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ActivBoard 300 Pro Troubleshooting

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by MARK WEST 02/26/10
last update:

Mac Tips

Special Keys

The Mac Command Key

You probably call this the "Apple Key", but it's officially called the Command Key and it is located near your spacebar. It is used on a Mac much like the control key is used on Microsoft Windows®; example: control-c on Windows copies and on a Mac we use command-c; control-v pastes on Windows and command-v pastes on Mac OS.

The Option Key

The Option Key is located near the Command Key and is sometimes called the ALT key. This key can frustrate a Windows user, as it doesn't work as a Windows ALT key does (you'll often use the Command Key on Mac where ALT is used in Windows), such as when tabbing through open applications: on Windows it's ALT-Tab, on a Mac it's Command-Tab.

The Control Key

The Control Key is located near the Command Key and has special funtions on a Mac (see "Right Clicking" below).

Exiting A Bad Program

On Windows, Alt+F4 will quickly terminate a program.

On Mac OS, Command+Q will quickly terminate a program.

The "3-Finger Salute"

On Windows, when a program stops behaving properly, you can press Control+Alt+Delete to invoke the Task Manager to make an application stop.

On Mac OS, you can accomplish the same thing by pressing Command+Option+Escape; this invokes the Force Quit menu and you can make applications stop.

"Right Clicking"

Sometimes you need to right click. On most computers it's easy, as they come with a two-button mouse. On Mac OS, you typically find a single-button mouse.

You can plug a two-button mouse in to a Mac and it will work. The reason is because two-button mice work on Unix and Mac OS is a Unix variant that uses parts from FreeBSD's and NetBSD's implementation of Unix.

You can also "right click" on a Mac with a single button mouse. To do so, you can do either of the following:

  1. Press and hold the Control Key while clicking.
  2. (This one only works if you have a Mac with a touchpad - usually a laptop) place two fingers on the touchpad while clicking.

ActivBoard 300 Pro Troubleshooting

This will allow teachers to reach the NETS-T (National Educational Technology Standards for teachers)

3. d. model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.

This is facilitation of the Promethean Board for use as a model for location, evaluation and analysis of educational content.

Note: if you have an older board (whitish casing around its perimeter) this does not apply to you:

Older model ActivBoard

This applies to you if you have one of the new Promethean Boards that looks like this (black casing around its perimeter):

ActivBoard 300 Pro

You have a board that supports dual pens, has built in speakers. and it may make you pull your hair out trying to wake it up. Here's what you do to wake it up.

Identifying the problem

The pen stops working. ActivManager has a red X in it and it has the calibrate option is grayed out:

ActivManager Not Working

Furthermore, hovering an ActivPen over the flame icon (in the upper left corner of the board) will turn it blue, but it does not allow you to calibrate.

Step 1: Check the USB Connection

If the USB is plugged in, unplug it. Count to 12. Plug it back in. Count to 12.

If the USB wasn't plugged in (oops) plug it in. Count to 12.

If the red X become a Promethean icon (an orange man ActivManager Working), then your board should work. If it does not, continue on to step 2.

Step 2: Make sure you have the latest driver

If you still have a red X, then click on it and click on Control Panel (this should be the first option listed):

ActivManager Not Working

This should bring up the ActivManager, which will allow you to check your driver version:

check your driver version

As of the time of this writing the current driver is 5.2.7; if your driver is a lesser version (such as 5.1.25), I strongly recommend updating it to the latest version. You can update your ActivManager and Driver here. The install will require you to restart your computer. Your local site tech should be able to help you with the install, should you need help. It is a pretty straight-forward and simple install.

Here is a link to a Word document with instructions prepared by Mr. Johnny Sloan. should you like step-by-tep directions.

When the laptop restarts, do the same USB procedure outlined in Step 1 (unplug, count 12, replug, count 12). If you still have the red X, continune.

Step 3: Use system preferences to calibrate

ActivManager won't work. The flame button on the board won't work. Using your Mac, click on the Apple icon and go down to System Preferences (should be the fourth item down):

system preferences

This will bring up the System Preferences:

system preferences

In the bottom left cortner should be an Activboard icon; click it. You should now see the ActivBoard Dialog Box:

ActivBoard Dialog Box

Under ActivBoard Geometry, you should see a Calibrate button; click it. Your board should go through calibration. When you are finished, your board should be responsive to your pens and working normally.

Updated information on 03-18-2010

If the board still doesn't respond, make sure projector is off (and the cooling fan for the bulb has stopped running), then unplug the board from the wall and unplug the USB (USB supplies power, too such as to iPods, Palms, etc.) Let the board be deprived of electricity for 15 seconds or so. Reconnect the electricity and USB. count to 12 or so, the red X should get replaced by the orange Promethean man.

A decent set of troubleshooting steps in PDF format can be found here:

How often should I be expected do this?

Whenever your pen stops working. I have seen some teachers go for days without an unresponsive pen and I have seen teachers who had a pen stop in the middle of class (and the board was "woken up" with this procedure the day before). Apparently this is not an issue for Microsoft Windows users, as this site says you can wake up a board with a Windows® PC. Do this when the pens stop working.