Shift registers are a very useful type of digital IC that are great for converting serial data to parallel in many applications. For example, using them to drive many seven-segment displays, or expanding the number of digital outputs on a small microcontroller. However the theory of operation can be a little confusing for the beginner – so the people at Conductive Resistance have created a fascinating online 74HC595 simulator that allows you to click on the various pins, activate the clock, latch and so on to simulate a real shift register. The results are shown with a 7-segment display as an example. Educational, and lots of fun.
For more information and the simulator – click here. And we’re on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.
If you need some real 74HC595s for your next prototype or project, use our Freetronics EXPAND: Expansion/Shift register modules. They contain the 74HC595 shift register on a small board with standard 0.1″ spacing holes that are perfect for soldering header pins into for breadboard use, and a small “power on” LED. By doing this you have a robust vehicle to insert and remove easily without tools or the risk of bending the IC pins. This is only one of our large range of prototyping modules – check the full range today!