ISO pet chip changing frequency

Hey guys!

I have 2 Surepet feeders for my cats. They have been working fine until 2 months ago one of them had a problem with its serial number all the sudden so the customer service updated the feeder with a new serial number.
It solved the problem but lately i’ve been having another problem with that same feeder.
And i dont know if the problem has anything to do with this update (seemed the most logic thing to me), but my cat now has to wait over 1 or 1,5 minute before it finally reads its chip and opens. Causing him to walk away and not eat.
So i contacted the customer service again and the chip that came with the feeder (to hang on a collar) works just fine so they said that sometimes these ISO chips change frequency and they would update the feeder to a higher frequency.
Which also didnt help.
Now they tell me that he just has to wear a collar all the time with the chip that came with the feeder.
I could be really wrong since i have no knowledge about chips, but it just felt like a weird story that they sometimes change frequency.
That would mean that when my cat gets lost and someone finds him they cant scan his chip.
And why even bother making a feeder that works with chips if it doesn’t work properly.
So my question to you guys is… can these ISO chips change frequency or something like it?

Are either the chips or the reader in an area that is prone to temperature swings?

No, they are in the hallway. The front door is inside the building so no cold or heat comes in.

And the cats are indoor cats?
I’d just be curious if the “wait time” disappears if you leave the chip off the cat, storing it at room temperature and manually test it randomly.

I mean it could certainly be a software issue.

They are indoor cats yes. But the chip that it has trouble to read is the one in his neck under his skin. The one on the collar (i think its called a tag in english) works perfectly fine.
Also my other cat and chip and his feeder works fine. His feeder was right next to the other one until the customers service told me its best to keep them 1m apart.

For your own peace of mind I would take the problematic cat to the vet and have them scan for a chip.

This should tell you if the chip has moved or if it is having trouble being read.

If they can read it quickly and accurately I would suspect a fault with the reader in the feeder. Try it with the collar tag and see if it is any better.

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He is wearing the collar tag at the moment so he can still eat if he wants to, but honestly he is really confused since he couldn’t eat from it. The collar tag works fine with the feeder.
I would be surprised if it has moved after 12 to 13 years. But going to the vet is actually a good idea that i hadn’t thought about.
Do you guys know anything about frequency’s and reading chips? How does this work?

Chips don’t just “change frequency.” Their antennae are a very specific length to be a ratio of the wavelength of the signal. This sounds like the chip is failing for some reason.

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hm ok that kind of worries me. Hopefully the vet can answer the question wether the chip is still in the right place and if its still working properly.
Thank you guys for helping!

The dead giveaway here is the fact that a new chip had to be registered with the reader. That tells me that it’s very likely the reader has a memory chip that is failing and the reason you’re having to wait so long is that one or more of the bits in the memory is so damaged that it is basically randomizing one or zero every time it’s read… so maybe it’s scanning just fine but the reader is checking the memory for the registered chip ID and finding something that’s not matching until finally it does match… if you know what I mean.

ok i understand what you are saying except for the first sentence. Which chip are you referring to?

What does this mean?

His chip number got kicked off the feeder every day. The customer service checked and said that they had a batch of feeders who got the same serial number. And mine had the same serial number as someones feeder in Germany.
They fixed it by giving the feeder a new serial number through an update. It was all done remotely.

This is either some record level of monumental BS on the part of the support personnel, or proof why companies should not be allowed to produce internet connected things.

Why does a cat feeder need to be connected to the internet? If it is, why should it matter that someone in Germany had the same Serial Number for their device? What happens if your internet connection goes out for a period of time, does the cat starve?

I’m super confused by this too. What the hell is the cat feeder doing connected to the internet? If it’s not connected to the internet, of course then like this is total bullshit and they had a batch of faulty units and they are trying everything they can do to keep from replacing them.

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Are you certain they are surepet or are they surefeed, because I found some surefeed pet feeders that DO connect to wifi for app based management… ugh.

My toilet is going to refuse to flush because someone in Iceland dropped their phone in the toilet and our toilets have the same serial number.


I don’t know how the serial number thing would work with the other feeders (they have different kinds, i think not with chipreader, one with chipreader but without app and the one with a hub and app). I have one that is connected to a hub and sends information to an app. The feeder itself works on batteries and will still work when there is no internet.
And i have no idea why it matters that someone in Germany has the same serial number.
And because i feel if its something with the feeder it should be replaced i am doing my own research first before i write them an angry email. Cause their solution is just unacceptable.
If its my cats chip than i need to look into that first but it just seemed so weird to me.

And yes they are from surepetcare. I bought this one online from another store and the other one from surepetcares own website. The feeders are called surefeed connect.

FWIW, I used to own two SureFlap cat flaps that worked flawlessly for many years. Those were older models. I recently bought two more (newer models) to hack them into something else, and those just don’t work right: they’re very finicky and very unreliable.

When I say old and new models, it’s because I know for a fact that SurePet changed something in the reader hardware or firmware. The older model used to read my EM4105 from a mile away in any position - as well as my cat’s FDX of course. It used to hit hard and fast and without any kind of trouble.

The new model however doesn’t read my EM4105 at all anymore, and FDX chips and tags with considerable difficulty unless the flap is set vertically and doesn’t move. And even then, the performances are nowhere near what they used to be. And it’s not like I have a dud device, because I bought two, returned then, got two more, and they all work like crap.

For that reason, I used to recommend SurePet products wholeheartedly, but I don’t anymore.

Yikes… i guess im a bit late to the party then.
I just tested my cat on the other cats feeder and it couldn’t read him either. And my other cat worked fine with the other feeder.