Currently, only I-shaped (wide flange) sections can be assigned to beams in RAM Connection. It is not possible to assign other section types, like HSS or channels, to beam members, though they can be used as columns or braces in many connection templates.
The RAM Connection Manual defines these connections as follows:
Basic Connection: A connection template that can automatically adjust the geometry (position or dimensions) of the connection pieces to fit the connection members. It does not calculate the quantity or dimensions of the connecting pieces (bolts, plates, etc) to resist the applied forces.
Smart Connection: A connection template that can automatically calculate the quantity and dimensions of the connecting pieces (bolts, welds, plate sizes etc) to resist the applied forces.
When basic connections are designed, the program searches through a list of predefined connection templates and selects the first connection in the list that satisfies the design requirements.
When smart connections are designed, the program optimizes the connection parameters. See the RAM Connection Manual for a list of parameters that are optimized for each connection type. If a parameter is not optimized, the program uses a default value that be modified in the Connection Pad as needed.
Some complex connection templates like gusset pate or base plates only have a smart variety.
The abbreviations are defined in the RAM Connection Manual (available from the help ? or as a pdf from the Windows Start menu). The naming conventions for both joints and connections are listed in Chapter 2, The Connection Database - Database organization. Here is a list of the joint types from that section:
In the Joint Help is a table of the forces considered in each of the different connection types. Here's an example from v13.04 for BCF joints:
We also offer on demand training for the basic connection configurations. See our RAM Connection Learning path.
In general, once a connection has been assigned it is associated with a specific design code. In some cases you can change the design code for a connection after the face, but when changing county codes, the connections will have to be replaced after changing the code.
RAM Connection Standalone version 10.0 or earlier:
Note, in Ram Connection Stand-alone version 9.0, changing the design code does NOT retroactively alter the assigned code for the existing joints in the file. This was done intentionally so that the user can have some joints designed to one code and other joints designed to another code within a single file. Consequently, if the design code for existing joints needs to be changed, the code should first be changed, then reassign connections to the joints.
Ram Connection Stand Alone version 11.0 and higher:
RAM Connection 10.0 or earlier for RAM Structural System:
RAM Connection 11.0 for RAM Structural System:
RAM Connection 10.0 or earlier for Ram Elements:
The design code and design method is controlled by the code selected for design when performing a design in the RAM Elements model. To change the design code or design method, redesign the model and choose the desired design code.
Changing the design code will not automatically update generated load combinations. After changing the design method, delete and regenerate the load combinations.
RAM Connection 11.0 or higher for Ram Elements:
Furthermore, once a connection is assigned each one includes a an editable field in the spreadsheet for the code:
RAM Connection completes a design check for all load conditions, including individual load cases and load combinations. For some connection types, such as a base plate connection with wind uplift, the design for an individual load case may control the design. The single load cases can be removed from consideration as follows:
Open the "Customize Connection Design" dialog using the instructions under "How can I change the design code (AISC 360 or BS 5950) or the design method (ASD or LRFD)?" above. In the dialog, click on the button marked in red below to select the load combinations only.
RAM Connection Standalone (Versions Prior to v9.0)
Please note that this will not permanently delete the load case results from the worksheet. See frequently asked question above for details.
Any item in the Connection Pad that is marked with a blue arrow (version 9.0 and later) or a red arrow (versions before 9.0) is defined in a dialog outside the Connection Pad. These parameters can be edited in the Connection Pad, but the information will be lost after closing the dialog. To change the parameters permanently, modify the values in the dialog where the information is initially defined. Edit the Joint to modify loads, sections, materials, etc. Edit the seismic provision options in the Customize Connection design dialog.
Troubleshooting Errors when Assigning Connections
Structural Product TechNotes And FAQs