This Raspberry Pi Add-On Lets You See the Earth Shake

Have you ever wanted your own personal seismograph capable of monitoring earth’s movements? Well, you’re in luck. That’s because Angel…

Hackster Staff
3 years ago

Have you ever wanted your own personal seismograph capable of monitoring earth’s movements? Well, you’re in luck. That’s because Angel Rodriguez has launched a professional-grade sensor-digitizer that simply plugs into your Raspberry Pi and allows you to begin tracking earthquakes from about magnitude two and higher within a radius of 50 miles, and a magnitude four and higher in a radius of 300 miles.

The aptly named Raspberry Shake can detect and record short period (0.5–15Hz) earthquakes — the further away the ‘quake, the less of that range of frequencies can be recorded.

At the heart of the Raspberry Shake is a 4.5Hz geophon with an 18-bit digitizer sample at 50sps with data presented in miniSEED format. Don’t know what that all means? Essentially, the add-on board converts movement into voltage — think of if like a microphone for geology. Inside the little geophone a coil moves relative to a magnet, creating current.

As Rodriguez explains, the small current mentioned above is then amplified with some ultra-quiet state of the art op amps. Once amplified, the signal is digitized, then that data are shipped to the ARM processor and bundled into one-second packets that are shipped to your Raspberry Pi.

The Raspberry Pi timestamps the data and stores it in a seismic industry standard format and sends it in answer to client requests. Those requests are displayed on your smartphone or computer monitor. The complete system is called a seismograph.

If you’ve always wanted to “see” the vibrations that are all around us but are generally not felt, then head over to the Raspberry Shake’s Kickstarter campaign.

Hackster Staff
Projects and articles from the Hackster Staff!
Related articles
Sponsored articles
Related articles