We’ve just made it easier to use your Alicat mass flow meters and pressure controllers from their front panels. This post has all the details on our 7v firmware update, which features a more intuitive user interface.
If you’ve been with Alicat for very long, you’ve seen us add new menu selections to our flow and pressure instruments from time to time. We incorporated these features into a set of “Miscellaneous” menus (MISC1 and MISC2) in order to preserve the existing interface. However, after filling up MISC1 and MISC2 with new functions, we decided it was time to give the entire menu system an intuitive update.
Here to explain the motive behind these changes is Brian Clandenon, Alicat’s Senior Software Engineer:
“As Alicat has added more functionality to our instruments, the idea was to make minimal changes to existing buttons in the menus. While this was reasonable for each small change, so many changes built up over the past few years that some related functions became scattered across multiple menus. This made the menus more challenging to navigate and to remember.
One goal of a good menu system is to make settings easy to find, so it became time to review the overall structure of the menus. We endeavored to organize the settings in ways that would be more intuitive to new and existing users alike, so that the changes would outweigh the inconvenience of learning the new locations.”
The following FAQ describes the changes to Alicat’s menu structure in the new 7v firmware. Please contact us at 888-290-6060 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Which instruments are affected by this change?
All Alicat-branded instruments manufactured on or after May 22, 2017, will ship with 7v firmware, with the exception of no-change customers who have not yet approved this update.
Can I update my existing instruments to 7v?
Alicat’s 7v firmware update is compatible with most Alicat instruments that have serial numbers of 135,000 or higher. Some instruments with serial numbers between 80,000 and 135,000 may also be compatible with 7v. Upon request, we can update your firmware to 7v during your instrument’s next annual recalibration at no charge. Alternatively, we can update instruments outside of the recalibration process for a firmware update bench fee of $80 (USD).
Will my new 7v Alicat communicate the same as my existing 6v Alicats?
Yes. Communications protocols and commands have not changed in the move from 6v to 7v, so your command set will remain the same, no matter which protocol you have been using.
Which changes will I notice?
The new menu map is reproduced on the following page. Below, you will find a listing of changes to the menu structure. Please see your new operating manual for more details.
- A new BASIC CONFIG menu allows easy access to GAS SELECT, DEVICE UNITS and STP/NTP options. The GAS menu option also displays the currently selected gas.
- A new TARES menu gives you access to flow and pressure tares, plus AUTO TARE.
- A new ABOUT menu collects DEVICE INFO, DEVICE STATE and MFG INFO in one place.
- The contents of the old MISC, MISC1 and MISC2 menus can now be accessed via the ADV SETUP menu, with the exception of STP/NTP, which is now in BASIC CONFIG.
|Feature||New Menu Location (7v Firmware)||Old Menu Location (6v, 5v or 4v)|
|AUTO TARE||MENU > TARES||MENU > CONTROL SETUP|
|CONTROL SETUP||MENU > CONTROL||MENU > CONTROL SETUP|
|DEVICE UNITS||MENU > BASIC CONFIG||MENU > MISC|
|DIAG TEST||MENU > ABOUT > DEVICE STATE||MENU > MISC > MISC2 > DIAG TEST|
|FLOW AVG||MENU > ADV SETUP > SENSOR SETUP||MENU > MISC > MISC1|
|GAS SELECT||MENU > BASIC CONFIG > GAS||MENU > GAS SELECT|
|LCD CONTRAST||MENU > ADV SETUP > DISP SETUP||MENU > MISC > MISC1|
|MFG DATA||MENU > ABOUT > MFG INFO||MENU > MFG DATA|
|MODEL INFO||MENU > ABOUT > DEVICE INFO||MENU > MFG DATA > MODEL INFO|
|PRESS AVG||MENU > ADV SETUP > SENSOR SETUP||MENU > MISC > MISC1|
|ROTATE DISP||MENU > ADV SETUP > DISP SETUP||MENU > MISC > MISC2|
|RS232 COMM||MENU > ADV SETUP > COMM SETUP||MENU > RS232 COMM|
|STP/NTP||MENU > BASIC CONFIG||MENU > MISC > MISC2|
|TARE P w/BARO||MENU > TARES > TARE PRESS||MENU > MISC > MISC2 > TARE P w/BARO|
|ZERO BAND||MENU > ADV SETUP > SENSOR SETUP||MENU > MISC > MISC1|