I have always wondered how exactly the coin mechanism in vending machines work. I browsed around and found some information about it that might interest you.
The coin mechanism is used for actuating the vending of a product from a machine upon the insertion of a predetermined number of specific coins. The mechanism includes a coin member having a partitioned surface that cooperates with housing parts to form a coin accumulation chamber. Upon insertion into the mechanism, the coins become aligned edgewise. The next-to-last coin is located to deflect the last coin upon a ledge. The ledge is part of the partitioned coin member and is situated to locate a portion of the coin beyond the member’s periphery. This allows contact with a pin extending from an adjacent manually rotatable lever. After inserting the specified coins, a user of the vending machine will push down on the lever, or twisting the handle. This force will be transmitted via the pin against the coin, which, in turn, transmits the force through the ledge to the coin member. As the coin member rotates, the coins drop into a coin box, while your product is being dispensed.
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