Purchase a Seismometer

A new professional seismometer costs several thousand euros, this is just a compilation of what is used in the amateur world.

There are several available seismometers to purchase, some require additional hardware (Amplifier/filter, A/D converter, Microcontroller, etc), others have a complete package. All seismometers listed here are capable of recording teleseismic events, except for L15B geophones, which at 4.5Hz will not detect teleseimic events, this type of seismometer is more adequate of detecting local and regional events.

Please note that WPSMap doesnt sell any seismometer, all systems listed here are only for information.

Some brief information about seismometers:
-Seismometers can be Horizontal or Vertical.
-Natural Period of the seismometer, more lower is the frequency of the seismometer, more capable the seismometer will detect P,S, LQ, LR waves from teleseismic events.

-Most tectonic local/regional earthquakes have a frequency lower than 5Hz. Volcanic earthquakes can have frequencies up to 15Hz.
-Usually teleseismic events, have a P and S wave between 0.5Hz and 1Hz, and LQ LR at 20s (or 0.05Hz).
-Its hard to tell which minimum magnitude a seismometer will detect, it will depend on many factors. But usually all teleseismic earthquakes with magnitude higher than 7, are detected by this systems (except for L15B).


Horizontal Seismometer

"The SEP Seismometer System was developed in collaboration with the British Geological Survey, and during its initial trials in schools proved to be very successful in recording earthquakes – including the Kent earthquake in May 2007. The system comes complete with an interface that can be plugged into a computer, recording and analysis software, and full instructions.

The SEP Seismometer System uses the same basic principle underlying all seismometers, which is that of inertia –seismic waves from an earthquake make the ground move relative to the recording device. In the case of the SEP seismometer, there is a large mass on the end of a boom: this stays where it is as the ground moves beneath the seismometer, and this relative movement is recorded.

The SEP seismometer is based on what is often called a ‘garden gate’ design, since the boom is able to swing from side to side. Attached to the boom is a set of ‘sensing magnets’ and a ‘sensing coil’ is mounted on the base of the seismometer; when the boom moves, the magnets move relative to the coil, and an electrical signal is generated in the coil."

SEP Manual

Where to purchase?

Rockwave VS1

Vertical Seismometer

The Rockwave VS1 is a compact, vertical motion seismometer, designed for education and the keen amateur intending to set up a home observatory. As a vertical instrument it is almost insensitive to ground tilt. The electronics are integral, the mechanics are visible, and the capacitance displacement sensor can be examined by removing the end cap. The VS1 is compatible with AmaSeis and is also supplied with a full manual and software utilities in Basic.

Where to purchase?
RockWave Official Site

Infiltec QM-4.5LV

Vertical Seismometer

The Infiltec Model QM-4.5LV Seismometer is designed for school, office, field, and home use. It provides worldwide earthquake detection in a compact, portable, and rugged package that is less expensive and easier to use than conventional designs. The QM-4.5LV has an internal vertical seismic geophone sensor and custom electronics to detect seismic signals from local and worldwide earthquakes. The QM-4.5LV does not require any power supply or assembly or enclosure or adustment; including alignment, damping, zeroing, etc. The QM-4.5LV works with the standard AmaSeis Windows based software, and its sensitivity is similar to the standard educational AS1 seismometer.

Where to purchase?
Ebay - Infiltec

Infiltec Official Site


Vertical Seismometer

Seismometer: Vertical velocity transducer with oil damping.
Natural Period: 1.5 sec (Filter extends bandwidth to 20 sec.)
Amplifier: 100db w/Low Pass Filter -- there is a zero adjustment but no gain adjustment.
Digitizer: 12 Bit Analog to Digital Converter
Bandwidth: .5 sec to 20 sec
Dimensions: 17" Long, 6" Wide, 10.5" High
Computer Interface: through the serial port to PC.
Power Supply: Jameco Model EGPS-007, Product No. JE9100
120 V 60Hz; Output: +5v/600 mA, +12V/250 mA, -12V/250 mA, Common
Data Format: an ASCII number from 0 through 4095 followed by a CR and a LF at a rate of about 6.2 samples per second.
Price of complete system: $550.00 plus California sales tax if applicable, plus shipping and handling.
Price without seismometer: About $275 plus California sales tax, if applicable, plus shipping and handling.
Price of plastic cover and plastic dish for damping oil: $40.00 from E & A International, 4801 Ellison Street #G NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109
(Tel: 505-345-4101 Fax: 505-345-4101) Contact: Istvan Matyasi
Alternate Cover -- Plastic Storage Box: $8.99 from Fred Meyer

Where to purchase?


The CMG-EDU is a complete seismology package for educational institutions, incorporating a broadband single-component vertical instrument and a compact digitizer with 24-bit resolution.

Using the CMG-EDU system and Guralp Systems’ free Scream! software for Windows, educators can demonstrate earth processes in a hands-on environment, and earth sciences students can investigate local and remote seismic events.

Modern broadband force feedback instrument
Output directly proportional to ground velocity from 30 s – 50 Hz
High sensitivity and dynamic range
Lightweight, waterproof and self-contained
Quick and easy installation
Easy access to electrical connections
No mass control required—plug in and go
The CMG-EDU system includes an EDU-V vertical broadband seismometer and CD24E1 compact digitizer, with a robust GPS unit for timing.

The EDU-V is a 30 s response sensor with a passband of 30 – 50 Hz, based on Guralp Systems’ CMG-6 broadband seismometer technology.

The CD24E1 is a compact broadband digitizer based on a high-resolution sigma-delta ADC converter.

Vertical School Seismometer

Vertical Seismometer

Detect earthquakes and tremors early, even before media reports. With the Vertical School Seismometer, students can watch a developing event unfold and analyze the recordings of generated waves.

Built on the proven Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology standards, this instrument can be placed in any stable, relatively undisturbed location, and it will deliver P and S-wave earthquake signals all day.

The seismometer comes with Windows software which displays a full day’s recordings on a single screen, automatically saves, and organizes the data for later analysis.

The software supports identification of different types of ground waves in an earthquake, extraction of the earthquake signal, and determination of the distance and intensity of the quake.

Size: 18 1/3″L x 8 1/4″W x 12 2/3″H;
Weight: 3.75 lbs.
System Requirements:Windows 2000 or higher, USB

Where to purchase?
Wards Natural Science

L15B Geophones

Also known for short period seismometer.
Natural frequency: 4.5Hz
3 Component (XYZ) 4.5Hz Used Geophones - 1x Vertical, 2x Horizontal

Where to purchase?

Used Seismometers

Sometimes there are some great deals on used seismometers in auction sites like Ebay.
10Hz geophones are cheap and easy to find, but remind that a 10Hz geophone will only be able to detect local earthquakes at relative near epicenter if the frequency of the earthquake is below 10Hz, if the frequency of the earthquake is near the natural frequency of the geophone, it will detect it.


If you have a seismometer, without a connection to a computer, you will need some additional hardware:

Most systems will output a very weak signal, so it requires to add some amplification, also filtering is very important to remove unwanted noise (usually >10Hz). Also, with the use of some techniques in amp/filtering is possible to extend the natural period of a seismometer, allowing to record better lower frequencies.
The most used system among the amateur seismology community, with proof results, is the PSN Seismic Amp/Filter board:
PSN Amp/Filter Board

A/D converter
It will convert analog signal from the seismometer to digital signal, which can be processed with a microcontroller and later connected to a computer. Note that some A/D converter have included a microcontroller.
The most used system among the amateur seismology community, with proof results, is the PSN Seismic Serial/USB Board:
PSN Serial/USB Board

Homemade circuit
As an alternative you can build your own amplifier circuit or follow one of the many available schematics for seismic purposes. More info on this matter will be available later.

Build a Seismometer

Under Construction.