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  1. #1
    B-L's Avatar
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    Hacking Coke Vending Machines

    Hacking Coke Vending Machines

    Coke vending machines are everywhere. They're getting more and more like regular computers with LEDs that show little "ICE COLD" messages and whatnot. Well, there's a lot more to those little built-in computers than you may think. Included in the low-level operating system that these babies run on is an actual debug menu that gives you access to all sorts of machine information and possibly gives you free cokes in older machines.

    WHICH MACHINES WORK?

    There's a very strict list of vending machines that have the debug menu. First off, they're all COCA-COLA product vending machines. This means the giant, un-missable picture on the front must show any of the following:
    • Coke
      Dasani (Water)
      Barq's Root Beer
      Vanilla Coke
      Cherry Coke
      Sprite
      Evlan (Water)
      Fanta
      Fresca
      Frutopia
      Hi-C
      Sprite Remix
      Mad River
      Mello Yello
      Minute Maid
      Nestea
      Odwalla
      Mr. Pibb/Pibb Xtra
      Planet Java
      Power Ade
      Seagram's Ginger Ale
      Simply Orange
      Sparkletts
      Tab
      Any other Diet or Caffine Free versions of the above
    The machine must have an LED screen. Some of the older ones just allow the LED to be set to a price amount and won't have the debug menu. You're safer if the little LED is telling you something. Usually it will scroll a little message like "Ice Cold Cokes". Newer machines are more likely candidates.

    ACCESSING THE MENU

    To enter the menu, there's a button combination. HERE'S THE ONLY THING YOU HAVE TO REALLY REMEMBER:

    [4]-[2]-[3]-[1]

    The buttons are numbered depending on how they are positioned. They will either be vertical (more likely), or in horizontal rows of 4 buttons per row. If it is vertical, the first button is #1, the one below it is #2, and so forth. If the buttons are in horizontal rows, the first button is #1, and the one to the right of it is #2. The numbers work like a type writer after that. In rows of 4, the first button of row 2 will be button #5. So, to review, getting in to the debug menu looks like this:

    COKE MACHINE::::::
    $1.00 -------
    -------------
    [ Coke ] <-- Hit this button last
    [ Coke ] <-- Hit this button second
    [ Diet Coke ] <-- Hit this button third
    [ Sprite ] <-- Hit this button first
    [ And so on ]
    -------------
    Some text should show up on the LED (probably the word "Error", we'll explain what it means next sections). If nothing happens, your machine doesn't have the debug menu.

    NAVIGATION

    To navigate from option to option (What they are is next section), remember the numberings we gave the buttons. They work as follows:

    Button [ 1 ] - Exit/Back
    Button [ 2 ] - Up
    Button [ 3 ] - Down
    Button [ 4 ] - Select


    OPTIONS

    Depending on the age of the machine, you will get a varying amount of default options available.

    On older machines: SALE, VER, EROR, and RTN
    On newer machines: CASH, SALE, EROR, and RTN

    CASH - Machine Earnings Display

    The CASH option will display how much money is in the machine currently. It generally takes a second or two to load. From here, you can scroll up and down through 12 or 16 different options, depending on the machine age. These other options display how much money was spent on each individual item, classified through its button (or slot, as I like to call it) number.
    A neat side note about the slot numbers is that there are more slot numbers than there are actual slot, so usually the last 4 buttons contain zero money. This could be so that the same OS could be used on bigger machines, but the newer machines have even more slot numbers.

    SALE - Total Sale Count

    The SALE option displays how many drinks have been sold out of the machine. This tends to be cumulative, but not on all machines. The stock guy is probably supposed to reset this each time he re-stocks. Also, this has the same sub-options as the CASH option, where you can scroll up and down and see how many drinks have been sold from each slot.

    VER - System/Machine Version?

    This option will cause a large alphanumeric string to scroll across the LCD. The number looks very much like a serial number, but doesn't vary from machine to machine. It is most likely the OS or machine version number, but of the older machines that have the option, I haven't seen one that doesn't have the same number.

    EROR - Error Log

    There are 8 different types of errors - COLJ (Column Jams), VEnd (Vend Mechanism), door (Door Switch), sels (Select Switch), CHAR (Changer Errors), acce (Acceptor Errors), StS (Space-to-sales errors), and bVal (Bill Validators). The separate types and actual errors are useless, as you assumably can't get inside the machine, BUT(!) you can clear the errors. Hold the enter (Number 4) button down for about 2 seconds, and it should clear the error.

    RTN - Return

    This is simply the return option. Selecting this will exit the debug menu. On newer machines, pressing the BACK button at the main menu will not exit, and RTN must be selected.

    A side note: The menu can also be exited by pressing the coin return button.

    EXTRAS

    By holding in the coin return button and not releasing, on the newer "big-button" machines, this will display the internal temperature in Fahrenheit, as in "42F".

    Extra Options

    There are many more menu options that are only accessible if they've either been enabled from the computer inside the machine, or on the internal computer behind the door (Probably not feasible for you to access).

    CPO - Coin Payout Mode

    You can can dump coins from the coin mechanism, and the various menu options allow you to choose which type of coins (Nickels, dimes, etc.) are dumped.

    tVFL - Tube Fill Mode

    This is useless to you. This allows you to load coins into the coin tubes, which you can't do from the outside.

    TEST - Test Routines

    This allows you to test the following various routines:

    SE Allows you to test the buttons. Will give you number
    of button when you press it
    SP Sold-out paddle test. Not quite sure, most likely internal function.
    Su Sold-out switch test. Same as paddle.
    CO Motor test. Will run various column motors.
    Cn Coin test. Put in a coin and it will tell you what kind of
    coin it is.
    nA Note acceptor test. Same as Cn, but for bills.
    dSP Display test. Will illuminate various LEDs.
    vErS Rattles off version number.

    RELY - Relay test

    This tests the relay electronic control of various parts. Do not do, as it will cause damage if various internal parts are not unplugged before usage.

    PASS - Password

    This is not normally accessible, but allows you to change the menu password from the 4-2-3-1. Whoo!

    PrIC - Price Setting

    Used to set the price for a drink. Not sure how to work it, but it seems simple enough.

    StOS - Space-to-sales routine

    Lets you change the STS routine and other options. This means that various buttons will all mean the same thing, i.e. the 6 coke buttons don't actually vend from 6 different columns, but vend from one (changing when one runs out of course).

    COn - Machine Configuration/Permissions

    This is the machine config menu that decides what of these options you are allowed to access through the outside panel. This is probably only accessible with the door open. I won't go into detail, but I'll list the Config numbers and what each do: C1 sets price menu on, C2 sets special (manufacturer) options on), C3 disables the "ICE COLD COKE" message. C4 is autoviewing of menu when door is opened, C5 is door switch status, C6 is mysteriously reserved for "future use", C7 determines whether your money credit stays in for 5 minutes or indefinitely, C8 is Force Vend, C9 allows multiple vends without putting in more money (i.e put in a 5 and get 3 cokes and then your change), and C10 is Escrow Inhibit.

    CCoC - Correct Change Only Control

    Adjusts Correct Change only rule to your liking.

    TIME - Time Adjustment

    Allows you to set the machine's local time.

    LANG - Language Selection

    Not sure how many languages are supported, but there are apparently more than just English.

    USEFULNESS

    Unless you can get behind the door, there's little you can do with this except impress your friends. However, if you're able to set the C-switches properly, you'll be able to manipulate the machine in any way you want, get free drinks, change the price, set up cool buy-one-get-one-free deals, etc, etc . Not to forget, knowledge is power. One step closer to free sodas!

  2. #2
    arunforce's Avatar
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    Very nice article, gonna give it a try sooner or later.




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  3. #3
    kyo's Avatar
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    OLD one but it's sure a lot of fun

  4. #4
    f5awp's Avatar
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    wow does it actually work???

    cool thx alot

  5. #5
    B-L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by f5awp
    wow does it actually work???
    Of course, you just have to get lucky to find a machine with a option like Force Vend enabled. The one in the Boys Lockeroom at my school has it enabled.

  6. #6
    SadisticGrin's Avatar
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    How do you get the free coke? XD
    [CENTER]
    The Grin is in.

    I AM the Influence.

  7. #7
    B-L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SadisticGrin
    How do you get the free coke? XD
    If you read it, you would know how.

  8. #8
    Rfl3x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SadisticGrin
    How do you get the free coke? XD

    From article:

    USEFULNESS

    Unless you can get behind the door, there's little you can do with this except impress your friends. However, if you're able to set the C-switches properly, you'll be able to manipulate the machine in any way you want, get free drinks, change the price, set up cool buy-one-get-one-free deals, etc, etc . Not to forget, knowledge is power. One step closer to free sodas!



  9. #9
    i eat trees's Avatar
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    It works just all of the good buttons are plocked on most mashines

    my sig is smaller then half the sigs on mpgh

  10. #10
    f5awp's Avatar
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    yea............i never saw any machines that have there own screen and u pick

    just numbers and letters...........

    or not even

    just pics of drinks and u press

  11. #11
    AthlaS's Avatar
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    I've known about this for a long time. I can hack it and get to the menu and everything, but I can't ever find Force Vend.

  12. #12
    f5awp's Avatar
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    i think the newer and smarter towns have da owns stuck on da machine cuase they figured that alot of ppl r hackin it

    o yea can u copy and paste a pic of a kind of machine like that cuase i never saw one before and im gonna make sure if i thought wrong

    FFS STOP DOUBLE POSTING !!! ~Kyo

  13. #13
    Dave84311's Avatar
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    Yeah some one have a pic of one of these machines?





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  14. #14
    gunot's Avatar
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    what kind of vending machines you talking about?

  15. #15
    Ham Haw's Avatar
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    lawl, I got to try this out tomorro

    Is there anyway to hack vending machines that contain chips?

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