Hi Guys. Completely New Here. Need Help With A Bill/Coin Operated Fortune Teller

Ok, this is my first message. I have never used any of the Arduino boards but someone recommended this for my project. Anyways. I am building a fortune teller machine. What I have built so far is an awesome wooden cabinet. With 3 plexiglass windows. What I have for the project is my "fortune teller dummy" a Bill acceptor, a ticket dispenser, Led's , speakers, and a few old computers ( I don't even know if I can use them for this project.) Well my grandpaw was helping me build all this and we got this far. But he died 2 weeks ago. I definitely want to finish this for him, but I want to make it the best now. We were just designing a simple oldschool one. Will one of the boards work for my project? I have money for the project, I can buy servos, more lights. Anything so budget isn't really a problem. I was just hoping one of the more experienced people could start me off on the right path. I have no idea what to do next and I have hit a roadblock. I want the machine to have a motion detector, so when you walk by it, it notices and calls out to you, I want lights, effects. Movement with the dummy. I want to make sure I hook up the bill acceptor properly to whatever it goes too, I want the ticket dispenser to work properly. Please help me. I am in such a rut. I just bought most of this on a spree before I even realized I don't know how it works or how to hook them up.

Thanks so much. Matt Wood

I am in such a rut. I just bought most of this on a spree before I even realized I don't know how it works or how to hook them up.

Well, if money is no object, I suggest you find and purchase an old arcade fortune telling machine and referbish it.

zoomkat:

I am in such a rut. I just bought most of this on a spree before I even realized I don’t know how it works or how to hook them up.

Well, if money is no object, I suggest you find and purchase an old arcade fortune telling machine and referbish it.

Well, I would do that. But the point of our goals we set was to learn things and to enjoy ourselves. So I want this to be from scratch. I pretty much already learned woodworking, I didn’t know anything about it before. Now I have a full cabinet with 3 windows.

I think you will find the forum responds well to specific technical questions. You may not get much response to broad general how-do-I-do-it questions. The expctation is that you do the research on your project and not count on others to do it for you, and ask questions on the part with which you are having trouble.

First of all, what you describe sounds doable. However, it’s a big project, and there will be a lot to learn. It will probably take months in your free time. You’d better be interested in the journey as well as the destination.

It’s a great project though, and it will take you into a lot of areas of using the Arduino.

I’ll assume the bill/coin acceptor and the ticket printer are serial devices, so working with them is one area. Servos is another. You might start with them, but to do that you will need to know the basics. Do you have programming experience? Any experience with the Arduino yet? If not, that’s where you will really have to start.

Good luck and have fun.

First off, if you haven't done so - form a plan. What you want to do is write down the steps to get from point A (empty cabinet) to point B (working system). At first, make each step on the plan really general. Then, take each of those steps, and break them out into smaller steps for that section. Once you have those done, break out each of those steps again. If for a particular section you are stumped as to what the steps are supposed to be, leave it blank (write TBD - To Be Determined) and highlight it or otherwise indicate in some manner that you need to return there later.

Don't try to write down all the steps and sub-steps (and sub-sub-steps) all in one go; start very general (at your highest level would be the description of the device you gave - "Old Fashioned Fortune Teller Device" or similar), then break it down. At the end, you should have a set of steps which can guide you in developing your project. Each of those steps don't need to be super detailed (so don't get in that rut, either - know when to stop) - although you might find when you get to a particular step you may have to detail it out more.

As you work through the project, use the list as a checklist, so you know where you are, what you have left to do, what you have to learn, etc. As you build the project, keep a notebook or log referencing the steps; it will help you keep on track, plus it can help when you post here or elsewhere for help and guidance on particular problems. Your notebook/log should have pages or such where you can put drawings, ideas, things you've tried, etc (treat it like a lab notebook - write in pen, don't tear out pages; black and white composition books are good for this, by the way). Date everything, etc.

This project is large, and may take some time to complete - so do your best not to be overwhelmed. To this end, if you break the task down into manageable steps, it will lead you to make progress without being a burden.

I will throw out my idea...

Have a button that physically presses the reset button on an arduino which will start a lcd display that says something and at the same time presses a button that starts a mechanical dummy lights and speakers and at the end using a delay spits out the fortune using two motors to grip the card and spit it out. for the dummy maybe you can use a mechanical Halloween head. I bet you can use the bill acceptor

To start again just press the reset button