Scientific Solutions ® Inc.

BaseBoard ® / PCI

Product Description

Our Solution Includes

Key Features


Functional Description

Technical Specifications

The BaseBoard / PCI provides flexible, programmable digital input/output for the PCI computer. The unique design of the BaseBoard / PCI allows you to add from 96 to 384 lines of TTL compatible Digital I/O to your computer using a single small PCI card.
The BaseBoard / PCI remains 100% compatible with the well established BaseBoard / ISA card allowing customers to upgrade to PCI systems without having to rewrite their existing software or re-cable their test environment!
Optional plug in opto-isolation boards provide both over-voltage protection and buffer/driver capabilities.

BaseBoard PCI Product

arrowProduct Description

The BaseBoard / PCI provides flexible, programmable digital input/output for your computer. From 96 up to 384 lines of TTL compatible digital I/O are added to your computer using a small low-profile PCI card that is installed in your computer. The PCI card then connects to a convenient BaseBoard DeskTop Unit using a single quick-connect cable. The DeskTop Unit contains circuitry providing 96 digital I/O connections with easy accessible front panel connections. Up to four DeskTop Units can be connected to a single PCI card providing up to 384 digital I/O signals. For even more digital I/O, you can install multiple BaseBoard / PCI cards in your system.

Existing customers of the BaseBoard / ISA will find upgrading to the BaseBoard / PCI an easy process. The BaseBoard / PCI can run existing BaseBoard / ISA software without modification. Also, the BaseBoard DeskTop Unit provides the same connection and pin out of the ISA product allowing you to use your existing cable arrangement.

The BaseBoard / PCI has hardware interrupt capability when handshaking configurations are enabled. Optional plug in opto-isolation boards provide both over-voltage protection to +2500V and buffer/driver capability to +30V and +80mA.

arrowOur Solution Includes

arrowKey Features


arrowFunctional Description

The Scientific Solutions BaseBoard / PCI adds up to 384 Digital I/O signals to your computer. The Digital signals are programmable as either Input, Output or Bi-directional and are typically used for process control or monitoring environments.

The Scientific Solutions BaseBoard / PCI consists of a small PCI card (Approximately 2" x 3", 51mm x 76mm) that installs in your computer. This card has a single connector that is used to connect the card to an external BaseBoard Digital I/O DeskTop Unit. The DeskTop Unit is approximately 11" wide by 2" tall by 7" deep (280mm x 51mm x 178mm) and provides easy connection to the Digital I/O signals.

A single DeskTop Unit provides 96 Digital I/O connections. Up to four DeskTop units can be connected to a single BaseBoard / PCI card. Each additional unit adds another 96 Digital I/O signals.

As you can see, a system consisting of one PCI card and four DeskTop units provides 384 Digital I/O signals! Multiple PCI cards can be installed in a single computer. As an example, with four BaseBoard / PCI cards installed in a computer each fully configured with four external units would provide 1536 Digital I/O signals.

BaseBoard PCI with 4 DeskTop Units

The BaseBoard / PCI is 100% software compatible with the original BaseBoard/ ISA product. Also, the BaseBoard DeskTop unit provides the same connector and pin out as the BaseBoard / ISA. This permits users of the BaseBoard / ISA to upgrade to the BaseBoard / PCI with little or no change to their current wiring or software.

The BaseBoard Digital I/O lines are accessible from the front of the DeskTop Unit and are arranged in four groups of 24 lines. Each group has its own 40 pin connector which provides for direct connection of the Digital I/O to the outside world. The 40pin connector is the same type and pin out of the BaseBoard / ISA product for compatibility with customers existing cable arrangements. The DeskTop Unit is very versatile in its design and can be easily changed from the 40pin connector to a 50pin connector providing a connector and pin out compatible with industry standard solid-state relay racks.

Digital Input/Output (DIO)

The Digital I/O signals of the BaseBoard are addressed in groups of 24 lines and can be programmed for a number of different configurations:

All outputs are latched. Simple input is unlatched while strobed input is latched. The 24 bits of digital I/O are programmed through four locations. One location is a command register to configure the 24 lines. The three data locations are contiguous in the I/O space.

The BaseBoard / PCI fully supports the following Digital I/O modes:

The BaseBoard / PCI is equipped with Dynamic Digital Buffering (DDB). This provides automatic digital buffering for ALL of the Digital I/O modes - mode0, mode1 and mode2. The DDB provides for 64/15ma of sink/source current while also providing advanced ESD and Over-voltage protection with fast 6nSec switching.

arrowSignal Conditioning Modules

The BaseBoard / PCI can accommodate the same signal conditioning modules as used with the BaseBoard / ISA. These modules plug directly onto internal connectors of the DeskTop Unit. The BaseBoard / PCI allows you to customize your setup by adding up to 4 modules of your choice. An unlimited array of modules can be created by the user including relay control, SCR, voltage control, etc.

Scientific Solutions offers multiple BaseBoard Module options. More information can be found by using the menu at the top of this page.


Hardware interrupts allow the computer's processor to react to special events when they occur. The BaseBoard / PCI provides software enabled sources for hardware interrupts using a handshake signal of the strobed or bi-directional I/O modes. This allows for externally connected equipment to "push" data into the BaseBoard / PCI registers which causes an Input Buffer Full (IBF) interrupt to occur. In reaction to this interrupt, the application software can then retrieve the data. Likewise, the BaseBoard can latch output data for external equipment and receive an interrupt when the external equipment has read the data (Output Buffer Full - OBF interrupt). Interrupt levels are assigned automatically using the PCI Plug-and-Play feature.

arrowSystem Resources

The BaseBoard / PCI occupies a single PCI slot and is a short low-profile board for today's smaller computer cases. The connection from the computer to the outside world is thru a single DB25 connector.

The BaseBoard / PCI occupies 16 (with a single DeskTop Unit) or 64 (with multiple DeskTop Units) locations in the I/O space of the computer. The address of the card is automatically assigned by the PCI Plug-and-Play BIOS of your computer and so there is no "address switch" to set.

For DOS users, Scientific Solutions provides a DOS setup program that allows you to set the card to a particular address that is required by your DOS software.

Besides the Base Address I/O space, the BaseBoard / PCI can also use Interrupt resources of you computer. These resources are automatically assigned by the PCI Plug-and-Play feature of your computer.

The BaseBoard / PCI provides 100% compatibility with the original ISA version. It adds features, but is a much smaller size for today's slim low-profile computers. The following picture compares the size of the original BaseBoard / ISA to the new BaseBoard / PCI card.

Comparing ISA to PCI card

Besides the size difference, a single BaseBoard / PCI card can accommodate from 96 up to 384 Digital I/O signals, has much higher electrical current sink/source handling capabilities, and incorporates Scientific Solutions exclusive Dynamic Digital Buffering (DDB TM) technology that assures maximum power in all operating modes!

arrowTechnical Specifications

Digital Input/Output Characteristics
Number of bits 96 bits of Digital I/O per DeskTop Unit
(maximum of 384 bits per PCI card)
Programmable Modes - Full 8255 support
  • Mode0 - Basic I/O
  • Mode 1 - Strobed I/O
  • Mode 2 - Strobed Bi-Directional
Data Transfer Programmed I/O
Logic Thresholds TTL
Current Source 15ma
Current Sink 64 ma

Physical Characteristics
PCI Card Dimensions (approx.) 2.5" high x 4.5" long (63.5mm x 114.3mm)
DeskTop Unit Dimensions (approx.) 2" high x 11" wide x 7" deep (50mm x 280mm x 175mm)
PCI Card Data Connector DB25 socket
DeskTop Unit Data Connector IN: DB25 pins
OUT: DB25 socket
DeskTop Unit Power Connector 2.5mm pin (+5 v, 3amp) 5.5mm barrel (ground)
DeskTop Unit Front Connectors 40 pin header (standard)
50 pin header (optional)
50 pin header (opto modules), 37 pin header (A/D, D/A modules)

System Resources
Bus Interface Single 32-bit or 64-bit PCI slot
IRQ Channels PCI BIOS Plug-and-Play auto-select
Address PCI BIOS Plug-and-Play auto-select
Bus Load 1 TTL load/bus line maximum

Environmental Specifications
Operating Temperature 0º to 70º Celsius
Storage Temperature -25º to +85º Celsius
Relative Humidity To 95% non-condensing
Agency Approvals FCC Class A, CE-Mark