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RainCAD Suite 9.0

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by PurpHaze, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    We've upgraded to 9.0 from 6.0 and I have to say it's a lot more powerful now for creating irrigation and landscape designs. The past two weeks I've been getting used to it and going through the tutorials comparing how things are now done versus the older program. There has been a learning curve but fortunately a lot of things are the same.

    The main problem with the program is its Material Takeoff command. It generates 99% correctly but the one area it's lacking in is in the area of fittings especially tees, crosses and reducer bushings when the pipe changes sizes. Guess I'd rather do a manual fittings pickoff which is only about 3% of the whole design process. I still can manually do a fittings pickoff quite rapidly.

    I especially love the Tied Assemblies area where I can tie sprinkler bodies to our type of swing joints, valves to our SCH 80 TOE nipples and MP-Rotators to the Toro 570Z PRX-4P bodies we use with them. It ties them together and them breaks them out in the Material Takeoff showing all the parts and corresponding prices.

    I've attached a PDF of one of my practice designs. Although it states a 1/10 scale it was meant to be printed out on our large format 18" x 24" or 24" x 36" printer at work. I've kept it on an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet just for practice at home.

    Attached Files:

  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Whats the cost on the new suite? Around a grand right?

    Just looked at your plan. Good to see someone who still sizes pipe like I do. The only difference is that I don't use 1/2" and in the upper right corner I'd run 3/4" up to the last two MP-Rotators, not 1".

    Why doesn't Rain cad display the distances between things? Without that you don't really know the scale. I guess I'm used to looking at building plans.
  3. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    Looks like a nice little program. I am still using a old version of Acad with landcad for all of my as built plots.
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    This version of RainCAD Suite (includes RainCAD, LandscapeCAD and Irricalc) is based on DesignCAD (get a full copy of it also) and runs about $1k. We got the "upgrade" for $500 because we already had purchased a 6.0 (DOS based) version four years ago. It's not really an "upgrade" but the whole package because the newer versions are Windows based.

    The AutoCAD based versions are $1.5k to $2.4K and you already need to have a copy of AutoCAD to install RainCAD on top of it.

    I always manually pick/run the pipe because I'm so used to it. Knowing a piece of property helps because I already know what obstructions are there and how I'd trench the system. I always oversize the pipe/valves in the event things have to be changed in the future. If I was doing a residential I'd probably keep the sizes down to match the flow and make it a little more affordable for the customer.

    The 1/2" is CL 315 which has about the same wall thickness as 3/4" CL 200. We use it all the time. You cannot buy 1/2" CL 200 in our area because it's just too thin.

    It will if I tell it to but I'm so used to using an engineer scale that I don't need distances after the plan is printed out to scale. Try this one.

    Attached Files:

  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    It's a LONG way from the drafting board I used to draw on many years ago. :)

    I am very impressed with the RainCAD program. They've added a whole lot of new stuff (at the request of users) to this newest version (although technically it's 1-1/2 years old) and are working on their newest release for sometime next year, I think. The version of DesignCAD that it's layered onto has also been updated and will even do 3D modeling if you choose to use that mode instead of the 2D mode for plans. (Ed G would know MUCH more about that though.)

    It comes pre-loaded with the major manufacturer's sprinkler, valve and other databases and you tweak them the way you want, i.e. I spec out Toro 570Z PRX-COM 4-P bodies for all our MP-Rotators. The hardest part of the whole program is data input of your particular needs. But once you have all that inputted then you call things up as you go from different pallettes and they automatically show up on the Materials Takeoff (although Tied Assemblies don't show on the plan to avoid confusion).

    On the Sprinkler Database you can take into account you're using a particular nozzle and may have to break down the radius a little based on your distances instead of dropping down to the next lowest nozzle. You just enter that particular distance, color change, sprinkler body, etc. and until you close the sprinkler pallette window you will have that sprinkler available exactly how you tweaked it.

    You can also tweak sprinkler arcs, i.e. you may spec out a Hunter I-20 ADS (adjustable w/ stainless steel riser) at a 135* arc to fit an area and the arc dots indicate this on the plan. It's also quite easy to place the arcs where you want them. Just select a sprinkler, click the mouse once where you actually want the head to be placed and then move the curser to where you want the arc to cover and click a second time.

    Tied Assemblies are the neatest. When I spec out a sprinkler it lists all the materials (slip x thread 90, Marlex 90s, SCH 80 nipple) for our particular swing joints that we build ourselves and then multiplies all that material times the number of sprinklers with that FIPT size on the design, including prices and total costs. If I put a valve on the design then it ties in appropriately sized SCH 80 TOE nipples, 3M DBY electrical connectors and a valve box. If I spec out a Hunter WVC controller then I've tied in DC solenoids... Sure, I might spec out the one 4-station controller for only three valves but I'm not going to quibble about one extra solenoid. Better to have too many materials than not enough.

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