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Creating a Circuit Map

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by ademhayyu1, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. ademhayyu1

    ademhayyu1 Member

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    Seattle, WA
    Hi Hi!!

    As a part of my process of creating a rep plot for my high school's theater, I would like to create a circuit map but I can't find any examples or templates online. Does anyone have any examples or some tips on creating one? Could I possibly draft one on Vectorworks? (I'm not that experienced but I figured I might as well practice)

    Some of the goals of the circuit map would be:
    - To be able to identify the location of all stage electrical circuits that are on the stage and the stage and house catwalks.
    - To be able to quickly reference the circuit map to find an available circuit that is functional and available.

    Those are some main goals of the circuit map. What are some other purposes of a circuit map?

    Thanks in advance. Have a nice day!
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Las Vegas, NV, USA

    Of course you can use Vectorworks. I happened to do the one attached in the grandfather of VW, Blueprint, 19 years ago. I've also done them in Excel. Exact scale is probably not required.

    How many unique circuits are there on the second electric? Where's dimmer 47? Are the floor pockets duplicated L&R? A circuit map answers question like that. The same info can be displayed as a chart or list, but I like the visual better.
    ademhayyu1 and RonHebbard like this.
  3. Colin

    Colin Well-Known Member

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    Technical Director
    Eastern Massachusetts
    Mine is like Derek's but part of my complete 3D Vectorworks drawing of each theater, in its own class so it can be turned on and off as needed. I also have circuits in spreadsheet format listed by position with upstage positions at the top and back of house at the bottom so it sort of reads like a plan view of the theater. Within each position, circuits are listed stage left to right like unit numbers on a plot. I like having both the plan and the spreadsheet. The plan is especially useful in my proscenium space because all our over-stage circuits are in drop boxes so the plan can quickly show the origin of a drop box and also indicates the length of its feeder so you can figure out what positions it can reach to without clicking out of Vectorworks. The spreadsheet is nice for a quick view of circuit counts per position, and I use it to indicate any circuits that are down for repair.
    ademhayyu1 and RonHebbard like this.
  4. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Sarasota, FL
    Locations of DMX drops and universe #'s are nice to have.
    Locations of non-dim power are also nice, as well as the panelboard circuit # they're tied to so you don't overload circuits. High schools are where I have the most problems when I relay or non-dim power and it becomes an adventure finding enough open circuits for a hazer, 2 dry ice foggers, 6-10 movers, and so forth.

    A graphical scale block is nice to have in the titleblock.

    I usually mark out distances from center on the plot for CL (centerline), 5', 10', 15', 20', etc -- whatever this scale is should match what's painted and marked on your pipe battens. If distances from center aren't marked on your pipes, I highly recommend doing it to speed up hangs.
  5. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Measuring tape tape works great for this.
  6. venuetech

    venuetech Well-Known Member

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    aud man out
    As much as I like that tape, it dries up and falls off. (After a few years)
    I rely on paint pens to mark the feet and every 6”. I also label the pin plugs on all sides with the circuit number so I don’t need to put my hands on it to find twist it around to see the number. The paint pen is also used on the floor pockets so I can ID what’s in them without having to open them.
  7. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Brooklyn, NY
    I do circuits in layers in Vectorwoks. We indentify actual pigtail location to scale for the catwalk raceways, all else is just listed as to box location and the numbers plus a “(6)” indicating number of circuits. We use a scheme of “124” is a real dimmer, “TP351” for ThruPower in the normal setup (modules can move), or “MB452” for a motorized breaker. Ethernet taps for the lighting system is on a separate layer and I use that layer when assigning and locating Gateways that are event specific.

    I also have a Doc file that lists the circuits in numerical order and location, plus specific pertinent details.
  8. azylka

    azylka Active Member

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    If you're worried about precision, don't use this! It's been known to be short by 1/8" or 1/4" IIRC, so along a 60' batten, you'll lose some distance and not have a true center. Definitely like the silver metallic Sharpie (no, not the fixture) and tape measure method from center the best. And if you have a weird tape, start at 1' so you know where to start measuring from—some of those long tapes can have confusing zero points.
    ademhayyu1 and RonHebbard like this.
  9. NickVon

    NickVon Well-Known Member

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    lwinters630 and ademhayyu1 like this.

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