DIY hamster wheel using an old hard disk drive

in DIY, hacks by DP | 7 comments


Can’t sleep because of a noisy hamster wheel?  Felipe shows you how to easily make a very silent homemade hamster wheel using an old hard disk drive:

Felipe La Rotta from Cocodrilabs had a noisy hamster wheel. Hamster wheels like most other mass produced pet items are made as cheap as possible, that means that you won’t find a smooth spinning bearing in your hamster wheel. His solution was to make a Hard Drive Hamster Wheel. Most of us have a few used hard drives sitting around that will never be powered up again and inside there are a ton of precision parts including a very smooth bearing that turns out to make a great hamster wheel upgrade. Once you have upgraded your hamster wheel if you still have a few hard drives left have a look at some other Hard Drive Hacks that you can try.

Via Hacked Gadgets.

This entry was posted in DIY, hacks and tagged , , .


  1. limpkin says:

    Could you try powering the wheel?

    • Steve Sousa says:

      Do the opposite! Use the motor as generator, see how many HamsterWatts it can produce!

      • ColdHands says:

        And maybe you can also add an arduino and ethernet shield, to upload data of the HamsterWatts to a dedicated web page.

  2. Hi Steve

    Take a look of the post, I tried exactly that near the end. Unfortunately the current generated by the motor is insignificant, not enough even for a small LED.

    However, you can use that current as a signal to turn on a bigger load -like a fluorescent bulb- and give the feeling that the hamster is powering it.

    • Steve Sousa says:

      I had a look after i posted and saw it. With such a small voltage the rectifier is useless. Maybe you could use some small transformer(s) to step-up the voltage? it would have the advantage of providing a bit of loading in case the bearing is working too well and makes pachita trip.

  3. I don’t think that the spindle will produce enough current to drive a transformer, but your idea reminded me this video. Jeri Ellsworth spoke about how to use such small currents more efficiently, take a look if you have time.

    Agh I wish I could import one of these boards without so much hassle!

    Hahaha yes, I have seen other hamsters tripping. Shorting the “generator” windings didn’t appear to reduce the wheel RPMs, but I think it’s because this hamster never runs at a decent speed.

  4. Alex Nelson says:

    You could also use the output from the windings and use them to count revolution/direction, or make a hamster logger thing. A vcr head also has great silent bearings, and also has windings that could be used for sensing.

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