(Topic ID: 167971)

Where to buy spike node boards?


By mario_1_up

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 134 posts
  • 45 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 months ago by Mr_Outlane
  • Topic is favorited by 12 Pinsiders

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There are 134 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
#101 10 months ago
Quoted from Wmsfan:

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.

If you are nervous now, just imagine if you decide to sell any of them in five years and The nervousness of a potential buyer.

Atleast here in Sweden the only sterns that seem to keep their value up on the second hand market, is pre-spike.
With met and twd at the top, which are two really Nice games btw.

#102 10 months ago
Quoted from Wmsfan:

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.

The current gen spike boards seem to be fine once you're out of the first few months, but failures out of the box are not uncommon.

#103 10 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

The current gen spike boards seem to be fine once you're out of the first few months, but failures out of the box are not uncommon.

You do know it's been around less then three years right?

#104 10 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

The current gen spike boards seem to be fine once you're out of the first few months, but failures out of the box are not uncommon.

I don’t think there is enough history to say they seem fine. Maybe in another five years we will have enough data. Under the current feedback we are hearing they do not seem fine at all to me.

#105 10 months ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

I don’t think there is enough history to say they seem fine. Maybe in another five years we will have enough data. Under the current feedback we are hearing they do not seem fine at all to me.

I don't think we will in five years either. I have had three Spike machines (still have two) and have never had a node board problem (Zero defects, Spike is perfect!). That means just as little as one guy having two machines and having node board issues on both (100% crap! Spike is doomed). Without a reasonable, verifiable sample size of people with Spike pins with issues vs those without, it is kind of meaningless.

Personally, I will continue to buy Spike games because I think the issue is overblown on here, people will always post their problems vs successes so it presents a bit of a skewed reality. The vast majority of complaints on here have also been resolved, by Stern, for free even if out of warranty.

However, I think everyone would be a lot less concerned if Stern just dropped the profit margin on the boards. If you design a system where you expect the solution to problems to be simply swapping in a new board, the boards should be way more reasonable. I am all in favor of making a profit, but a $1000.00 cpu board is ridiculous. Feels like a cash grab at the expense of your customers so they won't have a several thousand dollar paper weight.

#106 10 months ago
Quoted from paul_8788:

The vast majority of complaints on here have also been resolved, by Stern, for free even if out of warranty.

Will you share the data you used to make that determination please?

#107 10 months ago
Quoted from paul_8788:

I don't think we will in five years either. I have had three Spike machines (still have two) and have never had a node board problem (Zero defects, Spike is perfect!). That means just as little as one guy having two machines and having node board issues on both (100% crap! Spike is doomed). Without a reasonable, verifiable sample size of people with Spike pins with issues vs those without, it is kind of meaningless.
Personally, I will continue to buy Spike games because I think the issue is overblown on here, people will always post their problems vs successes so it presents a bit of a skewed reality. The vast majority of complaints on here have also been resolved, by Stern, for free even if out of warranty.
However, I think everyone would be a lot less concerned if Stern just dropped the profit margin on the boards. If you design a system where you expect the solution to problems to be simply swapping in a new board, the boards should be way more reasonable. I am all in favor of making a profit, but a $1000.00 cpu board is ridiculous. Feels like a cash grab at the expense of your customers so they won't have a several thousand dollar paper weight.

Search pinside, plenty of evidence of spike boards failing. I don’t think it’s overblown any more than non spike games. Is the failure rate any higher than other systems, unclear. Your boards may not have had an issue, but what if they do? Unlikely you can fix it and the boards are very expensive to replace, IF you can even find them. I hope the spike boards become more available and at more reasonable prices because stern spike games are a lot of fun, just feels like kind of rolling the dice.

-1
#108 10 months ago
Quoted from Dr-pin:

You do know it's been around less then three years right?

Yet there hasn't been an avalanche of failures after the first 60-90 days, so yeah. The initial statement holds.

#109 10 months ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Will you share the data you used to make that determination please?

Read through the threads on here where people have indicated node board failures, and there are many posts indicating people have received replacement node boards for free. Is it hard "data"? No, but if hard data/evidence is required for a discussion of Spike reliability I guess everyone should just stop because no one other than Stern has any real data.

Quoted from Lermods:

Search pinside, plenty of evidence of spike boards failing. I don’t think it’s overblown any more than non spike games. Is the failure rate any higher than other systems, unclear.

I never said there was no evidence of spike boards failing. What is the real problem though? Is it a 1% failure rate? What percentage of the failure rates happen out of warranty? Random posts on Pinside cannot provide that information, so deciding to not buy a pin based on the Spike system is an overreaction as far as I am concerned.

Quoted from Lermods:

Your boards may not have had an issue, but what if they do? Unlikely you can fix it and the boards are very expensive to replace, IF you can even find them. I hope the spike boards become more available and at more reasonable prices because stern spike games are a lot of fun, just feels like kind of rolling the dice.

If they do, then I will try to fix, get someone more knowledgeable to try to fix, or buy a replacement if that fails. If there isn't a replacement available then I would definitely lose my sh*t and probably never buy another Spike pin again, but I just don't feel the risk of this worst case scenario is all that high. I agree (and posted previously) that a good supply of boards at a reasonable price is all it would take to alleviate everyone's concerns. Hope it happens. Until then I am just going to enjoy playing pinball.

To each their own though, it is a lot of cash so everyone has to decide on their own comfort level.

#110 10 months ago
Quoted from paul_8788:

a good supply of boards at a reasonable price is all it would take to alleviate everyone's concerns.

This it, 100%. If the boards were not so hard to find and 1/5 the price of the game in some cases, this thread wouldn’t need to exist.

#111 10 months ago

I wish that someone in the pinball media like SDTM, TWIP or H2H could get an interview with Gomez to talk specifically about the node board concerns, maybe open up to the community a bit about real world Spike failure rates, board costs, availability, etc.

It is great they did finally release schematics, but not for all boards, and I have a vague recollection of Gomez talking about better troubleshooting methods, etc. but not sure what has materialized. It is weird Stern as a company doesn't try to get in front of this stuff, the concerns have been ongoing for years now. Some information and support direct from them would probably result in some fence sitters purchasing new machines and existing owners relaxing a bit.

#112 10 months ago
Quoted from swampfire:

This it, 100%. If the boards were not so hard to find and 1/5 the price of the game in some cases, this thread wouldn’t need to exist.

The fact that one board can be the equivalent of 20 percent of the cost of a new game is a bit staggering.

#113 10 months ago
Quoted from clg:

The fact that one board can be the equivalent of 20 percent of the cost of a new game is a bit staggering.

Tells you there's one hell of a mark-up on the secondary market.

#114 10 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

No one will answer that question at a show seminar. They don't want to say anything - positive or negative - that the company can be held accountable to later. It's pretty standard procedure.

Not really the point. If they give an answer, any answer, we’re in a better situation than we are now. The world needs awareness that this is happening not the 3 times a year circle jerk about how amazing Stern is and “take my money now!”.

These questions need to be asked as many times as possible in public forums. And if TWIP and Pinball News and Unigroove’s publication isn’t covering this topic for the pinball buying public and making this an issue with Stern they should be.

There are threads on Pinside discussing this issue in some detail, and many opinions offered. Including by some that have little to no problem buying spike games knowing full well boards have been proprietary, limited and expensive. I’d like to hear their current opinions.

That said, I heard Stern did release schematics, so does this mean these boards could be re-created independently?

Frankly, if these prices to replace continue, I think routed - heavily played - Spike games are worth substantially less than HUO. And should be priced as such.

#115 10 months ago
Quoted from TheFamilyArcade:

That said, I heard Stern did release schematics, so does this mean these boards could be re-created independently?

Not without more information because some of the chips have code on them that is not publicly available. So the schematics we have are basically for basic repairs, but not competitive products.

I put all available Spike schematics in a PDF in this thread a while back:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stern-spike-schematics-coming-this-month/page/4#post-4870757

#116 10 months ago
Quoted from tbutler6:

I’m equally concerned as well. They are pinball machines, not throw away TV’s.
I called a few suppliers today and they told me Spike is the most reliable thing going.

A few suppliers of what, Sterns? Lol.

When Jersey Jack was a Stern dealer he offered a 3 year warranty on all the boards in a modern Stern (Whitestar and SAM). Why? Because they never failed! Certainly not in 3 years. And probably not in 10. My LOTR was 13 years old when it left my hands, and it never had a board problem. Ever. I replaced a couple switches on that game over the years. And that’s all.

Jack wouldn’t make that warranty today. No one will. Because Spike boards are not as reliable, and they already have of a public history of issues AND being hard to get.

#117 10 months ago
Quoted from TheFamilyArcade:

A few suppliers of what, Sterns? Lol.
When Jersey Jack was a Stern dealer he offered a 3 year warranty on all the boards in a modern Stern (Whitestar and SAM). Why? Because they never failed! Certainly not in 3 years. And probably not in 10. My LOTR was 13 years old when it left my hands, and it never had a board problem. Ever. I replaced a couple switches on that game over the years. And that’s all.
Jack wouldn’t make that warranty today. No one will. Because Spike boards are not as reliable, and they already have of a public history of issues AND being hard to get.

Fair points! They are alot of games out there though. We should bring this issue to panels and reach back to whoever we can to see if first and third party repair/replacement ability is there for this hobby. Let’s support each other to do what we can. Talk to people at shows and share information!

#118 10 months ago

Full disclosure, I’m second owner of a HUO Stern SW and no node boards have gone bad. Fingers crossed, and I love the game.

But where there’s smoke there’s fire, and there’s a lot of smoke with Spike. And it has impacted my decision making process about buying a new Stern.

#119 10 months ago
Quoted from paul_8788:

...I have had three Spike machines (still have two) and have never had a node board problem (Zero defects, Spike is perfect!). That means just as little as one guy having two machines and having node board issues on both (100% crap! Spike is doomed)...

well than, i got 2 Ghostbusters, 1st one with a dead node... also including inserts ghosting & clearcoat chiping
the second one (fully swapped under warranty by my distro, again tanx to you Carl J.) was just perfect...

considering the way you compute the situation, i'm than at 50%
is that satisfying or not !?

#120 10 months ago
Quoted from WackyBrakke:

They want you to buy new machines, not continue to play old ones.

That sounds like Apple Computer business model: Your computer, while now fast enough that you don’t need to buy a new one for more speed, is by our standards getting a little long in the tooth and we are slowly going to start breaking things so you need to buy a new computer.
==========
I don’t know how it is in the pinball world but car manufacturers, by law ( notice the “buy law” part ) have to provide parts for you to keep your vehicle running for 7 years. This is for the mechanical parts the car needs to run. For parts to make your car pretty there are no laws. So if the car maker stocks out of a piece of chrome after 3 years and does not want to tool up for a remake then you are SOL.

I hope Stern is not going to go end of life on a $8,000.00 pin after 5 or 6 years.

Hell, the Alltek boards come with a lifetime warranty. If Stern is going to consider replacement boards as a major profit center that is sad.

#121 10 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 am very surprised to see this is the only quote "keyed" in this topic
I currently have over a dozen spike 2 games and any issues I have had were addressed promptly by my distributer first and stern immediately afterward.

#122 10 months ago
Quoted from Thrillhouse:

I am very surprised to see this is the only quote "keyed" in this topic
I currently have over a dozen spike 2 games and any issues I have had were addressed promptly by my distributer first and stern immediately afterward.

Warning people away from Munsters is clearly top priority. I can get behind this important work.

#123 10 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

Warning people away from Munsters is clearly top priority. I can get behind this important work.

While I don't disagree that munsters is a dud my point is that the most important (keyed) post of this entire thread is that someone supposedly owns 5 games, less than 6 months old and within the written warranty time frame, has no back story or proof that they have received faulty equipment from anyone. It smacks of bias from both the poster and the mods.

#124 10 months ago
Quoted from Thrillhouse:

my point is that the most important (keyed) post of this entire thread is that someone supposedly owns 5 games, less than 6 months old and within the written warranty time frame, has no back story or proof that they have received faulty equipment from anyone. It smacks of bias from both the poster and the mods.

I don't understand your point.
1) There is currently no key post in this thread.
EDIT: Post 88 by cruster WAS marked as a key post. It was unkeyed by tigerlaw
2) The written warranty (from Stern) on a node board is 60 days from the day it was shipped to the distributor.
3) Moderators are not usually the ones that mark key posts. Pinside editors are.

#125 10 months ago
Quoted from Thrillhouse:

While I don't disagree that munsters is a dud my point is that the most important (keyed) post of this entire thread is that someone supposedly owns 5 games, less than 6 months old and within the written warranty time frame, has no back story or proof that they have received faulty equipment from anyone. It smacks of bias from both the poster and the mods.

I have no idea why that was marked a key post. I agree that it's trolling/heresay IMO. But I didn't mark it key. You CAN get that crap removed by complaining to the mods, though. I wouldn't argue with your angle - the mods will probably agree it's an abuse of the key post function.

#126 10 months ago

I unkeyed it. Obviously if the user is reporting his own experience it’s neither heresy or trolling but since the user hasn’t returned to thread to give more detail I think it can be unkeyed...

#127 10 months ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

I unkeyed it. Obviously if the user is reporting his own experience it’s neither heresy or trolling but since the user hasn’t returned to thread to give more detail I think it can be unkeyed...

Right, but we don't know if that was a real experience or trolling or the experience of a friend presented as fact when it was heresay. There wasn't any followup/detail and it runs counter to most people's experience. Definitely the right move to unkey it.

#128 10 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.

I have mounted mine in soft rubber to isolate them. Cheap, effective fix.

#129 10 months ago
Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

I have mounted mine in soft rubber to isolate them. Cheap, effective fix.

Using any-old rubber you have around isn't necessarily going to help. They have rubber grommets engineered to dampen vibration. Same things they use for hard drives:

https://www.digikey.com/en/product-highlight/k/keystone/anti-vibration-grommets

#130 10 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

Using any-old rubber you have around isn't necessarily going to help. They have rubber grommets engineered to dampen vibration. Same things they use for hard drives:
https://www.digikey.com/en/product-highlight/k/keystone/anti-vibration-grommets

Which ones would i use? Do you have these installed in yours?

#131 10 months ago

This node board business make me think I made wise choice in turning off the shaker motor the LE that I just bought. All of that vibration can't be helping matters any, IMO.

#132 10 months ago
Quoted from mollyspub:

Which ones would i use? Do you have these installed in yours?

No, it's on my "to do" list, but I haven't actually installed them yet. I just bookmarked where to get them.

#134 10 months ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

This node board business make me think I made wise choice in turning off the shaker motor the LE that I just bought. All of that vibration can't be helping matters any, IMO.

Probably a good idea, but this is B.S! I love my shakers!

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