Author Topic: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?  (Read 537 times)

cooder

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So since Eagle seems on the way out and there's been a few great posts here lately from peeps taking the plunge into KiCAD I'm wondering which tutorial series or tips seem most useful.
I did a quick google and there's a bunch, just wondering if you good folks have recommendations at hand which end of the pool to dive into.
Cheers!
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Drew Hallenbeck

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Re: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2020, 04:47:46 PM »
This is the first in a four part series that walks you all the way through from creating a schematic to uploading GERBERS for production. I've watched bits of a few others too but this one will show you the basics.
I did decide to order from JLCPCB (they sponsor the guy's channel) but you don't have to.
https://youtu.be/sEGyNfBuPig
Building with my daughter and occasionally selling as "Daddy Daughter Pedal Works"
Not for any real profit, just trying to have a self-funding hobby.

Drew Hallenbeck

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Re: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2020, 04:53:46 PM »
I paused the videos as needed to take notes and ended up with about a five page quick reference guide.
I still need to play around with the different footprints in the libraries to see if there are some things I might prefer over others.
So far I've found the learning curve to be very reasonable. It's the first program I've followed through with though... (only lightly messed around with Diptrace and Eagle) Some folks who are already highly experienced with another platform might find it a little more difficult adapting to something different. I really couldn't say......
Building with my daughter and occasionally selling as "Daddy Daughter Pedal Works"
Not for any real profit, just trying to have a self-funding hobby.

gtr2

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Re: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2020, 05:25:43 PM »
Contextual Electronics has been using KiCad and making tutorials about it for years.  Chris also runs the AmpHour Podcast with Dave Jones.
I'm only a casual user of KiCad.  Such as if someone sends me a schematic in Kicad haha so I'm not much help on the UI.  I just know how to do what I need, but that is where I'd start if I was serious about learning it.
Josh
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cooder

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Re: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2020, 06:19:52 PM »
I paused the videos as needed to take notes and ended up with about a five page quick reference guide.
I still need to play around with the different footprints in the libraries to see if there are some things I might prefer over others.
So far I've found the learning curve to be very reasonable. It's the first program I've followed through with though... (only lightly messed around with Diptrace and Eagle) Some folks who are already highly experienced with another platform might find it a little more difficult adapting to something different. I really couldn't say......
Awesome, Drew! Thanks for the tips and link, much appreciated!
Contextual Electronics has been using KiCad and making tutorials about it for years.  Chris also runs the AmpHour Podcast with Dave Jones.
I'm only a casual user of KiCad.  Such as if someone sends me a schematic in Kicad haha so I'm not much help on the UI.  I just know how to do what I need, but that is where I'd start if I was serious about learning it.
Josh

Cheers Josh! So what software do you mostly use then for your work? And I hope you and your family and friends are keeping well! Hope the store opens again at some point as I might need a bunch of inish line boards.
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imjonwain

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Re: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2020, 07:06:02 AM »
+1 for Chris @ Contextual Electronics for KiCad tutorials.  I've been using Eagle for awhile and still do because I have a pre-7.7 license but I am working to switch over to Kicad for my future projects.  Which wouldn't be hard but it's sometimes frustrating trying to figure things out when I'm so used to Eagle's way of doing things and can do it so quickly.  If you ever wanna bounce ideas back and forth or ask questions I'd be happy to try and help as I am trying to become fluent w/ Kicad too. 

(Secretly I just want an excuse to go to the next KiCon at CERN, but shh.....) 
"I'm not sure what "serious design flaws" you see. Does it explode or poison your dog?" - PRR

rockola

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Re: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2020, 07:16:03 AM »
(Secretly I just want an excuse to go to the next KiCon at CERN, but shh.....)
The next one will be a virtual conference, so hold on to your excuses for 2021.

https://2020.kicad-kicon.com/

imjonwain

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Re: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2020, 08:11:54 AM »
Well I just hopped on the bummer train to frown town.  Oh well!
"I'm not sure what "serious design flaws" you see. Does it explode or poison your dog?" - PRR

gtr2

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Re: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2020, 05:49:15 PM »
I paused the videos as needed to take notes and ended up with about a five page quick reference guide.
I still need to play around with the different footprints in the libraries to see if there are some things I might prefer over others.
So far I've found the learning curve to be very reasonable. It's the first program I've followed through with though... (only lightly messed around with Diptrace and Eagle) Some folks who are already highly experienced with another platform might find it a little more difficult adapting to something different. I really couldn't say......
Awesome, Drew! Thanks for the tips and link, much appreciated!
Contextual Electronics has been using KiCad and making tutorials about it for years.  Chris also runs the AmpHour Podcast with Dave Jones.
I'm only a casual user of KiCad.  Such as if someone sends me a schematic in Kicad haha so I'm not much help on the UI.  I just know how to do what I need, but that is where I'd start if I was serious about learning it.
Josh

Cheers Josh! So what software do you mostly use then for your work? And I hope you and your family and friends are keeping well! Hope the store opens again at some point as I might need a bunch of inish line boards.

Altium 19 and Eagle 7.7(for designs I already did in it)
Thanks, everyone is ok that I know, so far.  I am within two hours of NYC...  Hope all is well in your part of the world!  Hopefully in the next few weeks I will reopen which is being optimistic.
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cooder

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Re: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2020, 03:35:47 AM »
Right.... taking my first gingerly steps in KiCAD. That Schematix tutorial is great to get into the basics as far as I can see for now, however what I haven't seen yet is how to load the Madbean Library into it? Anyone can point me in the direction of how to do that in KiCAD? Cheers!
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rockola

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Re: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2020, 08:01:41 AM »
Right.... taking my first gingerly steps in KiCAD. That Schematix tutorial is great to get into the basics as far as I can see for now, however what I haven't seen yet is how to load the Madbean Library into it? Anyone can point me in the direction of how to do that in KiCAD? Cheers!
1. Download the KiCADified version of the library from https://www.madbeanpedals.com/forum/index.php?topic=30576.0
2. Copy everything in the zip under the MadbeanV3ForKiCad directory (i.e. all the *.pretty directories) to where KiCAD keeps its libraries; on Linux (at least on my machine) it is /usr/local/share/kicad/modules, on Windows/OSX it'll be something different so check out the KiCAD instructions
3. Restart KiCAD and start using your newly installed libraries

cooder

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Re: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2020, 02:01:18 PM »
Right.... taking my first gingerly steps in KiCAD. That Schematix tutorial is great to get into the basics as far as I can see for now, however what I haven't seen yet is how to load the Madbean Library into it? Anyone can point me in the direction of how to do that in KiCAD? Cheers!
1. Download the KiCADified version of the library from https://www.madbeanpedals.com/forum/index.php?topic=30576.0
2. Copy everything in the zip under the MadbeanV3ForKiCad directory (i.e. all the *.pretty directories) to where KiCAD keeps its libraries; on Linux (at least on my machine) it is /usr/local/share/kicad/modules, on Windows/OSX it'll be something different so check out the KiCAD instructions
3. Restart KiCAD and start using your newly installed libraries
Awesome, thanks! Will give that a shot, sounds straight forward enough for me  ::)
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culturejam

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Re: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2020, 08:38:25 PM »
1. Download the KiCADified version of the library from https://www.madbeanpedals.com/forum/index.php?topic=30576.0
2. Copy everything in the zip under the MadbeanV3ForKiCad directory (i.e. all the *.pretty directories) to where KiCAD keeps its libraries; on Linux (at least on my machine) it is /usr/local/share/kicad/modules, on Windows/OSX it'll be something different so check out the KiCAD instructions
3. Restart KiCAD and start using your newly installed libraries

I've tried putting the foldes in both /modules and /library and the MB library parts do not show up. And yes, I'm restarting. The first time I fired up the program, it asked me some weird question about a global library choice, and I took the default option. Is that maybe the issue?

rockola

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Re: Recommendations for best tutorials or instructions to get into KiCAD?
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2020, 11:05:47 PM »
I've tried putting the foldes in both /modules and /library and the MB library parts do not show up. And yes, I'm restarting. The first time I fired up the program, it asked me some weird question about a global library choice, and I took the default option. Is that maybe the issue?
The library format has changed in the latest KiCAD version. The dialog box you saw probably asked something about converting old format libraries to the current format.

I just tried my own instructions above and it seems they no longer work. I'm just about to head out of the door for a few days of lazing in the hammock at the cabin (+32C forecast for tomorrow) but will check this when I get back.

culturejam

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I just tried my own instructions above and it seems they no longer work. I'm just about to head out of the door for a few days of lazing in the hammock at the cabin (+32C forecast for tomorrow) but will check this when I get back.

Much appreciated.