ANIMAL TRAP WITH SIMPLIFIED, HIGH SPEED OPERATION
1. An animal trap comprising:
- a cage including a top, sides, a front door, a rear, and a bottom to form an enclosure for an animal, the top including a ceiling facing an interior of the enclosure and a roof facing an exterior of the enclosure;
the front door pivotally attached at the ceiling including a raised position and a lowered position, the raised position exposing an interior of the cage to allow animal access into the enclosure, the lowered position confining the interior of the cage to block animal exit from the enclosure;
a hold-close assembly connecting the ceiling to the door to selectively lock the door in the lowered position, the hold-close assembly movable to release the door from a locked condition and further movable to bias and raise the door; and
a remote interface structure having a linkage to the door through a connecting link and through the hold-close assembly, the link extending rearward from the hold close assembly to the remote interface structure, the remote interface structure forcibly movable horizontally adjacent to the roof between a first position and a second position wherein horizontal motion of the remote interface structure causes the door to rise from the lowered position to the raised position.
A live animal trap with improvements to ease of use, reliability and cost is disclosed. A simple repeatable one-hand set action lifts a front entry door. A hold-close assembly trips to secure the front door without sliding motions. A low friction latch and trip links thereto provide consistent set action resistant to shaking and undesired trip. A rear door is fitted next to a bait location to allow near vertical access for bait placement and unattended, unobstructed release. A changeable torque arm provides adjustable trip force. A trip tray is spaced above a floor to require a small set-up motion to access the bait and further ensure trip. The front door can be opened and set by a remotely located rooftop interface.
- 1. An animal trap comprising:
a cage including a top, sides, a front door, a rear, and a bottom to form an enclosure for an animal, the top including a ceiling facing an interior of the enclosure and a roof facing an exterior of the enclosure; the front door pivotally attached at the ceiling including a raised position and a lowered position, the raised position exposing an interior of the cage to allow animal access into the enclosure, the lowered position confining the interior of the cage to block animal exit from the enclosure; a hold-close assembly connecting the ceiling to the door to selectively lock the door in the lowered position, the hold-close assembly movable to release the door from a locked condition and further movable to bias and raise the door; and a remote interface structure having a linkage to the door through a connecting link and through the hold-close assembly, the link extending rearward from the hold close assembly to the remote interface structure, the remote interface structure forcibly movable horizontally adjacent to the roof between a first position and a second position wherein horizontal motion of the remote interface structure causes the door to rise from the lowered position to the raised position.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
- 9. An animal trap comprising:
a cage including a top, sides, a front opening, a front door, a rear, and a bottom to form an enclosure for an animal, the top including a ceiling facing an interior of the enclosure and a roof facing an exterior of the enclosure; the front door pivotally attached to the cage at a door pivot location including a raised set position and a lowered position, the set position exposing an interior of the cage to allow animal access into the enclosure, the lowered position confining the interior of the cage to block animal exit from the enclosure; a hold-close assembly pivotally attached to the cage at a location spaced from the door pivot location, the hold-close assembly connected to the door to selectively lock the door in the lowered position, the hold-close assembly movable to release the door from a locked condition; and a remote interface structure outside of the enclosure positioned rearward of the front opening, a connecting link extending between the hold-close assembly and the remote interface structure, the remote interface structure movable laterally to cause the connecting link to also move laterally, the respective lateral motions converted at the hold-close assembly to a vertical motion of the hold-close assembly to cause the hold-close assembly to lift the door toward the raised position.
- View Dependent Claims (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
- 18. An animal trap comprising:
the front door pivotally attached at the ceiling including a raised set position and a lowered position, the raised set position exposing an interior of the cage to allow animal access into the enclosure, the lowered position confining the interior of the cage to block animal exit from the enclosure; a hold-close assembly including a lift lever and a lower link, the lift lever is pivotally attached at a first pivot to the cage at the front opening of the cage at the top of the cage, the lift lever pivotally connected to the lower link at a second pivot rearward of the front opening, the lower link further being connected to the door, and the lift lever extends downward from the top of the cage toward the door in the lowered position of the door; and a rib of the lift lever positioned below the first pivot and above the second pivot in the lowered position of the door, the rib forming a lift lever grip including a rear of the rib usable to forcibly rotate the lift lever outward from the front opening and upward to cause the door to move to the door raised set position.
- View Dependent Claims (19)
This non-provisional patent application claims benefit of priority from U.S. Provisional App. No. 62/697,325, filed Jul. 2, 2018, and is a Continuation-In-Part of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/701,044, filed Sep. 11, 2017, which claims benefit of priority from and is a Continuation-In-Part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/674,524, filed Aug. 11, 2017, now U.S. Pat. No. 10,058,088, which claims benefit of priority from and is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/630,327, filed Feb. 24, 2015, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,730,437, which claims benefit of priority from U.S. Provisional App. No. 61/947,341, filed Mar. 3, 2014, the contents of all of which are hereby incorporated by reference.
The present invention relates to live catch animal traps. More precisely, the invention relates to improvements in efficiency and ease of use of such traps.
Cage traps typically include a selectively open end to allow or prevent passage of a target animal into the enclosure of the cage. A door is mounted to an end either pivotally or slidably. A latch or similar structure holds the door in a set, open position. Bait is normally placed within the cage to entice the animal to enter the cage and press or move a trigger structure. The trigger is linked to the door latch whereby motion of the trigger or equivalent actuator causes release of the door to move from a door open position to a closed position.
In various preferred embodiments, the present invention is directed to a cage trap that includes a top, sides, a front door, a rear, and a bottom to form an enclosure for an animal, the top including a ceiling facing an interior of the enclosure. The front door is pivotally attached at the ceiling and includes a raised position and a lowered position, the raised position exposes an interior of the cage to allow animal access into the enclosure while the lowered position confines the interior of the cage to block an animal from exiting from the enclosure. A hold-close assembly connects the ceiling to the door and may include a two-bar link with an upper bar pivotally attached at the ceiling at a separate and spaced first location from the pivotal attachment of the front door. The upper bar is pivotally attached to a lower bar at second movable location, and the lower bar is pivotally attached to the door at a third movable location. The lower bar of the hold close assembly is below the ceiling and folded to extend adjacent to the upper bar in the door raised position. The bars of the hold-close assembly unfold as the door moves toward the lowered position where the unfolded position has the hold close assembly extending from the ceiling down to a lower location of the door.
The hold-close assembly trips to secure the front door without sliding motions. A low friction latch and trip links thereto provide consistent set action resistant to shaking and undesired trip. An optional rear door is fitted next to a bait location to allow near vertical access for bait placement and unattended, unobstructed, consistent release with minimal time and environmental effects. A changeable torque arm provides adjustable trip force. A trip tray holding the bait is spaced above a floor to require a small set-up motion to access the bait and further ensure trip.
In conventional traps, the manner in which the latch is set can affect the trip force. Further, the trip force may be affected by the duration of the set condition; for example, various weather conditions can change surface characteristics of moving trip features whereby the latch becomes relatively stuck or slippery in the set condition. Some traps are inherently subject to variations in trip force from complex or high friction designs. When the trip force is too low the door will shut inadvertently, for example, from the wind or an animal walking atop or next to the trap. Another cause of undesired trips can occur when the trap is moved to another location in the set condition. With too high a trip force, the animal will take the bait and walk back out freely. Users have been known to connect a string and trip a trap manually as the target enters when the trip force is too high. Such poor function defeats the expected feature of unattended use.
Typically, the trip force is not adjustable or such adjustment is not effective or convenient. If the local target animal is of differing weight from the factory trip setting, for example, lighter than expected, the bait will be removed by the animal while the door stays open. Similarly, if an untargeted animal is light weight, it can be useful to adjust the trip force higher. For example, if the target is squirrels but unintended rats and birds are also being caught, a higher trip force is indicated. However, this sort of selectivity requires a repeatable and consistent trip action that has not been available.
The present invention in various preferred embodiments shown in
The front door includes a hold-close assembly. The assembly is biased, preferably by a spring element or alternatively by gravity, to move the front door downward or other closed or lowered position. The assembly is substantially entirely below the ceiling of the cage whereby the top of the cage remains relatively flat for efficient storage and shipping of the trap while the assembly acts substantially from above the front door. The assembly includes an upper actuating lift lever pivotally attached at a lever first end at or near the ceiling of the cage. A lower link is pivotally attached to the actuating lift lever at a spaced position from the lever first end. The lower link is further pivotally attached to the front door. The actuating lift lever and lower link together are respectively a two-bar link comprising three linked pivot hinges to form the hold-close assembly. The actuating lift lever and lower link are partially overlapped and folded near parallel in the upper door set position. Similarly, the front door is preferably substantially parallel to the lift lever and lower link in the set position. Such parallel or equivalently stacked elements provide a compact trap structure that fits largely within a space above the front door, between a vertical level of portions of the door and the ceiling, and preferably not higher than the ceiling of the cage. Incidental parts of the hold close assembly may extend above the ceiling. As the door closes the lift lever and lower link spread apart, unfolding to become again near parallel.
The assembly includes a stop to limit pivoting motion of the lift lever and lower link at the door closed position. This stop occurs as the three hinges move past an aligned position to a slightly misaligned position. This may form an over-center mechanism similar to a locked knee wherein a leg is extended and stable to hold the body up. This assembly preferably operates primarily through pivoting hinge motions with sliding actions limited to that within such hinges. With negligible sliding and short lightweight elements, the hold-close assembly is efficient and the front door closes rapidly with a light bias force and opens to set with minimal effort. The bias force and/or an optional detent latching structure on the hold-close assembly secures the door shut in the closed position.
For setting the trap, a grip area of the actuating lift lever may be located near or past the lower link pivot for a user to directly press and lift the hold-close assembly and door. As described here, pressing includes pressing upward from an under surface. The setting action is automatic and instantaneous upon completion of such lifting to near an upper limit of motion for the door. This simple setting action occurs with the lift lever or equivalent structure conveniently pressed at the cage front opening at a location below the ceiling. This contrasts with prior designs where a setting procedure is remote from the front door and/or requires indirect secondary actions from atop the cage or other location. The direct setting action illustrated herein requires only a short hand motion that corresponds closely to the door motion. In the example where the trap is placed upon a roof operable access to a lower location of the trap is useful.
An optional rear door of the cage opens preferably outward to provide an access for loading bait within the cage. Rather than reach deep into the cage to place the bait, a user can drop it almost directly downward into the location distant from the front door. According to a preferred embodiment, the rear door is hinged at a bottom so that is opens outward to readily expose the bait location from above as well as from a side.
A further feature of the rear door is for release of the occupant. The animal can step on the trip tray, plate or other equivalent release trigger as it moves around inside but the rear door, being preferably not linked to a trigger action, will remain open. For convenience, the trip tray will be called as such, or just a tray, but is not exclusive of a tray and may be other equivalently functioning structures such as a platform, plate, disk, channel, bar, button, dip, cup, ring, strip, or the like. With the preferred bottom hinge, the rear door is stable in the open position by simple gravity force as it extends open so the animal will see the large open rear end when the rear door is opened. A locking mechanism is fitted to the rear door, preferably at the top and spaced forward away from the rear door, to normally hold the rear door shut. The locking mechanism is manually released from substantially in front of the rear door so that a user is more safely spaced away from the rear as this exit opening is provided for the animal. The rear door has no normal dependency on a trigger means. In this manner, the trap is not structured as a two-door entry system when set, although it is contemplated that such a configuration is possible if desired. In one example, a third, triggered door may be located away from the bait or the release door may also be triggered while maintaining direct access for placing bait.
It is preferable to have a trap that is long enough that the front door or equivalent closure shuts fully without hanging up on the animal before becoming secure. For this reason, a front, or equivalent triggered, door that is hinged at its rear end near the top of the cage is normally preferred. Such a door closes inward from above to help bump the animal inward in the case of any door interference. Another method to ensure the front door is clear is a longer or deeper trap whereby the bait location is farther from the door. But a more compact trap is inherently desirable for cost and convenience. A design that gets the animal as rearward as possible and shuts quickly will allow a most compact practical trap. Further, to operate reliably the force to trigger the door closing should be repeatable as seen in the present invention. Such closing forces due to a myriad of issues mentioned above (environment, rust, dirt, friction, etc.) are not predictable in prior designs.
To provide an effectively long trap, the trip tray is pivotally attached at a rear of the cage, preferably having a rear adjacent to the rear door or rear extent of the cage so that bait can be placed far away as possible from the front door. The tray normally extends forward, spaced above the cage bottom by, for example, about an inch for a typical rodent-sized cage. The pivotal mounting is preferably similarly spaced above the floor so the tray can be substantially horizontal with respect to a side view. The bait is normally placed on the rear of the tray near the tray pivot location since the tray extends to the rear of the cage. This contrasts with prior designs where the bait is normally placed on the cage floor between the rear end of the cage and a centrally positioned trip plate. The bait does not need to be placed on the rear floor of the cage since the floor there is covered by the tray. In operation the animal enters the front of the cage and walks to the rear to access the bait. Doing so requires the animal to step up a small distance to rise onto the tray whereby the tray moves downward. This is a natural action that ensures the animal will not just extend its neck over the tray (over-necking) to get the bait but rather steps all the way back to the end of the cage. Empirical observations have shown this step-up structure to be an unexpected improvement against bait stealing even when applied to conventional traps. When combined with the further improvements disclosed herein, escapes and false trips are substantially eliminated. By having the tray raised, the bait is also raised so it is easily visible to the animal.
The trip tray includes an optional flange preferably bent upward from the base extending partially toward the ceiling above the pivot location. This flange creates a vertical torque arm that operates pivotally on a link to the front door latch where the arm preferably terminates below the cage ceiling. When the trip tray pivots downward, the flange pushes the link forward to pivot the latch and release the front door. In addition to being simple, this arrangement is low friction with no substantial sliding. The force to trip the tray is primarily from the bias spring preferably fitted to the latch. This single spring provides both functions to hold the latch in the set position and the trip tray in its upper position and reliably controls the trip force though the low friction system. Of course, additional springs and locations thereof may be used for these functions.
The pivot location of the trip tray is preferably forward from the rearmost location of the tray while the trip tray extends rearward of the hinge to the rear end of the cage. In this way the cantilevered front end is counter balanced to an extent by the rear overhang. This reduces tendency for false trips upon vertical motion to the cage as may occur, for example, when moving the set trap to nearby locations or animal bumping, while keeping the tray long enough to prevent over-necking.
The link from the trip tray to the latch may include an adjustable vertical position on the flange. In this arrangement, the torque arm can be changed to reduce or increase the trip force. There is no change to the pivot location of the tray so the motion of the trip action does not change when the trip force is changed. Further, the bias spring does not require any change in this embodiment. These are unexpected results of the present invention arrangement.
As a humane trap, the material of the cage is preferably designed so that the target animal can not extend its nose outside; in particular that it cannot easily bite the wire of the cage mesh. In an example of a squirrel, a 1″×1″ mesh allows the animal to injure its snout or nose area as it bites the wire as has been empirically observed. Therefore, a ½″×1″ or similar mesh is preferred in this example. However, the same heavy wire used for the 1″×1″ mesh may be costly or too obstructive when used in the smaller mesh size. Therefore, the mesh may use differing wire diameters in regular intervals along the cage walls. For example, there may be a vertical 0.090″ wire at 1″ spacing with a 0.055″ horizontal wire at ½″ spacing. Or there may be every third wire is 0.090″ with intervening wires at 0.055″ for a given orientation of the wires. These spacing and diameter dimensions may be scaled according to the trap size and target animal size and weight.
An optional carrying handle structure in a preferred embodiment has a single wire form with a wavy gripping portion that normally rests atop the cage. The slightly raised segments provide a convenient area to grasp the handle and pull it up to its operative position without substantially raising the height of the trap structure. Conventional straight handle wires lie flat on top and are difficult to initiate a lift into position. In a further option, the handle includes a wire form with a three-dimensional path to provide multiple hand pressing points to improve user comfort over a single wire form. Such a handle also is easier to grasp and pivot up to its operational position from a lying position on the cage top. Such a three-dimensional wire may be less costly than a molded handle and provides a unique and attractive visual appearance.
The hold-close assembly as seen in the profile view of
In the set and intermediate positions pivot 24 is in front of an imaginary line (not shown), connecting upper hinge 22 to lower hinge 131, with respect to the side view of
Lift lever 20 may be made from molded plastic. It can then be structured to assemble using snap fits. In
Optionally lift lever 20 may be made from sheet metal or mesh with portions bent or formed to assemble it.
As seen in the drawing figures, the hold-close assembly in the preferred embodiment acts on front door 40 entirely through pivoting motions. In this embodiment, there are no sliding features required within the assembly to bias and secure the door shut other than minimal internal sliding within the respective pivots. In this manner, the trip action of door closing is rapid, smooth and repeatable. Sliding elements may optionally be included, for example, of a distal end of lift lever 20 against door 40.
To set the trap, lift lever 20 is lifted, normally at distal end 23, to rotate clockwise in the views. Upper lift lever hinge 22 and front door hinge 43 describe axes that are substantially parallel to each other, extending laterally across a width of cage 10. Lift lever 20 is thus pulled outward to unlock the door and then upward in an intuitive motion that is similar to that of adjacent front door 40. This action is normally a singe motion and makes the hold-close assembly nearly transparent in its use being similar in perception to opening the door without any intervening structure. In accordance with this embodiment, the lift lever may be described as acting as a surrogate door which parallels the actual door motion. As an unexpected result, this natural motion has been well noted by test users and highlighted for them the deficiencies of prior conventional designs Lower link 130 pulls front door 40 to its upper set position with door 40 and the hold-close elements being near parallel to the cage ceiling to provide a large trap entrance. In contrast, conventional trap doors are commonly set at a larger downward angle in a manner that further limits the cage opening. The lift lever and link of the hold-close assembly are not accessible by an occupant of the cage when the door is closed so the door remains secure until an operator lifts the lift lever or equivalent action from outside.
Optionally, lift lever 20 may be actuated to set by a tab of the lever beyond hinge 22, above this hinge in
Latch 30 extends downward from the cage top and is pivotally attached to or near the cage ceiling at pivot 32,
Below shelf 34 is cam 35 on an underside of the shelf. Moving from the position of
Latch 30 is limited at a rest position in its counterclockwise motion by link bar 92 or other connection. This rest position is normally the same or close to the set position of
With the latching structures described above the latching force is relatively low. For example, if the lifting force on lift lever 20 is a maximum of about 0.75 lb., the added force to engage and deflect latch 30 may be about 0.15 lb., or 20% of the lifting force as measured in a working model. Preferably, it will not exceed about 50% of the lifting force or more generally not to exceed about 1 times the lifting force. Along with the previously discussed features of the hold close assembly and door, lift lever 20 and/or door 40 can be lifted to set with a light enough force that it is not required to hold down the cage during setting while the door still trips faster than many prior conventional designs. Optionally, a stiffer set spring 67 and/or door spring 65 or similar may be used.
It is known to use a wire or metal formed hook to hold a pivoted door open. However, such hooks include a default unlatched position that requires a secondary action to move the hook into place. Even if such a hook were movably held in a latched position as the front door were raised the angle of an underside of a prior hook is close to 90° and at least past 45°. So it is not well suited for automatic or passive deflection by a cam for latching on a shelf. In accordance with the preferred embodiment herein, set spring 67 provides a relatively constant force to latch 30 through its normal motion, being substantially preloaded in the normal tripped, door lowered, tray up position of
With the geometry shown in
A captured animal will naturally react as the door is tripped. To an extent that such reaction has any effect it will be later in the door closing cycle. The low friction wedging action of the hold-close assembly will have increasing force on door 40 as described above and the mechanical advantage and speed rise toward the spread condition of
Door spring 65 may be attached at its rear end to a wire of door 40 as shown,
Although the friction to disengage at shelf 34 is minimal, the set condition is stable. The force from preloaded set spring 67 reliably and robustly holds the set condition even as the trap is moved or shaken.
Trip link 92 preferably connects latch 30 to a rear of trip tray 50,
Set spring 67 preferably biases the various set and trip parts toward the set position of
As the occupant moves around the tray will toggle up and down. This has no direct effect on the occupant. The repeated tray motions when occupied may also be used to provide trip and occupied signals through further devices such as a radio transmitter, visual signals such as a flag, etc. (not shown). Optionally, there may be a means to hold the down position of the tray (not shown) when the door is closed.
A torque arm is formed by the distance between tray pivot 51 and the selected operative pivot in slot 52, or equivalent vertical distance, so that the axial force upon link 92 can preferably be adjusted depending how far link 92 is from pivot 51. Since the torque arm moves forward and latch 30 is in front of the trip tray trip link 92 can operate directly to pivot the latch forward as shown. As shown, the torque arm has a slight upward orientation and slot 52 is angled. This further aligns the action of the trip link with latch 30 as the latch is above the location of trip tray 50. Trip link 92 extends directly from a lower rear area of the cage to an upper front area for a rigid link without bends or out of line joints. With such a direct link motions of the trip tray are accurately transmitted to latch 30. The torque arm as shown preferably terminates substantially below the cage ceiling. For example, the length of tray 50 is substantially greater than the torque arm distance, preferably being between about 3 to 5 times the torque arm distance while ratios of between about 1 to 10, inclusive of the outer limits, are contemplated. These proportions are based on empirical studies performed that were beyond routine testing.
Optionally, the trip tray may be configured to pull upon trip link 92 if, for example, flange 58 extends downward and latch 30 operates in an opposite direction (not shown). Furthermore, such a tensile connection may be useful with an upward flange as shown in a two triggered door design, for example, if a rear door similar to door 40 is configured to be triggered (not shown). Then the tensile link (not shown) pivots at slot or pivot 52 or equivalent action to pull a latch similar to latch 30 near a rear triggered door. Compressive link 92 continues to operate as shown with the optional separate rear door link. Such a two triggered door trap would normally be longer than the single door trap of the drawing figures. In a further alternative embodiment (not shown), pivot 51 may be toward a front of trip tray whereby pressing the tray down at the rear would push or pull upon link 92.
In the link position of upper pivot 52a,
Trip tray 50 includes detent spring 68 to hold trip link 92 in a selected recess in the force-adjustable embodiment. To change the force setting link bar 92 is pushed up or down near its rear end. Tab 95,
An alternative embodiment structure (not shown) to adjust the trip force is to change the preload of set spring 67. For example, a mounting may be pivotally attached to the ceiling wire of cage 10. This mounting is further connected to a lever or other user input device. The rear end of spring 67 then connects to this mounting. Moving the lever will adjust the position of the rear of the spring and thus the preload and trip force at trip tray 50.
Axle 61 is preferably mounted slightly spaced forward from the rear of tray 50. In the exemplary trap targeting squirrels and similar creatures, this distance is about 0.5 to 1 inch. This is to improve stability upon vertical shaking. The portion of tray 50 rearward of axle 61 provides a partial counterweight to the longer cantilevered portion forward of the axle. There is then less inertia to tend to pivot the tray as the cage is shaken vertically. Such shaking can occur from an animal investigating the trap from outside or from moving the set trap. This can be especially useful when the trap is to be placed in a difficult to access area whereby pre-setting it may be most convenient. With the pivot location as shown tray 50 is elongated front to back, both forward and rearward from axle 61 to ensure the animal cannot over-neck the tray to reach the bait. In the exemplary trap, this length dimension is about 4 to 6 inches inclusive, although it may normally be different for different trap sizes targeting various animals.
Rear door 45 is fitted to cage 10. Preferably door 45 pivots outward from a bottom hinge as seen in
Rear door 45 operates to easily expose the bait location as indicated by the optional text “BAIT” embossed or printed on optional recess 54 of the trip tray,
Rear door 45 preferably includes bent corners 42,
A further feature of rear door 45 is for convenient release of the captured animal. In a conventional trap, the trip door must be held open for release. This normally requires setting the trap. However, it is common that the animal does not immediately leave especially if it has been in the cage for a while. Instead the animal will move around and trip the trap door or doors. So a user may need to secure the front door or other doors by further means or remain present to reopen the trap door until the animal leaves. In contrast, rear door 45 of the present preferred embodiment is not linked to a trip mechanism and includes a stable open position independent of any trip device. With door 45 fully opened and flat or nearly so on the ground the animal can see an unobstructed view outside, with the possible exception of lock 80, 80a, or handle/lock 120, shown in
Rear door 45 may be hinged on a side (not shown) to still allow access to the bait location from above and unattended release of the animal. Further, the rear door may be hinged from the top to open inward. In this example, the door may extend partially down ending at the short wall of the cage rear (not shown) with the partial wall being behind the bait location. An advantage of the preferred bottom hinged, outward opening door is its stable fully open position as simply controlled by gravity.
To selectively hold rear door 45 closed lock 80,
An alternative embodiment rear door lock is shown in
Other rear door locks may be used, not shown, for example, a twist cam lock, a spring-loaded latch, deadbolt and other structures are contemplated. It is preferable but not required that rear door 45 is operable with a single hand. As noted above front door 40 is easily and reliably set with one hand, which is an unexpected result of the present invention.
In the present embodiment the trap may be set from behind the front door atop the roof of the cage. In a case that an animal is to be released from the front of the trap, rather than the rear as described above, an operator'"'"'s hands are away from the front door and from the animal as the animal exits. Further the operator need not touch any surfaces near which an animal has been to open the door and/or set the trap. A roof top set link also allows such operation when access to the trap front is limited or not convenient.
As seen in
The horizontal arrow in
It is a feature of the invention that the remote set structures operate on the door through very compact, low friction pivoting rigid linkages. In particular, lift lever 220 pulls door 40 in tension through lower link 130 of the hold-close assembly to open the door. Lower link 130 is thus a tensile link element between tab 243 and door 40 as the door rises, while the lower link also operates as a rigid compressive link element to selectively secure the door closed. The hold-close assembly is operable by connecting link 240 being in compression to open and set the door. The compression on the connecting link is substantially entirely in the longitudinal direction, to the left in
With the horizontally or laterally moving, roof-adjacent operating interface (a structure of tab 243 in the present instance), the trap can be used in confined areas where plants or other objects are close above the trap. The trap is operable in such cubby hole like spaces with no significant upward protrusion or moving part of the trap to hang up on or be interfered by the near objects. Put another way, if the trap fits in the cubby hole, it is operable there.
Optionally connecting link 240 may engage the lift lever from above. For example, a location of hole 221 may be on a rib near to the position of note “222′ in
Lift lever 220 includes additional operating modes to open and set door 40. Grip 229 is at a front of the trap spaced from hinge 222. Grip 229 is readily operable from in front of the trap, for example with a flip of the thumb while fingers are atop hinge 222. It is also easily operable from behind wherein the fingers grip around hinge 222. For example, the hand or thumb may rest on the roof just behind hinge 222 while fingers extend down to pull grip 229 forward and up to flip the lift lever from the position of
A further interface to rotate lift lever 220 to the set position is at tab 223. This is a natural location to pull from when in front of the door. As seen in
Rib 79 is formed of the material of top plate 71, so it does not require another part to have this feature for squeezing tab 243. Connecting link 240 fits in slot 78a of rib 79,
While lift lever 220 is conveniently made from plastic resin materials, it may also be made in part or in whole from metal. For example, the hinge areas may be made from sheet steel crimped onto the hinge area rather than or in addition to the snap fits shown. Such construction may add to perceived or actual strength of the lift lever. Another optional addition is a locking mechanism on connecting link 240 or equivalent where the link is immobilized on the cage. For example, a resilient tab or catch on top plate 71 or equivalent may selectively engage tab 243 or other location of link 240 or lift lever 220. Pressing the catch disengages the catch from tab 243 to free the tab and link 240 to move. A finger can operate to release this mechanism while a same hand is pressing tab 243. Such a mechanism is a secondary lock to hold door 40 closed.
While the particular forms of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will be apparent that various modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is contemplated that elements from one embodiment may be combined or substituted with elements from another embodiment.