How to Make a Hamster-Powered Night Light

In these tough economic times, why not make your pet work for it's love. Here's a way to make a night light with a hamster.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Build the ring Find or cut out a large steel ring that fits the outer edge of your hamster wheel.
  • TIP: Go to a local hardware store or hobby shop to find a steel ring that will work for you.
  • Step 2: Attach the magnets Glue the magnets onto one side of the metal ring. Make sure to use an even number of magnets, alternate the poles, and space them evenly.
  • Step 3: Wind the coils Use a simple hand-held coil winder to wind your magnet wire for 400 turns for two coils. The inner hole of the coil should be about the size of your magnets.
  • TIP: The finished coils should be about a 1/4 inch thick, and each leg of the coil about 1/4 inch wide.
  • Step 4: Secure the coils Twist the ends together so the coil won't unwind and the spread glue into the coils.
  • Step 5: Mount the base Mount a stable piece of wood adjacent to the wheel to secure your coils to. Make sure the piece of wood is close to enough so the coils will almost touch the magnets on the ring.
  • Step 6: Mount the coils Glue each coil to a small piece of wood, then glue those pieces of wood to your wood base. You want to make sure the coils are extremely close to the magnets and each exactly in front of a magnet.
  • TIP: Make sure you mount the second coil on the other side of the base exactly in front of a magnet and in exactly the same direction as the first.
  • Step 7: Connect the lights Use basic electrical wire to connect your lights to the coils. Use two lights because LED lights only pass current in one direction, so connecting two backwards to each other will send light back and forth.
  • TIP: Make sure the wires are stripped correctly so you're getting the correct amount of electrical current.
  • Step 8: Test the lights Test the lights by spinning the wheel yourself, you should notice that when one light is on, the other is off. Now try it with your hamster and have fun.
  • FACT: The world's largest superconducting magnet was powered up in 2006, and weighs a staggering 110 tons.

You Will Need

  • Hamster running wheel
  • Steel ring
  • Steel cutters
  • Several 1/8 inch thick Grade N-35 Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnets.
  • Super glue
  • Magnet wire
  • Hand-held coil winder
  • Scrap pieces of wood
  • Electrical wire
  • Wire strippers
  • 2 red LED lights
  • Hardware store or hobby shop (optional)

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