tim   .


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.   hunkin








The hands inflate and pat you slowly moving up and then down.   I enjoy watching people use this machine, but its never taken as much money as some of the others as you have to be quite bold to try it with other people watching you. I’m sure I would be far too shy if I came across it, not knowing anything about it.
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Technically the most interesting thing about the machine is the blower-sucker unit, straight out of a 1960s mainframe data store – the big tape recorder things - the unit sucked the tape down a tube to take up the slack because the drive changed direction so fast.

It was also the last coin-op machine I made controlled by a cam timer. This is an ingenious electromechanical device I used to buy from industrial surplus shops. The motor on the end turns the drum round slowly. This switches the line of microswitches on and off at any point – set by adjusting the cams.

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Two further gloves shoot out to check you between the legs.
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You are finally  told if you are clean or suspect.
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Put your hand in the cage and hold then red button for as long as you dare. The dog starts panting and the dial starts revolving. When its about half way round the dog starts dribbling saliva (warm foamy water) on your hand. If you hang on, the dog finally barks loudly.
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I made the dog for something completely different and had him in the workshop at the time when there was a series of scares about rotweilllers biting people. I tried him out in the local craft shop but he was banned after a few weeks because he brought in the wrong sort of customer, and people often leapt back, knocking over pots and doing other damage. He then went to Cabaret mechanical theatre and is now on the pier at Southwold.

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This started as a prop for an educational BBC TV programme on statistics, but got converted to a slot machine. The coin slides down the chute and is then shot in the air by a pneumatic ram. It lands on the tray at the top, which then tips up, sliding the coin in front of a sensor. I polished all the heads of the coins, so the sensor can tell if its heads or tails. Finally the tray returns and the coin drops into the top of the tube ‘magazine’. Its all made of scrap – the compressor is from an old fridge. I spent ages trying to stop coins falling off at each stage of the process. About one in 4 still fall off so its not entirely practical.
Watch a video of the executive decision maker in 'Some Early Machines'

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  medical coin op machines



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