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(Topic ID: 203690)

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

By NeilMcRae

2 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 262 posts
  • 109 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by fosaisu
  • Topic is favorited by 54 Pinsiders
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Post #88 The update is present in GOTG Posted by mnpinball (2 years ago)

Post #100 List & comparison of note boards in stern games Posted by fosaisu (2 years ago)

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#165 2 years ago
Quoted from hansj66:

I would seriously recommend people installing this anti vibration fix. A couple of days ago, node 8 on our SWLE died. One of the legs on the TO220 D9 diode had experienced som much vibration that it had broken broke off. I guess this resulted in a serious voltage spike on the input of the MP24943 regulator next to it, since the area around the VIN pin on this more or less exploded.
We are getting a new node board from Stern, but it is tempting to attempt to repair the node board by replacing the regulator ($3 on DigiKey). I guess this only makes sense if the regulator didn't let any voltage through to the output (if so, it may have fried other PCBs connected to the low voltage side of the node). Most of the components on the node board are run of the mill components, but the cortex M3 is a concern if it is damaged. Does anyone know if the firmware on this is loaded as a part of a normal software update and if it can be replaced with an unprogrammed LPC1313 ? Have anyone had any success fixing these boards ?

Are Stern actually applying this 'fix' from the factory?

From what I read it doesn't seem like it.

#171 2 years ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

My SW Prem had the two TO-220 devices zip tied together on the node boards, but without the spacer.

Surely the zip ties are there to hold the spacer in place (the thing that prevents the damage)??

#180 2 years ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

Lack of movement prevents the vibration damage, based upon what I've seen in this thread. My guess is the spacer helps prevent someone from bending the diode over to far & breaking a leg while tightening the zip tie. Like I said, there was no movement even without the spacer as it came this way from the factory, so it should be good....and if not I know who to call!

If I were you I'd either add a spacer or glue / epoxy. Whilst less than without the tie, a tie alone under tension without a spacer will vibrate quite a bit more than with a spacer acting as a dampener - which it will, whether that was Stern's reason for specifying it or not.

#223 2 years ago
Quoted from DNO:

Won't the glue or silicone make the components a pita to replace should one fail?
Those transistors are one of the few things possible to change, and maybe that's why Stern is using the ties and spacer.
I think I would prefer to have them secured with the recommended fix.

The primary concern is to stop them failing in the first place. With no fuses, and no documentation of any of these boards, damage to other components is quite likely, and being able to repair the board very unlikely.

4 months later
#257 2 years ago
Quoted from dnapac:

Stern seems to stand behind their product longer than 2 months (I know from experience). Just contact them and it’ll be taken care of. Frustrating to get a NIB that has problems, but stuff happens in shipping. Good luck. I’m sure Stern will treat you right.

But it's entirely at their discretion.

Also, that they haven't begun shipping revised boards in newly shipped machines is extraordinary. Zip ties / glue are now standard 'factory' spec?

As the above poster's experience tends to hint at, application of them or their efficacy is far from fool proof either, so there will still be ruined boards.

Exactly how cheap are the boards for them to choose to do this instead of a minor respin with more durable mounting / components? Or if they really wanted to push the boat out, some fuses. Almost certainly cheap enough to be a minute fraction of the (high) cost they charge for replacements.

Also, from what I've heard, the going price for a Spike 2 MPU board in Europe is €1200 ($1400). Retailers here must provide replacements due to consumer protection law. But Stern are adamant that warranty / guarantee replacements are non-transferrable, even in EU (where that's illegal). So if you sell your Spike/2 machine to someone, and parts fail, the reseller / distributor is then between a rock and a hard place, because they're obligated to provide replacements, but would then have to pay Stern an obscene price for a replacement.

In 3-5 years time when MPU boards and node boards begin failing en masse, what are people going to do? If your MPU and, say, half your node boards drop out on a Spike2 Pro, it's essentially going to be a write off and not worth replacing. It'd be cheaper to part it out and buy a new machine.

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