The Black Box ToolKit v2 technical specifications
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The Black Box ToolKit v2 is a dedicated self-contained hardware device that is designed to record stimulus onsets, reaction times and TTL event mark physical events in the real world as they occur with sub-millisecond accuracy. It has been specifically developed to help researchers address timing issues related to their own psychology experiments whilst running on their own hardware.

To accomplish this the BBTK v2 has an ARM chip at its heart together with its own onboard RAM. This means that although tethered to a PC via USB for data upload and analysis timings are completely independent. What's more if you're interested in using your own software or commercial application to control the BBTK v2 it even has its own published API you can make use of.

We have taken the decision to publish full technical and timing specifications as all too often the equipment you use on a daily basis is of unknown quality. In our view, if other vendors do not publish specifications for their hardware or software you should not be using it!

Key features Model options Software suite Worked example Technical specifications Pricing  
Technical specifications
  • RFI coated ABS plastic or metal enclosure (300mm x 200mm x 100mm LWH)
  • NXP LPC1768 running at 96MHz
  • ARM Cortex-M3 32 bit processor (ARMv7-M architecture)
  • 3.3Vdc Abracon Corporation CMOS SMD Crystal Clock Oscillator
  • Internal timestamps stored with μS precision (accuracy to millionths of a second)
  • 64MBit internal memory (8MB RAM) for storing samples (max 262,144 line changes)
  • Line change detection and time stamping (only stores changes, e.g. a bitmap on an opto-detector is 2 line changes regardless of duration. That is, on and off)
  • 2MB flash drive (BBTK appears as a drive letter under Windows/OS X for easy firmware updates - copy a single firmware file across and reset. No need to flash firmware!)
  • LCD status screen (20x4 lines)
  • Rotary encoder for setting sensor activation thresholds - turn and press to confirm (all thresholds stored and recalled digitally)
  • USB connection to host PC for sequence programming and uploading and analysis of timing data
  • Once programmed fully autonomous and unaffected by anything you do on the host PC
  • Can be used with low powered netbooks
  • Fully documented API for controlling the BBTK from your own software (uses serial commands over USB virtual COM port)
  • Powered by 5V Switch Mode PSU (suitable for worldwide use)
  • Each of the 20 standard lines has it's own activity LED on the front panel
  • Opto and Mic smoothing built-in and controllable via GUI (block CRT refreshes together for ease of analysis)
  • Up to 36 input and output lines across a range of sensors (Elite model)
    • 4x opto-detectors (front panel)
    • 2x TTL input lines (uses breakout board via 25-way D on rear)
    • 2x TTL output lines (uses breakout board via 25-way D on rear)
    • 4x Active Switch Closures using Solid State Relays (uses breakout board via 25-way D on rear)
    • 2x BBTK digital microphones (front panel)
    • 2x BBTK digital sounders (front panel)
    • 4 key BBTK response pad connector (9-way D on rear)
    • 16 additional TTL input/output lines
Front connectors
Front connectors and indicator LEDs Rear indicator LEDs
  • Upto 4x opto-detectors for checking visual stimulus onsets and
  • Upto 2x mics for checking sound onsets and durations
  • Upto 2x sounders for triggering your own voice keys or mics
  • 2x TTL in channels/lines
  • 2x TTL out channels/lines
  • 4x primary buttons of response pad
  • 4x Active Switch Closures for closing keys or buttons on your
Rear connectors
Rear connectors  
  • Expansion Port – 16x additional TTL I/O channels/lines with TTL expansion module/breakout board
  • TTL/ASC – 25-way breakout board for TTL and Active Switch Closure lines. Also includes 4 additional +5V/grounds
  • Response Pad – 1-8 button response pad input port (with or without voice key)
  • USB Host – Connection to the PC controlling the BBTK v2
  • Power 5V DC 250mS – Power supply for the BBTK v2