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Author Topic: Earthquakes  (Read 12649 times)

Brandt

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Earthquakes
« on: April 15, 2010, 07:48:50 PM »

The recent earthquakes the family has experienced around Southern California, has made me realize that it would be nice if some of the lights would come on at night (when they usually happen) if an earthquake strikes. Its not fun experiencing one when you can't see a thing...

I doubt there is some earthquake sensor I can shove into the ground, but I was thinking this:

Find some earthquake alert email list that will send an email when an earthquake occurs within x amount of miles from your home.
Somehow setup your mail client to run a script when an email is received with a certain sender and subject line..

any ideas?
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nybuck

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2010, 08:01:17 PM »

$.02

It may sound silly, but what if you had something that would fall past a motion sensor?

Or a pendulum that would swing and set off the motion sensor when the ground shook?   -:)
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HA Dave

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2010, 09:32:52 PM »

I have an automated chair. In the video... you can see where I connected a DS10A to the chair. I didn't like having to raise the footrest everytime I sit in the chair. So I replaced the magnetic reed switch with a tilt switch. At first I tried different mercury switches... but I finally settled on a simple dangling copper wire.

Whereas my dangling wire tilt switch is very simple... it has proved to be very reliable. A simple dangling wire inside a ring... would not require much jolting around to trigger the DS10A.
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HA Dave

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2010, 11:35:04 PM »

I've also done a little searching... found a post about creating such a device:  http://www.discovercircuits.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1939&page=2

I really like the idea of a quake sensor. Of course here in Ohio... it may not be as useful as on the left side.
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Brandt

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2010, 12:17:06 PM »

Perfect:

https://sslearthquake.usgs.gov/ens/


Then I can try and modify my servers mail client to run a script such as 'heyu allon C' when I get one of these.

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JeffVolp

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2010, 12:31:05 PM »

How about something as simple as a large ball bearing sitting inside something like a jar lid with a hole in the center.  Below the hole would be two contacts.  Any shaking should cause the ball bearing to drop through the hole and make contact.

Jeff
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HA Dave

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2010, 09:47:18 PM »

pomprocker your idea of an X10 Earthquake detector inspired me... so I made one... using a DS10A. I posted a YouTube Video showing it.

Since so many people don't solder or have a large selection of tools I made my detector using only basic tools.

I first removed the magnetic reed switch part from a DS10A and with a knife exposed some clean shiny wire. Using the contents of a "picture hanging kit" I replaced the reed switch with two small "eye hooks". I wrapped the hooks with the shiny wire and secured the wire with a tiny bit of sewing thread. I attached the eye hooks to the back of the DS10A using [quick set] epoxy. I glued a picture hanger to the DS10 at the same time.

While the epoxy hardened I prepared about 3-4 inches of scrap wire. I used 14 gauge copper wire... but likely a paper clip would work just as well. I used needlenose pliers to make a rounded end on one end of the wire (like the eye hooks only slightly larger). The rounded end provides a nice pivot point for the wire.

The long wire then "dangles" from the top eye hook.... and is centered in the lower eye hook. This dangling motion detector only closes the circuit when it is jiggled.
 
I used my Home Automation Computer [which runs 24/7] running OnAlert to detect the DS10A closure. I used BVC for a Voice [warning] Announcement. Having a couple ceiling (and outside) lights come on... might be a good idea as well. 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 11:45:52 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2010, 10:04:08 PM »

I made one... using a DS10A. I posted a YouTube Video showing it.

Neat!   :)%

While I'm not sure it would detect every tremor that might wake you in the middle of the night, it sure should detect the ones that matter.

A nice design that requires few tools and should be easy enough for most to construct!  #:)

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« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 12:35:47 AM by -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) »
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2010, 10:39:09 PM »

I made one... using a DS10A. I posted a YouTube Video showing it.

Interesting, but where I live (Baltimore, Maryland) we don't get serious earthquakes.  There's a very deep fault line in northern Maryland/lower Pennsylvania that causes light tremors about every 15-20 years, only rattles the dishware.
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-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2010, 11:51:00 PM »

Interesting, but where I live (Baltimore, Maryland) we don't get serious earthquakes.  There's a very deep fault line in northern Maryland/lower Pennsylvania that causes light tremors about every 15-20 years, only rattles the dishware.

Do you have a point, or is this another of your "It doesn't matter because I don't use it or need it." posts?    >*<

As Dave_x0_L said, it probably won't be very useful to him either, and yet he went out of his way to design, build and share!   8)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 12:38:56 AM by -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) »
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Brandt

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2010, 01:22:53 AM »

I made one... using a DS10A. I posted a YouTube Video showing it.

haha, did you create the video just for this thread??

Is that a helmet cam or what?
  >! #:)
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BaBaLou.

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2010, 06:28:35 AM »

Nice one Dave,   :)%

I can see other application to this one too. #:)

BaBaLou.
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HA Dave

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2010, 09:34:59 AM »

haha, did you create the video just for this thread??

Sorta... it was actually when you posted:
The recent earthquakes the family has experienced around Southern California, has made me realize that it would be nice if some of the lights would come on at night (when they usually happen) if an earthquake strikes. Its not fun experiencing one when you can't see a thing...

Turning lights on at a predetermined time.. or at a certain event is perfect for Home Automation. Having a couple ceiling lights turn on as well as a Voice Reminder as to where to seek shelter could make a scary situation... less so. And maybe even prevent injury. 

Is that a helmet cam or what?

I use a tiny little HD [flashdrive] video camera. To video myself I use a camera stand. The cameras SD card then fits directly into a memorycard port in my laptop. I convert the video from mov to wmv using the free version of "any video converter" then I edit the video using windows movie maker (also free).
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Knightrider

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2010, 09:49:26 AM »

Hey Pomp,

Just to throw in my $2 (things are more expensive in Cali, so I hear), maybe you need to go another route than X10 on this one.  How often does "the big one" affect the power?

The gang here has come up with lots of neat actuators for the "Pomprocker Earthquake Dectection System", why not put a couple of these on some self contained battery lights for safety's sake.  Keep the HA system too, just make it a little redundant.

Just a thought.

(I've never lived through a major quake, but we do get tornadoes.  I might just build some of these myself, as I'm not sure that if my house landed in Oz, the power grid would be 120/240, 60Hz.)
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Earthquakes
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2010, 11:35:34 AM »

Interesting, but where I live (Baltimore, Maryland) we don't get serious earthquakes.  There's a very deep fault line in northern Maryland/lower Pennsylvania that causes light tremors about every 15-20 years, only rattles the dishware.

Do you have a point, or is this another of your "It doesn't matter because I don't use it or need it." posts?    >*<

As Dave_x0_L said, it probably won't be very useful to him either, and yet he went out of his way to design, build and share!   8)

I posted it (the YouTube video) was interesting because it would be useful for those in earthquake zones, which, as I posted, is not useful in a very low possible zone like Baltimore.
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