Finding components in standard (downloadable) libraries


I’m designing a new circuit right now, and I have trouble finding standard components.
I could figure out for C R ans L, but for instance for an FPC connector, what should I do?
I know that since the symbol and pattern are independent, there might be a way to use
a one row and then attach a FPC pattern to it, but I’m not too sure.
Can anyone give me some hints?


You are on the right track - knowing that the symbol and the footprint are separate entities is an important principle to understand. The symbol that you use in eeschema (schematic) is simply an abstraction - you can use any design that you want that has the requisite number of pins - it doesn’t have to be specific for the type of connector you are using. The library cannot ever contain every possible component or connector that you will use. Connectors are particularly problematic - some are very specific and have well defined pin requirements e.g. HDMI but others e.g. DSub could be used for a wide variety of custom inter-connections so don’t have a pre-determined pin usage. There are connector symbols in the ‘Connector’ and ‘Connector_Generic’ libraries. Once you have chosen the symbol, you can see if you have a suitable footprint for the actual connector that you want to use.

There is some helpful info here about how the Kicad libraries are organised with regard to connectors.

I would encourage you to read (& re-read!) this helpful FAQ.

If you understand the FAQ, you will also understand the different ways to represent your connector in the schematic.

You can, of course, design your own symbol if you can’t find anything suitable or you feel the need to have something which visually represents the real device. (Sometimes this is helpful - e.g. I find it quite useful to be reminded about which physical pin is which in a DSub when looking at the schematic while debugging a circuit).

You may, of course, depending on what connector you choose, have to make the actual footprint yourself - but that is another question!


Thanks for your replies. In fact I was frustrated with my previous cad software that I wanted to start my own brew. Fortunately I discovered Kicad…
OK, I will move forward with a plain one row, 20 pin connector symbol. But at this point I have one question:
Why bothering defining them male or female in the logic symbol space?
Another one I find Conn_01x20 in Connector but also connector generic, and also Conn_01x20_MountingPin.
If we are in a logical domain, that should be Conn_01x20, period. Am I missing something?


The ones with mounting pin and shielded have an additional pin.

Mounting has no electrical purpose. It is there to increase the strength of the mechanical connection. It exists in the symbol to allow the user to connect such a pin to a copper plane. Either to increase the strength even more or to allow a connection that would otherwise be impossible.

Male and female versions exist for users who want tk explicitly document the gender of a connector.