■ THIS MONTH’S PROJECTS
Build a Better Mouse Trap . . . .32
Flight Recorder . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Waveform Generator . . . . . . . . 42
■ LEVEL RATING SYSTEM
To find out the level of difficulty
for each of these projects, turn
to our ratings for the answers.
●●●● . . . . Beginner Level
●●●● . . . . Intermediate Level
●●●● . . . . Advanced Level
●●●● . . . . Professional Level
I moved out of the city
years ago and now live in
the country in an old farm
house. We have three
barns and suffer quite a
bit of damage from the
local mouse population. I
have used several types
of traps with varying
amounts of success.
Being the provincial
inventor, I decided
to design my own
■ FIGURE 1
Build a Better Mouse Trap. For Real.
In deciding how to build a better
mouse trap, I came up with the
first uses a PC to monitor the trap
and to sound an alarm. The second
is totally self-contained.
• The trap must capture the mouse
• The trap must run on four AA
• The trap must run for at least one
month before the batteries must be
• The trap must sound an alarm
once a mouse has been caught.
• The trap must work in any kind of
• The trap must hold the mouse
until it can be released into a safe
I wanted to build something
that could be easily duplicated with
readily-available parts so that others
could build the same or similar trap.
In this article, I will show you two
variations of my mouse trap. The
■ FIGURE 2
■ FIGURE 3
For both traps, the mechanics are
the same. Several ideas came to mind
such as trap doors, swinging doors,
and sliding doors. I decided on a
dropped door. With this type, you
have a heavy door which slides in a
groove. The door is suspended by a
pull pin that when pulled, allows the
door to fall, blocking the opening.
The actual door is made out
of a steel truss plate that measures
5-3/4” x 7”. You can pick these up
at any home center. The particular
one I am using is a Simpson TP57.
You will need to create a
groove in a couple pieces of wood
to act as a track to hold the door in
place. This can be done with a table
saw or by sandwiching and gluing
up a few pieces of wood.
If you are still having trouble
picturing what I am trying to
describe, think of a guillotine but
not quite so deadly. Figure 2 shows
one of the guides I built.
Next, you will need
some sort of mechanism
to hold the door in place
until it is tripped.
Figure 3 shows a
small pull pin that I created that holds the door in
place until the pin is
pulled. The pin is a piece
of thin brass tubing about