Latest KiCAD release with Spice?


#1

Hello,

I am a KiCad newbie but have used it for a small number pf boards. I became excited to see:

  1. a video from CERN demonstrating the use of a spice simulator within KiCad, and
  2. the release of the new component symbol library and footprints in 17 December 2017
    Wanting to take advantage of both spice simulation and the new, well organized libraries, I downloaded and installed the 2017-12-16 nightly build, revision 845ca5f. However, I have run into the following problem.

I seem to be unable to get KiCad to use the new libraries. I have done the following:

  1. Downloaded the new symbol library to the
    /Users/peter/CAD/Electronics/KiCad/KiCad-Library/kicad-symbols

#2

Not yet finished. (Footprints are 95% done, symbols are about 60% done, 3d models also about 60%)

Footprints have also gotten major KLC compliance updates. (And scripted footprints have their scripts updated.) -> this could lead to new bugs.

You need to point kicad to these symbols. In a nightly release that includes the symbol table simply copy the included sym-lib-table file and make sure the environment variable KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR points to your symbol location.

For the stable release this is more involved. You need to add your location to the search path and then you also need to add the libs. (For every project or to the template project to add it automatically to every new project.)


#3

Hello,

I must apologize for my keyboard error. Here is the complete question:

I am using a Mac running OS X 10.11.6 I am a KiCad newbie but have used it for a small number pf boards. I became excited to see:

  1. a video from CERN demonstrating the use of a spice simulator within KiCad, and
  2. the release of the new component symbol library and footprints in 17 December 2017
    Wanting to take advantage of both spice simulation and the new, well organized libraries, I downloaded and installed the 2017-12-16 nightly build, revision 845ca5f. However, I have run into the following problem.

I seem to be unable to get KiCad to use the new libraries. I have done the following:

  1. Downloaded the new symbol library to the
    /Users/peter/CAD/Electronics/KiCad/KiCad-Library/kicad-symbols
  2. Downloaded the new footprints to
    /Users/peter/CAD/Electronics/KiCad/KiCad-Library/kicad-footprints
  3. Set KICAD_PTEMPLATES to /Users/peter/CAD/Electronics/KiCad/template
  4. Set KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR to /Users/peter/CAD/Electronics/KiCad/KiCad-Library/kicad-symbols
  5. Set KICUSTOMMOD to /Users/peter/CAD/Electronics/KiCad/KiCad-Library/kicad-footprints
  6. Set KIGITHUB to https://github.com/KiCad

When I start Eeschema and click on the “Preferences” and then “Manage Symbol Library Tables”, all I see in the “Schematic Library Tables” window is a list of legacy symbols. The window refers to /Users/peter/Library/Preferences/kicad/sym-lib-table. Is this normal?

Also, in the “Path Segment” window, KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR is set as shown above.

What am I missing? What am I doing wrong? Your help would be appreciated.
Thanks in Advance,
Peter


#4

I can only say that under linux all global kicad config files are under ~/.config/kicad Copy the sym-lib-table you find in the github repo into this directory. (It should already hold a file called fp-lib-table and some other config files.)

you can also simply add the libs manually using the manage libraries dialog. (the browse button is the one that is used to add libs using the file browser.) This will ad your libs using an absolute path instead of using path variables.


#5

Hello, Rene,

Thank you for your help. It is working now although I am still having problems accessing my library of spice models. If they are in the current working directory, it works. If not, Eeschema cannot seem to access them even when I cut and paste their full address into the “Spice_Lib_File” field in the “Component Properties” window.

For your information, on a Mac the fp-lib-table and sym-lib-table files should be placed in ~/Library/Preferences/kicad/. Since they are located in the user’s directory, I assume that they are accessed by only that user. I have not explored putting them in the /Library/Preferences directory so that they would be generally accessible because I am using KiCad on a laptop Mac.

A suggestion: It would be very helpful to other Mac users, and possibly to other users in general, if there were a configuration document that did the following:

  1. indicates which releases and/or nightly builds work with the new libraries as well as with Spice,
  2. tells the user which release(s) have Spice integrated with them, and
  3. tells the user where to put the fp_lib_table and sym-lib-table, depending on their operating system of course.

I wasn’t able to find this information after a week spent reading and trying things.

Thank you again,

Peter


#6

Symbol libs are compatible to the stable release.
Footprint libs: Most of them are compatible to the stable release. Some libs include symbols with rounded rectangles. These libs are shown as invalid in stable. (But they work with two year old nightly build versions.)

Spice: I really don’t know anything about that. I think there the main problem is that spice is not activated for all operating systems. There has been a discussion about that on the mailing list.

Normally the user should not need to manually put these there. (That’s what the library management tools are for that are included in eeschema and pcb_new.)

As soon as the new lib is included in the packages, the tables included in the new lib will be used instead of the current old lib versions.