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AV Drawing Software

I have had a look at some AV Drawing packages

VidCad - Very Very expensive and very time comsuming.But Good

D-Tools - Very expensive and no download demo.

Stardraw - Tree packages - AV Pro, AV Lite and Audio And a 30 day Trial. this is about the best and quickest to use.

Does anyone know of any more ?


    Drafting Software

    For me, nothing beats good old fashioned AutoCad with custom
    created blocks and templates. It has every capability I could ask for,
    and it works well importing & exporting to other programs and
    formats. Speaking of capabilities, for what I use it for in this industry,
    it probably only scratches the surface of its full potential.

    99% of drawings that we send between architects, consultants,
    vendors, etc are in this industry standard format.

    Occasionally, I will use VISIO for a quick block diagram to go along
    with a sales quote.

    I have worked with demos of the other programs you listed, but was
    not overly impressed. I suppose that if a company does not have
    anyone that can use AutoCad, these other programs may be a more
    user-friendly process to get the job done.

  • Visual Architect could be another choice.

  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Posts: 4,584
    The jury is still out on VA as far as I am concerned. When I get to play with it some, I'll decide. Meanshile, I use Visio - mainly because it's what the company purchased however many eons ago they did, so that's what's available to me (still runing version 2000). D-Tools is simply a front-end for Visio; we tried it out, but the learning curve was too steep for those involved in the decision making at that time, so it never happened.

    There are a great number of third-party modules for Visio, man of which are free, and you can roll your own pretty easily.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Posts: 1,164
    I have used CAD, Visio and just downloaded the stardraw package. CAD is great if your business works directly with the designers/engineers etc for new or upgrades to buildings/floors that will have AV equipment. It is however hard to learn/use and BIG $$$$. Visio and its many add-ons works fine for what the average AV business. It's farly easy to use, cheaper than CAD. I can't offer a opinion on the Stardraw since I haven't been using it long enough. I presently do most of my work in Visio. This includes a wiring diagram, equipment rack layout, colour of the cables to be used, type of connectors used and the wiring info for it, etc.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Posts: 4,584
    I might add that if you use the Middle Atlantic rack systems, they have an excellent (and free, if you are a dealer) Visio plug-in with their entire product line, and the plugin is updated almost daily.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Posts: 1,164
    Good point Dave, I already use it for my rack lay out. Does anyone not have the old AMX Visio templates? If not let me know, I have them still and can send them to you..
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Posts: 1,917
    As a company that uses D-Tools, I can say that it is a Love/Hate relationship. I love it and I hate it. For the most part, it does a great job at creating a bid for a job and it automatically includes design and management fees (based on settings we made). It allows us to present the bid in an organized way to our clients and is great at generating most of the reports we require. The hate part comes in with the user interface and the backend. First, this is all done with some sort of MS Access type DB. This is fine when you deal with very few products, but when you start to build a decent database of items (mainly including the free manufacturer provided data) it can slow down. Secondly is the interface leaves something to be desired. For the cost, it doesn't seem to be a very polished program. My overall opinion is that it's a software program that is packed with features, but doesn't offer a good way to implement those features. Obviously it offers some value to us, but it wouldn't be too difficult to get us to switch ;)

  • AV drawing

    I used ORCAD for many years. I know it isn't a tool to draw AV but i made some library's with common elements and i works fast and very well.The V9 i used isn't that cheap so i made the choice to stardraw. It's a good looking program with some strange behavour if you are used to draw (i my case with orcad) other programs. First thing you must do is to download the library's you want from stardraw and takes a lot of time even then it's a illusion to think that all the equipment you need can be found there.That means you must draw your own symbols and that takes a lot of time. On the otherhand there are really nice futures as converting a drawing into a rack layout and the possiblility to show the back of equipment with just one mouse click. Another nice (but difficult) future is to connect equipment with prices to an external database so you can see the total pricing of a drawing with all components. But I don't get it working with my own exel tables at this moment. Keep in mind that if you are buying stardraw and want to stay updated you must pay a contribution every year otherwise the online update function stops.
    Hope this comment is usefull
  • FrankieFrankie Posts: 71
    We have a sales rep that uses AVSnap???
  • bobtobbobtob Posts: 8
    Anything for Apple

    Im Mac user any soft for apple
    Please Help
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