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Member #1569238

Member Since: January 5, 2020

Country: United States

  • I'm excited to say that I have a workaround for those wishing to use this tutorial in KiCad 5 (I'm using 5.1.5). Everyone seems to get stuck on loading the component symbols from the library. There appears to be a glitch where KiCad 5 won't automatically load the older tutorial library. Follow these steps to load them manually:

    Note: It may be necessary to remove all the work that you've done in the tutorial before reading these instructions and start over from scratch.

    1. Download and open the tutorial schematic as described in the tutorial.

    2. When the "Remap Symbols" panel pops up, click "Remap Symbols". Then click "Close".

    3. Click Preferences -> Manage Symbol Libraries.

    4. Click the folder icon (Add existing library to table) in the lower left corner

    5. Download the sparkfun library as described in the tutorial.

    6. Back in KiCad, navigate to where you placed the sparkfun library that you downloaded and open the sparkfun library (.lib). Click "OK" in the Symbols Library manager. Note that you still see ??

    7. Right click any symbol that shows ??. Click Properties -> Edit Properties (or you can click the symbol and type "E")

    8. Note that there is a box in the lower left corner that says "Symbol". Take note of the "Library Reference:" field. Click the icon adjacent to the field (looks like a row of books).

    9. In the "Choose Symbol" panel, type a few characters from the "Library Reference:" field in the Filter box. Click the symbol that corresponds to the full "Library Reference:" field. Click "OK". Note that the field in the "Symbol Properties" panel has changed. Click "OK".

    10. Repeat steps 7-10 for all remaining ?? symbols.

    • Note: Some of these symbols are from the default KiCad libraries.

    There may be a quicker, more automatic way to do this but this is what worked for me. This is as far as I've gone through the tutorial. I will add more revisions by editing this comment as I get through it.


    As I go through the tutorial, I find that there are many inconsistencies. I also find that working through these inconsistencies has helped me better understand how KiCad operates. I encourage you to experiment with your best guess as to what is different. If you're stuck, then read through this comment fully. If you're still stuck, then reply to this comment and I'll try to respond with help.


    Adding a Footprint

    You need to download the Sparkfun library from GitHub for this step: https://github.com/sparkfun/SparkFun-KiCad-Libraries

    By now, you should know how to assign library paths. If you don't, then go back through the tutorial. This will be a useful skill when working with KiCad.

    When adding libraries, you can multi-select. You must add the symbol libraries as well as the footprint libraries. When you add the footprint libraries, your path must match the existing footprint paths if you want it to relink the symbols to the footprints in the tutorial. This means that you'll have to add "SparkFun-" before each footprint library. Note that capitalization is important. After adding the footprint libraries properly, you'll be able to continue with the tutorial.


    Running Design Rule Check

    The Design Rules appear to have changed since the tutorial was written. You'll see different errors but do your best to work your way through them. I suggest reading the whole section before making changes. You aren't trying to resolve all the errors at once.

    The "Design Rule" menu is gone in KiCad 5. You'll find the new location under File -> Board Setup or click the "Board Setup" icon on the top menubar.

    I had a "Via drill too small" error after running the DRC for the last time. I resolved this by deleting the issue via and placing a new via. In time, perhaps I'll figure out why this via is different than the others and why placing a new via has different dimensions. If you figure out what's going on here, please leave a reply.

No public wish lists :(