Black and white printers, color printers, monitors and large screen TVs. These are just a few of the peripherals that can be connected to an ultrasound system. I have received many “how to” connection calls from biomeds and end users as well as many troubleshooting calls to get the peripherals working correctly. Here are tricks to make sure everything goes smoothly.
When connecting any powered device to an ultrasound system, you will want to ensure you have it powered
correctly. You do not want to simply plug the AC cord into any outlet. The outlet needs to be isolated with the ultrasound system. Many systems have their own power outlets. Philips normally has extra outlets that you can plug into. GE systems normally have ports to plug special adapters into, while other systems will have power strips. Ultrasound systems have isolation transformers and are designed to prevent ground loops. Connecting your peripherals to the ultrasound and not the wall will keep the system safe. Sometimes this is not possible because a TV may be mounted to a wall. The best solution here is to install an isolation transformer and connect all the devices to it. Also ensure that the peripherals have either a ground plug or directional plug.
After making sure that all the cables are connected correctly, the hardware still may need to be configured. External monitors will normally work without having to do more than changing what is viewed. TVs on the other hand may need to be configured. Some systems do not have a standard TV output. Changes will need to be performed in the system settings. You may need a signal converter or you may need to change the output resolution. Printers can prove to be an even bigger challenge. Some printers use a video source and simply connect to an RCA or BNC port on the back of the system. Pressing the print button on the printer will produce whatever is on the screen. Some can even be controlled by a remote cable connection. Using the remote cable will require you to configure the print buttons on the ultrasound. Most printers are going to connect using a USB cable. These printers will require that the ultrasound system has the drivers installed. Because it can be difficult to add drivers to the system, the printer manufacturer has configured the printers to be able to use older drivers or run in emulation mode. All you need to do is change the settings in the printer. As an example, the Sony is configured through its menu feature. Press the “Menu” button on the front. It is usually the scroll wheel. Press it in and this will bring up the menu. Scroll down until you find COMD. Press the button in and scroll from D897 to D895. Then press the button again to lock in the choice. Power cycle the printer. It is now set to use the Sony UP-D895 drivers already loaded in an older system. Make any of the necessary adjustments to the ultrasound settings and begin using the system.
Ensuring that the peripherals are connected and configured correctly the first time will end up saving you frustration down the road.