Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Structure 2 of 4 that will comprise the first actual multi-structure 'city', Hamlab IV (better name pending) has two individual sleeping quarters and a large shared atrium with transparent dome cieling and an interior water supply (for a later experiment in refilling the water bottle while the habitat is submerged.) Pardon the water droplets, it was filled with plastic shavings after I finished the outer shell and I've just washed it out. Below I've included the concept illustration, a photo of the work in progress habitat alone, next to the completed Hamlab II for comparison, and then a side shot to show the view through the sleeping pod's window. In keeping with the new design philosophy, each occupant has a private space to themselves, and the overall size/weight does not make it difficult to transport/deploy. However I did choose the "multiple linked modules" because of a commenter's observation that single-structure habitats aren't as fun to watch because there aren't any tunnels for the hamsternauts to go through. I'll try to include such tunnels and multiple modules on the next habitat as well. Together with the Mk. IV, Hamlab II and whatever the fourth building is, the completed city will house nine hamsters in total. That can be increased to thirteen with the addition of another air pump and two more habitats, as the battery pack has three outlets in total, but the initial city will have four buildings.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Here's Hamlab 2, the two story observation tower built from a 100 CDR spindle and a 20 CDR spindle plus fishing weights and assorted other parts. I'm pleased with the unusual design. You can see the much smaller Hamlab 1 next to it, unoccupied. It was only suitable for 5 or 10 minute uses due to the small interior room and lack of a water bottle. Hamlab 2 comfortably houses two hamsters and includes a food dish, water bottle, nesting fluff and silica litter to prevent the buildup of humidity or waste fumes. If this approach of building smaller individual habitats proves more practical than the gigantic Mk. III all in one approach I may simply build a city out of unconnected individual living structures, on account of pet guides advising not to put hamsters from different sibling groups together. With this more gradual, affordable approach I think a city of perhaps eight structures total is feasible at a depth of between 3 and 7 feet.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Another completely infeasible fantasy, due to the cost. I had the idea while looking for companies that sell transparent plastic domes in various sizes. The largest I found was 8 feet in diameter and something like $36,000. Presumably that's due to the low manufacturing volume, as people don't generally have a widespread, burning need for 8 foot diameter transparent plastic domes. However, were my funding somehow unlimited, this would be my ultimate masterpiece/cry for help: