Central Nexus

Central Nexus Seismograph Project

Here is some information on a personal project of mine to create a seismograph. My first seismograph consisted of cardboard, wood, paper clips, rubber bands, washers, pencil, paper, tape, glue and a few other things I found around the house. It recorded the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989. That eventually turned into a science fair project, which won me $150, First Place at the County Science Fair, and Grand Prize in my division (middle school at the time). Considering that I only had to pay $1 for the soft pencil for the seismograph, I thought it was a pretty good return on investment.

It's only been recent that I've resparked my interest in recording earthquakes. Part of this is due to improvements in technology. This time the project is a lot fancier and a bit more expensive. It continuously records in 3 dimensions with timestamps on a computer.

Below is a video of my latest prototype. It has improved a little bit since this prototype wiring.

The results of my seismograph project has been interesting, but it has mostly been recording the high speed motors on the garage floor and heavy things hitting the garage floor.

The first version of the seismometer also had some reliability problems over the course of the day and it had low resolution. So it was hard to sense subtle shaking. Apparently the sensor isn't 100% reliable yet. Some of the reliability problems could be due to using the I²C bus, but I'm unsure. More technical information about this first project can be found on my ADXL345 details page.

The second version of the seismometer seems to be more reliable, and it has better resolution. It also has an improved signal to noise ratio. So it's more sensitive to the weaker earthquakes. More technical information about this project can be found on my BMA180 details page.

If the detailed technical pages mentioned above still leaves you with questions, feel free to contact me.

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