Meter problems

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a good festive season!

First day back at work today, and I pulled out my meter (an Accu-chek Integra: info and pic here) to do my usual morning test. Pressed the button, the strip came out and asked for the sample, and then the display switched to flashing 'OFF'. I pressed the button again, ejected the strip, waited a little while and tried again: pressed the button, and this time it switched on and then went straight to flashing 'OFF' without even ejecting a strip. According to the window, there are 5 strips left in the cartridge (and normally when it finishes the strips, it says 'END' not 'OFF'). I've never seen this before, and googling didn't get me any results. Has anyone seen this? What could be wrong with it? Any ideas before I call Accu-chek?



In the US this meter is called the "Accu Chek Compact".

The meter is failing its self test probably because of dust on a little sensor window.

If you open up the strip compartment door you see a little (couple mm by a couple mm) "window" where the strip slides out. This is not the window that lets you see how many tests are left but it's the window just a few mm upstream of where the strip pokes out. When I have problems with my Compact, it's because dust or fuzz or pocket lint is blocking this window. Best way to remedy is to blow the dust off with compressed air but wiping it clean is good too.

My Compact goes everywhere with me in my pocket and accumulates a lot of dust and pocket lint! I suspect others treat their meters more kindly than I do.


Hi Tim,

'Accu-chek Compact'?! There's not much that's compact about it! ;)

I opened it up and gave it a little wipe with a screen wipe (it's what I had on hand), and it seems to have fixed the problem. Thanks!

Interestingly, I eventually found something on the Accu-chek FAQs that suggested it flashes 'OFF' when it is dirty or scratched, but didn't give any kind of information about cleaning it.

Thanks for the help :)


Good that you got yours working! Here in the US the "original" Compact is a bit out of date, but there are updated models.

I like the most recent incarnation of the Compact best, The Compact Plus pictured here.

You're right, not compact by any measure, but the wonderful thing is that the whole shebang (strips, meter, lancet) fits in my pocket and I can whip it out at any moment and make a test, just using one hand.

Ooh, that looks quite neat!

I don't take the Integra anywhere, I use it only at home, simply because it (and the case) is just too bulky. For travelling I ended up buying an Optium Xceed (pictured here), which is just so much smaller and easy to carry around. It's fussier, being that it has individually wrapped strips, but at least I can just take a sheet or two of strips with me, rather than a whole plastic tube of them like with the Accu-Cheks. It also works a lot quicker, and needs less blood, which is nice.


Often with any of these glucose monitoring machines things go wrong and aren’t necessarily covered in the manual. I’ve used a compact plus for quite a few years and have had experiences that aren’t in the book. At times I’ve had the strips get stuck and have had to remove them which requires opening and removing drum and stuck strip. Having a place like Tu can be helpful as you can get advice from Tim and it worked.

Absolutely. The Accu-Chek website was pretty useless. I'm a technical writer, though, so I'm intending to email them with a suggestion for their FAQs though ;)


Hi Loq- There is a member of TuD, Rob Muller who works for Roche. You can contact him thru the TuD group Accu-chek. He is very helpful and might be able to assist you to remedy the problem w/ your meter. I use the same one and never had that particular problem.

PS - You might want to join that group.

Thanks! Tim's suggestion resolved the problem for me, but I've joined the group anyway :)


Hello Loquacity,

I’m the guy who works for Roche that Catlover mentioned. I would encourage you to write that email with your suggestions. I also think you should call Accu-Chek Customer Care at 1800 251 816 and let them know about the issue you’re having.

Feel free to reach out to here anytime, or at my email:

Let me know how things go.



Thanks Rob,

I certainly will write them. I don’t suppose Roche need a freelance tech writer to improve their online documentation? :wink:


I test a bunch of accucheck meters both for the consumer and hospital market. Some of the new ones are neat others, ahh not so much. I do really appreciate knowing that acuckeck puts their meters through the ringer before they are introduced. i bet int eh last year, i have tested maybe 5 new models. Oh and they pay me $40.00 per test. Its good to live in Indinapolis some times.

rick phillips

Thanks so much to Loquacity for raising this problem & Tim for answering it. I had this problem this morning and googled, not really expecting to solve it, but your suggestion worked and I am back in business. Thanks heaps