Running Wheel – Wireless Conversion

If you currently have Actimetrics or Phenome Technologies cages with vertical runnings wheels and mechanical switches, you can convert them easily to accommodate wireless nodes.

Remove the 1-wing wingnut and its locking nut from the end of the wheel axle. These are put on with Loctite, so it will take some force to remove them.

Thread the black plastic disk that holds the magnet onto the now empty axle. Start the threads from the side with a slight bevel in the central hole. The threads don’t go all the way through the hole, but stop just short of the opposite side. Thread on the disk until you hit the end of the threads and tighten the disk so that it won’t loosen during cage washing. You can add a drop of red Loctite to the threads before screwing on the disk for added security.

There are two banana jacks used to hold the mechanical switch. Remove the one that is farthest from the wheel axle (and slightly higher up on the cage wall than the other).

Place the drill template onto the side of the cage so that the remaining banana jack fits into the corresponding hole on the back side of the template. With one hand, push the template up against the horizontal rail on the side of the cage and use a #12 drill through the small hole in the template to drill into the side of the cage (see image). You do NOT need to drill all the way through the cage wall at this point. Just make an indentation into the wall. Try to keep the drill straight so as not to abrade the template.

Remove the drill template and complete the hole using the #12 drill.┬áChange to a 19/64″ drill to enlarge the hole.

Insert the banana jack into the hole you’ve just drilled (it’s a tight fit) and place the nut onto the back of the banana jack. Be careful to get the nut straight and the threads matched. You don’t want to strip the soft plastic threads of the banana jack.

You should now be able to place the node on the side of the cage by inserting its banana plugs into the banana jacks.