(Topic ID: 215140)

Fixing mid-game Stern Spike reset issue


By vireland

1 year ago



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  • 24 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 63 days ago by vireland
  • Topic is favorited by 23 Pinsiders

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    rsp-500-48 (resized).jpg
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    #1 1 year ago

    WARNING SECTION
    ---------------------------------
    DO THIS FIX AT YOUR OWN RISK. IF ADDING A SINGLE MOD CAN KILL YOUR SPIKE MACHINE BECAUSE THE POWER BUDGET IS SO TIGHT AS GOMEZ SAYS, THEN YOU CAN DEFINITELY SCREW UP YOUR MACHINE IF YOU DON'T HEED THE WARNINGS IN THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

    If you aren't comfortable or capable of working in or around a live power-supply, DON'T DO THIS. You can get shocked if you do dumb things like stick metal tools into the power supply leads. And if you adjust, DO IT IN SMALL INCREMENTS, then test for a while. DO NOT EXCEED 48.5v!

    This tutorial was adjusted because you can't adjust the 5v line directly, so you have to bump up the 48v going out of the power supply a bit, which should in turn prevent the 5v logic line from dropping low when the power supply is under load.
    ---------------------------------

    Spike machines have a watchdog circuit that will cause the machine to reboot if the voltage drops below a certain level. It can affect all Spike machines through at least BM'66, maybe all of them. It usually happens when you're in a mode with a lot of action (lots of balls, coil hits, flashers, etc) that put too much load on the power supply output and cause it to drop momentarily low, which triggers the watchdog and resets the machine. You can fix this by bumping up the output from the power supply a bit (most tolerances are +/- 10%, but we won't be anywhere near that, I would stop at 48.5v max - 1% over spec). The watchdog circuit is on the 5v line, and that is split out from the 48v the CPU board is supplied, so to affect that 5v, you need to bump up the 48v output from the power supply.

    There is a potentiometer at the bottom of the power supply (see picture) you turn VERY SLIGHTLY clockwise with a plastic tool to increase the power output. It's best to get a baseline with a multimeter, then use alligator clips so you can watch the output as you turn the potentiometer to get it where you want it. It will not take much to stop it from dipping low under load - much less than half a volt. It's recommend only bumping it a tenth of a volt and see if that fixes your problem. If not, do another 0.1v increase and test again. It shouldn't take much to keep it stable even under load. Again, max of 48.5v, and that should stop your machine from dropping too low under load and resetting.

    voltage-pot-adjustment (resized).jpg

    Supposedly Stern has adjusted this watchdog circuit with software updates, but resets are still happening, so I don't know if it's not updated on all machines or if the software fix doesn't work well. The above change should help stop your resets.

    (I just checked Iron Maiden Pro and it was at 47.8v from the factory, so I bumped it up to an even 48v from the power supply)

    All done with this project? Here's a couple other guides I've made for newer Spike machines:

    Are LED lights popping out of your spotlights (Not just Spike!)? Make sure they never fall out again:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/fixing-led-bulbs-flashers-that-fall-out-of-spotlights#post-4402506

    Want to put a quieter fan in your noisy Spike power supply? I made a guide for that, too. It's here:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/replacing-stern-spike-noisy-ps-fans

    Is your Spike machine occasionally resetting during hectic play, torpedoing your high score runs? This guide to fixing it might be for you:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/fixing-stern-reboots-on-spike

    #2 1 year ago

    Good info thanks

    #3 1 year ago

    Cool!

    As we’ve discussed before, I’d heard you could do this, but I hadn’t tried it myself yet.

    If Stern made it common knowledge amongst their distributors, it could save them a heap of time with phone calls and returns.

    ** maybe consider changing the title to “fixing Stern Spike reset issue” or similar, so its easy to find in searches.

    rd

    #4 1 year ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    If you aren't comfortable or capable of working in or around a live power-supply, DON'T DO THIS. You can get shocked if you do dumb things like stick metal tools into the power supply leads.
    Spike machines have a watchdog circuit that will cause the machine to reboot if the voltage drops below a certain level. It can affect all Spike machines through at least BM'66, maybe all of them. It usually happens when you're in a mode with a lot of action (lots of balls, coil hits, flashers, etc) that put too much load on the power supply output and cause it to drop momentarily low, which triggers the watchdog and resets the machine. You can fix this by bumping up the output from the power supply a maximum of 10% over stated spec.
    There is a potentiometer at the bottom of the power supply (see picture) you turn VERY SLIGHTLY clockwise with a plastic tool to increase the power output. It's best to get a baseline with a multimeter, then use alligator clips so you can watch the output as you turn the potentiometer to get it where you want it. It will not take much to stop it from dipping low under load - much less than 1v. It's recommend only bumping it a couple tenths of a volt and see if that fixes your problem. If not, do another 0.2v increase and test again. It shouldn't take much to keep it stable even under load.

    Supposedly Stern has adjusted this watchdog circuit with software updates, but resets are still happening, so I don't know if it's not updated on all machines or if the software fix doesn't work well. The above change should help stop your resets.

    Turning a pot is fine but you cant randomly do it without properly measuring the logic 5 volt line. If you adjust too high without measuring by a multimeter you can cause damage.
    We do not recomend customers to make adjustments without being fully aware of the damage it may cause and even worse if the pot is damaged by putting pressure or adjusting with the incorrect tool or procedure.

    #5 1 year ago

    Eagerly awaiting your next thread:
    “Stern Spike system blew up and now Stern won’t replace my game!”

    Seriously though, this is likely already known by those who have the wherewithal to correct it.
    If this is news to you, I’m guessing it’s not something you should be messing with.
    (Ie: wait for a tech to come tweak it for you)

    Clearly Stern knows what this switch does and how easy it would be to advise all customers to tweak it, but they haven’t made it public knowledge. Why do you think that is?

    #6 1 year ago
    Quoted from Wakky:

    Turning a pot is fine but you cant randomly do it without properly measuring the logic 5 volt line. If you adjust too high without measuring by a multimeter you can cause damage.
    We do not recomend customers to make adjustments without being fully aware of the damage it may cause and even worse if the pot is damaged by putting pressure or adjusting with the incorrect tool or procedure.

    Pretty sure the instructions clearly say to use a multimeter with alligator clips to check the baseline at the start and then be able to get the reading in real time to see what you're doing. I expanded the warning section to be VERY CLEAR now, and changed the recommendation to adjust .1v at a time then test instead of .2v at a time and test to address your concern.

    It's not common knowledge. I got tired of the "my Spike machine reset mid-game" posts in random Spike game threads all over Pinside, so I made a single thread to address the problem and provide the solution. For all I know, some of these poor sods are shellshocked from GoT Prem and think the resets are "as designed".

    As long as you're here, can you confirm that the software for the watchdog circuit has been adjusted to make these momentary-drop resets less frequent, and if that's been adjusted on all Spike software or just some of them? Leaving this important information about potentially safer and easier alternate fixes to the watchdog circuit itself in software that have happened or will happen to rumor and speculation is not super-customer-friendly.

    #7 1 year ago
    Quoted from rotordave:

    Cool!
    As we’ve discussed before, I’d heard you could do this, but I hadn’t tried it myself yet.
    If Stern made it common knowledge amongst their distributors, it could save them a heap of time with phone calls and returns.
    ** maybe consider changing the title to “fixing Stern Spike reset issue” or similar, so its easy to find in searches.
    rd

    Renamed to something similar to what you recommended.

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from Chambahz:

    Clearly Stern knows what this switch does and how easy it would be to advise all customers to tweak it, but they haven’t made it public knowledge. Why do you think that is?

    It's not a switch, it's a potentiometer, which is esssentially an adjustable resistor. I would not recommend you try this fix.

    2 weeks later
    #9 1 year ago

    In a Ghostbusters, the power supply is only supplying 48V to the motherboard and other voltages are made on the motherboard from the 48V. The pot can be accessed externally on this power supply but only adjusts the 48V so won't have any effect on the 5V :-/

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from Crrispy:

    In a Ghostbusters, the power supply is only supplying 48V to the motherboard and other voltages are made on the motherboard from the 48V. The pot can be accessed externally on this power supply but only adjusts the 48V so won't have any effect on the 5V :-/

    I did the tutorial from memory (I hadn't done it since Ghostbusters) and originally had 48v, then someone was talking about the 5v logic line and I thought maybe I remembered it wrong, so I changed it to that. Today, I went and did a hands-on again with Iron Maiden pro to refresh my memory of the power distribution and adjusted the instructions so they match reality now!

    #11 1 year ago

    Hello,

    Finally, for information for other people landing in this post, I did the following:
    - factory reset
    - reload the 1.13 code from USB (which BTW did another factory reset at the end)

    And so far, mid-game resets have completely disappeared. So it was more a software problem than hardware, hopefully.

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from Crrispy:

    Hello,
    Finally, for information for other people landing in this post, I did the following:
    - factory reset
    - reload the 1.13 code from USB (which BTW did another factory reset at the end)
    And so far, mid-game resets have completely disappeared. So it was more a software problem than hardware, hopefully.

    Interesting.

    How long since you reset the code? (How many days of play?)
    Did you measure the output voltage of the power supply? In attract mode, is is a solid 48v, or a little low like 47.9 or 47.8?

    #13 1 year ago

    I had bought the game a few days before so I don't know when it was upgraded to 1.13. Seller told me they had no reset problems and I trust him.
    Measured the voltage to 48.1V, bumped it very slightly to 48.5 but it still resetted before the reset/reflash.
    We have played 4-5 sessions since the reset, around 30-40 plays I would say, and no problem. Previously I couldn't make 2-3 plays without reset.

    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from Crrispy:

    I had bought the game a few days before so I don't know when it was upgraded to 1.13. Seller told me they had no reset problems and I trust him.
    Measured the voltage to 48.1V, bumped it very slightly to 48.5 but it still resetted before the reset/reflash.
    We have played 4-5 sessions since the reset, around 30-40 plays I would say, and no problem. Previously I couldn't make 2-3 plays without reset.

    Thanks for following up. That's one more thing to try when people are having reset issues. I hadn't heard of anyone else using this as a solution for that until now. Good to know!

    1 year later
    #15 6 months ago

    I recently bought a single owner HUO Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast Premium which began resetting randomly once I got it home. Travel was secure with no hiccups & the game shoots perfectly, but at completely random intervals the machine reset back to a fresh 1 player game. It was being triggered by Trooper Multiball for a bit, but eventually started self-regulating for a little bit. It should be noted this has only been tested on Free Play. If you have 1-4 players on any ball, it can reset back to a new game where the next press of the flipper chooses a new song and begins a new game.

    Stern was extremely responsive in helping fix this, asking me to send my CPU & power supply in for a free replacement. They said "we've never even heard of this issue" so IDK how active they are in the support forums. Lovely help, except when I got the new supplies back, the problem still exists. Not as frequently, but it's still completely resetting back to a fresh start, no matter how many players/mode/etc.

    I'm not sure how to proceed here. I'm going to reach back out to Stern, but I wanted to see if anyone else had a problem with Iron Maiden, or any Stern games, resetting like this still.

    -Josh

    #16 6 months ago

    Stern should have had seperate power supplies for the +5 and +12 volts to the various boards. They should have just left the +48 for the coils only.

    #17 6 months ago
    Quoted from JMWRainwater:

    I recently bought a single owner HUO Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast Premium which began resetting randomly once I got it home. Travel was secure with no hiccups & the game shoots perfectly, but at completely random intervals the machine reset back to a fresh 1 player game. It was being triggered by Trooper Multiball for a bit, but eventually started self-regulating for a little bit. It should be noted this has only been tested on Free Play. If you have 1-4 players on any ball, it can reset back to a new game where the next press of the flipper chooses a new song and begins a new game.
    Stern was extremely responsive in helping fix this, asking me to send my CPU & power supply in for a free replacement. They said "we've never even heard of this issue" so IDK how active they are in the support forums. Lovely help, except when I got the new supplies back, the problem still exists. Not as frequently, but it's still completely resetting back to a fresh start, no matter how many players/mode/etc.
    I'm not sure how to proceed here. I'm going to reach back out to Stern, but I wanted to see if anyone else had a problem with Iron Maiden, or any Stern games, resetting like this still.
    -Josh

    Yeah, it's kind of a bad design for the power - cheap, big Stern surprise.

    When you say "randomly resets" do you mean the machine COMPLETELY REBOOTS (black screen, bootup process taking about 30-45 seconds) or you just end up at a new game with 0 score with no reboot process? This is an important difference.

    What does the output voltage measure from your power supply (going from the power supply to the power distribution board with the large black caps) when measured with a multimeter?

    3 months later
    #18 79 days ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    Pretty sure the instructions clearly say to use a multimeter with alligator clips to check the baseline at the start and then be able to get the reading in real time to see what you're doing. I expanded the warning section to be VERY CLEAR now, and changed the recommendation to adjust .1v at a time then test instead of .2v at a time and test to address your concern.
    It's not common knowledge. I got tired of the "my Spike machine reset mid-game" posts in random Spike game threads all over Pinside, so I made a single thread to address the problem and provide the solution. For all I know, some of these poor sods are shellshocked from GoT Prem and think the resets are "as designed".
    As long as you're here, can you confirm that the software for the watchdog circuit has been adjusted to make these momentary-drop resets less frequent, and if that's been adjusted on all Spike software or just some of them? Leaving this important information about potentially safer and easier alternate fixes to the watchdog circuit itself in software that have happened or will happen to rumor and speculation is not super-customer-friendly.

    Can you tell me exactly where to put my black lead and red lead in order to measure the 48v. It’s been along time. I see the pot on the power supply. I’m have GB reset issues during crazy multi balls. I want to bump it up a tenth as you suggested

    #19 79 days ago
    Quoted from Sebastian88:

    Can you tell me exactly where to put my black lead and red lead in order to measure the 48v. It’s been along time. I see the pot on the power supply. I’m have GB reset issues during crazy multi balls. I want to bump it up a tenth as you suggested

    Here's a drawing from the RSP-500-48 manual. You want the red lead on +V (any of 4-6) and the black lead on the -V(any of 1-3). At rest you should be reading at or fractionally above 48v.

    Is this in a very hot environment? This model starts to throttle at 122 degrees internally, starting with 90% power at 122 degrees and decreasing output until 0 at like 158 (off the top of my head). It should run between 95 and about 110 (the fan kicks on at 104).

    rsp-500-48 (resized).jpg

    #20 79 days ago

    Nope. All my pins are in my game room on first floor. 6 sterns. All new. GB is the only one that resets randomly deep into game when we came we saw multiball. Started with new code. I figured it was a drop in the 5v. Had this happen a longgggg time ago on wwf pinball. Wasn’t sure how to adjust the voltage on spike system. First I will see if 48v is what I’m getting from factory. The game is only a few months old. I really appreciate your help

    #21 79 days ago
    Quoted from Sebastian88:

    Nope. All my pins are in my game room on first floor. 6 sterns. All new. GB is the only one that resets randomly deep into game when we came we saw multiball. Started with new code. I figured it was a drop in the 5v. Had this happen a longgggg time ago on wwf pinball. Wasn’t sure how to adjust the voltage on spike system. First I will see if 48v is what I’m getting from factory. The game is only a few months old. I really appreciate your help

    If the 48V is fine, or if adjusting it up a smidge doesn't help, you could always secure the leads to the +/- and monitor it live while you play that multiball to see if the extra load drops the output in real time. It may be a defective power supply that only fails under strong load.

    #22 79 days ago

    Okay. Thanks my friend. You are a big help

    2 weeks later
    #23 63 days ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    If the 48V is fine, or if adjusting it up a smidge doesn't help, you could always secure the leads to the +/- and monitor it live while you play that multiball to see if the extra load drops the output in real time. It may be a defective power supply that only fails under strong load.

    Stern sent me a free power supply considering it was only a year old... wow. Sent back the one the game came with. FIXED. doEsnt reset under load. Thank god. Got deep into game, a lot of 6 ball multi balls/ no problem. So happy. Stern is alright. They didn’t have to do that I guess. The distributor sent them the purchase order/ that helped too. Thanks again

    #24 63 days ago
    Quoted from Sebastian88:

    Stern sent me a free power supply considering it was only a year old... wow. Sent back the one the game came with. FIXED. doEsnt reset under load. Thank god. Got deep into game, a lot of 6 ball multi balls/ no problem. So happy. Stern is alright. They didn’t have to do that I guess. The distributor sent them the purchase order/ that helped too. Thanks again

    Awesome. Stern tech support has done all right with us as well with problems and issues on pins we've bought NIB and 2nd. The only thing we didn't get any replacement for was an Iron Maiden with mild pooling (one of which later chipped). I wasn't super-happy about that, but on balance they're doing okay.

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