3 min read

Top 4 C-Arm Problems and Solutions

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 “My OEC C-arm was quite an investment, so I treat it with kid gloves. With the care I take, it’ll never break down!” Yeah; and in a perfect world there’d be no taxes and dirty diapers would smell like roses.

It’s a hard fact that, until science can provide mankind with indestructible materials, equipment problems are an unfortunate eventuality. While the scientists get cracking on that one, we at Block Imaging thought we’d give you the next best thing: four of the most highly-reported OEC 9800 and 9900 C-arm maintenance problems and ways that you can help fix or prevent them.

1. Grainy Image

This problem crosses our desks on a regular basis. Fortunately, as we’ve seen time and again, this is often a matter of calibration, not component failure. If you are experiencing a grainy image, break out your Operator’s Manual, give yourself a quick refresher on using the “boost” mode, and place a call to your service provider. You can use the boost temporarily to continue serving patients until an engineer can get to your facility and double check your calibrations and the condition and cleanliness of your imaging chain. Image quality is also often affected by dust or lint particles in the II or CCD camera.

2. “Charger Fail” Error

95% of the time, this issue is not related to your charger board or your HV tank (phew!). More likely than not, your problem is that your main system batteries are approaching their end of life. Batteries like these are available at most battery stores. Removing the cover on the backside of the C-arm will reveal the battery housing in the base of the frame. If you have a biomed on staff, it’s likely that they can handle this swap for you. Be sure to allow twenty four hours for the system to recharge after battery replacement. If the issue persists, it may be time to replace your battery charger board (part number 00-880306-03)

                        C-Arm Back Cover                   c arm battery housing               

3. Low mA Error

This error can be caused by an issue with any of several parts. There are some beginning troubleshooting steps your biomed can take, starting by reseating the boards and changing the batteries. The problem can also be caused by a failed filament driver board (part number 00-879722-05) or an out-of-calibration generator. For diagnosis and resolution on the latter items, we recommend contacting a field service engineer.

4. Communication Error

This is another error where it's helpful to start by reseating your boards. Having boards that are in good working order but poorly connected is the cause of a good number of issues. If the issue doesn't go away, you may need to replace your SBC CPU board (part number 00-886375-01)or your generator interface board (part number 00-885967-02).

The Takeaway

Hopefully you’ve never had a problem with your C-arm until now and in your hour of need this article had exactly the solution to restore your system to its former glory. If that’s not the case, you can contact us for C-arm care whenever you need it. Block Imaging offers multi-year C-arm service contracts, time and materials support, and a full array of replacement parts. At one time or another, our engineers have encountered all of these problems and hundreds more. If you need C-arm assistance, please contact us and get all that sweet experience on your side.

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