Circuits are the objects that put the ‘connect’ into connectCAD. They represent connections between sockets in devices. So let’s see how they work.
We have two fields for cable identification:
- Number – the classic cable number label shown in blue here
- Cable ID – in the diamond shape.
The thinking behind this is: you need a circuit label for each wire in a system. But sometimes those wires are running in a multi-core snake so it’s useful to be able to show which circuits are part of which snake.
But that’s just one use of the Cable ID field – other people use it for cable type. It doesn’t really matter as long as you are consistent.
Source and Destination info
The Circuit detects the sockets at its end points and gets information about the sockets and devices. So we display:
- Src_Dev_Name – source device name
- Src_Skt_Name – source socket name
- Src_Skt_Conn – source socket connector type
- Dst_Dev_Name – destination device name
- Dst_Skt_Name – destination socket name
- Dst_Skt_Conn – destination socket connector type
Dragging a Circuit around on the drawing causes it to re-detect sockets so that the connection info above is always correct. If one or other socket can’t be found the Circuit is colored red and marked DISCONNECTED.
The number of circuits represented by the object gets calculated from the multi-circuit parameters of the sockets. If one socket has a greater number than the other then the lesser number is applied.
Signal is also calculated from the socket signal types. If both are the same then the Circuit signal is defined otherwise the Circuit is set to ??? to show that the signal is unknown. If one socket is marked as passive (signal type —) then the active socket determines the Circuit’s signal type.
If the signal type can’t be evaluated then the field becomes editable so that you can enter the correct signal type.
You can adjust the look of Circuits to be polyline, rounded (shown here), or arrows. And you do it simply from this dropdown menu. The rounded style is conventionally used when you have several circuits running along the same path forming a buss.
Arrow-style circuits are used when the two sockets you are connecting up are widely separated on the drawing, or where a polyline would cross over other circuits in a visually confusing manner. The entire connection comprises two objects: the Circuit and the Reverse Arrow. The Circuit does all the work. The Reverse Arrow is just there to visually indicate the end point. The two parts are linked so that if you delete one the other automatically deletes.
You have some control over the size and shape of arrows. You see the small blue rectangle towards the end of the arrow? That is a grab handle, and if you drag that with the mouse you can change the shape of the arrow. The same is possible with the Reverse Arrow.
Hovering the mouse over a Circuit or its Reverse Arrow shows you where the other part is. Normally the highlight color is orange but you set that up in the Vectorworks Preferences.
Circuits between layers and external Links are basically just re-styled arrows. Instead of an arrowhead they have a pill-shaped box with the label inside. In these cases the Circuit Style dropdown is disabled and a fixed choice is set because obviously you can’t change these to anything else.