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Educational Software Thread, Smart Notebook 11 Pen Tray not functioning in Technical; Hi, One of our Smart Boards (Hardware model) SB600 isn't detecting pen strokes correctly. When you pick up one of ...
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    Smart Notebook 11 Pen Tray not functioning

    Hi,

    One of our Smart Boards (Hardware model) SB600 isn't detecting pen strokes correctly. When you pick up one of the pens the light on the tray comes on as normal and the pen tool is selected in Notebook 11, but when you come to write it starts to drag out a selection with the cursor tool instead.

    In a (probably) unconnected issue as well, when you select the pen tool manually, it writes but comes out wobbly no matter how many times the board is oriented.

    I've tried Smart updates, as well as reinstalling both Notebook and the drivers. We have teaching observations next week so I need to get it sorted this week if possible.

    Anyone else encountered this problem?

    Thanks,

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    Have you tried resetting the control board. This cures a multitude of ills with these boards - we have loads of 680s

    Locate the small hole on the control board behind the lower right corner of the board.

    Push a pencil into the hole and hold for a count of about 5 until the pen tray lights all flash.

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    Hi, I hadn't tried that but I just found it behind the bottom right corner of the board with the small blue-ish button inside and held till pen tray flashed. Unfortunately this doesn't solve the problem.

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    Hi, a bit more info might help people determine your issue.

    Has this just started happening?

    Do you think it's related to 11?

    A lot of our teachers didn't like the new 'functionalities' in 11 and I have reverted to 10 for them.

    Which OS are you running etc...

    How are you connecting to them and is it laptops or standalone pc's?

    I have heard that attaching these to the wall too tightly can sometimes affect orientation. As can electrical wires in the wall or nearby...

    Kol.
    Last edited by Koldov; 17th February 2014 at 11:06 AM.

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    Yup thats the one.

    Hmm now its a case of isolating where the problem is Stick the software onto a laptop and connect it to the board instead. If the fault persists its definitely on the board.

    The other problem we have found is the electronics on the control board failing. If you have a second known good board you could try swapping the control boards over. They are held in place by a small screw - its pretty obvious once you have fetched it off the wall..

    Then you can identify if its actual board related or control electronics

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    Hi,

    We've tried two different laptops, with Smart Notebook 10 & 11 and this has fixed the issue with the pens not detecting, but the wobble still persists.

    I've read before that electrical cables behind the board can cause interference like this, but surely this would have caused a persistent problem? The board has been on the wall for a couple of years now and the problem has only been there for the past couple of weeks.

    It's looking like the board might have to come off the wall, so I'll try tomorrow to see if I can swap the control boards over and possibly insulating behind the board with a big bit of cardboard or some tin foil or something to see if it is the cables in the wall suddenly causing an issue.

    Thanks all,

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    The only "wobble" Ive ever seen is on one board.

    When drawing a straight line across the board you got a "kink" in the line. Reproducible over and over again across a good proportion of the board

    I never got to the bottom of it although I suspect its a damaged membrane behind the surface.

    I just swapped the entire board with one from a nearby classroom who have a iwb but only ever use it as a projector screen
    Last edited by Nibiru; 18th February 2014 at 03:55 PM. Reason: typo

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    The wobble is mainly horizontal, it turns a straight line into a constant wobble, like a sine wave. It'd be great if we were drawing clouds or sheep but unfortunately the tutor in question who's panicking is trying to draw circuit diagrams and mathematical equations so they look a bit funny when they're all bouncy! =[

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    Might be worth asking your janitors if they have a cable detector. If so pull the board down and give the wall a good going over.

    And have a look the other side of the wall and see if any new power cables have been run.

    Or has one been run next to the usb cable between the computer & the board maybe? Or if it started recently has the teacher got an electrical heater near the board, running an experiment with a badly shielded motor, someone put a new fridge in the base next door etc etc.

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    That's the weird thing, since day one the other side of the wall has been a series of Electrical Installation bays and Hydraulic and Pneumatic workshops, but these aren't in use and nothing has changed in there whilst the fault has been there.

    Interestingly, the SMART guide for electrical interference says it causes lines to be jagged, coming out like a heart monitor, rather than a constant wave form. Still, I'll give their guide a go and post back here if it works too

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    Koldov's Avatar
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    There is a lot of info in this thread:

    Smartboard Alignment Problem

    Especially the part about earthing the VGA... but it could also be the membrane failing. Could you swap it with a classroom who is not being observed? IIRC correctly they come off the wall with 2 screws. If they are just USB powered you should also be able to test it 'off the wall' too!

    Also, there are quite a few other threads on here about it, I know it's a pain to search and read them all but it might help. I'm guessing someone on here has posted this problem before and sorted it at some point. The trick is to find that post...

    Kol.

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    I had something that seems similar to what you are experiencing and the outcome was not good. I had 4 board in the district I work for that all had severe calibration issues on areas of the board. When you would attempt to write anything they would create either long arches or a arch that would the become a wobble like you experience. It turned out the boards were dieing and the board itself had to be replaced. The first thing I did though was try swapping the board with another board I knew was working from a different classroom. I was then able to see that the working board functioned as intended when placed where the non-functioning board was. This pointed to the fact that the boards were dieing. The boards we had replaced were over 7 years old though when this happened.

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    New issue, pen tray related. I have a 680 board where if the pen isn't seated in the tray in a most precise position, it acts as if the pen is picked up. The pen is fully in the compartment, but if it's slightly to the left the indicator light comes on as if it's picked up. Very frustrating because then it interacts with the PC.
    The sensor is clean, and there is no dust.

    Anyone else had this?

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    Does this happen with all four pens or just one in particular? If so does the "fault" move when you swap the pens into different troughs? Have you checked the RJ11 connector is properly connected, also try swapping it to the other socket on the underside of the tray (there are two sockets for some reason and both appear to work the sensors in the tray)

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    Quote Originally Posted by exim View Post
    New issue, pen tray related. I have a 680 board where if the pen isn't seated in the tray in a most precise position, it acts as if the pen is picked up. The pen is fully in the compartment, but if it's slightly to the left the indicator light comes on as if it's picked up. Very frustrating because then it interacts with the PC.
    The sensor is clean, and there is no dust.

    Anyone else had this?
    This I have had... We fixed it in the first place by buying a new tray, however our electronics tech traced the fault to a resistor which was well out of tolerance and making the sensor super sensitive, he replaced that and we then had a spare tray!

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