Enabled Mouse Trap

Now that my Frankenstein’s monster is complete, I’m pleased to report that I have successfully cobbled together an enabled mouse trap.

We live in the country, and part of country living often includes mice. We also have pets, so I prefer not to poison the mice - I’d rather trap them. Traditional traps work fine, but our mice like to hang out in places that are not easily accessible (ceiling, crawl space, etc). If I do not check the traps every day I risk creating a decomposing stink bomb. So, it would be nice if the mouse trap would alert me when it catches a mouse - you know, like every other thing in my house that is monitored by

So I set out to make an enabled mouse trap. This is based on a Rat Zapper electronic mouse trap. I like this trap for two reasons: easy clean up (just dump the little buggers in the trash) and it has a plug for a wired alert when the trap is active. The alert they sell is called a Rat Tale, and is essentially a pair of LED lights on a 12 foot cord - so you can see if the trap has been activated in a slightly more convenient location. I got that Rat Tale too, and liked it - but it still had the basic problem that you had to remember to go around a look to see if the trap had been tripped.

The notification port uses a standard 2.5mm audio plug. I used an old 2.5mm cord I had lying around, but if you don’t have one something like this would work. When the trap is active, it simply closes the circuit on the plug - so I needed a “normally open” sensor.

Ryan let me know about the Honeywell 5817, with the key feature of being configurable to have a normally open loop. After getting this, the rest was easy - attach the wire to loop 1, put the dip switch to be normally open, add to 2GIG panel (using the equipment code for the 5816 worked fine), and configure to notify in The Go!Control’s vocabulary is limited, so when the trap is activated the panel proudly proclaims “INTRUSION TERMINATED.”

Photos attached for anyone interested in pursuing this foolishness.

That is awesome! Creative and useful.

Thanks Ryan, and I appreciate your help on the project.

The finished product photo - didn’t upload the first time.

This post has made my day.

Ben, this is very cool indeed and i plan on building 2 of them (attic and basement). Can you clarify:

  1. I do not need to order the Rat Tale correct?
  2. Can you be more explicit on what you mean by “attach the wire to loop 1, put the dip switch to be normally open”. Loop 1 being on the Honeywell 5817? I have not purchased it yet so it may be clear when I have it in my hands…


Hi Russ, glad to see someone else take on the project!

1) I do not need to order the Rat Tale correct?

Correct, the Rat Tale is not used in this configuration.

Can you be more explicit on what you mean by "attach the wire to loop 1, put the dip switch to be normally open"

The 5817 has terminals to connect up to three sensor loops. Connect the wires to the 5817 terminals for loop 1 (polarity does not matter). The 5817 also has four dip switches to control operation. They should all be off except for switch “2” which sets loop 1 to be normally open. I have attached a diagram.

Have fun! I’ve caught another mouse since I last posted this. Nothing more pleasing than waking up to a notification on my phone that a mouse was caught at 3:17am.


Thanks Ben, all clear! And everything runs off batteries correct?

Thanks Ben, all clear! And everything runs off batteries correct?

You got it - the Rat Zapper runs off 4x AAs, and the 5817 runs off of a single CR123A. The Rat Zapper batteries are supposed to last about 20 kills, and I expect the 5817 will last for several years.


can i add this sensor straight to a zwave controller such as a Vera 3? if not, know of any zwave sensors i can use?

also, would this work (already purchased but can’t get it working)? Honeywell Ademco 5817CB

it has a normally open loop, but says something about needing a resistor.


Hi SpiderSense, you cannot add this sensor to a Z-Wave only controller as it is not Z-Wave - someone smarter than me can tell you what communications protocol it does use, but I’ve only used it with the 2GIG ecosystem. You could connect a compatible security panel to your Vera 3 but that is a whole other can of worms that I cannot comment on.

I haven’t used the 5817CB but if it has a NO loop it should work fine (make sure to set the dip switches appropriately). The resistor is not necessary unless you want the sensor to be supervised.

Have fun!

Thanks Ben… i do have a 2GIG panel but i’m trying to get everything non-security related on my zwave network. i’ll hunt for a zwave option. thanks again!

Ben, i tried it out. i added the 5817 to my 2gig panel but can’t get it working right.

when the trap triggers the alarm (open to close), i can get notification. but when i turn off the trap or disconnect it (close to open), i get a tamper alert. i can’t see a way to disable this feature and has contacted me. i have set it to be ‘23 - no response type’, which may have taken care of, but the panel and sensor doesn’t recover well (once in tamper mode, it doesn’t get out quickly/easily/cleanly?).

for the walk test, things work great, except i get a trigger for closing and opening (and opening is probably a tamper).

it probably is the version of the 5817 i got.

So you are using a 5817CB, Loop 1, correct?

Did you wire the necessary resistor in parallel with the input circuit? If you did not, it would likely cause tamper messages.

Instead of being a completely “open” circuit, with infinite resistance, the sensor is looking for a specific resistance as its normal state. The EOL resistor makes it so that if one of the wires is cut, that resistance becomes infinite, or completely open, and a tamper is reported.

So, with no resistor wired in parallel, every time the sensor moves from a closed to open state, it reports as though the wires were cut.

I agree with Ryan, it sounds like it needs the resistor (unlike my version of the 5817). Sorry for the previous misinformation. If it didn’t come withe one you’ll need a 470K (here is a box of 100 for $5