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Wire/Cable Type?


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As a user moving from the autocad-based WireCAD to ConnectCAD, I am finding I can customize and tweak to get the functionality we are used to, finding often ConnectCAD has better ways to accomplish things we were forced to do a certain way... but there is one thing I am still struggling with - how do you note the type of wire/cable used for a circuit?  The Cable: field works okay, except 1: we started using that for the friendly signal name rather than wire type and 2: when using it for wire type, it would be helpful if we had to select from a list of choices. To many variations when the user just types in the wire type.

So interested in what others are doing?  Is there any plans to add user fields to the circuit_rec? Or a WireType field and .txt config file?

Thank you for any insight!

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi,

 

First off all I'm glad you're finding ConnectCAD friendlier than WireCAD. You are not the first by any means. So, wire/cable types...

 

Generally speaking it makes more sense to setup your Sys-Circuits-<sig type> classes to color Circuits by their Signal Type code than use the Cable field for friendly signal names. You can use the Legend object to explain the color code with friendly names of your choosing. Many people are comfortable with the idea of signal type being what determines cable type. Most of the time you run the same signal thru the same cable type anyway.

 

Other people use the Cable field for cable type, but it really depends on what you want displayed on the drawing.

 

And of course you can always add a custom parameter. Here's how you do that.

 

My point is this. There isn't a particular "right way" and that's just another example of the freedom and flexibility that people value in ConnectCAD.

 

Conrad

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  • 2 weeks later...

Conrad, I appreciate the information.  I have explored all three of the methods you layout, and while I know we may just need to adjust some of our workflow, I am still struggling with this a little.

  • Using Signal Type to define wire type - yes, in many cases one type of wire per signal is true.  But not always - just for example, we use 3 different types of HD-SDI cable on a large job.  I considered making 3 different signal types, but selecting signal types is already a really long list.  IF there was a way to quickly/better filter signal types, this might be a good option for us.
  • The Cable Field for wire type is flexible enough, but would be helpful if you could choose from an existing list or add to it - thus insuring we don't have 'RG-59', '1505a', 'Belden 1505a', '1505A', 'Belden 1505' all as wire types in a project.
  • The custom param on the equipment would lead to errors if both ends of the wire weren't the same and I wasn't seeing a way to pull that information into a cable worksheet, but I am not the most advanced on building worksheets.  Though I agree this could work for what we do if we standardize on receiving end defining the cable type or something.

We can obviously make this work, still just trying to figure the best way for us.  If anyone else has ideas or workflows that are working for them, I would love to hear!

Thank you

Jeff

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi Jeff,

 

I see your point. We will certainly look into that. There are two issues here:

  1.  Adding the cable-type as a parameter.
  2.  Optionally displaying this on the drawing.

I'm going to log this as an enhancement request.

 

Thanks for reaching out.

 

Conrad

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just adding my +1 for the request to have Cable Type (and Signal Type) appear as dropdown menus inside object info. 

 

Cable Types can just be another .txt file that we can edit like how Signal Types is. 

 

I too am struggling with myself and other designers on our team accidentally writing slightly different formats for the same cable type on the same diagram! This wreaks havoc when I export the cable database to Google Sheets for further processing, aside from being inconsistent on the diagram. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Adding + 1 for this,

We use to be able to add cable types and signal types in a txt file in the plug in but i can't find it.   It used to be in the connect cad plugin data folder and i could add what i wanted..

Edit: just found the files again however my custom plugs were lost in last update 😞

 

I have a bunch of old drawings with old plugs and sockets in them for custom jobs.

 

Also in the latest sp3 i think you have added some more cable and signal types.  It would be great to add power as a signal type and have a serices of connectors.

 

Also look to interface this with the cable tool (feeder cable, multi cable, data cable, jumper ets). or at least follow the same standards or layouts so you can use both a plan view drawing and schematic.

 

m

 

Edited by Mike Williams
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi Mike,

 

The user signal and connector types files are located in

 

Mac: /Users/<Username>/Library/Application\ Support/Vectorworks/2020/Plug-ins/connectCAD_Data

 

Windows: C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming\Nemetschek\Vectorworks\2020\Plug-ins\connectCAD_Data

 

In 2020 as part of Vectorworks now, we have changed things to match the Vectorworks way of doing things. Create corresponding SignalTypes.txt and ConnectorTypes.txt files in the User path and add your own signals and connectors here. These are appended to the data in the application folder. This is much better than editing the app folder because that gets replaced during a service pack upgrade.

 

Conrad

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Hi @Conrad Preen,

 

When I added ConnectorTypes and SignalTypes to this folder, instead of appending as you mentioned, they replaced the data in the application folder (when using the software). This is actually the behavior I prefer but is this normal?

 

The only reason I ask is because there is another ConnectCAD Devices DB.txt file that contains one or two user devices I've created, and on the contrary, this is appended to the data in the application folder. This relates to one of my outstanding questions in the thread I started where I'd like to only use my devices, and completely remove any that come default with the software. Thanks!

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Got it. Thanks for confirming! 

 

Perhaps a feature request: for those of us who have our own signal types, connectors or device layouts the default device DB automatically becomes a hinderance rather than a help.

 

It's an enormous amount of clutter since none of the devices match our signal types, preferred connector naming, or device layouts. Also a point of confusion for the more junior users on our teams since there are potentially multiples of certain devices (our way vs the default way) 

 

I'm not sure what the solution is but perhaps some sort of preference setting where the user database overrides the default database would do the trick, if possible. This also prevents us from having to remember to manually empty the default application folder database on multiple computers upon each software update. 

 

Anyway, for now I'll play with deleting that database at my own risk and will report back if there are any issues.

 

PS sorry for hijacking your thread!

 

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@Conrad PreenCan you also confirm where custom graphics styles and text styles need to be setup now.

 

i Have a series of con cad devices made in 2019.  that have custom symbols, they are made as custom socket labels.  

They used exist in the resource of the document under system_Symbols.  Currently if i update any of these or try and make new ones the custom graphics style brakes.

 

Thanks.

 

m

Screenshot 2020-04-27 at 15.23.49.png

Screenshot 2020-04-27 at 15.23.16.png

Screenshot 2020-04-27 at 15.22.51.png

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  • 8 months later...

Conrad,

I'm sure you have received lots of input on cable types and signal type associations... so here is my +1 🙂

 

Consider multicore cable types which carry power, control and possibly A/V signal together and how that is split at the sockets.

 

I echo comments above and suggest that limiting the cable types to choose from in a drop down list for a given signal type would be good, reducing the time to select the right one and reducing errors (eg. can't put 240V AC down a twisted pair / CAT5).

 

Being able to add/change the cable type through a report would be great. E.g select al the data cables in a project within a worksheet and set to CAT5... then be advised that the building infrastructure is CAT6, then a simple change in the worksheet fixes that.

 

I appreciate all the work you and the team are putting into this great product.

 

R

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi all,

 

Adding a Big +1 here. 

 

I regularly create drawings with multi-line cables of up to 32 +/-/G sets for large audio installations.  A Canare MR202-32AT cable might come out of a terminal block in a rack and run to another terminal block in a rack in a different location.  With the terminal block device, I can use a single cable to represent one of the 32 sets, but if that runs to another rack, I have to connect 32 terminal blocks individually on each end.  As well, it does not allow me to represent the MR202-32AT as a single cable, but only as 32 separate 25awg cable sets. 

 

I know this is a big ask, but it would be nice to identify the cable type, and select how many lines it has.  Then somehow have a break-out/break-in point at the line termination.  

 

As an example, a 32 set cable that runs to a terminal block in a rack is labelled xxxx.  When you click to connect it to a device, it recognizes the number of lines in the cable, and then asks for 32 different connections.  Labelling each of those connections in turn xxxx/1, xxxx/2, xxxx/3, etc.

 

I could create this as a separate device, but I don't want to confuse any of the installers.  

 

I've attached a small example of the things I convert from our designers.  They use CAD, but we use VWX, so I re-draw them so it can be viewed on one drawing for the end user.

 

Any sort of cable type selection, or as mentioned previously in this thread, a .txt file that can be edited would be a great start.

 

Comments?

 

Thanks

 

James Chipman

 

 

 

 

cable example.jpg

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

As you know the ConnectCAD team listen very carefully. And we are moving forwards with all these matters. The input you give here is very very much appreciated. And the time you take to create pictures illustrating these points is well worth it.

 

It's the enthusiasm of this community that keeps me and my team working to make ConnectCAD the best.

 

Thank you all!

 

Conrad

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all,

 

Just another quick blurb regarding this.

 

In a more direct look at the issues in this thread, here is a partial solution I have come up with regarding cable types.

 

My problem stems from my requirement to maintain existing cable numbers from the original drawing, adding a new numbering system that follows an established standard (ANSI TIA 606-B), displaying the cable type, and creating a visual reference to signal flow using color.  Unfortunately this requires 4 parameters where ConnectCAD only has three.

 

My work around turned out to be creating new line types for cable types.  Then color coding the signal type for the particular flow of a connection.  e.g. I may have a network signal for a Dante system, and a network signal for QSYS, or Waves Soundgrid.  All run on the same type of cable, but different signal types.  

 

I created a line type for Beldin CAT7-4P and then in classes, select the line type and color for each signal.

 

This allows me to specify the cable type for each connection, and maintain a color reference for signal type, creating an easy visual reference.

 

That being said, it would be great to have a drop down menu for signal type when selecting the circuit.  While a device connection can be edited to default a signal type, the attached image shows two different signal types in one patch bay for RJ45.  Don't really want to have to customize each patch bay, but rather select each signal type once the connections are made without having to reference the classes to remember what the signal name is for a particular cable.  (lots of different audio signals, with the same color, but many different cable types)

 

Hope this helps.....

 

James

line type.jpg

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi James

 

ANSI TIA 606-B is an interesting one. The challenge is that it stipulates a different cable number at either end of the cable. I guess that is handy for inter-area cables but for cabling within the same room it adds an extra wrinkle to installation. But since it is a standard I will put it on the map to support it.

 

Luck to us!

 

Conrad

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