Meet us at Infocomm - Vectorworks booth #4226

June 2017

connectCAD at Infocomm17

Find out all you'd like to know about about connectCAD at Infocomm 2017, June 14-16 at Orlando Florida, Orange County Convention Center - at the Vectorworks booth #4226.

Special manufactures training session on Thursday, June 15 from 10:30am – 12pm
“Simplify Your Systems Integration Design and Documentation Workflow“
This presentation covers the workflow between Vectorworks and connectCAD.
It is hosted by Jim Woodward, Vectorworks Industry Specialist
and Chuck Walthall, connectCAD US Support Consultant, Audiovisual Consultant & Designer.
You may register here 


Also meet Chuck Walthall and get connectCAD's special Infocomm usb stick!

connectCAD usb stick

AV designer Justin Linville from Provision Audio Video Solutions describes how connectCAD facilitated the process of audiovisual integration in a new church facility.

May 2017

House of Worship AV design with connectCAD
Photo credit: Provision AudioVideo Solutions

“From the start of this project, we talked about digital audio networks and integrating all the spaces in a way that would make it really easy to configure whatever audio paths were needed going from one location to another. We used a variety of Dante-based interfaces to get audio in and out at various locations, and that really added a big big level of versatility to the whole project. There was a lot of the design that looked very very similar to network topology, so we had to plan certain switches, and we had to plan all the cable paths and the interconnections really meticulously, so there was a lot from the beginning that really added to the complexity of the design.”

“Because of the way this project evolved over time, we sort of evolved the system design with the industry offerings. We had a lot of options in terms of flexibility, and because of the various in and out points of the a/v network, we had to develop a very concise plan before heading into installation. This is where the connectCAD tool came in and really made a difference. For example, every time you change one component in a typical CAD system, you have to go in there and redraw all the connections, and you have to reconfigure all your routing paths etc. But, on the connectCAD system, with all of the tools that are available (and ever-growing), that becomes a real breeze. So, I can take a 40 mic/line input module and use the ‘multi-connect’ tool to get all 40 of my connections in about 2 seconds; whereas with the conventional CAD approach that would take an hour to redraw all 40 of these connections and get them properly labeled and assigned.”
Read the full story in our blog

Meet us at NAB show 2017 - booth #SL6324

April 2017

If you are visiting the NAB show 2017, 22-27 April in Las Vegas, you are invited to stop by the MAXON -Vectorworks/connectCAD booth #SL6324. Explore streamlined Audio Visual design workflow from room layouts to schematic designs.

From room layouts to schematic designs, explore streamlined Audio Visual design workflow

If you are visiting the NAB show 2017, 22-27 April in Las Vegas, you are invited to stop by the MAXON - Vectorworks booth #SL6324.

Meet up with the Spotlight staff, who will demonstrate how to work smarter and more efficiently and best practices for audio visual system design & documentation, from layouts, to 2D/ 3D presentations, schematics and even bill of materials.

If you are not currently using Spotlight + connectCAD and for more personalized solutions, you can also book a demo presentation during the dates of the show.  

See you at the NAB!

connectCAD 2017 version 2: Save hours of data entry with connectCAD’s online Device Sharing

March 2017

connectCAD 2017 version 2 is released, taking audio visual design to the next level.

Conrad Preen, AV designer & connectCAD’s developer, comments: “Nobody likes filling in forms, particularly a humungous one like Device Builder with all its mind-boggling details. As designers, we can’t get away from spec sheets & data entry, but at least we can share the work between us.

DevBuilderv2

Upgraded Device Builder

In connectCAD 2017, as you create devices in Device Builder, all specs get uploaded to connectCAD’s shared library and are then available to other designers who’ll want to use the same device at any later time. Already there are more than 200 regularly-used devices in the database and more are being added every day by connectCAD’ers from all over the planet.

This way, when creating a new device for your project, you can just browse the community database from within the Device Builder tool, write a name for your device, select the make, select the model and immediately all the details are loaded, so the device is ready in your schematic in just 20 seconds!
If your device cannot be found, or if some specs are missing, you can fill out all details, click Upload and contribute to the Shared Device Library. So, if all designers contribute to this library, soon data entry will be a thing of the past.

To make things even easier, connectCAD offers an automatically updated list of all device definitions uploaded to the shared library. Instead of searching in each manufacturer’s website, you can now browse through a multitude of devices all gathered together in our support site Device List .

Device Sharing is a community service hosted on connectCAD.com, a revolutionary way to make system design process faster than ever before. As you work, life keeps on getting easier.

New Connect Tool in connectCAD for Vectorworks

New Connect Tool

In connectCAD 2017 version 2 we’ve introduced our new Connect tool which follows all standard Vectorworks user-interface conventions – a faster, smoother, more intuitive alternative to our current tool, a small taste of connectCAD 2018.

We want to clarify a point regarding upgrades -

An upgrade to an existing licence is not an additional licence

Buying an upgrade gives you access to a more recent version of our software but not the right to deploy both versions in active service. If you need an extra licence we will sell you one at a fair price. We try to place as few technical restrictions as possible on your use of our software. Our job is to make your life easier and we work hard at it improving our products. We want to be fair both to you our customers but also to ourselves so we can continue to provide a great service.

As a company we remain faithful to our belief in the fundamental good nature of human beings and broadly speaking our experience confirms this 100%. But there are exceptions so we have now changed our Terms & Conditions and in future when a licence is upgraded and the new licence is activated we will revoke prior serial numbers.

We hope that this will not be the cause of difficulties to existing customers the vast majority of whom play fair. We will always make the best endeavour to assist. I feel it is a shame when the many good people in this world have to suffer from the actions of a very few who are trying to take advantage of our trust.

Conrad Preen

Managing Director

Pentagon Transitions Analog to Digital with KLC networks & connectCAD

A story by connectCAD client Zachary Manning from KLC networks, published in Sound & Communications magazine

March 2017

The Pentagon Analog to Digital Upgrade with connectCAD and VectorworksUpgrading an analog video teleconference system to a modern digital fiber-based installation might seem fairly straightforward, but when the client is the US Department of Defense and the location is the Pentagon itself, and the role of the system nothing less than the backup should the Pentagon ever be disabled or go offline, things are very different indeed. 

[...] “The project was further complicated by having a very short window of time in which to take the legacy system offline. Since this is an auxiliary site and there are various global events in which our DoD may have involvement or interest in, the reality is that the room may have been needed at any given time were something of interest to occur. The pressure was extensive to say the least.”

The project itself involved an analog to digital upgrade (both HdBase-T and Multi-mode Fiber) of the video infrastructure with a large-scale video distribution system. The DoD demanded a mission-critical system that could flawlessly distribute content locally (26 operators) and to 46 overflow offices. 

Since this was an upgrade and expansion to an existing system, the primary objective was to upgrade the current system to a digital solution with the additional capability to push content to 46 overflow offices. Integrating a soft codec solution into the system while implementing a simple and user-friendly control interface were also essential objectives.

During the design process, Chris and I had various sessions collaborating with the client in order to survey the facility and discuss objectives and limitations. Because of funding and the nature of how that funding is released we ended up with a fairly mercurial project that kept growing in budget and in scope. Initially we were simply doing a VTC room with voice lift and a video wall, and support for a handful of PC to be displayed on said video wall.

Fast forward several months and the requirements had grown: we had soft-VTC integration with an SX80, USB pc audio, and a large amount of fiber outputs that would feed remote offices for passive viewing of DoD briefings and closed circuit cams to be integrated.”

Using Vectorworks fitted with the connectCAD plugin as our primary design tools, we proceeded to develop a system design, bill of materials and quote. In a project like this where goals and scope change as the project evolves, software flexibility played an important role. Once the design process was complete, system drawings, riser drawings, pathway drawings, pull lists and a number of other documents were passed to the customer for review and approval by their personnel. Vectorworks with connectCAD facilitated the entire design and installation process. The impact of a sound design increased the time and monetary savings exponentially as the project rolled out.

System design documentation was updated continuously throughout the building process as a contingency effort to maintain sufficient records in case the system had to be put in use and to expedite the sign off process.

Due to the condensed nature of the project it was critical that we reuse what was already in place to save time and manage cost.

Read the full story in Sound & Communications magazine

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