DIY hamster wheel using an old hard disk drive

Hard-Drive-Hamster-Wheel_2

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.

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7 Comments

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

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

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY2nOQDbj-E

    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.

  3. 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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