hacking coke machines
January 23, 2005 3:06 AM   Subscribe

Hacking Coke machines, courtesy YouCSD.com
posted by BuddhaInABucket (31 comments total)
I once hacked a coke machine, using a brute force method (boot). Very tempted to go test this right now in the middle of the snow, rather than eat my roommate.
posted by adzm at 3:33 AM on January 23, 2005

What's right with this picture?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:06 AM on January 23, 2005

"one step closer to free sodas!"

The dream of hackers everywhere?
posted by themadjuggler at 5:54 AM on January 23, 2005

Man, I wish I knew this when I was in the Navy . . . i'd probably have received a promotion for setting the machines to buy one get one. Especially since I'm pretty confident the guys that stocked the machines had no idea this could be done.
posted by ThePrawn at 6:20 AM on January 23, 2005

Isn't this your ticket to a free soda?

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.

posted by terrier319 at 6:37 AM on January 23, 2005

This same article (or else a very similar one) is in the latest issue of 2600. I was reading it at MicroCenter, but, unfortunately, they didn't have a pop machine so I could try some of this stuff out. Not that I would, of course...
posted by Oriole Adams at 7:42 AM on January 23, 2005

I think that option is only accesible from the inside of the door, unfortunately (or fortunately).
posted by themadjuggler at 8:30 AM on January 23, 2005

To the best of my knowledge this is ripped from an old book a la The Anarchist's Cookbook and is not relevant to current Coke machines? (via boingboing's link to this story last December)...
posted by glider at 8:33 AM on January 23, 2005

this is pretty old information and the tricks here won't work these days...the vendors have gotten smart about it and changed the default passwords
posted by nish01 at 9:09 AM on January 23, 2005

My ticket for a free soda is rummaging about under the machine for the inevitable dropped change.
posted by devbrain at 9:21 AM on January 23, 2005

When I was about 13 my buddy showed me how to reach right up inside a coke machine and get all the free cokes you wanted. I don't know if this method works any more or if my arm would even fit anymore.
posted by wsg at 9:47 AM on January 23, 2005

what nish said. Still, a point can be made here that 'security through obscurity' really doesn't work that well.
posted by SpecialK at 9:48 AM on January 23, 2005

Actually, when I first heard about this about a year ago, it worked on probably 9 out of 10 Coke vending machines I tried it on, I'm guessing not much has changed since then. It's interesting, but the only options that will get you anywhere near a free soda are only accessible from inside the door, and if you have access to the inside of the door you have access to the tubes or racks holding the soda...
posted by Venadium at 10:42 AM on January 23, 2005

I saw this posted somewhere a long time ago.

MY college has these kind of coke machines, but I really don't feel like getting expelled to see a debug menu.

Johnny Carson has just died, a sad day.
posted by AMWKE at 10:50 AM on January 23, 2005

Your fear of his fright scares me.
posted by sourwookie at 12:48 PM on January 23, 2005

I can hack a candy machine with a bent hanger or a really hard push. Somehow clearing the errors on a Coke machine doesn't hold the same thrill.
posted by Edible Energy at 1:23 PM on January 23, 2005

As a person whose college education was partially funded by her parents' (now defunct) vending business, I would like to ask all would-be vending thieves out there to consider that most vending companies are small, family-run affairs.

If that knowledge means nothing to you, do what you will.
posted by damn yankee at 2:35 PM on January 23, 2005

To echo Venadium, when I read this earlier (I guess on BoingBoing) I tried the 'password' on the Coke machine at work. It definitely did something. (And I didn't try to get a freebie--just wanted to see if it worked.)
posted by MikeKD at 2:51 PM on January 23, 2005

The situation damn yankee refers to is exactly what I had in mind. If you want to thieve, could you at least steal from some corporation that can afford the loss?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:07 PM on January 23, 2005

Honestly, whats the point if it does nothing? Are you really that desperate to impress your friends and are they really that easily impress-able?

On a simliar Soda Hacking note.... Anyone participate in the great 2 Liter Sierra Mist Coupon Caper of 2003? Was I the only one?
posted by gtmcknight at 4:19 PM on January 23, 2005

on a related note--the pepsi/itunes promo is coming back, and you can still tip the bottles to see if it's a winner : >
posted by amberglow at 4:20 PM on January 23, 2005

Did damn yankee or Kirth Gerson read the article? There's nothing about stealing. It's just a little menu that shows you things like how many sales that machine has made. Interesting, but not theft by any means.
posted by stopgap at 5:00 PM on January 23, 2005

The bottle tipping method also worked very well during the NFL 3 for Tee promo a month or two ago. Too bad I never got around to sending in the caps for my shirt.
posted by Venadium at 5:23 PM on January 23, 2005

stopgap, yes I did look at the linked article. I didn't read it all, because it looked pointless. What I was reacting to was not that, but adzm's cute little trick, and later, all the other petty thieves in this thread. If you didn't notice, there were several people slavering at the thought of getting free soda pop.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:19 PM on January 23, 2005

Okay so what's with the modern machines where you put in your money, make a selection, then it turns out it's sold out - yet you cannot get your money back?? I hate that - I don't want anything else from the stupid machine, but it refuses to dispense my money. So I have to grab some lame-ass second choice that I don't even want, or get screwed out of my money entirely.

There oughtta be a law, I tell you.
posted by beth at 7:25 PM on January 23, 2005

beth, it's to prevent you from using the machine to dispense real coins in exchange for slugs.

You might have noticed that modern machines that let you put money in them don't output the same coins you put in. Some older ones seemed to, but nowadays, they don't seem to. The ones that take bills obviously are like this. A lot of machines in Canada (and other countries) that take "big" coins, like our toonie and loonie only dispense quarters even when a dollar makes sense, since the coin tubes inside probably lack the necessary addition for the new coins.

So, for a vending machine in a very public place that isn't monitored, the chances of someone putting slugs in is pretty high. They could either be out a soft drink (say, $0.15 for the vendor) or they could be out a few dollars (depends on how much time the person has to fill the machine). I know which one I'd set the machine for! :-)

Well, that's my assumption, anyways.
posted by shepd at 12:07 AM on January 24, 2005

Oh, and if you're all about saving 50 cents, this guide might be for you. I suppose if you're on the pogey, 50 cents might be the difference between eating dog food that night or Zoodles, so hey, enjoy (how did you afford the computer to read this?).
posted by shepd at 12:18 AM on January 24, 2005

beth, it's to prevent you from using the machine to dispense real coins in exchange for slugs.

Stealing from your customers is not a legitimate defence against people stealing from you.
posted by biffa at 1:51 AM on January 24, 2005

Okay, I'm gonna get your money for you. But if you don't get the President of the United States on that phone, you know what's gonna happen to you? You're gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola Company.
posted by sellout at 1:59 AM on January 24, 2005

The Coke machine at work used to drop every other coin put in right back into the coin return slot, while recording it as deposited, so you could get a bottle of pop for anywhere from 50 cents to 85 cents. (the machine price was $1.25) There were also certain products which would drop 2 or 3 bottles every so often (Coke C2 was one) The best was when I got 3 bottles of pop for 50 cents! Needless to say, it's since been fixed, but it rocked while it lasted.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:25 AM on January 24, 2005

I understand that sometimes when you hack a coke machine it falls over on top of you.
posted by nanojath at 9:15 PM on February 22, 2005

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