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Learning Kicad

Discussion in 'PCB Layout, Design and Manufacture' started by darren adcock, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Hi all I wish to learn how to use Kicad. I have been doing tutorials via Kicad and watched some video tutorials. I have done a few smaller tutorials like learning simple led circuits for example.

    I would like to see if i can go though the process with a Voltage Controlled PWM circuit I am using quite a lot and would like to expand on in the future, but for now I'll keep it as simple as possible so i can learn and keep things less complicated. I figured it's probably best for me to post a schematic first and see if my Kicad schematic drawing is up to scratch (I've not paid enough attention yet to learning to draw schematics, so criticism is most appreciated).

    Thanks in advance

    [​IMG]
     
  2. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
    C4 and C5 connect to GND. Will edit the image asap
     
  3. Minder

    Minder

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    Apr 24, 2015
    You will also have to define/place the +12v -12v and GND as power points/sources
    Look in the Power directory and you will see a few xxx_FLAG symbols.
    This is if you wish to make PCboard and Gerbers etc.
    The Kicad forum is also useful.
    M.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
    davenn likes this.
  4. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Thanks Minder, I did get a few errors correlating to them when running an electrical rules check but couldn't understand the meaning of the messages, I will edit as you suggest in my workshop in the morning and run a rules test again.

    I will check out the Kicad forum also, that could be ideal. Would you suggest I take this project over to there instead of here?

    Best

    Darren
     
  5. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
    I see, following your leads on entering the forum i find a thread on exactly the issue you have pointed out, thanks!

    And yes i wish to create a gerber and pc board, would be a useful exercise for me to go through, especially as there is a seemingly endless list of old synth circuits I'd like to build eventually :)
     
  6. Minder

    Minder

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    Apr 24, 2015
    I have tried a few of the Chinese board suppliers, the last outfit was PCBway when you get to that stage.
    M.
     
  7. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
    I'll have a nosey thanks. I'll miss stripboard, but it ain't half untidy and brittle in comparison.
     
  8. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Took me a while to work out why I couldn't find the SWG file to convert in gimp to a JPEG so to post to imgur, yesterday it took me 5 mins....just need to better at organising project folders.

    anyhow, here is the updated schematic, it passes the electronics rules test :)

    I've switched the motor for an output jack as this circuit is intended for a modular synthesizer. I've also added the CV through part of the circuit with attenuation. The full module I use at the minute has two drivers per module, each with CV in, Cv through, CV through inverted (utilising Tl074) and motor attenuation via a pot... but I'll get though this circuit first before attempting anything more complicated.

    Also I realised that C4 and C5 were in the incorrect place so have moved the to the correct place now.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Got quite stuck on the next stage in trying to create the Gerber, am going to go through a few more tutorials. I have saved the tutorials in my bookmarks and will include them at the end of the thread for others, or at least the one's i found most useful. I'll hopefully be back soon with a gerber file :)
     
  10. Minder

    Minder

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    Apr 24, 2015
    There are many out there, there is also the ones by the original designer, Jean-Pierre Charas.
    They are for some of the original versions, but much of it still applies.
    Including creating the Gerber files, once they are created you need to Zip them for the board maker.
    M.
     
  11. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
  12. Minder

    Minder

    2,801
    583
    Apr 24, 2015
    One gotcha that I fell foul of was after completing a board that I had configured a fill zone on.
    There is a command to make the zone temporarily invisible in order to make some final adjustments, but the zone limits still shows as an outline.
    So without refilling the zone, I sent the Gerbers off.
    Needless to say, the fill zone was not there, in spite of the outline being present.:mad:
    The tutorials I mentioned are at http://kicad-pcb.org/help/tutorials/
    1/ has all the basics.
    Utube vidios by Niklas Wennerstrand are very good tips.
    M.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
  13. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Thanks M, I'll check these out!

    Should be back tomorrow with something to show, or Sunday as off to visit folks

    Gotta dread the gotcha's! Thanks for the forewarning
     
  14. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Well the engineers garage tutorial i was following lost and infuriated me as the Kicad version I have must be different (latest version). So when I got to building netlist in preparation for transferring to gerber (footprint editor) none of the symbols/windows/subwindows looked the same. I'll look for a different tutorial. Onwards!
     
  15. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
  16. Minder

    Minder

    2,801
    583
    Apr 24, 2015
    I have been using it since the older XP version, I tried the latest ver 5 and went back to a previous version as it seemed at that point there were some things to iron out.
    I agree there is a bit of a learning curve and some things do not appear obvious, but the older set of tutorials of Kicad origin, one of the better versions.
    M.
     
  17. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Cheers M, I'll check out the older version also
     
  18. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Hi, I got further today and yesterday, realised a few errors I was making etc. Anyhow, I've updated the Circuit drawing 'Eeschema' so I'll post that here first. I realised if I wanted individually labeled circuit tags for panel wiring I needed to assign individual connectors to the relevant parts of the circuit, in cluding the panel mounted potentiometer which is now assigned as rv1-rv3. [​IMG]
     
  19. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
    And here is a jpeg of the PCBNEW layout. I expect I'll be misunderstanding quite a lot here in terms of layout. [​IMG]
     
  20. darren adcock

    darren adcock

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    Sep 26, 2016
    The PCBNEW layout measures 50mm by 36mm
     
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