Whereas bulky overhead projectors and copied transparencies used to be the best method of displaying hard copies, today's teachers and professional speakers rely on newer document camera technology. As explained by Dana V. Owens, Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Central Oklahoma, this technological device "is essentially an overhead projector with a camera mounted on top," allowing instructors to illuminate and display hard-copy images on a TV or protection screen. While document camera devices are convenient and easy to use, they are expensive. It's important to properly maintain a document camera, to avoid the costly repairs associated with poorly-maintained systems.
Unplug the document camera before performing regular maintenance to avoid accidental shock. Keep the camera unplugged even after maintenance is complete; only plug in the document camera when it is being used so as to avoid unforeseen damage from power surges or other electrical malfunctions.
Clean the camera lens and document bay regularly. These two glass surfaces should be gently cleaned using a damp cloth, as recommended by SMART Technologies, a leading manufacturer of document cameras and other imaging products. SMART Technologies also cautions against liquid cleaners; such products should never be used to clean a document camera.
Tighten all screws on the outer casing at least once a month. This is especially important if the unit is moved between rooms regularly, as constant movement can jostle the hardware loose.
Wipe down the exterior of the document camera with a dry rag every week to get rid of any external dust. While this may seem superficial, exterior maintenance is important, because it helps remove dust that could later get blown into the unit.
Unscrew the document camera's maintenance panel and spray the internal cooling fan with compressed air to remove internal dust. Always spray from the inside out, or else you will just be pushing dust back into the camera. Spray once per month, or more often if the fan begins making loud noises.
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images