Best place to download Spice models and Footprints?

Hello Kicad helpers:

I am designing my first CE amplifier for practice, and I need the spice file for an MPSA42 for example. Where do I get this spice file? I suppose many parts in Kicad libray do not have spice files associated with them, correct?

Next, I am looking to download oddball footprints for audio stuff… I.e. tube sockets, Jacks, etc. Best place to download these files?


Spice models are best downloaded at the manufacturers website. (The manufacturer is the only entity reasonably able to really model the component in detail. Generic models however can be found all over the place. But don’t expect them to model your particular part.)

Footprints are not that readily available from trusted sources so you might be best of creating them your self.

Gutentag Rene:

Thank you. So does this mean every component from the symbols library needs to have a spice file manually associated with it? Even passives, like resistor, caps, etc before simulation?

Sooo… I am guessing there are no spice files loaded in Kicad when installing the software. Correct?

Spice models for complex parts will most likely never be shipped with kicad. This is mostly because manufacturers typically do not provide the information necessary to make your own model. They are far more likely to provide models for their parts which are then however under a license that will not be compatible with being shared by the kicad project.

Symbols with simple models for things like ideal sources, resistors, capacitors, … might be included in future. (We hope to have some with version 5.1) Even for such simple parts i do not expect that we ever will ship anything but the basic implementation for them.

Yeah, who ya gonna trust? The topic of “SPICE models” leads to the topic of “validating SPICE models”. If several manufacturers make the part, they may publish models with wildly different parameter values. From experience and reputation you may come to trust some manufacturers’ published models more than other manufacturers.

Seldom will anybody even make the effort to compare simulation results to the part’s datasheet, much less a sample of production parts. If you do this exercise a few times you may appreciate that simulation models are often optimized for accuracy under certain operating conditions - high current, or low voltage, or a particular frequency range, etc. And, models may not represent the “design center” performance from the datasheet.

After the manufacturer, try seeding a search engine with " SPICE " and the device type, e.g. " SPICE MPSA42 ". You might uncover models published by manufacturers who used to make the part, or models created by somebody with the knowledge and facilities to make an improvement on a manufacturer’s model. You will also uncover individuals and organizations who have collected SPICE models over the years. The Yahoo LTSpice User’s Group, and the LTWiki pages, are organizations with extensive model collections that don’t always show up in search engine results. And, you can always ask others with a similar interest to share models with you on sites like “Electronics101”, EDABoard, DIYAudio, or several Ham Radio sites.


p.s. - Thanks for putting some information on your profile page!

1 Like

@holger may have more information. I’ve been tied up with a family emergency for over a month now so I hope I’m summoning the right person. SPICE integration into Kicad is still pretty young and very much a work in progress.

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.