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Collar for Deaf Dog

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by TonyN, Jun 30, 2013.

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  1. TonyN


    Jun 30, 2013
    Hello all,

    One of my dogs is deaf, and I am looking at making a special collar for him. There are commercial products available, but these are more for training (which I want to do), but I want to add the aspect of 'input' to a collar..

    Here are a few things I would like to accomplish (with the overriding theme that this dog is about 10 pounds, so the collar will have to be as light as practical).

    1) A speaker/buzzer which will transfer vibrations to the dog.

    2) A receiver of some sort, so that we can 'call' the dog using any form of transmitter. In turn, this receiver activate the buzzer.

    3) (This is where it gets a bit adventurous) A microphone/sensor, which again would activate the buzzer. My thinking is that when his fellow dogs are barking, he would at least be aware something was going on.

    This will/may be the first of a number of posts, and am looking for any kind of feedback and suggestions.


  2. pilko


    Dec 8, 2012
    It could be a challenging project. It would be probably easier to modify an existing radio controlled device, for example a dog training collar or maybe a remote doorbell system. You could miniturize the receiver end.
  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Yeah, I've been thinking about this too.

    You would be better off having a signal mean 1 thing, otherwise you'll probably confuse the dog.

    If you can train the dog that the buzzing simply means look around to find you, then that will be sufficient.

    We have trained one of our dogs to respond to hand signals for most of the stuff she does so that we can control her at a distance longer than reasonable to shout to her (for example we can make her drop from 100 metres or so away). So if you can get your dog to realise that this buzzing vibration means you want to get his/her attention, that would do all you want.

    To then extend it to going off when other dogs bark would be counter-productive I would think.

    A 10lb dog is pretty small, and you're not going to be able to build something as small (and therefore light) as something manufactured in quantity. In any case, it will be the battery that contributes most to the weight.

    Off the top of my head, one option would be a microcontroller and a NRF24L01 modue. The module tends to be pretty power hungry though, and you'll need a module with an antenna at least (and possibly the higher powered version) to get the range you might need.

    I found that I could easily get 4 hours out of a 9V battery (using linear regulators) for the combination of an ATMega328 and one of the unamplified modules.

    For long term use you'd want to use rechargeable batteries.

    Presuming it gives a short buzz (vibration, not shock) whenever it is activated, the battery life should not be compromised.

    There's probably other modules -- perhaps some of the 433MHz modules have lower quiescent current in the receive state, however you'll have to do a little more to decode the signal you receive.

    The combination of an arduino and module (of whatever type) should end up about matchbox sized with a little care, and weigh about the same as a full box of matches. The batteries would be additional.

    (When I say Arduino, I mean ATMega chip. I would not suggest using an actual Arduino. I recommend this platform because I know it has good support for these modules. Other uCs may have likewise.)
  4. euta226


    Jul 8, 2013
    Wouldn't a vibrating motor (like what's in a cell phone/tablet) be better than a buzzer or speaker? They make them pretty small and would be a good fit for a collar for a 10lbs dog. just my thought.
  5. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Good point
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