Hi guys,

I’m aware that Talk is a community mainly related to 3D printing but, I’d like to ask you a suggestion about which one might be the best vibration sensor for Arduino 1 since I love and trust this community.

I’m working on a project aimed to realise a cheap and reliable earthquakes detector for a domestic use and, I need to choose how to detect the vibrations.

In your opinion, should I use a Piezo vibration sensor or an accelerometer such us ADXL35? Do you know any alternatives? Why would you choose a vibration sensor instead of an accelerometer (or vice versa)?




I’d use a combined accelerometer/gyro such as the MPU-6050.

Available many places including ebay.

I’ve used these before, they are very sensitive and should do the job. Communication libraries with arduino are easy to use.

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Hi Federico

Hi Nebbian,

Thanks for your suggestion, I’ve checked how much costs an MPU-6050 and it’s incredibly cheap. I’ll look for more information about how I can implement it on Arduino. Thanks a lot!

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Hello hello, my dear George!

P.s: I’d love to share some more information with you about the project. I’m an Italian engineering student and, as you might know, we had two great earthquakes in Italy during the last six months. In 2009, during an earthquake, many students died because they didn’t wake up before the student accommodation collapsed.

So, as student, I wondered how I could contribute to making my country safer than now. Along with some of my classmates, we decided to try to work on a low-cost and reliable earthquake alarm to be installed in public areas such us student accommodations, universities and so on.

Hi Federico,

This might be slightly off topic but I’m building a seismometer myself as I’m quite interested in the matter (I know people in Norcia and my parents live in a seismic area in France).

So just in case you are not aware of it, there is a (mostly) printable seismometer on thingiverse I’m starting to build right now (Modified Slinky Seismometer by redbeardmathpirate - Thingiverse). I don’t fully understand how it works but the concept is nice and cheap (basically you use a moving magnet hooked at the end of a slinky to generate current in a copper coil). If you follow the links to the original TC-1 seismometer, there is a software package that goes along and allow plotting.

Hope that helps and I’d love to get notifications about this project !



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Hey Tribricks,

Thanks for your suggestion: it’s a cool project., I’ll check if I can realise it somehow (there should be a 3D print lab in my university). I’ll check how does the hardware and software work! The main problem may be related to the seismometer’s dimensions since it seems huge.

Actually I wonder if it’s not possible to reuse the setup with one of the sensors you mentionned : the slinky behavior would simply increase sensitivity.

About size, it’s true that it is certainly bigger than a small enclosure with Arduino+sensor but it is one of the most compact design I’ve seen for seismometer. Unless your sensor has enough sensitivity out of the box…