KiCad Schematic Tutorial

Learn to draw a circuit diagram in this KiCad schematic tutorial for beginners. Draw a 555 timer LED flasher circuit using free open source KiCad EDA software.

KiCad is an Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software package that can run on Windows, Linux and MAC OSX. Beginners in electronics may be interested in learning how to draw a circuit using this software package. The circuit diagram or schematic can then be exported for publishing on the web or in documents.

The image below shows KiCad running on a Windows computer with the circuit drawn in the tutorial.

KiCad Schematic Tutorial

KiCad Schematic Tutorial

Beginners in electronics may also like the blog post on how to read schematic or circuit diagrams for beginners.

Installing KiCad

KiCad can be installed on Windows, Linux and MAC OSX:

How to install KiCad in Windows is a short article on installing the newest version of KiCad on a Windows computer.

How to install KiCad in Linux is an article that shows how to install the latest version of KiCad on a Linux computer.

The KiCad download page has links for installing KiCad on OS X and Windows and various Linux distributions.

KiCad Schematic Tutorial for Beginners

The full KiCad schematic tutorial can be found on the Starting Electronics website.

The tutorial shows how to create a new project in KiCad, including how to create and name a project directory. A 555 timer flashing LED circuit is then drawn using the KiCad schematic editor called Eeschema.

You will learn how to zoom in and out of the circuit, scroll the schematic, place electronic part symbols, wire the circuit and annotate the circuit. These and more basic actions needed to draw and edit a schematic are included in the tutorial.

Finally the tutorial explains how to export a circuit diagram or schematic for publishing on the web or in a document.

Go to the KiCad Schematic Tutorial now →


How to Read Schematics for Beginners

How to read schematics for beginners – when starting to learn electronics, beginners need to learn how to read schematic diagrams. Schematic diagrams show the components and electrical connections of a circuit in schematic or diagram format. A schematic diagram is also known as a circuit diagram, or just schematic.

How to Read Schematics for Beginners

How to Read Schematics for Beginners

Schematic Symbols

Before being able to read a schematic, it is necessary to learn and recognize the symbol for each component in a circuit. Each symbol in a schematic represents a physical electrical or electronic component.

In the circuit above, the schematic is shown on the left and has two symbols representing two components. The symbol on the very left represents a battery. On the right of the schematic is the symbol that represents a light bulb.

On the right of the above image is the physical implementation of the schematic on the left. Here the actual light bulb and battery can be seen.

Electrical Connections

Electrical connections between the bulb and battery are represented by lines in the schematic. These lines are wires in the actual circuit.

How to Read Schematics

The article on how to read circuit diagrams for beginners on the Starting Electronics website shows the very basics of how to read schematics. This article uses the same light bulb and battery circuit to explain the basics of circuit diagrams. It shows how to recognize when two wires are connected, or whether they are just crossing each other.

After reading this article, a series of tutorials follows to get the reader to recognize electronic components and their schematic symbols. Each electronic circuit can be built on breadboard. A good way to learn how to read electronics schematics is to follow the tutorials, look at the schematic diagrams and build the circuits.

Go to the article now →