(Topic ID: 232957)

Node Boards- Update- Stern tech fixes issue via email


By shacklersrevenge

6 months ago



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#51 6 months ago
Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

SO finally got through to a guy named Chaz, and the exchange was polite.
I explained to him the issue, that it was ONE switch not working and how I troubleshot it, and I asked him if there was anything they could do.
Chaz: "'well...they're kind of designed a certain way that makes them very difficult to repair, not sure what we can do...maybe send it in, and we'll look at it...''
Me: Is there a way you can swap it out so there isn't a lot of down time?''
Chaz: "it's something you need to order from your distributorrrrrr, or parts supplierrrrrr, eeeeyah...I mean, we're goingggg to be offering the schematics for them soon, very sooooon, but they're not easy to repair..... but I mean, you can try....''
Me: So my game needs to be down for several weeks unless I spend $220 for a new one, that isn't really guaranteed to not fail like this one and it runs two of these things, which means the other one can or will fail eventually too probably, and there is no real way to repair it over ONE simple switch? I own 6 Stern machines and like what you guys do but this isn't really good work''
Chaz: Yeahhhh...well...I mean, that's really all we can do right now, not sure what else we can do...sorry you're having troubles (chuckles) but you'd have to buy a new board
...thanks for calling (chuckles a few times more) WTF?
Okay Stern, game on. I'll buy that new ridiculously overpriced board and keep the rest of money going forward and chuckle all the way to the bank! From now on, SAM or before works for me and I'll sing the song of your Stern node JUNK.
Adios boys!

Quoted from metallik:

Stern meets Apple? This is one of the most customer-unfriendly statements I've heard from any company in years. Sad that it actually came from a pinball company.

Even better, offer a "maybe" warranty so customers think they're covered... til they're not.
6 years without schematics is complete bullshit. I want a Maiden but I guess I will have to make do with location play til Stern sorts this out. Thanks for the reminder, Shackler.

He's tip-toeing around the fact that they're designed to fail. Built in redundancy. He will know as well as anyone that the boards are super cheap and Stern are price gouging horribly.

The laughter is likely nervous laughter.

He'd probably like to help, but can't. If he admits the blindingly obvious about the situation, he'll likely be sacked and won't get a reference.

Would you give up your job in a similar position, on principle?

Stern's bullshit isn't his fault. This is high level direction. The shareholders, Gomez, Gary etc.

Doesn't make it any less frustrating for the customers, though. Fortunately, I was warned off Spike early on, and took heed. SAM only for me.

#52 6 months ago
Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

SO finally got through to a guy named Chaz, and the exchange was polite.
I explained to him the issue, that it was ONE switch not working and how I troubleshot it, and I asked him if there was anything they could do.
Chaz: "'well...they're kind of designed a certain way that makes them very difficult to repair, not sure what we can do...maybe send it in, and we'll look at it...''
Me: Is there a way you can swap it out so there isn't a lot of down time?''
Chaz: "it's something you need to order from your distributorrrrrr, or parts supplierrrrrr, eeeeyah...I mean, we're goingggg to be offering the schematics for them soon, very sooooon, but they're not easy to repair..... but I mean, you can try....''
Me: So my game needs to be down for several weeks unless I spend $220 for a new one, that isn't really guaranteed to not fail like this one and it runs two of these things, which means the other one can or will fail eventually too probably, and there is no real way to repair it over ONE simple switch? I own 6 Stern machines and like what you guys do but this isn't really good work''
Chaz: Yeahhhh...well...I mean, that's really all we can do right now, not sure what else we can do...sorry you're having troubles (chuckles) but you'd have to buy a new board
...thanks for calling (chuckles a few times more) WTF?
Okay Stern, game on. I'll buy that new ridiculously overpriced board and keep the rest of money going forward and chuckle all the way to the bank! From now on, SAM or before works for me and I'll sing the song of your Stern node JUNK.
Adios boys!

This is really sad and unfortunate. I have three spike games and have always been leery of them. Have you tried going through your distributor, if you are the original owner?

#54 6 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

This is really sad and unfortunate. I have three spike games and have always been leery of them. Have you tried going through your distributor, if you are the original owner?

That is what I have done now, waiting on a response as I do know the guy at Betson New England. I am not the original owner, but it came from them and is in nice shape.
If this last resort is a no go, I'll have no choice but to plop down $219 for a new board for a design fault to get it propper again and then make a difficult decision to keep it and try to enjoy it with fingers crossed or just get rid of this and others I have. I don't know how these are considered commercial grade equipment built like matchsticks under the playfield.

Might sound drastic, but at these prices to essentially replace a bad switch? on top of everything else, I don't need to be bothered, and i'm one of the diehards and fans of their company.

#55 6 months ago
Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

Seems like someone needs to reengineer these nodes into a non surface mount board with regular components that can be changed out. They appear to be a modern version of the “Vidiot” board.

Not going to happen. Thru hole components are eol. The Microcontrollers never had a thru hole version.

#56 6 months ago

Spike games are like Russian roulette.

But, some of the games are just so fun to play, I will take the risk for now anyway.

For comparison, how easy are those huge boards in the remakes to repair?

No wonder 90's B/W games are so cherished - they will always be repairable.

#57 6 months ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

For comparison, how easy are those huge boards in the remakes to repair?
No wonder 90's B/W games are so cherished - they will always be repairable.

Same deal, surface mount

#58 6 months ago
Quoted from Zitt:

Not going to happen. Thru hole components are eol. The Microcontrollers never had a thru hole version.

This is absolutely true. I'm in the business of making electronic chip and thru-hole packages always cost more. And several packages have become obsolete over the years.

#59 6 months ago
Quoted from schudel5:

If you think a node board failure will keep the game from working, hope nobody finds out what happens if your SD card becomes corrupt. And, no, you cannot just go buy a new SD card and put the latest code on it. One reason why I clone the original SD card so at least I can get it up and running in a few hours.

Hmm...didn't know that. Mind elaborating a little bit as long as we don't derail the thread? What format is the SD card?

#60 6 months ago
Quoted from jgentry:

You call stern and they send you a new one.

Yeah? For how much $$$ ?

#61 6 months ago

If all the node boards were interchangeable I could almost accept the high price - the idea of stocking up on a couple of spare node boards for a quick and easy repair with no down time has got to have a value, especially for an operator/location. And if they were repairable, even better. That would be clever design.

But they’re not interchangeable, they’re not repairable and they’re ridiculously expensive. Stern still argue operators and location pinball are the most important segment of the market. With crap like this you wouldn’t know it.

When you’ve got no competition you don’t need to worry about improving the end user experience- you just try to maximize profit by reducing costs.

#62 6 months ago
Quoted from mollyspub:

Yeah? For how much $$$ ?

i think someone said $75 in another thread

#63 6 months ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

What format is the SD card?

Format is irrelevant. You don't format a card, then copy the data. You make an image of your existing card, then write that image to your back-up card. Every time you update, save an image wherever you back up your important data. Then you will always be able to use whatever software version you prefer.

Data doesn't get corrupted often for any one user. A good back-up process means you can be up an running in a few minutes. No back-up means you're waiting on someone to send you something.

#64 6 months ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Format is irrelevant. You don't format a card, then copy the data. You make an image of your existing card, then write that image to your back-up card. Every time you update, save an image wherever you back up your important data. Then you will always be able to use whatever software version you prefer.
Data doesn't get corrupted often for any one user. A good back-up process means you can be up an running in a few minutes. No back-up means you're waiting on someone to send you something.

I think the MUCH bigger issue here is that you should NOT need to backup a <3 year old game.

It is crazy that they have planned failure already and it is in a matter of years!!!

#65 6 months ago
Quoted from mollyspub:

Yeah? For how much $$$ ?

I paid nothing, in fact, I've never had to pay stern for any fix.

#66 6 months ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Hmm...didn't know that. Mind elaborating a little bit as long as we don't derail the thread? What format is the SD card?

Yeah it was just brought up to point out the little things that can cause the games to become inoperable. You can call up Stern and they probably will send you a new one like they've been doing with the node boards, but for how long.

I'm not sure of the format, but using HDD Raw Copy, essentially clones the original card including formatting.

#67 6 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I think the MUCH bigger issue here is that you should NOT need to backup a &lt;3 year old game.
It is crazy that they have planned failure already and it is in a matter of years!!!

Well that's kind of baked in to the tech being SD cards and is at least cheap. These aren't ROM chips and cards go bad (think of them as floppy disks). The board/hardware issues is a much larger issue.

#68 6 months ago

I'll repost this as it seems that nobody is bothering to read it. If you have SD card problems, it isn't that big of a deal:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/spike-sd-card-recovery-image-beta

#69 6 months ago

Can someone who is an electronics technician or EE like to explain why a node board is unrepairable? Being that I am an electronics tech/hardware/software engineer, I can tell you, everything electronic is repairable, the only question is, is it economical to do so? If the boards are an in house design, and built on contract for $25, then Stern can charge $219 for them to replace them, and not have to pay a tech to sit and repair them when they go bad, retest them, then ship them out. All those shipping costs to ship it back to china to repair it means they either fix it in house (a tech costs too much) or, throw it away and sell you a new one and pocket a nice chunk-o-change, or send you a new one free, their hit is only $25 plus shipping.

#70 6 months ago
Quoted from Bublehead:

Can someone who is an electronics technician or EE like to explain why a node board is unrepairable?

No schematics is the biggest thing it seems.
After that it just gets "harder" for most with surface mount. Not sure how readily available those components on the boards are though

#71 6 months ago
Quoted from cooked71:

If all the node boards were interchangeable I could almost accept the high price - the idea of stocking up on a couple of spare node boards for a quick and easy repair with no down time has got to have a value, especially for an operator/location. And if they were repairable, even better. That would be clever design.
But they’re not interchangeable, they’re not repairable and they’re ridiculously expensive. Stern still argue operators and location pinball are the most important segment of the market. With crap like this you wouldn’t know it.
When you’ve got no competition you don’t need to worry about improving the end user experience- you just try to maximize profit by reducing costs.

Check out the part numbers of most of the node boards. You will find the same CPU board and main node board on most Spike machines. Our distro keeps the main node board in stock and will have a replacement to you within one day.

Yes I agree the replacement parts are expensive. All the manufacturers of new pinball machines are using a similar system so the best way is for people to see if their boards can be repaired. Who keeps saying the boards are unrepairable? We have already repaired one ourselves and are about to send another one for repair. Any good Pinball tech can work out what is wrong with a Spike game the same as any 90s BW or SAM game.

#72 6 months ago
Quoted from pinballaddicted:

Our distro keeps the main node board in stock and will have a replacement to you within one day.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/gble-backbox-leds-not-working#post-4754155

Quoted from pinballaddicted:

Any good Pinball tech can work out what is wrong with a Spike game the same as any 90s BW or SAM game.

Really? So any good pinball tech can repair a node board easier than replacing a switch on this drop target? Just wanna make sure I'm hearing you correctly

#73 6 months ago
Quoted from Bublehead:

Can someone who is an electronics technician or EE like to explain why a node board is unrepairable? Being that I am an electronics tech/hardware/software engineer, I can tell you, everything electronic is repairable, the only question is, is it economical to do so? If the boards are an in house design, and built on contract for $25, then Stern can charge $219 for them to replace them, and not have to pay a tech to sit and repair them when they go bad, retest them, then ship them out. All those shipping costs to ship it back to china to repair it means they either fix it in house (a tech costs too much) or, throw it away and sell you a new one and pocket a nice chunk-o-change, or send you a new one free, their hit is only $25 plus shipping.

All the people saying the node boards are unrepairable have no real idea why. They believe what they read on Pinside!

I agree with you, the boards can be repaired if you have a good tech available to do the repair. It becomes about economics after that.

#74 6 months ago

That is me and it is a CPU board not a node board. I will keep everybody posted once I have a solution. Pinside is a great place to keep info on fixing machines. We have also repaired a transistor on a node board.

Anything else?

#75 6 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

No schematics is the biggest thing it seems.
After that it just gets "harder" for most with surface mount. Not sure how readily available those components on the boards are though

Microcontroller software is the BIGGEST problem. IF Stern were smart; they have the code encrypted on the uC so people cant dump the code.
Since we don't have schematics... we have no idea if this is a IO pin bad on the uC... or a bad transistor... or something else simple.

#76 6 months ago

Yes

Quoted from TheLaw:

Really? So any good pinball tech can repair a node board easier than replacing a switch on this drop target? Just wanna make sure I'm hearing you correctly

#77 6 months ago

Quoted from TheLaw:
Really? So any good pinball tech can repair a node board easier than replacing a switch on this drop target? Just wanna make sure I'm hearing you correctly

I am not saying that, there is plenty of good info already on the thread. Just like any good pinball tech cannot repair a SAM or BW board. They send the board to their "board guy". There are already "board guys" that can repair node boards.

#78 6 months ago

My first technician job after the Navy was repairing manufacturing defect fall out from surface mount pcb’s for radar detectors. Now mind you, the biggest drawback to SMD repair is having a nice stereo microscope to look through when doing the repair and a micro tipped, temp controlled, static grounded soldering iron. Without schematics, you look for burnt items, fried traces, and do a one for one component swap until you find the problem. This was how I have had to service some very old equipment in the past that had no schematics and you guessed at chip functionality, soldered in something that fits, turn it on and wait for smoke. When I say “fits”, I mean it fits the function of what that chip MIGHT do in the circuit, not just has the right number of legs.

Edit, caught up to the rest of the thread...

#79 6 months ago

The theory is that 'just replacing a board' is easier than the 'old way'. Except this only holds true if a) the are able to be fixed on the spot/quickly b) cheap.

The design is inherently flawed and is a perfect example of setting up a revenue stream as has been suggested. It IS most likely cheaper for them to mass produce those boards and install them on the assembly line because it requires less work on build. It does NOT translate to easy/cheap field fixes. It is the general direction of technology. It's only cheaper/easier for the manufacturers, it generally isn't easier/cheaper for the consumer.

The difficulty curve of working on micro boards goes up exponentially for the lay person, not impossible, just not normally practical or even cheap even if schematics do come out.

On the whole, this direction on something like a pinball machine is....less than optimal. It needs to be much more granular so that one thing doesn't disable the whole product or require something like this to repair.

#80 6 months ago
Quoted from Bublehead:

ithout schematics, you look for burnt items, fried traces, and do a one for one component swap until you find the problem. This was how I have had to service some very old equipment in the past that had no schematics

I always called this “shotgun repair” toy just follow the traces and replace everything that looks like it might be blown. As long as you can find part numbers. This will be a lot harder with SMD, but it’s possible to fix most anything

#81 6 months ago

Stern makes reliable electronics. The CPU boards and supplies aren't dying with any remarkable frequency, just the node boards are.

Mounted under the playfield they get hammered and with the components hanging there, it's not hard to imagine solder joints and headers fail.

I think mounting them with more cushioning would help.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/holy-node-board-batman-and-ghostbusters-and-aerosmith-and-star-wars

#82 6 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I think the MUCH bigger issue here is that you should NOT need to backup a < 3 year old game.

That's how computers work. If you're writing data it's sometimes going to be corrupted. Today's computers that run pinball machines run WAY more code than the machines of yesteryear and that's enabled some really great features.

Quoted from Whysnow:

It is crazy that they have planned failure already and it is in a matter of years!!!

Tech changes so fast today because ten years from now there will be components that are half the cost to manufacture and can do ten times the processing. Making the old stuff won't be profitable so no one will be doing it. Stern isn't responsible for Moore's Law. They have to live with the supply chain headaches just like the rest of the world.

#83 6 months ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Tech changes so fast today because ten years from now there will be components that are half the cost to manufacture and can do ten times the processing. Making the old stuff won't be profitable so no one will be doing it. Stern isn't responsible for Moore's Law. They have to live with the supply chain headaches just like the rest of the world.

This is true unfortunately, but they hopefully will at least try to control the costs for replacements on a product that is prone to breaking.

#84 6 months ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Format is irrelevant. You don't format a card, then copy the data. You make an image of your existing card, then write that image to your back-up card. Every time you update, save an image wherever you back up your important data. Then you will always be able to use whatever software version you prefer.
Data doesn't get corrupted often for any one user. A good back-up process means you can be up an running in a few minutes. No back-up means you're waiting on someone to send you something.

OK, got it - understand. Good to know. Thanks!

#85 6 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

It sucks. I like the node board concept As they are selling these things to more inexperienced newbies than ever and it’s the easiest way to “repair” games for people with little or no tech skills.
But get the price down or make them more serviceable.

They definitely must be both more affordable and more serviceable. Terrible design otherwise!

#86 6 months ago
Quoted from Neal_W:

Mounted under the playfield they get hammered and with the components hanging there, it's not hard to imagine solder joints and headers fail.

Unless the components are getting hot enough to melt their own solder ... then the SMT solder connections shouldn't be affected by the vibration.

Personally; I think that Stern has a design defect or two... or they are trying to update the FW on the node board which fails... leading to massive rejects on new code updates... or they are frying the components on the node board due to ESD or Coil EMF.

Given how cheap Stern has gotten... I wouldn't surprise me if the reason they have so many versions of the node boards is because several different engineers are trying to "fix" a bad design. I'm BETTING that stern did very little reliability studies with the existing boards... probably no "temperature" chamber checks.

We don't hold them accountable... so they aren't going to be accountable.

#87 6 months ago
Quoted from Bublehead:

My first technician job after the Navy was repairing manufacturing defect fall out from surface mount pcb’s for radar detectors. Now mind you, the biggest drawback to SMD repair is having a nice stereo microscope to look through when doing the repair and a micro tipped, temp controlled, static grounded soldering iron. Without schematics, you look for burnt items, fried traces, and do a one for one component swap until you find the problem. This was how I have had to service some very old equipment in the past that had no schematics and you guessed at chip functionality, soldered in something that fits, turn it on and wait for smoke. When I say “fits”, I mean it fits the function of what that chip MIGHT do in the circuit, not just has the right number of legs.
Edit, caught up to the rest of the thread...

One thing I do is to take detailed pictures of the boards before anything happens. And the bottom of the playfield and backbox from all kind kinds of angles. Those pics are more so for wires/nuts/bolts, etc. But for the boards I really try to zoom in on parts so I can see part numbers, RefDes numbers, maybe traces.

No doubt about it tho, a schematic sure would make life easier.

pasted_image (resized).png
#88 6 months ago
Quoted from Luckydogg420:

I always called this “shotgun repair” toy just follow the traces and replace everything that looks like it might be blown. As long as you can find part numbers. This will be a lot harder with SMD, but it’s possible to fix most anything

What I've done on some old & obscure games with no documentation is basically trace things out, follow the signal paths, and draw up my own diagrams. It's a pain, though.

With SMD boards, the process would be much more difficult and time consuming, but not impossible. Although the serial connections do make it significantly more challenging to figure out some of the I/O aspects of the boards.

Quoted from Neal_W:

it's not hard to imagine solder joints and headers fail.

That's only a portion of the issues, though. Most people are seeing spontaneous component failures.

I see no reason why this chronic issue has to continue.

I see no reason why schematics can't be released, especially since their release was already promised. It's not like anyone would even want to copy this faulty & failure-prone design anyway, if that's what they're worried about.

At this point, they should probably include a set of node boards in the goodie bag

16
#89 6 months ago

Reading this made me think of the press release stern made when Spike was launched, among other things it stated ‘Low-cost game modules are easy for any technician to replace and costly circuit board repair is eliminated’. Right....

#90 6 months ago

What’s the life span of a stern operating system? Could they already be planning the next cpu? If so, I could see them waiting to release schematics until they’re building different hardware. Keep the 3rd party repairs one generation behind.

Quoted from Zitt:

I wouldn't surprise me if the reason they have so many versions of the node boards is because several different engineers are trying to "fix" a bad design.

This guy gets it. There’s not many other logical reasons for so many revisions

#91 6 months ago
Quoted from Kkuoppamaki:

Reading this made me think of the press release stern made when Spike was launched, among other things it stated ‘Low-cost game modules are easy for any technician to replace and costly circuit board repair is eliminated’. Right....

But then they had the lightbulb moment where they realised that adding a 15-20x mark up to these cheap, disposable node and mpu board replacements would be quite profitable and ensure revenue streams on machines already sold for years to come. Routed examples sometimes running into the thousands.

#92 6 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

But then they had the lightbulb moment where they realised that adding a 15-20x mark up to these cheap, disposable node and mpu board replacements would be quite profitable and ensure revenue streams on machines already sold for years to come. Routed examples sometimes running into the thousands

Why make money selling a product when you can also sell a service?

#93 6 months ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

One thing I do is to take detailed pictures of the boards before anything happens. And the bottom of the playfield and backbox from all kind kinds of angles. Those pics are more so for wires/nuts/bolts, etc. But for the boards I really try to zoom in on parts so I can see part numbers, RefDes numbers, maybe traces.
No doubt about it tho, a schematic sure would make life easier.
[quoted image]

With that much info going on in that photo, I would have no problems repairing it. If a component stymies me, then I look at the components it is wired to and guess. But the biggest help is another working node board, which you can take test points off of and compare to your broke board... this usually will point you in a direction... right or wrong, it points you to a possible fault. What we need is info on what is failing. So the people saying they have fixed one should enlighten us to what was wrong and what they did to fix it. Now there is a good NODE board thread to start, instead of a twisted nipple rant thread about the fact THAT they are failing, we start one on the HOW, WHY, and WHAT on how to repair them.

But the point about vibration isolation is a good point. If you want to limit shock in the node boards, mount them on velco. Back at Grimes Aerospace, we used velcro to mount things and reduce shock and other vibrations using it. It gives a good hold but disipates the shock loads and other mechanical vibrational sources like shakers, sound system, solenoids, dropped cabinets, kicked cabinets, bar fights, spouse fights, furniture and fixtures thrown in anger, etc...

16
#94 6 months ago
Quoted from Bublehead:

Now there is a good NODE board thread to start, instead of a twisted nipple rant thread about the fact THAT they are failing, we start one on the HOW, WHY, and WHAT on how to repair them.

When you pay $5000 real dollars (give or take) for a box of wood with a metal ball inside and the schematics to their pos boards aren’t out 3+ years later, let’s see how much you feel like getting your nipples twisted.

#95 6 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

But then they had the lightbulb moment where they realised that adding a 15-20x mark up to these cheap, disposable node and mpu board replacements would be quite profitable and ensure revenue streams on machines already sold for years to come. Routed examples sometimes running into the thousands.

Quoted from Tomahawkjim:

Why make money selling a product when you can also sell a service?

Also a good way to potentially expose one's self to a class action lawsuit...

Profiting off a flaw/defect in your own product? That's probably not a good position to be in, especially if customers are getting irate about it.

#96 6 months ago

Which node board and which switch?

#97 6 months ago
Quoted from Bublehead:

With that much info going on in that photo, I would have no problems repairing it. If a component stymies me, then I look at the components it is wired to and guess.

Except that for many high density designs; you're now talking about a 4layer or maybe even 6layer board. Good luck ohming out an accurate schematic. I'd bet that Stern's Spike1/2 is a 4layer board at a minimum.

SMT drives costs down; and densities up... BGA components only work at 4layer designs... and these ARM based microcontroller systems are defiantly high density - doubt they are BGA systems ... yet... but it'll happen eventually.

A MOD I'm working on right now was just committed to OSHPark in their 4layer design... because it has to be small and high density. I hate moving from 2layer 8SOIC packages.... but it just wouldn't fit. Sadly; ATMEL isn't yet providing BGA packages for their Mega lines or I would have tried to do a BGA uC.

#98 6 months ago

Also the issue that there are many different Spike 1 and 2 boards and they are just not available to buy on the main pinball retailer sites.

Some are in stock, but many aren't and haven't been for ages.

#99 6 months ago
Quoted from Zitt:

Except that for many high density designs; you're now talking about a 4layer or maybe even 6layer board. Good luck ohming out an accurate schematic. I'd bet that Stern's Spike1/2 is a 4layer board at a minimum...

Looking at my pictures, and without seeing the backside, I would think this is a multilayer PWB. If it was just two, chances are there would be 0 ohm resistors scattered about to serve as jumpers to bridge across a trace blocking the path. Don't see any.

In my line of work...+10 layers has been about the norm for +3 decades. I even did a RF simulation on a 26 layer PWB once for a co-worker, to ensure the vias maintained a 50 ohm impedance. I've even seen buried parts INSIDE layers due to performance and density requirements.

At some point resistors will just be the resistive material deposited directly on the board. Not even a discrete part.

#100 6 months ago

You can repair them if you know how.
You need new tools for surface mount PCB,s.
Everyone is worried about new tech at first. Electronics is changing so quick.

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