(Topic ID: 191288)

Seen this spike 2 diagnostic menu?

By Grg

4 years ago


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  • 23 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by clg
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    Freq (resized).jpg
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    #1 4 years ago

    Due to crazy NZ pinball pricing I will be importing SW and future titles to save a few $$$

    To get around the USA to NZ conversion I will be using a step-down transformer with frequency converter.......

    However, in the latest Stern factory tour it makes me wonder if any transformer is needed? The worker is setting frequency at 50hz. Maybe once these settings are entered at the factory they are set in stone but it's food for thought and I've never seen this menu.

    image (resized).jpg

    image (resized).jpg

    #2 4 years ago

    Curious what purpose the frequency even serves in modern games. Does anything besides pre-wpc bally actually depend on it?

    #3 4 years ago

    It's to stop grey imports, machine looks at the incoming supply and if it's not the same as it was set to at the factory, it won't work. Earlier machines did this too, but there was an easy mod board to circumvent it.

    Quoted from Grg:

    Maybe once these settings are entered at the factory they are set in stone but it's food for thought and I've never seen this menu.

    The bit that says 'KEY VERIFIED' makes me think there's some kind of crypto and isn't supposed to be accessible to anyone outside of Stern.

    #4 4 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Curious what purpose the frequency even serves in modern games. Does anything besides pre-wpc bally actually depend on it?

    It doesn't have anything to do with the age of the game. It's electrical frequency. Europe's electrical grid runs on 50Hz. The US runs on 60Hz. An electrical device needs to match the frequency that it is being used on.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_frequency

    #5 4 years ago

    Freq (resized).jpg

    #6 4 years ago

    See the Stern Service Bulletin SB170. It describes the stuff they put into place for the frequency. Maybe, though, they changed that at some point afterwards, and games will auto-adjust. I dunno?

    #7 4 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    It doesn't have anything to do with the age of the game. It's electrical frequency. Europe's electrical grid runs on 50Hz. The US runs on 60Hz. An electrical device needs to match the frequency that it is being used on.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_frequency

    It doesn't necessarily 'need' a certain frequency, though? Bally boards do, as they use it for timing, but sys 3-6 Williams just rectify it. I think WPC is the same? I doubt that modern games with their own built in computers are going to rely on something that granular for any timing.

    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    I doubt that modern games with their own built in computers are going to rely on something that granular for any timing

    I heard they used it to stop you from importing games.

    #9 4 years ago
    Quoted from Grg:

    Due to crazy NZ pinball pricing I will be importing SW and future titles to save a few $$$
    To get around the USA to NZ conversion I will be using a step-down transformer with frequency converter.......
    However, in the latest Stern factory tour it makes me wonder if any transformer is needed? The worker is setting frequency at 50hz. Maybe once these settings are entered at the factory they are set in stone but it's food for thought and I've never seen this menu.

    See if you can get a Euro machine. No step down and hertz converter needed. Just change the plug.

    What is your plan if there is a warranty concern? The postage to sort out issues will more than likely exceed your saving. If you use a step down transformer and hertz converter, every time you have a voltage fluctuation the machine will more than likely reset and come up country error.

    Good luck!

    #10 4 years ago

    The frequency is like a clock. It's only slightly different but enough for appliances like an oven to run slow. It could very well work without changing the frequency but most step-down transformers have this as a feature these days.

    Simple enough to place it inside the pin so from the outside its still very much plug-n-play.

    #11 4 years ago
    Quoted from pinballaddicted:

    See if you can get a Euro machine. No step down and hertz converter needed. Just change the plug.
    What is your plan if there is a warranty concern? The postage to sort out issues will more than likely exceed your saving. If you use a step down transformer and hertz converter, every time you have a voltage fluctuation the machine will more than likely reset and come up country error.
    Good luck!

    I've saved a few dollars in the past with SAM. Easy done and nothing needed. I'm not talking about a few hundred in savings, it's about $1,500 per pin. Our LE cost is $14,990.

    #12 4 years ago
    Quoted from Grg:

    The frequency is like a clock. It's only slightly different but enough for appliances like an oven to run slow.

    Except it's not nearly accurate enough for a computer to use for a clock. The only reason they seem to use it is just to screw people

    #13 4 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    I think WPC is the same?

    WPC games use the frequency zero cross to clock the triacs for dimming the GI. Other than that, I believe that wall frequency would be irrelevant, as like you said, everything else is rectified.

    #14 4 years ago
    Quoted from Grg:

    I've saved a few dollars in the past with SAM. Easy done and nothing needed. I'm not talking about a few hundred in savings, it's about $1,500 per pin. Our LE cost is $14,990.

    Wow! That is worth looking at then. See if you can get a Euro model then, much easier for you.

    Like I say, this is an addiction!

    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Except it's not nearly accurate enough for a computer to use for a clock. The only reason they seem to use it is just to screw people

    Agreed, that's why I found it so interesting watching that lady set the machine for the country of destination. Obviously the software can do it and no hardware change is needed, well I couldn't see a volts setting so maybe just the frequency is built in.

    I bet old oga83 with pinball browser could crack it.

    #16 4 years ago

    I doubt Stern would continue turning a blind eye if Pinball Browser could be used to remove the import restrictions.

    #17 4 years ago
    Quoted from Sonny_Jim:

    I doubt Stern would continue turning a blind eye if Pinball Browser could be used to remove the import restrictions.

    I don't know if it's so much a restriction or just the requirements set for each country. At the end of the day a cheap transformer as mentioned can beat any "restriction" Stern has.

    However, it would be a great feature built in to the machine. Most appliances now days I own, shaver, phone charger etc can use either 110-240v 50/60hz no problems. If travelling I just take a universal wall adapter.

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from Grg:

    At the end of the day a cheap transformer as mentioned can beat any "restriction" Stern has.

    Bear in mind that your warranty will be invalid if it's a grey import, but saying that the warranty is pretty crap to start with.

    #19 4 years ago
    Quoted from Sonny_Jim:

    Bear in mind that your warranty will be invalid if it's a grey import, but saying that the warranty is pretty crap to start with.

    With one distributor in NZ our warranty is minimal.

    I do have a US distributor that I would like to support as he's done so much for the community. I've been waiting for an excuse to use his services so here's my chance.

    #20 4 years ago

    I asked the same question and posted the same screen grab to the UK forum. I was told about a us guy who had moved to germany (in the forces) and was mightily pissed when his 24 games no longer worked. Stern sent him a way to change the frequency to match the country.
    This was on SAM games but I suspect that Spike is also software controlled (like setting a region on your DVD player used to be). Either a hidden menu (like pressing all 4 buttons on a WPC game) or a plug in that boots, sets the details and then is removed. Either way, no chance Stern makes 2 lots of boards for different regions.
    Spike is Linux, someone should be able to take a look.

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from Grg:

    Most appliances now days I own, shaver, phone charger etc can use either 110-240v 50/60hz no problems.

    Our products use off the shelf switching supplies, which are rated 90-264 VAC, with a frequency range of 47-63HZ. The customer just installs a plug adapter we provide if shipping outside the US. To me, it seems weird to even bother to list the frequency on the DMD at all, unless it's tied to detecting imports.

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    Our products use off the shelf switching supplies, which are rated 90-264 VAC, with a frequency range of 47-63HZ. The customer just installs a plug adapter we provide if shipping outside the US. To me, it seems weird to even bother to list the frequency on the DMD at all, unless it's tied to detecting imports.

    for the final time. It's used to detect grey imports. Nothing to do with power requirements.

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from Grg:

    With one distributor in NZ our warranty is minimal.
    I do have a US distributor that I would like to support as he's done so much for the community. I've been waiting for an excuse to use his services so here's my chance.

    Are you worried about node boards though? They are expensive and if you lose a board or two that can add up fast. Not sure how great CC would be about replacing them even if you bought from them. I have a bad DMD still cause the 'new one' was worse then the bad one with an intermittent line. I completely understand about why you are doing this though.

    Hey there! Got a moment?

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