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Hoist functionality question

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Hi all, I’m getting really frustrated with the lack of documentation / explanation of what Vectorworks can or can not do.


For example, I can build a truss, convert it to a lighting position, and hang lights on it.

VW will then give me it’s combined weight. 

If I use the cable tools and have cable weights included, it will add these weights as well. 


I can then add hoists to the list;

however, despite the hoists being linked to the truss, they do not recognise the weight of the truss.

(I see no reason why this cannot be within the capabilities of VW, even without the structural analysis that may be offered by brace works.)


I have found no explanation of what is offered with brace works, and what features can be done with standalone VW spotlight.

It appears that users are left to their own resources to work out what features are hidden away within the software.


So, my question would be:

Where do I find out what functionality is offered by VW, and where do I find out how to utilise it?


Can VW calculate the load on each hoist?

Is this a functionality reserved for brace works?

Where is this explained?


I would happily RTFM; I'm half way though a 48 hour layover in Jeddah KSA with time to kill - PLEASE, PLEASE send me a link!

Thanks in advance.

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You see, this is exactly my problem. 
Nobody knows where the feature set of the software is laid identified. Nobody knows what add-on unlocks what functionality!

I've added the 'system check all objects' menu item to Spotlight, and it does work... sort of. 

it checks the system, but gives me the error "the suspension point is not attached" even though if I change the truss' height, the motor updates in 3d views - how do I fix that? (It's not documented anywhere!)


Braceworks is referred to in the workflow tutorials mentioned above, but they really skim over the facts; especially when there are so many questions.

As for youtube, I have not found a single useful tutorial that references hoists in Spotlight or Braceworks.


This is a big problem to me. 

It's all very well to continue to develop the software, but no effort what so ever is going in to explaining the developments. 

I like to think of myself as computer literate, but I am not a full time draughtsman, and I simply do not have time to go through the forums / help files / youtube videos where I may or may not find help to work out how (or even whether it is possible) to do what should be simple tasks. 


I would love to know whether brace works is worth my investment, but at the moment I cannot find out what it does, or how; all I do know is it offers a bunch of stuff way more complicated than I need.

There is no manual whatsoever; and no support. 


I am approaching the end of my first year of VSS, and considering whether it is worth continuing, or whether I should count my losses and return to Autocad - which at least has proper support and manuals.

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