(Topic ID: 167971)

Where to buy spike node boards?


By mario_1_up

3 years ago



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  • 134 posts
  • 45 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Mr_Outlane
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#51 3 months ago

The big thing is WHY are all these boards not available for purchase and for cheap (20% mark up over cost at most)?

They were specifically built with the idea that boards would be a throw away part. Have an issue, just swap in a new board.
Nobody is going to be ready to just swap in a $400-$500 board, but more concerning is many of the boards are already unobtainable, seemingly many are still game specific/ being revised, and as they fail, many games will become bricks.

IME, some fail due to a code update. Some fail gradually over time. Some fail after not being played and suddenly with no real reason.

Concerning is the amount of failures we are seeing already and the lack of replacements at this stage.

#52 3 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

The big thing is WHY are all these boards not available for purchase and for cheap (20% mark up over cost at most)?
They were specifically built with the idea that boards would be a throw away part. Have an issue, just swap in a new board.
Nobody is going to be ready to just swap in a $400-$500 board, but more concerning is many of the boards are already unobtainable, seemingly many are still game specific/ being revised, and as they fail, many games will become bricks.
IME, some fail due to a code update. Some fail gradually over time. Some fail after not being played and suddenly with no real reason.
Concerning is the amount of failures we are seeing already and the lack of replacements at this stage.

For all the things you just mentioned is why I’m so cautious in dropping over $5k for a new pro JP2. If parts are still failing regularly and the replacements are expensive and already hard to come by makes me uncomfortable for 3-5 years down the road. Will I be left with a gigantic paperweight that’s broken until you spend and outrageous amount of money for a hard to come by board.

#53 3 months ago
Quoted from davijc02:

For all the things you just mentioned is why I’m so cautious in dropping over $5k for a new pro JP2. If parts are still failing regularly and the replacements are expensive and already hard to come by makes me uncomfortable for 3-5 years down the road. Will I be left with a gigantic paperweight that’s broken until you spend and outrageous amount of money for a hard to come by board.

a very valid concern (I own every major spike/2.o game made and have seen issues on many; under warranty and all good, but who knows the future after that)

I get the impression that they really thought they would have a single revision that worked in all games. That does not seem to be the case.

#54 3 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

IME, some fail due to a code update. Some fail gradually over time. Some fail after not being played and suddenly with no real reason.

So when that GB code finally drops, a bunch of node boards may start bricking?! Mass hysteria indeed!

#55 3 months ago
Quoted from fattrain:

Was out of town for months, I come home and have a Ghostbusters Node failure I just found yesterday.
It’s on the replacement play field they took forever to send me as well and has less than 100 plays on it.
They won’t warranty it. This is about as lame as it gets.

Which node board has died? If it was Node 8 or 9, did it have the Service bulletin performed on it already?

#56 3 months ago

Maybe it’s just time to add something like this to the repair arsenal:

https://www.tequipment.net/Quick/861DW/Desoldering-Equipment/Rework-Stations/?v=7450

#57 3 months ago
Quoted from swampfire:

Maybe it’s just time to add something like this to the repair arsenal:
https://www.tequipment.net/Quick/861DW/Desoldering-Equipment/Rework-Stations/?v=7450

It's not so much the equipment as the skill and practice to use it reliably. Not exactly starting from scratch, but it's a different set of skills with surface-mount.

#58 3 months ago

Repair is one thing. Diagnosing is another. How would you even know what smd components to change?

#59 3 months ago

This video shows that you don't need a hot air station or any fancy equipment. Good info! This site is the one he meant... http://chipquik.com/store/

#60 3 months ago
Quoted from davijc02:

For all the things you just mentioned is why I’m so cautious in dropping over $5k for a new pro JP2. If parts are still failing regularly and the replacements are expensive and already hard to come by makes me uncomfortable for 3-5 years down the road. Will I be left with a gigantic paperweight that’s broken until you spend and outrageous amount of money for a hard to come by board.

I’m in the same boat, was considering purchasing JP2 (first ever Stern game for me) but now reluctant due to this issue...I don’t want to buy a machine that may turn into a giant paperweight

#61 3 months ago

If you want to buy NIB, you will be covered (I'm assuming) for the first year? What does this mean for your resale down the road if everyone starts catching on about the node boards not being available and affordable? I too was considering a JP.

#62 3 months ago
Quoted from Mr_Outlane:

If you want to buy NIB, you will be covered (I'm assuming) for the first year? What does this mean for your resale down the road if everyone starts catching on about the node boards not being available and affordable? I too was considering a JP. Not now.

Man I was just in Alpena, Mi for a military trip and drove in to Traverse City and played some pinball at a little arcade for a few hours. Fun town to visit.

I’m still thinking about getting the new Jurassic park even though these boards bother me.

#63 3 months ago

Stern has released the schematics. Hot air rework stations are available seeming cheaper than ever. I bet the first few guys to offer repair services are going to do ok. It’s going to be a skill that we either acquire or pay someone who has the skill / knowledge to repair these boards.

#64 3 months ago
Quoted from davijc02:

Man I was just in Alpena, Mi for a military trip and drove in to Traverse City and played some pinball at a little arcade for a few hours. Fun town to visit.
I’m still thinking about getting the new Jurassic park even though these boards bother me.

Ya. Traverse city is a great place! You visited the Coin Slot Arcade. My favorite hang out! Drink craft beer and play pinball! He's come a long way in a short time. Just got the brand new MMr and ATMr within the last 6 weeks or so. Hope he gets the JP pro! That's the one I would get. I rather get good playing pros and mod them into promiums!Not that the Prem isn't great, cause it is!

#65 3 months ago
Quoted from kermit24:

Stern has released the schematics. Hot air rework stations are available seeming cheaper than ever. I bet the first few guys to offer repair services are going to do ok. It’s going to be a skill that we either acquire or pay someone who has the skill / knowledge to repair these boards.

I thought the whole intent by Stern was to just replace them. Can't imagine paying for repairs being cheap either.

#66 3 months ago
Quoted from Mr_Outlane:

I thought the whole intent by Stern was to just replace them. Can't imagine paying for repairs being cheap either.

Magic number is probably $150-200. For that,
many folks will just buy the board. But if the cost is $600 (hard to believe) you are going to get it repaired.

#67 3 months ago
Quoted from kermit24:

Magic number is probably $150-200. For that,
many folks will just buy the board. But if the cost is $600 (hard to believe) you are going to get it repaired.

Ben Heck post #3185 on the 'Next Stern Title is JP2 thread'... posted this: "the Node boards have a fairly common NXP ARM microcontroller on them. The data is what's proprietary. (this isn't a Gottleib spider chip situation)
Normally you can just dump the data with a programmer but most modern chips have an option to block this if the manufacturer so chooses. Even if this safeguard wasn't in place dumping and reusing the data would not be legal unless it was licensed as open source (doubt it is)."

So far it's not available and neither are the proprietary chips. So if one of those go bad you would have to buy a new board because of no way to repair it. This is the real issue, not that the boards can't be repaired.

#68 3 months ago
Quoted from Mr_Outlane:

buy NIB, you will be covered (I'm assuming) for the first year?

Their warranty is 2 months on the electronics. It's printed near the back of the manual on the recent games I've looked at. It starts the day Stern ships to the distributor.

Screenshot_20190807-061155_1.jpg
#69 3 months ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Their warranty is 2 months on the electronics. It's printed near the back of the manual on the recent games I've looked at. It starts the day Stern ships to the distributor.[quoted image]

Stern has replaced node boards well outside of that two months. I've heard of people with year old games getting free node boards.

#70 3 months ago
Quoted from JodyG:

Stern has replaced node boards well outside of that two months. I've heard of people with year old games getting free node boards.

yes, they have been really good.

I think the questions is, when does this stop? 1 year, 2nd owner, 15mo???

When it does stop and you have a failure, then what are your options?
$500 IF you can find your game specific board seems to be the trajectory and more concerning is the lack of stock even beyond the price.

We have claims that some can work.fix these, but it sounds like some proprietary stuff has not been released so a faulty chip could mean you have a permenantly bricked game.

Other concern is Spike boards seem to have way more issues than any previous board set. This combined with inability to easily repair is the big concern.

The reality we currently see it that your 5600+ game could have a spontaneous node board failure at any point and each person is rolling the dice.

-1
#71 3 months ago

I was with you up to this sentence:

Quoted from Whysnow:

Other concern is Spike boards seem to have way more issues than any previous board set.

I think they are actually more reliable, not less. But I share your concern about replacement cost/availability.

#72 3 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I think the questions is, when does this stop? 1 year, 2nd owner, 15mo???

Had a node 8 go bad on a 2nd owner GB at around the 12 month mark. Called Stern for tech support and determined the node needed replaced; but they were not going to replace it for free. They told me on the phone they'd do it for the original owner up until the 6 month mark. Now, that was over the phone with one guy so it's subjective as it could be different depending on who you got. I called the distributor that the original owner and the second owner always use for games and was sent one for exchange. I think that's probably pushing it as far as number of owners and ownership time is concerned.

Quoted from Whysnow:

Other concern is Spike boards seem to have way more issues than any previous board set.

I'd agree on Spike I generation. For some reason GB seems to be the one with the most issues I've seen followed by probably Kiss. The Spike II I think they got mostly figured out.

#73 3 months ago
Quoted from swampfire:

I was with you up to this sentence:

I think they are actually more reliable, not less. But I share your concern about replacement cost/availability.

I agree, when you take out the early life (first 30-60 day) failures, they have been very good. I have had a few replaced in the early life window. Friends with an operator locally that has had zero node board failures past the 60 day mark and he operates about 15 Spike games with thousands of plays per year.

#74 3 months ago

It really bugs me that replacement boards for the early Spike games are already unobtanium.

Certainly makes me think twice about buying more Spike games.

If I didn't love my KISSLE so much, it would get sold, due to potential long term replacement issues.

As it is, I will roll the dice and hope to get lucky.

#75 3 months ago
Quoted from swampfire:

I think they are actually more reliable

I own over 80 games and operate another 50.

Spike boards are the most troublesome in my personal experience.
I would have to look at actual number but I would say ~50% of games have had issues needing 1 or multiple replacements.

Spike 2 seems better after the initial failure period during the first couple months.

If it eventually stabilizes and more importantly, they stop needing to revise the boardset, then I think things will be fine.

If they can actually get to a single node board rev and it is backwards compatible and used on EVERY game then thinsg will get to how they should be.
They can then print thousands of them and drop the price to something more reasonable. Would be really smart for sales also because then people will have confidence in buying spike games. You could own a whole collection of spike stuff and be able to swap boards among games to diagnose and issue. You could buy a single spare and be good to go for multiple games down the road.

#76 3 months ago

Funny thing is, the only Spike game I would be nervous about buying is a 2 year old HUO game with 50 plays on it.

#77 3 months ago

Do we know if anyone is actively working on being able to repair these things? My only Spike game is BM '66, but any future purchases would be Spike.

I haven't seen any threads where anyone posted a resolution to a failed board when they were outside of the warranty period. Do people just pay the $1,000?

Hell, for that price, you could just buy a used game, rip out the board you need, sell the rest of them for $600/each and actually make a profit.

#78 3 months ago
Quoted from Spyderturbo007:

Do we know if anyone is actively working on being able to repair these things?

Someone mentioned a tech earlier on this thread that is able to fix them, i think it may be Borygard? A point someone else made though, is that certain repairs may require proprietary parts and/or software that is unavailable to the public (or at least that's what i got from the post). I've been leery of the Spike system for a while, but the games are out of my price range anyway so it may not matter. At least not yet, though 10-15 years this could amount to a huge amount of inoperable Spike games...but if this community has proven anthing to me, it's that if there's a strong enough demand, a solution will be found.

#79 3 months ago
Quoted from frunch:

Someone mentioned a tech earlier on this thread that is able to fix them, i think it may be Borygard? A point someone else made though, is that certain repairs may require proprietary parts and/or software that is unavailable to the public (or at least that's what i got from the post). I've been leery of the Spike system for a while, but the games are out of my price range anyway so it may not matter. At least not yet, though 10-15 years this could amount to a huge amount of inoperable Spike games...but if this community has proven anthing to me, it's that if there's a strong enough demand, a solution will be found.

Yea but at who's expense?

#80 3 months ago

Is it correct that the node boards are not fused?

#81 3 months ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Is it correct that the node boards are not fused?

Well, they are internally fused in some way. If a short is detected, they shut down and come back up when the short is cleared. Doesn’t mean you can’t blow them up.

#82 3 months ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Is it correct that the node boards are not fused?

Some are and some aren't. I know Kiss boards are fused and GB are not. Here again, it's like like they have so many variations on these games there's no consistency. Same goes for the HV lockout switch on the coin door. MY BKSOR Prem has one, others do not. It's a hodgepodge of stuff.

#83 3 months ago
Quoted from Spyderturbo007:

Do we know if anyone is actively working on being able to repair these things? My only Spike game is BM '66, but any future purchases would be Spike.
I haven't seen any threads where anyone posted a resolution to a failed board when they were outside of the warranty period. Do people just pay the $1,000?
Hell, for that price, you could just buy a used game, rip out the board you need, sell the rest of them for $600/each and actually make a profit.

Rob (BoryGard) has fixed them in the past, but I'm sure he can't fix every failure condition, just the most common ones.

#84 3 months ago
Quoted from schudel5:

Some are and some aren't. I know Kiss boards are fused and GB are not. Here again, it's like like they have so many variations on these games there's no consistency. Same goes for the HV lockout switch on the coin door. MY BKSOR Prem has one, others do not. It's a hodgepodge of stuff.

The lack of a HV lockout switch was a lame experiment (cost reduction?) by Stern. BK marks the return of the switch after 3 or 4 machines without it. Thank god. Dumbest idea ever to remove it.

#85 3 months ago

I would be very happy if all pin manufacturers used a Windows computer. A standard dmx controller card for toy controll and lights. Costs about 20$ and would be ultra-overkill for any pin. A standard sensor input board and that would be it.

On spike. The whole setup is an aftermarket huzzle. Unique stuff, completely controller by Stern.
(if somebody tried that for computer their ass would be sued for withholdingcompetition.)
Spike would be ok'ish if the boards were compatible for all Stern games and other manufacturers where able to make them.

#86 3 months ago

A lot of failures of spike board are going to be vibration based which can be fixable in a lot of cases. I had lamp issue start around 500 plays on iron maiden where a bunch of lamps would go wonky when the left flipper fired. Vibration was causing an issue at a connector pin that needed resoldered. The lamp (serial?)data chains from board to board so if you lose a connection at the first hop a bunch of lamp boards will go wrong.

#87 3 months ago
Quoted from barakandl:

A lot of failures of spike board are going to be vibration based. I had lamp issue start around 500 plays on iron maiden where a bunch of lamps would go wonky when the left flipper fired. Vibration was causing an issue at a connector pin. The lamp (serial?)data chains from board to board so if you lose a connection at the first hop a bunch of lamp boards will go wrong.

If only there was something like a backbox to mount boards in, where they'd be isolated from playfield vibrations.

#88 3 months ago

Out of the 5 munsters I have, 2 currently are dead with bad cpu boards. Really wish they’d get these things more reliable.

#89 3 months ago
Quoted from Spelunk71:

So when that GB code finally drops, a bunch of node boards may start bricking?! Mass hysteria indeed!

not "a bunch", but precisely 100 !

#90 3 months ago

and to stay on topic, i'm feeling as lots of others here...

get more than few probs with my GB, including a dead board
than was decided to buy SAM and only SAM STERN pins, and until now i did it that way
but OK, let's admit time is making his work, and STERN also making things better make me (slowly) change my mind
right now, not sure how i'm ready (or not) to put some confidence in this system... may be this topic will be the answer

#91 3 months ago
Quoted from Rum-Z:

If only there was something like a backbox to mount boards in, where they'd be isolated from playfield vibrations.

They wanted to reduce wiring to save money so that's probably why they didn't go this route.

#92 3 months ago
Quoted from Mr_Outlane:

They wanted to reduce wiring to save money so that's probably why they didn't go this route.

I'm sure that's exactly the reason. Someone should make aftermarket wiring harnesses so we can relocate all the node boards in the back box and off the playfield, LOL

#93 3 months ago
Quoted from Rum-Z:

I'm sure that's exactly the reason. Someone should make aftermarket wiring harnesses so we can relocate all the node boards in the back box.and off the playfield, LOL

Can you imagine what a PITA that would be?

#94 3 months ago
Quoted from Rum-Z:

I'm sure that's exactly the reason. Someone should make aftermarket wiring harnesses so we can relocate all the node boards in the back box.and off the playfield, LOL

Which completely defeats any arguments(not that there were any, except aftermarket profit) for nodeboards.

#95 3 months ago
Quoted from Cruster:

Out of the 5 munsters I have, 2 currently are dead with bad cpu boards. Really wish they’d get these things more reliable.

Surely those are still under warranty (unless routing them voids the warranty)?

#96 3 months ago
Quoted from Rum-Z:

I'm sure that's exactly the reason. Someone should make aftermarket wiring harnesses so we can relocate all the node boards in the back box and off the playfield, LOL

Might as well include re-locating the power switch back under the cabinet in that harness.

#97 3 months ago

Man, every time I start to think maybe it might be ok to get a Spike game, that maybe I‘m ready to take a chance with Stern, one of these „node board“ threads pops up and reinforces the concerns I‘ve had about these games. What‘s up with that anyway?

I was at a distributor yesterday to try out Deadpool for the first time. I really like it. But now?

#98 3 months ago
Quoted from branlon8:

Man, every time I start to think maybe it might be ok to get a Spike game, that maybe I‘m ready to take a chance with Stern, one of these „node board“ threads pops up and reinforces the concerns I‘ve had about these games. What‘s up with that anyway?
I was at a distributor yesterday to try out Deadpool for the first time. I really like it. But now?

Europe would be more of a concern than the US, but you can't really live your life in fear. One way or another I think it will be fine.

#100 3 months ago
Quoted from Cruster:

Out of the 5 munsters I have, 2 currently are dead with bad cpu boards. Really wish they’d get these things more reliable.

I bought an Munsters LE NIB. CPU died after two games. My distributor took it to Stern for a replacement (he is close to STERN). Replacement board didn't work! Distributor took it back and replacement for that was tested on the spot in front of him to make sure it worked.

Long story short- It took 3 CPU's to have one reliable(?!) game....Yes I am a bit nervous, I have 3 Spike games.

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