Expanding your I/O options: Introducing the BitFlow BitBox
20 Apr 2017
The BitBox is BitFlow’s new solution for high density I/O applications. Many machine makers require a large number of computer managed I/O signals for continuous control of the system state. This means controlling devices such as strobes, solenoids, actuators, indicators etc. as well as gathering inputs from photo-detectors, switches, encoders and triggers. BitFlow frame grabbers come with a fairly large number of inputs and outputs, but for some systems this is simply not enough. Most customers end up purchasing another device to manage the I/O, which adds expense, requires another slot, another driver and SDK, another manual, etc. The BitBox has been designed for just this situation. It is controlled completely from the frame grabber, uses the same API, driver and manuals as the frame grabber.
Traditional I/O cards put all of the transmitters and receivers on the actual board in the PC. This requires bringing all of the I/O wires from their sources to the PC, which is often located quite a distance from other equipment. With the BitBox, all the transmitters and receivers are located right in the BitBox, on the rail, close to the other equipment. Control is facilitated by a small high speed cable which goes between the BitBox and the frame grabber. This cable can be up to 10 meters in length, providing maximum flexibility in positioning equipment inside the machine.
The BitBox can be located anywhere in your system. Only a small 15 wire cable goes between the frame grabber and the BitBox. BitFlow can provide these cables in various lengths or you can build your own. One advantage of this arrangement is that the high voltage signals are never brought into the PC. This isolation also adds electrical decoupling from noisy signals.
The BitBox supports only the Axion and Cyton families. It provides 36 inputs and 36 outputs available in TTL, LVDS, Open Collector and 24 Volts. It is capable of 12 TTL inputs and 12 TTL outputs and 12 differential inputs and 12 differential outputs. All inputs can be read by software and can be routed to the acquisition engine, timing sequencer, trigger, camera or outputs. Outputs can be static (software controlled), dynamic (from the Timing Sequencer) or source from other inputs. The pins are grouped in blocks of 12 signals with each block of 12 having its own connector. Power requirements are 5 to 24 VDC.
If you have any questions or want more information please contact BitFlow using the methods below.