Arduino Forum

Using Arduino => Sensors => Topic started by: RedSquirrel on Oct 26, 2012, 03:06 am

Title: Mouse traps
Post by: RedSquirrel on Oct 26, 2012, 03:06 am
Thought you guys might like this.

I have mice in my attic, and it's a pain going up there as it makes a huge mess when I open the attic hatch, so I came up with a mouse trap that triggers an alarm notification.  It's actually very simple.  The arduino device is just a generic input retriver that the monitoring app running on my server queries for data.  I will be adding other stuff on this later on like smoke detectors, water sensors etc... 

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The server rack with DIN rail on top, where everything connects to

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Terminal block in closet for the traps to connect to (gives me a test point to ensure the system is working)

The traps.  Yes that is an RJ45 port on a mouse trap.  :smiley-mr-green:  They're setup in groups of 2 in series.  I only need to go up the attic when the 3 sets trip.
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It monitors power too.
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There's also pull down resistors on the junction point in the closet, they arn't in that pic.  They used to be on the trap itself but when I disconnect the ethernet cable then it takes them out of the picture on I get lot of trip/recover alarms, so now they are before the traps.  The ethernet port makes it easy to disconnect/reconnect.

So far I have not caught any with this new system, but I'm almost looking forward to because I'll be sitting at work or something and get the email pop up which is pretty awesome.

The power outages are good to know too, my server stuff is good for about 4 hours on batteries so I need to shut stuff down if a long outage happens.  Rare, but it happens.

The EnviroState program is something I've been working on, it's basically equivalant to apps like Nagios, Pandora etc but is simplified. I will probably release it to public at some point when I deem it production worthy.
Title: Re: Mouse traps
Post by: graynomad on Oct 26, 2012, 03:17 am
Build a better mouse trap...

Man you're gunna be rich :)

You have to love that if you have any inner geek at all.

Title: Re: Mouse traps
Post by: Docedison on Oct 26, 2012, 07:00 pm
That is one of the BEST Posts I have ever seen... Accurate, on point and well illustrated... and really useful too... At first I thought it was a joke, a good one but a joke... then I thought about it for a moment and realised the thought that went into the conception of the issue and I had to say... what an Idea. This is the point of this forum to share and extend our common knowledge, that we all become richer for the experience and your "invention", Sir, fulfills that in every respect. Thank You for a very nice post.

Title: Re: Mouse traps
Post by: RedSquirrel on Oct 26, 2012, 11:59 pm
Glad you enjoyed it.  :smiley-mr-green:

On a side note, anyone happen to know how many amps a channel pin pulls when I feed it 5 volts directly?  One thought that came to mind is the possibility of fire hazard, I just want to rule this out otherwise I will need to look at containing this better with cement board or something in case it arcs somehow but my guess is the voltage and current is way too low to worry.
Title: Re: Mouse traps
Post by: MarkT on Oct 27, 2012, 01:24 am
What bait?  I was told peanut butter is the best.
Title: Re: Mouse traps
Post by: wwbrown on Oct 27, 2012, 02:27 am
What no WebCam?
Title: Re: Mouse traps
Post by: RedSquirrel on Oct 27, 2012, 04:18 am
Yeah peanut butter.

I used to have a cam and light up there but the conditions are so bad it's hard on the camera and light due to the extreme temps.
Title: Re: Mouse traps
Post by: Coding Badly on Oct 31, 2012, 07:16 am

Dog food is the best bait for mice.
Title: Re: Mouse traps
Post by: trendski on Oct 31, 2012, 09:43 pm
Brilliant! Could be very useful for humane pest control too. Although I hate the mess and damage house mice make.

It would be very useful to do this type of project with humane traps for ecological monitoring.

We used these traps in the 80's ( to monitor populations of wood and yellow-necked mice in the Midlands UK.

It would be great to bring this type of work into the 21st century.

So when a trap becomes occupied you are alerted and can go to investigate / identify the critter. Or better still, with web cams in each trap, you could ID the critter remotely and then release it automatically via your link. How about biometric sensors for length and weight etc...= total armchair ecology  :)

Title: Re: Mouse traps
Post by: G_Man on Oct 31, 2012, 11:40 pm
That's pretty sweet.  Ever consider using an emitter/detector pair to trigger the trap?  Perhaps you could use that as the trigger for a longer series of events that would not only trap the mouse, but also remove it from the attic; thus totally eliminating your need to visit the attic.
Title: Re: Mouse traps
Post by: RedSquirrel on Oct 31, 2012, 11:52 pm
I have thought of a more versatile system if the mice really become a huge issue, but hopefully I can find how they're coming in, and these will only stay there as a precaution. 

I've thought of a piece of pvc pipe that they can go in and end up falling straight down passing through some electrodes that instantly electrocute it then it would fall in a bucket in the basement.  Could have a switch of some sort it passes by to then trigger the alarm but more than one could go through per alarm set.

Originally I did have a camera and light up there but it having to have both of those always powered on was not really as efficient as a simple notification system. I could easily go all out with a web cam and stuff but this was just simpler.
Title: Re: Mouse traps
Post by: G_Man on Nov 01, 2012, 12:02 am
LOL! I was thinking of a catapult to flick them into the neighbor's yard, not some fancy electrocution device...  But that's just how I am!
Title: Re: Mouse traps
Post by: michinyon on Nov 01, 2012, 07:01 am
Mice also like strawberries.
Title: Re: Mouse traps
Post by: RedSquirrel on Nov 01, 2012, 07:18 am
Peanut butter works best because it sticks and is not a solid piece, so they have to work at it.  Solid stuff they can take without tripping the trap.

Though, I could glue a piece of dog food to the trigger.

Also I just had one set trip, I'm thinking something slightly shifted and the resistance might be higher than the pull down resistor's resistance.   I have a 10k resistor for that particular trap.  The other has a 10k and one has a 1k.  Could not find another 10k.  I will need to take some stuff apart to see if I can come across something like 20k or even higher.