Lesson in drawing schematics grinds to halt

I am working through Chapter 3 in Getting Started in KiCad and have reached p.18 par. 49. I clicked on the Run Cvpcb icon and nothing happened except a note at the bottom of the Eeschema window saying D1 component found. None of the following steps initiates any action in the Interface. A ZIP with the project files is here.

Would someone please have a peek and find out what has cause this tutorial to grind to a halt.

OS and KiCAD version please?

My machine is Intel QuadCore i5-3470 CPU @ 3.20GHz, 32 GB RAM, running MS Windows 10 Home on an MSI B75MA-P45 motherboard.
It was assembled by Net Solution Computers of Morley, Western Australia, and has a SAMSUNG U28D590D VDU driven by an NVIDIA QUADRO K620 Video Card and RealTek High Definition Audio.
I have Windows Defender and Malwarebytes as Anti-virus with Firefox and Skype running in the background.

KiCad is 4.0.7

I checked the project in a nightly and while there is a couple of problems popping up (probably due to the version mismatch of what you use and I use) the CvPCB part does work… it seems to struggle a bit until it loads, but it comes.
Can you post your path setup?
KiCAD main > Preferences > Configure Paths
(bring up the dialog, then hit [Alt]+[Print] and then here in the reply box hit [Ctrl]+[V])

There also seems to be a lib in that project that is located in:
C:/Program Files/KiCad/share/kicad/library/microchip_pic12mcu
…maybe Windows/KiCAD doesn’t like this setting?
The path is in tutorial1.pro, at the end (line 65). If the lib is where the others are located, might pay off to remove the path from this entry.

My file tutorial1.pro http://tutorial1.pro is located at
As a general practice, I try to keep all working folders out of C-drive -
leaving that to the installation of my applications. Documents is in
D-drive so MyLib.lib et al is in
I guess this means that I have to change my Path Configurations.
Would you please tell me what I should have there?

I never used the github libs, maybe that is causing the delay? Might just need a couple of minutes to settle down?
Have you opened the symbol and/or footprint editor before and loaded something in there to see how they react to this?

I am thinking that the KIGITHUB path means that KiCad is working with libraries read from the internet. Given that my internet connection is not full-blown high-speed broadband, that would almost certainly mean the process slowing down. Question here is, “What’s the alternative?”

I just went to that github site and I cannot figure out what KiCad would be reading from there, or how! You suggest that it is reading lib files.

You say you haven’t used github libs - what do you use? Do you have libs on your hard drive somewhere, with the path registered in Path Configuration? I have already downloaded kicad-library-master.zip but nobody could explain how I use it. Should I install kicad-library-master.zip (if so how do I do that), register the path in Path Configuration, and delete the KIGITHUB path? I guess I am talking about getting KiCad to work from files on the hard drive rather than files in cyberspace somewhere.

It’s a bit confusing but the variables in Path Configuration don’t change anything if they are not used anywhere, i.e in a library table or possibly a kicad_mod file (for 3d stuff).

The place to start looking at library config is pcbnew->Preferences->Footprint Library Table (and in v5 similar for eeschema Symbol Library Table). The dialog lists all the libraries that are “installed” for Kicad, and how/where they are accessed.

I’m just working on a script to help install data into KiCad, but it’s not quite ready.

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Wont help you really - but after some trial and error (started with KiCAD v3 I think) at some point I made my own.

As you can do schematics the symbols seem to be fine.
CvPCB is trying to load the footprints (afaik) once started and I don’t know what you got on your local drive, so I would start there.
I’m sorry that this throws the tutorial order in jeopardy, but we have to do some stabbing in the dark here (unless someone else is able to help better) :wink:
Again, can you start the footprint editor and load a footprint for editing and see how that goes?

And as @bobc pointed out, a screenshot of the footprint library setup would be good.

For installing the official lib locally have a look at this FAQ post: How can i install a specific version of the footprint library?

Hi Joan
I just found this which talks of using GitHub libraries.

Thanks Rene. I have bookmarked that and will get back to it if I can’t resolve this any other way.

Just a heads up: There is a reason we decided not to use the github plugin in v5.

The repos are now locked it does not make sense any more to use that “feature”. (The only reason i can imagine is if you want to have the newest of the new at all times.)

The good news is that for people using the default setup the most dangerous downside is now also gone. As with a locked repos it can not happen that your libs update without you noticing it. (You still have to download libs everytime you open cvpcb or import the netlist, … Everytime you restart kicad)

That’s interesting, Rene.
I take it then that version five is available.
Should I update to Version 5?
Where do I get it?

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At this moment the official release of KiCad is still 4.0.7.
The version 5 is/was used for testing & debuging feedback but is now getting quite near a final release (I hope).
I’m hoping it wil be announced oficially “real soon”.
Hopefully in weeks, but don’t hold your breath, because it might be months.
One way to get Kicad 5 is to get it from github and compile it yourself…
There are also “nightly builds” available.
But because I am dependent on a working KiCad for an important project I can not switch myself right now.
KiCad 4.0.7 and KiCad 5 do not live happily together on the same system.

Edit / Addition:
If you don’t want to install 5 yet and want to do more with KiCad4.0.7 you can easily skip the whole CvPcb part.
CvPcb is mostly usefull if you have to add / change a lot of footprints in a schematic.
The PCB Footprints can also be easily added / changed in a schematic.
Hover your mouse above a component and press “e”
Then make sure the “Footprint” line is highlithed in the “Fields” grid.
Then there is an “Assign Footprint” button on the right side.
This gets you into the “Library browser” to select a footprint.
A lot of footprint also have a 3D view which you can also see in the library browser.

When creating a new schematic I usually assign a footprint to the first resistor (capacitor, etc) I use.
Then I make copies of that resitor (Mouse hover & “c”) to make a copy, which also copies the Footprint field.
This way most of the components already have the right footprint before I want to start drawing the PCB itself.

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Thanks for that paulvdh

Hi Joan
You asked for a screenshot of the footprint library setup.

Is this what you wanted?

I assume he wanted a screenshot of pcb_new->preferences->library manager

I decided to go back to the beginning and start again. My idea is that I have picked up some things and I often find I miss bits. I’m going back to see if I can get all the bits - perhaps then things will all work properly. As they say, “What can possibly go wrong?”

Please bear in mind that I am a mechanical engineer only just getting a toe into this water.

Well … for a start …
I am inserting my first resistor into the schematic (Getting Started in KiCad, page 8, par, 6) and I want to take paulvdh’s advice and assign it a footprint at the outset. I have decided I need a THT resistor but how do I decide which of the zillions on offer is the one I need?

I guess I just measure the resistor I am going to use to get ‘L’ and ‘D’ but what is ‘P’?

Then … if I should choose (for example)
Resistors_THT:R_Axial_DIN0207_L6.3mm_D2.5mm_P7.62mm_Horizontal, what is the significance of the word Horizontal? Does that mean that the footprint will only be able to be horizontal in the actual PCB? (Perhaps I am getting a bit ahead of myself here.)

It would save me asking all these dumb questions if there was a book called ‘KiCad for Dummies’ but I doubt there is one. Considering that I am asking dumb questions like this while working with Getting Started in KiCad, where else can I find the sort of simple answers I need?


I don’t know where I would find that! I can see a library editor but not a library manager.