In this tutorial you will learn how to use the Profile View, which is primarily used for ensuring the conductors in your design have sufficient ground clearance. This tutorial assumes you have completed and understood Tutorial 1. If you have not, it is highly recommended you do so before starting this tutorial. At the end of this tutorial you will be able to:

  • change which conductors are displayed in the Profile View,
  • manually set slice of poles/conductors that is displayed in the Profile View,
  • use the Profile View to check whether your conductors have sufficient ground clearance.

Profile View

The Profile View is normally located in the bottom half of the Power Lines Pro window, and usually displays the slice of currently selected conductors. A slice is an unrolled profile view of one or more conductors. One of the key pieces of information displayed in this view is the ground clearance height (shown as a dashed blue line above the ground), and the sags of the conductor under different environmental conditions (displayed as a dashed version of the conductor). We will discuss in detail how to use this clearance information in the next tutorial. The Profile View is highlighted in the image below:

If you move your mouse cursor over the Profile View, the path of the current slice will be displayed in the Plan and Perspective Views as a semi-transparent red streak. This is useful when you have a complex design with many conductors, as it allows you to quickly know which conductors are displayed in the Profile View. An example of this is shown in the image below:

Changing the current Slice

As mentioned above, the Profile View shows a slice of the currently selected conductor/conductors. This slice is based on the most recently selected conductor/conductors. To demonstrate this, let us go through the following steps:

  1. start a clean design (you can do this in the top menu by selecting File > New),
  2. create a conductor with a few poles using the Conductor Tool in the Perspective or Plan View,
  3. create a second separate conductor, not attached to the first conductor,
  4. your design should look something like this:

  5. select the Move and Select Tool, and left-click on one of the conductors. Notice that the Plan View changes to display the slice of the selected conductor.
  6. now left-click on the other conductor, notice again that the Plan View changes to display this conductor.

In addition to showing just a single conductor, the Profile View can display a slice based on multiple conductors. If two or more conductors are in sequence across a set of poles, these conductors can be shown together in the Profile View. We will see how this is done by following the following steps, continuing on from your previous design above:

  1. select the Conductor Tool and add a new conductor on to one of the existing conductors. This is done by left-clicking on one of the end poles of the existing conductor, and then placing the new poles as you would normally,
  2. your design should now look something like this:

  3. notice that in the above diagram there are two separate conductors coming off Pole5 (in the above image),
  4. now using the Move and Select Tool, left-click the standalone conductor, the Profile View should change to show this conductor,
  5. now left-click one of the other two conductors that share their end poles, the Profile View should change to show just the selected conductor,
  6. now left-click the conductor that is joined to the currently selected conductor, the Profile View will change to show both of the joined conductors. The Profile View should now look something like this:

In general, when you select a new conductor, if the newly selected conductor can be joined to the current slice, it will be added on (either to the left or right) in the Profile View. If the newly selected conductor cannot be joined on to the current slice, then the slice will be set to consist only of the selected conductor. This is convenient when working with conductors in general, but sometimes you may want to explicitly set the path of the slice shown in the Profile View. This is discussed in the next section.

Explicitly Specifying the Profile View Slice

So far we have seen how Power Lines Pro can intelligently set what is shown in the Profile View, based on the selected conductor. However, in some cases you may want to explicitly set the slice path of the Profile View. A common case is when you have a T-junction between two conductors, where one conductor joins to a pole located in the middle of another conductor. In this case you may want to see the slice of the two conductors going throw the T-junction. To do this you can use the Profile Builder Tool  

To see how the Profile Builder tool can be used, first let use set up a T-junction of conductors. Your design should look something like this:

Now to set up the Profile View to show the conductors throw the T-junction, follow the following steps:

  1. select the Profile Builder Tool,
  2. left-click, in order, the poles of the conductors that you want to add to the slice,
  3. each time you click a pole, it will be added to the end of the current slice, clicking a pole that is already added will remove it from the slice,
  4. if you make a mistake, right-click will reset the slice to be empty, and you can start again,
  5. once you have added the desired poles of the conductors to the slice, you should see something like this:

As you can see, we have set up the Profile View to show a slice of the two conductors passing through the T-junction. You can use the Profile Builder Tool to create any kind of slice for the Profile View, it can even include disjoint conductors. Simply left-click on any poles in your design to add that pole to the end of the current slice. To reset the slice, use right-click with the Profile Builder Tool.

This completes this tutorial. We really value your feedback, queries, suggestions, send them all our way!