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What is it?

FamiVEND is a soda machine that has been leased to FamiLAB by Aaron. It's an antique Cavalier C4-96 from the 1960's with adapter plates to dispense both cans and bottles.


  • Talk to me (Aaron) before making any extreme modifications. Although I 'm not looking to preserve its antique nature, I'd like to avoid permanent things like cutting holes in the casing unless it's for a good reason. Stickers, magnets, etc. are all fine.
  • Don't try to cheat the machine. The coin mechanism is fragile, and any knowledge you gain from hacking it won't help you much anyway. There aren't many machines like this one left in existence, much less out in the wild.

Current Status

  • The machine is currently configured to vend 12oz. cans in all four slots for $0.35 each. If we want to vend bottles, we can reconfigure a slot for this.
  • Slot #3 (the one with the blank button) is not currently working. It makes a buzzing sound and needs troubleshooting.
  • Some of the "selection is empty" lights (in the corner of each selection button) are burnt out and need replacement.
  • The bottle cap catcher is missing.
  • There's a secret button installed that dispenses "free" drinks. It sets the coin mechanism to believe that money has been inserted, so a single press will make the "make a selection" light come on. If you find it, be careful! The previous owner installed it inside of a metal housing that's not properly grounded, so the drinks aren't really free: there's a chance you can electrocute yourself when pushing it.

Project Ideas

  • Fix the broken vending slot.
  • Digitize the machine!
    • Use an Arduino or Propeller to monitor drink supply & temperature
    • Add a web interface for monitoring & control
    • Use an Android phone/tablet to accept Square payments
    • The bottle cap catcher is missing, so that spot would make a great cable pass-through if we mount a touch screen on top of it.
  • More to come...