In the first episode of my micro-controller adventures I’m blinking some LEDs by using a shift register. The goal of the exercise is to learn some basics about wiring the whole thing on the breadboard and write my first few lines of code.

And while at it I can also find out which tools I like to use.

Starting with the tools I found that Fritzing is quite decent. Not only can I click together everything in a cool WYSIWYG breadboard editor – it also helps me design the PCB for the thing I created. I will need this later when I’m going in for my actual real-world use-case because of which I started the whole µC venture in the first place.

In the schematics I use slightly more wires than in real-life to make it look cleaner: blinkenlights_bb

This is how it looks in the physical space:blinkenlightsThe extra wires and buttons on the right are for easy flashing of new code.

Lastly I need some lines of code that will pump out bytes to the 74HC595 IC. In my example I start with 1 and double the value at each cycle to make the light travel from right to left. A second loop travels it back and so forth:

 

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