Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cat Tracking

I've tested out one of the GPS data logger samples already on a trip around town, but I figured it was time to do something more interesting with it. Tory was out shopping and called to see if I needed anything, and since she happened to be right next door to the pet store, I suggested a small harness for the cat.

Turns out they had just the thing, from 'Outward Hound' - made for a small dog, of course, but it looked like it ought to fit. Apparently it's important for dogs to be able to carry cell phones these days.

I put it on Squeaky, and she had it off in under 5 minutes, without ever leaving the front porch. I tried it on Bella next, since she seems to be a considerably dumber cat. For a minute she'd only slink around backwards, but she eventually figured out that she could still move around just fine. She eventually wandered off and took a nap in one of her usual spots. I didn't see her again for a few hours. When she showed up on the balcony I didn't expect that she'd actually gone anywhere, but apparently she travels more widely than we thought. Looks like maybe she has some friends over at the retirement home. I'll have to try tracking her over a longer time span sometime.

Oh, I also got Robot 36 mode working on the SSTV encoder. The RGB to YCbCr conversion turned out to be not so bad after all, with the HCS08's hardware multiplier. The camera module itself continues to be a major source of frustration, thanks to undocumented timeouts and other odd behavior.


David said...

Does the cat have a callsign? If so, you wouldn't need the logger part, just a 2m or 70cm radio :-)

I've been wanting to do this for our cat since he goes a long way, but he can throw a collar in 20min.

Scott, do you have any details on the harness & logger.

K4IDC said...

Hi Scott,
I'm very interested in tracking a cat. We have an indoor/outdoor kitty who's taken to roaming for a couple of days at at time...APRS seems like a good way to go. I'd like any input you can offer on this.