Hack Chat Transcript, Part 2

A event log for KiCad and FreeCAD Hack Chat

Anool Madharia

LutetiumLutetium 04/24/2019 at 20:120 Comments

John12:42 PM
im loving kicad v5. Ive been very frustrated in the past, but this time around i went from 0 experience to a fully laid out board in ≈6 hours

Anool Mahidharia12:42 PM
Awesome, John

John12:43 PM
what parts of EEschema need work?

Anool Mahidharia12:43 PM
Library management (similar to PCBnew) is still work in progress.

morgan12:43 PM
*cough* scripting *cough*

Anool Mahidharia12:44 PM
Dev's were concentrating on polishing of PCBnew, which is more critical for the final output.

Anool Mahidharia12:44 PM
Yeah, scripting, too

Jan12:44 PM
a major difference is the CTRL+E command in PCBnew now. pre 5.1 it changed the part in its library.

Jan12:45 PM
now it opens the footprint editor too, but only a local copy under the projects name

morgan12:46 PM
Jan, that makes sense to me, anytime I make a change to a global footprint I save it as a local version

Marcus D. joined  the room.12:46 PM

Anool Mahidharia12:46 PM
I've always advocated creating custom project libraries for each project for symbols as well as footprints. I embed these libraries within the project folder itself, so the project is completely portable and doesn't depend on external libs.

morgan12:46 PM
if it's a real fix, submit a PR

Jan12:48 PM
@Anool Mahidharia so you copy all your footprints needed to that new library in advance?

Marcus D.12:48 PM
Hey has anyone ever seen a build of a homebrew ethernet controller?

Anool Mahidharia12:48 PM

Tillo12:48 PM
How easy is it to copy footprints into those libraries? And how about the parts in the official libraries?

Anool Mahidharia12:49 PM
For EEschema, I rename the .cache library, and use that for symbols. For PCBnew, I use the archive feature to create a local library.

Anool Mahidharia12:50 PM
From there, it's a matter of opening the .sch and .kicad_pcb files in a text editor and replacing the library path references. A quick search and replace accomplishes that.

Christoph12:50 PM
so basically EEschema is lacking the archive feature that PCBnew has already?

Anool Mahidharia12:50 PM
Christoph, yes.

Jan12:50 PM
"From there, it's a matter of opening the .sch and .kicad_pcb files in a text editor and replacing the library path references. A quick search and replace accomplishes that."


Jan12:51 PM
that is so far away from any usability, even for free software

Anool Mahidharia12:51 PM
EEschema is low priority on the development path. But it will happen some time soon.

Anool Mahidharia12:52 PM
Jan, you can do it from within PCBnew too, if that floats your boat.

Christoph12:52 PM
well Jan it's a feature that doesn't exist yet - of course the workaround is a hack

Chris Ryding12:52 PM
What's a good reference for this sort of "best practices" work flow? That's such a rough manual process right now that I could really use a cheat sheet.

Anool Mahidharia12:53 PM
Chris, have you followed @Chris Gammell 's Getting to Blinky series ?

Chris Ryding12:54 PM
Not yet, it's on my Subscribed list. I'll check it out.

Anool Mahidharia12:55 PM
Also, here are links to design Review checklists that many of you may find useful

PCBnew checklist :

Schematic checklist :

Anool Mahidharia12:56 PM
"Best Practises" and a Cheat Sheet are a good idea. I'll look around and see if anyone's done that already (never needed to use one myself).

Anool Mahidharia12:58 PM
Maybe we ought to setup a FreeCAD chatroom/project page here on .io to share info.

John12:58 PM
anool, do you have a youtube channel where I can learn more advanced kicad techniques? or do you have some channels/reference books/websites you can recommend?

John12:59 PM
(besides chris gammell - his stuff is great and ive been through some of it)

Foalyy12:59 PM
@Chris Ryding If I may humbly promote my own stuff, here is a Kicad cheatsheet I wrote some time ago : It has been added to the official Kicad doc but the last version for Kicad 5 is not pushed yet.

morgan12:59 PM
/me would loiter in #FreeCAD CHat

Anool Mahidharia12:59 PM
At John, I don't YouTube, but there's a lot of stuff out there.

Chris Ryding1:00 PM
@Foalyy Great! thanks

Anool Mahidharia1:00 PM
I'll set the FreeCAD chat room on .io once I'm done with KiCon this weekend, unless someone else does it earlier

Jan1:00 PM
ok, will have another read through your article then @Anool Mahidharia

Tillo1:00 PM
@Foalyy this is great. thanks

Jan1:00 PM


KiCAD Best Practices: Library Management

One common complaint we hear from most new KiCAD users relates to schematic and footprint libraries. The trick is to use just one schematic symbol and footprint library each with your project. This way any changes to the default schematic libraries will not affect your project and it will be easy to share your project with others without breaking it.

Read this on Hackaday

Anool Mahidharia1:00 PM
@Foalyy , thanks. That nice !

Anool Mahidharia1:01 PM
Thanks, @Jan , for digging up my old blog post.

Jan1:02 PM
yeah, I really want my projects to be as "system independent" as possible

Dan Maloney1:05 PM
Wow, didn't realize that our "official" hour had slipped away. If Anool wants to stay on and keep chatting, that's fine, but I'll just end the session now and say thanks again to Anool for sharing his time on what's no doubt a busy week.

Anool Mahidharia1:05 PM
The process I use works pretty well for me, and I haven't had anyone complain about a broken project or missing files.

I embed everything within the project folders - datasheets, images (renders), PDF of schematic/layers, gerbers, libraries etc.

Anool Mahidharia1:06 PM
Thanks for having me, @Dan Maloney

Dan Maloney1:06 PM
Next week, we've got John Welsh for NVIDIA stopping by to talk about their Jetson AI edge-computing platforms.

wyojustin1:06 PM

Anool Mahidharia1:06 PM
Enjoyed my time here. thanks everyone, for hanging out.

Jan1:07 PM
thanks @Anool Mahidharia

Jan1:08 PM
just found this btw:

Anool Mahidharia1:08 PM
Looking forward to meeting many of you in Chicago in a few days.


Jan1:09 PM