Custom footprint for vacuum tube based on connector

To change back to original footprint,(double left click on symbol, left click on value in footprint and navigate to your personal library by clicking on the 3 books) and change footprint from mouser to modified kicad then check your ratlines after updating PCB from Schema.

Tried that. Updated the PCB. Nothing. I’m finding the user interface for this program quite infuriating. All standards and conventions used for decades tossed and replaced with paradigms from the Linux abyss. I can’t even save an edited symbol or footprint to an existing name (overwrite) or rename. It takes a bunch of extra steps to rearrange things.

Okay, this just got a little weirder and clearer at the same time. Somehow, 5 out of the 6 triodes had been excluded from the board. I don’t remember doing that. After fixing that and updating the PCB yet again, new copies of these footprints showed up in addition to the old ones - now apparently ghosts.
It looks like the rat lines are right, at least.

Sorry, I had a major drama. Back now.

So correct ratlines but wrong shaped footprint?

That is easier to fix than worrying about the mouser footprint.

Everything is right for now. I just don’t understand why those “ghost” footprints were still on the board after multiple updates with them excluded. Maybe because they were “locked” and that does more than just lock them in position?

What about the size/shape of the footprint?

Everything is now as expected. I actually made yet another version with a modified silkscreen and courtyard. I’m sure more modifications are to follow. Now to figure out what’s going on with some of the other wire connectors for off-board components and find some decent resistor footprints.

And modified your pads and their location to suit?

The pitch was correct from the original Mouser file. I just changed the pad a little.

So you are using the Mouser footprint and it now works?

It never didn’t work. It had something to do with being excluded from the board but not actually disappearing, maybe because it was locked. I dunno. Now it’s throwing errors because pins 4,5,and 9 can’t be found on that connector. This is starting to make sense now, I think. These tube symbols are multi-part, one for each triode and one for the heaters. What I tried to do was exclude the heaters from the board and I bet that excluded the other two parts as well. Apparently you can’t exclude just one part (unit) of a symbol. Some re-arranging of my symbol library is in order, I guess.

True, but you can create a new symbol without one part or you can place the third part on the schematic with its own footprint (out of the way in a disused corner) and just ignore it. :smiley:

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I can’t even save an edited symbol or footprint to an existing name (overwrite) or rename. It takes a bunch of extra steps to rearrange things.

Feel free to ignore this if I’ve got the wrong end of the stick but don’t try and overwrite the stock libraries - save any new assets in a personal library. You will get burned if you update KiCad as your custom assets will get wiped. This is why it is intentionally difficult to overwrite the stock assets.

Of course the footprint is in the project. Any used footprint is cached in the PCB file itself.

This thread is a typical example of a beginner with KiCad not really understanding whats happening, and not giving enough information for people with more experience to analyze what is going on.


Hello Clark, are you able to upload the project so I can have a look and maybe help? You could ZIP/Archive the project folder. Thanks.

The board layout and the schematic are only connected by the names of the part. Deleting a part in one does not necessarily delete the part in the other. I work mainly with the schematic. And you always need to update the board from schematic whenever there is a change made. And it’s not a Linux thing, it’s a Kicad thing.

i’m a newbie at this also, but let me offer my insight. in my schematic, i needed a 12at7, so looked in the symbol library under “valve”, and i found “ecc83”, which is european equivalent to your 12ax7. that symbol has three parts – two triode sections, and a third section that includes the filament. when you create/update your pcb from the schematic, the pcb should include a recognizable 9-pin circular footprint for the ecc83/12ax7 valve you added to the schematic.