Picture of 1Gig CueCat
You've seen them before. People taking thumb drives and putting them in different housings. There's the highlighter, the lighter, the pink eraser, and many, many [ more]. (My apologies to those that didn't get linked.)

Well, I've wanted to do one for a long time, but couldn't come up with a good case. I looked around my office, and found nothing worthy. Then I started to think about the basement. My tote filled with useless computer parts that the geek in me won't let go of. Then it hit me.

I HAVE AN OLD CUECAT! And the 1 Gig CueCat was born.
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Step 1: Gather your parts

Picture of Gather your parts
First step in any project, gather your parts.

I also used some of the following things that are not pictured:

-- Leatherman--you'll see him later
-- hot glue gun
-- modeling glue
-- various small screwdrivers

Step 2: Disassmebly: CueCat

Picture of Disassmebly: CueCat
First thing to do is take apart the CueCat. Four small screws on the bottom, and it opens up easily.

You may find that you have to get a small flat head screwdriver and gently pry it apart, or you may be able to take it apart with your hands.

When you open it up, you'll see that the "tail" is attached to the circuit board, and has to be cut. Once cut, the cord would not slip out. I decided I wanted to have the butt plug in place on the finished product, so I needed to get this out. A little pulling, and it broke out.

I lucked out big time, too. I thought I was going to have to gut it completely, and find a way to mount the flash drive in there. Turns out it comes with a little black box up front that worked really well as a mount/encasement for the drive. More on that later.
I heard that the CueCat was a flop on the market, but it does make a good aesthetically themed shell for DIY projects.

Such notoriety of the original product provoking privacy issues with barcodes on a visual gimmick from years ago.  upcycling can be done on
try making the cap look like a mouse! funny:D
Kana6 years ago
Wow that's so cute~! But I have no idea where to find CueCats except for Ebay; and I can't buy online >.<
jongscx Kana6 years ago
you can use those visa gift-cards from walmart/convenience stores on e-bay purchases I believe... and you buy those with cash...
Kana jongscx6 years ago
Oh really? Wow. Thanks I might do that!
joe570057 years ago
i have one of those! there's a simple hack out there to change it into a regular barcode reader. it originally outputted an encrypted string of characters (keyboard strokes, to be precise) containing a unique serial number and the scanned barcode. i broke it a long time ago, and haven't had the time to fix it.
mrmath (author)  joe570057 years ago
I did that with it a long time ago as well. I think we all did. I even envisioned writing some simple cash register software that could be used with the CueCat. Then I read the license on the thing, and using it for anyting other than it's intended purpose was not allowed, so I scrapped the idea. Probably wouldn't have been able to do it anyway.
joe57005 mrmath7 years ago
well, the company that made it, is now defunct, so no worries there. as for the hack itself, it's just a single pin removed from one of the chips. (on the rev. e version i have, at least.)
KD7WHQ joe570056 years ago
I hacked a cuecat, and declawed it as well.. No unique serial numbers, and straight numeric output.

Tweaked the sensitivity as well.

There is a UPC Database where you can scan items in, and add it if it isn't already there..
spiffytessa6 years ago
Wow, that's a really cool project! Been looking for a way to make my USB more interesting. Can't find any of those cute CueCats anywhere but for like $20 on Ebay. :(
Gage9877 years ago
i did read the wiki for cuecat and it sounds pretty cool to bad i missed the cuecat era but the wiki said to keep them because the were gonna bring them back
mrmath (author)  Gage9877 years ago
I don't think it will make a come back, honestly. It was a stupid idea in the first place, and even more so now. Why do I need a device that will take me to a website when I can just type in the website name? Or, why not just start embedding qrcodes in ads, and let people use their webcams and/or cellphones for it?
Gage987 mrmath7 years ago
but it'd let you be lazy-er
dombeef7 years ago
Did you name the Cue Cat ? I mean, You could name it Fluffy or something like max
Gage987 dombeef7 years ago
id name it bassy because the clef |:>)
mrmath (author)  dombeef7 years ago
:) Nope. But if I was going to name it, I'm such a Star Trek geek that I would name it Q.
Vautikos7 years ago
Do you still have the link to the website where you got the USB from? =P Awesome hack by the way, your link got me interested in finding an old CueCat to use for making a digital catalog of my movie library...
mrmath (author)  Vautikos7 years ago
The offer is over, I'm sure. I don't remember exactly where it was on their site, but it was M&T.

I follow two free sites. and It came from one of them.
Ok old people, what's a CueCat?
mrmath (author)  musicalbee20037 years ago
I linked to the Wikipedia article in the intro.
mrmath (author)  mrmath7 years ago
Besides, the technology is only 8 years old. That doesn't qualify for "old people" status. Does it?
Weeelllllll....It's all relative, isn't it? 8 years is a long time in my life and the timeline of computer technology. Apologies for missing the link! I shall check it out.
reedz7 years ago
Why is there a Bass Clef on his rear end?
It's the logo. Man, that's nostalgic. mrmath, if you still have the guts, there's a trivial hack to turn a CueCat into a generic barcode reader :)
mrmath (author)  DanAdamKOF7 years ago
I first read that as meaning if I have the guts to do something, not if I have the guts of the cat. No, they were toast. I had done that hack once, a long time ago, when I got it. My wife told me that it was the height of geekiness to do this. I thanked her.