SimPad Quick Fix
Blog post by SimGHOSTS Community Director Nick Brauer
SimPad Quick Fix
Problems with a SimPad? Does it power on? Has it been dropped or tossed on to a hard surface? Have you upgraded lately and in the middle of the installation process it failed to install properly and powered off. Was the LED RED? If so, did the LED flash or was it steady? What do those different colored LEDs mean anyways? With a bit of knowledge many can make basic repairs. While Laerdal offers a few preventative maintenance courses they do not, as of yet, offer a SimPad troubleshooting class. Even though the SimPad is 99% non-serviceable there are several parts, we as sim techs, can service/repair. If assistance is needed Laerdal tech support is often more than glad to assist.
(If your Pad is under warranty it is advisable not to attempt repairs unless you are certified to do so.)
The SimPad’s LED color will provide a host of information and will guide the process in normal operations as well as troubleshooting errors and failures. To view the complete user guide go here.
- Amber Flashing – Off and Charging
- Amber Steady – Off, Battery Charged
- Green Flashing – Starting and Shutting Down
- Green Steady – On and Ready To Use
- Red Flashing – Low Battery
- Red Steady – ERROR!
While this device is fairly durable, connections may be prone to becoming loose if handled inappropriately. If this occurs, the device will likely produce an ERROR message on the screen and a STEADY RED LED. Attempt to reset the device without powering down. If the touchscreen becomes inoperable this may not be an option. Attempt to power back on and verify OS and SW version and update if necessary. The latest SW version can be downloaded here. If after the pad is powered down and it will not power up it may likely be one or multiple internal connections: 1) BATTERY &/or 2) SD CARD.
Opening the SimPad is relatively easy and only requires a #10 Torx bit. Loosen and remove 4 screws from the back. With the SimPad face down and push-to-talk button top right, gently separate the two halves and open to the right. Take extra precaution not to pull the cables inside. (See image to verify component location) Unplug the battery. TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTION NOT TO TOUCH ANY OTHER ELECTRONIC PARTS! With the battery unplugged gently place the two halves back together and plug the AC power adapter in and attempt to power on. If all goes well, the SimPad will power on even if the ERROR message remains. Unfortunately, if it does not boot then the device will likely need to be sent in for repair. If after the SimPad boots, but the error message remains, power it back down and disconnect AC power. Unplug and re-seat the battery and SD card. Charge the battery. With AC adapter connected, power on the SimPad. With the SimPad ON unplug the power adapter and verify battery power. If you have not already done so, screw the two halves back together. If an ERROR message remains re-install the latest software. For troubleshooting or software installation instructions refer to the manual or call Laerdal @ 1-877-523-7325.
Many may be hesitant when it comes to making repairs to mechanical or electronic devices such as the SimPad. While knowing your limits is commendable those with a little knowledge and experience can attempt this repair with little hesitation. Be prepared for the worst and proceed with caution. If the device has been dropped you may discover various damaged components within. However, if no noticeable loose or broken components proceed with the known, battery and SD card.