The Elite doppler probe is comprised of four parts and a single screw to hold it together. The Elite doppler is a popular model with many obstetrical and vascular clinicians, and from time to time, you may require technical service. If your probe is under warranty, it should be sent to the factory for an OEM repair as opening the device up will void the warranty.
If your probe is out of warranty, there are some simple fixes you can try without requiring the service parts, which are no longer available for purchase due to regulatory restrictions. Please note that waterproof probes are filled with gelatin and are non-serviceable probes.
Disassembly: Under the MHz sticker on the side of the probe, there will be a small T7 or Philips screw that will allow you to separate the two upper casings from the crystal assembly. By removing the screw, the casing will separate from each other, starting at the phone style jack at the top of the probe. Once the case is removed, the PCB will sit on the crystal assembly and is attached with four colour-coded wires. There is also a rubber seal that goes between the upper casing and the crystal assembly. You now have all four parts disassembled.
Note: Depending on the age of the probe there may be an adhesive holding the casing together.
- The most common issue with these dopplers is broken crystals, and the assembly is no longer available for purchase from the factory. A broken crystal is identified by pressing on the probe tip and listening for squelch or increase of static. It is common to have some sound, but it will be static and not as powerful as it should be
- The crystal assembly is held on with the tabs of the upper casing, as you can see in the picture. The crystal assembly can break off and potentially pull a wire off of the PCB, which can be re-soldered in place and clipped back onto the upper casing. If the tabs are weak, consider using a small amount of adhesive to secure it together.
- Water on the PCB. Occasionally, a non-waterproof probe is submerged in water, and the coiled cable connection will allow water onto the PCB. The OEM PCB is no longer available from the manufacturer and usually means replacing the whole probe.
Due to the change in parts availability, most probe repairs will end up as a probe replacement and Stat Medical stocks large volumes of doppler probes to make sure you can get back up and running as quickly as possible.