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What is the 'piano' THT footprint for? Are these used for signal probing?

See the second layout, as different from the first (KiCad ScreenGrabs).

KiKad THT SW DIP 7 Non-Piano

KiKad THT SW DIP 7 Piano

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    \$\begingroup\$ You seem to be still on KiCad version 4 (version 5 has a measure tool in the preview). This version is no longer maintained! The current version is 5.1.5 and 5.1.6 will come out soon. I highly suggest updating. But read these: forum.kicad.info/t/…, forum.kicad.info/t/… \$\endgroup\$ – Rene Pöschl Apr 27 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Noted, thank you! \$\endgroup\$ – Edward Prentice May 5 at 18:02
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That's a DIP switch array, just that the switches don't move left or right, but up or down. The component visually resembles a (musical) keyboard, hence the name.

If you have a current version of kicad, try the 3D viewer (there's a button for that in your window). You'll see the component in 3D!

Left: horizontal switch; right: vertical switch

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, thank you, I was being an idiot. Very new to KiCad... and PCB design. As a follow on, can you tell me what category I should be looking in to find the right mount for a generic THT that is not a switch? E.g. say an LM339, or LM324ADR? I have both of these mounted on switch mounts at the momen, oops. I assume that this 14 pin 2 two layout does come with the default libraries? \$\endgroup\$ – Edward Prentice Apr 19 at 17:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ You are NOT an idiot! \$\endgroup\$ – Marcus Müller Apr 19 at 17:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, saved at last. I needed a socket_Strip_Straight. Thanks for setting me on track. I cant upvote comments yet, sorry. \$\endgroup\$ – Edward Prentice Apr 19 at 17:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ You need to go back in the schematic editor, and draw a schematic. You can add components to that (e.g. an LM339). When you're done with the schematic, you would then say "ah, I want this LM339 to come in the DIP-16 package (and not, for example, in the SOIC-14 package, in which it's also available)", i.e. you would associate the right footprints (shape of the package) with the symbols (i.e. the device, e.g. the LM339 comparator) \$\endgroup\$ – Marcus Müller Apr 19 at 17:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi, apologies if I was unclear, I have a schematic. I was trying to find footprints that are compatible with those components! I have gone schematic > assign footprints (still a work in progress) > auto place all footprints (just for fun to help me learn for now). Now to go back and refine some of my footprints. Thanks for all the help however. \$\endgroup\$ – Edward Prentice Apr 19 at 18:46
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These are just different styles of DIP switches. The piano style has switch levers that hang over the side and actuate up and down like piano keys. These are useful when the board will be mounted in such a way that only the edge of the board is accessible, for instance when inserted into in a card cage.

For example: https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/cts-electrocomponents/194-4MST/CT1944MST-ND/42440

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