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Money Sensor


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I have a little stand-a-lone prop that is just a animated set of bears clapping bells together to make a song.  I have figured out a basic circuit which when triggered, will play the bears for 20 seconds.

 

My question, has anybody figured out a way so when money is dropped past a sensor, would activated something?  My donation box is an 4" pvc pipe that looks like a Candy Cane that people drop money down.  The sensor would need to be good for coin or paper, so I am guessing a micro switch is out.  Needs to me a sort of Photo eye, just not sure on type and ciruit to make it work.  Any Sugguestions?  The circuit that activates the bears is a simple 555 timer with delay.

 

Thanks, Chuck

 

Attached is a shot of the 3" cane I built last year, is getting up graded to 4" this yr due to much money getting stuck in tube.

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Attached is a shot of the 3" cane I built last year, is getting up graded to 4" this yr due to much money getting stuck in tube.

Did it attach? I didn't see it.

 

That is a tough problem.  Change has weight to it, so you could have a flap that when it opens actuates, but you probably won't see it with some sort of light sensor.  Bills are larger, so there is a change that would work, but I imagine they fall sort of chaotically  and you wouldn't catch the change.  I wonder if you could have a slot that the coins, or folded money go in, then you could add an infrared LED and eye just on the other side that can detect when the light is broken by something passing through.

 

The easiest option (though not as elegant) is a button on the side of the candy cane that people can press when they donate (like the bell you get to ring at Fuddruckers on the way out).  Not as sexy, but pretty fool proof.

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