As the world calmed down in 2020, Raspberry Shakes listened


in great shape / Every time we come across another cool Raspberry Pi project (like Raspberry Shake 4D, pictured here), we are reminded how we have to buy 20 of these things.

Mike Hotchkiss, Raspberry Shake

“It’s trains!” Ryan Hollister shouted to his wife Laura as he stormed into their home in Turlock California. For two weeks in 2017, they were staring at data from their newly installed Raspberry Shake, a Raspberry Pi-powered device that explores how the ground operates at a specific location. Instead of watching tell-tale wiggles of distant earthquakes, they saw strange cigar-shaped waves at regular intervals. “The biggest challenge,” Laura Hallister says, “was the noise.”

“I thought it was toilet flushing or washing machine,” Ryan Hallister says, but simple tests of going to the toilet or washing clothes proved them wrong. While he was stuck in his car, watching a train rattle through Turlock, he realized three tracks that this small town in California could be criss-crossed. On reaching home, he pulled the Raspberry Shake data. Certainly, each oddly intense caterpillar of seismic waves corresponds to a train, with the highest-amplitude waves correlating with the schedule of the nearest track, which is only half a mile from home.

He continues to record Hollister's Raspberry Shake in cigarette-shaped signatures in Turlock, California, while also capturing distant earthquakes like this magnitude-7.4 event from New Zealand on June 18, 2020.  New Zealand's light is highlighted.  Yellow in background, and larger in inset.
in great shape / He continues to record Hollister’s Raspberry Shake in cigarette-shaped signatures in Turlock, California, while also capturing distant earthquakes like this magnitude-7.4 event from New Zealand on June 18, 2020. New Zealand’s light is highlighted. Yellow in background, and larger in inset.

Ryan hallister

This was not the last time that his seismic hearing aid carried signs of human activity. As COVID-19 surrounded our world, the holists of the spouses team of earth science teachers noticed that their Raspberry Shake recorded a lower level of activity than usual. The drop was pronounced when his street, a main artery of a local high school, was supposed to flutter with teenagers.

This change was limited to Turlok. Thomas Lecoq, an seismologist who pays special attention to the ubiquitous quivering of the Earth due to a marked decrease in high frequency noise at a permanent seismic station Within its scope At the Royal Observatory of Belgium. This peculiar fate was seen to be quiet and prolonged during the days buried between Christmas and New Year, and coincided with the lockdown of his country.

In the following months, Lecoq and 76 Koethruns from around the world combed through data from seismic stations, spanning more than 70 countries using Python code Lecoq, written specifically for this purpose. A total of 268 stations had usable data, and 185 of them saw high-frequency seismic noise in urban areas up to 50 percent. In response to COVID-19 the changes changed with the closing of each country. With signs away from driving, construction, and even walking, Echo Nesbitt, one of Lecoq’s colleagues, says, “We might be able to investigate [geologic] Signs that we could not see before because it was surrounded by that noise. “

Many stations were high-end research equipment installed by university or government scientists. But there were 65 small raspberry shacks, sitting in homes and offices of scientists and hobbies alike. It turns out that when humans make a lot of noise, seismically speaking, one can look for a Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Shake circuit board with a few hundred dollars and some sensors.

Build your own seismic station

The original recipe for a seismic station requires four ingredients: a sensor to measure the Earth’s speed, a means of recording measurements, a long-term storage solution (either locally or elsewhere), and a power source, Emily Violin The US Geological Survey (USGS) Albuquerque Seismic Laboratory, says seismic network manager.

State-of-the-art seismic stations boast multiple sensors, which detect a vast range of frequencies, capturing the motion of the Earth in three directions — up-down, east-west, and north-south. The digitizer and data logger properly stamp and record time data. To power devices, the most remote stations can use solar panels, says Wolin, power requirements vary dramatically depending on communication needs.

Comparison between Raspberry Shake 4D, on the left, and specific US Geological Survey seismic equipment monitoring aftershocks deployed after the earthquake.

Comparison between Raspberry Shake 4D, on the left, and specific US Geological Survey seismic equipment monitoring aftershocks deployed after the earthquake.

To add a new seismic station to the earthquake monitoring network, Wolin says scientists must take regional geology and potential noise sources into consideration – such as the railroad (Hollister’s house would never have made the cut). With a list of candidate sites, they then identify and contact landowners for permission, and secure access to construction, installation and subsequent maintenance.

Wolin explains that sometimes, preparation can “involve hiring a hard rig to recruit hundreds of meters of solid rock.” In some instances, thermometers are sealed and waterproof seismic vaults must be carefully made so sensitive to home appliances that they make slight changes in pressure and temperature. Volts also help reduce pesky anthropogenic noise. “To install sensors and electronics,” says Sue Hue, a USGS seismologist, “it’s not rocket science.” “But it takes special training.”

Each layer of complexity adds another line to the bill. According to Hof, top-tier versions of a seismic station can cost more than $ 10,000, excluding installation costs. Raspberry Shake CEO Brenden Christenson says that when those costs are included, installing a single seismic station can cost upwards of $ 100,000. Those prices are particularly affordable for government agencies, research institutes and industry.

On the other hand, Raspberry Shakes have original versions of similar components at a fraction of the price. A Raspberry Shake circuit board costs as little as $ 100, and it plugs into almost any Ethernet or wireless-capable Raspberry Pi. “We thought people would [Raspberry Pis] “Sitting in their drawers, and us,” says Christenson. [designed Raspberry Shakes to] Support them all. “

A seismic sensor, like the Geophone, plugs into the Raspberry shake board, which acts as an amplifier and digitizer. The output of the sensor comes as a difference of voltage that must be amplified and converted to a known voltage at each velocity. According to Nesbitt, this conversion, called a gain, leaves the output in voltage units, also a former chief scientist of the Raspberry Shake.

The Raspberry Shake digitizes this information and pipes it to the Raspberry Pi for further processing and collection. An 8 gigabyte microSD card, described by Nesbit as a Raspberry Pi hard drive, ships with every Raspberry Shake, and comes pre-loaded with all of the Shake software. The Raspberry Pi holds the SD card and provides power for the entire seismic station. “[The Raspberry Pi] Nesbitt says that everything computer is built-in.

With a Raspberry Shake board, building your own seismic station from scratch becomes as simple as adding a sensor and plugging a Raspberry Pi into your wall socket, though Christensen recommends crafting to prevent a bang (You can use it!) To save from bumps! The den of your house.

If you don’t collect your self from scratch, Raspberry Shake makes several turnkey options depending on the number and sensor you want. Turnkey options, Huff says, pack all of these components into a compact plexiglass box.

The holsters opted for the turnkey Raspberry Shake 4D, which can be under $ 400. To install, Ryan Hollister says all they needed to do was “level it and point the axes in the right direction so that it is properly oriented, and plug into it.” As easy, well … P (E).

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