10Bulls' Christmas Tail

10bulls decides to invent to world's greatest battery powered, stepper motor driven, PIC controlled, CNC built mouse trap to rid himself of a pesky rodent.

I. The Problem...

I have a mouse in my garage.  Well, truth be told Iíve had a mouse in my garage for quite a while now.  Heís certainly been there since the beginning of 2005 when he kept me company during the chilly early hours while I built my first cnc machine.

At first I didnít mind his presence.  He was certainly more welcome than the hive of wasps that decided to move in the previous summer.  The only real inconvenience was sweeping the constant dustings of rodent poo off my work bench every few days and his endearing habit of filling my work boots and wellies with hoardes of the seeds and peanuts we feed the birds, spilled dog biscuits and clumps of aluminium and steel swarf from my various machine dabblings.

But his welcome has started to wear thin.  First he took a liking to the sponge on my soldering iron which I use to wipe the tip - after the moisture I suppose.  He even managed to squeeze though the gap in an unblocked PCI slot of my homemade CNC driver enclosure and did number 2s and number 1s all over my carefully constructed PICStep boards.  The final straw, he took a fancy to the ducting tube of my expensive new dust extractor.  At £20 per length I'm afraid Mr mouses days of welcome were drawing to an end.

The final straw!

So I started to hatch a plan to rid me of Mr mouse.  In order to make my tale a bit more personal and relevant to the time of year, let us give him a name.  How about Noel? (rhymes with vole).  I suppose I could just lay a trap, but Iím a bit of a hippy at heart (soft as puddiní my family may say).

For years weíve been getting rats after the bird food and the compost heap.  Disease ridden vermin maybe, but I still couldnít bring myself to dispatch them.  Instead, I invested in a cage trap and for a few years I would dutifully catch them then drive them to remote country lay bys and release them to a new rustic idyll.  In later years and since having children I have developed a more merciless streak and now tend to take them for a one way swimming lesson in my water butts.  But this does leave me guilt ridden as they are admirably resourceful and spectacular survivors.

So I started to draw up a plan to trap Noel (rhymes with vole) alive.

A while back, I had picked up one of those illuminated bubbly tube things from the roadside late one rubbish collection night.  Oddly enough the workings were riddled with straw and large rodent droppings as though it once adorned the pen of a hamster or other small furry creature, whose pimpish abode I can only speculate at.  This seemed rather pertinent for the use I had in mind for it.  And so, after some haphazard doodlings on scrap envelopes, a plan for Mk I live mouse trapping device (pat pend) was conceived.

A plan is hatched.

Will I get this contraption built before Christmas?  Will my wife ever speak to me again when she learns I still haven't made her that new bird table I promised?  For this and other answers, stay tuned for episode II of 10Bulls' Christmas Tail : The Solution.  Coming Soon....