Potters & Sculptors - Making Rock from Mud
Terry Fallon sells a portable, heavy duty pyrometer for $80 on his fascinating fallonator website. See the discussions here on electric reduction kilns. If you use a manual kiln you really need a pyrometer to monitor and control your firings. If you have a programmable kiln, you will need a replacement thermocouple probe at some point. He sells type K and type S probes.
Lower cost (replace more frequently) thermocouple probes are available on ebay such as this listing for $13.99
For the real cheapskates, you can buy a electronic multimeter for about $20 and connect it to a type K thermocouple probe that extends through peepholes into your kiln. As the kiln heats the thermocouple generates millivolt current that you read on your meter. Consulting a conversion chart, you can get a temperature reading for that voltage and know the temperature inside the kiln. I did this for 3 years before I bit the bullet and bought my add-on programmable kiln controller.
Thanks for the follow up, I appreciate it! I found a really nice deal on Ebay. I picked up a reconditioned digital pyrometer for $85. It has worked great for a year now. I wish I had bought a couple more. I do keep looking at the fallonator website. Lots of interesting stuff there.