(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 2 days ago by russdx
  • Topic is favorited by 25 Pinsiders


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#147 5 months ago
Quoted from Rum-Z:

I swear George Gomez said that Stern would be releasing schematics on Spike node boards way back during Expo 2017 or something. I just remember reading this in passing and not paying too much attention to it other than thinking "Good". However, so far nothing has happened in regards to schematics, which makes me think that Stern has back tracked on this comment by Gomez, as they'd rather sell new boards at insane mark-ups than have schematics out there that might assist people in making their own repairs (if people are brave enough with surface mount work) or assist competitors in making more cost effective aftermarket replacement boards.
Someone has got schematics on them, as it would seem that Stern employees designed them and then supplied them to a board manufacturer that made the boards.

also no recovery SD card images or even an basic os image that load game code from usb.

#148 5 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

They've had all the documentation since WWE in January 2015. Or arguably Transformers The Pin (2012) or Avengers The Pin (2013). They wouldn't have been able to produce them otherwise.
They're withholding them for obvious reasons. They know they're unreliable (circuit diagrams will further reinforce the view that they're crap), and they're very cheap to produce and can charge massive amounts for them. Shitty boards failing are a revenue stream for them. They weren't with SAM.
Releasing all the documentation will hasten the production of 3rd party replacements, which would remove that revenue stream or force them to sell them for a fraction of the price (& to add fusing / breakers - as 3rd party solutions would).

call your congressman and demand right to repair laws to force that info to come out.

#150 5 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!

sounds like what apple is doing now days.

#168 5 months ago
Quoted from WackyBrakke:

Defineatly moved the problem, but if that I/O is unused in that position then all is mostly well....I say mostly because maybe more will eventually fail on that board.....or not

or it fails with the next game code update that comes with an node firmware update.

3 weeks later
#353 4 months ago
Quoted from russdx:

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.

That is why right to repair laws are needed. but any ways I think the DMCA has Exemptions for repair

#499 4 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Well because Stern, or any company, isn't going to give you that info, that's silly.
The problem with the entire discussion is everything is unknown. If we had the schematics then we'd know how the boards work and if we could get replacement parts to fix them. As of now we don't.

that is why right to repair laws are needed and parts / docs can't not be locked into an dealer only network as well.

#531 4 months ago
Quoted from Bublehead:

Biggest reason they are not releasing them, I think, is because of IP theft by China. How many node boards will we be buying from Stern if a company in China offers exact reengineered replacements for $30 shipping included. And if it goes bad in 30 days, just email them and they send a replacement for free. This kind of thing is happening in other electronics based hobbies, so Stern is probably smart not putting the schematics out right now... they wait till the demand trickles off, which means the crappy node boards are all weeded out by attrition, then release the schematics.
Don’t like it, but it may actually be whats at play here, not the planned obsolescence argument.

or they are in the apple line of thinking. Repair info is IN HOUSE ONLY. Some car manufacturers + john deere are doing some of the same stuff.

#557 4 months ago
Quoted from Bublehead:

If I can get a schematic and BOM for that, I could be in for one node board reversed engineered. Wonder what the legal ramifications are to releasing it to the wild if you were to do that? I am not sure how Stern would feel if someone started posting a generic schematic and BOM for thier boards... probably get a CAD letter from their lawyers right off the bat...

but the DMCA has exemptions for repair and farmers are also fighting for the right to get software / tools / doc's to do there own repairs without the dealer.

This an issue bigger then pinball and I don't think that stern will want to pay $$$ to fight it out in court. Also in the EU end users have more rights then in the USA.

#662 4 months ago
Quoted from javagrind888:

I don't get how this is the distributor's problem really. Stern is the one making a faulty product and refusing to support it. Is the distributor going to lean on Stern to get the part for free or are they going to eat the cost themselves?

well the car manufacturers are kind of like that with the dealers.

#666 4 months ago
Quoted from Bos98:

Not exactly. I run a Kia dealership and customers with failure level issues have the ability to contact Kia Consumer Affairs to help get resolutions to issues that are beyond the dealer’s responsibilities.
I would think that with the purchase of an LE pinball machine nearing the price of a Kia Forte base model that Stern would minimally extend the electronics warranty period out for straight up replacement boards and an additional period of time for customers to send in boards for repair if for no other reason than to gather enough data to determine commonality between failures to help them engineer a better product, cut down on support and ultimately grow more business by showing that they care for their customers.
Ultimately if they do find a common failure point after all of the above a recall that would cover original owners which would be facilitated by their distributors would seem logical, similar to the auto industry.
But hey, what do I know!

What about the eu warranty laws will the distributors have to eat the costs and they are the ones what have to deal with the warranty starting when it shiped vs when the end user get's it? Or does the warranty laws cover the distributors as well?

#698 4 months ago
Quoted from russdx:

There is no reason for a micro to fail, if it is failing its being damaged by over voltage or emi (from coils / motors) or something on the board due to bad design. The design should be fixed not just making bits socketed

But it should have jtag or serial to recover from failed flash update

#706 4 months 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.

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