Switch Footprints exist, just no Schematic Symbols


#1

I’m new to KiCad and just loaded and installed 4.0.5 on Windows. As part of learning the tool, I’m taking an existing design from another tool and moving it over. So far, this is working fairly well and I’ve learned to associate any new symbols I create with their proper footprints.

However, I have noticed that the installed libraries contain footprints for the COPAL slide switches, but no associated symbols. I find it hard to believe that someone would have built the footprints but not the symbols. Is there a way to get the symbols installed? I built a symbol for the CHS-02TB and associated it with the footprint, but I’m pretty sure these symbols already exist … somewhere. They just didn’t load when I installed the package.

Also, does anyone know if there is a library with the footprint for the 3.3mm square SON (small power FET). I see the footprint for the 5x6mm SON, but not the tiny one. I guess that will be the one thing in the library that I have to build myself.


KiCAD 4.0.5 missing symbols from v .4.0.4
#2

(NB: I don’t use the standard Kicad libraries.)

I’m pretty sure there are generic SPST switch symbols in one of the Kicad libraries?

Remember, this is supposed to be the great feature of using the CvPCB flow – you place a generic symbol on the schematic and mate it with a footprint later.


#3

KiCad philosophy was and still is based on the separation between the symbols and footprints. That’s why there are symbols without footprint and vice-versa.

Of course switches.lib have generic symbol for them.


#4

KiCADs library is a bit different then some other cad systems.
In kicad (default) there is no concept of “components”. (A component is a unit that fits exactly one physical part. It contains a symbol, a footprint and additional information such as order numbers, datasheets, …)

There are symbols. These represent an abstraction of the function of a component.
And there are footprints. These represent the landing pattern of a component.

You can create atomic parts for yourself where you assign a footprint to a specific symbol and add all your needed information to it.
But don’t expect the guys from the standard library to create these for you.

By the way it seems that the windows installer does not always add all standard symbol libraries.


#5

Oh, I see. There are a bunch of libs that are not accessible by default. I have to go into Preferences and add them … like Switches.lib. Now I guess I need to go research what libs I don’t have loaded by default. I just assumed anything in the library directory was accessible and searchable by default. My bad. Thanks.

Yes, I get the structure of the program and the separation of symbols and footprints. I actually think this is a good way to go. Honestly, I’m assigning the footprints as I place the symbols if I can find them. I’m not sure I need to run the CvPCB program.


#6

Not loading every library improves performance and avoids problems with duplicate names. KiCad just loads the first instance it comes across. When you start creating your own symbols and footprints, be very careful to give unique names