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Let's say you have a panel mount switch. When you create the footprint for this switch, you aren't creating it for the switch itself, rather, you are making a footprint with holes for the wires that will be run to the switch on the panel.

So what do you call a footprint that isn't for the component itself, but for wires that will run to the component? It's driving me nuts not having a way to refer to this.

I've been calling them "interfaces" but it's a stupid name and just a filler until I learn the correct word. What are these types of footprints called?

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Use the most sensible name that will mean the most to most people. If the footprint connection is to a switch then call it SW1 or SW2 etc..

The switch is soldered to wires that connect to the circuit board so, it makes sense to provide meaning in the footprint name. If the panel switch is an SPST type you could even call it SPST1 or 2 etc..

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    \$\begingroup\$ I did that with my last design, too, but now curse myself: I've got on-board LEDs (D1, D4, D6), and off-board LEDs connected via Molex connectors (D2, D3, D5, D7, D8). Guess what? Had I chosen to label the connectors as connectors (Jx), I would have had less headache about the mismatch of my BOM and the components that arrived from my digikey order I did two weeks later when time allowed. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 2 '20 at 11:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarcusMüller ah so you need to take more care over your BoM then. Also, if the off-board LEDs were plugged into the PCB then I wouldn't have them on the same BoM as my PCBA. My rule is that anything soldered to the PCB is in the PCBA BoM. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jan 2 '20 at 12:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ BoM management needs to be better was my takeaway from that. I think I'll need to do some scripting to more smoothly export designator lists to BoM lists that can be directly uploaded to my distributors of choice. And yeah, that was kind of stupid: since they are components in their own rights, the connectors should've been part of the schematic, and the off-board LEDs kind of "dangling" in a separate schematic sheet; that way, it'd be clear what components belong to what, and the whole BoM would've been clear from the schematics. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 2 '20 at 12:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think the question is asking what component designator to give the footprint, but how to refer to it in text or speech. As in "My board has a bunch of _____ on it." \$\endgroup\$
    – user253751
    Jan 2 '20 at 16:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ If it’s a connector then either CN or J for connector or jumper. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jan 2 '20 at 20:36
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Sounds like you're talking about solder pads on the PCB?

For some reason lost in history, we designate them as "E" numbers, such as E01, E02, or E001, E002 (depending on how many you need), etc. I do not not know how widespread that "standard" is outside my company.

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