FAQs

Please e-mail a question or bug report to Support@PrecastEngineer.com or call 505-260-1460 to ask a question, make a suggestion, or request a change.

Select a category: All Programs | Beam | Lateral3 | Shearwal | Studs


All Programs

  1. Q: What are the current versions of your software? When will the next version be available?
  2. A: The current versions and their release dates are:

    Bcan V3.0.5 April 2012
    Beam V3.3.1 December 2013
    Compmem V3.1.2 April 2012
    Lateral3 V4.3.0 January 2016
    Shearwal V3.2.2 November 2013
    Studs V4.3.0 November 2014

    We don't have a fixed schedule for releasing the next version. We are constantly working on the software and will release the next version as soon as possible, that is, when it's ready. If you have a particular interest in some missing feature, please lets us know what you want by sending an email or calling.

  1. Q: When I click on the Print icon, it always prints the whole report. Can I print just one page?
  2. A: Click the Print Preview icon instead; then click the Print icon on the Print Preview page. That will bring up a printer dialog that will allow you to print a selected range of pages.

  1. Upgrade / Update Policy
  2. We attempt to keep our programs up-to-date by incorporating changes for building codes, adding new features and correcting bugs. Upgrades and updates are offered at the sole discretion of Salmons Technologies, Inc.

    As upgrades to the programs (new/improved features) are released, they will be provided to our rental customers for the duration of the rental agreement at no additional charge. Owners of a prepaid license for the previous version will be offered a discount (to be determined at the time the upgrade is offered) on purchasing a license for the upgrade. Upgrades are denoted by a change in the first or second place of the version number. For example V3.2.0 is an upgrade to V3.1.2.

    Updates to the programs (bug fixes) will be available at no charge to all license holders of the base version of a program as they are released. Updates are denoted by a change in the third place of the version number. For example V3.1.2 is an update to V3.1.1 and would be available at no additional charge to anyone with a license to any V3.1.x.

  1. Educational Software Policy
  2. We will provide any of our programs free of charge to accredited educational institutions for use in classroom instruction or research projects. Please contact Salmons Technologies to make arrangements to get the software for educational use.

  1. Q: Why aren't copy, cut and paste available on the Edit menu?
  2. A: Even though there are no copy, cut or paste options on the Edit menu you can still copy and paste values from/into fields on the Edit Input Data form for any of the applications. You can do this for the entire field or any selected portion of a field.

    • Select what you want to copy,
    • press [Ctrl]+[c] together to copy (that is, hold down [Ctrl] while you press [c]),
    • move the cursor to where you want to paste,
    • press [Ctrl]+[v] together to paste the copied value into the new field.

    You can do that in any individual cell in any of the input tables as well; not for full rows but each cell or a portion of a cell can be copied or pasted.

  1. Q: Have you ever considered making the results available in a spreadsheet format (presumably Excel, but any would do)?
  2. A: That probably will never happen but you can always copy the results out of the Viewing Results window and paste them into a text document which you then load into Excel.

    • Select what you want in the Viewing Results window by dragging the cursor then [Ctrl]+[C] to copy.
    • Paste it into a plain text file in Notepad and save it.
    • Then from the Excel menu select File → Open.
    • In the file dialog be sure "Text Files (*.prn,*.txt,*.csv)" is selected for the type and open your text file.
    • You'll get a dialog for converting the data. Use fixed width and the General data type and it should import OK.
    • You might need to adjust column widths by dragging the triangle at the top of the column separator in Step 2 of the dialog.

  1. Q: Can I use my STI programs on my home computer as well as my office computer?
  2. A: The license says you can use a program on one CPU only. The hardware key forces you to use it on one CPU at a time. Other than that, the security isn't sophisticated enough to know the difference. So you can load it on both and take the key home with you at night. We won't come to your house and check.

  1. Q: Can I get a network license for STI programs so they can be used on more than one computer?
  2. A: Sorry, we have no network license options at this time. Let us know you would be interested in a network license option and that will help move it to the top of the priority list.

  1. Q: Can I return the Marx HW key for a refund of the deposit?
  2. A: If you paid a deposit on the key, you can get a refund. However, we will not pay a refund for keys lost in the mail during return. You must package the key so it will pass through the USPS mail handling equipment without getting separated from the package. We will not pay a refund for a torn, empty envelope.


Beam

  1. Q (V3.1.1): What does the value reported for Stc(tpg) in the composite section properties represent? (Changed in V3.2.0)
  2. A: That number is Stc(tpg) = Ic / ytpg / (Etpg / Epc). You were probably expecting just Ic / ytpg. Version 3.2.0 and later do report Ic / ytpg as the Stc(tpg) value.

  1. Q: What is the current operating procedure to run a mildly reinforced member in Beam?
  2. A: You can trick Beam to give pretty good results for non-prestress members by setting the pull ratio to 0.001, strand diameter and area both to 0.0001 on the Strand Info. page and the number of strand to 0.01 on the End Patterns page. You'll get a warning that the pull is outside the normal range but changing that value is essential to get the shear requirement calculated with ACI 318 Eq. 11-13 instead on Eq. 11-14. When using this method be sure to check that Eq.11-13 is in fact used.

  1. Q: Is it OK to continue using Beam V3.0.4 or earlier for over-reinforced members?
  2. A: The bug in version 3.0.4 and earlier (also sold as version 3.04 by J&A) occurs when compression steel is used to increase the moment capacity of an otherwise over-reinforced member. It over estimates the strength gained from compression steel and is not conservative! It's best to avoid over-reinforced designs if you continue to use those versions of the software.

      Top



Lateral3

  1. Q: I'm using the IBC 2000 (or 2003) code. Why don't I get the forces I'm expecting for Seismic loads?
  2. A: Well, there could be several causes for this. But a common problem is that Spectral Response parameters Ss and S1 must be entered as a percent of g (%g) not as decimal values. So, for example, to use 50% of g, enter 50.0 not 0.50.

  1. Q: Must the origin for wall layout be in the lower left corner of the building?
  2. A: Yes. The forces won't be calculated correctly if it is anywhere else. See the section of the Help on Wall Layout under Calculation Methods Introduction.

  1. Q: Does Lateral3 V4.2.0 use the lower bound for the Seismic Response Coefficient, Cs, specified in Supplement No. 2 to ASCE 7-05? (Fixed in V4.2.1)
  2. A: No. Version 4.2.0 was released before Supplement No. 2 was published. You'll have to check the lower bound manually and, if the Cs being used by Lateral3 is less than the minimum from Supplement No.2, proportion results by (Cs,min/Cs,calc) where Cs,min is the value specified by Supplement No. 2 and Cs,calc is the value specified by ASCE 7-05, that is, the value calculated by Lateral3.

  1. Q: Have the floor displacements shown in the output already been increased by Cd? That is, are these “design displacements”?
  2. A: The actual displacements shown are from the first order elastic analysis and thus are not design displacements. When drift is checked for compliance the Cd actually gets applied to drift ratios so the program never actually shows the design displacements.

      Top



Shearwal

  1. Q: Shouldn't the Mu value in the "Checks for Ultimate (Design) Moment by Strain Compatibility" include the moment induced by the external applied dead and live loads? (Changed in V3.2.1; see the News item.)
  2. A: The presentation of the factored loads equation in this section is misleading. The equation, as it is presented, is not used directly. The Mu value shown there is only the moment resulting from the horizontal wind or seismic load, the same number you entered on the Lateral & Vertical Loads page with the appropriate load factor applied.

    The effect of any non-symmetric vertical dead and live loads is included in the φMn value that is calculated for each load case. So, the φMn value represents the capacity available in the wall with the given vertical loads to resist the specific horizontal wind or seismic load. If you compare the φMn for positive moment (in the OUTPUT section of the report) to φMn for negative moment (in the MOMENT REVERSAL section of the report) you will see the effect of non-symmetric dead and live vertical loads on the capacity of the wall to resist the specified wind or seismic horizontal load.

      Top



Studs

  1. Q: Where in Appendix D is the "Disable Front Edge Breakout Calculation" allowed?
  2. A: In the Help section for the Plate Installation page, it is explained that the commentary of Appendix D section RD.6.2.1 fudges on the applicability of the breakout strength in shear but doesn't give any quantifiable guidance on when to ignore the breakout calculation.

    The European code ETAG 001 Annex C (3rd Ammendment Aug. 2010) Sect. 5.2.3.4 states that edge failure need not be checked if edge distance c > 10 hef and c > 60 d. We recommend that you follow these guidelines for using the checkbox.

      Top