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I'm considering buying the Sure Petcare Microchip Cat Flap Connect.

pet door photopet door illustration

I like the idea of being able to set a schedule for when my cat is allowed to exit the house and also to control it via the internet when I want to change the schedule temporarily.

It says "You’ll need [to also buy the $85] Hub to use the Sure Petcare App."

The app gets terrible reviews. So I likely don't want to use it if I can avoid it.

I'm a software engineer and am new to IOT hacking.

I'm curious whether there would be some way to buy just the cat flap (and not the hub) and write my own software for controlling it (if the cat flap could connect to my wifi network somehow).

Where could I learn how to do this?

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The work the good people around openhab do seem to be the way to go when using the hub as Jcaron already mentioned.

Weirdly the manual doesn't say which wireless technology it uses, except "Proprietary Wireless Control: 2425 MHz - 2480 MHz". So if you want to forgo the hub you'll need to do some radio sleuthing which likely won't be a short project. As a sidenote, those frequencies go into the range where the you're amplitude limited in the US. So unless you're an expert in radio communications this is unlikely to be a great starter project for IoT hacking.

Either way, if you don't care about using the hub and you just don't want the app openHab is probably the best way to go. Probably with this project.

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