Author Topic: Kicad what was it designed for?  (Read 15553 times)

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Offline zimzom

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Kicad what was it designed for?
« on: March 31, 2014, 01:58:04 am »
No volt meters, no galvanometers, no 10v power, no pots (that I can see anyway). Very few components, Perhaps I was expecting to much from free software. Whats the point of this package if it does not come with even the basic stuff? :palm:

Lets see how I faired...

+10v - nothing.
500 ohm lin pot. .... nothing
50k ohm lin pot ..... nothing
LM7810.... nothing.
Galvanometer.... nothing.
wire ... can simulate this!

Not being a dick but how is this useful? LM7810 is hardly an exotic bit of kit... same with the pots or the meter... Am I missing the point/core functionality of the package? did the designers allway envisage users creating all there own libraries replicating hours of work? crocodile clips had all of this shit and its how many years old?

« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 02:04:14 am by zimzom »
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2014, 02:12:31 am »
Of course you're supposed to create your own parts, duh. Adding a 7810 will take you what, a minute?

Surely there are pots. I don't use the default library but there must be. Look again.

What schematic software comes with voltmeters and galvanometers? Why do you need them?

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Offline c4757p

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2014, 02:17:04 am »
500 ohm lin pot. .... nothing
50k ohm lin pot ..... nothing

Dude, just admit you don't know how to use it and ask for help, instead of complaining. You put down the pot and then set its value, just like in every other modern EDA... :palm:
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Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 02:32:16 am »
Quote
Galvanometer.... nothing.

idk, I'm always whacking Galvanometers down, I like to sprinkle them around like 100nF caps.

 
a bit more seriously, are you looking for a simulator or maybe just something to draw schematics in?

If you want to add a 7810 you put down a 7805 and edit the value to say 7810. that's it.


 

Offline apelly

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 02:47:35 am »
The official libraries are on github. New-ish builds look online on your behalf, but there is also a script to go and get them and store them locally if you prefer.
I'd rather a Google clue, link, or some theory than "do this" (generally)
 

Offline Mr Smiley

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 02:48:05 am »
For the pots,,,

Derr, it's called Vr  in the device library |O

When you go from schematic to pcb you just select the desired footprint.

There's no point in providing a Vr symbol for every possible value when a single symbol and a keyboard to specify it's value is in front of you.

 :)
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Offline zimzom

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 03:27:33 am »
this was my mtpaint effort.. :-\

three pots, a galvanometer, a 12v current source, and a LM7810.



I just need a program that is easy to use, that has good documentation and tutorials and already has lots of components ready to go. Otherwise whats the advantage over a paper and pencil? Even the mtpaint was more complicated than that and looked a worse...

Perhaps I am missing something about these computer tools.




« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 03:36:04 am by zimzom »
 

Offline apelly

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2014, 03:32:53 am »
Dude. Have you seen the kicad docco? There's a boat load of it.

The problem with "simple" and "easy to use" is that once you're trying to do something specialised they no longer apply. Everything worthwhile has a learning curve.
I'd rather a Google clue, link, or some theory than "do this" (generally)
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2014, 03:44:26 am »
I use LTSpice IV for drawing quick schematics.
If you dont want to take them to PCB.

 

Offline Mr Smiley

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2014, 02:40:02 pm »
this was my mtpaint effort..
I just need a program that is easy to use, that has good documentation and tutorials and already has lots of components ready to go. Otherwise whats the advantage over a paper and pencil? Even the mtpaint was more complicated than that and looked a worse...

Perhaps I am missing something about these computer tools.


Oh, those were the days.

When at collage, we wrote our lab reports in less than an hour using pens/paper/ruler and rubbers.

Then we were told we now had to hand them in printed and on disk  :wtf: ( 5 1/2 " disks, remember them, i still have some 8" disks and the drive )

Well, then we had cp/m ( running on a Z80 4Mhz ), dot matrix printers and wordstar ( not the graphical front end version, but the dos box equivalent, anybody remember the KA, KB, KC ).

Well it took us bloody days to do it.

The spell checking on wordstar was a separate command line package, you set it off and went back several hours later, and it didn't correct your spelling, it told you what words were wrong, you had to write them down and go back into your cp/m windowed wordstar and correct them all by hand.

Then sit around a few more hours for the serial dot matrix printers to do their stuff, got a word or diagram ( oh please not the diagrams  |O |O |O |O |O ) wrong and you had to do it all again.

Remember, computers were invented to help us do things quicker and easier and faster so we had more time for ourselves. Didn't quite work out did it.  :-DD
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Offline scientist

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2014, 01:18:49 am »
"The learning curve on kicad is pretty steep." - Gabe Newell

Yep.
 

Offline kile

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2014, 09:59:42 am »
"The learning curve on kicad is pretty steep." - Gabe Newell

Yep.

While I only have experience with KiCad and Eagle I have to say I was impressed with KiCad's learning curve. Learning Eagle was a long, painful and frustrating experience. Granted, it was the first schematic/PCB software and even the first CAD software I ever tried, so I had to learn the GUI and also learn the basic principles behind electronic CAD.

Learning KiCad was a much, much better experience. I was put off from trying it for a long time fearing I will have to repeat all the pain I went through with Eagle. But eventually I had to learn it because I needed to design a PCB larger than Eagle's free licence allowed. I was amazed how easy it actually was. And I could even import all my Eagle footprint libraries! Yay!

One thing's for sure - I am not going back to Eagle.

Now, I'm sure that commercial packages like Altium Designer are much better, but hey - at that price it would be a tragedy if they weren't.
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2014, 10:04:37 am »
Not necessarily easier to learn, but at least you only have to learn them once.

It took me a fair while to get to grips with Orcad PCB Designer, but at least now I can drive a range of tools all the way up to variants of Allegro that cost more than my car (and were probably used to design most of its electrical system).

Offline mark03

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2014, 05:45:33 pm »
OP is spot on, exact he picked the wrong examples (galvanometers? seriously?)

Here's a random sampling of what cooks my noodle:
1) No ANSI-standard resistor symbol (you know, with the squiggly line).  I realize the program has European roots, but seriously, you'd think that would've been added by now!
2) The most basic SMD IC footprints (SO, SOIC, TSSOP, QFN, QFP) are variously missing, misnamed, or wrong.
3) Persist in calling footprints "modules" for no reason that I can discern, except to confuse newcomers.  Even the new s-expression format keeps this backward terminology.

 #2 may be par for the course with free/open CAD packages (gEDA wasn't much better), but it hurts somehow because the KiCAD documentation is filled with descriptions of their wonderful libraries, with "making your own" relegated to an appendix, as if it's not something you'd often need.

I just hope the CERN folks can whip it into shape...  unless Altium wants to enter the hobbyist market.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2014, 11:47:01 pm »
Quote
1) No ANSI-standard resistor symbol (you know, with the squiggly line).  I realize the program has European roots, but seriously, you'd think that would've been added by now!

That may be a valid criticism but
Is there a need to two symbols for resistors in the one package? No, so they had to choose one.
Its a 5 minute job to fix this if you wanted to.

But it is funny to expect others to use American standards when the USA persists in such idiocy as imperial units.
Get your own house into order. Especially the term mil. Sort of part metric.
Thankfully the newer packages seem to be coming out metric.


 

Offline GiskardReventlov

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2014, 04:35:05 pm »
Configuring what symbols to use isn't configurable?  Sounds like a simple fix. Did anyone file a bug about it? Open source means you get to contribute. If you can only file bugs and no code that's a good contribution. Good bug reports can be hard to do. Can also be a PITA because you have to create yet another account in the bug system. But that's the price.

Or if some part's missing can't you submit the part to their library for future inclusion?

You've no doubt heard all this before.

Regarding CERN's contribution I'm not sure how good that'll be to have a huge bureacracy involved in the project.
The users need to whip it into shape. Bugs, docs, parts, etc. Blah,blah,blah.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2014, 11:11:11 pm »
Its only a library thing.
No part of the program specifies what a resistor looks like.

I actually use 2 different caps and 2 different resistors.

One are the originals and the others are smaller versions of each.
I use these often so I can fit more components into a schematic. Didn't make an ANSI version though. Call them Ralt and Calt.

Quote
Or if some part's missing can't you submit the part to their library for future inclusion?
That's right but I wouldn't hold your breath. Just give precedence to your own libs.
 

Offline GiskardReventlov

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2014, 02:51:46 am »
Its only a library thing.
If the kicad workflow expects the user to design parts then there's not much point in complaining about this issue it seems to me.

Quote
That's right but I wouldn't hold your breath. Just give precedence to your own libs.
So they don't readily accept 3rd party parts?  I guess that makes sense because it would require some review process for them to be included and that takes time. Better to let users be responsible for the accuracy of their own parts.
 

Offline david77

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2014, 03:27:04 am »
I don't usually need the PCB tools in all of these packages, all I really need is a good and intuitive circuit diagram editor. It took me years to find what I want, I've tried them all Eagle, KiCad, TinyCAD etc.

Then I found this, not free but at 50EUR really affordable: http://www.abacom-online.de/uk/html/splan.html

It has probably most of the symbols I will ever need and they look the way I want them.
What fascinated me the most was how easy it is to use compared to all the other stuff I've tried.
Of course there's also a way to make board layouts with the extra package. I haven't tried that.

I have no affiliation with them, I just really like sPlan.
 

Offline Frenchie

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2014, 05:33:13 am »
So they don't readily accept 3rd party parts?  I guess that makes sense because it would require some review process for them to be included and that takes time. Better to let users be responsible for the accuracy of their own parts.

I'm not sure about the schematic library but I have submitted several corrections on the "pretty" footprint libraries via github pull requests (pin pitch correction, pad misalignment, missing technical layers etc). In each of those cases they have been very open to receiving the fixes and have merged them inside a day or two. Your mileage may vary with new parts / symbols though.
 

Offline GiskardReventlov

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2014, 11:34:48 pm »
In each of those cases they have been very open to receiving the fixes and have merged them inside a day or two.
That's good to know and a good sign. Not that I'll be contributing anything back soon. I'll need to learn how to use kicad first.
 

Offline Icchan

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2014, 11:37:13 pm »
I just need a program that is easy to use, that has good documentation and tutorials and already has lots of components ready to go. Otherwise whats the advantage over a paper and pencil? Even the mtpaint was more complicated than that and looked a worse...

Then KiCad isn't for you. It's not even a close to any real software that has it all and is easy to install etc. etc.
It might get better now with Cern branch but I definitely have been avoiding KiCad because I need a tool, not a toy or something to hack around when I want to get a job done.

Try "designspark pcb" free and it works, has a good docs etc etc. Maybe even the free edition of eagle?

Offline Chris56000

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2017, 12:58:50 am »
Hi!exsisting

I'm a very satisfied user of Abacom's SPlan 7.0 and for documenting exsisting/unknown pieces of equipment I find there's nothing better, quicker, or neater, and it also has ready-made symbols in the libraries for meter movements and generators as well.

It is also by far the best if, like me, you like to work on equipment using thermionic valves, I have one of those 17 valve stereograms that needs drawing out, but I'm eagerly awaiting Abacom's SPlan 8.0, as 7.0 and earlier aren't Unicode-compatible so adding Cyrillic letters in the valve type nos. is out of the question!

I believe Doxdev's AutoTRAX EDA is (NOT the Altium freeware) is Unicode-compatible, but I've not tried it for some years as last time I tried it it crashed too many times and the graphical rendering was buggy (non-linearity of background grids, bent schematic-lines that didn't join up accurately, distorted mis-shaped lettering and assorted other artifacts) and that put me off!

KiCAD was, in my opinion designed for somebody who wants or has a need to make huge projects without five-figure licences or subscription-models, etc., and to have no PCB size/layer limitations, and for that purpose only.

Open-Source does not imply it's easy to use or very quick in operation - really and truly I have found trying to draw something in KiCAD very slow and frustrating!

Chris Willians
It's an enigma that's what it is!! This thing's not fixed because it doesn't want to be fixed!!
 

Offline ElektroQuark

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2017, 10:43:17 am »
RTFM.

Then start asking for help. We will gladly help you.

Offline b_force

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Re: Kicad what was it designed for?
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2017, 11:24:57 am »
Quote
1) No ANSI-standard resistor symbol (you know, with the squiggly line).  I realize the program has European roots, but seriously, you'd think that would've been added by now!

That may be a valid criticism but
Is there a need to two symbols for resistors in the one package? No, so they had to choose one.
Its a 5 minute job to fix this if you wanted to.
It's definitely valid in a more like professional environment.
Of course you can change everything yourself, but why not implement it in the program?
It's not that much more work for the programmers and you look a whole lot more professional.

This is also my main critique towards KiCad, the mindset could be better.
If people want to use it on a daily basis, all these little details matter.
"If you can't explain it simply (or at all), you don't understand it well enough." A. Einstein

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