Node Boards- Update- Stern tech fixes issue via email

(Topic ID: 232957)

Node Boards- Update- Stern tech fixes issue via email


By shacklersrevenge

80 days ago



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  • 722 posts
  • 145 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 22 days ago by MrBally
  • Topic is favorited by 26 Pinsiders

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There are 722 posts in this topic. You are on page 15 of 15.
#701 43 days ago

If they keep any version of the node board style system I hope they at least make them generic so they can be swapped out game to game. No reason for them being game specific.

#702 43 days ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

So SPIKE is now going into 5 years' production for standard machines, and might be considered 7-8 years if you count "The Pins". Both timeframes have historic precedent as a complete run for a pinball platform. SAM was approx. 8 years. Whitestar about the same. B/W platforms generally went roughly 5 years or so from System 6/7 to System9 /11 to WPC to WPC 95 and so on.
When SPIKE was developed, LED bulbs were the "new" thing and since then we've seen widespread adoption of LCD/HD video, better sound, more complex light shows and feature integration... How much more overhead is available in SPIKE to drive now-common (or future) enhancements and innovations? After all, someone pointed out that PC_based platforms are driving most of Stern's most compelling competition. There must be a reason.
Anyone think Stern is readying the successor to SPIKE, and the long-delayed release of schematics signals its end of life ("We're done here so here you go, have fun...")? Perhaps Stern has something larger in the works. I mean they'd have to, right... but maybe it's more imminent than we think...?

Combine that with the talks about Stern games going online, I think Spike 3 will launch within two to three years. Hopefully they learned enough about what causes node board failures (design, updates, placement on the game, vibrations, etc...) to make the successor better. I'm going to be super bummed if Jaws comes out soon and I can't buy it because of FUD related to Spike.

#703 43 days ago

Yup, I guess Spike3 or whatever it will be called is coming.
're UK distributor there is only Electrocoin, but from I can gather, they are not interested in selling to Joe Public, so we get them from Pinball Heaven, who I believe have to pay Electrocoin a cut even tho they don't have a lot To do with the sale,knock on is well expensive pin prices in UK that, I guess Americans wouldn't believe or tolerate

#704 43 days ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

So SPIKE is now going into 5 years' production for standard machines, and might be considered 7-8 years if you count "The Pins". Both timeframes have historic precedent as a complete run for a pinball platform. SAM was approx. 8 years. Whitestar about the same. B/W platforms generally went roughly 5 years or so from System 6/7 to System9 /11 to WPC to WPC 95 and so on.

Whitestar was basically 10 years.. and should be counted as earlier as it was a derrivative of the DE platform.
SAM was 8.. and really only stopped because of the switch to the modular spike.
SPIKE has already gone through one major bump to support the LCDs in SPIKE2..
SPIKE2 is roughly 2.5yrs old

SPIKE is designed to be modular.. so in theory it should have longer legs than prior integrated systems as you just change out the driver, rather than the whole platform.

Sterns manuals have gone to shit for the last few years... so them not releasing diagrams also fits right into that mold too. Stern has a formula that had been carried over from the DE/Sega games with their manuals.. and around 2013 they just went to garbage.

#705 43 days ago

Hmm. I wasn't sure if SPIKE v. SPIKE2 are considered unique platforms to themselves, or simple revisions along the lines of Sys11/11a/b/c and so on.

I didn't realize Whitestar went that long. Wow! That's impressive. If it ain't broke don't fix it, eh?

#706 43 days ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

Hmm. I wasn't sure if SPIKE v. SPIKE2 are considered unique platforms to themselves, or simple revisions along the lines of Sys11/11a/b/c and so on.
I didn't realize Whitestar went that long. Wow! That's impressive. If it ain't broke don't fix it, eh?

The CPU node was the big change with SPIKE2 and it's not like the can't make newer node boards with the same V2 cpu.

#707 43 days ago
Quoted from Durzel:

I know of at least 2 official ones. Hard to say for sure since Stern have pulled the distributor page. I can't find it anywhere on their website anymore.
EDIT: I might be thinking of retailers. There's at least 3 retailers, and it seems Electrocoin appears to be the exclusive distributor in the UK, so perhaps the Aussie situation isn't unusual.

yep like here several agents or resellers like pinball heaven is for electrocoin the distrbutor

#708 43 days ago

Earlier platforms came in a time when embedded processing was still in its infancy and the performance increase of newer parts was huge. WPC machines were pretty much on the limit of what the cpu performance made possible. Just look at how you can slow down attract mode DMD playback on a WPC machine by hammering the flipper buttons ^^
Technology has advanced big time since then, look at what cheap ARM based CPUs in your phones can do now or even 10 years ago..
If I remember correctly the WPC Motorola CPU ran at 2MHz with a few kB RAM at its side.
Spike 1 runs on a 400MHz CPU with 64MB RAM, Spike 2 offers much more since it has to do video processing. Linux eats more of that than a dedicated low level framework has. But for a pinball game that mainly has to read switches, process through a game statemachine and send out a few commands to node board that do the simpler low level stuff, this is plenty. Unless Stern plans to do onboard 3D rendering there is no reason why Spike should be replaced anytime soon.

The main reason for others to go PC based is probably availability and ease of use. Building an embedded OS and especially the hardware it requires (or many in the case of a distributed system such as Spike) is an immense effort and requires well trained specialists. Using a readily available PROC takes all that out of the process. Even building a custom serially controlled driver/interface board with a USB interface from scratch is much less effort. Last but not least using a PC platform allows for easier and faster prototyping/testing since you can program on the same architecture that is going to run your code.

#709 43 days ago
Quoted from cynric:

Earlier platforms came in a time when embedded processing was still in its infancy and the performance increase of newer parts was huge. WPC machines were pretty much on the limit of what the cpu performance made possible

WPC used the 6809... which even in 1992 was 24 yrs old. It ran at a whopping 2Mhz. Williams themselves had been using the processor for a DECADE by the time they made WPC. And that's probably why they used it.. familiarity, price, and fast interrupt performance. Pinball wasn't bleeding edge of hardware anymore by the WPC era like arcades had been previously during the SS transition and heading into the arcade boom.

For comparison... intel had the 486 by this time.. doing 40MIPS. But pinball wasn't built to need to run high frequencies... it was built to do small things on demand quickly.

Now we shove all the hardware designs into software.. so we need more footprint.

#710 43 days ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

So SPIKE is now going into 5 years' production for standard machines, and might be considered 7-8 years if you count "The Pins". Both timeframes have historic precedent as a complete run for a pinball platform. SAM was approx. 8 years. Whitestar about the same. B/W platforms generally went roughly 5 years or so from System 6/7 to System9 /11 to WPC to WPC 95 and so on.
When SPIKE was developed, LED bulbs were the "new" thing and since then we've seen widespread adoption of LCD/HD video, better sound, more complex light shows and feature integration... How much more overhead is available in SPIKE to drive now-common (or future) enhancements and innovations? After all, someone pointed out that PC_based platforms are driving most of Stern's most compelling competition. There must be a reason.
Anyone think Stern is readying the successor to SPIKE, and the long-delayed release of schematics signals its end of life ("We're done here so here you go, have fun...")? Perhaps Stern has something larger in the works. I mean they'd have to, right... but maybe it's more imminent than we think...?

Maybe the next system will have the protections and brick-avoiding features that the pinheads in this thread are seeing as missing.

1 week later
#711 36 days ago

Close-ups of a failed Node 8. Shaker motor would not work. Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast (Premium/LE)

Node8Back.jpgNode8FrontLowerLeftQuadrant.jpgNode8FrontLowerRightQuadrant.jpgNode8FrontUpperLeftQuadrant.jpgNode8FrontUpperRightQuadrant.jpg
#712 35 days ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Close-ups of a failed Node 8. Shaker motor would not work. Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast (Premium/LE)
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

This one has an obvious programming port on the back, im pretty sure it says isp?

#713 35 days ago

Yup chalk another up here. Node 10. It’s causing the right orbit and subway lock optos to not work.

At first I noticed there was no blinking yellow LED on the board so wondered if the Ethernet cable was bad. Switched it out and no go.

A question to any savvy coders out there as I am definitely not one so excuse my ignorance: Does all the SPIKE system software run off the same framework or backbone and then the coders build on top of that for each game?

Reason I ask is that most of the boards gone from down this way seems to be after a code update from what I have been told (could be false info) I wondered if someone had updated something or fixed a bug in the framework that might cause failures across different games. BM66, GOTG, IMDN etc?

#714 34 days ago

If Stern did this, it is a rooky mistake, so, I don't think anyone would update a framework destined for all their existing machines and not test it in all their machines, that kind of “money savings” to cut testing time and costs is like aiming directly at your big toe and pulling the trigger...

1 week later
#715 25 days ago

schematics this week ?

#716 25 days ago
Quoted from Jim-Beam:

schematics this week ?

Two days!

The heavens will open, trumpets will sound and the seas will part.

rejoice (resized).png
#717 25 days ago
Quoted from Jim-Beam:

schematics this week ?

Ha, I'm laughing already. I think all we'll get from Stern is more promises.

#719 23 days ago

It's not schematics of every board or every incarnation of each board.

#720 23 days ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

It's not schematics of every board or every incarnation of each board.

No, but it’s more than what we had yesterday.

#721 23 days ago
Quoted from schudel5:

Two days!
The heavens will open, trumpets will sound and the seas will part.[quoted image]

As long as I'm not forced to eat two of Robin's Minstrels. LOL

#722 22 days ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

WPC used the 6809... which even in 1992 was 24 yrs old.

I think you're off by about ten years

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