How to Design Your Own Table Top Interface

Introduction

One of my customers recently asked me if he can design his own Table Top Interconnect Interface (otherwise known as a “Table Socket” or “Table J-Box”). The answer was obvious: just go to our website, make a custom design, and place an order.

 

“Well,” he said, “what I really want is to design the interface and present it to my customer in a PDF format and then once it is accepted, I’ll place an order.”

 

Fortunately, we have a solution for that – the AVSnap AV design software! Let’s see how we can design a Table Top interface in a few simple steps.

 

Discussion

After a short discussion, I learned the customer needed, “2 Power Sockets, 2 HDMI connections, 2 RJ-45 Network connections, 2 USB charging ports, and some way to select 2 HDMI inputs.” The customer preferred the Tilt Up model instead of the Push Up or Cable Nook models. After a quick use of AVSnap, we completed the Table Top unit mock-up.

 

Blog 03072016 - Figure 1 - Completed Tabletop Unit mockup for customer review

Figure 1: Completed Table Top unit mock-up for customer’s review

Now let’s make this design rendering using AVSnap software. Typically, it takes about 1 to 2 minutes to complete this design.

Step 1:

 

Download and install the AVSnap software from the AVSnap website. The software is free to use. The software comes with the default libraries, but I recommend downloading the libraries marked “2016.” You can download these libraries by clicking here. The libraries are in ZIP format, so you will need to extract and place them in a convenient folder for you.

 

Step 2:

 

Download Altinex Table Top interface libraries. These libraries are located on the AVSnap website and can be downloaded directly from the AVSnap user interface. Click on File -> Add Libraries from Web.

 

Blog 03072016 - Figure 2 - Select libraries from web listing

Figure 2: Select “Add Libraries from Web”

Sometimes when you try to download these libraries, you may get an error that AVSnap cannot connect to server. This is typically due to the PC firewall setting. To bypass this, right-click on the AVSnap Icon and select “Run as Administrator.”

Blog 03072016 - Figure 3 - Run as administrator enables access to web libraries

Figure 3: “Run as administrator” enables access to web libraries

Step 3:

Use shortcut “A” or select “Add Libraries” from the File menu. Once selected, the AVSnap libraries will open on the right hand side library pane.

 

Blog 03072016 - Figure 4 - AVSnap libraries available for design

Figure 4: AVSnap libraries available for design

Step 4:

Use “Custom Outline Symbols” and “Snap-In Outline Symbols” library to duplicate the design shown at the beginning of the article. The simplest way is to drag and drop individual components on the screen. Each component has snap points, making it easy to align into the required position.

 

Blog 03072016 - Figure 5 - Components can be dragged and dropped to create any design

Figure 5: Components can be dragged and dropped to create any design

Using the AVSnap software and the latest libraries, it is easy to design any type of Table Top interconnect interface. Once it is designed, Altinex can build this unit in a few days.

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