Picture of Arduino and Plotly Based Seismograph

This is a simple arduino based Seismograph that send the data it collects to a python script that graphs the data live and can export it to plotly. This seismograph is fairly sensitive, it can detect a person jumping beside it. The seismograph is mostly made of wood and uses a simple arduino circuit to record the data. You can see a plotly graph of me jumping beside it here.

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Step 1: Tools and Materials


  • One 7 1/2" X 18 1/2" Piece of 3/4" or 1/2" plywood
  • Two 16 1/2" Pieces of 2 1/2 X 3/4" wood
  • Two 7 1/2" Pieces of 2 1/2 X 3/4" wood
  • One 13" Piece of 2" X 2"
  • One 4" Piece of 2" X 2"
  • Screw
  • 1/8" X 18" of steel rod
  • A Ball
  • Hard Drive Magnet
  • Fishing Line or Thin Cable
  • 2" X 2" piece of 1/4" metal
  • Gravel
  • Arduino
  • Breadboard
  • LM6386-N
  • Jumper Wires
  • Python with pygame and plotly library(See last step)


  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Drill and Drill Bits
  • Bench Grinder
  • Center Punch

Step 2: The Base

Picture of The Base

To make the base start by lining up the four 2 1/2" X 3/4" pieces of wood to make a rectangle as shown. Next drill a pilot hole 3/8" from the edge of the shorter pieces of wood and into the ends of the longer pieces. Finally, screw the four pieces together using the pilot holes tho make a rectangle.

Step 3: The Arm

Picture of The Arm

To make the arm start by drilling three 1/16" holes about 3/4" apart in the center of the 4" piece of 2X2(See second picture). Next drill a pilot hole in the top of the 13" 2X2 and at the opposite end of the 4" 2X2 from the three holes. Finally, screw the two pieces using the pilot hole to make a L shape.

jlandreth11 year ago
I live in Christchurch NZ where there have been over 18,000 quakes since 2010. The two biggest were 7.1 in 2010 and a 6.3 magnitude in 2011 where 183 lives were sadly lost. At the time it had the record for the highest peak ground acceleration in history pulling something like 2.2g! It was flipping scary! So this would be handy...
imperio1 year ago


could also be used to monitor the movements of a cradle!

agis681 year ago

any video will helps to understand the mecchanics of this construction. An other issue is the separates the erarthquake vibres from any other vibration......I ve made once a seismograph with a an vertical axle about 50cm long and was about 30-35cm deeped in ground. Then on this axle i had a coil about 20turns The vibration was trasmited to electricity. I had connected the probes to the university earthquake center (i live in Greece and its easy to have earthquakes)