Picture of Build a Pendulum Seismometer for under $15
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.
lextheches1 year ago

mine wont work :( ive tried everything

billbillt2 years ago
great idea
joran792 years ago
rebuild it using a pringles can :-) Works pretty nice
Mackramer2 years ago
I really like how you created a "reference page". Very handy. Thanks
blkhawk2 years ago
Clever! Perfect for a science fair project!
emjay592 years ago
Hi liked your instructable however I'm getting an error message for the seismo software
bikeframe (author)  emjay592 years ago
My Bad! (:

I have fixed the link. And the new version (1.1.3) is there.
your link to the software gave me a 404...
bikeframe (author)  stringstretcher2 years ago
Hi Stringstretcher. I cleaned up the link to the software. Please give it another try.

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.
bikeframe (author) 3 years ago
Thanks for the comments Misac-kun. Building these things is habit forming so I like the suggestions for new/other ways to use them.
Misac-kun3 years ago
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