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Can you shift register out to 8 pins independantly, or
is it basically just allowing you to power and light up led's like you would if you connected them in series with eachother.

I have 64 LEDS that I want to control independently blinking according to how I want them to blink individually.
If hooked up through 8 registers and If programmed correctly, can I do this?

Or would this just allow me to make 8 groups of lights light up at same time instead of 64 how I want?
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London
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You shift a pattern of bits into the register, so you can control each pin independently. It just takes more than 8 times longer to change one bit. You can also chain registers, so the output of one becomes the input of another, allowing you to create 16, 24, 32 bit etc so controlling 64 LEDs would need 8 chips. You could use a single MAX7219 chip to control all 64 though.
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Check this out.  http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ShiftOut
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Eugene, Oregon
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It sounds like you want to know if you can latch just the specific output pins that you want, but not others, and I think the answer is no. You latch them all at one time. If you chain many shift registers, then you latch them all at the same time.

In your case of wanting eight 8-bit shift registers to output to 64 LEDs, assuming you have them chained (which you most likely will), when you latch, you will latch all LEDs at one time, if you want 1 LED lit, and 63 unlit, you will latch out a 1 bit, and 63 0 bits for total of 64 bits each sequence.
If you want to sequence 1 LED lighting, along a line of LEDs, (you can actually do this a few ways...) using a a static dataset, you will want 64 lines of 64 bits, and each line will only have one 1, and 63 0s.
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The previous poster is very loose in his use of the term latch. In fact he means clock.
You clock out all 64 bits and then latch those bits to the output. In effect you have individual control because you only change the one bit in the 64 bit pattern that you want to change. The bits you do not change still stay the same.so you can control each bit individually but you output all 64 bits at a time.
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Eugene, Oregon
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Im pretty sure I mean latch.  As in, when you latch the register, you latch all the bits at one time.
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