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Hardware Thread, Smartboard Alignment Problem in Technical; One of our many Smartboards has an odd alignment issue which becomes very obvious when drawing horizonzal lines (attached a ...
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    Smartboard Alignment Problem

    One of our many Smartboards has an odd alignment issue which becomes very obvious when drawing horizonzal lines (attached a pic of me trying to draw straight lines, note the blips about half way down some of them). The board doesn't have any power lines or large metal objects behind it. Anyone have any ideas?
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    Had exactly the same error with one here, unplugging it from the pc, plugging it in again and re-calibrating seemed to fix it. Not sure what actually caused it.

    Steve

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    Ours are used with staff laptops so they get plugged in and recalibrated fairly often.

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    jack0w's Avatar
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    We had a very similar problem with ours for which we had to return the boards under warranty to be repaired.

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    Latest software?

    One thing I noticed with some board that were either not calibrating or not being found by a machine was a problem in the software. Are all the machines running the latest version of the WhiteBoard software? I know I upgraded all the software in my school and I've not had the problems since.

    If you're a SMARTBoard user then they offer (if you don't already know) a deployment package so you can tailor the install for your school. Something I found useful as it means all the boards are running the same software with the same setup now, no more confused teachers!

    Andy

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    It is most likely it will need repairing under warranty then, if you can't see any obvious damage to the front there is little that will interfere with a smartboard.

    Steve

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    farmerste's Avatar
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    Smile i think i know......

    HOW to repair a smartboard 660 or 680

    I have disassembled a few smart board 660's, and 680's and fixed calibration problems with the aid of silver conductive paint. but before you start thinking of that, check :-

    you have flashed the controller card to the latest firmware

    checked that the board is not covered under warranty

    tried the affected smartboard on another pc laptop etc to see if fault is actually with the board.

    swapped the controller card from a known good board to see if it is the controller card, or something physical

    If you have established that it is something physical with the board, the problem will, almost certainly be the adhesive between the foil conductors, and the resistive film applied to the back board or the front membrane.

    This lack of electrical connection can easily be rectified by 'painting' silver conductive paint along the edge of the foil, thus ensuring a good electrical connection between the membrane, and the foil.

    i am currently using :-

    Electrically Conductive Silver Paint > Maplin

    from maplin's.( i find one bottle will do two foil conductors , there are four in a board )

    I have worked extensively with datacable ltd, and they are currently looking at offering smartboard repair as a service to customers.

    i am hoping to write an illustrated guide to show people how to do this for themselves, but in the meantime i will outline the steps below :-

    remove board, and ensure you have a good working space, as you will need a flat area to store the front membrane, and perhaps a table to rest the back of the board on whilst you disassemble it.

    unclip the left and right fascias of the board, clips are at the back, you will need flat screwdrivers

    lay board flat on a table and working from underneath remove all screws holding plastic casing to backboard, and remove all four , noting their location. clean insides of top and bottom where dust/dirt can have got stuck

    mark on the front membrane the connection and colours of the wires, and remove all 'masking' tape that surrounds board ( there must be no tape holding front to back of board ), unplug connectors.

    get hold of the plastic 'frame' that the front is bonded to in the middle of the longest edge, and pull up gently, there is very little adhesive, and it will come away from the back easily. Work this around the board very carefully as the plastic is very brittle, untill front membrane can be lifted free.

    you should now be able to see the foil strips running vertically on the backboard, and horizontally on the front membrane. This is where the electrical connectivity is bad, and using a small brush paint the conductive paint along the edges ensuring a good contact is made, and working it under the reinforced parts where the electrical connectors attach.
    If the problem is vertical, you will need someone to help you, as they will need to hold open the gap between the frame, and the front membrane whilst you apply paint.

    after a good drying time you can now start to reassemble the board

    ensuring that the front membrane is located correctly ( wire colours match marks ) you can start by pusing down the edges over the backboard, this can be quite stiff, but you must work from the middle outwards or you will get ripples in the front. dont forget to connect up the wires !

    You will need a good strong tape now ( not too thick ) to attach the front to the back and get rid of any ripples, so starting at the middle of the longest sides attach tape and pull it tight thus keeping the membrane tight. for every tape you apply you need to mirror the same at the opposite side. So just put a couple in the middle of the longest edges at the centre, and then goto the x axis and do the same. This unfortunately is a labourious and slow job, but if you do it correctly eg tape every couple of inches the front membrane should be ripple free, and 'taught' to the touch. if you do get ripples, you need to start again from the middle. so it pays to be careful, and not rush the job. ( also be careful not to put too much tape on the front, as it will show when you replace covers, i find about 18-20mm is enough )

    you can now attach the sides. apply one short end, and then the top and bottom, and then finally the other end, ( i dont put the left and right fascias on until i have tested it, as those are the hardest to remove)

    the board should now be ready to go back on the wall when the controller card , and all screws are in place.

    once in place and connected to the computer check the smart diagnostics program to ensure there are no contant contact positions, and calibrate the board.

    if you find there are some constant contact places you may have used a tape that is too thick, or the membrane may have damage, or it is just not tight enough ?

    hope this helps ?

  8. Thanks to farmerste from:

    SimpleSi (14th May 2009)

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    Also I don't know if you have changed the settings from 9 points to 20 points for orientation? I find with 9 points after a certain amount of time certain areas of the smartboard are all over the shop.

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    TechSupp's Avatar
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    Had that once before (or very similar) and it turned out to be interferrence being picked up by the USB cable, re routed it and all OK. It has been said that the boards are very sensitive to emf even from the wall it is installed on. I think the newer boards have specific instructions on this.

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    If it is a 600 series IWB then try to loosen the screws underneath the pen try. If they have been fiited tight then it can cause wobbly writting etc.

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    I had this exact same problem 2 weeks ago. I first checked the usb cable to make sure there was no electrical interference. After I did that I called Smart Tech, they had an actual name for this. It was something like "Jagged Lines". What I had to do to fix mine was unscrew the screws behind the tray, just to loosen them a little bit. It somehow was creating a metal interference because the screws were tight. This problem usually happens on a smartboard that is mounted to drywall that has a foil backing. However we were mounting to a cinder block wall using Tapcon screws.

    To fix this, we now install a rubber washer around the screws to avoid any additional metal contact.
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    Last edited by itschad; 14th May 2009 at 01:12 PM.

  13. Thanks to itschad from:

    technatude (4th January 2011)

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    Same problem?

    I have a similar problem. Boards were installed on solid block walls - not making contact with any metal whatsoever. Upon further inspection, I found that an electrician had subsequently installed additional sockets in the classroom, with the cable running horizontally behind the SMARTBoard. Although the cable was insulated, and inside plastic conduit/ducting, there was still some interference. I removed the boards, boxed in the cables using timber, and remounted the boards. The problem is now much less evident, but still not 100% gone. So, is this my imagination, and is the cause of the problem actually a mounting issue, or is it a known problem with interference caused by electrical cabling?

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    farmerste's Avatar
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    if you get this issue

    if you suspect that it is interference from the power running behind a board, have you tried applying aluminium foil to the wall, using wallpaper adhesive?
    this should block any interference.
    it would be interesting to see if this works for anyone.
    Also has anyone noticed if wireless access ponts cause this problem?
    just a thought

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    Electrical Interference

    No, I didn't try the aluminium foil - I tried using timber to box in the wiring, which did cut out some of the interference, but not all. I also just got off the phone with SMART Tech Support, and they suggested trying to earth the board into a plug socket, using one of the mounting holes on the back white surface of the board, which are usually used by floor/table stands. Sounds like a possible cure - I'll have to try this.

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    farmerste's Avatar
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    i think that would work

    the back of the board is a 'honey comb' structure of aluminium, so if you earth that it should do the trick.
    good luck

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