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Devices with Modular Cards

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Hi All-


I am new to ConnectCAD and struggling to understand the best workflow for devices with modular cards.


Examples are the Barco E2 and disguise VX4. Both of these devices have slots for modular input/output cards. As far as I can tell in ConnectCAD I have two options:


1- Maintain an instance of the device with every possible card combination.


2- Create a device, but do not put in a rack. Create a "Rack Frame" with the same device name, and put my modular cards into that frame?


My opinion is:


1- Is extremely clunky to manage so many possible permutations. So that's out.


2- Is also very clunky. It doesn't give me a while to decide how my equipment looks in the rack elevation.


I guess I'm looking to be able to make a device that is behaves like a rack frame, where it is has a couple slots for modular cards to insert into. Is this workflow possible?

rack elevation.PNG

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@CharlesDAppreciate your opinion! Thanks for that - it was very motivating!


So, onwards to your actual question:


On 7/31/2021 at 9:32 PM, CharlesD said:

I'm looking to be able to make a device that is behaves like a rack frame, where it is has a couple slots for modular cards to insert into. Is this workflow possible?


First off let's get some terminology straight. In ConnectCAD when we refer to "device" we mean an object on a wiring schematic with sockets that you can connect up. On layout drawings where we represent physical equipment we use the term "equipment item" to refer to the physical aspect of the schematic device which has the same name.


Let's tackle schematic devices first. Of course it makes no sense to have every card combination for these "mix and match" kind of systems. So what you can do is create a (schematic) device for each card and chassis unit. On the schematic you can group these so they are easy to move around.


On the layout I would suggest using a rack frame for the main chassis and giving it the same name as the corresponding device on the schematic. Then you can show your module config on the layout by drag-dropping cards into the frame slots.


Does that work? of have these particular manufacturers thrown us a curve ball?



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@Conrad Preen a few follow ups here:


1- Thanks for the clarification. Devices = Schematic. Equipment Item = Rack Elevation / Layout


2- Can you please elaborate on a suggestion for how to "group these so they are easy to move around"? Are you referring to the way they are represented on the schematic? Or something else?


3- I think it's possible that part of my problem is the way CC operates on equipment items. Is it not possible to treat equipment items like a symbol wherein if I make a change to the visual appearance of all of them?


4- Most of my projects get built off of the rack elevations, so I'd like to be able to control the look of devices very carefully on the rack elevation. I would rather the ability to place a "card slot" object into a device and have it accept modular devices, in the way that a rack frame does. Take a look at the attached image. That is my goal.


5- Does CC do any of its counting based on the 2d or 3d equipment layouts? Or are those strictly visual? I was worried I was going to end up with extraneous "rack frame" devices on reports. Additionally I wanted to be able to generate a "configuration" report. So it would be a list of all selected devices with what modular devices are assigned to them.


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi @CharlesD


Answers 🙂


1. Yes Devices are on Schematics. Equipment Item are on Rack Elevation / Layout drawings


2. You can group Devices if you want. So something that has a central unit plus various modules could be represented on a schematic as a group of Devices. Connect is fine with this.


3. Actually no. You can set an Equipment Item to use a symbol for its graphics if you so wish. Screenshot 2021-08-20 at 17.54.17.png


4. Certainly a useful thought.


5. ConnectCAD offers various reports as standard. But you are not limited to these. You can use the Vectorworks Create Report command to set up any kind of report on drawing objects. You ony have to do this once. You can save your report in your own version of the template and have it available in every drawing.


If that doesn't give you exactly what you need you can refine the workflow using scripts. The really is no limit.





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