RFID Enabled Pop Machine
After the kind donation of a 70'sish Coca-Cola Vending machine, we started tearing into it to get it working. While there were a few issues off the start, it's in good mechanical order and tests showed it's power consumption was >50% less than the existing smaller pop machine in the space.
One major problem was that the coin mechanism would not accept newer loonies and toonies. A replacement mechanism would be $200 or more. A bit pricy for a starving hackerspace, so we are doing what all good hackers do, overengineer a solution with parts at hand. In this case, utilize the door RFID tags the members have anyways and use them to debit from a pre paid pop account.
The machine is a Vendo V384. Soda-Machines.com
Oricanus did much of the work to figure out the mechanics of the machine and how to bypass the coin mech to allow us to dispense product. It's actually very easy. On the connector to the coin mech, short pins 1-7 together (all the time) and then momentarily contact pins 1-3 and then make your selection.
Version 1 is to basically setup the nessecary hardware to replace the coin mech and to use the RFID tags to debit from an account with little or no modification to the existing electro mechanical dispensing system. Various options were considered but parts on hand and flexibility came together in the following:
-Raspberry Pi -Parallax Serial RFID Reader -