(Topic ID: 330102)

Seeking Opinions on a Spider-Man Home Edition with a Bad Node Board

By JOESCHALL

1 year ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 29 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by paul_8788
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

View topic image gallery

download (resized).jpg
#1 1 year ago

Looking for input on any of the scattered ideas below for my Spider-man Home Edition. It was played less than 100 times, then, upon booting up, the machine gave the message "Updating NODE 8," followed by a countdown, then the message "Update Failed." Power cycling the game makes no difference in this behavior. With the game still under warranty, I contacted my distro two months ago and have confirmed that a trouble ticket was sent to Stern then.

Here are a few things I've tried and am considering, ranging from fixing to selling. Input on any of the below is much appreciated.

(1) With the power off, I checked all connectors that lead to Node 8 in some way, and all look fine and are secure. I also pulled all the connectors to Node 8 and Node 0 (in the backbox) and reseated them. No change. Does this continuing error message definitely implicate NODE 8 or could there be another cause? Are there any other ideas I could try?

(2) I realize that Stern should and will eventually send me a new NODE 8 board, but I'm not confident that will be soon and I even worry that the board would fail again eventually. I see so many complaints about NODE board failures on other games and long waits for replacements that I've grown a bit cynical, and I understand that any problem with this particular title could naturally be way on the back burner for Stern. At this point, I would purchase a NODE 8 board if I could, but I'm not sure they're available or even used in other titles. Does anyone know?

(3) Assuming that I receive a new board, with NODE 8 installed and the game play tested, what would you say is a reasonable sale price? I paid about $4,000 for it, but especially with the limited popularity of this game and the specific NODE 8 failure issue, I would obviously sell it at a loss. With the new board installed and the game working, any opinions on price?

(4) A naive question that I hope nevertheless produces a considered opinion: Do you think it's possible to sell as-is (with NODE 8 shipped to the buyer when it would arrive)? (I assume that someone out there can do Node board repair.) If I were to sell it now as-is, what would be a fair price?

Thanks again for any useful input.

#2 1 year ago

I wouldn’t do #4. Practically no one can work on those.

For #3, it’s arguably the worst of the home pins. Each release since has improved in some way. Even if fully working, I don’t think I’d pay more than $3k for a used SW Home l, so an inferior SM home is maybe worth $2500 tops (to me).

#3 1 year ago
Quoted from Yoko2una:

I wouldn’t do #4. Practically no one can work on those.

For #3, it’s arguably the worst of the home pins. Each release since has improved in some way. Even if fully working, I don’t think I’d pay more than $3k for a used SW Home l, so an inferior SM home is maybe worth $2500 tops (to me).

Thanks so much for the reply. And I agree that the Spider-man is the least of the home pins. I first bought the SW home edition and the JP home edition and have had those for over a year with no problems after hundreds of plays. So then I bought the Spidey, but with disappointing results. Again, thanks for weighing in.

#4 1 year ago

1) There are a few things you could try, depending on your comfort level:

a) Try a different cable. Flaky cables have caused weird issues before. Any ethernet cable you have around should work for a test, or just buy one. From the manual it looks like one runs from Node 0 to some coupler, then the coupler to node 8? Not sure if yours is setup that way, but if it is I would just run one right from Node 0 to Node 8.

b) Normally I would suggest buying a new SD card, and flash the game code, but for some reason doesn't look like Stern has the Spider-man Home pin image on there. They do for JP and SW, could be worth reaching out to Stern directly to see if they can get you the image so you can try that.

c) There should be three LEDs on Node 8, Red, Green and Yellow. Whether or not they are lit, flashing, etc. can mean different things.

RED GREEN YELLOW
OFF OFF OFF 48V not present: check that system is connected and powered
ON OFF OFF 48V present, no 6V: node bus is powered off by CPU, node bus cable is unplugged, or 6V supply is overloaded (shorted) or damaged
ON ON OFF 48V present, 6V present, processor not running: check 5V and 3.3V supplies
ON ON 10Hz 50% power okay, processor in boot mode waiting for runtime update: check node cable, ensure other nodes are communicating, check communication interface
ON ON 1Hz 90% power okay, processor in runtime mode but not receiving from CPU: check node cable, ensure other nodes are communicating, check communication interface
ON ON flickering power okay, processor communicating and operating correctly

2) Node 8 is the Stern standard node board. (520-7017-72). Theoretically you could try swapping a Node 8 from one of your other pins to the Spider-man and see if it works, but if something is blowing Node 8, that could be risky.

#5 1 year ago

Thanks so much paul_8788. Excellent suggestions, and thanks especially for the LED explanation. I will explore all of these, with the exception of risking swapping in a board from one of my other games which, as you said, seems risky. I also just found the below parts advisory from Stern noting a node board replacement option, but everywhere I look, including abroad, both 520-7017-72 and 520-1057-00 are out of stock.

https://sternpinball.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Stern-NodeBoardUpdate.pdf

Again, thanks. I will try out options and report back.

#6 1 year ago

Following up on the above suggestions from paul_8788, I tried running a different ethernet cable directly from Node 0 to Node 8 (which takes the coupler out of the process as well), but with no change. You also noted three LEDs on Node 8, but I'm just seeing one red LED, which stays on. There are two groups of at least three LEDs on Node 0, all red, and these LEDs are either on solid are flashing rapidly. Next I'll try contacting Stern about a new SD card imaged with the game code. Can't hurt.

#7 1 year ago

Hmmm. So that's the first option, where the board is getting 48v, but not 6v. From Stern's support stuff, they recommend checking the connections which you have already done. We've already eliminated the cables as the issue, so my next step would be to see if one of the cable jacks on Node 0 or Node 8 are bad.

Not sure the exact setup on Spider man, but it looks like only one RJ45 connection is being used on each board, so I would try the different connections, both on Node 0 and Node 8 to eliminate a bad connector.

I would also try unplugging everything from Node 8, except the 48v power and the RJ45 from Node 0 and see if the board boots (maybe something downstream from Node 8 is shorting and causing some sort of overcurrent protection).

If none of that works, then trying the new SD card, and/or waiting for a new Node 8 is probably the next step.

Unfortunately I don't have the expertise to try and diagnoses the board itself.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from paul_8788:

Hmmm. So that's the first option, where the board is getting 48v, but not 6v. From Stern's support stuff, they recommend checking the connections which you have already done. We've already eliminated the cables as the issue, so my next step would be to see if one of the cable jacks on Node 0 or Node 8 are bad.

Not sure the exact setup on Spider man, but it looks like only one RJ45 connection is being used on each board, so I would try the different connections, both on Node 0 and Node 8 to eliminate a bad connector.

I would also try unplugging everything from Node 8, except the 48v power and the RJ45 from Node 0 and see if the board boots (maybe something downstream from Node 8 is shorting and causing some sort of overcurrent protection).

If none of that works, then trying the new SD card, and/or waiting for a new Node 8 is probably the next step.

Unfortunately I don't have the expertise to try and diagnoses the board itself.

All viable-sounding options. I'll go back in. Thanks!

#9 1 year ago

Sorry to hear about your issues. I have a friend that can't get any help at all from Stern.
There are quite a few threads about their crap ass customer service and parts issues.
Here's one thread about an operator that is losing a lot of revenue:

Parts trouble? !?! (Operator can't get parts/support from distributor or stern)

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from gjm:

Sorry to hear about your issues. I have a friend that can't get any help at all from Stern.
There are quite a few threads about their crap ass customer service and parts issues.

Thanks very much. And I hate to complain about Stern--I love many of their titles and have had good experiences with them as well--but this issue and issues with node boards on other machines (most notably RUSH Premium and LE currently, and also with a Game of Thrones that I used to service) have me thinking that I won't buy any more Stern titles. Losing my little ol' business won't hurt them any, but when a part I can't get anywhere else renders a machine unplayable for months at a time, it sure gives me pause.

Thanks again for the moral support.

#11 1 year ago

I hear you and I vote with my wallet. Just look at my avatar, they (stern) out bid behind (Spooky)Charlies back and got TOHO to go with them to make Godzilla, my grail of all grail pins but I refuse to give stern a dime of my money. I bought a CGC Attack from Mars remake when they first made them and till this day (knock on wood) zero issues, not saying nothing will ever happen but just sayin'.

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from gjm:

I hear you and I vote with my wallet. Just look at my avatar, they (stern) out bid behind (Spooky)Charlies back and got TOHO to go with them to make Godzilla, my grail of all grail pins but I refuse to give stern a dime of my money. I bought a CGC Attack from Mars remake when they first made them and till this day (knock on wood) zero issues, not saying nothing will ever happen but just sayin

Yes, I hear you. I have owned three CGC remakes and the one issue I had with one was resolved over the phone by a real person. If I buy another high-ender, it will likely be Cactus Canyon.

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from paul_8788:

Not sure the exact setup on Spider man, but it looks like only one RJ45 connection is being used on each board, so I would try the different connections, both on Node 0 and Node 8 to eliminate a bad connector.

I would also try unplugging everything from Node 8, except the 48v power and the RJ45 from Node 0 and see if the board boots (maybe something downstream from Node 8 is shorting and causing some sort of overcurrent protection).

Yes, I previously tried both RJ45 connectors on both node boards in different combinations, with the result being the same behavior and error message.

Now I just tried disconnecting RJ45 from Node 0 and unplugged everything from Node 8 except for the 48V connector. The Node 8 board booted with a solid red LED as usual, and with the same Node 8 error message popping up on the display.

#14 1 year ago

Everything was disconnected from Node 8 other than 48v? I think you'd still need RJ45 from Node 0 to Node 8.

Node 8 is most likely toast though. Keep on your distributor until you get the replacement node board.

#15 1 year ago
Quoted from paul_8788:

Everything was disconnected from Node 8 other than 48v? I think you'd still need RJ45 from Node 0 to Node 8.

Yup, everything was disconnected from Node 8 except the 48v connector. The ethernet cable between the boards was also disconnected. Just tried everything disconnected from Node 8 except for the 48v and also connected the two node boards with the ethernet cable this time. Same result--solid red LED on Node 8 and the same error message on the display.

But thanks for all the follow-up. I do appreciate it. I'll report back on any progress.

#16 1 year ago

.

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from JOESCHALL:

Yes, I hear you. I have owned three CGC remakes and the one issue I had with one was resolved over the phone by a real person. If I buy another high-ender, it will likely be Cactus Canyon.

I'm lying low and waiting to see if anything takes place and from who on BBB.

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from paul_8788:

Everything was disconnected from Node 8 other than 48v? I think you'd still need RJ45 from Node 0 to Node 8.
Node 8 is most likely toast though. Keep on your distributor until you get the replacement node board.

Correct, you need the 48 volts and the RJ45 connected. There is voltage that is supplied by the RJ45 that allows the 6 volt regulator to turn on.

I am repairing a Node 8 board from an Aerosmith now that had failed components in the 6 volt section.

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from Davefinn:

Correct, you need the 48 volts and the RJ45 connected. There is voltage that is supplied by the RJ45 that allows the 6 volt regulator to turn on.

I am repairing a Node 8 board from an Aerosmith now that had failed components in the 6 volt section

Thanks for confirming. Yes, I had the RJ45 and 48v connected when I tested.

1 week later
#20 1 year ago

Just an update that I emailed Stern tech support 10 days ago to ask if they could make the game code available so that I could try a new SD card, but no response.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from JOESCHALL:

Just an update that I emailed Stern tech support 10 days ago to ask if they could make the game code available so that I could try a new SD card, but no response.

Unfortunately this is standard practice from them. They really just don't care. Sometimes I think they only have two people working to read over the emails coming in from customers with a $10k boat anchor sitting in their home.

download (resized).jpgdownload (resized).jpg
1 week later
#22 1 year ago

Glad to report that my node board issue is resolved. A "new best friend" with technical skills and related experience was kind enough to repair the board for hire, and it's now back in the machine and all is well. Meanwhile, by coincidence, on the same day that he repaired the board, Stern wrote me an email responding to my request that they made the SD card code available as a possible fix as well (although I doubted that would work). I went back and forth with Stern tech support answering questions and verifying that I had done node board tests correctly, and in the end Stern tech support concluded that the issue was the node board (yup) but that it wasn't any longer covered under warranty due to the game's age. Also, although node 8 wasn't available from any suppliers a month ago at last check, I see pinball life now has it; however, I'm glad I went with the cheaper repair option from someone who could actually explain the issue and the work he had done to resolve it. Hopefully the repaired board holds up and that's the end of this saga.

Thanks to all those who replied with ideas--they led me in the right direction!

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from JOESCHALL:

Glad to report that my node board issue is resolved. A "new best friend" with technical skills and related experience was kind enough to repair the board for hire, and it's now back in the machine and all is well. Meanwhile, by coincidence, on the same day that he repaired the board, Stern wrote me an email responding to my request that they made the SD card code available as a possible fix as well (although I doubted that would work). I went back and forth with Stern tech support answering questions and verifying that I had done node board tests correctly, and in the end Stern tech support concluded that the issue was the node board (yup) but that it wasn't any longer covered under warranty due to the game's age. Also, although node 8 wasn't available from any suppliers a month ago at last check, I see pinball life now has it; however, I'm glad I went with the cheaper repair option from someone who could actually explain the issue and the work he had done to resolve it. Hopefully the repaired board holds up and that's the end of this saga.
Thanks to all those who replied with ideas--they led me in the right direction!

Are you gonna keep the game now?

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from JOESCHALL:

I'm glad I went with the cheaper repair option from someone who could actually explain the issue and the work he had done to resolve it. Hopefully the repaired board holds up and that's the end of this saga.

What was the issue and what did he do to resolve?

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Are you gonna keep the game now?

Good to hear from you, Levi. I fondly remember our Party Zone transaction and I kept that game for years, and I always enjoy your posts.

Your question is a good one, and I'm debating the answer to it. I do like the game in my collection, but since it had only been played 87 times--mostly by others--before the board went bad, I want to enjoy it and battle test it for a while and be sure the board holds up, plus I would want any buyer to know its history if the board does not fail so they know what they're getting. With $4,000 in the game and not many people wanting this title, I think I'd have to sell at a substantial loss, so maybe I'd try to manage it as part of a trade or take it to Allentown where I MIGHT be able to sell it for more than on pinside.

Thanks for asking!

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from paul_8788:

What was the issue and what did he do to resolve?

I wish I could give a technically correct answer, but I think I can get close. He said it was clear that the 6-volt circuit had shorted, and only one of the three LED indicators (the 48-volt) was lighting at all. He had the schematics for the board and said that through another communication he believed that a zener diode sometimes failed or came loose from this particular board due to vibration or as a result of a faulty flasher or coil, and that this would result in too much current. He replaced a surface-mounted chip and he may have zip-tied that zener diode (which had not actually come loose) to an adjacent component as well. Again, I'm very clumsy with my understanding, but that's the best I can describe the work.

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from JOESCHALL:

I wish I could give a technically correct answer, but I think I can get close. He said it was clear that the 6-volt circuit had shorted, and only one of the three LED indicators (the 48-volt) was lighting at all. He had the schematics for the board and said that through another communication he believed that a zener diode sometimes failed or came loose from this particular board due to vibration or as a result of a faulty flasher or coil, and that this would result in too much current. He replaced a surface-mounted chip and he may have zip-tied that zener diode (which had not actually come loose) to an adjacent component as well. Again, I'm very clumsy with my understanding, but that's the best I can describe the work.

Hey Joe - Happy to help getting your game working again. Your explanation was very good! Basically the zener diode in the 6 volt circuit was shorted and the 48 to 6 volt regulator was shorted as well.

The symptoms of this failure mode are the red 48 volt led is on and the green 6 volt led is dark. The yellow activity led was also dark. After replacing the zener diode, the zip tie stability mod that Stern came up with was added as well.

Hope this helps someone else get their Node working again.

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from Davefinn:

Hey Joe - Happy to help getting your game working again. Your explanation was very good! Basically the zener diode in the 6 volt circuit was shorted and the 48 to 6 volt regulator was shorted as well.

The symptoms of this failure mode are the red 48 volt led is on and the green 6 volt led is dark. The yellow activity led was also dark. After replacing the zener diode, the zip tie stability mod that Stern came up with was added as well.

Hope this helps someone else get their Node working again.

Thanks, Dave, for chiming in. Didn't want to reveal your identity in case someone else would contact you. But this thread will be dead soon so perhaps that's a low risk.

#29 1 year ago

That's good info. I wonder if having the zip tie "mod" from the start would've stopped the issue from happening. I know Stern was having lots of node board failures before started shipping those kits and shipping them that way from the factory.

Just for fun I took a look at my JB Pro, and they are still using the zip tie "fix" on the boards. I thought they would've come up with a new design to address this issue by now. The zip tie feels kinda kludgy.

Promoted items from Pinside Marketplace and Pinside Shops!
$ 99.99
Lighting - Other
Lighted Pinball Mods
 
$ 17.50
Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
Pinball Haus
 
Great pinball charity
Pinball Edu

Reply

Wanna join the discussion? Please sign in to reply to this topic.

Hey there! Welcome to Pinside!

Donate to Pinside

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run without any 3rd-party banners or ads, thanks to the support from our visitors? Please consider a donation to Pinside and get anext to your username to show for it! Or better yet, subscribe to Pinside+!


This page was printed from https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/seeking-opinions-on-a-spider-man-home-edition-with-a-bad-node-board and we tried optimising it for printing. Some page elements may have been deliberately hidden.

Scan the QR code on the left to jump to the URL this document was printed from.