Creating Cables in SPEL is a pretty straight forward procedure. You simply right-click on the cable category that you want to create a cable in and click new cable.
For each cable category there are associated Ref Cables or cable types that you can then associate to your newly created cable. OOTB SPEL comes with quite a few of these Ref Cables and if you don't have enough you can get more here.
Before you get too far in creating cables in your project though there are some things that you should think about and setup ahead of time. As they are hard to change once you have a lot of data in your project.
A couple of these issues are:
- There are way too many cable types and you may want to filter what types the designers can choose so that you won't have to buy too many types of cable on the project. This is usually called cable standardization.
- The names of the cables in SPEL OOTB are quite long and you might want to shorten them to something like 3Cx12AWG so that if you use the cable type on your one-line (SLD) diagrams they will fit.
- You may find that one type of cable can be used both in 'Control' and 'Power' situations. You cannot use a cable ref name twice even if they are in different categories.
- the way that you can filter out what types of cables you want to be in your project is to use the Cable Specification select list. If you go to Tools->Select Lists in SPEL you can edit select lists. Find the 'Cable Specification' list. There you can uncheck any Cable Specification categories that you don't want to show up for the project. If you want some cables from a particular Cable Specification category but not others you can create another Cable Specification called something like 'Not in Cable List' and set the ref cables that you don't want to have that specification.
- There is no easy way that I know to do this other than taking the ref cable item tags and shortening them. It was half way through a project when we started throwing one lines and the long cable types did not look good on the drawings. We tried using 'Cable formation' but the problem is that you can have multiple cable types that use the same formation so that doesn't work. I also tried putting a smaller Ref Cable name in the Remarks property but that property doesn't get written into a cable when it is made or updated. So, my advice is rename the ref cables that you are going to use on your project with shorter names up front. It is possible to change them later but a lot harder.
- This may not seem like a big deal but it is a pain when you come to do a MTO for your cables. It is a pretty common occurrence to use smaller gauges of wire for both control and power applications; this is especially true for 10 & 12 AWG cables. So, for example, you don't want to buy a control type (used for CT's) and a power type (used for 3 phase feeders) of 4 Cond #10 so what do you do? You can't put 4 Cond #10 in as a Control Cable and a 4 Cond #10 in as a Power Cable as SPEL will not let you. You can dupe it and add an extra space in somewhere but then you get two line items in your MTO for the same thing. I ended up not using the Cable Categories in my final cable schedule for this reason. In fact, the way SPEL forces you to determine a cable category up front ended up being an annoyance by the end of the project I can't seem to find a use for it. Anyone else have a different view on it?