Distinguishing Pet Bowl

Introduction: Distinguishing Pet Bowl

About: I would love to find a job where I could play with fabrication tools all day and be creative. Anyone have a suggestion?

This pet bowl opens when the animal with the receiver approaches it and stays closed for all other animals.

Step 1: Circuitry Used

I was asked to make a "special" pet bowl by a friend. She has two cats. one is over weight and eats anything left out and the other is too thin and would eat more if the food was available all the time. So, I made a bowl that will only open for the skinny cat.

This is a luggage alarm. You're supposed to put the little fob in your luggage and keep the big receiver. The receiver will vibrate and beep if your luggage gets a certain distance away from you

Step 2: Circuity Used

Since this system uses about an amp it needs to be plugged in instead of battery use. So, there's a 6V regulator. Two SPDT relays are also used as seen in the diagram.

And, since batteries aren't used it's a perfect spot to put the luggage receiver so I can get tothe sensitvity adjustmen without taking the bowl apart.

Step 3: Schematic



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    23 Discussions

    Do you have a patent on it?


    1 year ago

    Brilliant! How about putting the un-modified bowl on something tall so the fat cat can't get to it and has motivation to keep exercising? HAHA

    Nice! I was about to start one of these with rfid when I came across this one. How do you find the tag, does it still work if it gets wet? That was my main reason for wanting rfid as well as the fact there easy to replace if they get lost. Does anyone know how these luggage alarms work, does each unit have a unique code or frequency?

    I see there's 2 relays in there, are they 5v? Are they set to normally open or normally closed?

    Sorry I'm new to all this so I'm probably missing something, but why do we need the dc regulator, the bowl is powered by 6v dc (4 AA battery's) and the dc regulator is outputting 6v dc?

    How long do the batteries last in the little tag?

    Hi - great project. Is there an easy way to reverse the effect? meaning, have the dish close when the sensor gets close? And did the luggage alarm allow you to change the distance to which the lid triggered? Thanks!

    Has anyone got this to work? I have followed the instructions, using the same type if luggage finders and have no luck.

    Please help.

     I have three cats, one seems to be eating everything and gaining to much weight.  I would need to make three of these, if I use the lugggage alarm will they all read the same?  Can an RFID kit be used instead?

    Can the lid be forced open or lifted manually? My kittie is to smart forher own good. She opens all the doors in our house. Luckily except thefront door. But only because she cant do the dead bolt lol. She evenopens the door into the garage, waits for the other animals to go in,then cries at the door so someone notices its open. Then the humancloses it locking her poor victim in the garage. Luckily we've learnedher schemes.

    4 replies

     Yes! They *can* be forced open. Thankfully, our "smart" cat is the one who has access. We're hoping the other one doesn't figure it out!

    Most are handled doors but once in a while she does get lucky with the knobs. but never got to see how she does it lol. she guards her secret of the knobs well.

    if the cat is getting into places you dont want it to, i bet if you get some of those 3 year old-prevention knob covers, i bet the cat wont be able to go places it its not wanted

    Would like to know what are the markings on the the wire that is negative when lid is closed, and what are the markings on the hot wire. On the luggage alarm is the positive motor/vibrator buzzer lead the only wire on the circuit board

    Question. All the luggage alarm receivers I have found, including the one you have in step 1, operate on one "AAA" battery. That's 1.5 volts. Your schematic has the alarm receiver hooked up to 6 volts. Won't that smoke it?

    2 replies

    You are correct. The one I used also takes one AAA battery. Just hook it up to 6V and it will be fine. It has a built in "step up regulator" that takes whatever voltage is applied and makes it into 6V. Pretty much anything that only takes one battery does this.

    Thanks for the info. I'm going to build one of these for my daughter. Any idea where I can get a schematic for the bowl and the luggage alarm? Having these would make building a LOT easier! Thanks again DENNIS

    what if that one cant was near the bowl and it opens and another cat drinks from it

    Hi Peter -- Did your thin cat ever become comfortable with this new dish? Our cats are initially freaked out by the sound of the lid opening/closing, but am hoping this is something they will become accustomed to? Getting ready to start the electronics hacking, but figured I would wait until I'm sure the thin cat will actually use the dish!

    Hey -- very clever! Thanks for this! I have been trying to come up with an easy way to build a selective pet feeder for some time now (same issue -- we have one fat cat and one very slow, picky eater), and this looks perfect. I will give it a go, and let you know how it turns out...

    Ha there, this is really close to what I am trying to find or buy... We have 4 cats, one on a diet. So, we would like to put and rid tag or transmitter on the dating cats collar and a receiver on or around the food bowl. When the cat with tag comes within 3-5 feet of the bowl and alarm or noise goes off (or wired into a garden ghost - motion sensor aerosol can that sprays inert gas).... I am not an electrical guy at all... would be glad to pay for this ... can you help? Kinda like a reverse luggage alarm, that as you move close the alarm goes off... Thank youl