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Faculty Quick Start Guide - Smart Carts


smartcarts mobile computer

Smart Classrooms contain a “Smart Cart”, ceiling projector, and screen. The standard cart configuration is a computer with a monitor, a VCR/DVD combo, and possibly a document camera sometimes called an ELMO. The device that allows all the hardware to work together is called a controller. The controller allows instructors to “toggle” between devices by pressing the buttons on the controller. For example, instructors may want to show their computer screen before displaying a DVD through the projector on the screen. Instructors would press the PC button and then the DVD button to change devices.

Getting Help

The IDDS staff is always available to help you during regular University business hours for training purposes. If you experience computer problems call the SU Help Desk. If you experience a problem with the cart, projector, VCR/DVD player, or document camera call Media Services. Call numbers below:

IDDS Computer Services Media Services
Training Only
Donna x3439
Computer Issues Only
Cart & Projector Issues


Important Things to Remember

  1. BE PATIENT. It takes the controller approx. 30 seconds to switch between each mode. DO NOT CONTINUE TO PRESS BUTTONS because doing so restarts the process each time you press the button (--it confuses the equipment--).
  2. TEST. Test any computer CD-ROM that you receive from the publisher as well as any material you want to view online well before class. If it does not function properly contact the Computer Center (x3499).
  3. PROTECT YOUR DATA. Log off the computer when you are finished with class.
  4. TURN PROJECTOR OFF. Turn the projector off between classes. New projector bulbs cost approximately $500. Help us keep this expense to a minimum.
  5. SMART CART CORDS. Do not pull the Smart Cart so far away from the wall that you pull the wiring out of the wall. Remember the cart is tethered to the wall via video and internet cables – protect them from harm.
  6. REMEMBER YOUR MATERIALS. If you played a VCR or DVD remember to take those materials out of the machine.
  7. SMART CART CONTROLLER LIGHTS. The Smart Cart controller will always have lights visible. The controller programming will be lost or scrambled if you turn the Smart Cart off completely by unplugging it or turning off the power.
  8. DOCUMENT CAMERA. The document camera works best when displaying objects or graphics. Note: Use the computer to display Excel spreadsheets or Word documents.


smartcarts black controller

The Smart Panel controller which is used to turn the projector on is located on top of the multimedia cart.

Close-up of Controller Device

smartcarts close up controller

Display ON / OFF Press the ON button to turn the project on.
Press the OFF button to turn the projector off.
Volume Controls the volume for all devices on the cart.
Auto Image Centers the image on the projector screen.
PIC Mute Turns the image on the screen black without turning the projector off.
VCR, DVD, PC, LAPTOP Press the button of the device to be projected


Cart Operation

  1. Unlock the front door, side compartment (Document Camera) and the keyboard area. Use the key to open the lock and then turn the knob next to the lock to open the door. The from keyboard drawer panel drops down for easy use.

    smartcarts keypad

  2. Turn computer on (if needed). The computer will go through the regular start up procedures
  3. Press gray “ON” button under the word “Projector” on the controller. Do not press any other buttons until the green ready light appears in the “Projector” area.
  4. To display the computer through the projector: Press the PC button.
  5. If you are using your own laptop, you can connect your computer to the projector via the provided VGA cable. For MAC users, you will need to have a cable adapter.

(Note: Press Fn + F8 keys to toggle between displaying blank screen/only laptop display/both laptop display and projection screen display)

Turning the multimedia cart off:

  1. Turn computer off (laptop or tower). Remove any media such as a USB drive.
  2. Turn projector off using the OFF key on the Controller.
  3. Place the any remote controls in the desktop along with the mouse and keyboard and lock the drawer.
  4. Turn the DVD/VCR player off. Remove any media such as a DVD.
  5. Close the unit door and lock it by turning the locking mechanism first and then using the key to lock the cart (lock all three cart locks).

DVD/VCR Combo & Document Camera

The DVD/VCR combo and the Document Camera models vary on each Smart Cart. Generally, look for the ON button in the front of the DVD/VCR device.

  1. To display the DVD/VCR through the projector, press the DVD or VCR button on the Controller.
  2. If the DVD player is not already on, press the “On” button.
  3. To play a Videotape or DVD: Insert tape/DVD into slot. Use the controls on the Controller to play the DVD/VCR

    smartcarts dvd vcr control  

    Use the DVD & VCR area to control these devices. The MENU button displays scenes on a DVD. The TUNER buttons allows instructors to move between scenes. To select a scene, pres the ENTER button. The PREV/REW, PLAY, NEXT/FWD, PAUSE and STOP buttons perform the function that their title indicates.

  4. To Remove the VCR tape or DVD from the device, press the “Open” button.

Document Camera

  1. Turn on the Document Camera by pressing on the ON/OFF switch located at the back of the Document Camera base.
  2. Use either the remote control or the controls on the document camera itself to zoom in/out and focus (see picture).
  3. When finished, turn the Camera off by using the ON/OFF switch located in the back of the device.

    The Document Camera arms generally move easily up and down. If the Document Camera arm will not go down and the arm has a button on its base, push the button up to unlock the arm. I there is not a button on the arm, gently push it back until you hear a click and then try to move it forward.

    Some Document Cameras include a controller. Use the controller to finely focus on the document or object placed on the base of the device. If the controller is missing, there is also a Zoom an Focus feature on the base of the Document Camera.