HaD Links – Quakepocalypse Edition: August 23, 2011

Well, if you hadn’t noticed the news there has been a little bit of a shakeup on the east coast. I just arrived home after being evacuated due to a 30 second rumble the likes of which has not been felt on the east coast in something like 114 years. In lieu of the not so devastating but earth shaking event we thought we’d put together a few earthquake related links for you.

Earthquake-proof Wine Rack

First off instructables user [jofish] has a quick remedy if earthquakes are constantly destroying all the wine on your wine rack. He researched some existing commercial products and simply copied them by stapling cheap O rings to the front of the rack. We assume the back of the wine rack is secured to the wall as well.

Vertical Seismometer

Next up is a vertical seismometer from [Mike] over at mikesense.com. This was in response to a slightly more threatening 7.2 earthquake he experienced in Baja California last year. A vertical seismometer measures the movement of a weight either electronically or mechanically, and then damps the motion of the oscillation by a magnet or some other means. This particular design is known as the AS-1 developed by [Jeff Batten]. Matt’s page has links to everything you’d need to know including build videos.

Predict Seismic Activity with Hard Drives

If you are looking for some non-conventional ways of tracking seismic activity we have a pair of articles that detail earthquake tracking using your disk drive’s accelerometer. [Michael Stadler] realized the potential for all these sensors and released a program that creates a peer-to-peer network compiling data from the sensors. We are not too comfortable with the prospect of somebody tracking every time we drop or kick (or drop-kick) our laptops but 2500 users in Asia downloaded the software in ’06. The second article details an effort lead by IBM to monitor the fixed hard drives in server racks which generally remain far more stationary.

Simple DIY Earthquake Simulator

Finally for those of you who want to cause (miniature) earthquakes, we dug up this MTU project using plywood, an electric drill, rubber bands and some bearings to fabricate a DIY shake table (PDF warning). We are sure there are tons of improvements that can be made but this is a pretty fun project if you have a bunch of CNC parts lying around (we wish we did).

22 thoughts on “HaD Links – Quakepocalypse Edition: August 23, 2011

  1. and…. queue all of the people who talk about how it’s nothing because they live in California.

    That being said, the video surveillance of my server cabinets shaking makes me cringe and think about my poor poor data.

  2. Heh, felt it in the middle of Pennsylvania. I was at ACE. One of the guys dodged away from the paint shelves when they started wobbling. Nothing fell, but a couple people were freaked.

  3. Quake Catcher Network already does this. “Many laptops currently have a Sudden Motion Sensors or Active Protection Systems inside them. While these sensors were originally designed to help protect the computer’s hard disk in case they are dropped or shaken, seismologists can use them to detect earthquakes. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) links participating laptops into a single coordinated network that can detect and analyze earthquakes faster and better than ever before. The laptop network is the least expensive seismic network in the world.”

  4. my thoughts upon reading about the quakes: “Colorado had an earthquake what?”

    Aside: what’s with all the “ocalypse” names lately? Snowpocalypse, Carpocalypse, Quakepocalypse… You’d think someone was being fatalistic or something.

    Fatalocalypse :D

    aside aside: “Quakepocalypse” sounds like a really big convention for Quake fans.

  5. The problem is buildings outside of California and Japan, etc. are not built to withstand earthquakes. While a 5.9 is not a terribly devestating quake it’ll still cause damage to a structure near the epicenter not built to withstand quakes.
    The reason no one gives earthquake tips to californians is because you’ve heard all of them before. Most of them don’t really apply to the massive quakes anyways. Being under the door frame doesn’t help when the entire building collapses.

    It’s the same how parts of the South shut down when they get 3/4 of an inch of snow yet New England and the upper midwest routinely get inches to feet in a few hours. The cities and people do not have the infrastructure in place to deal with it and it happens so infrequently that it’s not worth the cost to put it in place and keep in working order.

    1. Worse, I think this quake gave a false sense of security to the East Coasters. This quake may have added up to 5.8, but the energy was distributed over 30 seconds. The peak energy was really quite low, and it is the peak that shatters un-reinforced masonry.

  6. You have to understand that Earthquakes in the mid continent “ring” farther and are shaking buildings that are not built to newer earthquake codes like in California. Also take into account that an EQ to the east coast is like a hurricane to California. When you query the USGS database for the last 6Mw in California and then in the east coast it contrasts by 100+ years to just months.
    Seismic waves travel farther as well. The New Madrid EQ occurred in middle America but there is documentation of church bells ringing in Bangor Maine. As a MS geology student I love this field in science.

  7. because we have zero preparation and zero knolage of how to deal with earthquakes and we dont ever brace for them or build our homes to withstand earthquakes

    like how a heatwave in russia killed 56,000 people from 100*f weather that we get here all the time …

    1. Now the real challenge is to make one that measures broadband frequencies, is sensitive enough to see distant (think Japan from California) shaking at high resolution while not exceeding it’s detection range in a local strong earthquake, outputs to digital format and is displayed as a 200 samples per second in three axises.

      That is when things get hard and tend to be $$$.

    1. We have a rack that is two pieces of large lattice (you know XXXX type wooden material) and the back is offset so the holes are a bit lower. You place the bottle in and the neck sits in the V part of the lattice and keeps the bottle level. Whole thing is backed and bolted to the wall.

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