Why this Project CatFlap

I bought a PetPorte? Smartflap because it has a PC interface. Unfortunately this interface is announced by the manufacurer for years, but probably not coming out anytime soon.

So I ran a little reverse engineering and found that the SmartFlap? internally has a serial port on the microcontroller. This MCU is a microchip PIC. But the original firmware doesn't send any data over the interface.

Then I wanted to read the software from the PIC, but it was not possible, of course, thanks to code-protect. That's why I've bitten the bullet and started to write a new firmware for it. This is not easy, especially the decoding of the RFID signal since this is only using a few op-amps and the analog comparator implemented on the PIC. The whole thing works now quite well.

If you want to reprogram the cat flap you have to have some idea of microcontrollers, a programmer for PIC microcontrollers (eg, PICkit 2) and can handle a soldering iron.

Well, now comes the big drawback: Since you can't go back to the old software because the code-protect there's no turning back when the new software is on it. I probably don't need to mention that you will also loose the warranty by the manufacturer.

If someone would still appreciate some help with the development, and possibly test the software with other animal chips (there are apparently dozens of different, and I only have 2), etc. just contact me.

Last modified 5 years ago Last modified on Jan 14, 2012, 11:51:58 PM