I walked downtown from my house to McLeod last night in the 20F Seattle weather (a chilly 40 minute walk) for a drink and to look at rigging the Cavalier vending machine as a free drink dispenser. After a little over an hour fooling around with the Ratchet Dog Spring I was able to remove it and then reuse it to tie back the Ratchet Dog. The machine is now plugged in, the refrigeration system works, and the machine is capable of dispensing free bottles of whatever McLeod wants.
When I created this personal challenge I thought it was most likely that I’d fail. Two WOOTS for personal challenges!
Thanks to David at Choo-Choo I know how to make the soda machine dispense bottles for free. There’s a solenoid that’s tripped everytime the correct change is deposited. This flips the rachet dog which is held in place by the rachet dog spring. I simply have to remove the bottom three shelves then remove the rachet dog spring and it should release the rachet dog locking mechanism permanently. Translation: free bottles of whatever will now be dispensed (fingers crossed).
I found a container of old bottle caps ine th soda machine: Tab, Coca Cola, Fanta Root Beer, Fanta Orange and Sprite. And some burned out light bulbs that I’ll replace. I learned that applying old vinyl in the cold (about 40F today) is a bad idea. Lot’s of splitting, but I think it still may work.
The good news is that the cooling system seems to work flawlessly. I think this is simply a clean-up job at this point.
Choo Choo Vending mailed me a spare key and a scrap of presidential vinyl to replace the worn wood panel vinyl that is peeling off the front of the machine. The key worked! No bottles or change in the machine, but the motor hums when plugged in and it looks like it’ll hold bottles nicely. I’ll have to see what size works.
The new vinyl they sent is not wood grained. It’s kind of a 60s tweed which may be very cool or very odd. It is presidential, so I’m hoping for goodness.
I talked to the folks at Choo Choo Vending in Chattanooga. They have a key for the lock which they’re sending me. They even had some extra “presidential vinyl” lying around so they’re going to throw in a square of that to make the front wood-grained panel look crisp and new. Once I get the key I can open it up and see if it works.
That’s a 60% chance that we can revive this vending machine found abandoned in a parking lot down the street. Eric is going to help out. Our goal is to get it cleaned up and working so we can donate it to McLeod for the member’s room.
Buster is giving us until New Years Eve to get it going. If anyone else is interested in helping and knows something about refrigeration or old vending machines jump on in. It’s currently in my garage.