Seisberry fast build

Here are the parts you need, with a full description below. The amazon links are affiliate links, to motivate further developments of the Seisberry. The geophone manufacturer is what I use here in the US.

  • One Raspberry Pi. I recommend the Raspberry 3 B Plus over the Raspberry 4, as the enhanced video features of the Raspberry 4 are not needed for the seismometer application, while the Raspberry 3B+ has about 20% lower power consumption and is cheaper than the Raspberry 4.
  • The Waveshare High precision AD / AC board board for Raspberry.
  • Geophones. At least 1 vertical, optionally 2 horizontal geophones. For seismic I use 10Hz phones, which are also the cheapest ($30): 1 Vertical and optionally 2 Horizontal components. For seismology I recommend geophones with a lower frequency, like 4.5Hz: 1 Vertical and 2 Horizontal components. You can order from RT Clark in Oklahoma, or you may try your luck and find equivalent products on Aliexpress. The RT geophones come with their shunt resistor already soldered. If you get your geophones from other sources, read the doc and get matching shunt resistors (probably something close to 395 Ohms).
  • Stranded wire, 20 gauge, ideally red and black. 18 gauge (which is a bigger wire than 20, that’s how gauge works) will barely fit in the AD bus. 22 gauge is too small.

Install process:

  • Download and install Balena Etcher, or an equivalent. This assume you are using a Windows PC.
  • Download the Seisberry Image¬†available on my dropbox (Raspbian Buster with various libraries installed, and compiled code, about 8G).
  • With Etcher, burn the Seisberry image to your SD card (needs to be a 16G SD minimum). The distribution should expand to your card size on install. Put the card in the Raspberry internal bay.
  • Either plug a screen + keyboard + mouse to the Pi OR download and install VNC viewer on your PC and connect the Pi to you network with a network cable. Then in VNC viewer log to the host “seisberry”, user: pi, password: seisberry. If you do not have a proper DHCP server on your network (rare now) you may have to plug a screen to the Pi once, type ifconfig in a terminal, and write down the Pi’s IP. Then use that IP in VNC viewer for the Host name.
  • On the Pi: immediately change the password in Start>Raspberry Pi configuration.
  • Update your Operating system. Open a terminal and type:
sudo update all
  • Shut down the Pi when done.
  • Set the jumpers on your AD board as in the picture.
  • Connect the board to the GPIO of the Raspberry, and put the 2 screws and spacers coming with the board.
  • Solder the wires to the geophones. I use about 6 inches of wire. Geophones are polarized, so the red goes on the + and the black on the -.
  • Connect the geophones to the board, as in the picture.
Jumpers position and geophone connections.
  • Power up the Pi.
  • Then to start recording type the following in a terminal:
cd ~/Desktop/DIYSeis/C
sudo ./ads1256_test param

The seisberry is expecting 2 memory cards plugged in 2 of the USB ports, one called RAW and the other called MINISEED. Those cards could be FAT32, formatted in your PC, however I would recommend to make them ext4, which corrupts less if the Raspberry Pi loses power without a proper shut down (if it happens just reformat the card in your PC, and take the opportunity to make them ext4).

What is next?

  • Maybe have a look at the full doc.
  • Or maybe build an acrylic box. I propose a design is here, ready to sent to Ponoko to laser cut using 9mm thick material. Just make sure the contours are set to “cut” and the text is set to “engrave”.
  • Read the seisberry FAQs.