Resources for Getting Started in Your EDA Software

Introduction:  You've read some abstractions about your EDA program -- now it is time to get some hands-on experience.  If I set it up correctly, this wiki should be specific to the EDA program you chose in the Software Selection activity.  Additionally, I created the EDA Program Chat for you to work through the software together.  This will hopefully keep the Question and Answer Forum from being inundated with small questions.  But if you need to use the Question and Answer Forum, use the Question and Answer Forum.

Goal:  Learn how to use your EDA program.

Over the next two weeks, spend a few hours going over your EDA programs sample files and tutorials.  Gain basic familiarity in each of the four parts of the tool.

Objectives: 

  • Schematic and Layout
    • Create a simple schematic in your EDA (<10 parts)
    • Layout a simple board for your EDA
  • Library
    • Make a simple custom pattern using the pattern editor
    • Make a simple component

This wiki is specific to your software team.  Designer, Circuitmaker, Eagle, KiCad, DipTrace, etc... are all separate from one another.  If you find a useful resource, please share it here.  If you'd like to be promoted to manager of the wiki, please contact Mark.

Software Landing Page

KiCad Official [edit]


Community Resources [edit]

Interface Usage Tips [edit]

The way to use KiCad is to have one hand on the mouse and the other hand on the keyboard. The mouse navigates the page, while the hand activates the function.

To see the list of available functions, right-click on something will popup a menu with the functions and the keys to activate them. For example, the schematic layout editor menu shows "wire" (key "w"), "move" (key "M"), "rotate" (key "r"), "drag" (key "g"), and so on. Write these on a post-it note and stick it to your monitor for easy reference.

You can do almost everything you need with the mouse and a handful of functions. For example, make one 0.1 uF bypass capacitor, then "copy" (key "c") the component several times as needed for the schematic.


Version Control [edit]

KiCAD has some form of version control itself but one of the cool things about it is that most of its files are composed of structured text so you can use a version control system like GIT.  (you can even diff versions of the schematics visually)

https://hackaday.com/2018/09/19/advanced-techniques-for-using-git-with-kicad/

https://jnavila.github.io/plotkicadsch/


https://hackaday.com/2018/09/19/visual-schematic-diffs-in-kicad-help-find-changes/


Up To Date Libraries [edit]

These will almost certainly be more up to date than libraries provided by your distro.
Official: https://kicad.github.io/
Digikey and Sparkfun: https://josefmtd.com/2018/08/14/adding-github-libraries-in-kicad-english/


Recommended Tutorials [edit]

Pages

Videos

  • "Getting to Blinky 5.0" by Chris Gammell (Contextual Electronics   
    Tutorial playlist:  
  • An introduction to KiCad by Shawn Hymel (Digikey   
    Tutorial playlist: 

Tags: