Published in Elektor Magazine, July & August 2014 edition (UK: page 36)
Two years ago a mouse in a usual mouse trap was not battered to death. Because of a bad strike she was living and dithered half dead. So I had to kill her with an axe myself. The poor mouse! I promised to build a trap not killing a mouse anymore. And here it is: This is a project of a "not killing mouse trap" (I hope the mouse will not be died for hunger because of no one uncaging her). For all friends of mice and other animals. Cost: about 20,-€. You should not count the hours. But a hobbyist and home constructor should never count hours.
A metal basket bought in a Aldi store was the beginning of the adventure. I everted the box upside down, greatened an entrance door and built a trap door with a hinge out of a piece of PCB. The door is held from a needle. Moving the needle with a magnetic coil (electric bell system) the door falls down and closes the entrance. The mouse inside the cage can´t open it anymore and has to wait until anyone is rescueing her.
Perhaps there may be better magnetic coil systems. Mine is from a electric bell system and is operating well.
A short period after constructing the trap she showed her ability once and a few months later a mouse family with six members of beautiful small mice was cought one at a time with this trap (look picture)
All mice were put to a part of the wood with rocks and holes outside our piece of land. So the mouse trap project was finished and we can proudly claim that our work was worth the effort.