Best practice for adding a control panel PCB to a project


I did read this Does Kicad support one project with multiple schematics (not sheets)? but its ~5 years old and hope so to find newer light into this.

I got a PCB that uses a control panel on a second PCB with buttons and connectors to control the first one.

I want to have a separated schematic ( rather not a hierarchical sheet, too many Hierar_Labels ) that has all the in and outputs on that; is that possible?

I guess ( read hopes ) that I can penalise the two schematics as a PCB’s as two connected PCB’s. I did read something about panellising two PCB’s years ago, but can’t find it anymore ( or was it with using Eagle?).

It is not 100% clear for me.
You want two separate schematics made at one PCB?

Hi rvamerongen,

Now you’ve done it !!
It is my understanding, unless things have changed significantly in the nightliess, no.

Kicad doesnt help itself by having a ‘Project Window/explorer’ available but doesn’t utilise the functioniry one would expect with a ‘project Window’ in the majority of software out there.

In the same way the devs do want to implement sheets but force us to use Hierarchical sheets with the added complexity when all the majority of want is a way to print our schematic across a number of, say, A4 sheets of paper which fits in our printer.

I want to have at the end two PCB’s; one that is build up from the main schematic and another PCB that is build up from a secondary schematic and has the control like buttons, display and leds.

In Kicad I want to create one PCB that have both schematics from the same project that I can cut/split them to two PCB’s; because KiCad is a Single PCB creator appl.

My main issue is.
For the schematics I want to have them separated (the controls as a second sheet) from each other and at best not as a hierarchical sheet. Of course there should be connectors + labels to connect them together to avoid RCR error’s

Hope to make it more clear.

What is the best way to do this?

Saw your comment just as I uploaded mine.

You do better commenting this issue then I did, and yes it is a flaw in my eyes.
I can accept that it design one PCB, it a PCB app; maybe others don’t, but it is strange that I can’t add a schematic and have it recognize by te rest of the schematics.

Or is this possible and do I miss something?

Like you wrote about the Project window; I expect that when I presses the button at the right top…
that it creates a project inside the project
that it never closes my current project, bad very bad.
a second design window or a kind of hierarchical path.

With the current behaviour that button should not be there.
I can open a second schematic editor and save it in the project folder ( it creates a new project and some other files ), but as far as I can see they are not related or connected. Or is there a trick, something like Kikat if I remember the name well.

There is nothing wrong with using hierarchical sheets. Even when there are multiple sheets, but all on the “same level” it is still called a flat hierarcy. But KiCad does not support this yet.

One way is to use a bus and an alias list for all the names in the bus. This does mean you have to connect the bus itself though the hierarchy.

Another method is to use global labels for the connections between sheets.

You can probably combine this too: Use a global bus name for the bus itself, but I have not tested this.

A completely different approach is to make custom connector symbols. That way you can give the connector pins names just as with IC’s. I assume you want to put connectors on the PCB’s

How long is yet? Just curious. I did read this kind of comment before V7 was coming out.

I go for this right now
“Another method is to use global labels for the connections between sheets.”
and make a HSheets.sch with al the sheets on it.

And your right I will go for connectors.