Where are symbols for switches? (How can i add github symbol libs)

Hi apologies for a beginner question - I’ve played with Kicad on and off again, but have never climbed the hill to have a board made.

This weekend I decided to fix that and to capture a schematic. I made sure to update to the latest from the kicad website (am on OS X).

I’m trying a simple board, an opamp a few transistors, battery holder, etc.

So adding components… I can’t find a SPST switch! I think surely this is an oversight, what cad package doesn’t have a symbol for a switch!

So I look around, kicad-library on GitHub has a bunch of switches, but they don’t appear in the component adder. Ok… Then I look in modules - there are a bunch of switches in there too, and that is in my path. Why don’t they appear?

Then I read some forums, and there are cautionary tales about migrating libraries in layout but not yet in capture, and I read that changing parts on GitHub can impact designs.

So here is my question

  1. short term, how do I get a switch symbol?
  2. long term, what is a good guide to GitHub library management?

From other projects, I imagine the way to do it is fork kicad_library and add parts from the main branch as needed? Or keep it with my project (as kicad seems to do?)

Is there a guide for this sort of thing? One that is current?

Switches are in the library called “switches”, and the one you want is probably called SW_SPST. So far, that should be obvious but…

  1. You may not have switches on your list of libraries
  2. You may not have the latest libraries in your installation. OS X can have some funny packaging issues.

In eeschema: Preferences->Component Libraries, check you have switches in the list, if not try adding (use top Add button). The Add dialog takes you to the KiCad default libs, I don’t know what that might be.

Getting the latest symbols libraries is quite easy, just download the zip form github. If you would like to get a particular stable version they are available at http://downloads.kicad.org/libraries/.

If you create your own symbols, I suggest keeping it separate from the official libs. You can keep these in a central place on your PC then use them in any project, it’s up to you.

1 Like

There was a similar post some time ago that also searched for switches.
(Disclaimer the first few answers are wrong. I got confused and thought he was looking for footprints.) The later answers in this topic detail how to get the libs that are installed added to the template project such that they are added to newly created projects. (For old projects you need to add the libs manually)

By the way the term library convention is a bit misleading in this context. We have a library convention that details how symbols/footprints should look like to be accepted in the official lib. I changed your title to be more fitting of the topic.

Alright! bobc thanks!

Adding the switches component library did it. Maybe I’ll file an enhancement to ask that that library is included by default.

Thanks again.

It is not included because the devs feel that minor releases should not include new parts of the lib. (Even thought footprints are included via the github plugin, which creates a problem if the scaling of 3d models changes. But well …)

I had the same issue this weekend. I am using the stable KiCAD version and am still using the online libraries. No switch library shows up for me. I just made one, no biggie, but I thought it was very odd.

Did you read the post i linked? There is a way to add the switches lib. (It should be included in 4.0.2 so it should be included in all recent stable builds.)

I did. I will try that the next time I get to my laptop. I just downloaded KiCAD in the last three weeks, so I’m not sure why it wasn’t there. Not a complaint, just an observation.

It is not there by default because the devs have decided not to add libs to the template project in minor releases. (They still ship the newer libs thought. So it is easy to add for users.)