Vending machine

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


Current Beverages and Inventory

As of 2/11/11:

  • Slot 1: Coke (58)
  • Slot 2: Sprite (29)
  • Slot 3: Diet Coke (38)
  • Slot 4: Mountain Dew (19)
  • Slot 5: Diet Dr. Pepper (9)
  • Slot 6: More Coke (12)
  • Slot 7: Pepsi (21)
  • Slot 8: Donation & Light Show! (Empty)


Making a Purchase

Everything is $1.00. The machine accepts dollar bills, quarters, nickels and dimes. Insert money and make your selection by pressing its button. If the orange light is on it's sold out. If it doesn't vend, try holding the button in longer. If it still doesn't vend, then you can either chalk it up as a donation or open the machine to retrieve your selection.

Opening the machine

The 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 labeled 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 two cans will stack almost perfectly atop the previous two. 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.

I've had one can get smashed up by the machine when I loaded a single lone can incorrectly last atop the stack. To avoid this, try to stock an even number of new cans at a time, so that you are always adding two cans at a time. If you end up with only one can for your last stack, just vend one can from that stack to make a pair for the top.

If you are just adding more product to partially stocked slot, you need only to stack it correctly atop the current stock. However 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.


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.

Mitch added a connector to the vending counter which will switch 110V AC briefly whenever a can is vended.

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

Actual Problems and Possible Solutions

  • 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?
    • Possible solution: The source of the noise is the fan for the compressor. It's really hard to get at the fan to try and correct the problem, but Jared and Robert carefully slide out the compressor assembly to try and accesss the fan. We didn't get total access to the fan but were able to remove enough screws to bend some of the metal around the fan further from the fan region... this seems to have helped with the noise......for now.... We didn't replace all the screws and bolts for fear of making the noise return but they are inside the money bin in the machine.

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

1/28/11 - $123.85 including money in changer -Jared

1/28/11 - -$31.50 bought and stocked mountain dew throwback(24pk), pepsi(24pk), diet coke(24pk), coke(12pk), sprite(12pk) -Jared

1/28/11 - $92.35 including money in changer -Jared

1/30/11 - $106.35 including money in changer -Jared

1/30/11 - -$31.50 bought and stocked mountain dew throwback(36pk), coke(36pk), diet coke(12pk), sprite(12pk) -Jared

1/30/11 - $74.85 including money in changer -Jared

2/01/11 - $102.50 including money in changer -Jared

2/01/11 - -$80.00 Donation to Noisebridge General Funds!!

2/01/11 - $22.50 including money in changer -Jared

2/07/11 - ???

2/07/11 - -$10.80 stocking 3 12 packs of coke(36) -Nick (for the sake of completeness I'm only adding 35 cokes because I drank one, but am adding a dollar to the machine and not taking a coke.

2/07/11 - $14.00 (not including money in changer) - Nick

2/08/11 - $81.50 including rough count of money in changer - Jared

2/08/11 - -$8.00 bought and stocked 23 Cokes and 24 Diet Cokes - Claudia

2/08/11 - $73.50 including rough count of money in changer - Jared

2/11/11 - $109.00 including rough count of 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

$20.00 (40) cokes downstairs

total spent = $520.85

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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