We always love to see projects where you can build your own lab equipment so [CompactDIY’s] homemade seismograph caught our eye. The design uses an Arduino with an accelerometer and builds on one of their earlier projects. You can see a video of the device below.
The principle is simple. A hobby servo controls a pen and a stepper motor rolls paper, creating a makeshift strip recorder. Its software uses the Visuino system, which is a flowchart-like system, but it outputs Arduino code. Honestly, we would probably have just plotted the data on a PC, but there’s a certain charm to the strip recorder and the idea would work for other types of data recording projects, too. We thought if you rearranged the stepper motor and cut a paper disk out, you could also have a circular chart recorder easily, which wouldn’t need to friction transport the paper. A clock motor would make it even less dependent on software, too.