Instructables

CatGenie: A smart, resettable SaniSolution cartridge

The project

This project follows on from the excellent work by ScotSEA and his Arduino reset program (see http://www.instructables.com/id/CatGenie-Resetting-a-SaniSolution-Cartridge/ ).  I had never taken my Catgenie apart as Scott did, but had built a small contact board instead.  I had previous updated Scott's program to so that it output some debugging output to the computer during the reset, as the process had never been very smooth.

Today I got round to testing some more permanent solutions.  I tried :
 - Making the Arduino pretend to be a cartridge .  This didn't work for some reason - the controller never seems to receive any I2C commands from the Catgenie.
 - Replacing the cartridge with a 24LC00 EEPROM .  While I could read from and write to the chip using the Arduino, the Catgenie didn't like it.

The solution I ended up with is a modified SaniSolution cartridge that contains an Arduino, some indicator LEDs and a button to reset the cartridge.  It is powered by the Catgenie and so is fully self contained.


Required materials

You will need :
  - An Arduino board.  I am using the Duemilanove, but the newer Uno or one of the smaller cheaper boards should be fine
  - 2 x LEDs (eg. one red, one green)
  - 1 x press switch/button
  - 1 x 10k resistor
  - A small piece of stripboard to wire up the LEDs and button
  - Some terminal pins
  - A soldering iron and solder
  - Some thin wire (I used some un-twisted Cat-5)
  - A very small drill bit (I used 1.0mm), and a drill





 
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msisaac1 year ago
I spent a few hours troubleshooting my cartridge using this tutorial. No matter what I did, as soon as I pressed the button, both LEDs would light up and stay solid. No debugging info in the console. I verified that it was failing on the Wire.endTransmission(); line. After banging my head against the wall, I finally noticed that the contacts on the cartridge chip are labeled differently in the very first picture of the tutorial and the "soldered" picture. In the soldered picture, the contacts are labeled with +5 volt at the top, then GND, then SCL, and SDA at the bottom. In the first picture, the labels are reversed, with +5 volt at the bottom, then GND, then SCL, and SDA at the top. When I rewired the insides according to the labels in the first picture, the cartridge worked like a charm. The correct debugging info showed up in the console and the LEDs worked correctly. So if anyone is having the same problems I had, change the wiring according to the labels in the first picture.
Great stuff man. I was already a user of the previous resetting system. I adapted your proposal to my previous settings. Now, Ï have an arduino on the side of my catgenie. It is directly linked to the cartridge holder connectors. I also modified your script in order for the arduino to reset automatically the cartridge frequently (no more button). Indeed, it is easy to notice when your cartridge is empty ... it smells lot more and no bubble during washing process :) Thus, solution is (as far as the cartridge is not really empty) dispensed and no more beeps ... love it !

Thx again for this great tuto
I was thinking of the same thing. I was going to change the program to emmulate a button push when it got down to 1. Can you post your sketch that you used?
desmisc2 years ago
Looks wonderful. Do you have a solution to the Cat Genie 120? I understand they have some new type of chip in it to prevent this type of re-setter from working.

By the way I have stopped refilling the cartridges because I found that just using a spray bottle with some Simple Green or other favorite cleaner during the cleaning cycle is much easier than filling the cartridge. Even running it with no cleaning solution is far better than my old dirty litter box.
i have the cg 60 can any one please help me i needa reset i lost my job please help im in need heidi
num2281 year ago
I have been resetting my cartridges externally for awhile now and want to use a built in design like this. Using the other design I had the 5+, ground, clock, and data lines reversed on the cartridge. Basically the same as this one but going from bottom to top. Can I get some clarification? (Just making sure before I start)