What are your thoughts on the Spike II system?

(Topic ID: 218125)

What are your thoughts on the Spike II system?


By LoserKid3

77 days ago



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3 key posts have been marked in this topic

Post #26 A report from an operator and a life cycle expectation. Posted by xTheBlackKnightx (76 days ago)

Post #215 Things to consider from a senior technician’s perspective. Posted by xTheBlackKnightx (47 days ago)

Post #262 Words of expierence and a warning. Posted by xTheBlackKnightx (44 days ago)


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There are 431 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 9.
#1 77 days ago

So more and more I am considering a new Stern. Some of the gameplay like Iron Maiden is just too tempting to pass up. BUT one of the major complaints about any new Stern is the Spike system. I keep hearing nightmare stories of the Spike system. It could just be people complaining just to complain or there could be a major issue here.

The other thing that doesn't help is, I watched the YouTube video by Pinball Expert, Mark Schneider. In the 20 minute presentation, Mark gives the idea from a operator and tech standpoint that the new Sterns are less tech friendly and the only people the Spike system benefits is Stern's bottom line. If you would like to watch the video, search YouTube for the title, "Should you buy a NEW Stern Pinball Machine?"

So I guess in my long winded statement, the questions are:

- Is a new Stern worth the price?
- How is the Spike II working for everyone?
- Are the Spike II pretty much the same as Spike I?

#2 77 days ago

Well the biggest issue is for people that have been/can repair their own games; and spike sort of takes that away from them or at least makes it harder.
All nodes are surface mount stuff and not as 'easily' fixed as the boards everyone has been dealing with for 25+ or whatever years. They sort of fit in the new 'disposable' era where if one breaks you just toss it and buy a new one. I think they say they are around $200 (?) a piece so compared to a component that can literally cost 5 cents on other boards it makes a scary proposition.
Spike/2 have had issues before but Stern usually covers them so far which is nice....but I think a lot of people are worried aboot the future.

Out of 4 spike/2 games I've had 1 Node board fail from an early run GB.

A new Stern worth the price; for me it is...plus they usually hold value pretty well if you're worried from that angle. LCD seems to be working well and better than I thought/hoped for the most part.
Stern is a business so I of course assume it helps their bottom line.

#3 77 days ago

Being that I have the money now I’m looking at IMDN or TWD. I’m beginning to lean more towards a IMDN purchase but the spike 2 system does bring about a worry to me.

#4 77 days ago

I was dead set against Spike for a while, but after Maiden, I decided to not worry about parts availability in the future (when I may be dead) and just enjoy the hobby. I am still interested in buying a new-used Maiden pro down the road.

#5 77 days ago

One thought regarding these new systems like Spike is the flexibility afforded by software updates. Everybody likes getting new modes, animations, fixes, etc. when a firmware update/rev happens.

Also, if you think Stern is saving a load of money with systems like this versus what it would take with mechanical systems for deep rulesets you are fooling yourself.

#6 77 days ago
Quoted from skink91:

Also, if you think Stern is saving a load of money with systems like this versus what it would take with mechanical systems for deep rulesets you are fooling yourself.

What does that mean...mechanical systems? Stern has made plenty a "deep game" before spike.

#7 77 days ago
Quoted from LoserKid3:

The other thing that doesn't help is, I watched the YouTube video by Pinball Expert, Mark Schneider. In the 20 minute presentation, Mark gives the idea from a operator and tech standpoint that the new Sterns are less tech friendly and the only people the Spike system benefits is Stern's bottom line. If you would like to watch the video, search YouTube for the title, "Should you buy a NEW Stern Pinball Machine?"
So I guess in my long winded statement, the questions are:
- Is a new Stern worth the price?
- How is the Spike II working for everyone?
- Are the Spike II pretty much the same as Spike I?

Mark s an expert? The guys aways been feathering his own nest and talking to many down under hes as dodgy as F .....

#8 77 days ago

I may have misunderstood the premise of the original post. My assumption was that the alternative was a single main board with a reliance on it, instead of distributing the function-specific ops to other areas. ‘Mechanical’ was a very poor choice of words! Sorry.

#9 77 days ago
Quoted from Wakky:

Mark s an expert? The guys aways been feathering his own nest and talking to many down under hes as dodgy as F .....

That just the name of his YouTube channel. I'm not confirming or denying his expertise in the pinball realm.

#10 77 days ago

Is rather have SAM..... that being said there’s no choice now

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#11 77 days ago
Quoted from LoserKid3:

The other thing that doesn't help is, I watched the YouTube video by Pinball Expert, Mark Schneider. In the 20 minute presentation, Mark gives the idea from a operator and tech standpoint that the new Sterns are less tech friendly and the only people the Spike system benefits is Stern's bottom line. If you would like to watch the video, search YouTube for the title, "Should you buy a NEW Stern Pinball Machine?"

This guy is no expert. He took the time out to record his own opinion. What he neglected to put in his video was that he was parallel importing Stern Spike games in to Australia and selling them. Everything about Stern Spike was fine right up until Stern stopped him importing the games, and requested that he go through the Australian distributer. Sour grapes hanging everywhere in his video.

We have 5 Spike games right now and all are working fine. All new games use this sort of electrical system, so if you want a new game, that is what you get. The games are extremely expensive in Australia, we think they are worth every cent! Spike 2 has a bit better sound and runs the colour LCD. Other pinsiders know a lot mare than I do about the differences, I am sure they will post.

#12 77 days ago
Quoted from pinballaddicted:

All new games use this sort of electrical system, so if you want a new game, that is what you get.

I didn't know if Stern games were more circuit board based verse a P3 system. Can you remove the individual bulbs on a P3 system or is it like a Spike system where you have to replace the board or solder on an led light?

Also good to know about Mark. Life is all about perspective. I didn't think an operator would openly bash his pinball company that he does business with. Makes more sense now.

#13 77 days ago

Had my cpu die on my Iron Maiden pro after less than 30 days. I finally got my replacement delivered today from stern, took 12 days to get the replacement. I live two hours from the factory....needless to say not very happy. Won’t be able to install until tomorrow and not even 100% sure that is what the problem is. Game is on location and had around 600 plays when it went down. Hoping this fixes the issue.

#14 77 days ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

Had my cpu die on my Iron Maiden pro after less than 30 days. I finally got my replacement delivered today from stern, took 12 days to get the replacement. I live two hours from the factory....needless to say not very happy. Won’t be able to install until tomorrow and not even 100% sure that is what the problem is. Game is on location and had around 600 plays when it went down. Hoping this fixes the issue.

That sucks Tsskine! 600 plays isn't much at all to have a circuit board go out. Do you know if this is a common issue with Iron Maidens?

#15 77 days ago

Spike (II) kinda reminds me of what William's was attempting to do during the System 3-7 era of games: Make the CPU and driver board modular, so that field repairs would simply consist of swapping a board out for new.

I have literally zero hands-on experience with Spike, so my opinion is based merely upon reading about it, but it seems like Stern decided to run critical data lines through those ethernet cables from node to node, and a single node failure can take down a whole game--not unlike William's 40 pin connector. How will Spike games fare 20+ years into the future? Will they age as gracefully as WPC games or SAM games? I guess time will tell.

It seems like the pinball hobby is incredibly resilient, so I'd think that as long as there is a demand for replacement, there will be people like Rottendog, Homepin, or whoever to remake node boards well into the future.

#16 77 days ago
Quoted from LoserKid3:

That sucks Tsskine! 600 plays isn't much at all to have a circuit board go out. Do you know if this is a common issue with Iron Maidens?

Haven’t heard of it happening to anyone else. Not even sure what the problem is still actually but the game was just dead. Only thing that would happen ya power up was the 48v led indicator would come on. They did this is why they thought it was cpu. Will update if replacing that fixes it tomorrow.

#17 77 days ago
Quoted from LoserKid3:

I didn't know if Stern games were more circuit board based verse a P3 system. Can you remove the individual bulbs on a P3 system or is it like a Spike system where you have to replace the board or solder on an led light?
Also good to know about Mark. Life is all about perspective. I didn't think an operator would openly bash his pinball company that he does business with. Makes more sense now.

Spike has both. Some of the bulbs are individual and some are the led board. We have had Spike since GBLE early 2016 and have never replaced a soldered LED. I actually like this system better, no mucking around with faulty sockets and lights that do not work. Stern have been using these solder LED boards since 2011 or before.

It is extremely disappointing when people (Mark) do not have the best intentions when making videos like that. I forgot to mention Mark also sells second hand machines. The beauty of Pinside is that we all get to share our information about pinball in one place. Most people are genuine. some not so much.

#18 77 days ago
Quoted from pinballaddicted:

The beauty of Pinside is that we all get to share our information about pinball in one place. Most people are genuine. some not so much.

I know what you mean. It's just hard because some people have issues with the Stern systems and others don't have an issue at all. Makes me think twice when I go to buy. But then again, just not Stern is having issues with their games. So I guess you have just as much likely good having an issue with a Stern as you would with a JJP or any other company.

#19 77 days ago
Quoted from LoserKid3:

I know what you mean. It's just hard because some people have issues with the Stern systems and others don't have an issue at all. Makes me think twice when I go to buy. But then again, just not Stern is having issues with their games. So I guess you have just as much likely good having an issue with a Stern as you would with a JJP or any other company.

We have had an issue with nearly every new pinball machine we have ever bought. We buy Stern and CGC from 2 different distributers. The issues have ranged from very small to very big. Stern and CGC have looked after us every time. I am sure that JJP are the same. Like every hobby, pinball has its ups and downs. Get yourself a good distro and enjoy pinball! We love the latest Stern releases. Machines are awesome and the sales support is just as good.

#20 77 days ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

Haven’t heard of it happening to anyone else. Not even sure what the problem is still actually but the game was just dead. Only thing that would happen ya power up was the 48v led indicator would come on. They did this is why they thought it was cpu. Will update if replacing that fixes it tomorrow.

Did you check the SD card?

#21 77 days ago
Quoted from pinballaddicted:

We have had an issue with nearly every new pinball machine we have ever bought. We buy Stern and CGC from 2 different distributers. The issues have ranged from very small to very big. Stern and CGC have looked after us every time. I am sure that JJP are the same. Like every hobby, pinball has its ups and downs. Get yourself a good distro and enjoy pinball! We love the latest Stern releases. Machines are awesome and the sales support is just as good.

Well I have found the great distributor, just debating on what to buy. I have a lot of sweat equity into my pins. Wish I could buy each game I want but alas that is not the case. Even one is a stretch for me.

#22 77 days ago
Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

Did you check the SD card?

Yes went through SD card stuff. Battery stuff. Checked all connectors. Checked node boards. Talked with Stern they said it was CPU then just took them awhile to ship out a board.

#23 77 days ago
Quoted from LoserKid3:

Well I have found the great distributor, just debating on what to buy. I have a lot of sweat equity into my pins. Wish I could buy each game I want but alas that is not the case. Even one is a stretch for me.

Good Luck! I wish you all the best. remember, there is never a wrong decision in pinball.. only learning experiences!

#24 77 days ago
Quoted from pinballaddicted:

Good Luck! I wish you all the best. remember, there is never a wrong decision in pinball.. only learning experiences!

Haha thanks! I appreciate it. With the 5 years I've been in pinball I've never bought new. I've definitely had many learning experiences over the years

#25 77 days ago

At first I was skeptical and I do believe there were genuine initial issues. Now though it seems to be starting to mature and there is a lot to like about the system such as short detection allowing the system to detect it before board damage occurs and shut down the offending component.

Also under playfield wiring is much cleaner/simpler. The LED tabs someone mentioned are perfectly fine.

The one thing I do seriously dislike about spike II has nothing to do with the system iself... it’s Sterns pricing of replacement nodes and CPU boards. Granted these are smaller run than say your average whatever but 1k for a replacement CPU board is just nonsense. Maybe someone should tell Stern that they don’t have to have the engineers themselves hand-assemble them.

If the prices were half what they are, I would still think they were a bit overpriced but reasonable considering there isn’t any other source.

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#26 76 days ago

No bullshit answer.

Spike II is no more reliable-serviceable-durable than the first generation presently.
Continued early infant mortality issues, insufficient on board/game diagnostics, and difficult to repair node boards that are not cost time efficient to troubleshoot in comparison to ANYTHING made in 1990s.
However, Stern customer service for replacements has been very good while parts remain available.

"Play the game and roll the dice"

Present coin operated technician perspective, operators understand the risk, first time home owners do not. Speaking from a company that buys more than half dozen of each title released.

Mark has been around longer than many today in this hobby, so enthusiasts should not dismiss his opinion. If they do, they are not being objective, or informed. This sounds like the complaints people have had about certain dealers in the US, some people like them, some do not.

Research shows the lifecycle of these SMT boards is less than 10 years of route operation, materials and construction. After that, they are toast, and the game is trash. Double the cycle for home use thereabouts. After that they are "unrepairable".

Get ready, and plan ahead.

#27 76 days ago

#28 76 days ago

I’ve been holding off getting a Stern game to a fair extent because I haven’t yet developed the confidence in their long term repairability.

I don’t have the impression Stern is doing much to assuage such concerns. I find no mention of node board availability or prices on their homepage. The online retailers in my area at least don’t seem to sell them.

The JJP concept of using a Linux PC with a dedicated driver board, multiple graphic cards and a flash drive seems to me to be the better strategy (even if a few of the parts are yesterdays technologies and not so easy to find).

I can imagine the time on the assembly line hooking up wires could be reduced significantly with a bus system which appears to be the spike strategy. For repairability, however, a plethora of wires seems the better way.

I’m particularly intrigued by GB Pro. This being Spike 1 and older makes me even more nervous.

#29 76 days ago

I have GoT (spike 1) and it’s been problem free.

I’ve been trying to find the differences between spike 1 and spike 2 games, but haven’t found a list changes. They seem pretty similar.

#30 76 days ago
Quoted from merccat:

The one thing I do seriously dislike about spike II has nothing to do with the system iself... it’s Sterns pricing of replacement nodes and CPU boards. Granted these are smaller run than say your average whatever but 1k for a replacement CPU board is just nonsense. Maybe someone should tell Stern that they don’t have to have the engineers themselves hand-assemble them.
If the prices were half what they are, I would still think they were a bit overpriced but reasonable considering there isn’t any other source.

How much do you think custom boards run? Especially if Stern is not able to fabricate the boards themselves and (I suspect) has to source them from a third-party, who has a captive audience (Stern). I don’t know any of specifics for their situation but, after markup for some profit, $1k seems about what I would expect.

Also, I am sure they DO have to pay a tech to populate (IC’s, etc) and test the boards as well.

#31 76 days ago

I have a bought and operate/operated a lot of NIB spike pins, I’ve had zero issues with all of it. No node board issues, no insert or play field issues, and no cpu issues. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but sterns are pretty reliable.

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#32 76 days ago

Taking a look at Spike (1) from a technical stand point: The system uses some really good and modern concepts; let me go into some details.
It is using an isolated serial bus for communication. This basically confines faults to the faulty nodes. Even high-voltage-to-switch failures will only fry the switch node, but leave the CPU ok.
A single high power medium voltage for all mechs and all nodes allows a simpler/more efficient power supply. Having a proper high power DC system eliminates common fliptronic problems like bad rectifiers, fluctuating supply voltages and most of the stuff that often make WPCs sluggish under certain circumstances and are a bitch to figure out and fix.
5V for all lighting simplifies node/driver design immensely.
Distributing the computation effort throughout the machine (and having at least a little processing power on the nodes) allows for all the neat things we've come to like, like RGB leds, instant kickbacks, more controlled mechs...
Endless processing power. Even Spike 1 has a 400MHz CPU with 64MB of ram. For something a computationally simple as a pinball game this is plain joyful overkill

But there are downsides too.
SMD can be tough to repair if you're not used to it. I personally like it more than through hole (especially with old boards that tend to loose their traces), but most people will probably have a hard time with SMD. But they are definitely repairable, saying that you only have the option to buy new boards is bogus.
Parts can be harder to obtain. From what I've seen Stern uses stock common parts, but you don't likely get them at your radio shack. Iirc the bus is powered by some automotive transceiver chips, so even that should not be a problem. However we do not know how supply will be in 15 years when there is a new generation.
And the imho most important argument is that Stern uses programmable controllers with embedded flash memories on all the node boards and the cpu. You can not just replace those with a new blank part. While the controllers are not hard to acquire, the software is. Unless Stern releases binaries for the node boards or they can be extracted from either existing boards (which can usually be prevented) or the spike update files, we are pretty much screwed. The node board NXP MCUs do come with a basic bootloader, however I would not count on spike just accepting and reprogramming a blank one. If it does, then this is point is invalid .
The CPU itself does have an embedded ROM that does boot the system from the SD card, so that should be fine. However the CPU is a BGA chip, swapping that is something that required special equipment to do.
On the Spike 1 CPU board there is a second AVR controller (with embedded flash); I guess that is taking care of the RTC and maybe the DMD. This would be prone to the flash problem too. And since flash usually just has a guaranteed data retention time of 10-20 years this might really become a problem somewhere down the road..

#33 76 days ago

I think my biggest frustration/concern with Spike and Spike 2 is that the advent of the node boards was supposed to make things easier (not talking cost) but they are not using the same node boards across the games. This causes me concern as the lower production games may have a hard time getting replacements real soon.

If they would just use the same node boards then it would make things much easier, you could have a spare or two on hand for your collection and it would reduce overall cost due to volumes.

#34 76 days ago
Quoted from skink91:

How much do you think custom boards run? Especially if Stern is not able to fabricate the boards themselves and (I suspect) has to source them from a third-party, who has a captive audience (Stern). I don’t know any of specifics for their situation but, after markup for some profit, $1k seems about what I would expect.
Also, I am sure they DO have to pay a tech to populate (IC’s, etc) and test the boards as well.

Being SMD there is very minimal assembly, it’s robotic pick an place then bake. Cost for custom boards varies widely based on where you have it manufactured, board size, quantity ordered, component cost, etc.

Whenever I’ve had boards made I’ve always skipped the population part but I’ve had boards of similar size, thickness, drill count, etc made up for about 15 bucks a board with my extremely low quantities (i’ve only ever order minimums). I know if I were buying quantities over 1000 that would go down to below 5 bucks per board, again unpopulated, but still drilled, masked, tined, tested and silkscreened. A smaller board like the size of a node board would be about a third the price.

Most boad production houses (and there are a lot out there to choose from so nobody is captive to any one) have automated testing processes in place. Stern may opt to have some final assembly and system plug-in testing in house but that would just be done by an assembly line worker.

Again while I have not priced out having a board populated, I do know that the costs it adds are components and sourcing/setup and some additional testing. The actual placement and soldering for SMD is a very low cost since it is just place and bake, which is why it’s so popular (not to mention the smaller size which also saves).

Anyway, just as a casual oberver/hobbiest who has had boards made by a third party before I have a hard time finding even $100 in manufacturing costs including shipping in a cpu board they are selling for $1000. To me $500 would be reasonable for a nice profit (after all this is to support one of their games, its not like these would be purchased in isolation) and accomodate some in house assembly line final assembly and testing.

#35 76 days ago
Quoted from 85vett:

I think my biggest frustration/concern with Spike and Spike 2 is that the advent of the node boards was supposed to make things easier (not talking cost) but they are not using the same node boards across the games. This causes me concern as the lower production games may have a hard time getting replacements real soon.
If they would just use the same node boards then it would make things much easier, you could have a spare or two on hand for your collection and it would reduce overall cost due to volumes.

True.. Does anyone know if older versions can just be replaced by newer ones of the same type? SW still uses the 4 driver / 16 switch / 16 LED board labeled "4 Coil NODE" that GoT uses too, just with a different part number. So to me it looks like there are only a few main playfield node types (drivers/switched/lights): 4/16/16, 8/8/0, 9/32/8 and a few primitive serial extensions. Newer games seem to use the 9/32/8 boards more often.
At least for the serial boards like through and switch / led drivers swapping should not be a problem, for the others we'll have to see ^^

#36 76 days ago
Quoted from 85vett:

I think my biggest frustration/concern with Spike and Spike 2 is that the advent of the node boards was supposed to make things easier (not talking cost) but they are not using the same node boards across the games. This causes me concern as the lower production games may have a hard time getting replacements real soon.
If they would just use the same node boards then it would make things much easier, you could have a spare or two on hand for your collection and it would reduce overall cost due to volumes.

So gmkalos what is it that I'm wrong about here? Since you decided to go through all my recent post and down vote them all because I called you out for being an ass in another thread. Let's hear what is not factual about the above.

#37 76 days ago
Quoted from 85vett:

So gmkalos what is it that I'm wrong about here? Since you decided to go through all my recent post and down vote them all because I called you out for being an ass in another thread. Let's hear what is not factual about the above.

How he rolls.

#38 76 days ago

I like all the information everyone has been saying so far. Hopefully these games hold longevity. I would hate to see problems arise down the road over issue that could have been resolved up front at the factory. Only time will tell what will happen with these Spike systems

#39 76 days ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

Research shows the lifecycle of these SMT boards is less than 10 years of route operation, materials and construction. After that, they are toast, and the game is trash

Lol, what "research"?
Sorry, but I feel like these games will last and not all just die at the 10 year mark.
But there is only really one thing that will show who is right, 10 years.
My Game of Thrones pin is holding up fine 3+ years into operating, but for some reason in 7 years it's trash?
Also, the transistors are NOT surface mount on Node boards, and that is what usually fails on pinball machines, so they are somewhat serviceable.

#40 76 days ago

I love new games but grow concerned about long term game plan. Will there be a pool of parts in future to pull from?

So far I have been extremely fortunate with all my Spike games. 0 issues on components my SW, Aerosmith, GOTG, IM and GB. Even with the 1 I routed. Have several thousand plays on each.

What happens 15 years from now? Will these games still be kicking. How will I obtain replacements then.

Kind of kills thrill for me as these boards are not easily or impossible to service.

#41 76 days ago

Solution seems to be easy one. Stern should partner with an on demand board manufacturer or create a service for on demand printing. If the cost is reasonable you should be able to log in to a website and have these parts created. Stern retains trade secrets and home owners are happy.

Not sure how feasible that is.

Print Parts on Demand - That is awesome sauce.. Hopefully reality in 5 years

#42 76 days ago
Quoted from DNO:

Lol, what "research"?
Sorry, but I feel like these games will last and not all just die at the 10 year mark.
But there is only really one thing that will show who is right, 10 years.
My Game of Thrones pin is holding up fine 3+ years into operating, but for some reason in 7 years it's trash?
Also, the transistors are NOT surface mount on Node boards, and that is what usually fails on pinball machines, so they are somewhat serviceable.

Here is a good start for your inquiry for added education:

Design Guidelines for Surface Mount Technology
by John E. Traister

amazon.com link »

Read this book and you will learn something regarding the electronic industry, particularly material cost and mounting/design processes that have evolved past much of the SMT that was originally designed starting in the 1960s, adopted by most industries other than pinball by the 1980s, and transferred to pinball beginning in the 1990s, which is the focus in terms of timeline. Once you master this understanding, then ask me for more sources of reference specifically applied to current boards presently based on evolution. Specific background is required first.

Of course since you familiar with the electronics of the auto industry you will also understand the the same lifecycle component testing which is used and same level of reliability in terms of rate of failure after the 10 year period. They are essentially the same. Much less so for those of the consumable market on items such as phones, televisions, and stereos.

Best of luck on your route, unless your operation is home use, which I already clearly differentiated.

#43 76 days ago

Knock on wood, but I've had GBLE for over 2 years now (original Spike), and not a single issue. Over 3000 games on it easy.

#44 76 days ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

Design Guidelines for Surface Mount Technology
by John E. Traister

Nah, I'll pass on the heavy reading from 1990 and just take your word.
I guess all my games are doomed, better keep them earning so I can throw them away in a few years and get new ones.

#45 76 days ago

Decent summary here:

http://blog.optimumdesign.com/through-hole-vs-surface-mount

In summary, through hole is more reliable especially in high stress environments due to the fact that there is a mechanical connection and the solder is typically on both sides of the board, but considerably more expensive and time consuming to manufacture.

Surface mount is cheaper, faster to produce and allows for smaller boards to be built but its not as reliable as through hole in high stress environments or if the board is subject to frequent mechanical stresses.

#46 76 days ago

Aware of the shock transmitted to the playfield from the action of the game, I rubber mounted the two node boards that are under the playfield in SW.

#47 76 days ago

Cpu installed today and game fired right up. Oddly when I go to do custom pricing though it only comes up in British pounds. Anyone got any suggestion on how to fix or what may be causing that?

#48 75 days ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

Cpu installed today and game fired right up. Oddly when I go to do custom pricing though it only comes up in British pounds. Anyone got any suggestion on how to fix or what may be causing that?

DIP S2 on the CPU. Set all 8 switches to OFF.

#49 75 days ago
Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

Solution seems to be easy one. Stern should partner with an on demand board manufacturer or create a service for on demand printing. If the cost is reasonable you should be able to log in to a website and have these parts created. Stern retains trade secrets and home owners are happy.
Not sure how feasible that is.
Print Parts on Demand - That is awesome sauce.. Hopefully reality in 5 years

Why would they do that when they can charge $999 for a Spike 2 MPU board (cost likely <$50), or 100s for node boards (cost likely <$10 for most)?

#50 75 days ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Why would they do that when they can charge $999 for a Spike 2 MPU board (cost likely &lt;$50), or 100s for node boards (cost likely &lt;$10 for most)?

And that is what I dislike about Spike II... they want to go with SMD to save money, fine with me, do that and build your games for less, make more money, hire more talent with it, etc, that’s awesome... just please when I eventually need to buy replacement parts for my machine you already made more money from up front by using less expensive components don’t gouge me on the replacement. That just hurts.

I think as a system Spike II is great and continues to get better. The negative is Sterns pricing policy for replacement components. They need to be fair there. It’s not the systems fault and it’s something that could easily be changed with the stroke of a pen.

I almost wonder if the ridiculous pricing is to prevent hobbyists from buying up spike components to build custom games or worse competitors doing so.

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