(Topic ID: 232957)

Node Boards- Update- Stern tech fixes issue via email

By shacklersrevenge

5 months ago

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  • 744 posts
  • 148 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 days ago by russdx
  • Topic is favorited by 25 Pinsiders


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#126 5 months ago

Stern and Spike seem to be getting the ire, but are the other pinball makers making their games easier to repair?

It seems to me that JJP (at least beginning with DI) is more like the older games - the brains, contollers, drivers in the backbox and the mechanical stuff on the playfield - with lots of wires. What about MMr - doesn’t that have driver transistors under the playfield - but I guess maybe the logic stays in the backbox? What about the P-Roc systems?

Is repairability an important argument when selecting a new pin? Should it be?

What strikes me as being scary about the Spike system is the difficulty in identifying the defect part, if the game shuts down, how do you even know which node board has broken down ? With the older games, everything still works (mostly) except the part which doesn’t - makes diagnosis easier.

Paying a higher amount to replace a module doesn’t bother me that much (if I save a lot of diagnosis and repair time) - assuming long term availability of the modules - and this bugs me a bit as I perceive Stern isn’t doing much on the communication front to inform us about this. If I were to buy a GB today, what are the prospects in 10 years of keeping it running ? (because I like to keep games a long time) - and when I have a positive answer to this then I’ll probably buy one.

2 weeks later
#231 5 months ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

We know technology advances relentlessly; not to excuse design faults but folks haven't been able to service their own TV's, radios, or phones for quite a long time.

I’ve never thought this to be a fair argument. Other home electronic appliances last so many years, break down and you buy a new one. Compared to pinball they are inexpensive and you are happy to buy a new one because the technology has moved on dramatically. The technological advances in pinball are much less noticible and maybe don’t even make the experience of playing better.

In my view, for the money a new game costs, it is quite reasonable to expect repairability to be an important feature.

#241 5 months ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

In that I disagree. Washers, Dryers, Refrigerators are all not so different from how they were 20 years ago,

Energy efficiency and water conservation have gotten significantly better in recent years on things like washing machines or fridges - this cannot be ignored. But point taken, the wow effect is much larger with bigger screens and higher resolution.

#261 4 months ago
Quoted from pascal-pinball:

yes, one was visibly toasted and the other component was sort of connected to it and het replaced also in advance.

That’s kind of scary, the game just up and toasts a component. Kind of like needing fancy smd equipment to replace a fuse. Not cool.

1 week later
#404 4 months ago

what bugs me the most is the communication policy of Stern. The first time I heard of Spike from a distributor he told me Spike is great - no more board work - if something fails you just swap out one of the numerous small boards and you’re good to go. I think this sounds great in theory - I’ve learned enough about electronics to be a little bit dangerous, but there are way more holes in my knowledge than knowledge itself so I wouldn’t mind repairing pins in this way - also because good pin repair technicians are few and far between. I wouldn’t mind spending a few bucks from time to time for a board (It would be nice if they’re not so expensive you feel like you’re being gouged every time). It could be the modern way of taking care of pins.

But this Spike repair idea would have several requirements:
- the game has to tell me which board to replace
- the long term availability of said boards must to be assured and they need to be easy to get.

My impression is that both of these requirements are very far from being met and as far as I can tell these points are in no way being addressed. Until they are, no Spike games for me. Too bad because some of them look fun.

#410 4 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

Spike is not great. Swapping out boards is expensive. Down time costs money. It takes time to even figure out the underlying issue to know which board to swap out. Nodeboard X failure is not helpful at all.

I was certainly not implying that Spike is great. In it’s current state it’s unacceptable. I was just trying to point out that if done right, Spike (my interpretation - a distributed system with a data bus), I think, could be beneficial in terms of repairability.

#497 4 months ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

If it's really a problem, show the beef in the burger. Has anyone taken working boards and found an immediate (non-invasive) way of causing a failure. If vibrations are the culprit, has anyone shown this through a test?

Not sure I agree with you here. Why should the burden of proof be with us customers? It’s time for Stern to step up and tell us what we can expect mid to long term with Spike-based games. Sure electronics fail. I want to know how I can deal with such failures 5-10 years from now.

#500 4 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Well because Stern, or any company, isn't going to give you that info, that's silly.

That’s not true. Carmakers, for instance, guarantee the availability of spare parts for a defined length of time. Parts are usually available for much longer. As a customer I have some means of estimating how long I can keep the product operational. Household appliance manufacturers typically have authorized repair dealers. There are many examples.

#507 4 months ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

Don't get me wrong - I get the conversation. And I'm not entirely interested in buying any new Sterns out of an abundance of caution. But...

so what would change your mind?

#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!

4 months later
#741 4 days ago

I do not own any Spike games for just the reasons above. From what I understand, when a node board fails, the game stops working and the user is faced with the difficult task of determining what has failed. In my view, the Spike game‘s diagnostic system needs to indicate which node board has failed. This, together with long term easy availability of replacement boards, could make Spike a winning system. As it stands, Spike seems like a way to minimize cable looms and assembly time.

#742 4 days ago
Quoted from russdx:

SMD is small and cheap to buy/assemble, though hole is expensive buy/assemble, i cant see stern going backwards with there board technology any time soon.

I would gladly pay extra for all through hole electronics. It‘s not like there‘s not enough space in a pin. How much more can it cost? $200-300?

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