Coin Operated Viewers

Coin Operated Viewers Models

 Hi-Spy makes coin-operated binoculars and telescopes in both a standard model and an ADA (wheelchair accessible) model. We also make coin-operated speciality models such as our memorial machine, our customized height machine and our wall-mounted machine.

Once you decide on a coin model, you need to choose between 10X magnification and 20X magnification in a binocular or 20X and 35X magnification in a telescope

10X vs. 20X vs. 35X

Magnification ratings are in comparison to the human eye. Therefore, 10X magnification is bringing the image 10X closer and 20X is 20X closer, etc. Please see our magnification examples to view the difference. 

There is always a trade-off: the lower the magnification, the smaller the image but the wider the field of view. For example, if you want to see all the sailboats in the lake, use 10X – if you want to see just the people on one boat, use a higher magnification.   

Video Brochure


Click any image to open lightbox view.

Module Style Magnification Coin Acceptance

Coin Mechanical 10X Binocular Viewer


10x (Wateproof Optics)


Coin Mechanical 20X Binocular Viewer


20x (Wateproof Optics)


Coin Mechanical 20X Telescope Viewer


20x (Wateproof Optics)


Coin Mechanical 35X Telescope Viewer


35x (Wateproof Optics)



Hi-Spy has recently upgraded our control board for the coin viewer models. The new board provides the following benefits over our previous control boards:


  1. 100% Waterproof – by means of totally encasing the controller in plastic “potting”. Previous control boards were only 90% “potted”.
  2. Power-On indicator – new control boards have LED lights to show power is going to the control board.
  3. Greatly Increased Battery Life – the power draw on the new board is so low that average sites can expect 4-6 years without changing the 4-AA batteries.

Why Hi-Spy Makes A Better Coin – Operated Viewer

At Hi-Spy we use an electronic coin acceptor/shutter combination.

Our competitors utilize a non-electronic, solely mechanical coin acceptor/shutter combination.

Ours is better

We have been proving it for 21 years. We use a new improved circuit board (with 100% potting to ensure waterproofing) to open the shutter and to close it again when the time has counted down. Our new control boards at an average site will use 4-AA batteries every 4-5 years. That is a small price to pay for more security for your money.

Q.  Why does Hi-Spy use the electronic control board?

A:  The main reason is that electronics allow the coin to be contained in the main tube and not in the viewing head which is far less secure. Competitors, in order to save costs when building, use mechanical coin/shutter combinations which force the containment of coin to be in the head where those parts are located. That is NOT SAFE. All a vandal needs to do is either steal the whole head (quite easy) or crack open the head (also quite easy). At one nearby world-famous site competitive viewers were broken open six at a time with just a crowbar and the owner was forced to withdraw his machines. But breaking into the main tube on a Hi-Spy machine is far more difficult.

Q.  Can vandals break into a Hi-Spy main tube?

A:  Anything is possible but the facts prove how difficult it is. We have placed thousands of machines worldwide yet in 21 years we have had only five reported break-ins. And customers do report break-ins because they usually need new parts. We use an extremely good vending lock and have engineered the door opening to make it very rugged.

Q.  Are there other reasons to utilize an electronic coin acceptor/shutter mechanism?

A:  Yes. It allows an accurate audit and it allows the owner to quickly change the viewing time in 5 second increments.

Q.  A competitor has stated that electronic control boards are ”not dependable”- is that accurate?

A:  It is not accurate and truthfully flies in the face of 21st century experience. Your toaster, your phone, your car all run with electronics. Many appliances with circuit boards are exposed to the weather. They are all dependable. Our new improved control board is 100% potted (older boards were only 90% potted) and potting completely encases the circuitry – not allowing any corrosion.