reaches 500*F. That can take a while. Assuming you have the cable plugged into the display and the probe plugged into the stove properly, which you should verify first.

    This is my second season and I love my Condar probe. Take a deep breath, check your cable-probe-stove and cable-plug-displayUnit connections, build a big fire, engage cat as usual, and see what happens.

    I had a couple scares like that, too. The first time I saw "PROB" was on the third or fourth day, so it really scared me. I thought it meant "PROBlem". Up until then, it had only said "COOL" when there was no fire.

    If the thing still doesn't work after you've tried it in the stove. I'm assuming you installed it and are not just expecting to see the room temperature. You'd only see a reading other than 'PROB' or 'COOL' at room temp if you live in Hades.

    It is DESIGNED to turn off after 30 minutes. That is so it doesn't run the battery down with that high draw LED display. That is why I recommended the A/C power converter. So no problem there, at least not with the display instrument. I guess you could argue you'd like it to stay on longer, but that's just how it works. I find it a nice way to time things (kindling stage and open door burn = 30 mins, cat warm up = 30 mins, beer in freezer = yikes!) myself and I simply keep a 20 foot, one inch tape measure handy to reach out and turn it back on without ever lifting my lazy duff off the couch. :)

    Let us know what you discover. If it doesn't work, I'll bet Condar will happily refund your money. I'm just guessing, but if the refund people are as polite and helpful as the technical folks I spoke with, there should be no problem... whatever you decide to do.

    Please, do let us know what happens...
  6. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I followed all the directions and all it read was "probe" for the full 30 minutes. Called Condar yesterday and they ran me through some trouble shooting. Nothing worked so they said to send the cable and probe back for testing. Said they would get it working for me. Hope I get it back before spring.

    Sorry I vented on this topic, I had a long week and that topped it off. Now I'm feelin pretty good sitting by the new stove sampling my new batch of Red Ale, fresh out of the tap. Yummy!!!
  7. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Just wanted to give everyone an update on this.

    I sent back the probe on the 18th of Feb and still don't have a replacement. When I call them I get the run around or they say the person that handles this is gone. They also never answer their e-mails. It looks like I will never get a replacement until after the burning season. I guess I should request my money back and find a different company that sells digital thermometers. Anyone know any? I wouldn't recommend Condar to anyone for anything, their service sucks!
  8. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Todd, I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. My experience was quite different and my Condar digital cat probe thermometer is still going strong, two seasons now. I love it. And those guys always called me right back. I hope you get what you want from them in the end. Whether it's your money or a working product.

    I can't find the phone number I used two years ago, but...

    What email are you using? Try this guy if you haven't already.

    gregmccarren@condar.com

    I found him responsive. I'm not sure, but he may be an engineer. If he is, and he still works there, he might be able to bypass the first level customer service folks if that's who you've been working with. Try being nice to him if this is the first he's heard of your issue. I've found that sometimes helps. Let us know if this helps or what becomes of your situation. Good luck.
  9. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I sent the monitor back and asked for a refund. Then the next day I received a new probe in the mail. Figures. Now I have to send the new probe back. They never called or emailed me back, just sent me a new probe 3 weeks later.
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