RFID Project Help - Need to deterr Chihuahuas

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I need some help with a RFID project that I would like to start.

 

My wonderful wife has 2 Chihuahuas and for the most part the miserable little creatures and I have been able to maintain a fairly amiable coexistence but they cause some trouble. They are sneaky, and and they sneak off when no one is looking and do things ... naughty things.

 

So far I have been able to cope with the occasional dog turd showing up behind the couch but last night I discovered something that was the last straw. One of them peed on my 'man chair'. Its a double wide Lazy-Boy recliner and my place of refuge.

 

This cannot stand, action must be taken.

 

As I was frantically trying to clean my chair ideas started flowing. The first ideas I came up with concluded with me trying to design a aesthetic splatter shield and how to limit splatter radius so were rejected.

 

After calming myself a bit, I settled on this Idea.

 

I want to build a device that does the following.

  1.   Uses a PIR sensor to detect motion
  2.   Uses a RFID tag to identify if the motion detected by the PIR is caused by a evil varmint.
  3.   If the PIR sensor senses movement and there is a RFID tag in range, deploy a evil varmint deterrent.

 

I want to use 2 methods of detection to prevent as many false triggers as possible. The device will be positioned next to my chair and when the evil varmint shows his furry pointy eared little face, the deterrent is deployed.

 

I will place the device next to my chair and where it will guard my chair.  If this experiment proves successful, I will build multiple devices to place in other locations.  Next high priority location will be next to the Christmas tree.

 

I have used ATtiny microcontrollers with PIR sensors for some Halloween projects and a small device that would light up a pair of led eyes and growl when someone walked by for a little bit of camping fun so I can figure out that part.

 

My problem is the RFID aspect of it. I have no experience with RFID and am struggling to find the information I need. I want to be able to detect if an RFID tag is in range when the PIR detects motion. Ideally, it needs to detect something in a 3-6ft radius (adjustable if possible). I don’t even care if I can read the RFID info, I just want to know if its close. The RFID info could be used later for targeting specific deterrents for specific pets but right now, I just want to determine if its ‘close’.

 

Could I get some help figuring out identifying RFID components that could be used for this? The RFID tag can have some size to it as it will be attached to the pet like a dog tag. It needs to be passive because I don’t want to mess with batteries. Something about the size of a quarter and maybe a little thicker would be perfect. I would love to build something but need direction. I don’t want to spend a ton on the RFID and would prefer to keep the RFID stuff under $30. I have everything else I need. (micro controllers \ programmer \ PIR sensor etc).

 

To be honest, I dont care if its RFID but that was the only thing I could think of that I could attach to the dogs that would allow the device to easily discriminate between movement from a person and movement from a pet.

Oh, my initial deterrent will be the grim reaper seen in this video:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

I pick things like these up in after Halloween sales for cheap.  They are easy to set up a trigger from a microcontroller when they are in demo mode.

 

So any help with the RFID or an RFID alternative would be greatly appreciated.

 

Last Edited: Mon. Dec 14, 2015 - 08:59 PM
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In my experience, the RFID tags will be discovered by the wife, and you will be banished to the dog house.

 

Better IMHO is for the human to carry the RFID, and to have the deterrent device activated when ever RFID is not present, but motion is detected.

 

This implies that you will have to RFID tag your wife... a procedure which could, again, banish you to the dog house.

 

As an alternative to tagging your wife, use a deterrent which is imperceptible to her, but obvious to Chihuahuas, such as a 100 decibel 30 Kilohertz chirp upon every PIR pulse.

 

Your wife will eventually discover your Chihuahua Chaser (they ALWAYS do so), so you will need a cover story. In order to pre-empt her fury, devise your system to also release a spray of a pleasing scent at intervals. You may then even gain her enthusiastic cooperation in the installation and maintenance.

 

Add Bluetooth and Apps, and you will have a device marketable to many many husbands around the world.

 

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How about something simpler, like a retro reflective collar and an led emitter & receiver?

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Just tell the wife it is either them or you. devil... or move the turd to her side of the bed.

 

ps... you can tell that we are on your side can't you? Yappy little b......s

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

Last Edited: Mon. Dec 14, 2015 - 11:07 PM
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I like the "scream only a dog can hear" on motion myself. Put the speaker under the chair and a nice power amp and an oscillator and you are good to go. Use the avr to generate the 30kHz and one of the inputs as a trigger. Connect the motion to the trigger and when fired emit 30kHz tone for 15 seconds.

Other option is to just remove the dogs and the wife and cut your losses and move on......with your chair

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

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Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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cut your losses and move on......with your chair

 

Done that before too

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Torby told us some time ago about a dog collar device and boundary fence device that causes a small electric charge to zap the wearer if it comes near the single wire fence. Put one around your chair. Then all you have to do is decide who wears the collar... devil

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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It took me forever to find a significant other who can tolerate my weirdness and she loves her chihuahuas. 

 

Besides, she lest me keep my Labrador retriever.  He is the reason I need to protect the Christmas Tree next.  Fortunately the lab is not capable of being sneaky so he is easy to keep away from the tree.

 

Anyway, I am rethinking the 'must be passive' decision.  I think an active tag would work especially since the battery on one can last for a long time.  Still struggling to find some DIY options for a proximity system that uses a tag and receiver.

 

Dont think a reflective collar would work because the visibility would be iffy in a lot of situations.

 

The good thing is that Chihuahuas are exceptionally stupid.  They are number 8 in the list of the top 10 dumbest breeds of dogs.  I think that a couple of months of fear induced trauma should produce permanent psychological changes and they will start to permanently avoid certain areas of the house.  It will become instinct to avoid the chair and they wont have the urge to 'check to see if anything has changed'. 

 

The labrador is different.  He would keep checking so I would need to make sure the batteries were always good.  A little perspective, right now he has a 8 inch drool-cicle hanging off one side of his mouth and I know he would chase a ball until his heart explodes, but hes the smart one.

 

So, I need to think about some other RF options.  I found a RFM12BSP on Sparkfun but I wonder if I can figure out how I could limit the range to 6 ft or identify that a tag is less than 6 feet away.

 

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I don't think you'll have much luck getting an accurate distance from rfm12b modules. Signal strength is highly variable even when the distance between modules remains constant, and the avr isn't even close to fast enough to calculate round trip time. You'll wind up spending way more time and money than it's worth going down the RFID path, unless you get some kind of off the shelf inductive RFID sensor, in which case you'll just spend more money than it's worth.

Now maybe ultrasonic round trip time....of course, that'd drive the dog mad all the time anyway, so no huge loss there.

Last Edited: Tue. Dec 15, 2015 - 12:52 AM
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Oh, and stupid question. If the primary method of detection is an IR motion sensor, how is visibility an issue?

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Because the PIR will detect any part of the dog but using reflective collar means that enough of the collar needs to be visible to set off a sensor.  Their fat little heads will get in the way.  I suppose I could always force them to always wear a cone of shame.  When they are being sneaky, they hold their heads low to the ground so something dangling on the collar would be obscured as well.

 

And ... dear lord I cant believe I am going to say this ... they often end up wearing little sweaters when its cold.

 

On the RF thing,  I don't really want an accurate distance, just a 'a tag is close' sort of thing.  Would it be possible to adjust the power settings so the receiver would not pick up the transmitting device until it was 'about' 2-5 feet away.

Last Edited: Tue. Dec 15, 2015 - 01:15 AM
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As is often the case what you what has already been developed, debugged, and produced commercially.

 

Invisible Fence has a classic buried wire fence system and the dog, wife, whatever, wears a collar.

Approach the fence and the collar beeps, get too close and it zaps the individual.

The current system can also tell if the individual is approaching from area inside the fence, or from outside.

If one is approaching from outside, i.e. returning after having been outside, it doesn't zap them.

 

Now, the above is old news.

But, what is pertinent to your situation is that they also sell lots of add-ons.

One is a small transmitter that will easily fit in your palm.

You put it on furniture, at the bottom of the stairs, near the door way of a room they aren't allowed to enter, etc.

If they approach it, again they hear the beeping, and get zapped if they get too close.

 

Are dog was a "rescue", and is part Sherman shepherd, part Lab.

She is about a year old, and knows about 25 verbal commands, many with hand signals as co-commands.

She learned the Invisible Fence system in one afternoon.

A few additional practice / training sessions for reinforcement and she was good to go.

(The training flags stayed up for several months).

 

One puck keeps her out of the family room, another keeps her from going up stairs.

 

The Invisible Fence people can query the system to see how many times the individual has violated the protected zone, and can use a laptop to set the zap level, reset the excursion counter, etc.

 

All very cool.

 

Works Great.

 

You would not need the exterior fence system, just the collar and the puck.

 

Know that there are several similar companies, the technologically advanced one these days is Invisible Fence.

 

That said, I know it is sometimes more fun to design and build your own system that it is to purchase one premade.

 

Some projects, however, such as salvaging your chair, and your relationship, might not wait for you to complete the project on your own!

 

JC

 

 

 

 

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I think the OP is trying to do this deterrent system in a STEALTH manner.  I think the missus would get a little annoyed if she saw a 'special' collar around the little rats necks.

 

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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JC, you are correct in that there are a number of solutions available.  I searched Amazon when I was first thinking about this and could not find a reasonable solution. 

 

There are a couple of problems with everything I have found.

 

First problem is the target beast.

 

This is one of the 2 critters and as you can see she is very small.  6lbs soaking wet.  A vast majority of the solutions I have found are too bulky and heavy for a dog of this size.

 

Another problem with solutions where the dog wears a battery around its neck is that charging becomes a problem.  More often than not,  that kind of solution, the battery runs out and you dont realize it.  If its rechargeable then you have to wait while it recharges.  And let me stress, chihuahuas are sneaky.

 

Thats why I started down this path in the first place, I wanted to hang something about the size of a small key fob off the dogs collar and leave it there and not have to worry about it.

 

I am still looking at different things.  Active RFID or some other RF solution where the signal might be used to judge range or set a low signal strength so the tag isnt detected until the dog is close.

 

I will start with getting the deterrent working using the PIR sensor as the trigger and keep trying to figure something out so only the dogs trigger the device.  I ordered a cheap RFM12B transmitter and receiver and will see what I can accomplish with those.

 

Might dig out the oscilloscope and venture into the deep nether regions of my garage and pull out a old coil winder I used for making replacement coils for antique magnetos.  Have some wire mounted up on that that is hair thin.  Run some experiments.

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This has to be one of the best threads.

 

I think you want a tiny, not-very-efficient RFID tag you can hide in the varmint collars without your special other noticing.

 

The 30KHz screech sounds like a good plan.

 

It shouldn't be hard to cripple the RFID reader so it doesn't work very far. Hide this gizmo under the chair and let the villain approach at his own risk.

 

Of course, drooly Labrador can get an RFID tag or not, as you see fit.

 

Hey, wait a minute! Many pet varmints come with "microchips" pre-installed these days. Can he get an RFID reader to detect these? 

 

If you don't know my whole story, keep your mouth shut.

If you know my whole story, you're an accomplice. Keep your mouth shut. 

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Don't underestimate the cunning for even the dumbest of varmints. Been through a similar exercise with cats and keeping them off of work surfaces in the kitchen. My set up used a PIR and a high intensity ultrasonic source ~40kHz. Basically it worked BUT 2 problems appeared after the unit had been in use for a while :-

The first was that one of the furry critters discovered that if he moved very, very slowly the PIR would not be triggered. That wasn't too bad as by positioning the PIR correctly he had to jump up through the detection zone and he couldn't do that slowly.

The second problem was more unexpected. The same critter would do a risk assessment based on whatever tasty morsel happened to be on the work surface. If he decided it was worth the risk he would jump up there and try to grab said morsel whilst enduring the pain in his ears. Often he would succeed but occasionally he wasn't quick enough and the pain was too much so he'd jump down with his ears ringing  and try again later.

The technology worked but failed the cunning critter test. You may need more than one layer of defense.

Not sure how your varmints compare to cats on the intelligence scale but best of luck.

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[to be taken lightly]A dog is something that weighs between 15 and 40 kilos, has a shoulder height of about 30 to 60 centimeters, drops a quater to half a pound or so when s***ing, pees a quarter to half a liter (unless it's a male, and he's signalling to other males to  stay off his turf and to bitches to come over for some whoppee - he then pees three atoms at a time) and can run a mile or two without their heart exploding. They also have a major part of their eye-lobes inside their skull.

 

I once was in an elevator with a chihuahua and its owner. Could not keep myself from asking how long it was between battery replacements. I survived. Barely.

 

OTOH, me and the Paddy the Irish Setter once encountered a chihuahua that was a little bit to keen on coming over and talk - without my permission. Not the chi's fault - it's owners simply weren't properly trained. I merely noted "My dog hasn't gotten his breakfast yet..". That worked.[/to be taken lightly]

 

I don't think you can get an off-the-shelf RFID thing to have a working distance of over a few centimeters. I might be wrong.

 

Evil plan: How about when cutting the claws on them you always do it in the couch?

 

Profanity - JGM

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Last Edited: Thu. Dec 17, 2015 - 02:14 AM
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I am not sure where I would rate the intelligence two creatures in question.  My gut tells me somewhere around the intelligence of a really dumb sparrow but sparrows really seem to be able to get into just about anything.  It could just be persistence.  They are dumb enough for me to coin the saying "that wasnt just dumb, that was chihuahua dumb"

 

If you are curious, they are named Moxy and Mojo and are bother and sister.  Moxy is the brains of the two.  Mojo does things like jump onto the dining room table (via a chair) and then tries to hide behind the salt and pepper shakers when discovered because he cant figure out how to get down.

 

Dug out my project supplies last night.  I did a quick inventory and found this stuff

                         - 2 target boards from evilmadscientist.com for the ATtiny 2313/4313 microntrollers.  Both have a ZIF socket

                         - 1 target board from evilmadscientist.com for the ATmega48/88/168/328 micros

                         - 1 PIR from Radioshack

                         - 10 various IR proximity sensors (for project that I never finished - was going to be a tentacle monster that follows you with his eyes, wiggles tentacles)

                         - several servos

                         - Pololu Servo controller

                         - Numerous of stepper motors from the Reuseum (reuseum.com, its my Graceland, has piles salvaged steppers and other stuff - the place is like nerd crack)

                         - Some speakers (for a project to try and make a set of decent sounding Blue tooth speakers - never started but important cause seriously have you heard the crap speakers the stores are selling for like $180, its pathetic)

 

I have piles of caps, resistors, LEDs, and various ICs salvaged from VCRs.  Also have countless other ICs from a guy whos wife made him sell all his project supplies along with his oscilloscope, have no idea what half of them are.

 

Could not find my dev board and programmer though.  Will have to venture back out tonight.  Can do that while AVR Studio downloads.  Been a while since I worked on this stuff.

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Found my programmer and several other things. Wonder what I was working on before I got distracted and worked on something else.

It involved steppers for sure.

Should only take me an evening to re-organize my mess and get an Atmega responding to the PIR and do something amazing like blink an Led.

Attachment(s): 

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While on an unrelated subject I came across this:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Long-Ran...

 

another Google search revealed quite the wealth of options.  You can get the little un-powered  fob to put on the critters collar and with a read range of around 24 inches that should be enough to set off the ultrasonic repeller.  the reader outputs can be used to trigger an external interrupt to fire the zapper(no need to decode the Wiegand string in this case).

 

JIm

 

Edit:

I might have a few fobs laying around here.  Will have a look.  Might have a short range reader too for experimentation purposes.  Will search and advise

 

Edit again:

It's grainy to be kind, but Sooooo funny:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

 

 

 

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

Last Edited: Thu. Dec 17, 2015 - 02:18 AM
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I am sure that heron could be domesticated and handle the in-house "gophers" ...

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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BLE to your smart phone.

Some  have beepers you remotely activate. Change that to 20KHz to annoy dog. Or rewire to a small inductive kick shocker.

 

http://www.zdnet.com/article/sig...

http://www.htc.com/us/accessorie...

etc

 

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JohanEkdahl wrote:

[to be taken lightly]A dog is something that weighs between 15 and 40 kilos, has a shoulder height of about 30 to 60 centimeters, drops a quater to half a pound or so when s***ing, pees a quarter to half a liter (unless it's a male, and he's signalling to other males to  stay off his turf and to bitches to come over for some whoppee - he then pees three atoms at a time) and can run a mile or two without their heart exploding. They also have a major part of their eye-lobes inside their skull.

 

I once was in an elevator with a chihuahua and its owner. Could not keep myself from asking how long it was between battery replacements. I survived. Barely.

 

OTOH, me and the Paddy the Irish Setter once encountered a chihuahua that was a little bit to keen on coming over and talk - without my permission. Not the chi's fault - it's owners simply weren't properly trained. I merely noted "My dog hasn't gotten his breakfast yet..". That worked.[/to be taken lightly]

 

I don't think you can get an off-the-shelf RFID thing to have a working distance of over a few centimeters. I might be wrong.

 

Evil plan: How about when cutting the claws on them you always do it in the couch?

 

Profanity - JGM

 

hehe Funnier with the profanity splatted out

If you don't know my whole story, keep your mouth shut.

If you know my whole story, you're an accomplice. Keep your mouth shut. 

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Jim, thanks for looking into it and the Caddyshack clip :) ... a wonderful movie.  After watching the clip I tried thinking like a chihuahua, unfortunately in chihuahua mode, my brain no longer had the capacity to maintain all my bodies functions and my heart almost stopped.  Now I know why they are so small. 

 

I have been thinking about the options and the BLE that stevech mentioned is interesting.  'The Google' gave led me to some interesting reading, especially an interesting little blog post where a person was experimenting with some bluetooth beacon modules and trying to determine how well the accuracy reading from the devices correlated to distance.  Interesting read bluetooth low power came back with some interesting results.

 

http://blog.shinetech.com/2014/02/17/the-beacon-experiments-low-energy-bluetooth-devices-in-action/

 

I will have to check on that.  Looks like there are a number of places selling semi-cheap BLE modules out there.

 

I did order a few RF things.  They are cheap so I decided to play with them.  If I am not using a passive RFID tag on the dogs then whatever I have attached to the dog will have to communicate to the deterrent device in some fashion.

 

One idea I had was using IR sensors and a IR Led.  On the dog, the tag would contain a receiver and a IR led.  The deterrent would have a IR sensor.  When motion is detected, the deterrent would broadcast a 'alert'.  If the receiver on the dog would receive the message and start blinking the Led.  If the sensor on the deterrent detected the IR then deply the deterrent.  The problem (as mentioned above) when chihuahuas are being sneaky, they often slink with their head down which may obscure the tag dangling from their neck.  The hope would be that 'enough' infrared light would make it to the sensor which would be positioned near the floor.

 

There is also a couple of posts out there where people have made simple spectrum analyzer out of RFM12B components.  Might be fun to see if the signal strength could provide a 'close enough' estimate for proximity.

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Torby is right, this is the best thread in a long while, with lots of interesting ideas... some practical, some nearing Rube Goldberg territory, but all sound like a lot of fun.

 

I wonder what it would take to adapt OpenCV to recognize dogs?

 

Eureka! http://answers.opencv.org/questi...

 

Now, where did I put that webcam?

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biggoomba:

 

Think grid dip oscillator principles. Low power osc. under the chair and passive resonant circuit on the dog collar. When the dog is close to the osc. coil, resonant LC on dog collar absorbs power from osc. Detect this as done in a GDO and turn on deterrent device of choice. You might have to do this in near field at audio freqs to control range. Never tried this at low freqs, only rf.

 

 

Rick

 

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Ahhh.... impress wifey by gifting new collars for the "rats". Make sure they have a gold nugget in them. Then get or make yourself a metal detector ... devil

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Christmas activities have been impacting my free time but I have finally been able to locate all of my 'core hardware' bits.

 

Found a voltage regulator that I built many moons ago, small breadboard, AVRISP mkII programmer and motion sensor.  Plus loads of other cools stuff that I forgot I had.