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Old 12th December 2005, 03:49 PM   #1
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Default Kicad

Hello All,
Are there any users of Kicad out there?
I have just begun to use it and am wondering if my noobieness is the problem or is it somewhat clunky with modules etc.
The software loaded up just fine on my dual 1G Xeon. But it seems many things are obscure for use. Making your own part, importing parts and so on.

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Old 17th December 2005, 09:03 PM   #2
rinox is offline rinox  Italy
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Hi.. kicad, is a good app if you think that it cost nothing, by the way it's not really for newbies and component's libraries are very small, you must make yourself your library.
If you plan to make a board max 10 x 8 cm and max two layers, you can use the free version of Eagle pcb cad (wich have a lot of component' s libraries available).
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Old 17th December 2005, 11:42 PM   #3
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Actually a 20 x 16 cm board is about the smallest I have any use for.
Since my experience with all these software programs (including Eagle pcb cad) is either there is no library part or the footprint is only marginally close at best, one might as well make the part accurately and press on.
Not really searching for a free program specifically. IMO it is foolish to pay big money (any money) for marginal products and then have all the hassles anyway.
An admitted newbie with this type product. How does that relate to the quality of the product if a noob can find such errors right away? Hmmmmm. Managed to learn dos4 when it was new and the latest and greatest. Probably can handle this.
KiCad gets easier as I fix the library and part foot print. But when you quit the program, most things revert back to the install default.

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Old 18th December 2005, 08:39 PM   #4
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Kicad has too many shortcomings for my taste.

I used to use Proteus, then I switched to TinyCAD + FreePCB, which are free and pretty good.
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Old 20th December 2005, 06:24 PM   #5
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If you fix the footprint in the library, it's just OK. Library editing doesn't seem to have a good way to preview the changes. Hard copy print, light box, match to known proper device.
Free always has a price.
Sample from pcbnew, the board editor. Not supported by a schematic. Just find and paste as if you have a magazine foil pic.
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Old 16th May 2013, 09:55 AM   #6
thumb is offline thumb  Sweden
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I like kicad(linux) and find it nice,simple and fast when you getting there "mindset", it is the best opensource(EDA) progz.for linux I have seen around .. or maybe others have found something better ??
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Old 17th May 2013, 08:50 PM   #7
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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I've designed PCBs for over 20 years with Autotrax and Tango (DOS) (and over 20 years earlier with ink/pencil/drafting crepe tape/pads/photolitography) but want to get into something which actually works on a Windows machine, so will give Kicad a chance.
Since I make guitar amps, my PCBs *start* at 8x10cm , all the way to 70 cm long, so no Eagle for me.
And I'm used to drawing my own parts footprints anyway, so no big problem there.
Tried FreePCB, not that bad, but still missed functionality I need.
Oh well.
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Old 18th May 2013, 10:22 AM   #8
PChi is offline PChi  United Kingdom
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I vote for KiCad, I have used it to design a couple of boards. The user interface is slightly different and the handling of libraries gets my brain in a twist but the documentation is OK. I am rarely happy with the libraries that are supplied with a CAD system so get to do them anyway. A limitation that I didn't find a work around is for packages with a thermal pad and the Gerber viewer didn't work properly for me so I used GCPrevue for that.
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Old 18th May 2013, 12:33 PM   #9
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I have used Kicad extensively and I recommend it. It has its quirks, and editing involves slightly more mouse clicks and/or key presses than I would like, but it works very well once you get the measure of it. It is a mixture of extreme basic-ness coupled with professional-level features, which I quite like.

Earlier versions had a few bugs, but it seems pretty solid now. There is one remaining bug that still catches me out occasionally: when performing a design rules check on a PCB (automatically checking the layout against the schematic netlist), errors thrown up are sometimes not actually real, but are physically close to where a real error exists. Don't let it worry you: you get used to it, and once the PCB passes the DRC 100% you can be confident that it is correct and indeed matches the schematic.

I don't use the auto-routing at all, and have never quite got round to creating 3D models to go with my PCB footprints. However, the 3D view can stil be very informative even though not all the components show up in 3D.
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