# DIY Vending Machine A to Z HELP needed

#### ELECTROFLUX

Joined Aug 7, 2015
38
Hi!
This it's something i wanted to do from a long time, but all info i could find are either incomplete or require further components which involve a specific language programming knowledge (as for the Arduinos,Raspberry, etc) which i don't have.
So, would anyone, anywhere in the world, have an instructable of some sort for building an "old school" , coin operated, vending machine???
My unreserved gratitude to anyone which could help me on this,
thanks.

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
Wait, you want to build a vending machine but you have no knowledge of programming mcus?

How is your mechanical aptitude? You could go with an all mechanical design but that would be an enormous task. Designing something as complex as a vending machine is complex enough with using mcus. Having no knowledge of mcus is going to make that task even more difficult.

My suggestion is you first learn how to program an mcu then learn how to interface it to the real world.

Chances are, you are simply not going to find something "off the shelf" that is going to suit your needs. You will need to design it yourself or pay someone to do it for you. Even if you found something close, it will certainly need modifications to suit your needs.

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#### KeepItSimpleStupid

Joined Mar 4, 2014
4,468
Vend what?

Pills?
Candy?
Canned soda?

Accept what?
Credit cards
Coil
Dollar bills
Tokens
Nothing

#### ELECTROFLUX

Joined Aug 7, 2015
38
yes basically the general idea i have, it's to use some step motors and using some relays for closing/opening the electrical's flow needed to operate such a thing, plus obviously some timers(or a component/circuit which would behave on a similar manner) i believe it's possible, and also being our the planet so populated, probably i am not the first person going through this for the first time, that's why i opened my new thread here, this is probably one of the best place to find knowledgeable people on these matters

#### ELECTROFLUX

Joined Aug 7, 2015
38
Vend what?

Pills?
Candy?
Canned soda?

Accept what?
Credit cards
Coil
Dollar bills
Tokens
Nothing
For the time being, just an object shaped as the classic can of fizzy's drink, but if a project for a different shaped product has already been made, i would like to see that too as some mods can always be made.

Accept coins, "coins" as the rounded dingy ding thingie that do a similar sound when dropped on a hard surface

#### ELECTROFLUX

Joined Aug 7, 2015
38
So, this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fizzies sort of thing?
Cup+tablet+Ice+cold water?
Yes, but that was just a general example on what sort of shape/weight this product being sold would have, i am not looking into recipes for drinks, it could also be an empty box being sold, i am just looking for the distributing' s machine diagram/part list.

#### ELECTROFLUX

Joined Aug 7, 2015
38
Please use a capital letter at the start of a sentence and period at the end. It is very hard to read a paragraph that lacks them.
Okay, i'll try harder.
Hi Spinnaker (starting with the "H" as in Helsinki, i hope that's "capital" enough, i'll "finnish" with the capital letters now), you might want to find out about what commas are meant to represent though....

What you are talking about will require a mcu or most likely multiple mcus. Something like a vending machine is very complex. Not only do you need to get it to perform the task at hand but to do it in a way that is reliable and also secure in that it cannot be defeated by some nefarious person. People go to school for years to learn to build such a thing. Even then they don't do it right out of school. They work with a team of engineers and learn from them.
If you want to build one of these for your own personal use then great. But you need to crawl before you can run. Take some online courses in programming. Buy a mcu and learn to use it. The Arduino is very easy to learn to use. A lot more expensive than something like a pic but it will get you off the ground running. The other thing you can do is to get a job repairing vending machines or even acting as a helper to a repair person. That way you can see how they work inside. Lastly please be aware that building your own machine is expensive. It could easily cost well over \$100 US even for a simple machine.
I really appreciate your suggestions, however, as life it's way too short and work's vacancies are even less abundant around here, i'll have to find a way to get a shortcut of some sort.
If i can't find the right info, i will try to work out a way by myself, but the thing is that it might takes me an extensive amount of time to reach a reasonable result, if anyone could gently put forward the info i need, i will remember it on my memories with a special quote, ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS and even a full stop in the end (additional punctuation will be added only if specifically required).

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
I would buy a machine then. You are simply not going to be able to build your own in the time allowed. And you most likely won't be able to do it cheaper for a one off. You certainly won't do it better, not without a whole lot of experience.

#### ELECTROFLUX

Joined Aug 7, 2015
38
Hi Spinnaker!
It's time for me to start my sentence then, i will plea guilty as charged for all counts and starting from scratch.
If i will ever be able to come on top of it, i will name my "creature", the "SpinNayKer 1".

#### #12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,217
These things have existed. You will need a Wayback machine. Go to 1960 and examine an old Coca-cola vending machine. There was a horizontal gate tender style which allowed you to take one bottle per coin and a can dispenser which dropped one can per (the right price). All mechanical from the coin slot to the drop bucket. While you're there, pick up a couple of entirely mechanical taxi cab meters. You can sell them for the money you will need for parts.

#### ELECTROFLUX

Joined Aug 7, 2015
38
Hi #12,
for as much as i love the 60's, i was more into some earlier's mechanism, like, let's say, the vending machine made by Hero of Alexandria....

#12

#### #12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,217
Hi #12,
for as much as i love the 60's, i was more into some earlier's mechanism, like, let's say, the vending machine made by Hero of Alexandria....

#### #12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,217
But seriously, mechanical coin counters have been done, and their maintenance was considered a profession in its own right. Same for mechanical Taxi meters. A paper currency validator is completely beyond the reach of any mechanical reader. You would have about the same chance of success as you would in trying to build a Pentium II processor out of tooth picks and white glue. Try stepping to the front of the curve and make your vending machine read the RFID chips on recent credit cards...or at least have a slot to wipe the card through.

#### ELECTROFLUX

Joined Aug 7, 2015
38
But seriously, mechanical coin counters have been done, and their maintenance was considered a profession in its own right. Same for mechanical Taxi meters. A paper currency validator is completely beyond the reach of any mechanical reader.
I agree, that's why i am focusing on a coin operated machine, however, adding and bridging up some ready to use paraphernalia, as a UV light and other stuff, could let the use of banknotes to be an option too.

You would have about the same chance of success as you would in trying to build a Pentium II processor out of tooth picks and white glue. Try stepping to the front of the curve and make your vending machine read the RFID chips on recent credit cards...or at least have a slot to wipe the card through.
I once went to a modern art expo in Germany, where a guy built a scale 1:1 car, using just that, toothpicks (or matches? Can't remember, it was almost a quarter century ago), maybe i could ask him some tips.
I don't like RFID, if i would like to introduce some state of the art newer technology, i would definitely implement something based on DNA, maybe collecting some blood sample, but in a way, that it would simply be proved impossible to cheat my machine, like collecting enough blood to make it's resell value at least 10 times the fare i would like to collect, and if an unruly customer would then kick my machine, perhaps a robotic hidden side arm would came out to collect some of it's internal organs to subsidize the creation of another 100's machines...
Ok, the unethical approach to technology it's over, i am going to try to find a way to let step motors, sensors and switches work in an harmonious way with us human beings.

#### ELECTROFLUX

Joined Aug 7, 2015
38
Quick update.
I am keeping scavenging knowledgeable sources, here is the solution to one of the most important parts of what it's going to be my final project, made by a great guy, he's definitely my "Hero of Alexandria" of the day, i hope other people can find this piece of the puzzle as useful as it's been for me, great stuff!

#### absf

Joined Dec 29, 2010
1,949
This is the circuit here

The circuit uses 12 transistors and 3 miniature relays. I think this can be simplified to just 2x 74LS74 or 4013.

Allen

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
That is a long, long, long,long, long way to go before it comes a vending machine.