[sdiy] LFSR digital noise source

David G Dixon dixon at mail.ubc.ca
Tue Nov 12 04:32:19 CET 2019

Hear, hear, Brian!  Programming microcontrollers seems too much like "work".
Electronics is my hobby, and coding seems too much like a dayjob.

-----Original Message-----
From: Synth-diy [mailto:synth-diy-bounces at synth-diy.org] On Behalf Of
rsdio at audiobanshee.com
Sent: Monday, November 11, 2019 3:01 PM
Subject: Re: [sdiy] LFSR digital noise source

On Nov 11, 2019, at 1:35 PM, Gordonjcp <gordonjcp at gjcp.net> wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 10, 2019 at 02:19:32PM -0500, bbob wrote:
>> yes, hardware is what i seek
> The best way to do it in hardware is actually to just implement an LFSR
> in a small microcontroller.

The real problem here is all of the overhead required to get it working. A
microcontroller doesn't do anything when you first solder it to a board, or
plug it into a breadboard. So, you have to buy a programmer and attach it to
your prototype. Even then, you're not done. You have to write the code, test
the code, and iterate. Finally, even after you've finished getting all of
the software bugs out, the non-volatile memory can forget your program, and
you might be back to square one.

There are certainly problems that can't be solved without a microcontroller.
That's why we have them. But they're not always a win compared to logic
circuits that perform the correct function as soon as power is first
applied, without the need for additional tools, circuit adaptors, and
software development. The most expensive part of any product design is the
software. If you can design something without software, you've saved
yourself the biggest cost. Whether you're considering a one-off project or a
product that you want to manufacture, there are many functions that are best
done in hardware, without software.

> It's incredibly tweakable, without having to find long-obsolete parts
> that were profoundly shitty when new and are unlikely to have been
> improved by lying around for 30 years.

There's no reason to design with obsolete parts that have been sitting
around. There are plenty of modern, in-production logic chips. They are also
available in a variety of performance levels, from the slowest TTL to much
faster. Many of these chips operate at 40 V peak-to-peak, which an MCU can't
possibly handle without external help.


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