Vending machine

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Revision as of 00:24, 18 January 2011 by Nickthedude (talk | contribs)
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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

How do we do it?

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


Lightbulbs are 5' fluorescent with a single prong on each side. 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.

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.

Purchase Info

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

Gary is coming in at some point to fix the ballast of the lights.

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

Gary's number:

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

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.


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: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:Electrical usage:

Possible solution: a timer so we don't have to run the machine all the time:

I have one of these and they work ok:

This won't really help. Because of basic thermodynamics, the compressor needs to run a certain amount: if the duty cycle is low enough to save energy, the drinks will be warm. Trust the thermostat! However, a timer could possibly shift the time the compressor runs to put the noise in the wee hours of the morning. Also, make sure any timer switch you use is rated for at least 11 amps, and I would say 15 to be safe! Jtfoote 05:27, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Problem:Noise. And not the good kind. The "gets-really-annoying-really-fast" kind.

Possible solution: Don't buy a vending machine. Be responsible and pay existing bills instead. Or get a soda fountain for on-the-fly mixing of syrup and carbonated water.

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


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

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 mountain dew, diet dr.pepper, coke, and sprite.