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BitSignal

Topic # 80191 28-Mar-2011 18:57
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A little background story first:

Here at home we recently have been getting nightly visits from an evil cat who belongs to a lady living across the road. The evil cat has been terrorizing both our two cats and the neighbor's one to a point that I already took my cats three times to the vet for shots due to open wounds caused by cat bites.

There is no other cat around, and the evil cat is so annoying that it will enter our house through the existing cat door and pick fights with our male cat right outside our bedroom door at 4AM. Not cool.

Because I lack the evil gene to simply douse the evil cat in gasoline and set fire to it, I have to go with the next best thing: a selective cat door. But upon research I've found no cat door cheaper than ~$300, which is mind-boggingly expensive, considering the cats also need to be tagged (~$100 each).

Being a true geek, what better pet project (get it? pet?) than to build my own fancy RFID-reading cat door?

So, how do I start? What should I read first and foremost? I've been reading a few projects on the web but each one uses different parts and I'm not sure what to make of them (probably because I'm after some specific).

What is the best range RFID reader for an Arduino-like board (and what board to get)?

Any input is appreciated! 




"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." - Doc Emmet Brown

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  Reply # 452885 28-Mar-2011 19:31
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Have you considered the magnetic cat flaps?  Only works if "evil cat" does not have a magnetic collar.  We have one, works as desired and it comes with two magnets.  From memory they're closer to $200 though.



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  Reply # 452888 28-Mar-2011 19:33
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We originally thought of those, but our cats can't keep their collars on.




"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." - Doc Emmet Brown

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 452939 28-Mar-2011 21:33
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\start troll,

Get a dog
or
Invest in a cheap BB gun, setup motion sensoring traps around the door. Secure your cats somewhere else. Let the chaos ensue!

/end troll

Our cat door has tabs on it that make it "one way". Cat can leave, but not come in. EXCEPT, our cat found out that if it bangs on the cat door flap, it can get it's paw under it and open.

Solved our problem of other cats eating food.


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  Reply # 452940 28-Mar-2011 21:35
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Sorry this isn't the help you want but i've had it work personally in a somewhat similar case.

Call animal control, make a complaint. Might take a couple of calls but eventually the owner will be fined and they'll realise it's easier to control their animal the way they should.

Remember that the costs of taking your cats to the vet and so on must have cost quite a stack by now, so getting the offending cat dealt with is going to have more effect than stopping it getting inside. Your cats will still be attacked outside of your home...



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  Reply # 452941 28-Mar-2011 21:36
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jaymz: \start troll,

Get a dog
or
Invest in a cheap BB gun, setup motion sensoring traps around the door. Secure your cats somewhere else. Let the chaos ensue!

/end troll

Our cat door has tabs on it that make it "one way". Cat can leave, but not come in. EXCEPT, our cat found out that if it bangs on the cat door flap, it can get it's paw under it and open.

Solved our problem of other cats eating food.



Our cat door has the same two-way locking mechanism. But the problem is that sometimes the cats are outside when we go to bed, so we let them come in, but not go out. I want to make sure they can come in at any time, but not other cats. It's not the food I'm concerned with.

And I did contemplate a BB gun for a while. :D 




"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." - Doc Emmet Brown



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  Reply # 452943 28-Mar-2011 21:40
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Disrespective: Sorry this isn't the help you want but i've had it work personally in a somewhat similar case.

Call animal control, make a complaint. Might take a couple of calls but eventually the owner will be fined and they'll realise it's easier to control their animal the way they should.

Remember that the costs of taking your cats to the vet and so on must have cost quite a stack by now, so getting the offending cat dealt with is going to have more effect than stopping it getting inside. Your cats will still be attacked outside of your home...


My thoughts exactly. But when we called the vet they said we cannot trap the cat inside.

SPCA told us they can't do anything since the cat has an owner (it's got a microchip) that claims the cat stays with her daily.

And Animal Control for Auckland City only deals with dogs (no cats). 




"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." - Doc Emmet Brown

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  Reply # 452948 28-Mar-2011 21:43
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magu:

Because I lack the evil gene to simply douse the evil cat in gasoline and set fire to it, 


Hey honey can you put the cat out.

EDIT: Take a look through www.orangetags.com everything you might need or at least the tags.

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  Reply # 452958 28-Mar-2011 21:54
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If you do build one, you should make it "tweet" when a cat enters:

http://hackedgadgets.com/2009/04/04/tweeting-rfid-cat-door/

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  Reply # 452959 28-Mar-2011 21:57
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A water gun works well with cats. They hate it. How about this? http://lifehacker.com/#!5540060/build-an-infrared+triggered-water-gun-to-keep-cats-away




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  Reply # 452960 28-Mar-2011 21:58
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and here, might give you some more ideas on how to get it going:

http://www.instructables.com/id/RFID-cat-door/



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  Reply # 452965 28-Mar-2011 22:07
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jaymz: and here, might give you some more ideas on how to get it going:

http://www.instructables.com/id/RFID-cat-door/


Been reading through that one and the Hack-a-Day ones as well. Nice ideas. 




"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." - Doc Emmet Brown



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  Reply # 452966 28-Mar-2011 22:07
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hairy1: A water gun works well with cats. They hate it. How about this? http://lifehacker.com/#!5540060/build-an-infrared+triggered-water-gun-to-keep-cats-away


Ingenious, but I think I'll stick with the RFID idea for now.

I'm getting an Arduino Inventor's Kit, so I may repurpose it if it doesn't work. 




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  Reply # 452983 28-Mar-2011 23:02
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You could also take this one steep further and add a Data logger shield and make it log when your cat comes in or out or even when another RFID tag comes in range or use an ethernet shield to tweet or email you when your cat comes in or out could be quite interesting to find out what is happening

edit:forgot to add that the data shield that i brought had a clock built in which the arduino does not include so you could restrict the time in witch your cat can enter or leave




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  Reply # 452984 28-Mar-2011 23:02
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hairy1: A water gun works well with cats. They hate it. How about this? http://lifehacker.com/#!5540060/build-an-infrared+triggered-water-gun-to-keep-cats-away


Not always.. Got one on weekend and my cat ignores it. *sigh*




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  Reply # 453053 29-Mar-2011 10:18
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My thoughts exactly. But when we called the vet they said we cannot trap the cat inside.

SPCA told us they can't do anything since the cat has an owner (it's got a microchip) that claims the cat stays with her daily.


So why not trap the evil Witches cat (evil cats do belong to Witches don't they?) yourself... either outside your house near your cat door  or even inside you house so it walks thru the catdoor into the trap (just lock your kitties up for the night).  But don't give it straight back to the Witch for a day or soo. Let her worry about where her only stay at home cat has gone and wait for her to come knock at your door.... 'Oh that cat in the cage, we caught it inside our house, but since yours does wander we didn't think to ask if it belonged to you.'

The trapped cat may not want to visit you again after its incarceration.... Hey it's a system thats widely used with some success on people

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