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Author Topic: Coke Machine  (Read 3754 times)

Chorca

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Coke Machine
« on: May 30, 2012, 03:10:57 PM »
The FamiLAB coke machine.

A few specs:
  • Donated by Aaron Cunningham
  • Antique Cavalier C4-96 from the 1960's with adapter plates to dispense both cans and bottles
  • Has 4 slots for pop, as well as four buttons with replaceable cards to show product brand/type.

More information on the Wiki article Aaron created here: http://familab.org/wiki/index.php?title=FamiVEND

Our goal is, at a minimum, to have the machine fully up and running, even with the silly 'free' button active.

There is infinite possibilities with this machine, we can do much more than just coin op. Here's a list of some ideas we have come up with so far:

  • RFID/NFC for allotments of pop, possibly micropayments? FamiLAB app? Tracking stats?
  • Display in the upper panel, hidden from view normally, but when powered on, would display information to the user
  • Internet connectivity/status/purchasing,etc
  • Replacing buttons with OLED or other screens for easy changing of product display?
  • Internals run off of Arduino/Propeller/Other micro, replacing relay system with SSDs for driving product.
  • Installing touch panel on the front for really 'hacked' look?

Throw your comments in this thread. We're going to start working on this as soon as we get a group together, and begin doing some brainstorming and planning out the mods.

Schematic/manual: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6752581/20111221100657.pdf
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 09:41:35 PM by Chorca »

Waterbury

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Re: Coke Machine
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2012, 03:44:44 PM »
neat. I'll help where I can
"The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly." ~ John F. Kennedy

Hybridsix

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Re: Coke Machine
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 03:45:56 PM »
Do we have any idea whats wrong?

Chorca

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Re: Coke Machine
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 03:49:54 PM »
I'll fill out the post more when i get home, don't have time at work right now.. check back in a few hours.

Catastrophic

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Re: Coke Machine
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2012, 03:53:53 PM »
I'm aiming to get to the lab tonight, I'll help too if you guys are around

Hybridsix

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Re: Coke Machine
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 04:03:22 PM »
I will help when I can, mostly weekends or Tuesdays, as long as I know ahead of time.

f00bard

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Re: Coke Machine
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 09:29:15 AM »
What's wrong:

- The refrigeration system uses a bimetal thermostat which we haven't successfully tweaked to consistently avoid freezing sodas.
- At least one of the four product relays/buttons/dispensers wasn't working.
- I may have loaded soda in there wrong, or just don't understand how the low product sensors work.

The first is easy: digital temp sensors running to a micro that does simple bang-bang temp control with some hysteresis.

The third just requires me/us to read the manual and figure out what I did wrong.

The second is where things get fun... Do we just replace the relays and run with it?  Do we move to a completely solid state/low voltage system?  We did a little bit of experimentation with the coin box and its functionality is fairly self contained, so we could replace the bulk of the circuitry with a micro and some solid state parts while retaining the coin op.  That gets us the furthest along to adding RFID payment.

Chorca

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Re: Coke Machine
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 09:53:00 AM »
To add on to what Mack said,
  • Yes, the refrigeration leaves much to be desired. We can for sure make some sort of simple system that sits in place of the bimetallic strip. Possibly the same micro that drives the rest?
  • At least one of the relays for product vending is bad. If we want to go microcontroller-based, we can keep the 110v mechs, and remove/bypass the complex system of relays that drives the machine, using SSRs and a microcontroller. This may be the easiest (but not cheapest) option. This way, the micro will control the sequence of events, from detecting coin, or RFID, and then lighting up selection buttons, and from there, actually dispensing the product.
  • Mack did it right, the machine just has an issue or two with dispensing product.

I'd like to move to a less-complicated system, and we can keep all the mechs the same. It should be easy enough to label and then bypass the bank of relays, hooking the mechs into 120v SSRs. This means we can also control more things, such as shutting off a product backlight when it is out, or flashing lights on the system, etc.

Hybridsix

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Re: Coke Machine
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2012, 11:29:41 AM »
Do we know anything about the coin mech? is this one that measures the coin size/weight and determines if it is real? or is it an electrical current/resistance type? Coin drop sound type? Would be useful to know when going forward with microcontroller sensor and accompaniment selections.

Chorca

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Re: Coke Machine
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 11:33:37 AM »
The coin mech is a weight-type. It uses rotating weights that the coin pushes against to determine size, has several magnets to detect slugs, and has a reject mechanism that will release any foreign/fake coin and dump it into the return slot. There are solenoids that will hold certain coins in place so that the machine can't be used for change or run out of nickels (it's only change dispenser). It will hold a quarter until you make a purchase or return coins, at which time it is deposited in the bin or returned to the user. Accepted nickels are sorted into the change dispenser, dimes/quarters are dropped into a bin.

Hybridsix

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Re: Coke Machine
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 11:45:11 AM »
Are there separate contacts for each type of coin? a seperate closure for quarters, dimes, nickels?

Chorca

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Re: Coke Machine
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 11:51:25 AM »
You and me should take a night and figure out the internals. Of all the schematics on the unit, the coin mech is not documented. We may be able to find some info on Internet for it, but as far as I can tell, there are a couple switches you can set (electrical) that tell the unit your pricing. There is a small PCB, the mech runs on 110v, but has a converter to get the DC. There are switches that are triggered as coins come in and are sorted, so I'm assuming that's how it knows how much has been deposited. I haven't actually fired it up and played with it, and there doesn't seem to be much of a pinout, so maybe we can figure it out and whatnot so it can be hacked into the controller.

Hybridsix

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Re: Coke Machine
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2012, 02:21:40 PM »
Sounds like a plan. I"ll see if I can come up some night between now and open house. See when the wife will let me out. :)