[sdiy] Opinions on Switchmode PSUs for analog synths?

Adam Inglis 21pointy at tpg.com.au
Thu Oct 31 07:16:44 CET 2019

Thanks Oren

> On 31 Oct 2019, at 2:26 PM, oren levy <orenlevysticky at gmail.com> wrote:
> Switch mode power supplies are far more efficient (80%) than simply using an LDO and they can be as clean as linear power supplies. Besides the conversion efficiency upgrade that reduces heat, depending on your switching frequency, you can really shrink down the size of the passives required. If you push the switching frequency far enough out of the audible band, all you have to do is clean up some easy harmonics. 
> On the schematic side, proper inductor and capacitor selection can minimize the capacitor discharge that causes the ripple. 
> More importantly, proper layout can make or break a switcher. Proper care should be given to the feedback node and it’s loop to minimize noise. 
> Synths are relatively big so you shouldn’t have to make many (any) sacrifices in proper part placement and routing.  
> Simulations are incredibly helpful for the schematic part of the design and anticipating ripple. If you can get your hands on simulation software like PowerSI, you can really hone in your design.
> Oren Levy

So the devil is in the design.
Assuming the designer has done a decent job, what is your experience of failure modes, troubleshooting, and life expectancy?

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