Bad Coon Old Unimproved
Bad CoonBrand Chicken Door Closer

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Door closer gif

The bungie cord holds the clock in, and in alignment to the wire "thingie" which connects the clock to the mousetrap. The clock is easily removed to wind & set the time. The clock's alarm hammer fits into a hook in the top end of the "thingie". The "thingie" is made from heavy aluminum wire, like nursurymen use to form bonsi trees, but anything tough & light will do. I used a piece of rubber hose as a dummy mouse to absorb the shock of the mousetrap so it won't warp the aluminum "thingie", or pull the staples holding the "mouse bopper wire". The hose, compressed thusly, also dampens the alarm vibration so the clock won't run the spring down. The width of the hook at the top end of the "thingie" is crucial to it's function, too wide and the alarm hammer won't hit it more than once, too narrow may dampen the alarm hammer's enthusiasm. Battery clocks don't have enough power to jiggle the "thingie" wire consistantly, wind up is better. Remove the bells.

The shock absorber should have several nuts locked together on the top end to prevent the friction of the rubber grommet from turning a single nut after several flex cycles. Said turning could loosen the bolt and alter the restraint on the 2x2 causing it to either jam or drop the door, either case resulting potentially in unspeakable carnage.

Too much dust in the henhouse will work it's way inside the clock, so when the timer is unused, and you're not overcome with guilt at what your neighbors might think of your disgracefully unsanitary henhouse: just keep the clock in a plastic baggie. Otherwise you'll have to sweep & dust the whole place. (& you might as well mop & wax too, because you never know when they might pick the lock to scowl inside with righteous disdain).

A better design (with enough space) would place the top of the alarm behind the mousetrap with a notch in the traps' wood for the alarm hammer's direct contact with the trigger. This will obviate the "thingie" group, (and associated fickle adjustments), but require relocation of the "clock fusarium", (and associated fickle adjustments), as well as something to keep the "mouse bopper wire" from breaking the clocks glass. If you build one like this, send a picture & design notes, & I'll include it here.

"Thingie" group closeup and adjustment screw

The big washer on the mousetrap (above) covers a slot cut perpendicular to a line between the 2 screw heads in the trap. The slot (made with a coping saw or rattail file) allows the trap to rotate slightly for minor position adjustments of the "thingie" to the mousetrap trigger, which would otherwise have to be done by bending the "thingie", which in turn, could cause both failure through metal fatigue, and the ensuing grief in coming home to find nothing but a mass of gorey feathers, like usual. When the trap, trigger & thingie are optimally situated, tighten the screws. Note the corner of the trap has been carved off to allow clearance in adjustment. A vernier screw here would be handy, but dude, get real.

I read a post about this design being tacky because of the use of a mousetrap. (huff-huff, oh I just can't believe it-) I plea in defense that mousetraps are available everywhere, have a very good trigger mechanism that's already familiar to most hen house owners, and they cost about $0.50 ea, but if you're a republican, here's a link to a factory-made closer for +/- $120 + shipping. The tackiness in my design (in my opinion) is in the layering of the fusarium, so that all the parts align in the proper plane. But once that concept is understood, the form is irrelevant and there's lots of ways to resolve it.

A further note on mousetrap alteration:
Free range mousetraps (those not attached with screws) are able to absorb the shock of closing by diverting part of the energy into a savage leap, (like a floor strike in Akido). Fixed traps however, tend to rip loose the staples holding the "mouse bopping wire" and spring. These staples should be replaced with part of a wire paperclip, which is secured across the back of the trap and twisted together.


Genuine testimonials:

Thanks Bill, I feel totally enlightened. I wish I had this device 10 years ago. After losing flock after flock of ducks and ducklings, and a couple of geese we got tired of raising prime food for the coons. Cheers.

A.F., Mendocino County 4-H

This is a rave on Bill's low-tech chicken door gizmo. Before, whenever we wanted to go out for the evening, we'd have to get a neighbor to come close the coop door. My favorite part is the shock absorber, which makes the door come down slowly, not slamming down on any poor hens. My least favorite part is the mouse trap, so Steve sets it, not me. Indeed, this invention has made life easier for us all.

Barbara Faulkner

Mission Statement
The primary objective to develop the Kaczynski "Bad Coon" Mark I concept design and hardware with direct scaleability is: directly scaleable weights, margins, loads, design, fabrication methods and testing approaches: traceability, technology, and general design similarity, to a full-scale Mark II system. The "Bad Coon" is intended to demonstrate the technologies necessary to achieve systems integration within the mass fraction constraints of chicken coop door closeing devices. In addition, the "Bad Coon" will meet operational requirements outlined in the Mil-Spec CCDCD. Pg 244, sec 18, pp 7. The "Bad Coon" Mark I demonstrator is envisioned to operate unpersoned. Fusarium is the genus name of a group of pathogenic fungi, and has nothing to do with design engineering or structural nomenclature even though it sounds like it should.