How To Make a Regina Coin Mechanism
by Bill Wineburgh (010708 MMDigest)

reginaCoin1a.jpg (73 kb)

Eliyahu Shahar writes about his 15.5" Regina: "My problem is that the coin-op parts were disassembled and I am not sure how to reassemble them."

I recently restored an early 15.5" coin-op Regina table-top disc musical box.  While the coin slot was there, the original coin-drop mechanism was missing, so I had to make one.

I scoured the musical box literature, but found nothing useful about coin-operating mechanisms.  I observed and photographed several 15.5" coin-op Reginas and obtained diagrams from a professional restorer and also a fellow collector.  Unfortunately, there are sufficient differences in the design of the Regina musical boxes that none of the observed coin mechanisms would work in my musical box.  As a result, I designed my own.

This is the way it works.  There is a large cam that rotates once for each one revolution of the disc.  This is located on the inside of the motor works.  A slot (indentation) in the rim of the cam allows the start and stop functions - a penny (or other coin) weighs the coin dish down sufficiently to raise the stop lever out of this slot so that the spring motor can drive the gear forward.  A long spring will hold the lever in the cam slot without the weight of the coin.

At about the middle of the tune, the pin in the cam (the one that is perpendicular to the cam face) pushes lever as it goes round, that tips the coin dish to one side (either side will do as long as the coin drops through the hole in the bottom of the music box case into the coin drawer).  When it has pushed far enough, the coin drops out of the coin dish and the dish rights itself - a smaller spring makes this possible (see pictures).  The small spring may need to be adjusted so that it will allow the coin to stay in the coin dish without tipping out until the tipping function does so halfway through the tune.

Coin-drop mechanisms have either one or two steel pins in the assembly that drive the large cam around by a toothed gear that is parallel with the cam.  If there are two pins, then the musical box will play one tune per coin.  If there is only one pin, then the cam is effectively turned at half-speed and the musical box will play two times around for each coin.  This is a permanent adjustment (or at least must be done in a shop).

There are other coin mechanisms that are adjustable using an external lever.  These can then be set by the proprietor of the establishment where the musical box is placed when he wants to run a 'special' to promote business.

Attached are some pictures that show the result.  I hope you will find this useful.

Best of luck with your restoration project.

Musically yours,

Bill Wineburgh
Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2001 09:55:50 EDT

reginaCoin2a.jpg (69 kb)

9 July 2001