Holy node board Batman, GB, Aerosmith, Star Wars - Service Bulletins

(Topic ID: 203690)

Holy node board Batman, GB, Aerosmith, Star Wars - Service Bulletins


By NeilMcRae

1 year ago



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  • 108 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by Joe_Blasi
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There are 259 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 6.
#51 1 year ago
Quoted from paul_8788:

So what would your expectation be? That Stern ships out hundreds (thousands?) of node boards, pays for all the shipping back and forth, just in case someone may have an issue at some point in the future? Makes no business/monetary sense.
As far as I know, Stern is already replacing boards for free that have failed because of these issues, now they seem to have discovered why there have been failures and have a simple preventative fix that requires someone to lift their playfield and spend 5-10 minutes (less time than people probably spend installing the average mod) and people still bitch.

Sounds like they discovered issues in the field that they didn't find in their testing. Shit happens. As anyone who has any experience in producing hardware or software for mass consumption knows, shit happens all the time.

Amen to this. A lot of the bashing that Stern gets on here is mostly deserved, but in this case it is not, they are doing the right thing here......

#52 1 year ago
Quoted from paul_8788:

So what would your expectation be? That Stern ships out hundreds (thousands?) of node boards, pays for all the shipping back and forth, just in case someone may have an issue at some point in the future? Makes no business/monetary sense.
As far as I know, Stern is already replacing boards for free that have failed because of these issues, now they seem to have discovered why there have been failures and have a simple preventative fix that requires someone to lift their playfield and spend 5-10 minutes (less time than people probably spend installing the average mod) and people still bitch.

Sounds like they discovered issues in the field that they didn't find in their testing. Shit happens. As anyone who has any experience in producing hardware or software for mass consumption knows, shit happens all the time.

Well sounds like Stern's quality and value proposition is right for you -enjoy the games! No bitching here just pointing out the reality as I see it...and you're right shit happens and happens and happens and happens...

12
#53 1 year ago

I am pretty happy Stern is creating bulletins like this. Service bulletins have come out for games for a very long time.

These are two pretty minor fixes compared to some of the Williams ones I've seen.

-1
#54 1 year ago

#55 1 year ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

Amen to this. A lot of the bashing that Stern gets on here is mostly deserved, but in this case it is not, they are doing the right thing here......

I agree, Kudos to Stern for creating the bulletin.

The only suggestion I'd add is that Batman66 owners filled out a form with name address, serial number, etc. The same kind of info people send to various companies when registering a product they bought. Not sure if Star wars or Aerosmith owners had a similar option.

When a bulletin that affects their game is released, Stern should contact current owners and let them know about it.

#56 1 year ago

So if you have one of these machines do you contact stern for the parts? How does the process work?

#57 1 year ago
Quoted from flipordie:

So if you have one of these machines do you contact stern for the parts? How does the process work?

1 800 KICKERS is the stern technical support line.

#58 1 year ago
Quoted from flipordie:

So if you have one of these machines do you contact stern for the parts? How does the process work?

I just called my distributor and asked them to order them for me. I only ordered one kit of each for each machine, so I'm hoping there are two sets in each kit. I'm thinking there is probably only one now so I may be ordering more later.

#59 1 year ago
Quoted from paul_8788:

So what would your expectation be? That Stern ships out hundreds (thousands?) of node boards, pays for all the shipping back and forth, just in case someone may have an issue at some point in the future?

In the automotive industry we call that a recall. Not the consumers fault that Stern screwed the pooch. You can apply the same rule for baby car seats, cribs, xbox one ring of death etc...

#60 1 year ago
Quoted from flashinstinct:

In the automotive industry we call that a recall. Not the consumers fault that Stern screwed the pooch. You can apply the same rule for baby car seats, cribs, xbox one ring of death etc...

Weak cargument. No, in the automotive industry it's actually called a technical service bulletin (TSBs). Lots of changes and improvements such as parts, updates, procedures, revisions, etc., and all at the cost of the owner when past warranty. Recalls are only for dangerous issues.

#61 1 year ago

I don't get all the drama. I just popped the hood my my SWLE and ASPro and they both need the stabilization kit and already have the capacitors installed. Patrick at Stern is already working on getting me the 2 kits. Sure, I would have preferred to get an email from Stern, but it's not really a big deal since anyone purchasing NIB pins really should be plugged into this community.

snaroff

#62 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballplusMN:

This is somewhat on topic. I do home service. For now im not doing any work on the newer spike systems regardless of issue even a flipper adjustment. Not sure if other service people feel the same.
If I fix a small issue and a week later a node board fails the customer is going to expect me to fix it. Heck it may cost 500 or more to fix if its several nodes that are bad due to a flawed design.
I just had a client want me to help him update his game. He tried himself and a node failed in the process. Its just not worth the aggravation.
Until things straighten out I will stick with what im comfortable with. I know other techs that are considering this also.

I dont blame you for not working on Spike games.
Our Stern distributor did a code update on thier sited SW pro. Fried a node board, game was off site for 4 weeks .

#63 1 year ago
Quoted from dzoomer:

Weak cargument. No, in the automotive industry it's actually called a technical service bulletin (TSBs). Lots of changes and improvements such as parts, updates, procedures, revisions, etc., and all at the cost of the owner when past warranty. Recalls are only for dangerous issues.

However you look at it other companies do part exchanges all the time and fix their mistakes within warranty periods. It's just good business.

#64 1 year ago
Quoted from flashinstinct:

However you look at it other companies do part exchanges all the time and fix their mistakes within warranty periods. It's just good business.

And so does Stern. People have reported getting cost free parts from Stern outside of warranty for years here, and often not the original owner.

To use your cargument, try doing that with a TSB for a car; it never happens for free with a vehicle outside of warranty.

#65 1 year ago
Quoted from flashinstinct:

In the automotive industry we call that a recall. Not the consumers fault that Stern screwed the pooch. You can apply the same rule for baby car seats, cribs, xbox one ring of death etc...

Quoted from flashinstinct:

However you look at it other companies do part exchanges all the time and fix their mistakes. It's just good business.

AFAIK, Stern has been replacing node boards that DO actually fail for free, and now have this kit. MS did not replace Xbox 360s that "may" fail with a red ring of death, only ones that did, and extended their warranty to cover future failures. At no point did MS offer to send out a new Xbox 360 if you sent the old one in, so not sure how this applies.

Also, the baby seat and cargument is just silly. No ones node board failing is going to risk the health of a baby, unless someone gets mad about it and kicks their kid. If the node board failure had the potential to harm human life then I would agree that Stern should be proactively swapping.

11
#67 1 year ago

I still think Stern should issue schematics so that people have a chance of fixing these boards.

#68 1 year ago

All manufacturers of will find some flaws in their designs after awhile. How often do you hear about an automotive recall? My last three truck have had some sort of recall, from a possible defective set of tires (who hoo! Free new tires!) to a possible leaky master cylinder. My current truck blew an oil seal in one of its turbo’s on the second day I had it...nothing quite like going back to the dealer after it looked like your new, less than 150-mile on the clock, truck had nuked it’s engine.

Stern announcing this and providing the kits is a positive thing, but now the question is if this “fix” is adequate or if it’s just a band-aid. Time will tell.

Hopefully they get the Spike system polished up before they start rolling the new Elvira’s down the line...

#69 1 year ago

So many drama queens here, sheesh. Install your fixes and go play some damn pinball! GTFOH

#70 1 year ago

I already had the caps on my Ghostbusters Pro I went ahead and did Hot Melt glue in between that tto package diode and the adjacent transistor, it stiffened it up like a board

#71 1 year ago

For me it’s positive that stern have released this info at least we can try and avoid failures. But I think having these complex boards attached to the play field is probably not such a good idea.

#72 1 year ago

There isn't a WPC (or SAM) game I haven't been able to fix in the field with a 24 hour turn around.

Our only NIB pin (SW) was down for a week with a node board 10 failure. Then 2 weeks for a replacement playfield. That game has been out of commission longer than our entire inventory combined.

The BIG difference is SAM and WPC are serviceable. One day node boards might be...but until we get schematics...everything is just a guess

Quoted from pintechev:

Thankfully all of the WPC games are perfect with no board issues ever!

#73 1 year ago

I definitely think its a positive as well but i hope we see revisions in the next board and a way for Stern to make them universal for all their games going forward on this system. And to clarify, i dont expect Stern to change all the boards but if the ones currently in games flake out it would be a nice gesture of stern to replace them within a decent time period until they iron out the flaws. While tiedowns look flaky...if they get the job done for these board set versions then so be it...better have a tiedown and no fried node boards...

#74 1 year ago
Quoted from flashinstinct:

I definitely think its a positive as well but i hope we see revisions in the next board and a way for Stern to make them universal for all their games going forward on this system.

It sure would be nice to see universal node boards come in, should save Stern money and hassle and make owners feel more secure about future board availability.

Quoted from flashinstinct:

And to clarify, i dont expect Stern to change all the boards but if the ones currently in games flake out it would be a nice gesture of stern to replace them within a decent time period until they iron out the flaws.

This seems to be exactly what Stern is doing. I don't think there have been any reports of people being turned down for node board replacement -- as I read it, the few people that have ordered replacement boards through Marco did that on their own without first asking Stern for warranty service. It's encouraging that at least so far they're providing appropriate support for node board failures.

#75 1 year ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

It sure would be nice to see universal node boards come in, should save Stern money and hassle and make owners feel more secure about future board availability.

This is exactly how Stern sold the concept of Spike in the first place. We are 3+ years in and don't see anything close to universal node boards. Right now you need boards by game and just hope they work ok in a different title if you need to do so. For most ops and home users Spike is a totally unfulfilled promise that hasn't helped anyone but Stern.

#76 1 year ago
Quoted from Potatoloco:

Yes, and you also left out.......
"While I'm glad the pin is up running again.......Only proved pins via 3rd party from here on out."
I own only Stern pins at the moment. I like the themes Stern puts out. I enjoy playing a lot of their pins. I don't really see how it's negative to essentially say I want to spend thousands of dollars on only pins that are proven to have a solid code that I will find enjoyable?
I'm not implying anything. I made a clear statement. I'm literally stating why I won't be buying NIB pins and you quoted it word for word. So what exactly is the issue here?

If that's the case, then why bother posting in here and stating you are done with new production Stern? If I were to be the third owner of anything do you think the manufacturer would care? Do you think their focus is the third guy down the line? Is the third owner making the manufacturer any more money?

I bet if I were to look at your posting history, you'd have a great deal of posts in stern bashing threads.

My point is, if you don't have something to contribute then why feed the fires of hate on Pinside? I have nothing against you and wish you well. I just get tired of all the BS and complaining that goes on. Really, a manufacturer posts notice of improvement and it turns into "I'm done" mentality for some people. Maybe I should take a break from Pinside or something.

Bad attitudes, quick judgments, negative community, public bashing and roasting festivities have driven more people away from pinball than pinball quality has. Be supportive and enjoy pinball, embrace improvement, submit corrective suggestions to manufacturers and dont fan flames! Lol

#77 1 year ago

When we had node board 10 fail on SW..the only other game that used it was BM66. One of the few Spikes we didn't own

Quoted from jfh:

This is exactly how Stern sold the concept of Spike in the first place. We are 3+ years in and don't see anything close to universal node boards. Right now you need boards by game and just hope they work ok in a different title if you need to do so. For most ops and home users Spike is a totally unfulfilled promise that hasn't helped anyone but Stern.

#78 1 year ago

Stern is doing the right thing. They found an issue and are addressing it, providing free and simple fixes. This is what a manufacturer should do. I am not a fan of spike games for many reasons, but I don’t see how this is anything but positive for them.

#79 1 year ago

We are the solution and the problem! Carry on....

#80 1 year ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

It sure would be nice to see universal node boards come in, should save Stern money and hassle and make owners feel more secure about future board availability.

The bulletins mention node boards 8 and 9 for Batman66, Aerosmith, Star Wars, and Ghostbusters so i assumed that they were the same for all those machines.

Are nodes board 8 and 9 unique for each of these games?

#81 1 year ago

Excuse my ignorance but why not node boards 7 or 6 or ?

#82 1 year ago

I just answered my own question. I looked at marco and node board 8 and 9 have the same part number, 520-7017-72, so they are identical boards. It appears to just be a generic driver board for switches so shouldnt be game specific.

Other node boards like the ones with insert LED's are game specific because they need to have lights mounted to match the location of the inserts. Some node boards like the one for the mini LCD in Batman66 are game specific because some games like GOTG don't have a mini playfield LCD.

#83 1 year ago
Quoted from docquest:

I just answered my own question. I looked at marco and node board 8 and 9 have the same part number, 520-7017-72, so they are identical boards. It appears to just be a generic driver board for switches so shouldnt be game specific.
Other node boards like the ones with insert LED's are game specific because they need to have lights mounted to match the location of the inserts. Some node boards like the one for the mini LCD in Batman66 are game specific because some games like GOTG don't have a mini playfield LCD.

Good research!

#85 1 year ago

I see this “Notice: The latest models will already have a cable tie and/or spacer installed on nodes 8 and 9. Service is only necessary if your game is missing these adjustments on either node board.”

Does anyone know when the “latest” model started being built?

#86 1 year ago
Quoted from Bud:

Any "new" system or "upgrade" is going to have its bugs and fixes/improvements, you should have known this when you bought it. Stop complaining.
Complaint without solution is bitching. If you don't have a solution then you might just be a....

Spiderman Home Eddition
Wrestelmania
Kiss
GOT
GB
Batman 66
AS
Star Wars

Finally "corrected" with GOTG.

How many games do they need to make before Spike is not given a pass on bugs due to "being new"?

I love Stern games (just look at my collection and history) but even I am fed up. I voted with my wallet though. Had budget for NIB and wanted a GB, AS, or Star Wars but after the node issues on my GOT along with their diverter fix not to mention the corners they keep cutting I bought a used X-Men instead and avoided the NIB lottery. Still got my Stern fix but I won't support them by buying new anymore until things change.

Why post then right? I just feel this is another band aide fix IMHO. I can't imagine this fix is going to resolve the problem long term but rather just have them fail later. They should also extend the warranty if these boards to provide more consumer confidence.

#87 1 year ago
Quoted from 85vett:

Spiderman Home Eddition
Wrestelmania
Kiss
GOT
GB
Batman 66
AS
Star Wars
Finally "corrected" with GOTG.
How many games do they need to make before Spike is not given a pass on bugs due to "being new"?
I love Stern games (just look at my collection and history) but even I am fed up. I voted with my wallet though. Had budget for NIB and wanted a GB, AS, or Star Wars but after the node issues on my GOT along with their diverter fix not to mention the corners they keep cutting I bought a used X-Men instead and avoided the NIB lottery. Still got my Stern fix but I won't support them by buying new anymore until things change.

You forgot Whoa Nellie and Can Crusher.

#88 1 year ago
Quoted from jyeakley:

I see this “Notice: The latest models will already have a cable tie and/or spacer installed on nodes 8 and 9. Service is only necessary if your game is missing these adjustments on either node board.”
Does anyone know when the “latest” model started being built?

Yup the update is in Guardians. Both node boards under the playfield have the update.

IMG_5239 (resized).JPG

#89 1 year ago

My Star Wars premium had the updates done too from the factory (shipped Oct 2017 / Canada)

#90 1 year ago
Quoted from mittens:

My Star Wars premium had the updates done too from the factory (shipped Oct 2017 / Canada)

E-mailed Stern at parts.service@sternpinball.com yesterday and requested the two fixes by number, as described in the service bulletin. Got an email this morning that they are being sent out. I'd say good customer service on Stern's part. Didn't cost me a thing.

#91 1 year ago

To Simplify and have some tracking we created an order form so we can get these boards on the way to our customers!

So if you ordered your game from Game Exchange (GEX) and need kits just fill out this super easy online form and will get the order into Stern.
https://goo.gl/forms/DcTv1AurGB34IVm13

Thanks,

JJ

#92 1 year ago

Emailed Stern and they're sending me the kits for my GB, glad I saw this before I installed my shaker motor.

#93 1 year ago
Quoted from manadams:

Emailed Stern and

What email address did you use?

#94 1 year ago

Some people are using hot glue instead of the spacer kit. I presume this would void any future warranty coverage?

#95 1 year ago

I need to get one of these "Node Stabilization Kits" (i.e. zip tie + plastic spacer) just so I can put it next to my "Clearcoat Repair Kit" (i.e. Nail Polish + crappy paint brush).

#96 1 year ago

Think i should request and install this kit for my GOT PRO that has been trouble free for 2 years? They don't have GOT listed on their tech doc nor have i had any issues *knock on wood* - so thinking i may be the unicorn in the clear?

#97 1 year ago

Why is KISS not on the list as well?

I think Stern should list all the game specific boards on their website so we can buy them if we need them.

I get the feeling a fair few people may buy spares for the cheaper, smaller boards.

#99 1 year ago

Several of my customers have asked if their machine needed the kits.
As far as I know you have to physically look to see if your game has either of the fixes applied. Based on this thread it appears that some games have one or both already. Pictures of what to look for are available on Sterns site under the support bulletin

Larry@flipnoutpinball.com

#100 1 year ago
Quoted from docquest:

I just answered my own question. I looked at marco and node board 8 and 9 have the same part number, 520-7017-72, so they are identical boards. It appears to just be a generic driver board for switches so shouldnt be game specific.
Other node boards like the ones with insert LED's are game specific because they need to have lights mounted to match the location of the inserts. Some node boards like the one for the mini LCD in Batman66 are game specific because some games like GOTG don't have a mini playfield LCD.

Thanks for researching this. I had the impression from other threads that the Spike node boards were all game-specific, but that's not the case. I pulled the node board tables for Aerosmith, SW and GOTG Pro just to do a quick comparison:

AEROSMITH:
Aerosmith

STAR WARS:
Star Wars

GOTG:
GOTG

So for common node boards, we've got:

  • Spike CPU (Node 0): same for GOTG & SW, different for Aerosmith
  • Cabinet Node (Node 1): same for all
  • Playfield 48V Core-Driver Node (Nodes 8 & 9): same for all
  • Trough Serial Opto Receiver Ext. (Node 8a): same for all
  • Serial Motor Driver Board (Node 8e): same for GOTG & Aerosmith, not used in SW

Most of the game-specific node boards appear to be LED-related (Nodes 8b-x and 9a-x), presumably supporting the unique insert layout on each game that could not reasonably be made generic among games.

There then appear to be some other game-specific node boards, e.g. SW's "SPI Only Node" (520-6876-72). I cannot judge whether those could reasonably be made generic.

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