Not Quite Normal

CATaLOG in testing April 15

CATaLOG is now all wired up, sitting in a temporary housing and in testing.  You can view the live status of the cats over at or follow them on Twitter.


You can see the two push buttons used to set each cat in or out should they run through an open door rather than the cat flap or evade the sensor in some way, as well as the Linksys WAP11 acting as a network bridge to link the system to the house WIFI network.

I've been pleased with the results so far.  The RFID reader is mounted to the cat flap with velcro for now so I can move it to find the most reliable location.  I think the magnet on the cat flap might not be helping the signal any, and I think I'll need to install the IR beams to counteract Bobbin just sticking her head through.

CATaLOG Ignite Talk April 9

Despite it being one of the most nerve racking things I've done I gave my talk on CATaLOG at Ignite Cardiff last night. 

You can download the presentation in PDF format below.


The talk went pretty well - 15 seconds is long time when you've forgotten what the next slide is ;)

Unbricking a WRT54G v1.0 March 31

I've been trying to unbrick a Linksys WRT54G v1.0 for a few days now, mainly using guides over on but none of them described the symptoms I was seeing. While they were all mentioning flashing power or diag lights I was seeing power and diag lights constantly on.

The solution was from this howto and involved shorting pin 16 of the flash ram chip (which isn't an Intel one in v1.0) to ground while plugging it in (steady hands needed) - the diag light should then flash quickly and then more slowly.  You should be able to ping the router then and tftp up a good firmware image.  At this stage mine would only accept official linksys firmware - I had to wait until that was on there before using the web interface to flash the dd-wrt image.  As a side note, the WRT54G v1.0 needs the vintage series of dd-wrt firmware - the standard one will brick it.

CATaLOG talk and progress March 30

I'll be giving a talk on the CATaLOG project at the Ignite Cardiff event on Wednesday 8th April.  The format is somewhat like a lightning talk - 20 slides, each slide auto advanced after 15 seconds, 5 minutes in total.  Looking forward to it :)

The project itself is almost complete.  I built the power supply and interface circuitry at the weekend which has made the whole thing a lot neater and more stable. There is a minor bug where the minutes component of the time a cat has been outside rolls into the thousands after a few hours, but I expect that will be easy to fix.

After that I'll need to machine the housing, flash a WRT54g to get a wireless network bridge and fit the IR beams so the system can actually detect the direction of the cat instead of simply flipping a boolean.

CATaLOG gets a mouth March 23

I've added an LCD to CATaLOG :)


I've updated the project page with a new Adding an LCD section, with details of how I went about it.

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