Hello I am trying to improve my circuit schematic and I am looking for suggestions on how to make it more readable, I have read design rules on this forum and I am trying my best to follow them. The circuit is a light chaser that uses a digital pot that connects to a raspberry pi, that uses a voltage regulator to dim the leds if needed. enter image description here

The voltage regulator has the highest voltage which is 10V, the 555 timer has 9 volts and the digital pot has 5 volts, so I placed the voltage regulator at the top, the 555 timer in the below the voltage regulator and the digital pot below that, The two other chips get 9 volts but seemed to work best at the bottom and the ground which is the lowest of the voltages is the bottom of the diagram.

  • \$\begingroup\$ See Rules and guidelines for drawing good schematics. I'd be interested to see your update! \$\endgroup\$
    – Transistor
    May 4, 2018 at 22:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ For starters, some the contacts are covering up some labels. Also, ground is missing leaving some of the components to be floating. \$\endgroup\$
    – user103380
    May 4, 2018 at 22:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Junction dots would make it more readable. Don't forget to ground everything that needs to be grounded. And, although I appreciate your effort to keep ground at the bottom, I think you could do this "locally," i.e. below the chip or group of chips, but without those long wires on the left side. Also, sometimes you use right angles and sometimes chamfers. Just use right angles. \$\endgroup\$
    – Annie
    May 4, 2018 at 23:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ What program did you use to create this schematic? \$\endgroup\$ May 4, 2018 at 23:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ This question is a duplicate. Once you have digested the information, you should go back to your previous question and fix the schematic there. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    May 4, 2018 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


I would start with the following modifications:

  1. Use Net Labels rather than explicit wires for each connection between functional groups. This allows for the schematic to be more readable and less crowded when you're mainly gluing ICs together. For pure analog schematics keep the wires (still use net labels to make the layout engineer not hate you) and make sure you follow the general left-to-right relationship of inputs/outputs and top-bottom relationship of positive and negative voltages.
  2. Use Supply symbols for power and ground rather than a long 'bus' type wire to provide the connectivity. This is another neatness thing
  3. Try to avoid wire corners that are not 90 degree turns
  4. Label your functional groups with a text identifier. For instance, the LM317 group of components could be labeled as 'Voltage Regulation', the NPN transistors can be labeled as 'Load Switches' etc
  5. USE COMPONENT DESIGNATORS! Try to explain the operation of the circuit to someone without them and you end up with sentences like 'The current flows through this resistor, then goes in to that capacitor and to the other resistor' and just ends with a world of confusion not to mention difficulty assembling the board or sourcing parts
  6. Position Net Labels on top of the wires such that they are connected, but visible. As drawn they look as if they are struck through by the wires

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