What are your thoughts on the Spike II system?

(Topic ID: 218125)

What are your thoughts on the Spike II system?


By LoserKid3

3 months ago



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  • 434 posts
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  • Latest reply 24 days ago by mbwalker
  • Topic is favorited by 18 Pinsiders

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There are 435 posts in this topic. You are on page 9 of 9.
#401 73 days ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Had no idea you were involved with AP, too. Interesting.

We are running Linux like some other companies, and we worked with Jimmy who has created a very trimmed down Linux OS. I also gave hime a few other things to do for us, since we are thinly staffed and it was areas where he has expertise. To some degree we have partnered with both him and spooky around things like code updating since there is no reason for things like that for us all to re-invent the wheel. In fact we are testing out a few enhancements to that, and owners of Houdini, TNA, and ACNC will all benefit.

#402 73 days ago

Yes, so lets be clear. As far as everything at AP that is awesome about the game, Josh is the man. As far as the boring OS level crap, that's me.

#403 73 days ago
Quoted from Compy:

As one of the system architects at Multimorphic, and the primary system architect at Valley-Dynamo, Spooky, Circus Maximus Games and primary OS guy at American Pinball, we all have slightly different requirements depending on the game implementation.

What's the deal with the screen tearing on Houdini? Can't you lock the video updates to vblank to eliminate it? It's most noticeable when the curtains open and close, and it's relatively minor, but it drives me crazy because it should be easy to fix.

#404 73 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

What's the deal with the screen tearing on Houdini? Can't you lock the video updates to vblank to eliminate it? It's most noticeable when the curtains open and close, and it's relatively minor, but it drives me crazy because it should be easy to fix.

Hmm, I'll look into it! Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

#405 72 days ago

Slightly off subject, but this is the type of info I like to see about technology families. A "Good Until" date.

Nice processor, think that P3ROC suggests this one.

SBC (resized).PNG
#406 72 days ago
Quoted from mcbPalisade:

think that P3ROC suggests this one.

We don't really suggest any particular processing element over any other. Every pinball manufacturer has different requirements, and the P3-ROC works with any processing element that can master the USB bus. Machines with our boards use processing elements ranging from R-Pis (custom machines with low processing needs) to new Intel motherboards with separate NVidia video cards (P3) and everything in between (Up boards, Intel NUCs, etc). CPU/GPU power, memory size, and cost can scale with the needs of a particular machine.

- Gerry
https://www.multimorphic.com

#407 72 days ago
Quoted from gstellenberg:

We don't really suggest any particular processing element over any other. Every pinball manufacturer has different requirements, and the P3-ROC works with any processing element that can master the USB bus. Machines with our boards use processing elements ranging from R-Pis (custom machines with low processing needs) to new Intel motherboards with separate NVidia video cards (P3) and everything in between (Up boards, Intel NUCs, etc). CPU/GPU power, memory size, and cost can scale with the needs of a particular machine.
- Gerry
https://www.multimorphic.com

and with Intel you have AMD to use as well.

#408 72 days ago
Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

and with Intel you have AMD to use as well.

I don't think the processor is the issue per se, it is the chipset

#409 72 days ago
Quoted from mcbPalisade:

I don't think the processor is the issue per se, it is the chipset

unless you really cut the kernel down then switching from intel to amd is easy. On linux most USB chipsets are in the basic OS. On windows you may need chipset drives.

Moving Linux vm's from amd / intel or intel / amd is not that big of an issue. On Real hardware nicknames may change / may need to clear out some U-dev stuff. on the server side with fixed ip's. I have Linux on a USB HDD that boots on lot's of differnt systems with it finding wifi nics / enet nicks with no really change to config files needed.

#410 72 days ago
Quoted from gstellenberg:

We don't really suggest any particular processing element over any other.

Since your abstraction layer is USB - of course. Port a USB driver to VAX/VMS and use that.

My point is for the other things that comprise a pinball machine the user community needs products with legs. Ones that can be around for as long as these things live which appears to be Methuselah's age ( - :

Did find this picture today which talks about a logical division of tasks. I'm talking about the Media Controller (right/red) part:

Pinball Controller Task Split (resized).PNG
#411 72 days ago
Quoted from Compy:

Hmm, I'll look into it! Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

While you're at it, I *think* this is more Rosh's department, but the scroll rate on the credits in attract mode has a similar problem, but I think it's less about not using vblank and more about using a scroll speed that doesn't take into account the refresh rate of the monitor. When it's scrolling, you can see it stutter quickly about every 1/3 of the screen it moves up. Adjusting the scroll speed will fix this.

#412 72 days ago
Quoted from mcbPalisade:

Since your abstraction layer is USB - of course. Port a USB driver to VAX/VMS and use that.
My point is for the other things that comprise a pinball machine the user community needs products with legs. Ones that can be around for as long as these things live which appears to be Methuselah's age ( - :
Did find this picture today which talks about a logical division of tasks. I'm talking about the Media Controller (right/red) part:

When running Mission Pinball, you will get two windows when you launch "mpf both". The game engine runs the code and at least used to display the log file in real time. The media controller window is your "display" and shows the scores and whatever you have set up on the screen. The media controller also plays sounds, but I haven't got that far in my game yet.

#413 72 days ago

Have any of the other current manufacturers posted schematics of their hardware?

#414 72 days ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Have any of the other current manufacturers posted schematics of their hardware?

JJP does, I don’t know about the others. It sounds like P3-ROC is a fairly commonly utilized 3rd party platform by others.

#415 71 days ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Have any of the other current manufacturers posted schematics of their hardware?

Trick answer, but CGC does for MMr & RFMr

#416 68 days ago

I noticed this with my Star Wars about a month ago and thought it was a problem with the CPU board. The sound from the cabinet speaker on the bottom of the game was slightly distorted compared to the audio coming from the backbox speakers. We ran the audio to a different speaker to verify that it wasn't just a case of crappy stock speaker, but the distortion was still there. When we routed the backbox sound to the cabinet speaker it was crisp and clear, so no issues with the speakers. I was sent a replacement CPU board on warranty and swapped it out, but the distorted sound problem still persisted. I ended up going back to a really early version of the code (0.91) and the distortion was gone!! I then upgraded back to 1.03 and as I expected the sound problem returned.

We verified with another collector who tested his Star Wars and he also had the distortion from the bottom cabinet speaker. It's not really noticeable standing up playing normally, but if you crouch down to the bottom of the game and listen to the music and callouts, you can tell its fuzzy. I had another person check their Batman 66, Star Wars, and Aerosmith and they all had similar distortion coming from the bottom cabinet speaker. I think when Stern redid the plumbing on the Spike II sound system earlier this year with the ability to adjust speaker bass/treble independently, they may have inadvertently messed something up here.

I think they are mixing the Stereo sound to mono for the cabinet speaker, but they are not applying Pan Law when they do this (reduce each channel gain by -3dB before mixing to mono) so the audio is ending up distorted or clipping.

I'm curious if anyone else here has noticed this. I did mention this on the Star Wars thread, but it got missed in the sea of posts about hyper loops and escape gates not working, or was written off as a speaker issue by folks who didn't fully read my posts on the issue.

As far as I am aware, this could potentially be an issue on all Spike II games that have the underlying system updates for the audio adjustments from around the Feb-April 2018 time frame.

Edit: Also, I have emailed Stern about this observation a week ago, but hadn't gotten any sort of confirmation or response they have read and understood it.

#417 67 days ago
Quoted from JoshODBrown:

I noticed this with my Star Wars about a month ago and thought it was a problem with the CPU board. The sound from the cabinet speaker on the bottom of the game was slightly distorted compared to the audio coming from the backbox speakers. We ran the audio to a different speaker to verify that it wasn't just a case of crappy stock speaker, but the distortion was still there. When we routed the backbox sound to the cabinet speaker it was crisp and clear, so no issues with the speakers. I was sent a replacement CPU board on warranty and swapped it out, but the distorted sound problem still persisted. I ended up going back to a really early version of the code (0.91) and the distortion was gone!! I then upgraded back to 1.03 and as I expected the sound problem returned.
We verified with another collector who tested his Star Wars and he also had the distortion from the bottom cabinet speaker. It's not really noticeable standing up playing normally, but if you crouch down to the bottom of the game and listen to the music and callouts, you can tell its fuzzy. I had another person check their Batman 66, Star Wars, and Aerosmith and they all had similar distortion coming from the bottom cabinet speaker. I think when Stern redid the plumbing on the Spike II sound system earlier this year with the ability to adjust speaker bass/treble independently, they may have inadvertently messed something up here.
I think they are mixing the Stereo sound to mono for the cabinet speaker, but they are not applying Pan Law when they do this (reduce each channel gain by -3dB before mixing to mono) so the audio is ending up distorted or clipping.
I'm curious if anyone else here has noticed this. I did mention this on the Star Wars thread, but it got missed in the sea of posts about hyper loops and escape gates not working, or was written off as a speaker issue by folks who didn't fully read my posts on the issue.
As far as I am aware, this could potentially be an issue on all Spike II games that have the underlying system updates for the audio adjustments from around the Feb-April 2018 time frame.
Edit: Also, I have emailed Stern about this observation a week ago, but hadn't gotten any sort of confirmation or response they have read and understood it.

Did you send it to their "bugs" email address? I've read quite a few posts saying that they go through those and take pretty good notes.

#418 67 days ago
Quoted from desertT1:

Did you send it to their "bugs" email address? I've read quite a few posts saying that they go through those and take pretty good notes.

I sent to the "software" address and it didn't bounce back, but it appears that the proper one to send to is "bug.report", so I have just resent it and we'll see what happens.

#419 67 days ago

The bug report folks responded right away and they are aware of the issue and currently investigating.

#420 67 days ago

What is the exact email address for software bugs?

2 weeks later
#422 53 days ago
Quoted from JoshODBrown:

I noticed this with my Star Wars about a month ago and thought it was a problem with the CPU board.

I had the exact same thing with my Iron Maiden premium. The sound was horrible. I too got a replacement node zero board. No change. Sound clipped horribly and was awful turned up.

I worked on a Total Nuclear annihilation and a Houdini. I was very impressed with their sound. I ordered the same amp.

ONEU Audio Amplifier, Separated Subwoofer Volume Controlled Stereo Amplifier 2 x 45-Watt and 1x68W Sub Output, Super Bass 2.1 Channel Audio Power Amplifier with Power Supply .

I made cables from the line out into the amp, and cables to plug from the outputs to the stern speakers. I added flipper fidelity speakers as an upgrade.

It's a night and day difference! Sound is clear and balanced between the backbox and cabinet. Gets too loud even for a 50 something Metal Head. Highly recommended!

#423 53 days ago

Agreed that the TNA has excellent sound compared to Stern pins. Love the bass at ball launch. Good to know that the amp setup helps.

Where is it available? The amp appears to be model #ZYDZ060 but Amazon doesn't have a new one.

#424 53 days ago

FWIW, the new code (1.05) on Star Wars has audio fixes.

Moved to System 2.06:
- Update to nodeboard firmware v0.23.0
- Enhanced center channel clarity.
- Added bass frequency filter selection options: 125Hz, 250Hz, and disabled.
- Added treble frequency filter selection options: 4kHz, 8kHz, and disabled.

#425 53 days ago

Just an update, but Stern has started releasing code updates that fix the sound issue on a few Spike II games in the last week. Star Wars sounds good again on my end with 1.05 code.

#426 53 days ago
Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

Agreed that the TNA has excellent sound compared to Stern pins. Love the bass at ball launch. Good to know that the amp setup helps.
Where is it available? The amp appears to be model #ZYDZ060 but Amazon doesn't have a new one.

Because it's a knock-off / counterfeit of Lepai, the famous Japanese audio brand. Amazon have been purging stuff like that recently.

The Lepai LP-168AH tends to be what they're copying / emulating. That's widely available, and of guaranteed quality. Buy that.

Edit: Maybe they're not Japanese. Forget what they are.

#427 53 days ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Because it's a knock-off / counterfeit of Lepai, the famous Japanese audio brand. Amazon have been purging stuff like that recently.
The Lepai LP-168AH tends to be what they're copying / emulating. That's widely available, and of guaranteed quality. Buy that.
Edit: Maybe they're not Japanese. Forget what they are.

OK, just disconnect the factory subwoofer leads and hook everything to this?

#428 53 days ago

I see that the Lepai amp is for use with 8 ohm speakers. I just bought some Kicker 4 ohm cabinet speakers...

#429 52 days ago

I made a couple of custom cables. I made a splitter to get switched 110 off of the Bill Accepter harness for the amps power supply. Then I made a line out harness for the audio. Molex .100 to RCA. Also made harnesses to plug directly into cabinet and backbox speaker harness.

I fix pinballs for a living, so I had all the parts just laying around.

#430 51 days ago

While I had the backglass off doing an update to SWP, I noticed the the cpu heat sink to be rather warm to the touch. While I am sure the the operating temps are well within limits, my computer building geek experience took over and I installed a fan on the heat sink. MUCH cooler to the touch. This can't be bad. I ran the wires from the accessory plug and mounted the fan from the backbox cable tie bolts so the whole thing doesn't touch the cooler at all. PS- The fan is very quiet and inaudible with the glass on.

2018-08-03 08-51-03.JPG

#431 50 days ago
Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

While I had the backglass off doing an update to SWP, I noticed the the cpu heat sink to be rather warm to the touch. While I am sure the the operating temps are well within limits, my computer building geek experience took over and I installed a fan on the heat sink. MUCH cooler to the touch. This can't be bad. I ran the wires from the accessory plug and mounted the fan from the backbox cable tie bolts so the whole thing doesn't touch the cooler at all. PS- The fan is very quiet and inaudible with the glass on.
[quoted image]

Cool mount!

3 weeks later
#432 25 days ago
Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

I see that the Lepai amp is for use with 8 ohm speakers. I just bought some Kicker 4 ohm cabinet speakers...

My Lepai LP-168HA (used in Houdini) is rated for 2-8 ohms, per the Lepai manual.

#433 25 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

My Lepai LP-168HA (used in Houdini) is rated for 2-8 ohms, per the Lepai manual.

Thanks, I just was going what little info I could find.

#434 25 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

My Lepai LP-168HA (used in Houdini) is rated for 2-8 ohms, per the Lepai manual.

So, yeah, you are correct, I don't know why I didn't see that before.

When connecting this unit to the machine, what do you do with the stock subwoofer out leads?

#435 24 days ago
Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

So, yeah, you are correct, I don't know why I didn't see that before.
When connecting this unit to the machine, what do you do with the stock subwoofer out leads?

Funny you should ask, that's the very reason I just happened to have the paperwork on my desk. I was thinking about installing a sub on Houdini. But the manual really isn't clear whether it's a line out or if it's the 1x68W. I asked on the Houdini thread if a powered sub is needed (the answer was 'yes')...but I'm still not sure about that - but an active sub would work tho.

Regarding hooking up...I think I will just google it or look at the questions on Amazon.

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