Cannot see device in libraries, KiCad says it already exists

Hi. I’m trying to use a SST4416 JFET in a schematic. (A 2N4416 would do for the schematic but the footprint would be incorrect on a PCB.) When I access “Add A Symbol” and enter it in the search box it is not available. If I open Symbol Library Browser I cannot find it in Transistor_FET.

So I open Symbol Editor and create a new component based on an existing JFET. I have edited the symbol name, datasheet location and pinout. When I try to save that as SST4416 I am told that SST4416 already exists in the library.

I have come across other things I could not understand with the libraries. I suspect I need some sort of update to retrieve all of the data. Can someone point me to where I am going wrong here please?

If you only need a SST4416 now and then, no need to save it, just use a generic JFET symbol and edit the value field to SST4416.

If you do want to have a SST4416 symbol, you have to save it in a personal library because the system libraries are read-only. @jmk has written a FAQ on creating and maintaining personal libraries so I’m sure he’ll chime in.

Thanks RetiredFeline. It does seem really odd to me that it actually reports that the SST4416 already exists though. If it does then where is it? It doesn’t appear in Transistor_FET.

I have also tried to create a My_Actives library from the instructions but, please don’t think I’m sniping at KiCad here I genuinely think it is wonderful, that process really isn’t intuitive or transparent. I get the new library listed in Library Manager but nothing appears on disc. It doesn’t seem to create a new folder at my location or a library either. I then cannot save anything to the library as it isn’t there. Again I must be missing a step or two somewhere along the line. I thought I would try to sort out one issue at a time.

I should say that I am looking eventually to be able to migrate netlists into PCB design so things like PCB footprints would be better correct at this stage.

It would probably help if you mentioned what version of KiCad you are talking about . . . and if it’s an update of a previous install or a fresh install.

Should have thought of that RaptorUK. It’s Ver: 6.0.7 and a clean new install.

I have just succeeded in creating a library. I have redefined my own new SST4416 in Symbol Editor based on an existing JFET with SOT-23 footprint. My problem now is that, as I have based my own SST4416 on a device from the Transistor_FET library, I’m being told my new one must be saved there. And, as we know, it can’t!

Ding, ding (a chime :slightly_smiling_face:)

To create a personal library, you need to create the folder with your OS, then steer Kicad to find that folder.
Follow the instructions in this link and you should have one or more libraries.

When you have a library, go into the Symbol Editor,
Select the Device library,
Select the correct (pin assignment) generic symbol for your FET,
Select File > Save as
Rename the symbol in the newly opened box, then scroll to, and highlight, your personal library.
Click save, Job done!

After that, open your new symbol in your project and assign a footprint from the footprint library.

Do consider starting afresh with v7.0.7. Most of the discussions surround v7 and less and less people will remember v6 quirks with time.

Agree with @retiredfeline , however, there is no difference between 6 & 7 for creating personal libraries. There is a difference in the number of columns displayed in the Global Library list.

I have to admit, I thought Ver6 was the most up to date. I’ll update immediately (or reinstall whichever is the most suitable.)

I now have the library in place. It seems the process was being complicated because I had already defined a new library in the list of Library Manager. It was doing nothing except getting in the way of the correct process. Once I removed that the rest fell into place. I now have my own SST4416 in my own library.

It’s going to take a few more runs through this to get it to be anything like pain free but I think I’m on the right path now. Many thanks to all who chimed in with advice, it’s much appreciated.


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