Author Topic: Kicad Quirks  (Read 4463 times)

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Offline ciikucli

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Kicad Quirks
« on: May 04, 2013, 12:38:58 am »
I've been using kicad for quite a while, and I've noticed a few things. i like to program a lot, and I'm hoping that someone can figure out if I'm doing it wrong or if it's just missing.

1)In both PCB and in eeschema, I can rotate, move and delete parts individually. Why can't I do that when I select a group without opening the right click menu.

2)It prompts me to choose which thing I have my mouse over and want to operate on, even if it seems that there is nothing else anywhere nearby.

3) Every time I tell PCB to read the netlist, any of the design rules I've applied to non named nets are reset.

4)When I'm updating the schematic, I have to generate a new netlist, tell it where to save, and go in to pcb and tell it to read the netlist. Overall, this is like 5-7 clicks and a couple different menus.

5) In the footprint editor, I can't place any lines that are not on the top silkscreen layer. Sometimes I think I would like a comments like board outline, or a line on the board outline editor.

6) In the footprint editor, I can't do dimensions, which I'd really like. Especially non linear dimensions. Some recommended PCB layers are not aligned with the x y grid.

7) I would kill for a tab toggle able x,y dialog box that would allow me to put in a change in x and a change in y. I've seen this type of behavior in draftsight and pcb. It would make everything so much easier

If anyone has noticed this or found a good solution, It would be much appreciated. I tried Diptrace before this, but I couldn't stand the complete lack of keyboard shortcuts. I haven't really tried eagle, but I predict I might soon need differential pair and impedance matching. Is it worth jumping ship? Has anyone found a solution to any of the above issues?
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Kicad Quirks
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2013, 12:52:44 am »
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1)In both PCB and in eeschema, I can rotate, move and delete parts individually. Why can't I do that when I select a group without opening the right click menu.

Inconsistency between footprints and blocks. Shoddy design IMHO.

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2)It prompts me to choose which thing I have my mouse over and want to operate on, even if it seems that there is nothing else anywhere nearby.

Well, what are the choices? It always asks if it can't tell what you're clicking on. I think there's some code in the works to improve that, by not considering choices that don't make sense (you're not trying to delete something that can't be deleted, for instance).

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3) Every time I tell PCB to read the netlist, any of the design rules I've applied to non named nets are reset.

Yes, the names aren't fixed. Name them.

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4)When I'm updating the schematic, I have to generate a new netlist, tell it where to save, and go in to pcb and tell it to read the netlist. Overall, this is like 5-7 clicks and a couple different menus.

Sadly, it's not automatic, though I've gotten used to it.

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5) In the footprint editor, I can't place any lines that are not on the top silkscreen layer. Sometimes I think I would like a comments like board outline, or a line on the board outline editor.

You can move them to another layer after placing them. It's somewhere in the right-click menu; I don't remember where, precisely.

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7) I would kill for a tab toggle able x,y dialog box that would allow me to put in a change in x and a change in y. I've seen this type of behavior in draftsight and pcb. It would make everything so much easier

That seems very easy to implement, and you said you can "program" - does this mean you'd be able to implement it?

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If anyone has noticed this or found a good solution, It would be much appreciated. I tried Diptrace before this, but I couldn't stand the complete lack of keyboard shortcuts.

I gave up Diptrace just because I'm incredibly stubborn and already accustomed to KiCad, so I don't know for sure - but I can't believe it lacks keyboard shortcuts! Are you sure you didn't miss them?
No longer active here - try the IRC channel if you just can't be without me :)
 

Offline ciikucli

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Re: Kicad Quirks
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 04:07:56 am »
Well, the only keyboard shortcuts to be found are 1 and 2, for switching between layers in the pcb version. In addition, a good deal of the number of designs I make are either too large for free eagle or have too many pins for free diptrace. This limits me to free circuit design programs.. I tried the geda suite, and while I like it, it felt too hands on most of the time

I think labeling every wire on the PCB is a terrible chore. I do it with the ones that I need to, but I suppose I can live with the quirk for now.

The other point was that sometimes it seemed to ask what I wanted to select despite there being no other options. Most of the time it can't decide between the refdes and the part.

I'm not a programmer by trade, and I've always been a hardware guy. I'm excited to see some effort on the part of CERN on the program's behalf. Maybe I'll try to take a crack at Kicad's source code.

I'm pretty happy with kicad overall. The library management is good, its under active development, and I do think its getting better. I wrote that post in case there was some easier way that I had been missing. I hope it continues to improve an remains a viable alternative to altiium
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Kicad Quirks
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2013, 04:33:29 am »
I think labeling every wire on the PCB is a terrible chore. I do it with the ones that I need to, but I suppose I can live with the quirk for now.

KiCad has a lot of missing feature-related WTFs, but I think its handling of unnamed nets is sensible. It's not an easy problem to track unnamed nets - e.g. what happens to applied rules if the net is split? And how little of an operation can be considered a split - wire fragments moved? Pins? I prefer explicit labels. I don't usually find myself applying so many specific rules that I need to label every single net, but I do a lot of labeling anyway. Done right, it can help to make the schematic clearer as well.
No longer active here - try the IRC channel if you just can't be without me :)
 

Offline calin

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Re: Kicad Quirks
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2013, 10:38:35 pm »
Try this for keys: Prefferences -> HotKeys -> List Current Hotkeys that works in both eeschema and pcb .

I agree Kicad has its quirks but is not extremely bad , given all other option are crippled in some way ... I'd rather deal with an annoying software than a crippled one :)
 


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