Monday, April 15, 2019

Scanning Your Beloved Pet

Marcus and Agata have had various feline visitors over the last 12 months here in England.  But some are so enthusiastic that we fear they are homeless.   If only there was a way to find out who their registered servant was.

If they are chipped, there is ...

But First A Note about Radio Frequency Identification  (RFID). 
Chips embedded into your pets uses 125Khz Low Frequency LF RFID,  whereas the Android Near Field Communication  (NFC) standard uses High Frequency HF RFID at 13.5Mhz.

So a Smartphone can not directly read any data from your Pet.  But if you attach a LF RFID reader and write a suitable app it might be possible

Further Notes
Passive tags collect energy from a nearby RFID reader's interrogating radio waves
Active tags have a local power source (such as a battery) and may operate hundreds of meters from the RFID reader.

NFC is similar to Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) but far more functional when incorporated in products or devices such as mobile phones. RFID is a useful Contactless (proximity) technology

125Khz RFIDs are frequently called LF RFID (low frequency) while the NFC standard uses 13.5Mhz RFIDs frequently called HF RFID (high frequency). Smartphones today often support HF RFID like the NFC, but rarely or never support LF RFID

  • LF Frequency standards: 134.2kHz, 125kHz
  • Reading Standard: FDX-B ( ISO11784 / 85), EMID

Our Scanner

For a quite unbelievably reasonable 10 GBP you can buy an Android, USB-C connectible LF RFID Scanner from Amazon here

The Android application is free but is a gateway to a paid service here   where you can pay from 12 GBP per year to register your pet on their database.

Note that the scanner here is rudimentary.   You can buy a battery powered all in one scanner, but the result is the same.  You read the rather long number Pet ID


The PetID may be registered in a database, but which one?  In the UK you can use this link  to try and identify which database your pet is registered with

Not So Fast

In these days of security, who the hell are you, and Data Protection, nobody is allowed to give you (concerned member of the public ) any real information any more.   meanwhile I called PetLog as above only to find a recorded message saying that you can't actually talk to anybody except if you dial the highly chargeable 0870 number.   Come on!

And then I can imagine they would take my information and say: regretfully sir, we can't tell you diddy squat to to DP Laws.

Talking to a Vet
Eventually Marcus and Agata went to a local vet and asked about homeless cats.  After some discussion we gave them some likely addresses  (plural) and they confirmed that one of them, without saying which one was the registered kitty owner.

Last Sunday we finished knocking on doors and found that owner.  And confirmed with them  (to a certain amount of regret) that the very hungry kitty that keeps a calling is theirs.   So when kitty comes a calling from now on, she gets a cuddle, and then some strict instructions to go home and not worry her family.

Roll on the day when soon our own kitten or is it kittens will arrive.  Life is about to get more complicated.

UK Chip Search
Getting your Dog Chipped  UK