[Noisebridge-discuss] vending machine lights/poster & snack suggestions

Jonathan Foote jtfoote at ieee.org
Sun Jan 16 01:13:45 UTC 2011

On Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 4:37 PM, Patrick Keys <citizenkeys at gmail.com> wrote:
> Vending machine
> -----------------
> is there a way to get the vending machine lights to work? do the bulbs
> just need to be replaced or what?

Story I heard was that the ballast was shot and needed replacing. I
couldn't find the ballast with a 30 second inspection, but it's in
there somewhere.

Anyone interested should open it up and take a look inside. The front
"plexiglass" (acrylic I think) is not transparent as the "poster" is
silkscreened onto the back and is not easily removed without ruining
the plastic. Note that the drinks are still behind an insulating panel
and would not be visible even if the front was transparent.

However the entire plastic front panel could be replaced with clear
acrylic or something else similarly flexible. There's plenty of space
for a flat panel or an LED array behind it. TAP Plastics will cut
things to size given dimensions; I think they could even handle the
notch for the drink slot.

Drink inventory is another project for over-engineering; a few optical
sensors and an MCU could count cans leaving the machine. With a Chumby
or similar  Linux board we could put the sucker on the internets with
a web interface for seeing the current inventory and refreshing the
count when restocking.

I think I actually promised to do this...

> also, would anybody be interested in printing a noisebridge poster to
> replace the "cold drinks" poster on the front of the machine? a
> backlighted noisebridge logo would be very excellent.  the dimensions
> for the vending machine cover poster are about 28" wide by 68" tall.
> even just removing the "cold drinks" poster and leaving the see-through
> plexiglass to see how much drink inventory we have would be excellent.
> Snacks
> -----------------
> while on the topic... i'm getting ready to buy more snacks since we've
> broken even on donations for the $100 of snacks I already bought.  any
> suggestions for what snacks to buy?  I've already gotten feedback
> recommending anything-without-high-fructose-corn-syrup, fresh fruit,
> unsalted cashews, and sunflower seeds.  any other suggestions?
> Patrick
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