Hi. Today I would introduce the 16bit shift register of the EPD project. The function of shift register is converting from a serial data to parallel data. At least 14 pins (6 pins to control and 8 pins data transfer) are needed to control ED050SC3 EPD. I want to control it by ESP8266 microcontroller. It has a few I/O pins. So it needs to extend the output pins. In such case the shift register has been used to use.


74HC595 shift register IC

74HC595 is most popular shift register IC. Thedatasheet (Texas Instruments) is here. It can convert from 8bit serial data to 8bit parallel data. 74HC595 has two parts of functions.

The first part is the data conversion from serial to parallel. The serial data (input SER pin) is taken into shift register when the clock (SRCLK pin) rises. You need eight clocks to set 8 bit data into the shift register.


The second part is data storage. It is keeping the states of output pins while the serial data is transferring. The states of output pins are changed when latch pin (RCLK pin) rises after finish transferring data.

74HC595 is able to output 8bit parallel data by only three pins (SER , SRCLK , RCLK) are controlled.

Also it can add output pins to connect any 74HC595s each other. The /QH pin of first 74HC595 connect to the SER pin of second one. If you need 16bit output pins, you use two 74HC595. If you need 24bit, you use three.

 The following circuit was designed 16bit shift register by the two 74HC595 for EPD project. It is for controlling EPD by the ESP8266. SER and SRCLK are connected to SPI of ESP8266. RCLK was connected to IO2 of ESP8266.

The shift register of 74HC595 had a clear pin (SRCLR pin). It was connected The RC timer circuit as the power on reset.


But this circuit had problem. The random pattern was displayed EPD for a few second when the power on. The cause of that…


74HC595’s output pins were High when the power is on

In most cases, the output pins of 74HC595 were High when the power was on. Even though there was the power on reset circuit with the shift register. Because the clear pin (SRCLR pin) can clear only the shift register (first part of functions). It cannot clear the storage (second part of functions).

If I want clear all output pins, I must transfer the zero data and then latch pin rises. Unfortunately ESP8266 needs a few second for internal initialize (boot) when the power on. For the while cannot control the output pins and cannot clear the sift register output. So the output pins were high a few second.


The random data from IO2

When the ESP8266 power is on, it needs internal initialize (boot) time a few second. In the meanwhile the random data is out from IO2. I don’t know the reason why it. IO2 was connected to latch pin on 74HC595 on my circuit. So the unknown data were latched any times while the internal initialize.



I was through 47HC595 away and I use 74HC594 instead. 74HC594 is similar to 74HC595. The different is it has the clear pin (/RCLR pin) for the storage. The datasheet is here (Texas Instruments). It can clear the output pins when the /RCLR pin is low at the power on. And I change IO2 to IO5 of ESP8266. IO5 has no problem when the power is on.

The following circuit is improved that problem.

I am freeing from to display the random pattern when the power is on.

Next I will introduce other block.

Thanks reading.


Contents of the EPD project
You can buy the EPD experiment kit at our shop.