Automatic air freshener

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**I was wandering around the supermarket the other day and spied an
interesting product - an automatic air freshener. I didn't purchase one, but
a cursory examination reveals a PIR + associated mechanics (motor?
solenoid?) to operate the air freshener thingy. I've always considered such
things as a complete waste of valuable resources, but I reckon for 7 Bucks,
the guts should be able to be put to good use.

Any thoughts for projects?

Dave? I'd have thunk this was right up your alley.

Trevor Wilson

Re: Automatic air freshener
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Some of them also detect cats, leading me to jury rig a water spray to
keep animals off the net when I'm afk.


If your ideas are any good you'll have to ram them down people's throats.
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Re: Automatic air freshener

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Something that goes BANG?

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Replace deodorant can with silly string can.

Replace deodorant can with one of those pump up aerosol cans full of ammonia
for scaring stray cats/dogs away.

Replace deodorant can with spray paint can & get even with graphiti

Re: Automatic air freshener
Hey Trevor,

Maybe no project idea, and here's me wandering off-topic.
I was thinking how consumers get slugged for 'closed-source' products,
and I think these things are a prime example.

About the same time these aerosol units (without PIR) became available
there was another (maybe Glade)
product that had a small piezo-pump. Unfortunately the chemical
'source' was made so that it was hard
to top up the container. Usually the wick broke when trying to open
the top, so I gave up on the idea of
re-using them.

With the aerosol units we are also pretty much locked in to buy
replacements at something now approaching $7
and although it's convenient, I think it's also a major ripoff.

Had an idea of a product that would use a piezo-pump and use whatever
nice smelling stuff that was available
and sourced a supplier in China. I didn't buy a demo pump because the
supplier needed a UPS destination
so gave up again on that after trying multiple times to set up an

Anyway, sorry to digress from your subject, but thought I'd mention
this as a possible DIY/Product idea.

Also I like the idea of spraying annoying cats with ammonia from
another poster.
Although from here after my car has been 'defiled' many times by the
neighbors cat an automated shotgun charge would be preferred :-)

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Ammonia is not a good idea for repelling cats. Yes, when "fresh" the
strong smell drives them off, but later the dilute amonia smell reminds
them of someone else's urine and they have to remark their territory.
Try citronella or a specific repellent available from pet shops and
sometimes from vets

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Ammonia seems to smell like cat piss to a cat.  We found that out
after cleaning
cat piss with ammonia, the cat went crazy over it and pissed much more
where you used the ammonia to clean.
Using other types of cleaning products solved the problem.

Out of interest the problem with him pissing everywhere ultimately
turned out to be build up of crystals (probably like kidney stones in
in the urinary tract which is apparently common in male cats.
One symptom I found is this illogical desire to piss almost anywhere
for no reason we could find.

After eventually seeing blood in the urine,  we consulted the vet,
turned out he needed a "urinary tract" formula food.  We gave him that
for a couple of weeks, and all problems went away.  We now give him
his normal Aldi dry food, but urinary tract food once a week and so
far the condition has stopped as well as the pissing around the house.

We couldn't give it to him all the time as it caused rapid weight gain
(and its very expensive). Hope this is useful for any cat owners out
who are going through similar problems with their pet.

Same with liquid chlorine. We used this for cleaning mould,

and the residue of it on your hands and feet would make the cat very
excited to the point
he would constantly try to rub his head against your hands and shoes
as though
it was a strong attractant.

Re: Automatic air freshener

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interesting product - an automatic air freshener. I didn't
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(motor? solenoid?) to operate the air freshener
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resources, but I reckon for 7 Bucks, the guts should be
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Pepper spray or Mace.

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I have seen these units in public toilets for some years, and have
seen them open before.
The spray nozzle is on a standard aerosol can but there is an
extension that sticks forward about 15mm.
By the look of these units, most have an LCD display showing the time,
so I can assume that these give a spray
after a certain number of minutes have passed ?  They may also be able
to be programmed to shut off during hours
when the business is closed or not many people are there ?

The mechanism that activates the nozzle is a cam operated by a small

If the ones you talk about work on the same principle, one usage would
be to manually trigger the
button of a digital camera to take pics for security purposes.  I
couldn't think of a cheaper way to do this
and easy enough for beginners to assemble.

A good use for this would be to put it at your front door so you can
tell if anyone has come to see you while you are
out and who it is, or in areas prone to vandalism, animal damage etc
to catch the culprit.

Another application it could be used for is to automatically flush
urinals as commercial units start from about
$700 trade (+ installation) according to a real estate property
manager that I know.
By council regulations they they had to have a urinal installed in a
of 6 small shops, pay large water rates for the privilege and no one
would flush it, resulting in complaints.

One problem though might be that these units may only allow one
activation per hour, 15 min or so. If this cannot be manually
set, then it might be a problem for some projects, though one way
around it might be to connect a switch that momentarily cuts power
to the module somewhere during the motor's turning cycle (and instead
diverts it to the motor to keep it running) then connects back to the
module again

This may "reset" the module's internal timer.

I agree on the waste.  I also dont like the idea of breathing in the
stuff that comes out of these air fresheners

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