How Do Vending Machines Understand Fake And Real Coins?

How Do Vending Machines Tell the Difference Between Fake Coins and Real Coins?

Video: One of my life dreams as a child was to be able to fool a vending machine with coin-like objects. I mean, how smart could a vending machine be, right? Wrong. More like how dumb a kid I was. Vending machines use light sensors to measure the size of a coin and electromagnets to detect the metal type to determine what kind of coin it is. If you're not shaped like a dollar and built like a dollar, you ain't a dollar in their book. The whole system of what happens inside a vending machine is actually pretty interesting.


    LIES! The coils never turn again if your snack gets stuck!

    Me and a friend use to try and use washers that were coin shaped when we were in school early 2000s. I swear i have a memory that it worked once but cant remember 100% if it did.

      Yeah we used to use washers and 2x 5c pieces stuck together.

      This was the late 80's very early 90's. Again I'm almost certain it worked.

        Yep used 2 x 5c stuck together in the one at school in the 90s and it worked fine

        Yep used 2 x 5c stuck together in the one at school in the 90s and it worked fine

    When you were a kid, they probably weren't this smart.

    When I was a kid I'd just plant my feet and stare the vending machine down. After 5-10 seconds of intimidation it would release a snickers. New ones are fitted with anti-intimidation technology unfortunately :(

    In the UK during the 90's you could stick adhesive aluminium Foil to one side of a 10p piece and use that in the Coke Vending machines. For a 35p can of coke, you'd get a can of coke and 15p change.. a drink, profit and the means to carry that out again.. man.. i'm going to a fizzy hell..

      Ah the memories of a 35p can of coke! And then 40p... and 45p... thems were the days!

    I've always wondered how this side of the vending machines actually worked.. I many times tried feeding different coins from different countries, that had the same size and weight, but it never worked.

    Smart machines...... It would be way cooler, if they had AI....

      Yes but then the machine would eat you and take over the world.

    Current machines seem to tag an item as 'broken' if nothing drops. Rather than try and release a second item it will reject requests for that item until reset.

    Though I have seen bars with very shiny wrappers drop past the IR beams without triggering them, resulting in a refund :)

    Me and a mate used to use those fake plastic coins in the twist based machines.They were the right size and worked every time! We finally got caught when a 50c got caught and jammed the machine up.

      With the twist ones you can actually depress a small catch in the coin slot with just about anything and it will turn... or so juvenile me remembers....

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