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.”
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.
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 -
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.
Upgrading 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.
In the last few days we have implemented secure connections at connectcad.com. This step makes sure that all information you send to us on our website is encrypted while it travels across the Internet and is becoming mandatory for all sites. Very soon we will also be rolling out SSL for our support and blog websites.
To support this we have released an upgrade (1.6) to connectCAD 2017 that corrects the activation URL adding https:// instead of http: If you are on 1.5 and below you can either upgrade or simply coreect the URL in your browser to https:// and the activation form will work.
Your security is important to us. Even though we do not keep or handle any sensitive information like credit cards numbers we still want you to be confident when using our store that every measure has been taken.
If you have any doubts or questions concerning our website security don't hesitate to get in touch.