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Coke Machine Debug Menu

Coke Machine Debug Menu 
by Kyint   


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


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, or Tab. Of course anything Diet or Caffeine free
works too.

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.


To enter the menu, there's a button combination. HERE'S THE ONLY THING


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:

$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.


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


Depending on the age of the machine, you will get a varying amount of

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


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.


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.


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.


The most mysterious of the options, the EROR function will usually
display the word "NONE" across the LCD. Almost all machines show NONE,
but we came across one old one by a Food Lion that actually said
something. This is an error log. If an internal error occurs, it will
list it. So far, I know of "DOOR" and "STS" errors. If you get an error,
you can select it, and it will clarify which part exactly had a problem,
as in "STS002" or "STS005".


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


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".


This is of absolutely no use, as there is NO way to gain free drinks or
money from this.

Thanks to ch0pstickninja for teaching the world about the menu, and for
Fire for assisting with research.

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