You are on page 1of 272

X-ray equipment

maintenance
and repairs
workbook
for
radiographers &
radiological technologists
by
Ian R McClelland
Chief technical support engineer (retired)

Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratory Technology


Essential Health Technologies
Health Technology and Pharmaceuticals
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
Geneva
WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data

McClelland,Ian R.
X-ray equipment maintenance and repairs workbook for radiographers and
radiological technologists / Ian R.McClelland.

1.X-rays 2.Radiography3.Technology,Radiologic
4.Maintenancemethods
5.Problems and exercises
I.Title.

ISBN 92 4 159163 3 (NLM classification:WN 150)

World Health Organization 2004


All rights reserved.Publications of the World Health Organization can be obtained from
Marketing and Dissemination,World Health Organization,20 Avenue Appia,1211 Geneva 27,
Switzerland (tel:
+41 22 791 2476;fax: +41 22 791 4857;email:bookorders@who.int).
Requests for permission to reproduce or translate WHO publicationswhether for sale or for
noncommercial distributionshould be addressed to Publications,at the above address (fax:
+41 22 791 4806;email:permissions@who.int).
The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply
the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the World Health Organization
concerning the legal status of any country,territory,city or area or of its authorities,or
concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.Dotted lines on maps represent
approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.

The mention of specific companies or of certain manufacturersproducts does not imply that
they are endorsed or recommended by the World Health Organization in preference to others of
a similar nature that are not mentioned.Errors and omissions excepted,the names of
proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters.

The World Health Organization does not warrant that the information contained in this
publication is complete and correct and shall not be liable for any damages incurred as a result
of its use.

The named authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this publication.

Designed by minimum graphics,New Zealand


E Typeset by SNP Best-set Typesetter Ltd.,Hong Kong
Printed by Interprint,Malta
CONTENTS
iii

Contents

Introductory remarks v
Acknowledgements vi

Part I. Introduction 1

Introduction 3
QuestionnaireStudents own department 6
Pre test 8

Part II. Routine maintenance modules 11

Module 1.0 Routine maintenance overview 13


Task 1. Maintenance survey for an X-ray room 17
Module 1.1 X-ray generator maintenance,fixed installation 19
Task 2. X-ray control familiarization.Part 1 24
Task 3. X-ray control familiarization.Part 2 26
Task 4. Test for X-ray tube overload calibration.Part 1 28
Task 5. Test for X-ray tube overload calibration.Part 2 31
Module 1.2 X-ray generator maintenance,mobile unit 32
Module 1.3 X-ray generator maintenance,C D mobile 37
Module 1.4 X-ray generator maintenance,portable unit 41
Module 2.0 X-ray tube stand maintenance 44
Task 6. X-ray tube-stand maintenance 47
Module 2.1 X-ray tube maintenance 48
Module 2.2 Collimator maintenance 50
Task 7. X-ray tube and collimator maintenance 52
Module 3.0 Bucky table & vertical Bucky maintenance 53
Module 3.1 Tomography attachment maintenance 55
Module 4.0 Fluoroscopy table maintenance 57
Module 4.1 Fluoroscopy TV maintenance 60

Part III. Fault diagnosis and repair modules 63

Module 5.0 Common procedures,for fault diagnosis and repairs 65


Task 8. Fuse identification 70
Module 6.0 X-ray generator repairs,fixed installation 71
Task 9. No Preparation,Part 1 86
Task 10.No Preparation.Part 2 87
Task 11.No Exposure 88
Task 12.X-ray output linearity 89
Module 6.1 Mobile or portable-generator repairs 90
Module 6.2 C D mobile repairs 94
Module 7.0 X-ray tube stand repairs 99
Task 13.Bucky tabletop and tube-stand centre 103
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
iv

Module 7.1 X-ray tube repairs 104


Module 7.2 Collimator repairs 110
Task 14.Help! No spare globe for the collimator 116
Module 7.3 High-tension cable repairs 117
Module 8.0 Bucky and Bucky table repairs 121
Task 15.A film exhibits grid lines 126
Module 8.1 Tomography attachment repairs 127
Module 9.0 Fluoroscopy table repairs 130
Module 9.1 Fluoroscopy TV repairs 135
Module 10.0Automatic exposure control,operation and problems 140

Part IV. Automatic film processor 145


Module 11.0Automatic film processor,routine maintenance 147
Module 11.1Automatic film processor repairs 151
Task 16.Films appear too dark 156
Task 17.Films exhibit symptoms of low fixer 157
Module 11.2The Film ID printer 158

Part V. Appendices 161


Appendix A.Sensitometry 163
Appendix B.Recommended tools and test equipment 169
Appendix C.Graphs,check sheets and record sheets 177
Appendix D.Routine maintenance check sheets 186
Appendix E.X-ray equipment operation 205
Appendix F.Teaching techniques 248
Appendix G.Health and safety 253

Part VI. Post test and glossary 257


Post test 259
Glossary 262

E
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
v

Introductory remarks

This document,which is developed by the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists
(ISRRT) under the umbrella of the WHO Global Steering Group for Education and Training in Diagnostic Imaging,
is the second in a series targeting technical aspects,including quality control of diagnostic imaging services.The
document is primarily aiming at assisting radiographers and radiological technologists working in small and mid-
size hospitals where resources often are limited,to optimize and improve diagnostic imaging,and to ensure the
best possible use of resources according to local needs.

The document can be obtained by contacting the following address:

Team of Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratory Technology (DIL)


World Health Organization
20,Avenue Appia
CH-1211 Geneva 27
Switzerland

Fax:+41 22 7914836
e-mail:ingolfsdottirg@who.int

Harald Ostensen, MD
Geneva,July 2004
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
vi

Acknowledgements
For their considerable input and assistance in producing this workbook,special thanks are due to:

Peter J Lloyd,Peter Hayward,Brett Richards,Sue Salthouse,Peter K Mutua,M Jean Harvey,Leonie Munro,


Martin K West,Jiro Takashima,and to Graham English.

E
PART I
Introduction
E
PART I. INTRODUCTION
3

Introduction

It is preferred to call this a workbook rather than a accepts that responsibility and ensures that the
manual or textbook, because the intent is to, not only programme happens effectively.
give technical information, but to set practical exer- This workbook will be used by radiographers and
cises that students can work through, responding to radiological technologists as well as other medical
specific questions. Above all, the students should feel and technical staff members involved in diagnostic
that they have actually carried out the tasks them- imaging, to:
selves and will be more confident to teach others and
achieve a good working knowledge of equipment
ensure that these exercises continue to be carried out
maintenance routines;
in their respective areas.
adopt a logical and practical approach to diagnos-
The topic of this workbook is routine maintenance
ing equipment problems;
and repairs. The material is designed to assist in the
on returning to their respective areas after com-
maintenance of equipment, and provide guidelines for
pleted training, teach other members of their staff
locating equipment problems. In many cases this
to carry out the routines or techniques that they
will allow local correction of fault situations. Where
have learned;
external assistance is required, good communication
assist in establishing, or implementing, a suitable
of the diagnosed problem will assist in reducing delay,
routine maintenance programme;
or multiple service calls.
be encouraged to directly carry out adjustments
or minor repairs, or provide suitable assistance to
other staff as needed;
Routine maintenance
provide accurate reporting of problems to seniors
The overall maintenance programme; put in place
or service engineers;
to ensure that a comprehensive range of mainte-
assist in establishing criteria for equipment replace-
nance procedures are systematically carried out.
ment, where it is not cost effective to continue
maintenance.
Fault diagnosis and repairs
The means by which the cause of incorrect equip-
ment operation may be located. This includes Expected benefits
adjustment where required, and simple repairs. It is expected that after going through the training
and experiences discussed in this workbook, the
knowledge and skills will be put into practise. If so:
A Routine Maintenance Programme should be com-
prehensive, looking at all aspects of the work involved Heads of departments will find that the standard
in ensuring equipment is properly maintained, and of radiography will be maintained at the highest
capable of producing accurate results. Such a pro- level.
gramme can be cost effective, and contribute to There will be fewer equipment failures. This reduces
minimum failure of equipment. By encouraging local costs.
staff to be actively involved in maintenance or minor Where a failure does occur, local hospital staff may
repairs, delays and expensive service calls may be con- be able to repair without an expensive service call.
siderably reduced. When an external service call is required, the service
The ultimate responsibility for setting up, running, technician can arrive fully informed to deal with the
evaluating and taking remedial action lies with the situation, together with appropriate equipment or
head of department, although appropriate delegation parts. This will reduce the possibility, and expense,
may be necessary. It is important that someone of repeated visits.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
4

Where work is carried out by an external service Copies of routine maintenance check sheets.
organization, the maintenance inspection will ensure Advice on teaching methods.
this has been carried out fully and effectively. Health and safety issues.
Work environments will be improved. Tasks will A post test of students knowledge.
become easier. Glossary of terms.
Repeat films will be kept to a minimum. Staff job Reference list.
satisfaction will increase.
Patients will receive less radiation and less
How to use this workbook
inconvenience.
A record and audit trail will exist as proof of high The entire workbook can be used for self-study or
standards. self-assessment, ideally as working material during a
work shop or a seminar with individual tutors for the
Achieve some of these, and this workbook has been
students. In either case, however, the book should
worthwhile!
be approached as indicated below.
The section headed STUDENTS OWN DEPART-
What this workbook aims to achieve MENT, should be completed by the student before
commencement of the study or course. This takes the
Provide the knowledge and skills required for main-
form of a questionnaire which, when completed should
tenance of imaging equipment.
give the tutor a background knowledge of the student
Increase awareness, interest and understanding of
and their work environment. This background infor-
maintenance issues.
mation will allow the tutor to apply the correct empha-
Enable radiographers to establish and continue to
sis when providing and supervising the training.
carry out an effective preventive maintenance
The student must complete a PRE TEST prior to
programme.
starting the course. This is an assessment of the
Provide the knowledge tools to assist in diagnosing
students relevant knowledge before the course. This
equipment problems.
will be compared to the results of a similar POST TEST
Provide the knowledge and encouragement to carry
completed by the student after completion of the
out adjustments and minor repairs.
course. These tests are for student information and
Raise equipment performance standards.
course evaluation only and are not used in student
Reduce maintenance and service costs.
assessment.
Reduce the possibility of equipment malfunction
The section on TEACHING TECHNIQUES first gives
causing injury.
a broad overview of teaching methods. This is followed
Improve job satisfaction through correctly func-
by the recommended approach to teaching with this
tioning equipment.
workbook. Both tutor and student should read this
section. This is a reprint from the WHO Quality assur-
Summary of the content of ance workbook and is included here for convenience.
this workbook The section on HEALTH AND SAFETY draws atten-
tion to all the health and safety issues appropriate
Background information.
to an X-ray department and how to make the work
A questionnaire seeking information about each
environment a safe and healthy one. This is an extract
student, and their own department.
from the WHO Quality assurance workbook, edited for
A pre test of students knowledge.
use with this workbook.
13 modules related to routine maintenance of X-ray
equipment.
14 modules concerned with fault diagnosis and The workbook is divided into modules
repairs.
The modules are in three groups.
A separate module, concentrating on the film
a. Routine maintenance of X-ray equipment.
processor.
b. Fault diagnosis and repairs of X-ray equipment.
A revision of X-ray equipment design and operation.
c. The automatic film processor, routine mainte-
17 tasks the student must perform.
nance, fault diagnosis and repairs.
A list of suitable tools and test equipment, and how
The student should work through one module at a
to make simple test tools.
time, studying the technical information and testing
E Useful charts and forms.
methods.
PART I. INTRODUCTION
5

Note. Although the modules are designed as indi- When used in the scope of a work shop or seminar,
vidual projects, due to the complexity of this work- The POST TEST must be answered, on completion of
book, it will be necessary at times to refer to other the course. The workbook is then handed to the tutor
modules. Where this is required, a note is inserted for final assessment.
pointing to the first page of the reference module. The student is encouraged to:
At the end of each module, tasks have been set.The
complete all pre reading, discuss the material with
student must carry out each task and answer
colleagues and fill in the questionnaire,STUDENTS
the questions asked, and the teacher/tutor where
OWN DEPARTMENT, before starting the course;
available, will comment or correct these.
carry out the PRETEST immediately before starting
The APPENDICES contain information on making the course;
simple test tools, report forms, record sheets, and carry out the POST TEST immediately upon com-
test result sheets for use in the students own depart- pletion of the course/self-study.
ment. The APPENDICES also contain information
In daily routine work the workbook and newly gained
from the WHO Quality assurance workbook. This
knowledge and expertise should be used to establish
includes sensitometry, teaching techniques, and health
a routine maintenance programme, and train col-
and safety. The GLOSSARY contains a list of terms
leagues under the direction of their department
found in the text, with meanings. The REFERENCES
manager.
provide a source of further reading.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
6

Questionnaire
Students own department

In order for this course to meet your needs, your tutor must know something about yourself, and the department
in which you work. Please answer the following questions in the spaces provided, before you commence the course.

1. Hospital name and address.

2. Your name and address.

3. Your education qualifications. Please include details of any additional training.

4. How many X-ray examination rooms are there?

5. How many mobile or portable X-ray generators are there?

6. Tell us what X-ray equipment you have. Eg, general-purpose table with Bucky etc. Please include the type, make
and model number.

Room 1

Room 2

Room 3

Mobile or portable units

4. How many darkrooms are there?

E
PART I. INTRODUCTION
7

5. State the type of film processor in each darkroom. e.g. type, make, model, processing cycle.

Darkroom 1

Darkroom 2

6. How many staff act as radiographers? Qualified radiographers? Others?

7. How many darkroom technicians are there?

8. Does your hospital have access to an electronics service technician?

9. Does your hospital have an electrician? With electronics knowledge?

10. Do you already run any form of preventive maintenance programme. Yes/No

11. If Yes, state here what you do, including details of any external assistance.

13. Is all the X-ray / processor equipment operating at a satisfactory level? If not, describe areas requir-
ing attention. Include equipment waiting parts or further service.

14. Including all equipment, what is the total number of days out of action for last year?

15. What was the average time out of action? And the maximum time?

16. List any test equipment or quality control test tools you have.

17. If you have any issues relating to maintenance, or fault diagnosis / repairs, please state them here.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
8

Pre test

The student must complete this test before starting 3. What is meant by the term trouble shooting?
the course. The intention is to test your knowledge on a) A method to diagnose a problem.
the topics covered by this workbook before the course, b) How to deal with under performing staff.
or before starting studying the work book. c) The X-ray generator fails to expose.

Name and address 4. To check if the light field and the X-ray field of a
collimator are correctly aligned:
a) Look into the collimator mirror.
b) Place metal markers on the face of a loaded
cassette to indicate the light field and make an
Hospital name and address exposure.
c) Adjust the collimator knob to the film size as
indicated on the collimator.

5. An aluminium disc is often inserted between the


collimator and the X-ray tube. The purpose of this
Instructions disc is to:
This is a multiple-choice test. In each question you are a) Adjust the spacing between the collimator and
given three possible answers. the X-ray tube.
Read each question carefully. b) Prevent light from the tube filament shining
Indicate the answer that you feel is the most accu- through the collimator.
rate by placing an X in front of the letter preceding it. c) Filter low energy X-ray photons.

Example: 6. An mAs control is used in:


A personal radiation monitor (TLD) should be worn a) An automatic exposure control.
a) Outside a lead rubber apron. b) Single knob adjustment of time and mA.
X b) Under a lead rubber apron. c) Automatic regulation of mA as kV is adjusted.
c) There is no need to use one when wearing a lead
rubber apron. 7. The term space charge relates to:
Answer: b) a) High-energy cosmic radiation, causing film
fog.
All questions must be answered b) A cloud of electrons around a heated filament.
c) The rental fee for a private X-ray practice.
1. What is meant by the term preventive maintenance?
a) Maintenance must be carried out by tradesmen 8. A relay is:
only. a) A competitive sports event.
b) Maintenance is not required. b) A replacement of floor covering.
c) Maintenance to reduce equipment failure. c) An electromagnetic switch.

2. What is meant by the term quality assurance?


9. An interlock is:
a) The equipment is covered by a maintenance policy.
a) A safety device to prevent incorrect operation.
b) A repair is guaranteed for three months.
b) The door locks for entry to the X-ray room.
E c) A system that attempts to maintain a high
c) A device to prevent tampering.
standard of work in all areas.
PART I. INTRODUCTION
9

10. A spinning top is used to: 18. A sensitometer:


a) Check kV accuracy. a) Is used to measure sensitivity of film to light.
b) Check exposure time accuracy. b) Is used for printing a test strip onto film for
c) Check mA accuracy. film processor monitoring.
c) Checks the developer concentration in the
11. A stepwedge is used to: processor.
a) Calibrate the height of the tomograph fulcrum.
b) Make comparative measurements of radiation 19. If the focal length of the grid fitted to a wall Bucky
output. is too short for the required distance:
c) Assist in patient positioning. a) The film will be dark in the centre, and light at
the sides.
12. Before attempting to replace a fuse, you should: b) The film will be light in the centre, and dark at
a) Check the fuse rating. the sides.
b) Inform the chief radiographer. c) Grid lines will appear.
c) Ensure the main power isolation switch is
turned off. 20. Before using a multimeter to test continuity, you
should:
13. When making an exposure via a Bucky: a) Touch the test leads together to ensure the
a) The grid should move immediately X-rays are meter reads Zero ohms.
produced. b) Fit a new battery to the meter.
b) The grid should commence movement when c) Ensure the power isolation switch for the X-ray
the exposure button is pressed, and exposure room is turned off.
occurs after the grid is in position.
c) The Bucky should commence operation as soon 21. During preparation for an exposure, which item
as the preparation button is pressed. should not occur?
a) X-ray tube anode rotation.
14. The first aid treatment for a processing chemical b) Adjustment of kV output.
splash in the eye is: c) X-ray tube filament heating.
a) Blink continuously for at least 30 seconds.
b) Wash the eye thoroughly with water. 22. The maximum possible anode rotation speed for a
c) Wipe the eye with a tissue. low-speed tube operating at 50 Hz is:
a) 2500 RPM
15. Developer temperature should be checked: b) 3000 RPM
a) Only if the film densities appear different. c) 5000 RPM
b) Daily.
c) Once a week. 23. A high-speed tube has a brake cycle at the end
of an exposure. This is to:
16. Replenishment rates in automatic processors are a) Reduce unnecessary noise in the X-ray room.
checked by: b) Increase bearing life.
a) Referring to the operators manual. c) Prevent damage caused by resonant periods
b) Measure the relative decrease of level in the as the anode slows down.
replenishment supply tank.
c) Diverting the replenishment pump output into 24. The woven metal sheath of the high-tension cable
a graduated flask. is to:
a) Shield against the possibility of transmitting
17. Automatic processing temperature should be: electronic interference into other equipment
a) 20 C during an exposure, especially with a high-
b) 25 C frequency generator.
c) 35 C b) Increase the resistance to wear, and act as a
deterrent to rat damage.
c) In case there is a fault in the cable insulation,
the metal sheath provides a safe electrical con-
duction to ground.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
10

25. When exposing a large format film, a reduction in 28. Again, considering the same X-ray tube, which will
film density to one side of the film is noticed. This give the best film coverage?
is probably due to: a) 7 degrees
a) The dwell time of the processor is incorrect. b) 12 degrees
b) Heel-effect of the X-ray tube. c) 16 degrees
c) Poor film screen contact.
29. A capacitor discharge mobile has:
26. All exposures suddenly show an increase in film a) A non-linear X-ray output.
density. The most possible cause is: b) A similar output to a single-phase generator.
a) An increase in developer temperature. c) Long exposure times.
b) The generator kV calibration is incorrect.
c) The processor fixer has become diluted. 30. A spinning top test is made of a single-phase self-
rectified (Half wave) portable generator operating
27. You have a choice of three X-ray tubes as a on 50 Hz. Twenty dots appear on the film, indicat-
replacement. They are identical except for the ing an exposure time of:
anode angle. Which tube will have the highest a) 0.02 seconds
output? b) 0.2 seconds
a) 7 degrees c) 0.4 seconds
b) 12 degrees
c) 16 degrees

E
PART II
Routine
maintenance
modules
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
13

MODULE 1.0

Routine maintenance overview

a. What is routine maintenance?


Aim
Routine maintenance is a procedure to ensure equip-
The aim is to provide an overview of routine mainte-
ment is kept in good condition, and provide a long
nance requirements. This includes requirements to
operating life. Routine maintenance may also discover
commence, or carry out, a routine maintenance
potential problems, which could cause equipment
programme.
failure. Potential problems can then be corrected, with
a minimum of down time.Quality control procedures,
Objectives to ensure correct operation and calibration, are also a
part of routine maintenance.
On completion of the routine maintenance modules,
Carrying out routine maintenance produces good
the student will have developed knowledge and skills
knowledge of the equipment, and in case of a problem,
to apply a practical maintenance programme for X-
this knowledge will help to locate the cause. Where
ray equipment. This includes keeping proper records
there is a more serious problem, accurate reporting
of tests, and ensuring all documents and required
for assistance will allow faster and more economic
manuals are available.
response. For example, the service engineer can then
Task-1 Maintenance survey for an X-ray room should arrive with suitable parts and test equipment.
be performed on completion of this module. A major part of routine maintenance is just inspec-
tion of equipment.This should be done as if seeing the
Contents equipment for the first time. At the same time, make
note of less understood operation areas, and refer to
a. What is routine maintenance? the operation manual for explanation.
b. Who should carry out routine maintenance? This is also an opportunity to correct any legacy
c. Objections to routine maintenance problems. As an example of a legacy problem, a gen-
d. How often should maintenance be carried out? erator might have a notice,Do not use fine focus.This
e. Typical objectives of routine maintenance notice may have been there for some time. And, due
f. Familiarization of equipment to staff movements, the reason is not known. As part
g. Routine maintenance programme of maintenance, this long accepted problem should be
h. Keeping a logbook investigated. It could be an X-ray tube that has a failed
i. Routine maintenance modules fine focus. (Then the tube should be replaced) But
more often, this might have been due to some other
problem, or even operator error. So, although a note
was attached, no action was taken to correct the
problem, or to investigate further. Sometimes a part
is required, but the service provider has forgotten to
come back with this part. In which case routine
maintenance inspection ensures that:

The nature of the problem is properly investigated


and documented.
If needed, a follow up reminder is sent to the
service provider.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
14

b. Who should carry out routine maintenance? own inspection, together with suitable record
keeping, will help ensure contract service is carried
This depends on the size of the department, and avail-
out correctly.
able staff. In a district hospital, which has just one
radiographer, then perhaps that radiographer is it.
However, external assistance should be made available d. How often should maintenance be
if required, for example, assistance provided by an carried out?
electrician. Equipment in heavy use, for example a mobile
When the department has a number of staff, travelling to different parts of the hospital, should
one member should be selected as maintenance co- be checked every four months.
ordinator. Other staff members may be allocated Other equipment, such as a Bucky or Fluoroscopy
specific areas or items of equipment to be checked. room, every six months.
Where possible, these duties should be rotated. This However, in many respects, maintenance in the form
allows all staff to become familiar with the equipment. of observation is a continuous process. If a minor
In some hospitals, an electronics technician may problem occurs, always enter this in the logbook, so
be available. But, as the technician does not use the it will receive attention during the next opportunity.
equipment, problems may go undiscovered. For this
reason a staff member needs to assist the electronics
technician, during maintenance or repairs. e.Typical objectives of routine maintenance
A complete operation and function inspection, list
c. Objections to routine maintenance any incorrect operation or area requiring further
attention.
Existing staff may regard routine maintenance as By means of prepared checklists, ensure all required
an unwanted extra duty. This list provides answers for areas are covered. The results are to be retained in
possible objections. a suitable folder. Any problems or areas requiring
This is boring. further attention are entered in the logbook.
Yes, it can be. But even more boring, or frustrating, When a problem is located, if this is minor, correct
is using equipment that does not function correctly. the problem immediately. In case of a larger
This is not my responsibility. problem, still attempt to complete the rest of the
Even when a specific member of staff does carry routine maintenance, while waiting to have the
out a comprehensive maintenance programme, your specific problem corrected.
own input will be appreciated.This can be as simple In case of a specific problem outside local resource
as reporting a problem area, to taking direct action. to immediately correct, and then request an elec-
For example, tighten that loose screw on a Bucky trician, or the service department, for assistance.
tray handle, before the handle falls off. If such a problem is found, be sure to file a report
The department is kept very busy. There is no spare and enter specific details in the logbook.
time. Inspection of all electrical plugs, cables, and other
And to make matters worse, you have to use equip- electrical connections.
ment that does not operate correctly. A mainte- A full mechanical inspection, adjustment and
nance programme does not have to take the room lubrication as required.
out of action. Instead, just one section at a time Tests for calibration of equipment. This may also be
can be checked. This may take only ten minutes for part of a quality control programme.
each section. After the reported problem areas have Cleaning of equipment. Remove pieces of sticky
been fixed, the room will become more efficient. tape, old sticking plaster marks etc.
The hospital has a paid routine maintenance con-
tract with an X-ray service company. This is carried f. Familiarization of equipment
out every six months.
You are lucky. However you still need to carry out With much equipment there is often a legacy of mis-
an inspection to ensure the service is completed as understanding. As a result many functions may be
required. A service technician may find a problem, ignored or incorrectly interpreted.
which requires immediate attention. This reduces Common reasons are:
the time available for the remainder of the mainte- The operation manual has been lost. Or is only
nance. As a result, some areas are not checked.Your referred to as a last resort.
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
15

Replacement staff may be incorrectly instructed in Record keeping.


the use of the equipment. This legacy tends to be i. A separate logbook should be kept for each
passed on. room of equipment. In the case of mobile or
A pre-existing fault is accepted as part of the portable equipment, an individual logbook
normal operation of the equipment, and possible should be kept for each unit. This may be in the
correction is ignored. form of a loose-leaf binder, and allow insertion
The equipment was modified to interface with a non of checklists as maintenance is carried out.
standard system. As a result, some controls are dif- ii. A sample logbook page is provided in appendix
ferent to those described in the operation manual. C page 177.
Where there are any specific limitations or precau- iii. Proper identification of all equipment is
tions, these should be listed in the logbook. This required. This includes make, model and serial
will assist any replacement staff. This information number, date of installation, and any special
should also be shown to the service technician features, such as a high-speed starter option
or AEC. This information should be entered into
During routine maintenance, you should attempt to be
the logbook.
familiar with all operation modes of your equipment.
iv. An individual checklist for each item of equip-
This includes.
ment helps ensure all-important areas are
Indicator lights. When do they light up? What do covered. External contractors may also use
they mean? these lists to assist correct service. Completed
Audible signals. When do they occur? What is the checklists, together with service job sheets,
reason? should be kept in a master file, or logbook, for
During preparation, or an exposure, do you hear a each X-ray room. This provides quick reference
contactor or relay operating? for future service, or else a previous problem.
What is the normal sound produced by the X-ray v. Sample checklists are provided in appendix D
tube anode, during preparation? page 186.
What sound does the Bucky make during an vi. If an additional repair or service is required,
exposure? mark this for attention in the logbook. Other-
Meters or indicators can display different readings wise, if there is a long delay, the repair or service
depending on the generator operation. For example, might be forgotten.
a meter might first display a percentage of X-ray Equipment manuals.
tube load, then display the mAs obtained after an Manuals need to be kept in a safe designated area.
exposure. If manuals are lost or stolen, then every effort
should be made to obtain a replacement. Manual
title and publication numbers should be recorded
g. Routine maintenance programme
in the logbook. Depending on the manufacturer,
To commence a routine maintenance programme, the manuals may be presented in many different
following is suggested. formats. Some may be in separate folders, while
Where a quality control programme is to be other manufacturers may combine all in the one
established, ensure that all required procedures for folder. Typical manuals, which should be available,
routine maintenance are properly documented. are listed below.
Make a list of replacement parts or materials that i. Operation.
may be required. ii. Specification.
Suitable tools. A list of suggested tools is provided iii. Parts list.
in appendix B page 169. iv. Installation, including calibration procedures.
Test tools. Simple test tools that may be con- v. Data sheets for the X-ray tube.
structed are also described in appendix B page vi. Service. (*)
169. vii. Circuits or connection diagrams.
Be familiar with all operation modes of the equip- viii. Technical explanation of operation. (*)
ment to be maintained.(Study the operation manual). ix. (*) Indicates these manuals might be restricted
Allocation of a specified time period to carry out to a service department, or available only on
maintenance. This will depend on the patient request.
workload, and will need to be flexible. In some countries, the equipment supplier is
required to supply two complete sets of all manuals
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
16

originally supplied with the equipment. One set is numbers, to facilitate re-ordering of lost or
kept in the X-ray department, and the other damaged manuals.
retained by the government purchase authority.This
provides a backup copy in case of lost or damaged
i. Routine maintenance modules
manuals.
As some information in the manuals can be confi- The modules are for routine maintenance of equip-
dential, manuals need to be kept in a safe place, ment. Due to the diversity of equipment that may be
and restricted to authorized use only. in use, from very old to the latest technology, not all
of the suggestions will apply to your system.
The maintenance modules are designed as
h. Keeping a logbook individual units, however some cross-reference is
The logbook may be of any convenient construction. required. The reference module name, and title-page
The logbook should not confine entries to a single number, is indicated in the text as required.
line. Leave space to provide full details. A sample routine maintenance checklist for each
If additional columns are required, the logbook may module is provided in appendix D page 186.
also cover the opposite page. The equipment covered in the maintenance
The logbook need not be hard bound, but instead modules includes the following.
be a collection of report sheets kept in an insert
X-ray generator, fixed installation.
folder. This can include the checklists, produced
X-ray generator, mobile unit.
after routine maintenance. Coloured dividers can
X-ray generator, capacitor discharge.
separate each section.
X-ray generator, portable system.
A single logbook can contain all the required infor-
X-ray tube stand.
mation for an X-ray room. A separate logbook
X-ray tube.
should be kept for a mobile generator, or a portable
Collimator.
system.
The Bucky table and vertical Bucky.
The front page of the logbook should include all
Tomography attachment.
details of the equipment, (Make, model, serial No.
Fluoroscopy table.
etc.)
Fluoroscopy TV systems.
The logbook should also contain a list of all equip-
Automatic film processor.
ment manuals. This should include any reference

Data Requirement Response Performedly Reference No

24-12-02 Routine maintenance Carried out by staff John Bell Report no 75


of tube stand

2-2-03 Tube stand has failed Request attention by X-ray service Job No X2203
bearing X-ray service ltd

4/2/03 Collimator lamps Ordered 3 from Osram Jean Wells Order No 45963
required supplies

10-4-03 No exposure See service request John bell Order No 45964


form. Unit out of action
waiting handswitch

14/4/03 New handswitch Fitted new handswitch John Bell Report No 76

Fig 11. A typical logbook page


PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
17

TASK 1

Maintenance survey for


an X-ray room

You are required to make a basic maintenance survey of a general purpose Bucky room. This may be a room in a
different hospital, OR, it may be a room with which you are fully familiar.
The hospital administration has offered to have all defects rectified, but first requires a quick report; a more
detailed report can be supplied later.
When making this survey, look for minor defects as well as those affecting performance.

X-ray control:

Tube stand:

X-ray tube and collimator:

Bucky table and Bucky:

Wall Bucky:
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
18

Condition of the room and accessories: Suggestions to make this an efficient environment, and aid patient
management.

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
Tutor
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
19

MODULE 1.1

X-ray generator, fixed installation

a. Safety precautions
Aim
The aim is to provide information and procedures for
routine maintenance of an X-ray generator, installed as Before removing any covers, ensure the genera-
a fixed installation in an X-ray department. Mainte- tor is switched off, and the room power-isolation
nance for the X-ray tube is provided in module 2.1 switch is also turned off.
page 48. Instructions for generator repairs are pro-
vided in module 6.0 page 71.
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the b.Visual inspection of the control desk,
title page.) power off
Check all knobs and switches. Where knobs have
Objectives a pointer attached, check that the pointer aligns
On completion of this module, the student will be correctly at all positions of the indicated scale. Tip.
familiar with maintenance procedures for the X-ray Check the pointer at full clockwise and counter
generator. These procedures can also be used as a clockwise positions of the knob. Look for possible
version of quality control, together with the routine loose knobs, or for push button switches that might
maintenance check-sheets provided in the appendix. tend to stick.
If controls have had extra labels attached, are
Tasks 2, 3, 4, and 5 should be attempted on comple- these labels still required? If so, are they in good
tion of this module. condition?
Older X-ray controls often have analogue meters
Contents instead of digital displays.
i. With power switched off, the meter needle
a. Safety precautions
should be pointing at the zero calibration mark.
b. Visual inspection of the control panel, power off
ii. Most meters have a small adjustment screw for
c. Operation inspection of the control panel, power on
zero calibration. If adjusting, first tap gently in
d. X-ray tube overload protection
case the meter tends to stick.
e. mA calibration
iii. Caution. Contact the service department before
f. Radiation reproducibility
adjusting. In some cases, the meter may be
g. X-ray output linearity
deliberately adjusted off zero, as an incorrect
method of calibration.
Equipment required
Basic tool kit. c. Operational inspection of the control desk,
Stepwedge.* power on
24/30 cm Cassette.
Check all indicator lamps. If necessary, operate dif-
Two pieces of lead rubber.
ferent selection techniques to ensure all indicators
Aerosol spray lubricant.
operate correctly. In particular, pay attention to the
Cleaning solvent.
following. (Depending on make or model, some of
Cloth.
these indicators may not be available).
i. Small focus / broad focus selection indication.
* The stepwedge is described in appendix B page
On some controls, the mA selection switches
169.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
20

control selection of the focal spot. Other con- Minimum radiographic kV. This will often be set at
trols can have a separate focal spot selection 40 kV, depending on individual country regulations.
switch. Variations will exist where an interlock at the colli-
ii. X-ray tube number, or position. This should be mator is provided for different filters.
linked to technique selection. Some controls i. Select a low mA station and a short exposure
may also indicate the actual fine and broad time. Adjust kV towards the minimum available
focus size. value. An exposure inhibit should occur if kV is
iii. X-ray tube overload protection. Select high pre- too low.
exposure factors, and check operation of the ii. Repeat this test for systems that have a remov-
overload light. (On some controls with a micro- able filter in the collimator. In this case, with
processor, the system might not allow selection the filter removed, an exposure inhibit should
of excessive output.) occur as kV is increased. (Depending on the
iv. Automatic Exposure Control (AEC), or Photo- system, this may be above 60 kV.)
timer. When this option is fitted, check that all iii. Note. Although the collimator will have the
chamber and station selection indicators required minimum filtration for full operation,
operate correctly. an additional filter, typically 0.5 mm, may be
v. Note. On older systems, it may be possible to inserted. This is an option, and does not require
select an AEC chamber or station combination an interlock.
that is not available. In that case ensure a iv. On older generators, especially those with stud,
notice is fitted, to warn against incorrect or switch selection, and pre-reading kV meters,
operation. it may be possible to set kV below the safety
vi. Illumination of kV, mA, and time selection. requirement. Where this can occur, provide a
Where a digital readout of selected values is warning notice, and contact the service provider
provided, select a number of different values to in case an upgrade is available.
ensure there are no display errors, or missing Minimum kV for filament over-heat protection.
segments of the display. Refer to the rating charts, to see if a particular
Older controls may have manual adjustment of combination of high mA and low kV should be
power line voltage, with a meter to indicate correct avoided. This is to avoid overheating the filament
compensation. Check the range of adjustment. It during preparation.
should be possible to reset the voltage by 10%, i. Select the maximum available mA station and
above, or below, the required voltage. a short exposure time. Reduce kV towards the
minimum kV available. Either the kV will not be
permitted to extend below the minimum spec-
d. X-ray tube overload protection
ified value, or else should cause an exposure
Note. Reference to X-ray tube rating charts is required inhibit to operate.
for this section. ii. As an example, the minimum kV with 500 mA
Tip. You may select specific values from the chart, selected may be 55 kV, while if 400 mA is
and record them separately on a check sheet. This will selected, the minimum kV might extend down
save time in the future. to 45 kV.
iii. Repeat for both focal spots.
Maximum radiographic kV.
iv. Note. This protection may not be available on
i. Select a short exposure time, and a low mA
older X-ray controls. If a combination of high
station. Increase kV setting till the exposure-
mA and low kV is possible, provide a warning
prevention, or inhibit, light operates.
notice. In some cases, an upgrade may be avail-
ii. The maximum available kV should not exceed
able from your service provider. In other cases,
the specified kV for the particular X-ray tube.
a re-allocation of available mA stations may be
iii. In some cases, the available kV limit may be
available.
10% less than the possible maximum. For
Anode maximum heat load. This is the maximum
example, a 150 kVp tube may be limited to
instantaneous heat input to the anode.
140 kVp. This is a safety precaution, as 150 kV
Note. The X-ray tube rating charts assume a cold
is the maximum limit only when the tube is in
anode. For this reason, some X-ray controls de-rate
excellent condition.
the maximum output. This allows for anode heat
produced by previous exposures.
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
21

For example, on over-table operation, output may Microprocessor controlled systems have an internal
be limited to 95% of maximum, while with a fluo- switch, which is set to calibration mode. This should
roscopy table, this limit be reduced to around only be adjusted on direct advice from the service
70~80% of maximum output. department.
i. Select the appropriate anode-rating chart for
the X-ray tube in use. When the X-ray control has an mAs meter:
The anode speed is normally controlled by the i. mAs meters may be of two types. Type one is
power frequency. ballistic. With this version, watch for the
Take care to select between 50 or 60 hz for low- maximum reading on exposure, before the
speed operation, or between 150 or 180 hz for needle returns to zero.
high-speed operation. ii. The other version is a true integrating mAs
ii. In addition to anode speed, select either single meter. This type will hold the reading for a
or three phase operation, depending on the type period of time, often while the preparation
of generator. button is kept pressed at the end of exposure.
iii. If you have a high frequency generator, select With this type of meter, ignore the peak needle
the three-phase chart. This will still apply if the deflection, and only record the steady reading.
generator is supplied by single-phase mains iii. mAs meters may be dual function. In some
power. controls, the meter will first indicate the % of
iv. Note. The rating charts provide a family of anode load, and on preparation change over to
curves. It is not required to use the same mA the mAs function. Another type first indicates
or kV for testing. For example, 0.1 sec, 125 kV the preselected mAs, and on exposure indicates
& 360 mA is the same as 90 kV & 500 mA. the actual mAs. Actual mAs remains displayed
v. On the rating charts, select suitable time until preparation is released.
periods. (For example. 0.02, 0.1, 0.3, 1.0, 5.0 iv. When choosing an exposure time, avoid uneven
seconds). At these time selections, determine a times like 0.01, 0.03, etc. This avoids timer
suitable mA station, and the maximum kV that problems that can exist on older units. Select
can be used with that mA selection. Adjust the an exposure time of 0.1 second for easy
kV towards this maximum value. The exposure calculation.
inhibit should occur before this value is v. Test mAs output using two kV positions. Values
reached. Repeat this test for each of the suggested are 60 kV and 90 kV. Repeat this test
preselected time settings. for all mA stations and focal spots.
vi. Repeat this test for each mA station; together vi. The test mAs output should be within 10% for
with both fine and broad focus spot selection. older systems, and in modern equipment within
vii. Some X-ray controls may have provision for 5%. Variations of mAs between adjacent mA
both high and low speed operation. In these stations should be less than 5%, including older
cases, the maximum load available for low designs.
speed operation, should not exceed 85~90% of vii. When preparation is complete, allow another
the value indicated in the low speed chart. half to one second before exposing. This is to
Note. Many microprocessor-controlled systems eliminate possible errors due to incorrect
have the rating charts pre-installed in computer pre-heating of the filament.
memory. On selection of the manufacturers X-ray viii. To check for a possible filament pre-heating
tube, a code for that tube is entered into the com- problem, select 60 kV, and the largest mA
puter. If the manufacturer of the X-ray control does station. Make an exposure immediately prepa-
not supply the X-ray tube, a good match of a rating ration is completed, and record the mAs
chart may not be possible. In this situation, contact output. Now make another exposure, but this
the service department for advice. time wait for about one second after prepara-
tion is completed, then make an exposure.
ix. If the difference between the two tests is more
e. mA calibration
than 5%, contact the service department for
(For this test, the X-ray control is required to display advice. The generator should have the filament
the actual mA, or mAs, resulting from an exposure.The pre-heating adjusted, or else a small increase
control may have either an mAs meter, or a quick in preparation time.
acting mA meter).
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
22

When the X-ray control has a mA ii. After each exposure, reposition the stepwedge
meter only: and lead rubber on the cassette.
i. Select a low kV, between 60 and 70 kV. iii. Develop the film. As the exposure settings are
ii. Make an assessment of tube loading with the the same for all exposures, the film should show
selected mA station by selecting an exposure very little variation.
time of two seconds. iv. If necessary, change kV or mAs so the film dis-
iii. Assuming a two second time would permit an plays a good range of densities, then repeat this
exposure; now select a time of 0.81.0 second. test.
This time allows the mA meter to reach a Make another series of four exposures, using the
steady reading, during the exposure. same settings as before.
iv. When preparation is complete, allow another i. This time, do not delay the exposure, but expose
half to one second before exposing. This is to immediately preparation is completed.
eliminate possible errors due to incorrect ii. This is a test for filament pre-heating, or
pre-heating of the filament. temperature stability.
v. On exposing, watch the mA meter needle arrive Compare all eight exposures. If available, use a den-
at the expected value. Record the steady sitometer. As the same output settings were used,
reading. (Ignore any bounce or overshoot.) the exposures should show very little variation.
vi. MA should be within 10% of the required value. i. If the second group is lighter, or darker, than
vii. Repeat this test on both focal spots. Test only the first group, the filament pre-heating or
the mA stations that are well within the anode preparation time should be adjusted. Contact
load safety limit, at the exposure times of the service department for advice.
0.81.0 second. ii. In case there is a general variation of densities
viii. Between test exposures, allow at least three to in either group, this may be due to power mains
five minutes for anode cooling. voltage fluctuations. If suspect, repeat this test
ix. To check for a possible pre-heating problem, at a later time when power is more stable.
select 60 kV, and the largest mA station that iii. Variable output can be caused by a poor con-
was previously tested. Make an exposure imme- nection to the X-ray tube filament. This is due
diately preparation is completed, and record to a problem with the cathode high-tension
the mA output. If the change in mA is more cable, where the cable-end plugs into the X-ray
than 5%, contact the service department tube housing. See module 7.3 page 117.
for advice. The generator should have the Repeat the test for each focal spot.
pre-heating adjusted, or else a small increase Record the settings used in the maintenance
in preparation time. logbook for future use. Include which cassette used.
Retain the test films for comparison with future
tests.
f. Radiation reproducibility tests, using
a step-wedge
This test should be carried out after the film proces-
g. X-ray output linearity test, using
sor has received its general maintenance.
a step-wedge
Adjust the FFD to 100 cm. This is an important check on overall performance.
Place the stepwedge on a 24/30 cm cassette. By using a stepwedge, a comparison test may be
Several exposures can be made on the one piece of made, not only between the mA stations of the unit
film. Place two pieces of lead rubber on top of the under maintenance, but also with other units in the
cassette, positioned against either side of the step- department.
wedge. As the stepwedge is repositioned, the lead
This test should be carried out after the film
rubber prevents unwanted radiation entering the
processor has received its general maintenance.
cassette.
Note. This test will indicate variations in kV output
Select a suitable mAs and kV combination, and
as well as mAs.
make a total of four exposures.
For this test, select an mAs value that can be
i. Allow about 0.51.0 second delay after
repeated over a number of mA stations by chang-
preparation is completed, before making each
ing time factor only. (To avoid possible errors due to
exposure. This is to ensure the filament has
kV rise and fall time, avoid exposure times below
reached a stable temperature.
0.02 seconds.)
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
23

Set 80 kV, and a FFD of 100 cm. If one of the mA stations shows a significant change
Position the stepwedge on a 24/30 cm cassette. in density, make another test with that mA station,
Several exposures can be made on the one piece of this time change kV to obtain the required film
film. Place two pieces of lead rubber on top of the density.
cassette, positioned against either side of the step- i. Providing the required kV change is not more
wedge. As the stepwedge is repositioned, the lead than 2~3%, the station is within tolerance.
rubber prevents unwanted radiation entering the ii. If no more than 3~5% it is still within tolerance.
cassette. However, make a note in the maintenance
Using the selected value of kV and mAs make a record, and have the calibration checked next
series of exposures. Change the mA station after time the service department pays a visit.
each exposure, and adjust the time to obtain the iii. If greater than 5%, then that station is out of
same mAs. tolerance. This may be due to mA or kV calibra-
i. Allow about 0.51.0 second delay after prepa- tion. If significant, then place that mA station
ration is completed, before exposing. This is out of operation and contact the service
to ensure the filament has reached a stable department for advice.
temperature. iv. An estimation of mA calibration error can be
ii. If the film is too light, increase the kV, and made by a comparison exposure, changing time
repeat the test. only. This needs an initial time setting of 0.1
iii. If the film is too dark, add extra aluminium second or greater. For example, if the suspect
under the step wedge. Or, place a sheet of paper mA station of 200 mA showed a low output, and
between one side of the film, and the intensify- on changing the exposure time to 0.11 second
ing screen in the cassette. still showed a slightly low output, then the mA
It may not be possible to obtain the same mAs value station is more than 10% out of calibration.
for all mA stations. In this case, select a different v. Besides a possible change of mA or kV calibra-
mAs value, but include one of the mA stations tion, the timer may not be accurate. A single-
previously tested. Repeat the test with the new phase generator can have an error of plus or
selection of mA values. minus 0.01 seconds.This is a large error at short
This is illustrated in table 1a, where 100 ma is used time settings. A Spinning top test can indicate
for both 20 mAs and 30 mAs comparisons. single-phase generator exposure times. See
appendix B page 169.
Record all calibration settings used with the step-
Table 1a. Selection of mAs values for test
wedge in the logbook. Include the kV, mAs, FFD, and
mA Time mAs mA Time MAs the cassette used. This will allow a quick set-up
500 0.04 20 100 0.3 30 when this test is repeated. Save the films for
comparison with future tests.
400 0.05 20 150 0.2 30

200 0.1 20 300 0.1 30


100 0.2 20
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
24

TASK 2

X-ray control familiarization


Part 1

You have just been transferred to an X-ray department in another hospital, and have been requested to commence
a routine maintenance programme. You are not familiar with this particular X-ray control. The control is situated
in a standard Bucky table room, with an over-table X-ray tube only.

1. Locate the manufacturer model and serial number, for recording in the logbook. (In some cases, it may be
necessary to look behind the control desk or X-ray control cabinet.)

2. Check carefully the range and type of controls. Some are unfamiliar. Suggest a way that the function of these
controls may be verified.

3. Check and list the full range of mA stations available. Which mA stations are available for the broad focus,
and for the fine focus?

4. Is individual selection of fine and broad focus available? If so, which mA stations may be used on either fine
or broad focus?

5. It is possible that initial inspection indicates the control operates on selection of mAs and kV only. (Two knob
technique.) Is there a control switch to enable operation by individual selection of mA, time, and kV? (Three
knob technique.)

6. Older basic X-ray controls often have a meter and knob to adjust line voltage. If your unit has such a system,
does the meter have a calibration mark? Is it possible to adjust line voltage so the meter indicates excessive
voltage, as well as low line voltage?
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
25

7. kV selection and method of generation depends greatly on the type, model and age of X-ray control being
investigated. From your general inspection, which method of kV generation is applicable to this control?
Single phase, self rectified.
Single phase, full wave rectified.
Three phase, six or twelve pulse.
High frequency inverter system.
Capacitor discharge.

8. Discuss possible methods to identify the other versions of kV generation.

9. What is the maximum and minimum possible kV to select with this X-ray control? (Make this test after select-
ing low mA and a short exposure time.)

10. Is it possible to obtain a simultaneous selection of maximum kV, mA, and time? In this case an overload or
exposure inhibit signal should be indicated. What form does this take?

11. On some controls, selection of a high mA station and low kV may generate an overload or inhibit signal, even
for very short exposure times. This inhibit signal disappears on increasing kV, or reducing mA. Does this apply
to this X-ray control?

Discuss the reason for such a protection, and to which part of the X-ray tube this is applicable.

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
Tutor
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
26

TASK 3

X-ray control familiarization


Part 2

You have identified the functions of the various controls on the X-ray generator control desk. In addition, you have
made a test to ensure the overload protection system is working, and correct line voltage can be obtained. It is
now time to make test exposures, and carefully observe the system in operation.

1. Ensure the X-ray tube collimator is closed, and the tube is angled away from the control desk.

2. Select 100 mA, 60 kV and 0.1 s time. (Or 10 mAs if individual selection is not available). Ensure there are no
warning lights or signals displayed. Select non-Bucky operation.

3. Press the preparation switch. Note; if a single button controls both preparation and exposure, at this point, only
press it half way.

4. Carefully observe the control panel. Did any meters change their reading, or indicator lamps immediately signal
a different operation mode?

5. Shortly after pressing the preparation switch, the control should indicate Ready for exposure How is this
indicated? Approximately how long is the delay time before ready is indicated?

6. Release the preparation switch, and again press to go into preparation. This time listen carefully for sounds of
a relay or contactor. It is possible several may operate. Hint. If the X-ray control has a door that may be opened,
this will allow better observation. Take care not to touch or open any of the internal sections.

7. Once again carry out preparation. This time listen carefully at the X-ray tube. It should be possible to hear the
anode speed up, and when preparation is released, to slowly slow down.

You may need an assistant to carry out preparation for you, as you will need to be close to the X-ray tube.

Is the acceleration of the anode during preparation clearly audible?

Does the anode gradually slow down when preparation is released?


PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
27

8. If the X-ray tube is operated at high-speed, you should hear a fast drop in anode speed when preparation is
released. This is the brake cycle. There are two types of brake cycle. The DC brake cycle quickly slows the anode
to a complete stop. A dynamic brake cycle will quickly reduce the anode speed to about 3000 RPM, after which
the anode gradually slows down to a full stop.

Assuming high-speed operation.


On release of preparation, does the anode come quickly to a full stop?

Or, does the anode quickly brake to a slow speed, then very slowly coast to a full stop?

9. Once again, go into preparation mode. This time, when ready appears, press the exposure button. Keep press-
ing this button after the exposure ends. At the same time carefully observe the control panel.

Does a radiation On indicator light up on the control panel?

Does an audible signal occur during the exposure?

Is there an indication of the mA or mAs generated during the exposure?

If the control has an mAs meter, does the reading of the mAs meter remain until the exposure, or preparation,
switch is released?

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
Tutor
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
28

TASK 4

Test for X-ray tube overload


calibration
Part 1

During the routine maintenance check, you decide to ensure the X-ray tube operating parameters are within safe
limits. You also want to check if this X-ray tube allows optimum use of the generator output power.
Please note; this test assumes the generator has independent selections of mA and time. Some controls may
allow an mAs mode as well as individual selection of mA and time. In that case switch off the mAs mode.
If the control only provides mAs selection, this test is still valid, providing the control indicates which mA
position is actually in use.

1. Locate the make, model and serial number, also the focal spot sizes, of the X-ray tube.
a. Note, in some cases the label with this information may be on the side of the X-ray tube throat. You may
need a mirror and torch to read the label.
b. Enter this information into the routine maintenance logbook, and check sheet.

2. Depending on the mains power-supply frequency, what is the theoretical maximum anode speed for low speed
operation?

a. Input power-supply frequency.

b. Anode speed, low speed operation.

3. Does this generator have a high-speed starter? If so;


a. What is the frequency generated by the high-speed starter? (Two common frequencies are 150 hz and
180 hz)
Hint. Refer to the specifications for the starter, in either the operation or installation manual for the starter,
or the generator. The frequency generated by the starter need not be related to the power frequency.

b. Depending on the starter frequency, what is the possible maximum anode speed?

c. Is high speed anode rotation:


i. Always high-speed?

ii. Automatic selection between high or low speed depending on the X-ray tube load?

iii. High or low-speed is individually selected by the operator?

4. Is the generator single or three-phase operation? (A high frequency generator is considered three-phase.)
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
29

5. From the information obtained in the preceding parts, select the appropriate anode load charts from the X-
ray tube specification or operation manual. Note. To avoid mistakes, tick the appropriate charts, and place a
cross against the unwanted charts.

6. Select a suitable series of exposure times. Times of 0.01, 0.03, 0.1, 0.3, 1.0, and 3.0 seconds are suggested.
Using these times, determine from the charts the maximum kV/mA product that is allowed.
kV max is the maximum kV indicated on the charts for an individual mA/time selection.
kV test refers to the maximum kV the control would allow for an exposure, at the same selections of
mA/time. This should be less than kV max.

a. Broad focus
i. Time _______ mA _______ kV-max _______ kV-test _______
ii. Time _______ mA _______ kV-max _______ kV-test _______
iii. Time _______ mA _______ kV-max _______ kV-test _______
iv. Time _______ mA _______ kV-max _______ kV-test _______
v. Time _______ mA _______ kV-max _______ kV-test _______
vi. Time _______ mA _______ kV-max _______ kV-test _______

b. Fine focus.
i. Time _______ mA _______ kV-max _______ kV-test _______
ii. Time _______ mA _______ kV-max _______ kV-test _______
iii. Time _______ mA _______ kV-max _______ kV-test _______
iv. Time _______ mA _______ kV-max _______ kV-test _______
v. Time _______ mA _______ kV-max _______ kV-test _______
vi. Time _______ mA _______ kV-max _______ kV-test _______

7. Using the values for time, mA, and kV max, set the control to the predetermined mA and time. Advance the
kV setting until the control indicates an inhibit signal. Enter that value for kV-test.
a. If the control has optional high and low speed operation, the above test should first be made with high-
speed selected. After which make a second test for low speed, using data from the appropriate load charts.
b. Some later model controls may have a selection for Load full or Maximum load. Ensure this selection is
made for the above test.

8. Compare kV-max and kV-test. kV-test should be less than kV-max. Are there any points where kV-test is just
under or slightly over kV-max?

Express an opinion if this could be a reason for concern. For example, are normal exposures close to these
limits?
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
30

9. Compare the generators rated maximum output, at 0.1 second, with that of the X-ray tube. (Also at 0.1
second). Does the present tube make optimum use of the generator power?

10. Based on (9), if the X-ray tube was replaced, would you prefer any change in the X-ray tube specifications?
Discuss the reasons why.

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
Tutor
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
31

TASK 5

Test for X-ray tube overload


calibration
Part 2
You have verified the anode load parameters are operating within the X-ray tube specifications. There remain two
areas to test.

1. Maximum kV protection.
a. Select the large focal spot, combined with the lowest mA station and a short time.
b. From the X-ray tube specifications, what is the maximum kV that may be used?
c. Increase the kV selection at the generator. Is an exposure inhibit generated before the maximum kV is
reached?

2. Minimum kV protection.
a. From the X-ray tube rating charts, examine the fine and broad focus characteristics, and look for a possi-
ble mA limitation related to kV. As an example, a 60 kV curve may be shown part dotted, or have a cut off
line. This indicates the maximum mA available for that kV value.
b. Take care to use the charts related to either single or three-phase operation, depending on the generator
mode of operation.

i. From the chart data, are any generator mA stations affected by this restriction?

ii. What is the minimum kV for these mA stations?

c. Select the affected mA station and set a short time. Try reducing kV below the indicated minimum level for
that station. Is an exposure inhibit generated before that level is reached?

d. If it is possible to adjust kV below the minimum kV requirement, describe how accidental operation could
be reduced, or what action should be taken.

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
Tutor
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
32

MODULE 1.2

X-ray generator, mobile unit

Aim Contents
The aim is to provide routine maintenance procedures a. General precautions
for a mobile X-ray generator. Within the mobile gener- b. Visual inspection of the control panel, power off
ator capabilities, a similar check is made as used for c. Mechanical and electrical inspection, power off
a fixed installation. Maintenance includes mechanical d. Operation inspection of the control panel, power on
operation of the mobile, together with the X-ray tube e. Mechanical and electrical inspection, power on
and collimator. Instructions for repairs to the mobile f. X-ray tube and collimator
are provided in module 6.1 page 90. g. Milliampere calibration
Capacitor discharge mobile procedures are pro- h. Radiation reproducibility
vided in module 1.3 page 37. i. Radiation linearity
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the
title page.)
Equipment required
Basic tool kit.
Objectives X-ray alignment template. *
On completion of this module, the student will be Stepwedge. *
familiar with maintenance procedures for a mobile X- 24/30 cm Cassette.
ray generator. These procedures can be used as a Two pieces of lead rubber.
version of quality control, together with the routine Aerosol spray lubricant.
maintenance check-sheets provided in the appendix. Cleaning solvent.
Cloth.

* The template and stepwedge is described in appen-


dix B page 169.

a. General precautions b. Visual inspection of the control panel,


power off
Before removing any covers, or testing any wires or
connections, ensure the system is switched off, and Check all knobs and switches. Where knobs have
unplugged from the power point. a pointer attached, check that the pointer aligns
Mobile high-frequency generators may be battery correctly at all positions of the indicated scale.
operated. The batteries in these are connected in Tip. Check the pointer at full clockwise and counter
series, and may have a total voltage of up to 240 V clockwise positions of the knob. Look for possible
DC. Refer to the operating or installation manuals loose knobs, or for push button switches that may
for the position of the battery isolation switch, and tend to stick.
ensure this is switched off before removing any Where controls have had extra labels attached, are
covers. these labels still relevant? If so, are they in good
If the power plug has loose connections, have an condition?
electrician check the plug. The plug may be assem- Older X-ray mobiles often have analogue meters
bled incorrectly. instead of digital displays.
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
33

i. With power switched off, the meter needle tigate means of providing additional support. If nec-
should be on the zero calibration mark. essary, discuss with the service department.
ii. If not, first tap gently in case the meter tends Examine carefully all plugs and sockets attached to
to stick. If the needle is not sitting on the zero cable ends.The outer insulation of cables should not
mark, most meters have a small adjustment be pulled out from the cable clamp.
screw in the middle for zero calibration. Check the condition of the power cable. If neces-
iii. Caution. Contact the service department before sary, remove the plug cover, and ensure terminations
adjusting. In some cases, the meter may be are tight, and no connections are stretched or have
deliberately adjusted off zero, as an incorrect broken strands. Should the cable exhibit excessive
method of calibration. twisting, or have cracks in the outer sheath, ask an
With the aid of a suitable solvent, clean off the electrician for to replace the cable or plug.
residue left behind from sticking plaster, and pieces Older mobiles with battery operated power assis-
of sticky tape. tance should have the battery electrolyte level
checked.
i. Ensure first that the power cable is unplugged
c. Mechanical and electrical inspection,
from the power point.
power off
ii. To gain access to the battery, refer to the oper-
Look for any loose panels or sections. Pay particu- ation or service manual.
lar attention to the mounting of the collimator.With iii. Top up with either distilled water or else fresh
a screwdriver, check for possible loose screws, par- rainwater.
ticularly with the tube support arm and the verti- iv. Later systems use sealed or low maintenance
cal bearing tracks. batteries. This includes high-frequency mobile
With the X-ray tube set to minimum height, check generators.
the vertical suspension wire rope for possible broken
strands. CAUTION, do not test with bare fingers, and
instead test by rubbing the cables up and down
d. Operation inspection of the control panel,
using a piece of cloth.
power on
Check the action of the tube-stand bearings. Are Check all indicator lamps etc. If necessary, operate
there any visible gaps between the bearings and different selection techniques to ensure all required
the track surface? Also are there any clunking status indicators operate correctly.
noises or jerking when moved, which can indicate Where a digital readout of radiograph settings
damaged bearings. is provided, select a number of different values
Spray the tube stand tracks and bearings with a to ensure there are no display errors or missing
light aerosol lubricant.Wipe down afterward, so only segments.
a very small film is left on the tube stand tracks. Older controls may have manual adjustment of
Check for possible loose lock handles, and ensure power line voltage, with a meter indicating correct
manually operated locks have an adequate range of compensation. Check the range of adjustment. It
adjustment. should be possible to reset the voltage by 10%,
Ensure the mobile brakes operate in a positive above or below, the required voltage.
fashion when the hand is released from the handle, With battery-operated equipment, check the status
and that they are fully released while the mobile is of the battery charge indicator. If low, place the unit
travelling. on charge, and check that after a reasonable time
Pay particular attention to the cabling from the X- the system indicates fully charged. This time should
ray tube and tube stand. All movements of the not be greater than an overnight period.
system should not cause any stress or pulling of the
cables.
e. Mechanical and electrical inspection,
Inspect the HT cables for any sign of damage to the
power on
safety earth shield at the X-ray tube cable ends.
Ensure the cable ends are firmly inserted into the Test operation of the electromagnetic locks. There
X-ray tube, and the securing ring nut is not loose. should be no hesitation in operation, nor should the
Where there is evidence of twisting or pulling on the lock stick on. In some cases the surface of the lock
HT cables, particularly at the X-ray tube end, inves- may require cleaning, to obtain a better grip
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
34

With power assisted mobiles, check for correct v. Develop the film.
operation in all forward and reverse modes. Where vi. Measure the distance where the X-ray does not
there is an anti-crash bumper, manually operate the coincide with the markers. Any error should be
bumper. This should stop motor drive. (Do NOT test inside the compliance requirements for the
by standing in front while the unit is moving country. See module 7.2 page 110.
forward) vii. Repeat this test, with the collimator rotated 90
degrees clockwise, and 90 degrees counter
clockwise.
f. X-ray tube and collimator
viii. If there is an alignment problem, see module
Inspect the X-ray tube housing for possible oil leaks. 7.2 page 110.
When in preparation, listen for excessive X-ray tube
bearing noise.
g. mA calibration
Check the operation of the collimator lamp timer.
With mechanical timers, listen for possible sticking Some microprocessor-controlled mobiles allow mA
of the clockwork. to be checked and also calibrated via the front panel.
Check the alignment of the collimator lamp and These systems require either an internal switch to be
X-ray beam. This should be checked through 180 operated, or else a code entry at the panel.To test or
degrees rotation of the collimator. adjust calibration, the procedure in the manufac-
The collimator has a scale associated with the turers service manual must be referred to.
adjustment knob to indicate the field size.The knob This test only applies to older mobiles that allow
can slip on the shaft, or not be correctly positioned individual selection of mA and time. A panel
after replacing a collimator globe. mounted mA meter is also required.
i. Place a 24/30 cm cassette on the tabletop. i. Use 70~80 kV and an exposure time of around
Adjust the FFD to 100 cm 1.0 second. (The actual exposure time used
ii. With the collimator light switched on, check the should allow the mA meter to just reach a
knob pointer indicates the correct position on steady reading)
the scale. ii. Select the mA station to be tested, and obtain
iii. If necessary, reposition the knob on the shaft. preparation.Wait about 1.0 second after ready
iv. Repeat this test for other cassettes in use. is obtained, then expose. Record the reading
v. If the scale is worn or not legible, use a marker obtained from the mA meter.
pen to indicate positions for common cassettes iii. Milliampere should be within 10% of the
in use. Order a new scale from the service required value.
department. Repeat the above for all mA stations, and both focal
vi. While waiting for a new scale, ensure you have spots. Caution, as the X-ray tube for the mobile will
a spare collimator globe in stock. have a small heat capacity, allow cooling time be-
To test the rotation accuracy of the light beam; tween exposures.
i. Rotate the collimator 90 degrees in either Filament pre-heat test.
direction. i. Select the highest mA station, and 60 kV. Go
ii. With the light on, open the collimator so an into preparation, and immediately ready is ob-
average size field is projected on the tabletop. tained, make an exposure.
For example, a 24/30 cm cassette size. ii. Make another exposure. This time wait about
iii. Place markers to indicate the light beam one second after ready is obtained, before
position. exposing.
iv. Now rotate the collimator 180 degrees in the iii. If the difference between the two tests is more
opposite direction. The light field should be than 5%, contact the service department for
within 1% or better, compared to the previous advice. The generator should have the filament
position. If not, see module 7.2 page 110. pre-heating adjusted, or else a small increase in
To test the alignment of the X-ray to the light beam; preparation time.
i. Place the X-ray alignment template on a
24/30 cm cassette.
h. Radiation reproducibility
ii. Adjust the FFD to 100 cm.
iii. Adjust the light beam to the template markers. This test should be carried out after the film proces-
iv. Make a low kV and mAs exposure. sor has received its routine maintenance.
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
35

Position the stepwedge on a 24/30 cm cassette. rubber prevents unwanted radiation entering the
Several exposures can be made on the one piece of cassette.
film. Place two pieces of lead rubber on top of the For this test, select an mAs value that can be
cassette, positioned against either side of the step- repeated over a number of mA stations by chang-
wedge. As the stepwedge is repositioned, the lead ing time factor only.
rubber prevents unwanted radiation entering the Set 80 kV, and a FFD of 100 cm.
cassette. Using the selected value of kV and FFD make
Adjust the FFD to 100 cm a series of exposures, changing the mA station,
Select a suitable mAs and kV combination, and and adjusting time setting to obtain the same
make a total of four exposures. mAs.
i. Allow about 0.5~1.0 second delay after prepa- i. Allow about 0.5~1.0 second delay after prepa-
ration is completed, before making each expo- ration is completed, before exposing. This is
sure. This is to ensure the filament has reached to ensure the filament has reached a stable
a stable temperature. temperature.
ii. After each exposure, reposition the stepwedge ii. If the film is too light, select a different mAs
and lead rubber on the cassette value, or kV, and repeat the test.
iii. Develop the film. As the exposure settings are iii. If the film is too dark, add extra aluminium
the same for all exposures, the film should show under the step wedge. Or, place a sheet of paper
very little variation. between one side of the film, and the intensify-
iv. If necessary, change kV or mAs so the film dis- ing screen in the cassette.
plays a good range of densities, then repeat this It may not be possible to obtain the same mAs value
test. for all mA stations. In this case, select a different
To test filament-heating stability, make another mAs value, but include one of the mA stations
series of four exposures, using the same settings previously tested. Repeat the test with the new
as before. This time expose immediately ready is selection of mA values.
obtained. This is illustrated in table 1b, where 10 ma is used
Develop the film and compare to the first series of for both the 20 mAs and 30 mAs comparisons.
exposures. If any significant difference is obtained,
either filament pre-heating or preparation time may Table 1b. Selection of mAs values for test
need adjustment. Contact the service department
for advice. mA Time mAs mA Time MAs

50 0.4 20 10 3.0 30
i. X-ray output linearity test, using 40 0.5 20 15 2.0 30
a step-wedge
20 1.0 20 30 1.0 30
Note. This test is only applicable to mobiles with
independent selection of mA and time settings. 10 2.0 20

This is an important check on overall performance. By


using a stepwedge, a comparison test may be made, If one of the mA stations shows a significant change
not only between the mA stations of the unit under in density, make another test with that mA station
maintenance, but also with other units in the only, but this time change kV.
department. i. Providing the required kV change is not more
Note. This test will indicate variations in kV output, as than 2~3%, the station is within tolerance.
well as mAs. ii. If no more than 3~5% it is still within tolerance.
This test should be carried out after the film proces- However, make a note in the maintenance
sor has received its routine maintenance. record, and have the calibration checked next
Position the stepwedge on a 24/30 cm cassette. time the service department pays a visit.
Several exposures can be made on the one piece of iii. If greater than 5%, then that station is out of
film. Place two pieces of lead rubber on top of the tolerance. This may be due to mA or kV calibra-
cassette, positioned against either side of the step- tion. If significant, then place that mA station
wedge. As the stepwedge is repositioned, the lead out of operation. Contact the service depart-
ment for advice.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
36

iv. Besides a possible change of mA or kV calibra- Record all calibration settings used with the step-
tion, the timer may not be accurate. A single- wedge in the logbook. Include the kV, mAs, FFD, and
phase generator can have an error of plus or the cassette used. This will allow a quick set-up when
minus 0.01 seconds.This is a large error at short this test is repeated. Save the films for future com-
time settings. A Spinning Top can check single- parison tests.
phase generator exposure times. See appendix
B page 169.
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
37

MODULE 1.3

X-ray generator, capacitor


discharge mobile

Aim Contents
The aim is to provide routine maintenance procedures a. General precautions
for a capacitor discharge (CD) mobile generator. b. Visual inspection of the control panel, power off
Within the CD mobile capabilities, a similar check is c. Mechanical and electrical inspection, power off
made as for a conventional mobile. There are however, d. Operational inspection of the control panel, power
some important differences. These relate to the non- on
linear output due to the kV/mAs relationship, plus other e. Mechanical and electrical inspection, power on
modes of operation. Maintenance includes mechanical f. X-ray tube and collimator
operation of the CD mobile, together with the X-ray g. mAs calibration
tube and collimator. Instructions for repairs to the CD h. Radiation reproducibility
mobile are provided in module 6.2 page 94.
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the
Equipment required
title page.)
Basic tool kit.
X-ray alignment template.*
Objectives Stepwedge.*
On completion of this module, the student will be 24/30 cm Cassette.
familiar with maintenance procedures for a portable Two pieces of lead rubber.
X-ray generator. These procedures can be used as a Aerosol spray lubricant.
version of quality control, together with the routine Cleaning solvent.
maintenance check-sheets provided in the appendix. Cloth.

* The template and stepwedge is described in appen-


dix B page 169.

a. General precautions b.Visual inspection of the control panel,


power off
Before removing any covers, or testing any wires or
connections, ensure the system is switched off, and Check all knobs and switches. Where knobs have a
unplugged from the power point. pointer attached, check that the pointer aligns cor-
If the power plug has loose connections, have an rectly at all positions of the indicated scale.
electrician check the plug. The plug may be assem- Tip. Check the pointer at full clockwise and counter
bled incorrectly. clockwise positions of the knob. Look for possible
Do NOT make any adjustments to the HT cables loose knobs, or for push button switches that may
without first discharging the capacitor. See module tend to stick.
6.2 page 94. Where some mobiles have had extra labels
attached, are these labels still relevant? If so, are
they in good condition?
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
38

Older CD mobiles have an analogue kV meter ends. Ensure the cable ends are firmly inserted into
instead of a digital display. With power off, the the X-ray tube, and the securing ring nut is not
meter needle should be on the zero calibration loose.
mark, providing the capacitor is fully discharged. Note. Never remove the HT cable ends unless the
If not, first tap gently in case the meter tends to capacitor is fully discharged, and the capacitor
stick. Do not attempt to adjust the meter zero posi- safety switches are operated. See module 6.2 page
tion without reference to the service manual, and 94.
operation of the internal capacitor discharge device. Where there is evidence of twisting or pulling of the
Other CD mobiles may have a line voltage meter. HT cables, particularly at the X-ray tube end, inves-
This meter should read zero on power off. If neces- tigate means of providing additional support. If nec-
sary, the meter zero position may be adjusted by the essary, contact the service department for advice.
centre screw. Tap the meter gently first, to ensure Examine carefully all plugs and sockets attached to
the meter is not sticking. cable ends.The cable outer insulation should not be
With the aid of a suitable solvent, clean off the pulled out from the cable clamp.
residue left behind from sticking plaster, and pieces Check the condition of the power cable. If neces-
of sticky tape. sary, remove the plug cover, and ensure terminations
are tight, and no connections are stretched or have
broken strands. Should the cable exhibit excessive
c. Mechanical and electrical inspection,
twisting, or have cracks in the insulation, replace-
power off
ment is required. An electrician should carry out any
Inspect for any loose panels or sections. Pay par- repairs to the power cable or plug.
ticular attention to the mounting of the collimator. With motorized mobiles check the battery elec-
With a screwdriver, check for possible loose screws, trolyte level.
particularly with the tube support arm and the i. Ensure the power cable is unplugged from the
vertical bearing tracks. power point.
With the X-ray tube set to minimum height, check ii. To gain access to the battery, refer to the opera-
the vertical suspension wire rope for possible broken tion or service manual.
strands. CAUTION, do not test with bare fingers. iii. Top up with distilled water or else fresh
Test instead by rubbing the cables up and down with rainwater.
a piece of cloth. iv. If the mobile is fitted with a low maintenance
Check the action of the tube-stand bearings. Are battery, contact the service department for
there any visible gaps between the bearings and the advice.
track surface?
Are there any clunking noises or jerking move-
d. Operational inspection of the control panel,
ments, when the X-ray tube is positioned? This can
power on
indicate damaged bearings.
Spray the tube stand tracks and bearings with a Check all indicator lamps operate.
light aerosol lubricant.Wipe down afterward, so only For CD mobiles equipped with an analogue or
a thin oil film is left on the tube stand tracks. digital kV meter, test the kV adjustment for correct
Check for possible loose lock handles, and ensure operation.
manually operated locks have an adequate range of i. Set the required kV to 60 kV and press the
adjustment. charge button.
Ensure the mobile brakes operate in a positive ii. The charge light should illuminate. Once the
fashion when the hand is released from the handle, required kV is reached, then the ready lamp
and that they are fully released while the mobile is should light up.
travelling. iii. Check that the kV displayed on the meter
Pay particular attention to the cabling from the X- closely agrees with that indicated at the kV
ray tube and tube stand. All movements of the control knob.
system should not cause any stress or stretching of iv. Observe the kV meter for a few minutes. The
the cables. kV should slowly drop back by about 2~3 kV,
Inspect the HT cables for any sign of damage to then return briefly to the charge mode. (This is
the safety earth shield at the X-ray tube cable called topping up)
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
39

v. Increase the set kV to 90 kV. The charge light ii. With the collimator light switched on, check the
should illuminate, until the kV meter reaches knob pointer indicates the correct position on
90 kV. the scale.
vi. Now reset the required kV back to 60 kV. The iii. If necessary, reposition the knob on the shaft.
X-ray ON light should illuminate. At the same iv. Repeat this test for other cassettes in use.
time the indicated kV should quickly drop down v. If the scale is worn or not legible, use a marker
to the required value. pen to indicate positions for common cassettes
vii. Note. A low mA X-ray exposure is produced in use. Order a new scale from the service
when the kV is reset. Radiation is blocked in department.
this mode by a lead shutter in the collimator. vi. While waiting for a new scale, ensure you have
viii. In case the kV resets very slowly, similar to dis- a spare collimator globe in stock
charge prior to topping-up, this can indicate a Check the alignment of the collimator lamp and
problem. See module 6.2 page 94. X-ray beam. This should be checked through 180
Some CD mobiles have an adjustment for power line degrees rotation of the collimator.
voltage. A meter indicates when the voltage is To test the rotation accuracy of the light beam;
correct. Check the range of adjustment, to ensure i. Rotate the collimator 90 degrees in either
compensation may be set approximately 10% above direction.
or below the required voltage. ii. With the light on, open the collimator so an
Note. The power line voltage adjustment can average size field is projected on the tabletop.
directly affect the kV charge on the capacitor. For example, a 24/30 cm cassette size.
With motorized mobiles, check the status of the iii. Place markers to indicate the light beam
battery charge indicator. If low, place the unit on position.
charge. Charging time should not be greater than iv. Now rotate the collimator 180 degrees in the
an overnight period. opposite direction. The light field should be
within 1% or better, compared to the previous
position. If not, refer to the collimator service
e. Mechanical and electrical inspection,
notes.
power on
To test the alignment of the X-ray to the light beam;
Test operation of the electromagnetic locks. There i. Place the X-ray alignment template on a
should be no hesitation in operation, nor should the 24/30 cm cassette.
lock stick on. In some cases the surface of the lock ii. Adjust the FFD to 100 cm.
may require cleaning to obtain a better grip iii. Collimate the light beam to the outer 20 by
With motorized mobiles, check for correct opera- 26 cm rectangle.
tion in all forward and reverse modes. Where there iv. Make a low kV and mAs exposure.
is an anti crash bumper, manually operate the v. Develop the film.
bumper. This should stop motor drive. (Do NOT test vi. Measure the distance where the X-ray does not
by standing in front while the unit is moving coincide with the markers. Any error should
forward) be inside the compliance requirements for the
country. See module 7.2 page 110.
vii. Repeat this test, with the collimator rotated
f. X-ray tube and collimator
90 degrees clockwise, and 90 Degrees counter
Inspect the X-ray tube housing for possible oil leaks. clockwise.
During preparation, listen for excessive X-ray tube viii. If there is an alignment problem, see module
bearing noise. 7.2 page 110.
Check the operation of the collimator lamp timer. Check operation of the dark current shutter. This
With mechanical systems, listen for possible stick- is an additional lead shutter fitted close to the focal
ing of the clockwork. spot. Its purpose is to block all radiation except
The collimator normally has a scale associated with when making a radiographic exposure. (In some
the adjustment knob to indicate the field size. The mobiles, the shutter is retracted immediately prior
knob can slip on the shaft, or not be correctly posi- to the exposure, in other mobiles the shutter is
tioned after replacing a collimator globe. retracted during preparation.)
i. Place a 24/30 cm cassette on the tabletop. i. Place the X-ray alignment template on a
Adjust the FFD to 100 cm 24/30 cm cassette.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
40

ii. Adjust the FFD to 100 cm h. Radiation reproducibility


iii. Adjust the light beam to the central markers.
This test should be carried out after the film proces-
iv. Set 90 kV on the control panel, and press the
sor has received its general maintenance. The test
charge button.
films can be used for comparison with future tests.
v. When the mobile indicates ready, or charging
Adjust the FFD to 100 cm.
completed, do not expose or enter preparation.
Place the stepwedge on a 24/30 cm cassette.
Instead, reset the kV down to 60 kV.
Several exposures can be made on the one piece of
vi. A low mA X-ray exposure is produced when the
film. Place two pieces of lead rubber on top of the
kV is reset. Radiation is blocked in this mode by
cassette, positioned against either side of the step-
the dark-current shutter in the collimator.
wedge. As the stepwedge is repositioned, the lead
vii. Wait till the control again indicates ready, and
rubber prevents unwanted radiation entering the
then process the film. The film should be clear,
cassette.
and not indicate any patterns from the align-
Select a suitable mAs and kV combination, and
ment test phantom.
make a total of four exposures.
i. After each exposure, reposition the stepwedge
g. mAs calibration and lead rubber on the cassette.
ii. Develop the film. As the exposure settings are
Note. This only applies to mobiles fitted with an mAs
the same for all exposures, the film should show
control, and a kV meter.
very little variation.
A CD mobile has a direct relationship of mAs and
iii. If necessary, change kV or mAs so the film dis-
kV. During an exposure, the kV will drop by one kV
plays a good range of densities, then repeat this
per mAs. (This is for a one microfarad mobile)
test.
Ensure the collimator is fully closed.
Note. If a step wedge is not available, a water
Select 90 kV and 20 mAs
phantom may be used. In which case a series of four
Once charging is completed, make an exposure,
films are required.
observing the kV meter.There should be a drop from
Record all calibration settings used with the step-
90 kV to 70 kV.
wedge in the logbook. Include the kV, mAs, FFD, and
(In some cases a smaller drop of kV may occur. For
the cassette used. This will allow a quick set-up
example, from 90 to 72 kV. This is due to capacitor
when this test is repeated. Save the films for future
manufacturing tolerance.)
comparison tests.
Select several other combinations of kV and mAs
and repeat the above test.
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
41

MODULE 1.4

X-ray generator, portable unit

Aim Contents
The aim is to provide routine maintenance procedures a. General precautions
for a portable X-ray generator.Within the portable gen- b. Visual inspection of the control panel, power off
erator capabilities, a similar check is made as for a c. Mechanical and electrical inspection, power off
mobile generator.The portable generator may be either d. Operation inspection of the control panel, power on
self-rectified, or else full wave rectified. The stationary e. X-ray tube and collimator
anode X-ray tube and HT transformer are contained in f. mA calibration
a single housing. Maintenance includes mechanical g. Radiation reproducibility
operation of the portable, together with the X-ray tube
and collimator. Instructions for repairs to the portable
Equipment required
generator are provided in module 6.1 page 90.
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the Basic tool kit.
title page.) X-ray alignment template.*
Stepwedge.*
24/30 cm Cassette.
Objectives Two pieces of lead rubber.
On completion of this module, the student will be Aerosol spray lubricant.
familiar with maintenance procedures for a portable Cleaning solvent.
X-ray generator. These procedures can be used as a Cloth.
version of quality control, together with the routine
maintenance check-sheets provided in the appendix. * The template and stepwedge is described in appen-
dix B page 169.

a. General precautions loose knobs, or for push button switches that may
tend to stick.
Before removing any covers, or testing any wires or
Where extra labels have been attached, are
connections, ensure the system is switched off, and
these labels still relevant? If so, are they in good
unplugged from the power point.
condition?
If the power plug has loose connections, have an
The generator will often have an analogue line-
electrician check the plug. The plug may be assem-
voltage and mA meter. These meters should read
bled incorrectly.
zero on power off. If necessary, the meter zero
position may be adjusted by the centre screw. Tap
b.Visual inspection of the control panel, the meter gently first, to ensure the meter is not
power off sticking.
Caution; check the meter zero position when the
Check all knobs and switches. Where knobs have a
control is mounted, or placed, in its usual position.
pointer attached, check that the pointer aligns cor-
With the aid of a suitable solvent, clean off the
rectly at all positions of the indicated scale.
residue left behind from sticking plaster, and pieces
Tip. Check the pointer at full clockwise and counter
of sticky tape.
clockwise positions of the knob. Look for possible
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
42

c. Mechanical and electrical inspection, ii. Adjust the FFD to 100 cm.
power off iii. Collimate the light beam to the outer 20 by
26 cm rectangle.
Look for any loose panels or sections. Pay particu-
iv. Make a low kV and mAs exposure.
lar attention to the mounting of the collimator.With
v. Develop the film.
a screwdriver, check for possible loose screws, par-
vi. Measure the distance where the X-ray does not
ticularly with the tube support arm and the verti-
coincide with the markers. Any error should be
cal bearing tracks.
inside the compliance requirements for the
Check the operation of the height adjustment
country. See module 7.2 page 110.
system. Does it operate smoothly without binding
vii. Some units may be fitted with a rotating col-
or sticking?
limator. Repeat this test, with the collimator
Check the action of the height adjustment bear-
rotated 90 degrees clockwise, and 90 degrees
ings. Are there any visible gaps between the bear-
counter clockwise.
ings and the track surface?
viii. If there is an alignment problem, see module
Are there any clunking noises or jerking move-
7.2 page 110.
ments, when the X-ray tube is positioned? This can
indicate damaged bearings.
Check for possible loose lock handles, and ensure f. mA calibration
the locks have an adequate range of adjustment. Note. Depending on system design, mA selection
Spray the height adjustment tracks and bearings may be linked to the kV knob. Other units may have
with a light aerosol lubricant.Wipe down afterward, an independent selection of mA.
so only a thin oil film is left on the height adjust- Ensure the collimator is fully closed.
ment tracks. Select 60 kV and the maximum associated mA
Examine carefully all plugs and sockets attached to station. Select an exposure time of 1.0 second.
cable ends.The outer insulation of cables should not Commence preparation, and expose when prepara-
be pulled out from the cable clamp. tion is complete. Observe the mA meter, and record
Check the condition of the power cable. If neces- the indicated value.
sary, remove the plug cover, and ensure terminations Repeat this test for all other mA and kV combina-
are tight, and no connections are stretched or have tions. Record the results.
broken strands. Should the cable exhibit excessive If mA on any position has an error of more than
twisting, or have cracks in the insulation, ask an 10%, recalibration is required. On some systems,
electrician to replace the cable or plug. this may be accessed with a screwdriver through an
access hole. Please refer to the operation or service
d. Operation inspection of the control panel, manual before adjusting.
power on If in doubt, contact the service department for
advice.
Check all indicator lamps operate in each mode of
operation.
Check the range of adjustment of line voltage, to g. Radiation reproducibility
ensure this may be set approximately 10% above or This test should be carried out after the film proces-
below the optimum position. sor has received its general maintenance.
Note. Adjustment of the line voltage can directly Place a stepwedge on a 24/30 cm cassette.
affect the radiographic kV. Several exposures can be made on the one piece of
film. Place two pieces of lead rubber on top of the
e. X-ray tube head and collimator cassette, positioned against either side of the step-
wedge. As the stepwedge is repositioned, the lead
Look for possible oil leaks.
rubber prevents unwanted radiation entering the
Check operation of the collimator lamp timer. (If
cassette.
fitted)
Adjust the FFD to 100 cm.
With clockwork lamp timers, check for possible
Select a suitable mAs and kV combination, and
sticking of the clockwork.
make a total of four exposures.
To test the alignment of the X-ray to the light beam;
i. After each exposure, reposition the stepwedge
i. Place the X-ray alignment template on a
and lead rubber on the cassette.
24/30 cm cassette.
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
43

ii. Develop the film. As the exposure settings are Record all calibration settings used with the step-
the same for all exposures, the film should show wedge in the logbook. Include the kV, mAs, FFD, and
very little variation. the cassette used. This will allow a quick set-up
iii. If necessary, change kV or mAs so the film dis- when this test is repeated. Save the films for future
plays a good range of densities, then repeat this comparison tests.
test.
Note. If a step wedge is not available, a water
phantom may be used. In which case a series of four
films are required.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
44

MODULE 2.0

X-ray tube-stand

a. General precautions
Aim
Electrical safety.
The aim is to provide routine maintenance procedures
i. In most installations the tube-stand power will
for the X-ray tube-stand, or suspension. The instruc-
come from the generator, but in some installa-
tions provided are for the floor ceiling tube stand. Most
tions, switching off the generator does not
of these procedures can also be applied to a ceiling
remove power from the tube stand.
mounted tube suspension. Repair procedures are pro-
ii. Before removing any covers, ensure the genera-
vided in module 7.0 page 99.
tor is switched off, and the room power isolation
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the
switch is also turned off.
title page.)
iii. This also applies if testing wiring connections, or
electrical components.
Objectives If removing an X-ray tube, or collimator.
i. See module 7.1 page 104, and module 7.2 page
On completion of this module, the student will be
110.
familiar with maintenance procedures for the X-ray
ii. Ask an electrician or electronics technician for
tube-stand. These procedures can be used as a version
assistance.
of quality control, together with the routine mainte-
iii. Do not rely on the vertical lock system.
nance check-sheets provided in the appendix.
iv. Attach a rope so that the system cannot move
Task 6, X-ray tube-stand maintenance, should be upwards, once the weight of the collimator or
attempted on completion of this module. X-ray tube is removed.
v. The X-ray tube is heavy. Removal or replacement
Contents requires two people.
vi. Make a diagram of electrical connections.
a. General precautions Attach labels to wires or high-tension cables.
b. Mechanical and electrical inspection This is to ensure correct connection when an
c. Tube-stand lateral centre X-ray tube or collimator is replaced.
d. Tube stand command arm, or panel vii. Place all screws or other small parts in a box,
so they are not lost.
Equipment required Do not place a ladder against a tube stand.The tube
stand may suddenly move.
Basic tool kit. An adjustment to any tube-stand bearing requires
X-ray alignment template. * skill, and good mechanical knowledge. When a
24/30 cm cassette. problem is identified, request a mechanic, or
Aerosol spray lubricant. the service department, to make the required
Cleaning solvent. adjustments.
Cloth, for cleaning.

* The template is described in appendix B page 169. b. Mechanical and electrical inspection
Inspect for any loose panels or sections. Pay par-
ticular attention to the collimator and the control
panel.
E Check the tube-stand suspension, tracks and
bearings.
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
45

i. With the X-ray tube set to minimum height, iii. Check electrical cables where they enter plugs
check the vertical suspension wire rope for and sockets, the outer insulation may be pulled
broken strands. CAUTION, do not test with bare back, exposing individual conductors.
fingers.Test by rubbing the cables up and down
with a piece of rag.
c.Tube-stand lateral centre
ii. With the vertical lock released, the X-ray tube
should balance in the vertical direction. It Lateral centring over the Bucky table should be
should need the same effort to move either up checked in both directions. In some cases this may be
or down. accurate only when approached from one direction.
iii. Check the action of the tube-stand bearings. i. Tape a thin piece of wire, or a paper clip, to the
Are there any visible gaps between the bear- centre of a 24/30 cm cassette. Place the cas-
ings and the track surface? sette in the Bucky.
iv. Are there any clunking noises or jerking ii. Position the X-ray tube to the lateral centre
movements, when the X-ray tube is positioned? position.
This can indicate damaged bearings. iii. Adjust the table top also to the lateral centre
v. Check the vertical guide rails. Look for loose position.
mounting screws. iv. Bring the collimator face to rest on the table-
vi. Spray the tube stand vertical guides and bear- top, and ensure it is flat against the tabletop.
ings with a light aerosol lubricant. Wipe down Then rise to 100 cm S.I.D.
afterward, so only a thin oil film is left on the v. As the collimator moves away from the table-
vertical guide rails. top, check that the light beam remains central
vii. Clean any accumulated dirt on and inside the to the tabletop. If not, adjust the tube angle
floor track. Spray the track and tube-stand a small amount so the light beam remains in
floor-bearings with a light aerosol lubricant. position.
Wipe off any excess. vi. If the tube-stand centre position appears incor-
viii. Look for loose mounting screws along the floor rect, this may need adjustment. Before adjust-
rail. ing, continue with the rest of these checks.
ix. Observe the position of the bearings on the vii. Place the X-ray alignment template on the
ceiling rail.These should be fully engaged along centre of the tabletop.
the full length of the rail. Check the rail is prop- viii. Adjust the light beam to the template markers.
erly fastened in place, and does not move. ix. Select a low kV and mAs, expose and develop
Check for loose mechanical lock handles, and the film.
ensure manually operated locks have an adequate x. The radiation field should be centred to the
range of adjustment. template markers. If not, the collimator
Test operation of the electromagnetic locks. There requires adjustment. This should be corrected
should be no hesitation in operation, nor should the before any adjustment to the tube-stand
lock stick on. In some cases the surface of the lock centre. See module 7.2 page 110.
will require cleaning, to obtain a better grip when xi. The position of the template marker is com-
operated. pared to the wire marker on the cassette. This
HT cables should be supported at the X-ray tube, to checks the tabletop centre accuracy. If not
minimize twisting or pulling at the cable end. correct, see module 8.0 page 121.
Pay attention to the cabling from the X-ray tube and xii. If the tube stand centre is not correct, see
tube stand. Any movements of the system should module 7.0 page 99.
not cause any stress or stretching of the cables. After checking lateral centring to the table Bucky,
Nylon or plastic cable-ties should be used to secure check the centring to the wall Bucky.
loose cables, not sticking plaster. i. Keep the X-ray tube rotation in the trunnion
Examine carefully all places where cables pass into rings at the same setting for the Table Bucky.
different sections of the tube-stand. ii. Bring the collimator close to, or up against the
i. Where the cables pass though holes in a metal wall Bucky. The light field should be centred to
cover, there should be protective inserts to avoid the Bucky-centre mark.
damaging the cable insulation. iii. Move the tube stand away from the Bucky to
ii. Look for possible damage to the outer insula- the distance normally used. The light beam
tion of electrical cables. should remain centred.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
46

iv. In case of a small error, a compromise adjust- Check all indicator lamps and switches for correct
ment of the tube rotation in the trunnion rings operation.
may be made. Otherwise, see module 7.0 page Check alignment of the Bucky centre light. (When
99, and module 8.0 page 121. fitted.)
Ensure all labels are legible.
With a tape measure, check for correct indication
d.Tube stand command arm, or panel
of the focal spot to Bucky distance. (FFD.)
The X-ray tube trunnion-ring rotation-lock should Rotate the tube head and check the angulation
operate firmly, and prevent unwanted rotation. indicator operates smoothly and does not stick.
Hand grips should not be loose. Clean and remove remains of sticking plaster, adhe-
The indicator for tube angle should rotate smoothly, sive tape, etc.
and not hesitate before changing its position.

E
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
47

TASK 6

X-ray tube-stand maintenance

The X-ray tube stand in room 1 is due for its maintenance check.
Carry out this check, using the maintenance checklist provided in appendix D of this workbook as a guide.

What is the tube stand model No? Serial No?

Was it necessary to make any adjustments? (Provide details)

Are there any areas still requiring attention?

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
Tutor
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
48

MODULE 2.1

X-ray tube

a. General precautions
Aim
Before disconnecting any wires, or removing a
The aim is to provide routine maintenance procedures
cover, always ensure power is turned off and
for the X-ray tube. This includes techniques to improve
unplugged from the power point. If the equipment
the high-voltage performance or reliability of the X-ray
is part of a fixed installation, besides switching
tube. Fault diagnostic procedures are provided in
the generator power off, ensure the isolation power
module 7.1 page 104.
switch for the room is also switched off.
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the
During the seasoning technique, make sure the col-
title page.)
limator is closed. Aim the X-ray tube away from the
X-ray control.
Objectives If a problem occurs during seasoning, stop. Depend-
ing on the symptoms, see module 7.1 page 104, or
On completion of this module, the student will be
module 7.3 page 117.
familiar with maintenance procedures for the X-ray
tube. These procedures can be used as a version of
quality control, together with the routine maintenance b. X-ray tube inspection
check-sheets provided in the appendix.
Check rotation of the X-ray tube in the trunnion
rings. The locking device should hold the housing
Contents firmly in place, but allow free rotation on release.
Ensure no attachments, such as a command arm
a. General precautions
control panel, or collimator, have become loose.
b. X-ray tube inspection
Examine electrical cables to the X-ray tube. Ensure
c. X-ray tube seasoning
they are securely clamped into position, and not
subject to being pulled. Where cables pass into the
Equipment required housing, they should be protected from sharp edges.
Basic tool kit. Inspect the HT cables for any sign of damage to the
Cable ties. safety earth shield, at the X-ray tube cable ends.
Ensure the HT cable ends are firmly inserted into the
X-ray tube, and the securing ring nut is not loose.
Note. In some systems there is a locking screw on
the side of the ring nut. Undo this screw first, and
then check the ring nut is fully tightened, then re-
fasten the locking screw. This check is most impor-
tant if the X-ray tube or cables have recently been
replaced.
Where there is evidence of twisting or pulling on the
HT cables, particularly at the X-ray tube receptacle,
investigate means of providing additional support.
If necessary, contact the service department.
Examine the X-ray tube housing for any oil leaks.
At the generator, go into preparation, then release
E preparation without exposing. Listen to the anode
rotation for excessive noise.
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
49

If a high-speed tube, check that the anode brake Note


cycle operates normally. i. Recommended output is 200 mA and 0.1 sec
i. Some systems use direct current (DC brake) to for 20 mAs. For 10 mAs use 100 mA and
bring the anode to rest. 0.1 sec.
ii. Other use alternating current, to bring the speed ii. # Steps 1,2, and 3 are only required if the tube
down to 3000 rpm, after which the anode coasts is just installed, or has not been in use for more
to rest. than one month.
iii. * If, for example, you never use above 125 kV,
then ignore steps 11 and 12.
c. X-ray tube seasoning
iv. ** Although an X-ray tube is rated at 150 kV,
This is also called ageing, and is a process to reduce this is the absolute maximum rating. This can
residual gas in the X-ray tube. Seasoning improves reduce as the tube becomes worn, and espe-
the stability of the tube, when operated at high kV. cially as metal evaporation collects on the glass.
Seasoning should always be performed if a new X- Operation above 140 kV may result in prema-
ray tube is installed, or has not been used for more ture failure.
than one month. The same applies where the tube
has not been used over 80~90 kV for some time,
Table 2b. Seasoning technique for a 125 kVp
and then it is desired to use 110 kV or higher. tube
If using an X-ray tube of 125 kV capacity at 110 kV
or higher, seasoning should be performed each day Step kV mAs Times Pause time
prior to use. If the tube is rated at 150 kV, the same (Seconds)
applies if operating above 125 kV. 1# 60 10 2 40
During seasoning, an X-ray tube may at first appear
unstable.After two to three exposures,the tube should 2# 70 10 2 40
now be stable. If not, see module 7.1 page 104. 3# 80 10 2 40
Many manufacturers specify a seasoning procedure.
4 90 10 2 40
This can be found in the X-ray tube operation
or installation manual. Operation or installation 5 100 10 2 40
manuals for mobile generators may include a sea-
6 110 10 2 50
soning procedure.
Table 2a is suggested for a 150 kVp X-ray tube with 7 115 10 2 50
a fixed installation.
8 120* 10 2 60
Table 2b is typical for a mobile generator, with a
125 kVp tube. 9 125* 10 2 60

Table 2a. Seasoning technique for a 150 kVp


X-ray tube Note
Step kV mAs Times Pause time i. The majority of mobiles provide selection of mAs
(Seconds) only. If mA and time selection is available, then
aim for exposure times less than 0.3 sec.
1# 60 20 2 40 ii. # Steps 1,2, and 3 are only required if the tube
2# 70 20 2 40 is just installed, or has not been in use for more
3# 80 20 2 40 than one month.
iii. * If, for example, you never use above 110 kV,
4 90 20 2 40
then ignore steps 8 and 9.
5 100 20 2 40
6 110 20 2 40
7 115 20 2 40
8 120 20 2 60
9 125 20 2 60
10 130 10 4 60
11 135* 10 4 60
12 140** 10 2 60
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
50

MODULE 2.2

X-ray collimator

a. General precautions
Aim
Whenever changing a collimator lamp, always ensure
The aim is to provide routine maintenance procedures
power is turned off and equipment unplugged from the
for the X-ray collimator. These maintenance sugges-
power point. If the equipment is part of a fixed in-
tions are for a standard collimator used on a standard
stallation, besides switching the generator power off,
tube-stand. Adjustment procedures are provided in
ensure the isolation power switch for the room is also
module 7.2 page 110.
switched off.
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the
title page.)
b. General maintenance
Objectives Check electrical cable to the collimator. Ensure the
cable entry is protected against sharp edges of
On completion of this module, the student will be
the collimator housing. Rotation of the collimator
familiar with maintenance and performance checks
should not stretch or pull the cable.
for the X-ray collimator. These procedures can be used
Check the operation of the collimator blades. These
as a version of quality control, together with the
should stay in position when adjusted, and not slip
routine maintenance check-sheets provided in the
if the X-ray tube is repositioned. If adjustment of
appendix.
the clutch or brake is required, see module 7.2 page
Task 7,X-ray tube and collimator maintenance, should 110. (Do not rely on adhesive tape to hold the knob
be attempted on completion of this module. in position.)
Check the operation of the collimator lamp timer.
With clockwork systems, look for possible sticking
Contents
of the mechanism.
a. General precautions Evaluate the intensity of the light beam from the
b. General maintenance collimator. If too dim, see module 7.2 page 110.
c. Alignment tests Check the type of globe fitted, and make sure you
have a spare globe in stock. Note. Some globes may
Equipment required appear similar but have the filament in a different
position. See module 7.2 page 110.
Basic tool kit. The following precautions should be observed if
X-ray alignment template.* changing the globe.
24/30 cm cassette. i. Ensure power to the generator and/or tube
Cloth, for cleaning. stand is turned off.
Detergent. ii. If a globe has just failed, wait for it to cool
down.
* The template is described in appendix B page 169. iii. When unpacking and inserting a new globe, do
not handle it directly. Instead use a tissue or a
piece of cloth so your fingers do not touch the
globe. This is very important when handling
Quartz-Halogen globes.

E
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
51

c. Alignment tests ii. Collimate the light beam to the outer 20 by


26 cm rectangle.
Check the crosshair alignment of the front trans-
iii. Make a low KV and mAs exposure.
parent cover.
iv. Develop the film.
i. With the collimator blades almost closed, the
v. In many cases the collimator is enabled to
crosshair should be in the centre of the light
rotate. Repeat the above test, with the collima-
field. Check at both horizontal and vertical
tor rotated 90 degrees clockwise, and then 90
settings.
degrees counter clockwise.
ii. If adjustment is required, on most collimators,
vi. If there is an alignment problem, see module 7.2
the cover may be moved after loosening the four
page 110.
retaining screws. (In some cases, the cover may
Does the alignment meet the required compliance?
at first stick in place.)
Two versions are provided as an example only. The
Check the Bucky centre light, if fitted. If out of
actual compliance requirement will depend on
alignment, see module 7.2 page 110.
individual country regulations.
The collimator has a scale combined with the
i. The X-ray field edges should not deviate by more
adjustment knob to indicate the field size.The knob
than 2% of the distance between the plane of
can slip on the shaft, or not be correctly positioned
the light field and the focal spot.
after replacing a collimator globe.
[ a1 ] + [ a2 ] 0.02 S.
i. Place a 24/30 cm film on the tabletop, and
[ b1 ] + [ b2 ] 0.02 S.
position the X-ray tube 100 cm above the
Where S is the distance from the focal spot, a1
tabletop.
and a2 are the two sides on one axis, and b1
ii. With the collimator light switched on, adjust
and b2 are the two sides of the other axis.
the light field to the film size.
For example, at a FFD of 100 cm, if the two ver-
iii. Check that the knob pointer indicates the
tical edges of the light field were displaced by
correct position on the scale.
1.0 cm, this would be at the limit of acceptance.
iv. If necessary, reposition the knob on the shaft.
If only one edge was displaced, then 2.0 cm is
v. Repeat this test for other films in use.
at the limit of acceptance.
vi. If the scale is worn or not legible, contact the
ii. Another version has a different requirement.
service department and obtain a new scale. In
The total misalignment of any edge of the light
the meantime, use a marker pen to indicate
field with the respective edge of the irradiated
positions for common cassettes in use.
field must not exceed 1% of the distance
vii. Attention to the scale is important. The lamp
between the plane of the light field and the
might fail, and the spare globe has already been
focal spot.
used.
For example, at a FFD of 100 cm, the maximum
To test the alignment of the X-ray to the light beam;
displacement of any edge should be less than
i. Place the X-ray alignment template on a
1.0 cm.
24/30 cm cassette.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
52

TASK 7

X-ray tube and


collimator maintenance

The X-ray tube and collimator in room 1 is due for its maintenance check.
Carry out this check, using the maintenance checklists provided in appendix D of this workbook as a guide.
What is the X-ray tube model No? Serial No?
Focal spot sizes are; Broad focus. Fine focus.
Collimator model No? Serial No?

Examine carefully the HT cables as they enter the X-ray tube. Note, you will need to undo the retaining ring nut,
and slide back the cable support clamp.

Is the safety earth shield in good condition?

Examine the collimator globe. How would you describe this globe if requesting a replacement? (Hint, look in the
parts manual)

Carry out tests for X-ray beam and light beam alignment. Is this correct for all rotation positions of the
collimator?

If alignment is outside acceptable limits, explain how to readjust the collimator.

Were any adjustments required? Provide details.

Do any areas still require attention?

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

E Signed Date
Tutor
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
53

MODULE 3.0

Bucky table and vertical Bucky

a. General precautions
Aim
Please take the following precautions.
Aim is to provide routine maintenance procedures for
the Bucky table and vertical Bucky. Adjustment and Before removing a cover, always switch the genera-
repair procedures are provided in module 8.0 page tor power off, and ensure the isolation power switch
121. for the room is also switched off.
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the When removing the cover from a vertical Bucky,
title page.) make sure the Bucky cannot move upwards when
the cover is removed. For example, attach a rope
to hold it in position, or remove the cover with the
Objectives
Bucky set to maximum height.
On completion of this module, the student will be Keep all screws, or other small parts in a container,
familiar with maintenance and performance checks to avoid loss.
for the Bucky table and vertical Bucky. These pro-
cedures can be used as a version of quality control,
together with the routine maintenance check-sheets
b. Bucky table
provided in the appendix. Examine the physical condition of the table. Clean
the remains of adhesive tape etc from the table
body.
Contents
Hint. Car polish, designed to rejuvenate faded and
a. General precautions. oxidised paint, can often improve the appearance of
b. Bucky table. an older table. Silicon furniture polish can assist in
c. Potter Bucky. removing scuffmarks and fingerprints etc.
d. Vertical Potter Bucky. Check for loose screws on the tabletop profile rails.
The rails can become loose due to using a com-
pression device.
Equipment required
Examine the condition of the compression device.
Basic tool kit. Check for correct operation. Remove the band from
Torch. the mechanism, and have it laundered.
Aerosol spray lubricant. Check the operation of switches and indicator
Cloth, for cleaning. lamps.
Detergent. With an elevating Bucky table, use a tape measure
to check the table height at the centre stop
position.
Check the operation of the magnetic locks.
Note. Some movements may have two or more
magnetic locks. Carefully observe these locks and
ensure all locks are actually in operation. If adjust-
ment is required, see module 8.0 page 121.
Check the operation of the tabletop lateral centre-
stop. Where this is mechanical, the spring tension
may need adjustment. In case of operation by the
magnetic locks, the stop position is normally
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
54

controlled by a microswitch. Adjustment of this iii. During the exposure, check for smooth opera-
microswitch can control the width and position of tion of the grid.
the centre-stop operating position. See module 8.0 iv. Watch for any shaking, or vibration of the Bucky,
page 121. as the grid reverses its movement. Or else, just
Move the tabletop in all positions. If there is scrap- as the grid first starts to move.
ing or binding in some positions, check the position v. Should shaking or vibration occur, this can
of the locks. Look also for a faulty bearing. cause reduced sharpness of the radiograph. If
Spray the bearing tracks and bearings with a light this occurs, contact the service department for
aerosol lubricant, then clean the residue away from advice.
the tracks, so only a thin film is left.
d.Vertical Potter Bucky
c. Potter Bucky The vertical Bucky should be checked in the same
Move the Bucky to both ends of the table. Check manner as the table Bucky, but with the following
that the Bucky carriage operates smoothly, and that provision for retrieving lost film markers. These
the Bucky lock operates correctly in all positions markers can fall into the motor section at the
across the table. bottom of the Bucky, and may cause a problem. To
Electrical cables to the Bucky should be firmly inspect, it is necessary to remove the front cover.
attached at the Bucky, and no twisting or puling i. With power off, ensure the vertical lock firmly
occurs on the cable, at any position of the Bucky. holds the Bucky in place. If not, keep the Bucky
Where there is a folding support arm for the con- in position by tying with a rope, or by adding
necting cable, look for possible binding or excessive extra weights.
droop. This can indicate loose mounting screws. ii. Carefully examine the method of attaching the
Spray the Bucky track with a light aerosol lubricant, front cover. In most cases this is a series of
and then wipe the residue from the track. screws around the front cover. Other systems
Remove the Bucky tray. With a torch, examine the may attach by screws on the top and bottom
Bucky interior for lost film markers. sides.
Look for loose screws holding the tray handle. Take iii. If separating profile rails from the front cover,
care not to over-tighten, as this might damage the make a small mark so they can be returned to
thread. the same position, including left and right, on
Test the action of the Bucky tray cassette clamps. re-assembly.
If they do not hold the cassette firmly, see module iv. After removal of the front cover, look carefully
8.0 page 121. for any film markers. A torch will help to locate
Spray the moving sections on the underside of the them.
Bucky tray with a light aerosol lubricant, move the v. Re-assemble the front cover, taking care not to
cassette clamps in and out, and then clean off all over-tighten any screws.
residue. Take care that no residue appears on top Check operation of the vertical lock.
of the tray. Vertical movement. Check and lubricate the verti-
Test the grid oscillation. cal track. Wipe off any excess.
i. At the generator, select the lowest mA station, Check the rotation or tilt lock. (Only on Bucky with
50 kV, and exposure time of 1~2 seconds. this option)
ii. Ensure the collimator is closed, and the tube is
positioned away from the Bucky. Then make an
exposure with the Bucky selected.

E
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
55

MODULE 3.1

Tomography attachment

a. General precautions
Aim
Please take the following precautions.
Aim is to provide routine maintenance procedures for
a tomographic attachment. This may be fitted to a Before removing a cover, always switch the genera-
standard tube stand, or integrated with a Bucky table. tor power off, and ensure the isolation power switch
Adjustment and repair procedures are provided in for the room is also switched off.
module 8.1 page 127. Keep all screws, or other small parts in a container,
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the to avoid loss.
title page.)

b. Mechanical and electrical inspection


Objectives Inspect all sections of the attachment for loose or
On completion of this module, the student will be missing screws.This can be a common problem with
familiar with maintenance and performance checks some coupling arms.
for the tomographic attachment. These procedures Inspect connecting cables. The outer insulation of
can be used as a version of quality control, together electrical cables should not be pulled out from the
with the routine maintenance check-sheets provided plug or socket cable clamps. Plugs or sockets should
in the appendix. be in good condition and fit firmly into position.
Check the rotation lock on the tube stand.With the
rotation lock off, the X-ray tube should rotate
Contents
easily.
a. General precautions. The Bucky lock should disengage, and the Bucky
b. Mechanical and electrical inspection move freely along the guide rails.
c. Operation test. When assembling the unit, pay attention to bear-
d. Performance test. ings or pivot points, which the coupling arm passes
through. The arm should move up and down freely.
When attaching the coupling arm to the tube
Equipment required
stand, ensure the clamp holds the arm firmly.
Basic tool kit. With the coupling arm attached, switch off the tube
Tomography resolution tool.* stand longitudinal-lock. Disengage the tomographic
Or, tomography test tool.* motor, and push the tube stand by hand to each
end of the normal tomographic travel. Check that
* The tomography resolution tool is described in the tube stand and Bucky moves smoothly, and
appendix B page 169. there is no sudden jerking to the movement. (This
* A tomography test tool is described in the WHO test depends on individual system design, and may
Quality assurance workbook. not be possible with some units)
Check the fulcrum height adjustment. This should
operate smoothly, and have a clear indication of
setting height. This may be a scale and pointer, or a
digital readout in later systems.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
56

c. Operation test i. Select a low kV and mA position.


ii. Select a medium angle. Set exposure time to
This test may be performed by using the Reset
suit the speed and angle.
switch to drive the unit to either direction. If this
iii. Adjust the fulcrum height to the centre height
facility is not available, or is only available at a
position of the test piece.
slow speed, then it is necessary to produce a radi-
iv. Perform a tomographic exposure.
ographic exposure. In this case, select minium kV
v. Examine the film.There should be even blurring
and mA, an exposure time sufficient to allow full
of the test objects above and below the test
operation, and ensure the collimator is closed.
piece centre, which should be sharply defined.
Operate the tube stand travel in all speeds and
vi. If the top and bottom paper clips are not
modes of operation. Check for the following
equally blurred, then adjust the fulcrum height
possibilities.
a small amount, and repeat this test.
i. Lack of positive drive during the start of travel.
vii. If the central paper clips are blurred in any
For example, the drive system is slipping.
direction, this can indicate shaking or uneven
ii. Poor stopping position or overshoot at the end
movement of the Bucky, or tube stand. See
of travel, especially when operated at maximum
module 8.1 page 127.
speed and angle.
viii. Repeat this test using the maximum angle and
iii. Shaking or uneven travel through the active area
speed, then again using minimum speed.
of movement. Some initial shaking may occur at
ix. Retain the films as a record. Include on the
the start of travel, but should stop before reach-
films the exposure setting and mode of
ing the exposure position.
operation.
In case the fulcrum height is incorrect, or the image
d. Performance test sharpness is poor, record the test procedures used.
Include the tomograph speed and angle. Contact
This is a test for layer height, and providing the
the service department for advice.
tomography resolution test is used, an evaluation of
image sharpness.

E
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
57

MODULE 4.0

Fluoroscopy table

a. General precautions
Aim
Before removing any cover, always switch the gen-
Aim is to provide routine maintenance procedures for
erator power off, and ensure the isolation power
the fluoroscopy table. These procedures are intended
switch for the room is also switched off.
for an under-table tube fluoroscopy table. The under-
If removing a cover, or dismantling any section,
table Bucky maintenance procedures are described in
place the screws in a container to avoid loss.
module 3.0 page 53.
Fluoroscopy TV maintenance is provided in module
4.1 page 60. Adjustment and repair procedures are b. Mechanical and electrical inspection
provided in module 9.0 page 130.
Make a general inspection of the table body and
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the
serial-changer. Tighten any loose screws, or panels
title page.)
and fittings.
Check the rails holding the tabletop in place.
Objectives Tighten any loose screws.
Examine all suspension system cables and chains
On completion of this module, the student will be
for any sign of wear, or uneven tension in the case
familiar with maintenance and performance checks
of dual systems.
for the fluoroscopy table. These procedures can be
Check electrical cables, particularly at the rear of
used as a version of quality control, together with the
the table. Pay special attention to cables that may
routine maintenance check-sheets provided in the
be twisted or tangled. It may be necessary to
appendix.
remove existing cable ties, reposition the cables, and
then install fresh cable ties. (Use plastic or nylon
Contents cable ties only)
Where electrical cables enter the table, check that
a. General precautions.
the cable clamps properly secure them. The protec-
b. Mechanical and electrical inspection.
tive outer insulation of the cable should not be
c. Operation test, table body.
pulled back, exposing inner conductors.
d. Operation test, serial-changer (Spot filmer).
The serial-changer should be able to move smoothly
e. X-ray beam alignment.
from the park position, and lock firmly into place.
f. Cleaning.
Check the operation of all switches and operation
lights on the serial-changer.
Equipment required Additional control switches are sometimes placed
Basic tool kit. on the side of the table body. Patient trolleys can
Torch. damage these switches.
Spirit level. Older systems with a demountable image intensifier
Cloth, for cleaning. (II).
Detergent. i. The II should balance vertically when removed
from the serial-changer.
ii. The II should be held firmly in position when
clamped to the serial-changer. Look for loose
clamps.
Is the serial-changer lead-rubber radiation shield in
good condition? Can it be easily positioned?
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
58

With the aid of a torch, make a careful examina- serial-changer and tower assembly for balance,
tion for lost film markers inside the serial-changer. while moving it along the table body.
The footrest requires careful attention. If there is
any tendency for the locking mechanism to slip, this
d. Operation test, serial-changer (Spot filmer)
will require urgent correction.
Compression cone movement should operate
smoothly, and lock into position.
c. Operation test, table body i. If the movement is stiff or hesitant, try clean-
Check operation of all locks.The serial-changer ver- ing the slide tracks, then spray with an aerosol
tical lock should operate quickly when operated, lubricant.
and not stick on when released. ii. Operate several times, and wipe off any excess
Check all switches and indicator lamps for correct spray.
operation.This especially includes those on the table Some serial-changers have manually operated close
body, which may be damaged by patient trolleys. to film shutters. These are coupled to the film
Operate the tabletop in all positions. Listen for any format selection. If stiff or hesitant, clean and lubri-
unusual squeaks or bearing rattles. cate the tracks in the same manner as for the com-
On tabletops fitted with a lateral centre stop, the pression cone.
stop position should be checked. Use the proce- Manually operated cassette movement.
dures described in module 2.0 page 44. i. Load a 24/30 cm cassette in the tray.
Rotate the table to the vertical and Trendelenburg ii. Select a low kV and mAs setting at the X-ray
positions. Listen for unusual bearing or motor noise control.
while the table is rotating. Does the table stop iii. At the serial-changer, select the four-spot
quickly after the rotation control is released, or does mode.
it tend to continue or coast for a short while? This iv. Set the collimator control to Automatic.
could indicate a failure of the motor brake system. v. Advance the cassette, and expose all four
Contact the service department for advice. divisions. Watch the cassette as it moves into
The table should stop in the horizontal position, on the 3rd spot division. If the cassette slams
returning from the vertical position. Use a spirit level into position, a pneumatic damper may need
to check the horizontal position. replacement. Contact the service department
With the table tilted at maximum position in either for advice.
direction, check the electrical cables are not pulled vi. Process the film, and check that the four spots
tight, or restrict the movement of the serial- are evenly distributed around the film, are the
changer up and down the table. same size, and without overlap.
Some tables have power assistance for movements, vii. If incorrect, see module 9.0 page 130.
such as longitudinal movement of the serial- viii. Provide a similar test for other split formats.
changer; this should be smooth and free from Motorized cassette movement.
sudden jerks. See module 9.0 page 130. i. Place a 24/30 cm cassette in the cassette
Some tables have safety anti-crash bars or flaps. carriage.
Pushing against these safety devices should prevent ii. Press the load button. The cassette should be
the table from rotating. withdrawn and stop smoothly. A bang at the
With the vertical or compression lock on, operate end of travel can indicate an adjustment
the tabletop longitudinal movement. On some problem, caused by the cassette carriage over-
tables, movement should not operate, and on shooting, and hitting the end stop. Contact the
others, the vertical lock should release on move- service department for advice.
ment of the tabletop. If not, contact the service iii. Press the eject button. The cassette should
department. There may be a safety upgrade move to the eject/load position, and stop
available. smoothly. There should be no bang at the end
Place a standard 24/30 cm cassette in the serial- of travel to indicate travel overshoot. Enough
changer. With the vertical lock off, check for ver- of the cassette should extend to allow easy
tical balance when moved up and down. removal.
Rotate the table into the vertical position. With the iv. Reload the 24/30 cm cassette.
serial-changer longitudinal lock off, check the v. Select a low kV and mAs setting at the X-ray
E
control.
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
59

vi. At the serial-changer, select the four-spot Note. In most cases, beam alignment will shift a
mode. little when the table is moved from horizontal to
vii. Set the collimator control to Automatic. vertical. The amount of misalignment is usually due
viii. Advance the cassette, and expose all four to flexing of the table framework. In some cases
divisions. Watch the cassette as it moves into this may be due to incorrectly adjusted bearings.
the 3rd spot division, for possible failure of Contact the service department for advice.
the movement damper. (Only on some older If beam alignment is incorrect, see module 9.0 page
systems) 130.
ix. Process the film, and check that the four spots
are evenly distributed around the film, are the
f. Cleaning
same size, and without overlap. If incorrect, see
module 9.0 page 130. Due to the types of examinations, barium spills can
x. Repeat the above test for other split formats leave deposits under the tabletop, or on the pro-
and film sizes. tective cover under the tabletop. Inspect with the
tabletop moved to its maximum position in each
direction.
e. X-ray beam alignment Hint. Shine a torch beam between the tabletop and
Install a 24/30 cm cassette, and select the four-spot the protective cover.
mode. Another cause of artefacts is contrast media from
At the X-ray control, select a low level of fluoroscopy an IVP examination.This is sometimes found under-
kV and mA. This should be just sufficient to see the neath the serial-changer, as well as the tabletop.The
position of the X-ray beam shown on the TV monitor. contrast media is not easy to see when it has dried
(Or the fluorescent screen) out.
With fluoroscopy on, manually collimate the beam The contrast residues may be cleaned with a
to the maximum four spot size. mixture of household detergent and warm water.
i. The edge of the beam should be sharply defined Use sufficient to just dampen the cleaning cloth.
by the four-spot cone or by the close to film Fluoroscopy tables are subject to marks from
shutters. patient trolleys etc.
ii. In case one side is less sharp, and shows move- i. These marks and scratches can be reduced with
ment with only a small adjustment of the colli- the aid of car polish.
mator, then beam alignment is incorrect. ii. The type to use is one with a mild abrasive,
Observe the beam alignment with the serial- advertized to Restore faded or chalky paint.
changer at both minimum and maximum height iii. Silicone furniture polish can help remove scuff-
positions above the tabletop. marks, fingerprints etc.
Repeat the above test with the table tilted to
vertical position.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
60

MODULE 4.1

Fluoroscopy TV

a. General precautions
Aim
Before removing any cover, always switch the gen-
Aim is to provide routine maintenance procedures
erator power off, and ensure the isolation power
for the fluoroscopy TV system. These include checks
switch for the room is also switched off.
for image sharpness, and the automatic brightness
Do not remove the cover of the TV monitor. Dan-
control. The basic TV imaging system consists of an
gerous voltages can exist for a considerable time
image intensifier (II),TV camera, and monitor. Systems
after the monitor is switched off.
with greater complexity, such as DSA and electronic
Do not attempt any adjustments to the TV camera,
radiography, are not included. Adjustment and repair
unless under instruction by the service department.
procedures are provided in module 9.1 page 135.
If removing a cover, or dismantling any section,
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the
place the screws in a container to avoid loss.
title page.)

b. Mechanical and electrical inspection,


Objectives
image intensifier (II)
On completion of this module, the student will be
On older systems with a ceiling suspension.
familiar with maintenance and performance checks
i. If the unit is dismounted from the serial-
for the fluoroscopy TV system.These procedures can be
changer, the vertical balance should be neutral.
used as a version of quality control, together with the
ii. When attached to the serial-changer, the clamp
routine maintenance check-sheets provided in the
or latch system should hold the II securely, with
appendix.
minimum movement.
iii. Up and down movement should be free, without
Contents binding or unusual noises.
iv. The ceiling suspension unit should travel freely.
a. General precautions.
(Some systems may hesitate before moving, this
b. Mechanical and electrical inspection, image
is normal.)
intensifier.
Electrical cables to the II and TV camera should be
c. Mechanical and electrical inspection, TV system.
securely attached. The cables should not be pulled,
d. Image sharpness.
or stretched, during table movements.
e. Automatic brightness/kV control.
Push buttons and selection switches should have
their function clearly marked. Note. Some knobs or
Equipment required control settings may be for an option only, and not
Basic tool kit. be installed. This should be noted in the logbook.
Resolution test piece.*
Plastic container for water phantom. c. Mechanical and electrical inspection,
TV system
* A V pattern test piece is described in appendix B
Electrical cables should be securely attached to the
page 169.
monitor trolley. There should be no possibility of
pulling against cable connections. This also applies
in case of wall mounted plugs and sockets.
E Examine the video cable connection, both at the
monitor and TV camera. The cable should be firmly
PART II. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE MODULES
61

attached to the plug, including the outer earth ix. Repeat this test for other field sizes if a multi-
shield. Moving the cable at the plug should not field II is installed.
cause any flicker or change in the TV image. x. As a guide, with a 9 image intensifier, resolu-
Check the video-input 75 ohm termination-switch. tion should not be less than 1.0 line pairs/mm.
In the case of a single video connection only, this (Typical resolutions for current systems are
should be ON. If two or more monitors, then the 1.4 line pairs/mm minimum for a standard
switch on the end monitor should be ON, while the CCD camera, while some higher performance
middle monitor, with two video connections, should systems may achieve resolutions of more than
be switched to the OFF position. (In some cases, a 2.0 line pairs/mm.
termination plug is fitted to the unused video out xi. If image sharpness, or image quality, is not
connection.) good, see module 9.1 page 135.
Ensure the monitor is securely fastened to the
monitor trolley. This especially applies to monitor
e. Automatic brightness/kV control
trolleys with a tilting platform.
Automatic brightness adjusts the TV image as dif-
ferent sections of anatomy are examined.
d. Image sharpness Automatic brightness normally controls the fluoro-
An evaluation of image sharpness or focus is best scopic output, either by kV or mA, or else a combi-
carried out with a Line pair gauge. The industry nation of both kV and mA. Older methods operate
standard is one made from 0.1 mm lead. by direct compensation in the TV camera only.
An alternate test piece for testing focus may be Current systems often use a combination of both
constructed from long sewing needles arranged in methods.
a V pattern. See appendix B page 169. Systems with automatic control of fluoroscopy kV
There are several methods used to evaluate per- or mA.
formance of an imaging system. The basic method i. Place a plastic bucket or container with about
described here is to indicate if resolution has drifted 3.0 cm (1.25) of water on the tabletop.
below an acceptable level. ii. Bring the serial-changer down close to the
i. Tape the gauge onto the centre of the input water phantom.
face of the image intensifier. If access is diffi- iii. With fluoroscopy on, the image on the monitor
cult, then tape the gauge to the under surface should be a normal brightness level.
of the serial-changer. iv. If automatic control is by kV only, or mA only,
ii. To avoid interaction with grid lines, attach the this may not provide complete compensation.
gauge so it is rotated approximately 25~45 If the image has excess brightness, it may be
degrees. (On some CCD TV cameras, this also necessary to reset the manual adjustment.
avoids interaction between pixels.) For example.
iii. Lift the serial-changer to maximum height If automatic control is by kV only, and kV has
above the tabletop. reached its minimum value of 50 kV, but the
iv. If the system has automatic kV control, this mA indicates 3.0 mA, then reduce the fluo-
should be turned off. Set manual fluoroscopy roscopic mA setting.
kV to 50~55 kV. If automatic control is by mA only, and the
v. With fluoroscopy on, adjust kV or mA to manual kV was set to 120 kV, then of course,
obtain a normal brightness and contrast image reduce kV.
on the monitor. v. Increase the height of water in the container
vi. Carefully observe the line-pair patterns. The to about 18.0 cm (7) of water.
limiting definition is the line pair group that is vi. With fluoroscopy on kV or mA should
reasonably visible, while the next group is com- automatically adjust to maintain the correct
pletely blurred out. (This can sometimes be a brightness.
good test of individual eyesight.) vii. Close the collimator.Then with fluoroscopy on,
vii. If using the V pattern test piece, measure the kV or mA should now reach its maximum value.
distance to the apex before blurring occurs. viii. Note. For the above tests, the brightness
viii. Record the line pair resolution, or V pattern should stabilize without oscillating up and
distance obtained, and compare with any down in brightness level. (This means the set-
earlier tests. tling time is not stable.)
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
62

Systems with automatic control of brightness by v. If overbright, and it is necessary to reduce kV


the camera only. still further, the camera brightness control is not
i. Place a plastic bucket or container with about effective.
5.0 cm (2.0) of water on the tabletop. vi. If brightness appears normal, increase kV in
ii. Set Fluoroscopy kV to about 60 kV, and the mA 10 kV steps, till the image becomes over bright,
control to about 1.0 mA. or flaring occurs. A good system should be able
iii. Bring the serial-changer down close to the to compensate up to about 100 kV. (This is
water phantom. based on a target-controlled vidicon TV camera.
iv. With fluoroscopy on, the image on the monitor CCD types may have reduced control.
should be a normal brightness level.

E
PART III
Fault diagnosis
and repair modules
E
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
65

MODULE 5.0

Common procedures for fault


diagnosis and repairs

a. Problem diagnosis, or trouble-shooting


Aim
Method
The aim is to provide information for common proce-
Trouble-shooting is a procedure of observation, then
dures involved in diagnosing or repairing a problem.
making suitable tests to either eliminate, or confirm,
Most of these procedures are applicable to all of the
a suspect section of equipment. As the area under
fault diagnosis and repair modules.
examination is reduced by further tests, it becomes
easier to locate the actual problem.
Objectives Note. With any trouble-shooting technique, it is not
necessary to approach a problem from any specific
On completion of this module the student will be
direction or set of rules. Rather, you should first
able to:
observe, consider a possibility and then devise a test
Adopt a systematic approach to fault diagnosis,as an to check that assumption.
introduction to the modules for individual equipment. Consider which items are quick or easy to check.
Be aware of methods for locating broken wires, and This can save time if first carried out. When a problem
faults in plugs and sockets. occurs, record how the equipment was used just before
Test and replace a fuse with a suitable replacement. the problem occurred. This allows a similar procedure
Task 8, Fuse identification, should be attempted on to be used as a test, in case the symptoms of the
completion of this module. recorded problem are not easily reproduced.
During the process of locating the cause of a
problem, record the tests or checks made, and the
Contents results.This will provide a valuable record if it becomes
a. Problem diagnosis, or trouble-shooting necessary to ask advice from the service department.
i. Method.
ii. Typical problems. Typical problems
iii. Observation of a problem. Operator error.
iv. Equipment manuals. Equipment incorrectly calibrated.
v. Request for assistance. Faulty connecting plugs, sockets, or cables.
b. Safety first A safety interlock is preventing equipment
c. Locating bad connections operation.
i. Typical areas. Electrical or electronic failure.
ii. Locating a broken wire or bad connection. High-tension cable or X-ray tube failure.
iii. A plug or socket may have a fault. Mechanical problems.
iv. Power plug connections. Alignment adjustments.
d. Is a fuse open-circuit?
i. Indications and tests. Observation of a problem
ii. Fuse locations. This is important, especially at the time a problem
iii. Why has a fuse failed? occurs. Possibilities that may be observed are:
iv. Removing and replacing a fuse. Is there an operator error?
v. Common fuse types. A burning smell? Where does it come from?
vi. Circuit breakers. Is there an increase in temperature? For example:
vii. Selecting a replacement fuse. The X-ray tube housing has become very hot to
viii. Special fuses for high frequency generators. touch.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
66

A lock coil, in the area where a burning smell is is made via a phone call, having the information avail-
observed, is very hot to touch. able will save time.
Unusual sound. What sort of sound? Where from? A record should be kept of service department
Absence of sound. For example: address details.This should include the address, e-mail,
No anode rotation noise from the X-ray tube. phone, and fax numbers. Where a service engineer is
Ventilation fans are quiet assisting with advice, include the engineers name and
Wrong mechanical operation. Look for obstructions, contact details.
or loose sections. For example: A sample service request form is provided in appen-
An indicator knob on a control panel has slipped dix C page 177.
into a wrong position.
A film is jammed in the processor.
b. Safety first
Visual observation. For example:
Appearance of the film immediately as it leaves
the processor. Before investigating a possible fuse or wiring
Smoke rising from equipment, or a HT cable end. problem, always ensure power is turned off and
unplugged from the power point. If the equip-
Equipment manuals ment is part of a fixed installation, besides
Should be referred to whenever there is a problem.The switching the generator power off, ensure the
operation manuals often include a section on fault or isolation power switch for the room is also
problem symptoms, as do the installation or service switched off.
manuals.The spare parts illustrations can help find the With battery operated mobiles, ensure the
physical positions of parts, such as locating a fuse in battery isolation switch is in the off position. If
equipment. this cannot be located, contact the service
If during maintenance or other events manuals department for advice before proceeding.
appear to be missing, replacements should be
obtained as soon as possible. Quite often, service engi-
neers attending your equipment will also require these
manuals. If not available, this could lead to delays in
c. Locating bad connections
correcting a problem.
Typical areas
Request for assistance The generator handswitch cable.
When requesting advice from the service department, The connecting cable to the collimator.
the following information may be required. The fluoroscopy footswitch for a fluoroscopy table.
Plugs or sockets used with mobile or portable X-ray
Hospital name, address, fax, and phone number.
equipment.
Who to contact at the hospital when discussing
Power plugs.
the problem. Include the department and phone
Plugs or sockets for tomographic attachments.
number.
Cables, which are pulled or twisted.
Department and room number for equipment
location.
Locating a broken wire or bad connection
Make and model number of equipment.
Remove the cover from the plug or socket, and
A description of the problem. Include any
check if wires have broken away from the contact
symptoms.
pins.
What tests have been made, and the results.
Wires can break inside a cable.This will occur where
Are you asking for advice, or is this a direct request
there is a lot of twisting or stretching. For example,
for a service call?
a handswitch cable.
If a request for a service call, is an order number
Note. Some wires may seem intact, but can be
available?
broken a short distance from a connection point.
Any conclusions that were made regarding the
This is difficult to see, as the wire is covered by the
cause of the problem, or what will be needed to
plastic insulation.
correct the problem.
A simple test is to give a gentle to firm tug to a
If the request is made via e-mail or by fax, then this suspect wire. If a particular wire appears to stretch,
E
information should always be included. If the request compared to other wires, it is probably broken
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
67

inside the insulation. However, this test is not reli- connecting lead, and also move the cable in differ-
able, as a break can occur in another position. ent positions.
A multimeter should be used to give an accurate If there is a broken wire in the handswitch cable,
test of a suspect connection or broken wire. this often occurs close to the handswitch, and
i. Select the low ohms position of the multimeter. sometimes where the cable enters or is attached to
ii. Connect the two probes together. The scale the control desk.
should read less than 1.0 ohm. If using an ana- To look for a broken wire, cut open the cable outer
logue meter, adjust the zero-ohms knob on the insulation to expose the internal wires. Commence
meter, so the meter needle is on the zero where the cable enters the handswitch, and con-
position. tinue about 15 cm down the cable. Test individual
iii. Record the minimum value that was indicated conductors by giving a firm pull. If a broken wire
when the probes were touched together. is found, shorten the cable past the bad section,
iv. Connect the meter probes at the two ends of and reconnect to the handswitch. The entire cable
the wire being tested.The meter should indicate should be replaced as soon as possible, in case of
less than 2.0 ohms above the value previously other partially broken wires.
recorded with the probes connected together. The above procedures should be repeated for all the
v. A broken wire in a cable may have a partial con- switches in a handswitch assembly.
nection, and cause an intermittent fault. Give
the cable under test a tug or twist while watch- A plug or socket may have a fault
ing the meter. If the meter flickers or indicates This can occur due to:
a changing value while the cable is moved, the
A pin or contact has moved out of position.
wire is faulty.
i. This is due to bad assembly during manufacture.
Check for a faulty handswitch, or handswitch cable. However, the plug or socket may have consider-
able use before this fault occurs.
ii. Remove the back of the plug or socket
Caution. assembly.
Ensure the generator is switched off, and the iii. Locate the wire attached to the pin or contact.
room power isolation switch also turned off. If iv. Try pushing it firmly back into position. If it sets
this is a mobile or portable generator, ensure it in place and will not move with a gentle to firm
is switched off, and the power cable unplugged tug on the wire, all is well.
from the power point. v. If the pin or contact is not firmly attached, then
remove it and look for bent hooks on it.
Straighten these out, so that when reinserted
they will keep the pin or contact in position.
This test should be performed with the assistance The contacts of a socket may have become
of an electrician or electronics technician. enlarged, and not provide a reliable or good contact.
Make a diagram, so that when the handswitch is i. The contact can be adjusted by pushing the
disconnected or unplugged, it can be correctly sides of the contact closer together. A useful
reconnected. tool is a large sewing needle.
A multimeter is required, set to the low ohms posi- ii. Care must be taken not to damage the contact.
tion. Check that the meter indicates zero ohms with iii. This problem may occur where plugs and
the meter probes touching together. sockets have had a lot of use. For example, with
Open the hand switch assembly, and identify the a portable X-ray generator.
terminals of the suspect switch. With the meter
probes touching the switch terminals, operate the Power plug connections
switch.The meter should indicate zero ohms. Repeat The wires connected to the power plug terminals can
this test for other switches in the handswitch. become loose. This can cause arcing, and may cause a
Identify the connecting wires between the switch fuse to become open circuit.
terminals and the other end of the handswitch The wires must be held securely inside the plug. If
cable.With the meter connected to each end of the the cable is pulled, this should not pull the wires from
cable wires, the meter should indicate less than the plug terminals. If the plug does not have a suit-
2.0 ohms. When making this last test, if at first able method to prevent this from happening, then
you have a good result, test again by tugging on the replace the plug with an improved type.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
68

The Bucky table may have an external access fuse


If wires have pulled loose from a power plug, this panel on one side, or else on the side of a small
may be due to a previous incorrect assembly. control box. Otherwise, a panel may have to be
Have the connections checked by an electrician removed to gain access.
or electronics technician. This is to ensure the The vertical Bucky and stand may have a small
active and neutral wires are connected to the power supply box for magnetic locks. This may have
correct positions on the power plug, and, most external access to a fuse, or require removal of the
important, correct connection of the earth or box cover.
ground wire. The fluoroscopy table may have external access
While wire colours now conform to interna- power fuses located at the table foot. There will be
tional standards, older equipment may use non- additional fuses inside the control cabinet, or inside
standard colours. If this is found, have the power electronic control boxes placed on the table body.
cord replaced by an electrician. A floor-ceiling tube stand can have a small power
supply box mounted at the top of the column. This
usually has external access to the fuses.
A ceiling suspension tube support may have exter-
d. Is a fuse open-circuit? nal access to the fuses. In most cases a panel cover
Indications and tests will need to be removed.
Some glass fuses can visually show if they are open The operation or installation manuals often show
circuit by metal deposited on the glass. If the failure the location of fuses. The parts manual will also
is a small break in the wire, this is not easy to see. indicate fuse positions, however the diagrams can
Fuses may have fine wire, again not easy to see, be very complex. Otherwise, contact the service
so it may appear open circuit, but still be in good department for advice.
condition.
A continuity test with a multimeter is the only reli- Why has a fuse failed?
able way of verifying if a fuse is good or open circuit. There is a fault. The fuse has blown to protect the
The meter is set to the low ohms range. If the meter equipment.There will often be a heavy metal deposit
shows no indication when the probes are attached on the glass. On replacing the fuse, the new fuse will
to the fuse, the fuse is open circuit. also fail.
Do not try to test a fuse with a meter while it is There was a temporary fault caused by a power
still connected in the equipment, this can give a surge.
false result. There is no fault. The fuse has become fatigued or
tired. This sometimes happens. If a glass fuse, the
Fuse locations wire may show a small broken section.
The physical location of fuses will vary greatly depend- An incorrect fuse was previously fitted. For example,
ing on the manufacturer and model of equipment. a 5A fuse fitted where a label indicates a 7.5A fuse.
Electrical regulations in many countries require a fuse This may have been a temporary replacement,
to be protected from access without using a tool. however first contact the service department for
Where fingers may be able to unscrew the cap of a advice.
fuse holder, a protective cover must first be removed. When a blown fuse is found, contact the service
Possible fuse locations are: department for advice. Give full details of the fault
X-ray generator, fixed installation. There will not be symptoms, fuse number or identification, and posi-
any external access fuses. Most fuses will be located tion in the equipment.
in the control cabinet, and a panel will need to be
removed to gain access. In some cases, there may Removing and replacing a fuse
be additional fuses under a cover at the HT Never attempt to remove or replace a fuse unless all
transformer. power is switched off, and where applicable, unplugged
Note. In some installations miniature circuit break- from the power point. In an X-ray room, also turn off
ers may be fitted instead of fuses.These have a reset the main power isolation switch.
switch, or button, mounted on top of the device.
Mobile or portable X-ray generators can have exter- There are a large variety of fuse holders. Some types
E nal access fuses mounted on a rear panel. Other- are listed below.
wise internal access to the equipment is required.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
69

The fuse is held between two spring clips. Circuit breakers


i. Remove by pushing or lifting first at one end. If Circuit breakers may be fitted instead of fuses. In most
trying to prise out by lifting in the middle, some cases they are designed to handle large currents, such
glass fuses may break. as the main power supply to an X-ray generator. In
ii. When re-inserting a fuse, the spring clips should some cases, small circuit breakers are also fitted
have a positive grip. If not, remove the fuse, bend instead of standard 5A or 10A fuses.
the clips inwards a little, and then reinsert the If a circuit breaker has tripped, the switch at the
fuse. front of the circuit breaker may be half way between
The fuse is in a container, totally enclosing the fuse. the off and on positions. To reset, push the switch to
i. The front appears as a small square. There is no the off position, then back to the on position.
screwdriver slot. In this case there should be a Caution: Circuit breakers, like fuses, should only be
small gap under the square front. Pushing a reset after the supply power is switched off.
small screwdriver into this gap will release the
catch, allowing an internal spring to push the Selecting a replacement fuse
fuse out. Providing the fuse has the same rating and charac-
ii. There is a round cap, similar to a large version teristic, a ceramic fuse may be replaced with a glass
of a toothpaste tube cap. Grip with the fingers, fuse.
and turn anticlockwise to undo. If a fuse of the correct current rating is not avail-
iii. Two versions may have a screwdriver slot. One able, then a smaller rated fuse might sometimes be
version has a bayonet catch. To remove, first substituted as a temporary replacement, providing it
push inwards with a screwdriver, then rotate is close to the original value. Eg, a 2.5A fuse might
anticlockwise a quarter turn.This should unlatch substitute for a 3A fuse. In case a delay fuse is not
the top. In the second version, this is a simple available, a standard fuse of the same rating may be
threaded type. Undo with a screwdriver, turning tried as a temporary replacement. Do not substitute a
anticlockwise. delay fuse for a standard fuse.

Common fuse types Special fuses for high-frequency generators


Fuses come in a great variety of styles, shapes These are very large fuses, sometimes rated up to
and sizes. Most common are the larger 3AG sizes, 200 amps, for use in the inverter. The fuse may be a
6 32 mm, and the smaller M205 size, 5 20 mm. long, large diameter cartridge fuse, seated in heavy-
The fuse may have a glass or ceramic body. duty brass clips; or else a large ceramic type, retained
Of the above fuses, there are two main types. by a nut and bolt. While inverter fuses can fail due to
fatigue, or a temporary problem due to X-ray tube
General-purpose fuse.
instability, there could be a semiconductor failure in
i. The element is normally a straight piece of wire,
the inverter.
or a thin metal strip.
ii. European fuses may have MT marked on one Only an electrician or electronics technician should
end. attempt to test or replace an inverter fuse.
Slow blow or delay fuse. Before replacing the fuse, a test for a possible short
i. These fuses are designed to allow a short high circuit in the inverter should be made.
surge current. This allows for the momentary Caution: High residual voltages can be present in
peak current demand from motors, transformers, the power supply capacitors.
or power supplies, when first switched on. Always consult the service department for advice
ii. The element appears as a piece of wire, before attempting to test or replace an inverter
attached to a spring. fuse. The service department may require specific
iii. Another version has a wire, similar to a general- tests to be made before replacement, otherwise
purpose fuse. However, the wire has two small further damage could occur.
metal beads spaced along the fuse wire.
iv. European fuses may have T marked on one end.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
70

TASK 8

Fuse identification

You have been supplied with a mixed selection of fuses.

What is the current and voltage rating of each fuse?


Are any of these fuses a delay or slow blow version?

Fuse No Voltage Current Delay fuse?

One or two of these fuses may be faulty. Test the fuses, using a multimeter. Use the instructions provided in
module 8.0

Were any of these fuses faulty? Indicate which fuse No.

Was there any difficulty in using the multimeter?

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
Tutor

E
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
71

MODULE 6.0

X-ray generator:
Fixed installation

Aim Task 9.No Preparation, Part 1 and task10.No Prepa-


ration, Part 2, should be attempted after section one
The aim is to provide information and procedures for
of this module.
diagnosing, or repairing, a problem with an X-ray gen-
Task 11. No Exposure, and task 12. X-ray output lin-
erator. The generator is installed as a fixed installation
earity, should be attempted after section two of this
in an X-ray department. Flow charts are provided to
module.
indicate logical steps, when diagnosing a problem.

Contents
Objectives
Section 1: No preparation
On completion of this module, the student will be able
Part 1. Nothing happens.
to carry out a set of procedures to locate a problem
Part 2. Is there a bad connection or fuse?
area in the generator. This will allow minor repairs to
Part 3. Warning signals due to a fault con-
be carried out. An electrician or electronics technician
dition.
may also provide assistance. Otherwise an accurate
Part 4. X-ray tube tests.
description of the problem can be provided to the
Part 5. Other tests.
service department, if requiring advice or direct
assistance. Section 2: No radiographic exposure
This module is divided into two sections. The first Part 6. Operation tests.
section looks at problems that occur during prepara- Part 7. No mA or kV.
tion for an exposure.The second section looks at prob- Part 8. High-tension problems.
lems affecting an exposure, after preparation for an
exposure has been completed. (Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the
title page.)

Section 1: No preparation On attempting to have the control prepare for an


exposure, nothing happens. There is no sound of X-ray
This section examines a number of situations where
tube anode rotation. At the end of the normal prepa-
the generator prepares for an exposure. Before the
ration time, there is no sign the generator is ready for
control system will permit preparation to begin,
an exposure.
the generator makes a number of safety tests. Once
the generator enters into the preparation mode, more
Are there any warning lights on
tests are made.When all tests are satisfied, the control
the control panel?
system signals ready for an exposure. There are a total
The warning light could indicate a fault in the gener-
of five parts, each with an associated flow chart.
ator, or else an operator error. In some systems there
Study each flow chart first, and then read the text for
may be two warning lights, one for incorrect setting
additional information.
of the X-ray control, and the other for a fault in the
generator.
Part 1. Nothing happens In the case of a warning light indicating wrong
exposure factors, this could be due to:
Refer first to the flow chart, Fig 61 page 75, Unable
to obtain preparation, part one.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
72

The kV set for the exposure is above the maximum make and model of equipment. Only some X-ray
X-ray tube rating. Reduce the kV setting. controls have these features.
The kV is below the minimum kV specified by
radiation regulations. Increase the kV setting. Does resetting the exposure factors turn off
The mA selection is too high for the required mAs. the warning light?
Select a lower mA position, and a longer exposure If the warning light does not turn off, go to part
time. three.
The combination of a high value of mA, and a low If the warning light is off, then test again for prepa-
value of kV. This could overheat the X-ray tube ration. If preparation can now be obtained, all is
filament. Either increase kV, or else select a lower well. Otherwise continue with Other basic checks.
value of mA and increase the exposure time.
With some generators, selecting a very short expo- Other basic checks
sure time combined with a low mA will prevent Is a suitable technique selected? For example, if the
operation. For example, if the limit is 0.5 mAs, then fluoroscopy table is selected instead of the table
500 mA at 0.001 second is accepted. However, if Bucky, handswitch operation may not be permitted.
250 mA is selected, then the minimum exposure Is a suitable focal spot selected? If the exposure
time becomes 0.002 second. factors were suitable for the large focal spot, select-
The X-ray control microprocessor has calculated ing the small focal spot with the same exposure
the amount of heat in the X-ray tube anode from factors could prevent operation.
previous exposures. A further exposure would cause Check all other settings. If unsure of their correct
the anode heat capacity to be exceeded.Wait a few use or position, please refer to the operation
minutes for the anode to cool down. manual, or contact the service department for
Note. Most X-ray controls, which calculate total information.
anode heat, display the result on the control panel. Was an Automatic Exposure Control (AEC) in use for
This may take the form of a number, or a bar graph. the last exposure? The AEC may have generated an
In other cases a small symbol indicates excessive inhibit signal. Disable the AEC and try again.
anode heat. Does the X-ray room have a door-open safety switch
or interlock? The operation of this switch may be
Does the control panel display a message, faulty.
instead of a warning light? i. When the door is closed, can you hear the switch
Modern microprocessor-controlled generators can operate? In this case, it is probably ok.
have special display modes to indicate problems or ii. If no indication is heard, check the switch
operator error. Compared to a single indicator light, operation with a multimeter.
these systems give increased information. For example: iii. Ensure all power is turned off, including the
room power isolation switch.
A direct message Reduce mAs appears on the
iv. Set the multimeter to the low ohms position.
control panel. This direct type of message might be
Connect the probes together. The meter should
displayed with microprocessor-controlled genera-
indicate close to zero ohms.
tors, together with a plasma or liquid crystal display
v. With the probes connected to the switch con-
panel.
tacts, test the switch operation by opening and
The kV display does not show the required kV.
closing the door.
Instead a code E2 appears in the kV display. This is
another way a microprocessor-controlled generator
Can preparation now be obtained?
may indicate an error.
If the answer is yes, the problem is solved. Otherwise
The operation manual has a list of the codes and
continue with part two.
what they mean. In this case E2 could mean Set
kV is too high. Codes are used to also indicate fault
conditions. A code F3 could mean the generated Part 2. Is there a bad connection or fuse?
mA exceeded the calibration limit during the previ-
Refer first to the flow chart, Fig 62 page 76, Unable
ous exposure. If a fault code appears, consult the
to obtain preparation, part two. In this situation, the
service department for advice.
tests indicated in part one have been completed. No
The actual code numbers, where they appear on the
warning lights or error codes are displayed on the
E control panel, and their meanings, depend on the
control panel.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
73

Is there a fault with the handswitch? Is the mains power supply voltage too low? Or is
Listen at the X-ray tube while an assistant presses one phase missing? This could happen after a storm
the preparation button. Is there any sound of or power failure.
anode rotation, or other noise, from the X-ray tube i. If the generator has a manual adjustment for
when the button is pressed? If there is, then the the mains voltage, check and make sure it is set
handswitch is ok. Proceed to part four. correctly.
On pressing the preparation button, can you instead ii. Other generator designs have automatic
hear a relay operate in the generator control compensation for changes in supply voltages.
cabinet? If so, the hand switch is not at fault. Depending on the design, the mains voltage may
Proceed to part four. have changed outside the adjustment range of
the automatic compensation. Ask an electrician
Check for a faulty preparation switch, to check or measure the supply voltage.
or handswitch cable iii. A three-phase generator may still switch on with
First ensure the generator is switched off, and the only two phases of the mains supply available.
room power isolation switch also switched off. Some designs have a fault detector in case this
This test should be performed with the assistance happens. Ask an electrician if there is a problem
of an electrician or electronics technician. with the hospital power.
To test the handswitch or cable, refer to module 5.0
page 65. A warning light or code appears
If there was no problem found with the handswitch, during preparation
or handswitch cable, proceed to part 5. If a code or message is displayed, refer to the opera-
tion manual for its meaning, or contact the service
department. Provide details of the fault code, and any
Part 3.Warning signals due to a fault condition
other symptoms that were observed.
Refer first to the flow chart, Fig 63 page 77, Unable
Does the warning light appear immediately on
to obtain preparation, part three.
pressing the preparation switch? This may indicate
In this situation, a warning light or code may appear
a serious problem with the X-ray tube filament
immediately the generator is switched on, or else
control section of the generator. Contact the service
during the last exposure. The checks indicated in part
department before proceeding.
one have been performed. Operator error or incorrect
In case the warning light occurs during or just at
exposure settings are not the cause of the problem.
the end of preparation, this may indicate a filament
connection problem, or failure to pass the anode
A warning light or code appears when
rotation safety test. Proceed to part four. Otherwise
switched on
contact the service department for advice.
This indicates a serious fault condition. If a code or
Did the warning light operate during the last expo-
message is displayed, refer to the operation manual
sure? This can indicate an over current (mA) situa-
for its meaning. If the code indicates an operator or
tion. Over-current may be caused by instability in
setting error, then recheck the tests carried out in
the X-ray tube, or else a fault in the HT cable or
part one. Otherwise contact the service department.
cable end.
Provide details of the fault code, and any other symp-
i. Try resetting the fault detection by switching
toms that were observed.
the X-ray control OFF then ON again. Then try
A fuse may have failed, or a circuit breaker tripped. to obtain preparation.
i. Before opening any panels to check a fuse, ii. If preparation can now be obtained, go to
always ensure the equipment is switched off, and part 8.
the room power isolation switch also turned off. iii. If preparation still cannot be obtained, proceed
ii. Procedures for testing or replacing a fuse, are to part four, or contact the service department
described in module 5.0, page 65. for advice.
iii. If a fuse is open circuit, or a circuit breaker
has tripped, consult the service department for
advice regarding the possible cause.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
74

Part 4. X-ray tube tests iii. If the fuse is faulty, take care to replace with
the correct size and type. See module 5.0 page
Refer first to the flow chart, Fig 64 page 78, Unable
65.
to obtain preparation, part four. There are no warning
iv. Examine the stator cable where it enters the X-
lights or message codes. On attempting preparation,
ray tube housing. If there is a possibility the
some sound was observed at the X-ray tube. This
cable has been pulled, remove the cover plate
indicates the preparation handswitch is ok. During
and check the connections for a possible short
preparation the X-ray control applies a test for anode
circuit.
rotation, and minimum filament current in the selected
v. If on restoring power, or attempting preparation
focal spot. There may be a problem with anode rota-
again, the fuse blows, then stop, and contact the
tion, or else a poor connection to the X-ray tube
service dept.
filament.
Is the focal spot filament connected?
Does anode rotation appear normal?
During preparation the X-ray control tests for a
This should be the normal sound of the anode accel-
minimum filament current. This test is only to
erating to the required preparation speed. Instead it
ensure the filament is intact, and is at a minimum
may be just a buzzing or humming noise. The possibil-
temperature.
ities are:
Note. This test does not ensure the correct mA will be
One of the three conductors for the X-ray tube generated. A poor HT cathode-cable connection can
stator is broken or has a bad connection. cause a drop in the required filament current, but still
i. Check the stator cable where it enters the X-ray be above the minimum value for the filament current
tube housing. test. See part seven, No radiographic exposure.
ii. Does the cable show signs of being pulled or
The selected focal spot may be open circuit, or have
stretched? A wire may have been pulled away
a bad connection. Try obtaining preparation with
from a terminal.
the other focal spot.
iii. Before checking any connections, always ensure
There may be a bad connection to that focal spot
the equipment is switched off, and the room
due to a bad HT cathode-cable cable-end pin con-
power isolation switch also turned off.
nection. There are three pins on the cable end. If
iv. Some x-ray tube housings have a plug and
there is a bad connection at the centre pin, this will
socket for the stator cable connection. Has this
affect both focal spots.
become loose, or is there a bad connection to
i. Before proceeding, ensure all power is switched
the plug or socket terminals?
off.
The X-ray tube itself is faulty, either with seized
ii. To check, undo the cathode cable-end retaining
bearings, or else with broken glass. If the glass is
ring nut. Partly withdraw the cable end about
broken, the anode may appear to rotate slowly, and
2~4 mm, then reinsert the cable end. Replace
very quickly come to a stop when the preparation
and firmly tighten the cable-end ring nut.
switch is released.
iii. Test for preparation. If moving the cable end
Is there oil leaking from the X-ray tube housing? An
has cleared the preparation problem, the cable
arc may have occurred during the last exposure,
end will require further attention. This involves
causing internal damage.
removal of the cable end, cleaning the cable-end
Is there an open circuit fuse, or tripped circuit
pins, and re-sealing. For this procedure, see
breaker, supplying power to the X-ray tube starter?
module 7.3 page 117.
This can be a common problem with some high-
iv. Caution. The cable end may have silicon grease
speed starters.
as insulation instead of anti-corona silicon pads.
i. Before opening any panels to check a fuse,
Removal of the cable end by more than 2~4 mm
always ensure the equipment is switched off,
can reduce the effectiveness of the insulating
and the room power isolation switch also turned
grease. As a precaution, do not exceed 100 kV
off.
until the cable end is re-sealed with fresh silicon
ii. If unsure where such a fuse or circuit breaker
grease, see module 7.3 page 117.
may be located, contact the service department
for advice.
E
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
75

On attempting to obtain
preparation, nothing at all
happens

Look in the operation manual


Are there any Yes Yes for the meaning of the
Is this fault code
warning or a message? message code. If necessary,
indications? contact the service
department.

No
No
Check setting of exposure factors
for possible X-ray tube overload
No Has a suitable protection. Include check of focal
technique been spot selection, and minimum KV
selected?

Select a correct
technique Yes
Has the warning No
End light turned off?

No Is a suitable tube
or focal spot
selected? Yes

Select a suitable
tube or focal spot. Yes
Can preparation
No be obtained now?

End Proceed to part three.


No Yes See text for other possible
Is there a 'door areas to be checked.
open' safety
interlock? End

Yes

Check the door-open safety


switch. Make sure it is operating
properly when the door is closed.
See the text for a test procedure.

No
Can preparation
now be obtained?

Yes
Proceed to part two for further
tests.
End

Fig 61. Unable to obtain preparation, part one


X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
76

On attempting to obtain
preparation, nothing appears to
happen. There are no message
codes or warning lights.

Listen at the
X-ray tube. Is Yes Preparation IS being attempted.
Proceed to part four.
there any sound
Refer also to the text.
on prep'?

No
Power off. Turn isolation switch
off. Remove control cabinet
On pressing the Yes cover, and check for a possible
prep' button, can
blown fuse. Refer to module 9
you hear a relay
operate? first for precautions in testing
or replacing a fuse.

No

Power off. Disconnect the


handswitch cable from the control Is there a faulty Yes
desk. With a meter, test for fuse, or tripped
brocken wires or a faulty switch. circuit breaker?

Refer to module
No 9.0 to replace a
fuse.
Contact service
Is there a broken No before attempting
wire or faulty replacement.
switch?

Yes

Repair the broken wire in the Proceed to part five.


handswitch cable, or replace the (See text for other possible
faulty preparation switch. areas to be checked)

End

Fig 62. Unable to obtain preparation, part two

E
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
77

On attempting to obtain
preparation, nothing appears to
happen. There is a permanent
message code or warning light.
The procedure in part one has
been carried out. Operation error is
not the cause of the problem.

This may be a serious fault.


Did the warning Yes
See the text for possible causes Contact service for advice before
fault light operate
immediatly on proceeding. Provide details of
power up? tests carried out.

No

Did the warning This may be a serious fault.


Yes Contact service for advice before
fault light operate See the text for possible causes
when attempting proceeding. Provide details of
preparation? tests carried out.

No

Did the There may have been a high


warning light Yes tension fault, or excessive mA.
operate immediatly Switch power OFF then ON
after or during the again. Test if preparation can
last exposure? now be obtained

No

Contact service. Give full details


No There may be a blown fuse or
of the problem, and conditions Can preparation
tripped circuit breaker.
when the warning light operates. now be
Contact service before
obtained?
proceeding.

Yes

Proceed to 'No exposure part 7'


Reduce kV to 60kV before
attempting another test
exposure.

Fig 63. Unable to obtain preparation, part three


X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
78

On attempting to obtain
preparation, nothing appears to
happen. There are no warning
lights or message codes. However
some sound was observed at the
X-ray tube. This indicates the prep
handswitch is functioning.

Listen carefully at the X-ray tube


during preparation.

Does the X-ray No Are there any Yes


Contact service
tube anode appear signs of an oil
before proceeding.
to rotate normally? leak?

Yes No

Switch off. Turn the isolation


Undo the ring nut holding the power switch off. Locate the stator
cathode cable in place. Withdraw connection cable to the tube stand.
the cathode cable a few Check carefully for signs of a bad
millimeters only and re-insert. connection or broken wire in the
NOTE, do not attempt if this is a cable to the X-ray tube.
CD mobile.

Was a broken
wire or bad No Contact service
connection before proceeding.
Yes found?
Can preparation
now be obtained?
Yes

End
No

Try a test exposure with selection


of a different focal spot. (eg, if on
broad focus, try fine focus).
The cathode cable end has a bad
pin connection. See module 11.3,
High tension cable.

No Contact service
Can preparation
now be obtained? before proceeding.

Yes

There is a strong possibility that As the HT cable end has been


the other focal spot is faulty. Do disturbed, refer module 11.3,
End
not use that focal spot. Contact High tension cable, before
service and ask for advice. continuing to use the generator.

Fig 64. Unable to obtain preparation, part four

E
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
79

On attempting to obtain
preparation, nothing appears to
happen. There are no warning
lights or message codes. No sound
was observed at the X-ray tube.
The hand switch and cable tests ok
There are no open circuit fuses or
circuit breakers.

Check carefully all wiring to the


X-ray tube. Especially check for
a break in the stator cable, or to
the over-temperature safety
switch.

Repair the break in wiring or


Was a wiring loose connection. If a faulty
Yes
break or bad temperature switch, make a
connection temporary bypass for testing
found? purposes.

No

No Can preparation
now be obtained?

It is possible there is faulty or


burnt out warning light. Test by
selecting a very large mA, kV
Yes
and time setting. See if the Contact the service department
overload light does illuminate. for advice, and to obtain a new
Advise the service department of Was there a over-temperature switch or
the results of this test, in addition Yes sensor.
faulty
to all other tests and over-temperature Continue to operate the system
observations. switch? with caution. Monitor the X-ray
tube housing, and stop using if
hot to touch.
No

End

Fig 65. Unable to obtain preparation, part five

Part 5. Other tests Section 2: No radiograph exposure


Refer first to the flow chart, Fig 65 page 79, Unable This section assumes you are able to obtain prepara-
to obtain preparation, part five. tion, the control has indicated preparation is com-
There remain two possibilities to be checked. pleted, and is ready for an exposure. On attempting
to obtain an exposure, nothing happens. Or else, the
The wiring to the X-ray tube stator or the housing
control appears to expose, but the film is blank or very
over-temperature switch is broken or has a bad
light. Each part has an associated flow chart. Refer to
connection. This could occur where it enters the X-
these flow charts before reading the text.
ray tube, or where the cable has received a lot of
flexing or twisting. See module 7.1 page 104.
There may be an internal fault or problem in the Part 6. Operation tests
generator, but the warning light is also faulty or
Refer first to the flow chart, Fig 66 page 83, No expo-
burnt out. Test the light by setting very high expo-
sure, part six.
sure factors, which would normally cause a tube
overload condition. If no warning light illuminates,
The control has indicated it is ready for an exposure.
then the globe or control circuit is faulty.
On attempting to obtain an exposure, nothing appears
Include the results of all tests, when requesting help
to happen.There is no sound from the Bucky.The expo-
from the service department.
sure light does not operate.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
80

Operation tests opened, or simply prevent an exposure. When the


Check the technique selection to ensure a valid door is closed, can you hear the switch operate? If
operation. Look for selection buttons or switches so, it is probably ok.
that are sticking, and may not have properly i. If no indication is heard, check the switch
operated or released. operation with a multimeter.
Is an Automatic Exposure Control (AEC) in ii. Ensure all power is turned off, including the
operation? room power isolation switch.
i. The warning light or signal with the AEC reset iii. Set the multimeter to the low ohms position,
button may have failed. Press reset and try and check the meter shows minimum ohms with
exposing again. the probes connected together.
ii. Have you selected the correct AEC mode for the iv. With the probes connected to the switch con-
particular Bucky or technique? tacts, test the switch operation by opening and
iii. Disable AEC operation, select suitable manual closing the door.
exposure factors, and attempt another Can you hear a relay operating on pressing the
exposure. expose switch? If so, the switch and connecting
iv. If you can now expose, continue using the cable are properly working.
system with AEC switched off. For AEC tests, see If the handswitch is suspect, then the switch and
module 10.0 page 140. connecting cable should be checked with a multi-
Select the direct, or non-Bucky, handswitch tech- meter set to the low ohms scale.
nique.Try again to expose. If successful, consider the i. Ensure all power is turned off, including the
following. room power isolation switch.
i. First ensure all power is turned off, including ii. If available, request an electrician or electronics
the room power isolation switch. technician to assist.
ii. There is a possible open fuse or circuit breaker iii. Use the method described in part two of this
suppling power to the Bucky. If found faulty, module. Check for a faulty preparation switch,
check the wiring to both Buckys before replac- or handswitch cable. See module 5.0, page 65.
ing the fuse. There may be loose connections,
causing a short circuit. A film marker may have
Part 7. No mA or kV
fallen onto electrical connections in the vertical
Bucky. Refer first to the flow chart, Fig 67 page 84 No expo-
iii. Similar to the above, there may be a loose or sure, part seven.
broken connection to a particular Bucky. This is
most likely to occur at either a plug or socket, On attempting to obtain an exposure, the film was
or else at the Bucky terminals on the side of the blank, or very under exposed. The control indicates
Bucky. preparation is completed and ready for an exposure.
iv. The grid may have become dislodged, stopping The exposure indication operates on pressing the
operation of the grid drive motor. A common expose position of the handswitch.
cause is poor attachment of lead numerals to There is no warning light or fault indication during the
the cassette. When the cassette and tray is attempted exposure.
inserted, these catch on the grid, dislodging it.
v. Some older Buckys have small motor drive Check the cathode cable connection
gears.These gears may be damaged. As a result, A bad cable-end connection in the X-ray tube cathode-
although the motor operates, the grid does not receptacle is a common cause of light or blank films.
oscillate or move to the expose position. This occurs where the cable-end pins fit into the recep-
vi. In the case of a vertical Bucky, a lead numeral tacle. For example: Sufficient current flows through
may become dislodged, and fall into the drive the filament to satisfy the generator tests during
motor area. This could prevent operation, or preparation. However the filament temperature is too
cause a short circuit. low for the required mA. A test exposure should be
vii. For other problems with the Bucky, refer to tried first on the other focal spot. However, if the cable-
module 8.0 page 121. end centre pin has a bad connection, this can affect
Does the X-ray room have a safety Door closed both focal spots.
interlock? This may, depending on installation Note. During an exposure, if there is low, or no mA,
E
methods, interrupt preparation if the door is then the actual kV can rise above the set value of kV.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
81

As a result, a microprocessor-controlled generator may


display kV too high as a fault message, instead of low First ensure all power is turned off, including
mA. Always select low mA and kV for test exposures. the room power isolation switch.
To check for a poor cable end connection. Before attempting to test or replace the fuse,
i. Ensure all power is switched off, before any contact the service department for advice. As
adjustment is made to the HT cables. well as the fuse location, special test precau-
ii. To check, undo the cathode cable-end retaining tions can apply before and after replacement.
ring nut. Partly withdraw the cable end about Checking or replacing the fuse, should only be
2~4 mm, then reinsert the cable end. Replace performed by an electrician, or electronics
and firmly tighten the cable-end ring nut. technician.
iii. Caution. The cable end may have silicon grease See module 5.0 page 65.
as insulation instead of anti-corona silicon pads.
Removal of the cable end by more than 2~4 mm
can reduce the effectiveness of the insulating
i. Before attempting to test the fuse, measure the
grease. As a precaution, do not exceed 100 kV
primary power filter capacitors, and ensure the
until the cable end is re-sealed with fresh silicon
residual voltage is at a safe level.
grease. See module 7.3 page 117.
ii. If the fuse is open circuit, check the inverter
Try a test exposure after adjusting the cathode
SCR or power transistors for a possible short
cable end. If the test exposure is OK, there was a
circuit, before replacing the fuse.
poor pin connection at the cable end.The cable-end
iii. After the fuse is replaced, examine the power
pins need to be cleaned and adjusted. See module
circuit for charging the capacitors on initial
7.3 page 117.
power up. There is normally a resistor in series
If the test exposure still fails after adjusting the
with each phase to limit the charging current.
cathode cable-end, try exposing again on the other
These resistors are shorted out by a contactor
focal spot. If the exposure is now OK, the first focal
after a few seconds time delay. This circuit
spot may have a fault. This is caused by;
needs to be disabled so the resistors remain in
i. The filament has a short circuit to the focus cup.
operation.
Only part of the filament is heated.
iv. On power up, monitor the voltage on the capac-
ii. The filament is able to pass the open circuit
itors to ensure they are in fact charging nor-
safety test in preparation, but the actual mA on
mally. This ensures there is no undetected direct
exposure is less than half the expected value. In
short circuit in the inverter.
this case, the X-ray tube requires replacement.
v. A short test exposure at low kV and mA should
iii. To inspect the filament, see module 7.1 page
be attempted. If OK, then switch off, and restore
104.
the operation of the charge current-limit resis-
iv. Unfortunately, this type of fault is not uncom-
tors to normal operation.
mon. The problem occurs when the filament
bends, and touches the focus cup during prep-
Other possible causes for no exposure
aration. This causes the filament to become
A faulty fuse or connector in the generator control
welded to the focus cup, shorting out a section
cabinet.
of the filament.
i. Ensure all power is turned off, including the
v. Contact the service department for advice.
room power isolation switch.
ii. With the aid of an electrician or electronics
Has an inverter fuse failed?
technician, look for an open circuit fuse, or
If a trial exposure on the other focal spot also fails,
tripped circuit breaker.
this may be due to no high voltage. With high fre-
iii. Look for loose plugs and sockets, or other
quency generator systems, a common cause is an open
connectors.
circuit inverter fuse. This often fails due to fatigue, or
Look for damage caused by rats eating the wiring.
a temporary fault with the inverter. Depending on the
This can especially apply inside cable ducts, or
make or model of generator, there may be no warning
cables to the HT transformer. Some species of rats
signal, or message, to indicate high-voltage failure.
can bite through cables, or a wiring harness, as if
their teeth were cutting pliers.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
82

Part 8. High-tension problems Caution. Do not make this test on a CD mobile,


unless the capacitor is fully discharged. See module
Refer first to the flow chart, Fig 68 page 85, No
6.2 page 94.
exposure, part eight.
If the HT cable or cable ends appear OK, then
attempt a test exposure at low output.
On attempting to obtain an exposure, the film was
i. Caution. If the fault occurred below 80 kV, do
blank, or very under exposed. The control indicated
not test further without advice from the service
preparation was completed, and ready for an exposure.
department.
The exposure indication operates on pressing the
ii. Select a low kV and mA output. A suggested
expose position of the handswitch, but only a very short
exposure is 60 kV, 100 mA, for 0.1 seconds. Close
exposure results.
the collimator and make a test exposure.
A warning light or error message is generated
iii. If the control is fitted with an mA or mAs meter,
during, or at the end of exposure.
observe the meter carefully during the test
Record the exposure factors, focal spot, and tech-
exposure.
nique in use. Include any fault codes or error messages.
iv. If the mA meter needle moves very quickly, or
the mAs meter indicates 20% more than the
Check for a high-tension fault
expected value, this can indicate a high tension
The cause of the problem may be due to:
fault.
No kV was generated. The inverter fuse is open v. Should the generator fail a test at 60 kV, stop.
circuit in a high frequency generator. See part There is a possible fault at the HT cable ends,
seven. these should now be removed and carefully
A kV fault. Caused by a short circuit in the HT cable examined. See module 7.3 page 117.
or cable end. vi. Caution. Before removing the cable ends,
A high voltage arc in the high-tension generator, contact the service department for advice.
cables, or X-ray tube housing. Include the exposure factors, focal spot, and
An unstable X-ray tube, due to gas. This can gener- any error codes or messages.
ate a kV or mA fault indication. Instability can occur
if a high kV exposure is made, after using the tube Test the X-ray tube high-tension stability
for a long time at a medium or low kV output. If the test exposure at 60 kV is ok, then test the X-ray
A kV fault can be caused if mA is too low. For tube at higher kV.
example, due to a bad connection in the cathode
Do this by applying the seasoning procedure,
cable end, or a partial short circuit in the X-ray tube
described in module 2.1 page 48. When applying
filament.
this procedure, take care to observe the HT cable
The mA output has exceeded the correct value.
at the X-ray tube, in case an arc occurs.
For example, although 200 mA was selected for an
Observe the mA meter (if available). An unstable
exposure, the mA increased to over 300 mA. This
tube can indicate an increase of mA when test
could be due to a fault in the mA regulation circuit,
exposures are first made, then return to the correct
a high-tension fault, or an unstable X-ray tube.
value after a few exposures at the same kV. Then
when kV is increased, the first exposure may again
Check for a HT cable fault
show an increase of mA, returning to the correct
HT cable faults normally occur at the X-ray tube end,
value after the second or third exposure.
due to the HT cable twisting as the tube is positioned.
In case any unusual occurrence takes place, im-
Arcing can also occur where the cable ends plug into
mediately stop. HT cable or cable-end faults will
the X-ray tube, due to a fault in the insulation grease.
become apparent at higher kV values. If not fully
Was a bang heard during the exposure? checked before, do so now. See module 7.3 page
Check for a burning or acrid odour at the HT cable 117.
ends. If not sure, undo the retaining ring nut,sniff, Caution. Before removing the cable ends, contact
and then replace the ring nut. the service department for advice. Include the
If at all uncertain of the condition of the HT cable exposure factors, focal spot, and any error codes or
ends, refer to module 7.3 page 117. messages.

E
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
83

If the HT cable ends have been fully checked, then Providing the X-ray tube passes the seasoning test,
start the seasoning test again, starting at 10 kV all is well.
below the level where a problem occurred. Should Make an entry in the logbook. Include a description
the problem still occur, then stop. Consult the of the problem, together with the tests and results.
service department for advice.

On attempting to obtain an
exposure, NOTHING happens.
The 'expose' indicator does not
operate. The control indicates
preparation is completed, and
ready for an exposure.

The AEC has generated a


'Lockout' from a previous
Turn AEC (if in use) to 'OFF' exposure. Reselect AEC and
position. Then try exposing again press 'Reset'. Try another
exposure.

Yes The AEC had generated a


Can you now Can you now Yes 'Lockout'. Check for a faulty
obtain an obtain an 'Reset' or 'Low Exposure'
exposure? exposure? warning light. Increase exposure
factors. (kV, mA ,or max' Time)

No No
There is a problem with the AEC.
Select direct handswitch Refer to the text for further
operation. EG, Non-Bucky. information.
Try exposing.

The Bucky failed to operate. or


Can you now Yes return the exposure signal. See
obtain an the text for possible reasons.
exposure? (Bad connection? Grid is stuck?)

No

Can you hear any Yes Providing a definite relay 'click'


relay 'click' on is heard inside the control, the
trying to expose? handswitch is OK. Otherwise still
test the handswitch.

No Test the " Door Open" switch


for correct operation
Test the expose switch for faulty
operation, or broken wire to the
handswitch. Yes
Is there a 'Door Open'
safety switch for the X-ray
room ?
Is the switch
No faulty?
Is the expose No No
switch or cable
faulty?
Yes

Yes Replace the faulty switch.


If not available , connect a
See text for other possibilities. temporary bypass to place out
See also 'No exposure' part 7 of action.
Repair the cable, or replace the
Contact service. Have the switch replaced as soon
switch. See the text for details.
as possible

End End

Fig 66. No exposure, part six


X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
84

On attempting to obtain an
exposure, the film is blank,
(or very under exposed.)
The exposure indicator operates.
The control indicated preparation
was completed, and
ready for an exposure.

Does a warning
fault light operate
Yes
See 'Unable to obtain exposure'.
when trying to Part eight.
expose?

No
Undo the cathode cable end
retaining ring nut, withdraw the
cable end about 2~4mm, then
reinsert and tighten the retaining
nut.

Can you now No


obtain an Try exposing on the other
exposure? focal spot.

Yes
There may be a poor filament
The cable end will need to be Can you now Yes connection for both focal spots.
removed, have the contact pins obtain an Another possibility is a partially
cleaned and adjusted. Refer to exposure? shorted focal spot. See the text
module 11.3, high tension cables. for furthur suggestions.

No

There is probably a failure to


generate HT. If a high frequency Contact the service
generator, the fuse for the department for advice
inverter may be open circuit.

Fig 67. No exposure, part seven

E
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
85

On attempting to obtain an
exposure, the film is blank,
or very under exposed.
The exposure indicator operated.
The control indicated preparation
was completed, and
ready for an exposure.

In this situation, a light indicates


a fault. If a microprocessor
controlled system, there may be a
message or error code.

This may indicate a high tension


fault, an unstable X-ray tube,
or excessive mA.
Before proceeding, check for a
burning smell at the X-ray tube
HT cable ends.

Do the cable
No Refer to module 11.3
ends appear
High tension cables.
OK?

Yes

Select low kV (60kV or less)


and a low mA station.
Try a test exposure.
Observe the cable ends for
possible smoke or arcing noise.

The X-ray tube may have failed.


There may be arcing in the HT
Is the test No cable receptacles. See the text for
exposure OK? other possibilities. Call the
service dept for advice.

Yes No

Try the ageing procedure


described in module 5.1 Are the test
for the X-ray tube. exposures OK?

Yes

End

Fig 68. No exposure, part eight


X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
86

TASK 9

No preparation
Part 1

You have a patient on the table. After instructing him to take a deep breath and hold it, you press the prepara-
tion button. However, the ready to expose signal does not occur.

What action should be taken first?

Make a list of your tests and observations.

What do you think is the cause of the problem?

What action may be taken to correct the problem?

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

E Signed Date
Tutor
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
87

TASK 10

No preparation
Part 2

The X-ray control does not provide the ready for exposure signal after pressing the preparation switch. You have
just completed a previous check for a similar report, and taken action that should have corrected the problem.
However, while there are now signs of response when the preparation button is pressed, the ready for exposure
indication still cannot be obtained.
What was the previous observed problem, and action taken?

Make a list of your further tests and observations.

What do you think is the cause of this problem?

What possible actions may be taken to correct the problem?

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
Tutor
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
88

TASK 11

No exposure

You have positioned a patient on the upright Bucky to take a chest exposure. You place the generator into prepa-
ration, and press the exposure switch when the control indicates ready to expose. However, no exposure occurs.
After removing the patient, you investigate for a possible cause of the problem.
Make a list of possible reasons for this problem.

Describe suitable tests to either confirm, or eliminate, possibilities from this list.

Carry out these tests. What were the results?

What action is needed to correct the problem?

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
E
Tutor
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
89

TASK 12

X-ray output linearity

You have a report of light films occurring in room 2. This appears to happen only on selection of fine focus.
Devise a test, using the stepwedge, to check the exposure linearity between the fine and broad focus selections
of mA.

Which exposure factors will be used for your generator?

After carrying out the above test, you find the 100 mA station has reduced output. A comparison test of 50 mA
and 200 mA indicates correct results. What is the most likely cause?

What are two other possible reasons for light films on this 100 mA station?

Give reasons why these possibilities are low, considering that 50 mA and 200 mA indicated normal results.

Make another series of stepwedge tests. This time remain on the mA station that produced a low output. Make
a series of four test strips, and increase kV by 2.0 kV for each exposure. What increase of kV was required to
increase density by one step?

Your test was first carried out at 80 kV. You find that if kV is increased by 4.0 kV, the density steps on the 100 mA
test strip are darker than the test trips for 50 or 200 mA stations. In terms of a 5% permitted kV error, would
the test result be:
OK? Marginal? Outside acceptance?

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
Tutor
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
90

MODULE 6.1

Mobile or portable X-ray


generators

a. General precautions
Aim
Before removing any covers, or testing any wires or
The aim is to provide information related to servicing
connections:
or repairing a mobile or portable X-ray generator. This
i. Ensure the system is switched off, and un-
information is additional to that provided for a fixed
plugged from the power point.
installation described in module 6.0 page 71.
ii. Mobile high-frequency generators may be bat-
Note. Capacitor discharge mobiles are discussed in
tery operated. The batteries in these are con-
module 6.2 page 94. Reference module page numbers
nected in series, and may have a total voltage
refer to the title page.
of up to 240 V DC. Refer to the operating or
installation manuals for the position of the
Objectives battery isolation switch, and ensure this is
switched off before removing the covers or
On completion of this module, the student will be
testing wires and connectors.
aware of common problems with mobile or portable
iii. Do not attempt to replace the batteries if a
X-ray generators.When used together with the module
mobile has more then two 12 V batteries. Ask
6.0 procedures, the student will be able locate a
for assistance from an electrician or electronics
problem area, and carry out minor repairs. An electri-
technician.
cian or electronics technician may provide added
If removing a collimator or X-ray tube on a mobile
assistance where indicated in this module.
generator.
i. Do not rely on the vertical lock system.
Contents ii. Ensure the suspension system is at the limit of
a. General precautions its maximum vertical travel.
b. Transport problems iii. Or, attach a rope so that the system cannot
c. The generator will not switch on move upwards, once the weight of the collima-
d. No preparation or no exposure tor or X-ray tube is removed.
When replacing a motor drive battery.
e. The generator appears to expose, but film is blank
f. Collimator light-beam alignment keeps changing i. Remove your wristwatch if it has a metallic
g. The magnetic locks sometimes do not work, or are band.The same precaution extends to any rings.
weak in action While 12 volts, or even 24 volts, is too low to
h. Problems with the motor drive cause a serious shock, the battery can cause
serious burns if a short circuit occurs across a
watchband or ring.
ii. Disconnect first the battery terminal that con-
nects to the mobile body or framework.This pre-
vents the danger of accidentally shorting the
other battery terminal to the mobile body.
iii. In the case of multiple battery systems, refer
always to the operation or installation manuals.
In some cases, the batteries will have the centre
connections between two batteries connected to
the mobile body. These connections should be
E removed first, and replaced last. It is advisable to
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
91

request the aid of an electrician. If in any doubt, Check the hand switch, and handswitch cable. See
contact the service department for advice. module 5.0 page 65.
Check all external plugs and sockets. See module
5.0 page 65.
b.Transport problems
Look for dislodged components internally, or poor
Mobile and portable equipment are subject to addi- connections.
tional problems due to transport. Portable equipment Plugs and sockets can develop poor connections
may be dropped, while mobile generators may pass due to build up of oxides, or else slight corrosion of
over severe bumps while travelling.There are also prob- the plating. Check by unplugging and reconnecting
lems due to dust, or corrosion due to high humidity. the plugs and sockets.
This last can occur if the system is used in an air- i. This procedure should only be carried out by an
conditioned area, then parked in a general area which electrician or electronics technician.
is not air conditioned. ii. Printed circuit board edge connectors are
subject to corrosion and poor connections,
especially older types that are not gold plated.
c.The generator will not switch on
Later model generators use plugs and sockets
Check the power cable. for the printed circuit boards.
i. Is the power point faulty? Check by plugging iii. Ensure the generator is unplugged from the
a lamp or other suitable item into the power power point.
point. iv. Before removing a printed board, touch the
ii. Is there a broken connection at the power- main metal framework of the generator. This is
cable plug? Important, check also the earth to discharge any static electricity from the body.
connection. This is very important if working in a carpeted
iii. The power cable may plug into a socket on a area, or there is low humidity.
portable generator. In this case check the gen- v. Only remove and replace one board at a time.
erator socket connections as well as the cable. Take careful note of its position, so the board is
iv. The power cable-reel for a mobile can have not replaced the wrong way.
broken wires or faulty contacts in the mecha- vi. On removal of the printed board, clean the edge
nism. If faulty, have an electrician connect a connectors with a cloth dampened with a little
temporary power cable directly into the mobile, alcohol, or methylated spirits. After cleaning, do
while waiting for a replacement. not touch the contacts with your fingers.
v. If there is a bad connection to a power plug or vii. Printed circuit boards may become cracked,
socket, this should be checked and repaired by breaking some of the tracks. For example, if
an electrician. equipment was dropped. Examine with a mag-
vi. For information on locating bad connections, nifying glass for this possibility. If there are signs
see module 5.0 page 65. of corrosion, it is possible some of the tracks on
vii. Moving the mobile while still plugged into a the board have become open circuit.This can be
power point is not recommended. a problem near the sea.
Check for a blown or faulty fuse. See module 5.0 Have any relays become dislodged? Move them
page 65. slightly in their sockets in case of a bad socket
The power on/off switch is faulty. Check for loose connection.
connections. Test the switch operation with a mul- Bad contacts on control switches etc.
timeter set to the low ohms range. Ask an electri- i. A build up of dirt on switch contacts can cause
cian or electronics technician for assistance. excessive wear, and poor contact operation. In
most cases, spraying with a suitable contact
d. No preparation or no exposure cleaner will restore normal operation.
ii. An optimum spray is one designed to clean and
Note. The following checks are to be made with all lubricate. CRC 2.26 is recommended. WD-40 is
power disconnected. If a battery operated high fre- less optimum, but may also be used. Your elec-
quency system, ensure the battery circuit breaker or trician may have a suitable contact cleaner.
switch is opened. iii. Before spraying, cover adjacent areas with cloth
Look for possible blown fuses. See module 5.0 page or tissues to protect from unwanted spray.
65.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
92

iv. Note. Never use any spray on electrical equip- ii. The mechanical position of the lock coil has too
ment while it is energized. large an air gap.Adjust the position for a smaller
The X-ray tube head, or housing. (An X-ray tube air gap, with the lock in the off position.
head combines the X-ray tube, and the high-tension iii. There is a build up of dirt, or oil, on the lock-coil
transformer, in one housing.) pole-piece. A thin piece of cardboard soaked in
i. Check all connections to the X-ray tube head. methylated spirits is a good cleaning aid. Place
ii. For mobiles with a conventional X-ray tube the cardboard between the pole-piece and the
housing, check the stator cable. brake plate. Energise the lock, while slowly
iii. The HT cable may have a poor connection to the pulling the cardboard out from between the
X-ray tube cathode. For test procedures, see lock and the brake plate. Repeat this a number
module 7.3 page 117. of times, until fresh sections of cardboard show
no smudges of dirt from this wiping action.
The lock does not energise. (Old type.) Or does not
e.The generator appears to expose,
release. (Permanent magnet type.) Check for the
but film is blank
following.
Ensure the collimator opened correctly. Look inside i. The lock switch may be faulty.
the collimator for loose or disconnected parts, due ii. Look for an open circuit fuse.
to vibration in transport. iii. A broken wire to the lock coil.
Was an unusual noise or arcing heard during the iv. The lock coil itself may be open circuit. Test by
attempted exposure? disconnecting one wire, then with a multimeter
i. With conventional X-ray tube housings, check set to a medium or high ohms scale, check for
the HT cable ends for arcing. See module 7.3 continuity of the lock coil. If necessary, request
page 117. assistance from an electrician.
ii. If a rotating anode tube, does it slow down
quickly when preparation is released? The tube
h. Problems with the motor drive
may be broken, and the anode is now immersed
in oil. Many mobiles are fitted with battery-powered motor
iii. By rotating the X-ray tube head or housing, can drives. A 12 volt car battery is most commonly fitted,
you hear oil moving inside the housing? This can and in some cases two batteries to provide 24 volts.
indicate a broken tube.
iv. See also module 7.1 page 104. Caution
Battery powered high-frequency generators operate
the motors from the same high voltage supply used to
f. Collimator light-beam alignment
power the high-frequency inverter. Due to the high
keeps changing
voltages that may be present, do not remove the
Parts of the collimator may have become loose due covers, or attempt any internal adjustment. This
to transport vibration. Remove the collimator cover, should only be attempted by an electrician or elec-
and check for loose sections. tronics technician, under instructions from the service
For adjustments to the collimator, see module 7.2 department.
page 110.
There is no motor drive in either direction.
i. Units fitted with a drive control key switch.
g.The magnetic locks sometimes do not work, The switch may be faulty, or have a loose
or are weak in action connection.
ii. The fuse for battery power is open circuit.
There are two types of electromagnetic locks. Older
iii. The battery is discharged.
types require power to operate. Later types have a
iv. There is a bad connection to the battery termi-
permanent magnet, and require power to remove, or
nal. Remove the battery terminals, and scrape
cancel, the magnetism.
corrosion from the posts or terminal clamps.
The lock sometimes operates, depending on the v. Caution. See part a, general precautions, before
tube stand movement. disconnecting a battery.
i. There may be a poor connection to the lock coil vi. The brake release bar on the handle operates a
E or the lock switch. microswitch. The microswitch may need adjust-
ment to operate correctly.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
93

vii. Check the electrical cables for loose plugs or The battery is not charged up.
sockets. i. The battery was not charged overnight. Or the
There is no forward motor drive. power point used was faulty. Check the power
i. The anti-crash bumper may be stuck in the point with a lamp or similar item.
operated position, or one of the switches oper- ii. The power cord used for battery charging has
ated by the bumper is damaged. a bad connection. Have an electrician repair
There is only a low level of motor drive assistance. the connection. (Do not move the mobile while
i. The motor may be in bedside mode. A con- plugged into a power point.)
trol switch selects the change between bedside iii. There is an open circuit fuse, in the battery
speed, and travel speed.The control switch could charge section of the mobile. To check a fuse,
be faulty, or the knob has slipped, and indicates see module 5.0 page 65.
the wrong position. iv. Caution. If this is a battery operated high-
ii. Other mobiles require the tube stand to be frequency generator, this check should only
placed in the travel position before permitting be performed by an electrician, or electronics
full power. In which case a microswitch to sense technician.
the tube stand position may need adjustment. After charging, the battery soon looses power.
Ask an electrician or electronics technician to i. Has the electrolyte level of the battery been
check the switch, or microswitch operation. checked? (This may not be possible with sealed
iii. New mobiles have microcomputer control of the or low maintenance batteries.)
motor power. Some systems allow the opera- ii. The battery may have a shorted cell, or the
tor to change the amount of power assistance. cells are sulphated, in this case a new battery
Refer to the operation manual to adjust the level is required. Before replacing the battery, have
of motor power. the battery tested at a garage, or by an auto
iv. There may be a poor battery connection due to electrician.
corrosion. Remove the battery terminal clamps, iii. Caution. See part a, general precautions, before
scrape of any corrosion, and reassemble. disconnecting a battery.
v. Caution. See part a, general precautions, before
disconnecting a battery.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
94

MODULE 6.2

Capacitor discharge mobile

a. CD operation modes
Aim
Unlike the fixed installation, or standard mobile gen-
The aim is to provide information related to servicing
erator, the CD mobile has special modes of operation.
or repairing a capacitor discharge (CD) mobile. This
This list is provided as a reminder.
information is additional to that provided for a fixed
installation described in module 6.0 page 71, and High voltage is applied to the X-ray tube continu-
mobile generators described in module 6.1 page 90. ously while the capacitor is charged. This includes
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the the kV remaining after the exposure.
title page.) When not in preparation, the X-ray tube filament
has no pre-heating. There is also a high negative
voltage applied between the cathode cup or grid,
Objectives
and the filament. Despite these precautions, a very
On completion of this module, the student will be small electron emission does occur. This is called
aware of common problems with capacitor discharge dark current.
mobile generators. When used together with modules To prevent X-ray emission due to dark current,
6.0 and 6.1 procedures, the student will be able locate the collimator has an additional lead shutter. This
a problem area, and carry out minor repairs. The shutter blocks all X-ray emission. The shutter moves
student will also be aware of special precautions when out only when the mobile begins preparation, or else
dealing with the capacitor high-voltage system, where just before the X-ray exposure.
repairs must only be attempted by an electrician or When in preparation, the exposure is prevented by
electronics technician. the negative voltage applied to the X-ray tube grid.
During an exposure, this voltage is removed, allow-
ing full emission from the cathode. At the end of
Contents
the exposure, the negative voltage is again con-
a. CD mobile operation modes nected to the grid. This shuts off the electron beam
b. General precautions to the anode, ending the exposure.
c. High-tension cable precautions Earlier CD mobiles set the exposure as a percent-
d. The mobile does not switch on age of kV drop during an exposure. Later systems
e. Unable to charge the capacitor have an mAs timer.
f. On charging the capacitor, there is a loud bang The capacitor discharges during an exposure, at the
g. Unable to obtain preparation rate of 1 kV per mAs. As a result, the X-ray output
h. On going into preparation, the capacitor discharges of a CD mobile is not linear. A 20 mAs exposure will
i. No exposure not give twice the output of a 10 mAs exposure.
j. The kV does not adjust to a lower value
k. Apparently there is an exposure, but the film is
blank
b. General precautions
l. On exposing, the exposure continues till the capac- Before removing any covers, ensure the mobile is
itor is fully discharged switched off, and unplugged from the power point.
m. Problems with the motor drive If removing a collimator or X-ray tube.
i. Do not rely on the vertical lock system.
ii. Ensure the suspension system is at the limit of
its maximum vertical travel.
E
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
95

iii. Or, attach a rope so that the system cannot Before operating the discharge knobs, you may
move upwards, once the weight of the collima- observe two neon lamps glowing. On operation of
tor or X-ray tube is removed. the discharge knobs, both of these lamps should
When replacing a motor drive battery. turn off. If one lamp continues to glow, contact the
i. Do not attempt to replace the batteries if a service department for advice before proceeding.
mobile has more then two 12 V batteries. Ask i. Undo the ring nut holding the cable end in posi-
for assistance from an electrician or electronics tion at the X-ray tube receptacle.
technician. ii. Do not remove the cable end, but first inspect
ii. Remove your wristwatch if it has a metallic the safety-shield metal braid for damage. Twist-
band.The same precaution extends to any rings. ing of the cable may have caused it to break,
While 12 volts, or even 24 volts, is too low to and become disconnected from the cable end.
cause a serious shock, the battery can cause iii. If the shield does not appear damaged, then
serious burns if a short circuit occurs across a re-tighten the ring nut so the cable shield is
watchband or ring. properly grounded.
iii. Disconnect first the battery terminal that con- iv. Undo the ring nut holding the high-tension cable
nects to the mobile body or framework.This pre- in the high-tension tank receptacle. On with-
vents the danger of accidentally shorting the drawing the cable end, do not touch the pins,
other battery terminal to the mobile body. but first short them to the side of the recepta-
iv. If two batteries are fitted, refer always to cle. This is to ensure any possible charge in the
the operation or installation manuals. In some high-tension cable is completely shorted out.
cases, the batteries will have the centre con- v. In case the high-tension cable shield appears
nection between the two batteries connected to damaged at the X-ray tube end, then remove
the mobile body. These connections should be the cable end from the X-ray tube first. Again,
removed first, and replaced last. It is advisable touch the end pins to side of the receptacle to
to request the aid of an electrician. If in any discharge any residual high voltage. This will
doubt, contact the service department for include any charge in the capacitor as well as
advice. the high-tension cable. Now undo the ring nut,
and remove the cable end from the high-tension
tank.
c. High-tension cable precautions
vi. The above precautions are in case the knobs for
Special care is required due to dangerous high voltage discharging the capacitors have not operated
stored in the capacitors. Several of the tests described correctly. In part (iv) only a small spark will
involve removing or exchanging the high-tension occur if the capacitor was not discharged, but
cables. This requires taking care to ensure the capac- in part (v) take care, as there may be a very big
itor is fully discharged, before any attempt is made to spark. Normally, there should be no spark at all.
remove or adjust the cable ends. Only an electrician, In case there is, then contact the service depart-
or electronics technician, should attempt this ment before proceeding further.
procedure. When the high-tension cable is removed or re-
placed, the cable ends must be cleaned and re-
If possible, make an exposure to fully discharge the
sealed. See module 7.3 page 117.
capacitor, or reset the kV to the minimum level
After replacing or adjusting the high-tension cable,
possible.
return the discharge knobs to their normal position.
Wait until the kV has dropped to below 5 kV, as indi-
cated on the panel meter. If no indication of capac-
itor high-voltage by a panel meter, wait overnight d.The mobile does not switch on
before proceeding.
Is the power cable faulty?
Switch off, and unplug the power cord.
i. Is the power point faulty? Check by plugging a
Open the control panel, and locate the two manual
lamp or other suitable item into the power
capacitor-discharge control knobs. These may be
point.
operated by lifting and rotating, and must stay in
ii. Is there a broken connection at the power-
the discharge position. If uncertain of their opera-
cable plug? Important, check also the earth
tion, refer to the installation or service manual for
connection.
the mobile. Otherwise contact the service depart-
ment for advice.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
96

iii. The power cable-reel may have broken wires or


faulty contacts in the mechanism. If faulty, have These tests should only be performed by an elec-
an electrician connect a temporary power cable trician or electronics technician.
directly into the mobile, while waiting for a Refer to (b), High-tension precautions, before
replacement. proceeding.
iv. If there is a bad connection to a power plug or
socket, this should be checked and repaired by
an electrician.
v. For information on locating bad connections, Undo the ring-nuts retaining the high-tension
see module 5.0 page 65. cable-ends in the X-ray tube receptacles. Is there a
vi. Moving the mobile while still plugged into a strong odour from one of the cable ends?
power point is not recommended. i. If there is, either the cable end is faulty, or there
Check for a blown or faulty fuse. See module 5.0 has been an arc-over in the receptacle.
page 65. ii. With the capacitor fully discharged and safe,
The power on/off switch is faulty. Check for loose withdraw the suspect cable end. (See part b.
connections. Test the switch operation with a mul- High-tension cable precautions.)
timeter set to the low ohms range. Ask an electri- iii. After taking the precaution of shorting the pins
cian or electronics technician for assistance. to ground, examine the cable end and recepta-
cle for traces of carbon.An easy way to find con-
tamination of grease etc is to wipe with a paper
e. Unable to charge the capacitor
tissue.
On pressing the charge button, nothing happens. Oth- iv. If there is no indication of arcing inside the
erwise all appears normal. receptacle, but there is a strong odour from the
high-tension cable as it enters the cable end,
With power switched off, and the mobile unplugged
the cable is faulty and requires replacement.
from the power point, check the following;
v. In case there are signs of arcing in the recep-
i. Some CD mobiles have the capacitor charge
tacle, then the receptacle and cable end must
switch mounted on the hand switch. There may
be carefully cleaned, and re-sealed. See module
be a broken wire or a faulty switch.
7.3 page 117.
ii. To check the hand switch or cable, see module
vi. After a cable end has been withdrawn, it will
5.0 page 65.
need to be re-sealed with fresh grease, or have
iii. Open the control panel, and check for an open
new anti-corona pads fitted. See module 7.3
circuit fuse. At this time also check internally for
page 117.
loose plugs or sockets, and or loose connections.
Do the high-tension cables or X-ray tube recepta-
iv. Check the wiring to the collimator for broken or
cles appear OK? The capacitors or X-ray tube could
loose connections.
have a short circuit. Contact the service department
v. Remove the collimator cover. Locate the dark-
for assistance. Provide full details of the fault, tests
current shutter mechanism. Check that the
made, and the results.
shutter is in the correct position, and the shutter
microswitch operates correctly.
vi. Have the manual capacitor-discharge knobs g. Unable to obtain preparation
been left in the discharge position, after a
Is the capacitor fully charged? Check by pressing
high-tension cable was adjusted? Or, is a micro-
the charge button. Or else by increasing the preset
switch, operated by these knobs, sticking? This
kV, in which case the charge mode should operate.
will indicate the manual discharger is still
There may be a faulty preparation switch, or a faulty
operated, and prevent the capacitor charging.
cable from the handswitch. To check the switch or
cable, see module 5.0 page 65.
f. On charging the capacitor, there is Check the wiring to the X-ray tube and collimator,
a loud bang especially if it has been subject to pulling. This
includes;
This indicates a high-tension fault. This could be the
i. Stator cable and connections.
capacitor, but may instead be in a cable end, or
ii. Connections to the thermal overload switch, in
E perhaps the X-ray tube.
the tube housing.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
97

Check for a loose plug or socket. See module 5.0 If all is well, attach a label to the previous cathode
page 65. cable. This should indicate it has an internal short
Look for a loose or open circuit fuse. See module circuit, and is suitable as an anode cable only.
5.0 page 65. If the problem still occurs, contact the service
Contact the service department for assistance. department for assistance. Provide full details of
Provide full details of the fault, tests made, and the the fault, tests made, and the results.
results.

i. No exposure
h. On going into preparation, the capacitor Does the mobile have a Bucky connection option?
discharges
Try exposing with the Bucky option switched off or
The negative control voltage applied to the X-ray tube bypassed.
grid is missing. As the filament heats up, this results in Is the capacitor fully charged? In some designs, if
an uncontrolled exposure, and may fully discharge the the capacitor is not fully charged to the required
capacitor. A common cause is a faulty high-tension value, this will prevent preparation. In other systems
cathode cable, with an internal short circuit between it may instead prevent a radiographic exposure.
the grid wire, and one of the filament wires. To check Check the operation of the handswitch, or a possi-
for a possible fault in the high-tension cable, the cables ble broken wire in the handswitch cable. To check
can be exchanged between anode and cathode. (Of the switch or cable, see module 5.0 page 65.
course, there is a possibility the cables were previously Check the wiring and connections to the
exchanged, but no record kept of this event.) collimator.
i. Remove the collimator cover and check for
correct operation of the dark-current shutter.
This procedure should only be performed by an This should move out of the way, either during
electrician, or electronics technician. preparation, or just before an exposure.
Refer to (b), High-tension precautions, ii. Check the microswitch operated by this shutter.
before proceeding. If sticking, or not fully operated, this may be the
cause.

Mark each cable end before removal, to ensure they


j.The kV does not adjust to a lower value
are correctly exchanged after being re-inserted.
Ensure the capacitor is fully discharged, power is For example, after charging the capacitor, you decide
disconnected, and the manual discharge knobs are to use less kV for the exposure. However, on trying to
in position. reset to a lower kV, nothing immediately happens,
Undo the ring nuts holding the cable ends in posi- although the capacitor voltage may very slowly drop
tion, and withdraw the cable ends from the high- in value.
tension transformer. Take note, which receptacle To reset the kV down to the new setting, the gen-
is positive, and which is negative. The X-ray tube erator makes a low mA exposure. Radiation is pre-
cathode must connect to the negative receptacle. vented from leaving the collimator by the dark-current
Remove the high-tension cable ends from the X-ray shutter.The shutter also operates a safety microswitch.
tube housing. This prevents the low mA exposure if the shutter is not
For cleaning and resealing the cable ends on rein- closed.
sertion, see module 7.3 page 117. Switch the power off, and unplug the power cord
Both high-tension cables have now been discon- from the power point.
nected. Now reconnect the cables to the X-ray tube Remove the collimator cover.
and generator. The previous cathode cable is con- Check the collimator dark-current shutter for cor-
nected to the anode, and the previous anode cable rect operation.
is connected to the cathode. Check if the shutter microswitch has operated cor-
Take care to connect the anode cable to the posi- rectly, and there are no bad connections or broken
tive receptacle, and the cathode cable to the neg- wires to the collimator.
ative receptacle of the high-tension transformer. If the shutter and microswitch appear correct,
Power up. Recharge the capacitor and make a test contact the service department for advice. Provide
exposure. full details of the fault, tests made, and the results.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
98

k. Apparently there is an exposure, but the vi. The brake release bar on the handle operates a
film is blank microswitch. The microswitch may need adjust-
ment to operate correctly.
On exposing, the capacitor voltage drops the expected
vii. Check the electrical cables for loose plugs or
amount of kV. For example, the kV dropped by 10 kV
sockets.
after a 10 mAs exposure.
There is no forward motor drive.
In this situation, the dark-current shutter has failed i. The anti-crash bumper may be stuck in the
to open properly. Remove the collimator covers and operated position, or one of the switches oper-
check the operation of the shutter, and its associ- ated by the bumper is damaged.
ated microswitch. There is only a low level of motor drive assistance.
i. The motor may be in bedside mode. A control
switch selects the change between bedside
l. On exposing, the exposure continued till
speed, and travel speed.The control switch could
the capacitor was fully discharged
be faulty, or the knob has slipped, and indicates
The X-ray tube may have become unstable.Try a test the wrong position.
exposure at a much lower kV setting. If successful, ii. Other mobiles require the tube stand to be
then try the X-ray tube seasoning procedure. See placed in the travel position before permitting
module 2.1 page 48. full power. In which case a microswitch to sense
If a low kV test exposure shows the same fault, the tube stand position may need adjustment.
contact the service department for assistance. Ask an electrician or electronics technician to
Provide full details of the fault, tests made, and the check the switch, or microswitch operation.
results. iii. There may be a poor battery connection due to
corrosion. Remove the battery terminal clamps,
scrape of any corrosion, and reassemble.
m. Problems with the motor drive
iv. Caution. See part b, general precautions, before
Some mobiles are fitted with battery-powered motor disconnecting a battery.
drives. A 12 volt car battery is most commonly fitted. The battery is not charged up.
In some cases two batteries are used, to provide 24 i. The battery was not charged overnight. Or the
volts. power point used was faulty. Check the power
Whenever possible, refer first to the operation point with a lamp or similar item.
or installation manual. If in doubt contact the ii. There is an open circuit fuse in the battery
service department, or request the assistance of an charge section of the mobile. See module 5.0
electrician. page 65.
There is no motor drive in either direction. After charging, the battery soon looses power.
i. Units fitted with a drive control key switch. The i. Has the electrolyte level of the battery been
switch may be faulty, or have a loose connec- checked? (This may not be possible with sealed
tion. or low maintenance batteries.)
ii. The fuse for battery power is open circuit. See ii. The battery may have a shorted cell, or the cells
module 5.0 page 65. are sulphated, in this case a new battery is
iii. The battery is discharged. required. Before replacing the battery, have
iv. There is a bad connection to the battery termi- the battery tested at a garage, or by an auto
nal. Remove the battery terminals, and scrape electrician.
corrosion from the posts or terminal clamps. iii. Caution. See part b, general precautions, be-
v. Caution. See part b, general precautions, before fore disconnecting a battery.
disconnecting a battery.

E
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
99

MODULE 7.0

X-ray tube stand

a. General precautions
Aim
Electrical safety.
The aim is to provide information for repairing or
i. In most installations the tube-stand power will
adjusting the tube stand.This is additional information
come from the generator, but in some installa-
to the maintenance procedures, provided in module
tions, switching off the generator does not
2.0 page 44. Procedures for electrical tests are pro-
remove power from the tube stand.
vided in module 5.0 page 65.
ii. Before removing any covers, ensure the genera-
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the
tor is switched off, and the room power isolation
title page.)
switch is also turned off.
iii. This also applies if testing wiring connections, or
Objectives electrical components.
If removing an X-ray tube, or collimator.
On completion of this module, the student will be
i. See module 7.1 page 104, and module 7.2 page
aware of common problems with the X-ray tube stand.
110.
When used together with the module 5.0 procedures,
ii. Ask an electrician or electronics technician for
the student will be able identify a problem area, and
assistance.
carry out minor repairs. An electrician or electronics
iii. Do not rely on the vertical lock system.
technician may provide added assistance where indi-
iv. Attach a rope so that the system cannot move
cated in this module.
upwards, once the weight of the collimator or
Task 13. Bucky tabletop and tube-stand centre, X-ray tube is removed.
should be attempted on completion of this module. v. The X-ray tube is heavy. Removal or replacement
requires two people.
Contents vi. Make a diagram of electrical connections.
Attach labels to wires or high-tension cables.
a. General precautions This is to ensure correct connection when an
b. The vertical movement is not balanced X-ray tube or collimator is replaced.
c. When power is turned off, the tube stand starts vii. Place all screws or other small parts in a box,
moving so they are not lost.
d. The tube stand is not centred to the vertical Bucky Do not place a ladder against a tube stand.The tube
e. Check the tube stand centre stop position stand may suddenly move.
f. Mechanical centre-stop adjustments An adjustment to any tube-stand bearing requires
g. Electrically operated centre-stop adjustments skill, and good mechanical knowledge. When a
h. An electromagnetic lock fails to operate problem is identified, request the service depart-
i. A group of locks fail to operate ment to make the required adjustments.

b.The vertical movement is not balanced


For example, with the vertical locks off, or if power is
turned off, the tube carriage tends to move down, or
up. This problem may have occurred after fitting a
replacement X-ray tube.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
100

Most tube stands have a system of trim weights. ii. A ceiling mounted tube stand can only be
Adding or removing these weights balances the checked with a plumb bob. With the tube
vertical suspension. stand first at lower, then at maximum height,
i. With ceiling suspensions, these weights may be the plumb bob should deviate by only a few
positioned inside the cross arm. millimetres.
ii. Floor ceiling tube stands allow for trim weights iii. A ceiling mounted tube stand may need adjust-
to be attached to the main counterbalance ment of the gantry-rail bearings.
weight. To gain access, a panel is removed from iv. The floor-ceiling tube stand has a ceiling or wall
either behind the tube stand, or from one side mounted guide rail. Check the guide-rail bearing
of the tube stand. assembly. This may be loose or incorrectly
iii. If added trim weights are required, these may adjusted.
be formed from lead sheet, available from a The cross arm may not be horizontal.
builders hardware shop. i. This can be a common fault with some floor
Some ceiling mounted tube stands require a spring ceiling tube stands. Check the cross arm with a
to be added or removed to achieve balance. The spirit level.
service department should make this adjustment. ii. Look for broken or loose bearings, especially
Floor ceiling tube stands may have a large spring with the cross-arm bearings inside the vertical
instead of a counterweight. The variable ratio pulley movement.
at the top of the tube stand can identify this iii. Adjustments to any tube-stand bearings require
method. Final counterbalance may still be achieved specialized knowledge. When a problem is iden-
using trim weights attached to the cross-arm. tified, request the service department to make
Otherwise contact the service department. the required adjustments.
Is the light-field vertical alignment correct?
i. Bring the collimator down onto the tabletop. If
c.When power is turned off, the tube stand
necessary adjust the X-ray tube rotation in the
starts moving
trunnion rings, so it sits flat on the tabletop.
A common reason is the support method of the HT ii. Raise the tube a small amount. With the colli-
cables. Providing the tube stand movement is not mator light switched on, place a marker in the
restricted, arrange for added or more suitable HT centre of the light field.
cable support. iii. Raise the collimator to the normal operating
With a floor ceiling stand, this may be due to a floor height. The centre of the light field should stay
that is not level. It may be possible to improve by on the marker. If not, rotate the tube a small
adding shims under the floor rail. Check the floor amount in the trunnion rings, and repeat this
rails with a spirit level. test.
With a ceiling mounted system, the ceiling rails may iv. Alignment is correct when the light field does
not be level. This may be due to incorrect initial not shift, as the X-ray tube is raised or lowered.
installation. There is a possibility the ceiling attach-
After checking the first three items, now centre the
ment points have shifted, or a problem with the
light field to the centre of the tabletop. Caution, do
building. Check the rails with a spirit level. Depend-
not use the cross arm centre stop as a guide, as this
ing on the age or style of construction, have the
may also need adjustment.
installation checked by a building inspector.
If the Bucky table has lateral movement of the
tabletop, the centre stop position of the tabletop
d.The tube stand is not centred to
should first be checked.
the vertical Bucky
i. Move the tabletop to the centre position.
In this situation, the x-ray tube may appear to be cor- ii. Place a cassette in the Bucky, with a marker
rectly centred to the table centre. However, when the positioned on the centre of the cassette.
X-ray tube is rotated, it is not centred to the vertical iii. Place another marker on the centre of the
Bucky. tabletop.
iv. Make a low kV and mAs exposure. Process the
The tube stand may not be vertical.
film.The markers should have the same position
i. A floor-ceiling tube stand may be checked with
on the film.
E an accurate spirit level. A more accurate check
is to use a plumb bob.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
101

v. If required, adjust the position of the tabletop v. If required, adjust the position of the tabletop
centring device. See module 8.0 page 121. centring device. See module 8.0 page 121.
Is the tube stand centred to the Bucky table?
Rotate the X-ray tube to face the vertical Bucky.
i. Make this test, after checking the light-field ver-
Move the tube stand close to the Bucky. The light field
tical alignment described in part d.
should be centred to the Bucky. Next, move the tube
ii. Move the Bucky tabletop to the centre position.
stand away from the Bucky. Check the position of the
iii. Switch on the collimator lamp.
light field.
iv. Test the lateral centre-stop position of the tube
Although the light field is not centred to the verti- stand. With the cross-arm retracted, move the
cal Bucky, it does not shift as the tube stand moves X-ray tube out towards the centre stop posi-
away from the Bucky. tion. The light field should be centred to the
i. Was the vertical Bucky positioned correctly tabletop.
during installation? Attach a string to the far v. Repeat the test, start with the cross-arm
end of the tabletop, positioned at the centre. extended, then move inwards to the table
Take the other end of the string to the centre centre. The light field should again be centred
of the vertical Bucky. to the tabletop.
ii. When the string is tightened, it should remain vi. The actual centre stop position can depend on
centred along the full length of the tabletop. how quickly the X-ray tube is moved across the
iii. Is the tube stand movement parallel to the table, and the method used to indicate the stop
tabletop? The light field should remain centred position. Depending on the design, accurate cen-
while the tube stand is moved from the table tring may require moving the X-ray tube from
foot end to the table head end. If the light one direction only.
moves off centre, this could indicate either the
tube stand or the Bucky table was incorrectly
installed
f. Mechanical centre-stop adjustments
The light beam shifts off centre, as the tube stand A steel ball, pushed by a spring, clicks into a slot
is moved away from the vertical Bucky. when the cross arm is centred. This holds the cross
i. The tube stand cross-arm may not be horizon- arm in position.
tal. Check with a spirit level. If the spring is weak, it is difficult to feel when the
ii. Many tube stands allow rotation of the cross centre position is reached.
arm. (In some cases, the entire tube stand There is usually a screw provided, to adjust the
rotates.) The rotation index-plate may be loose, spring tension. Adjust this screw to provide the best
or not correctly centred. feel when centring the X-ray tube.
iii. Common rotation angles are -90 degrees, The centre-stop position is adjusted by changing the
centre, and +90 degrees. A lock pin is inserted position of the mechanical system on the cross arm.
into a slotted index-plate to hold the rotation To adjust the position, see the directions provided
position.The index-plate and locking pin may be in the installation manual. Otherwise contact the
worn, or incorrectly adjusted. service department for advice.

e. Check the tube stand centre-stop position g. Electrically operated centre-stop adjustments
If the Bucky table has lateral movement of the Caution: Before making any electrical tests, ensure the
tabletop, the centre stop position of the tabletop generator is switched off, and the room power isola-
should be checked. tion switch is also turned off. An electrician or elec-
i. Move the tabletop to the centre position. tronics technician should carry out electrical tests or
ii. Place a cassette in the Bucky, with a marker adjustments. See module 5.0 page 65.
positioned on the centre of the cassette. A number of different electrical centre-stop sensors
iii. Place another marker on the centre of the have been developed. These operate the lateral lock
tabletop. when in position.
iv. Make a low kV and mAs exposure. Process the
A microswitch, operated by a cam. In normal oper-
film.The markers should have the same position
ation, you may hear a small click as the switch
on the film.
passes over the cam. The position of the cam con-
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
102

trols the centre stop position. A problem may be The lock may have too large an air gap.This can also
caused by: cause erratic or slow operation. Most locks have
i. The cam height is too small. As a result, there slotted mounting plates. Adjust by undoing the
is insufficient pressure on the microswitch for screws a small amount, adjust the lock position, and
reliable operation. retighten the screws.
ii. The cam or microswitch has become loose, and The lock may only partially release. In this case it
the microswitch does not operate. may be too close to the surface. Again, adjust its
iii. A broken wire or connection to the microswitch. position. In some cases, the lock has residual mag-
iv. A ceiling tube stand may have incorrect adjust- netism. This can be a design problem with some
ment of the lateral movement bearings.This may tube stands. Contact the service department for
cause the cam to move away from the switch, advice.
so it does not operate. In some cases, it may Permanent magnet locks have become popular.
instead move too close, damaging the switch. A These ensure the locks remain on when power is
close visual inspection can indicate if this is a removed.
problem. Some ceiling suspended tube-stands use a solenoid
A vane operated sensor. A vane passes through a operated piston, attached via a lever to a brake
small slot in the sensor. The position of the vane pad. A spring maintains brake operation, until the
controls the centre stop position. A problem may be solenoid operation pulls the pad away from the
caused by; surface. If the stroke is too long, the piston fails to
i. The vane is positioned too high, and does not pull inside the solenoid, and the lock does not
fully enter the sensor. This can cause unreliable release. Adjustment is by a screw thread fitted with
operation. a locknut.
ii. The vane is missing. In some cases, there is a fuse specific to the failed
iii. The vane or sensor is damaged. Check by visual lock. Before checking fuses, ensure all power is
observation. turned off.
iv. A broken wire or connection to the sensor. See Module 5.0 page 65.
An optical sensor, operated by reflected light. This
system requires a white or silvered reflector,
i. A group of locks fail to operate
mounted opposite the sensor at the stop position.
A problem may be caused by; First ensure the generator is switched off, and the
i. The reflector is a small piece of foil, with a self- room power isolation switch is also turned off.
adhesive backing. Due to poor adhesive, this may Look for an open circuit fuse at the tube stand.
have become dislodged. In most installations, the tube stand obtains power
ii. The sensor is not close enough to the reflector from the generator. This may involve several differ-
for reliable operation. ent voltage supplies. Check at the generator and at
iii. The reflector is dirty, or there is dirt on the the high-tension transformer for an open circuit
sensor. fuse.
iv. A broken wire or connection to the sensor. See Module 5.0 page 65.
Check where cables enter the tube stand or control
h. An electromagnetic lock fails to operate panel. If the cables are pulled during the tube stand
movements, a wire may have broken from a termi-
This may be due to a faulty lock coil. Other reasons
nal strip.
may be a faulty switch, or a broken connection due to
a cable being pulled. See module 5.0 page 65.
First ensure the generator is switched off, and the
room power isolation switch is also turned off.

E
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
103

TASK 13

Bucky tabletop and


tube-stand centre

A number of films have appeared which show incorrect lateral centring. You decide to verify the accuracy of the
X-ray tube and table centre-stop.

1. Design a method to verify the tabletop is accurately centred over the Bucky. Note: this should include possible
errors due to the film position in the cassette.

Carry out this test; include moving the tabletop to centre position from either direction.
Is the tabletop correctly centred to the cassette?
If not, is the cassette tray correctly centred in the Bucky?

Is the crosshair on the collimator faceplate correctly centred to the closed position of the collimator leaves?

With the X-ray tube positioned close to the tabletop, is the crosshair aligned to the tabletop centre? Include moving
the X-ray tube to centre position from either direction.

As the X-ray tube is raised from the tabletop, does the crosshair move away from the centre mark?

What adjustment might be made so that the crosshair position does not move as the X-ray tube is raised from
the tabletop?

If this adjustment is performed, will it affect the centre-stop position of the X-ray tube cross-arm?

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
Tutor
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
104

MODULE 7.1

X-ray tube

a. General precautions
Aim
Before disconnecting any wires, or removing the
The aim is to provide information for testing or replac-
high-tension cables, always ensure power is turned
ing the X-ray tube. Different failure modes are ex-
off and unplugged from the power point. If the
amined. This module is an extension of module 2.1
equipment is part of a fixed installation, besides
page 48. Reference should also be made to module 7.3
switching the generator power off, ensure the iso-
page 117.
lation power switch for the room is also switched
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the
off.
title page.)
Mobile high-frequency generators may be battery
operated. The batteries in these are connected in
Objectives series, and can have a total voltage of up to 240 V
DC. Refer to the operating or installation manuals
On completion of this module, the student will be
for the position of the battery isolation switch, and
aware of common problems with the X-ray tube,
ensure this is switched off before removing the
together with the test procedures. This includes
covers, or testing wires and connectors.
removal or replacement of the X-ray tube, together
If removing a collimator or X-ray tube from a tube
with assistance from an electrician or electronics
stand.
technician.
i. Do not rely on the vertical lock system.
ii. An X-ray tube is heavy. Two people are required
Contents for removal or installation.
a. General precautions iii. Use a rope to prevent the system moving
b. X-ray tube failure modes upwards, when a collimator or X-ray tube is
c. Inspection of the anode or filament removed.
d. Focal spot performance iv. Provide a container to hold all small parts, or
e. Oil leaks screws. Protect against loss.
f. Removal of the X-ray tube If removing an X-ray tube from a capacitor dis-
g. X-ray tube transport charge mobile, observe the high-tension precau-
h. Re-installation of the X-ray tube tions described in module 7.3 page 117.

b. X-ray tube failure modes


The X-ray tube is unstable. A common cause is gas,
which causes very high current to flow during an
exposure. Unstable operation is usually corrected by
seasoning.This is described in module 2.1 page 48.
Attempts to improve the performance by seasoning
are not successful. This can be due to;
i. The glass has developed micro-fine cracks. With
the collimator removed, this will be observed as
a fine crazing effect on the output window, or
port. These cracks indicate the glass is punc-
E tured. As a result, the tube is gassy.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
105

ii. The bearings have seized, so X-ray exposures are especially at higher mA output. In addition, cor-
hitting a stationary anode. rection of mA at medium to low kV calibration
iii. In both cases, the tube requires replacement. points becomes very difficult. (Space charge
Arcing at the HT cable ends or in the receptacles. compensation).
i. You have may have observed smoke at one iv. In some cases it is possible to see a faulty
receptacle. Or an actual spark. filament, after the collimator is removed. See
ii. The X-ray control might generate mA overload inspection of the anode or filament.
or kV fault signals. This depends on the design
of the X-ray control and the severity of the
c. Inspection of the anode or filament
arcing.
iii. You have noticed there is a strong odour at the
suspect cable end or receptacle. Note. This technique must not be attempted with
iv. High-tension cable problems are discussed in a capacitor discharge mobile, due to high voltage
module 7.3 page 117. that may be stored in the capacitor.
The bearings have become very noisy. In many cases
a tube with noisy bearings can still have a useful
life. However, budget for a replacement if the anode
slows down quickly once preparation is released. Removing the collimator.
This can indicate a failure in the near future, and is i. Where possible, refer first to the installation
especially the case if the anode slows down while manual of the collimator. If in doubt, contact
still in preparation. the service department for instruction. Two
Poor X-ray resolution. people are recommended, to hold the assem-
i. The anode is badly worn. bly in position as it is removed or replaced.
ii. The anode is cracked or distorted, so that the ii. Rotate the X-ray tube so it is aimed at the
focal spot wobbles as the anode rotates. ceiling. Adjust the height close to the tabletop.
iii. Heavy metal deposits on the output window.This iii. Secure the vertical movement of the tube
causes excessive hardening or filtration of the X- stand so it cannot move upwards once the col-
ray output. In this case, it will not be possible to limator is removed. Do not rely on the magnetic
observe the anode or cathode after removing lock system, this can slip, or not operate when
the collimator. Metal deposits can also lead to power is switched off.
a micro arc through the glass, causing the tube iv. Examine the connecting cables to the collima-
to become unstable or gassy. tor, and the tube-stand operation panel. Is
iv. See inspection of the anode or filament in part there sufficient length? Undo any cable ties if
c. required, to allow cables to hang freely.
A filament is open circuit. To test, use a multimeter v. Ensure all power is off. Turn of power at the
set to the low ohms scale. There should be a very room isolation switch. Do not rely on the gen-
low resistance between any two pins in the cathode erator power switch, as some installations
receptacle. An exception is the X-ray tube for some allow direct power to the tube stand.
mobiles, which may have only one focal spot. vi. To avoid pulling on cables once the collimator
A filament has a partial short circuit. This is due to is removed, place a box of a suitable height on
a section of the filament touching the cathode the tabletop.The collimator can rest on this box
focus cup, and then welding itself to the cup. Unfor- when removed from the tube head. This may
tunately, this is not a rare occurrence. include the tube-stand control panel.
i. The generator will indicate sudden low mA vii. If the cables are short, disconnection is
output, while films will not only appear under- required. Make a careful diagram of connec-
exposed, but may also have poor contrast due tion terminals before disconnecting, and ensure
to an increase of kV. With high frequency, or the wires have a suitable label or mark. Ensure
microprocessor-controlled generators, a kV fault any attached labels will not fall off.Any exposed
signal may be generated. terminals attached to wires must be covered
ii. Checking the other focal spot will indicate with insulation tape. (Power may need to be
normal operation. re-applied to see inside the X-ray tube.)
iii. Attempting to re-calibrate mA output will indi- viii. Undo the retaining screws holding the collima-
cate a rapidly increasing filament drive current, tor to the tube housing, and place the colli-
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
106

mator on the tabletop, or box. Take care on Worn anode. This appears as a fine crazed
removal, as part of the collimator can extend pattern, like coarse sandpaper.
into the tube-housing port. In some cases, the Overloaded anode. This has a fine orange
tube-stand control panel will be detached at peel pattern.
the same time. Assistance may be required to Smudged areas. This often occurs during
hold or place components as they are removed. manufacture. However, if the tube is unsta-
ix. Have a container ready to receive screws etc. ble, this can be an indication of gas.
These are easily lost. Inspecting the filament.
x. The tube-housing port may have an aluminium ix. When the generator is switched on, the pre-
filter, and a lead proximal diaphragm fitted. heat circuit will light up the selected focal spot.
The latter is often in the form of cone extend- x. Select fine focus, and then broad focus. The
ing into the port, and the filter is then placed broad focus will appear a little longer and
under this lead diaphragm. The proximal larger in diameter.
diaphragm is held in place by a spring clip, or xi. (An exception to the above will occur with a
else by two or four very small screws. Before fluoroscopy table. In this case, the fine focus
removing the lead diaphragm, make a mark so remains selected at all times, unless in prepa-
it can be replaced in the same position. ration for radiography).
xi. Caution: do not remove the larger screws xii. If there is a partial short in the broad focus,
holding the port assembly in place. Air will then the broad focus will appear shorter in
enter the housing, or oil will leak out. If this length than the fine focus. Careful observation
happens, the tube housing needs to be can sometimes see a short length of filament
reprocessed. that is not heated.
Inspecting the anode. Are there fine cracks in the glass?
ii. With the collimator, proximal diaphragm, and i. These can appear over the anode or cathode
any added filter removed, it should now be pos- area. A minor case may appear as a single fine
sible to see the anode and filament. line, like a single strand of spider web. More
iii. Often observation of the anode may be made severe cases can appear as a fine crazed
using a torch. However, any metal evaporation pattern.
on the glass acts as a mirror, and prevents ii. These marks are due to high voltage discharge
observation. through the glass. This condition occurs more
iv. Most generators have a filament pre-heat often with metal deposits on the glass, which
circuit, which will light up the filament, and increases the possibility of arcing in this area.
allow observation of the anode. Ensure any dis- iii. The presence of these marks, together with a
connected wires have their ends taped up, and suspect unstable or arcing tube, means the tube
then switch on the generator. is gassy and will need replacement. In this case,
v. Note. If the glass has heavy metal deposits, this seasoning is not effective.
technique may only yield limited results. In this Replacing the collimator.
case, the future reliability of the tube is not i. Re-assembly is in the reverse order as the dis-
good. mantle process.
vi. To observe the anode for defects, the anode ii. Take care that any added aluminium filters are
needs to slowly rotate. returned to their previous position, and the prox-
vii. To rotate the anode, press the preparation imal diaphragm is correctly aligned.
button on the handswitch. This should be very iii. After reassembly the collimator will need
brief,so that the anode only just starts spinning. realignment. Please refer to module 7.2 page
Do not expose. As a safety precaution, preset 110.
minimum kV and time, and a low mA station.
viii. As the anode slows down, carefully observe the
d. Focal spot performance
track area. Look for the following.
Anode wobble, this indicates possible crack- Focal spot performance can be tested using a Star
ing, and poor focal spot performance. pattern gauge.
Stationary hits.These appear as small melted In use, the gauge is positioned in the centre of the
areas of the anode, as if hit by a small arc X-ray beam, close to the focal spot. This gives a mag-
E
welder. nified view of the star pattern. Part of this pattern is
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
107

blurred.The diameter of the blurred area is used to cal- needs to be reported, and have the tube returned
culate the size of the focal spot. for further attention.
There are several versions of star patterns. Use the
directions enclosed with the pattern, which includes a
f. Removal of the X-ray tube
formula specific to the supplied star pattern.
A star test pattern may be obtained as a loan item Due to the presence of an oil leak, or to have a new
from the service department, or from the physics insert installed, the X-ray tube and housing is required
department of a major hospital. at the service department.
When measuring the focal spot, take the following
Preparation for removal.
precautions.
i. Where possible, refer first to the installation
Use a low value of kV. (60~70 kV) manual of the tube stand. If in doubt, contact
Use a medium value of mA suitable for the focal the service department for instruction.
spot under examination. Note. As mA is increased, ii. Two people are recommended to assist in
the focal spot will also increase in size. removing or installing the X-ray tube assembly.
Use non-screened film. Or else a cassette with detail This is a heavy object.
screens. iii. Rotate the X-ray tube so it is aimed at the
Exposure time should be more than 0.04 seconds. ceiling. Adjust the height close to the tabletop.
This allows at least two rotations of the anode, in iv. Secure the vertical movement of the tube
case anode wobble is degrading the focal spot. stand so it cannot move upwards once the col-
If the test result is too light, increase the time or limator is removed. Do NOT rely on the mag-
mA station. netic lock system, this can slip, or not operate
If the result is too dark, consider increasing the FFD when power is switched off.
or reducing kV. v. Examine the connecting cables to the collima-
If the outer blurred area is too large in diameter to tor, and the tube-stand operation panel. Undo
measure easily, then reduce the magnification, and any cable ties or clamps, to allow cables to
adjust mA and kV to suit. hang freely.
vi. Carefully mark the anode and cathode cables.
vii. Hint. The stator cable normally enters at the
e. Oil leaks anode end of the housing. (In some cases, it
Oil leaks should always be reported. Even a very slow enters at the centre. Be careful in this situa-
oil leak has the possibility of letting air into the tion)
housing. An air bubble in the wrong position can lead viii. Ensure all power is off. Turn of power at the
to arcing, and possible destruction of the X-ray tube. room isolation switch. Do not rely on the gen-
erator power switch, as some installations
Oil leaks may be seen at either end of the tube
allow direct power to the tube stand.
housing, or at the collimator, if a crack or faulty seal
xi. If removing an X-ray tube from a capacitor dis-
occurs in the housing port.
charge mobile, observe the high-tension pre-
An X-ray tube with oil leaks will need to be repaired
cautions described in module 7.3 page 117.
by the service department. In some situations, the
x. Undo the ring nuts holding the HT cable ends,
service department may supply a loan unit, while
and withdraw the cable ends from the housing.
the faulty housing is repaired.
As they are withdrawn touch the end pins to
To locate where the oil leak occurs, first thoroughly
the tube stand. This is to discharge any resid-
wipe clean with a paper tissue. Leave overnight,
ual high-tension that may be present. When
and then test by wiping with a fresh tissue next
they are withdrawn, wrap the cable ends in
morning. This will indicate the origin, and assist in
cloth or paper towel to protect from damage.
repairs when the tube is returned to the service
xi. To avoid pulling on cables once the collimator
department.
is removed, place a box of a suitable height on
Occasionally, when a tube is returned after a repair,
the tabletop.The collimator can rest on this box
an apparent oil leak might appear. This can be
when removed from the tube head. This could
caused by a small amount of spilt oil around such
also include the tube-stand control panel.
areas as the external terminal strip etc. A few drips
xii. Disconnection of all wires to the tube housing
may initially occur, and then no further symptoms
is required. Make a careful diagram of con-
appear. If drips continue after a few days, then this
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
108

nection positions before removing, and ensure such as hospital address, phone number, person to
the wires have a suitable label or mark. Ensure contact, etc. Include an order number or other
any attached labels will not fall off. Any exposed authorisation if required.
terminals attached to wires must be covered Include a request for suitable silicon grease, and or
with insulation tape. (This is in case power is anti-corona silicon pads to be supplied when the
turned back on) tube is returned.
xiii. Undo the retaining screws holding the collima- Before looking for suitable boxes etc, contact the
tor to the tube housing, and place the colli- service department.They may be able to send a suit-
mator on the tabletop, or box. Take care when able size box and packing material.
removing, as part of the collimator may extend Select a box size about twice that of the housing.
into the tube housing port. In some installa- Pack the housing in the centre, using material to
tions, the tube-stand control panel will be cushion any bumps. For example, shredded poly-
detached at the same time. Assistance will be styrene foam. Make a mark on the box to indicate
required to hold or place components as they the anode end.
are removed. Place this box in another box about twice the size
xiv. Have a container ready to receive screws etc. of the first box. Fill the space between the two
These are easily lost. boxes with suitable cushion packing.
Removal of the X-ray tube housing from the tube Position the second box so that the X-ray tube is
stand. vertical, and the anode end is towards the bottom
i. Check again, that vertical movement of the tube of the box.
stand is properly secured. Attach very large labels with an arrow to indicate
ii. After the collimator, high-tension cables, and This side up on the sides of the box.Attach another
stator cables have been removed, examine care- label on the top to indicate Top side. Attach
fully the shape of the trunnion mounting rings. Fragile, do not drop labels on all sides.
With the X-ray tube aimed at the ceiling, the Take care both the service department address and
bottom section of the rings should be able to the hospital return address is protected, eg, inside
hold the housing in place, after the top section a transparent plastic cover. If sending to another
is removed. Sometimes the assembly is installed country, be sure to provide suitable information for
in the reverse direction, so then the tube needs customs etc.
to face the tabletop. Ensure you have a full copy of the shipping details.
iii. With the housing in the required position, undo Also phone the service department and notify them
the top halfs of the trunnion rings, taking of the method of transport etc. If the X-ray tube
special note if any washers have been inserted is sent to another country, enclose copies of the
between where the trunnion rings are fastened required customs forms.
together. (These are sometimes fitted to adjust
the trunnion rings, in case they are too tight a
h. Reinstallation of the X-ray tube
fit for the tube housing.)
iv. The tube housing may now be lifted up out of Caution: If a new tube insert or assembly is supplied,
the rings. This is a heavy object. Two people a complete mA re-calibration is required. This should
should assist in this process. be performed by the service department.
The X-ray tube is re-installed in the reverse order of
the instructions for removal. Eg, first it is mounted in
g. X-ray tube transport the trunnion a ring, then the collimator is attached,
The X-ray tube housing offers no protection to the X- and finally the wiring and HT cables.These precautions
ray tube if it is bumped or dropped. Incorrect pack- should be observed.
aging for transport can easily result in a broken tube,
Check the HT receptacles. If there is any grease
due to the weight of the anode.
residue, this must all be removed, and the recepta-
Before sending the tube to the service department, cles left in a polished condition. Even if apparently
take careful note of all housing and X-ray tube clean, still wipe them carefully with fresh paper
details. Include serial numbers. tissues. This is to remove any possible moisture. Do
Attach full documentation to the housing. This not touch the inside with the fingers, or scrape the
E should give a full description of the problem to be sides with a metal object. (This may leave very slight
rectified. There should also be full contact details, traces of metal behind).
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
109

If the housing has been repaired, or a new insert The collimator will need re-alignment. Please refer
fitted, check carefully for any areas of oil residue, to module 7.2 page 110.
and wipe away with paper tissues. Before making a test exposure, just enter prepara-
Before installing the collimator, ensure the proximal tion only. Listen carefully to the tube anode as it
diaphragm and aluminium filters are in place. rotates. Is this the normal anode rotation sound?
Reconnect the wires, using the diagram previously Providing the original tube insert and housing has
made when the tube was removed. If a new tube been returned, then the mA calibration should be
and housing is supplied, and the connection points the same. Select a low mA position, set 60 kV, and
appear different, contact the service department 0.1 second exposure time. Make a test exposure. If
before connecting any wires. any problem occurs, STOP. Contact the service
When inserting the high-tension cable ends, use the department for advice.
instructions provided in module 7.3 page 117. The X-ray tube should now be seasoned. Use the
Important. After the cable ends have been inserted, technique described in module 2.1 page 48.
and the ring nut fully tightened, retighten a few Keep the boxes and packing the X-ray tube assem-
hours later, and again next day. bly arrived in for future use.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
110

MODULE 7.2

X-ray collimator

Aim Contents
The aim is to provide information and procedures a. General precautions
related to adjusting the X-ray collimator.This is in addi- b. The light field has insufficient brightness
tion to the collimator maintenance, provided in module c. Changing the collimator globe
2.2 page 50. d. A wrong collimator globe
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the e. This collimator was not designed to rotate
title page.) f. Centring of the collimator lamp
g. Centring of the X-ray beam
h. The light field is larger than the X-ray field
Objectives
i. The Bucky centre light
On completion of this module, the student will be j. The X-ray field fades out on one side of the film
aware of common problems with the collimator and k. The collimator blades close, after adjusting the
their solutions.Adjustments and repairs may be carried field size
out. Some tests for the collimator lamp can be l. The collimator lamp fails to operate
made with the help of an electrician, or electronics m. The globe has failed, and there is no spare globe
technician.

Task 14. Help! No spare globe for the collimator, Equipment required
should be attempted on completion of this module.
Basic tool kit.
X-ray alignment template.*
24/30 cm cassette.
Spare collimator globe.
Cloth, for cleaning.
Detergent.

* The template is described in appendix B page 169.

a. General precautions the cover when removed, so the connecting wires


are not pulled.
Before disconnecting any wires, or removing a
cover, always ensure power is turned off and
unplugged from the power point. If the equipment b.The light field has insufficient brightness
is part of a fixed installation, besides switching the
This may be due to several causes, some of which can
generator power off, ensure the isolation power
combine to give an overall drop in light level.
switch for the room is also switched off.
Whenever changing a collimator lamp, ensure all Dirt or dust builds up on the inside of the trans-
power is turned off. parent exit cover of the collimator.
If removing a cover, position the collimator close to i. To clean, it will be necessary to include removal
the tabletop. Secure the tube stand so it cannot of the collimator outer cover. Before removal,
move upwards once the cover is removed. ensure all power is turned off.
The timer switch may be fastened to the cover. ii. Clean with a soft rag and mild detergent. Wipe
E off any residual detergent.
Place a small box or pillow within reach to support
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
111

iii. The above also applies if cleaning the mirror. c. Changing the collimator globe
Take care not to scratch the surface, or change
Before attempting to replace a collimator globe,
the position of the mirror.
ensure all power is turned off.
The globe has metal evaporation on the inside of
When replacing the globe, take care not to touch
the globe. Fit a new globe.
the glass with the fingers. This especially applies to
The voltage supply to the lamp is too low.This is due
quartz iodide globes, as slight oil or perspiration from
to a supply voltage that has not allowed for voltage
the fingers will cause premature failure. Use a paper
drop, due to wiring resistance. As an example, when
tissue to hold the globe.
the lamp is switched on, the voltage can drop by
2~5 volts. This is a common problem when installed
with long connecting cables. d. A wrong collimator globe
i. Ask an electrician, or electronics technician, to
Two versions of a quartz iodide globe appear very
measure and adjust the lamp voltage.
similar. If the wrong version is installed, there is a large
ii. Check if the lamp has the correct voltage. To
error between the light field, and the X-ray field.
do this, set the multimeter to a convenient AC
voltage range. For example, 25 V or 100 V AC. The correct globe has longer connecting pins. OR,
Remove the lamp covers, and place the meter the filament is placed further towards the tip of the
probes on the lamp terminals. Look away from lamp. Both are correct, in that the filament is the
the lamp while switching the light on, and then same distance from the rear end of the pins.
measure the operating voltage. This might be The incorrect version has shorter pins, so that the
only 7~8 V for a 12 V lamp, or perhaps 17~20 distance between the filament and the rear end of
V for a 24 V lamp. the pins is smaller.
iii. A number of systems have a transformer, with In an emergency, the short pin version may be used.
a selection of output voltages. The required Insert the lamp sufficiently to make good contact
voltage is selected by changing a connection in the socket, however do not push it all the way in.
on a terminal strip. There will still be an error in the light beam to X-
iv. During installation this may be set at the lamp ray alignment, so obtain the correct version as soon
voltage. For example, set at 12 V output for a as possible.
12 V lamp.This is incorrect, as it does not allow
for voltage loss in the connecting cable.
e.This collimator was not designed to rotate
v. A correct installation may even set the voltage
as high as 16 V for a 12 V lamp. This compen- Older installations may have a collimator of European
sates for voltage drop due to cable resistance, origin. With this collimator, four adjustable metal
when the lamp is switched on. fingers attach the collimator to a circular flange, or
vi. If the test voltage is low, eg, below 10 V for a plate. There is no other adjustment. Correct adjust-
12 V lamp, then contact the service depart- ment is with the fingers tightened, so the collimator
ment for instructions to adjust the voltage does not rotate.
supply. Include the make and model of the col- However, in some installations these fingers are not
limator and the generator. tightened, allowing the collimator to be rotated.
vii. In some other situations, there may be spare The collimator can only be aligned correctly to the
conductors in the cable. These may be placed focal spot in one position.When it is rotated, correct
in parallel with the existing wires for the lamp, alignment to the light beam may be lost, especially
to reduce the voltage drop. This is best left to if the light beam has also been adjusted. See Cen-
a technician from the service department to tring of the X-ray beam, part g.
carry out. Rotating the collimator can cause wear to the
viii. Note. While an 8 V operating voltage for a metal fingers. As the wear increases, the collimator
12 V lamp is too low, increasing to the full may wobble when pointed at a wall Bucky. In a
12 V will give a shorter lamp life. A compromise severe wear case, the top of the metal finger breaks
between brightness and life for a 12 V lamp is off. Replacement metal fingers are difficult to
10~11 V. obtain.
As the adjusting screws were not tightened, these
can vibrate to a more open position. This will cause
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
112

erratic collimation. In a severe situation, the colli- g. Centring of the X-ray beam
mator may even detach from the flange, and fall off.
Attempting to adjust the collimator to the X-ray beam
Assuming the collimator must rotate, please take
should only be attempted after checking that the light
the following precautions.
beam is correctly centred. This especially applies when
i. Apply a very thin layer of oil to the upper surface
the collimator can rotate.
of the mounting ring, to reduce wear.
ii. After the metal fingers have been adjusted, An X-ray alignment template is required. A suitable
apply a dab of nail polish to the outer threads design is shown in appendix B page 169.
of the adjusting screws. This will help prevent Place the X-ray alignment template on a 24/30 cm
them from unwinding. cassette.
Collimate the light beam to the outer 20 by 26 cm
rectangle.
f. Centring of the collimator lamp
Make a low kV and mAs exposure.
There are two methods of aligning the light beam to Develop the film.
the X-ray field. One is to move the position of the lamp, Does the alignment meet the required compliance?
and the other is to adjust the position of the collima- Two versions are provided as an example only. The
tor relative to the X-ray beam. actual compliance requirement will depend on indi-
With a collimator that can rotate, it is essential to vidual country regulations.
adjust in the correct sequence, otherwise alignment is i. The X-ray field edges should not deviate by more
correct only in one position. than 2% of the distance between the plane of
the light field and the focal spot.
Bring the collimator down until it touches the table-
[a1] + [a2] 0.02 S.
top, and adjust the tube rotation so the collimator
[b1] + [b2] 0.02 S.
face is flat against the tabletop. Now raise the col-
Where S is the distance from the focal spot, a1
limator to its normal working height.
and a2 are the two sides on one axis, and b1
Rotate the collimator clockwise 90 degrees.
and b2 are the two sides of the other axis.
Place a used X-ray film on the table top as a tem-
For example; at a FFD of 100 cm, if the two ver-
plate. A suggested size is 24 30 cm. Switch the
tical edges of the light field were displaced by
collimator lamp on, and adjust the collimator so the
10 mm, this would be at the limit of acceptance.
light field just covers the film.
If only one edge was displaced, then 2.0 cm is
Next, rotate the collimator anti-clockwise 180
at the limit of acceptance.
degrees. With the lamp switched on, look for any
ii. Another version has a different requirement.
error in alignment. This should be less than 2.0 mm
The total misalignment of any edge of the light
in any direction.
field with the respective edge of the irradiated
Before making any adjustment, check to see the
field must not exceed 1% of the distance
correct lamp is fitted. If in doubt, contact the
between the plane of the light field and the
service department to obtain positive identification.
focal spot.
If adjusting the lamp position, adjust so the error
For example; at a FFD of 100 cm, the maximum
is reduced by 50%. Then adjust the film position to
displacement of any edge should be less than
the light, and test again with the collimator rotated
10 cm.
180 degrees to the previous position.
In case the X-ray field is off-centre by more than
Can the mirror be adjusted?
the permitted amount, re-centring is required.
i. With most collimators, the mirror is fixed in
To adjust a non-rotating collimator.
position. Attempting to move the mirror against
i. Refer where possible to the installation or
the clamping screws can distort or break it,
operation manuals for the collimator. If neces-
requiring a replacement. (If the mirror is dis-
sary, contact the service department for infor-
torted, the sides of the light field are at an
mation specific to your version of collimator.
angle, and not parallel).
ii. Locate the adjusting screws for the metal
ii. The exception is where there is a spring-ten-
fingers. These usually require an Allen key for
sioned adjustment screw. This may be found on
adjustment.
some mobiles or portable units. In this case, the
iii. By slackening off one finger, then tightening
lamp may be adjusted sideways, and the mirror
the opposite finger, the collimator will move rel-
E rotation replaces the vertical adjustment of the
ative to the X-ray field. Only a small adjustment,
lamp.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
113

of about one turn of the screw, is sufficient to i. The bracket for the tube-stand command panel
move the X-ray field several millimetres. is placed between the collimator and the X-ray
iv. Adjust the collimator to move in the same tube port. This increases the collimator to focal
direction you require the X-ray field to move. spot distance.As a result the X-ray field becomes
v. After adjusting, make another test film and smaller.
compare the results. ii. In some cases it may be possible to have a
vi. If necessary, make further adjustments until mounting block machined to reduce this added
compliance is achieved. distance, or have shims removed. Otherwise the
vii. Tighten carefully all four fingers, ensuring the mounting method of the control panel will need
collimator position does not change. to be changed to correct the situation.
viii. Make a final test film for verification.
To adjust a rotating collimator.
i.The Bucky centre light
i. Refer where possible to the installation or oper-
ation manuals for the collimator. If necessary, Collimators have been fitted with a number of
contact the service department for information methods to indicate Bucky centre. Two versions are
specific to your version of collimator. discussed here.
ii. With a true rotating collimator, the ring or
One method is a fixed slot, immediately below the
bearing on which it rotates is repositioned rel-
collimator lamp. If the lamp is not correctly
ative to the X-ray beam. (Unfortunately some
adjusted, then the light shines at an angle through
simplified systems may not have this facility,
this slot, creating an error. This is usually corrected
and so can only be correct in one position).
by re-alignment of the collimator. See Centring of
iii. It is necessary to locate the screws that clamp
the collimator lamp, part f.
this ring in position. These may require a small
Other versions may have a small focussing lens,
spanner. Undo these screws a small amount, so
attached to a slit in the collimator cover. Adjusting
the ring can just be moved.
the lens can shift the position of the light beam.
iv. With some rotating collimators, once the rota-
tion ring is free to move, adjusting screws
similar to the fixed-collimator, are used for j.The X-ray field fades out on one side of
alignment. Otherwise gently tap the collimator the film
into position, moving it only a part of a mil- If the fade out occurs towards the anode side of the
limetre at a time. film, when selecting a large format, this is probably due
v. Adjust the position and test in the same fashion to the heel affect of the X-ray tube anode.
as the fixed-collimator. Otherwise, it may be due to the following.
vi. Repeat the above test, with the collimator
rotated 90 degrees clockwise, and 90 degrees The collimator is not centred to the focal spot, and
counter clockwise. the lamp has been adjusted to align the light beam
vii. Ensure the ring clamping screws are correctly to the X-ray field. Test by making sure the light field
tightened when alignment is satisfied. Make a remains centred as the collimator is rotated. See
final test film for verification. Centring of the collimator lamp.
The collimator primary-beam shutter, or blade, is
touching the side of the X-ray tube port, or throat.
h.The light field is larger than the X-ray field The cause is due to incorrect centring of the
Most collimators depend on a standard distance collimator.
between the X-ray tube housing and focal spot. If a (This problem depends on the collimator design, and
manufacturer supplies non-standard tube housing, this how the collimator is attached to the X-ray tube.)
distance may be incorrect. The lead proximal-diaphragm has been incorrectly
fitted inside the tube port. For example, after
The collimator is required to be positioned at a spe-
replacement of the X-ray tube.
cific distance from the focal spot. Some collimators
The collimator lead-shutters, or blades, are out of
are supplied with shims.These can be added or sub-
adjustment. This may be either the middle blade, or
tracted to make the required adjustment. Check
the bottom blade.
with the service department for this possibility.
i. The shutters are coupled to the field size knob
A common reason is the method of installation.
by a thin stainless-steel cable.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
114

ii. The cable may be loose, or has slipped where it iv. The screws are adjusted so the control knob is
attaches to the shutters. To check, remove the firm to adjust, but not over tight.
collimator cover, and make a careful compari- v. These screws tend to become loose. After they
son of both sets of collimator blades. The lead are adjusted, clean around the screw heads
strip, on the bottom blades, can be adjusted in with alcohol. Then paint the immediate area
most collimators. with nail polish. This will help retain the screws
In some cases there may be a slow fade off towards in position.
the cathode side of the film.This is more noticeable For other collimators, contact the service depart-
at lower kV levels. If this is an older, or hard worked ment for advice regarding adjustment of the brake
X-ray tube, then it might be due to metal deposits and its location.
on the glass. To check, you will need to remove the
collimator. See module 7.1 page 104.
l.The collimator lamp fails to operate
The most common cause of failure is, of course, a burnt
k.The collimator blades close, after adjusting out globe. In case this is not the reason, then check
the field size the following. Ask an electrician, or electronics techni-
A collimator has an internal brake or clutch. If this cian, for assistance.
becomes loose, the springs, fitted between the colli-
The lamp timer switch. Mechanical types are prone
mator blades, cause the blades to close.
to failure, and to a lesser degree, electronic versions.
Two common methods are described here.
i. Ensure all power is switched off, while removing
To adjust, it is necessary to remove the collimator
the cover to gain access to the timer.
cover. Ensure power is turned off, and the tube stand
Note. Some tests for the timer will require
is prevented from moving vertically.
power after the cover is removed.
Japanese origin. ii. Check the internal wiring, looking for loose
i. The shutter control knob is attached to a round connections.
shaft. This shaft, which controls the opening of iii. Mechanical timers have only two terminals.
the blades, passes through a cylinder attached Operate the timer, and with a multimeter set to
to the inside front of the collimator. low ohms range, check the timer-switch con-
ii. A small nylon pad forms the brake action. This tacts for continuity. See module 5.0 page 65.
is pressed firmly against the shaft that passes iv. An alternate test is to set the multimeter to AC
through the cylinder. volts, and look for voltage across the terminals.
iii. A screw, attached to the cylinder, controls the This should be 12~15 V for a 12 V lamp. When
amount of pressure. As the screw is turned the timer is operated, there should be no voltage
clockwise, the pressure of the nylon pad against across the terminals.
the shaft increases. v. Electronic timers have several connections. It is
iv. To adjust, first undo the locknut on the screw. necessary to trace out the wiring and locate the
Then turn the adjusting screw about a quarter two terminals that switch the power to the
turn clockwise. Retighten the locknut, and test lamp. Look for voltage across these terminals.
the feel of the control knob. This should be 12~15 V for a 12 V lamp. When
v. Repeat the above action so the knob is firm to the timer is operated, there should be no voltage
turn, without being over tight. across the terminals.
vi. Check and adjust the other shutter control knob. vi. In case the timer is faulty, a temporary repair is
vii. Replace the cover. to remove the timer and replace it with a stan-
European origin. dard on-off switch. Order a new timer and
i. The shutter control knob is attached to a round replace the temporary switch at the first
shaft. This shaft, which controls the opening of opportunity.
the blades, passes through to the rear of the No power to the collimator. Check the connecting
collimator. cable for broken connections, especially if the col-
ii. At the rear of the collimator, a circular disc is limator is a rotating version.
attached to the end of the shaft. There may be a faulty fuse in the collimator power
iii. There are two screws on the outer side of this circuit. Contact the service department for the
E disc. These adjust the pressure of a wide spring location of this fuse.
washer on the disc.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
115

m.The globe has failed, and there is iii. Where possible, protect other immediate areas
no spare globe of the patient by masking with lead rubber
strips.
The collimator should have a scale on the front.This
iv. Raise the X-ray tube to its normal height, and
indicates the field aperture as the blades are
set the aperture size using the scale on the front
opened. The accuracy of this scale has, hopefully,
of the collimator.
been checked at the last routine service. However,
To assist in Bucky centring during an examination.
let us assume this has not happened.
i. Attach a length of string to the front of the col-
i. Lower the collimator so it is touching the table-
limator side, positioned at the centre. Attach a
top. Adjust any angulation or rotation, so it sits
small weight at the end to act as a plumb bob.
flat on the tabletop.
ii. Move the X-ray tube across the table, so the
ii. Adjust the tube stand so the collimator is at
plumb bob is over the Bucky tray. Centre the
the table centre.
Bucky to the X-ray tube, and then return the X-
iii. Place a ruler on the tabletop, end-on against
ray tube back to the table centre position.
the centre of the collimator. Use this as a
iii. Coil up the string etc on the X-ray tube when
guide to assist in centring the Bucky to the
not in use.
collimator.
To estimate the position of the anatomy under
iv. Raise the tube to the normal working height.
examination. Oblique view.
Adjust the X-ray control for a low kV and mAs
i. A simple method is to use a long ruler, or
exposure.
similar object, resting against the upper or
v. Place a 24 30 cm cassette in the Bucky.
lower side of the collimator. This is extended
Adjust the collimator to the film size using the
towards the patient. By alternating the ruler on
scale on the collimator. Make a test exposure.
the upper and lower side of the collimator, a
vi. If the test exposure shows all the film was
reasonably accurate positioning of the X-ray
exposed, then repeat the above test, this time
field may be made.
reducing the collimator aperture a small
ii. A torch may be used. The torch should be the
amount. If all is well, the film should now have
type that has a focussed spotlight, and a flat
a border around all four sides.
bottom end.
vii. Continue the above test with the most com-
iii. Hold the torch bottom end against the centre
monly used sizes of films and orientation.
of the collimator faceplate. Switch the torch
Adjust the position of the control knob on the
on, and place a marker in the centre of the
collimator shaft to obtain a correct indication.
light beam on the tabletop.
Or, place a mark on the collimator front to indi-
iv. Rotate the torch, and check that the light
cate the required opening for the different
beam stays in position. This test indicates the
films.
torch is suitable for use.
viii. A similar test to the above is required for the
v. Now place the patient on the table. Adjust the
wall Bucky.
X-ray tube to the required angle. Place the
To estimate the position of the anatomy under
torch on the collimator front as before, and
examination. AP view.
use the torch light to indicate the X-ray beam
i. With the patient on the tabletop, bring the col-
centre.
limator close to the area under examination.
vi. As before, a sheet of film may be used to esti-
View the position both from the head, or foot,
mate the area to be covered.
end of the table, as well as the side of the table.
vii. Set the collimator aperture, using the scale on
ii. To estimate the area to be covered, place a
the front of the collimator.
sheet of film on the patient, centred directly
viii. Use lead rubber strips to protect the patient.
under the collimator.This is to simulate the pre-
vious appearance with the light beam. The
actual area will be about 10% less.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
116

TASK 14

Help! No spare globe for


the collimator

The collimator globe has failed. On checking supplies, there is no spare globe. You are required to continue pro-
cessing patients, while waiting for a new globe.
Please refer to module 11.2 for an outline of suggested techniques.
Note; for this exercise, the collimator lamp must not be used.

Using a 24/30 cm film, test the accuracy of the collimator scales. Is the accuracy adequate? Does the scale need
to be reset?

Make a suggestion for other methods to achieve patient positioning, with an AP view.

Can this method be adapted for a wall Bucky?

With a water phantom to simulate the patient, try the methods suggested for an oblique view. Will this give the
required accuracy?

Discuss other problems that may arise if the lamp fails. Suggest a technique that may be used.

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
E
Tutor
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
117

MODULE 7.3

HT cable

a. Safety precautions
Aim
Do not attempt repairs or replacement of the HT
The aim is to provide information related to the high-
cables by yourself. Ask an electrician, or an elec-
tension (HT) cable. This includes repairing common
tronics technician, for assistance.
faults, and procedures for replacing the HT cable.
Before disconnecting any wires, or removing the HT
Information in this module also applies to module 7.1
cables, always ensure power is turned off and
page 104.
unplugged from the power point. If the equipment
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the
is part of a fixed installation, besides switching
title page.)
the generator power off, ensure the isolation power
switch for the room is also switched off.
Objectives Mobile high-frequency generators may be battery
operated. The batteries in these are connected in
On completion of this module, the student will be
series, and can have a total voltage of up to 240 V
aware of common problems with the high-tension
DC. Refer to the operating or installation manuals
cable, and their symptoms. With the assistance of an
for the position of the battery isolation switch, and
electrician or electronics technician, a number of cor-
ensure this is switched off, before removing the
rective actions can be carried out.
covers, or testing wires and connectors.
This includes:
If removing a HT cable from a capacitor discharge
Repairs to eliminate high-tension arcing. mobile, observe the high-tension precautions
Correcting bad cathode cable connections to the described in module 6.2 page 94.
X-ray tube filament. Whenever a HT cable is removed from a receptacle,
Removal and reinsertion of the cable ends, when the immediately short the cable-end pins to ground.
X-ray tube is replaced. This is to remove any residual high voltage in the
Replacement of the HT cable. cable. The same precaution applies before applying
grease or any other handling of the cable end.
Contents Failure to take this precaution could cause a severe
electrical shock.
a. Safety precautions
b. High-tension failure of the HT cable
c. Damage to the cable electrical safety shield b. High-tension failure of the HT cable
d. Arcing in the X-ray tube receptacle The HT cable tends to fail at the cable ends.This is due
e. Burnt pins on the cathode cable end to the added flexing, or twisting, as the X-ray tube is
f. Caution on removing HT cable ends rotated and repositioned. This is often due to poor
g. HT cable replacement support of the HT cable. Failure is usually accompa-
h. HT cable fault with CD mobiles nied with a pungent, or acrid, smell.
i. Preparation prior to inserting the HT cable end
A metal cuff often hides the actual failure point.
j. Inserting the HT cable end
This cuff helps support the cable end where it enters
k. Need for re-calibration
the tube housing. If suspicious of the HT cable, then
undo the retaining ring nut, and slide the cuff out
of the way. Then inspect again for an unusual smell.
Make a comparison with the other cable end.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
118

If a HT cable is suspect, test by replacing the cable. Please note. In some cases it may be claimed that
i. This may be a spare cable from an old installa- the system is safe, providing the shield is connected
tion, or else a loan cable sent from the service to ground at the transformer end. This is not
department. correct. Besides possible danger, this can upset the
ii. Observe carefully the procedures and precau- performance of high-frequency X-ray generators,
tions in this module, before replacing a cable. and create interference in other equipment.
See Arcing in the X-ray tube receptacle, part d.
d. Arcing in the X-ray tube receptacle
c. Damage to the cable electrical safety shield This is a common cause of failure. Arcing can be
The HT cable is fitted with a wire mesh safety shield. caused by a number of reasons. There may be poor
This is just below the outer insulation. If there is a quality or dried-out insulating grease. The grease may
failure of the cable insulation, the shield conducts the have been incorrectly applied. If the cable end is loose,
high-voltage spark to ground. The safety shield is sol- this will create air gaps, and eventual arcing. Later
dered to the metal flange of the cable end. Twisting of systems use silicon rubber anti-corona insulating pads.
the HT cable can cause the wire strands to break. Unless care is taken installing these pads, arcing will
In some cases, the shield is found completely dis- occur. Finally, a fault can occur inside the cable end
connected. This can be very dangerous. See Caution itself. In affect, a fault in the HT cable, but not exter-
on removing high-tension cable ends, part f. nally apparent until the cable end is removed.

To inspect, undo the cable-end retaining ring-nut. See Caution on removing HT cable ends, and
Slide back the cable support cuff. Check for broken Preparation prior to inserting the cable end.
strands. With the cable end withdrawn, look for possible
In some cases, the shield connection is wrapped in carbon tracks on the cable end, or in the
insulation tape. This form of construction is weak, receptacle.
and is prone to have damage to the shield. Unwrap Where there is grease in the receptacle, wipe the
the tape to inspect for broken strands. If ok, then grease with a fresh paper tissue. If arcing occurs in
re-wrap using fresh tape. the grease, this will show up as carbon deposits on
If there are broken strands, and especially if this is the paper. Old grease may have a yellow colour, but
extensive, a repair should be attempted. An electri- this does not indicate arcing.
cian or electronics technician should perform this Examine the cable end carefully for signs of swelling
repair, after obtaining advice from the service or cracking. This would indicate arcing. In this case
department. a replacement HT cable is required.
i. A soldering iron is required. 75~100 watt is Wipe out all grease from the receptacle and the
optimum. This is to allow quick soldering to the cable end. With a torch examine the receptacle
cable end without spreading excessive heat. carefully for signs of arcing.
ii. You will need some fine multi-strand hook up If silicon rubber anti-corona pads are fitted, these
wire. (The type needed for general electronics may remain attached to the cable end. More often
wiring). Or if possible, the braided shield from a they will remain in the receptacle.
length of co-axial cable. If using hook-up wire, i. Pads are often used without grease. However,
remove the insulation from the wire. wipe the inside of the receptacle and the cable-
iii. Gather the broken strands of the shield wire. If end with a fresh paper tissue. If it appears dirty,
necessary, remove a little of the cable outer this is a sign of arcing.
insulating sheath. Twist together to make four ii. Examine the pads for possible hairline black
bunches, spaced around the cable end. marks, which indicate arcing.
iv. Solder to one end of the hook-up wire. Take the iii. The pads should be replaced after being dis-
hook-up wire a full turn clockwise around the turbed.
cable end, then solder to the cable end. iv. In case a replacement pad is not immediately
v. Repeat this with the other three bunches, alter- available, then they may be returned to service.
nating the direction around the cable end. Eg, Take care not to touch them directly with the
anticlockwise, then clockwise, and finally fingers. (Use a paper tissue.) Have the pads
anticlockwise. replaced at the first opportunity.
E vi. Use insulation tape to cover the repaired shield
connection.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
119

e. Burnt pins on the cathode cable end When replacing a cable, remove the cable-end first
at the X-ray tube, and then at the high-tension
The cathode filament current may be between 4.0~
transformer. This especially applies if the safety
5.5 amps. If the pins on the cable end do not make
earth shield is damaged at the X-ray tube end.
good contact inside the receptacle, they will become
As the cable end is withdrawn, touch the endpins to
burnt. This produces added resistance to the filament
the screw-thread side of the housing receptacle.
circuit, and reduced filament heating.
This is to short out any residual high voltage in the
In the case where light or no exposures occur, this
HT cable. This especially applies if high voltage was
may be due to poor contact of the cathode cable-end
generated, but with no mA.
pins.
The cable end may be a very tight fit. Do not try
Do not make the following test with a capacitor dis-
tugging on the HT cable to remove it. Instead, use
charge mobile. Please refer to High tension precau-
two screwdrivers, one on each side of the cable-end
tions in module 6.2 page 94.
flange, to lift, or ease, the cable end from the
Undo the ring nut sufficiently to withdraw the cable
receptacle.
end about 2~4 mm. Then reinsert the cable end and
tighten the ring nut. If this action restores or improves
the X-ray output, then the cable-end pins are suspect. g. HT cable replacement
The cable end should now be fully withdrawn and
If the anode HT cable is replaced with a different
examined.
type or length, in most cases this makes little dif-
See Caution on removing HT cable ends, and ference to the performance, especially if the differ-
Preparation prior to inserting the cable end. ence in length is less than 10~15%.
Examine the cable-end pins. Look for a pin that An exception may be with some medium frequency
shows burn marks, or pitting. inverter systems, which have an adjustment for dif-
Clean the pin with fine emery cloth or sand paper. ferent lengths of HT cables. Check with the service
If the cable-end pins are burnt, then the pin sockets department for this possibility.
of the housing receptacle will also need cleaning. In the case of the cathode cable, a different length
One method is to use a wire coat hanger, with one or type can change the mA calibration. Providing
end filed flat. This can be used to scrape the sides the anode cable is the same type and length as
of the socket into which the cable-end pins fit. the failed cathode cable, then exchange cables, so
Most HT cable-end pins are solid brass, split in two the replacement is used for the anode side. This
halves.These tend to close together, and make a less will avoid the requirement for immediate mA
secure fit in the receptacle. The pins may be care- recalibration.
fully spread apart, so the air gap in the middle is
parallel.
h. HT cable fault with capacitor
Caution; these pins are brittle. Do not try to spread
discharge mobiles
them apart using a screwdriver. The best tool is a
utility knife with a retractable blade. This blade is The CD mobile cathode-cable can develop a short
just slightly thicker than the required gap. Push circuit between the internal control-grid wire, and the
the blade into the gap very carefully, so the gap filament wires. In most cases, the anode cable will be
becomes almost, or just, parallel. in good condition, and can be exchanged for the
Help. A pin is broken. All is not lost. However, you cathode cable. mA calibration is not critical, and will
will need to exchange the anode and cathode cables. not need to be adjusted. If exchanging cables, attach
(At the HT transformer as well as the X-ray tube) an internal notice to indicate a change has been made.
Before attempting to reinsert the cable end, ensure This will avoid future frustration in case another
it is thoroughly cleaned. This is especially important change is attempted.
after handling the end, as small traces of perspira- Before attempting to remove or replace a CD mobile
tion or fingerprints etc may be left behind. See cable, please refer to High tension precautions in
Inserting the HT cable end. module 6.2 page 94. Otherwise replacement is the
same as for a standard system.

f. Caution on removing HT cable ends


If in a capacitor discharge mobile, please refer to
High tension precautions in module 6.2 page 94.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
120

i. Preparation prior to inserting the HT iii. A small layer of silicon grease may be placed
cable end around the sides of the cable end. This is an
option. If in doubt, check with the service
Old grease on the cable end, and in the receptacle,
department for advice.
should be removed.
Thoroughly clean the receptacle and cable end.
When cleaning the receptacle, use paper tissues j. Inserting the HT cable end
wrapped around a wood or plastic rod. The cable end has a key at the flange end. This fits
If necessary, a hydrocarbon cleaning solvent may be into a notch in the receptacle. Before inserting the
used. Be sure to remove all residues. When cleaning cable end, check the rotational position, so these
a cable-end, avoid touching with your hand, this can two areas will be aligned on insertion.
leave unwanted perspiration or skin oil. After clean- On inserting the cable end, try to keep it aligned in
ing, the cable end or receptacle should have a high the centre of the receptacle. This ensures an even
polished appearance. distribution of the grease.
Examine the cable-end pins of the cathode cable. As it becomes fully inserted, rotate the end a little
If of the split pin version, check the pins are to align the cable-end pins into the receptacle
not bent together, and the gap is parallel. See sockets.
Burnt pins on the cathode cable end, for tips on A very firm continuous pressure is often required.
adjusting. This is due to pockets of air in front of the grease,
Most HT cable ends have a rubber sealing-ring. This as well as the viscosity of the grease itself.
is placed over the cable end, up against the flange. Once the cable-end pins are properly inserted into
Ensure this is fitted correctly before applying the receptacle sockets, it should now be possible to
grease. attach the cable-end retaining ring-nut and cable
Fresh insulating grease is now required, or a silicon support cuff.
anti-corona disk. Tighten the ring nut fully. Then check again every
i. Grease is applied using a wooden or plastic few minutes until it can no longer be even partially
spatula. For example, a tongue depressor. Do not rotated. This should be checked again over the next
apply or smooth the grease with a finger. First few days.
wrap a paper tissue around the finger, to avoid Attach cable ties to support the HT cable in
directly touching the grease. position.
ii. Apply the grease to about 70% of the length of
the cable-end, starting at the pin end.The depth
of grease at the pin end should be about 2~ k. Need for recalibration
3 mm, tapering off at the 70% point. The appli- Note. Replacement of the cathode cable can alter the
cation of grease is not critical, as any irregular mA calibration. While replacement with an identical
area will flow around the sides of the cable end, type and length may have very little affect on the cal-
as it is inserted. ibration, this should still be checked.
iii. A layer of about 1~2 mm may also be applied to In case the cathode cable is a different length or
the front of the pin end, between the pins. type, this may have a large affect on the mA calibra-
If a silicon rubber anti-corona disk is used. tion, depending on the design of the generator. Before
i. The disk should be supplied in a sealed package. attempting any calibration, check first with the service
Handle the disk with a pair of clean tweezers, department for the recommended procedure.
or else by a paper tissue.
ii. Place the disk in position on the cable end, with
the pins passing through the disk.

E
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
121

MODULE 8.0

Bucky and Bucky table

a. General precautions
Aim
Please take the following precautions.
The aim is to provide information and procedures
related to problems with the Bucky and Bucky table. Before testing any fuses, or removing a cover,
This is an addition to the maintenance procedures, always switch the generator power off, and ensure
provided in module 3.0 page 53. the isolation power switch for the room is also
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the switched off.
title page.) Test procedures for fuses or wiring, are described in
module 5.0 page 65.
When removing the cover from a vertical Bucky,
Objectives
make sure the Bucky cannot move upwards when
On completion of this module, the student will be the cover is removed. For example, attach a rope to
aware of common problems with the Bucky and Bucky hold it in position, or remove the cover with the
table, together with their solutions. Adjustments and Bucky set to maximum height.
repairs may be carried out. Some tests or repairs will In most cases removal of the Bucky cover is a
require the assistance of an electrician or electronics simple operation. However, where possible refer to
technician. an installation manual. This will indicate if there is
any special procedure for removing or installing the
Task 15.A film exhibits grid lines, should be attempted
cover.
on completion of this module.
In the case of a Bucky table, removal of the table-
top may be required. The method used depends on
Contents the table design.
a. General precautions i. Most tabletops may be removed once the screws
b. Grid lines sometimes appear on the film holding the profile rails in position are removed.
c. Grid lines appear on all films Before attempting to remove these screws,
d. The film is dark in the centre, but fades out to either make sure the screw slots are not blocked with
side dirt, and use a screwdriver that has a good fit
e. No exposure on a selected Bucky and is not blunt.
f. The cassette tray does not hold the cassette prop- ii. In other cases, removal of the tabletop end-
erly in the vertical Bucky stops will allow the tabletop to extend to over
g. The Bucky lock does not operate one end. As the tabletop is moved past the end-
h. The table magnetic locks slip, or are unreliable stop position, the tabletop will disengage from
i. The table auto-centre does not operate, or is not the far-end bearings. Have a chair or other suit-
accurate able object ready to support the tabletop.
j. Noisy tabletop movement iii. In some cases, power will need to be switched
k. Elevating Bucky-table problems on to release the table locks.
iv. To avoid unexpected problems, make sure at
least one person is available to assist.
v. On replacement of the tabletop, check and
manually reseat the locks to allow the tabletop
to pass over them.
vi. Ensure the end stops are securely replaced.
Keep all screws, or other small parts in a container,
to avoid loss.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
122

b. Grid lines sometimes appear on the film ii. Select minimum kV, the lowest mA station, and
a long exposure time.
There are several possibilities.
iii. Remove the cassette tray, so the grid may be
The grid starts oscillating as soon as the X-ray clearly observed.
control is placed in preparation. iv. Have an assistant make an exposure, using the
i. This form of operation does not synchronise the Bucky under test. Observe the grid movement,
exposure to the grid position. As a result, an looking for signs of hesitation. Does it tend to
exposure can commence when the grid has stop before reversing?
reached the end of travel, and is reversing v. If a problem is indicated, then remove the
direction. Bucky cover, or tabletop, and examine the
ii. Test by looking for grid movement when in mechanism while it is moving. Look for film
preparation, before an exposure. If this is the markers causing an obstruction.
cause of the problem, re-installation of the vi. Some motors can have damaged gears, with
Bucky wiring is required. Consult the service missing teeth. In this case, repair kits may be
department for advice. available.
The Bucky has a slow moving grid. In this case, there vii. Apply a small amount of oil to moving surfaces.
is insufficient grid movement when performing
short exposure times. A replacement Bucky of a
c. Grid lines appear on all films
later design is required.
Some Buckys have a rotating cam to operate the The wrong Bucky was selected. Is the selection
grid. switch correctly labelled?
i. The grid moves quickly at first, then slower until Listen for a Bucky sound during a test exposure.
the full in and out cycle is completed. This is Does the selected Bucky operate? Does it sound
repeated till the exposure is completed. normal?
ii. The Bucky has an adjustment to ensure the A common cause is a dislodged grid. For example,
exposure commences at the point of maximum the grid has fallen from the grid frame, or holder.
speed. If incorrectly adjusted, then the exposure In this situation, although the frame moves, per-
could commence before that point, when the mitting an exposure, the grid itself does not move.
grid is at minimum speed. To remount the grid in the frame, removal of the
iii. This is indicated if grid lines occur on short Bucky cover, or tabletop, may be required.
exposure times. If adjustment is required,
request the service department to adjust the d.The film is dark in the centre, but fades out
Bucky. to either side
In the case of mammography, many Buckys have a
speed adjustment. The grid was removed, and then reinserted upside
i. Optimum adjustment is for the grid to reach down.
75% of its stroke during an average exposure. Is the grid focal distance within the range you are
If grid lines occur on short exposures, then using?
increase the speed. Or, if grid lines occur during i. Can the grid be removed? Look for a label that
long exposures, then reduce the speed. provides the focal length of the grid.
ii. This may be a screwdriver adjustment at the ii. If it is difficult to remove the grid, try a test
back of the Bucky, or it may be an internal exposure after changing the FFD. Make a direct
adjustment. In that case, the service depart- low kV and mAs exposure, without a patient.
ment must make the adjustment. Is the vertical Bucky correctly aligned to the X-ray
The grid movement may be hitting an obstruction, tube?
and while moving far enough to permit an exposure, i. For example, is the Bucky at an angle to the
then stops moving. Or, in some cases, the grid drive x-ray beam?
may be sticking.This can be indicated if short expo- ii. This can occur if the vertical Bucky is not cor-
sure times are ok, but long exposure times have grid rectly installed. The Bucky may be mounted
lines. against a wall, which is not at an angle of ninety
i. Close the collimator, and direct the X-ray tube degrees to the tube-stand.
away from the Bucky. Image fade off to one side may be a problem due
E
to the X-ray tube or collimator. To check, make a
direct exposure to a cassette on the tabletop.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
123

i. A direct exposure at low kV will exhibit some v. Does the grid manage a full stroke? As the grid
fade off towards the cathode side of the tube. moves from the rest to the expose position,
On large films, a larger fade-off can occur a microswitch is operated. This microswitch
towards the anode side of the film, due to the allows the exposure to commence. Check the
anode heel-affect. microswitch for correct operation. See module
ii. To test at the kV values normally used, a suit- 5.0 page 65.
able filter is necessary. For example, 1.0 mm of
copper in front of the collimator. Or else 10 cm
f.The cassette tray does not hold the cassette
of water in a plastic container.
properly in the vertical Bucky
iii. Set a similar kV to that used when observing
the problem. Adjust the mAs to achieve a suit- In some cassette tray designs, the amount of grip
able density. is insufficient.To prevent the cassette slipping down,
iv. If the fade off is still present, the collimator may the manufacturer supplies small wood blocks with
be out of alignment. For example, the collima- an attached magnet. In other designs, a metal
tor is incorrectly centred to the X-ray tube, and support is provided, which fits into a series of holes.
the light beam was adjusted to compensate. See The rubber grips attached to the tray jaws become
module 7.2 page 110. smooth, allowing the cassette to slip. The rubber
v. There may be excessive metal deposits on the grips can be improved by cleaning with lighter fluid,
X-ray tube glass. You will need to remove the or a similar hydrocarbon.
collimator to check. Contact the service depart- The jaws may not be closing fully. Check and adjust
ment for advice before attempting removal. the position of the clamping knob on the shaft.
See module 7.1 page 104.
g.The Bucky lock does not operate
e. No exposure on a selected Bucky Look for a faulty switch, or broken connection,
In this situation, a test exposure using direct non- either to the switch or the magnetic lock coil. The
Bucky radiography is successful. lock coil may be open circuit. Test with a multi-
meter set to medium ohms scale. See module 5.0
Close the collimator, and move the tube away from
page 65.
the Bucky.
The lock coil may have too large an air gap. Adjust
Select minimum kV, a low mA station, and a
it closer to the operating surface.
medium time setting.
When trying to make a Bucky exposure;
i. Listen carefully at the Bucky for any sound.With h.The table magnetic-locks slip, or are
the cassette tray removed, see if the grid moves. unreliable
ii. If no sign of any grid movement, check the
Before testing any fuses, or removing a cover,
Bucky cable for a possible loose connection or
always switch the generator power off, and ensure
broken wire. See module 5.0 page 65.
the isolation power switch for the room is also
iii. Check for a possible blown fuse. To locate the
switched off.
fuse, see module 5.0 page 65, or consult the
Test procedures for fuses or wiring, are described in
service department.
module 5.0 page 65.
When trying to make a Bucky exposure, the Bucky
No locks operate.
starts to operate, but there is no exposure.
i. A fuse could be open circuit. Before replacing,
i. Check the Bucky cable for a possible loose or
check the wiring to the lock coils or switches,
broken connection. See module 5.0 page 65.
and look for possible damaged insulation.
ii. Remove the Bucky cover, or the tabletop.
ii. A foot switch is faulty, or has a bad cable
iii. Look for any object that could be blocking the
connection.
grid movement, such as a lost film marker. This
A specific lock fails to operate.
can happen with a wall Bucky, or a Bucky with
i. If other locks are operating, it is unlikely to be
a fluoroscopy table.
an open circuit fuse. However, still check, as the
iv. On attempting an exposure, does the grid drive
lock may not be the same type, and has a
motor operate? Look for damaged fibre gears,
separate fuse.
or a broken drive cord.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
124

ii. There may be an open circuit lock coil, or Some tables have a mechanical centre stop. A
winding. spring tensioned steel ball clicks into a slot when
iii. To check the lock coil, first ensure all power is the table is centred.
switched off. Disconnect the lock from the table. i. The spring can have a tension adjustment screw.
Use a multimeter set on a medium ohms scale to Tighten the screw to obtain a firm stopping
check the resistance of the lock coil. This may action.
measure around 500 to 2000 ohms depending on ii. Are the screws holding the mechanical centre
design.If unsure,check against a similar lock coil stop loose?
in the table, or contact the service department. iii. To adjust the stop position, undo the screws a
iv. Check the wiring for possible loose or broken small amount, and push the centre stop to the
connections. required position. Tighten the screws to prevent
v. Check the control switch. movement. Make a test film to confirm the table
The table lateral-movement lock is weak. is centred.
i. Check the number of locks installed for lateral Other tables may switch on the electromagnetic
operation. Some tables were supplied with only locks when in the centre position. This is usually
one lock. In this case, apart from cleaning the by a cam passing over a microswitch. (Later
front of the lock, little improvement can be made. designs may use electronic sensors, such as
ii. Where there are two locks, one of the lock coils optoelectronics.)
may have failed. Watch the locks when they are i. If the microswitch is positioned away from the
switched on and off. If only one lock moves, the cam, unreliable operation can result. If posi-
other lock might have an open circuit winding. tioned too close, then poor centring action
In some cases, you may find the suspect lock results. For example, the stopping position
cool to touch. becomes wide.
iii. Note. Locks may be positioned either at one ii. Centre position is adjusted by moving the cam,
end, or at both ends of the table. or else the microswitch.
iv. To check the lock coil, first ensure all power is The centre microswitch, or the auto-centre selec-
switched off. Disconnect the lock from the table. tion switch can have faulty contacts. Ensure power
Use a multimeter set on a medium ohms scale is turned off. Check with a multimeter set to low
to check the resistance of the lock coil.This may ohms scale to test the switch.
measure around 500 to 2000 ohms depending For other possibilities, contact the service depart-
on design. If unsure, check against a similar ment for advice.
lock coil in the table, or contact the service
department.
j. Noisy tabletop movement
v. Check the wiring for possible loose or broken
connections to the suspect lock coil. A clunking noise is heard as the tabletop is moved.
The locks make a rattling or buzzing noise. Check This may be due to a faulty bearing, or it may be
the mounting of the locks. Is the lock parallel to the caused by dirt in the bearing tracks, or on the rim
operating surface? Is there a large air gap when not of the bearings. Spray the bearings and bearing
switched on? Another possibility is dirt on the top, track with light aerosol oil, and wipe down with a
or face, of the lock. rag.
Watch the bearings as the tabletop is moved. A
i.The table auto-centre does not operate, faulty bearing may have a cracked or missing rim.
or is not accurate In some cases, the bearing does not rotate, and the
table is stiff to move.
To test the table lateral centre-position.
Contact the service department for a replacement
i. Place a cassette in the Bucky, with a marker
bearing, plus advice for replacing the bearing.
positioned on the centre of the cassette.
ii. Place another marker on the centre of the
tabletop. k. Elevating Bucky-table problems
iii. Move the tabletop to the lateral centre-position. The tabletop will rise up, but not move down.
iv. Make a low kV and mAs exposure. Process the i. Many tables have been damaged after being
film and check if both markers are in the same brought down onto a chair or patient stool. Two
E
position. common safety devices are now used.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
125

ii. A pressure-pad is installed on the floor, posi- ii. The position of the cam or microswitch may
tioned at both ends of the table. Pressure on require adjustment.
these pads activates a relay, which stops the The motor does not operate.
downward movement of the table. Is there an i. On some tables, occasional failure of the motor
object pushing on the pad, or has the pad power fuse occurs. Before attempting to replace
become damaged? the fuse, ensure all power is turned off.
iii. A sensitive microswitch is installed in the middle ii. When replacing the fuse, use a delay or slow-
of the longitudinal bearing tracks. This may blow type. See module 5.0 page 65.
require adjustment. Contact the service depart- iii. For location of the fuse, refer to the parts or
ment for advice. installation manuals.
The table does not stop at the operating height. iv. If the fuse continues to fail, contact the service
i. A cam-operated microswitch is used to switch department for advice.
off the motor once the operating height is
reached.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
126

TASK 15

A film exhibits grid lines

After taking a chest X-ray, you notice prominent grid lines on the film.
Make a list of possible reasons for this problem.

Describe suitable tests to either confirm, or eliminate, possibilities from this list.

Carry out these tests. What were the results?

What action is needed to correct the problem?

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
E
Tutor
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
127

MODULE 8.1

Tomography attachment

a. General precautions
Aim
Please take the following precautions.
The aim is to provide information and procedures
related to problems with a tomography system. This Before testing any fuses, or removing a cover,
may be a tomography attachment, fitted to a standard always switch the generator power off, and ensure
tube-stand, or integrated with a Bucky table.This is an the isolation power switch for the room is also
addition to the maintenance procedures, provided in switched off.
module 3.1 page 55. When investigating a possible bad connection, open
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the circuit fuse, or faulty switch, refer to the procedures
title page.) in module 5.0 page 65.
Older tomography attachments have either limited,
or no safety interlocks. Do not operate the motor
Objectives
without the fulcrum pole.
On completion of this module, the student will be
aware of common problems with the tomography
attachment, including operator error, or problems with
b. Failure to operate
a safety interlock. Adjustments and repairs may be This may be due to incorrect set-up, operation of a
carried out. Some tests or repairs will require the assis- safety interlock, or an open circuit fuse to the motor.
tance of an electrician or electronics technician. Where sections of the attachment are connected via
plugs and sockets, these need to be checked.

Contents Incorrect set-up may cause operation of a safety


interlock. This helps guard against operator error.
a. General precautions
When all else fails, then read the operation manual.
b. Failure to operate
Current tomography attachments can have a
c. The tomography image has poor definition
number of safety interlocks, depending on the
d. The required exposure time is difficult to estimate
design, and integration with the tube stand.
Older systems depend more on correct set-up, such
as ensuring the rotation and longitudinal tube-
stand locks, and Bucky lock, is off.This requires care
by the operator before using the system.
Typical interlocks for a tomography attachment can
include:
i. The fulcrum pole interlock. If the fulcrum pole
is not attached, the tomography system does
not know the stop or start positions. If ener-
gized, the motor would drive the tube-stand to
the end of the tube-stand track. The interlock
usually consists of a microswitch. This is oper-
ated when the fulcrum pole is attached to the
tube-stand cross-arm. The actuating lever for
this microswitch may be damaged, or out of
adjustment. Listen for a small click as the
fulcrum pole is placed in position.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
128

ii. An exception to the above is where the motor spot.This requires a smooth movement when travelling
has an arm that engages with a floor, or ceiling, through the actual exposure area.
slotted guide plate.This system can only operate
To evaluate the actual performance, the tomo-
over the distance controlled by rotation of the
graphic resolution test piece described in appendix
arm. However, later systems do have an interlock
B page 169, section is recommended. When oper-
to check if the fulcrum pole is fitted. This pre-
ated at the correct height, a clear image of the
vents a wrong exposure.
central paper clips should be obtained.
iii. X-ray tube height. If not correct, then tomogra-
i. To avoid over exposing the film, use a low mA
phy calibration is incorrect. This is measured by
station, and low kV. If the film is still too dark,
a cam-operated microswitch, or in some cases
then insert a sheet of paper between one inten-
by an optoelectronic sensor and reflective strip.
sifying screen and the film.
Operation of the height sensor occurs only over
ii. Repeat this test for different combinations of
a narrow distance.Try moving the tube-stand up
speeds and angles.
or down a small amount.
If a good image is not obtained with the test piece,
iv. Tube-stand and Bucky locks are often automat-
then check the following.
ically turned off or on by selection of tomogra-
i. Uncouple the fulcrum pole. Otherwise remain
phy operation. However, in some systems this
in tomographic set-up mode.
is not the case, and failure to switch off the
ii. Check that the tube rotation lock is off. The
longitudinal lock can prevent the motor from
tube should be able to rotate smoothly, and
moving the tube stand.
remain balanced as it is rotated.
The tomography motor has a high inrush current
iii. Check the Bucky movement. The Bucky lock
on start up. An open circuit fuse is not uncommon.
should be fully off, and the Bucky should move
i. Before testing or replacing a fuse, ensure all
smoothly in the table.
power is turned off. See module 5.0 page 65.
iv. Is the longitudinal lock released? With some
ii. Look for any cables that might be damaged,
systems, it will be necessary to exit tomo-
causing a short circuit.
graphic mode, and then check the lock releases
iii. The fuse could be positioned close to the motor
correctly.
system, or else in the tomography control
v. Is the fulcrum tower securely mounted?
cabinet. Use a delay, or slow-blow, fuse as a
vi. Is the fulcrum pole in good condition? The
replacement.
fulcrum pole should not bend or twist.
iv. If the fuse fails shortly after replacement,
vii. With the fulcrum pole in position, but not in
contact the service department for advice.
tomographic mode, push the tube-stand across
The fulcrum tower has a number of contacts con-
the floor. Look for any sudden stiffness, or
trolled by rotation of the fulcrum.These may be cam
jerking. Look for dirt in the guide rails.
operated switches, or else a metal-strip with a
viii. A wire cable is used to pull some systems. Is
sliding contact, or commutator. Selection of the
the cable firm, and not slipping on the motor
appropriate section controls the start-stop position
drive pulley?
of the motor, and the tomographic angle.
ix. The same applies to units with a belt drive. A
i. There may be broken connections in the cable
loose belt can stretch, and give an uneven start
plug and socket. Another possibility is a broken
to the movement.
microswitch, or commutator brush, inside the
x. Some motors have a drive wheel pressed
fulcrum tower. Before investigating, ensure all
against the floor. Depending on the floor
power is turned off.
surface, the wheel slips and drives unevenly. To
ii. An exception is where the tomographic angle
stop the wheel slipping, glue a strip of mate-
and start-stop position is controlled by a series
rial that has a rough surface, to the floor. For
of cams coupled directly to the drive motor. In
example, the type that is fitted to the steps of
this case, the tower will only have a motor and
a staircase.
light for setting the fulcrum height.

d.The required exposure time is difficult


c.The tomography image has poor definition to estimate
During a tomographic scan, the film in Bucky must
E A microprocessor controlled tomography unit, inte-
retain the correct alignment with the X-ray tube focal
grated with the X-ray control, may directly set the
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
129

exposure time. Otherwise the operator must select If the operation manual indicates times for 60 hz
a minimum exposure time, called the backup time. operation only, a correction factor is needed for
The backup time must be longer than the actual 50 hz operation. Multiply the 60 hz tomographic
exposure time, which is controlled by the combina- times by the conversion factor of 1.20.
tion of tomography speed and angle.The tomograph If no information is available, contact the service
operation manual should indicate the actual expo- department. They may need to measure the actual
sure times. A minimum backup time of 5~10% exposure times, and then make a suitable reference
longer is recommended. chart.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
130

MODULE 9.0

Fluoroscopy table

Aim including operator error, or problems with a safety


interlock. Adjustments and repairs may be carried out.
A fluoroscopy table can range from the most basic
If assistance is required from the service department,
version to a highly sophisticated remote control micro-
an accurate description of the problem can be
processor system. Many problems are caused when
provided.
standard operating procedures are changed. For
Note: Some tests or repairs will require the assis-
example, switches and selections may be set to a dif-
tance of an electrician or electronics technician.
ferent position.
The fluoroscopy table has a large number of safety
interlocks. These can be activated by operator error. Contents
Other possibilities are problems with the X-ray tube,
a. General precautions
the X-ray control, and the TV imaging system.
b. No fluoroscopy exposure, X-ray control checks
The information and procedures provided in this
c. No fluoroscopy exposure, table interlock checks
module are for basic tables fitted with an under-table
d. No fluoroscopy exposure, table electrical checks
tube. Some suggestions will however be common to all
e. The X-ray control indicates fluoroscopy is operating,
versions.
but no image
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the
f. No radiography exposure
title page.)
g. Artefacts on the film
h. Manual collimation has unwanted beam limitation
Objectives i. X-ray beam alignment is incorrect
j. Table movements do not operate
On completion of this module, the student will be
k. Table locks do not operate
aware of common problems with the fluoroscopy table,

a. General precautions Does the X-ray control have automatic regulation of


fluoroscopy output? If so, turn this off, and try a
Please take the following precautions.
manual setting of mA and kV.
Before testing any fuses, or removing a cover, always Is there a fault indication at the control on trying
switch the generator power off, and ensure the iso- an exposure?
lation power switch for the room is also switched off. i. In some cases, if actual fluoroscopy mA is too
Test procedures for fuses, switches, or wiring; are high, the exposure immediately stops. A fault
described in module 5.0 page 65. condition may only illuminate while attempting
Any dismantling of the table to test connections, an exposure, but disappear once the exposure
switches, or broken wires; should be performed by attempt is released. In other cases, it may be
an electrician, or electronics technician. necessary to switch off then on again to reset
If removing a cover, or dismantling any section, the safety interlock.
place the screws in a container to avoid loss. ii. Reduce the fluoroscopic mA and kV setting,
close the table collimator, and try another fluo-
roscopy exposure.
b. No fluoroscopy exposure, X-ray
iii. If at a lower mA setting, fluoroscopy is now ok,
control checks
then try slowly advancing the mA knob during a
Has a correct technique been selected? test exposure. Watch the mA meter. Look for
Check the fluoroscopy timer. Has it timed out?
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
131

instability, as this could indicate a gassy tube, or Is the serial-changer fully positioned in the operat-
perhaps a high-tension fault. An over mA fault ing position?
may occur when mA reaches 6.0 mA, but in i. When the serial-changer is brought forward
some cases be as low as 4.0 mA, depending on from the parked position to the operating posi-
equipment design. tion, a microswitch is operated, permitting flu-
iv. Some controls have no manual selection of mA; oroscopy operation.
instead the value of mA is controlled by fluo- ii. Locate the position of this microswitch, and
roscopy kV. In this case, advance the kV control, check if it has operated correctly. It may be pos-
as in part (v). Observe the mA meter for exces- sible to hear a small click as the serial-changer
sive mA or instability. is moved into position.
v. If excessive mA is not the cause of the problem, iii. Some designs uncouple the undertable tube
then slowly advance the kV control. Again, watch carriage to allow parking of the serial-changer.
the mA meter, looking for instability. Should a As the serial-changer is brought forward, the
problem occur as kV is increased, this could indi- tube carriage should lock back in position.
cate gas in the X-ray tube, or an arc where the Check to make sure this has happened. Again, a
high-tension cable-end enters the X-ray-tube safety interlock microswitch needs to be oper-
receptacle. See module 7.1 page 104, and ated. This microswitch may need adjustment.
module 7.3 page 117. Is there a cassette incorrectly positioned?
i. For example, in the load/unload position.
ii. Manually operated serial-changers have a
c. No fluoroscopy exposure table,
microswitch, which prevents fluoroscopy unless
interlock checks
the cassette carriage is fully retracted. For
The fluoroscopy table can have a number of interlocks example, when the cassette carriage is brought
for radiation safety. Some of the possibilities discussed to the radiography position, fluoroscopy is
depend on individual table design, and may not be immediately switched off. Further movement
present in your table. operates another microswitch, which sends the
preparation request to the X-ray control. Check
Is the correct technique selected at the table?
the operation of these microswitches.
i. For example, a remote controlled table may be
Is the Bucky parked at the foot-end of the table?
in tomographic mode, or a collimator key switch
i. This can apply to tables where a radiation shield
may have been turned to manual operation.
covers the Bucky-slot when the Bucky is parked.
ii. The table may have a separate fluoroscopic
Check the safety microswitch operated by this
timer. Has this timed out?
shield. It may be possible to hear a small click
iii. Some designs have a fluoroscopy-preparation
as the shield is opened and closed.
switch. This must be pressed to place the table
Some older tables were designed to enable the
in operation, after selecting fluoroscopy opera-
undertable tube to be used with a wall Bucky.These
tion at the X-ray control. (The switch has a flu-
have a microswitch to ensure the tube is correctly
oroscopy symbol.) With this system, the table is
positioned for fluoroscopy.This rarely has a problem,
automatically deselected if the technique is
but should be checked.
changed at the control, and must be reselected
each time prior to use.
Are there any warning lights or fault codes displayed d. No fluoroscopy exposure, table electrical
on the table? Refer to the operating manual, or con- checks
tact the service department for further information.
Note. Test procedures for fuses, switches, or wiring; are
Is the image intensifier, or fluorescent screen cor-
described in module 5.0 page 65.
rectly mounted, and not loose?
i. This especially applies if the image system is The footswitch is a common cause of failure. The
removed from the table, to park the serial- connecting cable can have broken connections,
changer out of the way. either at the footswitch, or where it connects to the
ii. The safety interlock is a small microswitch. The table. In addition, the cable itself may have a broken
microswitch actuator may have become bent, internal wire.
or out of adjustment, when the image system i. Before removing any covers, or make any meas-
was repositioned, or not operated if the image urements, ensure all power is disconnected.
system clamps are loose.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
132

ii. With a multimeter set to the low ohms position, viding fluoroscopy operates correctly, we can con-
test the continuity of the cable and footswitch sider the requirements of most interlocks satisfied.
contacts. This test should be made where the However, there are some additional requirements for
cable enters the table. radiography.
iii. With the footswitch operated, a low resistance
Has the cassette has already been exposed? Try
reading of less than five ohms should be
another cassette.
obtained.
Has a cassette of the correct size for the required
The connecting cables from the serial-changer to
format been inserted?
the table foot, or to the table serial-changer tower,
i. Try a different size cassette or format selection.
may have broken or loose connections. This espe-
ii. If a different size cassette allows operation,
cially applies if the cables are pulled or stretched
there is either a problem with the internal
during operation. Broken internal wires in the cables
recognition of the cassette size, or else the cas-
can also occur. If suspect, the individual wires can
sette is not compatible with the table. For
be checked by measuring across both ends, in a
example, trying to use an imperial dimension
similar fashion to the footswitch. This procedure
cassette, in a table designed for metric sized
must only be attempted by an electrician or elec-
cassettes.
tronics technician.
iii. Contact the service department for advice.
Have there been any indications of rats? Some rats
Does the cassette move forward into the expose
enjoy biting wires. This especially applies to the
position? (This assumes a motor drive cassette
internal wiring of a table. Damage can appear
carriage.)
similar to cutting wires with a pair of scissors.
i. Try ejecting and reinserting the cassette. If the
cassette does not eject, it may have been incor-
e.The X-ray control indicates fluoroscopy is rectly inserted, and fallen out of position. This
operating, but no image can cause the carriage to become jammed.
ii. In case of a cassette jam, try lifting the cassette
On attempting fluoroscopy, the X-ray control indicates
using a long wooden or plastic ruler. This may
a fluoroscopic exposure is operating, and the mA meter
then allow the cassette to be driven out. Other-
indicates a normal value of mA.
wise it will be necessary to gain access by either
Has the TV been properly switched on and adjusted? removing the serial-changer cover, or removing
See module 9.1 page 135. the image intensifier. Make sure all power is
Is the collimator closed? switched off before removing the cover.
i. Try operating the collimator controls to the half As the cassette moves forward into the expose
open position. position, does the X-ray control go into preparation
ii. To ensure the collimator is in fact open, place a mode, and then indicate ready for exposure?
cassette face down on the tabletop. Make a one i. Check for normal operation of the X-ray control
or two second fluoroscopy exposure, and process by a test exposure on the over-table tube.
the film. ii. A hand operated cassette carriage operates a
iii. If the film is blank, there can be a problem with microswitch when it moves towards the expose
the collimation control. Contact the service position. This microswitch produces the prepa-
department for advice. ration request for the X-ray control. There may
iv. If the film is exposed, there is a problem with be two microswitches close together. As the car-
the TV image system. See module 9.1 page 135. riage moves forward, listen carefully for a click
If operating under automatic regulation, change to from each microswitch. A small adjustment may
manual operation. Check that a suitable value of mA be required to obtain correct actuation.
and kV can be obtained. If mA is too low, there may ii. Listen to the X-ray tube. Can you hear anode
be a poor filament connection at the cathode cable rotation on the preparation request? If not,
end into the X-ray receptacle. See module 7.3 page check the stator cable for possible damage. For
117. example, it may have been caught up in the
undertable mechanism, or have a broken inter-
nal wire where it enters the serial-changer
f. No radiography exposure
longitudinal carriage. Ask an electrician or elec-
The safety interlocks and conditions that prevent tronics technician for assistance.
fluoroscopy will also prevent radiography. So pro-
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
133

iv. There may be a problem with the large focus. examination, fluoroscopy kV levels, and exposure
Try radiography on the fine focus. If preparation duration.
is now OK, there could be a poor filament con- i. To test, attach a 35 35 cm directly beneath
nection with the cathode cable-end, in the X-ray the serial-changer. Apply a few seconds of fluo-
tube receptacle. In this case affecting the large roscopy, then process the film
focus only. See module 7.3 page 117. ii. The fluoroscopy pattern on the film should be
The cassette has moved into the expose position. about 5~10% less than the stated diameter of
The X-ray control indicates ready for exposure the image intensifier.
however, an exposure cannot be made. iii. A problem was experienced similar to the above
i. Check for normal operation of the X-ray control with some earlier designs of remote controlled
by a test exposure on the over-table tube. tables. In this case, it was possible to obtain flu-
ii. Some table designs prevent an exposure if the oroscopy with the collimator key switch in the
motorized cassette carriage has stopped out- manual position. The problems disappeared
side the correct expose position. Try either a after a design change, so that fluoroscopy
full format exposure, or else a split format was only permitted under automatic beam
exposure. If the change of format allows an limitation.
exposure, the carriage drive requires adjust- iv. Some models of fluoroscopy tables, although
ment. Contact the service department for collimation was correct, still required additional
advice. lead shielding. For example, the problem was
iii. The serial-changer has additional close to film due to scatter. Discuss this possibility with the
shutters that are operated when selecting split service department.
formats. If these shutters are not in their Radio-opaque contrast solutions find their way into
correct position, this can cause prevent an expo- unusual places. Barium deposits are easy to see.
sure. This problem can occur with motor driven Media used for an IVP is less easy to see. If in doubt
shutters after a cassette jam occurs, or due to clean all surfaces, including under the serial
lack of maintenance. Track lubrication is changer. Look also under the tabletop, and on top
required. of the undertable tube collimator.
iv. With a manually operated cassette carriage, a Another cause can be wiring cables moved out of
microswitch is operated when the carriage position under the tabletop. A frequent cause is due
reaches the stop position. On some tables this to the Bucky not parked fully at the table end.
assembly can become loose and require adjust-
ment. Before attempting any disassembly,
h. Manual collimation has unwanted
contact the service department for advice.
beam limitation
v. See also No fluoroscopy exposure, table electri-
cal checks regarding the possibility of broken In many examinations, such as a barium swallow, the
wires and rat damage etc. radiologist will desire to cone in horizontally to opti-
mize the image.When the film is developed, it is found
the top and bottom areas of the film are not exposed.
g. Artefacts on the film This affect is due to the collimator field size required
Film artefacts are due to several possibilities. for fluoroscopy. For example, the X-ray field must not
exceed the diameter of the image intensifier field of
The cassettes were incorrectly stored in the room,
view.
and have been subject to scattered radiation.
Many later designs of tables have an added facility,
Remember, one minute of fluoroscopy at 2.0 mA
called semi automatic collimation. In this mode the
and 110 kV is equal to four 30 mAs exposures at
lateral collimation remains in the position set during
110 kV.
fluoroscopy, while the vertical collimation opens to the
Poor calibration of the automatic collimation can
film size during radiography.
mean the X-ray field is much wider than the size
It is sometimes possible to convert an older table,
required for fluoroscopy. This can allow radiation to
depending on make and model, to also have semiau-
penetrate the lead shield, designed to protect the
tomatic collimation. Discuss this with your service
film while the cassette is waiting in its garage or
department.
parked position. This can cause intermittent bar
patterns on the film, depending on the type of
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
134

i. X-ray beam alignment is incorrect The tabletop will only move in one direction. This
usually means a limit switch has been operated. A
Remove the bottom table cover.
common cause is a faulty microswitch. See also
Check if the collimator is loose on the X-ray tube.
No fluoroscopy exposure, table electrical checks
The X-ray beam is shifted to one side of the image.
in case of broken wires, or rat damage.
Lateral shift of the image.
Is there an open circuit fuse? Depending on table
i. In most cases, the tube may have shifted in the
design, this may only affect one motor, or else a
trunnion mounting rings.
group of motors. Always ensure power is turned off
ii. Release the trunnion ring clamp, rotate the tube
before checking or attempting a replacement. See
position only a small amount and test again.
module 5.0 page 65. If unsure, contact the service
iii. The most critical position is with the spot filmer
department for the fuse location, and to verify the
at maximum height from the tabletop.
correct rating and type.
iv. Check with the table horizontal and vertical. If
The table will not tilt vertically.
necessary, a small adjustment between the two
i. If the table will not tilt in either direction, there
positions may be needed.
may be an open circuit fuse. Always ensure
The X-ray beam has shifted vertically.
power is turned off, before checking or attempt-
i. In many cases the tube and trunnion assembly
ing to replace a fuse. See module 5.0 page 65.
is mounted to the table via a spigot. A bump
ii. The table may have reached its maximum angle
or vibration of the table can cause this to rotate
in one direction, and be unable to return.
slightly.
(Perhaps it is in Trendelenburg position) This
ii. Locate the clamping screws for the spigot, undo
could be caused by operation of the anti-crash
them just a small amount. Then rotate the
safety interlock. This may be a bar, or metal flap
assembly so the beam is realigned. Tighten the
at the table end.This can be damaged and stick
screws, and re-check the alignment.
in the operated position. Some systems use a
iii. Small changes in alignment are easily seen with
pressure mat on the floor. Look for an object
the spot filmer at maximum height from the
trapped between the table base and the mat.
tabletop.
iv. Check with the table horizontal and vertical. If
necessary, a compromise adjustment for the two k.Table locks do not operate
positions may be required. Has the compression lock been activated? Depend-
If not able to adjust the X-ray tube position, or if ing on the table design, this will release the serial-
not sure of the procedure to suit your table, contact changer longitudinal and lateral locks.
the service department for advice. Is there a problem with the wiring? See No fluo-
roscopy exposure, table electrical checks for possi-
j.Table movements do not operate ble broken wires and rat damage.
The lock may have too large an air gap. With the
Has an emergency stop switch been activated? The
power switched off, adjust the lock so this gap is at
warning lamp may have failed. Some switch designs,
a minimum.
once pushed in, require the knob to be rotated to
A lock coil, or winding, may be open circuit.
release. Remote controlled tables can have two
i. An electrician, or electronics technician, should
switches, one at the control desk, and the other at
test the lock coil.
the table body. Check both switches.
ii. Before testing, first ensure the lock activation
Is the vertical compression lock activated? As a
switch is off. Then ensure all power is turned off.
safety precaution this can disable tabletop move-
iii. Disconnect one of the lock coil connections.
ments. In some alternate designs, the compression
iv. With a multimeter set to medium ohms posi-
lock is automatically released when moving the
tion, test the lock coil for continuity.
tabletop.
v. Depending on design, the lock coil should
Has a patient protection device been operated? In
measure well below 20,000 ohms. If unsure of
some tables this is a light beam. Collisions with a
the typical value to expect, contact the service
patient trolley can cause this to be misaligned, or
department.
else there is dirt on the optical system. Look also
for table drapes in the wrong position, which can
block the light beam.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
135

MODULE 9.1

Fluoroscopy TV

a. General precautions
Aim
Please take the following precautions.
The aim is to provide information and adjustment pro-
cedures, related to problems with a TV imaging system. Before testing any fuses, or removing a cover,
The basic TV imaging system consists of the image always switch the generator power off, and ensure
intensifier (II), the TV camera and monitor, with pos- the isolation power switch for the room is also
sibly a videocassette recorder (VCR). Systems with switched off.
greater complexity, such as DSA and electronic radi- Do not attempt any internal adjustment of a TV
ography, are not included. monitor. Ask an electronics technician to assist if
Older TV cameras use camera tubes such as internal adjustment of a TV monitor is required.
Vidicon, Chalnicon, or similar device. Some adjust- Dangerous voltages can exist for some time after
ments for these cameras are included in this module. the monitor is switched off.
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the The TV monitor may not use a standard power
title page.) voltage. Damage to the monitor will occur, if con-
nected to the wrong voltage.
Test procedures for fuses, switches, or wiring; are
Objectives
described in module 5.0 page 65.
On completion of this module, the student will be If removing a cover, or dismantling any section,
aware of common problems with the TV imaging place the screws in a container to avoid loss.
system. This includes adjustments to the monitor, and Current TV cameras now use a charge coupled
tests to locate the cause of poor image quality. The device (CCD) instead of a camera tube. CCD
VCR is included in these objectives. cameras have very good stability and reliability.
Adjustments to a CCD camera are complex, and
should only be attempted by a qualified technician.
Contents
If in doubt of any adjustment described in this
a. General precautions module, contact the service department before
b. No image on the TV monitor proceeding.
c. The image is not sharp
d. The picture has no detail in bright areas
e. Is it possible to connect a VCR
b. No image on the TV monitor
f. The VCR recording is the wrong shape on another This most common help request to the service depart-
monitor ment can have a large variety of causes. Many are due
g. Is the image intensifier faulty to operator error. Whenever a request is made to the
h. The image rotates as the fluoroscopy table is tilted service department, accurate reporting of the problem
will save time.

Has the TV been properly turned on and adjusted?


i. Check the position of the brightness and con-
trast controls. Adjust the brightness control and
check if the picture tube lights up.
ii. Some monitors have two video inputs. Check
that the selection switch is in the right position.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
136

iii. Is a VCR fitted? This may not be switched on. ii. Adjust the brightness control for a medium
Or, the video connecting cables have been setting. Examine the picture tube closely. The
wrongly connected. This occurs if the VCR was scanning lines, or raster, should be clearly visible.
used at another location, and then returned. In some monitor designs, a focus control may
iv. If a VCR is fitted, this may be incorrectly set up. be available either from the front panel, or the
Check the input settings. To make a positive rear of the monitor.
check, disconnect the VCR, and connect the iii. Does the monitor focus become blurred at
video cable from the TV camera directly into the medium brightness levels, but appears ok at a
monitor. minimal brightness setting? This indicates a
Is the image intensifier receiving a correct fluoro- worn picture tube. Replacement is required.
scopic exposure? For tests of the collimator, table iv. Does the monitor take a long time to warm up?
interlocks, foot switch and generator, please see For example, at first the available brightness is
module 9.0 page 130. low, and brighter areas of an image merge
Check the video cable from the TV camera to the together. This is an indication of low electron
monitor.This cable is sometimes pulled partway out emission, from the picture tube cathode. Picture
of its connector, disconnecting the centre wire, or tube replacement is required.
else causing the connecting pin to pull out. Is the 75 ohm video-cable termination switch set
i. A quick test is to disconnect the video cable. In correctly?
most cases, this will cause a change in the i. This is a common error. It is often found that if
monitor brightness level. this switch is turned off, or unterminated; the
ii. The above test can also indicate if a video signal picture appears brighter and has more contrast.
is coming from the TV camera. For example, has However, in many cases this will cause a loss of
the camera been switched on? fine detail. The correct position is on, or termi-
For further tests, see Is the image intensifier nated; except when there are two or more mon-
faulty? itors. In this case, monitors in the middle should
have the termination switch turned off, while the
last, or end, monitor has the termination switch
c.The image is not sharp
turned on. (The final monitor will have only one
Besides the possibility of poor system focus, this can video cable connection.)
also be caused by problems with the video cable, or a ii. Has a Tconnector been used to connect another
faulty picture tube. monitor or VCR? This is incorrect, as proper ter-
System focus includes electronic focus of the image mination of the video cable cannot be obtained,
intensifier and TV camera, and optical focus of the TV together with possible loss of fine detail.
camera. (A CCD camera does not have an electronic The video, or coaxial, cable has a woven metal shield
focus adjustment.) under the first layer of insulation. This is connected
to ground by the video connector. Is the shield
pulled out from the connector? This can also give
Focus adjustments are sometimes attempted rise to interference patterns on the monitor, as well
without checking for other reasons first.They are as a loss of picture sharpness.
also attempted without a focus test tool, which Is the TV camera electronic focus correct?
makes it difficult to find the optimum position. i. This does not apply to CCD cameras, and only
Unfortunately, the focus adjustment is often the to some cameras that have an accessible focus
first adjustment that is fiddled with. control. This adjustment is normally very stable.
ii. Contact the service department to locate the
position of the focus adjustment.
iii. Tape a line-pair gauge directly under the serial
Many image intensifiers have multiple adjustments;
changer, as close as possible to the image inten-
these must be carried out in the right sequence. For
sifier. If the gauge is not available, then use the
these reasons, always consult the service department
focus aid described in appendix B page 169.
first, before attempting any focus adjustments.
iv. Set a minimum fluoroscopic kV and mA level,
Is the picture tube, or monitor, faulty? just sufficient to obtain a good image.
i. The simplest test, if available, is to try another v. With fluoroscopy on, adjust the focus control
monitor in the same position. for best results. This should be better than 12
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
137

LP/mm for a 9 image intensifier. (A typical sifier. If the gauge is not available, then use the
result might be 14 LP/mm with a CCD camera, focus aid described in appendix B page 169.
and 16 LP/mm with a vidicon camera.) v. Set a minimum fluoroscopic kV and mA level,
Is the TV camera optical focus correct? just sufficient to obtain a good image.
i. Optical focus is normally very stable, however vi. With fluoroscopy on, adjust the image intensi-
sometimes the image intensifier moves a slight fier for best focus.
amount in the housing, or the camera tube and vii. The combined TV and II focus should be better
deflection assembly moves a small amount in than 12 LP/mm for a 9 image intensifier. (A
the TV camera head. typical result might be 14 LP/mm with a CCD
ii. Older cameras may have a screwdriver operated camera, and 16 LP/mm with a vidicon camera.)
focus control at the rear of the camera head.
(This is sometimes fiddled with.) In other cases
d.The picture has no detail in bright areas
it is necessary to remove a cover plate to obtain
access to the lens. Is the automatic fluoroscopy system set at too high
ii. If directly adjusting the lens, first make a mark a level?
on the adjustment ring so the lens can be i. Change over to manual operation, select a lower
returned, if needed, to its previous position. In kV or mA and observe if this corrects the
most cases, it is necessary to undo a locking problem.
screw before an adjustment is possible. Some ii. If there is now a good image, remain on manual
lenses also have an adjustable iris Take care operation, and contact the service department
not to accidentally adjust this instead of the to have the automatic fluoroscopy system
focus. adjusted.
iv. Tape a line-pair gauge directly under the serial Is the TV monitor correctly adjusted? If the monitor
changer, as close as possible to the image inten- contrast is set too high, in some monitors this will
sifier. If the gauge is not available, then use the cause bright parts of the image to merge together,
focus aid described in appendix B, page 169. or to appear flat. In other cases, an overbright
v. Set a minimum fluoroscopic kV and mA level, image will appear smeared, or wiped, horizontally
just sufficient to obtain a good image. across the picture tube.
vi. With fluoroscopy on, adjust the lens focus for Does the monitor take a long time to warm up?
best results. Or adjust the focus control at the For example, at first the available brightness is low,
rear of the camera head with a screwdriver. and brighter areas of an image merge together.This
vii. This should be better than 12 LP/mm for a 9 is an indication of low electron emission. Picture
image intensifier. (A typical result might be 14 tube replacement is required.
LP/mm with a CCD camera, and 16 LP/mm with TV cameras that use a camera tube instead of a
a vidicon camera.) CCD have a beam current adjustment.
Is the image intensifier focus correct? i. If beam current is low, bright areas of the image
i. Current image intensifiers have very stable focus lack contrast and merge together. If beam
adjustments. Older systems may occasionally current is too low, the image will just appear
require adjustment. white, with no detail. In this case, the image may
ii. If you have a multi-field, or dual-field image become clear for a very short time, immediately
intensifier, check the resolution first on all fields. after fluoroscopy is switched off.
If all fields indicate poor resolution, this will ii. If beam current is too high, this will result in
indicate the problem is elsewhere, or else a com- poor image quality and reduced focus.
ponent failure in the intensifier power supply. iii. Beam current is a common adjustment for older
iii. Older designs have a single external focus TV cameras. Contact the service department to
adjustment. This is a screwdriver adjustment, locate the position of this adjustment, and any
positioned towards the top of the image inten- required precautions before adjusting. Ask an
sifier. Do not attempt adjustment of the image electronics technician to make this adjustment.
intensifier focus, if there is more than one
adjustment. In this case, contact the service
e. Is it possible to connect a VCR?
department for advice.
iv. Tape a line-pair gauge directly under the serial The videocassette recorder (VCR) must operate to
changer, as close as possible to the image inten- the same scanning format as your imaging system.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
138

In most cases, the X-ray TV system will use the same iv. Note. This adjustment is not available if a CCD
standard as domestic TV, allowing a domestic VCR camera is used.
to be used.
i. A 525 line, 60 hz system requires a NTSC com-
g. Is the image intensifier faulty?
patible VCR
ii. A 625 line, 50 hz system requires a PAL com- There is no X-ray image on the monitor. The monitor
patible VCR. adjustments appear correct, and the X-ray control indi-
In case your imaging system operates at a higher cates a normal fluoroscopic exposure.
line rate, such as 1049 or 1249 lines, then con- Is radiation entering the image intensifier?
necting a VCR is not possible, unless there is an i. Is the collimator closed? The collimator may
alternate output from the TV camera, at the stan- have a fault.
dard line rate. ii. Place a cassette on the table, underneath the
Playback of a recording will be the same aspect image intensifier.
ratio used by the X-ray TV camera and monitor. iii. Make a 2~3 second fluoroscopy exposure, and
The standard aspect ratio is 4 : 3, however, some develop the film.
systems, including CCD cameras, use a 1 : 1 aspect iv. The film should be very dark.
ratio. If a recording is played back on a monitor v. If the film is unexposed, the collimator could
adjusted for a 4 : 3 aspect ratio, the image will be have a fault. Contact the service department for
stretched horizontally, and appear egg shaped advice.
The VCR must have direct video input and output Is the TV camera faulty?
connections. A simple installation connects the i. Check the camera is switched on, and the video
video lead from the TV camera to the video input cable is not disconnected or damaged.
of the VCR, and the VCR video output to the ii. The following test should only be performed on
monitor. In most cases, this will require the VCR to advice from the service department.
be always switched on during fluoroscopy. iii. Remove the TV camera from the image intensi-
fier. Switch on the camera power. Point the
f.The VCR recording is the wrong shape on camera around the room, but do not aim the
another monitor camera at any bright light. An off focus image
should be obtained of objects in the room.
This is a common complaint when the recording is
iv. Some systems, especially those with last image
made from an X-ray TV using a 1 : 1 aspect ratio,
hold, will require fluoroscopy to be on during
instead of the domestic 4 : 3 aspect ratio.
the above test. First ensure the collimator is
To see if the system is adjusted for a 1 : 1 aspect closed, and the fluoroscopy kV is adjusted to its
ratio, adjust the monitor brightness so the scanning lowest setting.
lines, or raster, is clearly visible. A 4 : 3 aspect ratio There is a flickering background illumination, even
will show scanning lines extended fully across the without fluoroscopy.
screen, while a 1 : 1 aspect ratio will show a small i. This is a possible electrical discharge or insta-
blank area at both sides of the picture tube. bility in the image intensifier.
Apart from systems deliberately set to a 1 : 1 aspect ii. With a dual or multi-field intensifier, selecting
ratio for a CCD TV camera, it is possible the TV another field size can alter the appearance of
camera and monitor is incorrectly adjusted. this illumination. This indicates a fault in the
i. For example, if the original size and shape of image intensifier, or image intensifier power
the image from the camera was incorrectly supply. If the image intensifier loses focus on
adjusted, and then the monitor was adjusted to selecting a different field size, the power supply
give the required size and shape. is faulty.
ii. This is an incorrect set-up, as the monitor should iii. The following test should only be performed on
first be adjusted to the required aspect ratio advice, and instructions, from the service
and size, then finally the TV camera adjusted to department.
suit the monitor. iv. Remove the TV camera. Cover the camera lens.
iii. Fortunately, in most cases the TV camera and v. Switch the power back on.
monitor can be realigned for use with other vi. Close the fluoroscopy collimator. Do not make
monitors. This possibility should be discussed a fluoroscopy exposure.
with your service department.
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
139

vii. Turn off the room lights. Now look directly into iii. The radiation is set to the required value, and
the image intensifier lens. the lens iris is adjusted to obtain the required
viii. If any glow pattern is observed, the image video level. If the required video level is not
intensifier is faulty. obtained, then the image intensifier may need
ix. Repeat this test for each image intensifier field replacement.
size. iv. Before replacing the image intensifier, the TV
The image has a bright central area during fluo- camera should also be checked.
roscopy. v. This applies if the TV camera uses a Vidicon
i. This is an indication of gas inside the image camera tube. The target voltage may need
intensifier. This may occur if the image intensi- adjustment.
fier has not been used for some time. In this vi. The above test and adjustment should be
case, leave the system switched on overnight, requested from your service department before
and test again next day. considering a replacement system.
ii. To test, place a piece of lead, of about one third
of the image intensifier diameter, up against the
h.The image rotates as the fluoroscopy table
serial changer. Position the lead test piece in the
is tilted
middle of the image. This prevents radiation
entering the centre of the image intensifier. This affect is caused by an interaction with the earths
iii. With fluoroscopy on, the area covered by the magnetic field. It depends not only on the local field
lead should show very little illumination. If there strength inside the hospital, but also the orientation
is gas, this will be seen as a bright area in the as the table is tilted.
centre, where radiation is blocked by the lead Standard image intensifiers have a magnetic shield
test piece. The Image intensifier will need in the housing to reduce this effect. However they are
replacement. not shielded at the entrance plane. (This is where the
Is the image intensifier worn out? This is a X-ray radiation enters the II.)
common question with older systems, especially if Image intensifiers intended for high performance
there is poor penetration with a noisy or snowy digital image systems might be fitted with a Mu-
image. Metal magnetic shield, to cover the entrance plane
i. The conversion gain of an image intensifier into the II. While this virtually eliminates the rotation
drops with age as well as use. However in most problem, the added filtration reduces the conversion
cases, adjusting the lens aperture on the TV efficiency of the image intensifier.
camera can compensate for reduced brightness.
ii. A measurement is made of the radiation value,
required to produce a standard video level, from
the TV camera.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
140

MODULE 10.0

Automatic exposure control


(AEC)

a. AEC operation precautions


Aim
Incorrect selection of a technique not covered by
The aim is to provide a series of tests for an automatic
AEC operation.
exposure control (AEC).These tests are aimed at deter-
For example:
mining whether there is a problem due to the AEC, or
The wall Bucky may be fitted with a selection of
caused by other reasons.
three separate measuring fields or chambers, while
the table Bucky has a central field only. Good design
Objectives of an AEC should prevent selection of an incorrect
field. Unfortunately, some AEC systems, in par-
A correctly installed and adjusted AEC can produce
ticular those fitted outside the X-ray control as an
excellent results. However, correct use of the system is
accessory, may allow selection of an invalid field
still required to obtain the desired performance. On
position.
completion of this module, the student will be aware
Some AEC systems have a film sensitivity control
of AEC operation requirements, and will be able
in addition to the film density control. While this
to perform basic tests for the AEC performance.
gives greater flexibility, the film sensitivity control is
These tests will provide important information when
often never used. Instead it is left at a standard
requesting advice, or else attendance by the service
setting.
department.
i. The use of the film sensitivity selection control
can be forgotten. This includes the original
Contents setting. If the setting position is accidentally
a. AEC operation precautions changed, then a sudden large change in film
b. AEC film density test density occurs. This results in an unnecessary
c. AEC incorrect operation service call.
d. When a request is made for service ii. In some cases, due to bad calibration, the film
sensitivity control may need to be reset when
changing from the table Bucky to the vertical
Bucky. This can easily result in operator error,
and should be corrected wherever possible.
X-ray output for the exposure is too low. For
example, too low a kV, or insufficient mAs. In this
situation, the generator timer terminates the expo-
sure, and not the AEC. A light film results.
i. The AEC system, depending on design, may
prevent further exposures until a reset button
is pressed. There may be only a small indicator
lamp to indicate this condition, which is some-
times overlooked.
ii. Other AEC systems may provide a short audible
signal. In some cases this is for only a few
seconds, and is easily ignored. As a result
another radiograph is made without adjusting
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
141

the exposure setting. A complaint is made about i. The AEC is calibrated for a patient to be posi-
occasional light films tioned against the Bucky. If there is an air gap,
X-ray output is too high. As a result the AEC cannot this reduces the amount of soft radiation enter-
terminate the exposure quickly enough. ing the chamber, and the film becomes darker.
i. The minimum switch-off time is more of a ii. The above problem is much greater if there is
problem on older single or three-phase genera- no grid in front of the AEC chamber.
tors; especially those fitted with mechanical iii. An extreme example is found on older fluoro-
exposure contactors. This can cause unreliable scopic tables that have the chamber mounted
results if AEC exposure times below 0.02~0.03 in front, instead of behind the grid. In this case,
seconds are attempted. an air gap of only about 6 cm may double the
ii. Modern high-frequency systems are able to exposure time. The doctor should keep the spot
respond quickly to the AEC exposure-stop filmer close to the patient at all times, while
signal, so this is not a problem. However it is still using the AEC.
good practise to keep exposure times above In case the cassettes, film, or intensifying screens
0.005 seconds. This is due to the energy stored are changed, the AEC will need recalibration.
in the HT cable, which will slightly extend the
actual exposure time.
b. AEC film density test
iii. If AEC exposure times are close to the minimum
switch-off time, reduce kV or mA for the next The AEC calibration may require calibration, or there
exposure. may be a fault.
Selection of a less optimum chamber. For example, This test allows the performance to be verified, and
use of a chamber centred behind the spine, instead indicate if an individual chamber has a problem.
of the left or right chambers for a chest or lung
A test phantom is required. This can be a plastic
exposure.
bucket with water, or else a large flat-sided plastic
Combining two or more chambers. This depends on
bottle. An empty plastic container used for bulk
the method of AEC operation. While the systems
detergent is ideal.
appear similar, they can deliver different results.
Place a plastic bucket filled with water to a height
i. In one system, the chambers are combined
of 18 cm on the tabletop, positioned over the middle
together, and the average output of the cham-
of the Bucky.
bers controls the exposure.
Place a 24/30 cm cassette in the Bucky. Set X-ray
ii. In the other system, each chamber has separate
tube height to 100 cm.
control of the exposure. When chambers are
Select exposure factors of 90 kV, 100~250 mA, and
combined, only the chamber receiving the
backup time of 0.5 sec. (Some X-ray controls allow
higher level of radiation controls the exposure.
kV adjustment only, mA and backup time is auto-
(This is called the OR technique by one
matically set by the AEC)
manufacturer)
Select the AEC central chamber only. Set the
Incorrect collimation. If collimating to a smaller
density control to the middle, or 0 position.
area, part of the measuring chamber is also coned
Make a radiographic exposure. Note the actual
off. A dark exposure results.
exposure time, or alternately the mAs value. This
Bad patient positioning. In this case, radiation
depends on the meter indications provided.
passes through a relatively thin portion of the
In case a warning signal indicates an incorrect
anatomy, compared to the main item of interest. In
exposure, reduce the level of water to about 10 cm.
some cases, the measuring chamber may receive a
If the next exposure still indicates a problem, stop
portion of direct radiation. In either case a light
testing that chamber. Contact the service depart-
exposure will result.
ment for advice.
The AEC chambers are sensitive to soft, or scat-
Process the film. Film density should be in the
tered, radiation.
region of 1.4 to 1.6. If a densitometer is not avail-
Although the grid removes most of this radiation,
able, compare the film density to a previously
the remainder still has an effect on the exposure.
exposed reference film. (The actual value of film
In addition, with the chamber in front of the cas-
density often depends on individual doctor
sette, this soft radiation is filtered from entering the
preferences.)
cassette.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
142

For under-table Buckys fitted with three fields, exposure, this is a system using photomultipli-
repeat the above test for each chamber. Adjust ers, and external light is leaking into the AEC
the phantom so it is positioned above the selected chamber or photomultiplier assembly.
chamber. x. Examine the front edge of the chamber assem-
A similar exposure time and film density should be bly carefully. Cassettes may have hit it, when
obtained with each chamber. In case there is a dif- they were placed in the Bucky.This can damage
ference, expose another film, after adjusting the the chamber, allowing external light to enter.
density control by one step. If more than one step Cover the damaged area with metal foil, and
is required to obtain a similar density, then calibra- test the chamber again.
tion of individual chambers is out of tolerance. xi. Many AEC systems use ionization chambers to
If any chambers fail this test, do not use that measure radiation. Older versions were sensi-
chamber until the problem is corrected. Contact the tive to humidity. Design changes overcame this
service department; advise them of the problem, problem. Contact the manufacturers service
and the tests carried out department, in case there is a design modifi-
cation to upgrade your unit.
A similar test can be applied to the vertical Bucky. A
xii. If any chambers fail this test, do not use that
flat-sided plastic container with water is required.
chamber until the problem is corrected. Con-
If an empty bulk detergent container is not available,
tact the service department; advise them of
then two empty fixer or processor bottles can be used,
the problem, and the tests carried out.
placing them side by side. Rinse the bottles before
One or more chambers have stopped working.
filling with water.
i. Check the condition of the connecting cable.
This especially applies in fixed installations
c. AEC incorrect operation where the cable passes through ducts etc. Some
varieties of rats appear to like chewing on small
These tests are only provided as a general guide. This
wires.
is due to the great variety of AEC systems in use, most
ii. On a mobile system, check inside the connect-
of which require specialized instructions and test
ing plug for possible broken connections.
equipment for calibration or service.
The film density has changed. It is necessary
The AEC exposures produce light films, and are not to adjust the density control several steps to
consistent. compensate.
i. The AEC can be affected by humidity, or by light i. Is a similar change of density setting required
leaking into a photomultiplier system. This is a for both the wall Bucky and the table Bucky?
test for stability during a long exposure time. This may be due to the processor instead of the
ii. Set exposure factors for minimum mA and kV. AEC. Check the processor for possible problems
Set the backup exposure time to 5.0 seconds. with chemicals or temperature.
For those systems that provide adjustment of ii. Has the problem occurred after a new batch of
kV only, set kV to minimum, and select fine focus. film? The new film may have a different sensi-
iii. Set the density control to minimum density. tivity. The AEC will require recalibration.
Select the centre chamber. iii. Were the intensifying screens changed? The AEC
iv. Close the collimator, and aim the X-ray tube will require recalibration.
away from the Bucky under test. For further assistance, contact the service depart-
v. Leave all room lights fully ON. ment. If an electronics technician is available, the
vi. Perform a radiographic exposure. The AEC technician can carry out further tests after obtain-
should indicate the maximum exposure time ing advice from the service department. This would
was reached, and the exposure was not termi- be specific to the make and model of the AEC
nated by the AEC. requiring attention.
vii. Repeat this test for each chamber in the Bucky
or spot filmer under test. Caution; as these
are large test exposures, allow cooling time
d.When a request is made for service
between exposures. After carrying out the maintenance tests for the
viii. Does a chamber fail this test? AEC, problem areas may be located.
ix. Test again, this time with the room lights i. Retain all test films, and document the condi-
turned off. If the AEC now gives a longer test tions of test. This includes mA station, kV, FFD,
PART III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR MODULES
143

depth of water phantom, and indicated expo- ii. The chamber in use, and the density setting in
sure time. use for that chamber.
ii. Test films made with anatomical test objects iii. Does density setting have to be changed on
may be very interesting. However, testing with a chamber selection?
water phantom produces the most consistent iv. Does density have to be changed depending on
results, and allows direct comparison with pre- kV used?
vious tests. v. The kV and mA values used. Or kV and focal spot
When an AEC system has been in use for a while, it if mA is not selected manually.
may be found that the density control has to be vi. The indicated exposure time obtained after an
adjusted for different examinations. While it is a exposure.
simple matter to have service recalibrate the system Be aware that some apparent AEC problems are due
to 0 density setting, the following information can instead to film processor drift. Before requesting
indicate if attention is also required to kV tracking, service for the AEC, ensure the processor perform-
or short time compensation. ance has been checked.
i. The type of patient examination.
PART IV
Automatic
film processor
PART IV. AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSOR
147

MODULE 11.0

Automatic film processor

Aim Contents
The aim is to provide routine maintenance procedures a. General precautions
for the automatic film processor. This module presents b. Preparation for maintenance
a series of regular maintenance schedules. When used c. Daily maintenance
with sensitometry techniques, this module can be used d. Weekly maintenance
to implement a quality control programme. Repair pro- e. Monthly maintenance
cedures for the processor are provided in module 11.1 f. Quarterly maintenance
page 199. g. Annual inspection and service
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the h. Replacement parts schedule
title page.)

Equipment required
Objectives An accurate thermometer (alcohol or electronic).
A processor maintenance schedule should be followed Hydrometer.
regularly. Performing this maintenance will ensure Sensitometer. (Or pre-exposed sensitometry film). *
optimum quality of processed films, and allow detec- Densitometer. (Or processed reference film for
tion of problems before they become serious. On com- comparison purposes). **
pletion of this module, the student will be familiar Chemical stirring rods. These may be stainless steel
with maintenance procedures for the automatic film or PVC. Important; the rods should be labelled
processor. These procedures should be used together developer and fixer to prevent cross contamina-
with the maintenance instructions in the operators tion of chemicals.
manual. A routine maintenance check-sheet is pro- Measuring cylinder. Graduated 100 ml glass or
vided in appendix D page 186. plastic container.
Note: This module is based on the procedures pre- Sodium hypochlorite bleach. (For monthly
viously presented in the Quality assurance workbook. maintenance).
As reference is made to sensitometry techniques, this Tank cleaning brushes, one each for developer and
section from the WHO Quality assurance workbook is fixer tanks.
included in appendix A page 163. Scouring pads. (Plastic or nylon type).
Clean disposable cloths.
Clean hand towels.
Plastic bucket.
Mop.

* A packet of pre-exposed sensitometry films may be


obtained from the film supplier.
** A previous processed sensitometry film may be used
as a reference.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
148

a. General precautions On start up.


i. With the top cover removed, switch on the
Before removing any panels, ensure the processor
processor.
power is switched off. The processor power isolation
ii. Note. Some processors have sensors, or
switch should also be turned off.
microswitches, to ensure the cover is correctly
All adjustable settings of the processor should be
fitted. With the lid off, you will need to activate
recorded. This especially applies to microprocessor-
these switches manually.
controlled systems. These have a large number of
iii. Listen for any unusual noise or vibration.
settings, or options, and may develop an error. For
iv. Check film transport system. Ensure all rollers
example, after a power failure, or due to incorrect
are operating normally.
adjustment.
v. If not previously filled, check that wash water
The following items should be available for personal
is now filling correctly.
protection.
vi. Check replenishment system is working.
i. Plastic apron.
vii. Replace processor lid.
ii. Coat to protect clothing from chemical splashes.
viii. Feed in one unprocessed 35 43 cm film as a
iii. Rubber gloves.
clean-up film.
iv. Protective glasses and mask, to protect the face
Note. Do not use processed film, as these are
from chemical splashes.
harder, and contain fixer.
v. An emergency eye kit should be available in the
ix. Inspect processed clean up film. Feed in a
darkroom.
second film if necessary.
Do not wear long loose clothing; this may become
x. Clean exterior surfaces, including feed tray and
caught in the rollers.
receiving bin. Pay extra attention to the feed
Ensure that the darkroom is adequately ventilated.
tray.
Clean up any spills or splashes.
xi. Wipe over all darkroom surfaces.
xii. When the processor has reached normal oper-
b. Daily maintenance ating conditions, a routine sensitometry test
may be carried out. See appendix A, page 163.
Before start up.
Normal working.
This assumes shutdown procedure was not perfor-
i. Follow manufacturers operating instructions.
med, or the processor has been idle for some time.
(Read the manual.)
i. Remove processor lid.
ii. Be aware of any changes in operation, noises,
ii. Remove crossovers, and wash in warm water,
leaks, or deterioration of processed films.
with a sponge or plastic cleaning pad. (Always
iii. Do not pull processed films out till they are clear
do developer first, then fixer, to avoid con-
of the rollers.
tamination of developer.)
iv. Always wait for the ready signal or light before
iii. Wash tank covers and splash guards.
feeding the next film.
iv. Wipe over all rack rollers that are above
v. When feeding films, insert the wide side as the
solution levels.
leading edge.The film should be lined up against
v. Clean interior exposed surfaces.
one side of the tray, not in the centre.
vi. Check replenishment tanks/bottles levels.
vi. Do not allow anyone to stand next to, or lean
Check for unusual colour or smell.
on, the processor.
vii. Check replenishment hoses for possible leaks
vii. Ensure the darkroom ventilation is correct, and
or kinks.
there is no build up of humidity or fumes. This
viii. Replace the water drain standpipe, if
especially applies where a bench top processor
appropriate.
is used.
ix. Ensure the wash water drain valve is closed.
On shut down.
(Some processors may be fitted with an
i. Remove processor lid.
automatic drain valve)
ii. Note. Some processors have sensors, or
x. Turn on water, and check that wash tank is
microswitches, to ensure the cover is correctly
filling. Time water flow if necessary.
fitted. With the lid off, you will need to
xi. Note. Depending on make and model, water
activate these switches manually. Some pro-
flow will not commence until the unit is
cessors have several lid safety switches. Please
powered up.
refer to the operating or service manual.
xii. Replace crossovers, and tank lids.
PART IV. AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSOR
149

iii. Observe transport system. maintenance manual as a guide. See module


iv. Listen for any abnormal noise or vibration. 11.1 page 151.
v. Observe level of solutions and wash water. Check replenishment rates.
vi. Switch off. i. Remove processor lid
vii. Look for any leaks. ii. Locate lid safety switches, if fitted. Place a
vii. Remove and wash all crossovers, splashguards small weight, or else a small packing piece held
and tank lids. with tape, to keep these switches operated.
ix. Wipe over all rack rollers above solution level. iii. Switch processor on.
(Always do developer first, then fixer, to avoid iv. Divert the developer inlet to the tank, into a
possible contamination of developer.) 100 ml measuring-cylinder.
x. Inspect and wash roller drive-cogs and drive v. On some bench top processors, this may not be
mechanism where appropriate. possible. In which case divert the flow of used
xi. Replace tank lids. (Do not install crossovers.) developer from the tank, which would other-
xii. Turn off wash water, if appropriate. wise go to the waste tank or the drain.
xiii. Remove water drain standpipe, if appropriate. However, pass a least one film in first, to ensure
xiv. Wash off all chemical splashes on interior excess developer has commenced to flow.
exposed surfaces. Discard this initial measurement.
xv. Wipe any splashes from exterior surfaces. vi. Pass five 35 43 cm fresh films through the
xvi. Replace processor lid. Leave it slightly raised processor. Do not use previously processed
at one end, to avoid build up of fumes and films, as these are harder, and contain fixer.
condensation. vii. Divide the measuring cylinder contents by five,
xvii. The darkroom door should be left open, with to find the replenishment rate.
the ventilation fan operating. (Depending on viii. Note. The above procedure is required for some
power constraints.) processors, which may not add individual
xviii. Place crossovers on top of processor, with replenishment for each film inserted.This espe-
drain standpipe if appropriate, and cover with cially applies for microprocessor-controlled
a cloth; or store in a cupboard set aside for units, which calculate several other factors
that purpose. besides film size.
xix. Observe levels of replenishment tanks. If ix. Repeat the above for the fixer tank.
required prepare a fresh solution. x. Record the results.
xx. Observe stocks of films, chemicals, or other xi. Check with previous results for any significant
depleted supplies. Restock or order as required. variation, or drift.
xxi. Record all restocking. xii. Adjust if necessary.
xxii. Report any problem or fault areas. See Remove and wash all deep rack rollers in warm
module 11.1 page 151. water
xxiii. Update the logbook i. Particularly for the developer section, the rollers
may develop a layer of chemical crystals. A nylon
or plastic cleaning pad will assist in the removal
c.Weekly maintenance
of these crystals, or encrustation.
Follow manufacturers recommendations. ii. Inspect for correct function, wear or damage.
Perform a sensitometry test. (For best control, this iii. Rinse and install.
should be performed as a daily routine.) Check main drive shaft and chains or drive belt.
Check solution temperatures, in particular devel- Carry out any other maintenance recommended by
oper temperatures. This is usually around 34~36 the manufacturer.
degrees Celsius Report any problem or fault areas. See module 11.1
i. Note. Allow time for the temperature to fully page 151.
stabilize first. Update the logbook
ii. Compare with any readout on the processor
panel, and manufacturers recommendations.
iii. If outside the specified temperature limits,
d. Monthly maintenance
compare to results previously recorded in the Follow manufacturers recommendations.
logbook. Adjust if necessary. Perform weekly maintenance.
iv. In case a drift of temperature is observed, Inspect all racks and component parts during
investigate further. Use the manufacturers cleaning.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
150

Clean filters. Dispose of chemicals as required by local regula-


Drain all and clean all tanks. tions. Do not flush down the drain. Especially do not
i. Pay special attention to the wash water tank. discard so that seepage may end in a well, or in the
ii. The tanks may be filled with a dilute concen- irrigation water.
tration of 0.5% hypochlorite solution. An alter- Wash out replenishment tanks, and flush hoses.
native is a system-cleaner chemical kit. This is a Mix a fresh solution of developer and fixer.
two-part mix, plus a neutralizer, which is added Note. Only mix sufficient developer to suit short
to the water when flushing out the cleaner. to medium term requirements. This will reduce
iii. Let the solution sit in the system for no longer deterioration due to oxidation.
than 30 minutes. Do not forget to add starter to the developer tank.
iv. Rinse the solution from the system, and dislodge Remove processor panels. Inspect carefully for any
bio-growth or algae. Use a clean stiff brush or leaks around pumps.
other recommended tools to clean the surface. Check overall condition of processor.
v. Rinse the system thoroughly. Report any problem or fault areas. See module 11.1
vi. Caution. Do not allow concentrated sodium page 151.
hypochlorite to come in contact with fixer or Update the logbook.
developer. Dangerous fumes can result.
Do not forget to add starter to the developer
f. Annual inspection and service
tank.
Manufacturers recommend replacement of all Even if you do not have a maintenance contract with
chemicals on a monthly basis. This will especially a service company, it is advisable to have the unit fully
apply to developer, where oxidation continues even inspected and serviced at least once each year. This
when not in use. If recharging is not economic, then service should ensure that the processor is performing
inspect the condition of the solutions in the replen- to full specification. In addition, wear items such as
ishment tanks, and change as felt necessary. pump valves, especially for the fixer pump, can be
Carry out any other maintenance recommended by replaced. This service will also enable a new set of
the manufacturer, or felt necessary. reference sensitometry films to be obtained. Prior to
Report any problem or fault areas. See module 11.1 such service, it is recommended to have a fresh supply
page 151. of chemicals available. If film has been stored in
Update the logbook. suspect conditions, a fresh pack of film should also be
on hand, to allow accurate calibration.

e. Quarterly maintenance
g. Replacement parts schedule
Follow manufacturers recommendations.
Perform weekly and monthly maintenance. Manufacturers usually recommend replacement of
Discard remaining chemicals in replenishment tanks. items subject to wear or deterioration. This should be
Note. This especially applies to developer, which may carried out at regular intervals. A typical example of
be oxidised. The developer will start to turn brown. these items is provided in table 11a.

Table 11a. A typical replacement parts schedule


Replace Each month Three months Six months Each year

Chemicals, developer and fixer.

Replace fixer rack roller-springs.

Replace entry, developer, wash


and drying rack roller springs.

Replace developer rollers.

Replace poppet valves in


replenishment pumps.

Developer filters.

E rings.
PART IV. AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSOR
151

MODULE 11.1

Automatic film processor

Aim sitometry is regularly performed during maintenance,


then deviations from the recorded characteristic curve
Many problems with the automatic film processor are
will aid diagnosis of film problems. The sensitometry
avoided by routine maintenance. Unfortunately, routine
section from the WHO Quality assurance workbook is
maintenance may not be performed properly, or not at
included in appendix A page 210.
all. This module provides a list of common problems
that may occur, and their solutions. Routine mainte-
nance procedures for the processor are provided in Contents
module 11.0 page 147.
a. Electrical precautions
(Note: Reference module page numbers refer to the
b. Plumbing precautions
title page.)
c. Suggestions for processor service or repair
d. The processed film appears dirty
Objectives e. Pressure marks on the film
f. Film is scratched or jammed
On completion of this module, the student will be
g. Film appears under developed
familiar with film processor problems, and what to look
h. Uneven developing across the film
for when correcting these problems. In the event of a
i. Film has high base fog and excessive contrast
problem, look also in the operation manual, for the
j. Films appear poorly fixed
manufacturers advice.
k. Films are discoloured. May appear sticky
(Task 16. Films appear too dark, and task 17 Films l. Insufficient or uneven drying
exhibit symptoms of low fixer, should be attempted m. Bands across the film, perpendicular to the film
on completion of this module). transport direction
n. Film fogging
Note: Detailed instructions for sensitometry are pro-
o. Static electricity marks
vided in the WHO Quality assurance workbook. If sen-

a. Electrical precautions ii. Before removing a module or PCB, touch the


processor frame. This is to discharge any static
Before removing any panels, or performing any
electricity.
internal repair, ensure the processor power is
iii. Take note of plugs or sockets that may need to
switched off. The processor power isolation switch
be removed or reconnected. Do not rely on
should also be turned off.
memory. Make a diagram of the connections.
An electrician or electronics technician should
If connections or wires are not marked, attach
perform any electrical tests or adjustments.
a temporary label.
If testing or replacing a fuse, see module 5.0 page
iv. When a PCB is fitted to an extender card, take
65.
care not to bump or dislodge it once power is
To make adjustments, it may be is necessary to
restored. Damage can result.
remove a module or printed circuit board (PCB), and
reconnect it with an extension board. This should
only be attempted on advice from the service b. Plumbing precautions
department.
Many plumbing problems in a processor may be
i. Take care that power is switched off, before
attended to, providing due care is taken. This can
proceeding.
include:
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
152

Attention to plumbing or piping leaks. Dirt or algae contamination of the wash water.
Replacement of replenishment-pump valves. i. Replace wash water.
Replacement of replenishment or recirculation ii. Ensure wash water trough is clean.
pumps. iii. Examine the water supply filter, and either back
flush, or exchange the filter element.
Before attempting any repairs where the internal
iv. Check the water flow rate.
piping or plumbing may be disconnected, take the
v. Check operation of the automatic drain valve.
following precautions.
(This is not fitted to all processors)
Ensure the relevant processor tank has been Dirt or contamination of the processor solutions.
drained of any solution. i. Carry out a complete cleaning procedure. See
Flush the system to remove any residual solution. module 11.0 page 147.
Ensure the power is turned off, also at the power ii. Replace processor solutions. Make up a com-
isolation switch. plete fresh batch. Ensure filtered water is used.
Turn off the water supply to the processor. Do not forget to add starter.
Make a diagram of piping connections before iii. Developer and fixer recirculation filters may be
removing. Attach labels for identification. fitted on some processors. These should be
Take care when disconnecting piping, not to lose cleaned weekly as part of routine maintenance.
small O rings. These can be hidden inside the iv. Some processors have a separate developer filter,
connection, and fall out later. not installed in the tank. Depending on proces-
When piping is disconnected, residual flushing sor make or model, this filter should be changed
water will drain out. Be prepared, and place cloth, each year. If suspect, change immediately.
or a towel, under the pipe before disconnecting. A cleaning-film procedure has not been carried out.
Have a bucket, or container, available for any i. This should be carried out each morning.
unexpected problem. ii. Use a full size unprocessed film.
Wear suitable protection clothing and gloves. See The feed tray is dirty.
module 11.0 page 147.

e. Pressure marks on the film


c. Suggestions for processor service or repair
Clean the film rollers.
When diagnosing a problem, refer also to the oper- Pay special attention to developer rollers.
ators or service manual for the processor. If in Replace any rollers that do not have a smooth
doubt of the cause of a problem, request advice surface, after cleaning.
from the manufacturers service division. A pair of developer or fixer rollers may have
Hint. When trying to locate a part in the processor, developed a flat, or uneven, area.
refer to the diagrams in the parts manual. i. Test by slowly rolling along a flat surface. Feel
When replacement of a part is required, include any for any bumps as the roller is rotated.
auxiliary components that may be required. For ii. Place a light behind the roller. Move the roller
example, if replacing a faulty recirculation pump, along a flat surface. Look for any gaps as the
include replacement O rings for the piping roller is rotated.
connections.
Place any small screws or parts in a container, to
f. Film scratched or jammed
avoid loss.
All adjustable settings of the processor should be With the top cover removed, feed a test film
recorded. This especially applies to microprocessor- through the processor.
controlled systems. These have a large number of i. Listen carefully for any unusual noise.
settings, or options, and may develop an error. For ii. Does the film jerk, or not move smoothly in any
example, after a power failure, or due to incorrect area?
adjustment. iii. Does the film exit partly rotated?
Racks incorrectly installed.
i. Check the position and seating of the racks. Pay
d.The processed film appears dirty
careful attention to guide marks or grooves.
The processing tank rollers are dirty. ii. Check that racks are not distorted, or bent out
i. Carry out the recommended weekly maintenance. of shape.
PART IV. AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSOR
153

Loose or damaged roller pressure springs. iii. The replenishment feed line is blocked. (Or
i. These are coiled springs shaped in the form of twisted and kinked)
a loop.They pull the rollers together, and provide iv. Faulty film size detection.
the correct pressure on the film. The developer supply is oxidized or depleted.
ii. If springs are damaged, or have uneven tension, i. Replace the developer supply, if more than one
then the rollers can feed the film at an angle. month old.
iii. Compare the suspect spring to other springs. ii. Test specific gravity. Use the temperature
Replace with a new pair, one on each side of the correction chart, Fig C1 page 177.
rollers. Incorrect developer temperature.
Film crossover guides not properly installed or i. Compare the temperature to the previous
faulty. recorded value, when the processor was last
i. Examine the area around the guides for any serviced.
sharp edges, or scratched sections. ii. Monitor developer temperature during the day.
ii. Check the rollers. Ensure free movement of the Look for excessive temperature drift.
rollers. Film transport speed has increased.
iii. Check crossover alignment. Ask the service i. Check for incorrect settings in the processor
department for advice, before making any computer.
adjustment. ii. Measure film transport time.
iv. Check crossover guides are correctly seated, no iii. Note. If transport speed is incorrect, this will
distortion or cracks. also affect fixing and drying.
Damaged gears.
i. A previous jammed film may result in broken or
h. Uneven developing across the film
damaged gear teeth. This can cause erratic or
stopped rotation of the rollers. Recirculation pump not working.
ii. A gear is not sitting in the correct position on Partially blocked developer filter. Clean as part of
the shaft. Check for a missing retaining clip. weekly maintenance.
(Circlip).This fits in a groove of the shaft, to keep Damaged or blocked recirculation pipe lines.
the gear in position. Some gears have a plastic
retaining clip as part of the gear moulding. If
i. Film has high base fog and excessive
broken, the gear must be replaced.
contrast
Incorrectly set drive shaft.
Timing belt or chain incorrectly installed or broken. Operator error
Sharp or damaged edges in the film entrance table. i. Starter was not added after service. (Or
Incorrectly adjusted film entrance table. insufficient starter.)
On systems with a micro-switch for film size ii. Add starter.
sensing, the actuation lever may be damaged. Incorrect developer temperature.
Films are fed too close together. i. Compare the temperature to the previous
i. Does a warning light operate, until ready for the recorded value, when the processor was last
next film? serviced. Reset if required.
ii. Does a chime sound when the processor is ready ii. Monitor developer temperature during the day.
for the next film? Look for excessive temperature drift.
Developer over concentrated.
i. Check supply specific gravity. Use the tempera-
g. Film appears under developed ture correction chart, Fig C1 page 177.
Operator error. ii. Check replenishment rate.
i. Wrong X-ray exposure setting. iii. Add starter.
ii. Incorrect cassette. Detail instead of normal Film transport speed has decreased.
screens. i. Operator error. The speed adjustment was left
iii. Excessive starter was added after service. on low speed, after processing single emulsion
Insufficient developer replenishment. Check the films.
replenishment flow rate. ii. Check for incorrect settings in the processor
i. Replenishment pump not working. computer.
ii. A leaky valve in the replenishment pump. iii. Measure the film transport time.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
154

iv. Motor speed may be reduced due to incorrectly The drying heater is faulty.
fitted racks. i. If more than one element, an element may be
v. Or motor speed may be reduced due to stiff burnt out.
bearings. Lubricate the bearings. (The bearings ii. Faulty operation of the over-temperature safety
may be noisy). thermostat.
iii. Power fuse to the heater is open circuit.
The drying fans are faulty. Possible failure of one fan
j. Films appear poorly fixed
only.
Insufficient fixer replenishment. The drying thermostat is faulty.
i. Check the replenishment flow rate. Fixer may be depleted, or at too low a temperature.
ii. Adjust the flow rate or pump operation time. Wash water temperature low.
iii. Replenishment pump not working. Some
processors have two fixer replenishment pumps
m. Bands across the film, perpendicular to the
working in parallel. One may be faulty.
film transport direction
iv. Faulty Poppet valves on the replenishment
pump. Replace. Dirty rollers
v. Replenishment feed line blocked. (Or twisted i. Clean the rollers. The rollers may develop a layer
and kinked) of chemical crystals. A nylon or plastic cleaning
vi. Faulty film size detection. pad will assist in the removal of these crystals,
Fixer supply incorrectly mixed. Check specific gravity. or encrustation.
Fixer is contaminated, replace with a fresh solution. ii. Replace any rollers that do not have a smooth
Fixer temperature too low. This may apply where surface after cleaning.
the processor has separate heaters for fixer and iii. Check for damage or flat areas on the rollers.
developer. iv. Test by slowly rolling along a flat surface. Feel
Poor squeegee action of rollers as film exits the for any bumps as the roller is rotated.
developer tank. This leaves excessive developer on v. Position a light behind the roller. Move the roller
the film, preventing proper contact with the fixer. along a flat surface. Look for any gaps as the
i. Clean the rollers. roller is rotated.
ii. Examine the roller compression springs; ensure Rollers do not rotate smoothly. They stop and start.
correct fit and tension. i. The drive belt or chain may be loose. Adjust
ii. Some processors have a mini wash area, with according to the maintenance manual.
the crossover rollers, where the film is trans- ii. Incorrect positioning of rack or rollers.
ported between tanks. Ensure water level is iii. A bearing may require cleaning, or lubrication.
correct, and is circulated. iv. Damage to a gear tooth.
Film is slipping in the rollers.
i. Examine roller compression springs; ensure
k. Films are discoloured. May appear sticky
correct fit and tension.
Fixer temperature too low. This may occur if ii. Look for missing springs.
the processor has separate heaters for fixer and
The following film problems may not be due to the
developer.
processor.
Fixer is depleted. See Films appear poorly fixed
Wash water temperature too low.
Film transport speed has increased. n. Film fogging
i. Check for incorrect settings in the processor
Darkroom safe light is faulty.
computer.
i. Test by leaving film on bench for a short time,
ii. Measure the film transport time.
then processing. Next, place film directly into
iii. Note. If transport speed is incorrect, this will
processor, but keep safe light off.
also affect developing and drying.
ii. Aim the light upwards, away from the work-
bench or processor film table.
l. Insufficient or uneven drying iii. Has the globe been replaced with a wrong type?
iv. Has the film been changed to orthochromatic
Incorrect temperature setting. Temperature may
film? Contact the film supplier for advice. Obtain
need to be increased if humidity level is high.
correct filters for the safe light.
PART IV. AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSOR
155

Damaged cassette, allowing light to enter. ii. Possible light leak into the film storage bin.
i. Test by inserting a film in the suspect cassette, Check for proper closing and operation of the
with the safelight switched off. Then place the film bin.
cassette in different positions, in normal room iii. Improper light shielding of films, due to torn
lighting. packaging etc.
ii. Process the film.
All films appear fogged.
o. Static electricity marks
i. The film has been stored under excessive tem-
perature, or humidity conditions. These appear as branched, or dotted areas on the
ii. The film has passed its expiration date. film.
Film has intermittent fogging. Artefacts can also be i. This is due to a static discharge, as the film is
observed. handled.
i. Scatter radiation is entering the cassette ii. A common cause is dry, or low humidity
storage area. conditions. Some floor coverings, and type of
ii. Possible fault with radiation shield. Test by shoes, can also cause this problem.
placing a test cassette for a while in the suspect iii. Before handling the film, discharge yourself by
area. touching the metal tray of the processor.
Film exhibits fogging towards one edge only. All iv. Use anti-static cleaners for the cassette
films of the same size have a similar problem. intensifier screens.
i. The film storage bin has been opened under full
lighting conditions.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
156

TASK 16

Films appear too dark

You have just returned from holidays. On using your normal exposure techniques, the films appear too dark. Your
assistant informs you she has also been having a problem, to obtain the correct exposures.

You suspect a problem with the processor. However, list possible reasons, not caused by the processor, which might
cause dark films.

Make a list of possible processor problems, which could cause a dark film. Indicate on this list the order in which
you would check these items.

Carry out suitable tests. Describe these tests and their results.

What action is needed to correct the problem?

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
Tutor
PART IV. AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSOR
157

TASK 17

Films exhibit symptoms of


low fixer

After carrying out initial tests, you replaced the fixer, and adjusted the fixer pump. However, as several days go by
the problem repeats itself.
You come to the decision that the fixer pump is faulty and requires attention.

What were the original symptoms?

Describe the tests carried out, and action taken to correct the problem.

The problem has now repeated itself. You have contacted the processor agents, and discussed the problem. They
recommend you replace the pump valves, suspected leaking. You now have the replacement valves and are about
to affect a replacement.
Describe some important precautions before attempted disassembly

Reassembly has been successful. At the beginning you made some adjustments in an attempt to correct this
problem. Now with the processor powered up, and charged with fresh chemicals, what adjustment should again
be checked?

Tutors comments

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Signed Date
Tutor
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
158

MODULE 11.2

The film ID printer

a. Operation of a film printer


Aim
The basic film printer consists of a lamp, which deliv-
Film ID printers range from basic versions where the
ers a brief burst of light through the paper ID strip
film is first removed from the cassette, and then placed
onto the film. In its simplest form, a capacitor is
in the printer, to motorized versions; which print the
charged to a preset voltage. On closing the printer lid,
film through a window in the cassette. The sugges-
a microswitch connects the capacitor to the lamp,
tions made here are for the basic version only.
producing a brief flash of light. A potentiometer con-
trols the voltage level on the capacitor, which in turn
Objectives controls the lamp output. Additions may include pre-
heating the lamp filament, or providing a flash timer.
After completion of this module, simple repairs to a
Later versions replaced the lamp with a xenon flash
basic film printer may be achieved. Assistance from an
tube, similar to those employed in a camera. Due to
electrician is recommended.
the simplicity of the design, very little can go wrong.
However, some problems may still occur.
Contents
a. Operation of a film printer b. Precautions for replacing the lamp
b. Precautions for replacing the lamp
Before opening the cover ensure the printer is discon-
c. Failure to print
nected from the power point. Take care not to touch
d. The printing is too light
any of the internal wiring, as there may be significant
voltage stored in a capacitor.
The replacement lamp should have a similar power
rating. Depending on the actual mode of operation,
changing to a higher rated lamp could produce a lower
flash intensity.

c. Failure to print
Before investigating, ensure the printer is unplugged
from the power point.

Is the globe faulty? Try a replacement globe.


Can you hear a small click as the lid is closed?
If not the expose switch may need adjustment.
Otherwise the switch may be faulty.
Does the power cord have a broken connection?
Check both at the plug end and where the cord
enters the printer. Repairs to the power cord or plug
should be performed by an electrician.
Is the power point faulty? Check the printer in a
known good outlet.
Has the print density control developed a bad
connection? Try adjusting to a different position.
PART IV. AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSOR
159

d.The printing is too light then a pre-heat resistor or adjustment may be


faulty. Have an electrician check for this possibility.
Did this occur after changing the globe? Check to
Do not attempt this by yourself; there may be a high
ensure the correct type was fitted.
voltage charge on a capacitor.
Has the type of paper used for the patient ID been
changed to a different version?
If the first printing attempt is light, but an attempt
at printing shortly after produces better results,
PART V
Appendices
E
APPENDIX A. SENSITOMETRY
163

APPENDIX A

Sensitometry

Note. This section on sensitometry is an extract from The resultant image densities are determined using
the WHO Quality assurance workbook, by Peter J Lloyd. a densitometer. The results are recorded, graphed,
and the graphs evaluated.
Sensitometry is the study and measurement of the The first graph produced is known as a character-
relationship between exposures, films, screens, and istic curve.
processing. To draw a characteristic curve, plot test film densi-
ties against test film density step numbers. Step
one must be the lightest density.
Principal use
From this characteristic curve, several other graphs
Our interest lies more in its use in checking film may be plotted, each giving additional information.
processor performance, in particular automatic This combined information will give a comprehen-
processors. sive picture of processor performance.
By standardizing exposure, film and screen types,
conditions under which films are exposed, handled The test film
and stored, leaves only one variable, that of film The image on the test film must be a standard series
processing. of clearly defined densities, ranging from barely visible
Any variation in film image must then be due to film to black.
processing.
These densities are usually over a range of 21 steps.
(See module four, manual processing, page 78, in
A smaller number of steps may be used.
WHO Quality assurance workbook for an elemen-
Number the steps from 1. (Lightest step)
tary form of evaluating film processing.)
Sensitometry is a more comprehensive form of
Producing the test film
monitoring processing performance.
There are several ways of preparing the test film. Four
examples are provided here.
When to do processor control
sensitometry
METHOD 1
First thing every morning. This especially applies if
The best and most reliable method is to use a sensit-
used for mammography films.
ometer, which produces a standard range of densities.
After the processor has reached the correct oper-
ating temperature.
Using the sensitometer
After feeding cleanup films through.
Use a dedicated box of film, of the type commonly
After cleaning or servicing the processor.
used in your department.
Before processing any patient radiographs.
Use the sensitometer in the darkroom where the
processor is to be monitored.
Outline of procedure
Select the light colour relevant to your films colour
A standard step-wedge image must be produced.
sensitivity, (blue or green)
This image consists of a range of clearly defined
Under safelight conditions, insert a sheet of film
images.
into the sensitometer until it reaches the backstop.
Production of this image must be consistent.
Press the cover down until the indicating signal,
Methods for its production are described following.
(audio or light), has stopped.
The film is processed in the film processor to be
Raise the cover and remove the film.
monitored.
Process the film in the processor to be monitored.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
164

The film should always be placed in the same posi- Repeat this process until all strips have been exposed.
tion on the film tray, with the step-image parallel to Process the film, under safelight conditions, in the
the rollers. processor to be monitored.
Feed the film into the processor in the same way as
that described in method 2.
METHOD 2
The film may be cut down the middle lengthways,
Make an X-ray image of an aluminium step-wedge when removed from the cassette, in order to create
under standard conditions. a second strip.The unused strip should be placed in
a light tight box for further use.
Making the step wedge image
Place an 18 24 cm cassette, loaded with your
METHOD 4
standard film, face up on the X-ray table.
Place the step wedge on the face of the cassette. Purchase pre-exposed sensitometry film produced
Using a 100 cm FFD (SID), centre and collimate to by a film manufacturer.
the step wedge.
Terminology To understand the process of sensito-
To make more than one image on the same film,
metry, it is necessary to have an understanding of
strips of lead rubber may be used to divide the
some basic terminology.
cassette.
Set an exposure that will produce a full range of Sensitometer A consistent light source, which pro-
step wedge densities, and make an exposure. You duces a standard range of densities, when exposed
may need to experiment first in order to determine on film.
the correct exposure for your particular step wedge/ Densitometer A consistent light source, combined
film/screen combination. with a light measuring sensor, used for accurately
Process the film, under safelight conditions, in the measuring film density.
processor to be monitored.
The film should always be placed in the same posi- Film density The degree of film blackening. You will
tion on the feed tray, with the step-image parallel see from the characteristic curve graph, and your
to the rollers. own experience, that density increases as exposure
Standard conditions must be used each time a step increases.
wedge image is made. Contrast The difference between two or more den-
sities on a film. The straight line portion and shape
METHOD 3 of the characteristic curve gives us information
about contrast. A high contrast film curve will lie
Producing a standard range of densities, using X-ray, toward the left, whilst a lower contrast film curve
without the step wedge will lie more towards the right. (See Fig 53).

Making the image Gradient The contrast of a film at a given density.


Place an 18 24 cm cassette, loaded with your When a straight line is drawn tangent to the char-
standard film, face up on the X-ray table. acteristic curve at a given density, this line forms
Divide the face of the cassette into 11 strips. the slope which is the gradient of that density.
Cover all but the end strip with lead rubber. Average gradient A line drawn between the 0.25 and
Set a 100 cm FFD (SID), centre and collimate to the 2.00 density levels on the characteristic curve.
uncovered area. (Strip 1).
Expose using a low exposure (Enough to produce a Toe gradient A line drawn between the 0.25 and 1.00
barely visible image). density levels on the characteristic curve.
Move the lead rubber so that strips 1 and 2 are Mid gradient A line drawn between the 1.00 and
uncovered. 2.00 density levels on the characteristic curve.
Using the same exposure, expose both strips. (Strip
1 has now been exposed twice). Upper gradient A line drawn between the 2.00 and
Move the lead rubber so that strips 1, 2, and 3 3.00 density levels on the characteristic curve.
are uncovered and expose all three strips, using the Base plus fog The density of processed film, without
same exposure. (Strip 1 has now been exposed the effects of light or radiation; the density at which
E
three times, and strip 2 twice). the characteristic curve begins.
APPENDIX A. SENSITOMETRY
165

Exposure Intensity of radiation time (mAs).

Speed Indicated by the location of the curve along


the step (exposure) axis. A faster film curve will lie
more toward the left, whilst a slower film will lie
more toward the right. To calculate film speed, use
a density level of 1.0. (This is considered to be the
average of the useful density range of 0.25 to 2.0).

Exposure latitude The range of exposure factors,


within which the resultant radiograph is considered
to be acceptable. A film that is said to have wide
latitude has the ability to accept large changes in
exposure, without excessive density changes.

Carrying out the sensitometric test


Frequency of test
Daily
Fig A1. Typical characteristic graph, showing
relationship of density to step number
Equipment required
Sensitometer, to produce image by Method 1
described previously, or
Step wedge, to produce image by Method 2 Using the densitometer
described previously, or Switch on the densitometer and allow the unit to
Lead rubber sheet and cassette, to produce image stabilize.
by Method 3 described previously. Set the densitometer reading to zero.
Unexposed film or manufacturers pre-exposed On bench top units and clamshell types, this is
sensitometry film. performed by making a test reading without film.
Densitometer. Place the centre of the density to be read directly
Specialised graph paper supplied by a film manu- over the light aperture and under the reading arm.
facturer, or Lower the reading arm to the film, press the read
Simple small grid, graph paper, available from sta- switch and hold for a few seconds, until the readout
tionary shops, drawn up in the same way. stabilizes.
Any scale graph paper may be used, but it is Lift the arm
common to use a ratio, X axis to Y axis of 0.15 : 1.0. Record the reading against the step number.
The important thing is that you do not vary the ratio Repeat for all density steps on the image.
once your quality control programme is under way. In case a hand held unit is used, place the densit-
ometer against the film viewer, and then adjust the
Method readout to zero. Important, do not shift the posi-
Allow the processor to stabilize. tion on the film viewer during subsequent readings.
Process the test film in the processor to be checked.
Tests must be carried out at the same time each Plotting the characteristic curve
day under the same conditions. The graph paper must have Density on the Y (ver-
Developer temperature must be taken at the time tical) axis, and Step Number on the X (horizontal)
of test. axis.
Using the densitometer, read the density of each Plot density of step 1 (the lightest density) at the
step on the test film image. appropriate level on the Y-axis, and directly above
Record the densities against their step numbers. Step 1 on the X-axis.
Plot a graph of step numbers on the horizontal axis Repeat for all other step densities.
against densities on the vertical axis and join up the Join up all the plots to form a free flowing curve.
dots. (See Fig A1). (See fig A2).
Draw in the toe, mid and average gradients as
described previously.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
166

Fig A2. Example of a characteristic curve

Evaluation Record these steps on the contrast chart, in


Compare your characteristic curve with the control the space provided (Step Below and Step Above
characteristic curve that was plotted when the )
chemistry was first mixed and the processor set up. Subtract the smaller from the greater of these two
If these curves vary markedly there is reason to densities. This difference is the contrast of your
believe that the processor is not functioning standard reference.
correctly. Record this standard reference against the zero line
Calculate the Speed,Contrast,Base plus Fog (D- on the Contrast Chart. Do this only on day one, after
Min), Temperature and D-Max and enter on the the chemistry has been freshly mixed.
appropriate graphs. (See Fig A2 and Fig A3) Repeat this process daily, plotting the contrast
indicator under appropriate dates. (See Fig A2,
Speed Fig A3, and Appendix C page 177.)
Select the step number that has a density within a Observe how much the contrast indicator varies
range of 1.0 to 1.3 on the step wedge image. This from the zero line.
step number becomes the speed step. An acceptable variation is plus or minus 0.15.
Record the step number on the speed chart in the
space provided (Speed step No. ). Do this only on Base plus fog (D-Min)
day one, after the chemistry has been freshly mixed. Using the densitometer, measure the density of the
Plot the density reading on the zero line under day film that has received no exposure.
one. Do this only on day one after the chemistry has Record this reading against the zero line on the
been freshly mixed. Base plus Fog Chart. Do this only on day one, after
Measure and plot the density of the speed steps the chemistry has been freshly mixed.
daily. (See Fig A2, Fig A3, and Appendix C page Repeat this procedure daily, plotting the base plus
177.) fog density under appropriate dates. (See Fig A2,
Observe how much the speed plot varies from the Fig A3, and Appendix C page 177.)
zero line. Observe how much the base plus fog indicator
An acceptable variation is plus or minus 0.15. varies from the zero line.
Variations above this may need corrective action. Ideally it should not go above 0.02. Action should
be considered if it exceeds 0.023.
Contrast
Select densities of the steps, two steps above, and
E
two steps below, the speed step.
APPENDIX A. SENSITOMETRY
167

Temperature D-Max
Take the temperature of the developer Using the densitometer, measure the maximum
Record against the zero line of the Temperature density step on the step wedge image.
Chart. Do this only on day one, after the chemistry Record against the zero line of the D-Max Chart. Do
has been freshly mixed. this only on day one, after the chemistry has been
Repeat this procedure daily, plotting Temperature freshly mixed. (See Fig A2, Fig A3, and Appendix
under appropriate dates, (See Fig A2, Fig A3, and C page 177.)
Appendix C page 177.) Repeat this daily, recording the D-Max on the chart
Observe how much the temperature varies. under appropriate dates.
Action should be taken if the temperature varies Noticeable variations give advanced warnings of
more than a few degrees. chemistry problems.

Quality Control Processing Chart

Fig A3. Sensitometry charts for recording speed, contrast, base + fog, temperature and
D-Max data
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
168

How to use the sensitometry graphs limits, especially if the change is sudden or continues
All processors will show some variation in results from to increase or decrease, then the processor is said to
day to day. However, action should be taken if the vari- be out of control and immediate action should be
ations are sudden or continue to increase or decrease taken.
over a period of time and pass beyond the acceptable
limits. If the change is sudden, then all possible influ- Action to be taken if the processor is out
encing factors should be checked, or a mistake may of control
have been made. The test should be repeated. Immediately stop using the processor
Inform other users
In control Start problem solving process
When results are within acceptable limits the proces- File a report
sor is said to be in control and no action is required.

Out of control
If one or more of the charts (speed, contrast or fog)
is showing results that are outside the acceptable

Table A1. Example of the possible interpretation of sensitometric charts, and recommended
action
Chart changes Possible cause Action

Speed and contrast increase First stage of over development 1 Adjust temp
D-min acceptable 1 Developer temp high 2 Adjust replenishment
2 Excessive replenishment 3 Change developer
Speed and contrast up 3 Developer too concentrated 4 Developing time too long, add
D-min increases 4 Check processing time starter

Sudden increase in speed, Excessive over development. Add starter to developer.


D-min & D-max after service. Starter omitted or insufficient
starter in developer.

Speed decreases Under development 1 Check and adjust temp


Loss of image contrast 1 Developer temp low 2 Check and adjust replenishment
D-min normal 2 Developer exhausted 3 Check and refill replenisher tank
3 Insufficient replenishment 4 Replace replenisher
Image density low over whole 4 Replenisher used up 5 Check processing time
image. Speed and contrast low. 5 Developer too dilute
D-min also low 6 Developing time too short

Sudden decrease in speed and Excessive amount of starter in Replace developer, add correct
D-max after service developer amount of starter
Small decrease in D-min

Increase in speed 1 Aerial oxidation Replace developer after washing


Shoulder decreases 2 Contaminated developer out tank
Loss of contrast Add correct amount of starter
Increase in fog

E
APPENDIX B. RECOMMENDED TOOLS AND TEST EQUIPMENT
169

APPENDIX B

Recommended tools and


test equipment

Suitable tools and test equipment are required when Protective glasses. (For processor maintenance)
carrying out routine maintenance, or repairs to X-ray Processor tank cleaning brushes.
equipment. These should be suitable for the required Compartmented carry case.
work, as unsuitable tools may cause damage or injury.
The tools and test equipment indicated in this
b. Service aids
appendix will provide a basic tool kit. Some items of
test equipment can be constructed, and are described Rolls of PVC insulating tape. (Several colours.)
in Making simple test tools. Packet of assorted plastic cable ties.
Silicon grease. (Dow Corning DC-4).
Small container of light household oil.
Contents Spray can of multipurpose lubricant spray. (RP-7,
a. Basic tools for service and maintenance. WD-40, CRC-2.26 etc).
b. Service aids. Suitable solvent for cleaning sticking plaster etc.
c. Test equipment. from equipment. (For example, eucalyptus oil,
d. Making simple test tools. methylated spirits. etc).
i. Aluminium stepwedge. Clean disposable cloths.
ii. Resolution test piece for fluoroscopy TV. Scouring pads, plastic or nylon type.
iii. X-ray alignment template. Sodium hypochlorite bleach.
iv. X-ray spinning top.
v. Tomography resolution test.
c.Test equipment
A basic multimeter.
a. Basic tools for service and maintenance i. A simple analogue meter, capable of measur-
Set of Phillips screwdrivers, Nos 1, 2, & 3. ing up to 500 V AC and DC, plus resistance, is
Set of flat blade screwdrivers, blade widths from sufficient.
3 mm to 10 mm. ii. If selecting a digital display meter, avoid
Set of mini or Jewellers screwdrivers. (Economy auto-range versions. Instead select one that
pack.) has individual switch selections of the required
Set of metric Allan keys. measurement range.
Set of imperial Allan keys. iii. When not in use, remove the battery from the
Retractable blade, utility knife. meter.
Tape measure. (Minimum length of 3.0 metres) Accurate thermometer. Alcohol or electronic.To suit
Ruler. processor requirements.
Spirit level. Hydrometer, to suit processor requirements.
Torch. Measuring cylinder. Graduated 100 ml glass or
An angled inspection mirror. (Dental style.) plastic container
Combination pliers. Densitometer. Or, a previous processed sensitome-
Long nose pliers. try film. This may be used as a density reference.
Tweezers. Sensitometer, or a packet of pre-exposed reference
Medium size side cutting pliers. film.
Medium (68 inch) adjustable wrench. Film screen contact test tool. (See page 134 of the
Set of metric spanners, up to 15 mm size. WHO Quality assurance workbook.)
Hammer.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
170

Optional step-wedge, 21 steps, for simulation of a The glue used may be contact adhesive or epoxy
sensitometer. (See pages 133 and 134 of the WHO resin. (Recommended) If using epoxy, then roughen
Quality assurance workbook.) the surface of the aluminium strips before gluing
*Standard aluminium step-wedge. together.
*X-Ray alignment template As an aid to assembly, obtain a small cardboard box.
*Tomography phantom. (A shoebox is suggested.) Place the strips against
*Resolution test piece, for fluoroscopy TV. an inside corner during assembly, to form a neat
*X-ray spinning top, for use with single-phase or stack.
portable X-ray generators. An optional five 170 mm strips may be glued
together to form a separate 10 mm filter. This is
* See Making simple test tools.
placed under the stepwedge when required. This
allows the stepwedge to be used at higher kV or
d. Making simple test tools mAs settings.
Aluminium step-wedge
A step-wedge is one of the most useful tools for
measuring relative radiation output from an X-ray gen-
erator. This tool may be used to measure radiation
consistency between selected mA stations of an X-ray
control, or make a comparison between other X-ray
controls in a department.
The step-wedge is sensitive to both changes of kV
and mAs. In use, a series of test exposures are made
Fig B1. Formation of a step-wedge from 2.0
for each ma station, using the same kV and mAs. If
mm aluminium strips glued together
one of the mA stations shows a lighter or darker strip,
then make another test of that mA station; together
The illustration in fig B2 illustrates two simulated
with a small change of either kV or mAs. The calibra-
test exposures.The film is cut into individual strips with
tion error is the amount of kV or mAs required to
a pair of scissors. The strips are then placed alongside
achieve identical results.
each other, and moved beside each other, until the
density steps are matched. If a densitometer is avail-
Making a step-wedge
able, then a direct comparison can be made of each
If a commercial step-wedge is not available, one may
step. This avoids cutting the film into strips.
be made from several strips of 2.0 mm thick aluminium
glued together.
Using the step-wedge
Obtain a 2100 mm length of 25 mm by 2.0 mm alu- General considerations
minium strip from the local building hardware store. Besides showing a change in generator output, the
Cut to lengths of 30, 50, 70, 90, 110, 130, 150, 170, stepwedge density will be changed by the proces-
170, and 170 mm. When glued together as shown, sor calibration. Before testing a generator, check
they will form a 20 mm high stepwedge. See Fig the processor, and make sure its performance is
B1 inside the required limits.

Fig B2. Simulation of two test exposures obtained with a stepwedge


APPENDIX B. RECOMMENDED TOOLS AND TEST EQUIPMENT
171

For consistent results, use the same cassette for all The test exposure should show a range of density
tests, and the same type of film. values towards the centre of the stepwedge. Record
Do not use the Bucky; instead place the cassette on the FFD, mAs, and kV values for later use.
the tabletop. When an optimum exposure has been obtained,
Use a standard 100 cm focal spot to film distance. repeat this test with small increases of kV. Record
(FFD) the increase of kV to change the density by one
Several exposures may be made on the one piece of step.
film. Place two pieces of lead rubber on top of the Increase the value of mAs in small steps until you
cassette, positioned against each side of the step- again obtain a density change of one step. Record
wedge. As the stepwedge is repositioned, the lead this as the percent increase of mAs.
rubber is also moved, to shield the film from If extra filtration (Such as the added 10 mm of
unwanted radiation. aluminium) is available, then make another series
If testing at high kV levels, additional filtration may of test exposures. This time, change kV only, until
be needed. This can be an extra 10 mm of alu- a density match is obtained. Record this value for
minium placed under the stepwedge, or else 1~ later use.
2 mm of copper placed in front of the collimator.
If the test exposure is over exposed, and extra fil- Typical stepwedge techniques
tration is not wanted, then insert a sheet of dark There are two important tests the stepwedge can
paper between the film, and one of the intensifying perform. These are radiation reproducibility and X-ray
screens of the cassette. output linearity. These tests are described in module
Depending on generator design, exposure times 1.1 page 19.
shorter than 0.02 seconds may not be accurate.
This can apply to older single or three-phase Resolution test for fluoroscopy
generators. Current high-frequency systems have The overall resolution of an imaging system is quoted
greater accuracy, however, the HT cable still has a in Line pairs/mm.This test requires the use of a highly
small effect on very short exposure times.This is due accurate line-pair gauge.
to energy stored in the HT cable capacitance. For Two versions are shown. Fig B3 has individual
this reason, some designs have a minimum mAs groups, of line-pairs. These are arranged in ten steps,
limit of 0.5 mAs. 0.5 LP/mm to 5.0 LP/mm. Fig B4 has lines converging
The capacitor discharge (CD) mobile has a non- to a point. Calibration marks are provided to indicate
linear output. For example, the kV will drop by the equivalent line-pair resolution.
10 kV during a 10 mAs exposure. However, it is still Many other versions are available. The type of
possible to make a test of radiation consistency pattern and material used depends on the specific test
using the stepwedge. Also, if the same FFD, kV, and required. Common types are similar to fig B3, or B4.
mAs values are used, then relative outputs between The line-pair pattern is made from 0.1 mm lead for
CD mobiles can be compared. normal use.

Step-wedge calibration
This could be called Getting to know your stepwedge.
At first, the optimum exposure factors for a partic-
ular stepwedge will require some experimentation.Two
factors are involved, kV and mAs.

Select a value of mAs that will not require too short


an exposure time, when used with the highest mA
position for your X-ray generator.
Select a nominal value of about 65~70 kV and make
a test exposure.
If the exposure is too light, then increase the expo-
sure time, or the kV. If too dark, and the exposure Fig B3. A typical line pair gauge, 0.5 to
times are short, then reduce kV. 5.0 LP/mm
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
172

Position small sewing pins to one side as indicated.


These are to indicate the resolution reference position.
Once all needles and pins are in position, wait for
the epoxy resin to harden. Now mix another lot of
epoxy resin, and cover the pins and needles, so they
remain firmly attached.

Using the line pair gauge


Tape the gauge onto the centre of the input face of
the image intensifier. If access is difficult, then tape
the gauge to underneath the serial changer.
To avoid interaction with grid lines, attach the
gauge (Fig B3) so it is rotated approximately
25~45 degrees. (On some CCD TV cameras, this also
avoids interaction between pixels.)
Raise the serial changer to maximum height above
the tabletop.
If the system has automatic kV control, this
should be turned off. Set manual fluoroscopy kV to
Fig B4. Convergence style line pair gauge, 50~55 kV.
0.5 to 5.0 LP/mm
With fluoroscopy on, adjust kV or mA to obtain
a normal brightness and contrast image on the
Making a convergence style focus aid monitor.
If a commercial line-pair gauge is not available, a con- Carefully observe the line-pair patterns.The limiting
vergence style focus aid can be constructed, using definition is the line-pair group that is reasonably
sewing needles. See Fig B5. visible, while the next group is completely blurred
out.
Material required If using the focus aid (Fig B5), observe the dis-
Seven thin sewing needles, about 60~70 mm in tance from the apex before blurring occurs, which
length. indicates focus quality.
Five small pins. Note. This test is relative only. A direct comparison
Photocopy of Fig B5 in terms of line-pairs is possible, only if previously
A piece of 3 mm thick medium density fibreboard compared with a commercial line-pair gauge.
(MDF), or a piece of thin acrylic plastic, cut to the Record the line-pair resolution, or V pattern dis-
size of Fig B5. tance obtained, and compare with any earlier tests.
Adhesive. Epoxy-resin is preferred. When a multi field image intensifier is installed,
Pair of tweezers. repeat this test for all other field sizes.
The combined TV and II focus should be better
Construction than 12 LP/mm for a 9 image intensifier. (A typical
Using adhesive, attach a photocopy of Fig B5 to
piece of 3.0 mm MDF, or thin acrylic, cut to the size
of Fig B5. Use this diagram for positioning the
needles.
Place a thin film of epoxy resin over the top the
diagram. This is to help hold the needles in place
during positioning.
Using Fig B5 as a template, place the needles on
top of the outlines shown in the drawing. Start first
from the two outside positions, working from each
side towards the centre. A pair of tweezers will help
in positioning. The rotation position of the needle
eye is not important.
E
(The eye end of the needles should have a gap Fig B5. A focus aid, made with sewing
between each needle of about 2 mm) needles
APPENDIX B. RECOMMENDED TOOLS AND TEST EQUIPMENT
173

result might be 14 LP/mm with a CCD camera, and


16 LP/mm with a vidicon camera.)

X-ray alignment template


The template is designed to provide evaluation of
the X-ray collimator light beam accuracy. In use the
template is placed on top of the cassette, and the
collimator light beam is positioned to the template
markers. After making an X-ray exposure, the markers,
shown on the film, indicate the radiation position.

Making a template
Material
A piece of 3 mm thick medium density fibreboard
(MDF), cut to the required size. Stiff cardboard may
also be used.
Packet of large paper clips
A length of single strand wire, about 1 mm diame-
ter, and 1.5 metres long
Fig B6. The template outline, before placing
Adhesive. (Epoxy resin is recommended) the markers
Small angle cutting pliers
Pair of tweezers
Drawing instruments to the pliers handle. Pull firmly; stretching the wire
will cause it to become straight.
Drawing the template Prepare two long pieces of wire, 240 mm and
Refer to the diagram of Fig B6. This indicates the 300 mm in length.
template design before placing markers on the Use the remainder for the short 1.0~1.5 cm markers.
template.
Placing the markers
Draw a rectangle, with sides 24 by 30 cm. This is
Refer to the diagram B7. This indicates the
indicated by the dashed line in the diagram.
markers in position, and the outline of the template
Draw a horizontal and vertical line in the centre of
as it could appear on a test film.
the rectangle.
Draw a short line every 1 cm along the horizontal
and vertical lines, starting from the centre.
Using the 1 cm marks as a guide, now draw three rec-
tangles. 10 by 10 cm, 16 by 16 cm, and 20 by 26 cm.
The circle indicates a nominal placement point for
an orientation marker.
Now trim the MDF, or cardboard, to the edge of the
24 by 30 cm rectangle. (Shown as a dashed line in
the diagram.)

Making the markers


The markers are made from short pieces of wire.
Prepare the required markers before attempting to
glue them in position.

The markers need to be about 3.0 cm in length to


mark the position of the rectangles, and about
1.0~1.5 cm to mark the 1 cm divisions.
Straighten a paper clip to the shape required for the
corners, cutting off the remainder with the pliers.
The length off wire will need to be straightened. Fig B7. The markers in position on the tem-
Fasten one end to a fixed object, and the other end plate (The outline of Fig B6 is not shown.)
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
174

Mix a suitable quantity of epoxy resin. Use this to Tools


fasten the markers in position to the previously Drill. (Preferably a drill-stand and vice)
drawn outlines. (A pair of tweezers will aid in Drill bits of 2.0 mm, 3.0 mm and 10 mm
positioning) Countersink bit
After all the short markers are in position, the long Bench vice
pieces of wire are placed on top, and attached with Flat file
epoxy resin. Spanner
Finally, attach a small coin, or other suitable marker, Centre punch
to indicate position of the template on the test Hammer
films. Pencil
Rule
Using the template
Place the template in the centre of a 24/30 cm Construction
cassette. See Fig B8.
Collimate the light beam to the outer 20 by 26 cm Very carefully determine the centre of the 80 mm
rectangle. disc. Mark the centre with the centre punch. This
Make an exposure, using a low mAs and kV output. will prevent the bit moving off-centre when drilling.
Evaluate the accuracy of the collimator from the Drill a 3.0 mm pilot hole in the centre of the disc.
resultant film. Then drill the required 10.0 mm hole.
Drill a 2.0 mm hole about 7.5 mm from the edge of
The spinning-top the 80 mm disc.
The spinning-top is a tool for determining the expo- Mark the centre of the 50 mm disc with the centre
sure time of single phase, or portable X-ray generators. punch, and drill a 3.0 mm hole. Use the countersink
With these controls, power is applied in the form of bit to provide a chamfer for the countersunk screw.
high voltage pulses, every half cycle, or once every Prepare the 3.0 mm countersunk screw by filing the
cycle, of the input power frequency.This produces indi- end to a sharp point.
vidual pulses of X-rays. The spinning top is a means of Insert the screw into the plate. Check that the head
spreading these pulses over an area of film, enabling does not protrude below the plate. If necessary,
individual pulses to be counted as a function of expo- apply the countersink bit again.
sure time.The spinning-top cannot be used with three- Fix the screw firmly in position, using the second
phase, high frequency, or CD mobiles. Commercial nut as a locknut.
spinning tops are available, but may be expensive. Carefully mark the centre of the 10 mm bolt, using
They are now supplanted by electronic detectors that the centre punch.
require an oscilloscope, or as part of a radiation meas- Drill a 3.0 mm hole through the centre of the bolt,
urement device. to depth of about 10 mm.
Fig B8 illustrates a spinning-top, which may be
constructed locally. You may attempt this yourself, or
have it made at a local engineering shop. Alternately,
please refer to page 134 of the WHO Quality assur-
ance workbook for additional information.

Material
An 80 mm diameter mild steel disc, 2.0 or 3.0 mm
thick.
A 50 mm diameter mild steel disc, 5.0 mm thick.
A 10 mm cap head or hex head bolt, with an
overall length of 35~40 mm. Note, this screw or bolt
should be mild steel, NOT high tensile.This would be
very difficult to drill.
Two 10 mm nuts.
A 3.0 mm countersunk metal thread, 35 mm long.
Two 3.0 mm nuts. Fig B8. Spinning-top construction details
E
APPENDIX B. RECOMMENDED TOOLS AND TEST EQUIPMENT
175

Make a trial fitting of the 3 mm metal thread into Table B1. Spinning-top dots and exposure
the bolt. If it is a tight fit, then carefully file a small times
amount from around the sides of the metal thread.
Dots 60 Hz 50 Hz 60 Hz 50 Hz
Continue drilling the 3 mm hole into the bolt, check-
self self full wave full wave
ing to ensure the hole does not become too deep.
rectified rectified rectified rectified
Install a 10 mm nut to the bolt, then the disc, then
the other nut. Fasten firmly. 1 0.008* 0.01* 0.008 0.01
Place the large disc and bolt down over the 3.0 mm 2 0.033 0.04 0.017 0.02
spindle and check that it rotates freely.
Your spinning-top is now ready for use. 3 0.05 0.06 0.025 0.03

4 0.067 0.08 0.033 0.04


Using the spinning-top
Place the top on one corner of a 24/30 cassette, 5 0.083 0.1 0.042 0.05
and cover the rest with lead rubber. 6 0.1 0.12 0.05 0.06
Set the X-ray tube at its normal operating height.
Select a low to medium mA station, and low kV.
7 0.12 0.14 0.58 0.07
Select the exposure time for testing. Take care to 8 0.133 0.16 0.067 0.08
record this setting.
9 0.15 0.18 0.075 0.09
Note. The top can normally record exposure times
of 0.01 to 0.3 seconds. Longer times can lead to 10 0.167 0.2 0.083 0.1
overlap of the dots.
* A single dot with self-rectified generators may
Give the top a firm spin, and place the generator
be considered similar to the full wave rectified
into preparation.
generator time.
Watch the top rotation. As it slows down to a low
speed, make your exposure.
Place the top on the next position of the cassette,
and shield the rest of the cassette with lead rubber. Table B1 indicates the number of dots, and the
Select another test exposure time, and once more equivalent exposure times. (The 60 Hz times have
make an exposure. been rounded off)
The top described in fig B8, can perform a total
of six tests on one 24/30 film Test result problems
Develop the film, and analyse the results. The dots overlap around the full circumference.
i. The exposure was made with the top spinning
too quickly.
The dots merge together.
i. The spin speed is too slow.
ii. X-ray output is too high. Try a lower kV or mA
setting.
If the test is required at high mA or kV, then place
a sheet of paper between the film and the intensi-
fying screens in the cassette, or use non screened
film.
A half dot indicates a problem with the exposure
contactor.
i. If this occurs at the start of the exposure, espe-
Fig B9. A typical test result cially with exposure times of 0.03 or 0.05, this
could be due to incorrect contactor phase
Test results adjustment, or slow pull-in of the contactor.
The number of dots obtained depends on the time ii. If it occurs at the end of the exposure, and is
selection, and the type of rectification. an extra half dot, this is due to the contactor
Fig B9 shows 8 dots. This would indicate an expo- sticking or slow release. Most X-ray controls
sure time of 0.08 sec for a 50 Hz full wave rectified have an adjustment for both the contactor pull-
generator. in and release times.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
176

Tomography resolution test tool Ensure the X-ray tube is set to the correct FFD.
This tool is designed for two requirements. (Normally 100 cm)
Manually check the tomograph operation, ensuring
1. To test tomography performance. The centre test
the required tube-stand locks are set either on or
objects A should show a clear image under all
off as required.
modes of tomography operation.
Select a low mA position, and a low kV setting.
2. Test the tomography height calibration.When set at
Make a test exposure.
60 mm the centre test A should be clear, with the
i. If the film is too dark, reduce the kV, or, if pos-
lower B and upper C test objects equally blurred.
sible, select a lower mA station.
ii. If the test results are still overexposed, then
Material
place a piece of paper between one side of
You will need the following.
the film, and the intensifying screens of the
Two pieces of 5 mm thick acrylic plastic; cut to 100 cassette.
by 90 mm. iii. If necessary, adjust the fulcrum height so the
Or, 6.0 mm medium density fibreboard (MDF). The patterns B and C show equal blurring, and the
platform legs then become 90 by 54 mm. centre pattern A is clear.
Two pieces of 5 mm acrylic; cut to 90 by 55 mm. Repeat this test at different tomography operation
Seven small paper clips. speeds, and in all modes.
A small coin.
Epoxy resin. Evaluating the results
Horizontal shaking or jerking will cause poor reso-
Note: While it is important that the platform is sup-
lution of the paper clip perpendicular to the direc-
ported parallel to the tabletop, the dimensions sup-
tion of travel.
plied are as a guide only. For example, depending on
Lateral shaking will cause poor definition of the
materials available, you may wish to construct this test
centre paper clip.
to a different size, or to a different height above the
If a particular operation mode provides a poor
tabletop.
result, provide a notice warning against use of that
mode until the problem is corrected. See module
Construction
8.1 page 127.
Refer to the drawing, Fig B10.
If the fulcrum height requires recalibration, contact
Use epoxy resin to attach the two 90 by 55 mm legs
the service department for advice.
to the 90 by 100 mm platform. (This should result
Record the results in the logbook. Retain the films
in a 60 mm height of the platform top.)
as part of the service test records.
Prepare the paper clips by spreading the sides apart
slightly, to leave a small air gap between the sides.
On the top centre of the platform, glue three paper
clips in the pattern shown as A. Allow time for the
epoxy to harden.
Mix another small quantity of epoxy. Glue two paper
clips underneath the platform to form the pattern
B Allow time for the epoxy to harden.
Finally, with a fresh epoxy mix, attach the second
platform over the top of the first platform (and the
clips). Glue two paper clips and a small coin to the
top of the second platform, to form the pattern C
There should now be three different pattern groups
of paper clips, each separated in height by 5 mm.
(Or 6.0 mm if using 6.0 mm MDF)

Operation
Place the tool in position on the tabletop.
Set the fulcrum height to 6.0 cm. Set the tomogra-
E phy angle to maximum.
Fig B10. Tomographic resolution test tool
APPENDIX C. GRAPHS, CHECK SHEETS, AND RECORD SHEETS
177

APPENDIX C

Graphs, check sheets, and


record sheets

S. G.

Temperature C
Fig C1. Specific gravity / temperature graph
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
178

Fig C2. Characteristic curve chart

E
APPENDIX C. GRAPHS, CHECK SHEETS, AND RECORD SHEETS
179

Quality Control Processing Chart

Fig C3. Quality control processing chart


X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
180

X-ray equipment records

Room function Room No

X-ray generator

Manufacturer Model No

Serial No Supplier

Date installed Warranty expires?

Maximum kVp Maximum mA

Generator type: Single phase Three phase Mobile

Inverter/high frequency Portable AEC included?

Manuals supplied. (Include publication number)


Operation Installation Service Circuits/connection Parts list
diagrams

X-ray tube

Manufacturer Model No

Serial No Supplier

Date installed Warranty expires?

Maximum kVp KW rating

Focus size: Broad focus Fine focus

High or low speed operation?

Manuals supplied. (Include publication number)


Operation Installation Rating charts
E
APPENDIX C. GRAPHS, CHECK SHEETS, AND RECORD SHEETS
181

X-ray tube suspension


Manufacturer Model No
Serial No Supplier
Date installed Warranty expires?
Mounting Floor/Ceiling Tomography attachment?
Manuals supplied. (Include publication number)
Operation Installation Service Circuits/connection Parts list
diagrams

Collimator
Manufacturer Model No
Serial No Supplier
Date installed Warranty expires?
Rotating/fixed Light switch, Clockwork/Electronic
Globe type/part No Spare globe supplied?
Manuals supplied. (Include publication number)
Operation Installation Parts list

Table
Manufacturer Model No
Serial No Supplier
Date installed Warranty expires?
Table movements. Fixed Longitudinal Lateral
Elevating Tilting Integral with tube stand
Potter-Bucky, YES/NO Oscillating or fixed grid
Grid ratio Lines Focal range
Manuals supplied. (Include publication number)
Operation Installation Service Circuits/connection Parts list
diagrams
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
182

Upright Potter-Bucky
Manufacturer Model No
Serial No Supplier
Date installed Warranty expires?
Grid ratio Lines Focal range Fixed/oscillating
Manuals supplied. (Include publication number)
Operation Installation Circuits/connection Parts list
diagrams

Fluoroscopy table
Manufacturer Model No
Serial No Supplier
Date installed Warranty expires?
Table angulation: 90/15 90/30 90/60 90/90
Fluorescent screen? Image intensifier? TV?
Potter-Bucky, YES/NO Oscillating or fixed grid
Grid ratio Lines Focal range
Manuals supplied. (Include publication number)
Operation Installation Service Circuits/connection Parts list
diagrams

Stationary grids
Manufacturer Supplier Model Serial No Grid Grid Date
ratio Lines Supplied

E
APPENDIX C. GRAPHS, CHECK SHEETS, AND RECORD SHEETS
183

Film processor

Manufacturer Model No

Serial No Supplier

Date installed Warranty expires?

Processor type: Bench top? Floor mounted?

Daylight loading? Processing time

Manuals supplied. (Include publication number)


Operation Installation Service Circuits/connection Parts list
diagrams
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
184

Request for service

Equipment requiring service. Date


Make Model Serial No
Location. Reported by
Service required: Routine maintenance  Calibration  Repair 

In case of an equipment fault or problem, provide a full description of the symptoms.

Describe any tests or adjustments carried out, and the results obtained.

Service request made by Department


Phone No Date Request order No
Service Company Representative
Address

Phone No Fax No
Service Company job No Attendance date
Are any parts or additional service required?

E Completion date
APPENDIX C. GRAPHS, CHECK SHEETS, AND RECORD SHEETS
185

Equipment maintenance and


repair log

Room or equipment No

Date Requirement Action Performed Reference


by No
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
186

APPENDIX D

Routine maintenance checklist


X-ray generator: Fixed installation
Room No Inspection date Performed by
= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required
NA = Does not apply

Power OFF Knobs and switches


Function labels
Meter Zero
Cleanliness.
Power ON Indicator lamps.
Digital readouts.
Mains voltage
compensation
X-ray tube Maximum anode load (Broad Focus)
overload
(Fine Focus)
protection
Maximum kV
Minimum kV
MA Calibration By mA meter
By mAs meter
By other technique.
Filament pre-heat test.
Radiation With added
consistency preparation time.
With minimum
preparation time.
Radiation linearity At 60~70 kV
At 90~100 kV
Other areas for
attention

Problems not corrected since last routine


maintenance check

Faults or problems requiring further attention.

E
APPENDIX D. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
187

X-ray generator: Mobile unit


Unit/Serial No Inspection date Performed by
= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required.
NA = Does not apply

Power OFF Knobs and switches.


Function labels.
Meter Zero
Cleanliness.
Loose panels or screws.
Vertical suspension
wire rope.
Bearings.
Lubrication.
Manual locks.
Mobile brakes.
HT cables.
Electrical cables.
Plugs, sockets.
Battery water.
Power ON Indicator lamps.
Digital readouts.
Mains voltage
compensation.
Electromagnetic locks.
Battery charge indication.
Power assist drive
Anti-crash bumper.
X-ray tube Overload protection. (Broad Focus)

(Fine Focus)

Oil leaks.
Bearing noise.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
188

Collimator Collimator timer.


Collimator scale /
knob alignment.
X-ray to light beam
alignment.
As above, but +/-
90 deg rotation.
MA Calibration By mA meter.

By mAs meter.

By other technique. (Refer installation/service manual)


Filament pre-heat test.

Radiation With added preparation


consistency time.

With minimum
preparation time.

Other areas for


attention

Problems not corrected since last


routine maintenance check.

Faults or problems requiring


further attention.

E
APPENDIX D. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
189

X-ray generator: Capacitor discharge mobile


Unit/Serial No Inspection date Performed by
= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required.
NA = Does not apply

Power OFF Knobs and switches

Function labels.

Meter Zero.

Cleanliness.

Loose panels or screws.

Vertical suspension
wire rope.

Bearings.

Lubrication.

Manual locks.

Mobile brakes.

HT cables and cable


ends.

Electrical cables.

Plugs, sockets.
Battery water.

Power ON Indicator lamps.


Digital readouts.

Mains voltage (Only some units)


adjustment.
60 kV charge.

kV Top-up.

90 kV charge.
Reset, 90 kV to 60 kV.

Electromagnetic locks.

Battery charge
indication.

Power assist drive


Anti-crash bumper.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
190

X-ray tube Oil leaks.


Bearing noise.

Collimator Collimator timer.

Collimator scale
alignment.

X-ray to light beam


alignment.

As above, but +/-


90 deg rotation.

Collimator Dark
Current shutter.

mAs Calibration By kV fall.

By other technique. (Refer installation/service manual)

Radiation Using step-wedge.


consistency
Using water phantom.
Other areas for
attention

Problems not corrected since last


routine maintenance check.

Faults or problems requiring further


attention.

E
APPENDIX D. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
191

X-ray generator: Portable


Unit/Serial No Inspection date Performed by
= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required.
NA = Does not apply

Power OFF Knobs and switches.

Function labels.

Meter Zero

Cleanliness.

Loose panels or screws.

Height adjustment
system.

Bearings.

Lubrication.

Manual locks.

Electrical cables.

Power ON Indicator lamps.

Line voltage adj.

X-ray tube head Oil leaks.

Collimator Collimator timer.


Scale accuracy.

X-ray to light
beam alignment.

As above, but +/-


90 deg rotation.
MA Calibration By mA meter.

By other technique. (Refer installation/service manual)

Radiation Using step-wedge.


consistency
Using water phantom.
Other areas for
attention

Problems not corrected since


last routine maintenance check.

Faults or problems requiring


further attention.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
192

X-ray tube stand


Room No Inspection date Performed by
= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required
NA = Does not apply

Mechanical and Suspension wire rope.


electrical inspection.
Vertical movement
bearings.
Floor ceiling tube
stand version Vertical guide rails.

Clean floor track &


check bearings.

Lubrication.

Ceiling rail bearings.

Mechanical and Manual locks.


electrical inspection.
Electromagnetic locks.

All versions of tube Lateral centre; table


stands. Bucky.

Lateral centre; wall


Bucky.

Electrical cables.

HT cables.

Command Arm Trunnion ring rotation


lock.

Indicator lamps and


switches.
Bucky centre light.

Function labels.

Focal spot to Bucky


distance.
Angulation indicator.

Cleanliness.
Other areas for
attention.

Problems not corrected since last


routine maintenance check.

Faults or problems requiring


E further attention.
APPENDIX D. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
193

X-ray tube

Room No Inspection date Performed by


Tube model No Serial No Tube position, UT OT
= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required.
NA = Does not apply

X-ray tube. Rotation in trunnion


rings.
Loose attachments.

Electrical cables.

HT cable earth shield


at cable end.

Loose HT cable ends.

HT cables not stretched


as tube rotated.

Oil leaks.
Bearing noise.

X-ray tube ageing Carried out?

Any instability?

Other areas for


attention

Problems not corrected since last


routine maintenance check.

Faults or problems requiring


further attention.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
194

Over-table collimator

Room No Inspection date Performed by


Collimator globe type No
= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required
NA = Does not apply

General Electrical cables.


maintenance
Lamp timer.
Light beam intensity.

Spare globe in stock?

Collimator blades
do not slip when
adj knob released.

Alignment Crosshair centre.


tests
Bucky centre light.

Collimator field size


scale & knob alignment.
Alignment of light
field to X-ray beam.

As above, collimator
rotated 90 degrees.

As above, collimator
rotated minus 90
degrees.

Other areas for


attention.

Problems not corrected since last


routine maintenance check.

Faults or problems requiring


further attention.

E
APPENDIX D. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
195

The Bucky table and vertical Bucky


Room No Inspection date Performed by
= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required
NA = Does not apply

Bucky Table Tabletop movement.


Magnetic locks.
Switches and indicator
lamps.
Lateral centre stop.
Profile rail screws.
Lubrication.
Clean & polish.
Table Bucky Bucky movement.
Bucky lock.
Electrical cables.
Cable support arm.
Lubricate track.
Lost markers?
Tray handle not loose.
Tray cleanliness
Grid oscillation.
Vertical Bucky Lost markers? (Remove
front cover to check).
Electrical cable.
Tray handle not loose.
Tray cleanliness.
Grid oscillation.
Vertical lock.
Clean & lubricate
vertical track.
Rotation or tilt lock.
Other areas for
attention

Problems not corrected since last


routine maintenance check

Faults or problems requiring


further attention
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
196

Tomography attachment

Room No Inspection date Performed by


= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required
NA = Does not apply

Mechanical and Loose or missing


electrical inspection screws.

Connecting cables,
plugs and sockets.

Tube-stand rotation
lock off.

Bucky lock off.

Bucky movement.

Coupling arm
bearings & pivot points.

Coupling arm clamp.

Fulcrum height
adjustment.

Compression band
Cleanliness.

Operation test. No slipping.


Tube stand travel
Stop position ok.
No jerking.

Performance test Layer height


calibration.

Image sharpness.

Other areas for


attention

Problems not corrected since last


routine maintenance check

Faults or problems requiring


further attention

E
APPENDIX D. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
197

Fluoroscopy table
Room No Inspection date Performed by
= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required
NA = Does not apply

Mechanical and Loose panels or fittings.


electrical inspection.
Suspension cables
or chains.

Electrical cables.

Spot filmer movement


from Park to Operate

Image intensifier (Demountable units)


balance.

Image intensifier (Demountable units)


mounting clamp.

Spot filmer radiation


shield.

Lost film markers?

Undertable Bucky. (See 5.1 Bucky Table & Wall Bucky)

Footrest.

Operation test, Locks.


table body.
Switches and indicator
lamps.

Function labels.

Tabletop movement.
Tabletop centre stop.

Table tilt vertical.

Table tilt
Trendelenburg.

Electrical cables not


pulled when table tilts
or spot filmer moves.

Power assistance.
Anti-crash device.

Compression lock
safety release.

Spot filmer vertical


balance.

As above, table vertical


X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
198

Operation Compression cone


test, spot movement
filmer.
Manual close to film
shutters. (Basic tables).

Manual cassette
movement. (Basic
tables).

Manual cassette flm


format. (Basic tables).
Motorized cassette.

In Out movement.

Motorized cassette
film format.

X-ray beam Table horizontal. (Test


alignment in four spot mode).

As above, table vertical.


Other areas for
attention

Problems not corrected since last


routine maintenance check.

Faults or problems requiring further


attention.

E
APPENDIX D. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
199

Fluoroscopy TV systems
Room No Inspection date Performed by
= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required
NA = Does not apply

Mechanical and II balance when


electrical inspection, dismounted.
Image Intensifier
Vertical movement.
Ceiling suspension travel.
Electrical cables.
Knobs and switches
Function labels.
Mechanical and Electrical cables.
electrical inspection,
Coaxial cable and
TV system
connectors.
Is 75 ohm switch in
correct position?
Monitor fastened to
monitor trolley.
Image sharpness Record the value of resolution obtained.
For large field.
For medium field.
For small field.
Automatic Auto kV or mA,
brightness control. with 3.0 cm water.
Auto kV or mA,
with 18.0 cm water.
Camera control only
with 5.0 cm water.
Camera control only.
kV towards 100 kV with
5.0 cm water.
Other areas for
attention

Problems not corrected since last


routine maintenance check

Faults or problems requiring


further attention
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
200

Automatic exposure control

Room No Inspection date Performed by


= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required
NA = Does not apply

Drift test, for long Centre chamber


exposure times.
Left chamber
Right chamber

Table Bucky, film Set ~90 kV and 18 cm Record film Record AEC exposure
density. water. Density. time.
Centre chamber

Left chamber

Right chamber

Record exposure factors.

kV mA Backup time Cassette used

Table Bucky, kV Set ~60 kV and 10 cm Record film Record AEC exposure
tracking. water. Density. time.

Centre chamber

Left chamber
Right chamber

Record exposure factors used.

kV mA Backup time Cassette used

Table Bucky, short Low mA


time compensation. exposure

High mA
exposure

Record exposure factors used.

kV Low mA High mA AEC exposure time for high mA

E
APPENDIX D. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
201

Wall Bucky, film Set ~90 kV and Record film Record AEC exposure
density ~18 cm of water Density. time.

Centre chamber
Left chamber

Right chamber

Record exposure factors used.

kV mA Backup time Cassette used Water Phantom

Fluoroscopy Table. Set ~90 kV and Record film Record AEC exposure
Spot Filmer AEC 18 cm water. Density. time.

Centre chamber

Dual chambers

Other areas
for attention

Problems not corrected since last


routine maintenance check

Faults or problems requiring


further attention.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
202

The X-ray room


Room No Inspection date Performed by
= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required
NA = Does not apply

Accessories. Foam wedges


Sandbags
Patient markers
Callipers

Radiation Lead rubber gowns


protection.
Lead rubber aprons
/ patient protection
Radiation door (Should operate on prep as well as expose)
warning light.
Radiation leakage
in operator area.
The room. Lighting.
Ventilation.
Air conditioning.
Sufficient shelves
or storage area.
Patient cubicles.
Tidiness
Cleanliness
General condition (Is this a pleasant area for a patient?)
of wall paint, floor
covering etc.
Other areas for
attention

Problems not corrected since last


routine maintenance check

Faults or problems requiring


further attention

E
APPENDIX D. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
203

Automatic film processor

Processor No Inspection date Performed by


Developer type Developer temperature Cycle time
Developer replenishment rate Fixer replenishment rate
Water temperature
= Pass
Area = Fail Attention required
NA = Does not apply

Chemistry Developer temp

Water temp

Developer replenish rate

Fixer replenishment rate.

Water flow

Chemistry supply Developer specific gravity


tank
Fixer specific gravity
Chemistry appearance

Cleaning Feed tray

Cross over rollers

Deep racks

Foreign matter (algae)

Filters replaced Water (each month)

Developer (6~12 months)

Rack sections, Looseness & geometry


drive systems.
Shaft retainers, gear wear.
Helical gear looseness

Drive motor chain tension

Abnormal noise

Replenishment P/E film detection system


system
Replenisher solenoid valve
function

Replenisher pump function

Circulation pump function


X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
204

Dryer Temperature

System check

Plumbing Chemical supply hose leaks

Water supply

General Microswitch (lid in place)


items
Panel fit, light leaks.
Audible warning signal
Problems not corrected since last
routine maintenance check

Faults or problems requiring


further attention

E
APPENDIX E. X-RAY EQUIPMENT OPERATION
205

APPENDIX E

X-ray equipment operation


Introduction to X-ray equipment operation

PART 1 THE PRODUCTION OF


Aim
X-RAYS
The aim is to provide an overall view of current X-ray
equipment design and operation. This information is
intended to enhance the maintenance and repairs Contents
sections of this workbook, by providing a detailed
a. The X-ray tube
examination of equipment operation requirements. In
b. Bremsstrahlung radiation
addition, to provide some of the technical knowledge
c. Characteristic radiation
required by an electrician, or electronics technician,
d. X-ray properties
assisting in repairing the equipment.
e. Filters
f. Specification of minimum filtration
Object g. The inverse square law

When carrying out routine maintenance, and in


particular, diagnosing incorrect equipment operation, a.The X-ray tube
a good knowledge of how equipment operates is
The X-ray tube consists of an anode and cathode
required.
inside an evacuated glass envelope. The cathode is a
The material in this appendix is intended both as a
filament, which when made very hot, emits electrons.
revision of equipment operation, and to provide spe-
When a high voltage supply is placed between the
cific information of equipment internal operation. This
cathode and anode, the electrons from the cathode
includes operational sequence of events, and the inter-
strike the anode, releasing X-rays. See Fig E1. There
nal tests and checks carried out by the equipment.This
are two main types of X-ray radiation generated:
is also an introduction to X-ray systems for an electri-
Bremsstrahlung (braking radiation) and characteristic
cian or electronics technician, who may be asked to
radiation.
assist in the event of a problem. The first three parts
have been provided as the background for this
introduction.

Contents
Part 1. Production of X-rays 205
Part 2. The X-ray tube 208
Part 3. High voltage generation 213
Part 4. The X-ray generator control unit 218
Part 5. The high-tension cable 232
Part 6. X-ray collimator 233
Part 7. X-ray tube suspension 235
Part 8. The grid and Potter Bucky 236
Part 9. Tomography 239
Part 10. The fluoroscopy table 240 Fig E1. The X-ray tube
Part 11. The automatic film processor 243
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
206

b. Bremsstrahlung radiation shell, giving up its energy as an X-ray photon. This has
a predominant energy of 59 keV. See Fig E3.
When an electron passes close to the nucleus of an
There are other transitions, notably from the M
anode atom, it is deflected, and its speed or energy
shell to the K shell (67.2 keV) and N shell to the K
reduced. At the same time, an X-ray photon is pro-
shell (69 keV). The above energy levels are specific for
duced, which has an energy level equal to that lost by
tungsten, and are known as Characteristic radiation.
the electron. See Fig E2. Peak X-ray energy, expressed
Note. To eject an electron from the K shell, the
in electron-volts or keV, occurs only when an elec-
incoming electron requires energy greater than 70 kV,
tron strikes the nucleus, giving up all its energy imme-
which is the binding energy of the K shell electron to
diately. The electron will continue to pass through the
the nucleus of a tungsten atom. Below 70 kV, radiation
anode atoms, and produce further X-ray photons.
is entirely due to Bremsstrahlung. At 80 kV, character-
However, about 99.5% of the electron energy is lost in
istic radiation is about 10%, and at 150 kV is about
generating heat.
28% of the total usable X-ray beam.

Fig E3. Characteristic radiation

d. X-ray properties
X-ray beam quality and quantity depends on three
main factors.
Fig E2. Bremsstrahlung radiation
The kV applied between anode and cathode
Filtration to remove low energy X-rays.
c. Characteristic radiation The amount of electron emission from the cathode,
This occurs when an incoming electron collides with which affects quantity only.
an electron in the inner K shell.To replace the missing The film focus distance (FFD). Radiation is reduced
electron, an electron moves from the L shell to the K by the inverse square law.

k k k

k
E
Fig E4. Illustration of relative kV output, for three values of kV
APPENDIX E. X-RAY EQUIPMENT OPERATION
207

e. Filters Table E1. Minimum half value layer, at


different kV levels
X-ray photons below ~40 keV have little penetrating
power in standard diagnostic X-ray procedures, and X-ray tube voltage Minimum permissible first
only contribute to unwanted radiation of the patient. (kV) HALF-VALUE LAYER (mm Al)
To remove these lower energy X-rays, added filters are 50 1.5
placed in the X-ray beam.The filter material is normally
made of pure aluminium. For special applications 60 1.8
filters made of different materials may be used. These 70 2.1
are called K Edge filters. An example of this is an
X-ray tube used in mammography, which may have a 80 2.3
molybdenum filter. 90 2.5
Where it is desired to make most use of low keV
radiation, some collimators have a removable filter.This 100 2.7
has a safety switch, so that if the filter is removed, 110 3.0
X-ray generation is not permitted above a specified
120 3.2
kV level.
130 3.5
f. Specification of minimum filtration 140 3.8
Most countries specify a minimum filtration that will 150 4.1
be used for diagnostic X-ray. The total filtration is the
combination of the X-ray tube glass, the mirror in a
collimator, plus the added filter in the X-ray beam. To g.The inverse square law
ensure the minimum required filtration is obtained,
The quantity of X-rays available for a given area
tables are provided for measurement purposes.
depends on the distance from the X-ray tube. For a
Typical half value layers are provided in table
given distance, the X-ray beam may cover an area of
E1. The actual specification may differ in some
10 10 cm. If we double the distance the same beam
countries.
will now cover an area of 20 20 cm, in other words,
four times the previous area. However, the radiation
How to measure the half-value layer
available for each 10 10 cm section is now only one
At a specified kV, a radiation meter measures the
quarter its previous value. See Fig E5.
radiation from the X-ray tube. Added aluminium
filtration is placed in the beam. The amount of
aluminium to reduce the beam by 50% is called the
half-value layer.
Referring to table E1, at 100 kV, this should require
at least 2.7 mm of aluminium.
If the specified value of aluminium reduces radia-
tion by more than 50%, total filtration is insuffi-
cient, so more permanent aluminium must be
placed in the X-ray beam.

Fig E5. Illustration of the inverse square law


X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
208

PART 2 THE X-RAY TUBE motor. Special ball bearings are required, designed to
withstand the heat from the anode. A stator winding
is placed over the anode end of the X-ray tube, to form
Contents the energising section of the motor. See Fig E7.

a. The stationary anode X-ray tube


b. The rotating anode X-ray tube c.The X-ray tube housing
c. The X-ray tube housing
The housing is lead lined, so that radiation only exits
d. The X-ray tube focal spot
via the port in front of the focal spot. This port is
e. Anode angle
usually a truncated plastic cone, extending from the
f. Maximum anode heat input
surface of the housing close to the X-ray tube glass.
g. Anode rotation speeds
This reduces the absorption of X-rays due to the oil.
h. Effect of rotation speed on output
Oil provides the required high voltage insulation, and
i. Anode heat and cooling time
serves to conduct the heat from the anode and stator
j. The X-ray tube filament
winding to the outside surface. A bellows is provided
k. Filament focus
to allow the oil to expand as it becomes hot. A thermal
l. Grid controlled X-ray tube
safety switch is fitted to ensure protection against
excessive housing heat. In some cases, this may be a
a.The stationary anode X-ray tube micro switch, operated when the bellows expands
beyond its operating limit. See Fig E9.
This is usually found in portable X-ray generators, or in
dental units. The anode is a small insert of tungsten,
inside a large copper support. The copper is to help d.The X-ray tube focal spot
adsorb the heat produced. As a general rule focal spots
By focussing a vertical beam of electrons, onto the
are larger than for the rotating anode type, as the heat
anode, which has a specific angle, an effective small
produced is in a very small area.
area of X-rays results. This is known as the focal spot,
and the method of generation as the line focus
b.The rotating anode X-ray tube principle.
As indicated in Fig E10, this effective focal spot
By rotating the anode, the heat produced is spread
becomes enlarged as the useful beam is projected
around a wide area. This allows time for heat to be
towards the cathode end of the X-ray tube. While the
absorbed into the body of the anode. As a result, much
spot will become smaller towards the anode side, a
smaller focal spots may be used, together with an
point is reached where X-ray generation rapidly
increase in output.
becomes less. This is known as the heel effect. See
Rotation is achieved by attaching a copper cylinder
Fig E11.
to the anode. This forms the rotor of an induction

E
Fig E7. Anode and motor for a rotating anode X-ray tube
APPENDIX E. X-RAY EQUIPMENT OPERATION
209

Fig E9. The X-ray tube and housing

Fig E10. Formation of the focal spot

e. Anode angle
The wider the anode angle, the greater will be the film
coverage at a specific distance. However, to maintain
the same focal spot size, the length L of the electron
beam must be reduced. This results in a smaller area
to dissipate the immediate heat, so the maximum
output of the tube has to be reduced. See Fig E10.
A common angle for an over-table tube is 128. An
under-table tube in a fluoroscopy table may have an
angle of 168. With a 128 angle, radiation may cover a Fig E11. Relative radiation output for two
anode angles
35 35 cm film at a FFD of 100 cm, while a 168 angle
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
210

would cover the same film at a distance of 65 cm. Table E2. Common anode speeds.The
Fig E11 indicates the relative radiation output for speed shown in brackets is the actual
two common anode angles. The rapid fall off to the obtained speed, versus the theoretical
anode side is due to heel affect. maximum speed
Frequency Low (Low High (High
f. Maximum anode heat input speed speed) speed speed)

The maximum heat input for the X-ray tube anode is 50 Hz 3000 (~2850) 9000 (~8700)
determined by:
60 Hz 3600 (~3450) 10800 (~10500)
The anode material.
Anode rotation speed.
Anode diameter.
Focal spot size. h. Effect of rotation speed on output
The kV waveform. (Single-phase, or three-phase)
High-speed operation is of maximum benefit for short
An X-ray tube anode load capacity is rated as the exposure times. (The generator should also sufficient
number of kilowatts for an exposure time of 0.1 output, to take advantage of high-speed anode rota-
second. This is calculated from the rating chart for a tion.) In Fig E12b two load lines are indicated, one
specified mode of operation. For example, In Fig E11a, for high-speed, and one for low-speed operation.While
the product of mA and kV at 0.1 second is 38 kW. this example is for 100 Kv operation, a similar result is
obtained for other load factors.

g. Anode rotation speeds


i. Anode heat and cooling time
There are two anode rotation speeds in use, low speed
and high speed.These depend on the power main supply A stationary anode X-ray tube can have the copper
frequency. High speed was originally obtained from section of the anode extended outside the glass
static frequency-triplers, which generate the third har- container, and into the oil. This allows direct con-
monic of the mains frequency.Later high-speed systems duction of anode heat. This is not possible for a
use solid-state inverters, so high speed is now usually at rotating anode, and heat is dissipated by direct
the higher 10800 frequency, even with a 50 Hz supply. radiation from the anode disk. Depending on anode
With the simple form of induction motor used to diameter and thickness, this can take a long time
rotate the anode, there will always be some slip, so the time.
anode does not reach the full possible speed. The A typical cooling chart is provided in Fig E13, and
nominal speed that may be reached is indicated in the formulas for calculation of the heat unit provided
brackets in table E2. in table E3.

E
Fig E12a. A typical anode-rating chart
APPENDIX E. X-RAY EQUIPMENT OPERATION
211

Fig E12b. High-speed operation allows an increased anode load

Fig E13. A typical chart to indicate the rise in anode heat versus the cooling time

Table E3. Formulas used for anode heat-unit calculation


kV waveform Per exposure Continuous
Single phase, full wave operation. HU = kV mA s HU/s = kV mA

Three phase, full wave operation. HU = kV mA s 1.35 HU/s = kV mA 1.35

Medium or high frequency inverter. HU = kV mA s 1.35 HU/s = kV mA 1.35

j.The X-ray tube filament the maximum usable emission from the filament.
Fig E14 indicates the non-linear characteristic of the
To emit electrons, the filament must be brought to a
filament.
white heat temperature. As the temperature increases,
When the kV is increased, electron emission from
a point is reached where, despite further increases in
the filament to the anode also increases. This is com-
temperature, only a small increase in emission results.
monly known as the Space charge effect. As an
In this area tungsten evaporation also increases,
example, Fig14 shows the change of mA that can
greatly reducing the filament life. This determines
take place as kV is increased. In this example, with a
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
212

l. Grid controlled X-ray tube


In this design, the focus cup is brought out to a
separate connection. By applying a strong negative
voltage between the focus cup and the filament,
electron emission is suppressed.
With this change of connection, the cathode cup is
now referred to as a grid. Grid control allows control
of the X-ray exposure, while high voltage is continu-
ously applied between anode and cathode. In opera-
tion, the grid is kept negative with respect to the
filament, until an exposure is required. During an expo-
sure, the negative voltage is removed, permitting
emission from the filament. To terminate the exposure
the grid is again made negative in respect to the
filament.
Grid control may be used where rapid precise expo-
Fig E14. A typical filament emission chart
sures are required, such as in special procedure rooms.
However the most common use of grid control is in
filament current of 5.0 A, at 40 kV the emission is capacitor discharge mobiles.
160 mA, and increases to 325 mA at 80 kV.To keep mA
constant, as kV is changed, the generator control
must change the filament current. This is called space
charge compensation.

k. Filament focus
To enable a tight beam of electrons to the anode, the
filament is placed inside a focus cup. The focus cup
is connected directly to the common centre point of
the cathode.
Normally the two filaments are placed side by side,
and angled, so to strike the same anode position. Some
designs instead have the filaments placed end. This
allows formation of two separate tracks on the anode.
These tracks can have separate angles to suit the
required application. There is, however, a problem with
two separate tracks, as exact alignment of the colli- Fig E15. Two versions of filament design for
mator to both tracks is not possible. the cathode

E
APPENDIX E. X-RAY EQUIPMENT OPERATION
213

PART 3 HIGH VOLTAGE The high-tension winding is centre tapped, so that


GENERATION both anode and cathode have equal voltage applied
above ground potential.
Single phase self rectified systems are normally
Contents found in small portable X-ray generators, or may be
used in dental units. Efficiency is low, and long expo-
a. Single-phase, self rectified
sure times will be required.
b. Single-phase, full-wave rectified
c. Three-phase generators
d. Three-phase Six Pulse generator b. Single-phase, full-wave rectified
e. Three-phase Twelve Pulse generator
Full wave rectification results in both half cycles of the
f. The Constant potential generator
ac voltage used for X-ray production. There is no
g. High-frequency generators
danger of back-fire, as no negative voltage is applied
h. The capacitor discharge (CD) mobile
to the anode. Much higher output is now available. Full
wave rectification is used on systems ranging from
portable, dental, mobile, and up to heavy duty fixed
installations. While self rectified generators may have
a maximum output of 10~15 mA, full wave rectified
units have been produced with up to 800 mA output.

Fig E17. Single-phase self-rectified Fig E18. Single-phase full-wave generator


generator

The high-tension winding is centre tapped, with the


a. Single-phase, self rectified centre position connected to ground. This ensures
The X-ray tube can also be considered as a rectifier, in anode and cathode voltages are equally balanced
that electrons emitted from the cathode filament above ground potential.
travel to the positive anode. If the anode is negative As the current in the transformer winding is AC, an
in respect to the cathode, no electron flow occurs. additional rectifier is required for the mA meter (nor-
However, in case the anode is very hot, electron mally mounted on the control front panel). Exposure
emission can also occur from the anode, in which case times are in multiples of the power main supply fre-
electron flow can exist from the anode to the cathode. quency. For a 50 Hz supply, exposure time calculation
This is called back-fire, and would damage the fila- is simple. See table E4.
ment. To prevent this, an external diode and resistor is With a 60 Hz supply, each pulse is 8.3 milliseconds
fitted to the primary of the HT transformer. The effect wide. So some generators may indicate exposure times
is to greatly reduce the available high voltage on the below 0.1 second as a number of pulses, rather than
negative half cycle. This is called inverse suppression. a set time.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
214

Table E4. Indication of exposure time for a single-phase, 50 Hz generator


50 Hz supply 10 milliseconds 0.01 second 0.05 second 0.2 second
for each pulse exposure = 1 pulse. exposure = 5 pulses exposure = 20 pulses

c.Three-phase generators In the example shown below, the secondary wind-


ings are both delta configuration.The two isolated sets
By operating with three-phase power supply, several
of windings and rectifier systems allow independent
advantages occur:
voltage supply to both anode and cathode. By con-
The peak power demand per phase is reduced, with necting the common centre point to ground, both
the input power equally shared between all three anode and cathode are equally balanced above
phases. ground.
Rather than pulsed high voltage, the X-ray tube now See Fig E19.
has continuous voltage supplied, so radiation for a
given kV and mA is considerably greater.This results
e.Three-phase Twelve Pulse generator
in shorter exposure times for a given setting, while
the radiation absorbed by the patient is also With the twelve-pulse generator, one winding is con-
reduced. figured delta, and the other star. The voltage peaks
Shorter exposure times, down to 0.003 seconds, are between these two windings have a 30 degree phase-
available. Exposure time calculation for 60 HZ is shift, so that a peak of the rectified output from the
more accurate. delta winding will coincide with a trough from the star
The X-ray tube has higher anode load capacity for rectified output. This result in twelve joined together
short exposure times, although for long exposure pulses for each cycle.
times this will be less. The overall ripple-factor is considerably improved, to
Three phase generators have typical outputs of a possible 3.5%. This improved ripple factor allows
500 mA up to ~1200 mA. higher effective radiation output for a set kV, com-
pared to six-pulse generators. With special exposure
contactor systems, exposure times down to 0.001
d.Three-phase Six Pulse generator
seconds have been achieved. Conventional exposure
This system uses an identical style of winding for both contactors however, have the same exposure time
the anode and cathode side. The windings may be limitations of the six-pulse systems.
configured star or delta. The system obtains its See Fig E20.
name due to the six joined together pulses that are
generated each cycle. The ripple factor for six-pulse
is ~13%.

E
Fig E19. Three-phase, six-pulse generator
APPENDIX E. X-RAY EQUIPMENT OPERATION
215

Fig E20. Three-phase twelve-pulse generator

f.The Constant potential generator voltage. This in turn is fed into the primary winding, of
the high-tension transformer.
With this generator, there is NO ripple factor, and the
High-frequency generators have many advantages
voltage applied to the X-ray tube is pure DC.To achieve
over conventional generators, operating at 50 or 60 Hz
this, the output of a conventional six-pulse generator
power main frequency.
is smoothed by high voltage capacitors. The high
voltage is then passed through a pair of high voltage The high-tension transformer now uses ferrite
tetrode valves.These serve to control the exposure, and instead of an iron core, with an increase in
regulate the actual high voltage supplied to the X-ray efficiency.
tube. The required inductance of the transformer winding
To achieve good regulation, the high voltage is reduced, resulting in a big drop of copper resis-
obtained from the generator is set about 50 kV higher tive loss, again improving efficiency.
than actually required. During the exposure, the Transformer manufacturing costs are reduced.
tetrodes control the voltage at the required level to High-voltage output is tightly regulated, so normal
the X-ray tube. Constant-voltage generators were changes in power main voltages have no affect on
used for special procedure rooms, and CT scanners.The the exposure.
construction and maintenance of these systems is The high-voltage waveform is similar to between an
expensive. They have been largely replaced by high- ideal six-pulse to twelve-pulse generator for a
frequency inverter systems. However, they are still in medium-frequency system. A high-frequency gener-
use for providing a very accurate X-ray calibration ator waveform has less ripple, in many cases less
standard. than 2%. However, final ripple depends on other
design considerations.
High-voltage production is highly consistent, with
g. High-frequency generators
little variation in residual kV ripple. (Unlike three
These are sometimes known as medium frequency phase systems, this can suffer distortion of the kV
generators, depending on the maximum frequency of waveform.)
the inverter. Used in a mobile system, the inverter may operate
Generally, if maximum frequency is below ~20 kHz, directly from storage batteries, or else from large
the generator is called medium frequency. Current capacitors charged via the power point. In both
high-frequency generators can operate up to 100 kHz, these cases, kV waveform remains similar to large
although most systems will operate below 50 kHz. fixed installations.
Inside the high-frequency generator, the AC mains While earlier medium frequency systems had high
power is rectified, and smoothed by a large value development costs, present high-frequency sys-
capacitor, to become a DC voltage supply.The inverter tems are more cost effective than conventional
converts the DC voltage back into a high-frequency AC generators.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
216

Fig E21a. Diagram to illustrate the principle of a high-frequency generator

On initial power up, a resistor limits the charging The resonant circuit has a flywheel affect, so
current of the capacitors. This is necessary, as that on the reverse half cycle, the back EMF atte-
otherwise with the capacitors discharged; it would mpts to reverse the current in the pair of SCRs
be equivalent to placing a short circuit on the that produced the initial pulse. This causes that
output of the rectifiers. pair to switch off. (The other pair will produce the
After the capacitors are charged, another contac- next pulse, but this time in the opposite direction)
tor shorts out the resistors.The system is now ready The high-tension transformer is operated similar to
for operation. a single-phase generator, with two exceptions.
The energy stored in the capacitors supplies the For medium-frequency generators, added capac-
high peak current required by the inverter. itors to provide waveform smoothing. For many
The inverter illustrated is an SCR bridge inverter. high-frequency generators however, the inherent
The output of this inverter is coupled via a resonant capacitance of the HT cables provides the
circuit to the primary of the HT transformer, required smoothing, without added capacitors.
The capacitor C, and the inductance L, together A built in resistive voltage divider provides meas-
with the inductance of the transformer winding urement of the high voltage during the exposure.
form a series resonant tuned circuit. The resonant This measurement is compared to a reference
circuit has two functions. voltage equivalent to that for the required kV.
As the pulse rate of the inverter increases towards If there is any difference, the inverter control
resonance, the energy each pulse produces in the circuit changes the pulse rate to correct the
HT transformer secondary also increases. This error. This is called closed loop or feedback
allows a very wide range of control. regulation.

E
Fig E21b. Two versions of high voltage generation, used with a high-frequency system
APPENDIX E. X-RAY EQUIPMENT OPERATION
217

h.The capacitor discharge (CD) mobile tube. (This term is used to describe conduction with
a cold cathode filament.) As a result, when the kV
The capacitor-discharge or CD generator obtains high
drops a small amount, the charging circuit will
voltage for an exposure directly from a pair of capac-
again operate,topping up the charge on the capac-
itors. These are charged to the required kV before
itors.Topping up is disabled during an exposure, and
making an exposure. As the kV for an exposure is
recharging occurs only after the charge button is
applied to the X-ray tube prior to an exposure, a grid
again pressed.
controlled X-ray tube is fitted. A negative voltage
Due to dark-current, a very small emission of X-rays
applied between the grid, or focus-cup, and the fila-
will be produced once the capacitors are charged.
ment. This prevents an exposure until the negative
To prevent external radiation, the collimator is fitted
voltage is removed.
with a motor or solenoid operated lead shutter.This
Although there is a slow capacitor charging time,
shutter blocks all radiation, and is only opened just
the capacitor can rapidly discharge through the X-ray
prior to a radiographic exposure, or at start of
tube, with peak mA currents up to 500 mA.Actual peak
preparation for an exposure. Sometimes after
mA depends on the X-ray tube used, not the capacitor
charging the capacitors, a reset to a lower kV may
system. During an exposure, the charge on the capac-
be required. This is performed by a low mA expo-
itor drops by 1 kV per mAs.
sure. During this time, the collimator lead shutter
remains closed.
Operation
The CD mobile on preparation will operate anode
The high voltage capacitors are charged prior to
rotation and filament boost as for a standard
preparation for an exposure. This may take up to a
generator. The filament however does not have
minute depending on the kV setting required. A
pre-heating, as this would increase leakage current
resistor in series with the transformer primary limits
through the X-ray tube during standby.
the charging current, allowing operation from a
Control by time and mA selection is not practical,
standard power point.
as the starting mA depends on kV selected, and falls
The CD mobile has two capacitors, connected in
during the exposure as kV drops. For this reason
series, with the common point connected to ground.
direct measurement of mA to operate a mAs timer
This ensures the high-voltage to anode and cathode
is required.
of the X-ray tube is equally balanced above ground
potential. The capacitors are usually each of two
microfarads capacity, and as they are connected in
series, make up a total value of one microfarad.
The transformer secondary and rectifiers are con-
nected to the capacitors to form a voltage doubler.
On the positive half cycle D1 conducts, charging C1.
On the negative half cycle, conduction is via D2,
charging C2.The charge on C1 and C2 add together
to produce the total kV available for an exposure.
See Fig E22.
The resistors R1 and R2 provide a voltage meas-
urement for the charging circuit, and for the kV
meter.
At the start of an exposure, the mAs timer operates
a high voltage relay. This removes the negative
voltage applied between grid and cathode. At end
of the exposure, the relay stops operating, and
the negative voltage is once more applied to the
grid.
Once the capacitors are charged to the required kV,
the charge will slowly drop, partly due to the con- Fig E22. The capacitor discharge generator
duction of the kV measurement resistors, and partly
due to a small dark current current of the X-ray
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
218

Relation between kV and mAs PART 4 THE X-RAY GENERATOR


As sown in Fig E23, a 30 mAs exposure will cause the CONTROL UNIT
kV to reduce by 30 kV.As the quantity of radiation from
an X-ray tube is controlled as much by kV as mAs, large
mAs exposures are not practical. For example, if the Contents
above example were for 40 mAs, the last 10 mAs of the
a. X-ray control functions
exposure would be from 60 to 50 kV, and have little
b. High-voltage control and load compensation
effect.
c. mA control
d. X-ray radiographic timer
e. Automatic exposure control (AEC)
f. Fluoroscopy timers
g. Exposure contactors
h. X-ray tube anode rotation
i. X-ray tube load calculation
j. Operation sequence control
k. Fault detection and safety systems

a. X-ray control functions


The X-ray control provides the following
Fig E23. Relation between kV and mAs, CD functions for radiography
mobile Radiographic kV selection.
High-voltage load compensation. (For different mA
outputs)
Mains-voltage regulation. (May not be required for
most high-frequency generators.)
X-ray tube filament heating and space-charge com-
pensation for each X-ray tube focal spot, and mA
station selection.
Selection of required mA output.
Selection of X-ray tube focal spot. In some systems,
this is automatically linked to the required mA
position.
Exposure timer. For single and three phase systems,
the timer must be synchronized to the mains power
supply.
Exposure contactor, to connect the HT generator to
the preselected primary voltage.
Anode rotation control (or starter). Some systems
allow for operator selection of low or high speed.
X-ray tube safety calculation. Basic requirement is
anode load and maximum kV. Calculations may also
include maximum filament heating, stored heat
in the anode, and a safety factor for multiple
exposures.
Technique selection of external equipment. Eg, table
Bucky, vertical Bucky, tomography, etc.
Operation sequence timing and control. Eg, after
the preparation time delay, X-ray exposure request
is sent to the Bucky; signal returned from the Bucky
starts the exposure.
E
APPENDIX E. X-RAY EQUIPMENT OPERATION
219

Safety provision for operator error, radiation ON of flexibility, and may be treated as a pre-
warning light etc. programmed exposure memory system.
System fault detection, both prior or during an X-
ray exposure.
b. High-voltage control and load compensation
The following additional functions are Adjustment of high voltage for conventional systems is
provided for fluoroscopy by preselection of the primary voltage. This voltage is
Fluoroscopy kV selection sent to the primary of the high-tension transformer,
Automatic fluoroscopy-kV control. (May be an when an exposure is made.This preselection of primary
option) voltage must allow for voltage drop in the generator
Fluoroscopy mA control. Depending on the design, transformer, as well as the power mains voltage falling
this may be not available for the operator. Instead when under load. As we change the selection of mA,
the level of mA may be controlled directly by the this also changes the amount of voltage drop that will
fluoroscopy kV selection. occur.To compensate, as we increase the mA selection,
Fluoroscopy exposure timer. Depending on system so we must also increase the primary voltage to keep
design, this may either stop exposures, or just sound the previous kV selected correct.
an alarm; after a maximum accumulated time (nor- Fig E24 illustrates the relation between kV, mA,
mally five minutes) has expired. and primary-voltage for a single-phase 400 mA gener-
ator. Example: If 80 kV at 200 mA were required, the
The control may have these optional features voltage for this exposure would be preset at 114 V.
Automatic exposure control, or AEC. Often known However, if 400 mA were required instead, then the
as photo timer, and sometimes by the Siemens voltage would be increased to 134 V.
title of Iontomat or Philips title of Amplimat. The
In the example shown in Fig E25,a simple method is
AEC measures the quantity of radiation as it enters
shown to achieve load compensation.This method may
a cassette. This measurement is used to control the
be used for a portable, or mobile, X-ray generator.
exposure time.
A line voltage adjustment switch allows compensa-
Anatomical programmed radiography or APR. APR
tion for different input voltages. The switch is
is a system of preset exposures, depending on the
adjusted until the voltmeter is on a calibration
area of the body to be examined. Current systems,
mark. If the meter is not set to this mark, than kV
with microprocessor controls, allow a high degree
will not be correct.

Fig E24. Load compensation requirement as mA is changed. If 80 kV is required, then primary


voltage should be 114 V for 200 mA, or 134 V for 400 mA
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
220

Fig E25. High-voltage selection, and load compensation, for a portable X-ray generator

The kV selection switch is set to the required kV to be generated, plus an additional voltage for load
kV. compensation. For automatic line voltage regulation,
On selection of the required mA position, a section the obtained voltage is simply compared to a fixed
of the mA selector switch selects the required load reference voltage. In both cases, when the required
compensation voltage. voltage is obtained the servo motor is stopped. On
This method may be also used for larger fixed instal- preparation or on making an exposure, these motors
lations. More complex compensation is then applied are locked out to prevent movement when the mains
to allow for mains supply impedance etc. supply voltage drops.
High frequency generators control kV by comparing
Another method is to indicate the preselected primary
directly the actual kV across the X-ray tube with a ref-
voltage on a voltmeter directly calibrated in kV. These
erence voltage set by the required kV. For example, if
systems often have two kV selection switches, one for
the operator selected 80 kV, the reference voltage may
coarse settings of about 10 kV, and the other for fine
be 8 V. On start of the X-ray exposure, the voltage at
settings of 1 kV. (Although a large multi-step switch
first on the X-ray tube will be 0 kV. Very rapidly, it will
may be used instead.)
approach 80 kV, at which point the measured voltage
On selection of a different mA station, the meter
from the generator will match the reference voltage
will either increase or decrease its indicated kV,
of 8 V. However, as the required kV becomes close to
depending on the change of mA. By resetting the kV
80 kV, the inverter will reduce its output, so that as
selection switches so the meter again reads the re-
80 kV is actually reached, inverter output is regulated
quired kV, load compensation is achieved.
to maintain 80 kV precisely.
A similar method to the above is a scale calibrated
High-frequency generators are not affected by
in kV, and a pointer moved by the kV selection knob.
mains supply voltage drop during an exposure, due to
On selection of each mA station, a different kV scale
the self-regulating closed-loop mode of operation.
is brought into view on the control panel. (The mA
However, some systems do require automatic mains
selection switch also selects the required load com-
voltage regulation, as well as correct mA calibration,
pensation, as shown in Fig E25.)
to ensure kV generated at the start of the exposure is
Many X-ray controls, especially three phase versions,
correct, and does not overshoot.
have motorized servo controlled selection of kV, and
Fluoroscopy control by comparison to radiographic
automatic line voltage compensation. These often use
control is much simpler, as no load compensation is
graphite rollers moving along a step-less transformer
required. On older systems this may be via a switch
winding. (Eg, the roller passes along individual turns on
selecting 10 kV steps, or by a sliding contact on a
the outside of the transformer, making direct contact
circular step-less transformer (sometimes called a
with each turn as it moves.)
variac).
Servo systems measure the voltage as the rollers
Some generators may employ electronic control of
pass along the transformer, and compare the voltage
E kV, using the properties of the SCR radiographic con-
obtained to a required value. This value is the required
APPENDIX E. X-RAY EQUIPMENT OPERATION
221

tactor. By this method the effective voltage to the transformer primary winding, (constant current),
transformer primary is controlled by changing the or the voltage across the same winding, (constant
timing pulses to the SCR contactor. In effect this is a voltage).
high power version of a lamp dimmer. Provide protection so the filament is not over-
With high-frequency systems, control is similar to heated. On earlier generators, no protection was
radiographic output; however in some systems the provided. Later systems included protection in X-ray
resonant frequency of the inverter system may be tube overload calculation. Present microprocessor
raised, to reduce audible noise. controlled systems can have elaborate protection
Automatic fluoroscopic kV may be obtained by circuits.
having a motor drive or else by direct control of The mA control has a safety system to prevent
the SCR or inverter as previously mentioned. The an exposure, in case filament heating is incorrect.
control signal may come directly from a TV camera, For example, if the filament has become discon-
or else via a photomultiplier sampling the light nected due to a faulty high-tension cable, or in
directed to the TV camera. Automatic fluoroscopic case the filament is broken. In this case, there
kV control is used to optimise the light level into the would be no load on the high-tension transformer,
camera, as well as avoiding excessive radiation to the and the generated kV could become dangerously
patient. high.
Compensation for drop in mA output during expo-
sure may be provided. As electrons are attracted
c. mA control
away from the filament, the filament temperature
The control of X-ray tube emission, expressed in mil- falls a small amount. This effect is more noticed as
liamperes or mA requires consideration of several the filament reaches the non-linear section of its
factors. In particular, the level of filament heating to operation. Many systems now provide feedback or
obtain the required emission, and the affect of gener- closed-loop compensation for this effect. By sam-
ated kV on actual emission. pling the mA generated during an exposure, com-
The following requirements need to be considered. paring it to a reference level set for each mA
station, a correction factor is applied to filament
Filament current to obtain the required mA emis-
heating. Some microprocessor systems use this
sion level.
technique to automatically re-calibrate the filament
Modify the filament current as the set kV, before
control, by memorizing the final required value of
an exposure, is selected. This is to ensure emission
filament heating.
is constant over the range of available kV, and
is called space charge compensation. See Fig
E27.
Provide a level of pre heating so the filament will
quickly reach the required temperature during radi-
ographic preparation.The filament may be preset to
half the radiographic current in stand-by mode, or
in some systems, adjusted to the point where emis-
sion would just occur. (~1.0 mA) Additional boost
may be applied for quick heating during prepara-
tion. This is called flash boost. However, some
systems only provide pre-heating for a fluoroscopy
tube, and rely on longer preparation time for the
over-table tube. See Fig E28.
The power supply for filament heating must be well
regulated, so that a drop in power mains voltage
does not affect heating level. Earlier systems used
a Constant voltage or Ferro resonant transformer
for this purpose. Later systems use electronic regu-
lation, which precisely measures and controls the
current through the filament. This is done by Fig E26. Comparison of filament heating
monitoring either the current through the filament time. With and without pre-heat
X-RAY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS WORKBOOK
222

Fig E27. These two graphs illustrate the need to modify filament heating, as kV is changed

Fig E28. A basic filament control system

The circuit in Fig E28 has the following points of The relay and contact marked OK is for filament
interest. safety. This relay is a current operated version, and
if the filament is broken, or has a bad connection,
The switches S1 and S2 are coupled together.
the relay does not operate.This prevents the control
S1 selects the calibration resistor for filament
entering the ready for exposure mode.
heating and the change over from fine-focus to
The two filament transformers, broad and fine
broad-focus.
focus, are mounted inside the high-tension genera-
S2 selects the degree of correction voltage for
tor tank.
space-charge compensation. Although not shown,
the primary of this transformer is connected so Filament control systems have had considerable devel-
as to reduce filament heating above 70 kV, and opment since the basic method described in Fig E28.
increase filament heating below 70 kV.Taps are pro- The heavy-duty resistors we