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necrotron

Newbie Vending owner / fool?

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Our small company is kind of isolated from beverage or snack options, and we've reduced our staff from over 100 to just a handful of people. Our old vending contract expired and they pulled the machines a while ago, and rightfully so because an operator couldn't make money at our site these days considering how far away and small volume we are.  However, I thought it was still nice to have machines in the building for times when we can't break away for an hour to go get something.  I would have just put in a fridge and have everyone chip in, but efforts like that in the past have largely failed or are more time and trouble to manage, and there's always a few non-contributors in the mix.  Then I saw a really nice pair of machines (one spiral, one can machine) on a facebook marketplace for a remarkable price compared to other offerings, so I bought them with the intent to load them and have them eventually pay for themselves. I got both machines for $300 total, which based on take will be ROI in no more than 6 months, probably more like 3.  These machines are very well maintained, clean, older machines with bill acceptors, and were supposedly deployed in a similar fashion until just a few months ago at the private company I bought them from.

However... the beverage machine is a Cavalier (cue ominous music.)  C9 390-260 to be exact.  Every forum I've looked at says Cavaliers are terrible garbage, and I assume that's true from a route standpoint. This one is cooling well, no leaks, no rust, very minimal corrosion typical of a 30 year old commercial fridge, and I'm on site every day and will be able to react to problems that (will?) arise.  All the switch contactors and connections are good and shiny, and everything looks to be in order except for the main lights (bulbs removed) and two of the product out indicators. It really is in remarkable condition for being almost 30 years old, it looks brand new on the outside, with just a little scuffing around the change return.  However, without a manual I can't test or reprogram it, and I don't know how to cycle it to start loading the cans. I do have a background in electronics and arcade game maintenance from my distant youth, and I see the switches on the front of each column, but I'd really prefer to read a manual before I just go randomly mucking about with it.  Anybody got one for this unit they could upload?

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Ha! My first test run was a partial success. Turns out this unit chills remarkably well, but what it doesn't do well is *stop* chilling.  Fortunately I only had a few cans in there to test, all diet, so clean-up wasn't bad. I'm going to test and likely replace the thermostat, and check the compressor contactor.  But a manual would still be a great help.  Anyone?

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A bad thermostat or one set above 3 1/2 from zero will cause freezing.  I used to have a Cavalier manual but I have to dig it out.  No guarantee it will be for your machine.

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If you can get it working, the Cavaliers were solid machines. You just can't any parts for them anymore. For your purposes it should be fine.

To test just hole down the sold out switch (paddle looking thing) inside the column and put money in.

I'm guessing that you machine has a single price coin mech, and so all pricing is done by flipping dip switches in the coin mech.

Honestly the best thing to do would be to post pics of the inside of the machine and the coin mech.

 

Edited by orsd

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(Sorry about the double reply, my stupid tablet decided to post a small chunk of what I wrote instead of the full message.)

 

Thanks AZVendor!

It was set to 1, so we think it's either the compressor contactor stuck closed, or the thermostat. Fortunately, we work with industrial chillers here and have a good idea how to work around needing specific parts, which is why the manual and schematics are so important to me.

Orsd, it is indeed a single price model, hopefully I can get a pic or two posted in the morning. The price it's set at now (.65) isn't a deal breaker, but it will reduce the margin down a bit closer to cost than I'm comfortable with, unless I get every single can back to redeem. I'm in Oregon so it's a dime a piece now.  Since I'm not in this to make a decent profit beyond paying off these units and having a small repair/parts fund, if I can't get it to chill properly, I'll just vend them warm and put crushed ice in the freezer. Terrible but do-able, and better than nothing.

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The thermostat was set to 1 because it's bad and some fool thought that was a way to keep it from freezing product.  You can use a cold control from a Rowe 448 which has a short capillary tube.  Place the tube in evaporator airflow without it touching any metal and set it to 3 1/2.

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AZVendor: Turns out it was just stuck... or only intermittently bad? Not sure which is worse, so I'm still looking at a replacement solution but depending on further extended testing it might be ok. I've been running it for two days straight set to 1, no freezing. (I've just got water bottles in there right now) Compressor is turning on and off just fine. So... it might have just been frozen up from sitting or being moved. I'm not willing to risk deploying it and making a mess in the break room without further long-term testing.

ORSD, I have some pics, and a (troubling?) update. When I hold down the sold out switches, the working lights on the sold out slots do go out. It is set up for triple depth cans on all slots, so I loaded it with a half dozen in several slots. Coins take fine, but no credit amount is displayed in the window, however, once .65 is reached, there's a click inside and the selectors will then work. Some more clicks when selection buttons are pressed, but nothing vends.

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Now that I saw the photos of the Cavalier you have you need to junk it.  I had a bunch of those from Coke back in the early 90's.  I had just picked up a gigantic account and it was the first time the high and mighty Coca Cola was interested in me as a third-party vendor (I had been using Pepsi equipment for 5 years by then.)  They threw 25 of those dinosaurs onto my route and they had to constantly repair them until they gave up and updated the machines.  These models have a joke of a vend mechanism under each column which has an L-shaped retainer that holds the cans in place.  Top that with the garbage Maka coin mech and garbage Maka bill acceptor and you should just cut your losses and take it to a scrap yard.

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Well, I thought I had gotten it to almost 100%. I put a thermometer inside that I can see just by cracking the door (I suppose I could put one visible from the can drop, now that I think of it.)  It's vending properly, giving change correctly, and it had been running good all weekend with no freezes and maintaining about 45 degrees temperature, so I decided to move it into the kitchen area this morning.  Of course, just before I left today I caught it running at 20 degrees. The water bottles had just begun to freeze inside, so I cracked the door a bit and unplugged it.  Looks like a new thermostat is a for sure thing.  And of course the bill collector won't credit.  It takes bills fine, and there are clicks in the coin mech area when it does so, but something isn't set quite right because it won't allow vend, and it won't dispense change. Coins work fine and dispense correct change.

While it would be great to just junk this thing and continue on, any other equipment I'd be looking at around here also isn't 100% operational. Since a part of what we do here is refrigeration, I think as long as the vend portion is working I'm not too worried about the chiller guts.

So if you could remember what the dip switch settings might be for this so I can change the price to .75, and maybe enable the bill collector that would be marvy!  Thanks for all the help and advice so far, by the way!

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The DIP switches in the coin mech start at .05 on the far left #1 switch and then double in value as you move to the right.  Turn on switches 1-4 and the vend price will equal .75.

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Yes, that's the one I was referring to.

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