This menu has the commands relating to equipment and cable lists, and labeling.
Make JF Strips
This draws a set of jackfield designation strips on the JF Strips layer (if the layer doesn’t exist the command creates it automatically). You can select the type of jackfield from the drop-down list displayed. In some systems it can be convenient to use tags instead of names on the designation strips.
Jackfield definitions are stored in a text file called ‘JFData.txt’ located in ‘..\connectCAD\Data\’. You can edit this to add your own jackfields.
Make TP Strips
This draws a set of term-panel (or demarc) designation strips on the TP Strips layer in a similar manner to the jackfields discussed above.
Term-panel definitions are stored in a text file called ‘TPData.txt’ located in ‘..\connectCAD\Data\’. You can edit this to add your own term-panels
Make Cable Labels
This dialog allows you decide how the labels will be formatted for printing. Let’s see the options:
- Set the name of the worksheet which the command will produce.
- Set the number of labels per worksheet row. If your label stock has 4 labels across then you would set this to 4.
- Set how many worksheet cells will be allocated for a cable number.
- Check to leave a blank column on the left.
- Check to leave a blank column between labels
- Check to leave a blank column on the right
- Set the content of the labels (see below).
Cable Label formatting
Each label can have up to 5 rows of text in it.
Row 1 is mandatory and would usually contain the cable number. You can then activate extra rows using the checkboxes (1).
Each row of text can have two pieces of data with a separator character in between. The dropdowns for each row let you choose which item of Circuit data you want to include. In this example we’ve shown a label like this:
<SOURCE DEVICE> | <SOURCE SOCKET>
<DESTINATION DEVICE> | <DESTINATION SOCKET>
You can make your labels as simple or as complicated as you want. And if you need a blank row between labels just activate a row with no data in it.
And here’s the result:
Cable Numbers are coloured according to the standard resistor colour code to help you to read them from a distance. The other row content is as we just defined them.
Now you are ready to export to your favourite spreadsheet program. Printing the sheet direct from Vectorworks is also possible but you should be aware that worksheet column and row dimensions are in point sizes so it may take some experiment to match the label stock correctly.
Make Device Report
This command has been renamed in connectCAD 2016 from Make Device List to emphasise that the worksheet created is a Vectorworks report. What this means is that you can type (or copy-paste) values into the worksheet and update the drawing. This could be particularly handy for filling in custom device fields.
When you run the command Make Device Report, a dialog box opens 1) that lets you select which record fields are to be included in the list. Device name, make and model are checked by default, and you can select from all the other possible fields. Custom fields that you have added are also shown in this dialog.
Make Device Report creates a list of devices 2) as a standard Vectorworks worksheet that you can open either by double-clicking it , or via the Resource Browser. Data from worksheets can be copy-pasted into other spreadsheet programs.
Jackfields and term-panels are listed individually with the number of holes used. This is useful when you trying to optimise patch-panel and term-panel layouts.
Make Cable Report
Make Cable Report mostly replaces Make Cable List in connectCAD 2016. The key difference is that the new command creates a Vectorworks database worksheet instead of a simple spreadsheet. What that let’s you do is type or copy-paste values directly into the worksheet and the drawing is immediately updated. So for example you can easily update cable numbers by simply typing in the Cable Report. We now recommend using Vectorworks reports wherever possible. They provide a lot of flexibilty for extracting data from your drawing and updating information. Well worth a read of the Vectorworks manual on this subject.
The development that has made all this possible is the introduction of custom worksheet functions. This has allowed us to write a Python script to calculate cable lengths. The script is in the file ‘WScCADGetCableLength.py’ and it’s open-coded so you are free to customise it to your needs. At the moment it only estimates cable lengths within racks where things are pretty well-defined, but we will be updating it to calculate lengths for other situations in the coming year.
Make Cable List
This command creates a Worksheet with a list of the circuits in the current schematic layer (excluding External connections).
In the main dialog you can choose which fields 1) appear in the list. By pressing the Cable length options button 2) you can set the cable length estimation parameters 3). Cable lengths will be calculated if the source and destination equipment is present on the rack layout.
Make Cable list has been partially retired in connectCAD 2016 and replaced with Make Cable Report. The reason for partial retirement is the the new report cannot be used directly in Compare List with Drawing. That’s not a major problem since the normal workflow of updating a drawing after installation would be to import an AS-BUILT cable list from the installation team and compare it to the drawing. But we like to proceed in careful steps.
Compare List with Drawing
This command compares the circuits in the active worksheet (the one open and in front) with the drawing on the current layer.
A new column called “Check” is inserted in the list and any discrepancies are noted there. Also the drawing is marked-up as follows:
wrong cable numbers have a rectangle drawn around them
circuits not on the drawing are shown in markup class colour when the devices and sockets exist.
circuits on the drawing but not in the list are selected.
This let’s you easily see where the discrepancies lie and deal with them.
Convert Report to List
This command converts database worksheets to spreadsheet. This is useful to ‘freeze’ a cable list at a particular point in the design process or to create a list suitable for compare with drawing or reverse engineering operations.