(Topic ID: 232957)

Node Boards- Update- Stern tech fixes issue via email


By shacklersrevenge

9 months ago



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There are 744 posts in this topic. You are on page 7 of 15.
#301 8 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

You should be scared. The boards are not easily repairable and new boards range from $200-$1000. There is no guarantee of supply. We can only hope that a secondary market for boards develops. It is my understanding that most of the boards are not transferrable across games. Nobody is going to invest time to make a board for just one game. Stern needs to release schematics as a first step. Once we see that, fears may ease a little.
Time will tell, but right now the future is very unclear you are rolling the dice. It is really unfortunate how this is being handled as the games are a lot of fun.

I don't like hearing the cost of boards but what bothers me more is the statement of no longer being available. I just don't understand why Stern would let this happen. Possibly Homepin can step in and start producing these?

#302 8 months ago
Quoted from russdx:

what is the number on that little square chip? (looks like a microcontroller, 8 legs each side)

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#303 8 months ago

that indeed is a little microcontroller who knows what its doing / what firmware it has :/

#304 8 months ago
Quoted from russdx:

that indeed is a little microcontroller who knows what its doing / what firmware it has :/

The cpu board might load the firmware onto the node boards when an SD card is installed. That would explain why node boards would die during a code update.

#305 8 months ago

My NIB GB came DOA. CPU board turned out to be the culprit, but only was able to find that out after buying and replacing all the back box components.

More recently with GB I tried updating from the original code to 1.13 and nothing worked. Update failed immediately upon initializing. Tried over a dozen different memory sticks, various reccomended sizes, all brand new and properly formatted. In desperation I even swapped out all the back box components with new again but to no avail. Chaz ended up just sending me a new SD card with 1.13 pre-installed. I put it in, started it up, node boards updated and all was good.

I worry that when the next GB code drops I will have the same problem again.

Glad the OP was able to get there problems fixed. I know how frustrating and infuriating these Spike systems can be.

#306 8 months ago

I guess it comes down to expectations.

WPC games had schematics and as a result are still running 25+ years later.

I have a Stern Tron LE which being SAM is apparently more resilient. How much more resilient is up for debate. That said the ramps on it are unobtainium now, and it's "only" 7 years old.

Should I expect my Tron to have a serviceable life of <10 years? Is it unrealistic for me to expect it to have a similar lifespan to WPC games?

16
#307 8 months ago

My suggestion to people who are unhappy about this situation with no tech info or schematics available: Make yourself heard at Q&A panels at shows, festivals, etc. A lot of pinheads don't browse pinside for whatever reason, and we know that as a whole Stern tries it's best to ignore pinside. The more people hear about this issue in public events and see Stern try to dodge the question, the more pressure it puts on Stern to do the right thing, as Stern uses these sessions as PR to sell their product. I know I will be at TPF asking the question about schematics in a nice civil manner, maybe others can jump in as well. Squeeky wheel gets the grease......

#308 8 months ago

Not being funny but so long as people carry on buying their pins sight unseen (see Munsters) then it won't matter what's said.

As things stand now they have no incentive to really give out schematics, other than for PR reasons. They would make more money from a secondary revenue stream selling replacement boards than empowering owners to fix things themselves, or worse - giving third parties the opportunity to make and sell parts themselves.

I'd be happy if schematics came out for games that they considered to be no longer financially viable, but it doesn't seem like that's going to happen either.

#309 8 months ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

The more people hear about this issue

Well to that end I linked the other Spike games I could think of, to this topic. I might have missed a few. Wasn't WWE the first?

#310 8 months ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

Wasn't WWE the first?

Actually, The Pin (Transformers and Avengers) sold in Costco was the first. But WWE was the first commercial pinball machine using Spike.

Seems to me like Spike 2 has less issues than Spike 1. Maybe they learned some lessons???

#311 8 months ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

My suggestion to people who are unhappy about this situation with no tech info or schematics available: Make yourself heard at Q&amp;A panels at shows, festivals, etc. A lot of pinheads don't browse pinside for whatever reason, and we know that as a whole Stern tries it's best to ignore pinside. The more people hear about this issue in public events and see Stern try to dodge the question, the more pressure it puts on Stern to do the right thing, as Stern uses these sessions as PR to sell their product. I know I will be at TPF asking the question about schematics in a nice civil manner, maybe others can jump in as well. Squeeky wheel gets the grease......

I specifically asked GG about schematics during his seminar at Pintastic last year. Not sure if the seminars were recorded or not. His response was that they would be forthcoming soon, including online tutorials. I've since learned I wasn't the only person who asked that of him as it was asked a year earlier I think someone said. I'll believe it when I see it. Stern is well aware people want the info.

#312 8 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

I specifically asked GG about schematics during his seminar at Pintastic last year. Not sure if the seminars were recorded or not. His response was that they would be forthcoming soon, including online tutorials. I've since learned I wasn't the only person who asked that of him as it was asked a year earlier I think someone said. I'll believe it when I see it. Stern is well aware people want the info.

Yep, I knew you and others had, but we keep hounding them about it.........

#313 8 months ago

Really not a fan of the spike system. Bought 4 new games about 3 years ago to put on location. GB being the only spike game. To date it has cost me more to keep one spike game running than my other 14 pins combined. With the last repair being about $800 in boards that shit out with no rhyme or reason.

#314 8 months ago
Quoted from mollyspub:

I don't like hearing the cost of boards but what bothers me more is the statement of no longer being available. I just don't understand why Stern would let this happen. Possibly Homepin can step in and start producing these?

You can still purchase every spike game node board from Stern distros. There have been some boards that have been upgraded and superceeded. A very informed Pinsider created an awesome spreadsheet with all the board numbers, I do not have this right now. No cause for panic or alarm.

#315 8 months ago

I just passed on a service call for a Deadpool. Issue was ball not kicking out. Probably an easy fix but I don't want the prospect of future repairs which may involve obsolete parts and /or being a deer in the headlights on a home service call.I hate that feeling and rarely if ever experience it with older stuff. Anyone that does home service knows that once they touch a game they marry it in a sense I will be happy to change if I can have confidence in knowing how the games function as well as guaranteed support for parts etc for at least 10 years. So for now Im telling people that call for service on Spike that Im deferring for the time being until I have more knowledge and confidence in the operating system. Schematics being provided will be a step in the right direction.
I have received some flack for this from people that say Im not supporting Stern by making this decision. I don't dislike Stern and want to support them. In fact I feel the games produced are some of the greatest games ever built play wise. For now its just a business decision for me that may change later in the future. I hope it does. JR

#316 8 months ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

Egad! SM components are one thing... but I had no idea Spike Nodes were packed so dense!
So OK, serious question: just *how* is one supposed to remove something like, say, that small IC "U12" for example... with all those other sensitive components in the way? Do you just clear them all out and hope for the best?

Hot air station and tweezers. Flux and a stereo microscope make it easier.

On the main topic, there are two things needed before Spike boards are reasonably repairable;

1) Schematics and BOM list
2) Source for programmed chips

For #1, stern has said they will provide these. It's up to you if you believe it or not. I think it is likely that the Spike design was completely contracted out. Stern may not have the license to distribute the schematics. The negotiations for license would explain the desire to release, but the long delay in figuring it out. And really, schematics are not strictly required. It is possible to reverse engineer and repair as has been demonstrated (in this thread and my own personal experience).

For #2, the ARM micro controllers on the node boards have code pre-programmed before assembly. I talked to Pat back in Nov, he said the intention is to make these parts available to purchase. I was playing around with a dead board that another member sent me and ran into this wall when I figured out the ARM chip was dead. I replaced it with a new one and the board still would not talk on the Spike network. It is possible that the chip is not read protected and the source can be pulled off a good board, but I haven't gotten around to trying that. If someone has, it would be good to know.

#317 8 months ago
Quoted from pinballplusMN:

I just passed on a service call for a Deadpool. Issue was ball not kicking out. Probably an easy fix but I don't want the prospect of future repairs which may involve obsolete parts and /or being a deer in the headlights on a home service call.I hate that feeling and rarely if ever experience it with older stuff. Anyone that does home service knows that once they touch a game they marry it in a sense I will be happy to change if I can have confidence in knowing how the games function as well as guaranteed support for parts etc for at least 10 years. So for now Im telling people that call for service on Spike that Im deferring for the time being until I have more knowledge and confidence in the operating system. Schematics being provided will be a step in the right direction.
I have received some flack for this from people that say Im not supporting Stern by making this decision. I don't dislike Stern and want to support them. In fact I feel the games produced are some of the greatest games ever built play wise. For now its just a business decision for me that may change later in the future. I hope it does. JR

That would have been a simple fix. The switches are notorious for coming loose. My switch wasn't attached well when it arrived and I found one of the screws for it in the bottom of the cabinet.

#318 8 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

That would have been a simple fix. The switches are notorious for coming loose. My switch wasn't attached well when it arrived and I found one of the screws for it in the bottom of the cabinet.

Had the mode scoop switch on DP break one of the solder legs clean off in less than 2 weeks on route. Those switches are definitely cheaply made. Might want to pick up a six-pack just to have on hand.

#319 8 months ago

From what I understand, the Spike system has a single 48 volt power supply and it feeds 48 volts to all boards. Each board has on-board voltage regulators to drop the 48 volts down to +5 and +12 for the needs of the particular board. Now if you look at what other manufacturers are doing (such as Spooky for example), they use TWO power supplies: a 48 volt one just for the coils and an additional dual output switching power supply which provides the +5 and +12 for the boards. By doing things that way, no regulators are needed on any of the boards.

The way it looks to me is that Stern is cheaping out by using one single output power supply instead of using two power supplies to power all boards.

#320 8 months ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

The way it looks to me is that Stern is cheaping out by using one single output power supply instead of using two power supplies to power all boards.

The other issue we had (again, on a Ghostbusters) was the game resetting all the time.

This was because there was (dunno if it is still the case) a watchdog chip on the front node board, which would reset the game if the voltage went too much under 48v. (Can’t recall but I think it was like 47.5 or so)

We solved this by discovering the power supply had an adjustable output via a small pot - we wicked this up to a little over 48v and solved the issue.

As I say - I don’t know if that is still the case with the newest Spike games. But it certainly was on the early ones.

Hopefully that will help someone!

rd

#321 8 months ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

From what I understand, the Spike system has a single 48 volt power supply and it feeds 48 volts to all boards. Each board has on-board voltage regulators to drop the 48 volts down to +5 and +12 for the needs of the particular board. Now if you look at what other manufacturers are doing (such as Spooky for example), they use TWO power supplies: a 48 volt one just for the coils and an additional dual output switching power supply which provides the +5 and +12 for the boards. By doing things that way, no regulators are needed on any of the boards.
The way it looks to me is that Stern is cheaping out by using one single output power supply instead of using two power supplies to power all boards.

Not to mention pulses from coils could affect the whole power supply.

#322 8 months ago

The question people should be asking themselves is why do the same sets of SPIKE issues continue to brought up over and over again since 2013, if supposedly there are no system design problems?

Part of the answer is quite simple, as there are more enthusiasts and collectors which are buying Stern games and were not aware of the changes in hardware, or perhaps simply do not care.

BUT, people really have no idea what is being changed except at the "macro level" between SPIKE I and II. This includes operators and associated technicians. It actually has become quite a bit of a running joke theme on PinSide (and other locations) to see opening of this same discussion nearly every 6 months or so. I have to disagree with any comments that ALL present SPIKE node boards are available from distributors. Based on discussions with various distributors any specific boards for titles before GB (WWE, KISS, GoT) are NLA, if not backwards compatible. I do not have confirmation regarding actual Spike I CPU units themselves, but I suspect there are only low quantities. WNBJM specialized SPIKE node boards would not seem favorable either. This means that EVERY game title in the SPIKE I series is highly subject to potential early obsolescence already in much less than 10 years. This problem will only accelerate as more SPIKE II games are developed in the near future.

The only system I find comparable to the SPIKE system from pinball history is the Bally 6803 from 1985-1989, which had its own share of problems based on the control board, but mostly out of misunderstanding of the implementation of the "multiplexing", reduction of SCRs, and the multitude of different sub-boards variations for display and audio for the titles. Although repairable, the 6803 CPU control board could be unfriendly to diagnosis issues and used that stupid keypad, but an owner did have schematics and components were through hole or socketed. Another negative were that certain IC components were hard to find. Ultimately, due to the lack of sales of many of the games, spare parts for many of the titles were not available soon after production.

However, schematics are not the "solution" to this overarching SPIKE problem, but are simply a start in the right direction to have Stern ADMIT that there are issues that must be addressed in longevity of their games and provide loyalty to their customers. Nobody wants to call Stern customer service for better technical knowledge and costs of replacement only to be told they are "out of luck" because the game is no longer supported less than 5 years from the date of manufacture. IMHO, this has already started happening.

#323 8 months ago

If games like KISS, GB and GOT, become obsolete, it would sure kill present day sales, so it is not in Stern's interest for games to fail.

It is worrying that the boards are not for sale on the big pinball retail sites.

#324 8 months ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

If games like KISS, GB and GOT, become obsolete, it would sure kill present day sales, so it is not in Stern's interest for games to fail.
It is worrying that the boards are not for sale on the big pinball retail sites.

If this in fact does happen, Stern will have a shit storm on their hands. Customers aren't as stupid and uniformed as the pre-information age. (Although a lot are still pretty dumb). Stern would get caught with their pants down when their customers find out that they knowingly are sabotaging the product for failure.

#325 8 months ago

Planned obsolescence.

#326 8 months ago
Quoted from Crash:

Planned obsolescence.

If this is indeed the "way of the future" prices would have to drop dramatically and the secondary market would be nothing but junk pickers. You would see 70's/80's/90's pins skyrocket in price. How's a Bally Night Rider for 5-6K sound?

#327 8 months ago
Quoted from Frippertron:

If this is indeed the "way of the future" prices would have to drop dramatically and the secondary market would be nothing but junk pickers. You would see 70's/80's/90's pins skyrocket in price. How's a Bally Night Rider for 5-6K sound?

Stern will probably be selling a Knight Rider pin next year for $12K with an optional KITT front end topper for only a grand more.

Custom voices from The Hoff, clips from the show, signed and limited. Come to think of it, I kind of wan that to become real...

#328 8 months ago

https://www.nxp.com/docs/en/data-sheet/LPC111X.pdf

Quick flip through the datasheet show the micro has (up to) 64kB of flash memory and may be fully programmed by the CPU board and does not need any base firmware programming. There is "Code Read Protection" talked about, but since the CPU board I programming new node boards I am not sure if it is being used or matter.

NXP even offers the micro in a DIP28 through hole package =D.

#329 8 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

For 90 years, all pins were designed to be serviced on site.

Pins had full schematics.

Unless the pin caught fire, it was up and earning in less than a hour.

Most ops don't route pins anymore because they say they are too expensive. If it now turns out that every repair involves a few hundred dollars in boards, I expect it won't be long before no ops route them.

It's the same reason you don't see BMW taxis in the States; they are too unreliable and costly to operate.

I know an arcade owner who has 80+ games, and 2 WPC-era pins. Pretty much all the games in the arcade need some form of repair or maintenance from time to time, however, the pins need attention on just about a weekly basis. Luckily, they have good documentation, and repairs are usually fairly inexpensive. But, because of the amount of maintenance they do need, and the potential expense of the unrepairable node boards, the owner does not want to take the risk even though he is interested in having newer pins. The pins don't earn a whole lot, they need constant attention, and new ones are fairly expensive compared to what they actually earn. Most other new games that he buys tend to pay for themselves in about a year or less. That wouldn't be the case with a new pin. So, he keeps chugging along with the older pins that have been long since paid for.

#330 8 months ago
Quoted from barakandl:

https://www.nxp.com/docs/en/data-sheet/LPC111X.pdf
Quick flip through the datasheet show the micro has (up to) 64kB of flash memory and may be fully programmed by the CPU board and does not need any base firmware programming. There is "Code Read Protection" talked about, but since the CPU board I programming new node boards I am not sure if it is being used or matter.
NXP even offers the micro in a DIP28 through hole package =D.

I disagree. A new part needs to be preprogrammed with some sort of base bootstrap code in order to communicate on the Spike network.

#331 8 months ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

I know an arcade owner who has 80+ games, and 2 WPC-era pins. Pretty much all the games in the arcade need some form of repair or maintenance from time to time, however, the pins need attention on just about a weekly basis. Luckily, they have good documentation, and repairs are usually fairly inexpensive. But, because of the amount of maintenance they do need, and the potential expense of the unrepairable node boards, the owner does not want to take the risk even though he is interested in having newer pins. The pins don't earn a whole lot, they need constant attention, and new ones are fairly expensive compared to what they actually earn. Most other new games that he buys tend to pay for themselves in about a year or less. That wouldn't be the case with a new pin. So, he keeps chugging along with the older pins that have been long since paid for.

Same with the Family Entertainment Center on the east side of Tucson. Probably 100 games (and 2 mini golf courses, batting cages, bumperboats, go karts) and 4 pins. They get one new pin a year and get rid of the old one. Games are rarely worked on because only one person (manager) knows how. The rest are "kids" who just staff the counter and refill the ticket dispensers. Pins make less than probably everything, and require the most maintenance. If locations owners don't love pinball, it doesn't happen. I can tell you trying to keep 16-20 machines running in the wild is no easy task and I'd be better of getting a part time job if it was about the money.

#332 8 months ago
Quoted from RobF:

I disagree. A new part needs to be preprogrammed with some sort of base bootstrap code in order to communicate on the Spike network.

could the bootloader be generic and comes programmed from the factory?

26.3.1 Bootloader
The bootloader controls initial operation after reset and also provides the means to
accomplish programming of the flash memory via UART or C_CAN. This could be initial
programming of a blank device, erasure and re-programming of a previously programmed
device, or programming of the flash memory by the application program in a running
system.
The bootloader code is executed every time the part is powered on or reset. The loader
can execute the ISP command handler or the user application code. A LOW level after
reset at the PIO0_1 pin is considered as an external hardware request to start the ISP
command handler either via UART or C_CAN, if present.

user manual
https://www.nxp.com/docs/en/user-guide/UM10398.pdf
600 pages =O

NXP says they will make that chip for a while longer now. If the next generation is called Spunk, then Spike boards go obsolete and people really need the boards made someone will find a way. I don't like the situation with circuit boards either but I don't think it is a deal breaker.

#333 8 months ago

Silverball museum in asbury Park NJ does not have any new stern games because of the repair costs. They have BW and JJP. They have had older stern games like tspp and sopranos.

#334 8 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

Silverball museum in asbury Park NJ does not have any new stern games because of the repair costs. They have BW and JJP. They have had older stern games like tspp and sopranos.

Oh, that's interesting. I didn't even realize they didn't have spike games.

#335 8 months ago

I could definitely see a route operator or arcade owner being apprehensive about buying a Stern "Spike" system machine. Repair costs and/or board availability would be a big concern. I wonder, if instead of having to do an outright purchase of node boards if Stern would do "repair/exchange" boards instead?

I think a more pressing thing to do now is to investigate why these boards are failing. Why are they also taking out additional boards when one fails? Maybe a power "spike" takes out a board?

I think I'll coin a new phrase, "you've been spiked" when talking about these Stern games.

#336 8 months ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

I wonder, if instead of having to do an outright purchase of node boards if Stern would do "repair/exchange" boards instead?

Earlier in the thread, it was mentioned that they can do that, but that means downtime for operators.

#337 8 months ago
Quoted from barakandl:

could the bootloader be generic and comes programmed from the factory?
26.3.1 Bootloader
The bootloader controls initial operation after reset and also provides the means to
accomplish programming of the flash memory via UART or C_CAN. This could be initial
programming of a blank device, erasure and re-programming of a previously programmed
device, or programming of the flash memory by the application program in a running
system.
The bootloader code is executed every time the part is powered on or reset. The loader
can execute the ISP command handler or the user application code. A LOW level after
reset at the PIO0_1 pin is considered as an external hardware request to start the ISP
command handler either via UART or C_CAN, if present.
user manual
https://www.nxp.com/docs/en/user-guide/UM10398.pdf
600 pages =O
NXP says they will make that chip for a while longer now. If the next generation is called Spunk, then Spike boards go obsolete and people really need the boards made someone will find a way. I don't like the situation with circuit boards either but I don't think it is a deal breaker.

either stern or nxp (if u order enough of them) will be putting some sort of custom stern bootloader onto those chips. Something we cant get hold of. There does appear to be a programming header on the board as well so you can update the firmware directly.

21
#338 8 months ago

The fact that you have to zip tie a transistor to another transistor with a plastic spacer between them as part of a recommended fix so that vibration doesn’t cause it to fail, proves the boards are engineered like crap.

#339 8 months ago
Quoted from schudel5:

Actually, The Pin (Transformers and Avengers) sold in Costco was the first. But WWE was the first commercial pinball machine using Spike.
Seems to me like Spike 2 has less issues than Spike 1. Maybe they learned some lessons???

My avengers is dead..I’m starting to suspect they won’t send me a replacement

#340 8 months ago
Quoted from russdx:

either stern or nxp (if u order enough of them) will be putting some sort of custom stern bootloader onto those chips. Something we cant get hold of. There does appear to be a programming header on the board as well so you can update the firmware directly.

Correct. Per my previous comments, to be serviceable, one would need a source of pre-programmed parts, or the current code could be read off a working board (with the available in circuit programming port) assuming the chip is not read protected. I have had a notion to try the latter, but have not gotten around to it. On a side note, if anybody has a dead spike board that they don't need, I enjoy playing with them and trying to figure out the issues. Shoot me a PM.

-1
#341 8 months ago
Quoted from Msch:

My avengers is dead..I’m starting to suspect they won’t send me a replacement

You're in luck! Avengers is SAM, not Spike.

#342 8 months ago
Quoted from yancy:

You're in luck! Avengers is SAM, not Spike.

Unless it's this version which is Spike. This version (The Pin) is what I was referring to in post #310.
image-1 (resized).jpg

#343 8 months ago
Quoted from RobF:

Correct. Per my previous comments, to be serviceable, one would need a source of pre-programmed parts, or the current code could be read off a working board (with the available in circuit programming port) assuming the chip is not read protected. I have had a notion to try the latter, but have not gotten around to it. On a side note, if anybody has a dead spike board that they don't need, I enjoy playing with them and trying to figure out the issues. Shoot me a PM.

Indeed, id be worried about selling a repo board with there firmware though as just asking for a lawsuit. Unless the end user some how installs it as technically they own the orignal.

#344 8 months ago
Quoted from russdx:

Indeed, id be worried about selling a repo board with there firmware though as just asking for a lawsuit.

Sell it on Aliexpress

#345 8 months ago
Quoted from RobF:

I disagree. A new part needs to be preprogrammed with some sort of base bootstrap code in order to communicate on the Spike network.

Not necessarily. Some ATMEL uCs come with a default bootloader pre-programmed.

#346 8 months ago

Two things I feel very confident of

1) I’m sure Stern will keep supporting games with spike 1 just like they do with white star.

2)I’m also sure someone will figure out how to remake them.

#347 8 months ago
Quoted from Zitt:

Not necessarily. Some ATMEL uCs come with a default bootloader pre-programmed.

Sure, but for this specific application Spike is not a standard interface. A generic bootloader is not going to be helpful for network FW loading. I can confirm that putting a new NXT uC onto a CPU board does not yield a functioning CPU board.

#348 8 months ago
Quoted from RobF:

A generic bootloader is not going to be helpful for network FW loading.

I thought someone else pointed out that Spike uses SPI (MISO, MOSI, ect) to program the cpu nodes.
If so; the default loader may actually operate with SPI as many uCs do.

Regardless; unless someone actually takes some to reverse engineer the spike system; we're all just speculating.

I for one would <3 to see someone do a full bom analysis on the spike node boards to find out how much Stern is "up selling" their design. I tend to agree with Vid; the bom may be in the $12 range... but I tend to think it's more in the $20-30 range.

Quoted from RobF:

I can confirm that putting a new NXT uC onto a CPU board does not yield a functioning CPU board.

Ah, key data backed up with real world experience. Good to know.

#349 8 months ago
Quoted from barakandl:

...
NXP says they will make that chip for a while longer now...

Just a short FYI below. I deal with this fairly often in my line of work since I've had designs in production for +20 years.

Vendors (i.e. NXP) typically notify the manufactures that use the part, that it is going obsolete so they can do a 'lifetime' buy. That allows manufactures (i.e. Stern) to buy stock needed for the expected production runs plus whatever is needed for some stock. Also, there's the possibility of a new NXP part which still performs the functions of the old part. Maybe they simply changed a clock frequency, or increased the ROM or RAM and the original part goes by the wayside. That actually happens a fair amount on the analog side of the design fence, not sure about digital parts. But it is a 'new' part nonetheless, so the manufacture would need to update their BOMs (Bill of Material, fancy way of saying 'parts list'). There's even been times where a 3rd party comes in and buys the old design and they manufacture the chip instead. If the quantities justify it, manufactures can even pay a vendor to produce extra wafers (I doubt that applies here) and the vendors build the parts when needed.

If you look at the LPC10xx series, it looks like they make +20 versions of that chip...so it could be as simple as the LPC1112E going obsolete, not the entire series.

#350 8 months ago
Quoted from Zitt:

I thought someone else pointed out that Spike uses SPI (MISO, MOSI, ect) to program the cpu nodes.
If so; the default loader may actually operate with SPI as many uCs do.
Regardless; unless someone actually takes some to reverse engineer the spike system; we're all just speculating.
I for one would &lt;3 to see someone do a full bom analysis on the spike node boards to find out how much Stern is "up selling" their design. I tend to agree with Vid; the bom may be in the $12 range... but I tend to think it's more in the $20-30 range.

Ah, key data backed up with real world experience. Good to know.

It is not SPI. Spike is electrically RS-485, but the protocol is proprietary.

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