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.

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
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...
<p>nice!</p><p>could also be used to monitor the movements of a cradle!</p>
<p>any video will helps to understand the mecchanics of this construction. An other issue is the sensitivity.....how 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) </p>
<p>Nice work</p><p><a href="http://adf.ly/e8gVq" rel="nofollow">http://adf.ly/e8gVq</a></p>
<p>Nice work</p><p><a href="http://adf.ly/e8gVq" rel="nofollow">http://adf.ly/e8gVq</a></p>

About This Instructable


106 favorites


More by 86: Arduino and Plotly Based Seismograph Robopod the Arduino Powered Robot USS Enterprise using 123D Make
Add instructable to: