(Topic ID: 191079)

Stern reliability: S.A.M. vs SPIKE


By halflip87

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 368 posts
  • 94 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by kvan99
  • Topic is favorited by 23 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “Which system is more reliable and repair friendly?”

    • S.A.M. 173 votes
      91%
    • Spike 17 votes
      9%

    (190 votes)

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    There are 368 posts in this topic. You are on page 8 of 8.
    #351 1 year ago
    Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

    is that really happening??

    There was some kerfuffle over code version 0.92 for Star Wars prem/le burning out Node 9 for a number of owners. They've since revised it, but I'd be a lot more wary of updating code until it's been out for a while and has been proven to be safe.

    #352 1 year ago
    Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

    is that really happening??

    Star Wars had a code update that was causing a node board to fail, yes. It has been addressed though.

    #353 1 year ago
    Quoted from Phat_Jay:

    I see a factory warranty being offered in the future at point of sale for a price......just like autos. “These aren’t your dads pinball machine, they require professional service” they will tell us. They did it to cars, now they’re doing it to pinball. Next they will tell us it’s not our machine, we only “licensed” it’s use when we “paid” for it.

    more like how apple is now You have use our professional service / buy our parts at high prices to fix your hardware.

    #354 1 year ago
    Quoted from Phat_Jay:

    I see a factory warranty being offered in the future at point of sale for a price......just like autos. “These aren’t your dads pinball machine, they require professional service” they will tell us. They did it to cars, now they’re doing it to pinball. Next they will tell us it’s not our machine, we only “licensed” it’s use when we “paid” for it.

    more like how apple is now You have use our professional service / buy our parts at high prices to fix your hardware.

    Quoted from jackofdiamonds:I am Service dept manager for a major Broadway audio production facility.Very few component level repairs being done.Its mostly board swaps.We have several bench techs who do hands on repairs but its expensive and time consuming.Our access to schematics is based on whether or not we are authorized.Stern should either provide authorized "service centers"(this could be an op or restorer)or they should provide schematics.Basically some sort of "support" for their products.

    they should make node boards more universal and down the road maybe even an backwards compatible dip on newer ones.

    What is the plan if then they use the same broads but say now they are loading them with say node software V7 but your old game is stuck on OS V3.5 that does not work right with node software builds after V6.5 and that os build only came node software V5.9.

    #355 1 year ago
    Quoted from jar155:

    Star Wars had a code update that was causing a node board to fail, yes. It has been addressed though.

    I don't like idea of how they rap game code and os code in to one update. The node board software is part of the OS and most nodes can be swapped game to game.

    2 months later
    #356 1 year ago

    Been following this thread, I have a SAM 520-5325-00 and 520-5249-00 board set IRON MAN VE PRO, everyone saying how easy it is to maintain and such, but I'm having a hard time finding anywhere that will sell the SAM boards new (whilst I get these repaired eventually!).

    I'm in the UK too, not that I mind buying USA components, but it appears they won't work.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks in advance.

    #357 1 year ago
    Quoted from daspadger:

    Been following this thread, I have a SAM 520-5325-00 and 520-5249-00 board set IRON MAN VE PRO, everyone saying how easy it is to maintain and such, but I'm having a hard time finding anywhere that will sell the SAM boards new (whilst I get these repaired eventually!).
    I'm in the UK too, not that I mind buying USA components, but it appears they won't work.
    Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks in advance.

    Your distributor is the best place to get these. There must be a UK distributor.

    #358 1 year ago
    Quoted from daspadger:

    Been following this thread, I have a SAM 520-5325-00 and 520-5249-00 board set IRON MAN VE PRO, everyone saying how easy it is to maintain and such, but I'm having a hard time finding anywhere that will sell the SAM boards new (whilst I get these repaired eventually!).
    I'm in the UK too, not that I mind buying USA components, but it appears they won't work.
    Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks in advance.

    Why do you need to use UK parts? Once the power is converted at the transformer, the machine shouldn't care where the part came from, right?

    http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/520-5325-00
    http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/520-5249-00

    #359 1 year ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    Why do you need to use UK parts? Once the power is converted at the transformer, the machine shouldn't care where the part came from, right?
    http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/520-5325-00
    http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/520-5249-00

    It’s about the AC frequency check for export purposes. That’s done on the CPU board.

    #360 1 year ago
    Quoted from TimeBandit:

    It’s about the AC frequency check for export purposes. That’s done on the CPU board.

    Weird. Had no idea this was being done. Do all of the pin manufacturers do it, or just Stern?

    #361 1 year ago

    That AC frequency modification is’nt done for the end users benefit , and neither is Spike.. all about the money and making sure it goes in the right pocket.

    Same for mods, side art etc etc, just look at how fast they got into clear aprons, right Mike

    Feeling a little sour I guess, two recent Spike 2 LE’s that both needed cpu replacement , a ton of node boards on my Spike versions , doesnt bode well, once warranty is gone its 1300 euro’s a pop..

    #362 1 year ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    Weird. Had no idea this was being done. Do all of the pin manufacturers do it, or just Stern?

    Just stern as far as I know. I think they all have it built in , my x-men decided one day it would no longer “run in my country”, my distributor and stern took care of it right away even though it was 3 years old . That was excellent service !

    #363 1 year ago
    Quoted from daspadger:

    Been following this thread, I have a SAM 520-5325-00 and 520-5249-00 board set IRON MAN VE PRO, everyone saying how easy it is to maintain and such, but I'm having a hard time finding anywhere that will sell the SAM boards new (whilst I get these repaired eventually!).
    I'm in the UK too, not that I mind buying USA components, but it appears they won't work.
    Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks in advance.

    They really are pretty easy to fix so hopefully you can find someone that can help out.

    As a comparison, an operator friend of mine has a bad node board on GoT. He has been tying for over a month now to get a replacement. It isn't fixable. His distributor didn't do anything and Stern kept giving him the run around. It was amazing how hard it is for him to buy the board. Finally he emailed gary stern who apparently has told them to give him one after all the run around.

    #364 1 year ago
    Quoted from clg:

    They really are pretty easy to fix so hopefully you can find someone that can help out.
    As a comparison, an operator friend of mine has a bad node board on GoT. He has been tying for over a month now to get a replacement. It isn't fixable. His distributor didn't do anything and Stern kept giving him the run around. It was amazing how hard it is for him to buy the board. Finally he emailed gary stern who apparently has told them to give him one after all the run around.

    Yeah, Spike 1/2 is a MESS for long term fixability right now. Hopefully people are digging in to them so they will be fixable in the future outside Stern.

    7 months later
    7 months later
    #366 5 months ago

    The second pin I ever bought was a Ghostbusters premium, long before I even knew what a Spike or Sam system was. When I opened the box, the game didn’t work. I spent a few weeks troubleshooting with Stern whether it was a bad VUK, or an entire node board. They eventually sent me a new VUK coil and an entire node board, and I replaced both. I’ve owned it 2 years since, and played it 300-400 times. But the initial mystery about what was wrong was a big frustration. It made me wonder about the quality of these Spike pins. Other corners cut, such as the plastic apron and the power button being moved to the head, where many people can’t reach it, especially if the game is between other pins, makes me wonder how much more we will lose before the market says “enough.” The prices are not going down, they are going up. But we are losing key features that we’ve come to expect for decades, like a single level for the lockdown bar, not two lunchbox latches you have to feel around for to remove the bar. I prefer the SAM pins and their individually replaceable parts, and higher quality. Whitestar was superior too, in many ways.

    #367 5 months ago

    This exact argument/discussion in this thread is the reason that I elected to purchase an AC/DC Premium game with the SAM system as my first machine since the early 90's. With just minimal research, it became obvious that Spike systems had issues that would require the user to purchase new node boards from Stern at a pretty high price and it seemed like it was not a rare event to need a new node board. The biggest problem noted for the SAM machines was the fluorescent light fixture needing some type of adjustment or replacement on the SAM machines. Now that I have the SAM machine, I have experienced zero problems at a board level which is the same thing that I read over and over from others. I have had minor problems with opto boards, switches, lights, coils, etc, etc, but they are serviceable by a guy with a normal soldering iron and a brain, so it is not like the entire machine shuts down as it is with these node board failures. I am so glad that I made that decision early on.

    #368 5 months ago

    I agree, (same reason my last Stern was TWD) SAM system is one the most reliable boardsets ever.. it may even be the most reliable. Spike was designed with all of cost savings in mind. If nothing the surface mount electronics make repairs beyond the reach of most of us casual hobbyists. We'll see how things shake out in the next few years.

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