Remotely monitor a live animal (Havahart type) spring trap with notifications via text message and/or email using only a prepaid android cellphone and some wire ties
We do trap-neuter-release in our area for feral cats and were frustrated with having to check traps (still empty) frequently so we decided to use a Tracfone burner phone to act as a motion sensor that we attached to the door of a feral cat trap so we would be notified by text message when the trap was sprung and the cat wouldn't have to stay in it any longer than necessary. I did a search for other traps that could notify you remotely and found a few DIY electronics projects but all of them were absurdly overly complicated and/or expensive. Several professional traps are available but all have high purchase costs and high monthly fees.
We had to create the android software ourselves to do what we wanted.
The phone we used is a Tracfone Motorola Moto E ($26 online.) Plans start at $10 per month, (or $7 per month if you go 3 months at a time.) No contracts required. I don't use it as my regular phone, but it is surprisingly fast and full-featured considering it costs almost nothing (and it is listed as "splash resistant") - Any android powered phone will work so long as it features an accelerometer, but as it is going to be left unattended and outdoors, a cheap disposable phone is preferred. Likewise, any service plan will work, but we chose the Tracfone because we can put on a minimal amount of service prepaid with no chance of intended charges on a service plan.
Features enabled so far:
** Text and/or email notification when the door is moved
** Ability to msg the phone and have a photo taken and returned via email
** Adjustable vibration sensitivity
** Low battery notifications
** Adjustable delay to arm the app and prevent multiple notifications
** Ability to text the phone to check status, disarm, or change notification phone number remotely.
** Automatically mutes phone sounds to prevent scaring the animals
** Ability to setup automatic updates to verify app is operational
** Dims screen to maximize battery life
For setup/usage information, please visit http://www.txti.es/trapapp