Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hamsub begins development.

One of the most requested additions to Hampture has been a submarine of some sort as transportation for the intrepid hamsternauts. Toward that end, while I wait for an opportunity to install Hampture Mk.III in a nearby pond, I've begun work on a small single occupant submersible:

I intend to buy either an RC sub or ROV kit and use the components to turn this life support pod into a fully fledged submersible, with three waterproof motors and a small camera so I can properly steer it. The thin, flexible air hose will be woven into the same tether that supplies power and control such that the passenger has a steady supply of fresh air at all times. Here's the cockpit pod dealie in a tank of water. While air is being supplied I had a hard time getting bubbles to show up in the pictures.
If it's hard to tell, air is pumped in through the back and vented out through a small hole in the floor near the front window. This ensures that if there is a breach, any water that gets in will be continually forced out by the air pressure. A 15 minute test submersion with tissue inside came back dry, so I put Ratlas in there for about 10 minutes to see how he handled the snug quarters. He shredded the tissue, made a nest and fell asleep. :3

I'd love to figure out some way for a sub to dock at Hampture for food resupplying and transferring hamsters to/from the colony but the mechanism involved seems hopelessly complex and unsafe, so unless I discover that there's some professional quality premade connector that will do the job, Hamsub will be deployed from the surface only.

Bonus mspaint time:


  1. How about raising the sub into an in-colony moon pool?

  2. Nope, an open moon pool would make the air intolerably humid and difficult for the hamsters to breathe eventually. And it would flood the habitat if it tilted to either side.

    Also it still has the problem of how to remotely open the sub's hatch. And if you can solve that, why not just have it dock?

  3. He fell asleep, or he felt dizzy because of the lack of air?

  4. If that were the case I imagine he'd have remained asleep. Instead he napped for a while then woke up later and was just as active.

    You can witness this same pattern of behavior in the Hampture Lake Mission video. I know it's hard to concieve of, because of how it looks, and it's contrary to instinct, but he can breathe fine despite being underwater. Enough air is being pumped down to sustain fifteen hamsters, and he is only one. This is exactly how diving bells and diving helmets work. No real difference. Sufficed to say there is an abundance of fresh air at all times.