Coin Doors

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A coin door generally refers to the mechanism where users insert coins to play an an arcade machine.


Front of a coin door
Back of a coin door

A coin door can be added to your arcade cabinet purely as a decoration, or for functionality.

It is possible to wire up a coin door with switches and interface them to a keyboard encoder. The encoder sends a signal that corresponds to the "credit" command. This allows a coin to act as it would in a real machine. Most coin doors have the same type of switch as a normal arcade button which makes it simple to wire it up to your encoder.

You can also wire up the lights on your coin door by taking 5V or 12V power from your PC and running it to the light bulbs on the door. Additionally, many people modify coin doors to use LEDs instead of incandescent bulbs. The reason for this is the available colors and longevity. LEDs will last a hundred times longer than incandescent bulbs. Many people utilize 5V or 12V LEDs with resistors and connect the LEDs bulbs to the PC Molex Connector. Ensure the voltage on the positive side of the Molex connector matches the voltage of your LED or incandescent bulb.

Coin Mechanisms

Coin mechanisms installed in a coin door

Often called "coin mechs", "coin acceptors", or "electronic coin recognizers", a coin mechanism is a mechanical or electrical device that discriminates between different types of coins and routes them to the accept chute, or the reject chute, as appropriate. Mechanical coin mechanisms use carefully machined parts to check diameter, thickness, and weight of the coin. A strong magnet also provides some protection against use of "slugs". A rejected coin is usually trapped at some point during the checking, requiring the user to press the "reject button" in order to allow the coin to drop out the reject chute. Electronic coin recognizers can be programmed to accept more than one type of token or coin.

Coin Counters

Coin Counters can be easily wired between a single coin acceptor. Simply wire Ground on your microswitch to the 5V line on your counter. Then wire the Ground on your Counter to your encoder ground.

Alternatively to wire up all your coin acceptors/buttons you'll need to put diodes between your encoder and each microswitch.

Compatiblity With Encoders

Coin mechs with microswitches are compatible with all encoders.

Most electronic coin acceptors can be easily wired to an active-low device (ground applied to the input = button pressed) like an IPac/KeyWiz/KADE using a zener diode, but an active high-device (5v applied to the input = button pressed) like the ZD encoder will require either:

1.) A relay to isolate the two circuits, or
2.) A microswitch positioned under the coin chute to trigger the encoder as the coin falls through the chute.

See this thread for details.

See Also

External Links