KiCAD beginner here so be nice. Using V 7.0.2. I am trying to run a simulation on a very simple circuit as a learning tool: +10V - 10K - Output - 1N914 - Gnd.
I watched a couple of YouTube videos on using the SPICE simulator and they seem to indicate that I should use the SPICE symbol library. Apparently the symbols in the other symbol libraries do not work with the SPICE simulator? So I found a SPICE library but it only has one symbol in it, a zero Volt source (ground, I guess).
In the videos there were many components in the SPICE libraries being used. Where do I get those populated SPICE libraries? Do I need to create SPICE components? If so, is there an instruction, written or video?
Or can I use symbols from other libraries? Or edit those symbols to work in SPICE?
There are a few layers to your question:
The “pspice” symbol library was removed in v7 in favor of an updated “Simulation” library (new name to try and reduce this confusion during the transition, though I’m not convinced it actually reduced confusion). So most common things like Sources and such are now only in the new library. This library does not (and historically hasn’t) included more complex models for real components beyond passives (mostly due to manufacturers producing models with restrictive copyright).
Passives are identified automatically by reference designators and ground symbols (should) be automatically associated with 0V so you don’t need a special resistors or a separate 0V symbol.
The simulation system in KiCad was revamped a little for v7, with more revamping to come for v8 early next year. Under the hood, it is all still ngspice but the interface is continuing to improve. I think even basic diodes and basic transistors can be modeled directly in the interface now, rather than needing external models for them.
ngspice (the underlying spice simulator for KiCad) has a great tutorial (for v6, so perhaps a little dated) here: KiCad Eeschema as GUI for ngspice, tutorial for setting up the simulation
If you run through that and have specific questions, feel free to ask (you can even just reference the example number you are getting stuck on). That tutorial also does a decent job of explaining where to get spice models for active parts (almost always the manufacturer’s website) and how to add those models to symbols in your schematic. If you have questions about how the interface has changed, feel free to ask!
Here is a starter project …
RECTIFIER_V7.0.2.zip (234.1 KB)