Any serious problems with Spike yet?


By sandersj

1 year ago


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There are 217 posts in topic. You are on page 1 of 5.
#1 1 year ago

Has anyone has any serious electronic failures on a spike system yet? So far my Kiss and GoT pros are doing great on location with no issues below the playfield. I searched on "Spike problems" and saw some reset issues and a complaint about GI turning off with the door open plus the usual "I don't like the switch location" but other than minor ergonomic issues has anything failed yet? Anybody have any mysterious power driver or lighting/switch issues?

I'm just curious so I can study up in advance of any anticipated failure modes. If any exist.

#2 1 year ago

From owning almost all of Spike titles thus far, the only recurring issue I've noticed is with the sound stuttering/cutting out at some point within the first minute of the first game when the machine is initially turned on. It's like the sound can't be processed fast enough to play smootly, so it has a hiccup for a second or two.

For isolated issues, my WWE Wrestlemania LE would randomly restart while in the middle of games. Stern sent a new Power Supply Assembly which seems to have solved the issue.

#3 1 year ago

I had one reset the total play count that isn't supposed to reset. Didn't reset any other settings.

#4 1 year ago

my kiss le needed a new cpu. would not boot. stern sent new replacement.

#5 1 year ago

Two sd cards, 4 node boards, 1 power supply, 2 link cables and 1 gi problem currently not solved.

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from inhomearcades:

Two sd cards, 4 node boards, 1 power supply, 2 link cables and 1 gi problem currently not solved.

holy crap.......

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from sandersj:

holy crap.......

Multiple games, sorry should have stated that.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from inhomearcades:

1 gi problem currently not solved.

Is this related to WWE Wrestlemania? If so, that's a known software bug that will be addressed in the next code update (coming soon).

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from inhomearcades:

Two sd cards, 4 node boards, 1 power supply, 2 link cables and 1 gi problem currently not solved.

Are those all recent problems? How many games are affected? Is Stern helping out?

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from inhomearcades:

1 gi problem currently not solved.

Mustang?

#11 1 year ago

Have a GOTLE on location and lasted about 2 weeks before a node board died. Still waiting on a replacement. Havent had a problem with our Kiss Pro on same location.

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from PinB:

Is this related to WWE Wrestlemania? If so, that's a known software bug that will be addressed in the next code update (coming soon).

Quoted from Slim64:

Mustang?

It's in a kiss. Mustang I have had problems with before though, that stupid two pin connector they used is always the culprit.

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from ngoett:

Have a GOTLE on location and lasted about 2 weeks before a node board died. Still waiting on a replacement. Havent had a problem with our Kiss Pro on same location.

Number 8?

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from frunch:

Are those all recent problems? How many games are affected? Is Stern helping out?

3-4 games have had issues. I'm sure I missed some. Stern always helps out, they are fantastic for that. These are all problems in the past 6 or so weeks, there are more but my memory isn't the best.

#15 1 year ago

There is nothing in a spike system, and I mean nothing, that helps the end-user. The spike system only takes care of manufacturing and save them money. To think that the spike system would be more robust than any prior pinball system is just silly. The spikes system was developed to save stern money. It was not developed to make their games more reliable.

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#16 1 year ago
Quoted from cfh:

There is nothing in a spike system, and I mean nothing, that helps the end-user. The spike system only takes care of manufacturing and save them money. To think that the spike system would be more robust than any prior pinball system is just silly. The spikes system was developed to save stern money. It was not developed to make their games more reliable.

Actually I disagree. From a design standpoint this system provides for endless combination or switches and coils, reduces heat a ton, makes it very easy for novices to replace and swap node boards, and as they continue to develop this system diagnostic abilities will increase.

Why do people constantly think everything is money related? I'm not saying if they save money with this system or not, how would anyone know that other than stern? How do you know that?

The fact of the matter is there is a ton of development into this system and as games become more complex, integrate into networks and grow, a system like this is needed to progress what pinball machines can do.

#17 1 year ago

Three guys have reported node 8 board failures in GOTLE. I am awaiting my replacement board, which I hope restless the issue.

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#18 1 year ago
Quoted from cfh:

There is nothing in a spike system, and I mean nothing, that helps the end-user.

Here's a couple.

New built-in automotive-grade circuit protection for LEDs, switches and solenoids reduces circuit failures from accidental shorts and environmental faults.

Reduced wiring complexity eases troubleshooting and worn component replacement.

And there are many more.

P.S. - Not a Stern lover, just like the truth.

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from cfh:

There is nothing in a spike system, and I mean nothing, that helps the end-user. The spike system only takes care of manufacturing and save them money. To think that the spike system would be more robust than any prior pinball system is just silly. The spikes system was developed to save stern money. It was not developed to make their games more reliable.

Maybe not more reliable (too soon to tell), and definitely saves Stern money. But I would not say no benefit to the end-user. The end user can be an operator or home user. The operator can now decrease down-time with smaller / cheaper parts on the shelf with quick swap times.

Also, Down-time and replacement time, shipping and repair technician knowledge. Stern repair is now being called by people who they hope can turn a screwdriver. The home user. Would you rather them replace a node board or the main board in an MMr? Just as in computers you could put everything into one main-frame or have a distributed system.

Yes, I think Stern is doing it to make money. But making money sometimes means saving money in support. And making it easy means customer satisfaction and return customers. Cheaper and easier to swap replaceable parts in this day and age is just part of life.

Reliability? Yet to be seen. Making changes to increase the bottom line? Well, that's why they are still in business.

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from cfh:

There is nothing in a spike system, and I mean nothing, that helps the end-user. The spike system only takes care of manufacturing and save them money. To think that the spike system would be more robust than any prior pinball system is just silly. The spikes system was developed to save stern money. It was not developed to make their games more reliable.

I am sure there were similar opinions in 1977 when the Bally SS system was introduced.

It's a manufacturing business. They have to adapt to the technology of the day, not embrase the past ( no DMD vs color LCD comments please).

If people want to buy and or operate NEW games, they will need to do the same.

As far as the end user, it is also no different than 1977. When the system is fresh to market, there are no low end earners to pull parts from ( and yes, I understood this node 8 board is new to the design). When, and if, SPIKE games proliferate on location or in collections, it will be much easier to pull a part and get a game going. Especially since the system design is common building blocks.

It's just too bad there isn't another Stern Electronics to copy Stern Pinball Inc. electronic design and start appearing in a second manufacturer's games so there would be two sources of spare boards.

#21 1 year ago

what happens when the led for backglass go bad? replace the whole board? or hopefully somebody makes a mod that will bypass those leds and you wont have to buy a new cpu.

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from robotron:

what happens when the led for backglass go bad? replace the whole board? or hopefully somebody makes a mod that will bypass those leds and you wont have to buy a new cpu.

Stern will accept it and replace it as a swap for a nominal fee when outside of warranty. In warranty, free replacement. You can do this with almost all data east, sega and stern board sets currently. Talk to your distributor.

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from cfh:

There is nothing in a spike system, and I mean nothing, that helps the end-user. The spike system only takes care of manufacturing and save them money. To think that the spike system would be more robust than any prior pinball system is just silly. The spikes system was developed to save stern money. It was not developed to make their games more reliable.

History tends to disagree with you. Each system that De/Sega/Stern have created has been simpler and more reliable than the last. Do they save money? Doubtful it covers their RD cost in the near term. It will probably take years for that to be amortized. What will help pay for that is a more reliable system. Less time/money spent fixing costumer issues == money saved.

#24 1 year ago

I'll wait for you guy to sort out these issues. Three games later and still problems, code not being done in a timely manner, and a new release on the way. Making profits is exactly what it sounds like ( coming from a person who's entire collection is almost Stern ).

I was not a fan of this type of system from the start, and my opinion will only change when it proves otherwise.

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from hoby1:

I'll wait for you guy to sort out these issues. Three games later and still problems, code not being done in a timely manner, and a new release on the way. Making profits is exactly what it sounds like ( coming from a person who's entire collection is almost Stern ).
I was not a fan of this type of system from the start, and my opinion will only change when it proves otherwise.

Though I don't have a Spike system yet, I'm not hearing thousands of complaints about problems. No matter how many machines are built, there are going to be some issues. I think as those of us S.A.M. game owners will attest, there are minor issues with these as well.
I will jump on a Spike Ghostbusters in a second if that's announced, especially if it has a lcd.

18
#26 1 year ago

Stern has a history of making their game quality worse as time progresses. Not really any different than the "classic stern" model from the 1980s either.

from decreasing wire thickness, to not using hardened parts, to changing leg thickness, to changing bracket thickness, frankly the list is endless. if you want to see this play out, go to the Pinball Hall of Fame. You can ask Tim Arnold, he will gladly tell you how Stern continually changes things to save them money, but making his job harder and more expensive as an operator. Or you can just look at the games. Check out any Stern that is 1 year old or greater. Then compare it to a 1990s Williams game. You'll see it.

Frankly mounting boards under the playfield is never a good idea. Using thin wire (or RJ wire in the case of Spike), again, not a good idea. It may be fine for the home owner. If that's where the bar is set (low), then Stern will do OK. But for an operator, nothing in the Spike system is better. Also with all the surface mount components (which have a terrible reliability factor when bolted to the bottom of a playfield), at least for most, are not serviceable. If you're OK with being a "board swapper" i guess the Spike system will do you fine. But frankly i like to do component level repair, and nothing in the Spike system allows this.

Time will tell. I hope i'm wrong. But i have a feeling... and it's not a good feeling...

#27 1 year ago

It's my understanding that the surface mount components are technically serviceable, though admittedly it's a significant degree harder and possibly not something you'd want to do 'in the field'.

Have you tried or looked into it at all? You're Clay F'n Harrell. If you can't make repairs, then the rest of us are goosed

#28 1 year ago

I think as time moves surface mount will be OK to repair. it's a steep learning curve, and the right tools and good eyeballs are needed. But that's not really the issue.. I'm thinking that most of the chips on the Stern Spike are custom. Think back to WPC/Whitestar and before, and there's nearly no custom chips (aside from ASIC chips, but those don't really fail, and they are available.) When ever custom chips are involved, i see bigger issues, when time is factored. Repro boards will be nearly impossible to make, chips only available from Stern (assuming Stern stays in business), etc etc. None of these things go well for the Spike owner. But we'll see. Only time will tell.

#29 1 year ago

Hmmmm..... replacement boards ain't cheap for their size and parts count. Plan A was to buy a few and keep them in stock for quick repair turnarounds if one fails. Will still likely do it but it will hurt a bit.

https://ksarcade.net/stn-520-6935-00.html

https://ksarcade.net/stn-520-5329-00.html

http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/520-5329-00

http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/520-5319-00

#30 1 year ago

Wow they're really not cheap. $300 aud per node board. Let's hope all failures occur within warranty.

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from cfh:

I'm thinking that most of the chips on the Stern Spike are custom.

I'd be willing to put money on being able to buy every single IC on the Spike board from Digi-Key.

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

I'd be willing to put money on being able to buy every single IC on the Spike board from Digi-Key.

Can you send the link?

#33 1 year ago

As technology and engineering advances it's only logical that all item on a pin become thinner, lighter and smaller. The spike games I have on route have with out a doubt held up better than any prior system.

#34 1 year ago

The board replacement idea never really seems to pan out well from a cost perspective. also Stern has a recent policy of really increasing the price of the parts. It used to be that you could buy stern/Dataeast parts at a really nice price. But over the years, the prices have really gone up on stern parts. My feeling is the price for Stern parts will continue to go up not down. Which means replacing boards isn't really a cost-effective solution. So you have to spend $300 for a new node board. How long does it take to recoup that cost in plays? These things weigh heavy on operators' mind and that's why a lot of them send boards out for repairs, when that can be done.

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from cfh:

Also with all the surface mount components (which have a terrible reliability factor when bolted to the bottom of a playfield)...

"Finally, boards produced using surface mount technology have been proven to be more stable and to perform better in shake and vibrate conditions."

http://info.zentech.com/blog/topic/smt-production

#36 1 year ago

Who is pricing these node boards at 300? If it's Marco we all know that's just like seeing msrp pricing for a nib pin. Node boards are MUCH less than 300.

#37 1 year ago

That was $300 Au.

#38 1 year ago
Quoted from terryb:

"Finally, boards produced using surface mount technology have been proven to be more stable and to perform better in shake and vibrate conditions."
http://info.zentech.com/blog/topic/smt-production

Tell that to the Stern trough opto boards that fail very quickly. All surface mount, and i can't tell you how many i've had to re-solder due to vibration issues.

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from wdpvideo:

Can you send the link?

For all the Spike ICs from digi-key? No.

#40 1 year ago
Quoted from cfh:

Tell that to the Stern trough opto boards that fail very quickly. All surface mount, and i can't tell you how many i've had to re-solder due to vibration issues.

Once they changed the design (added rubber) I have very few of them fail.

#41 1 year ago
Quoted from sandersj:

That was $300 Au.

That's not really sterns fault as they do not control the exchange rates.

#42 1 year ago

$200 US per node board.... And you need 4+ per game? Something tells me today's games aren't that much more complex (besides from the sound/display, but those aren't on the node boards) compared to older SS (where an entire replacement board from a small company will low run sizes costs $300)

#43 1 year ago

node boards are less than 200, your looking at msrp pricing.

#44 1 year ago
Quoted from inhomearcades:

node boards are less than 200, your looking at msrp pricing.

Curious, if I eventually buy a newer stern used, where would I locate a replacement if not from Marco and other regular retail outlets?

Will stern sell direct? If they do, I'm surprised they would undercut their distributers of parts.

#45 1 year ago

We've had issues with few of our games on route, but overall they've been rock solid.

LED lights used to illuminate the backbox on WWE CPU board went dark within a week. Stern replaced the CPU, solved.

Node board fried on KISS when a coil used by one of the pops shorted internally. That's not supposed to kill the board, but it did. Stern replaced the coil and node board, solved.

We've been very happy with Stern's support - Chas is awesome!

#46 1 year ago

I'm concerned with all the spike node board failures I am hearing about, especially with GOTLE on location. I have many SAM games on location, and the only significant failure I have ever had with the boards is a transistor change for the flippers. That's it!

From my standpoint, SAM is WAY more reliable. I hope the node board bugs get ironed out with possible revisions to make them more robust...

#47 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballkyle:

I'm concerned with all the spike node board failures I am hearing about, especially with GOTLE on location. I have many SAM games on location, and the only significant failure I have ever had with the boards is a transistor change for the flippers. That's it!
From my standpoint, SAM is WAY more reliable. I hope the node board bugs get ironed out with possible revisions to make them more robust...

My guess is they are still working out the kinks of the new system. What was SAM like on the first few games that were released under it? I bet it wasn't perfect.

#48 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

My guess is they are still working out the kinks of the new system. What was SAM like on the first few games that were released under it? I bet it wasn't perfect.

They are. As these continue to fail and Stern can look into what happened they will continually revise the boards and they will become even more reliable.

#49 1 year ago
Quoted from Slim64:

Curious, if I eventually buy a newer stern used, where would I locate a replacement if not from Marco and other regular retail outlets?
Will stern sell direct? If they do, I'm surprised they would undercut their distributers of parts.

They do not sell direct but your distributor will be able to sell them to you or work with the exchange program Stern offers them on boards. You on the other hand can send me a text if your in a bind.

#50 1 year ago
Quoted from inhomearcades:

Actually I disagree. From a design standpoint this system provides for endless combination or switches and coils, reduces heat a ton, makes it very easy for novices to replace and swap node boards, and as they continue to develop this system diagnostic abilities will increase.

As long as Stern keeps replacing the failing node boards for free until they figure out (and maybe tell us) why they are failing. I know it's a small percentage, but it's a consistent small percentage.

Rob

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