I have KiCad version 5.1.8 and the traces are down, but I’ve been trying everything to create a net and add traces to that net, but I’m not getting it. I would like a copper pour ground plane but that has to connect to the GND net. So I’ve got all my tracks placed with ‘Route track’. HOW am I supposed to add the tracks to a net? All I’ve figured out how to do is create a new Net Class in the “Board Setup” menu. So… I got a new class in there, then when I select a track I would expect now I can add it to the dropdown of Nets. Nope, it doesn’t show up still in the dropdown menu. What am I missing? This seems to be such a fundamental part of using the program so I’m wondering what I am missing here.
You are absolutely right that nets are a fundamental part of KiCad.
Without a proper netlist, it’s … just yuch! (Bit time)
A netlist is very easy to make though. Just draw a schematic, assign some footprints and then press F8] to get your netlist (and new footprints) in Pcbnew.
Currently you are probably struggling against the workflow of KiCad. Going with the flow is very likely a much more pleasant experience, but you have to get over the initial fear / apprehension / ignorance / other and spend a bit of time learning how the rest of the tools work.
In KiCad-nightly V5.99 there are some rudimentary tools implemented to generate the netlist in Pcb Editor itself, but that is just a little extra, and still not recommended for a “normal” design.
Just for completeness: There is also some script for Pcbnew to generate or modify the netlist. I think it’s called “Wire-It”. I have never used it myself though, I don’t see the application for it. I always draw the schematic first, and update the schematic first for revisions.
Also: KiCad V5.1.9 has been released some time ago. Changes are mostly bug fixes and it’s low-risk to upgrade. (It’s also Free).
OK, thanks, I created it using Generate Netlist in the schematic and then was able to load it in successfully. I was trying to find a way to do that from Pcb editor.
Use the update pcb from schematic tool. Found in the top toolbar or in i think the tools menu (since version 5.0.0)
Now I am confused.
Apparently you do have a schematic in your project, but you still want to create the netlist in Pcbnew ???
The schematic (usually) is the reference. It is (or should be) a logical presentation of how your thing works, and to make sure it works the netlist in the schematic and on the PCB must be the same to stay sane.
And, as Rene already wrote: Working with a separate netlist is deprecated, and the functionality is mostly maintained as an interface to external tools or unusual workflows. The recommended way is: Eeschema / Tools / Update Pcb from Schematic [F8]. (Or the icon in the top toolbar).
Can you share what your project looks like?
I’m curious if your wish to modify the netlist in Pcbnew is valid, or if it is made out of inexperience or some other side road thinking.
Ah, your other question about the mounting holes brings a bit of clarity, and it was solved by putting the mounting holes on the schematic I presume?
I had finished a schematic for it before starting the PCB. Since then I have changed a couple things, so the schematic is out of date, but I was able to keep existing routing and just make a netlist file. I may update the schematic just for a consistent record but it’s not going anywhere or being used by anyone.
You should always keep your schematic and PCB in sync.
Usually I edit the schematic to make changes, then use [F8] to get the changes into Pcbnew, and then revise the PCB.
It’s just to easy to make mistakes on a PCB if you don’t follow the netlist made by Eeschema.
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