(Topic ID: 232957)

Node Boards- Update- Stern tech fixes issue via email

By shacklersrevenge

6 months ago

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  • 744 posts
  • 148 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 35 days ago by russdx
  • Topic is favorited by 25 Pinsiders


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#6 6 months ago
Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

$219 board to fix one switch is cost efficient? FOR WHO!? Stern? How much does this board cost them to make, $25? Nobody fixes this crap. I swapped the other node board in that's in the game, and the problem goes away.

Highly doubt it costs them more than $5. These are not big, complex, high quality boards with any costly componentry.

#22 6 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

I asked the question during his seminar at Pintastic last summer. The response was the material and tutorials are coming. Not sure if there is a video of that seminar available, but it's on it if there is one.

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).

#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.

#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.

#117 6 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

I believe the boards for spike are internally fused. If a short is detected, they shut down. Once the short is cleared, you reboot and they come back up.

I don't think that is the case. They just have the ability to read current and voltage. If a failure and surge is detected, there is supposed to be a software 'fuse' and the game shuts down or the node down before before the failure cascades. In practice it doesn't seem to work very well, and even if it does, the culprit node itself is often totally blown.

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