Fruit Machine Project

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by FruitAndNut, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. FruitAndNut

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 5, 2009
    Hope this is the right place to post some beginner questions!

    I've been given a broken fruit machine, all the electronics and controls don't work or have been removed to fix other machines - but everything else seems to be intact (coin input, dispensers, switches, buttons, bulbs, fruit wheels, motors, speakers). I'd like to try to make a hobby project to control everything from my pc. I fancied working on a fun electronics project for a while, but haven't done any electronics since college (a long time ago) but have done a lot of C programming and understand atleast some basics. As it's a large project and it's going to take most of my spare time and i don't want to get defeated too easily - i thought i'd brake it down into smaller chunks and hopefully it'll get easier as i go.

    So i've done a bit of research and it looks like the coin input & switches should be childs play, and i'd like some opinions/advice on where to start.

    The coin interface is serial - spec here on pages 48-51 theres some example circuits but i don't have a serial port on my pc!

    Then theres 5 switches (which i think are pull down - when they are closed, they are grounded)

    So i think i can use a Microchip PIC18F4550, an opto isolator (for the switches as they are on seperate ground) and obviously a crystal for the pic usb, and resisters & capacitors for the serial & switch inputs. Does that sounds feasible? I'm hoping to design the layout by next week and post it for some help/comments.

    I've seen some projects using that pic, and a simple HID interface to save messing around with virtual com port drivers (and because we can get more data more often). If anyone is interested in helping me get the intial project started, i'd be happy to offer some renumeration or programming help in return.

    Thanks for your time :)
  2. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    You can buy a simple USB adapter that gives you one or more serial ports for $10 to $15. I've used a few of them to program instruments and they work fine.