Cheap Cat Surveillance: Babymonitor to Catmonitor!

Today there is only a small project, how to hack a babymonitor into a catmonitor!
There were few entries in the last weeks, but we do have some things we want to talk about. Anne finished her record player and figured out how to archive and encode Hi8 videos. And together with Anne I built a terrarium for our new friend “Herbert”, a bearded dragon 🙂

Because we live on the first floor and cannot keep the doors open all the time it was hard to let our cat out.
She did get out a few times, but it was always a hassle to get her back in. You had to walk down every 30min to look. Because if you don’t she will just wait and scream at the door. If she did not come back before we went to sleep she stood there crying the whole night, no way to hear it in our bedroom.

So we wanted to install a camera – and a cheap one if possible 🙂

We were not allowed to install any wired solution, so that already limited what we actually could buy. Nightvision also was a must have, and in an ideal case, also audio and a few other features.

We could not find anything that matched perfectly, and if it did it was way too expensive.
The Solution: A babymonitor and a small hack!

Normally that one costs about 45€, but you can find discounts on many review sites or on facebook. So in the end we only paid about 20€ for it. It also has a nice LCD receiver, bi-directional sound (one side push-to-talk) and a few baby related features. The sender is only wired, so you will need a powerboost or similar and a few Li-Po batteries.

And now the “hack”:

Babymonitor

The Babymonitor. The sender is without a batterie. It runs on 5V / 500mA – perfect for the powerboost! The powerboost comes with everything you need, you can charge and it also converts the batterie voltage to a nice 5V.

I had a nice set laying around, 6 batteries and a multi charger (3.7V / 850mAH)

Batteries & Charger

You can already see the first thing I did. I removed one of the connectors from the charger (if one is in use I only need 5 anyway) and replaced the batterie connector on the powerboost with it.

Powerboost works

Alright, that are almost 5V, good enough 🙂 The connector is soldered in and glued in place. Now I can easily replace batteries and still use the original charger.

That is pretty much it, enjoy more photos 😉

Everything together
Waiting for the cat

It doesn’t even need that much power. It runs for a solid 4-5 hours at least. At night maybe less because of the IR Led’s

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