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#34154 - 02/04/04 03:58 PM electrical schematics
jeffrose Offline
Member

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 33
Loc: Boston MA
I am interested in making electrical schematics for my employees to keep onboard their trucks of various boiler applications and other complicated installations. Would a CAD program be best or is there a out of the box program that would accomplish this?

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#34155 - 02/04/04 04:19 PM Re: electrical schematics
electure Offline

Member

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
Jeffrose,
Just how complicated are the diagrams?

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 02-04-2004).]

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#34156 - 02/04/04 04:49 PM Re: electrical schematics
jeffrose Offline
Member

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 33
Loc: Boston MA
Not incredibly complicated I just want to be able to show relays, power supplies NC/NO contacts. Basically just line diagrams that I can give to them and leave with the installation.

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#34157 - 02/04/04 05:46 PM Re: electrical schematics
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
Jeff,

I use this for job dwg. and it works. http://www.deltacad.com/

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#34158 - 02/04/04 06:03 PM Re: electrical schematics
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
jeffrose;

While there are a few "Non-CAD" type applications which may be used, I would suggest going the "CAD Application" route.

Reasons being are:


    [*] Much More "Universal" than the Non-CAD apps,

    [*] Can use the CAD application for more tasks in the future,

    [*] CAD drawings may be incorporated easier to other drawings,

    [*] Use of drawings made by Architects,

    [*] Learning to use CAD apps is very valuable,

    [*] Hundreds of "Blocks" are available which are public domain.


"Blocks" are stand-alone drawings. Symbols like those used on typical "E" sheets are saved as Blocks, however Blocks are not limited to Symbols only.

Other benefits for using a CAD application are Layered Drawings, linking other drawings to one drawing without affecting the linked drawings, and linking "Non-CAD" items - such as Spreadsheets and pictures, to a drawing (via OLE).

There are some less expensive CAD versions, such as AutoCAD's "LT" series, and AutoSketch. These are made by Autodesk, Inc.

I must admit, there is at least one "Non-CAD" application that has been used well by some people. This is Visio, by MS (Microsoft). I used it a little, but being "Jaded" by CAD applications, did not become an experienced user of Visio.

Oh, almost forgot applications which are "Semi-CAD" type: Circuit Simulation apps.
These allow the user to draw a Schematic, plunk down some Circuit Elements (passive and active items), then run the circuit for a "Virtural Reality Smoke Test".
These apps typically perform the Digital or Analog simmulation via SPICE / PSPICE.

I use a few of these applications - all in the "Low End" $$$ areas!
Circuit Maker ver. 5 is my Primary Electronic Circuit designing + testing application.
Xover 3.0 for designing Audio System Crossover filter networks.
Bassbox pro for designing Speaker Enclosures.

BTW, my current CAD application is AutoCAD R14 for Windows.

Let me know if you have more Q's.

Scott35
_________________________
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

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#34159 - 02/04/04 06:26 PM Re: electrical schematics
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
Scott35,

Quote:
"Much More "Universal" than the Non-CAD apps,

Can use the CAD application for more tasks in the future,

CAD drawings may be incorporated easier to other drawings,

Use of drawings made by Architects,

Learning to use CAD apps is very valuable,

Hundreds of "Blocks" are available which are public domain."

I use Delta Cad for quick dwg. , however all the points above are something to consider.
many times hours could have been saved with a better app. The learning curve for full blown cad is much longer, than the basic cad apps.
Just last week the Architect said he would send me the rev. for a job. Well what could have been easy was hours of work.



[This message has been edited by LK (edited 02-04-2004).]

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#34160 - 02/04/04 08:52 PM Re: electrical schematics
wa2ise Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 771
Loc: Oradell NJ USA
 Quote:
Other benefits for using a CAD application are Layered Drawings, linking other drawings to one drawing without affecting the linked drawings


As an electrical engineer dealing with signal processing circuit boards and chips, I find "layered" drawings a real pain to deal with. and drawings that just have arrows and lines pointing to wire names. The problem comes up when I want to know where a certian wire node all connects to. A single sheet diagram with lines running all over the place is actually easier for me to find out where all a signal goes. If all I have is a signal name, I have to spend a lot of time hunting around to find every destination of that signal. If I needed to modify a signal, I need to know if something else is using that signal than the destination I know about. Layered diagrams make this very difficult to satisfy myself that I'm not going to much something up.

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#34161 - 02/05/04 05:10 AM Re: electrical schematics
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
LK;

 Quote:

I use Delta Cad for quick dwg. , however all the points above are something to consider.


How is this CAD Application working out for you (hopefully all good!). Is this an application that "jeffrose" might find useful, affordable and "comfortable" for his intended tasks.

 Quote:

many times hours could have been saved with a better app.


That's really an important point for anyone considering any CAD package to be aware of!
This will also include how well a CAD package works with other applications - such as Word Processors, Spreadsheet Apps, Database Apps, plus Printers, Digitizers, etc.
Another issue is backwards compatability.

 Quote:

The learning curve for full blown cad is much longer, than the basic cad apps.


This is the "Downside" of all CAD apps'. The learning curve is great for any CAD package - just to grasp the basics.
For advanced uses, the learning curve becomes even more complex - with additional sub apps to learn.

 Quote:

Just last week the Architect said he would send me the rev. for a job. Well, what could have been easy, was hours of work.


What happened? Was the Rev. something extreme, or was there file compatability issues too?

What I do normally is to Xref the floor plan, then draw on top of it as stand-alone files.
That way, if the base plan gets altered, all that is needed to be done for the complete planset is to swap the Xref dependent base plan, then edit my work as needed to fit the new layout.

wa2ise;

 Quote:

As an electrical engineer dealing with signal processing circuit boards and chips, I find "layered" drawings a real pain to deal with.


Believe me, I know where you are coming from here!

With PCB layouts, I would say 5 layers is 1 layer too many!

1 layer holding the PCB's border lines,
1 layer holding component outlines,
1 layer holding component ID labels,
1 layer holding circuitry.
(layers 2 and 3 could be combined as one layer, further reducing the layers to 3 total).

In the types of CAD drawings used for Construction, multi layers can be of help - if done right; otherwise, they become very annoying and major time wastes.

Seems like many Architects end up with the same over-abuse of layers, after a project's Planset is compiled together for Prelim. use.

For example, I have seen base plan files with upto 40 layers used for walls alone. Another 15 for text, and maybe 20 for symbols.
Not all layers contain complete entities, nor are all these really needed!
It's a result of compiling the plan file from multiple team members into a single file / page.

I will use layers as required for a certain page.
The ability to turn off things like ceiling grids and Arch symbols for hard copy (plots) is of great value!

Apparently, the abuse of layering is found in more than just Construction CAD drawings! From your post, they are also found in Signal EE CAD work!

No discipline is immune to this layer abuse virus

Why anyone would plunk down unplanned layers - let alone not include some references to the use per name, is one thing... to use 25 layers where 2 or 3 layers is enough, well that's just wierd to me...

Scott35

p.s. to "jeffrose":
Hope these issues do not "scare" you away from using a CAD package, but only help bring up the related underlying issues involved with them.
_________________________
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

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#34162 - 02/05/04 08:41 AM Re: electrical schematics
rmiell Offline
Member

Registered: 11/09/00
Posts: 261
Loc: La Junta, Co. USA
If you want a ladder diagram program, which you build from scratch, and has a test function, among other, check out Constructor, by CMH software at click here

Rick Miell

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#34163 - 02/05/04 03:55 PM Re: electrical schematics
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
Scott35,

Delta Cad, would be best for someone new to Cad and is easy to grasp. I sent Jeff a Dwg. file of typical dwg. we use so he can have an idea of the finished work it produces.

With Delta Cad, you are stuck with their file system. If you want more power you must pay.

Yes the Dwg. he sent was a cad format, and can not work with delta cad.

Scott, try the delta cad, it can be used for a dwg. note book, symbols and blocks, then you can import to your cad.

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