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World of Schematic Symbols: LINES

Learning to read and write schematics is like learning a new language to make cool electronic stuff. It's not too hard, though! It's kind of like reading words and numbers but with special symbols.

The most basic symbol is a line. A line means an electrical connection or, in the physical world, a wire.

In this example, VCC is like the + side of a battery and GND is like the – side. They aren’t connected. We know that since there’s no line connecting them.

Connected, it would look like this.

In complex schematics, there might be many lines. Sometimes they might cross each other and that's when things get confusing. We can determine if those crossed lines are connected or separated in a few ways!

In this schematic, the green dots let us know everything is connected. Each green dot has three lines coming from it and we know all three lines, or wires, are connected.

This is where some things get a little confusing. On the top, we know the wires are connected with the dot, but it looks like they are connected on the bottom, too, but they aren’t since there’s no dot. In this way of schematic notation, even though the lines cross, they aren’t connected electrically.

There are a few different ways to notate a non-connected wire. Some schematic editors use a little hop, the wire would hop over the line to show it isn’t connected, but some don’t.