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Original Release Notes

Released October 13, 2008.

The following is a list of new and updated features and bugs that were fixed in Design Master Electrical 7.1. The major new feature in this release is improved fault calculations. The other changes are small improvements to existing features or fixes to bugs reported by customers.

Starting with this release, there is now a upgraded version of Design Master Electrical called Design Master Electrical Contractor. This upgraded version includes the new quantity takeoff feature.

There is one manual step required when upgrading existing projects.

Fault Calculations

The fault calculations were refined in this release. There are two major changes:

Our previous calculations were correct, but included a number of assumptions in order to simplify the calculation. The new calculation removes these assumptions, allowing a wider range of situations to be calculated. These changes were in response to requests by our customers, both to us directly and in our forums. You can read this forum post for more background.

Using X and R for the fault calculations changes some of the values that you provide to DM Electrical.

Takeoffs (Design Master Electrical Contractor Only)

Takeoffs listing quantities of devices, branch circuit lengths, and feeder lengths can now be automatically generated for the Design Master Electrical Database. The takeoffs are to be used as the starting point for a cost estimate for your project. It is not intended to be a complete estimating tool. The level of detail required for an accurate cost estimate is different than the detail required for an accurate engineering design. Adding details needed only for a cost estimate would make engineering design with Design Master Electrical more difficult. We chose not to do that because we do not want to burden the design process with these details. Instead, we output quantities and lengths that you can then transfer to your current electrical estimating software.

More information about using the new takeoff features can be found in this Takeoffs section of the Design Master Electrical User Manual.

The takeoffs feature is free during this beta testing period. It will be available for an additional cost once the final version is released. Pricing for this feature has not yet been finalized.

Plumbing Compatibility

This version of Design Master Electrical is compatible with the new Design Master Plumbing software. It is required to upgrade to this version of DM Electrical before installing DM Plumbing.

One Line Devices

Default AIC: The Default AIC rating for one line devices can be changed by going to DM Electrical->Customization->Options and setting the Default One Line Device AIC value at the bottom of the Miscellaneous section.

Deleting One Line Devices:  The Uncircuit All Connected Devices button has been removed from the circuiting dialog. This button was necessary to delete a one line device, but was too easy to accidentally press. You can now delete a one line device without uncircuiting everything from it. In this case, you will be warned that there are devices circuited and that they will be uncircuited if you delete the one line device.

Multiple Alignment Points: One line devices can be inserted in each alignment point area on a drawing.

Voltages: Additional voltage options were added.

Circuit Compress: Circuit compress now works on low voltage device panels.

Copy Switchboard: Copying a single pole switchboard will create taps with 2 poles, rather than 3.

Transformer KVA Options: More KVA options were included for transformers.

Highlighting AIC Ratings: When inserting the fault current schedule, you are now given the option to turn off the highlight of AIC ratings that are too low.

Circuits and looping

Circuits Changes Automatically Saved: Any changes made to circuits in the Circuit Loads and Fixed Loads Input section of the Circuiting dialog are automatically saved. The Save Fixed button still exists, but does not need to be pressed. The changes will be saved automatically when you select a new circuit.

The Undo Changes button is a new button that resets the current circuit back to its current state in the database. If you make a change to a circuit and decide you do not want to keep it, you must press this button. Previously, moving away from the circuit without pressing the Saved Fixed button would reset the circuit to its current state. In this release, moving away will save the changes instead.

Isometric Ground Tick Mark: The correct tick mark is inserted for isometric grounds when they are inserted at the back of the tick marks.

Changing Custom Load Types: When the custom load types are changed in a project, the values in existing circuits are updated automatically. You no longer have to manually run the Calculate All Circuit Loads command

After changing a custom load type, the schedules are automatically updated.

240/120V 3P 4W One Line Device Changes: Two changes were made to one line devices set to 240/120V 3P 4W. These devices are assumed to have a high B-leg, which makes handling this voltage different from other voltages.

Ground Tick Mark: On grounded circuits, a ground tick mark is now added to loops connected to switches.


Removed Change Device Layer System: The Change Device Layer System command has been removed from the Modify Devices section of the DM Electrical menu. Use the device specific Edit Multiple functions instead.

Light fixtures

Edit Multiple Light Fixtures: The Edit Multiple Light Fixtures command was not applying all of the requested changes to the selected fixtures. This command has been significantly rewritten to prevent these problems. There were particular problems related to layers not being set correctly that are included in this fix.


Receptacle Project Schedule: The load types for loads 2, 3, and 4 are no longer changed to Receptacle if they are set to Lighting.


Edit Multiple Switches: An Edit Multiple Switches command has been added.

Drawing Notes: The Query Device updates drawing notes correctly in all instances now.

Copying Switched Devices: If you copy a device connected to a switch, but not the switch, the copied device is not automatically connected to the switch.


Edit Multiple LVD's: An Edit Multiple Low Voltage Devices command has been added.

Import from Schedule: You can import a single item from a LVD schedule.


Automatic Insertion: The first time you insert a schedule, you must specify an insertion location. After that, the schedule is automatically inserted in the current location when it is updated. You no longer have to press ENTER to have it insert in its current location.

To move a schedule that is already on the drawing, use the AutoCAD move command.

Dialog Box Usability

Keyboard Shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts have been added to buttons on most dialogs. Pressing ALT plus the underlined letter on the button will act the same as pressing that button.

Project Submission

Project Submission: There is a new command on the menu, DM Electrical->Help->Send Project to Design Master Support. This command will zip up the current drawing and database and email it directly to us. You have option to include a message with the file. We often request that you send your project to us so that we can troubleshoot difficult problems. This command will make it easier for you to send us the files that we need.

Bug Submission: When Design Master Electrical crashes, you will be given the opportunity to send the project and crash information to us. This works the same as the Project Submission command. We encourage you to send in these crash reports. We read every crash report that comes in and can typically solve the problem and send you a fix for it the next day. At the very least, we will send you an email acknowledging the problem and help you find a way to work around it.

Coordinate Drawing and Database

Coordinate Backup: The Coordinate Drawing and Database command now creates a backup of the current drawing and database before it is run.

Speed Improvements: The Coordinate Drawing and Database command run significantly faster and now works on very large drawings.

Switch Subscript Rotation: The Coordinate Drawing and Database command no long rotates switch subscripts, ever.

Master and Standards Databases

Read-Only Support: Read-only files are supported for master and standards database. You no longer need read-write access to the master and standards databases to start or work in a project. You can use this feature to limit access to the master and standards databases.

Copying and Importing: Various bugs related to copying information between the project database and the master and standards databases have been fixed. These functions should no longer crash or fail to import data.

Block and Slide Creation

Slide Creation: Creating a slide now works when osnaps are turned on.

3D Blocks: When creating a 3D block, selecting One Line Device for the type of block now works.