I'm an early-stage self-teaching hobbyist.

Just as a practice exercise I'm diagramming simple circuits (without looking at the instructions) of DIY kits that I've bought on banggood.com (awesome stuff on the cheap, if you can bear to wait a month to get it).

I have here "electronic dice":


Back (flipped to match):

As you can see the switch is connected to the ground side rather than the power side.

In the schematics I've seen so far power and ground are treated without regard to the physical wiring on the board, like this:

In this case there is a switch to control power, which happens to be ground-side, but there are 2 "V+" inputs and nearly a dozen "ground" lines.

How would I describe that there is a ground-side (or power side) switch to the ground and power rails?

Is this style of diagram that I'm using generally considered "higher level" and not concerned with switches? Or should I should I "simplify" this by having a battery symbol as my start and draw the "V+" more exactly as it is on the board? Or would I have a second diagram showing the "power stage"?

P.S. I realize that my schematic is probably wrong - it wouldn't make a lot of sense for LEDs to go directly from a power gate to ground without a resistor (and so there probably is a directed ground path in this case) - but that's besides the point. Update: After double checking it looks like D3 (which is connected to the ground of all other diodes and therefore U1, U2, and U3) is connected directly to Battery -, so I think I got it right.


1 Answer 1


Not sure if I got your question, but as another self-taught hobbyist, this is how I would do it (dotted square optional naming):


simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

On many schematics, there is actually more one "GND". Say AGND, DGND, EXT_GND (analog, digital, external gnd for galvanically isolated parts, etc).

So its not uncommon to just differentiate them by name. Then you can just draw the switch wherever it is, and you can optionally name that node if you wish. Same with Vin, V+, etc.



simulate this circuit

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not that there are different types of ground, but rather that of the 8 places that go to ground, they all lead to a single switch that goes to battery - (rather than a ground plane that connects to battery - at multiple points). It would be complicated to draw the actual wiring (all the criss-crosses and such), so just having the downwards triangle seems to make sense, but in this case that doesn't actually go to ground. Instead it goes to a switch that goes to ground. Does that make sense? \$\endgroup\$
    – coolaj86
    Mar 18, 2019 at 8:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, if you are drawing the schematic, you define what you want to call Ground. So if the majority of the circuit is connected to this patch of circuit before the switch connected to the negative side of the battery and it makes a lot more sense to call it Ground, just call it Ground. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wesley Lee
    Mar 18, 2019 at 8:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CoolAJ86 - just added some random components to exemplify the issue. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wesley Lee
    Mar 18, 2019 at 8:25

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