Unfortunately our cats are chipped but not collared. Both of them are known for getting into scrapes so we wouldn’t put it past them to throttle themselves if they had a collar. Without a collar the only chip that we can track them with would be an implanted one.
As I’ve seen plenty of RFID readers at around £20-£30 and the price of the flap on the site you linked was £60 (and the cheapest I could find it on google shopping was £47) I think you and I have a slightly different definition of “el cheapo”.
That said, at £60 it’s not totally out of the bounds of possibility,
Ideally it’s for tracking the cats indoors without getting in the way of the humans (me and my wife). As there aren’t many doorways that the cats could get through without going at ground level my idea was to have one at the side of the door.
If I could get a reader/antenna at ground level (low profile enough to fit in a mat) then the needed range could be reduced but then I think the chips would be shoulder level for the cats so it’d still be about 6-8 inches (or something like that).
Well, you’re right: £60 - or even £47 - ain’t cheap. But I’ll tell you something else I forgot to mention, that you should factor in: good luck finding a bona fide medium range FDX-B reader with a USB port for under £500. The only “affordable” computer-attachable reader I know of that does FDX-B is the Elatec TWN4 MultiTech2, with which the read range for implants is contact at best, and which requires a flexible understanding of affordable.
Unless you want to roll your own - there are China-made modules for $30, and you can coil your own inductor - there just isn’t any ready-made solution available on the market. I figured the path of least resistance to solve your problem is reusing a not-so-cheapo, but readily available and easily hackable catflap.
Why are you looking to track them in the house? Could you not have a occupancy system for example the cat is in then if the tag is read then the cat must have gone out?
I am setting up a tracking system for my cat soon^tm using cams and object detection. Mainly so that when I am away for a few days I know what cam to look at to see her
Are you using Raspberry Pi(s) to run that? TensorFlow?
Not sure yet. Likely something more powerful than a pi but we will see. I have lots of options and ideas.
More powerful than a Pi and camera just to remotely watch webcam footage of Puss…Never mind, I see where you are going with this
Ohh, no, I have network cams. I will likely run the image recognition on a server blade with my other smart home stuff. Although I have been toying with the idea of a pi cluster just so I can mess around with orchestration tech.
Goto thingiverse and look at 6" rack and raspberry pi blade!
I was looking at leveraging this, mini itx form factor so should be able to get maybe 4 in a blade which is 28 PIs.
Love it! Tbh have no idea how I would use it i swear almost everyone on this forum is smarter than me haha
Why don’t you just come out and say it @Devilclarke
Oh and some others
That thing just a break out board for pi compute modules (PIs with no io) so that you can plug in 1 cat cable and 1 power cable and run 7 cheaper but just as powerful PIs
I was very confused looking at that thing too because I didn’t know those compute boards existed. I was trying to figure out how the gpio pins plug in like that
Oh lol I know that but I don’t know why I would need a pi cluster or what to do to get one running (shared processing for example)
Hahaha, you hit the nail on the head with the link
I want one to experiment with distributed computing infrastructure like kubernetes. As the tech scales up to like datacenters but I obviously don’t have a datacenter. Basically I want a “toy” server farm.
Same hence the temptation.
After a week of bird-murders one of our cats is now collared - and belled.
Tracking them indoors is kind of a curiousity thing expecially as they initially didn’t get in and are now going through a period of detente before peace settlements begin. Also, just because.
If I got the catflap I’d want to make adaptions to it anyway. I find it really annoying that they have hi-tech rfid detection system to operate the main lock but then all of the modes are set by a simple rotary (I think mechanical) device on the flap itself rather than via wifi.
We are also in a rental so don’t really want to get a cat flap unless and until we get a more permanent residence.
Simplicity is a value. You may want extended functionalities, but most buyers of that catflap obviously don’t. And since they sell… Also, a catflap where interdiction of travel can be setup over wifi means a wifi chip, OS with TCP stack and control software, and an electromechanical latch to control which way the door opens. That would not be in the same price range.