Introduction: 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
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.
CLOSE CAGE DOOR.