KICAD

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KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:47 pm

KICAD for windows version BZR5376 has been released, which includes better 3D graphics. I was hoping for the improved push trace routing, but I don't see that.
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Re: KICAD

Post by russian » Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:04 pm

I guess you are referring to http://kicad.nosoftware.cz/ ?

Will defenitely try! I remember at some point fresh Windows binaries were unstable :(
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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:20 pm

Looks like libraries are now a library table thing, which as of this day is pretty much cripples KICAD and makes it unusable. So I'd suggest we don't start using the new KICAD. I think we should use the old stable BZR4022 version.
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Re: KICAD

Post by russian » Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:45 am

Looks like they've updated http://kicad-pcb.org/ website

Also 4.0 stable was released a month ago! See http://kicad-pcb.org/post/

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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:18 am

The external tool for the librarian looks promising. As well they have 3D modeling via step files support now. KICAD has come a long ways in recent years. I really need to spend some time learning the new libraries.

http://kicad-pcb.org/help/external-tools/
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Re: KICAD

Post by russian » Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:05 pm

But libraries are not 100% compatible, so we would need to fix our stuff at some point, for now I guess we have to stay with the older version?

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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:59 am

I've been toying a bit with this. I think I can take frankenso-cache.lib and make it old-kicad-compatibility.lib I'll have to trim some of the extra stuff out of it, basically the stuff that's already in the ruslib's folder. Then as time rages on, the old libs can be replaced with newer more consistent libs. I'm slowly looking into how and if the new lib managers can automate the lib updating process.
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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:18 am

All but 3 project that were done via me have been updated to 4.01. So I'm officially on 4.01 now.
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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:00 am

Kicad BOM creation is kind of a pain as of 4.01. They switched to this xml format thing, and they were kind enough to provide a default xml file, but wasn't linked by default, and it took me some time to find it existed. Also this default BOM is NOT grouped. I then found someone made a grouped version which is posted here https://kicad-info.s3.amazonaws.com/392 ... 489907.zip I got just the xml file from there, then I modified it slightly which is attached here.
bom2groupedCsv.7z
(1.46 KiB) Downloaded 59 times
It's a 7zip because that's what I could attach, also the CRC is good for data integrity. I then copied this file to my local drive here C:\Program Files\KiCad\bin\scripting\plugins\bom2groupedCsv.xsl Once that was there I then clicked the "add plugin" as shown in the below picture, and created the grouped and not_grouped options.
Kicad_BOM.png
Kicad_BOM.png (19.3 KiB) Viewed 3267 times
The two command lines of interest are below.

C:\Program Files\KiCad\bin\xsltproc.exe -o "%O_not_grouped.csv" "C:\Program Files\KiCad\bin\scripting\plugins\bom2csv.xsl" "%I"
C:\Program Files\KiCad\bin\xsltproc.exe -o "%O_grouped.csv" "C:\Program Files\KiCad\bin\scripting\plugins\bom2groupedCsv.xsl" "%I"

So I can now once again make a BOM from KICAD. I see some tremendous power with this new BOM generation tool. With a little more discipline on my side, I could make this generate a digikey BOM or OctoPart bom reasonably easily.
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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:17 am

I just added two more BOM's for historical purposes. This way the existing web links will still work.
Kicad_BOM_Frankenso.png
Kicad_BOM_Frankenso.png (25.85 KiB) Viewed 3244 times
The commands are below

Frankenso BOM (grouped) --> C:\Program Files\KiCad\bin\xsltproc.exe -o "%O.csv" "C:\Program Files\KiCad\bin\scripting\plugins\bom2groupedCsv.xsl" "%I"
Frankenso BOM by ref (not grouped) --> C:\Program Files\KiCad\bin\xsltproc.exe -o "%O_by-ref.csv" "C:\Program Files\KiCad\bin\scripting\plugins\bom2csv.xsl" "%I"
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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:56 am

The BOM has been becoming a topic of concern, as we are getting more people contributing to KICAD projects. Currently how to use the BOM has been a bugger as the files are not part of the repository, and there aren't any instructions for us to naturally find. So I have attempted to clarify the process and I hope this has enough bread crumbs that folks will naturally find it in the future. See below link to these instructions.

I have posted my repo for now. This will be merged with the official repo when @ gets a minute to merge. Once that happens, I'll update the below link.
https://sourceforge.net/p/daecu/code/HE ... M_related/
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Re: KICAD

Post by russian » Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:43 pm

Are we aware of any issues running both kicad4 and kicad5 on the same Windows PC?

I have simply renamed my kicad folder to "kicad4" and installed kicad5 into "kicad5" folder.

The fact that kicad4 has survived brute force folder renaming from "kicad" to "kicad4" tells me that they use relative paths?

I am not an experienced user so maybe my instances are broken and I am simply not noticing it?
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Re: KICAD

Post by ZHoob2004 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:07 am

For Windows builds kicad bundles all the dependencies in the same folder so it's pretty self contained.

As for Linux, it will probably not be as easy, considering the work I had to do to go back to 4.0.7

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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:16 am

My concerns are mostly the system paths. See KICAD --> preferences --> configure path's

The shared libs is likely a problem. However those can likely be moved and then the lib path's can be updated.

There is some possibility that when you launch PCBNew, that it will some how find the wrong KiCAD. However I believe that is relative, so probably OK. This is easy to check, basically open PCBNew --> help --> about. See if this is proper or not.

I should find some time and check the potential of a duel install. Blah time constraints.
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Re: KICAD

Post by russian » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:26 am

kb1gtt wrote:
Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:47 pm
KICAD for windows version BZR5376 has been released
And now we are all a bit older.
Nightly builds at http://downloads.kicad-pcb.org/windows/nightly/ call themselves "KiCAD 6" now.

Also speaking about KiCAD - https://github.com/openscopeproject/InteractiveHtmlBom tool FAQ is reminding us to donate to CERN at https://giving.web.cern.ch/civicrm/cont ... set=1&id=6

By the way today 120 CHF equals 120.56 USD
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Re: KICAD

Post by Old Grey » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:32 am

Does anyone know if KC6 will have the same library system as KC5.

If the library system is going to be the same and it doesn't need another part conversion, like you have to do from KC4 to KC5, wouldn't it be ok to do the conversion now and start using the better features of KC5. KC4 was a deal breaker for me because it was a bit archaic feature wise, but KC5 is getting closer to the features I use in another EDA, so it is better.

https://forum.kicad.info/t/converting-k ... ject/13767

EDIT - Looks like KC6 is more than 2 years away.
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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:20 am

KICAD 5.1 is currently claiming to be 6.0. So we do not really have a KICAD 6 yet.
There is no version 6. If your KiCad reports itself as version 6 then it is a nightly build.
Current nightly builds are what KiCad 5.1 will be within a few weeks. The KiCad 6 development will only start after 5.1 has been released. (And a release will be at least 2 years away from that point. <- personal prediction from experience of the last releases.)
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Re: KICAD

Post by Old Grey » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:21 am

He's the head of library dev, so he would know.

2 years is a long time to miss out on the extra KC5 features.

I didn't like KC4 because it didn't have features of lower level EDAs, but after I watched lots of KC5 new feature vids last year I thought it was a good idea to change. I don't know KC much at all, and was going to crash course it this month, but if I did I would have a go at converting the Rus files.

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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:08 pm

Old Grey wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:21 am
2 years is a long time to miss out on the extra KC5 features.
Which features specifically are you talking about?

So far I've found KICAD 5 to be mostly a step backwards. I like two features so far, but they aren't critical.
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Re: KICAD

Post by puff » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:47 pm

Could you please be more specific? What exactly new features and drawbacks you both speak about?
Recently I upgraded my hardware, and with a new, bigger capacity SSD I now find KC5 much more attractive comparing to my 5-years old experience with KC4, especially after watching a 5-minutes tutorial on how to quick start with kicad.
However, I still find the switching between building schematics and creating the very pcbs quite unnatural (first click here, then click there, then you are ready to switch to a new editor, etc.) so basically I need to keep that video tutorial as a handbook.
I do find it quite handy to have a quick 3D view of the board. And I like much more the way of searching for/adding new parts than it used to be in Eagle, and the library itself seems to be bigger.
Adding new footprint also seemed easy.
Next step would be using the layout for pcb milling on my new toy...

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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:03 pm

I don't have my KICAD5 at arms length right now, from memory, things I like in 5 are
-- In the schematic, I like the ability to table enter vendor and MFG data, instead of accessing each symbol individually.
-- I know there was another thing. I just can't remember it right now. It's not a huge thing, but I thought it was better what ever it was. Perhaps it was the easier export to 3D tools. I can do this in KC4, but it's a pain getting the FreeCAD scripts to work.

Things I do not like in KC5.
-- library migration, many symbols are changed, and it's allot of work. Changes are often small, like text that has shifted slightly. It relies on the cache or rescue parts to open the historical parts, then forces you to use the new libs for new changes.
-- PCBNew is often sluggish. It appears they added or changed something, and it's common that it hangs or gets sluggish. The crashing has gotten better with the nightly build version. Mine would crash on a regular basis.
-- In the schematic I used to be able to hit "e" then select footprint, then assign the footprint via graphical lookup tool. They removed that for some reason. It appears they want me to remember to use the "f" key for footprint. Perhaps they will bring it back. For now it is not there. It's a pain when checking the symbol properties, to have to back out of the dialog, and open a completely different dialog.
-- In the schematic, I find the "e" window to be less useful and just a poor layout. I found the KC 4 layout very quick to navigate with my eyes. Intuitive eyeball navigation is key when you are dealing with that screen so often. It seems they are catering to a new person, less to existing user base. To me the changes in this dialog feel more like the marketing department or graphic arts department, than the end user department. If they are going to change this, it should at least get better. It shouldn't change just for the sake of changing.
-- I know there are some more things, but I can't remember then right now. Those are the ones that stick out more to me.

You're typically not supposed to use mouse clicks. You are expected to use short cut keys for many things. Once you remember hot keys for grab, drag and edit you have many less mouse clicks.

Things I do not like in either KC4 or KC5
-- If you import a DXF which is way to big, you need to manually edit the file to remove the junk. KC will not allow you to zoom out far enough to remove the junk with the graphical tools. When operating in this kind of condition, crashing and sluggishness get much more. As well it does not produce error messages or warning that stuff is wrong.
-- BOM scripts are not part of the project files, or similar. AKA it's hard for me to get other people to generate a Frankenso BOM the same way I generate a BOM.
-- Easy of using things like the Digikey library. I'm still trying to figure how to do that. AKA their lib wants to be tied to the above mentioned BOM tools.
-- Playing nice with a repo tool. Git sucks, and it sucks even more for files like this. There could be many good improvements with some kind of good repo tool(s).

KC4's push pull router was huge. That certainly made the jump to KC4 worth it. However KC5 seems like it's mostly changing stuff for the sake of changing. I don't see any real handy features, they just made it harder for me to use it.
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Re: KICAD

Post by Old Grey » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:33 pm

I'm no KC expert, and it's been so long since I watched the new feature vids I've forgotten, but Highlight Net with live connect to the other view, Import Eagle files, Spice, push and shove, parts standardised and rigorously checked before approval. To match pro EDAs you need correct parts - how many faulty PCBs have been made using parts made by inexperienced people -, so to have them pass KC tests before being allowed to be used is a big deal.

The way I look at it is KC6 in never going back to KC4, so it's learn it now, or in 2 years time.

Slowness I don't know, because mine is fine, but maybe GPU.Or maybe you don't have OpenGL in modern toolset.

The annoying thing I found out is you can't have KC4 and KC5 running on the same PC, so that stuffs my plans.

I'm no expert at any of this, so it was probably wishful thinking that I could actually change a PCB design as complicated as the Rus on something as unfriendly as KC anyway - not a KC fan -.
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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:51 pm

The only new feature I saw in that video was the schematic highlight trace feature, that little purple pink-ish high light in the top right of the eschema. The live cross high light exists in KC4.
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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:24 am

To my list of do not like in KC5
-- I used to open a footprint module from the PCB cache, then in the footprint editor, I could select the working lib, then save the footprint. That seems to have been removed or changed from KC5. I guess in KC5, they want me to export the footprint then drill down to the folder until I find the lib. So they took what used to take 3 mouse clicks and changed it to 30 to 50 mouse clicks.
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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:39 am

More bitching
-- I used to validate that I'm releasing files with a valid lib reference. I did this by not committing the cache file, or not committing the rescue file. Then if it did not have a valid lib, people would notice. It appears that is now embedded inside the schematic file and you can no longer validate that you are using a proper lib file. I'm currently working on a file with many broken links to the lib. I have footprints which have been validated and known to work, and it is easy for those names to auto-magically change to another newer lib as the original footprint made before the new library existing, and it's possible I might have names my footprint the same as the new lib's names. Any how it appears that an audit trail on the libraries was deemed an non-important feature in KC5.

I'm currently working with a KC5 project and fighting to ensure that KC5 is using the footprint(s) which have been validated and known to work.
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Re: KICAD

Post by russian » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:03 pm

kb1gtt wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:39 am
More bitching
What is the probability of K5 not removing but _changing_ the workflow? Would it be worth trying to post these complaints on the official KiCAD forums?
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Re: KICAD

Post by puff » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:31 pm

I guess, it's more or less the same with almost any large well-established project. They need to introduce a new version of the product (because their marketing team demands so), but they basically have no room for further improvement featurewise (their product is almost perfect as is), so they just make changes to the interface.

I had the same disappointment with new versions of MS Office: while removing several annoying bugs, they completely changed the appearance (which I got used to over the decade and which I never wanted to change). However, I got accustomed to it after a couple of months of usage...

So I believe, it's just the matter of habbit.

Speaking of mouse control in KC - I find it very convenient, when you just hover the cursor over the element and press a key to make an action (rotate, annotate, copy or whatever else) - it really makes the work faster, and I hadn't seen such a feature in eagle)

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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:00 pm

I should register on the KC forum, then get up to speed on the forum etiquette, then put in some feature requests, or bug reports. However I've found that staying on KC4 is just plain simpler. If I had time, I might manage to find the motivation. The overhead is a bit of a bugger.

Yes several issues are simply changes to work flow. For example, in KC5, you hold your mouse over the symbol, and press "f" you'll get the footprint dialog like you used to get. However if you instead hit "e" then you go to the footprint property, they have removed the "select" button from this dialog. The functionality is certainly still there, but they removed it from the workflow. This work flow adds a bunch of unnecessary mental "gear shifting". This prevents the process from being intuitive, and makes it more straining on your memory matter. With luck, it might come back some day. I would think it would be easy to put that button back on that dialog.

Several hotkey's like r, f have become so second nature to me that I have to go out of my way to remember that it's r. My left hand simply does a motion, and it rotates. I'm also kind of surprised I haven't become more second nature with the crtl mouse wheel. I really like the hot keys in KC.

A feature that would likely be helpful, is a command line. Something like they used to do with ACAD.

I'm also not trying to bash KC, it's great and I love it like my scope. I'm just noting some of the reasons why I'm not migrating to KC5. I just don't see the benefits out weighing the labor that I would have to put in to make the jump.
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Re: KICAD

Post by kb1gtt » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:16 am

In KC5, if you double click the property field, it will show the "select" icon on the right side of the field. Then you can assign the footprint. That icon should simply always be there. I don't see why it should be hidden at any time. I figured this out, when I saw "select" was a right click option. It appears they hid this icon, to make it look more square. No jagged in's and out's as you align the entry boxes for the fields. Blah, marketing folks.
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Re: KICAD

Post by russian » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:03 pm

Jared, this timestamp is for you:

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