(Topic ID: 218125)

What are your thoughts on the Spike II system?

By LoserKid3

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 435 posts
  • 82 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by mbwalker
  • Topic is favorited by 15 Pinsiders


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Topic index (key posts)

3 key posts have been marked in this topic

Post #26 A report from an operator and a life cycle expectation. Posted by xTheBlackKnightx (1 year ago)

Post #215 Things to consider from a senior technician’s perspective. Posted by xTheBlackKnightx (1 year ago)

Post #262 Words of expierence and a warning. Posted by xTheBlackKnightx (1 year ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#5 1 year 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.

#8 1 year 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.

#30 1 year 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.

1 month later
#251 1 year ago

I personally am really not concerned about any of this accessibility to replacement parts. There is a lot of technical skills in the pinball fan world and we aren’t talking rocket science here with these architectures, mechanisms, or PCBs - just specificity.

Where there is a market, there will be producers rising up to fulfill the needs of that market. (CPR’s announcement of their new business model, as an example).

Its all going to be fine, guys.

#263 1 year ago

I personally am happy to see the evolution of this industry. I expect a lot of downvotes for this, but who cares?

With all change comes fear of the unknown. I have gone over (and over) my IMDN Premium to try and get an understanding of why Stern made the various design decisions they have in it. The SPIKE system is exactly what I would expect from modern electronics design (I am more confused by a couple of the mechanical decisions actually.)

Not everyone WILL be able to fix smaller trace PCBs... Period. Welcome to a brave new world of electrical design. Is the industry supposed to not move forward because existing technicians don’t have the equipment (or skills) to do all repairs themselves?

This ‘sky is falling’ nonsense is just crazy.

#265 1 year ago
Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

If Stern no longer produces parts and schematics are not available, then what would you do if you need a board? This is alarming, that it could be as little as three years time until obsolescence.

And why would this scenario occur? Even if Stern somehow ‘magically’ disappears, if there is a market for it someone buys their IP and makes the boards. Just like every other industry.

#267 1 year ago
Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

So who is producing boards for the aforementioned games, WWE and KISS, if Stern is not any longer?

If Stern wants/needs to print boards, they will send out and have them printed. Is someone ‘actually’ claiming they have this problem, or are you whipping yourselves into a frenzy over conjecture?

#270 1 year ago
Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

I am referring to post #262. He states that Stern has stopped production of boards for those games, or did I read it wrong?

So tell me this: are they currently producing TRON boards? Does that mean they couldn’t if they needed to?

Currently producing means what? Do they need to stockpile WWE boards?

#272 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

TRON is a SAM board system, not Spike. SAM is widely documented and repairable by almost anyone. Big difference.

That wasn‘t the point I was making: A board is a board.

#275 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

Only, it's not. Your point is irrelevant. I can fix most any SAM board, so Stern could be gone tomorrow and it wouldn't matter. I cannot fix most parts of a node board, and there are no public schematics. It's a real problem moving forward.

To my point: Printing a SAM board is no different than printing a SPIKE board. We were talking about availability of the boards, not a tech’s ability to read an available schematic.

#278 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

If you're a n00b that can't do board repairs that might be a point, but most people in this for any length of time learn to FIX the boards rather than just buying $300-$500 boards when one dies. $5-$10 in parts to fix a board is a much better solution.
Hence, Spike sucking. No schematics, surface mount tech, and too many revisions of boards so far.

And my original point (#263) was this IS electronics design today. You expecting you are going to avoid multi-layer PCBs, micro traces, and surface mounts on anybody’s boards in 2018+? Come on.

#288 1 year ago

To be clear - I totally get the frustration: I am just a software guy with shaky hands (which make decent soldering jobs REALLY hard) but at least on an older pin’s boards I had a chance of successfully fixing things. If I was doing this for a living, I would be supremely frustrated and worried where it leaves me going forward.

So anyway, I know I am a jerk for being one of ‘those’ guys; but I do feel generally positive about the evolution of pinball architecture design because I think it mirrors what is happening everywhere else. It informs me that this industry plans on staying around, despite how it will change the way we all do things today.

#337 1 year ago
Quoted from mcbPalisade:

And manuals describing the function trees that comprise the service menus. Pretty basic stuff. Figure it out yourself.

These are pretty straight-forward though, and often change based on firmware changes - so this section will end up almost always being outdated in a physical or even stored copy.

Keeping manuals current for the services menus is significantly less important to me personally, when compared to schematics / hardware documentation.

#377 1 year ago

I am just going to throw this out there - partly because we Pinsiders seem to like discussing/arguing so much, and partly because the discussion of ‘what else could we do’ is so fascinating to me: do you think pinball will ever move to FPGAs to handle the logic?

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