Introduction: Catch an Escaped Hamster With Surplus Electronics

Picture of Catch an Escaped Hamster With Surplus Electronics

Hamster got loose?
Have a bunch of surplus elecronics?
Time for some Hamster Sensing Technology.

Step 1: Assumptions

This assumes...

The hamster is coming out at night and eating food left somewhere.

That big pile of misc electronic crap you have includes:
- Something that will sense a hamster.
- Something that will wake you up.
- Something that will interface between the hamster sensor and the waker upper.

Step 2: Hamster Sensor

What made this possible and REAL STINKIN' EASY was the opto detector some friends had given to me. I had a feeling that some day it would come in REAL STINKIN' HANDY.

Give it 12vdc power, it sends out some kind of light beam, something gets in the way and reflects the beam, it outputs 12v on the output. Simple.

Step 3: Waker Upper

I picked a flood light as the waker upper. Shined it where I expected my head to be later that night.

Step 4: Interface

Opto relay from some scrapped piece of test equipment. Input 3-32vdc and it will switch 120vac power. It was already wired in an extension cord and the hot wires insulated. Kind of sort of semi-safe*.

*WARNING - This is 120vac power and will kill you dead if it gets a chance. Also it should have a fuse. And a heat sink. And be in a box. And other stuff.

Step 5: Hook 'er Up

Place the Hamster Sensing Unit so it's looking at the food.
Connect 12vdc to the opto sensor.
Connect the Hamster Sensing Unit to the opto relay.
Run a long cord to the floodlight near your bed.

Step 6: Blink Blink Blink

Huh? What the...? Who's flashing the lights?
Oh yeah, hamster!
Get up and find hamster acting all Mr. Casual like.
Put in cage.


El_AMPo (author)2010-12-28

Always tought of something like that, but just leave the cage open in the ground with food. Hamsters come back home after a while if they can find their smell on it.
Anyway, Nice and cheap setup good work!

nikeman76 (author)2010-06-16

umm... i would rather escape-proof the cage instead of all that...

Tren509 (author)nikeman762010-07-21


HPLovecraft (author)2006-10-15

May I offer an easier answer (and I'm sorry it doesn't involve tech...) You need rodent food, a bucket, and a couple of bricks. The bucket can be any material as long as the rodent can't climb out of it. Stack the bricks to make steps to the rim of the bucket. Place a very small amount of food on the steps. Place a larger amount of food, with a carrot or peice of fruit in the bottom of the bucket. My family raised many different rodents to sell to pet stores when I was a kid and this was one of the best ways of getting the guys back...

Roflolommo (author)HPLovecraft2006-12-11

i did that to try to catch my hamster when it escaped and it chewed through the metal bucket 0.0 i have no clue how and i'm pretty sure it was her cuase she also chewed out of her steel cage.

Stuffses (author)Roflolommo2010-04-09

 The super hamster strikes again....

Vendigroth (author)Roflolommo2007-04-19

Damn! WTF kind of hamster did you have?
that said, the one i had ages ago was pretty psychopathic. The little £"%$&£!%%&%&&%%&%&'d squirm and bite and would run around like mad.

copycat42 (author)Vendigroth2008-04-01

i got a rare pic of that hamster:

RMConstruction (author)copycat422009-09-15

'm Loling like mad now! :p !

Vendigroth (author)copycat422008-04-02

That explains quite a lot.

wan (author)HPLovecraft2006-10-16

another way to do it is to have the bricks going up to the bucket, but instead of food at the bottom of the bucket, have a really thin tissue with holes punched around it (alot of holes, and a one ply tissue) then put the food on top of the tissue. when it climbs up the bricks to get the food, the tissue breaks (you can make a softer landing for it just by putting dtuff at the bottem of the bucket.

daisy23 (author)2010-03-04

Oh yeah just stick some food somwhere and whait the hamster will come. I'm not kiding.

daisy23 (author)2010-03-04

This would not work for my hamster shes way to clever and really really fast. She went under the floorboards when she escaped!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cantrell8 (author)2009-11-08

I wire my hamster's cage shut with a pipe cleaner so he does not get out.

c101 (author)2009-03-29

heres a pic of my 2 hamsters lazlo is on the left an speedy is on the right

mattias law (author)2009-02-15

we dont need any electronics. our hamster basically has a bed under the sink. its like it has its own bedroom that it goes i at night and is them put back in the cage in the morning. is name is houdini because we have no idea how it gets out. just glad its not tempted to go outside

brainmist (author)2009-01-15

*grin* This seems like work. I simply built a good relationship with my hamster, enough so that she would come when signaled. I let her run free on a regular basis in my room while I did my homework on the floor. Every now and then her little feet would scuttle over me. When I wanted to return her to her cage and terrarium (did you know hamsters like slugs?), I'd pat the floor, and she'd come running.

sheeply (author)2008-10-10

Had a whole litter of semi-adult hammies organise a jailbreak on night. My terrier figured out that they were behind the bathroom cabinet, which was stuck to the wall. After taking the dog outside, I found the biggest cereal I could find, which was cheerios I think. Lo and behold, when the little guys came out later to investigate the food and packed it into their cheeks, they couldn't get through the tiny crack between furniture and wall :D

sweetkits (author)2008-08-27

hey that looks like my hamster kiwi!

Chikara (author)2008-08-17

lol. my old hamster ( i got a new teddy bear one today! ) use to escape out of her cage for a day or 2 just to have some wild fun and then she would walk into the living room where im watching tv or something and i'dd be all... " You're done huh? "

Dungeonbrownies (author)2008-04-02

another way is to get some food and just dip it in nyquil theyll freak out and not want to eat it, but they start tog et hungry and eat like hell and eventually eat some drugged food.

Human NyQuil would kill the poor thing. But then you could cook him and sell it on eBay.

unspecified (author)2008-04-01

"Get up and find hamster acting all Mr. Casual like." HA

animes25 (author)2008-04-01

when my hamster escapes, I just stop any noise in the house and then I pay attention to any sound, and is easy to find it, they bite anything or they step on something that makes sounds

Pudge (author)2007-07-16

I dont have any rodents. And i don't plan to get any. I think that if i did i would use the old bucket with food at the bottem trick. Or a bb or pellet rifle for wild ones. Or Starbuck + no leash.

sdedalus2000 (author)2006-12-21

my daughters hamster escaped on the second floor and got downstairs past two cats and two dogs went behind the gas stove and chewed through the wire that controls the gas flow to the oven. they are willy little things cute but willy. on the up side i found out the plugs used on the ovens wiring harness is similar enough to those found in some ford cars to allow a repair.

RudimentaryThinker (author)2006-10-22

Cool, I llive in hawaii and were not allowed to have hamsters but I 30 rats, I asume it would work for them?. This could be usefull for finding my excapeys, but it sounds kind of dangerous. Besides I have a Yorkie who's a natural hamster/rat sensor.

VIRON (author)2006-10-10

I thought this was going to be an electronic box trap. Do hamsters just sit there and let you catch them or run away really fast? I guess you don't mind waking up at night to chase them.

pronteon (author)VIRON2006-10-10

I thought this was going to be an electronic box trap.
That would have been much cooler. But this was quick and easy.

Do hamsters just sit there and let you catch them or run away really fast?
He really was pretty casual about it and didn't try for much of an escape.

I guess you don't mind waking up at night to chase them.
After trying stuff like sitting in the dark waiting and a 'box and a stick' trap for a week, getting up once with a light flashing at me didn't seem so bad. And I was surprised it worked.

Fake_Name (author)2006-10-10

P I C T U R E S !

pronteon (author)Fake_Name2006-10-10

I know, it pretty much stinks without pictures. But the hamster has since passed on and I can't find the photo-detector-thing or the opto-relay-thing. So I just posted it as-is.

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