Shift register hack

Mkay, so I would like to use a shift register to control multiple motors and sensors. It seems like it would not be possible to Pwm through a shift register nor read voltage difference. What if I parallel out to transistors that connect/disconnect lots of stuff to a single pin? Is that feasible? I'm curious what effect a transistor has on a circuit. Is this a common practice or not possible?

Mkay, so I would like to use a shift register to control multiple motors and sensors.

A motor typically connects to an output, and an sensor typically connects to an input.

It seems like it would not be possible to Pwm through a shift register nor read voltage difference.

That's generally correct.

What if I parallel out to transistors that connect/disconnect lots of stuff to a single pin? Is that feasible? I'm curious what effect a transistor has on a circuit. Is this a common practice or not possible?

A transistor is typically used to boost the current and/or voltage to drive a higher power load. So, you basically have the same situation as with a shift register (on or off) but with more power switching capability.

There ARE things you can do with one output, such as send serial data that can be decoded to do whatever you want and control as many things as you want. For example, USB is serial and Ethernet and the Internet are serial. But, if you want to do something like control several motors independently it would probably take an Arduino on both ends of the serial connection.

Yeah, so I power the transistor via the shift register and the arduino can see a thermistor, go low on the thermistor high on another transistor and now the arduino sees a photoresistor and so on ad nauseam. Or is a transistor not so much like a gate?

May I suggest you go back and describe what you need and not look at what you cannot do with specific things ?

there are serial ADC chips that you can use to read analog signal and send back on a serial input.

there are ways to have serial control to PWM out of a remote chip.

start with explaining what you want to do, maybe we can offer what parts you could use.

BTW, to answer your question about transistors, consider them as a switch. they can be on or off, or on/off/on/off really-really fast if you send a signal to turn on and off really fast. they also can be used like a dimmer if you send a signal to dim. very-very simple devices with no logic, no programs, you have to provide all the rest to them.,