Author Topic: I did it - switched to KiCad  (Read 23499 times)

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Offline gertux

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I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #75 on: February 10, 2018, 07:43:14 pm »
Last week at fosdem Wayne gave a short presentation about the upcoming 5.0 release.
https://video.fosdem.org/2018/K.4.201/cad_kicad_v5.mp4
 
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Offline voltsandjolts

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #76 on: February 18, 2018, 10:43:23 pm »
Nice.
Kudos to DigiKey indeed!
 

Offline paulca

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #77 on: March 13, 2018, 01:12:22 am »
James sorry but there is no excuse for quirky software. If you know something is not user-friendly, it needs to be fixed. Not ignored.

Then fix it yourself or shut up about it and wait like the rest of us.  Remember most, if not all of the developers for open source projects are voluntary efforts and users for the software they write.

Sometimes, actually very often, the quirks are in the user.

Besides I have only just started using Kicad as my first EDA and I find it highly efficient for 90% of the things I have done.  I keep learning new keyboard short cuts that make it even faster.

Some things have rough edges, but when compared with the alternatives that cost hundreds of pounds, I'm not complaining.
"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  3 Channel Audio mixer with DAC, BT, pre-amps and h/phone amp, WS281x LED controller Version 2 5V/5A w/Atmega328, FY6600 Power supply, 5A DC Load (Still!)
 

Offline bandgap

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #78 on: March 13, 2018, 03:49:02 am »
Some things have rough edges, but when compared with the alternatives that cost hundreds of pounds, I'm not complaining.

To be perfectly honest, the packages that costs $100s or $1000s also have rough edges and areas where usability could be improved. While KiCad has limitations in some areas, I have yet to see a PCB design suite that doesn't.

I'm mainly using DipTrace at the moment (I switch up a lot!), but KiCad's value is infinitely better than anything out there and version 5 is going to improve that even further!

 

Offline james_s

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #79 on: March 13, 2018, 04:14:39 am »
When I first started out, I tried every EDA I could get my hands on to play with, ranging from free up to one that cost several thousand dollars to buy, laid out roughly the same board in all of them, came to the conclusion that they all suck. They all have rough edges, quirky UIs, it's just a fact of life when dealing with niche market software generally used by trained professionals.
 

Offline Deridex

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #80 on: March 14, 2018, 02:22:37 am »
To be perfectly honest, the packages that costs $100s or $1000s also have rough edges and areas where usability could be improved. While KiCad has limitations in some areas, I have yet to see a PCB design suite that doesn't.
+1
So far i worked with Eagle, KiCad, Circuitmaker and Altium. And all of em took me a while to get used to em.
 

Online ggchab

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #81 on: March 28, 2018, 10:20:02 pm »
I am planning to move from Eagle to KiCad. Already followed some tutorials on Youtube and played a bit with the software. I am very enthusiast and I don't think this is going to be a difficult move  :)

With version 5, it's even possible to import Eagle projects. Not perfect but impressive  :-+ And making the necessary corrections in the schematics, libraries and PCB is a good way to learn ! Of course, as a hobbyist, I am not taking big risks ...
 

Offline paulca

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #82 on: March 28, 2018, 10:50:57 pm »
Does anyone know if 5 adds support for grouping components with layouts on the PCB?
"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  3 Channel Audio mixer with DAC, BT, pre-amps and h/phone amp, WS281x LED controller Version 2 5V/5A w/Atmega328, FY6600 Power supply, 5A DC Load (Still!)
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #83 on: March 29, 2018, 08:54:17 am »
Does anyone know if 5 adds support for grouping components with layouts on the PCB?

You mean like Altium's "rooms," for channelized designs where you lay out one room at a time, and that layout is replicated as often as needed?

If so, then no.

It's been an outstanding feature request forever, and it's more difficult to implement well than I think most people realize.
 

Offline paulca

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #84 on: March 29, 2018, 05:20:15 pm »
Even just CTRL+G and CTRL+SHIFT+G to group and ungroup components.    Then you could right click a component and have "SELECT GROUP" as an option.  It would select the previously grouped components and all of the local nets, ie.  nets which both ends within the grouped components.

Duplicative groups would be nice, but just groups of components as above would be a start.

When you layout the PSU portion of your circuit, as an example, drag it in, wire it up, but then later decide to move it.  It can be a faff trying to select it and it's local nets to move it.

On duplicative groups...  I have to get my sleeves rolled up an get into Python for an up coming project.  I have multiple prototype projects which will combine into one large one.  I am not looking forward to laying out all those groups again.  The only difficulty I see is annotations.  I have only recently (too late) learned that you shouldn't really start your annotations at 1 on every circuit.  It prevents reuse of the layouts later.  If each of your sub projects and subsheets uses different prefix on the annotation you can copy and paste them in the SCH files etc.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 05:23:57 pm by paulca »
"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  3 Channel Audio mixer with DAC, BT, pre-amps and h/phone amp, WS281x LED controller Version 2 5V/5A w/Atmega328, FY6600 Power supply, 5A DC Load (Still!)
 

Offline bson

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #85 on: March 31, 2018, 08:20:36 am »
A notion of subcircuits would be a grand feature!  Something to copy and paste an entire subcircuit, including schematics, components, PCB layout, and footprints from one design to another.
 

Offline paulca

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #86 on: March 31, 2018, 06:51:31 pm »
Agreed, even if they allowed hierarchical sheets to have layouts saved with them.  Hierarchical layouts.

Out of interest I discovered a time saving tip in KiCad I thought I'd share.

If you have a component or group of components which is already routed and you want to move, you probably won't be able to save all it's nets and you will leave a mess of unconnected traces lying around.  Just break those traces by deleting one portion of them, then select "Edit->Clean up traces and vias".  This will delete all the unconnected left overs very quickly.  It's not perfect and has a habbit of leaving trace snippets under pads.
"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  3 Channel Audio mixer with DAC, BT, pre-amps and h/phone amp, WS281x LED controller Version 2 5V/5A w/Atmega328, FY6600 Power supply, 5A DC Load (Still!)
 

Offline VEGETA

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #87 on: April 22, 2018, 08:21:39 pm »
I would like for KiCAD to have a feature to output to LTSpice for example and take from it too. This will greatly help.

Anyway, will version 5 include new GUI? will it be the new "ribbon" thing. It is nice so I wish it happens.
 

Offline paulca

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"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  3 Channel Audio mixer with DAC, BT, pre-amps and h/phone amp, WS281x LED controller Version 2 5V/5A w/Atmega328, FY6600 Power supply, 5A DC Load (Still!)
 

Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #89 on: April 25, 2018, 02:41:56 pm »
I would like for KiCAD to have a feature to output to LTSpice for example and take from it too. This will greatly help.

It looks like KiCAD simulation can
* export Spice netlist ok
but there is currently no GUI pathway to
* import external netlist into simulator (tho they must do that in the background from SCH -> Sim)
* export plot RAW file. An exported RAW format, would load into LTSpice viewer.
 

Offline Electro Fan

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #90 on: April 25, 2018, 04:44:01 pm »
I would like for KiCAD to have a feature to output to LTSpice for example and take from it too. This will greatly help.

It looks like KiCAD simulation can
* export Spice netlist ok
but there is currently no GUI pathway to
* import external netlist into simulator (tho they must do that in the background from SCH -> Sim)
* export plot RAW file. An exported RAW format, would load into LTSpice viewer.

VEGETA’s idea is good.

It would seem that doing a spice simulation earlier than later in the overall process in an effort to try to make sure a circuit works electrically/logically before laying it out schematically or physically would be a sensible sequence.  If so, KICAD should be able to import from spice to use the spice work as a starting point - rather than laying everything out nicely in KICAD and then running a simulation to see if the laid out circuit operates.  A simulation might not always be needed or wanted but it should be allowed/enabled to be a starting or early step when it is needed or wanted.
 

Offline Electro Fan

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #91 on: April 27, 2018, 03:30:13 am »
I was a diptrace user, tried kicad last year, and adopted it ...
yes it's not very polished user interface, but as a mac user, a native app is prefered over an app in a virtual machine...
don't stop at first sight of kicad. try to make a board from start to pcb with it.
seems the next version will add a ton of features in the user interface part, will see it.
I only make 2-3 pcb a year, the other are made on protoboards, but kicad as completely free and mac native app has my vote.

I’m a brand new user to EDA so my comments are based on very limited experience.  KICAD and DipTrace both seem to have lots of admiring users but it seems almost ironic that the one that runs natively on a Mac feels like a program that evolved from DOS and the one that feels more like a Mac runs natively on a PC.
 

Offline Electro Fan

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #92 on: April 27, 2018, 03:40:53 am »
Im a dip trace User, tried Kicad Mac version recently , very buggy , odd user interface. Once Diptrace has push and shove its streets ahead in terms of usability

What is “push and shove”?  Thx
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #93 on: April 27, 2018, 06:24:57 am »
Push and shove is a feature where when routing a trace, if there is no gap between traces, but there is space for those traces to be shifted a little allowing that gap, the program shifts them for you to route through.
 
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Offline Electro Fan

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #94 on: April 27, 2018, 07:01:28 am »
Push and shove is a feature where when routing a trace, if there is no gap between traces, but there is space for those traces to be shifted a little allowing that gap, the program shifts them for you to route through.

First I just hit the thanks button, but I couldn't resist saying this seems to be something a guy named "Rerouter" would know a lot about.   :) :-+
 
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Online ggchab

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #95 on: May 11, 2018, 06:18:13 pm »
Nightly build of version 5 now includes the libraries.
Close to the final release ?  :)
 

Offline hermit

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #96 on: May 12, 2018, 02:10:16 am »
I thought they were going make libraries a choice in the installer?
 

Offline ElektroQuark

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #97 on: May 12, 2018, 05:01:58 am »
You can select them to be installed or not, but they are included in the installer files.
They are an extra 500MB before installation.

Offline hermit

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #98 on: May 12, 2018, 06:38:12 am »
I guess the previous issue was people doing nightly builds didn't want to keep downloading them every time they updated  but I guess the 'release' version will be different.  Makes sense I guess.
 

Offline apurvdate

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Re: I did it - switched to KiCad
« Reply #99 on: May 12, 2018, 03:42:34 pm »
all that size is because of the 3d shapes files.. libraries & footprint files hardly take 50-60 MB..
i seriously want them to package 3d shape files in a separate installer..
 


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