(Topic ID: 316910)

Issues with nib Sterns lately

By WeirPinball

61 days ago


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  • 50 posts
  • 39 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 56 days ago by sanctumwear
  • Topic is favorited by 9 Pinsiders

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    #1 61 days ago

    I know there has been an issue with tight glass channels, but I've noticed a few other problems with some recent games.

    Menu buttons - have to really mash them to register and some times they will jump 2 spots because of it, sometimes nothing - 2 games already.

    Sticky flipper buttons - had this on the left side of two games when the flipper button doesn't seem smooth, sticking quite a bit.

    Anyone else have these or other issues lately? Wonder if they changed suppliers and getting some crappy parts in?

    #2 61 days ago
    Quoted from WeirPinball:

    I know there has been an issue with tight glass channels, but I've noticed a few other problems with some recent games.
    Menu buttons - have to really mash them to register and some times they will jump 2 spots because of it, sometimes nothing - 2 games already.
    Sticky flipper buttons - had this on the left side of two games when the flipper button doesn't seem smooth, sticking quite a bit.
    Anyone else have these or other issues lately? Wonder if they changed suppliers and getting some crappy parts in?

    Our menu buttons are not the best. I know of a couple of others that have this issue as well. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

    #3 61 days ago

    It’s been that way for a while. Every batch has issues. It usually centers around when they change vendors.

    #4 61 days ago

    Second in the menu buttons. Mine are shit for last 3 games. Resorted to swapping them to change settings.

    #5 61 days ago

    I have the same issue with the menu buttons. Very annoying. Hopefully an easy fix in the future.

    #6 61 days ago

    And to think... $9K!! LMAO

    #7 61 days ago
    Quoted from Cobray:

    And to think... $9K!! LMAO

    But is it really any different than buying a new $30k car and dealing with finicky electronics or design issues?

    12
    #8 61 days ago

    Dude you can’t start a cargument in post #7. Way too early.

    #9 61 days ago

    The sticky flipper buttons are the button wearing will probably pop out soon put an e-clip on the end will be fine after that

    #10 61 days ago

    Yup - menu buttons are crap. Either register multiple presses or nothing at all.

    #11 61 days ago

    Same here on all counts. Glass is tight but nothing crazy, doesn’t really bother me. Kind of like it actually

    #12 61 days ago
    Quoted from WeirPinball:

    Menu buttons - have to really mash them to register and some times they will jump 2 spots because of it, sometimes nothing - 2 games already.

    Thought it was only me. Had no issues with my Rush Pro, but with GZ, I have to press extremely hard on them. Is there any way to replace them?

    #13 61 days ago
    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    Dude you can’t start a cargument in post #7. Way too early.

    I’m too impatient.

    #14 61 days ago
    Quoted from NEW-B:

    But is it really any different than buying a new $30k car and dealing with finicky electronics or design issues?

    Yes, because you can take your car to the dealership with a full 3/36 or better warranty. Tow it there even on their dime. Trying to get ANYONE to fix this $9k Machine where it sits besides me is impossible with very rare exception.

    #15 61 days ago
    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    Second in the menu buttons. Mine are shit for last 3 games. Resorted to swapping them to change settings.

    what did you change them to/with? my Mando buttons are completely unresponsive. if i can even get into settings, the back button has no effect at all, to the point where i have to power cycle the machine to get out of settings.

    #16 60 days ago

    Menu buttons are shit, and the factory flipper coil stops break in a couple weeks out on location.

    #17 60 days ago

    I’ve got 6 sterns on the floor. I swap the assembly, 2 screws and a connector. Whenever I need to change something I plug in the one good button assembly. PITA.

    #18 60 days ago

    I concur on the shitty menu buttons! Our new Avengers Premium has them!

    #19 60 days ago

    My Godzilla has a filthy shooter rod and it's sticky in the housing, doesn't pull back or release smoothly at all. It's not that it's tough to fix, but it's bewildering how dirty it is. It doesn't seem new.

    #20 60 days ago

    Tight glass, subpar menu buttons, subpar flipper buttons.

    #21 60 days ago

    +1 for shit service buttons on my Rush premium. You have to push them so hard to register. I requested a new one because my back button stopped working altogether. The new one is almost as bad. Hopefully it's a lousy batch of parts and not the new normal. The game itself plays great... after i dropped over $150 on Ninjacamp mods haha.

    #22 60 days ago

    I've seen on multiple machines non responsive setting buttons, sticking flipper buttons needing sanding to fix, poor fitting lockdown bars that have damaged the cabinet, missing cash box clips, and light sockets that flicker like crazy under the flipper ball guides. These are the most common I've experienced.

    #23 60 days ago

    Check your corner brackets inside the cabinet. I had to really tighten the 2 in the back under the head on Mando.

    #24 60 days ago

    Sticky buttons here.

    #25 60 days ago
    Quoted from Knxwledge:

    Menu buttons are shit, and the factory flipper coil stops break in a couple weeks out on location.

    Same here

    #26 60 days ago

    Just wait till you guys realize they're using second rate electronic components in their boards due to the supply shortages. Any games produced in the past 12 months could have some odd reliability issues.

    #27 60 days ago

    In fairness we have had more problems with GNRLE

    #28 60 days ago
    Quoted from crujones4life:

    Tight glass, subpar menu buttons, subpar flipper buttons.

    Tighter glass sounds helpful, as long as it’s not *too* tight. Spares shaker users from installing rattle-resist tape on the edges of the glass.

    #29 60 days ago
    Quoted from HighVoltage:

    My Godzilla has a filthy shooter rod and it's sticky in the housing, doesn't pull back or release smoothly at all. It's not that it's tough to fix, but it's bewildering how dirty it is. It doesn't seem new.

    It probably has an oil coating to prevent rust and was never cleaned.

    Rob

    #30 60 days ago

    Super tight glass here

    #31 60 days ago

    How has no one mentioned the biggest problem?
    The damn high prices we pay to have these problems.

    #32 60 days ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    Just wait till you guys realize they're using second rate electronic components in their boards due to the supply shortages. Any games produced in the past 12 months could have some odd reliability issues.

    giphy.gif
    #33 60 days ago

    Played a few new Sterns recently and also noticed sticky flipper buttons - didn't get a chance to figure anything out, as weren't my games.

    Guessing they are coming out of the moulds with edges or something.

    #34 60 days ago

    Yup sticky flipper buttons on last two games, had to sand down edge from the mold.

    One had decent menu buttons, the previous bad as well.

    Tight glass which I like for the shaker as well. Not so tight that I can’t get the glass off by hand.

    #35 60 days ago

    All of this talk about tight and sticky.

    E5553E57-A1CE-49E5-88DF-88E5D5161C77 (resized).jpeg
    #36 60 days ago

    Never will buy a nib Stern again here. Ghosted on a replacement playfield. 2 years.

    #37 60 days ago

    The menu buttons on my new GZ are crap. Wrote to Stern, and they said to go through my dist. I pulled the buttons out of my Deadpool, and they worked perfectly. So just a bad set of buttons that need to be replaced.

    My flipper buttons are a minor bit sticky, but I'll just sand them down to fix it. No big deal.

    My shooter rod was also WAY out of alignment. So that took a few minutes to fix.

    Overall, it was exactly the little issues I sort of expect out of a NIB game.

    #38 60 days ago

    Noticed the sticky flipper buttons too on brand new out of the box Avengers IQ and Godzilla. Did not see this described on Pinside yet, so here are some more details and pictures.

    *** Warning, OCD ahead ***

    When you press the flipper button in, you can sometimes feel it binding or "scraping" against the button housing. Sometimes the flipper will stay in the up position for a second, then the button "pops" out. My first reaction was to switch the machine off and check the flipper mech. But the button housing is the problem here.

    godzilla2 (resized).jpg
    godzilla1 (resized).jpg
    aiq (resized).jpg

    You can easily tell if this is the issue by pressing the flipper button in and rotating it with your fingers. If you feel any "scraping", there's your problem.

    This is not even a new thing. My Ghostbusters and Star Trek had the same issue, with a slight variation. And this time, it was after a couple of months of play and a lot of slap saves, I guess. The stamped "3" was what caused the binding.

    ghostbuster1 (resized).jpg
    ghostbuster2 (resized).jpg

    The solution is to simply take the button apart and file off the binding part (inside edge of the button housing or the stamped "3"). Don't take too much off, or the button will not stay in the housing anymore. Had to replace mine on ST.

    #39 60 days ago

    That’s very interesting and sad at the same time.

    #40 60 days ago

    For everyone with the bad service buttons: Once you're in the menu, the flipper buttons and Start also act as the arrow buttons and Enter. Much easier to work through the menus that way. (You still need to use the service Back button for that function.)

    11
    #41 60 days ago

    For everyone with bad service buttons:

    Three screws (ground strap, and two tiny black metal screws).

    Take the unit off, unplug. (Plug is on tighter than you think, but it pulls off).

    Use two small flatblade screwdrivers on the clips of the back side, gently pry the green circuit board up a little without deforming the black plastic clips.

    Lift the green circuit board up a tiny bit at the connector end by prying with one of your screwdrivers, then insert your screwdriver to the side of the wedge at the end furthest from the connector. Pry the whole circuit board forward until the end clears the black wedge ramp at the end of the circuit board.

    Continue to gently work the circuit board upward over the various black plastic clips with the screwdrivers and you'll get the green circuit board out.

    Then the four buttons (Green, Red, Red, Black) will fall onto the floor. Pick them up. Hehe.

    The circuit board has a translucent button rubber on top of it, gently pull this off, pulling the tiny pegs of translucent rubber out of the circuit board.

    Clean the circuit board metal contacts that were under the buttons with 99% alcohol. Don't leave any lint or residue on the circuit board when you are done wiping it off.

    Place the translucent button rubber piece back on the board, aligning the tiny rubber pegs. One by one, gently pull the pegs through the board until it the translucent button rubber rests flat on the circuit board.

    I plugged the board back into the game at this point, and was amazed at how well the translucent button and green circuit board worked. I didn't have to clean the black surface of the inside of the translucent button cover with alcohol, but if you didn't get good results, now is a good time to pull it apart and clean the circuit board and maybe the black pads again with 99% alcohol.

    After verifying that the button circuit board was working perfectly, I unplugged it from the pinball, and it was just a matter of loading the colored plastic buttons (Green, Red, Red, Black) back in the holder and popping the circuit board into the holder.

    Plug the button unit back in. Put the assembled button unit back on the front door with the screws.

    You now have perfectly working buttons.

    #42 60 days ago

    Thx, surprisingly that worked in about 10 minutes. I was skeptical since it was a problem since day 1. Must have had dust in the air at the factory that day.

    No reason to take the ground strap off.

    #43 60 days ago

    Godzilla premium and Led Zeppelin premium both had extreme warped playfields out of the box.
    Stern approved populated playfields for both right away but after waiting a year for Zeppelin with no replacement, my distro just swapped both games for new ones. He still hasn't received either playfield.

    Those are the only real issues I've ever had with NIB Stern games and I've bought plenty. Just weird they were back to back purchases with the same problem.

    #44 60 days ago
    Quoted from NEW-B:

    But is it really any different than buying a new $30k car and dealing with finicky electronics or design issues?

    It is when it is a part that has been in every game for decades...

    #45 59 days ago
    Quoted from pinfarmer:

    It is when it is a part that has been in every game for decades...

    But it isn’t the same part, it’s a cheaper one. If you pop open the door of a SAM game (depending on when built), you see 4 switches on a metal plate with soldered wires. Do the same thing in a current game and you find a circuit board with membrane buttons snapped into a plastic bracket. Reduced cost and vastly reduced assembly time.

    I haven’t looked through all my games to this detail, but I assume they changed fabrication houses and ended up with a bad batch that have some contamination on the boards.

    This is the normal continuum where you cheapen a part until it cannot function at the base standard, and then you go up a tiny bit and start building right above the failure point.

    #46 59 days ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    But it isn’t the same part, it’s a cheaper one. If you pop open the door of a SAM game (depending on when built), you see 4 switches on a metal plate with soldered wires. Do the same thing in a current game and you find a circuit board with membrane buttons snapped into a plastic bracket. Reduced cost and vastly reduced assembly time.
    I haven’t looked through all my games to this detail, but I assume they changed fabrication houses and ended up with a bad batch that have some contamination on the boards.
    This is the normal continuum where you cheapen a part until it cannot function at the base standard, and then you go up a tiny bit and start building right above the failure point.

    Stern switched to those “membrane” style service buttons somewhere in 2017. My GB already has those. But they work flawless.

    #47 59 days ago
    Quoted from Midway-Man:

    Stern switched to those “membrane” style service buttons somewhere in 2017. My GB already has those. But they work flawless.

    I've also had several games with them. Even my AC/DC Vault has them, and I've never had a single issue with them until GZ. And then I looked around and lots of people are complaining about them in the latest runs. They simply have a bad batch of them, and come to find out Stern doesn't even test if a game can go into the menus when they finish assembling it... Because there is no way that isn't noticed if someone had gone into the menu.

    It's a standard QC issue. Bad set of parts that were not checked before installation, and the final product was not checked before shipping them to customers.

    #48 59 days ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    I've also had several games with them. Even my AC/DC Vault has them, and I've never had a single issue with them until GZ. And then I looked around and lots of people are complaining about them in the latest runs. They simply have a bad batch of them, and come to find out Stern doesn't even test if a game can go into the menus when they finish assembling it... Because there is no way that isn't noticed if someone had gone into the menu.
    It's a standard QC issue. Bad set of parts that were not checked before installation, and the final product was not checked before shipping them to customers.

    Stern is just passing the buck onto their customers, who will end up doing the repairs for them.

    #49 59 days ago
    Quoted from PinRetail:

    For everyone with bad service buttons:
    Clean the circuit board metal contacts that were under the buttons with 99% alcohol. Don't leave any lint or residue on the circuit board when you are done wiping it off.

    Thanks a ton, this worked for mine. It's not quite 100% after reassembling (I think the membrane didn't go quite flat back in place for the right-arrow button), but much better than it was.

    There was a noticeable film of dust on the circuit board before cleaning it - guess there must have been a dusty week at the factory in April.

    #50 56 days ago
    Quoted from PinRetail:

    For everyone with bad service buttons:
    Three screws (ground strap, and two tiny black metal screws).
    Take the unit off, unplug. (Plug is on tighter than you think, but it pulls off).
    Use two small flatblade screwdrivers on the clips of the back side, gently pry the green circuit board up a little without deforming the black plastic clips.
    Lift the green circuit board up a tiny bit at the connector end by prying with one of your screwdrivers, then insert your screwdriver to the side of the wedge at the end furthest from the connector. Pry the whole circuit board forward until the end clears the black wedge ramp at the end of the circuit board.
    Continue to gently work the circuit board upward over the various black plastic clips with the screwdrivers and you'll get the green circuit board out.
    Then the four buttons (Green, Red, Red, Black) will fall onto the floor. Pick them up. Hehe.
    The circuit board has a translucent button rubber on top of it, gently pull this off, pulling the tiny pegs of translucent rubber out of the circuit board.
    Clean the circuit board metal contacts that were under the buttons with 99% alcohol. Don't leave any lint or residue on the circuit board when you are done wiping it off.
    Place the translucent button rubber piece back on the board, aligning the tiny rubber pegs. One by one, gently pull the pegs through the board until it the translucent button rubber rests flat on the circuit board.
    I plugged the board back into the game at this point, and was amazed at how well the translucent button and green circuit board worked. I didn't have to clean the black surface of the inside of the translucent button cover with alcohol, but if you didn't get good results, now is a good time to pull it apart and clean the circuit board and maybe the black pads again with 99% alcohol.
    After verifying that the button circuit board was working perfectly, I unplugged it from the pinball, and it was just a matter of loading the colored plastic buttons (Green, Red, Red, Black) back in the holder and popping the circuit board into the holder.
    Plug the button unit back in. Put the assembled button unit back on the front door with the screws.
    You now have perfectly working buttons.

    Thanks for the tip, did this today to fix my GZ and AIQ.

    Good news is my DP prem built a few weeks ago is money, pf glass, flipper and sevice buttons are all smooth.

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