Is there a way to show parts on a schematic just for reference?

Was wonder how I might show parts on a schematic that would not get placed on a PCB made from it.
An example would be cable connections from the PCB to a chassis to provide documentation for the connection.

Cable connections are not part of a schematic of a circuit board and KiCAD is a pcb design tool.

To document those things you create a cable assembly drawing and a device assembly drawing that has some overview of which connector goes where (any 2D/3D CAD tool comes to mind).
KiCAD is not made for this (yet?).

That being said, you can use text and graphical lines to add this kind of information to your schematic if you’re bend on it.

This would be over complicated for the project I asked about, but could you use hierarchal sheets to document this?

Afaik (not tested) if you define symbols in eeschema that have no footprint (and you don’t assign one in cvpcb) you should be able to not have to deal with those ‘special documentation symbols’ in PCBnew during layout…
Just be careful if you generate BOM lists from eeschema then (better to use PCBnew option for that then).

But that’s on you to test, which should be pretty simple.

And yeah, go for a hierarchical sheet that sits in your schematic in a corner for your documentation purposes, why not.
We should get non-hierarchical sub-sheets when they are done refurbishing eeschema, as it’s an often requested feature…

OK thanks this is just a one off project for work and I want to document it good for “down the road”.

It sucked up a lot of time, but KiCAD made the atch diagram.



Love it and hats-off to you.
Interesting that you used PCBnew for the task, but it has arcs+circles, so better suited I take it.


PS: I guess someone with too much free-time on his hands and some determination would be able to take the canvas module and create some tool for the suite to be able to draw such diagrams.

Nothing quite that logical.

PCBNew already contained the partial segment of the circuit board where I showed the wire connection points.

By doing the sketch in PCBNew I have captured, in one location, essentially everything associated with the assembly of this product.

I have never learned to use a general-purpose drafting program effectively. I wouldn’t know which of the no-cost drafting programs is easy to learn and is well suited to my applications.


You might look into DraftSight
I have the Windows version but have not used it much.

Why do you use the term “for reference”? If it is a part that goes into making up an assembly, then put it on the schematic diagram. Remember that when you look at a schematic diagram it is a schematic of the whole assembly. If there are parts mounted to a PCB, then those parts are a cut set of the schematic. An example is a fuse placed in a fuse holder or a pair of fuse clips on a PCB. The following is based on ANSI/ASME Y14.44 and IEEE 315 clause 22.4. For those of you that use the ISO/IEC/EN standards you will have to refer to ISO/IEC 81346-1 and -2.
For the fuse, which would be ref des F1, and fuse clips, which would be ref des XF1A and XF1B (KiCad can not handle individual parts with suffix letters so use XF1E1 and XF1E2), all of the parts/components would be shown on the schematic diagram. However, the fuse does not have a land pattern (foot print) because it does not touch the board.
Switches use the class letter “S” not SW. In my day SW stood for shortwave and these days it has a connotation of software. Why use two class letters when one will do? Wire uses the class letter “W”. A non-part class letter(s) is “WT”, meaning wiring tiepoint.
For your J2 part and connecting wires the schematic diagram would show:

  1. For the jack use the IEC 60617 (shown in IEEE 315A) female contact for a 3-terminal connector. No land pattern of course.
  2. Three wires connecting to J2-1, J2-2, and J2-3. No land pattern.
  3. The 3 wires would be reference designated, in your case, W8, W9, and W10 respectively. On a PL (parts list) W8 would be listed as a BLK wire of whatever gage and a length, W9 would be listed as a YEL wire of whatever gage and a length, and W10 would be listed as a RED wire of whatever gage and a length.
  4. At the other end of the wires you would show a connecting dot, either for a THT plated through hole or an SMT pad. These connecting points would use, again in your case, either WT4-1, WT4-2, and WT4-3 or W8, W9, and W10.
    You might not need an assembly drawing, although you have done a great job with what you have, as all the information would be on the schematic diagram and in the PL.
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