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Converting from Maka to a MARS MC5802

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Hey, it's me again.  I have that old Cavalier Coke machine that is gracing the most recent pictures at the moment, and I've fixed the thermostat problem so it's cooling well and it *was* vending just fine.  But the Maka coin mech finally croaked and released the magic smoke.  So rather than buy another garbage Maka mech, I considered my options:

On the inside of the Cavalier's door was a UL notice that listed possible compatible coin mechs (Maka was not one of them,) and after a bit of googling, it looked like the MARS 5802 would be a good fit.

The problem is that the Cavalier has only two wires that were connected to the "brains" of the Maka beyond the power plug itself, and the Mars MC5802 has several different connectors. I want to know which wires tell this unit enough coin has been entered to vend, and I'd like to do this without blowing up the MARS coin mech or more importantly the Cavalier's limited brain (assuming it even has one.)  I did find a wiring diagram for a bill acceptor that labeled each of these connections on the Mars, so my question is this: are the two wires I need the ones in the picture that would go to the cash meter?  

The Mars has 3 connectors: Cash Meter (2 wire, red & black), LCD Credit Display (3 wire, white, brown, green on a 6 connector), and a 5 wire (yellow, gray, purple, orange, blue) that appears to be for a bill acceptor (and a talking vender module?!?) according to the sheet I have (attached here for convenience.)  The Cavalier has one connector, (2 wire black and white.)

Now, here's the funny thing, the Maka mech still kind of works.  It lights the exact change required lamp, and buzzes and clicks constantly, but it still takes coin, credits the machine to vend, and gives the correct change.  (I have no idea how it lights the lamp *and* credits the machine with only two wires... maybe that's all it needs?)  I disconnected it because I imagine it's just going to catch fire at some point and I'd rather not burn the shop down.  I guess I could connect a meter to the Maka and see when it sends a pulse through those two connectors, then do the same with the Mars, but I was hoping that AZvend or somebody with more experience with this than I could confirm my thoughts.  Also, I am loathe to plug it back in knowing it's basically toast, and based on how it's acting I have no idea if my readings would make any sense or be correct at this point.

Anyone have a good guess?


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Honestly, I'm really confused with your post but part of that is a combination of me being tired and me also not understanding you very well on what you want.

If you simply want to convert that machine from a MAKA to a mars validator, then I can tell you that there are at least 2 different types of harnesses you can get.  One is apparently older fashioned and it has a big jones-plug looking plug (the really big plug where the coin mech plugs into the soda machine) and it goes between the coin mech's jones plug and the female plug itself.  Another harness goes to the coin mech directly.  However, I have seen other distributors carry a different harness and I don't know exactly how they hook up because I have never used one.  The important thing to know with any single price machine is... they all pretty much work the same in regards to the coin mech hooking up to a validator.  As long as the coin mech supports a validator, then you are fine.  I don't think a TRC 5800 supports a validator but I guess a 5802 does.  A TRC-6800 supports a validator for sure.  It's also important to note that I have seen coin mechs with the same model numbers with different quantity of plugs.  Some might only have 2 and some might have more.

Regardless of all of that information... Unless you just want to add a validator and you don't have any intention on doing any serious vending business stuff, then you really should think about replacing that entire machine.  It might work well, it might be good to you and good at whatever it does, but there's a strong strong chance that a lot of technicians won't know much about the machine (which is really not that huge of a problem to be honest) but, more importantly, you will have a terrible time trying to get parts for it.  If this was a single price dixie narco 501T, then you can get parts for decades, but this is a cavalier... a brand of machines more forgotten than rowe machines.

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Mars 5xxx coin mechs are junk now so get yourself a single price Coinco 3340S or 9340S coin mech, a Coinco BA or Mag30B and interconnect harness and be done with all the old crap in your machine.  You can also use a Mars 6800H with VN2501 and a Mars interconnnect harness.

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Yeah, this is just for casual use at a private company. If I thought an honor box would work I would've gone that route. I'm here all day every day, so I can check on these machines periodically and make sure they are operating. I'm still less than $500 in, which hasn't even come close to the price of a single used modern machine yet 'round these parts.

I'm basically just trying to keep these old hulks out of the scrapyard. Plus, they look cool, and all the old farts like me who work here remember them from the 80's and I've gotten several comments on how neat it is to see these running.

I probably should've mentioned that I already have a 5802, so getting a different mech is off the table.

If the big black 8/9 prong plug is what's doing the real communication, and all these units are roughly the same, then those two wires running separate must just go to the exact change light or possibly the defunct maka bill validator.

I'm using the Rowe snack machine to make change from bills. I'm having occasional issues with that also... But that's a post for another time.

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In any case, I plugged the 5802 in and it works just fine. The two wire connector went to the Maka bill validator. Since I've disconnected it, it doesn't matter that none of the other connectors are used. Thanks for the help. :)

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