jtcapa1

Android Pad for Room Planner

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Is anybody using this software for as-built dimensions?  I'm thinking of taking the plunge, but cannot decided on the right Android pad, that will communicate with the Bluetooth Laser. Any feedback would be appreciated.

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I have been learning it recently, and I will have to get use to it. I have lots of thick walls and jogs and niches, and it would be a good test. I have the e7100 and it work fine. I'm still not ready for prime time yet, and I'm talking about me not the program. One thing I wish it had was a way to archive my measurements (dimensions) within the program, and leave them on all the time. I want a record of the original measurements. Without that , not sure I can use it.

I have an ipad.

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I have been using and beta testing room planner for about a year now, I am currently comparing it to a surface 3 pro for field use. I like it for the smaller kitchen and bath jobs, Saves me the trouble of redrawing in chief when i get back to the office. If you come up with a good system, its a great tool. There are some things it hasn't covered until recently, wall thickness is now in place, as well as better annotation tools. I like the system. But its still nice to have a paper and pencil handy if something strange shows up.

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Thanks for the feedback.  I'm really tired of using the laser measuring device with paper and pencil.  Since I know nothing about tablets and don't really want one, I spoke to tech support and the every helpful Nigel told me that a Surface type windows based 2-1 type machine, "if it can run Chief Architect, will also work with the Distro".

So I decided to pull the trigger on an inexpensive Woot purchased Asus Transformer T100 ultrabook.  The detachable screen is 10", very thin, and light, it also meets the bare minimums to run CA.  So with fingers crossed, I also bought the $150 Disto and pray that the three things will work for doing my field measuements.

 

I'll keep you guys informed.   This system is as cheap, if not cheaper than a powerful tablet, plus it allows you to bypass the Room Planner App and input information directly into CA.  We shall see!

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Sorry for the delay in responding, but I've tried many times to use the tablet running full CA and the Distro Laser. It all works fine...mostly.

For some odd reason the Distro Bluetooth stops communicating with the CA program and I have to restart it all to get it to find the device again.

Might go into some kind of sleep mode if I don't move fast enough.

 

What I have discovered is that the accuracy of the Laser measuring device is too accurate, in that I get all kinds of fractional numbers I don't really want.

When I measure a room with Laser and paper, I always round up or down before I write down the dimension.  CA does not do that, but there is a setting in the Laser which allows for say 1/2" increments instead of 1/32"

 

The real challenge for me is putting in the rough walls, windows and doors using a tablet and my finger or pointing device, it takes me two or more tries to grab, pick and drag those objects on a small tablet, then put in a dimension, the activate the wall I want to dimension/move and activate the laser.  Those steps take me so much longer than just writing it down on paper, that I've always stopped and reverted back to my old ways.

 

Maybe I'm just much of an 'old dog' to learn these new tricks, or they are not just as user friendly as I had hoped.   It does not save me time, it actually takes at least twice as long to measure up something using this new method.  Granted I've got and accurate plan when I'm done, but normally I don't want to spend 4 hours at my clients home doing this, when I can be done in 1 hour using the old method.

 

I may keep trying though.

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My laser device also loses communications with my IPad, all the time, Chief told me there is a setting (timeout type) I need to change but for the life of me ,I can't find the timeout setting I need to change. I lost the connection with my Disto when I upgraded to ver 9 so I waited for the newly released ver 9.1 and now I get a connection thru room planner, but it doesn't register in the Bluetooth section in the iPad, at all. Strange. I do agree it does take longer using room planner, I wish the dimensions were all on all the time and would stay if you wanted that. I'm not sure I can trust it at this point. Being able to lock a room would make me feel better about accidently changing a room I already did.

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Tried working with Room Planner. Too many short comings for me. Months back, I submitted my suggestions on making Room Planner workable. So far, none have been implemented. I have been using another program that works great. But it is expensive. 

 

Jon

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Sorry for the delay in responding, but I've tried many times to use the tablet running full CA and the Distro Laser. It all works fine...mostly.

For some odd reason the Distro Bluetooth stops communicating with the CA program and I have to restart it all to get it to find the device again.

Might go into some kind of sleep mode if I don't move fast enough.

 

What I have discovered is that the accuracy of the Laser measuring device is too accurate, in that I get all kinds of fractional numbers I don't really want.

When I measure a room with Laser and paper, I always round up or down before I write down the dimension.  CA does not do that, but there is a setting in the Laser which allows for say 1/2" increments instead of 1/32"

 

The real challenge for me is putting in the rough walls, windows and doors using a tablet and my finger or pointing device, it takes me two or more tries to grab, pick and drag those objects on a small tablet, then put in a dimension, the activate the wall I want to dimension/move and activate the laser.  Those steps take me so much longer than just writing it down on paper, that I've always stopped and reverted back to my old ways.

 

Maybe I'm just much of an 'old dog' to learn these new tricks, or they are not just as user friendly as I had hoped.   It does not save me time, it actually takes at least twice as long to measure up something using this new method.  Granted I've got and accurate plan when I'm done, but normally I don't want to spend 4 hours at my clients home doing this, when I can be done in 1 hour using the old method.

 

I may keep trying though.

There's a part of me that really wants this to work but I can't see it working in my real world at least - yet. Maybe the dimensions on all the time? Maybe rounding measurements? And taking longer just doesn't seem to make any sense. 

 

And what do you do when you get home? Where's the back up real world dimensions? Did you lock the wrong wall? Something's missing but what? My paper scribbles are a very good backup when doubts arise. Again I want it to work but my time's too valuable to test these apps out right now.

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You raise a great point HumbleChief, the paper scribbles are a great backup which I use again and again to double check things, mostly to find out why something does not fit or dimension out.  I'm assuming that if you took the time to draw it in the field right, you'd not need the dimension notes?  Still, I'd almost want both.

 

My thinking is that Room Planner is a bust, for those of us with CA already.  We have what we need to draft up an as-built in the field, as long as that process does not make us look so stupid to our clients as we curse and fumble getting the devices to communicate to each other.

 

There's got to be a better way.  It is close, but I'd have to make a fair number of logistal adjustments in how I input data and work with a tablet to get it right.

I did take my mouse and the detatchable keyboard on one project, but that was almost like bringing my full laptop.

It is learning to draft using my finger or pen device that is my problem.

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This is something I'm delving into as well. I tried Room Planner on my iPad mini shortly after it was released and was very underwhelmed. I recently picked it up again and the updates are good. They are definitely making progress. Even my light weight Sony Vaio Duo gets cumbersome measuring as-builds so I've been practicing with RP. I'm about to purchase an iPad air 2 and will try it out with a bigger screen (and faster processor) and follow up later. It may be a month or two.

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Wondering how an updated Room Planner will work with the new 13" Ipad Pro........

 

I have been using a photographers tripod with an Ipad mount to carry from room to room.

Trying other ipad programs with more features as well such as Redstick Site cad.

 

I think at this moment in time (other then pen and paper) my best approach may be working right in chief using a light weight laptop with trackball on the tripod and using the Laser measure in "manual" mode entering dimensions via keyboard. (this avoids some fumbling with the laser input and odd dimensions).

 

My use is for measuring commercial retail and office spaces.

If I had a Homeowner following me around yapping at me I would probably revert back to pen and paper.

Digital site measures always seem to take twice as long with people watching......

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So I pulled the trigger on the iPad Air 2. So far I'm impressed with the speed of the device and I have experienced no lag with Room Planner (my 1st gen iPad mini lagged quite a bit). I did a test house site measure (my own) and it went very smoothly. I only measured out my 1st floor which is about 3500 sf with the garage and still no lag. It was definitely faster than using my touch screen laptop on site. I use a laser measuring tool but I have no desire to link it with blue tooth to my device. I haven't had any trouble holding the iPad in one hand and the laser in the other.

 

Pros:

1) Very simple interface which reduces measuring time (for me anyway)

2) The device measures to the drywall which is a big plus, though this can be set up on CA.

3) Adjustable wall thickness - big plus over previous versions.

4) You can hand draw walls now, although it's kind of quirky that they have to connect to an adjacent wall to create another room (not a bust for me). This feature can also be used to reduce a room size.

5) Annotations are now a reality.

6) When I import the drawing into CA it adopts all my plan defaults.

 

Cons:

1) Library items are not compatible with CA. This is a very big deal and I'm hoping that this is addressed soon. I've contacted the developers to get more info.

2) Really really really need to be able to hand draw CAD lines and arcs. There is a very clunky way to drop in a line but it's time consuming and not really worth the effort.

 

Summary: This a very usable app. I did site measure an actual job last week and it went very smoothly. I would be willing to pay for the app itself and transferable library items if there were just a few minor improvements. Time will tell whether more CA users begin to adopt this tool for their regular use. I suspect it's not being utilized much right now based on the minimal input on the user forum. I plan on continuing to use it for on site measuring (keeping my laptop with me just in case).

 

I would be interested to know what apps others are using if not Room Planner.

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I really need room planner to export the dimensions ,always on, with the plan or I'll never know if something changes, and for the archive I need to keep of existing measurement's, without that I just can't use it for as-builts.

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I just got a Samsung Galaxy Tab E. Not what I would have picked out for myself, but it was "free" with my new phone (except for the 24 months of monthly access charges). I loaded Room Planner on it with the idea of using it in the field for as-built measurements and layout. But I don't have a clue where or how to start. If I (or an assistant) use a tape measure, then input dimensions manually, will that work out accurately enough to transfer back to CA? Or, can someone recommend a decent priced laser measure? Have you used a laser with a bluetooth hookup, and how does that work out? Does Room Planner handle anything complex?

 

This is all very new to me - it's always been tape measure, pencil and pad (and lots and lots of time), and now with digital photos for reference. I can use all the help I can get.

 

Room Planner is cheap, but even so, do you think it's worth having in terms of time saved vs hassle?

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Yes, we really need a quick way to draw some cad lines, like for drawing in cabinet locations, column's, just for distance measurements. Also address more floors instead of a new plan for every floor. 5 plans is not enough "cloud storage" if you want serious users and  need a separate plan for every floor.

 

edit: What about the property line /exterior measurements? I need them on every job. Do I have to pull out my pencil and paper, kind of defeats the purpose of room planner.

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My E7100i sure has been finicky lately connecting via bluetooth.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Very frustrating because it used to connect flawlessly.  Called tech support and they really couldn't help me.

 

I find the Room Planner for as-builts to be fairly limited in its effectiveness.  For simple houses with not a lot of jig-jogs, varying ceiling heights, and other custom features it works very well and a lot of time is saved being able to import it right into Chief.  But anything even mildly complex and it doesn't pay to even try.  

 

Also, it has totally frozen on me a couple of times in the field, like an hour into the job.  Had to reset the tablet, and fortunately didn't lose anything as it seems to autosave with every input, but very nerve wracking.

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Wondering how an updated Room Planner will work with the new 13" Ipad Pro........

 

I have been using a photographers tripod with an Ipad mount to carry from room to room.

Trying other ipad programs with more features as well such as Redstick Site cad.

 

I think at this moment in time (other then pen and paper) my best approach may be working right in chief using a light weight laptop with trackball on the tripod and using the Laser measure in "manual" mode entering dimensions via keyboard. (this avoids some fumbling with the laser input and odd dimensions).

 

My use is for measuring commercial retail and office spaces.

If I had a Homeowner following me around yapping at me I would probably revert back to pen and paper.

Digital site measures always seem to take twice as long with people watching......

This is what I'm doing now. I've skipped the room planner and now that X8 has a 32bit version, I can run full CA on my mini-laptop.  I've stopped trying to use the touch screen (I suppose with lots of practice I could master it) but use a mouse instead, but any easy to carry input device would work.  I then walk around like normal, using my Laser to get the measurements, and draw directly into CA to the house as it is built.  That way I've got access to all the CAD features and many library items.  It takes longer, as I'm drawing as I measure but when I'm done, I'm done, and I no longer have any mystery gaps or holes in the layout.

 

It can be automated further by using the Bluetooth Laser and the touch screen, but for now I'm dropping the paper and pencil method.

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jtcapa1,

 

I'm curious (insert your name here) which mini-laptop are you using?

 

Thanks

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I bought a small Asus Transformer Book T100TA, pad with a detachable keyboard, it can just barely run CA with no problems.

For the price it was a great option as it is easy to hold in one hand if you need to.

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