(Topic ID: 232957)

Node Boards- Update- Stern tech fixes issue via email

By shacklersrevenge

9 months ago

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


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#30 9 months ago
Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

The fact that these things are built like crap and aren't durable AND cost $219! GTFO!

Be happy that your an American, I’d be willing to bet that it will be close to $400cdn to get one of these with shipping and currency conversion. I can only imagine what the EU or Aussie guys pay

#80 9 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

#90 9 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

#104 9 months ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

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.

Are you listening Stern? Better get this shit figured out. Your customers already have a place to unite and discuss their common complaints, and the pinball crowd has came together before to sue.

#169 9 months ago

So you still have a broken node board that is now put into a new location that just doesn’t use the the broken section of said board?

When’s the part about stern fixing the problem.

#198 9 months ago
Quoted from Aflacjack:

I had a node board failure in my Ghostbusters. Was random and the machine was just over a yr old. Had to go through my distributor and order a new one. $230. The replacement one Stern sent me, yep, faulty out of the package. Had to perform a series of tests to prove it to them by using one that was in the game that worked. So after proving that the new one was bad from the factory, had my distributor order another. Stern “forgot” to send it until the distributor reminded them almost 2 weeks later. Got it and replaced and still ball trough error. I called support and talked to them again and was sent new ball trough boards. Presto, game back up. So my issue was a node board and trough boards at the same time. Also this is the only issue I have had since I bought the machine....just hated spending $200+ and being down for a month.

Was the 1st node board even faulty? Could it have just been the trough boards causing the fail signal to show at the node board? It kinda seems odd that both would blow simultaneously. If so, I wonder if a problem with the one board took out the other board.

#199 9 months ago
Quoted from underlord:

I say these things in jest, I’ve bought many nib Sterns, never had an issue except Tron LE cpu went dead and due to ‘special LE coding’, had to pay $450 direct exchange boards only.

Did you have to pay $450 and exchange your broken board? If I’m paying $450 for a new board then they’re not getting my damaged board back for free; it may be fixable. If the board HAS to be returned to stern, then the replacement should not be so expensive.

1 week later
#251 9 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

There are tons of PCB reverse engineering firms in China & Canada.

I wonder if there are any local to me, after all they call Kitchener-Waterloo the Silicon Valley of the North. If they don’t need to destroy the board to reverse engineer it, I’d consider donating to get myself schematics. Might be worth it, even if it’s a couple hundred bucks.

#290 9 months ago
Quoted from DNO:

Oh, and most people that need one, and it fixes their issue, are prolly fine with a couple hundo, that's what a service call costs anyway, maybe now some won't need a tech.

Spoken like someone with more money then brains. Why pay a hundred or more for a 1 dollar fix.

Quoted from DNO:

I am an op, and have 30 years in the industry.

30 years in the business, your comfortable with a couple hundred dollar expense, and you still need a tech to do repairs? Sounds like more money then brains.

Quoted from DNO:

Never had to buy a new monitor? Replace a touchscreen? New ramp? There are plenty of repairs that cost equivalent.

Would you be ok with replacing one of these parts in a machine that’s less then a year old? Like if a touchscreen went out within a year of it being new, would you be upset with the cost, or just think

Quoted from DNO:

there will be ways to repair them.

Because you haven’t instilled confidence in me with your vast knowledge of electronics

#291 9 months ago
Quoted from russdx:

well i did say might! just some high res photo's would be helpful.

I’d love to have a full set of hi res pics for each node board. This is Node 11 from game of thrones.

I’ll be gone ice fishing this weekend, but I’ll snap pics of the rest next week. I’ll also try to get better quality pics.

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#293 9 months ago
Quoted from DNO:

Touch screens usually have (had) a year warranty, unless vandalized. Now go bitch about Sterns warranty.
As for the rest of your insults, you have no clue who I am or what I do, so I won't feed trolls.
I've said my thoughts, now I'll just go, have fun Fearing the Node.

So, since I "have no idea who you are" I dont get an answer to any of my questions?

Sorry for being so rude, I may be an asshole, but I wont say anything behind your back, that I wont say to your face. (I guess some people are more sensitive then I am)

Anyways, I dont think that it's right for stern to be withholding schematics. I dont think that it's right to pay for a replacement part when something can be fixed, and I dont think that it's right for a customer to be gouged for parts that realistically cost dollars. Maybe you think all of these things are ok, but it dont.

#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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#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.

#367 8 months ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

And he’s also indicating there’s a good shot that spike games could simply become paper weights due to a poorly conceived system...

Worse case scenario, couldn’t you gut a spike system and install a P-roc board to run the machine. Re program the rules and wire it up. It’s a lot of work, but what’s stopping it from being done?

Quoted from Rum-Z:

I also don't know how you could prove the planned obsolescence thing,

The proof is in the pudding. The components they use, the support they give, and the boards design, these all add up to an answer. If the components remain available. If the support (schematics and boot code) is provided. If their boards can be serviced, then our answer will be that Stern has not planned there obsolescence. Anything short of providing full customer support would look like planned obsolescence when compared to every other generation of pinball games.

#368 8 months ago

At the very least Stern should be chastised for contributing to the e-waste problem. Make a product that can be fixed, not thrown away.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Don’t throw out a node board and buy a new one, fix the problem.

#432 8 months ago
Quoted from Zablon:

The goal was to make products that lasted 7 years max instead of 30.

Just long enough for the customer to feel like they got value for their money, so that they are a returning customer; but if the product lasts to long after this value threshold has been reached, then the company is loosing out on a returning sale. Why sell one widget that lasts for 20 years when we can sell 2 that last for 10, as long as the customer is buying our product.

#485 8 months ago
Quoted from stangbat:

Service bulletin to add caps on Spike 1 game node boards

Where would I find this info? I’ll have to fix this I guess.

It would be nice if stern had some dealer network, where they can send important information on to the customers. Like how car companies send an auto recall notice. I would have never know about this problem.

#602 8 months ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I don’t like the term “node board”
What else can we come up with?

I like I/O pcb

#605 8 months ago

Here’s a look at node 8 from GoT Pre (Spike 1)

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#606 8 months ago

This is node 9 for comparison, GoT Pre Spike 1

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#609 8 months ago
Quoted from russdx:

Nothing there is complicated. Its just knowing what that micro does so it can be emulated. Or lifting the firmware off it.

Knowing my limits, it would be a tough repair, but definitely not impossible for someone more skilled.

#614 8 months ago
Quoted from Quench:

Can you include face on pictures of the TO-220 package transistors showing their markings?
The small "K2K" transistors Q15 - Q29 next to connector CN16 which are the light drivers are "2N7002K", SOT23 package, N-Channel MOSFETs.

I'll get to it later today hopefully, out with the family for a bit now.

#615 8 months ago
Quoted from Quench:

Can you include face on pictures of the TO-220 package transistors showing their markings?
The small "K2K" transistors Q15 - Q29 next to connector CN16 which are the light drivers are "2N7002K", SOT23 package, N-Channel MOSFETs.

Did you want better shots of the 16 pin chips, or the tiny k7k c3, guys right next to c16? I'll do my best, but just using a cell phone camera

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#616 8 months ago
Quoted from DNO:

So would everyone be OK buying "node insurance" to cover node board failure for 5 years, at say..$250??
...asking for a friend named Gary.

Node board warranty should be 5 years or 10000 plays to begin with, operators should expect the cpu/nodes to last enough plays to recoup their cost in the game. ($1/play)

Would I pay an additional $250 at the time of purchase to extend that time period out to 10 years or 20000 plays, Yes I would. I imagine a lit of people would, operators would for each game that bought if they new that it would have support for a decade.

Tha onus is on Stern. Dont they have enough faith in their product that it will last long enough for the game to earn a profit. Apparently not at this point. 6 months is a joke to stand behind your product.

#640 8 months ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

they have though... from a EU and UK POV that doc is enough for me to get free fixes for 6 years from day of delivery!

That service bulletin says that it’s for node 8 and node 9. Although the picture doesn’t look anything like the node 8 or 9 that I posted from my game of Thrones premium. Weird. Why call them same if they’re totally different, are the two interchangeable? Is one better?

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#664 8 months ago
Quoted from Bos98:

engineer a better product, cut down on support and ultimately grow more business by showing that they care for their customers

I laughed out loud we’re talking about Stern, right?

#672 8 months ago

Schematics are coming this month hopefully stern comes through

4 months later
#739 4 months ago

we’re already seeing older games being un-repairable. Shaq attack (might be a poor example) has a scoreboard inside the game. The chip for that board is obsolete and unobtainable. I highly doubt that chip will ever be made again. So, these games are not yet unplayable, but more and more we’re seeing old tech become impossible to replace. Eventually more and more of these old parts will become impossible to find. Better stock up now if your hoping to keep old games running forever.

Evolution is inevitable, your ability to adapt isn’t.

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