Got one of these?

Then you may need one of these:

Introduction
Do you like your CatGenie, but not the returning cost of ownership for the cartridges? Want to break free your CatGenie, making it run without a cartridge, or with a cartridge you have refilled? Then CartridgeGenius is just what you are looking for: CartridgeGenius is a cartridge emulator that puts you back in control over your CatGenie by making it think it has a full cartridge. With this device you will truly own your CatGenie, without updating its firmware. Just hook up this device, that's all. The Genie is finally out of the bottle!

How it works
CartridgeGenius is a drop-in replacement for the cartridge tag reader in your CatGenie. It simulates the presence of the both the original tag reader and the tag on the cartridge. This simulated cartridge is called a virtual cartridge. This enables you to repair your CatGenie in case the original tag reader breaks down, or to remain using your CatGenie in case the supplier goes out of business, as was the case with the LitterFree box. In other words:
CartridgeGenius puts you back in control over your appliance!.

Demonstration
Below is a movie demonstrating CartridgeGenius:

Features
CartridgeGenius does a little more than just simulating a cartridge. It extends your possibilities and allows you to use wash your CatGenie as often as you want, without paying the penalty. Below is a list of its features:
  • Simulates the presence and absence of a cartridge. With one press of a button, the virtual cartridge can be inserted or removed from the CatGenie.
  • Simulated user adjustable virtual cartridge level. With another button the level of the virtual cartridge can be changed.
  • Simulates different cartridge types. Whether you want a 120 cycle cartridge, a 60 cycle cartridge or even a maintenance cartridge, you can select it at the touch of a button.
  • Auto-mode does it all, automatically. When enabled, you'll never need to think about the virtual cartridge again: As soon as the virtual cartridge is close to empty, the virtual cartridge is removed, reset to 100% and re-inserted automatically. This is very useful for people who prefer to use a large external reservoir instead of cartridges.

Installing
And you don't need to be a genius to install CartridgeGenius either. Anybody who knows at which end to hold a screwdriver and is not afraid to use it can install CartridgeGenius on their CatGenie. Just watch this instruction video:
And this video on the supplied cables:

Responsibility
Installing this component involves opening the processing unit of your CatGenie. It directly connects to the internal low-voltage electronic circuits of your CatGenie. In a very far-fetched short circuit situation it is theoretically possible that the exposed conductors on the CartridgeGenius will carry live mains voltage. Since I have no influence on how well or careful CartridgeGenius, is installed I can take no responsibility whatsoever for any resulting damage or injuries of installing CartridgeGenius. In other words: Installing CartridgeGenius and any resulting damage by installing or using it is completely at your own risk. By buying this component you agree to that.

Some alternative detergents are harmful to the internal silicone tubing of your CatGenie. You can either refill your cartridges with plain tap water, as I do, to keep the tubing and pump in good shape. Or you can test an alternative solution with some silicone tubing available in any RC model car shop, where they will call it fuel line. Make sure you get silicone fuel line as used for methanol containing fuels, not the one used for actual petrol. Cut off a piece, put it in the bottle of detergent for a couple of days and if it still feels intact afterwards, the detergent should be safe for your CatGenie. But here too, selecting and using an alternative detergent is at your own risk.

Compatibility
CartridgeGenius works on Model 120 and Model 120+ CatGenie litter boxes sold well into 2018. It is also compatible with VIC Club (Very Important Cats Club) boxes, but only after you have fulfilled your VIC 1080 or VIC 840 supply contract.

CartridgeGenius is not compatible with the older Model 60, or with the latest revision, introduced mid 2018. See the 'Important news' section below for details.

Warranty
That's simple: This hand assembled device comes with a one year warranty. If it's defective, unable to do what it's supposed to do, and it's not caused by mis-handling, I will repair it or replace it for free. However, you do have to pay for shipment back and forth. Having said that, CartridgeGenius will most likely outlive the mechanics of your CatGenie by far.

I have to make one exception for warranty: I cannot guarantee this CartridgeGenius to work with future CatGenies, as I have already seen counter measures. Therefore CartridgeGenius not working on a newly replaced CatGenie is not covered.

If you have just purchased CartridgeGenius and it doesn't work with your current CatGenie, we will help you getting it to work. If we can't, we will offer you to send it back for a refund of the purchasing price (not including shipment).

Generic tips
Download the manual first. It will give you a good impression of what you're buying and how to use it.

If you own a compatible CatGenie and you're considering to buy a CartridgeGenius, then please do so now because the device may no longer be available in the future. The devices have in stock are the only devices left and I don't think I will build another batch due to counter measures in the latest revision CatGenies.

Do not buy a CartridgeGenius if you consider to buy a CatGenie in the future. CartridgeGenius works with CatGenies sold well into 2018, but CatGenies sold currently are not supported, neither may CatGenies sold in the future be.

Don't wait until your cartridge is depleted before ordering or installing CartridgeGenius. Keep a working original cartridge at hand because it's a very useful tool when diagnosing problems. If you have a problem, my first question will be: Does the problem occur when using the original cartridge reader with an original cartridge?

Important news (updated)
If you have ordered your CatGenie in 2018 or later, it may be one of the latest revision, equipped with a new type of cartridge reader. CartridgeGenius may or may not work with this new type of reader. Many people have reported it to work, but some have reported it not to work.
If you have ordered a CartridgeGenius and it does not work with your CatGenie, you can send it back for a refund minus shipping.
CartridgeGenius comes with a set of two cables to connect it to the controller board. On early CatGenies, the original cable connecting the original cartridge reader to the controller board could be used. But on more recent CatGenies one of the supplied cables must be used. Since both early and more recent CatGenies work with the supplied cables, I recommend to always use one of the supplied cables. Of theses two supplied cables just choose the one cable that fits your model during installation.

If you still don't get it to work after my help, I will be happy to refund your payment minus shipping, after I receive it back.

Ordering
CartridgeGenius devices are $106.50 each including a cable set, but not including shipment. You can order by using the PayPal button below.

CartridgeGenius with cable set: $106.50


Cable set only: $7.50


Please note: This is still a spare time project, not a permanent product. I have a couple of device in stock, so if you want one, get one now. Like all previous batches, this may be the last batch I have built.

If you have any questions, please feel to send an email to: cartridgegenius {at} gmail (dot) com

References
Jorge Lopez wrote an article about the litter box, the cartridges and CartridgeGenius:
https://medium.com/@jorge_lo/the-future-a-cat-litter-and-drm-6dbda26428f8

Techdirt wrote an article too:
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150102/09574429580/drm-how-to-turn-your-cats-litter-box-into-inkjet-printer.shtml

References to these articles were posted on reddit and even slashdot:
http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/2q2k6j/i_discovered_my_cat_litter_has_built_in_drm
http://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/2q4t5f/a_cat_litter_box_and_drm
http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/14/12/22/2348254/an-automated-cat-litter-box-with-drm