Category Archives: Rodentometer

Building the Rodentometer – Part 2: The Hardware

The Input

(This is Part Two in an ongoing series which starts at Part One).

To answer all the questions raised in part one, there is only one thing we really need to know:

How far does our hamster run in a particular period of time?

The “how far” part should be quite easy, because the little critter is running in a fixed wheel – no need for a micro-GPS tracking bug here.  Some mechanism for counting how many times the wheel turns should be sufficient.

So, how can we measure the rotations of a wheel like this?  Well there are several ways, but the one I’ve gone for to start with, due both to the simplicity and the fact that I have the parts on-hand, is the reed switch. Read more »

Building the Rodentometer – Part 1: An Introduction

The Setup

(Part One is not going to have anything exciting and technical in it.  If you’re a geek, and let’s be honest, why would you be here if not, skip to Part Two).

So I live in a house with a Hamster.  Syrian hamsters are pretty great, as pets go: they are fairly tidy*, fairly quiet*, don’t need taking for walks* and don’t poo on the carpets*. The thing about them is, though, that they are active.  During the day they are just fat little lazy potato-shaped furballs, but come evening, like gremlins, the start scurrying, chewing and running about like hopped-up little crazies. The question is – how far does our hamster run?  Is she an athlete, or a lazy good-for-nothing? Read on to see how I plan to find out…

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