Living in California, earthquakes are a part of life. Sooner or later, you'll feel one, and the first time can be pretty scary! If it's a small earthquake, which thankfully most are, it's actually hard to know for sure until you check the news later on. Sometimes a painting shakes on the wall, or a hanging lamp starts swinging, or you hear a rumbling sound - most small earthquakes are much more difficult to notice than you would expect.
In order to detect low magnitude earthquakes, we wanted to build a very sensitive Seismometer. This project was quite easy, mostly some carpentry, and the detector was a PocketLab sensor, using the magnetometer function. An iPad was used for data collection.
-wooden frame: one 8' 1x4 and one 8' 2x6
(I was able to get all this scrap lumber from 1 pallet)
- About a dozen assorted screws and metal straps
- Medium size magnet (about 0.1Kg)
- PocketLab sensor (www.thepocketlab.com)
- iPad or other smart phone for wireless connection to the sensor
Finding a design was easy, the very first google search produced a diagram straight from the USGS site. There are many other designs, but this one looked the easiest. It is basically a pendulum.
We happened to have an old pallet in the back yard from a shipment received long ago. We tore it apart and salvaged enough lumber to make a base, pole, and beam.
We bought about $15 worth of screws and metal straps at Home Depot to fasten the wood and brace it.