Noob alert! I just inherited a project that I think is a KiCad project. There is a .pro file that opens fine and some .gbr files (that open) and what seems to be one main .sch file. When I open the .sch, I get an error: “… does not apper to be an Eeschema file”. There is also a .DRL file that KiCad tries to open in the GBRViewer but I get an error: "Unknown Excellon command ". So first question - how can I know definitively that this project was done in KiCAD? If not, what would the other most likely app be?
If it is a KiCAD project, it would be from 2018 sometime and likely not done in V5. The docs I saw said that old .sch files would be autoupgraded to V5 on first open. This makes me wonder if it’s really a KiCAD project or if there’s something else wrong in my setup. I’m using Windows 10, it’s possible that the previous user was using Mac. Any thoughts? Thanks.
All of KiCad’s file formats are ascii based, and thus readable in a text editor.
If you look at a schematic file from KiCad V5 in a text editor, it should begin with something similar to:
EESchema Schematic File Version 4
EELAYER 30 0
$Descr A3 16535 11693
Sheet 1 1
A KiCad schematic I made in 2018 starts with:
EESchema Schematic File Version 2
KiCad should always be able to read files generated with an older version of KiCad.
.pro and .sch are pretty generic file name extensions, and on themself they do not mean much.
The “.gbr" files are verly likely gerber files, and they could have been made with any decent PCB program, just as the ".DRL” wich is very like a “drill” file with coordinates for the holes. Both gerber and drill files are not specific to KiCad.
open the sch in a test editor (say notepad).
if it really is a kicad project (and no eagle) then the 1st line should be
EESchema Schematic File Version 4
Eagle also uses the .sch extension for schematic sheets. If it is an Eagle file, you can try to open it in Eeschema under File->Import non-KiCad schematic.
Thank you all. It’s definitely not a KiCAD project - the .sch file is not a text file and, as paulvdh said, the .gbr files are generic. Any idea what other software it might be from? Likely open source. I’ll try OrCAD. Thanks again.
Can you share the *.sch file? Maybe someone else can tell you which file format it is when he or she takes a look at it.
If not, can you open it in a hex viewer/editor and tell us the values of first few bytes?
If you have a Linux or Mac PC somewhere you could also run the file command on it, maybe it gives you something useful.
Can you then change the title of this topic?
It’s not about what it’s title suggests.
Because gerber files are generic, there is a good chance you can open them in any gerber viewer, such as for example KiCad’s own gerbview.
It is possible to export gerberfiles from gerbview into a KiCad project, but because a lot of information is simply not present in the gerber files it’s only a partial result.
Just recently I did an experiment on a set of gerber files which were generated by some old version of protel. The result is far from perfect, but if it’s all you’ve got, it’s better then starting from scratch.
As a Noob, I can’t upload a file. But I did look in a HEX editor and there’s a reference to DesignSpark. So I’ll try that. Thanks for the tip.
Looks like someone did that for me!
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