PetInspect is a sophisticated data-logger and wireless communications device that lets you discover what environment your pet experiences and how they behave while you’re not around. The device consists of a 16-bit microcontroller with 256K of flash memory and sensors for pressure, temperature, activity, light and proximity. The digital transceiver provides communication with a range of up to 30m. All this comes in a package 28mm in diameter, including batteries. It’s small enough and light enough for a cat to wear comfortably.
This animal tracker project comprises two circular PCBs. If you just want the sensing and data logging capability, just build the digital board which has the microcontroller on one side and the sensors on the other. If you want to add transceiver capability, then you should also build the transceiver board. The transceiver board can be built by itself to be used (or reused) as a general purpose unit for your own projects.
In this project, TR3000 Amplifier Sequenced Hybrid (ASH) transceiver IC from RF Monolithics was chosen for the wireless transceiver. The TR3000 was the only device that fitted into the restricted physical space, and was integrated enough to easily form part of a circuit with the minimum amount of components. It also met the minimum requirements for data rate, power consumption, and ease of development.
The source code for the base station and PetInspect is common, being written almost entirely in the C programming language. Object oriented methodology was applied to the software design process.