(Topic ID: 232957)

Node Boards- Update- Stern tech fixes issue via email


By shacklersrevenge

5 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 744 posts
  • 148 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 days ago by russdx
  • Topic is favorited by 25 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 52 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

F5E1D36C-CEB9-481B-AD58-33AD125B6F31 (resized).jpeg
rejoice (resized).png
Node8FrontLowerLeftQuadrant.jpg
Node8FrontUpperRightQuadrant.jpg
Node8FrontLowerRightQuadrant.jpg
Node8FrontUpperLeftQuadrant.jpg
Node8Back.jpg
Node8FrontLowerRightQuadrant (resized).jpg
Node8FrontUpperRightQuadrant (resized).jpg
0ABE9ED9-0EDB-4F67-9D92-D0CCA45732E7 (resized).png
pasted_image (resized).png
F7C3826F-5544-418C-B4D0-9564AAAF8868 (resized).png
stern warranty (resized).PNG
Screenshot_20190202-110400_Samsung Internet (resized).jpg
Screenshot_20190202-110235_Samsung Internet (resized).jpg
7D99B3D7-4F52-4953-955F-3F30AD1729CC (resized).jpeg

There are 744 posts in this topic. You are on page 13 of 15.
#601 4 months ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Who says they cant be fixed..... I have an AMAZING friend that can do extremely intricate surface mount. Seen him replace those 60/80 pin surface mount ICs on Sam flawlessly...

Ditto^^ Don't know why people think that. Other than proprietary code being a possible issue, they just use off the shelf parts that anyone can buy. If there's a BGA part somewhere on any of the boards, then that would be an issue too. No easy way to unsolder/resolder a BGA.

I haven't heard of Stern removing markings from some parts, are they? Some manufactures have been known to do that.

#602 4 months ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I don’t like the term “node board”
What else can we come up with?

I like I/O pcb

#603 4 months ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Who says they cant be fixed..... I have an AMAZING friend that can do extremely intricate surface mount. Seen him replace those 60/80 pin surface mount ICs on Sam flawlessly.
And if not I buy a node. Just not gonna sit there and worry about if and when its going to happen as Stern will make replacements.
Enjoy your games as its not going back to the old way of thinking. It is what it is.

Well, you have to know what’s wrong first before you can fix it. I just have a different philosophy than send it out to be fixed or just buy a replacement. I like to fix things and I’m not able to do that with these spike games right now. Personally, I’d rather be able to replace a fuse or resistor/transistor on the board and be done with it.

These are very different than typical consumer electronics. We all know it’s not if a machine will break down, it’s a matter of when. The day comes for all of us. When that day comes for a Sam, whitestar or BW board set, I am happy to fix it. When it comes for a spike game, we are at the mercy of stern to buy a new board.

You are lucky you have a friend who can help you, most of us don’t.

#604 4 months ago

Planned obsolescence in pinball control boards? ROFL.

There are a good number of these node board shutdowns that happen because someone puts mods in their games and exceeds the power budget for the item they connected the mod to. There are much more advanced ways of dealing with overcurrent these days than using a one-time-blown fuse. Spike 2 has opted to make use of those newer methods. I'd imagine they are still dialing in the firmware to surface all of these errors more effectively so the end user doesn't just think their node board failed.

The interchangeability of node boards isn't that hard either, and doesn't need a chart. Node boards 8 are interchangeable on any Spike system of the same generation (spike 1 vs spike 2), same with node 9. Node boards with a letter after them, like 8a, are light or feature boards specific to that game.

#605 4 months ago

Here’s a look at node 8 from GoT Pre (Spike 1)

DB137718-7EA9-48C7-8EA6-9B0B4F2707B8 (resized).jpegC762A23A-183F-461F-85DF-394CD407052F (resized).jpeg029F8905-1192-442E-9461-7A8A56232578 (resized).jpegDCAE4152-56E1-45AC-93B0-1A3E54E508F9 (resized).jpeg6961A0FF-36E7-4AE0-83FC-962152D1C24D (resized).jpeg15D98574-5ED9-47C6-90BA-52FC7A16DA74 (resized).jpeg
#606 4 months ago

This is node 9 for comparison, GoT Pre Spike 1

5ADE6C57-8113-4724-875C-A3DBD9EFF5AD (resized).jpeg27653F57-C5AB-47B4-9684-5A363A2EC800 (resized).jpegD84DAE10-D068-407F-9DF1-7CB7982623DA (resized).jpeg41D5C9DF-F700-4C90-B29A-54EC9D0AB3DC (resized).jpeg363E4F42-6D15-4ADD-B771-406B91429F01 (resized).jpeg7D99B3D7-4F52-4953-955F-3F30AD1729CC (resized).jpeg
#607 4 months ago

Nothing there is complicated. Its just knowing what that micro does so it can be emulated. Or lifting the firmware off it.

#608 4 months ago
Quoted from hoby1:

as Stern will make replacements.

You know this for certain?

#609 4 months ago
Quoted from russdx:

Nothing there is complicated. Its just knowing what that micro does so it can be emulated. Or lifting the firmware off it.

Knowing my limits, it would be a tough repair, but definitely not impossible for someone more skilled.

#610 4 months ago

So would everyone be OK buying "node insurance" to cover node board failure for 5 years, at say..$250??
...asking for a friend named Gary.

#611 4 months ago
Quoted from DNO:

So would everyone be OK buying "node insurance" to cover node board failure for 5 years, at say..$250??
...asking for a friend named Gary.

That's not a bad idea, especially for those w/o electronic experience. Including the CPU board too? $250 per game? That might get pricey then...

#612 4 months ago
Quoted from Luckydogg420:

This is node 9 for comparison

Can you include face on pictures of the TO-220 package transistors showing their markings?

The small "K2K" transistors Q15 - Q29 next to connector CN16 which are the light drivers are "2N7002K", SOT23 package, N-Channel MOSFETs.

#613 4 months ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I don’t like the term “node board”
What else can we come up with?

Paranoia PWB? Ticking Time Bomb PCB? LOL

#614 4 months ago
Quoted from Quench:

Can you include face on pictures of the TO-220 package transistors showing their markings?
The small "K2K" transistors Q15 - Q29 next to connector CN16 which are the light drivers are "2N7002K", SOT23 package, N-Channel MOSFETs.

I'll get to it later today hopefully, out with the family for a bit now.

#615 4 months ago
Quoted from Quench:

Can you include face on pictures of the TO-220 package transistors showing their markings?
The small "K2K" transistors Q15 - Q29 next to connector CN16 which are the light drivers are "2N7002K", SOT23 package, N-Channel MOSFETs.

Did you want better shots of the 16 pin chips, or the tiny k7k c3, guys right next to c16? I'll do my best, but just using a cell phone camera

Screenshot_20190202-110400_Samsung Internet (resized).jpgScreenshot_20190202-110235_Samsung Internet (resized).jpg
#616 4 months ago
Quoted from DNO:

So would everyone be OK buying "node insurance" to cover node board failure for 5 years, at say..$250??
...asking for a friend named Gary.

Node board warranty should be 5 years or 10000 plays to begin with, operators should expect the cpu/nodes to last enough plays to recoup their cost in the game. ($1/play)

Would I pay an additional $250 at the time of purchase to extend that time period out to 10 years or 20000 plays, Yes I would. I imagine a lit of people would, operators would for each game that bought if they new that it would have support for a decade.

Tha onus is on Stern. Dont they have enough faith in their product that it will last long enough for the game to earn a profit. Apparently not at this point. 6 months is a joke to stand behind your product.

#617 4 months ago
Quoted from Luckydogg420:

Did you want better shots of the 16 pin chips, or the tiny k7k c3, guys right next to c16? I'll do my best, but just using a cell phone camera

Nah that's ok, just need pics of the larger transistor part markings.
The 16 pin chips "74HCT594" and "74HCT165" are straight forward part numbers.
I presume the 74HCT594 are decoders (serial to parallel) which activate the light driver transistors at Q15-Q29 (K2K / 2N7002K)
74HCT165 might be used for the switch return inputs since they are parallel to serial converters.

#618 4 months ago
Quoted from Luckydogg420:

6 months is a joke to stand behind your product.

Where do you get 6 months? The Ghostbusters manual says 2 months for PCBs. And that is from when Stern ships to the Distributor:

stern warranty (resized).PNG
#619 4 months ago
Quoted from Quench:

Nah that's ok, just need pics of the larger transistor part markings.
The 16 pin chips "74HCT594" and "74HCT165" are straight forward part numbers.
I presume the 74HCT594 are decoders (serial to parallel) which activate the light driver transistors at Q15-Q29 (K2K / 2N7002K)
74HCT165 might be used for the switch return inputs since they are parallel to serial converters.

Yeah just basic shift registers easy way to control as many outputs/inputs as you want off just 3 data gpio lines from the micro. Great for chaining together.

The board just receives commands / sends switch data from the RJ45 bus then shifts the data out to the shift registers to set the relevant output drivers. The micro will contain the memory map and all the safety code so coils dont get locked on etc.... I doubt the micro is doing much so could probably just write your own version of the firmware if you new what commands it reads from the RJ45 bus / what it needs to send back (long as there is no nasty encryption)

#620 4 months ago
Quoted from DNO:

So would everyone be OK buying "node insurance" to cover node board failure for 5 years, at say..$250??
...asking for a friend named Gary.

To me, an additional $250 to extend the electronics warranty on a $5000+ game from 60 days to 5yrs is a no brainer.

Great idea! Tell your friend Gary I said so.

#621 4 months ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Planned obsolescence in pinball control boards? ROFL.
There are a good number of these node board shutdowns that happen because someone puts mods in their games and exceeds the power budget for the item they connected the mod to. There are much more advanced ways of dealing with overcurrent these days than using a one-time-blown fuse. Spike 2 has opted to make use of those newer methods. I'd imagine they are still dialing in the firmware to surface all of these errors more effectively so the end user doesn't just think their node board failed.
The interchangeability of node boards isn't that hard either, and doesn't need a chart. Node boards 8 are interchangeable on any Spike system of the same generation (spike 1 vs spike 2), same with node 9. Node boards with a letter after them, like 8a, are light or feature boards specific to that game.

I’m not convinced that this a cause. In some cases it may, but as a modder, I’ve never lost a node board because of power dra.

If the board senses a short, it shuts down. Clear the short, reboot the game and it’s good.

If it is the cause, then that is worse than the older board sets.

#622 4 months ago

The extended warranty is a really good idea. Only problem would be you would probably be required to have a qualified technician diagnose and install the new boards. Mods may also void this kind of warranty if drawing power from system.

#623 4 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

Well, you have to know what’s wrong first before you can fix it. I just have a different philosophy than send it out to be fixed or just buy a replacement. I like to fix things and I’m not able to do that with these spike games right now. Personally, I’d rather be able to replace a fuse or resistor/transistor on the board and be done with it.
These are very different than typical consumer electronics. We all know it’s not if a machine will break down, it’s a matter of when. The day comes for all of us. When that day comes for a Sam, whitestar or BW board set, I am happy to fix it. When it comes for a spike game, we are at the mercy of stern to buy a new board.
You are lucky you have a friend who can help you, most of us don’t.

I agree with you 100%on everything. I always did most of my own board repair too.

Thats was the past and nothing either of us say will change that. I felt the same way in the beginning if you look back on my posts from years ago.

Be it as it may nodes are here to stay. Just the way it is now.

#624 4 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

I’m not convinced that this a cause. In some cases it may, but as a modder, I’ve never lost a node board because of power dra.
If the board senses a short, it shuts down. Clear the short, reboot the game and it’s good.
If it is the cause, then that is worse than the older board sets.

At tech talk at PRGE last summer, Stern personnel specifically called this out as one of the causes.

#625 4 months ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

At tech talk at PRGE last summer, Stern personnel specifically called this out as one of the causes.

of course Stern would say that as they are not going to admit that there are design flaws in their own boards, otherwise imagine the massive recall / replacement program

Stern will never admit they have design issues

#626 4 months ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Be it as it may nodes are here to stay. Just the way it is now.

at Stern, but not necessarily at the other pinball manufacturers. We need to let the industry know we expect repairable pins!

#627 4 months ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

At tech talk at PRGE last summer, Stern personnel specifically called this out as one of the causes.

I don't believe anything stern says on this. Release the schematics and prove it. What exactly is failing because of mods? No way adding a few extra LEDs should blow a node board, that's horrible design.

#628 4 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

No way adding a few extra LEDs should blow a node board, that's horrible design.

Knowing mods are a part of the market they should be designing a power budget into the system and releasing the specs. The power budget should include some available for mods. Stern could even sell a splitter for the wiring harness.

#629 4 months ago

After talking to one of the top engineers at Stern for an extended period at PRGE, I'm not nearly as cynical as you guys are.

Not saying the node board architecture isn't less reliable than previous board sets though.

It would be interesting to know if they purposefully decided not to take into account possible modding or if it was just oversight.

#630 4 months ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

PinSide is a direct means to active discussion and often exposure to ongoing events, not a means to suppress ideas.

...

I encourage any private collector to whom is concerned to perform their own SPIKE detective work, which includes present availability of CPU and node boards for their personal games, costs, present available repairability, and determining what Stern will provide in terms of customer service, 5 years after their title is released directly to their distributors, not Stern Customer Service. These are types of things which require very little technical expertise and only a few phone calls. Once an owner receives answers, they can make their own conclusions. Also, it will provide a basic scope of understanding. Nobody likes surprises.
[quoted image]

I, for one, appreciate this topic and the discussion here on Pinside. Without it, I wouldn't even know that there were potential issues to explore. As someone who really likes Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast (Pro), seeing this thread and the Iron Maiden Issues thread is very helpful to develop my expectations on potentially owning one.

#631 4 months ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

It would be interesting to know if they purposefully decided not to take into account possible modding or if it was just oversight.

Stern does not want you modding their games.

So they certainly did not factor in any extra amperage into the power supplies.

-4
#632 4 months ago

Give me a break.. it's not as if mods add any real load to these boards. In 99% of cases they're a few watts at most. If they aren't built with that kind of tolerance then that's bad design pure and simple.

#633 4 months ago
Quoted from Durzel:

it's not as if mods add any real load to these boards. In 99% of cases they're a few watts at most.

You think a modder is less likely to make a design error than a professional electronics engineer?
I disagree.

#634 4 months ago
Quoted from Durzel:

Give me a break.. it's not as if mods add any real load to these boards.

It's not just the current draw, some LEDs have internal circuitry that causes a spike when powered on or off, you can see it on a scope.

Those "plasma discs" throw tons of noise onto the power rails, as can the EL panels

Stern is not going to test every silly mod that people are clopping on their games.

Just like your cellphone, if you root and and then brick it, Motorola is not going to cover it under warranty, lol

#635 4 months ago
Quoted from swinks:

of course Stern would say that as they are not going to admit that there are design flaws in their own boards, otherwise imagine the massive recall / replacement program
Stern will never admit they have design issues

https://sternpinball.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Stern-SB189.pdf

they have though... from a EU and UK POV that doc is enough for me to get free fixes for 6 years from day of delivery!

#636 4 months ago

Vid gets it.

Power budgets are an engineering best practice.

https://chrisgammell.com/what-is-a-power-budget/

Just because you can leech as much power as you want from other pin systems doesn't mean they were designed better.

#637 4 months ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Knowing mods are a part of the market they should be designing a power budget into the system and releasing the specs. The power budget should include some available for mods. Stern could even sell a splitter for the wiring harness.

Ditto above, but a side issue is people fat fingering around the underside of a PF. Most have seen the thread with people posting all the kludges they've found over the years. First place I look for a problem on my used pins is what did the previous owners dork up over the last 30 years.

Granted, if the mod is plug 'n play - less chance of problems.

#638 4 months ago
Quoted from Durzel:

Give me a break.. it's not as if mods add any real load to these boards. In 99% of cases they're a few watts at most. If they aren't built with that kind of tolerance then that's bad design pure and simple.

The designer sizes the parts and thermal path appropriately, based on the load requirements. It's not really your call to decide what is proper or not when hanging a 'few extra watts' on a node board. Sorry - don't mean to sound snippy, but it's the truth. Granted, if we had some specs, at least some simple calculations can provide a rough yes/no.

A transistor has what is called a 'Safe Operating Area (SOA for short). It describes the limits of the device over time. What a part can do for 1uS vs. 1 sec are vastly different. One of my designs normally would only draw about 30A, but the 'in-rush' currents were close to 800A for less than a 1uS. Guess what drove the MOSFET selection? It wasn't the 30A... So the point I'm trying to make is we don't have the insight of the original designer. A few watts may not sound like a lot to you, but there's a lot more to consider. Vid's comment about EMI was another good example.

#639 4 months ago

Maybe it's worthwhile to have another poll for node board failures in games with and without mods.

#640 4 months ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

https://sternpinball.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Stern-SB189.pdf
they have though... from a EU and UK POV that doc is enough for me to get free fixes for 6 years from day of delivery!

That service bulletin says that it’s for node 8 and node 9. Although the picture doesn’t look anything like the node 8 or 9 that I posted from my game of Thrones premium. Weird. Why call them same if they’re totally different, are the two interchangeable? Is one better?

F7C3826F-5544-418C-B4D0-9564AAAF8868 (resized).png
#641 4 months ago

Picked up a GoT Prem a month ago with 31,000 plays on it (was in a barcade but SUPER well maintained).
Never had a node board problem but now concerned these node/gremlin boards (Gremnode? Hahaha) will become an issue.
I’m willing to chip in money to any jumpstart that wants to recreate these node boards.

#642 4 months ago
Quoted from Luckydogg420:

That service bulletin says that it’s for node 8 and node 9. Although the picture doesn’t look anything like the node 8 or 9 that I posted from my game of Thrones premium. Weird. Why call them same if they’re totally different, are the two interchangeable? Is one better?

It could just be an example photo. When writing guides/tutorials/documentation, I have sometimes used a substitute example photo for one reason or another.

#643 4 months ago

When Spike was first announced I was excited about the low cost, easy maintenance, quick swap interchangeable node boards Stern seemed to be touting.

Now I’m wondering if it’s worth the stress to even consider buying another Spike 2 NIB game

(Perhaps a little extreme, but maybe not)

#644 4 months ago

I guess I need to buy a NIB Stern so I have some anxiety in the game, but so far my SAM boards in my FGy are going gangbusters. When I buy my next Stern NIB, notice I said “when” and not “if”, I will buy one each of the different SAD boards installed in it, test them, ensure they work 100%. Remove them, put them in a anti static bag and put them in the coin box. When one ever fails, pull it, replace it, repair the bad board. Rinse, repeat. Am I scared I can never repair a Stern? Not much at all, really, since I know how to repair high density SMD boards (as in I have done it as a job) but I am not your average HUO owner either. I can see how people who don’t know “Bad Boys Raced Our Young Girls Behind Victory Garden Walls, Get Started Now” could be intimidated by the thought of repairing their own machines.

#645 4 months ago
Quoted from Bublehead:

I guess I need to buy a NIB Stern so I have some anxiety in the game, but so far my SAM boards in my FGy are going gangbusters. When I buy my next Stern NIB, notice I said “when” and not “if”, I will buy one each of the different SAD boards installed in it, test them, ensure they work 100%. Remove them, put them in a anti static bag and put them in the coin box. When one ever fails, pull it, replace it, repair the bad board. Rinse, repeat. Am I scared I can never repair a Stern? Not much at all, really, since I know how to repair high density SMD boards (as in I have done it as a job) but I am not your average HUO owner either. I can see how people who don’t know “Bad Boys Raced Our Young Girls Behind Victory Garden Walls, Get Started Now” could be intimidated by the thought of repairing their own machines.

I see market prices trending down for used Spike 1/2 pins because of these perceived issues. I know I will be including the cost of replacement boards when deciding if I buy.

#646 4 months ago
Quoted from Bublehead:

When I buy my next Stern NIB, notice I said “when” and not “if”, I will buy one each of the different SAD boards installed in it, test them, ensure they work 100%.

Somebody quoted ~$2500 in replacement board costs if you wanted to get a backup for each on an average game... even IF this off by a lot and the real price is say ~$1800 due to some duplicate board designs... you really would just pay this and keep it sitting?

Go $tern on that one; you can get a halfway fun beater car for $1800, no way I would drop that much on some extra junk boards as "insurance" for a crappy design . Hell, I would feel put out just paying the tax on that purchase, but I am a cheapass (tax and shipping would be ~$300 to 400 $Canadian alone on that purchase...).

#647 4 months ago
Quoted from jawjaw:

The extended warranty is a really good idea. Only problem would be you would probably be required to have a qualified technician diagnose and install the new boards. Mods may also void this kind of warranty if drawing power from system.

How much power do Color DMD'S draw?

And subwoofers? Pinnovator kits?

#648 4 months ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

How much power do Color DMD'S draw?
And subwoofers? Pinnovator kits?

Ask those manufacturers. They should be able to tell you the exact draw of all their products.

#649 4 months ago

on spike 1 colordmd is running off the main power board and not through the spike boards.

#650 4 months ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

How much power do Color DMD'S draw?
And subwoofers? Pinnovator kits?

None of those run through node boards, do they?

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
Wanted
Machine - Wanted
Allentown, PA
$ 34.95
Playfield - Plastics
Hookedonpinball.com
$ 79.95
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Hookedonpinball.com
$ 7.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 7,499.00
Pinball Machine
Little Shop Of Games
$ 74.99
Playfield - Plastics
Pin Monk
$ 199.99
$ 5,799.00
Pinball Machine
Operation Pinball
$ 69.99
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 5,799.00
Pinball Machine
Little Shop Of Games
Trade
Machine - For Trade
Maryville, TN
$ 163.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
The MOD Couple
$ 69.99
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lighted Pinball Mods
From: $ 15.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Meph's Mods
$ 49.99
Lighting - Led
Comet Pinball
$ 24.00
Playfield - Other
Pin Monk
6,900 (OBO)
Machine - For Sale
Burrillville, RI
$ 22.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
ModFather Pinball Mods
€ 45.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
YOYOKOPTER MODS
$ 219.00
Wanted
Machine - Wanted
Pittsburgh, PA
$ 279.95
$ 114.00
Lighting - Backbox
The MOD Couple
Great pinball charity
Pinball Edu
There are 744 posts in this topic. You are on page 13 of 15.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside