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  1. #1
    Broadcast Engineer tonsofpcs's Avatar
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    Broadcast Systems Wiring Diagram Software???

    Does anyone know of a good piece of software for creating wiring diagrams of large-scale systems like broadcast production facilities? I have a system that is mostly on-air, with 2 video-only routers and one video router with two audio routers default-following, and I need to draw up a wiring diagram prior to an upcoming move so that we know how things are and what we can add/remove, where.
    tonsofpcs (Eric Adler)
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  2. #2
    Super Member Silkrooster's Avatar
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    Something like that should easily be done in an illustration program like Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw or Macromedia (now Adobe) Freehand.
    A low end 2d cad program can also do this.
    What I really recommend is using tags, place one on each end of your cable, this label will tell you which piece of hardware it hooks to and which connector. To make it easier color code the tags and color code the connectors on your hardware.
    Its still a good idea for a diagram, especially with complex setups, as you never know when a tag will be removed or some other unforeseen issue.
    Good luck and have fun.
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  3. #3
    Broadcast Engineer tonsofpcs's Avatar
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    The system is already in place and anything that isn't obvious as to where it connects is color-coded, however, because we are doing an upgrade/move and not a simple move, a wiring diagram would help immensely, and with multiple routers [at least on the video system], a program designed for making block wiring diagrams much like schematics, it would be much easier. I have started in a generic CAD program, but if something else is easier or more proper, I would rather use that, since it takes about 20 minutes [on average, so far] just to layout the 'pins' for each piece of equipment, then moving them to get everything laid out well will be a pain.
    tonsofpcs (Eric Adler)
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  4. #4
    Architectural Designer Tzan's Avatar
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    Not sure how much CAD experience you have, so I'll just say this anyway. I have never seen an AV wiring diagram.

    If I were doing this I would make one master symbol.
    A box with short lines (pins) on the left side for inputs, one the right side for outputs. Then locate placeholder text next to each line and inside the box for the connector/ equip name. Right justified text on the left side pins. Make the box big enough to hold the max number of connections that any machine has.

    Then copy the master to a location.
    Delete unneeded connections from the bottom, resize box.
    Fill in all the text

    Most CAD programs have a grid/snap feature and will display a grid of points on the screen. You can also select the size of the grid.
    Last edited by Tzan; 05-07-2007 at 08:56 AM.

  5. #5
    Professional amateur Amurrell's Avatar
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    I would also use the "tags on each end" idea that Silkrooster had, each with their own numbers or symbols, and then on a simple diagram place those same numbers/symbols so you know where everything goes, unless it's way too cluttered to do so. Make a legend on the diagram or somewhere for your notes for each symbol.

    I'm just going off of my years with CAD and wiring diagrams done for houses and buildings though, where everything was represented by lines and symbols and spread out over a distance. Not sure how well something like that would work for your situation. It probably would be more confusing.
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  6. #6
    Super Member Silkrooster's Avatar
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    I know my experience with AV equipment is extremely limited. However I am trying to figure out why you need a diagram of each pin. Doesn't the connectors provide a fail safe from connecting them incorrectly?
    Or are you talking about a connector similar to a bnc connector that has only a single pin to the connector?
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  7. #7
    Registered User lesterfoster's Avatar
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    Have you considered using what you know best. LW!.. Just import your floor plans in to modeler, Then use Normís Rope plug-in to do the wiring.

    If you need to know how long the cables are, Use LW-CADís new dimensioning tools to measure the wiring.

  8. #8
    Broadcast Engineer tonsofpcs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silkrooster
    I know my experience with AV equipment is extremely limited. However I am trying to figure out why you need a diagram of each pin. Doesn't the connectors provide a fail safe from connecting them incorrectly?
    Or are you talking about a connector similar to a bnc connector that has only a single pin to the connector?
    Silk
    I'm not actually putting each pin to the diagram, I'm using a microelectronic design program currently and using a 'pin' to represent a connector of any kind... BNC - 1 pin, CCU/Camera cable - 1 pin, 1 cable goes between two pins [one for each end].

    Quote Originally Posted by lesterfoster
    Have you considered using what you know best. LW!
    I figured at least one person would suggest this, the main problems with this are: 1) I'd have to make a 3d model for every piece of equipment and 2) It wouldn't print out too well.
    tonsofpcs (Eric Adler)
    http://www.videoproductionsupport.com/

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by tonsofpcs
    Does anyone know of a good piece of software for creating wiring diagrams of large-scale systems like broadcast production facilities? I have a system that is mostly on-air, with 2 video-only routers and one video router with two audio routers default-following, and I need to draw up a wiring diagram prior to an upcoming move so that we know how things are and what we can add/remove, where.
    Try VISIO for the PC or OmniGraff for Mac.

  10. #10
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    Know how you feel. I had to build, equip then run a 4 Cam Studio, Telecine, 2 Edit Suites, 3 Router systems/audio follow, 26 monitor Control room with all the trimmings blah..blah....blah, many years ago. I fell back on the old pencil and grid paper system on which I numbered and colour coded every cable, made whatever changes evolved then finally handed to whole thing over to a company that specialized in preparing wiring diagrams.

    Less stress and a more productive use of my time.

    Yamba

  11. #11
    Broadcast Engineer tonsofpcs's Avatar
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    Well, I went with DipTrace and I ended up with something usable. I have a few parts left to add and some parts I just don't know what the connectors are labeled, so I guessed at it enough to make it functionally correct [although the exact connections may be a bit off].

    Attached is a sample:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    tonsofpcs (Eric Adler)
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  12. #12
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    I have used the flow chart tools in Excel (probably in Open Office as well) with good results.

    I also devised my own labeling method for instals but it won't do you any good for your purposes.

    Each end of the cable has two labels.
    The label closest to the end is where it attaches.
    Another label about three inches away tells you where the other end is attached.

    Good Luck.

  13. #13
    Broadcast Engineer tonsofpcs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter2999
    Each end of the cable has two labels.
    The label closest to the end is where it attaches.
    Another label about three inches away tells you where the other end is attached.
    Hmm... I really like this idea, but can you fit all of that information on a small label? Isn't it costly to make such labels? [unless you just use paper and cellophane tape, in which case you will still want some other label reference] Every planned system that I have seen has every cable custom made to the right length and labeled with an ID number near each connector, sometimes mid-length as well, and a set of master wiring diagrams with cable numbers.
    tonsofpcs (Eric Adler)
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  14. #14
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    Yes, well, that is the standard. However, I came up with this after having to come in after an owner had a disagreement with the installer about what was owed....and the installer didn't turn over the documentation. So I was left with a bunch of meaningless numbers. Similar situation once a manager took the documents for "safe keeping" he is gone now...and so is the documentation.
    I try to devise logical shorthand or lable the devices when that doesn't work. So far I haven't had any major issues using the label printers. If you try to spell everything out and make a three inch long label that doesn't wrap around correctly (I don't but I have seen it done)...well there is always clear packing tape but I would suggest clear heat shrink .

  15. #15
    Broadcast Engineer tonsofpcs's Avatar
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    What sort of label maker do you use for this?
    tonsofpcs (Eric Adler)
    http://www.videoproductionsupport.com/

    Amiga will last Forever!

 

 

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