Vintage Vending Machine Makes The Perfect Gift

Nothing says ‘I Love You’ like an old vending machine, and if it is a restored and working vintage Vendo V-80 cola dispenser then you have yourself a winner. [Jan Cumps] from Belgium was assigned the repair of the device in question by a friend. He started off with just a working refrigerator and no electronics. In a series of repairs, he began with replacing the mechanical coin detector’s switches with optical and magnetic sensors to detect the movement of the coin. These sensors are in turn connected to an Arduino which drives the dispensing motor. The motor itself had to be rewound as part of the repair. Since the project is on a deadline, the whole thing is finished using protoboards and through-hole parts. The final system works by dispensing one frosty bottle every time a coin is inserted.

In contrast to most vending machine repairs, this project was a simple one. Instead of using an off-the-shelf coin detector, a simple LED and photodiode pair brought the hack to life. This could easily be adapted to any machine and even be used to create a DIY vending machine on the cheap. 

In his blog, [Jan Cumps] demonstrates each working step in a video and share the Arduino code and schematic as well as other interesting details. You can see the final working version in the video below.

It has been a long time since a Vending Machine Prototyping project was commissioned and we would love to see what this project inspires.

10 thoughts on “Vintage Vending Machine Makes The Perfect Gift

    1. Yes. Bottled soda still gets sold at bars, restaurants etc. here in Euroland. They’re disappearing, but the classier establishments prefer to serve sodas from a small bottle.

    2. Yeah if you know where…
      up to 0,5l bottle here in Germany. Crazy expensive compared to those 2,0l balloons, but they sure are way better in taste. Also you tend to drink less of it which is good too :-)
      Back in the late 90s in the Philippines they still had the 1,5l glas bottles. Damn did we drink a lot of coke that summer (also purified drinking water was almost not avail in smaller places, so at some point you start brushing your teeth with beer…).

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