(Topic ID: 285505)

Spike 2 Node 9 OVERCURRENT PROTECTION / G.I. Failure (Stern JPLE)


By timlah79

18 days ago



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Post #78 Solution with photo of the offending socket. Posted by timlah79 (14 days ago)


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#1 18 days ago

Hi all,

I posted this issue in a general forum earlier but was recommended to post here for help.

My TOP GI-LEFT lights aren't working properly on my Stern Jurassic Park LE and I'm getting OVERCURRENT alerts for Node 9. I have the Mezel Tower Mod and the T-Rex Gate Mod (that has LEDs in this area) - lights on both are out. These mods have been in the game for well over a year without issue. The only thing that has changed recently is that the helicopter opto board has crapped out so I was in the machine making physical adjustments to it. This part area has nothing to do with the opposite side of the playfield in question AFAIK.

Powering up results in:
- CHECKING NODE BOARDS 9 OVERCURRENT DETECTED
- Game restarts
- Same message presented again
- OPERATOR ALERT! TROUGH DEVICE MALFUNCTION
- Game starts and all but 2 of the TOP LEFT G.I. lights blink/work
- Going into Service I get 2 Alerts:
1 - CHECK NODE BOARD 9 OVERCURRENT PROTECTION
2 - DEVICE MALFUNCTION TROUGH
- I go into NODE BOARD TEST and navigate to NODE 9. Display reads:
- OVERCURRENT PROTECTION
- UPPER PLAYFIELD
- DRIVE: NONE (From what I've read the DRIVE value in diagnostics tells you where the problem is (LED socket, coil, w/e) but in my case it's DRIVE: NONE)
- LIGHT: TOP GI-LEFT
- I Select Node board test, navigate to 9 and when I hit the test button all TOP LEFT G.I. lights blink except for the two in question
- During gameplay all but the two LEDs in question function just fine.
- During LAMP > TOP-LEFT GI Test, NONE of the LEDs function/flash.
- General Node Board tests reveal no errors/issues with Node 9.

I have followed the flowchart in this manual for troubleshooting: https://sternpinball.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SPIKE-System-Manual.pdf
I am now on page 46 as directed at the multimeter step:
"At the node board, measure the source wire of the G.I. to ground. Use the manual to determine wire color."

I have no idea what it means by "source wire of the G.I." nor what exactly to test with my multimeter. The JP manual doesn't note a "source wire" for the G.I.

I've checked all connections and nothing looks wrong. I replaced the Tower Mod LED that wires into the Tower Lights. For about 5 min everything lit back up and there were no alerts. But within my first gameplay ball everything went out again, rinse and repeat with that Node 9 GI overcurrent alert and Trough malfunction messages. I then disconnected the two LEDs in question entirely. No change. Now the issues I mentioned above are 100% consistent each time I power up.
The mods have been in the machine forever without issue. I have no other mods that leverage the machines power and again eliminating them didn't change anything. The only things that have changed are me pulling in/out/up the playfield over and over while trying to diagnose the issues.

I have a hard time believing that the board has gone out as these issues only arose after some slight adjustments to unrelated parts/places in the machine, with the machine powered off each time.

I've attached a number of screenshots of the alerts and aforementioned steps. Can anyone help? I'm only a couple months out of warranty but given that that has expired I'm at a loss of what to do. I'm hoping I can get help from this community to troubleshoot before going the route of buying and taking the time to install a new Node 9 board that may/may not fix this issue or hiring a technician. Much appreciated.
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#2 18 days ago

I had this before. My lower GI went out on Batman66 and got the same message. You probably have a shorted GI bulb. Take out the GI bulbs and start putting them back in. Replace faulty one with new LED bulb.

Make sure you don’t have a short on the mods.

#3 18 days ago
Quoted from TomGWI:

I had this before. My lower GI went out on Batman66 and got the same message. You probably have a shorted GI bulb. Take out the GI bulbs and start putting them back in. Replace faulty one with new LED bulb.
Make sure you don’t have a short on the mods.

Thank you so much! Are you saying to take out all bulbs in this G.I. area, power the machine back up and the errors "should" go away? Then if so, start going through one by one with the bulbs?

#4 18 days ago

Remove any mods first. Then check bulbs.

#5 18 days ago

Yep. I've seen a bad GI bulb cause this multiple times. Good luck!!

#6 18 days ago

It’s also worth while to look under the play field at the GI sockets to assure none of the wire connections have been bent or twisted causing a short....especially in the area you were working on the copter sensor.

ALSO, are your other mods using alligator clips? Those can move and short if they get jarred, depending on what you clipped them on to.

#7 18 days ago

I'm confused sorry. Like I mentioned in my post if I had already removed all the connections to the 2 mods (literally the only GI lights that don't light up right now, they just wire into existing light sockets, I've put them all back to their original LED bulbs). All other GI lights work still but I get all of those errors. I have now removed bulbs from 3 different sockets, replaced bulbs one by one, rinse and repeat. Once and only once during this process all of a sudden ALL GI lights were working. I then powered down/up again and that resulted in back to square one. I cannot pinpoint which socket/LED could be causing this. I feel like it's something else. Any additional steps I can take to figure this out?

#8 18 days ago

Feels like an “intermittent” short in one of the sockets. Something that is flaky and cleared itself for a moment, and then re-shorted during that gameplay. If you have removed the bulbs and mods which use the sockets, and you still have the problem, then I am thinking you have a short IN a socket or the connections to it underneath.

#9 18 days ago
Quoted from Markharris2000:

Feels like an “intermittent” short in one of the sockets. Something that is flaky and cleared itself for a moment, and then re-shorted during that gameplay. If you have removed the bulbs and mods which use the sockets, and you still have the problem, then I am thinking you have a short IN a socket or the connections to it underneath.

I think and hope you're right. Removal of all bulbs themselves doesn't change anything though. Isn't a removal of the bulb essentially eliminating the given socket as being the problem or can a socket without a bulb still be causing this?

As far as finding a short, do I just test for continuity between the pins of each light socket that is out? Will I need to un-solder each socket wire and do the same for the wires themselves if I find continuity in all sockets? What about the Node 9 board connections, where would I start with that if needed? Forgive my ignorance on the pinball electrical aspect but why isn't the OVERCURRENT "feature" alert nor GI/mode board 9 tests telling me which of the many GI sockets/coils/whatever is the problem?

#10 18 days ago

Underneath you will see every socket has two wires. With or without a bulb installed, those two wires can become shorted if they are bent or twisted or rotated. It’s a mechanical thing. With power off, I believe a multimeter with ohms, set for a low setting, will show 000 ohms if you have a short between the two wires on the damaged socket. I suspect you will see something is wrong if you just look underneath at each GI socket.

#11 18 days ago

My Overcurrent errors have come from Bad Bulb, Socket, Connection cables, Mods, and finally board.

#12 18 days ago
Quoted from Markharris2000:

Underneath you will see every socket has two wires. With or without a bulb installed, those two wires can become shorted if they are bent or twisted or rotated. It’s a mechanical thing. With power off, I believe a multimeter with ohms, set for a low setting, will show 000 ohms if you have a short between the two wires on the damaged socket. I suspect you will see something is wrong if you just look underneath at each GI socket.

I have stared at everything for many hours. Visually looking for something that is bent or rotated is a lost cause. Many prongs or w/e are intentionally bent as far as I can tell. Nothing is disconnected. Again why doesn't the test point me to the specific GI component assuming that it is simply a component/socket in this GI area that's causing the issues? Why does it only pinpoint node 9, top left GI, Drive = None??

I've verified continuity with the 2 sockets in question as well as 4 other ones that do turn on. All show an Ohms value and all don't look bent more than any other prong on any other socket in the machine. I'm giving up for tonight. I don't think this is something that forum messages back and forth can resolve. I also don't understand why I'm the only JP owner describing these issues and asking for help. Someone else has to have come across this particular GI issue before with JP and figured out root cause.

#13 18 days ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

My Overcurrent errors have come from Bad Bulb, Socket, Connection cables, Mods, and finally board.

And you diagnosed and resolved them how?

17
#14 18 days ago
Quoted from timlah79:

I've verified continuity with the 2 sockets in question as well as 4 other ones that do turn on. All show an Ohms value and all don't look bent more than any other prong on any other socket in the machine. I'm giving up for tonight. I don't think this is something that forum messages back and forth can resolve. I also don't understand why I'm the only JP owner describing these issues and asking for help. Someone else has to have come across this particular GI issue before with JP and figured out root cause.

It's not specific to JP, but Spike2. MANY people have had this issue on Spike 2, and in every one I can think of it's was a short in a bulb or socket.

NODE 9:
node-9-connectors (resized).jpg

I'd start by powering off and removing the CN15 light connector from the Node 9 board and see if that clears the problem because this connector powers the area the error message says is the problem. Node 9 is at the MIDDLE of the playfield, NOT the identical-looking one near the flippers (which is Node 8). Reboot and check if it cleared the error. If it DID clear the error, follow the wires coming from pins 2 and 6 on that CN15 connector. One of the lights or light sockets connected to those wires has your short, and your search area is dramatically smaller.

Or, you can just cheat and check the bulbs I've highlighted in this image. They're all on CN15 and the area the error message is pointing to. ONLY check these if disconnecting CN15 cleared the error.

JP_CN15_GI (resized).jpg

If taking off CN15 DOES NOT clear the message when disconnected, power off again and take off CN2 and CN14, too and then reboot and check that to see if the error is clear.

Quoted from timlah79:

What about the Node 9 board connections, where would I start with that if needed? Forgive my ignorance on the pinball electrical aspect but why isn't the OVERCURRENT "feature" alert nor GI/mode board 9 tests telling me which of the many GI sockets/coils/whatever is the problem?

Because Stern's Spike2 system diagnostic messages suck ass, and Gomez recently admitted that and vowed to make them better (ProTip: Don't hold your breath). It's crazy that 6 years in, Stern's STILL done little to improve the system menus they ported from SAM so they can communicate the full range of diagnostics Spike2 can SUPPOSEDLY give when JJP has done this WAY BETTER for YEARS and Bally/Williams had graphical diagnostics that pinpointed EXACT bad bulbs/sockets on a graphical map of the playfield on their Pinball 2000 system TWENTY years ago.

Quoted from timlah79:

I am now on page 46 as directed at the multimeter step:
"At the node board, measure the source wire of the G.I. to ground. Use the manual to determine wire color."
I have no idea what it means by "source wire of the G.I." nor what exactly to test with my multimeter. The JP manual doesn't note a "source wire" for the G.I.

Jsut for the record and posterity (because I already highlighted the bulbs and sockets in question for your issue), yes, the manual does tell you the source wire. It's on page 21 of the JP LE game manual on the row numbered 154, "Top GI-Left". The Src Wire is listed as Yel Blk.

#15 18 days ago

This happened to me recently and my or may not be your problem but worthwhile.

The top part of the middle spring in one of the GI sockets near the flippers broke off (just a few winds of the middle spring) and was a perfect wedge between the middle and the socket to cause a short. Without actually looking INSIDE the socket from above, I NEVER would have found this.

Did you notice if any GI bulbs were out or flickering when you operated the flippers? If so, check that socket. Other than that, check each socket one by one, particularly by the flippers that are subjected to the most vibration.

#16 18 days ago

Can you remove the GI connectors off the node board? And see if it boots without warnings?

#17 18 days ago
Quoted from russdx:

Can you remove the GI connectors off the node board? And see if it boots without warnings?

SEE: Post 14.

#18 17 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

It's not specific to JP, but Spike2. MANY people have had this issue on Spike 2, and in every one I can think of it's was a short in a bulb or socket.
NODE 9:
[quoted image]
I'd start by powering off and removing the CN15 light connector from the Node 9 board and see if that clears the problem because this connector powers the area the error message says is the problem. Node 9 is at the MIDDLE of the playfield, NOT the identical-looking one near the flippers (which is Node 8). Reboot and check if it cleared the error. If it DID clear the error, follow the wires coming from pins 2 and 6 on that CN15 connector. One of the lights or light sockets connected to those wires has your short, and your search area is dramatically smaller.
Or, you can just cheat and check the bulbs I've highlighted in this image. They're all on CN15 and the area the error message is pointing to. ONLY check these if disconnecting CN15 cleared the error.
[quoted image]
If taking off CN15 DOES NOT clear the message when disconnected, power off again and take off CN2 and CN14, too and then reboot and check that to see if the error is clear.

Thank you so much vireland ! Getting somewhere. Good news = Removing only CN15 has made all errors go away. So I'm now going through all the 154 labeled bulb sockets. However, I'm not sure what I'm looking for. I am physically inspecting the spring inside and the solder points on the arms to look for anything suspicious. I've inspected 5 of the 9 sockets so far and nothing stands out. I have used my multimeter to check continuity between each sockets' arms. I'm getting readings on all of them so far.

How do I now perform a process of elimination? For example let's say (theoretically) I got incredibly lucky and removed the bulb from the socket causing the issue, leaving all other sockets with bulbs. If I then power up the machine and get no errors/alerts, have I proven that one is the bad socket? Or will the errors still occur even when the problem socket has no bulb in it? Again none of this has happened, just an example.

The two sockets that I suspected were the problem (b/c these were the ones that remained off during the overcurrent test + were wired into the two mezel mods) do not currently have bulbs in them but I still get the errors/alerts. I also get the same errors/alerts if I put normal LEDs in them. So are these two not part of the problem or is there something else I need to check with them?

At this point, I'm trying to understand what I'm supposed to do in "checking" to eliminate the good sockets from the bad and narrow this down to the problem one.

#19 17 days ago
Quoted from timlah79:

Thank you so much vireland ! Getting somewhere. Good news = Removing only CN15 has made all errors go away. So I'm now going through all the 154 labeled bulb sockets. However, I'm not sure what I'm looking for. I am physically inspecting the spring inside and the solder points on the arms to look for anything suspicious. I've inspected 5 of the 9 sockets so far and nothing stands out. I have used my multimeter to check continuity between each sockets' arms. I'm getting readings on all of them so far.
How do I now perform a process of elimination? For example let's say (theoretically) I got incredibly lucky and removed the bulb from the socket causing the issue, leaving all other sockets with bulbs. If I then power up the machine and get no errors/alerts, have I proven that one is the bad socket? Or will the errors still occur even when the problem socket has no bulb in it? Again none of this has happened, just an example.
The two sockets that I suspected were the problem (b/c these were the ones that remained off during the overcurrent test + were wired into the two mezel mods) do not currently have bulbs in them but I still get the errors/alerts. I also get the same errors/alerts if I put normal LEDs in them. So are these two not part of the problem or is there something else I need to check with them?
At this point, I'm trying to understand what I'm supposed to do in "checking" to eliminate the good sockets from the bad and narrow this down to the problem one.

I would next power off and remove ALL (as in every single one, no shortcuts) of the 154 highlighted bulbs at once, then reconnect CN15 and reboot. Is the error still gone? If it's gone, then one of those bulbs is bad and you'll need to power off, insert a bulb, power on, check, repeat until you find which bulb (or bulbs, it can be two or more, don't get complacent and not test them all) is the bad one. If it's down to testing bulbs, I would just make the easiest socket of the nine 154 sockets to get to your "test" socket and run all 9 bulbs through it one at a time (power off, bulb in, power on, check, power off, remove bulb, repeat).

If taking all the bulbs out and plugging in CN15 you have the error still, then it's one of the nine 154 sockets that has a physical short. They'll all need to be inspected top and bottom. Probably a broken spring, but since you were in there messing with mods before this happened, you may have moved something and made a short outside the socket, so hard to say.

But let's not worry about the socket short scenario until you confirm that it's none of the bulbs by removing all the 154 bulbs and testing.

#20 17 days ago

Not much to add but good luck Tim; and thank you everybody for the help. This is a much more "newbie friendly" Spike2 actual repair thread than I expected (most seem to be "your board is fried, get a new one).

#21 17 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

you'll need to power off, insert a bulb, power on, check, repeat until you find which bulb

Or just set all those bulbs aside and replace them with new ones. If you have the issue with new bulbs too it’s most likely a bad socket.

#22 17 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

If taking all the bulbs out and plugging in CN15 you have the error still, then it's one of the nine 154 sockets that has a physical short. They'll all need to be inspected top and bottom.

With CN15 unplugged, all bulbs removed. I'd take a meter to each of the two wires on each socket and see if one is shorted.

9 sockets, only take a few minutes and might turn up what your eyes don't see.

LTG : )

#23 17 days ago
Quoted from LTG:

With CN15 unplugged, all bulbs removed. I'd take a meter to each of the two wires on each socket and see if one is shorted.
9 sockets, only take a few minutes and might turn up what your eyes don't see.
LTG : )

For sure. But if all bulbs out fixes the issue, it's most-likely a bulb or bulbs. I wasn't going down that road until a bulb or bulbs were ruled out.

Stern really needs to fine-tune their on-screen diagnostics at least to the more user-friendly level WMS pins had TWENTY YEARS AGO.

#24 17 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

I would next power off and remove ALL (as in every single one, no shortcuts) of the 154 highlighted bulbs at once, then reconnect CN15 and reboot. Is the error still gone? If it's gone, then one of those bulbs is bad and you'll need to power off, insert a bulb, power on, check, repeat until you find which bulb (or bulbs, it can be two or more, don't get complacent and not test them all) is the bad one. If it's down to testing bulbs, I would just make the easiest socket of the nine 154 sockets to get to your "test" socket and run all 9 bulbs through it one at a time (power off, bulb in, power on, check, power off, remove bulb, repeat).
If taking all the bulbs out and plugging in CN15 you have the error still, then it's one of the nine 154 sockets that has a physical short. They'll all need to be inspected top and bottom. Probably a broken spring, but since you were in there messing with mods before this happened, you may have moved something and made a short outside the socket, so hard to say.
But let's not worry about the socket short scenario until you confirm that it's none of the bulbs by removing all the 154 bulbs and testing.

CN 15 connectors for your Node board are included in this manual last page 6, giving voltages. Looks like everything is 6V G1 through G3 on the CN15 connector, 3 power supplies. I think on the other manual page 46 you were referencing they want you to check CN15 terminal 1 to ground to see if you have 5 to 6 VDC source voltage 1st. I am assuming if you have that then you have a bad bulb or socket like some of the others were mentioning. Maybe check around the area where the MOD was plugged in to give you lights at the top of the towers, which would be my first thought.

https://sternpinball.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/520-7017-72D-Core-Node-Hall-3amp.pdf

Here is a link to all Spike boards, there are 17 of them but pretty sure the one above is the one to work off of since it is the part number for the Node 9 board. You have to scroll to the bottom of the page to see all the links (Red Boxes)
https://sternpinball.com/support/

#25 17 days ago
Quoted from 2manyhobbies:

CN 15 connectors for your Node board are included in this manual last page 6, giving voltages.

You replied to the wrong post. I'm not having issues. I'm helping the OP solve his.

#26 17 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

I would next power off and remove ALL (as in every single one, no shortcuts) of the 154 highlighted bulbs at once, then reconnect CN15 and reboot. Is the error still gone? If it's gone, then one of those bulbs is bad and you'll need to power off, insert a bulb, power on, check, repeat until you find which bulb (or bulbs, it can be two or more, don't get complacent and not test them all) is the bad one. If it's down to testing bulbs, I would just make the easiest socket of the nine 154 sockets to get to your "test" socket and run all 9 bulbs through it one at a time (power off, bulb in, power on, check, power off, remove bulb, repeat).
If taking all the bulbs out and plugging in CN15 you have the error still, then it's one of the nine 154 sockets that has a physical short. They'll all need to be inspected top and bottom. Probably a broken spring, but since you were in there messing with mods before this happened, you may have moved something and made a short outside the socket, so hard to say.
But let's not worry about the socket short scenario until you confirm that it's none of the bulbs by removing all the 154 bulbs and testing.

Steps I've taken next:

1. Detached the Node 9 board from the playfield and checked under it just to make sure no washer/screw/metal anything was causing the issue. Nothing stands out, seems fine.
2. Removed all bulbs from all 9 "154" sockets.
3. Reconnected CN15
4. Booted up

Result: Same errors/alerts

7. With everything still in this state, remove CN15 again;

Result: NO errors/alerts

So it looks like I'm here now?:

If taking all the bulbs out and plugging in CN15 you have the error still, then it's one of the nine 154 sockets that has a physical short. They'll all need to be inspected top and bottom. Probably a broken spring, but since you were in there messing with mods before this happened, you may have moved something and made a short outside the socket, so hard to say.

I have physically inspected all of them and for the life of me they all look fine.

NOTE: Both with some bulbs removed and others still in and with all bulbs removed, I tested continuity between each of the 9 sockets' arms with and without CN15 connected. Every single socket reports continuity (BEEP!) which is NOT expected, correct? Other GI sockets (not in this UPPER LEFT GI) DO NOT report continuity (NO BEEP!).

Just to clarify, I wasn't messing with the mods that leverage the GI sockets in this area prior to this issue occurring. The issue showed up seemingly out of nowhere. I hadn't (at least intentionally) changed anything in this area prior to the start of the issues. Since the issue I have disconnected the mods to troubleshoot. The only other change is that a few days prior to this issue, I was messing with the helicopter. This is on the opposite side of the playfield and its opto is now out (I think I scraped the opto board). I am still waiting for a new opto board for that. But again when that went out it wasn't like this issue started immediately. Multiple days later.

ADDITIONAL INFO 1/10/21 5pm PST: With the CN15 plug disconnected, I tested DC voltage on the CN15 pins on Node Board 9 -- pins 2 & 6 and 1 & 5. I get 5.5-6V across both. So that at least tells me my node board itself is not the issue, correct?

With CN15 plug connected I did the same and I get NO voltage reading. However, I guess that's expected b/c the machine is disabling voltage due to OVERCURRENT PROTECTION, right? I don't know how to force the machine to try to pass DC to any of the sockets when CN15 is connected since I assume it's disabling that to protect itself. If it did, I could at least test the voltage at each socket as well.

#27 17 days ago
Quoted from timlah79:

I have physically inspected all of them and for the life of me they all look fine.

That is what meters are for. Which one is shorted.

LTG : )

#28 17 days ago
Quoted from LTG:

That is what meters are for. Which one is shorted.
LTG : )

Right but like I said all 9 report continuity between all of their respective "arms" with no bulbs in any of them. Can you please elaborate on exactly how I should test each socket if what I mentioned is me simply doing it wrong?

#29 17 days ago
Quoted from timlah79:

Right but like I said all 9 report continuity between all of their respective "arms" with no bulbs in any of them. Can you please elaborate on exactly how I should test each socket if what I mentioned is me simply doing it wrong?

Is this with no bulbs in them and CN15 unplugged ?

If so. Then I'd remove the wires to each socket and check one at a time. Maybe get lucky and not have to unwire them all.

LTG : )

#30 17 days ago
Quoted from timlah79:

Right but like I said all 9 report continuity between all of their respective "arms" with no bulbs in any of them. Can you please elaborate on exactly how I should test each socket if what I mentioned is me simply doing it wrong?

It sounds like you have a short along one of the wires. Have you followed both wires from the CN15 connector to the end, looking (and FEELING) for physical damage, a nick, a screw barely touching one of the wires, a pinched wire, etc?

#31 17 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

It sounds like you have a short along one of the wires. Have you followed both wires from the CN15 connector to the end, looking (and FEELING) for physical damage, a nick, a screw barely touching one of the wires, a pinched wire, etc?

I haven't yet clipped all the zip-ties and such, no. That feels like its going to be a huge mess but also difficult to follow all the wires without doing so. Outside of the already zip tied bundles, yes I have multiple times followed every wire I can to every connector and reseated even though none appear to be disconnected. It's highly possible I'm missing an obvious disconnect or "pinch" but there's tons of stock wiring and connectors from this upper playfield/node board around to the back of it. Again physically I have yet to see anything wrong. But the irony of that statement is that I think at this point it is physical since that's the only thing that's changed = me lifting the playfield and putting it back down over and over again while troubleshooting the seemingly unrelated helicopter opto issue in the first place before all this happened (as I described earlier). As I also mentioned in my just now edited reply above I did confirm at least proper DC voltage is coming through the CN15 pins on the node board.

#32 17 days ago
Quoted from timlah79:

I haven't yet clipped all the zip-ties and such, no. That feels like its going to be a huge mess but also difficult to follow all the wires without doing so. Outside of the already zip tied bundles, yes I have multiple times followed every wire I can to every connector and reseated even though none appear to be disconnected. It's highly possible I'm missing an obvious disconnect or "pinch" but there's tons of stock wiring and connectors from this upper playfield/node board around to the back of it. Again physically I have yet to see anything wrong. But the irony of that statement is that I think at this point it is physical since that's the only thing that's changed = me lifting the playfield and putting it back down over and over again while troubleshooting the seemingly unrelated helicopter opto issue in the first place before all this happened (as I described earlier). As I also mentioned in my just now edited reply above I did confirm at least proper DC voltage is coming through the CN15 pins on the node board.

Then maybe post some well-lit hi-res pics of the bottom and top of each of the 9 sockets to see if anything stands out to people here.

#33 17 days ago

Following for reference

#34 17 days ago

Tim-

With cn15 disconnected, and all nine of the 154 type bulbs removed, you should see NO CONNECTIVITY when metering between each of the sets of the two wires on each socket. The meter should read open. Any reading of zero shows a short...

#35 17 days ago

EDIT 1/10/21 10:30pm PST: UNRESOLVED

Unfortunately it looks like I spoke too soon. After 5 plays the issue has resurfaced out of nowhere. Sorry for jumping the gun.

It's become intermittent again. I'll have the issues/errors/alerts, power down, pull up the playfield, wiggle some areas/sockets/wires around node board 9. Lower the playfield to a holding position, power on. No errors and all lights work. I'll then completely position the playfield, no errors. Power down and back up, no errors. Load the balls back in. Then play for a single ballplay and bam all lights in the GI go out. I'll then rinse and repeat. Upon power up if no errors/alerts and all GI bulbs are working I go into settings I get a brand new alert: CHECK SWITCH #9 LEFT FLIPPER BUTTON. I go into that test and don't see anything wrong. I power down and back up and again square one with all of the initial errors/alerts, no GI lights no new alerts, just the same as before. I'll do all of this again, GI lights working, no errors/alerts, play for a short amount of time and back to square one yet again.

I'll dig in again tomorrow.

THANK YOU to a) everyone who posted here and most importantly, b) vireland who got me a huge step forward with his incredibly detailed advice and bent98 who spent probably 4-5 hours on the phone with me today going step by step through testing.

I'll get this sorted / unshorted soon but only b/c of the incredible help by others provided thus far.

Previous, thought to be resolution description below:
RESOLUTION! 1/10/21 8pm PST: Houston, we have a resolution!!!

It turns out that this was a "wires crimped together" issue after all. In the attached photo (which is horrible sorry) see the two sets of wires going to 5 different sockets which are all tightly zip-tied together (by the factory, not me). Clipping off those ties all of a sudden brought all 9 lamps of the TOP LEFT G.I. back to fully functioning, without errors/alerts. I then went one by one, putting a bulb in, powering on/off to make sure the errors/alerts still didn't show up. Once all bulbs were in and I verified all was working, I then went one by one, screwing each socket back into it's intended place, powering on/off each time like before. Now all sockets are back in their original places and all bulbs are in.

Before putting everything back together I meticulously looked at each wire in these clusters to see if I could find a cut/pin hole/anything that could have made contact unexpectedly anywhere else. I have yet to find such a thing aka I still don't know which exact wire(s) are the root cause. I will say that the stock zip ties in both areas were incredibly tightly pulled. I had to be very careful when clipping them to make sure I didn't grace any given wire. They were so tightly zipped to the point to where I can see the indentation in the wires' sheaths after removal. I still don't see any exposure of frays or anything sticking out. So I still don't know the root cause.

I still don't know exactly what happened here (which wire(s) exactly) since again nothing was "intentionally" adjusted in this area of the playfield in days prior to the issue and those zip ties have been there as is since I got the machine > a year ago. I'm going to let things be for now and play over the next couple of days. I'll keep both the tower and cage mods disconnected for now and report back if the issues resurface without touching anything.

I know time is valuable and many of you have spent a ton of time helping me in the background. I can't thank ALL of you enough for digging in and providing so much advice. I learned a lot through this and I hope this thread helps others too. I will surely post detailed info if I do figure out exactly which wire caused the shorting.
crimped wire bundles (resized).jpg

#36 17 days ago

Im glad you found an answer Tim!!!!

Would someone know if this inline Continuity Tester would be of use in troubleshooting this issue?

pasted_image (resized).png
#37 17 days ago

Glad you found the short!!!

Also, did I see some kind of miniature computer screen mounted in the upper right near the wire ramp?

#38 17 days ago
Quoted from Markharris2000:

Glad you found the short!!!
Also, did I see some kind of miniature computer screen mounted in the upper right near the wire ramp?

Yes and it's powered outside of the machine via a single USB cable. Doesn't even come close to touching any of the wiring in question if that's why you're asking.

#39 17 days ago

Glad you figured it out and wrote a detailed resolution to help others.

LTG : )

#40 17 days ago
Quoted from timlah79:

Yes and it's powered outside of the machine via a single USB cable. Doesn't even come close to touching any of the wiring in question if that's why you're asking.

Actually I was curious where you got it.... it kinda looked cool

#41 17 days ago
Quoted from timlah79:

RESOLUTION! 1/10/21 8pm PST: Houston, we have a resolution!!! This is all thanks to a) everyone who posted here and most importantly, b) vireland who got me a huge step forward with his incredibly detailed advice and bent98 who spent probably 4-5 hours on the phone with me today going step by step through testing.

...I learned a lot through this and I hope this thread helps others too. I will surely post detailed info if I do figure out exactly which wire caused the shorting.

Glad you're back in business. And yes, these kinds of ordeals tend to stick with you, so now you'll be better prepared for the next Stern issue you have.

#42 17 days ago

NEVERMIND, STILL UNRESOLVED 1/10/21 10:30pm PST: I should have waited and played more before declaring resolution. After 5 plays I'm back to the same issue again. I've updated my last post about it: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/spike-2-node-9-overcurrent-protection-gi-failure-stern-jple#post-6066265

I haven't taken the glass off, picked the playfield back up, moved the machine, nothing since I posted the resolution, just played some games.

I have spent my entire weekend as well as wasting others' weekends trying to figure this out. I'm extremely deflated that it's now happening again seemingly out of nowhere. I have to walk away from this for tonight. Thanks again for everyone's continued support and expertise.

#43 17 days ago
Quoted from timlah79:

NEVERMIND, STILL UNRESOLVED 1/10/21 10:30pm PST: I should have waited and played more before declaring resolution. After 5 plays I'm back to the same issue again. I've updated my last post about it: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/spike-2-node-9-overcurrent-protection-gi-failure-stern-jple#post-6066265
I haven't taken the glass off, picked the playfield back up, moved the machine, nothing since I posted the resolution, just played some games.
I have spent my entire weekend as well as wasting others' weekends trying to figure this out. I'm extremely deflated that it's now happening again seemingly out of nowhere. I have to walk away from this for tonight. Thanks again for everyone's continued support and expertise.

You're FAR ahead of where you were at the beginning of the weekend, so consider that your headstart when you dig back into it.

#44 17 days ago
Quoted from timlah79:

NEVERMIND, STILL UNRESOLVED 1/10/21 10:30pm PST: I should have waited and played more before declaring resolution. After 5 plays I'm back to the same issue again. I've updated my last post about it: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/spike-2-node-9-overcurrent-protection-gi-failure-stern-jple#post-6066265
I haven't taken the glass off, picked the playfield back up, moved the machine, nothing since I posted the resolution, just played some games.
I have spent my entire weekend as well as wasting others' weekends trying to figure this out. I'm extremely deflated that it's now happening again seemingly out of nowhere. I have to walk away from this for tonight. Thanks again for everyone's continued support and expertise.

I'm not great at advice for repairs, but if it is a short it makes me wonder about a pinched wire from raising or lowering the playfield. Have you looked on the sides or at the back for a pinched wire? I had a getaway with switch errors years ago that drove me nuts. Finally found a wire back behind the supercharger that was pinched. Not surprising being an older game, and I think the wiring on stems is bundled up better. Just some random thoughts after watching football and enjoying some beers. Hope you can get it figured out

#45 17 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

You're FAR ahead of where you were at the beginning of the weekend, so consider that your headstart when you dig back into it.

I'm not sure I'm even at a headstart at this point. I've now conjured a new alert and even more confusing behavior. See my edited post. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/spike-2-node-9-overcurrent-protection-gi-failure-stern-jple#post-6066265

This machine has been a lemon since I first got it. I have spent more time during the entire year of purchase troubleshooting physical issues, contacting Stern, awaiting then installing parts, testing, recording and sending videos, following troubleshooting steps, scheduling technician visits, etc. vs. just playing/enjoying the machine. Now I'm out of warranty and this most confusing of all issues has arisen. I honestly at this point feel like I should just sell the machine with the known issues for whatever I can get for it and buy a new Prem. I'm literally the only one having this latest issue on an LE/Prem. This is driving me insane. It feels like there's been a much larger issue at hand with this thing since day one that is going to continue no matter what I do.

#46 17 days ago
Quoted from timlah79:

I'm not sure I'm even at a headstart at this point. I've now conjured a new alert and even more confusing behavior. See my edited post. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/spike-2-node-9-overcurrent-protection-gi-failure-stern-jple#post-6066265

Fix the short on CN15 with the 154 GI bulb chain. Ignore everything else until you have that. It may be artifacts of whatever's going on with your CN15 string.

#47 17 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

Fix the short on CN15 with the 154 GI bulb chain. Ignore everything else until you have that. It may be artifacts of whatever's going on with your CN15 string.

How do I fix a short when I can't even figure out where the short is?? Everything about this issue is now intermittent. Everything you and others have recommended, I've already done except for unsoldering then resoldering all 9 sockets one by one. Which I think is a lost cause. I've already proven it's not a bad socket, just a wiring issue that is apparently nearly impossible to pinpoint, right?

#48 17 days ago
Quoted from timlah79:

How do I fix a short when I can't even figure out where the short is?? Everything about this issue is now intermittent. Everything you and others have recommended, I've already done except for unsoldering then resoldering all 9 sockets one by one. Which I think is a lost cause. I've already proven it's not a bad socket, just a wiring issue that is apparently nearly impossible to pinpoint, right?

Did you ever post hi-res pictures of every 154 socket, top and bottom?

You jump to defeated/hysterical too easily. Yeah, it can be frustrating, but you're not left to figure this out with no assistance. You're not the only n00b that was clueless on pin repair at the beginning. All of us were at some point. Well...except maybe LTG. I believe he came out with a multimeter probe in his hand. At least, that's what I heard.

Problems on pins can sometimes be difficult and require careful, step-by-step diagnosis to eliminate possible causes. There's no getting around it. If it's too much for you, hire someone to repair it to get it fixed easily.

Take a break, come back to it later, and don't take the process personally. There are a number of people in this thread to help you.

#49 17 days ago

I experienced a similar issue on node board 8 that would come and go. One of the GI wires was rubbing on a metal bracket and had worn the wire insulation. The vibration from playing would cause it to reappear. The worn spot of insulation was almost invisible, but just enough that it could short out.

#50 17 days ago

Disconnect CN15 and see if all is well in the GI routines. I suspect you still have a short in that string since you never quite found the smoking gun.

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