A group of us built an art project using 343 stepper motors.
I didn't have ANY PC with a parallel port anymore, nor a laptop, but I found out that the Dell laptop docking stations have an LPT port, so I borrowed one of those from work and got the display working again.
I'm trying to decide if I want to make just one HUGE shift register and drive it with something like an SPI port or of I should keep the seven individual registers and drive them with DMA.
Driving one giant chain would be cool, but there would be LOTS of parallel loads on the clock and load lines. Like 49*4 = almost TWO HUNDRED chips so I've got to give that some serious thinking some time.
I think next I've got to build a base to hold the power supplies and whatever computer I choose to use, and I'm almost trained on using the ShopBot, so I'll probably use that to cut some plywood for a base and then move on from there.
Ahhhhhh. Finally, Animanemone is all up and running in the Artisan's Asylum here in Somerville, MA.
Lack of documentation resulted in a lot more work that it needed to be.
i had to find a PC with a parallel port. (!) That was a lot harder then I wanted it to be.
I found an old Dell laptop here at work which has an LPT port on the docking station, so I'm up and running.
Now, onto a better platform than a PC to drive the seven serial shift register chains.
I'd like to use a Beaglebone Black and have a PRU drive an SPI peripheral, so i'll look into that.
This means I'll have to wire all seven chains into one GIANT serial shift register and I'm not sure how well that'll work out electrically.
I'll take some time and look at the fanout required and get another update sometime in the next month.
I'm just now unpacking this project and will be restarting development.
First, I'll get it all mechanically back together and drive it from a PC parallel port (what's that?) to make sure it all still works.