Pictured above is Hamtaro, my Roborovski Hamster. Not pictured is her sister, also named Hamtaro... because they are identical and I cannot tell them apart. :)
Their cage sits right next to my desk at home, so we can hang out while I work. (They're actually very social!) The only problem with this setup is that hamsters LOVE to run. In fact, Roborovskis in particular are said to run up tothe equivalent of four human marathons in one night! And hamster wheels (even the ones that are marketed as "very quiet") are very noisy and irritating.
So recently, finally fed up with the noise, I set off to Crashspace to design a silent hamster wheel.
Step 1: Finding the Perfect Parts
Step 2: Examining the Wheel's Axle
The hamster wheel I have is designed to pressure-fit in between the bars of my hamster cage. (Pictured is the yellow axle of my hamster wheel.) In order to make it fit with my VCR head, the wheel axle will need some slight adjustments.
Step 3: Modding the Wheel to Fit the VCR Head
Since the VCR head has it's own axle, the hamster wheel can be modded to fit onto that.
With a small saw, I cut off the little "key" on top of my wheel's axle that was originally used to pinch the wheel to the cage.
With the key out of the way, I drilled a small hole in the middle of the wheel's axle. This will be used to pressure-fit the wheel's axle onto the VCR head's axle. Start by drilling a very small hole, and test if the axle fits inside. It should barely fit. If the hole is too small, make it a little wider until it just barely fits.
Before I put the yellow wheel axle back inside of the wheel, I coated it with a little bit of hot glue. This way, the wheel and the axle now function as one piece. The only rotation that can happen now will be via the much smoother axle of the VCR head.
Step 4: Attach the VCR Head to the Cage
Grab some string. Position your VCR head in place on your cage and eyeball where you'd like it to be.
The VCR head is made of two separate disks: pull them apart. We're going to tie the disk that does NOT have the axle to the cage.
As you can see in the pictures, run the string through the holes in the disk and tie it to the cage wires. Once it's in place, trim the wires and slide the other disk back on. (Note: Make sure that the axle is pointing INSIDE of the cage when you're done, or there will be nowhere to put your wheel!)
Step 5: Attach the Wheel With the Modded Axle to the VCR Head
This step is easy: press the hole in the wheel's axle against the axle of the VCR head until it sticks in place.
Step 6: Enjoy Your New Silent Hamster Wheel!
Want to see and hear the difference?
Click here to see a vine video of the old wheel: https://vine.co/v/MgVYgvz2t1Z
Then click here to see a vine video of the new quiet wheel: https://vine.co/u/1003530889483149312
Make sure your volume is up and the videos aren't muted! The difference in the noise level is HUGE!