Friday, June 19, 2009

Coinstar FunTime Project

James over at The Copper Counter Blog dared to issue a challenge to build your own mini-Coinstar machine.

Well you don't tell an engineering student to build a model without expecting it to work. My wind turbine from last semester may have been a 1/50th scale but it still produced electricity.

It took my fake non-magnetic Tiny Buffalo but all the other coins were left in the rejection tray.

Update: To add a still of the modified print-out. I had to add a bottom, using Gimp the image manipulation software. I used the cardboard box that my 2009 proof set came in as a backing. Found out that the small tabs were not necessary but larger main tabs worked well. This is due to the thickness of my backing board.

I didn't go step by step with pictures since my camera started acting up but it is pretty straight forward.

7 dollars worth, for Comments/Questions click here.:

Anonymous said...


I was totally going to harass you with...this is not life-like! where are all the rejects?!?...but, you avoided that :)

I didn't know this was a dare! Good thing I am female and immune to dares and such ;)

James (UK) said...

That is simply overwhelmingly fantastic! The way that coin goes in, and then comes out is classic! And you know why it comes out? Because you'd forgotten to connect it to the mains! ;-)

Next challenge; someone puts L.E.D.'s in it, to make it light up, and a miniature screen connected to a PC, running something like a PowerPoint slideshow of the "counting" / "out of service" screens etc.


Man said...

Don't tempt me.

I have some LED numbers that I have left over from a clock I built for Electrical Circuits II a few semesters back. They're oversized but it's not impossible to make a counter.

For those who are tempted just a simple wire folded over itself is enough to complete a circuit while a coin passes over and attached to a "coin" cell battery.

Anonymous said...

Dare him, James, double dog dare him!

James (UK) said...

Man, that is great stuff again! is GIMP easy to use? I've often thought about trying it, but have just struggled through using PhotoDraw and Paintshop Pro, but it's a PITA to have to keep swapping from one to the other, to do one small thing, then back again etc.

You know what would be awesome; some of those fibre-optic lights like you can get on mega-expensive models of "Star Trek's" "Enterprise", like this one here.

Man said...

Kelly - "double dog dare him!" hanging around kids too much I see.

James - GIMP can get complicated, I use it less then half the time. My Canon camera came with something called Zoombrowser which has a great editor but limited. Anything complicated gets done with GIMP.
Trying to make an anitmated .gif looked simple going by an online tutorials but I've been trying and struggling.

James (UK) said...

OK, thanks for that. I've downloaded it and will give it a go.