Home Seismograph project


Almost "live" data from our seismometer

Near real time data from our Seismometer under the house - updated every 10 mins!

Here is the screen of my Infiltec Seismometer installed under my house - updated every 10 mins or so.  Time is in UTC.  Hours are on the left and minutes are listed along the bottom.  The bottom of the graph is the most current data and the data at the top is the oldest.


Have you ever wondered what all that lava and geologic turmoil under our feet sounds and feels like?  Me too!

For many years I had wanted to setup my own seismometer, just to tinker with it and see if I could capture events like many other volunteers across the web. Even before the web, fellow ham operators like John Cole and Frank Cooper inspired me to set one up. They have been tinkering with these since the '90's.

But I didn't really have a good place to do it... Until now.

Now I live out in the country, away from most everything that would make "city noise" on the seismometer. I have a big barn with a massive concrete slab to bolt it to. But I didn't want to break the bank... For my first try, I wanted a commercial, packaged unit that simply "worked"!

I found this instrument, an Infiltec QM-4.5LV seismometer for about $345.00 on Amazon.com, and after some research I gave it a shot. I unpacked it and had it set up and operating in a matter of minutes. I later installed it under my house on some bricks and it worked so well I was able to capture the recent quakes in Nepal on my own screen! (on the other side of the planet!)

Infiltec QM-4.5LV

Now I am in the process of installing it in my barn - on that big slab of concrete. Under the house, it still sees me walking around, slamming doors shut in the house and it even responds to the surround sound on the stereo! Reggae music looks like a long sustained earthquake... In a word, it is VERY sensitive! You can naturally filter out most of this noise with the software, but I really need to remove most of this noise the right way - with a proper "quiet" installation spot on a big slab of concrete...

I have had it up for a couple of weeks now and I am impressed with how sensitive this instrument really is, how easy it is to filter noise with the software and how it just simply "works"! I even have it uploading a screen shot of my seismometer software (Amaseis) to my website every ten minutes!

One other thing I REALLY LIKE about it, it is extremely PORTABLE! With the bubble level on top, it's rugged design and the "no calibration" capability it is perfect for taking out in the field and using it for temporary and portable installations! The AS-1/AQ-1 design can't compete in this arena!

I would highly recommend this unit for those of us who want something that just simply "works" and can be easily used to verify the performance of other "home-brew" designs. I am impressed!

The Cons:
1) It is NOT weather-proof! But it is pretty easy to put it inside something that is! Mine is wrapped in thin plastic and sits on bricks under an over-turned old igloo ice chest we lost the top to one summer. Under the house now (as of this writing), but will soon be inside the barn where that won't be a problem in the future.

2) It has a big 9 pin serial connector - good luck stuffing it through a small hole in the wall or floor. I am using 9 pin to RJ-45 adapters to make the long serial cable run a cat 5 cable. It's easier to poke through holes in the wall.

3) The Amaseis software is great, but it barfs on Windows 7 once in a while, making you have to re-start the PC it is connected to - once in a while. Which is a pain in the neck if you run it on a machine that does web duties and is online 24/7/365 in a RACK full of servers like I do... You just have to keep an eye on it!

4) It really DOES need a quiet location to install correctly for you to enjoy the use of it with normal performance expectations. IT IS VERY SENSITIVE! (But that's a good thing!)

If I had to do it again - I would buy this unit again in a heartbeat! It arrived withing a couple of weeks, unpacked and installed in minutes and has been very sensitive and a reliable instrument - the software not withstanding... It is rugged, portable and affordable for an instrument of its quality. If you are thiniing of owning one - GO FOR IT!  Expect it to take about a week to ship to your door.  Setup will take less than a half hour!


You can connect to my Amaseis server and receive REAL TIME, second by second, (sampled 16 times a second) data over the internet.  All you have to do is install Amaseis software (Google it!) and connect to a remote node - www.n5mbm.net using port 53760.  Once connected you will get a stream of data in real time off of our server and see things as they happen!  If you have any questions feel free to drop me a note - n5mbm  @  n5mbm.net

See USGS Earthquake data HERE!

Current Seismicity from around the world (right now!)

Map of Public Seismic Network Stations Around the World


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