Counting Money with a Coin Acceptor


Rob Faludi over on the XBee examples site posted up this tutorial for linking your Adafruit coin accepter with a Digi XBee radio:

Your XBee can make real money, all by itself! This easy-to-use coin acceptor can be part of any project where you want to accept coins, whether they be Euros, pence, pounds, a Cambodian Riel or American quarters.

The XBee radio will send a signal every time a coin is inserted into the acceptor. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through how to program the radio, configure the acceptor and wire it up to an XBee so you can create projects that earn real cash!

Learn to make a glowing electronic piggy bank in this tutorial video using the Programmable 1 Coin Acceptor. Video on YouTube and Vimeo, code on Github.


Coin Acceptor – Programmable 1 Coin Type.

Your project may be free-as-in-speech, but that doesn’t mean it has to be free-as-in-beer. This handy coin validator/acceptor module is just like the ones you’ve seen in arcades. First, program it with what coin you want it to accept, any coin from 10.8mm to 25.1mm in diameter can be used. When a valid coin is inserted, the output line will pulse for 20-60ms (configurable). The acceptor looks for diameter, thickness, dropping speed, etc to determine if a coin is valid. You can select 3 different “strictness” levels.

Comes with the acceptor itself, mounting hardware, and a cable for power/signal.

To program the validator: power with 12VDC (red wire goes to +12VDC, black wire to common ground). Press and hold the little button on top for 5 seconds and release. The LED will be on. Now insert 30 sample coins of the value you want to detect (say 30 quarters or 30 Euro coins). Once the LED goes out it’s programmed! Connect a 10K (1K to 100K is fine) pullup resistor from the white wire to your microcontroller’s VCC line (for Arduino, this is a +5V). Insert a coin, and verify that the LED line pulses high for about 40 milliseconds.

  • Power requirements: 12VDC (+- 20%)
  • Quiescent current: ~25mA
  • Peak current (for solenoid): 400mA
  • Accepts coins from 10.8mm to 15.1mm in diameter, 1.2mm to 3.0mm thick
  • Programmable for a single coin


There’s also a 4-coin model: Coin Acceptor – Programmable 4 Coin Type

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