How to Hook Up an SB540 Smart Board

Updated July 20, 2017

Smart Technologies created the Smart Board interactive whiteboard in 1991. According to the company, since that time and as of 2010, more than 1.7 million Smart Boards have been installed in various locations around the world. Smart Board technology benefits both business and government agencies, but one of the largest groups of Smart Board users is within the field of education. The company cites research that states the use of Smart Board technology aids in "student engagement, learner motivation and knowledge retention." Using this technology begins with knowing how to hook up the Smart Board.

Check to see that all accessories are included as you unpack the Smart Board. Accessories should include the USB/serial/power cord, four coloured interactive pens, eraser and CD containing the software program.

Prepare the hardware needed to operate the Smart Board. The computer should be turned off. The projector should be positioned at least six feet away, facing the centre of the Smart Board.

Connect the Smart Board to the computer by plugging the wide end of the USB/serial/power cord into the serial port on the computer. The serial port is typically a hookup that is rectangular in shape with two side-by-side circles where the wires from the USB cable connect.

Unhook the keyboard connector from the back of the computer. Then hook the adaptor from the USB/serial/power cord into the computer in that connection and attach the keyboard cord to the USB/serial/power cord.

Connect the other end of the USB cord into the Smart Board. This connection will be on the front of the Smart Board, on the right-hand side of the board.

Turn on the computer. Load the CD into the computer and download the Smart Board software onto the hard drive of the computer. The CD will include onscreen prompts to complete this process.

If the CPU and monitor of the computer are two separate units, unhook the monitor from the computer. Hook the connecting cord from the projector into this spot, and connect the monitor cord into the adjacent hookup. If the CPU and monitor are one unit, look for the connection that has a square image next to it. Hook the projector cord into this.

Hook the power cord into the projector, and then into the power source. Turn on the power to the projector.

Adjust the distance of the projector from the Smart Board until the computer screen fills the Smart Board space.


The Smart Board gets its power from the computer source. When the computer is on, the Smart Board is activated. If the Smart Board is hooked up correctly, the "ready" light on the bottom right side of the Smart Board will be a solid green colour. Initially, as the system is powering up, it may be a red colour, but it should turn green when it is ready to use. If it is flashing or another colour, troubleshooting -- using the user's manual -- may be required.

Things You'll Need

  • SB540 Smart Board with USB/serial/power cord
  • 4 coloured interactive pens and eraser
  • CD with software program
  • Computer with 450MHz or greater processor and at least 128 MB of RAM
  • Digital projector with connecting cord and power cord
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About the Author

Diana Holzer began writing professionally in 2010. She enjoys writing articles about mental health, parenting, child development and postsecondary planning. Holzer holds a Bachelor of Science in English education from the University of South Dakota, a Master of Science in school counseling from Northern State University and an education specialist degree in school psychology from the University of South Dakota.