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Antares repair


PandJ

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Against the good advice of members from this forum I went ahead and bought a vending route of Antares combo units, but at a reduced cost.  Well no surprise the one unit she had in storage did not work. Upon further investigation I found the real problem with Antares units.  If you are tempted to buy these get a flashlight and look through the openings of the pop vendor to the back of the machine and you will likely see streaks of rust running down the back.  Based on information I found online and what I know about the units I bought, the refrigerator will last about 7-10 years.  Attached is my guide to repairing, but will likely only give me another 7-10 years.  There are other issues with these units (limited capacity, poor durability) but they are minor issues I think and they have some benefits (compact, light enough to move yourself, easy to repair and swap out parts).  The major issue is golpher refrigeration (in addition to poor coils the thermostat adjustment is tricky and it is easy to freeze pop).  

repair of antares.pdf

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Against the good advice of members from this forum I went ahead and bought a vending route of Antares combo units, but at a reduced cost.  Well no surprise the one unit she had in storage did not work. Upon further investigation I found the real problem with Antares units.  If you are tempted to buy these get a flashlight and look through the openings of the pop vendor to the back of the machine and you will likely see streaks of rust running down the back.  Based on information I found online and what I know about the units I bought, the refrigerator will last about 7-10 years.  Attached is my guide to repairing, but will likely only give me another 7-10 years.  There are other issues with these units (limited capacity, poor durability) but they are minor issues I think and they have some benefits (compact, light enough to move yourself, easy to repair and swap out parts).  The major issue is golpher refrigeration (in addition to poor coils the thermostat adjustment is tricky and it is easy to freeze pop).  

I highly doubt that you or anyone else would put up with those golphers for 7 to 10 years

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Again the question is why do all that work for a throw away machine?  If you aren't out of freon then the rust doesn't matter (by the way, they are steel lines if they are rusted).  If your machine isn't cooling (low on freon) then if the leak isn't in the rusted coils it's inside the walls of the cabinet where the steel lines react with the foam insulation and eat holes that you will never find in the lines.

 

If you are a tinkerer and like to work on machines then this is a workable project for you as long as you are capable of doing refrigeration work.  Just realize that you have to verify a freon leak in the lines you can see to make this project viable.

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moondog, what is a golpher?  

AZVendor, with the new coils the system is airtight and holding a charge.  Yes it was a risk to replace coils only to find leak in coils in walls of cabinet. I think a higher liklihood with these units is that after coils fail, rust gets into the system and ruins the compressor or some other crucial part.   

 

All,

As far as worth of a machine, I have yet to find a good method to value machines other than hearsay and opinion.  If someone can point me to a good data-source of mean-time-between-failure, repair costs, restocking times, capacity, or other good data that allow me to do any real analysis of life-cycle costs, it would be appreciated.  

 

Until then, having these junk machines allows me a low cost entry to get my business systems in place and get my hands in the real nuts and bolts of the business so I can figure it out.  Even the best machine at a poor location, run by someone who doesnt know what they are doing will loose money. This way I can have ten machines for the price of one.   As long as I have a couple months of data, if a machine fails, I can decide if it is worth it to spend $2-3k on a higher quality snack and/or soda machine to replace it.

 

If I work it for a couple years and more machines fail (which they will), maybe I can offload route and get my capitol back out, but even if I scrap whole route, cost is worth the education.  Just running it for a few weeks I can start to see the types of locations that work and the types that don't.  I can see how a frequent repair jobs can destroy your profit per hour.  I can see potential for optimizing machine capacity, product sell by dates, good service (not running out of product), frequency of visits (which cost time) and travel time to site.  I have already learned a ton.  

 

I recognize these are junk machines and not many (or any) of you experts would invest money, time and energy.  And I would agree, don't buy these if given the opportunity.  I was not intending to seek approval or disapproval of buying them or repairing them, I just wanted to post some details on repair and issues for others if they find themselves stuck with these and want to attempt it. When I was thinking about buying route, all I heard from this forum was they were junk, I am trying to provide some more reasons why they are junk.  
 
Sorry to ramble and I don't want to sound defensive either, please keep the advice coming.  
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PandJ, your experience is invaluable to anyone who is considering using these machines. Unfortunately these mechanical machines will be on the used market for many years to come and all we here on the forum can do is give our advice against using them.  That's all you were hearing before.  While we would never encourage anyone to use these machines, you went in with your eyes wide open and are now learning the ins and outs of vending.  Your experiences are already turning you away from these machines, but even if you decided that you liked them and wanted to only operate them we are not here to tell you that it would be a failure.  The forum is a base of opinions, some more vocal than others, but still just each poster's opinion so don't worry about being defensive or having shots taken across your bow.  I read your entire first post and all of this one and saw that you were aware of the limitations so I, like others, only want to further warn you about spending "good money after bad," but it's also your money and we can't judge.

 

I don't think you need to worry so much about rust getting into your system unless you cut a rusted line of and see large chunks fall into the tubing.  There is a filter/drier on your system to catch dirt and moisture.  There isn't any replacement for good refrigeration practices though, so work clean and don't leave the open system exposed to the air for too long and vacuum the system for 2 or more hours before charging it.

 

To your other questions, the word "golpher" is inserted automatically by the forum whenever a curse word is typed and posted.  There also is not any life testing of vending machines for MTBF other than the years of experience all vendors have had with machines.  No reliability guides or value "blue books" exist so that's what makes this forum so valuable to vendors. 

 

Good luck with your venture. 

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Hey guys, new to this forum. (New to any forum, haven't really used one before) The reason I had searched for one in the first place was because I alsojust bought 5 of these used office delis... A month and a bit ago we bought 6 from an individual that were all placed and doing well, all have been upgraded to guardian coin mechs and ICT bill acceptors. no issues either so far so good, seem like a great machine, not as advanced as some of my others but still making good money. (I've been in the industry for only 3 years)

So I thought hey this other guy is selling 5 for a decent price.. Why not? 3 hardly used and two still in the box... But when I got them home I realized they are different then The other 6 we had bought. Seemed a bit cheaper, crappy little red LED display like it was from the early 90s and the bill acceptor and coin mech needed to be replaced/upgraded which I was aware of. I have since learned Genisus manufacturing and Seaga Manufacturing were contracted to make machines for that Anteras company, I was aware of the Anteras going out of business which they rightfully should've. But I didn't know there are two different models of this same machine.

Tomorrow I will get the serial numbers off my first 6 we bought and from there try to figure out which machines came from which company. The new ones we just bought seem even more cheap and the electronics seem like junk. I put in a new Conlux and ICT in it. But I can't seem to get the bill acceptor to work and the bottom of the Conlux doesn't line up with the machines cash Box or coin return shoute nor will it accept a loonie or Twoonie. So I took the old coin pro 3's in for an exchange to see if the upgrade will work.

Anyone have Any in sight on these two different models? Or why I'm having trouble with the up grades?

Sorry about the long story, I just need help figuring this out. Thanks for your time looking forward to a reply.

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Dixie Narco, Vendo, Royal, all made in USA.

 

They come as small as a 180 can all the way to a 600 single price can machine.

 

The bigger machine the heaver they get.  Hire somebody to move your machines for you, look and learn from a professional.

 

Find a machine and post on here some one will reply to the make and model of machine.

 

A single price can machine is the best way to get your feet wet in this type of business. 

 

good luck

 

cajun

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Against the good advice of members from this forum I went ahead and bought a vending route of Antares combo units, but at a reduced cost.  Well no surprise the one unit she had in storage did not work. Upon further investigation I found the real problem with Antares units.  If you are tempted to buy these get a flashlight and look through the openings of the pop vendor to the back of the machine and you will likely see streaks of rust running down the back.  Based on information I found online and what I know about the units I bought, the refrigerator will last about 7-10 years.  Attached is my guide to repairing, but will likely only give me another 7-10 years.  There are other issues with these units (limited capacity, poor durability) but they are minor issues I think and they have some benefits (compact, light enough to move yourself, easy to repair and swap out parts).  The major issue is golpher refrigeration (in addition to poor coils the thermostat adjustment is tricky and it is easy to freeze pop).  

 

 

Thank you for sharing that information. Yes, these machines are not liked around here but to paraphrase AZ, there is really no right or wrong way to get into vending. All of us have had very different experiences and have come up with our own unique solutions to the problems we have encountered. Glad that you found us and have taken the opportunity to share and learn, that is why TVF is here.

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moondog, what is a golpher?  

AZVendor, with the new coils the system is airtight and holding a charge.  Yes it was a risk to replace coils only to find leak in coils in walls of cabinet. I think a higher liklihood with these units is that after coils fail, rust gets into the system and ruins the compressor or some other crucial part.   

 

All,

As far as worth of a machine, I have yet to find a good method to value machines other than hearsay and opinion.  If someone can point me to a good data-source of mean-time-between-failure, repair costs, restocking times, capacity, or other good data that allow me to do any real analysis of life-cycle costs, it would be appreciated.  

 

Until then, having these junk machines allows me a low cost entry to get my business systems in place and get my hands in the real nuts and bolts of the business so I can figure it out.  Even the best machine at a poor location, run by someone who doesnt know what they are doing will loose money. This way I can have ten machines for the price of one.   As long as I have a couple months of data, if a machine fails, I can decide if it is worth it to spend $2-3k on a higher quality snack and/or soda machine to replace it.

 

If I work it for a couple years and more machines fail (which they will), maybe I can offload route and get my capitol back out, but even if I scrap whole route, cost is worth the education.  Just running it for a few weeks I can start to see the types of locations that work and the types that don't.  I can see how a frequent repair jobs can destroy your profit per hour.  I can see potential for optimizing machine capacity, product sell by dates, good service (not running out of product), frequency of visits (which cost time) and travel time to site.  I have already learned a ton.  

 

I recognize these are junk machines and not many (or any) of you experts would invest money, time and energy.  And I would agree, don't buy these if given the opportunity.  I was not intending to seek approval or disapproval of buying them or repairing them, I just wanted to post some details on repair and issues for others if they find themselves stuck with these and want to attempt it. When I was thinking about buying route, all I heard from this forum was they were junk, I am trying to provide some more reasons why they are junk.  
 
Sorry to ramble and I don't want to sound defensive either, please keep the advice coming.  

 

I get the feeling that you only bought these machines for the locations and are now using them as a Beta test.  Once you've established which locations really make money, don't hesitate to put in some good full size equipment.  An Antares machine would need to be serviced daily in a good location - not a recipe for efficient vending.

 

Oh, and Golpher was the name of an old member here who apparently swore like a drunken sailor. and now, in his honor, we use golpher for anything not otherwise printable.

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I guess I figured I was paying tuition to learn, machines worthless, no documentation of income so no way to value locations, probably worthless.  My plan was for my son and I to run it for a year or so and even if I had to scrap it I would learn as much as I could.  Then I would know enough about servicing, product costs, accounting, etc to either start over with better machines or realize I am not able to make good profit and do something else.  

When I first posted about buying this route, I was told don't touch them with a 10 foot pole, I looked for other options for better machines (dixie, vendo etc.). and found them to be around $2,000 maybe more with shipping and then calories burned to find good location.   I liked better the idea of having 10 bad machines in good and bad locations, rather then putting all money into one or two machines and maybe finding a good location, maybe not.  When I looked in my home town (craigslist, ebay, classifieds, etc.) I only found junk.  Also looking around at competition there is one big-time vendor that is associated with pop distributor and bulk machines everywhere, so might be too competitive to break in. After this discussion I broadened my search and found this:

http://billings.craigslist.org/bfs/4520390517.html

looks great!  I am kind of amazed, I didn't think $200 for a high volume machine was possible.  Although this is a 2 hr drive from where I live, I am tempted to go get these.  

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You should go get those machines as they are at very good prices.  Keep in mind you will probably have to put money into them as no machine is working perfectly no matter what the seller claims.  You might have to replace coin mechs, validators, maybe even a logic board.  You just never know how well they work until you get them but you will have good machines for a good value even after repairs. 

 

Have the seller plug the Bevmax in 2 hours before you arrive so you can see that it gets cold.  When you get there look into the right rear of the Bevmax product compartment to see if the evaporator is frosting up.  If it is you might have to recharge the compressor.

 

These would be good for your best account and then if they end up being too much machine for that "best account" you can plan on moving them to a newer "best account" and replacing them with some smaller real vending machines at that time.  Always plan on having your best machines in your best accounts - always.

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I guess I figured I was paying tuition to learn, machines worthless, no documentation of income so no way to value locations, probably worthless.  My plan was for my son and I to run it for a year or so and even if I had to scrap it I would learn as much as I could.  Then I would know enough about servicing, product costs, accounting, etc to either start over with better machines or realize I am not able to make good profit and do something else.  

When I first posted about buying this route, I was told don't touch them with a 10 foot pole, I looked for other options for better machines (dixie, vendo etc.). and found them to be around $2,000 maybe more with shipping and then calories burned to find good location.   I liked better the idea of having 10 bad machines in good and bad locations, rather then putting all money into one or two machines and maybe finding a good location, maybe not.  When I looked in my home town (craigslist, ebay, classifieds, etc.) I only found junk.  Also looking around at competition there is one big-time vendor that is associated with pop distributor and bulk machines everywhere, so might be too competitive to break in. After this discussion I broadened my search and found this:

http://billings.craigslist.org/bfs/4520390517.html

looks great!  I am kind of amazed, I didn't think $200 for a high volume machine was possible.  Although this is a 2 hr drive from where I live, I am tempted to go get these.  

Never heard of Vendnet but that Dixie looks to be a deal. especially if it's a 5591 (best drop front ever made).  If you're up in Montana, understand that good accounts may take awhile to come by.  Be patient and you'll get one - though maybe not this year.  If you find yourself getting desperate, like Cajun says, a good single priced soda machine in an auto body shop can be a successful venture

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Never heard of Vendnet but that Dixie looks to be a deal. especially if it's a 5591 (best drop front ever made). If you're up in Montana, understand that good accounts may take awhile to come by. Be patient and you'll get one - though maybe not this year.

Vendnet is Wittern; aka USI. Why can't I ever find killer deals like these?
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I personally have never seen an Antares unit but this blog makes them seem like they are great (I am not in any way saying they are, just trying to learn more about them).

Can someone who actually owns one post a list of the pros & cons of owning one of these?

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Can someone who actually owns one post a list of the pros & cons of owning one of these?

I own a bunch of them.  It depends on your area and the location.  I am in a very small town and most locations only have maybe 15 people or less.  They go great in employee break rooms that have very limited space.  A lot of mine something like this is the only option, nothing larger will fit.  No way you could fit both a soda and snack machine in there where one of these does the job just fine.  The other advantage is being 100% mechanical.  Someone jams up a slot or coin mech, the whole machine doesn't quit working.

 

Downside is they don't hold too much product and as noted in this thread, the refrigeration coils rust.

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I don't know if I will be able to get hold of these two as I can't get over to Billings for a couple weeks.  Trying to talk her into holding them for me if I wire her a deposit.  

Morjorhino, Antares machines suck.  I think the company did a great sales job and sold them for way more than they were worth, so there are tons of them out there, owned by people that payed a ton for them.  The biggest issue, at least with the FRM units is they will fail in a big way within 10 years, see my post at top of page.  They do seem to me an easy way to get into vending as they are small and you can move them with a dolly yourself, they fit in tight spaces, etc.  but only if you plan to use them for a year or two, then throw them away.  

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I personally have never seen an Antares unit but this blog makes them seem like they are great (I am not in any way saying they are, just trying to learn more about them).

Can someone who actually owns one post a list of the pros & cons of owning one of these?

Pros: size (easy to move)

Cons: size (very limited capacity)

Design: many customers don't even realize there drinks BEHIND the snacks

Drink module: configuration leads to expired sodas, stuck sodas and frozen sodas (impossible to get it cleaned after a can blows)

Coin mech: mechanical design is very difficult to change prices (many moving parts)

Keys: easy to bend and break

There is much more I could add to this list, but my wife is nagging me to read something!

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Antares repair checklist

 

1) find abandon highway at 2 a.m.

2) sit machine on back of truck door open or tailgate down ( depending on the vehicle)

3) HIT THE GAS

 

Disclaimer, Please be sure remove all " FOR SERVICE CONTACT" stickers before attempting above checklist

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