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.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…