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I bought a ZVS 1000w induction heater I would like to control it with a thermostat in order to control the temperature of my steel piece. I hold the piece with a clamp and I don't want to put a sensor inside the coil. what would be other options? Infrared or laser ? coupled with which kind of thermostat? something up to 1100 or 1200° C I guess as I only put small piece of metal in.

Obviously, this is a hobby project so I don't want to spend thousand of dollars

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Unluckily the industrial pyrometer sensor costs few thousands of dollars. You can use a handheld hobby one. Then you adjust manually the power. Once you hit the Curie temperature point, everything changes, so the closed loop goes mad. You didn't mention what material you will heat so much.

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