Breakout Box

What Does Breakout Box Mean?

A breakout box (BoB) is a device that splits an electric multicable line into several compound connectors. It is designed to streamline the wiring system of electronic devices and to simplify troubleshooting problems.


Generally, a BoB is connected to the serial port of a multiline cable using connectors that either have dual inline packet (DIP) switches or connecting pins. When there are several components that need to be connected, a compound connector is used.

BoBs com in a range of sizes; the smallest can fit in a computer’s hard drive and is frequently used to improve or customize a sound card. The largest can be as big as a rack system for a docking station.

Techopedia Explains Breakout Box

The many uses for breakout boxes include:

  • Docking stations
  • Electronic control units (ECUs)
  • Electronic test equipment
  • PC sound cards

One of the most common uses of a BoB is to customize audio and video (A/V) signals. Not only is the A/V connector away from the A/V source, but the BoB allows each compound electrical connector to be separated for individualized customization. The BoB improves the quality of A/V signals and is used by many audio/video editors and professional musicians.

Another popular use for a BoB is to test and repair technical equipment because it allows a technician to specially test each component and its connection. Many BoB’s are designed precisely for troubleshooting and repairing electronic equipment.

For home use the BoB can be used for connecting several components.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.