How much does AVA cost?

AVA Software can be downloaded to try for free from the Radleys website here.  By default, it operates in demonstration mode, to allow the capabilities of the software to be explored, but with control of simulated (virtual) devices only. To purchase (or upgrade) an AVA licence so you can control real devices, please contact Radleys or your local distributor for a quotation. AVA has four levels to suit your application and budget. You can upgrade to a higher level if your needs change.

How many levels are there for AVA, and what is included with each level?

AVA has four licence levels to suit your application and budget.  As the level number increases, additional types of equipment can be controlled.  You can upgrade to a higher level if your needs change.
  • AVA Level 1 can control stirring hotplates.
  • AVA Level 2 can control stirring hotplates and overhead stirrers.
  • AVA Level 3 can control stirring hotplates, overhead stirrers and circulators (thermoregulators).
  • AVA Level 4 can control all the equipment from level 3, plus devices such as pumps, balances, pH meters, and vacuum controllers.

How do I activate my AVA software licence?

Within the AVA Help pages accessed via the AVA Software you have downloaded, navigate to the ‘Activate Licence’ page (e.g. by searching for ‘Activate Licence’ in the search box at the top right of the help pages) for a full guide to activating your licence. Make sure you activate the licence on the computer you will be using AVA on.  You should be logged in with full administrative rights when activating a licence.

What is included in the AVA Care support package? How can I renew it?

Each purchase of AVA Software or an AVA level upgrade comes with one year’s free AVA Care. During the AVA Care support period, you can download software updates such as any driver updates for new devices, continuing compatibility with Microsoft operating system, and other maintenance releases.  It also gives you access to full technical support for any queries you may have. To check the current status of AVA Care, in the AVA Software, browse to the File tab and select Help. The start and expiry dates are listed for the AVA Care in the ‘Licensing’ section. If your AVA Care Support is about to expire, you can purchase a renewal of AVA Care; please contact Radleys or your local distributor for a quotation.

Are there any example experiment files for AVA?

Yes, there are examples (with everything set up in the Apparatus and Schedule window, ready to run in demo mode) for you to refer to. To view the examples, in the AVA software you have downloaded (which is free to download to use in demonstration mode), go to File, Open, and then C:\Radleys\AVA\Examples and select the example you are interested in. Once you have opened an example file and then closed AVA, when you reopen AVA the example will appear in the Recent section (File tab, then Recent).  You can press the star button next to the example to save it as a favourite (so it will stay in the Recent section for easy reference in future).

Where can I find more AVA technical information? How can I access the AVA help pages?

For more information on using AVA, please refer to the AVA help pages, which are accessed via the AVA software itself. Once you have downloaded and opened AVA (which is free to download to use in demonstration mode), under the File tab, when you select Help in the list on the left, the first option on the right will be ‘Click here to search the help pages’. The help pages are easy to navigate, with clear sections, hyperlinks to related pages, and a search box.  They include:
  • Additional FAQs
  • Video tutorials
  • Glossary
  • Tables explaining error messages and how they can be resolved.
The AVA help pages are your key resource, in place of an instruction manual.

Are there any AVA tutorial videos I can watch?

Yes
  • Getting started
  • Manual control of devices
  • Create an experimental Schedule
  • Used advanced Schedule features
To access these, in your downloaded AVA Software (which is free to download to use in demonstration mode)
  • Go to the File tab
  • Select Help from the list on the left
  • Then select ‘Video tutorials: Watch a selection of video tutorials’ button on the right.
The video tutorials can also be accessed via the AVA Help pages.

How can I ensure AVA installs successfully?

To install AVA, you must have full administrative rights on your computer.  If you do not, it is likely that a CodeMeter error message will occur and the installation will not complete. Contact your IT department to request full administrative rights on the computer.

What is longest time I can run AVA for?

The amount of time AVA can be run continuously for depends on factors such as the number of devices being controlled and the specification of the computer being used.  We would recommend that the maximum duration that AVA controls equipment continuously for is limited to one week (7 x 24 hours).

Can I use AVA with Reactor-Ready Duo?

Yes, AVA has been designed so it can be used with Reactor-Ready Duo. There are three possible methods to choose from, depending on the kind of control you require:
1. Both sides of Reactor-Ready Duo in the same tab
Create a new experiment using the Reactor-Ready Duo icon (Apparatus background/setup), so you have the Reactor-Ready Duo in one reaction tab.  You will then configure, control and monitor all the equipment together as one reaction system in the one tab.  With this configuration the same control mode has to be used for both sides of the Reactor-Ready Duo – all devices must be either controlled from the Apparatus window or via the Schedule.
2. Each side of Reactor-Ready Duo in its own tab
To enable you to control the two sides of the Reactor-Ready Duo more independently, each vessel of the Reactor-Ready Duo can be configured within its own reaction tab. To do this, create a new experiment selecting two Reactor-Ready icons.  This will create two reaction tabs, one for each side of the Reactor-Ready Duo.  (An alternative method is to create and configure one tab with the Reactor-Ready background, and then copy this tab.)  Each tab can be configured and controlled separately using a mixture of control modes (Apparatus or Schedule).  However, please note, AVA will initiate communication with all devices (both tabs) as soon as you start anything running (so they all must be set up correctly and switched on before starting); furthermore, once a reaction is running, it is not possible to add any more devices to either of the reaction tabs.  Moreover, data from both tabs will be recorded together as one file.
3. Each side of the Reactor-Ready Duo in its own instance of AVA
For true independent control of the two sides of the Reactor-Ready Duo, you can open another instance (a second application window) of AVA.  Create a new experiment selecting one Reactor-Ready icon, and then open AVA software a second time (a new window of AVA), and then create a new experiment there with the Reactor-Ready icon.  The two AVA windows can be positioned next to each other so that both systems can be viewed at the same time.  Using a second instance means you can configure devices for one side whilst the other side/instance is running, as the data etc. is in a separate file.

Can you provide an overview on how to download, install and set up AVA?

Our AVA ‘Quick Start Guide’ gives you a good overview of the process.  You can download it here. Once you have downloaded the AVA software itself (demonstration version for free), you can also consult the ‘Setup Guide’ within the AVA help pages.

My devices look like they are running in AVA, but they’re not physically running – what am I doing wrong?

Even if you have purchased a licence to run real devices, check whether AVA is currently in demo mode.  Look at the top right of the AVA software window – is ‘Demo’ highlighted in orange?  If so, select the level you have purchased instead (next to ‘Demo’) to move out of demo mode and run your devices.

Can I create a ramp using the AVA Apparatus control mode?

No, it is not possible to set a ramp in the Apparatus window, only fixed setpoints.  The Apparatus control mode is direct control, like physically turning the dial on a device. Nonetheless, you can create and run ramps in AVA using the Schedule window.

How do I generate reports and export data from AVA?

It’s easy to produce documents of your experiment details and results using AVA, for you to view and edit outside of the AVA software. In the AVA software, click on the Reporting tab.  There you can generate two different data documents.
  • A Rich Text Format (RTF) document that can be viewed and edited in programs such as Microsoft Word.  Use the tick boxes on the left to choose what is included in your report (out of Apparatus, Schedule, graphs, event log and summary).  You can press the Preview button to preview your report.  Press the Save Report button to save the report document on your computer.
  • Data in a CSV file that can be viewed and edited in programs like Microsoft Excel.  It will include reaction data and the event log.  Press the Export Results button to create this document.

How do I edit the graphs I view in AVA?

In the Results window (next to Apparatus), you can have up to four graphs. Click on the Graph Settings tab to customise which data appears on each graph. To zoom into a graph, hold down the left mouse button and drag to define a sub-region. The graph rescales to show only the zoomed-in area. To zoom out again, right-click on the graph and select ‘Zoom out’. (Please note, graphs will always appear in the RTF report zoomed out.) For further details, please see the AVA help pages (accessed via the AVA software).

I’ve downloaded AVA for free. What can I do in demo mode?

AVA Software is available to download for free to trial in demonstration mode. You can use demo mode to explore AVA and test it with virtual devices.  Demo mode is the equivalent to a level 4 AVA licence – you have access to all types of equipment. You can set up equipment in the Apparatus window; view, edit or create a Schedule; view and edit graphs of simulated data; generate and analyse reports – basically everything other than running real devices! It’s really quick and easy to get started – you don’t need to connect or configure any equipment. Demo mode is still available after you purchase an AVA licence.

I have purchased an AVA licence. Will it expire?

No, your AVA licence will not expire, so you will always be able to control real devices. However, active AVA Care is required in order to have access to the latest release version of AVA, so we recommend you renew your AVA Care when it expires (one year from purchase).

There are short steps on the Schedule I can’t see properly or at all – what can I do?

You can zoom into (and out of) the Schedule by using the zoom bar at the bottom right of the Schedule window. Zoom in and you should be able to see the short steps you have created (typically by changing values in the Apparatus window). In the Results window (next to Apparatus) you can also select the Event Log tab to view a complete list of all steps that have occurred, regardless of how short they were. You may also want to zoom into the Schedule to make it easier for you to create short steps there.

Which devices (equipment/apparatus) can I use with AVA?

AVA Software is compatible with a wide range of devices with RS232 ports. To review our current list of compatible devices, in the AVA help pages, accessed via AVA Software (which is free to download to use in demonstration mode here), search for ‘Device Driver Information’ and select the first result. If you would like to use AVA with an RS232 device not on the list, we may be able to create a driver for it (part number RR20217: Driver Configuration Service).  Please send us full details of the device, including an instruction manual, to review. If the device does not have an RS232 port (interface), it cannot be used with AVA.

The data I exported to CSV is not displaying correctly in Excel – how can I fix this?

AVA uses commas to separate data into columns. If the language setting on your computer is set to use a decimal place as a separator, meaning the data columns are not separated out correctly when you open the CSV file, you will need to change a setting within Excel. In Excel, select the first column of reaction data (not the time), and then go to Data, Text to Columns, and set Delimiter to be a Comma.

The AVA Schedule shows as ‘waiting for end condition’ – what does this mean?

Each step on the Schedule has one or more end conditions that it must complete before AVA moves on to the next step in the Schedule. If the duration (time period) of a step has been completed but an additional end condition has not been reached, the whole Schedule (all current steps) will pause and the ‘waiting for end condition’ message will display while it is waiting for the end condition to be achieved. Different parallel steps (steps for different devices but happening at the same time) may have linked end conditions, indicated on the Schedule by a vertical black line with black triangles top and bottom.  The end conditions of all steps ending at this point must be completed before AVA moves on to the next step. If you don’t want to wait for all the end conditions (or the duration) to be fulfilled, you can force AVA to move on to the next step by pressing the skip step button (to the right of the play button in the Schedule window).

What are end conditions within the AVA Schedule?

Each step in the Schedule has one or more end conditions that it must complete before AVA moves on to the next step in the Schedule. To view or edit the end conditions for a step, click on the step in the Schedule to see the step properties, and then press the down arrow next to ‘End Conditions’ to expand.
There are three types of end conditions:
1. Duration (time period)
All steps will have this as an end condition.  The step needs to have been active for the specified time before it will be completed.
2. Set value
This optional end condition refers to the value set for that specific step, e.g. a circulator is set to achieve a reaction temperature of 50°C, or an overhead stirrer is set to 200 rpm.  If the ‘Duration and set value achieved’ box is ticked in the step properties, then the step will only move on when both the set time has elapsed and the set value of the step has been achieved.  Depending on the type of device, this box may be ticked as default (e.g. it is ticked as default for circulators but not for overhead stirrers).
3. Another sensor value
This alternative optional end condition is used if you want a different measured value (can be a different device) to determine the end of the step (in addition to the time, as always).  In the step properties, if you tick the box ‘Duration and another sensor value reached’, you can specify what you want this to be.

How do I save my experiment in AVA? How do I change the save settings?

AVA automatically saves all the information from your experiment (Apparatus, Schedule, and data in graphs etc.) together in an AVA experiment file (with an .exp extension). By default, in the AVA software, a pop-up will appear prompting you to save as a new file, where you can approve or write a file name, and view or change the file location.  (The default save location on your PC is Documents > AVA.)  Once you have pressed Save, AVA will then regularly autosave your experiment, so you don’t need to keep manually saving it yourself. You can change the logging/saving interval, and the location on your PC where the experiment files are saved, in the AVA software by selecting the File tab, then Settings (from the options on the left), then the General Settings tab.  There you can also tick the box for automatically generated file names (e.g. Experiment1) to be used without giving you the pop-up box described above.

I can run my experiment in demo mode but not for real when I select the level – I get an error message mentioning the licence. What’s wrong?

In demo mode (which is available in AVA whether you have purchased a licence or not), you are able to use all of the possible zones (pale grey boxes) in the Apparatus window to add all of the possible devices.  This means you can trial the full functionality of AVA. However, to control real devices you must have purchased an AVA licence of the relevant level:
  • To run a stirring hotplate you need level 1
  • To run a overhead stirrer you need level 2
  • To run a circulator you need level 3
  • To run other devices such as pumps, balances or pH meters/sensors you need level 4.
You should remove the device(s) that require a higher licence level, purchase the required licence level, or run in demo mode. N.B. A temperature probe can be used by all levels, but only when (in AVA Software) connected directly to the circulator or stirring hotplate, or when added to the temperature probe zone (pale grey box) top left of the Apparatus window.  Any temperature probes added using the miscellaneous zone (top right grey box) would require a level 4 licence.

How do I set up device limits in AVA?

Device limits are one type of safety settings in AVA.   (Please see the separate FAQ entry for an overview of AVA safety features.) Device limits restrict what each device (piece of equipment) can be set to (the maximum and minimum setpoints it can be sent from either the Apparatus or Schedule windows). You set up global device limits for each of your devices (pieces of equipment) in the AVA Apparatus window:
  1. When you add a new device to the Apparatus window, it’s properties box will appear.  You can also click on existing devices in the Apparatus window to bring up the properties box.
  2. In the device properties box, you will see a ‘Device Limits and Settings’ section at the bottom.  This is where you enter the device limits.
It is very important (for safety) to set device limits appropriate for your particular device.  For circulators (thermoregulators), you need to consider the thermal fluid you are using in addition to the model itself.  For more information, search for ‘Device Limits’ in the help pages accessed via the AVA Software itself (which is free to download in demo version).

How do I set up a step override in AVA?

A step override is a safety feature you can use in the AVA Schedule.  For the step:
  • Specify the conditions you want to trigger the override
  • Specify what you want the device to do under override conditions.
For example, in a pump addition step, you can add an override so that if the reaction temperature exceeds a certain value, the pump addition stops. To set up a step override, in AVA’s Schedule window:
  1. Click on the relevant step for its properties window to appear.
  2. Press the down arrow next to ‘Overrides’ to expand
  3. Click ‘Add …’.  You can then select your trigger conditions and override action.
When a step override is triggered, the Schedule pauses at the current position in the timeline and the override action occurs.  Once the override trigger conditions end (e.g. the temperature drops back down) and so no override is active, the Schedule pause is lifted and AVA resumes progressing through the Schedule steps. You can refer to the separate website FAQ entry for an overview of AVA safety features, or consult the AVA Help pages accessed via the AVA Software itself for further details.

How do I set up a warning, safe state or shutdown in AVA?

Warnings, safe states and shutdowns are three of the safety features available in AVA. (Please see the separate FAQ entry for an overview of AVA safety features, or consult the AVA help pages accessed via the AVA software itself for further details.)
To set up a warning, safe state or shutdown
  1. When you’re in an AVA reaction tab, click on the settings cog at the top left of the Apparatus window.
  2. In the pop-up window that opens, select the sensor reading from the Sensor list on the left that you would like to be the trigger.
  3. Then tick the box under the Conditions heading on the right to choose the safety feature you want to set up, and to specify the conditions to trigger the safety feature. For example, select ‘Circulator 1:T Jacket’, ‘Display a Warning’, and type in the upper and lower limits beyond which the warning will occur.
If you tick the safe state tick box, the bottom of the pop-up window will expand, showing you the options to define your safe state (e.g. you want the circulator to cool the jacket temperature to 20°C, and the pump to stop). It is possible to simultaneously set up a warning, safe state and shutdown for a sensor, all with different trigger ranges.  You can also configure multiple sensors to have their own warning, safe state and shutdown triggers.
To add an audio alarm for a warning, safe state or shutdown
In AVA, click on the File tab, select Settings from the list on the left, and then click the General Settings tab on the right. Tick the box ‘Use sound notifications’, then use the drop-downs to select sounds to alert you when warnings, safe states or shutdowns have been activated.  (You can pick different sounds for each.)  You can use the ‘Test’ buttons to test the sound.

What safety features does AVA have?

In addition to automation enabling you to reduce manual errors and run unattended experiments safely, AVA offers a variety of safety settings that you can choose from to suit your application:
Set global device limits
For example, you can set maximum and minimum temperature, as appropriate for your devices (equipment) and process.This restricts what each device can be set to in AVA.
Set step overrides
For example, you can set an addition step to temporarily stop if the temperature increases beyond a certain point.
Set device warnings
Be alerted (visually by the reading turning yellow in the Apparatus window, with optional/additional audio alarm) if a chosen sensor reading is out of a user-defined range, but the reaction continues unless you manually stop it.
Set a safe state
If a specified sensor reading is out of a user-defined range, all devices in that particular reaction tab go into a user-defined safe mode (e.g. pump stops, circulator cools and overhead stirrer continues at a set speed). You can add a sound to warn you that a safe state has been activated, in addition to the default visual notification.
Set a shutdown
All devices in all reaction tabs are stopped (and a message appears on the screen to inform you of the situation) if a chosen sensor reading is out of a range you defined. For further information on each of these options, please see the individual FAQs on this website, or the AVA Help pages accessed via AVA Software itself (which is free to download in demonstration mode here).

Does the Data Hub come with the required cables?

The Data Hub includes all required non-device-specific cables, such as an Ethernet cable to connect the Data Hub to the laptop/PC.  The following parts are supplied with the Data Hub:
  • RR20210: Data Hub Power Supply
  • RR20212: Ethernet Cable – Network – Straight Through, 3m
  • RR20214: Ethernet Cable – PC – Cross Over, 2m
Please note that you will still need to ensure you have the correct RS232 cable for connecting your specific device to the Data Hub.

In the AVA Schedule, how long is a pause? Can you change the duration of the pause?

A pause command added to an AVA Schedule step doesn’t correspond to a set time period such as 1 minute.  Instead, when a pause is activated, a message is displayed on the screen and the experiment is paused until you click the Continue button to allow the experiment to resume. If you simply press the pause button (rather than adding a pause command to the Schedule), the pause lasts until you press the play button to resume the experiment. You can read about the pause function in the AVA help pages (accessed via the AVA software itself – it’s free to download a demo version) – just type ‘pause’ in the AVA help search box.

Is there a gap/pause between steps in the AVA Schedule?

When you view the AVA Schedule, you will see a very small gap shown in between steps. This is simply how the steps are visually displayed on AVA, for clear viewing. There is no delay between steps when you run the Schedule – each step will begin immediately after the preceding step.

Can AVA be used on a Windows tablet computer, with no cables?

To run an experiment in AVA (control real devices), the computer running AVA must be connected via a cable to a Data Hub, which is connected by cables to the devices – it cannot communicate wirelessly. You do not need the computer to be connected if you simply want to use demo mode, set up equipment within AVA, write recipes or analyse data.

What are the laptop/PC requirements for AVA?

As stated on the AVA download web page, the computer requirements for AVA are:
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP SP2/3, Microsoft Windows 7, 8 and 10.
  • CPU: Duo Core 1.9 GHz processor
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM minimal; 4 GB RAM recommended
  • Hard disk: 30 GB minimal; 5400 rpm
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
  • Language: English only
Additional information:
  • Microsoft .Net drivers required
  • Internet 8 Explorer or equivalent required
  • To install AVA you must have full administrative rights on your computer
  • Once a licence is activated on a PC it is not possible to move it
If you order an AVA Software Kit, an appropriate laptop, already configured for AVA, will be included.

How can I set up monitoring or control of pH in AVA?

With an AVA level 4 licence, you can monitor a pH meter/probe and also control additions of acid or base (by a peristaltic pump) via the measured pH. If you do not have a level 4 licence, you can still explore these options using the demo mode. If you simply want to view and log pH, in the AVA software add a pH probe (pH meter) to the miscellaneous zone (the top right grey box in the Apparatus window). This pH measurement can be used to ensure a safe system (e.g. use it for a step override or to trigger a safe state) – please see the separate FAQ entries on AVA safety features for further details. If you would like to make a controlled addition of acid or base in order to maintain or change pH, then you will need to use the additions zone (the bottom right grey box in the Apparatus window):
  • First, add a (peristaltic) pump to the additions zone.
  • Below it (in the same box) add the pH probe (pH meter).
  • Select whether you are adding acid or base.
  • You can now set a pH setpoint or ramp (in either the Apparatus or Schedule windows).
N.B. Please see the separate FAQs entry ‘What parts do I need to add a pH meter/probe to my Reactor-Ready or other jacketed lab reactor?’ for the part numbers of pH equipment compatible with AVA.
Important
Please note, a peristaltic pump is required for the pH control described above. It is not possible to link a syringe pump to a pH probe/meter in AVA to control pH using a syringe.

Can I control multiple reactions at the same time in AVA?

Yes, this is possible.
Per instance of software (open AVA program window), you can run up to 4 reactions at the same time (including 2 Reactor-Ready Duos).
Each reaction tab can be configured and controlled separately using a mixture of control modes (Apparatus or Schedule).  However, all the data will be recorded together in one file. Please also note that, AVA will initiate communication with all devices (all tabs) as soon as you start anything running, so they all must be set up correctly and switched on before starting; furthermore, once a reaction is running, it is not possible to add any more devices to any of the reaction tabs.
For true independent control of different reactions, you can open AVA again to create a second instance of AVA.
Using a second instance means you can configure devices for one reaction in one instance whilst another reaction/instance is running, as the data etc. is in a separate file. Please note, you can only open a maximum of 2 instances of AVA per computer. (Please see the separate FAQ entry on Reactor-Ready Duo and AVA.)

What is the maximum volume of your syringe pump (for AVA)?

For use with AVA Software, we sell:
  • RR20504: Syringe Pump Additions Module which contains –
  • RR20418: Single Syringe Pump, plus accessories.
This syringe pump can accept up to a full 60 ml syringe, or, if this is not large enough, a 140 ml syringe partially filled (around 120-125 ml).

What is the flow rate range of your peristaltic pump (for AVA)?

For use with AVA Software, we sell:
  • RR20500: Gravimetric Additions Module, which contains
  • RR20400: Peristaltic Pump 400 rpm 2000 ml/min, together with a balance and accessories.
The speed range of the RR20400 peristaltic pump is 3 rpm to 400 rpm.  The flow rate is affected by on the diameter of the tubing. The standard tubing included in RR20500 is:
  • (RR20407: Marprene Tubing 1.6 mm Bore 1.6 mm Wall 5 m) corresponds to a flow rate (using water at 20°C) of 0.81-110 ml/min.
If you need a lower flow rate, we can supply (as custom) alternative tubing with a smaller bore to use with the peristaltic pump.  0.8 mm bore gives a flow rate of 0.21-28 ml/min; 0.5 m bore corresponds to the range 0.09-12 ml/min. If you need a higher flow rate, we can supply custom tubing with a larger bore.  The maximum flow rate of 2000 ml/min corresponds to tubing with a 8.0 mm bore.

I have multiple (parallel) reactions in AVA. How do I start them all at the same time?

If you have multiple, parallel reactions set up in AVA (in one AVA software instance/window), you can view a summary of all the reactions together in the ‘Overview’ tab (which is between the ‘Reporting’ and ‘Reaction 1’ tabs). In the Schedule section of the ‘Overview’ tab, there is a play (triangle) button to start all reactions, and a stop (square) button to stop all reactions.
For further details, please refer to the AVA help pages (which are accessed via the AVA software itself, a demo version of which can be downloaded for free from our website here).

What cable do I need to connect my Huber unit to a Data Hub and AVA software?

You will need an RS232 cable to connect your Huber unit to the Data Hub and so AVA. There are different types of RS232 cable, and it’s important that you select the correct one. For new Huber Unistats with Pilot ONE controller, you will need part number HB55018. This has a 15-pin end for connecting to the Huber, and a 9-pin end for connecting to the Data Hub. For more basic or older Huber models, the cable is usually part number HB6146, which is 9 pin at both ends. However, please contact us with the model and serial number of your unit, so we can confirm.

I’m running a Schedule in AVA, but something unexpected happens, e.g. the temperature suddenly drops. What could be the cause?

It’s probable that there is a very short step in your Schedule that is too small for you to see at your current zoom level. Try zooming in on the Schedule (using the scroll bar at the bottom right of the AVA window) to see if there are any small steps (e.g. for a different temperature) that explain your observation.  You can also create the Rich Text Format report of your experiment file (see FAQs for further details) and review the recipe (which lists all steps in the Schedule, no matter now small) and the event log (what actually occurred in practice). You may have accidentally inserted such tiny steps into the Schedule if you made quick changes manually in the Apparatus window while AVA was running in Schedule mode.  Any changes you make in Apparatus are recorded and then will be present when you run the Schedule next time, as part of AVA’s ‘track and repeat’ functionality. However, note that while you can make instant changes in the Apparatus window, when experiments are later being played in the Schedule they can have end conditions as standard, which have to be fulfilled in order for AVA to move on to the next step.  For example, you may briefly change the circulator temperature setpoint in the Apparatus window and quickly change it back, but when the Schedule with new added temperature control step is replayed, its default settings will require that now AVA waits for the specified temperature to be achieved before the step moves on. To prevent this issue:
  • Ensure all users are aware that making changes in the Apparatus window can change the Schedule in this way. When running a Schedule, they should avoid making changes in the Apparatus window.
  • Before you run an experiment, we advise that you generate the Rich Text Format report, and carefully review the recipe line by line to identify any steps that should not be there.
  • You can then go to the AVA Schedule window and delete/edit any incorrect steps.
  • Another suggestion would be to run the experiment in demo mode to check it before running it with actual chemistry.

I’m in the middle of a ramp step in AVA and the device has unexpectedly stopped ramping. Why?

This indicates that the experiment is paused. It’s possible that another device, in a step set to end during the ramp, is waiting for end conditions to be met before it can finish and move on to the next step, as this would pause the Schedule.  This is shown on the right hand side of the example below. Here, the circulator cannot heat fast enough to reach its end setpoint in the specified time.  As the default end conditions for a circulator step are for both duration and setpoint to be achieved, the step cannot immediately move on.  Meanwhile, the overhead stirrer, which is ramping, is paused at its current stirring speed. Please search these FAQs for the key words ‘end conditions’ and ‘pause’ for related entries with further details.

How can I view my AVA licence number and level?

Within the AVA software, click on the ‘File’ tab (top left) and then ‘Help’.  This page will show you the details of the licence you have activated (if any), as well as the expiry date of your AVA Care. You can also see your AVA licence level at the top right of the AVA software window.  If no licence is activated, you will only see the ‘Demo’ and ‘Upgrade’ icons.

How can I get the new version of AVA? Is it free?

You can update your AVA software from for free, as long as you have valid AVA Care or are only using the demo version. You can download it from our website. You will need to uninstall AVA v1.0 from your computer (via Windows Control Panel) before you then install the new version.
Important: If you have already purchased an AVA licence (rather than just using the demo version), you should only should only install AVA if you have valid AVA Care.
To check whether your AVA Care is in date or expired, open up the AVA software, click ‘Help’ on the left hand side, and view your ‘AVA Care Support’ dates under the licence information. AVA Care is a special package that entitles you to free software updates as well as priority technical support. If your AVA Care has expired and you would like to renew to make use of these benefits, please contact our Customer Service team at sales@radleys.co.uk.

Which additional devices (lab equipment) can I use with AVA v1.1?

AVA software update v1.1 is compatible with even more equipment than the original AVA v1.0. The additional devices you can control with AVA v1.1 are as follows:
  • Cole-Parmer Masterflex peristaltic pumps
  • Heidolph Hei-FLOW Precision peristaltic pumps
  • Watson-Marlow 530Du peristaltic pump
  • Heidolph Hei-TORQUE overhead stirrers
  • Sartorius Entris balances
  • Jenway 3520 pH meter
  • Knick 703 conductivity meter
  • M+W Instruments (Bronkhorst) MASS-STREAM gas monitors
  • Omega PXM409 pressure transducer
The final three devices listed are new device types (not just models) for AVA. All the other devices that were compatible with AVA v1.0 are still compatible with AVA v1.1. Note that, with all versions of AVA, you can only control third party devices if you have purchased a level 4 licence.  (In the demo version, you can simulate control of all devices.)

What’s new in the AVA update v1.1?

In November 2016 we launched a new version of AVA: v1.1. This updated version of AVA brings a number of benefits:
  • New device drivers – you can control more laboratory equipment than ever before, including new device categories such as conductivity meters.
  • Step end conditions tolerances – specify how close to the setpoint you need to be before the step is considered complete.
  • Physical device set-up information – more help with configuring your devices to enable them to communicate with AVA.
  • Wider ranges for device settings – a wider range of PID values possible for advanced control, wider speed ranges for peristaltic pumps, a wider pH range possible for sensing/control, and an increased maximum hotplate temperature range.
  • Increased warnings (to provide more information – e.g. AVA Care expiry).
  • Some minor bug fixes.
You can download AVA v1.1 from our website.  Note: if you have purchased an AVA licence, you will only be able to use v1.1 if your AVA Care is valid.  Please see our other FAQ posts for further information.

Are AVA experiment files from different software versions compatible?

You can use experiment files created in AVA v1.0 in AVA v1.1. (Note that in some cases, drivers may change when you open the old file in new AVA – e.g. an RZR driver may switch to the new Hei-TORQUE + RZR driver.) However, experiment files created in AVA v1.1 will not work in v1.0.

What’s the difference between an AVA update and an AVA upgrade?

An AVA update refers to a new version of AVA, with bug fixes and additional features.  If you have valid AVA Care Support, you can update your AVA software for free.  The current version of AVA is v1.1. An AVA upgrade refers to moving between AVA software levels.  AVA software is available in four levels.  As the level increases, you are able to control additional device types.  If you have purchased an AVA licence level 1, 2 or 3, you can pay to upgrade to a higher level for more functionality.

I’ve updated AVA from v1.0 to v1.1, but I now can’t control my equipment. What’s wrong?

If you had purchased an AVA licence and then later updated your AVA software version from v1.0 to v1.1, and you have lost your control functionality (can only use demo mode), it is likely that your AVA Care had expired. To check your AVA Care expiry date, open up the AVA software, click on ‘Help’ on the bottom left, and then view the ‘AVA Care Support’ dates under the licence information. AVA Care is a special package that entitles you to free software updates as well as priority technical support. If your AVA Care has expired and you would like to renew to make use of these benefits, please contact our Customer Service team at sales@radleys.co.uk. Otherwise, you will need to uninstall AVA v1.1, and reinstall AVA v1.0 from our website.

What cable do I need to connect my Heidolph hotplate to a Data Hub and AVA?

Your hotplate needs to have an RS232 port (interface) – so it must be either the Hei-Connect or the Hei-End model. There are different types of RS232 cables.  It is vital you use the right one for your specific device.
For the Heidolph Hei-Connect hotplate, the correct RS232 cable is:
  • 14-007-040-72: Interface Cable RS232 Hei-Connect
For the Heidolph Hei-End hotplate, the correct RS232 cable is:
  • 14-007-045-17: Interface Cable RS232 Hei-End

What cable do I need to connect my Heidolph overhead stirrer to a Data Hub and software system?

Your overhead stirrer motor needs to have an RS232 port (interface). You will need an RS232 cable to connect it to an RS232 port on the Data Hub.
There are different types of RS232 cables. It is vital you use the right one for your specific device. For Heidolph RZR stirrers with RS232 interface, the correct RS232 cable is:
  • 14-007-045-17: Interface Cable RS232
For older Heidolph Hei-TORQUE Precision stirrers with RS232 interface, the correct RS232 cable is:
  • 14-007-040-66: Interface Cable RS232 (3m)
For current Heidolph Hei-TORQUE Precision stirrers, the correct RS232 cable is:
  • 14-007-040-72: RS232 Interface Cable – 9pin to 9pin