Vending machine

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1/17/11 - $39.70 plus loose change - Nick
1/17/11 - $39.70 plus loose change - Nick
1/2?/11 - diet coke(unknown amount) was donated and stocked - Anonymous
1/24/11 - -$3.00 bought and stocked Hansen's Mandarin Lime (8pk) - Jared
1/24/11 - -$3.00 bought and stocked Hansen's Mandarin Lime (8pk) - Jared

Revision as of 18:19, 27 January 2011

This is the place to list any info about our vending machine.
This is OUR vending machine, yes!



Opening the machine

Key is on the top and the keyhole is right under the bill acceptor. This unlocks a handle which pops out. Unscrew that for a decent number of turns, then the front panel opens like a refrigerator door with the hinge on your left. You will need to lift the door to open it, and especially to close it.

Stocking the machine

If you open the machine door, there are 8 slots for stocking beverages. They are labelled 1 through 8 which correspond to the order of the 8 buttons on front used to select your beverage. Slots 1-4 are "wide" slots that hold 64 cans each, while slots 5-8 are narrow and only hold 34 cans each. It helps to load in two cans at a time (stacked top to bottom) into each slot in order to be able to fill each slot to max capacity. For the narrow slots, each layer of 2 cans will stack perfectly atop the previous 2. For the wide slots, each layer of two cans will stack atop but to the side of the previous layer, alternating to the left and right with each layer. If you are just adding more product to partially stocked slot, you should just need to correctly stack it atop the current stock. If you've stocked up a slot that was previously emptied/sold-out, you need to vend that slot until something comes out to "prime" the slot if you will. (In other words, if you loaded something in the previously empty slot #6, you should take some quarters or a dollar or two from the machine and keep buying one until a can comes out the door. Once it's dispensing each time you can load back in the "test" sodas as normal.) Close the door all the way, lock it and return the key.

Current Labels/Inventory of slots (as of 1/26/11):

  • Slot 1: Coke (17: 12 stocked on 1/17/11, 20 stocked on ~1/12/11)
  • Slot 2: Sprite (18: 24 stocked on 1/17/11)
  • Slot 3: Diet Coke (1)
  • Slot 4: Diet Dr. Pepper (18: 34 stocked on 1/17/11)
  • Slot 5: Mountain Dew (5: 24 stocked on 1/17/11)
  • Slot 6: Hansen's Mandarin Lime (7: 12 stocked on 1/24/11)
  • Slot 7: ?????? (Empty)
  • Slot 8: ?????? (Empty)


Purchase Support Info

We bought the Machine from Gary (not sure of his last name)

We have a 90 day warranty starting 1/4/2011

Gary's number:

cell: 510-300-4836 office: 510-710-9126

Service manual for our vending machine (Dixie-Narco model DNCB 368)


Lightbulbs are 5' fluorescent with a single prong on each side. Part # when ordering is F64T12/D. City Lights is the closest place to buy these. They are on Folsom between 11th St. and 12th St. Phone number is (415) 863-2020. Neither Lowes nor Discount Hardware carries this type of bulb.


On January 15, 2010, the ballast that came with the machine was tested and found to work. Ballast is located directly underneath the drink dispenser tray. Ballast mounting plate is held in by three phillips-head screws


Please hack this machine gently and with confidence. We'd like to keep it working and stocked so it can earn money for Noisebridge. Failed Hacks that result in us spending the vending profits to fix are not excellent.

The vending machine speaks DEX/UCS protocol to a "handheld terminal." A quick search reveals that's a serial protocol at 9600 baud, most likely at TTL levels (NOT RS-232) on a 1/4 inch stereo jack. Details of the protocol were not easily found, and likely involve checksums and/or audit information. Not clear this is worth hacking as there are some indications this communication only happens in "service mode" when the door is open and thus simultaneous vending is not possible.

A possibly simpler hacking solution is to instrument the various switches and motors to get data directly.

The coin mech and bill validator may use the MDB vending machine protocol:

Possible Issues and possible solutions

  • Problem:The dollar acceptor has stopped taking bills during stocking tests today.
    • Possible solution: Nick called Gary for help on this since we are still under a 90 day warranty. Gary is coming in on 1/25 to replace.
  • Problem:It is feared that any vending machine put in noisebridge will immediately get hacked. Not sure how excellent this would be.
    • Possible solution: possibly a non-issue, can we post a sign that says please hack me gently? lol
  • Problem:How to deal with stock sodas not already inside the machine.
    • Possible Solution: keep it shrink wrapped, don't think it's too big a deal, plus don't forget, at least ideally this is more for the casual "walk in" type people.
  • Problem:Noise. And not the good kind. The "gets-really-annoying-really-fast" kind.
    • Possible solution: A high tech noise dampening leopard print slipper was placed between the noisy vibrating bits. Is the noise still offensive?

How to contribute

Buy some drinks and either leave them on top and they'll be loaded in or if you're feeling ambitious load them in yourself.

Money log

This is where we'll keep a record of the money 'earned' by the vending machine, the money spent on product, and the money donated to noisebridge and any other costs that come up.

1/17/11 - $65.00 plus loose change - Nick

1/17/11 - -$29.30 bought and stocked mountain dew(24pk), diet dr.pepper(24pk), coke(12pk), and sprite(24pk). -Nick

1/17/11 - diet dr. pepper(12pk) donated and stocked -Jared

1/17/11 - $39.70 plus loose change - Nick

1/2?/11 - diet coke(unknown amount) was donated and stocked - Anonymous

1/24/11 - -$3.00 bought and stocked Hansen's Mandarin Lime (8pk) - Jared

1/24/11 - Hansen's Mandarin Lime(x4) donated and stocked -Jared

1/26/11 - $105.35 including money in changer -Jared

Initial Donations and funding

Commited donations

Nickthedude $100 --PAID
also commiting to dealing with logistics, but looking for a volunteer or two to help with the heavy lifting and such.

Andy Isaacson $60 --PAID

jof $100 -- PAID

Hephaestus $50 --PAID

Rachel McConnell $50 --PAID

Leif $50 --PAID

Shannon $50 --PAID

Rafi $40 --PAID


Patrick $35 - PAID (new lightbulbs)

Total = $520

Minimum Goal = $500

Difference = +$20

Money Spent

$400 the vending machine

$75 delivery

$8.74 20 pack of coke

$17.11 electrical timer to shut it off at night

total spent = $500.85

money left over = $19.15 Planning on buying more soda / drinks

Goals and Future

The goal of this project is to generate money to support noisebridge as well as give clarity and an obvious way to support to noisebridge to the "walk-in" crowd as well as the noisefolk.

Depending on the success of the soda machine it would be nice to have other premium vending machines that vend possibly healthy snacks, computer parts, arduinos etc.

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