Equipment Troubleshooting Guide

Are you having technical problems with your Acutron, VB1000 or Color Light Probe system?  I’m so sorry!   Follow this guide to troubleshoot the most common problems that do not require technical test equipment.  In some happy cases you may be able to resolve the issue yourself.

If there is a malfunction that needs repair, this form will guide you to identify it.  If you identify any issues that require repair fill out the Repair Requisition Form and follow the instructions there.

In this guide the term Acutron will be used for both Acutron and VB1000 devices, since troubleshooting is the same.

For issues with any other equipment or peripherals check with Eastwestmed staff before sending them in for repair.

Common Acutron or VB1000 troubleshooting issues

  1. Device will not power up
    Check AC-DC power adapter to make sure all cables are firmly plugged in and that the adapter is plugged into a working power strip/surge protector.   Test the power strip with something else like a lamp to make sure it is good and working.

    Check the small square Reset button in the back of the device to make sure it is not trapped under the plastic housing.  If this is the case use a pin to free it up.Get your Acutron AC-DC adapter tested to see if it is working.   You can purchase an inexpensive test device at Radio Shack, and sometimes the guys there will test it for you.   If it is not working at all, or not putting out the proper voltage listed on the adapter, replace the adapter.

    If Acutron keeps shutting down and you see a low battery warning on the screen –  there could be a defective battery on one of the circuit boards.

    If after following these steps your Acutron still won’t power up click here to open the Repair Requisition Form – it needs some TLC from the service center.

  2. One or more output channels don’t work
    Before going through these troubleshooting steps, open the Acutron Utilities screen.   You do this by pressing the lowest black button on the right side of the LCD screen.  On the Utility screen press the button labeled “Restore Original Presets”.   After you see the Acutron Presets screen press and hold the small square Reset button on the rear of the device until the device powers down.   Then press front red button to power up unit again.   These reset steps may fix various problems.

    How to test the channels:

    From the Acutron Presets opening screen press the 2nd black button from the left under the screen labeled µA Pads to open the µA Pads Menu screen.  Select µA Pad Preset #1 by pressing the black button under its label.   On the Detail screen that opens next press the lowest black button on the right side of the screen for Channel D so the display next to it says “Probe Not Used”.   This will switch Channel D to be another pad channel, and all four channels will be for pads.

    Before you start treatment by pressing the black start button to the right of the channel display the channel will be in search, or measurement mode.  Plug a black lead wire into the Channel A jack that is below the display.  Touch the bare metal pins together at the other end.   The slider bar on the Channel A display line should move to the right near or on 100%.    Then press the black start button to the right of the Channel A display to start the flow of current.  Touch the pins together again.   The slider should move to the right, most of the way toward 100% (but does not have to be all the way to 100).Repeat this test for each of the 4 output channels, A, B, C and D.  Note results.   If the slider does not move toward 100% on any of them it means that channel board for that channel has a defective component, and repair will be needed.

    For the most accurate test of output on the channels, hire a local technician with an oscilloscope to test the outputs of each channel.   A more informal test is to attach two TENS pads to the pins on one lead wire.   Put the two pads on your own body.   Plug that lead into Channel A jack.  Change preset to mA Pads #1, 2 or 3 (either one is OK).  We are using a milliamp preset because it is much easier to feel than microcurrent.  Press the Start button and then slowly turn the Command Knob to the right.   Do you feel the milliamp current coming on?   If so this is a further confirmation that the output is working correctly.

    If any channel fails these tests it means the device must be sent in for repair. Click here to open the Repair Requisition form.

  3. Problems with the Probes
    There are several possible issues that could happen with your Probes set.   Follow this test procedure:

    Test A.  Plug your Probes into the Light Probe junction box in the right DIN jack marked Light Probes.   If you have an older fiber-optic probe set the Probes will be permanently attached to the junction box.   Make sure the toggle switch is set to Light Probe (right) position.   Plug the DIN plug from the junction box into the Probe DIN jack on the front panel of your Acutron.  Never force any DIN plugs in.  Always rotate them until they slide in smoothly.

    Supply power to the junction box by plugging the smaller AC-DC adapter for the Light Probe into a good power strip surge protector, then put the power plug into the Light Probe junction box.   Make sure you do not put the larger, rectangular Acutron power adapter into the Light Probe.Power up Acutron and select Probe preset #1 – Circling the Dragon.   Get to the treatment screen (half circle with 0 – 100 scale).

    Remove any Q-Tips and touch the bare metal tips of the two Probes together.   Make sure the metal probe tips are securely screwed on.  The indicator on the display scale should move up to 100%, or very near to that.    If the indicator does not move up check the toggle switch on junction box to make sure it is to the right Light Probe position.   Make sure all connections are secure.  If it is, and indicator does not move there is a detached wire in your Probes and they need to be repaired.  Alternatively there could be a loose wire in the Acutron Probe DIN jack that is not supplying the Probe with power.

    Test B.   If your Probes pass Test A, press and release the trigger button on your Trigger Probe.   Touch the metal tips of the Probes together and look at the meter.   The indicator should deflect up to at least 90%.   If it does this test is OK.   Make sure the trigger is starting the current properly.   If pressing the button does not do anything the trigger button may need repair.

    Test C.  Make sure your Probe junction box is plugged into the Acutron and the Acutron is powered up.  On the junction box turn the top knob up to about the 3 o’clock position (white indicator pointing toward the right).  Turn the lower knob all the way to the right for maximum light brightness.   Look into the treatment end of the Probes.  You should see a bright white light of two different shades.   The amount of light should be approximately equal between the two Probes.   If you have a fiber-optic probe set look into the treatment ends of the fiber-optic stems.

    If no light is coming out of both Probes when the above instructions are followed check the AC-DC adapter for the Light Probe junction box.   Is it plugged in to the junction box?   If so the adapter may be defective.   Get it tested or replace it.

    If you do not see light coming out of either or both Probes the LEDs are defective and the Probes set will need to be repaired.  Click here to open the Repair Requisition form.

    When one probe light is on, and the other off in the Probes there are two possibilities:

    A. The LEDs are burned out in one of the Probes.

    B. This could also be caused if you plug the junction box DIN plug into the Acutron front panel Probe DIN jack upside down.   It is possible to force it in that way, so remove it and rotate it until it slides in smoothly and easily.  If you see any bent pins in the plug try to carefully straighten them out with a mini screwdriver.

    If DIN plug is inserted properly and light is not coming out of one Probe only then the LEDS probably need to be replaced.

    Check the Probe DIN jack on Acutron front panel  – is it loose and wobbly?   If so it probably needs repair.

    For fiber-optic probes, when you don’t see light coming out of one or both of the light stems on the treatment end of the probe, it is more likely that the fiber-optic cable has broken.   Again, repair will be needed.

    Color filters:  If you are missing any you can re-order the missing filters from the shopping cart.   If any filters are loose and are falling out of the filter slot on either Probe try this – put the loose filter on a hard surface.  Put a thin cloth over it.  Use the brass hand mass that comes with your Acutron to lightly pound on the filter evenly over it.  This will spread it a bit and it may fit more snugly and stop falling out.   If this does not work you can replace it.

    For servicing, send both probes and junction box.  Tag them with your name and phone number.

    Bar Probes (Lifting Wands):  These are very simple devices.  The only thing that can go wrong would be that the internal wires connected to the bars could separate, thus making them stop conducting.   To test the bar probes follow this procedure:

    A.  Plug the Bar Probes DIN jack into the junction box into the left DIN jack labeled Bar Probe.  Flip the toggle switch to the left position Bar Probes.  Make sure the junction box DIN cable is plugged into the DIN jack on the front of the Acutron.

    B.  Power up Acutron and open the Probe menu.   Press the MORE button and then select Probe preset #8 labeled Bar Probes by pressing the button under it (red button).   Press the Command Knob to open the treatment screen.   You should see the half circle 0 – 100 scale.

    C.  Touch the two metal bars together, metal to metal. You should see the indicator on the scale move near to 100%. If it does the bar probes are working properly. If the indicator does not move up, and you have followed these instructions properly, there is a detached wire in the bar probes and they need repair. This is a relatively easy fix.   You or someone you know who is comfortable using tools could do it. Simply loosen the set screws on the bar probes and remove the metal bars from the plastic holders. Carefully and securely reconnect the electrical wire inside to the bar. Re-assemble the bar probes and tighten the set screws.

  4. Graphic Issues on Display
    These could take the form of blue screen with no text, lines across screen or stray, random characters.  If you see any of this, try these steps:

    A.  While Acutron is powered up press the small Reset button on rear of device (this would not refer to the red button on the front of device).   Hold it down until system shuts down.   Then restart Acutron and see if problem is fixed.

    B.  If you have an Acutron with a Contrast control on rear of unit try turning it in both directions to see if the image on your display appears or improves.

    C.  Open the Utilities screen (by pressing the right-most black button under the display).  Press Restore Original Presets.   This will bring you back to the opening screen.If after trying these 3 steps the graphic on the screen are still not looking right the device must be repaired.  Click here to open the Repair Requisition form.

  5. Command Knob issues
    The Command Knob is the large tan or black knob to the right of the LCD screen on the front panel.   It is an optical encoder device similar to a computer mouse.   There are different functions associated with pressing it like a button or turning it like a knob.   See the Acutron instruction manual for full instructions on using the Acutron and the Command Knob.To test the Command Knob to confirm that it is working properly follow these steps:

    A.  Select µA Pad Preset #1, on the Detail screen press the button black button on the right side of the screen so the display next to it says “Probe Not Used”.   This will set Channel D to be another pad channel, and all four channels will be for pads.

    B.  Press the Command Knob like a button.   The Detail screen should change to the Treatment screen with four horizontal bands, one for each of the 4 channels.   If this works it confirms that the pressing function of the Command Knob is working.

    C.  Press the black button to the right of Channel A to start treatment mode.   Turn the Command Knob to the right.   You should see the Intensity display just to the left of the CH A start button increase.  If this works it confirms that the turning function of the Command Knob is working.

    What to do if you need a repair 

    This completes the user troubleshooting guide for the Acutron and VB1000 units. Troubleshooting steps beyond what is offered here must be done by the authorized service center. If your device requires repair fill out the Repair Requisition Form completely and legibly and hit Submit. Print out a copy for your records.

    At that point you can:

    1.  Wait for a staff member to email you back with an initial assessment based on what you have provided.  If we believe your issues could be due to user error, we will contact you with suggestions. If we believe it needs to be sent in for repair, we will let you know that.

    2.  If you are convinced that your device needs repair you can go ahead and send it into the service center without waiting for a response. Carefully follow the instructions on the Repair Requisition Form for packing it and then send it in to the service center, insured and freight pre-paid with tracking number. If you do this it is crucial that you enclose the Repair Requisition Form in a prominent envelope inside the carton, and make sure any accessories you send in are separated from the Acutron and tagged with your name.

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