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I have a complicated guard ring of sorts that surrounds a network of pads and traces. This guard ring is/was connected to the GND net. I had to make so changed and reload the net list. As a result the guard ring traces were orphaned and no were longer marked with the GND net. As a result, the router will not allow me reconnect the trace ring to GND. There would be considerable work to redraw all these traces.

Is there a way to apply a net to an unconnected net of traces that is not part of an existing net?

The red circle in the image below indicate where I am trying to create a connection between the net with no name around the pads on Col7 and the GND net around Col8.

Red circle shows where I would like make a connection

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If you had a screen shot it would help, but you should be able to just start a trace on ground and draw it over to the guard ring. It will violate your drc but that may not matter to you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, that was my plan if I couldn't find a proper solution. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 16:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Added image for clarification. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the correct way is probably to make a symbol/footprint for it. Now that that ship has sailed I don't know another way than to turn off drc. The problem is that every trace is assigned to some net name and I don't think you can edit that from layout. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 16:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hasn't the guard ring got properties that you can edit? Shouldn't one of those properties be a netname? I don't know kicad but every PCB tool I've used of late has that feature. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 18:18

2 Answers 2

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I found a workaround of sorts.

  1. Disable DRC influence on routing (I selected "Highlight collisions" from "Routing options" dialog)
  2. Create a trace segment to connect the two nets
  3. Save the file and close pcbnew
  4. Reload the pcb file. pcbnew will update all the segments to the connect net.
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In three steps (in kicad 4.0.6 anyway):

  1. Disable DRC influence on routing (Preferences->General->Options->Enforce design rules when routing)
  2. Create a trace segment to connect the two nets
  3. Tools->Netlist->Rebuild Board Connectivity

(I won't comment on concepts like inductance or that just labeling it GND won't magically keep it at a uniform voltage. :-)

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