Aliana
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Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:06 am

Lexical issue, what does "broken out pins" mean.

Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:35 am

Hello! I'm having some lexical issues. What is the meaning of "broken out pins" and/or "pins were broken out"?

I'm trying to figure it out, and I think "broken out pins" are the holes on hats in which to insert a header, but I get confused when I see "pins were broken out". Do they have different meaning? When is a pin broken out?

Thank you, Aliana

klricks
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Re: Lexical issue, what does "broken out pins" mean.

Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:05 am

Aliana wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:35 am
Hello! I'm having some lexical issues. What is the meaning of "broken out pins" and/or "pins were broken out"?

I'm trying to figure it out, and I think "broken out pins" are the holes on hats in which to insert a header, but I get confused when I see "pins were broken out". Do they have different meaning? When is a pin broken out?

Thank you, Aliana
In general pins 'broken out' or 'brought out' means made electrically accessible.
For example the SOC has many additional GPIO's other than the 26 found in the 40 pin header.
Those additional pins are not connected to anything so not 'broken out'
A specific example is the older SOC (don't know about RPi4?) have an FM radio built in however the antenna (aerial) pin is hidden under the SOC and is not connected to anything... So imposible to use the FM radio as the pin is not 'broken out'.
Unless specified otherwise my response is based on the latest and fully updated Raspbian Buster w/ Desktop OS.

Heater
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Re: Lexical issue, what does "broken out pins" mean.

Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:33 am

Think of it like breaking out of prison.

Say there are 100 prisoners in a jail. They cut the fence, dig tunnels etc and 50 of them escape. Those 50 "broke out" of jail. Or one might say there was a "break out". The other 50 get stopped and are still in the jail.

So it goes with micro chips mounted on printed circuit boards. The chip might have 100 input/output pins, but only 50 of them are connected to a some kind of header pins or edge connector on the board, which you can then use to build circuits with the board. The other 50 have no connection to any thing that you can connect to from the outside world, you can't use them.

So it is said that 50 pins are "broken out" of the board (via the edge connector or header pins). They are free for use. The other 50 are not.

Often boards designed to simply be a carrier for a chip are called "break out" boards. They "free" the pins of the chip for use. Or at least some.

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Lexical issue, what does "broken out pins" mean.

Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:26 am

Like the FM antenna pin is not broken out of the RF chip so we cannot listen to radio on our Pi's ;)
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Aliana
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:06 am

Re: Lexical issue, what does "broken out pins" mean.

Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:58 am

Thank you very much to all of you! Your explanations were really clear and now I get it! ^_^

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