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I'm using KiCad to design a circuit for my latest project. This board includes a number of transistors whose bases are connected to off-board signals.

What's the proper way to represent this, so when I build the netlist and PCB, these off-board signals become header pins or pads.

Yeah, newbcakes here...

EDIT -
I found a 12x1 connector which does exactly what you think it does. Now, that happens with this when I convert the schematic to a PCB, I don't know. Stay tuned...

EDIT 2 - I have learned nothing happens to the 12x1 connector automatically. Instead, on the next step towards pcb-ing, you have to tell KiCAD what everything is. I did and it worked fine, though there weren't many options so I selected a 7x2 DIP. I'm 95.982% sure I can make what I need, however. This is the least of my worries, lol.

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You can split your design into a hierarchy (e.g. multiple pages), then have local nets to each page and also global nets. You can also use specific page to page connectors (so the page symbol is like a component you can drop into another page (over on the right hand icon set you will see an icon labelled "Place hierarchical pin in sheet" and another named "Place a hierarchical label" and a couple of other related icons)
Have a play around with the demo projects to see how it works. There are also some good tutorials out there that go through this stuff. Tutorial 1, Wiki Kicad, Hierarchy Tutorial.

Go into wherever Kicad is installed (e.g. Program Files/Kicad/Share/Demos), and look in the Demos folder for plenty of examples of different ways of doing things.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I watched about 6 of those short youtube tutorials. Doesn't take but a little help to get one going. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Ennis Dec 2 '12 at 2:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yep, it's the getting going with these complex tools that's the daunting part, I always dread that part the most. Kicad is a great tool once you get used to it's quirks - I've used it for quite a few 2,4,6 layer projects now, and I like it just as much as Altium (obviously it's not not quite the same league there) and Diptrace (both of which I used in the past) Best thing is it's got a great support community and development is pretty rapid (new release every few months or so) \$\endgroup\$ – Oli Glaser Dec 2 '12 at 2:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just wondering why the downvote? No problem with it, but if I got something wrong or put something badly, etc, I'd like to fix it. \$\endgroup\$ – Oli Glaser Dec 4 '12 at 23:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wasn't me. I always appreciate your sharing. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Ennis Dec 5 '12 at 1:20
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To make them actually connect you need to make them the same net name. Described here on step 89. The net labels will be how you show an off page connection (doesn't have to be off the page, just no wire between them). You can see an example of that the the signal "Input" here:enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If you connect the signals by using the same net name, do yourself a favor and make sure you run the wire to the edge of a page to visually remind you that the connection goes to a different page. In the example above, if "INPUT" goes to 4 or 5 places, you'll have trouble tracing it through the schematic if it's at all complicated. \$\endgroup\$ – rfdave Dec 2 '12 at 2:13
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Use header pins and/or pads as devices in your schematics.

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The proper way to do this is to create a connector symbol and connect your transistor bases to this connector.

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