Take Apart Tuesdays: May 25

So this Tuesday we got a whole set of pieces for those claw machines, joysticks, controllers, motors, claw, sidings, the whole set. It’ll keep us busy for a while and was a bit too much for one night, so we focused on what was most interesting to us.

So I, of course, headed straight for the money.

This is a familiar sight to any of you who grew up near a Chuck E Cheese.

coin weighing assembly

This is a timed ramp and deflector to sort out coins. It’s set to accept only quarters.

The coins pass through a width detector (a space with a spring loaded arm pressing against them) if they’re too thick they slow down, and then hit this wheel, which spins to let them past. Heavier coins spin the wheel faster and drop more directly downward.

deflector wheel

Lesser coins aren’t deflected enough towards the rear and hit that little brass divider and fall forward to the reject tray. you can see it’s got adjusters, so it was probably manually tested after being assembled.

coin splitter

If the coin gets this far, it hits a fine wire as it rolls through the final ramp, activating this switch and telling the machine we just got a quarter.

final switch

4 thoughts on “Take Apart Tuesdays: May 25

  • May 26, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Sweet bunch of donations! Does coin receiver work? maybe we can install it on something…. soldering irons? ooh i know – put it on a wifi router!

  • May 26, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    It totally works, and the switch looks good too. In fact I’m 90% sure I know how to adjust it to take any coin.

    So if someone has a good idea for something coin-operated, speak up before I install it elsewhere!

  • May 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    How about making that “roller machine” / shaking manikin drink mixer coin-op?

  • May 30, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    These coin mechanisms, or “mechs” as they’re called in the trade, are pretty sophisticated. Aside from width, diameter, and weight, the coin mech also checks each coin for metallic content, by rolling it past a magnet. A slug will stick to the magnet, then be knocked into the coin return slot when the reject button is pressed. A valid coin will be slightly slowed down as it passes the magnet, and drop into the “accept” chute. A coin that goes too fast or too slow past the magnet will drop into the coin return slot.

    I believe this mech is for quarters only. I don’t think you could adjust it to check validity of other coins without replacing parts. If you just want to accept any coin, you can replace the entire mech with a chute that goes directly into the switch slot.

    I think it has been removed from this one, but there is usually an electromagnetic coil on the side of the coin mech (on the bracket shown in the fourth photo) that, when energized, retracts a pin that would otherwise knock the coin into the return slot. This coil is usually tied to the lamp behind the coin slot plate (which doubles as the reject button). This way, if the machine is turned off, all coins will get kicked into the return slot.

    In my vending days I was taught to never, ever, ever lubricate a coin mech, though some techs would rub a finger on the side of their nose, then rub that on the plate where the coin slides. MMMmmm… nose grease.

    These days, some coin mechs are made of plastic.


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