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Hardware Thread, Odd Smartboard Orientation Problem in Technical; I have a very strange problem in one particular class room. It doesn't matter how I orient the board, it ...
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    Odd Smartboard Orientation Problem

    I have a very strange problem in one particular class room.
    It doesn't matter how I orient the board, it stays perfectly aligned for about 60 seconds and then goes back to being very odd.

    I have attached a screen shot, of my straight lines. As you can see, they are squiggly, or very patchy. I tried holding the pen on the board really hard or less hard. It made no difference.


    I have re-installed all of the smart software, updated all of the drivers and ensured it is the latest version, I have even replaced the USB cable.

    The only thing I have not tried, is trying a different computer on the board.

    Any ideas, it is driving me mad.

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    Zourous's Avatar
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    Depending on the model, try writing lines on the scratchpad that is intergated with the board to rule out the any software being the cause. If you have another board somewhere try doing a swap test. The boards (in my experience) come off quite easily, two screws at the bottom under the pen tray and lift off. They have to make it easy so the smart engineers can swap out all the faulty boards quickly :-p

  3. Thanks to Zourous from:

    talksr (24th March 2011)

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    Hi Guys

    I have this problem too and it's also driving me nuts! I swapped the USB extension for an Active USB extension, then for a USB over ethernet extension; I replaced the PC twice (it now has a brand new Viglen); I've updated the SMART Noteboook and dsriver software to the latest version (10.7 SP1); I've replaced the SMART board with a brand new one; I've even swapped the projector and it's still happenning!!!!

    The AVF company I use have suggested that there could be a drift caused by movement in the classroom above, but it's a concrete floor, so I can't see it being that.

    After chatting to Steljes again, they suggested that it seems to be an environment issue. I can't see anything obvious - electrical cables or fuseboards. The only thing that is remotely possible is that there's a steel girder near the board that is possibly causing interference of some sort???

    Please help someone! it's been ongoing for nearly 7 months now and the poor Maths teacher who uses it is meant to be training other staff on "the benefits of using SMART Boards in lessons".

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    The reasons I've come across for this sort of thing are:

    1. Environment movement - you may think your ceiling is stable because it is solid, but it may well not be.
    2. The board is fastened to the wall at the bottom too tightly, try releasing the 2 screws ever so slightly.
    3. There is an electric power cable running directly behind the board somewhere.

    That's all I can suggest with this issue.

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    Thanks for the reply on this. I'll go and have a word with the site manager to see if he can tell me if there are any cables behind it etc.

    I'll also go and slacken the screws slightly.

    Re, the ceiling movement - My AV company suggested changing the bracket because of ceiling movement etc, but I'm not sure it is the cause of this problem. To test the theory I measured a 15mm gap between the edge of the projected image and the edge of the board and waited for the teacher to get back to me as soon as the orientation problem recurred. After she had orientated it a further 3 times I measured the gap again, expecting it to have either shrunk or grown depending on the direction of the shift, but it was still exactly 15mm!

    I'm not saying it's not definitely the cause but wouldn't there be an obvious shift in the image if it was true?

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    I went to find a mains locator and removed the SMART board from the wall and scanned the wall for electric currents. I picked a strong signal to the right of the board and discovered that there was an extension lead powering some speakers in the room next door. I disconnected the power from this extension and tested the SMART board and it seemed to keep its orientation for the whole of the testing process.

    I'm going to move the speakers temporarily onto another wall and see if the problem goes away.

    I'll update you on the results after the Easter break.

    Thanks again for your advice

    Aled

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    I've disconnected the speakers in the adjacent room now, but as soon as the teacher started using the board after the Easter break the problem came back!!!

    Does anyone know if it could be possible that the the electrical current issue has damaged the board and therefore not resolving the issue because of the damage its caused?

    I'm going to get another board from another class and try it now that the extension cable is disconnected next door.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    When was the board purchased? If it's a 2006 batch some were faulty from new, well ours certainly were and showed problems drawing a straight line down the right hand side of the board, does yours do the same?

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    Dom_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    showed problems drawing a straight line down the right hand side of the board, does yours do the same?
    I've got loads that have problems with straight lines down the right hand side.. Did smart replace them for you?

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    They were going to take one in to be looked at and if they found a manufacturing fault it would've been replaced with a refurb model for free. Only problem was we couldn't book a courier that would take PO's to get the board to Steljes so they're sitting in storage for now...

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    When was the board purchased? If it's a 2006 batch some were faulty from new, well ours certainly were and showed problems drawing a straight line down the right hand side of the board, does yours do the same?
    The board was purchased in the last couple of years; definitely not as far back as 2006. Also, Steljes have swapped the board for a brand new one and it made no difference.

    Also, the problem doesn't always happen straight away. To be honest, whenever I've changed something like a driver or some hardware and then log on myself, it doesn't ever happen for me, but as soon as I leave and the teacher logs back on, it happens straight away for her. I heard someone saying that it only happens when they go out of Notebook and back in again.

    I'm assuming your issue is constant?

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    I've seen similar issues to this one before. The first thing I'd try would be to temporarily isolate the board from the wall. This can be done fairly simply by removing the two screws that hold it to the wall behind the pen tray and wrapping insulating tape around the metal bracket. The board will probably flap around a bit more than usual but should still be properly held onto the wall by the plastic bracket at the top. If this fixes the problem then you'll just need to insulate the screws when you put them back in to the wall.

    If the above doesn't work I'd check the projector - if it has a two pin (figure-8) power supply cable (Epson projectors for example) then try the steps below:
    1. Disconnect the VGA cable from your computer to the projector. It helps if you have a laptop screen or additional monitor here.
    2. Draw lines similar to your original post on the board, then plug the VGA cable back in to see the results. If the problem is no longer evident then there may be a ground-loop issue between your PC and projector. The problem shows up when you touch the board because you're completing the circuit. To check this follow the next few steps.
    3. Switch off the projector and allow it to cool fully.
    4. Run a temporary mains cable to the projector and plug it in to the same double-socket that your PC is plugged-in to, then power-on your projector.
    5. Repeat step 2 above. If the problem goes away then the only solution I know of is to arrange for an electrician to re-wire the power to the projector so that it comes off a fused spur from the same part of the wiring in the room as the sockets that your PC is plugged-in to.

    Good luck!

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    We had something similar with our Smartboards creating strange lines, and it turned out to be two things:

    1) the plasterboard we had in our walls had metal flakes in it to improve it's properties (thermal I guess) - unfortunately this gathered up all the RF in the wall and when the Smartboard screws penetrated the wall the RF entered the smartboard.

    2) the batch of Smartboards we bought had a small manufacturing fault, which we weren't told about, that required us to attach an earthing cable from the PCB to power supply.

    By wrapping insulation tape around the screws (same as TommyCooper) we managed to isolate the smartboards and it sorted our problems out.

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