Pictured on the left is the final version of the Fidget wheel counter. It all looks a bit untidy but I have assured Jessica that it will not be there forever – just long enough to get an insight into Fidget’s night time habits. I read that hamsters can run several miles a night but don’t believe it.
I used the Arduino board that I got for Christmas and linked it to a cheap LCD screen I got off eBay. The potentiometer adjusts the contrast of the screen.
The circuit is reasonably simple with a reed switch and magnet arrangement mounted under Fidget’s wheel. The switch is connected to one of the Arduino’s input pins and pulls the value up to 5V when closed. The Arduino keeps count of the number of times the wheel has revolved and converts this value into the number of kilometres travelled. Unfortunately the display is still upside down and I cannot be bothered to engineer a solution to this.
I’ll take some readings over the next week or so and will finally be able to find out if Fidget runs a long way each night…. though I could probably just ask Dad who had the pleasure of sleeping on an air-bed in the room that Fidget occupies.