(Topic ID: 201996)

Will Stern Spike System not be economically fixable in 10 years?


By Pinballlew

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 24 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Joe_Blasi
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 2 years ago

    Ok so you have a new Spike Stern game and it breaks down due to Spike in the future. Do you think it will be cost effective to fix it then?

    #2 2 years ago

    Depends on what fails. Some of the parts are through hole to be easier to solder if you short something out. Unfortunately the parts that have been failing were not the parts "anticipated" to be failing. I don't see the big problem and I think a lot of the problems are either right out of the box in the first few months or not at all. People probably bitched when EMs were going away and SS was coming in! I will also note that remakes of almost every board in the past is now available and selling like hotcakes. I have a Paragon with all new boards including ones that make the LEDs look good! The WPC power driver boards were a terrible design. Constant repair and there are thousands of replacement boards sold for them every year. I guess my point is that my only concern would be in the first few months and not twenty years from now...

    #3 2 years ago

    Always buy spare parts for games you're keeping 10 years...

    #4 2 years ago

    Like stern cares about your 10 year old game. By then they have a board that runs the whole game with one little chip.
    Repair will be impossible, but maybe there is a third party that will make replica boards with standard parts. It would be nice if manufactures would move to 1 standard like raspberry/arduino

    #5 2 years ago

    In 10 yrs I suspect many will be too busy looking at next weeks menu in the nursing home to care and the rest of us will just 3d print a replica board and be done....

    .

    I dont worry about this at all- I personally have little interest in Stern titles but does anyone honestly think that with the progress in tech today- that we will have an issue fixing something built today in 10 yrs? Not gonna be a prob.

    #6 2 years ago
    Quoted from rufessor:

    In 10 yrs I suspect many will be too busy looking at next weeks menu in the nursing home to care and the rest of us will just 3d print a replica board and be done....
    .
    I dont worry about this at all- I personally have little interest in Stern titles but does anyone honestly think that with the progress in tech today- that we will have an issue fixing something built today in 10 yrs? Not gonna be a prob.

    What a glorious time it will be. I will take good care of their games, including Addams Family, Monster Bash and Medieval Madness. You know, titles I can't afford now. Lol

    #7 2 years ago

    Will Stern Spike System not be economically fixable in 10 years?

    No, but it will be not be economically fixable in 20 years.

    #8 2 years ago

    I expect that they will stop supporting these parts in 10-20 years. There may be a shortage of these components for a while, but if there is a market then someone will jump in. Either another supplier gets a license to make Stern reproduction boards, or some hobbyist does some reverse engineering and creates a reproduction.

    I expect that supporting these widely known machines will not be a problem. It may be more difficult for machines from smaller manufacturers.

    #9 2 years ago

    I’ve been practicing my soldering skills and doing simple projects that have surface mounted components. Hopefully I’ll be able to repair my node boards when the time comes.

    It’s like moving from em to SS games, new skills will be needed to repair them.

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from jrcw:

    I expect that they will stop supporting these parts in 10-20 years. There may be a shortage of these components for a while, but if there is a market then someone will jump in. Either another supplier gets a license to make Stern reproduction boards, or some hobbyist does some reverse engineering and creates a reproduction.
    I expect that supporting these widely known machines will not be a problem. It may be more difficult for machines from smaller manufacturers.

    My concern is that they keep changing. That makes the market much smaller for each board. And small markets are much more expensive to engineer boards for. If you’re only going to sell 20 boards, it’s not worth the effort. Of do I misunderstand that... can you take a WWE board and put it in AS? Or an AS board and use it in WWE?

    #11 2 years ago

    I think there's already a thread that talks a lot about this topic:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/reliability-sam-vs-spike

    #12 2 years ago

    there is no doubt about it that Spike games are intended to be obsolete in under 10 years. Few if any hobbyists will learn or be able to diagnose and work on surface mount.

    There is also an astoundingly high failure rate out of the gates for almost any game. They seem to always have this with each new game and then make some code tweaks to adjust. That to me hints that the whole system is prone to node board failure and not built with a plan for lastability.

    Some of the boards are already 100s of dollars to replace if out of warranty and are hard to find in other cases.

    #13 2 years ago

    Stern can make good money selling replacement parts, why would'nt they offer them?

    #14 2 years ago

    thats why my preference is for the Original wpc 95 games instead of the non repairable beaglebone remakes.
    Same with spike, cost a lot to repair/replace.
    You need a box full of expensive and diferent spare node boards.

    #15 2 years ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    Stern can make good money selling replacement parts, why would'nt they offer them?

    They'd rather you buy a new machine (which will probably cost $20,000 in 10 years) to replace your non-functional Spike boat anchor/coffee table.

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    Stern can make good money selling replacement parts, why would'nt they offer them?

    I think they run the line tight enough to not have a ton of replacements for each title.

    I also think that once it is out of warranty then they want you buying the next game. 5 years post purchase if you see a node board failure then I think you will start to have a tougher time getting a replacement.

    Honestly it is really sad to me that they want 'techs' to just be board swappers.

    #17 2 years ago

    If the node boards cost 60 bucks to replace , no big deal.
    But this is to expensive to replace, let alone the different type off node boards.
    Make one standard node board to replace this is cheaper to make.

    #18 2 years ago

    What is the worry about repairing node boards? Surface mount is a non-issue since that just requires some tools and training.

    Not having a schematic does suck, as some component values might be unclear, but the operation of the boards is pretty simple.

    I have no doubt that Spike can be repaired in time.

    #19 2 years ago

    wasn't there a rumor of Stern offering a tech program for the new Spike system? What ever happened with that?

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rum-Z:

    They'd rather you buy a new machine (which will probably cost $20,000 in 10 years) to replace your non-functional Spike boat anchor/coffee table.

    I understand that but it doesnt seem like good business, if I pay 8k for a game and its usless in 10 years im not buying another one.
    I have faith that the geniuses here on pinside will have economical solutions to hardware failure in the future.
    Otherwise its WPCs, whitestar or SAM for me.

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    What is the worry about repairing node boards? Surface mount is a non-issue since that just requires some tools and training.
    Not having a schematic does suck, as some component values might be unclear, but the operation of the boards is pretty simple.
    I have no doubt that Spike can be repaired in time.

    I thought another hurdle was some of those ICs may be running custom code and have to be programmed. That and some boards like the CPU have BGA, making it extremely difficult to trace signals because you can't get to signals under the BGA, an require very specialized rework tools. We have a BGA rework station here but it's old and archaic, a real nightmare to operate. I'm not familiar with the SPIKE boards firsthand, but question the statement that repairing them is simple without a schematic. A lot of our communication boards are difficult to repair WITH a schematic.

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    I have faith that the geniuses here on pinside will have economical solutions to hardware failure in the future.

    I hope so. There are some Spike games I'd eventually like to add to my collection.

    #23 2 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    I'm not familiar with the SPIKE boards firsthand, but question the statement that repairing them is simple without a schematic. A lot of our communication boards are difficult to repair WITH a schematic.

    Not saying they will be simple to repair, just that their operation is pretty simple. If it is BGA, that's rough and you definitely need a good rework station for that.

    I'm considering buying my first Spike game (Guardians), so this is definitely a concern, just not a high ranking one on my list.

    #24 2 years ago
    Quoted from Automark:

    Like stern cares about your 10 year old game. By then they have a board that runs the whole game with one little chip.
    Repair will be impossible, but maybe there is a third party that will make replica boards with standard parts. It would be nice if manufactures would move to 1 standard like raspberry/arduino

    each game has game only node boards and other have a mix of standard base node boards.
    Now standard boards with dips to set it's id and type will cost more and take up more chip IO space.

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