trying to flash LED's RAPIDLY

const int bits = 16; // 2x8 bit registers  dasy changed is 16 bits, 1st 1/0 pin is pin 0 so you would have 0..15, 0 being the 1st led being connected to pin 0 and 16th connected to pin 15
const int steps = 14; // calculation bug somewhere, should be able to be 15 i know the problem
int latchPin = 8;  //Pin connected to ST_CP(pin 12) of 74HC595
int clockPin = 12; //Pin connected to SH_CP(pin 11) of 74HC595
int dataPin = 11;  //Pin connected to DS(pin 14) of 74HC595
int seq[] = {2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,14,12,10,8,6,4,2}; // the animation (sequence). Finish sequence
int i = -1;
int whatLED;


void setup() {    
 // Serial.begin(9600);
  pinMode(latchPin, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(clockPin, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(dataPin, OUTPUT);
}


void loop(){
  if(i >= steps) {
    i = -1;
  }
  i++;

 whatLED = seq[i]; 
 int a = -1;                       
  while(a < whatLED){
    a++;
        if(a == whatLED) {
          add();
        }
      else {
      skip();
      }
  
}     // 16    2
int b = bits - seq[i];
int c = 0;
while(c < b) {
  c++;
//  Serial.println("filling Gaps...");  // debugging
 skip(); 
}
digitalWrite(latchPin, HIGH);  // Latch it all in (turn leds on).
delay(100);
cleanUp(); // Clear out all registers
digitalWrite(latchPin, HIGH);
delay(10);
}

void add() {
  digitalWrite(latchPin, LOW);
  digitalWrite(clockPin, LOW);
  digitalWrite(dataPin, HIGH);
  delay(1);
  digitalWrite(clockPin, HIGH);
  delay(1);
}

void skip() {
  digitalWrite(latchPin, LOW);
  digitalWrite(clockPin, LOW);
  digitalWrite(dataPin, LOW);
  delay(1);
  digitalWrite(clockPin, HIGH);
  delay(1);
}

void cleanUp() {
  int c = -1;
  while(c < bits) { //+1 makes sure we totaly clear the registers!
  c++;
  digitalWrite(latchPin, LOW);
  digitalWrite(clockPin, LOW);
  digitalWrite(dataPin, LOW);
  delay(1);
  digitalWrite(clockPin, HIGH);
  delay(1);
    }
      digitalWrite(latchPin, HIGH);
}

The problem I have here is not that the code doesn’t works, it works almost perfectly i have 2 bugs to iron out (one minor, who cares).

the big problem currently is that I have the Serial.begin(…); un-commented or the leds wont flash at all, what gets me is that this system does not require any input from a computer or any other module.

I think the problem is that I’m trying to flash the 1/0 pins to fast and the HIGH/LOW I’m sending is not getting enough time to register, but as soon as Serial.begin is un-commented (not the println ones) it works perfectly but is slow as I’m doing an animation on what will be a 8x8 LED cube.
currently going up and down 2 595 shift registers with 16 LEDs.

Another thought now is that I’m using a pin that stuffs up without Serial being active?

yes, the code is messy

You can flash leds very fast. faster than you can see.

Your code at the start of your loop( ) function looks convoluted and moronic, but doesn't look actually wrong. Make sure you don't access seq[] array outside its bounds.

When you are attempting to send a sequence representing a led pattern to the shift register, prepare the sequence first and then send it in an orderly manner. Don't try to make it up as you go along.

Your problem with the Serial.begin( ), I agree, it seems strange, I don't have any suggestion why it would do this.

could agree less, it is rather convoluted and moronic however to me doing the pins manually is useful because it shows exactly what is going on rather than just a shift-out command and ++ this/that.

not quite sure what you mean by "prepare the sequence first" it is all in an array and i pick each one out then magic happens in the math zone and it sends a "skip" or an "add" to the data pin and shifts each one across to the next, filling in the gaps till the "nth pin has the correct bit in its place.

in summery this is what i am doing without the buttons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oB_pz18AinI

all of it will work with any size cube my changing numbers and the sequence. just have to add the part for activating the npn's and it will work easy