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GE CT DARC and DARC 2: Lifespan and Cost Info

Posted by Jordan Clark

Jan 2, 2019 3:06:00 PM

GE DARC and DARC2

Your GE CT's data and reconstruction computer (DARC) is a crucial component of its reconstruction chain. The DARC gathers the high speed data stream from the detector's data acquisition system (DAS) cards through a DAS interface processor (DIP) and stores and transfers it for reconstruction in the image generator (IG) computers that reconstruct images from the data. Your DARC also handles the voice/audio controls to the gantry via an external box on the left side of console, and the scan control interface module (SCIM) – the control pad the operator uses to initiate scanning. Long story short: no DARC = no pictures.

Below, we'll share with you the vital statistics of owning a DARC so that you can know what to expect from this component and be better prepared to minimize downtime in the event of a DARC failure.

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DARC vs. DARC2

The first version of DARC had a 3.5 disk drive and a scan control intercom module (SCIM) for the operator. It also had a scan data disk array (SDDA) that stored raw images, audio. DARC is found on GOC 3 consoles.

DARC 2 was the first revision of DARC. It did away with the disk drive and moved the audio amp to an external module (ICOM). The scan data disk array was made internal and the chipset was updated. There are two chipsets for DARC 2- Jarrell and Westville. Jarrell is the newer of the two and is commonly installed as a replacement for the Westville. DARC 2 is found on GOC 4 and LCGOC consoles, as well as upgraded GOC3 consoles..

It is important to note that DARC and DARC2 are not interchangeable. 

Part Number 

The part number of your  DARC or DARC2 is the place to find all the details you need about compatibility between computers and DIP cards. The revision (denoted by a dash followed by a digit) in a DARC2 part number is specific to the revision of the DIP card within it. Because of this a DARC2 with no dash in the part number, both Jerrell and Westville, is not compatible with a -2, or -3.

A -100 Jerrell (p/n 5147442-100) can replace any revision of Jerrell (original,-2, or -3). The -100 Jerrell does not, however, include a DIP card, so be sure to retain your existing DIP card or order one separately if you intend to purchase a -100 Jerrell. There is no such issue among Westville DARC2s, as a -100 Westville was never made.

There is compatibility between Jerrell and Westville DARC2 computers but they must have a matching DIP card. For example, a -2 Westville DARC2 is compatible with a -2 Jerrell because they are both used on 4 and 8 slice MDAS systems. 

Below is a chart showing the slice count and DAS version for each revision of DARC. If the root part number of a DARC or DARC2 is followed by a dash and any additional numbers, remember that this indicates which DIP card is needed. 

 

Type System Compatibility Part Number
DARC2 Westville
4/8/16 GDAS & 16 MDAS
5114772
DARC2 Westville
4/8 MDAS
5114772-2
DARC2 Westville
4 SDAS
5114772-3
DARC2 Jerrell
4/8/16 GDAS & 16 MDAS
5147442
DARC2 Jerrell
4/8 MDAS
5147442-2
DARC2 Jerrell
4 SDAS
5147442-3

Replacement Cost

The current average price of DARC and DARC 2 on the secondary market is $4,000 - $6,000. DARC and DARC 2 are priced the same on the secondary market as the internal components are the same. The range can be attributed to the modernity in the Jarrell version and the date of manufacture of an individual unit.

Average Lifespan 

Whether your scanner has a DARC or a DARC 2, you can expect the same lifespan due to the high similarity in their internal components. In the experience of our engineers and the parts buyers we've worked with, the average is between one and two years.

Signs of Failure

The most common sign of DARC failure is that it won't power on or cycles power. This indicates that the power supply is disconnected or bad outright. You can open your DARC and check to see if it has come unplugged, in which case it can simply be reconnected.

Another common problem is image storage failure. If images are not being stored, it's likely that the DIP card has gone bad.

There is also a possibility that your DARC was jarred during shipping- either with the system initially or the last time a replacement was shipped to your site. DARC units can be very touchy. If they get bounced around, the memory modules can shift and cause a DARC failure. You can troubleshoot this problem by checking that the connections are firm on your memory modules. 

The Takeaway

Given GE's large market share in the world of CT scanners, DARC and DARC 2 units are relatively easy to find on the secondary market so that you can take advantage of that moderate pricing we discussed earlier. Whether your DARC needs to be replaced, or could benefit from some more troubleshooting, our parts team and our service team are ready to help you get your CT scanner back in action.

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See More: 

CTThis is just one of the many CT scanner articles we have for you. If you want to keep reading about systems, parts, service, and news, click here to see the complete list of content for this topic.

 

Topics: Imaging Equipment Parts, CT Scanner

    

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