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'[EE]: Cat doors, was Wind turbines, was How can I '
2011\06\23@193638 by Bob Blick

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On Thu, 23 Jun 2011 23:54 +0100, "Oli Glaser"  wrote:

> On the cat door Bob - what exactly does it do and how? Does it ID the
> cat(s) or do you only have one?
> I'm asking because we are total "cat people" here (i.e. the cats own the
> house and are tolerating our presence)
> We already have an electric cat door purchased from a small L.A company,
> but I was thinking it would be nice to know things like which cat (we
> have 4) comes in/out and when, we have had a few situations where it
> would be useful to have that information.
> I'm thinking PIC with some wireless ethernet module to network, or cheap
> radio module at either end to USB. For the ID it could be RFID, IR,
> optical recognition, etc.
> It's just a "rainy day" project idea, that will be filed alongside the
> other hundred things I want to do when I have a spare minute, but any
> info on your project would be appreciated.

Hi Oli,
Just the one cat, sadly no longer on this plane. It takes about two
weeks to train a cat to open doors from the outside. There's a patch of
loop fastener fabric glued to the door, she has to grab it with her
claws and pull the door open a bit, here's a video:
http://bobblick.com/yumyum_hi.wmv
There's a PIC and a hobby servo on each door and a photocell that gets
polled when the door starts to open to figure out which side of the door
the cat is on. The doors plug into an extra wire pair in the house phone
wiring with a simple network protocol that talks to an interface on the
linux box that is my home fileserver and is always on.

I've built a lot of cat doors over the years and the pull-open style
outfoxes pretty much all critters, including other cats. YumYum had a
bad hip so in her later years I moved one of the doors(the one in the
video) from a window down to ground level and even then never had
intruder problems. But raccoons could be a problem because they are
strong. They probably wouldn't fit but if they tried they could break
the mechanism.

If I was doing it today I would probably use Sureflap doors, which can
be trained to trust each cat's implanted RFID microchip. And if I had
multiple cats I'd hack the door to get the RFID numbers to track each
one separately. The Sureflaps must have an awesome RFID circuit, they
run on 4 AA batteries for almost a year. Here's a link:
http://www.sureflap.co.uk/
You can get them in the UK and also the US. If you'd rather roll your
own, you can get 125KHz RFID readers at seeedstudio. The microchips in
disposable syringes are on Ebay or Amazon. I recommend the Bayer brand.
I wouldn't implant them myself, but here in the US there is no
standardization in pet RFID so the brand does matter and you might need
to bring the one you want to your veterinarian.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - A no graphics, no pop-ups email service

2011\06\23@200210 by Oli Glaser

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On 24/06/2011 00:36, Bob Blick wrote:
> Hi Oli,
> Just the one cat, sadly no longer on this plane. It takes about two
> weeks to train a cat to open doors from the outside. There's a patch of
> loop fastener fabric glued to the door, she has to grab it with her
> claws and pull the door open a bit, here's a video:
> http://bobblick.com/yumyum_hi.wmv

That's awesome - I recall you posting it a while back but somehow I didn't put two and two together just now :-)
I might try some experiments with our cats.

{Quote hidden}

That's great info, I will check it all out. If I get round to doing anything interesting I post it here.
Thanks!

> Cheerful regards,
>
> Bob
>
> --

2011\06\25@221544 by cdb

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:: I would probably use Sureflap doors, which can
:: be trained to trust each cat's implanted RFID microchip. And if I
:: had multiple cats I'd hack the door to get the RFID numbers to track
:: each one separately.

Rolling my own has been on my to do list for some years now. I had thought of using the implanted microchip but I thought that with the standard passive range of RFIS of about 2-3" this wouldn't allow enough time for a chased moggy to be recognised and the flap unlock,  ending up with said moggy wearing the catflap. I assume you've found this not to be the case?

Colin
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cdb, spam_OUTcolinTakeThisOuTspambtech-online.co.uk on 26/06/2011
Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk   Hosted by:  http://www.justhost.com.au
 

2011\06\25@222841 by Bob Blick

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On Sun, 26 Jun 2011 12:15 +1000, "cdb"  wrote:

> :: I would probably use Sureflap doors, which can
> :: be trained to trust each cat's implanted RFID microchip. And if I
> :: had multiple cats I'd hack the door to get the RFID numbers to track
> :: each one separately.
>
> Rolling my own has been on my to do list for some years now. I had
> thought
> of using the implanted microchip but I thought that with the standard
> passive range of RFIS of about 2-3" this wouldn't allow enough time for a
> chased moggy to be recognised and the flap unlock,  ending up with said
> moggy wearing the catflap. I assume you've found this not to be the case?

I have never had a cat that thought the house was a safe haven from
other beasts, or maybe that the delay of going through any door was
worth risking.

That being said, I have experimented with the seeedstudio 125KHz RFID
receivers, and if you make a larger coil you can extend the read
distance to about 6 inches. There's a tradeoff as you increase the
diameter of the coil so if you make the coil too big the distance drops
off again.

If you put the coil in front of the cat door, as if it were an awning
before the entry, you can get recognition by the time the head hits the
door. Or so my experiments would suggest, I no longer have a cat.

Friendly regards,

Bob

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - IMAP accessible web-mail

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