After about a year and a half of messing around, I finally got this very cheap seismometer system working under Windows. It also displays data in real time – something I have still not accomplished with Linux. Educationally, it has great potential.
It consists of the sensor and an interface box which amplifies and converts the signal into an audio tone. That plugs into the microphone socket of a computer running three pieces of software under Windows (XP in the one shown here). They are, 1) the one I put together – “seismochop”, which retrieves the earthquake signal from the audio tone and converts it to serial data, 2) a virtual serial port package called com0com which acts as a relay, and 3) Amaseis – software that records and displays earthquake data. These three can be downloaded free.
Here is a screen shot of a local quake I recorded today. (USGS Event ID usc00096va) There’s a DOS window I brought to the foreground for the screen shot. That’s seismochop showing the data samples at about 11 samples per second.