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Chacham's Journal: Ore-Ida French Fry Vendor questions 6

Journal by Chacham

Local store asked me to manage an Ore-Ida French Fry Vendor machine. Aparently different french fry machines are different. Ore-Ida's uses a freezer to hold the fries until it cooks them in hot air for 35 seconds (adjustable). It sells the fries by weight. "Tasty Fries" stores the fries dehydrated, and doesn't need refrigeration. It just reconstitutes them (purifies its own water with ultra-violet light) and cooks them in oil. It sells the fries by number.

Anyway, the Ore-Ida machine is there. The question is the product. I kow I could use Ore-Ida's product, which may be best, but I may want other options. I know I can't use "regular" fries, since the manual says they take a couple miutes to cook, which this machine won't give (max of 45 seconds.) I could use "regular" fries, but they'd be vastly inferior.

Anyone use these machines, check out where to buy product, or have comments on the quality of the product?

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Ore-Ida French Fry Vendor questions

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  • Could you hack the machine to force longer cooking times so that you can use regular fries? It might be just as smiple as changing a few resistors or a crystal, but then again, it could be the impossible task of reprogramming an eeprom you know nothing about...

    Or how about you take the regular fries and "pre-fry" them for a minute or so, then re-freeze them so that 30-45s will render a nice golden potato...

    ~GoRK
    • Could you hack the machine to force longer cooking times so that you can use regular fries? It might be just as smiple as changing a few resistors or a crystal, but then again, it could be the impossible task of reprogramming an eeprom you know nothing about...

      That could work; often for this kind of thing, the timer is something very simple, like a 555. Swap the capacitor for a bigger value, say, and it'll give you the right time. If it uses a counter, you could cut the frequency feeding it.

      Or how about

      • Thanx but...... :-)

        It's not my machine, so changing the time a resistor is probably a last option. Especially since it would hurt its chances of being serviced.

        If Fries are defrosted and then refrozen, the fries gets moisture, and the end-product is wimpy. So, they try to only freeze it once, and that's the factory freeze. The instruction manual points this out in more than one place.
        • It's not my machine, so changing the time a resistor is probably a last option. Especially since it would hurt its chances of being serviced.

          Ah. Yes, it would, although I suspect "hurt" is an understatement ;-)

          If Fries are defrosted and then refrozen, the fries gets moisture, and the end-product is wimpy. So, they try to only freeze it once, and that's the factory freeze. The instruction manual points this out in more than one place.

          Yep. Get (or make) fresh fries, fry them, then freeze and put them in t

  • Here's some blatant linkage to my vending machine hacking project:

    http://vendingmenace.blurbco.com/ [blurbco.com]

    It's a Royal Vendors G-III Bottle/Can vendor that has been heavily modified to do metered vends of beer from kegs while keeping the original function also! This involved a bit of heavy interfacing, and a custom microcontroller/pcb/software to handle the flowmeters, valves, and vending machine interface.

    Next up is hacking into the (very odd protocol) serial bus that links the vending "brain" to the coin an

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