KiCad Position File


This blog was started in Nov 2017. At this time the KiCad is ver 4.0.6

You create a POS (Position) file in PCBnew by selecting:
In the Generate Component Position Files window, select:
      One file per SIDE
      Force Insert for all SMD footprints.

Note: This is a work in progress and you should check back periodically to see if there are updates. I'd also like to hear from folks using this info and what results you have.

X-Y translation

I did my board layout with the rectangular outline being wider than tall (landscape style). When I sent the files to for manufacture, they panelized in a 2x2 arrangement with about 0.25
on 2 sides. This unintentionally resulted in the X and Y axis being swapped (relative to the Neoden XY orientation). Changing the X-Y axes in KiCad and generating a new .POS file with the new coordinates.

In PCBNew, select everything and rotated it 90 deg. The Block - Rotate function only goes 90 deg…

Misc Notes

Observations as they occur.

1. The fuses are smaller than standard cartridge fuses found in the US. There are 2 ceramic spares marked "F1 AL250V". While readily available on ebay, I need to make them readily available in my shop!  The fuse holder is located on the side under the tube feeders.

BTW, don't buy the cheapest fuse you can find on ebay as they are totally junk. A possibly random piece of wire soldered into a glass tube; they appear to be hand made. You can sometimes see them with an apparent dimple on the end cap.

2. The Video output connector and 2x USB connectors are located in the middle of the back. Be aware of this before you place the machine and restrict access.

3. For several days, progress was stalled as the machine would load the PCB, then the head would move to a location in the far right rear. The monitor showed the camera looking at nothing in particular. After several email exchanges with Neoden Support, it turns out the machine was looking for th…

PCB Feed Rail Adjustment

I bought the "with rails" version of the Neoden 4. It comes with a set of extensions which support manually feeding the PCB into the rail system. The first time I tried to adjust the spacing of the rails, one of the sliding nuts under the rail stripped.As this is going to be an operation performed regularly, it needs to be fixed right and not be a recurring problem.

Method of Alignment

After email discussions with Neoden support (they have been excellent!), I became aware of slight step in the top of the rail, made to assist alignment. Here is a way to align the rails.

Loosen the LEFT rail, front and rear. Place 2 blank boards in the small guide on the TOP of the rails (do not insert the PCB). Place one over the front and one over the rear adjustment points. Slide the rail to align both front and rear.GENTLY Tighten screw to hold the rail.Remove the PCBs.


The M4 nut is a custom machined part that slides in a guide under the black PCB rails. It is a steel part, but the b…


This blog is about my experiences using KiCad and the Neoden 4 Pick-n-Place machine.  There is no documentation on how to assemble the PnP, so I will attempt to take photos and add them to this blog, along with comments. Please stay tuned.

US Customs

Whether you are an individual or a company, you'll likely need to fill out a Customs From 5106. This is required for all imports valued greater than $2000(?). Here is a link to the form: US Custom 5106
Fill out the form and sign it, then scan it. You should contact FedEx (or you carrier) and provide the signed scanned copy of the form. FedEx "1 number for everything" is a huge pain. You want International Freight dept. Good luck with that.


The crate weighs about 200 pounds. FedEx delivered it on a truck with a lift gate and the driver rolled it into my garage using a pallet jack.

 3 screws on each side near the bottom, then the entire top comes off as 1 piece.

There are boxes and a tool box strapped down with big cab…