@Ken-Conrad My Omega's firmware version is 0.1.9 b149 and I never had a software problem with basic SPI functions (but I did not try to record a really long sequence of bytes - there was no need). Only hardware issue with weak CLK output was founded. Sometime it seems like unstable Omega booting process when SPI device connected, sometime unstable or impossible reading/writing to SPI device. The reasons to use M74VHC1G... in final project was: 1) very small size, possible to put it under module board; 2) small input capacitance and very fast logic; 3) very cheap and popular. For breadboard mounting and experiments I use some chips in DIP packages such as 74HC125 or 74HC244N. The letter H means "High speed" - is what we need.
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RE: 8x8 LED Matrix expansion board - DIY
8x8 LED Matrix expansion board - DIY
You can made this expansion board using cheap and ready-to-use LED module like this $1.5 item
For schematic diagram and printed board drawing please visit project page at EasyEDA
Also you can download the python program (file matrixtest.zip attached to project) as small sample how to to use SPI python module with MAX7219 integral led driver. For more clear understanding how it work refer to datasheet of MAX7219.
Important hardware notice: Omega2 CLK line very sensitive for outside parasitic capacitance, so special "1-line bus buffer" integral circuit used for this outgoing signal. Without this smal IC your Omega2 may work very unstable - remember this issue for your future projects!