Instructables is such a super source of information! A while back I was looking for
ideas for a seismometer I wanted to build and ran across the IBLs that used a piezo
element from a $1 intruder alarm as a microphone. There was my seismometer transducer.
What a deal for a buck!

A seismometer is a sensing device that detects movement of the earth's crust. These
movements are often called earthquakes when they are large enough to be felt. Since
there are not a lot of earthquakes you can feel in Georgia, I wanted a seismometer
that could detect even very small movements ("micro-quakes?").

This seismometer detects when there is a quake. The inertia of a weight suspended at
the end of a lever arm flexes the piezo element. This flexing generates a small
electrical current. That current is fed into the microphone jack on a computer or
digital recorder. Computer software then analyzes the results.

I use the term "seismometer" for the detector and the term "seismograph" for the
combined detector plus the analyzing/recording software. Some people use the term
"geophone" for the detector as the detector is an "earth microphone". I am not a
geologist so decide for yourself what terms you want to use.

There are a number of references in the last step that may help you with the project.
This might make a good science project if you live in a seismically active area.

There is a bit of soldering involved in this project, but it is otherwise pretty
simple. The cost should be $10-$15 and the software is free.

Step 1: Parts and Tools

From Dollar Tree (Pic 1)

myTunes 1/8" RCA plug audio cable - $1.00
Intruder Alert - $1.00
myTunes 1/8" audio extension cable - $1.00

From Walmart

1 Oz. Steel Egg Sinkers (fishing supplies) - $2

From RadioShack
Panel-mount RCA jacks (RadioShack #274-346) $4

Tools and Supplies (Pic 2)

Tape measure
Wire stripper
Screw drivers
Drill with 3/16" and 1/4" bits
Soldering Iron
Electrical Solder
Wire coat hanger
Electrical tape
10-24 X 5/8" nut and bolt pack (Lowes #62096) $1
A tall, narrow plastic jar about 6-8" tall by 2" or more in diameter
(a 28 oz peanut butter jar would work)

Optional parts from Lowes or Home Depot (See Step 5)

7/8" spade drill bit
5' of 2" PVC Thick-walled Pipe (Lowes) $5
2 each 2" test caps (Lowes #23406) $2
2 each 3/16" X 1 1/4" fender washer (Lowes #2576) $1
1 1/8" X 23/32" rubber grommet (Lowes #139378) $1
<p>mine wont work :( ive tried everything</p>
great idea
rebuild it using a pringles can :-) Works pretty nice
I really like how you created a &quot;reference page&quot;. Very handy. Thanks
Clever! Perfect for a science fair project!
Hi liked your instructable however I'm getting an error message for the seismo software
My Bad! (: <br> <br>I have fixed the link. And the new version (1.1.3) is there.
your link to the software gave me a 404...
Hi Stringstretcher. I cleaned up the link to the software. Please give it another try. <br> <br>I will be putting an upgraded version of the software on the site later today, so you might want to wait until version 1.3 is listed there. The upgrade has a bar graph representing the recording volume.
Thanks for the comments Misac-kun. Building these things is habit forming so I like the suggestions for new/other ways to use them.
Now you just have to build something to see the graphs independent from your computer and you are done! maybe a niddle and papper made with a spaker!
ops! didn,t see the last steps! but it was exactly what i was thinking

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