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DIY Earthquake Detector Finally in California


Californians have a reason to celebrate after a UC Berkeley professor Joshua Bloom and his team revealed that a large scale early warning system for earthquakes in California would be rolled out soon.


What is being awaited is the government funding to kick in. in the meantime, one of the scientists working on the project has decided to turn his seismic knowledge into a DIY earthquake alarm for about $110.

Already, the alert system referred to as ShakeAlert has been installed on a handful of the scientists’ laptops. It is reported to have given Bay area testers approximately 10 seconds of warning before the 6.0 Napa quake of last month.


Bloom decided to come up with his own version of the early warning system using a wired speaker, a Raspberry Pi single-board computer, a mini-Wi-Fi adapter and an SD card. These are all stored in a cardboard potato chip box from the Berkeley restaurant Gregoire.

Earthquake alert on phone

Earthquake alert on phone

What Bloom is trying to show is that an inexpensive earthquake alarm is as reliable and functional as the smoke detector. He hopes this might spur the state to support the project financially.

“Knowing it’s cheap to make will get the public excited and hopefully get the legislature to fund it,” he said.
Bloom posted has posted a procedure on his blog for anyone who wants to try this project at home.

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