Introduction: Real Life Coin Block

Picture of Real Life Coin Block

Do you love Mario Bros?
Did you always want to know how getting a coin by hitting a block feels?
Or maybe you just want a cool place to store your coins.
Well this is the perfect project for you!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

The main items you will need are the coins, I used the coins of my country. Any size would be good, but the bigger the better. Cardboard is also important in this project, almost everything is made using 3mm cardboard. For the sound I used an old 128mb MP3 player. A servo hacked for continuous rotation. If you buy a new servo, it will probably come with a few handles, I you use a old servo you will have to make your own handle. Two springs, one to push the coins up, and another to push the coins into the charger. A small piece of a thin plastic, like the kind used in credit cards. Electronic stuff is detailed in step 10.

Step 2: How Does It Work

Picture of How Does It Work
First we have a stack of coins in a tube. A spring pushes them forward. Then a plastic lever grabs them one by one. The servo moves the lever down. And releases it making it push the coin up. It is controlled by a timer (based on a 555) that fires with each hit to the block. The timer must be configured to make the cursor of the servo turn 360 degrees. Also parallel to the timer button is the play button. So you will hear the sound of the coin every time you press it.


Step 3: Prepare the Mp3 Player

Picture of Prepare the Mp3 Player

Easy step, open your mp3 player and find the play button, solder two wires to it and then solder a switch to this wires, in order to make an extension of the play button.
You have to make an empty folder with just the sound of the coin, so each time you press the button you heard the sound of the coin.

Step 4: Electronic Boards

Picture of Electronic Boards

The two circuits were made on separate boards.
One is used as a timer. Is responsible for making the servo rotate 360 degrees each time it activates.
The second is an amplifier. It is used to listen to the mp3 player sound on a common speaker. The two boards work on 4.8 volts from rechargeable batteries.

1 - NE555
1 - 100nf capacitor
2 - 1k resistors
1 - 470uf capacitor
1 - tip41c transistor
1 - 10k preset

1 - LM386
2 - 100nf capacitor
1 - 100uf capacitor
1 - 10uf capacitor
1 - 10k resistor.
1 - 1k reistor.

You can find the pdf file for making this boards in the intro step, or just use a perfboard.

Step 5: Coin Tube

Picture of Coin Tube

Finding a cardboard tube for the perfect size of the coins can be hard, so we are making our own cardboard tube.
Take some coins and tape them together. Cover the half of a paper with glue and roll the coins there.
Then repeat this with a few more papers. When the glue is dry cut about 50mm of the center of this tube.

Step 6:

Picture of

Another easy step. The credit card plastic should be cut like in the follow image. The size is 78mm x 18 mm.
If you have to make a handle for the servo make it 38mm long.

Step 7: Prepare the Top

Picture of Prepare the Top

The top of the box is the main piece of it. It is where almost everything is attached. Be sure that the hole for the coin is big enough for a coin but small enough that it won't let two coins out at the same time. Use the image as a guide for cutting your shapes. Glue everything and let it dry.

Step 8: Inside

Picture of Inside

Now install the servo and its handle. Attach the the leveler, with a nut and a bolt.
Then secure the spring with a piece of wire.
Paste the tube for the coins in front of the hole and secure it with some pieces of cardboard. Now you can test if everything is going to work.
The next videos will show you how to test it.

Step 9: Assemble the Box

Picture of Assemble the Box

The box is made of 3mm cardboard and an external measurement of 120 mm.
It can be made larger but you would have to enlarge the images of the sides.
Paste guides to 3mm from the top. These guides will provide support for the cover, which is not glued.
The back is open, you only have two guides for the sliding mechanism (see step 11).

Step 10: Decorate

Picture of Decorate

Print the pictures and glue them to the sides of the box.
The design can be modified, assuming that the sides are of bricks or question mark.
Color the edge of the cardboard with a black marker.
The pdf files for these pictures can be found in step 1.

Step 11: Slider

Picture of Slider

The slide mechanism is what allows the box to go up and down.
It has to be firmly secured to the wall. It will also be the support for the timer switch and play switch.
The next pictures will show you how to do it.

Step 12: Finish

Picture of Finish

Use hot melt glue to attach the switches to the sliding mechanism.
Put everything inside the box. Only the battery and speaker are attached, other things can be loose.
Put the back of the box on before securing it to the wall to test if the box can go up and down.


Aquateen (author)2014-05-07

I know I'm reviving an old post, but I'm almost done doing this project on an Ardunio. The only reason I'm using an Ardunio is I don't have a MP3 player that will work as easily.

Anyway, I have all the electronics in place, but I don't know how to get the servo to stop in the same place every time. I'm considering a stepper motor, but I don't know if it will have enough torque. Also I think using a stepper motor will make it hard to use batteries for this project.

Please help. I'm trying to get this done for my son's birthday in July.

brunoip (author)Aquateen2014-05-07

it is a servo hacked for working as a regular dc motor. You have to make a timer and make it spin for a limited time. That time is setted by the potentiometer on the 555, Im sure you can make something similar with arduino.

ilickdoorknobs (author)2013-10-22

hi could you let me know how much all the materials cost? thanks!

hi pudiste dejar que me haga saber lo mucho que todos los costes materiales? gracias!

Kelly02 (author)2013-06-26

amazing idea!

OzzyManson (author)2013-01-11

does anyone have an estimate on how much cardboard is needed for this?

Noah972 (author)2011-09-21

Wow! That is an awesome project! One question though, where can I get 3mm cardboard?

OzzyManson (author)Noah9722013-01-11

buddybabes (author)2012-12-23

awesome idea

hocngiap (author)2012-12-12

this is amazing!!!!!!!!

M0HIZ (author)2012-07-17

Really cool, but how does it know when you've punched it?

brunoip (author)M0HIZ2012-07-17

look at the switches in the final step

M0HIZ (author)brunoip2012-07-17

Ah, I see.

T-K (author)2012-03-09

Holy shignizzle, this is amazing! The next thing would be to make it light up for a few seconds haha.

Rebreg (author)T-K2012-06-30

Or change colors when it's out of. Coins

tool box (author)2011-09-12

Soy puchacho, De Taringa, Buenisimo tu sistema.
I´ Am Puchacho, From Taringa, Good sistem.

jbryant jr.1 (author)2011-09-07

Holy...!.!!!!... WOW awsome

skerzzz (author)2011-09-05

I would LOVE to make one of these! and i have read most everything and think i can do it. but i dont get what to do with the things in pictures 10 through 14. could you help me please?

gogglecrab (author)2011-08-06

Hey, i would love you to add this to my group! Great job!

Here's the link if you want to check it out:

64bitgenius (author)2011-07-25

can you make one that is tougher and less sensitive? I have a power level of over 9000 and it's hard not to destroy things.

Shadow Of Intent (author)2011-07-13

If the "stop" point of the motor were slightly further round, you could reduce the delay between hitting the botom of the box and the coin coming out. May require a one way ratchet system to avoid the spring trying to pull the arm back again. Excellent job!

sethcim (author)2011-06-12

Wow, that's amazing!! Congrats on your win!

MrMistermister (author)2011-05-28

Can you just make me one?? :P

inDIOSolari (author)2011-05-18

MUY GROSO! TE FELICITO!! ya empece a comprar los materiales para armarme uno.
me quedo una duda respecto al servo....
1)es necesario uno tan robusto?
2) El trimpot de 10k en la placa de timer para q sirve? es para regular el tiempo que gira el servo de modo tal que pegue la vuelta entera y vuelva a comenzar desde el mismo lugar?

Abrazo desde ARGENTINA

lselfridge (author)2011-05-17

i didn't really understand it what do you use to make the coins come out do you think you can make a video/

Leuh4n (author)2011-05-06

Encara, va un +1 gato.

Portalman (author)2011-04-20

you have a mole on your finger

brunoip (author)Portalman2011-04-20

No, it was made with the sharpie while painting black the top of the box.

Nelson_Yepez (author)2011-04-18

Im sorry but i saw this and i thought this is lame for a grand prize winner... but then i saw that it shoots coins and i thought wow can he get second and third prize too. awesome job well deserved

SHIFT! (author)2011-04-14

Hey congrats on winning the Grand Prize on Game.Life! I can't wait to build this over the summer as well!

mikenuke (author)2011-04-13

awesome!!great job, love it!

brunoip (author)2011-04-13

I don't know why the text of two steps was disappeared.
I have already fixed it.

aleceatsfood (author)2011-04-10

awesome!!great job

txoof (author)2011-03-29

I'm looking to drive a modified servo with a 555 circuit, but I'm having a heck of a time finding a circuit that I can make work.
I have a few questions about your circuit:
1) What do you mean by a 10K preset? Is that a 10K pot?
2) What might be some substitutes for a tip41c transistor? Is there another NPN type transistor that I can use?

brunoip (author)txoof2011-03-29

1- yes
2- there are several transistor that you can use, ask what they have in the store where you buy them.
Regards, Bruno.

robot1398 (author)brunoip2011-04-08

i think preset is not a pot its a kind of pot which cannot be adjusted

txoof (author)brunoip2011-03-30

Ah yes, and there lies the problem. I'm in a town with absolutely no hobby-electronics shops. Everything I get I have to order over very, very expensive mail. I have on hand a wide variety of NPN transistors. Can you suggest one that would work with this circuit?

nsutton (author)txoof2011-04-05

Id like to know the answer to this as well. I am looking to do a small order from West Florida and they dont have the TIP41C. Im curious if the TIP31A would get me by.

brunoip (author)nsutton2011-04-05

TIP31 may work.

Biglion (author)2011-04-04

Hey! Acabo de pensar una combinación genial. Tu caja y muchas monedas de chocolate (no se si soportarían los golpes) pero estaría bueno probar.

I had a great idea, I think, your box + chocolate coins = a winner.

Biglion (author)2011-04-04

Are those argentinian coins? ;-)

I like this proyect. At first I saw it in Taringa.

How much have you spent on it? / Cuanto gastaste viejita? <--- google translator

Saludos desde Quilme'sh.

iceng (author)2011-04-01

A most excellent ible, shows imaginative detail work. I would think this would sell in the USA.

aspina (author)2011-03-29

Hola, soy de argentina, y soy nuevo en este tema de armar cosas y me re cope con esto, perdon por la ignorancia pero para soldar el mp3 usaste un soldador normal con staño ?

brunoip (author)aspina2011-03-30

Si, uno comun de 30w tipo lapiz, igual hay que tener mucho cuidado. Saludos

gogglecrab (author)2011-03-28

i really think this one should win!

sonoman (author)2011-03-28

Groso taringuero!!

shiftyraccoon (author)2011-03-28


How much would you charge to build one for me?

robo_directions (author)2011-03-26

how can i do this without the coin shooter i only like the noise please answer

brunoip (author)robo_directions2011-03-27

Use any mp3 player and make the amplifier board.
Regards, Bruno.

neodymio (author)2011-03-24

Una pregunta, con qué comandas el servo? Porque los que conozco funcionan por PWM.
Gracias y buena idea!

brunoip (author)neodymio2011-03-27

El servo esta hackeado para que pueda dar una vuelta completa, y los dos cables se toman directamente del motor del servo. Saludos

About This Instructable




Bio: Robots and video games...
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