(Topic ID: 236187)

Stern Lower GI Issues on Spike


By The_Director

67 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 22 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 67 days ago by DNO
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 67 days ago

    Anyone else fighting lower GI issues on later model Sterns, mainly Spike system games on location? They've started putting two LEDs directly above the flipper mechs on either side and those 4 and the 4 at the slings seem to be going out, becoming intermittent or weakening by vibration in and around those areas. Curious if anyone has come up with a workable solution for this rather than replacing LEDs, fiddling with them, reflowing sockets. Not such a big deal at the sockets at slings, but the ones above the flipper mechs are a huge PIA to get to. Just sucks to have almost whole bottom third not illuminated as well as it should.

    #2 67 days ago
    Quoted from The_Director:

    Anyone else fighting lower GI issues on later model Sterns, mainly Spike system games on location? They've started putting two LEDs directly above the flipper mechs on either side and those 4 and the 4 at the slings seem to be going out, becoming intermittent or weakening by vibration in and around those areas. Curious if anyone has come up with a workable solution for this rather than replacing LEDs, fiddling with them, reflowing sockets. Not such a big deal at the sockets at slings, but the ones above the flipper mechs are a huge PIA to get to. Just sucks to have almost whole bottom third not illuminated as well as it should.

    Did you try using the electrical tape trick to firm up the ones in the slings so they don't vibrate loose?

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/fixing-led-bulbs-flashers-that-fall-out-of-spotlights

    #3 67 days ago
    Quoted from The_Director:

    Anyone else fighting lower GI issues on later model Sterns, mainly Spike system games on location? They've started putting two LEDs directly above the flipper mechs on either side and those 4 and the 4 at the slings seem to be going out, becoming intermittent or weakening by vibration in and around those areas. Curious if anyone has come up with a workable solution for this rather than replacing LEDs, fiddling with them, reflowing sockets. Not such a big deal at the sockets at slings, but the ones above the flipper mechs are a huge PIA to get to. Just sucks to have almost whole bottom third not illuminated as well as it should.

    many issues and unfortunately it appears to be spike node board related, not merely a physical issue with a socket.

    Half power/ partially lit bulbs... even when replaced the symptom is the same and follows the whole lower string.

    #4 67 days ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    many issues and unfortunately it appears to be spike node board related, not merely a physical issue with a socket.
    Half power/ partially lit bulbs... even when replaced the symptom is the same and follows the whole lower string.

    I haven't seen the issue on any of the spike machines here. Is it an issue of the power connector to the spike board that powers this GI getting oxidized? I know Metallica LED had this issue...

    #5 67 days ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    Is it an issue of the power connector to the spike board that powers this GI getting oxidized?

    really?

    So I assume an easy way to test would be to jumper form the first socket in the line to the male pins on the node board?

    Does repinning take care of it?

    #6 67 days ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    really?
    So I assume an easy way to test would be to jumper form the first socket in the line to the male pins on the node board?
    Does repinning take care of it?

    It wasn't obvious due to the location, but on the Metallica LED, once I pulled the connector off you could see the plastic had browned a bit and the pins did not look shiny. Repinning and new connector took care of it. Very Bally/Williams-esque.

    #7 67 days ago

    This is 100% the sockets, and fixing it sux

    #8 67 days ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    It wasn't obvious due to the location, but on the Metallica LED, once I pulled the connector off you could see the plastic had browned a bit and the pins did not look shiny. Repinning and new connector took care of it. Very Bally/Williams-esque.

    so odd! What do you think is causing this premature failure?

    #9 67 days ago
    Quoted from DNO:

    This is 100% the sockets, and fixing it sux

    wait... you are saying sockets and others are saying connectors?

    what is the issue with sockets and why only the lower strings failing? what is the fix?

    #10 67 days ago
    Quoted from DNO:

    This is 100% the sockets, and fixing it sux

    The bulb sockets, or the power connector sockets to the spike board? If it's the bulb sockets, how are they failing? Too loose? Wires coming off? I haven't seen this issue at all and we have and have had quite a few spike machines on location.

    #11 67 days ago

    I feel it might be something related to sockets as I can move with my finger and/or put a new bulb in and it will replace temporarily, but after plays and coming back, there's that weakness, deadness or in and out again

    #12 67 days ago

    But the fact that it is largely the lower GI is weird too. Why not bulbs near pop bumpers that are also vibrated heavily?

    #13 67 days ago
    Quoted from The_Director:

    Why not bulbs near pop bumpers that are also vibrated heavily?

    No where near the amount used as Flippers. Probably not as strong either

    #14 67 days ago
    Quoted from The_Director:

    I feel it might be something related to sockets as I can move with my finger and/or put a new bulb in and it will replace temporarily, but after plays and coming back, there's that weakness, deadness or in and out again

    Try the electrical tape fix and see if it's a tension issue with the socket loosening.

    #15 67 days ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    Try the electrical tape fix and see if it's a tension issue with the socket loosening.

    These are all 44 style twist in though, rather than the flat 555 type. Not a way to adapt the same idealology over is there?

    #16 67 days ago
    Quoted from The_Director:

    These are all 44 style twist in though, rather than the flat 555 type. Not a way to adapt the same idealology over is there?

    Ah, no. The AC/DC I did this for was 555 socket. Usually when a 555 does it, it's a crappy socket. Might be more Stern cost cutting on the socket quality. Until we have it happen to ones on route here, I can't know for sure.

    #17 67 days ago

    I have a two day old BM66 that the lower GI has completely gone out a couple times while playing a game. Power cycling is has fixed is so far. Have opened a ticket with my distributor and waiting to hear back.

    #18 67 days ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    what is the issue with sockets and why only the lower strings failing? what is the fix?

    Entire strings going out might be a different cause, I am talking about the flickering of lights under the inlane guides (primarily) and slings.
    The sockets under the inlane guides are different, as they are meant to mount fairly flush, and are stapled in.
    I have removed flipper plates, remove the insulating paper, pry off the staples holding the sockets (I pitch the paper, as I can't install new staples), remove wires, I then clean all the solder off the lugs, and flatten them, now the fix...
    I file the barrel of the socket a little bit, at the bottom along where the lug is, I then add solder, joining the lug and the barrel. I think they are only pressed together, and that's the problem.
    Now, I actually drill a small pilot hole and reattach the socket to the PF with a small stainless screw, the normal ones break.
    Reattach the wires, and I simply put electrical tape over it all when done (a couple pieces, cross cross) to keep potential shorts from happening.
    Then put the flipper plate back on, and check for clearance of the sockets and wiring.
    Pain in the ass, but rock solid lights after that.
    I also throw a dab of solder on the center of the bottom gold part to the other lug, for good measure.
    Ymmv, but works for me on several route machines that had issues.
    If you don't understand this whole description, or aren't comfortable doing all this, don't do it! (Or do so at your own risk)

    #19 67 days ago
    Quoted from manadams:

    I have a two day old BM66 that the lower GI has completely gone out a couple times while playing a game. Power cycling is has fixed is so far. Have opened a ticket with my distributor and waiting to hear back.

    I had an issue with the lower GI going out on batman66 and I was getting a node board error. I thought I had a dead node board. I called Stern and talked to Chas. He told me I had a shorted bulb. I guess the system detects the short all the lights go out like a Christmas tree.(WOZ???)
    He basically told me to take the bulbs out and try them one by one to figure out which was bad. Replaced the bad with a good one and all the lights returned. May not be the same issue but if it helps someone I figure it’s worth mentioning it.

    Posted about it here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/what-are-your-thoughts-on-the-spike-ii-system/page/2#post-4459693
    Post #75-79

    #20 67 days ago
    Quoted from TomGWI:

    I had an issue with the lower GI going out on batman66 and I was getting a node board error. I thought I had a dead node board. I called Stern and talked to Chas. He told me I had a shorted bulb. I guess the system detects the short all the lights go out like a Christmas tree.(WOZ???)
    He basically told me to take the bulbs out and try them one by one to figure out which was bad. Replaced the bad with a good one and all the lights returned. May not be the same issue but if it helps someone I figure it’s worth mentioning it.
    Posted about it here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/what-are-your-thoughts-on-the-spike-ii-system/page/2#post-4459693
    Post #75-79

    Thanks for the info.

    #21 67 days ago
    Quoted from DNO:

    Entire strings going out might be a different cause, I am talking about the flickering of lights under the inlane guides (primarily) and slings.
    The sockets under the inlane guides are different, as they are meant to mount fairly flush, and are stapled in.
    I have removed flipper plates, remove the insulating paper, pry off the staples holding the sockets (I pitch the paper, as I can't install new staples), remove wires, I then clean all the solder off the lugs, and flatten them, now the fix...
    I file the barrel of the socket a little bit, at the bottom along where the lug is, I then add solder, joining the lug and the barrel. I think they are only pressed together, and that's the problem.
    Now, I actually drill a small pilot hole and reattach the socket to the PF with a small stainless screw, the normal ones break.
    Reattach the wires, and I simply put electrical tape over it all when done (a couple pieces, cross cross) to keep potential shorts from happening.
    Then put the flipper plate back on, and check for clearance of the sockets and wiring.
    Pain in the ass, but rock solid lights after that.
    I also throw a dab of solder on the center of the bottom gold part to the other lug, for good measure.
    Ymmv, but works for me on several route machines that had issues.
    If you don't understand this whole description, or aren't comfortable doing all this, don't do it! (Or do so at your own risk)

    This kind of sounds like what I was expecting unfortunately. Was hoping there might be some sort of an easy top side trick, but doubted it. I might play around and see if I can come up with any lasting easier solution as this is becoming a pretty common occurrence on almost all the route spike games I service Deadpool, Iron Maiden, Star Wars, etc. If I come up with anything I'll post here as well, thanks for this detail and post!

    #22 67 days ago

    Also of note, this is not limited to Spike, I have done the same on a few SAM games too.
    Also, I have heard rumor that Stern is addressing this issue, I certainly hope so.
    But it is nice after they are fixed, to see all those lights working every time.

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