Cure for Lost Headphones

September 1, 2011

headphone dispenser

What happens when a jock forgets his headphones? What about a lost 3.5mm to 1/4" headphone adapter? Does this become an engineering crisis? Kirk Chestnut, CPBE, at the Entercom stations in Kansas City found a way around this.

Some stations keep a stock of house headphones available for this situation, but this can easily be abused. Likewise, a few loose connectors lying about tend to walk away. To solve this, Chestnut repurposed a piece of vending machine hardware from the station''s previous facility. Placed in the common hall area near the studios, the machine is stocked with ear bud headphones and 3.5mm to 1/4" adapters. Priced at $0.50 and $0.25 respectively, the supply is always available, even on overnights and weekends.

Chestnut's only challenge has been finding boxes of the appropriate size to carry the merchandise. He asks the buyers to recycle the boxes.


The station cost is higher than the sale price, although Chestnut buys the supplies in bulk. The modest purchase price places a value on the merchandise, so the users take better care of it.

Where did he get the machine? It previously dispensed products in the ladies restroom.

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