Erratic cursor behaviour
We have very recently moved in to a new build and have encountered problems with a couple of Promethean installations. Our Science Department has a couple of 'super' labs, which are essentially elongated classrooms with the teacher's desk and Promethean projectors & IWBs in the middle of the room, but to one side, and a couple of InFocus projectors at either end of the rooms. These are connected to the teacher's PC and therefore all display the same image. The problem is that with the IWBs switched on via the button on the side of the board, the mouse cursor jumps all over the screen; switch the board off and everything works normally. Both rooms have the same set up and behave in the same way. Despite extensive troubleshooting we still haven't found a solution. All help would be appreciated.
Check something's not pressing on the board, making both inputs spazz out. I had this problem, and a teacher had just leant a chair against the whiteboard.
If it is something leaning against the board the cursor will always return to the same point. This can also happen if the surface has been damaged (Teacher used drawing pins for example!!) but this is much less likely with Promethean.
How long is the USB cable to the board anthing over 5m and you could be suffering from signal loss.
Then it could also be cross talk interference from a florescent light, telephone, speaker etc that the USB happens to pass by, say in the ceiling void. Try a sheilded USB cable for that.
It's not the mouse or the computer, as you point out they work OK when the IWB is off.
Can you detail what extensive trouble shooting you have done to save us going over the road twice?
Yes, I would guess it is something to do with the USB cable.
Try a short USB running it loose whilst holding a laptop, might prove if it's something to do with it.
It does sound like some kind of interference is making its way to the boards from somewhere.
I have based the below on the assumption that you have the AB500 series ActivBoards, though confirmation would be good as this may effect the troubleshooting/ causes.
I have a few quick tests below which you would need to carry out to aid in narrowing down what could be the cause:
1. Disconnect the USB cable for the board.
2. Ensure that the board is "on" (green LED on the amplifier)
3. Open Promethean ActivManager and navigate to the "Pens" tab.
4. Connect the USB cable for the board to the laptop.
5. The LED at the top left of the board should start flashing yellow, whilst it flashing you need to take the tick out of the box that says "Use your fingers to operate this board".(This is one way we can turn Touch on and off on the AB500) (This test enables us to determine if the Touch layer or the Pen layer are being affected by any potential interference, which will of course aid us in potentially finding a solution.)
If the jumping cursor starts as soon as the USB cable is connected please note this down and carry on to the below step. If the above steps solves the issue then the Touch layer is being affected, and you would need to carry out the below with the Touch turned on. (check box in Use your fingers to operate this board)
- Connect a laptop running on batteries to the Promethean boards directly into the board (bypassing any faceplates or wallboxes) IMPORTANT: NO OTHER cables should be connected to the laptop (apart from the USB), so no VGA, Network, Laptop Power etc. (You can monitor the cursor behavior on the laptop screen)
- If this solves the problem, start connecting your normal cables 1 by 1 until the jumping cursor starts again.
Please note down all of your findings (including telling us which cables the interference appears to be coming down) and contact Promethean Support via: PrometheanKB so that we can assist further.
I've followed steps 1 to 5, excluding 4, as I couldn't locate a spare laptop in the short time available to me. The 'Touch' facility remains turned off and the Science Faculty are happy only to use the pens as they now have sound back. The projector is labelled ABV587 Pro.